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

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Menopaws and the Scottish Play

Dahlings, hello! Thank you all for your nice comments after my whinge about follower decline....I think that's done the trick - no one has dared unfollow since! Welcome to Hotel California Blighty - you can check out but never ever leave (is it just me or is that song really creepy? )

It's all going really well so far today - I have completely traumatised Boy 2 (aged 10).  Last night I watched him and his classmates prance about in black T shirts and trousers doing highlights of Macbeth.   As usual I was stuck in the corner, behind the father who used to play rugby and the father videoing it all. I couldn't actually see Boy 2.  Jeez, what if I got the night wrong and went to the other class's performance??  I am pretty sure it was Daphnes4Boyz though, what with the state of the art mini-theatre complex, complete with hospitality suites, private boxes (for parents with over 4 boys at the school), crush bar, sur-titling facilities and the sponsorship of Kleinwort Bunsen ("Sponsoring education since 2001: our financial products are like your children - expensive and impossible to understand!").

This morning I got all YouTube-y and showed Boy 2 the Polanski Macbeth beheading scene.  I remembered it as very jolly, especially as Macbeth kept saying his lines as his head bounced down the steps.  Boy 2 however burst into tears and I had to go and confess to his teacher what I had done. Note to self: if any doubt remains about my suitability as mother/primary teacher/any situation where tact and sensitivity is involved, it has now finally been removed. At this rate I could be an MP or a tabloid journalist..

Shakespeare aside, here spring has sprung and naturally my thoughts have turned to getting a cat.  What?????!!!

pic from Cats of Australia!!
Yes, suddenly last week I was consumed with the idea of a cat and before I knew it I was in talks with a breeder, as I have fallen for British shorthairs. It turns out that the breeder  has a lovely, grown up cat she is looking to re-house, as she is giving up breeding.  He is a retired stud, which you can imagine has created great scope for jokes. She was explaining how proud he had been of his "pompoms" and it took me a minute to realise what she was talking about - the old chap has now been neutered.  Poor Mr B is in shock (and not just about the de-pompom-ing) and I am dragging him off to see The Old Stud Sans Pompoms this weekend.  I think it all may be my hormones - The Menopaws  -  to be honest, anyway we shall see! In the meantime I have been looking at Lovely Jublies blog, which is great fun of itself and now has the added attraction of her two beautiful cats.

In other news I read this which was beautifully written but very bittersweet, in fact sad.  Great review of it here
Pic from Booksnob blog

I am now reading this.

pic from Amazon

 I am rather sated with all my murder/detective novels and have been casting around for some more light hearted, soothing reading, with some decent prose and some light decapitation.  The Elizabeth Taylor book made me realise how most of what I read is very plot driven but often with quite ropey writing and very little in the way of serious beheading.

What do you chaps turn to, to cheer you up?  I mean BOOKS!! I do not want to hear your sordid tales of vodka, Mars Bars and Dennis Quaid in the Big Easy ! (oops, actually that's me).

Watch out for the gator baby!

I had a lovely look at the Persephone website. They specialise in 20th century writers who have fallen out of print. So the hope of some charming writing and plus, the covers and endpapers are lovely.  Tempting.  I just happen to notice they have a shop in Covent Garden, London....
Pics from Persephone website

Better go, Grandma Whacker is coming to stay.  Another reason to regret the Macbeth beheading upset.  Better go wipe my YouTube history and get Mr Quaid off pause..or should that be "paws?"

Sunday, 21 April 2013

And then my pants dropped off

Dahlings, how are you? I am pleased to report that our local Shorts Wearing Man is still at large, with daily sightings of him and his legs. I now have to sing a short refrain of "it's crazeey, crazeey, shorts wearing man!" whenever I drive past him, I just can't not do it. And  I am wondering what on earth will happen if it actually gets hot this summer - stay tuned for possible update on Crazy Naked Man and/or local mother drives car into hedge in state of over-excitement.

This week the boys popped back into school for a spot of learning before the next set of holidays.

To celebrate* I took myself off to Bicester Village (luxury brand discount outlet and my spiritual home).

Loved this dress but even discounted it was £££££
Shockingly, I bought very little. I saw a tweet a while ago along the lines of "My woman-ness is
broken, I can't shop" and I felt just like that, the pathos was overwhelming.

Loved the dress on the right but even discounted it was ££££££

Above and below Jimmy Choo

I came home with only liquid handwash and L'Artisan Parfumeur Mandarin eau de toilette.  When I told Mr B I had bought some mandarin perfume he asked why I wanted to smell like an ancient Chinese bureaucrat- ha ha Mr B, ha ha.

In yet another exciting new fashion development I have decided pencil skirts are the Way Forward** - ones in stretchy material, though, for comfort and ease of movement.

 I have decided they are more flattering for the older figure and also will eliminate the problem of  "accidental lower back exposure" aka builder's bum.  I have jeans from Zara which are cut too low. Recently the boys have been shouting "UUUUURHHHG MUM NO, we can see your bum, uuuuuuurh! !" when I bend down to feed one or other of the domestic appliances. It's not the kind of reaction I wish to inspire in young men.

I have taken the plunge and ordered these.  I look forward to returning them shortly. And to be honest, forget the skirts, I would rather hire one of these lovely, fresh faced, perky young ladies to come look after the household for me while I lie around on the sofa...

Image 1 of PENCIL SKIRT from Zara
Zara - I clean your toilet now yes?

Image 1 of ASOS Belted Pencil Skirt
Asos - after I hoover I will go wash the car and then mow the lawn, ok?

In other exciting fashion news, Grandma Whacker has appointed me her personal stylist.  Move over Rachel Zoe (and stop making Skyler wear those hats): I am now Stylist to the Stars.  La Whacker is contemplating some Spring fashion purchases to take her through her many social  engagements.  We all know it will end in Marks and Spencer but in the meantime I think these jackets would suit the Big G very well.


In  other news I read this recently.


It made a big impression on me.  It's the true story of an attempt by the Czech Resistance in WW2 to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi Protector of Czechoslovakia and one of the architects of the Holocaust, and all round despicable human being.

 It's not a cosy read obviously given its subject matter, but I thought it was brilliantly done. It helped in terms of suspense that I was ignorant of this chapter of history; if you already know what happened, that might change your experience of the book.

 From reading the book blogs, I gather the novel is an example of "meta fiction", where there is a story within a story: the author recounts the book writing process and also plays with the conventions of the historical novel, telling a bit of the story and then in the next chapter revealing that he invented various details.  This has irritated certain readers but I liked it, I thought it was honest and made his account seem more trustworthy, not less, by showing that many details in historical accounts have been "filled in" by the author.

 Other commenters have also been upset by what they felt was the author's flippant tone and it is true he makes quips, but I found this understandable as a release valve: it helped to bear the horror of what he was describing.  I could not have coped with a highly charged account of the brave Resistance and the Nazi atrocities. As it was, I often had to lay the book down, exclaim "Bastards"" to myself and then carry on reading (which livened things up on one occasion when Mr B mistakenly thought I was referring to Boys 1 and 2, locked at that moment in fraternal combat).

I followed up with this - an eco end of the world novel - gosh, I am cheerful. 

What are you chaps reading at the moment?  Any nice, light, feel good books you can recommend, to balance things up?

Now, it has come to my attention that my follower numbers are sliding, a bit like my ill-fitting jeans.  Right you lot,  remember, IF YOU DARE UNFOLLOW ME, I WILL COME FOR YOU AND SHOW YOU MY TROUSER GAPPAGE IN FULL TECHNICOLOR AND IN CLOSE UP. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.***

*wicked mother
** previous Ways Forward have included shirts and jeans, dresses, tunics with skinnies, gingham, leopard skin, monochrome, jewel colours, pastels, neon, colour blocking, nail varnish, full make up, no make up, tracksuit bottoms, pyjamas,  Converse All Stars, high heels, no heels, no knickers (not really, just checking you are still awake), brogues, loafers, UGG boots....sartorial confusion is a cruel mistress
***there goes another couple of followers

Friday, 12 April 2013

Cool Britannia in Scotland

So we went on a minibreak to Edinburgh.

We did all the usual tourist bits. 
The boys loved the Camera Obscura, which has all sorts of optical illusions on display.

Boy 1 really enjoyed seeing Boy 2 like this.


This is the view from the top of the Camera.

I enjoyed visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia, now permanently on display at Leith.  It appealed to my nosy, looking around someone's house, side.

The Queen had a very modest single bed on the yacht.

And so did Prince Philip.


Life on board was very hierarchical, with different messes for the different ranks.  This chap deserves to be court martialled.

The yacht was a self sufficient organism - including a huge laundry for all those white naval uniforms.  The Captain had to change outfits up to 18 times a day!

Here are some views from Edinburgh Castle.

Fortunately for my ears and world peace in general,  I stopped Boys 1 and 2 buying anything in this shop: