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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Unfortunate Publications and Mrs B back in da Village

So last week when all the turmoil in Egypt first hit the news, this publication flumped throught the letterbox.  It is Mr Blighty's Civil Service Motoring Association magazine.  I can tell you are impressed.  It's a right racy read. Well no, it's not.  And this time poor old CSMA Club have been tripped up by international events messing with their content.  How very inconsiderate of those Egyptian chappies.  Trip of a lifetime anyone?

Not the best timing and I keep thinking that chap in white is Orlando Bloom, but maybe that's just me

For a while now, I have been struggling to get Boy 2 to embrace reading. Boy 1 was bitten by the reading bug a couple of years ago and now happily lies on his bed not doing his homework but engrossed in Artemis Fowl books which are all about a boy criminal mastermind. So important for boys to have good strong male role models.

I am actually quite happy with Artemis as previously there was a most trying flirtation with a series of books about Warrior Cats - yes, tribes of puddies with annoying names like Cinderpaw. It was beyond tragic, I had to bite my tongue when reading this tosh not to blurt out " The Black Metal Snake is a ROAD with CARS on it you stoooopid moggies and in the next chapter Fluffyplumpkins the Overlord is going to get flattened by a truck, so get over it!"

But Boy 2 has steadfastly remained aloof from this reading malarkey. He reads only on a "need to know" basis: instructions on computer games, cake wrappers and explosives manuals. But the other day we had a breakthrough. He came out of school clutching this and read it all the way home. I'll knock the lamppost back into shape later.

I announced this development triumphantly to Mr B over the phone. "What is the book called?" asked Mr B.

"Do hope that is not being used as a verb!" comments Mr B.   Not helpful Mr B. Back to the spare room.

Now below we have a little book I borrowed from our local library to help the boys with their French.  (I do wonder why those 2 are being let loose on another language when they have more than enough scope for atrocities against language with their mother tongue... "random" as the only adjective for example).

The story is in English at the top and French at the bottom.

Poignantly, the goldfish checks out early on in the book.

But do not be fooled by the English text.  Georges the goldfish is not being placed in a box for ceremonial burial in the old jardin.  Oh no.  This is the French we are dealing with!  Georges has been placed on a bed of lettuce, and dressed with a lemony vinaigrette, ready for the dinner table.  That lot would eat anything! There is no way they would waste a tasty morsel like Georges.  (Note to French Ambassador: no point writing to me to complain, try that Clarkson chap).

In other news,  yesterday I went back to Bicester Village, high end designer outlet and my Spiritual Home.

I did some thorough investigations in Gerard Darel. (The shop Mr B, don't start with all that again!)  I sinned and bought this lacy blouse.  At a huge discount of course. Yes Mr B, I do have other white tops.  But no, they are not exactly the same. And yes, I did need this one. 

 The dress below was in silk and with side pockets and made me think of FF.

 I sinned again and bought this polka dot dress.  Mr B can I just speed things up?  a)yes b) no c) yes.

 Below, this is in Joseph, these are samples and were a very good price.  I sinned again with the floaty tie front blouse.  A bargain and the ties will keep me busy all day working out how to tie them..a)yes b)no c) yes

One of the shop assistant ladies told me Kate Middleton comes to the Village and that she likesTemperley.  Also Liz Hurley drops by.  No sightings of Warnie yet, they don't sell beds in the Village.

Must go, got a goldfish to marinate.


  1. Oh I want to go! The older I get the more I grudge paying full price for clothes. I've realised that classic pieces that last for years aren't my thing, after a few years I'm usually over everything I own.
    Oh that poor goldfish in it's lettuce coffin

  2. On a bed of Arugula with a few capers tossed casually across the top. No, not Warnie.
    Legend Jnr's interest in reading was suddenly invigorated when he purchased a CD from a couple of young ladies called the Accordian Babes. It came with a calendar with artistic photos of cute women with nothing much to cover them except their accordians. Mrs legend was not amused

  3. hi blighty,

    i love you and all your clothing choices. please show us some pictures of you in them. please. louise says you are darling and we'd like to make sure she is telling the truth. please.


  4. I think my previous comment disappeared. Damn you computer! Shakes fist!!

    What I said was that I'm glad you had good luck at Bicester. I love Gerard Darel too - I have two leopard coats I bought from him (well, not him, his store) when we were in France 18 months ago. Lucky they are similar enough that Mr K can't tell the difference and thinks I only have one... I think Mr K and Mr B might be cut from the same cloth...

    Mt brother is a non-reader. All he would read when he was growing up was the AFL record which is the Australian Football version of Wisdens I guess. Not reading hasn't hurt him too much although I get so much pleasure out of reading I can't imagine not doing it.


  5. Oh, one of my favourite places - thank you for the photographs and update of Bicester village - feeling all homesick!! Love the French/English book !! Too funny....
    I am keeping my eyes peeled for sightings of Liz and Warnie here in Melbourne - maybe they are getting their money's worth from the new furniture instead and staying in?!! X

  6. Ah graphic novels are the key to getting reluctant readers hooked on reading...he might like to try The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books next.

    Has Boy 1 read the Young James bonds series? By Charlie Higson...
    very popular with our students.

    Sinning and shopping in the same sentence... :)

  7. Dear Mrs Blighty, Thank you for a lovely vicarious shop - tell Mr B that you have to perform this community service for the benefit of women whose husbands are taking them on the road equivalent of the Long March minus the political indoctrination. I have just snaffled a copy of Bruce Chatwin's book - Mr LiC had lent it to our friends who are mad enough to travel with us. I wonder whether he had to wait in a queue for petrol for 9 hours? Turning to books that Boy 2 might want to read, I recall a book, actually a series of books by an Australian author called, "The Day my Bum went Berzerk". It now appears to be called "The Day my Bum went Psycho" - possibly a homage to Hitchcock? Maybe not. I know you wouldn't credit it from an Australian author but it promises to be thoroughly tasteless. Linda xxx

  8. What happens in Bone?
    Who is Bone?
    Sorry. not interested in Georges - what does Bone actually do?
    Does Bone come in talking books?

    Love the White Blouse.
    Tell Mr B I'll explain everything.

    Illustrated Bartsch arrived for a visit here today at Afternoon Tea time.
    Naturally. the nurses fussed around him and bought him his own special tea tray with extra shortbread bikkies.

  9. Hi Everyone,
    First a HUGE apology to the Moerks - Moerks I am very sorry I accidentally deleted your comment ( really accidentally not in the way Boy 1 accidentally strangles Boy 2); I was using my beloved iPad and my stumpy fingers stabbed onto the wrong bit..Moerks tells me her children relied on Captain Underpants for their literary needs - Moerks, we love Captain Underpants he is right up our street! We have unfortunately exhausted all avail books and also the Ricky Ricotta ones too.
    Legend - Accordion Babes sound hot, must look into it for Mr B.
    Tabitha - it's terrible, I hate paying full price for anything now and I never push the buy button online until I have searched for any discount codes...but Mr B put his foot down about food past sell by date, the spoilsport..
    Janet, Louise is a very nice kind lady, that's all you need to know!!
    Kitty Cat - have never actually bought from old Gerard before but was attracted by discounts!! I noted that Mimi Gummer, Meryl Streep's daughter , is their face - bet she gets loads of free clothes.
    Semi Expat - just don't want to dwell on Shirley antics, have just had breakfast
    Hostess - hi there! Wimpy Kid got rejected for reasons known only to Mr Grumpy himself; Boy 1 loved the young James Bond and we also had some on audio tapes for the long drive Oop North, which we all enjoyed: " "Damn you Bond, damn you to hell" shouted Lord Hellebore as he set about James with his riding crop." Stirring stuff.
    Dear Linda, bon courage with the Long March, shame about the lack of indoctrination though, perhaps you could read bits out from Net a Porter or Vogue to instill the correct values? Did you have to wait 9 hours for petrol???? where? pls tell all! "The Day my Bum Went Beserk/Psycho" sounds totally essential reading for the Blightys, also I shall enjoy asking the Chief Trout Librarian very loudly if they have that book...I shall blame you if I get banned from the library..again
    Louise - a bit hazy on Bone to be honest, he is a little ghost and er, no, that's it, I will get Boy 2 to explain later.. he is in the teenage graphic section at local library but as school librarian gave one of the books to Boy 2 I am hoping it is suitable reading material...mind you, I read all sorts of unsuitable stuff when a kid and I still grew up a dirty minded, i mean a fine upstanding citizen etc
    So Illustrated B pops in now for afternoon tea, does he think it's the Ritz? Hope he was wearing a tie. And his own special tray? In NHS here you only get that if getting really really bad news : Your goldfish is dead.

  10. Oo! I am planning my first ever visit to Bicester (Ah! Bicester - just a little joke there) at the beginning of April. I will be down in Oxford on business.

    Do you have any recommendations for where to go/how to plan the trip? Thank you. x

  11. Worse news, the nurses are IN LOVE with illustrated B. Despite DIRE warnings from him, I am going to publish photos of his exploits here in hospital.

  12. Dear Blighty,
    Isn't it wonderful what tickles the literature funny bone of Young boys. Boy KB's book that got him back in the reading saddle as a very grown up 9 year old was The Day My Bum Went Psycho. This led onto Bumageddon: The Final Pongflict and one other that has simply slipped my mind.
    Fast forward to 15 years later and Boy KB now reads anything and everything from Men's Fitness, Ralph (Lads Mag) JD Salinger and is currently learning French by reading the French version of some light reading of Albert Camus.
    Anyhoo I am thankful that psycho bums piqued his interest in reading so its all good!
    PS. Thrillingly I think you are turning into quite the shopper. Well done1
    Kate Bx

  13. I peed myself laughing at the Motoring Mag - and yes, he DOES look like Orlando Bloom.

    Clothes: All gorgeous, you NEED them all!

    Reading: Our house is full of books. I'd rather read a a book than have sex. Unless Rufus Sewell is propping up the other pillow. Anyway, Sonshine was NOT into reading. But he WAS into LEGO. I found a couple of hard-backed Collector type books in Waterstones and voila! He hoovered them up and is now engrossed in Ted Hughes Warhorse.

    It's just about finding that little crack that will open them up - it doesn't matter WHAT it is :-D

    The French Book - those French WILL eat anything. Snails anyone?

    Must get myself to your Spiritual Home at some point. Looks like fab shops!

    Ali x

  14. Woops I missed this post Blights so am late commenting.
    The poor CSMA can't take a trick just like the Australian Tourism board paying for Oprah to sell us to the world and ever since we have been inundated with floods, fires and cyclones.
    Don't worry overly about your boy reading, it all comes together eventually. My own son was not the least bit interested until age 8 going on 9 and quite frankly I despaired. He is now 23, studying for his Masters and a rather bright fellow. A lot of boys take their own sweet time.
    Great shopping B. Very impressed I am.

  15. My daughter started out on Captain Underpants. Absolutely loved them. She was also a reluctant reader at first and found them very funny. Then she moved onto Diaries of a Wimpy Kid. I have no idea why children find underpants, bottoms and other disgusting things hysterically funny. It seriously cracks them up. Thankfully she is now onto some of the classics.

    That French book is so funny. If it was a japanese text book that fish would have been sushi. Trust me, I worked in Japan teaching and I couldn't believe some of their texts. LOL

  16. Hello Blighty! I need entertainment, now. Sitting at work and trying to enjoy mini-breaks to recharge my cerative energy while reading funny blogs but my blog list is so short. You surely know some funny blogs you can recommend, pleeeease?! Why is everyone offline on sundays. Oh yes, it is sunday. Should not work on sundays but go out, take pictures and post them so I can entertain others. :-)

  17. I have stumbled upon you via Wild Acre. You have delayed childbearing by another ten years for me by describing cat hero books. I wonder if you've tried to get him to read Captain Underpants? Seriously funny stuff. Or perhaps Bunicula?

    Yes, so that is me offering unsolicited advice to a complete stranger.

    Now, following.

  18. Dear American in Bath, welcome, so glad you have found the blog. We did Captain Underpants but must look into Bunicula.
    Linda and Kate B - have now ordered The Day my Bum Went Psycho from local library, thanks for the recommendation sounds right up my street and Boy 2 might like it too;
    Real Housewife - thank you for your book tips, I find underpants and bottoms very funny, but I couldn't tell you why, I guess it's just my special gift in life..
    Paula - shocked you are at work on a Sunday; look at my blogroll - I love Hestia' Larder and also Ironing Not Waving; Legend in his own Lunchtime, all very funny and thought provoking; also Bourbon and Pearls, and French Sampler..all of the ones on my blogroll are brill, depending on your mood..
    Sally - so exciting you can get to Bicester; main advice - never go on a Saturday, I hear that it is AWFUL, fights over parking etc. Go in the week. It's not a very big area but they pack in quite a few shops; get a map when you arrive and sit and have a coffee and plan!! Don't get too carried away just because it's discounted! (I need to heed that advice more!!) Be sceptical - some stuff is sold at full price e.g. Ferragamo scarves, so beware; also question the price reduction - I bought a blouse apparently reduced from £500 to £29, but when i queried this, the assistant explained the £500 was automatically printed on sample clothing. Work out if it's a good buy regardless of any reduction!! Happy Shopping! all the sales assistants are really nice, not snooty and always happy if you chat them up, as they get bored bored bored.

  19. oh thank you for the mention of Hestia in your comment there, Blighty. You are a darling. I may have to start wearing Tena Lady pads to read yours :-)

    Ali x

  20. hi, what village is it that kate middleton ikes??? x

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