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

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Liebster Loving

Dahlings, exciting times! New blogger on the block, The Silver Bunny, has very kindly given me a Liebster blogger award.

Thank you so much Silver Bunny, I am very touched (weeping in Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar speech way, but without the pale pink dress..)

I have just recently discovered The Silver Bunny blog and love it. Silver Bunny is French/Italian and lives in Paris - check out her latest post on Carla Bruni, lots of photos!  Inscrivez-vous a ce site toute de suite! (I think I may just have asked you all where the nearest pharmacy is..)

I now have the honour of passing this award on to FIVE other bloggers who have less than 200 followers and whose blogs I really enjoy.  So I choose:
  1. Mrs Exeter
  2. Ali of Hestia's Larder
  3. Melusine of Prosecco and Pearls
  4. Debs of Loyalist Cottage
  5. Maggie at the wonderfully named Unibrow

There's  a catch - you have to do the following:
1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Link back to the blogger who nominated you
3. Copy and paste the blog award on to your blog
4. Nominate and pass on the award to FIVE other bloggers who have less than 200 followers
5. Let them know the happy tidings by posting on their blog

Right, I'm off to marry a lead singer of a band and name my kids after fruit.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Skirting Disaster

Watch out Sea of Shoes, Blighty's coming!
Dahlings, how are you all? Here it is of course raining again.  I don't want to be overly dramatic BUT I THINK I HAVE TRENCHFOOT...and the noise of the guns, the guns....

Time to let you into Blighty's styling secrets, once again.
 You know all those lovely, pretty, young (sound of Blighty weeping), golden-limbed (yeah, we get the point, carry on and I'll stick my ageing head in a bucket)  fashion bloggers?  They appear to put together these darling little outfits effortlessly...they really have no idea how it should be done...
Hopeless girls, absolutely hopeless! You look chic, relaxed and not completely shagged exhausted from 27 different outfits, no, no!

So here is a step by step guide from a woman of wisdom and experience.

Step 1
Decide to wear your black cashmere cardigan as it looks oh so elegant and Audrey Hepburn is hanging on the chair anyway and you have managed to rub off most of the mashed potato...
Pure Cashmere (with side order of mash)

Step 2
Decide to pair it with a pencil skirt, to flatter the cardigan's cropped length
Warehouse (as in should go back to?)

Step 3
Wonder what possessed you to buy a skirt in such a violent mustard colour and with a tight elastic band at the waist and an ugly clunking great zip at the back

Step 4
Remove mustard horror, select another skirt

Step 5
Repeat Step 4 about 5 times
Try horizontal stripe skirt - fine until catch sight of backside in mirror

Primark, cheap as chips and jolly comfy but best with long black top over to cover multitude of shins
Try camel flared skirt - what is that bump in front? oh, right, tummy
Phase Eight
Try pleated skirt - you just look mad

Ancient H&M - hello, i'm artistic..

Try floaty black skirt with interesting hem - you just look mad/gothic

Ancient M&S - hello, where's the sherry?
Step 6
Feel incredibly cross with self and at huge pile of discarded skirts..
Stick on red skirt and finally get on with day... ignore the fact that you now look like a post box..
H&M - old, hello, where are my sunglasses?

And that my dahlings, is how to style an outfit..


prehistoric Emporio Armani from the days when I got paid every month - hello, i'm professional but a bit sexy..grrrrrr

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Problem Skincare

Dahlings, how do you like my title for this post?  Does it remind you of those signs on roundabouts advertising a "HUGE CARPET SALE"?  Mr B, ever the parliamentary draftsman, always points out the ambiguity of that phrase.  What can I say, Mr B and I have a very exciting relationship..

Right, enough of me being a smartarse. As if.

Anway, I felt the urgent need to share with you all my latest obsession: improvement of the Blighty skin.  Also I have been discussing this issue with another Daphne4Boyz mother, who is equally obsessed. (Skincare, bringing people together). The Other Mother is lovely, a very beautiful lady, tall, lovely figure; very bright, is a barrister, teaches trainee lawyers, and also speaks fluent Hindu and Gujarati as she grew up in India. In fact, I should hate her, she's so flipping great but she laughs at my jokes ...There is in fact nothing wrong with her skin, but like me she loves researching a project.  So we have been emailing each other furiously, throwing words like "glycolic" and "lactic acid" and "AHAs" around.

And this brings me to the first problem with skincare: the names of the stuff.  I can hardly remember them, some I can't pronounce, and some I can't spell either.

For example :

salycylic - sallycynic
glycolic - sounds as if you are being throttled
hyaluronic - this one gets me every time, cannot get this right - have been saying hydroponic but I think that's how they grow tomatoes?  Or hiya Lauren and Nic?  So I fall back on hyawhatsit and pretend I am too au fait with the whole thing to bother with the precise names but I'm fooling no one..
sebum - do not pronounce in pantomine French accent as "zeee bum" and point at your posterior while so doing, if you want to be taken seriously in the cosmoceutical world..

Sooooo, the other day Model Recommends mentioned a brand called Etat Pur.

This seemed like fate,  I took the plunge and yesterday these arrived for me*.

And this brings me to the second skincare problem: what the heck am I supposed to do with all this?  The research was fun, but now I have the stuff, all the enthusiasm is gone.  I found something on the internet which explains in great detail the order in which one should apply all this gloop; I vaguely recall  rules about which bits of law take precedence over the other - EU law over English law...  but those legal rules are laughably easy compared to the order of acids, serums, moisturisers and sunscreens; and within acids there is apparently another order of precedence...what if I put something on in the wrong order, will the aggrieved serum sue in the High Court?

And another thing....these acids from Etat Pur are named after roads. Is that a good sign?

A8 - the Edinburgh to Glasgow
A20 - London to Dover
A21 - Sevenoaks to Tunbridge Wells

One of the things these products are supposed to do is clear congestion - but have you seen the traffic on the A20?

I suppose I have to excuse the names on the basis that the company is French; but doesn't Etat Pur translate as "Complete State"?  Is that a good name for a skincare brand I ask?

Final problem: in the steamy bathroom first thing, my poor middle- aged, longsighted eyes cannot make out which potion is which...

I have cunningly tried grouping the green ones separately but to be honest, and without being overly dramatic, WE ARE ON A KNIFE EDGE HERE PEOPLE**

All joking aside though, I must say, first, Etat Pur were very efficient at delivering; secondly, the prices are very reasonable, thirdly ,and this may be a case of Emperor's New Clothes, my skin felt very smooth this morning after last night's application and some lumpy bumps have gone (no Mr B, not my chest, very funny).

So there you have it. Mrs B being silly about skincare.
But remember: skincare is no laughing matter.  Why?

Because if you laugh, you will get laughter lines ..

Stay tuned for more Blighty on skincare - there is a brand called Bravura which looks good;  also I have just discovered the horrors of sodium lauryl sulfate and other foaming agents  in face washes and shampoos so am on the hunt for SLS free products....oooh, goody, another project...

*What I got from Etat Pur-
Salicylic Acid 70 - A21
Salicylic Acid 300 - A22
Zinc Gluconate - A20
Apigenin - A08
Allantoin - A47
Citric Acid - AHA A60
ooh, should I get myself a white lab coat, I feel very scientific?

**phrase shamelessly stolen from Faux Fuchsia

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Raining Cats and Ducks

Oh me poor pansies!
Dahlings, as those of you in the UK know only too well, it has been raining and raining here.  A Lot.
We had the highest rainfall in April since records began in 1068* and May is no less damp.

Do you remember Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow, where it mentions that the Inuits have numerous distinct words for different kinds of snow?
Product Details

I wonder whether we shouldn't come up with similar, for rain.  How about:
  •  piffdown
  •  damplateral
  •  drenchlette
  •  moistler
  •  blurge
No, I give up, it's too depressing.  What do you suggest? Bet you can come up with better! Come on Linda in Chile, you are brilliant at this kind of thing!

All this rain is confusing the local flora and fauna:  a temporary pond develops now and again on the road opposite our house and ducks have been swimming in it, happily oblivious to the schoolrun mothers in their 4x4s hurtling by.

The other day in a fit of "bad conscience" gardening I was hacking away at the overgrown shrubs outside our front door and found a nest, with big white eggs in it. The next day I peered in at the nest to find a Mama Duck peering out at me.

I must admit to feeling rather anxious about it all - I checked up the old interweb (ha, ha) : Mr Mallard leaves Mrs Mallard once she is sitting on the eggs and goes off to find a new mate.  I just knew he was a cad and a bounder, with his green silken cravat, very flash. 

Cad and bounder

So poor single mother, coping all on her own.  She has to sit there for 28 days, and she is very steadfast, I have only seen the nest left once...(in fact I was a bit upset, I thought she had abandoned the nest and there was no sign of the eggs - does anyone know if she would have buried the eggs deep within the nest?? or do I have a tragic phantom egg situation?)

My biggest worry is what will happen when/if the eggs hatch.  She needs to get the ducklings to water but there is no pond nearby at all...surely she can't have been fooled by the temporary road puddle??

Anyone out there who can advise - that would be most welcome.  From my research it seems one either interferes completely or leaves it alone and lets nature take its course - I am going for the latter, as I am sure Mama Duck knows better than me how to look after her offspring..

Anyway, I am hoping to hear the patter of tiny webbed feet soon.
I'll keep you posted.

*ok, I completely made that up. But it's my blog, so there.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Blighty Does Coloured Jeans

Hello Dahlings!  How are we all?

Well, you know how I don't like to be left out.  So the other day, when my first and biggest blogcrush, Ms Faux Fuchsia mentioned her new pink jeans and asked what we were styling ours up with, I felt duty bound to Get In On The Act.

I mean, it's all very well talking about coloured jeans when you are tall and blonde and beautiful; but we also need this crucial fashion trend treated from the perspective of a small marsupial with little stumpy legs and a round tummy... deranged middle aged mother..

Here are my newish bluebell blue jeans, in the sale from old Toppers.

I plan on pairing them with this new, also in the sale from old Toppers, top.

I like a top that screams PMT purchase..

I also love a photo that says can't be bothered with camera settings and other techy stuff..

Excitingly, the bluebell jeans also go with my beloved very old Brora cashmere, in the days when you could just about get something from Brora without approaching the IMF first..
 I don't wear this jumper as often as I should, considering how much I love it.  Do you do this?  This saving things for best malarkey, which is CRAZY, really we should wear and wear our nicest clothes - and not settle for the ok but not that special ones ...

I can also style my jeans up/back/off/ under/with * this gingham number - I like a top that says "Howdy, I am your waitress for the evening at Big Hal's All You Can Eat Country Bar - Be - Queue"

Oh look, another pair of reduced Toppers jeans, in dodgy pink stripy material and with the sale sticker still attached...dead classy me..

 This polka dot number can go with my red jeans - I like an outfit that says "I too can present a children's TV programme, have you seen what I can do with a balloon?"

And this lacy knitted nylon number from H&M - in theory horrid, in practice actually very flattering..

Final unique styling tips

For that Edgy Look accessorise your coloured jeans with:

  • sulky pre-teen boy with scowl and small brother in arm-lock
  • light coating of Nutella chocolate spread on right thigh
  • flowery apron and slippers
  • ankle bulge formed by yesterday's sock trapped inside trouser leg
Right. I'm off for a lie down and a rich tea biscuit.  Being a fashion icon is just exhausting.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

In Which Grandma W Causes A Stir In The Library

Dahlings, Grandma Whacker is, as you will have gathered, a woman of Many and Varied Interests.

The Big G keeps me up to the mark, culture-wise, by giving me reports over the phone on the TV, films and books she has recently been enjoying.

Last week there were 2 phone conversations in one day about this.

In Tearing Haste cover

Big G is loving this to bits, not least as it name checks lots of places in the Cotswolds near where the G lives.

I was sufficiently stirred to see if our local library had it. The computer said yes.
So I popped in there to pick it up.

Biography section: no sign
Author section: no sign
Returns: no sign

I consult a librarian.
We start again.
Computer says yes.
Biography section: no sign
Author section: no sign
Returns: no sign

The first librarian consults a second librarian.
This is turning into a Serious Library Crisis.
The computer is consulted again..

At this point another library user approaches and helpfully points out that there appears to be a fire and smoke just outside the library window..

I can see the librarians are longing to run out of the building or at least check what is going on.
I stand firm.
I will not be defeated.
There is the honour of the House of Blighty at stake: Grandma W will not accept a mere fire  as a valid excuse for failure to get the book..

Finally another librarian gets involved and remembers she has seen the book.
Hidden away historical section I did not know existed: there it is!

The moral of the story: Grandma W can cause a stir.
Even when she is not there.

Also, if you are a bored teen, don't smoke under the library window.
Some of us want our books found...

You might like this link about Patrick Leigh Fermor.
And yes Big G, I did get a copy with the photos in..