Not suitable for people with irony deficiency and
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Friday, 1 October 2010

Blighty goes to Morocco and other domestic news

It's been a funny week, a mixture of domestic dullness and exotic travel, with a shopping expedition with Grandma thrown in. And lots and lots of rain.

Grandma Whacker and I tripped the light fantastic in glamorous Watford. The big G had taught in a college there a long time ago. She was interested to visit again, and pronounced it greatly changed. She was amused by the Polski Schlep in the High Street. She also dropped casually into the conversation that she used to take the train up to London each week to go to Russian language classes. The big G is full of surprises (she already has a degree in French and German).

We also checked out the retail possibilities. I thought this dress in Wallis was a bit Pucci-esque. I like Wallis, they have good designers, but their blouses tend to be in man-made fabrics, which obviously has Elf and Safety fire risks.

We also looked in super cheap budget shop Primark, with which I have a love/hate relationship. I love all the bang you get for your bucks, but hate myself for buying tat. I don't even want to think about how they keep their prices so low.

Last winter there was some leopard spotted scarf from Gucci or some other designer that was all the rage. I would be a bit cross if I had shelled out on the real thing and then found Primark doing a copy for a couple of quid.

I liked these laptop cases. Mr B already got Grandma a serious laptop case as used by top execs and international corporate travellers. Grandma is thrilled with her new laptop. She looks after it as if it were a new baby, wrapping it up carefully and feeding it up regularly to keep it charged up. She rang up before her visit to make sure I had the right sort of plug for its electricity.

We went to Marks and Spencers, that great British institution and G bought a cosy new coat, very chic Italian in ski resort.

And with wonderfully snazy lining!

Under careful parental supervision I was restrained and came home with 2 Primark tops for the princely sum of £3 each. Here I am messing about seeing what nail varnish matches. Note to self: get a life!

The Big G and her laptop departed. It rained and rained, dark and dull. I actioned domestic tasks, I fully expect to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Domestic Saintliness very soon. It was very boring. The highlight was discovering my kitchen bin has little wheels underneath. Who knew?! I rang Mr B to tell him. I feel it is important to keep your relationship alive by telling your partner interesting things. Mr B said " Yeah, I know". When was he going to tell me? I was shocked.

The rain and gloom got to me and I decided a trip to North Africa would be good. Unfortunately it's not possible to get to the actual country and back by 4pm (school pick up time) but I went to this little shop in a small town just down the road. They sell all sorts of exotic items you don't actually need but really want. I decided I needed tea light holders to create a genuine North African ambience while we eat our fish and chips, er, I mean couscous and tagine.

The shop is called En Route and smells delicious, there are always incense sticks burning. And they play evocative North African and Brazilian music.

I liked this cockerel but would be too tempted to make jokes about a large - oh, no, better stop right there.

There were tea light holders galore.

On the way back I spotted this little chap in a hairdressers, looking out at the world.

In other news, against all odds, this flower thing has come out. I think it's a gladioli, I planted bulbs (upside down) 3 years ago and got strange mutant growths. This is the first time I ever got a flower on it.
My domestic goodness knows no bounds. Today I attempted to sort out our muddled duvet situation. Mr B and I seem to be using 2 duvets each, which seems a bit unnecessary.

But goodness, it got complicated. Why do we have so many duvets? We have manmade, Hungarian goose down (which I like but makes Mr B sneeze) and silk filled; we have 4.5 tog, 9 tog, and ones that button together to make even more or the same tog. You need an advanced science degree to work all the thermodynamics out.

Every time I looked round I found another duvet. Are they breeding or what?

And valances! Why so many? I ended up tying them up and labelling them, obsessively, while humming tunelessly to myself. Very, very worrying. Is there something in female DNA which dictates the compulsive acquisition of bedlinen? ( note to self: apply to EU for research grant to get to bottom of this).

I seem to have lots of silk filled duvets from Gingerlily. I met the woman who started the company, she used to be a lawyer for Mr Al Fayed at Harrods. I went to her house to collect my duvets. She was lovely and blonde. Her company has gone from strength to strength. They do other things too, like super silk pjs, I have a pair. I feel very Noel Coward in them..

Must go. Another 67 items of bedlinen to catalogue. Might just have a little nap first..

Have a nice weekend everybody! And don't forget to feed your laptops!


  1. Dear Mrs Blighty, I am awed by your energy and industry. I loved the trip to Morocco which enabled you to meet school pick up (such organisation skills!) and have the very same problem with what we call doonas (duvets). I have to get mine sorted, cleaned and put away too - in this respect, I am a fan of the Spacebag. One feels a sense of good housewifeliness with a sorted linen closet. However, at present, I am a slug. I have run out of puff which is a worry as my mother-in-law who has taken a dim view of my housekeeping skills in the past and also comments on the girth of Mr LiC while looking at me meaningfully is arriving on Sunday morning. Aussie women born just after the war have very high standards!!! I think that there will a mad and undignified scramble tomorrow morning. However, I am going to a ball tomorrow night so what you lose on the swings you make up on the roundabout...

  2. Ha, ha, ha, love the possum in the doonas! Fancy not knowing your bin had wheels. Glad you've sorted all that out. I used to shop in Watford, well browse the shops as I was too poor to shop when I was working in Northwood (Mt Vernon hospital)... while we're on the topic of depressing and boring... and heartbreaking... sad hospital.... burns, plastic surgery.. oh stop. Glad Grandma is nurturing her new computer. Russian?... lots of surprises.. don't you love that! A-M xx

  3. Blighty,

    Maybe you brought all your duvets from planet Dork when you returned. My computer is duly fed and watered.

  4. Laughing so hard I can hardly type.

    I definately have the same impulse shopping habits Blighty.
    My new year resolution was to buy only white bed linens. How many white sheets, quilt covers, throw rugs, cushions etc does a family possibly need? Apparently alot my husband informs me. Or language to that effect.
    But men don't get it do they?

    You are an absolute scream and I love your blog.
    Sending hugs (watch your toes)

  5. hi blighty,

    isn't it fun shopping w/mother? my mom is passed away now but it was always a strange sort of adventure going out with her.

    it is so funny to me the differences in the way you brits talk compared to us. a duvet here is what you put over the comforter to protect it from dirt/spills, etc. to action something means to be cooking up a storm in the kitchen and i'm not sure what tat is and valances are curtains.

    one thing we do have in common is that i def need to get a life too.


  6. Love the pucci-esque Wallis dress! It's fab! I bought three of those tops at Primark two weeks ago - black, red and black and white stripe. for 9 pounds - absolute bargain!

    I think I need a silk duvet - absolutely decadent. I might have to look into Gingerlily...

  7. Blighty dear you are too funny and have cheered up my Sunday evening no end! I also have the EXACT same feelings about Primark - have to enter with daughter but get also get sucked into the 'OMG its so inexpensive (ok, CHEAP) must buy' routine and then feel bad. x

  8. Hey B. Hi. What's a tog? Townsville is NOT doona/duvet territory, so I need an explanation. Guessing it has something to do with the heating factor?
    I actually liked the chook/cock(eral), are you sure it wouldn't be happy in your garden?
    laughing, laughing, laughing,

  9. Dear Lousie, yes, tog is warmth rating, 4.5 is summer, 9 is winter, 10 plus is for very cold places or very chilly what do you use in Townsville? is it soo hot that you all sleep in hammocks on the veranda? or you are soo posh you sleep under freshly ironed linen sheets?
    A-M - had no idea you had once lived near Watford, what a small world, but i thought you were a musician, what were you doing in a hospital? confused!
    Dear Linda, i know so well that feeling of running out of puff, I become very sluglike depending on the weather - actually I think slugs like rain, but I don't, rain makes me feel tired.. and it rains here a lot..

  10. Dear B,
    Togs are what we Queenslanders swim in.
    We sleep under 1200 thread count cotton sheets (however, FF recently advised me that top sheets are the devil's work). Sometimes I do iron the sheets, particularly when essays are due.
    In August, the last month of winter here (winter in Townsville means it only get up to 24 degrees C maximum), we have an hour a day, between 4 am and 5 am when it drops to 4 degrees C. Then you pull the bedspread up.


    There are very unfriendly to the environment people here who run their air conditioners all night and have very lightweight doonas to get the wintry sumptiousness of snuggling under the doona. I could be one of them.
    Townsville doonas are very, very lightweight and despite the heat here they don't have togs.


  11. Blighty, you do make me laugh! Love all the doonas and reading about Grandma's new computer. I don't know what your flower is but I don't think it's a gladioli - you do have a pretty garden though.


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