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

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

All lips and teeth

Recently at Blighty HQ we've been all about lips and teeth. Above is an action shot of a MAC lipstick called Vegas Volt.

But first, in case the glamour gets too much,  let me tell you all about our trip to the dentist.

Caring mother that I am, I was determined that Boys 1 and 2 should not enjoy themselves during their half term hols. No, instead I hauled them off to the dentist.

Boy 2 in particular objected, but I reassured him, first by explaining it was only a check up and secondly, by showing him that bit from Little Shop of Horrors featuring Steve Martin as the sadistic dentist and Bill Murray as his patient (the latter probably not such a great idea..)

Boy 2 remained uneasy.  

Disaster struck - this X Ray revealed a rotten baby tooth, already filled.  Boy 2 ended up having what us laymen call an extraction and to what dentists technically refer as "yanking the blighter out."

Post-extraction Boy 2 was very weak and pale and whispered he wanted to go straight home, using his special brave little soldier voice.  Boy 1 chipped in that he was all for going to Cafe Rouge for a steak and chips.  I told Boy 1 to be quiet.

However, on the Underground Boy 2 suddenly underwent a miraculous recovery and whispered, still in brave soldier voice, that he wanted to go to the Games Workshop (purveyor of all things Warhammer) in Kensington.  I am now ready to write a learned paper for the British Journal of Dentistry that post extraction recovery is speeded up 100% by the liberal application of credit card to the GamesWorkshop - exact dosage needs to be tested further, but £80 worth of Warhammer did the trick in this case. ( I was bamboozled by BoyMaths which showed an £80 starter pack of Tyrranids was much better value than just spending £18 on a smaller set... this is probs the male equivalent of girlynomics where you save money by buying things because they are on sale..)

But in Kensington I did discover what I  now call the Courtyard of Hope.

The photo below of Lancers Square (off Ken Church Street) is not very clear but the orange figure is Boy 1 hunched over the Games Workshop window; nearby is Starbucks, and then just to the left is a standalone MAC store.  Yay! Suddenly I am all for trips to the Games Workshop.  I have timed it - you can leave Boys 1 and 2 in the Games Workshop ogling the stock, hotfoot the couple of metres across to MAC, try a few lipsticks, have a quick chat about highlighting powders, buy a lipstick, wiggle into Starbucks for an uplifting beverage and be back in the Games Workshop in less than 6 minutes. RESULT!  And may I say what a joy the MAC shop is, quiet and with great customer service, a wonderful contrast to the rugby scrum plus smeared lippie testers (I mean the actual lipsticks but actually you could say the same about the customers trying out the wares) which is the MAC counter at Selfridges.

Since then I seem to be having a lipstick moment.  The pic below shows Mac Impassioned, hot pink, (thanks Warhammer); Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte #114 (pink) (thank you lovely B for my House of Fraser giftcard)  and Illamasqua lip pencil in Titivate (in, oh, pink).  I love bright, vibrant colour as I find it does lift one's ageing, tired face and also distracts attention from the large spot on one's cheek...

I have also become slightly obsessed with a new make up blog I have found called Lipstick Rules. (which coincidentally featured my new MAC Impassioned lipstick the other day AFTER I had bought it, how's that for the planets aligning?) Lipstick Rules is written by a lady in Toronto who really knows her make up.  And her blog contains not so much as a hint of Warhammer. Or dentists.  Bliss.

Final thought: despite the title of this post, lips and teeth do not mix. Note to self: check gnashers before leaving house.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Need your windows cleaned, love? Pic from Vogue on-line


Things are not going smoothly at Blighty HQ and I am officially Grumped Up Bigtime (GUB).  Details as follows:
Gary and his very pretty wife, from TNT magazine
  1. My idyll with Gary Barlow is Over.  He has just announced he is expecting his 4th child with his very pretty, slim, blonde wife.  Wail - he told me he was sleeping in the spare room!  Linda in Chile - I need Daniel Craig back now, just dust him down and post him to me.  Note to Gary's lawyers:  I have never actually even met Gary, these are just the musings of a woman suffering from a midlife crisis, and I can produce a medical certificate to prove it (receipt from TopShop for leatherette leggings).  On the bright side, Gary is still working really well as punishment for Boys 1 and 2 - after a violent, sweary tussle over a hockey stick, I played Gary's very lovely rendition of "A Million Love Songs" in the car this morning and Boy 1 moaned piteously that his ears were bleeding.  By the way, why do Daphnes4Boyz think hockey is a good idea, surely arming them with wooden sticks is an incitement to riot?  Have we learnt nothing from the Peasants' Revolt?
  2. Grandma Whacker is in residence again and has been continuing what can only be described as a vendetta against my window cleaners.  A few months ago during a previous Blighty HQ minibreak, Grandma Whacker sacked the cleaners while I was out.  This led to Domestic Tension: Mr B saying to me testily, " Will you please ask YOUR mother to stop sacking MY window cleaners. And you can tell her to get up on the roof herself and clean the skylight." (The last bit was really unfair as Grandma is over 80 and  not as agile as she was and so I would have to give her a leg up, which would strain my back..)  I managed to get the cleaners back by grovelling and having to hear for the 100th time that they clean Sophie Dahl's windows.  Well, history has repeated itself - a couple of days ago while I was out, the window guys came and the Big G "supervised" them. They have also put their prices up. They have not been back to get paid so I assume they have Got the Hump and I will no doubt have to grovel/hear about Sophie D.  But just yesterday Madame Whacker mentioned they did not have their hose attachment thingie...further enquiries have now revealved that these guys were not actually my window cleaners at all, which explains the unexpected price transpires that the Whacker has surpassed herself, she is now sacking window cleaners who aren't even my window cleaners.  Final score:  The Association of Fenestration Hygiene Technicians - 0; Grandma Whacker - 2.
  3. Before Christmas, with guests coming, I went full speed into decluttering, re-purposing and minimalism - I read a lot of those blogs!!  Now every time anyone goes in the garage there is an almighty crash as they fall over all the stuff I have stashed away there, and in the house no one, including me, can find a darn thing.  Grandma has taken it as a personal affront, she suspects I am trying to pull off a Fanny By Gaslight number to make her think she is getting a bit vague with age...
  4. Boy 2 was strongly advised not to take his brand new Warhammer figues to school as he would lose them. Boy 2 took his Warhammer figues to school.  Boy 2 has now lost his Warhammer figures.  Last night I found myself deep undercover SAS style dressed all in black including balaclava in the boys changing rooms searching for the missing Warhammer, without success.  Parents are strictly forbidden from entering the changing rooms for child protection reasons so now I will probably be on some sort of register. Super.  In my view, boys should be strictly forbidden from taking Warhammer to school for child protection reasons.
  5. Boy 1 came home from Dahpnes4Boyz yesterday and informed me he has lost his trousers and his games shorts.  Is loss of garments from these regions a worrying sign? Don't worry, he still had his white PE shorts which he came home in.
  6. Boys 1 and 2 have given me to understand in no uncertain terms (by wailing and shouting) that Daphnes4Boyz is putting them under unbearable academic pressure and that the homework demands are excessive.  They have also told me I do nothing at all all day except think about Gary Barlow and nail varnish and have loads of fun prancing about the supermarket. I find this a bit dismissive of my contribution to Blighty Inc, as there is lipstick to think about too.  But when I suggest that perhaps I might get a job OUTSIDE THE HOME Boy 2 bursts into floods of tears and has to be consoled by his (lazy, stay at home doing nothing) mother...
  7. Boy 1's  Science homework is getting too biological for my liking.  I can cope with plant cells but his homework last night seemed to focus rather a lot on, ahem, sperm.  Boy 1 said he would love to see some sperm with their wiggly tails - I was sooo tempted to quip about "wait till you are fourteen and then ....
  8. I just managed to delete this entire post and have just re-typed it...aaaaaaaaaaaaggggggh!

From Wikipedia.  Government Health Warning: this sort of thing can cause excessive expenditure on Warhammer

I leave you with action replay of Grandma cleaning the windows.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Costume Drama

Boy 2 - are you sure penguins are endangered?

 Dahlings, you know how I like to give useful parenting advice from time to time?  Well here I go again.

Once you have a child
If you are expecting a baby
If you are thinking about having a baby
If there is any possibility of contact with a member of the opposite sex, then
 you need to hire a small warehouse NOW and stock it with the following items:

N.B. this is not going to be a list  of baby paraphenalia, no, that's easy, you can pick that up anywhere, what I am talking about is hardcore preparation for the horror that is School Costumes. Because from the minute your offspring hits nursery, it will be required to dress up in clothes which are not its own;  I estimate that in any given month during school term, Boys 1 and 2 spend 8 days at least not in their own clothes. I sometimes wonder if our children are being prepared for a life in pantomine. And, very important this bit, you will often get 0 days notice that a costume is required because your child will have lost the letter/you won't have got the email and you will find out by chance at the eleventh hour when your child's friend phones up to ask what national monument your child is going as, as his Mummy has just knitted him a Taj Mahal outfit but he is not sure if that is ok, and she only has the Eiffel Tower which she made out of meringues last year for his sister as back up.....

i know it does not look anything like a polar bear but it was the best I could do ok?

  1. Polar bear,  brown bear, sheep, cow, mouse, dog, cat, elephant, hippo, giraffe, any other animal you can think of,  outfit
  2. Bunch of grapes outfit - including purple balloons but be careful to check your child's weight against number of balloons otherwise you will have to contact Air Traffic Control
  3. Mexican outfit including large fake moustache which will get lost at school and later be found under glass in the Year 8 Biology Lab
  4. Greek outfit (but not soldier as schools do not like weaponry and war-like stuff as creates wrong atmosphere at playtime)
  5. Celtic outfit - something mud coloured with a bit of tartan thrown in; they will go to an outdoor Celtic camp and build fires and make clay pots and return wearing something tartan with a lot of mud thrown over
  6. Roman outfit (same as Greek outfit, explain to your child Romans were big thrift shoppers)
  7. Tudor outfit (note, most boys do not like going as Anne Boleyn)
  8. Endangered animal outfit*
  9. Amusing polka dot outfit
  10. Amusing pyjama outfit (need special nice pjs, cannot let the world see the normal scrotty pants and old vest, both with embarassing holes in, actually used for sleeping)
  11. Footballer outfit (must be current home or away strip of team of choice)
  12. Outfits in colours of all national flags worldwide (worth contacting the UN or an international affairs think tank for list of countries most likely to be fighting for democracy over next few years so you can really focus in on these)
  13. There is no number 13 as I am in no way superstitious
  14. Assorted Halloween outfits - they will start out as cute little ghosts before graduating to Dr Death and Freddie Kruger and having to be told they can't borrow Dad's chainsaw for the evening
  15. Assorted Easter bonnets - if you can manage one with real butterflies, baby chicks and lambs on, that would be good
  16. Assorted Christmas hats - start with a cute snowman and then later they get max kudos from their friends with an  "I'm with Stupid" hat
  17. Nativity play outfits - Wise Man, shepherd, angel, Mary, Joseph, health visitor, camel
  18. World War II evacuee outfit (and look out for the kid who has a real gas mask in its leather case left over from the war)
  19. Coins of various denominations as your child will be required to pay for the privilege of dressing as a squirrel etc and the school will specify the precise coins required as they will be used to make an amusing collage before being sent to the relevant is helpful to invest a modest amount (£5000) not later than your child's first birthday to cover these costume related tariffs.

Yikes, too Hitchcock The Birds!

The above is just the bare minimum, but if you at least have these items handy, this should cut down on some costume related stress.
Boy 1 will be endangered if I catch him playing football in the kitchen again

Next week: how to make a 3 D model of a plant cell using mashed potatoe and olives.

* Endangered animal was our most recent costume drama; it may help to relieve one's feelings by stumping around the house shouting "Endangered species, endangered species, I'll show you an endangered species: a mother who is still sane and solvent after putting together all these flipping costumes...."

Thursday, 16 February 2012

My Love For Mr B

Valentine's Flowers from Mr B

This post was meant for Valentine's Day but every time I went to the computer yesterday there was a small boy attached to it, must contact the Computer Help Desk about this..*

Dahlings, I think we have known each other long enough for me to open up to you  about my innermost feelings and emotions. Normally I am very private person ....(falls off chair laughing).

I would like to share with you my love for Mr B.

For yes, I love him, he is adorable.
And let me count the reasons why:

I love his blue blue eyes
I love his Northern roots and the way he says "sing-ging"
I love his sense of humour
I love that he is losing his hair just a little bit
I love his terrible dancing
I love his voice
I love his skill with words and composition
I love that he has won a number of Ivor Novello awards for his song writing
I love that he is a multi-millionaire performer, recording artist and record producer....


Oh, you thought I was talking about Mr Blighty?  Noooooo.

I am rambling about Mr Gary Barlow, lead singer of Take That, former X factor judge and national treasure in the making..

I missed the whole Take That phenomenon first time round but now I am in just the demographic for Gary and the boys Take That Two.  There are loads of  middle aged ladies very partial to Gary and the boys, many of them will have been fans first time round  - there is a tremendous amount of goodwill for the band.   I had a lovely chat with one of the older lady librarians the other day and she had been to see Take That in concert last summer.

My nearest and dearest find my crush on Gary hilarious but really Mr B (my Mr B) only has himself to blame as he gave me this for Christmas, which I found fascinating.

Product Details

And then I read this. Also very interesting.  And funny. 

And Mr B got me these too.

Mr B (my Mr B) also tried to get me tickets for a charity concert Gary did in the Albert Hall just before Christmas but it was all sold out (drat those librarians....)

Boys 1 and 2 find Gary and his sing-ging totally uncool so I have the added benefit of being able to threaten to play Gary in the car if they misbehave  - "Nooooo, Mummy, please not Gary....nooooo!"
Also the risk of humiliation if their school mates hear Gary blaring out of the car at drop off  "Want you back, want chu back, want chu back for good .."

I leave you with Mr B (the other Mr B) doing some dance moves at the Albert Hall concert..he is not afraid to make fun of himself and his boy band days..

*Computer Help Desk have just got in touch - they recommend a Taser.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Snow Fun Anymore

Yet another photo of the garden in the snow, so lovely that all the weeds are covered up

We have been having a bit of snow here recently.  The Daily Mail on-line (top internet resource of celebs and Grandma Whacker) keeps quoting a town in Buckinghamshire near here as the coldest place in Britain - minus 18 degrees last night, says the Daily Mail excitedly, even colder than Moscow. No other news sites award this town the lowest temp, so I guess someone at the Mail has an auntie living out there with a thermometer in her freezer garden....

Mr Blighty is a very happy man.  He is overcome with a powerful sense of vindication.  Back in August last year he talked through at length the pros and cons of having winter tyres fitted to the car.  This was following Drivegate, when for 3 years in a row it snowed heavily and we couldn't get our car up the drive...and we were down to our last 22 tins of soup and 52 packets of biscuits so things were getting pretty desperate. I did suggest we ate Boy 2 but he wasn't keen, the youth of today have no sense of self-sacrifice or duty.

In August I must admit I did not engage fully in the discussion as it was hot and I was trying to remember whether I had put suntan lotion on  Boys 1 and 2 before their cricket matches..

But Mr B forged onwards, got the tyres fitted in October and then sat back and had the rip taken out of him as we experienced the mildest of winters. But now snow is here, and we are able effortlessly to drive out onto the road without shovelling snow...I was enjoying a smugfest just the other day as I drove the boys to school, overtaking my neighbour who was trudging on foot throught the snow, Russian peasant style...(I am not uncaring though, I did stop and tell her how good my tyres were and how warm it was in the car...).   Smugfest of course brought to abrupt end by arrival back at home after school drop to discover Boy 1's games bag still sitting on the back seat...

Mr B has succeeded where even Napoleon failed - For wont of a horseshoe - fascinating piece about how Napoleon's horses in the Russian campaign did not have winter horseshoes, I am always interested in descriptions of disastrous military campaigns, particularly since many similar debacles during my years attempting to arrive at and then withdraw from toddler singsong playgroups with my own ill-disciplined troops and logistical shortcomings ("If only the Blighty Army had had strait jackets instead of flimsy infant car seats, the Holland Park Mother and Toddler Campaign would have ended very differently..")

So we have snow.  Which to me means happy games in the snow, and some gentle sledging.

Like this.
Snow angel - parentally-approved snow-based activity (Elf and Safety Directive Winter Games 2006874/11)
Yah, Klosters is really fun

Er, steady on, this is not sledging, this looks a bit risky..

Boys 1 and 2 had different ideas.  They managed to find a sheer drop to go down.

Tremendous fun: early on in descent, boy and sledge would part company, boy would shoot down slope ahead of sledge, sledge would then join boy at bottom, clonking him on head...excellent..
Soon, possibly because their heads were getting sore, the boys dispensed with the sledges and just hurled themselves down the slopes..

And imagine my delight when I found there was barbed wire at the top which they were crawling under to get to the edge of the precipice...

Anyone know if you can fit winter tyres to kids?  Or straitjackets to mothers?*

*Think we know the answer to that last, doctor, can I come out now??