Not suitable for people with irony deficiency and
cannot guarantee nut-free

Monday, 31 January 2011

Better than a Subscription to Vogue??

Dahlings, one of the utter joys I derive from being a parent is the weekly school newsletter; taking into account the school fees, this is probably the most expensive magazine subscription ever, but well worth it for the sheer entertainment value.  So I thought I would reproduce a newsletter here for you, with a tiny bit of artistic whatnot, and of course name changing to protect the not so innocent...

Daphnes4Boyz “Getting On Down wiv a Traditional Educashun”

Weekly Newsletter – Spring Term 2011-01-26 
SPONSORED BY CLEARITALL NIT LOTION : "Spray it on fast, Get them Back to Class!"

Week 2

Reminders and Changes to Arrangements

Friday’s Disco – please note, skateboards and younger siblings must not be brought into the disco.
Music Examinations – boys involved are reminded to bring their instruments. No chewing gum for wind instrumentalists.
School Pick Up Times – parents are reminded that the pick up time for Year 5 is 4.15pm unless they have a younger brother in the school, in which case pick up is 4.13pm, unless there are matches in which case the boys should proceed to match tea, having moved their sports bags back to the changing room together with their school bags, provided they do not need to get Matron to sign any medication forms first; however, if they have clubs or prep that day they should move their school bags before match tea to their classrooms, unless there is no match in which case they should wait on the front step until collected by their class teacher, unless they have a younger brother in the school who is going to Late Boys in the library, in which case they must wait in the foyer and parents should park in the front car park. Please ensure younger siblings not involved in matches do not eat the sandwiches provided for parents of away teams.

Letter from the Headmaster

It has been a pleasure to work through the first week of term. So my staff have told me, via email to the Headmasters’ Retreat I am attending with my wife Maureen in Mauritius. We have been looking at some very interesting topics including mezzanine financing for school catering expansion, securitisation of playing fields and the tax advantages of moving Years 3-5 offshore.

Work is progressing well on the new ice rink and we hope to host our first ice hockey match later this year. The helipad should be back in use next week. Parents are requested to ensure their children duck when being dropped off.

I wish the boys who are sitting entrance exams this term lots of luck. Top tip: always have a clean handkerchief.

Picture from Down with Skool by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle, copyright of the authors, see also fantastic tribute website for Nigel Molesworth

Finally, all boys are reminded that the school dog, Tooting, is out of bounds and under no circumstances are boys to feed him.  The boys caught giving him baked beans last term have been dealt with in the appropriate manner.
Pinky Arbuthnot, Headmaster

Request from the Director of Sport
Picture as before, copyright Willans and Searle

It has come to my attention that some boys are indulging in exhibitionist and sometimes unseemly goal celebration displays during football matches. Boys are reminded that skidding across half the pitch on their knees, performing robot or sprinkler dances or grabbing their groin regions and jiggling about are NOT acceptable. Parents are also requested to refrain from such behaviour.

Mr T Woods, Director of Sport

On-Line Poker Championships

Congratulations to George Osborne (Year 3) for winning the Under 8s On-Line Poker.

From Matron

There has been a case of nits reported in the School Staff room, please will all teachers check their hair, if applicable.

Please can Jeremy Plimsoll’s mother bring in lots of pairs of spare underpants, to avoid Jeremy being embarrassed by having wet pants. We are keen to handle his continued incontinence in a sensitive and confidential manner.

Lost Property

Ferguson, A. – mouthguard, braces, chewing gum, hairdryer
Allen, W. – 3 pairs of glasses, lost last term, saxophone
Smeagol S. - small gold ring
Blighty Major – rugby shorts, rugby top, towel, tracksuit bottoms, blazer, trousers, rugby socks, underpants, football boots, judo suit, Mexican hat, stick on moustache, recorder, tennis racket, hockey stick, house keys, mobile phone, hamster, tie, gloves, sunhat
Blighty Minor – Panasonic flatscreen TV, packet of Ready Salted Crisps, hankerchief (green)
Attenborough Minor – small chimpanzee answering to the name of Ernest
Wells, O. - sledge

Mrs Colpal, Matron

Picture as before, copyright Willans and Searle

Parents Society

Forthcoming Events:

Cake Sale (minimum contribution – 150 cupcakes/£500)
Disco ( skateboards and younger siblings welcome)
Rock and Roll Dancing Evening (in partnership with St John’s Ambulance)
Staff v Fathers Arm Wrestling
N Lawson and O Winfrey

Drama Department

Parents of Y5 boys are advised there is no need to order ready-made Tudor costumes for the forthcoming production of “Off with Her Head”; a simple homemade doublet and hose in gold brocade is sufficient. Mothers proficient at knitting are asked to volunteer to knit replicas of Hampton Court Palace and The Tower of London.

K Winslet, Head of Drama

Match Results

Tues vs St Alcatraz Football

U8A – lost 3-1
U8B1 – lost 5-1
U8D1 – lost 12 - 1
U8D2 – lost 24-23
Stallions A – lost 6-2
Pixies A – lost 15-10

Wed vs Cheltenham Ladies Hockey

U10As – lost 23-1 (match abandoned due to injuries)

Picture as before, copyright Willans and Searle

Friday, 28 January 2011

Mrs Blighty's Cold Front

Photo from Illamasqua website

Hello Dahlings! Hope you are all well. I will explain the above picture later. I just couldn't face starting the post with a photo of, say, socks.

Right, now here's a photo of socks.

You see, it's got very cold here. Not snowy cold. Not frosty in the mornings cold. But a cruel, biting wind. As I said to Mr Blighty just this morning, "Ooh, that's a cruel, biting wind."
And part of my maternal duties involves watching Boys 1 and 2 and other assorted sizes of boys play in football matches. Last term rugby, this term football. Whatever next? I was just getting used to the rugby too. For example, when during rugby matches over-excited fathers yelled "Ruck Over", I learnt not to shout back "Ruck off". Don't worry, I have no idea what "Ruck over" means either.
I have discovered that the cold and damp seems to seep up through my Hunter wellies as I stand dreaming of the post-match cuppa. A friend told me you can get liners for your Hunters and as I love spending money on accessorising my rubber wear (that sounds wrong) I was there.
I also got some welly liners for the Boys, as during the pre-Christmas snow we went on a trek through the woods with friends. On the way home Boy 1 claimed he had frostbite and it looked like our expedition was going all Scott of the Antarctic. I attempted a mother-to-boy sock transplant in the middle of a snowy field in the almost dark (one of my worst ideas since offering to help with the fraction simplification Maths homework). At this point my friend's husband masterfully flung the whimpering Boy 1 over his shoulder and strode off with him. It was just like the ending of "An Officer and A Gentleman" except without the sailor uniform...where was I? Just wandered off for a moment...
Below, some handy dandy heat warming pads I also bought. Note to self: do not confuse with Instant Noodles, probably highly toxic.

Mindful always of my role as fashion icon to the masses, I opted for these leopard numbers. Jaunty or what?

In these grey wintry days I find myself attracted to bright red lipstick. In Selfridges the other day I went to check out the MAC counter as I heard that MAC lipsticks like Ruby Woo and Russian Red were the thing. Sadly the MAC counter was swarming and too hectic for me, thought I did have a nice chat with a lady who was trying to get a lipstick to match her red Hermes bag. The terrible challenges some people have to face.
So I took refuge at the Illamasqua counter. Illamasqua is probably the only English cosmetics company out there. The sales assistant chap was charming and called me darling, and advised me to get this colour. He also Strongly Recommended I get the Matching Lipliner. So I did. You do not argue with top make up experts who call you darling.

Apparently the key is pigment: Illamasqua products are highly pigmented so in the case of this lipstick you do not need much to get the true depth of colour and the colour lasts longer on your lips. Having carried out extensive testing in the Blighty beauty room (downstairs loo) under highly controlled conditions (minus 3 mins to get boys to school; boys in bout of unarmed combat right outside the door) I can confirm this is top stuff.

Lipstick, colour:Box, and Medium Lipliner, both from Illamasqua

Now, further winter warming equipment: chocolate puddings. Full of essential nutrients...

And discounted Panettone (actually a Pandoro, the plain one without fruit in) from the local Italian deli, who were selling them off after Christmas (Mrs B, savvy shopper).

And vitamin drink. Which I hope will increase my energy levels, as my current tendency is towards hibernation.

Boy 2 was dressed up like this first thing this morning. No idea why. Maybe dressing as a Viking is his way of keeping warm. I expect all that pillaging and other stuff they got up to, kept them nice and warm.

Below, not another chocolate pudding.

This is a hat: Step One in pulling together a Tudor costume for Boy 1. The amount of dressing up that school goes in for, I expect Boys 1 and 2 to be nothing less than Dita Van Teese type burlesque artists when they grow up. Actually, I'm not sure Dita wears than many clothes for her act...
So now I just need to get a brocade doublet, cloak, tights, sword, horse, greyhounds, falcons, manor house.
At least Boy 1 is not Anne Boleyn. That part went to another boy (boys only schools: the cross-dresser's alma mater).
Have a nice weekend Dahlings and Keep Warm/Cool*
*delete as applicable, this is of course an Equal Opportunities Trans National blog.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Catch Up (What did the Mummy Tomato say to the Baby Tomato?)

Dahlings, I have been such a terrible blogger recently, I do apologise. After my release from house arrest - I mean - now that school hols have finished - life seems to have resumed with a rush.

Getting back into the school routine was quite frankly a struggle. I know how this lady feels.

The boys weren't too keen on going back to school either. But one day someone brought in some puppies for the boys to see. Here's Boy 1 - he is surprisingly gentle with animals and babies - it's only Boy 2 he likes to thump about. There were 3 of these retriever puppies, about 8 weeks old I think, and very sleepy after all the attention from the boys.

Here's a book I got in the January sales. It lampoons mercilessly lots of well known books (the author has a column in a newspaper doing this). Probably best to dip in and out of, rather than read all in one go. Some of it's very crude and over the top as the books spoofed include Lady Chatterley's Lover; Crash; and American Psycho. I did think the author crossed over a line when he takes on The Great Gatsby and Love in a Cold Climate, those books are sacrosanct!!

I went on a little jaunt up to London and called in at the Oxford Street TopShop.
I think I really am getting too old for TopShop. Look at those girls' hair. Weird.

And their eye shadow application definitely errs on the over-enthusiastic side.

Is this a look I should adopt for parent/teacher meetings?

And this poor girl has gone to the other extreme - no hair at all and suspended from the ceiling by a rope. Not good.

I tried a couple of dresses on but my heart wasn't in it. This was crumply and creasy.

This looks like a 1970s air hostess outfit - British Airways I think, the crimplene must be a fire risk.

I also swung by H&M. I liked this skirt, but did not buy it, I could just see it languishing in the wardrobe looking pretty but unworn. When did I get so sensible? Shocking.

I liked the dogs in the H&M window. Maybe I could get Boy 1 one of those?

Must go, Mr B has come home and is now playing with the boys' Scalextric racing car thing. All by himself. The boys are in bed. I guess Mr B is reliving his youth.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

When Blighty Met Lousie

Just the other day I went up to London and met Louise, an enthusiastic and loyal commenter of Faux Fuchsia, who then kindly took an interest in my blog and now has her own blog,
Louise has been on an amazing tour of Europe (check out her blog for details and great photos) and was just swinging by London so we got together.

You must all be wondering what Louise looks like. Here she is:

Isn't she just super cute and gorgeous? MaiTai devotees: please note the Twilly artfully arranged.

I wore black and white stripes, as usual, and popped a Manolo Blahnik-designed scarf on. Don't look too closely at my chin, I seem to have gone a bit whiskery.

Ha ha Mrs B, you and your little jokes. Below is the real Louise, in action at Libertys of London where we met up. Louise cleverly recognised me as I was lurking by the marked down greeting cards (I was wondering whether I should buy some birth announcement cards and adapt them into thank you cards but was worried that might cause confusion:" Mr and Mrs Blighty are delighted to announce the safe delivery of their new toaster, weighing 1.2 kilos, courtesy of Auntie Norah, both toaster and white sliced loaf are doing well...")
As you can see the real Louise is indeed super cute and gorgeous, with the most beautiful hair, naturally curly. I come from a family of straight, hanging limply down hair and so does Mr B, so I find curly hair irresistible. I am now in a position to confirm, having carried out extensive research (meeting Faux Fuchsia and now Louise) that the women of Queensland are very attractive. It must be the climate.

We sat in Libertys and had two coffees each and chatted for Olympic Gold for our respective countries, occasionally pausing to breathe and/or listen to what the other one was saying! It was such fun, Louise is very interesting and knowledgeable about so many things - art, archaeology, chihuahuas, boats, sailing, teaching, diving, travel in subzero temperatures to name but a few of her areas of expertise. We talked about our mutual blogcrush, Faux Fuchsia; we were like a couple of schoolgirls discussing the prettiest girl in the school - " Well, I actually saw her put her nail polish on " I found myself boasting.
Eventually we dragged ourselves out of Libertys, (still chatting so much that Louise had to go back for her umbrella) and toddled off down Regents Street. By a weird cosmic coincidence, Hamleys, probably the biggest and best known toyshop in London and the place where Boy 2 sourced the bushbaby toy that later become famous as Blighty (er, this is getting a bit overblown, no?), had window display after window display of the same sort of bushbaby toy.
These ones are Space Blights. (In fact they are called YooHoos; I was very excited to impart this info to Boy 2 when I got home; he coolly replied, "Yeah, I know, it says on the label, but I call him NubNub, it's a better name...).

After Regent Street, we Tubed it up big time (trade mark, copyright FF 2010/11) and landed up at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. Where we had a blast, involving lunch, getting lost in the labyrinthine layout of the museum, looking at a replica of Kylie Minogue's dressing room from her something or other Tour and also seeing Dame Edna's egg and bacon costume (as Louise so astutely pointed out because Louise has pursued High Level and Erudite Studies in Fine Art, Dame E beat Lady GaGa to the food as clothes thing by years); in short I showed Louise the best that British culture can offer the overseas visitor.
Of course, as usual in all the excitement I forgot to take pics but don't worry, Louise has got it covered.
Before we knew it, the day had whizzed by, we had a quick but thorough rummage round the superior V&A gift shop. I might have been defeated by the Libertys greetings cards but I succeeded in picking up some discounted Christmas decorations, having vowed that one day my tree would be like FF's: never undecorated.

And then it was time to say goodbye, and we had only covered 5% of the issues we needed to work through, but never mind, because we had a smashing time. Louise, thank you for a lovely day and come back soon (but don't bring any snaks, promise!)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Mrs Blighty's Important Award and Important Blogger Meet Up

Dahlings, exciting news, I have been nominated for a Stylish Blogger Award by the very kind SoFrenchyChic,
A condition of the award is to tell you 7 things about me. So here goes:
  1. I am an Olympic standard figure skater and synchronised swimmer, but rarely perform the two sports simultaneously;
  2. Rumours that Blights cheated in the synchronised swimming are completely unfounded
  3. I have been having a torrid affair with Daniel Craig for the last 3 years, managing to keep it secret from the world's Press, my husband and indeed from Mr Craig himself;
  4. Prince William actually asked me to marry him before he settled on that Middleton girl,but Mr Blighty pointed out that the planned wedding date clashed with our annual caravanning holiday in Bognor Regis, so I had to decline;
  5. One of my son's paintings ("Mad Axeman Vomits Blue Paint on a Dalek") is currently on display at the Royal Academy and rumour has it that that Saatchi chap wants to buy it;
  6. I play a mean electric guitar and Mick and Keef used to come round to ours for jamming sessions, till Mr B banned them, as Keef was always falling over and getting cigarette ash everywhere;
  7. I am not bad at Maths and Professor Stephen Hawkins regularly consults me on tricky problems, the near fail I got for O level Maths was quite frankly a travesty;
  8. Here's me lending a helping hand/paw with the Maths
  9. I am a complete fantasist and topclass gobshite, but very occasionally I tell the truth.
Now I have to tell you all about 15 recently discovered great bloggers. Oof, it's hard to limit it to 15 but here we go, in no particular order, so don't get huffy if you are not first:
So guys, over to you and below is the smallprint. Have fun!

The conditions of receiving the Stylish Blogger award are:
* Thank and link back to the person(s) who gave me this award.
* Share 7 things about myself.
* Pay it forward to 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
* Contact those bloggers and tell them about the award.

Apart from awards, I am dead excited to be meeting Louise from North of Q, hopefully tomorrow. Stay posted for the next episode of When Blogger Met Blogger!
Must go now, as in the never ending home improvement quest and accompanying project management failings, Ron and Ron, builders by Royal Appointment, are coming tomorrow to demolish wardrobes in Boy 2's room. This means I have to move Boy 2, 3005 pieces of Lego, 15 puffles and his collection of twiddly hankies (don't ask) plus furniture, into another room, or possibly the garage. After a nice cup of tea of course. No point rushing into things, without proper sustenance.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Day Out with the Big G

So the Boys finally went back to school after their epic holidays. The headmaster was a bit surprised when I dropped them off at 4am on the first morning but I wasn't taking any chances.

The house was horribly quiet. Spooky. Grandma (my mother, aka the Big G) and I decided to have a jaunt up to London, as we had cabin fever and needed a bit of Culcha (note to self: not a small town in southern Spain).

We chose the Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House, as the Big G had never been there before. We bravely took buses from the train station to get there. All went to plan except for sailing past the gallery and being carried off across Waterloo Bridge, the other side of the Thames. I had visions of us ending up in Peckham. (By the way, a well informed friend tells me that young Londoners now speak Jafaican, not Cockney; Grandma and I tried to get in the swing ("well sick innit") but really couldn't pull it off).

After our busnapping ordeal, we repaired to the gallery cafe for an restorative hot chocolate. For me the most important part of a museum is its cafe. You can only take Culcha so far.

I liked the teapots on display.

The Big G then forced me to stop admiring the teapots and go up to look at the pictures. I immediately lost focus and stared out the window at the ice rink. They have an ice rink every year around Christmas time.

In the gallery there was a lot of top stuff. Grandma and I agreed that Renoir is too chocolate boxy.

I have always liked this one.

This is one of Cezanne's Mont St Victoire pics. He always seemed to be painting that hill. I could see Mont SV from the window of my room when I was studying in Aix en Provence. But mainly I could see the caretaker's teenage daughter climbing over the fence to sneak off with her friends.

Here is a Blighty Elf and Safety Announcement: this is not the way to hold a baby. I don't care if it is the Baby Jesus, he could so easily roll off onto the floor. A huge bump on his head will stop his halo fitting properly.

On the way out I spotted this Tiffany pop up shop type thing. Grandma firmly steered me past it, lest I was tempted.

This reminds me of other important news. Mr B, who has been working like a dawg at his office drafting an important new law on supertax on confectionery for the under 5s has now managed to Get It Out and has reemerged from his office. I explained to the boys that the familiar looking chap wasn't the plumber, it was their father. They took it quite well.

Mr B, feeling guilty at his absence, suggested he make it up to me by taking me somewhere nice, somewhere I would really like, but warned me not to get too excited, it would not be the Rolex shop. Well, I thought, if not Rolex, maybe a little Hermes scarf or at least a little toddle round Selfridges? "Oooh Blighty", I sighed, "please tell! "

This was his answer - I am NOT making this up:
"Borehamwood Vehicle Licensing Office."

Who said romance was dead?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Craving Normalcy

Christmas is well and truly over : tree out, fairy lights hopelessly tangled up and put away ready for next year's annual Swearfest, tinsel more or less hoovered off the carpet, elderly relatives woken up and posted back home.

But we are still not back to normalcy at Blighty HQ. ( Love the word "normalcy", so much more important sounding and transatlantic than "normal" and "normality". It's even got into the Oxford English Dictionary, albeit in brackets with "N. Amer" next to it, I suspect the original draft written by some fusty old codger read "N.Amer oh how ghastly, first hamburgers and now this, whatever next ..." until the editor very wisely took that bit out....)

We have yet to achieve Normalcy chez Blights as Boys 1 and 2 are STILL not back at school. Unbelievable. Their Christmas hols seemed to have lasted about 2 years. It seems a long time since Boxing Day when we did this.

Since playing on the Wii nonstop for 3 weeks, the boys now have to be dragged everywhere

Now all the snow has gone, and so has Mr Blighty - back to his office, including weekends. He is still busy trying to Get Something Out because someone important Needs to See It. Apparently. In my darker moments I wonder if he is just avoiding leftover turkey recipe 51 (rissoles a la Dettol). In exciting news Mr B's boss has been made a "Sir" in the New Years Honours. How I long for Mr B to be knighted, then I could be Lady Blighty which would look really good on my Tesco loyalty card..sadly no chance of that, I am afraid, but a deluded middle aged woman can always dream...

Well, the hols have been very nice, quality time and all that, but please could Boys 1 and 2 go back to school. Now. I need to get on with important motherly activities like reading detective novels, drinking tea and ordering nail polish over the internet - sorry, I mean, making nutritious food for the freezer, ironing and er, stuff like that.

The boys need to go back to school and become reacquainted with Real Life and their lower limbs - they have been doing far to much of this.

Grandma has been doing sterling work entertaining them: reenacting William Tell was perhaps not the best idea but the poker has gone down a treat; every night I just have to make the boys give Grandma back the title deeds to her house and her car keys, and all is well.

But the end is in sight - school beckons this Wed. In preparation I have begun the Shoe Ritual. Boy 2 is putting up a spirited fight against getting hand me down football boots - the latest argument, most forcefully put by Mr Shouty himself, is that he is shrinking, so all these boots are too big and he needs swish new boots from the fancy pants sports shop. Good Effort Boy 2, have you considered a career in politics (but you may wish to turn the volume down first)?

More bl**dy shoes, where do they all come from, do I have 6 children rather than 2?

And now a mystery: where is Louise from Townsville? Yoohoo Louise - are you out there? Louise is due to be in London any day now and I am hoping to meet her. Louise - email me if you read this!!

Finally, I continue to be interested in baby things due to you know who's exciting news (no, I am not talking about Mrs Beckham). Look at this Baby Dior clobber, isn't it all divine? I wonder if they do that pink furry coat in my size? Because there's no chance that I'm shrinking! Not after Christmas!

Just had a thought: if Boy 2 persists with this shrinking malarkey, I shall threaten to buy him this pink coat. That'll put a stop to it.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Mrs Blighty is here to help

Paul Smith babygro, from Paul Smith website, for babies, you can get babygros for adults but that's just so wrong

Happy New Year Dahlings! So we have finished with the Noughties. What are we calling this new decade thingie? The Elevenses? Nope. The Onesies? Isn't that what Americans call babygros? (those all-in-one suit thingies you put new babies in, which have 120 poppers to do up and if you get one wrong you have to start all over again and so is excellent when parent is sleep deprived and it is 3am and you can't see, as the lights are low to persuade the Baby (who is trying out for the lead in The Omen) to go back to sleep, and obviously I am not talking from experience....)

Ah yes, babies. I am very excited about the lovely Faux Fuchsia's baby news. Of course when I met her back a couple of months ago I knew she was pregnant (I am a highly trained medical professional - er, well, no) and was Sworn to Secrecy. For a blabbermouth like me this was a real challenge....time and again I would start a post about cupcakes or my slowcooker or books or nail varnish (note how these are ranked in order of importance vis a vis world peace) and suddenly I would find myself typing "FAUX FUCHSIA IS HAVING A BABY HOW EXCITING IS THAT"...
And doesn't FF look divine and chic, quite most elegant mother to be ever? But I do feel she could do with a bit of Blighty advice re maternity wear.

I don't know what is going on in the FF household but poor darling FF is forced to make do with her YSL and Malene Birger dresses, ole Mr FF needs to spring open his wallet and buy her some proper maternity wear, or to be more precise, a tent.

A tent is brilliant as it hides All, and also provides shelter for passing wildlife. A floral tent is even better as it covers up foodstains which result from you using your tummy as a ledge on which to balance your mid-morning snack (full English, hot choc, washed down with a couple of doughnuts). Gosh I miss that ledge!

And once the baby arrives you can sell the tent on to the Armed Forces for camouflaging aircraft carriers.

Well that's my styling tip for 2011. Must go as Mr Blighty has launched into some DIY involving drilling holes in bits of wood which for some reason he has to do in the kitchen and I am really starting to regret that third glass of Sainsbury's Cava last night (Mrs B, the last of the party animals)...

I leave you with this list entitled Preparation for Parenthood. Someone gave it to me when I was expecting Boy 1. Up until the point he arrived I found it rather amusing. ( don't know who composed this, will of course attribute if anyone knows where it is from).