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

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Royal Wedding - The Excitement Grows

Catherine Deneuve's dress and knickers  (and David Bailey)
We are all very excited here about the Royal Wedding - I did a quick survey round Blighty HQ and here is the resulting Vox Pop:

Kate Hudson's dress and some long haired chap
How do you feel about the Royal Wedding?
Mr Blighty - what wedding?  These 3 day weeks are playing havoc with my Important Legislative Colon Control activities.
Mrs Blighty - why do they need all those trees inside Westminster Abbey? What about squirrels?  And dogs?
Boy 1  - can I get FIFA 11 for my iPod? I've been really good, I only hit Boy 2 a bit yesterday and I was only closing the wardrobe door on him cos he asked me to, he was being Provoc - Ative...?
Boy 2 - is it why we get more days off school? Good.  Can you help me get my leg out of the wardrobe, it's stuck.
Grandma Whacker - 5000 police on duty! 5000! The expense! And guess who's paying? Not the Royal Family etc. etc.
Guest 1 (female) - I want to see what she's wearing.
Guest 2 (male) - zzzzzzzzzzzz
Katy Perry's dress

To be honest the whole Wedding has been overshadowed by a far more important Social Event: Boy 1's School Disco.  

There will be girls there from two nearby girls' schools (Katie Price's School for Young Ladies and St. Britneys). 
But on the plus side there will be snacks and jumping up and down frenetically to Tiny Tempah and other teen favs. 

The sort of outfit and moves guaranteed to wow at the disco
Hoodies and slouchy jeans will be worn by the boys, white leggings and frilly tops by the girls.  The boys will get very sweaty.  Someone will be rumoured to have snogged someone else but it will all be made up (by the alleged snoggee).   Boy 1 will eat the entire buffet, pogo around and then feel sick....Happy days!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Good Books, Fab Shoes and an All New Fashion Disaster

Dahlings, hope you all had good Easters!
Thought I'd mention a few completely unrelated things: books, shoes and my All New Fashion Disaster.

Books: I've had a really good run recently, largely thanks to recommendations taken from the Read All Day lady ( I know I've mentioned her before, she has her own book coming out soon, recounting how she came to read a book a day for a year and how it affected her).

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson was about an uptight retired English major who falls for an Indian lady who runs the village shop.

 The Crazy School by Cornelia Read was a dark and gripping thriller set in a school for troubled teenagers. It's part of a series featuring the same female character.
 If you like dark and gripping, then you will love Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton, a completely over the top, twisty-turner thriller set on a island off Scotland.

Old Filth by Jane Gardam reminded me a bit of Major Pettigrew, just because both main characters are widowers I suppose.  Old Filth is sad in parts, as it features Raj Orphans - children sent back to England from India by their parents during the days of the British Empire

One Day by David Nicholls was an engrossing read: a young man and woman get together on their last night at university; the book then follows their lives on the same day each year.  I think Faux Fuchsia was reading this book during her trip to the UK last year.  It kept me sane on the journey back from Barcelona!!

Finally, a literary detective novel with a twist at the end which had me going back through the book trying to work out the significance of the last few sentences...

In other important news, I have found these fab shoes from super cheap shop, New Look.  As recommended by the girl at Wearing It Today.

  And they are only £7.99 a pair - cheap as chips!  They fit the Blighty daisy tramplers like a glove.  I definitely have cheap shaped feet - years ago I had some Ferragamos and they were totally the wrong shape for me - they were meant for narrow footed Italian heiresses. I also bought, in my dark, tangled retail past, some ballet pumps from French Sole - 8 times more expensive and they never fitted comfortably.  These plastic numbers are much more suitable!

So I got them in red.

And in turquoise.

And in purple.

And in black. (Blighty's motto: if a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing..)

If they had them in orange I would have got them too!  Oh Happy Feet!

SSSSSh! Don't tell Mr Blighty.  He won't notice unless  even if they all fall out of the cupboard onto his head....

Now the fashion disaster. I was very taken with the Whistles Carrie skirt everyone has been blogging about, including Notting Hill Girl who has it in bubblegum pink and looks very fetching in it.

Notting Hill Girl in her Carrie skirt

I ordered a similar skirt on-line from Zara in what looked to be a soft peach colour.

The horror! It's nylon tights brown, as worn by bankrobbers..on their heads.

But worse than that: this skirt has CELLULITE!!  

I have no room in my life for clothes that mimic bodily imperfections. I can do those by myself, thank you very much.

Goodbye skirt! And get yourself some of this when you get back to Zara.


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Barcelona - Retail Possibilities

Hermes on the Passeig de Gracia in the Eixample
Well, I have certainly got my money's worth out of our Barcelona minibreak, blogwise!!

What with riding on buses, dodging pickpockets and doing Culcha, there was no time for shopping.  But this did not stop me from keeping an eye out for retail temptations.

Mrs Blighty:  Oh look, Zara, can I go and check out if they have better stuff here than at home?
Mr B and Boys 1 and 2 in unison: No!

Hermes window

Mrs Blighty (tantruming) : wah! wanna look! wah! why can't I?
Boy 1: Mummy, stop that, otherwise you will lose a star from your star chart.
Mrs Blighty: Don't care about a stooopid star, wanna go in the shop!!
Boy 1: Right Mummy loses a star.
Mrs Blighty: Nooooo! please nooooo! gimme star back!! no fair!!! will be good, will go to football stadium and take an interest....

Good choice of Barbies

Soap shop near the Placa de Sant Felip Neri (church with bullet holes)

Soap petals

Rose petal strewn shop in the Barri Gotic, Boy 1 marches right in

Leaf lady outside rose strewn shop

Las Ramblas, with stalls selling palms for Palm Sunday

Glove makers near our hotel in the Eixample


More Loewe goodies
Lovely vintage shop in Barri Gotic

Think that dress at the back might be Pucci

The two girls on the left were Japanese and were so cute and stylish, they went with the shop perfectly

Boy 1 excited that his Nikes are featured in the window of the Nike shop

Boy 1 rearranges the display in the Nike store while Boy 2 thinks about his next ice cream
Finally I did sneak into a Zara.

Guess what?

They had exactly the same stuff as in our local Happy Valley Shopping Centre here in Bucks.

Zara top, available at Zara Barcelona, Spain and Zara High Wycombe, UK

Humph! That my friends is globalisation....

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Exciting Royal Wedding News for Mrs Blighty!!!!

Dahlings - just have to share this with you!
 After the Royal Wedding was announced, the weeks went by and nothing came in the post.

To be honest I did not really expect it, but on the other hand (and I do hate to boast) we are actually quite well-connected:  Mr Blighty is a Top Civil Servant (with responsibility for the proper placement of semi-colons in Her Majesty's Acts of Parliament - Unit L00 - Colon Control) and our next-door neighbour is an influential local Councillor.

Well, today a very important letter arrived.   What I had secretly been hoping for.  
Please see below the wonderful missive.

Yes! There will be a Refuse Collection on 29th April, the day of the Royal Wedding!
I feel so honoured.

I know I shan't sleep a wink the night before and will be up early getting ready...

This is a Royal Wedding I shall never forget!

Monday, 18 April 2011

What's So Special about Barcelona?

So what's Barcelona got that we don't have at Casa Blighty ?

Photo courtesy of Boy 2 and his New Camera which is already a bit not working, no idea who that lady is in the corner

Well it has the Bus Turistic.  An easy way to get round the city. And great fun, what with me sitting on the top deck and flinching every time the audio guide mentioned Gaudi -  the cue for Boys 1 and 2 to jump up from their seats and shout "Gaudiiiiiiiiiiii!" at 7000 decibels.  (Pretty soon I developed a nervous tic below my right eye and roared "Sit Down!" at frequent intervals...a bit embarrassing when you're not even on the bus anymore) . And just when I was getting all interested and cultural as the audio guide burbled on about Miro or the Sagrada Familia or Park Guell, Boy 2's infernal twitchy fingers would switch me to Japanese....which was nice.  In the end no member of the Blighty family wanted to sit next to Mr Twiddle Fingers on the bus, such was his dedication to channel jacking.  However, reports of small boys being catapulted off buses are vastly exaggerated.

But when we visited the Gaudiiiii  designed La Pedrera, I really could not see much difference between it and our own dear Blighty HQ or should that be Blightiiiiiiiiii?
Ok, so maybe the outside is a lot bigger and more impressive than Blighty HQ
But the maid's rooms were very similar.

La Pedrera maid's room with Consuela's uniform (Consuela is Faux Fuchsia's Imaginary Maid)

Maid's room at Blighty HQ

La Pedrera Ironing Room
The Blighty Mountain of Ironing - do not attempt without oxygen

The childrens' bedrooms at La Pedrera/La Blightera were virtually indistinguishable:

Boy 2's room with his darling little sailor outfits

Some Spanish kid's room

But some things were a bit different.  La Pedrera boasted the very latest iPhone.

This looks like it should be Faux Fuchsia's room

I have to admit  Park Guell (another Gaudi design) was a bit different than your average park - this looked sort of North African:

And to us English seeing oranges growing on a tree, rather than in nets at the supermarket,  is exotic and exciting.


Barcelona has the Fundacio Miro - entrance below.  Reminds me, Boys 1 and 2 need baths.


I got all earnest middle class mummy in the Miro place - saying to Boy 1: "Darling, you know that picture you used to have in your room at home?  That was Miro."*

It amused me No End when I saw that Miro had a friend called Prats.  Prats had a hat shop in Barcelona.  Prats Hats?

Pictures below are of another Gaudiiiii building, the Casa Batllo.  Ok, I admit the tiling is a lot fancier than chez nous.

This is Placa de Sant Felipe in the Barri Gotic and is a sad reminder of the Spanish Civil War.  The outside of the church is pitted by bullets and shrapnel from bombs: during the Civil War people were executed by Franco's men against this wall, and  a number of refugee children died when the church was bombed.

And oddly, Gaudi was on his way to this church when he was was knocked down by a tram, and later died.

I can't end on a sad, reflective note, that would not do at all.  So here's a picture of Las Ramblas with stalls selling palms ready for Palm Sunday.  And Mr Twiddly Digits himself, planning his next move.
When we get back on the bus I'll turn the volume right down on Mummy's audio thingie and then switch her to Swahili...

*Of course when we got home I discovered said picture was in fact Klee.  Guess I don't know my art from my elbow.