Saturday, November 12, 2011

Counting the days

I love new diaries and calendars, and can never persuade myself to use more up-to-date technology to organise my days. Having already taken possession of my lovely new 2012 diary, and entered all the dates and memos on little scraps of paper at the back of my old diary, I am now in the process of sorting out the family calendar. Usually I buy something with arty pictures / photos: since it is hung in a prominent place in our hallway that I see every time I walk downstairs, it becomes the artwork I notice the most. This year I thought I would buy one of those photo calendars and upload my own photographs: but which to choose?

I've already decided against pretty pictures, chocolate-box images of flowers and scenery: too bland. Pictures of my family will be given the thumbs down - there's always someone who will object, and to be fair, I would soon have something to say if I had to look into my own eyes every time I walked downstairs. Similarly friends - less likely to object, particularly if they never come round to see it, but still - bit of an imposition...

So all that's left is the oddities, not pretty, sometimes personal, often quirky. These are some of the photos currently on the shortlist. What do you think?

Oranges at Versailles


Best olive stall ever:
St Chinian, Languedoc

                                       Sundowner at Port Isaac

Conques, Auvergne

                                                     Pembrokeshire cottage

Ambling Band, Street Party, Bristol

Friday, November 04, 2011

Favourite Things

According to the adverts, women are obsessed with smells. We weep when we can no longer detect the fragrance of our air freshener. We throw ourselves bodily at inadequate young men wearing cheap deodorant. We rejoice when our home is filled with the odour of gravy, and delight in that of clean washing. Anyone would think we were nothing but walking olfactory organs.

Besides smells our interests venture little beyond fashion, food and fairly old-fashioned hobbies - that is, if you believe the women's magazines. Cream coloured ponies. Crisp apple strudels. That kind of thing. Oh, and visiting a certain budget frozen food shop is the obvious mark of true Madonna-esq motherhood.

After a fairly rubbish month I thought I'd write a ditty for the sisterhood to sing along to. Completely true, of course. Altogether now....

Perfume that makes me smell of Keira Knightley
Washing detergent that makes whites glow whitely
Finding my colours are Autumn or Spring
These are a few of my favourite things.

(Om-pom-pom, om-pom-pom x2)

Spandex that grips wobbly bits oh-so-tightly
Such things will bring me joy both day and nightly.
Plug-in air fresheners, and crisp pot pourri –
These are the things that will fill me with glee.

When my chin’s long
When the gin’s gone
When my hormones rule
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I can keep my cool.

More knitting patterns, so I can get knitting
Adverts for sofas so I can get sitting
Plates with a picture of William and Kate
These are the things I’m least likely to hate

(Om-pom-pom, om-pom-pom x2)

Fashion that suits me if I’m straight or curvy
Diets that protect against rickets and scurvy
Going to Iceland – the shop not the state –
Just some of the things I most appreciate

When I feel bad
When I look mad
When the world seems strange
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I know I’m deray –hay- anged!

And repeat, ad nauseum, until someone replaces the gin or the men in white coats come calling.