Saturday, 30 October 2010

All I Want For Christmas Is - part 2

...items 3 & 4 on the Christmas list (after Keef's book and the non-purchasable vintage rock'n'roll dolls) are these!

... a yummy, yummy typography book to drool over


...Molly Parkin's autobiography - because she's been there, done it all, and good god, she's still here!

And this week, the household hysteria has mainly ensued from Strictly's Frock Reveals - pleather ???? - and from us all staying up Quite Late And Being A Bit Cultured last night to watch BBC2's Review Show... all was going very well, until it ended with a cellist. Seems it is not enough to just use the fingers, the face has to work Very Hard Too:
Watch this from 40:30, and do try not to fall off your chair.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Trashsparkle's Thursday Televisual Treats

Earlier tonight Trashsparkle was zonked - brain absolutely addled by the day's academic complexities, and so had to have a bit of a lie-down on the sofa. Flicked through LivingEtc, and found myself quite fancying a papier mache zebra for the lounge.

Revived by the tonic of an-approved-of-by-Gillian-McKeith raw carrot in time for the always-delightful It Takes Two. Finding it a bit hard to see exactly what botox Patsy Kensit has had, or it could just be the tv screen badly needs cleaning. Have a gut feeling it'll be Gavin doing the sad we're-leaving dancey bit at the end this weekend, though the poor lad seems to think he's still in with a chance now that he's worked out you need to do a bit of acting during the dancing. He 'fessed up the other evening to spending A LOT of time in front of the mirror - and I don't think Gavin knows about irony, the little lambkin that he is.

And then, joy of joy, it was a whole hour of Keef, with the god that is Andrew Graham-Dixon thrown in for extra eye candy. The Keef book has, naturally, been on the Christmas list for the past 2 weeks....

 ps Yesterday's indecisive day-off resulted in a chance find of a gorgeous G-Plan style 60s wooden armchair in a charity shop - I only went in for a cardigan!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Too Much Work Makes Trashsparkle A Dull Girl

Am a bit "blaaaaah" this morning - owing to finding out 5 minutes before being due to leave for work, that I have actually got the day off. Now this is not owing to me being a bit dizzy with my diary and getting muddled up (me???), it is actually the result of the latest silly bit of new mismanagement chez trashsparkle's workplace... so now I don't really know quite what to do with meself today. Had I been in "day-off mode" when I went to bed last night I'd be more ... I dunno, doing something day-off-ish, I suppose..... ooh, how frustrating, but I will try not to waste this "extra" time.

The 13 year-old doesn't want to go out anywhere with me today, home-schooling is certainly not happening (yet), and he is currently watching tv. Oh, the slackness of my parenting... but at least he is out of bed, and is freshly washed for once (the threat of pocket money cancellation got him in the shower yet again). We did have a session of him trying to dislocate my kneecap and get me in a headlock last night, and for a nano second I thought the kitchen was going to get trashed, but I played it cool and talked him down - my work life comes in useful sometimes. Now we wait for appointments with Useful People with some expertise in adolescent psychology to do the rest...

Meanwhile the kitchen-diner is getting a new desk (long white table-cum-boudouir dressing table) on Friday, and there is a new tin of white paint to make the walls undingy... so that sorts out Sunday's House Dissatisfaction episode.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Lame Is The Name Of The Game

...oh, t'is a sorry autumn when I feel Brucey puns abounding in my head. Shouldn't my head be full of other, more original, more creative, life-enhancing thoughts??

A sunny Sunday, and I am having the visual joy of watching many, many yellowy-greeny leaved trees wafting about - the view is through my back window, but I am not quite grammatically awake yet to make that any clearer in the space of a sensibly-sized sentence. I feel that I should be leaping about - in the spirit of this autumn joyful brightness - atop a hill somewhere, but my nearest hill, and certainly one where I could guarantee not to be seen by anyone I know, is about 4 miles away. I do not possess the va va voomph for an 8-mile round trip by foot, plus assorted leaping.

I feel the need for something big to happen today, to Get Something Done - like a Big Cupboard Sort-Out, or the equivalent of a 60-Minute Makeover of my kitchen-diner but without the whistles, the screeching, the hideous wallpaper-chosen-by-guest-designer, or the ogling neighbours. I think this Need To Do Something relates to tomorrow being back to getting up at the crack of dawn...ugh. :(

This week has been a lovely, slow, lazy half-term week. The 11 year old and I have been on train journeys to larger, more exciting towns than the one we live in. We discovered a fabulous, derelict grade II listed building and explored a very spiritual 14th century museum on one day, and got hopelessly lost and accused of shoplifting in a charity shop in the 2nd town. Suffice to say please tell your children not to try playing hide'n'seek while mum's perusing the cheeseboards and dodgy nick nacks...

Meanwhile, Strictly seems to have become The Cartwheel Show - will we see Gavin cart-wheelin' next week (that is, if his not-very-good tango was enough to keep him in)? And the I'm Ann Fly Me bit? What was that for? Oh, for fun... I'll try to remember that, instead of thinking of it as some doomed civil engineering manouevre...

Monday, 18 October 2010

Argos And The Aubergine

Pizza has been avoided since Thursday's burglar alarm capers - I have been been doing Proper Food! Yesterday I even discovered what a warm salad was (soggy roast veg basically. 'Course, I knew that). Served up a blinder of chunky mushroom slices and other assorted veggies roasted in butter . Ok, it was only Anchor, but it's still early days... Although I got carried away and chucked everything that was lurking in the bottom of the fridge onto the table. Result - the "healthy" table Gillian McKeith presents to the junkfood guzzlers after she's scared them to death with the Table Of Lard-Laden Products Formerly Known As Their Staple Diet.

Very enchanted by Strictly - how on earth did Felicity manage to be "sooo bendy", and felt gutted for Gavin when Craig told him the floorboards in his flat had more movement. I'd get the dry rot people in pronto, if I were you Craig... Just can't get the Jungle Book song outta my head though...

Later on Saturday night there was a 3am full-on domestic in my street - a blonde in impossible heels and a micro skirt was extremely Tired And Emotional... and giving it large with a repertoire that would have made a navvy blush. An entire brace of 3, yes threeeeeee, police cars rocked up to tactfully suggest the young lady might like to return to her own house...

My loadsa-money-spree (in Peacocks, all best acrylic, dahling) has been very uplifting - have been rocking the new knitted dresses with a variety of skinny jeans, leggings, boots... depending whether its a trip to Argos or the Baker's Oven.

Have decided to start looking out for old mirrors - the fancy silver hand mirrors that once upon a time would have been on every art deco dressing table in the land. Think they will look fab hanging up along the stairs. Good job I hardly ever lug the hoover up there - less chance of knocking them all off the wall...

Tomorrow I am playing badminton. Now that will be an interesting wardrobe experience. The nearest thing I own that they might allow onto a court is some black sparkly pumps, but I don't want the rest of my ensemble to be toooo conspicuous - don't want to draw attention to the fact that I am Highly Nervous Of All Things That Fly Anywhere Near Head Height.

Have rediscovered how utterly faberoonie Duran Duran were - there has indeed been Some Dancing Around The Kitchen....

Saturday, 16 October 2010

I'm Starting My Christmas List!

All I Want For Christmas (so far) Is:

1. Keef's autobiography, of course
2. This!!!!
Oh, I can sooo feel a collection-addiction coming on! You can get Mama Cass, Bobbie Gentry, The Monkees...
(numbers 3 to 99+ on The List will, of course, appear over the next few weeks...)

Anyone Want A Man In A Cheap Suit?

Alright, I admit - time to come clean. There probably won't actually be much in the way of the promised Claudia-Coiffure-Calamity-Critiquing... because:
a) the look this series of ITT is much more sensible-of-fringe, less brunette wanting to look like an olde english sheepdog as per last series (whenever the camera panned back, post-enthusiastic-arm-wave-to-departing-guests, our Claudia would be looking a little dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards in the hair department).
b) Important Meetings seem to have been held at the BBC involving deportment advice and sending someone over the road to Boots for some Totally-Claudia-Proof-Hair-Product. There may, too, have been some concerned fanmail begging Claudia to keep her hair out of her eyes, lest she develop a nasty stye...

Anyhows, onto tonight's little half hour of joy... our New National Treasure and her partner Mr-Stage-Name (Because My Old One Was Too Common). This duo's strategy was revealed as being to adlib everything, call it art and give Ann all the credit for it, while Anton is forced to shut up and put up. And she got away with calling his suit cheap. Bless...

This hilarity led to a revelation from the 11 year old - that when I laugh, I don't actually laugh, I just shake. Enough to make him nearly fall off the sofa. Fancy that, I'd never realised...

Earlier today, in lieu of running around a large building in search of young people to impart my wisdom to, I had An Official Day Off. Gleefully pre-planned as Me Time. That is, the kind of Me Time that involves going into Grown Up Shops That Sell Nice Things, and not the other kinds of Me Time which entail running round Tescos or lying on the sofa.

I encountered the usual charming town scenery en route, namely a small boy leaping about unsupervised outside the tattoo parlour (can't think why ADHD sprang to mind there), a bunch of junkies outside Argos, and best of all, The Local Widow Twanky Who Sits Outside Poundland Being Sharon Stone.

And later, on exiting Local Reasonably Priced Chainstore, having to stand aside to avoid being knocked over by 2 pram-pushing young girls of, lets just say, ample build making a beeline for a rail of baggy t-shirts was rewarded by the irony of hearing one of them shrilling " I love over-sized things".

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Malfunction Of The Burglar Alarm Variety

And so today.. wrapped up the present for the 9 year old sprog-of-cousin, ready for a post-office-lunchtime-dash, did a morning of brain-battering maths class, legged it across the park, paid stupid ££ for the surcharge to get it there for the birthday tomorrow (soooo disorganised and, tut)... found time to grab a coffee once back at the office, then had to make it up to the 5th floor in ONE minute. I know - I timed myself!!!! And took about 7 minutes for my heart to stop racing. That can't be good, surely.

Ambled home via the pretty route, casually window-shopping for knitted dresses. (As opposed to the usual route - a car-park-cut-through, a traffic-lights-dicing split second dash, and then an uphill 6-abreast-teenager dodge, as that way usually coincides nicely with chucking out time at the nearby human zoo). Picked up milk, bread, and 3 kinds of biccies at the corner shop, and had a chat with corner-shop-son about lack of paying jobs for graduates, economics, outsourcing.... and put key in the door, ready for a cup of tea and a catch-up with the kids.

"The emo's bedroom light's not working. And this one doesn't either..."
Uh oh. But this girl knows what to do. No, not phone a man.....

Torch? Under my bed, 2 floors up. Fetched.
Access to meter cupboard? Blocked by large plastic crate containing wii and paraphernalia (so-far-won't-work & "donated" to kids by ex - in lieu of having to visit them???)
Peer at fuse board consumer unit thing - state of the art, put in last year, so most reliable item in the house at the moment.
See that some switches are in the "off" position. Realise too late that the electrician has labelled one as "?" and has left another 4 not labelled.
Flick up "lights" one - yay! One hitch - burglar alarm starts wailing.... Loudly. And continuously.

Punch in 4 digit code. Still wailing. 4 digit code plus #. Still wailing. 4 digit code plus *. Still wailing.... Get screw driver, open burglar alarm fuse cupboard, to suss out how to disconnect the alarm from the electric supply. Only to find it is actually The Cupboard of Doom - wiring from hell, and no sign of anything I can pull out that might not actually be live.

By now I am becoming Headless Chicken-esque. Up to this point, my calm-in-a-crisis rating has been exceedingly good, don't you agree?

Notice the chap over the road washing his car seems to be oblivious to the fact our house may have been being ransacked, or have developed Severe Electrical Malfunction. Just as well I Knew What To Do... Wonder about knocking next door to ask the Very Capable Young Couple to help... but feel that to be a step too far. Ring the boyfriend instead. No answer at work. Nor on mobile.

Rummage in cupboard for file of useful numbers of Professional Bloke Types... last year's meter-installing electrician. Will have to get him out on Very Expensive Crisis Rate... but actually he's lovely, and talks to me about batteries going into meltdown and tripping and stuff, and advises me to rip out the battery in the alarm cupboard, and if that doesn't work, he'll come over and let me pay him to help me smash the box on the front of the house to get the battery out of that. Not too sure whether that's technical competency or taking the piss...

Is it going to burn down? the 11 year old asked.
The house? No, it'll be fine. (Trust me, I'm a vintage-collecting scruff of a superwoman single mum who knows a good wall colour and a Patricia Urquoila chair when she sees it, but electrics??? *scratches head and feels a bit helpless*)

Anyhow, the boyfriend then phones back, and comes round to have a look. Between us, we have the alarm turned off, back on again but making strangled parrot noises, off again, heave sigh of relief and remove the fuse from the alarm cupboard... only for the bloody thing to start wailing again. Fuse duly gets put back in. Put the "lights" switch back on again.... and the wall of noise stops. And stays stopped.

At this point dinner really is going to be uber-late. Go to fridge - broccoli, cabbage, dodgy things in bowls from, ooh, last week... open freezer. Stalactites hanging from outside of drawers... someone didn't close it properly last time... and feel that delving into freezer will create an even worse mess. Have inspired idea that dialling-for-dinner will buy me enough time'n'energy for sorting mess out later.

This one should really be called "Tonight's Excuse For Missing Most Of It Takes Two... Part (II)", but obviously something alluding to my burglar alarm crisis might possibly make it look like my life is a bit racier than it actually is. So, tonight's reason for missing the beginning of Claudia is because I was still cooking the dinner, but in a virtual way, by ticking boxes on the Domino's buy-one-get-one-half-price site. Though I did see enough of ITT to clock that Claudia was wearing a top that I'm sure my mother had as a lampshade circa 1978. But I'll say no more, as she was rocking some fab leopardskin stilettoes the other night.

ps Could just possibly get a Strictly USA habit too - just found out Alice Cooper's going to be on it!!!!!!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

...Tonight's Excuse For Missing Most Of It Takes Two Because I'm Still Cooking Dinner Is...

... because I couldn't stop flicking thru World of Interiors. Beryl Bainbridge's house!!!! All restored, post-modernistly apparently, to funereal gothic gloom and catholic kitsch since her ex ripped it back to modernism in the 1960's

And the Chilean miners! About to get number 18 out. Mr Lovely President - now then, did  he really not know about the dangerous mining conditions his people worked under, about the exploitative managements of those mines??? Um, what a lovely pr exercise this is for him...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Chicago Town Cheating Tuesday... tonight we did not resort to dinner-by-delivery; but it was still pizza. not at all marvellous, but quick and hassle-free. coming soon - a chart depicting my consumption of good pizzas and those which are, erm, not at all marvellous...

What's making my life shit at the moment:
1. Back ache
2. Work being too busy
3. Zilch in way of domestic excitement
4. Zilch in way of non-domestic excitement
5. Having a kid who refuses to go to school - yes, that would be the emo
6. Having to deal with the authorities re KWRTGTS
7. Getting zero moral support
8. Having a dark, unfinished, house
9. Dark, unfinished house technically still half-belonging to ex
10. Having crap trousers instead of lovely sleek ones

What makes life a teensier bit better:
1. Buying (my own!!!) flowers on the way home
2. Having healthy(ish) kids
2. Having a roof over our heads
3. Not living somewhere where there are floods, mudslides or red toxic sludge
4. catalogue in new magazine - need a clothes splurge
5. The imminent rescue of the Chilean miners
6. Other peoples' blogs!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Slothy and Frothy

We are having a lethargic weekend. I blame it on the restless-but-can't-be-arsed-to-do-anything mood I was in Friday night. Which led to me starting a bit of knitting. I now have a bluey/lilac/grey/black/with a lovely fluffy trim snood in progress. And that has made me GRUMPY. Just seeing how many more rows I have to knit until it gets finished, and knowing that I am doing sod all else... maybe I should knit small things, like dolls' clothes? Better warn the family they might get knitted slippers and handbags this Christmas...

The 11 year-old has already pronounced, and in the same sentence, that he has "too much energy to burn and is so tired". How does that work? If I'm energetic I go and do something. If I'm tired, I lie down and disappear under the sofa cushions for a while, pretending to read. I will obviously watch closely to see how this contradiction in his energy levels manifests itself over the morning. The emo is on his laptop, whilst watching wrestling (not "real" wrestling - this stuff's all oiled, waxed he-men, and the violence is stuntman stuff - I am alarmed at this latest interest of his).

But with a day of only several pairs of kids' boxers to wash, and some school shoes to be bought, I am not inspired. Not tempted to garden - nothing needs any serious hacking down, apart from the withering sweet peas. But I am of the leave-it-withered-and-it-will-look-lovely-glistening-with-frost school of gardening - the dead stuff stays, a la sculpture garden, until new stuff growing in the spring needs room to come through. The compost bin that will one day be emptied and spread is not going to be emptied and spread just yet. Phew. Not looking forward to find mice skeletons - learned the hard way not to chuck all the rotting windfalls in there the winter before last.

Not in a cooking mood either - though did a fab risotto last night, all zesty veg and brown rice. The zestiness hasn't made much impression today. More in the mood for chocolate cake and ploughing through the papers... whereas last Sunday I zoomed about, putting up pictures, painting the kitchen, putting up a shelf for the computer... what a difference a week makes.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Get Thee To A Duvet

A very zonked Thursday, despite the glowingly gorgeous weather  - not helping, and in fact sabotaging, my energy levels by hitting the Fox's Crunch Creams after dinner. Alas nothing more sophisticated in the trashsparkle cupboards. I want to be snuggled up in my duvet, but its only 8.30something, and the small people need herding up to their lairs before me and the duvet renew our acquaintance. Oh, and the dishwasher fairy needs to be made to sort out them dishes...

In fact, talking about the small people, they are both lurking around in here, attacking more biscuits. A tribe of healthiness, that's us. If the emo finds my blog and hacks it, it'll become full of small, sweary words. Maybe I should move those biscuits?

Elle Decoration had arrived by the time I got home today - ooohh, lots of post-work sofa time. I took in the fact they'd described a mid-grey bathroom colour as "lush" before snooze-mode descended... a lot of snores (oh no I don't, oh yes you do) later the phone woke me up. "Leeeesa" wanted to tell me my computer was having some sort of relationship with "mah-leeesh-us" something or other. Should have asked her to define "mah-leeesh-us".

And Miss Claudia was wearing the 11 year old's jumper. Except he doesn't wear his down to the knees, or with heels.

And I really, really, will put some photos up soon so you can see my little collections of dust'n'trash...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Wellies and Winkleman

Lordy - this is the first time I've managed to find my own blog - I usually forget what the hosty bit's called and have to dive into other people's blogs and find myself amongst their followers. I like to do things the easy way - not!

Been out'n'about briefly today, on an Official Day Off, in this autumnal sunnyness - so lovely! Owing to having to spend a major portion of the ODO with a representative from the local education authority (Big Problems with the 13 year old emo - more later) it was not destined to be spent on finding sparkly trash, or on being a lady who lunches. Unless a pretty dire cheese'n'salad sarnie, brought to the table by a transgender slap-addled waitress, in the local cappucino hotspot with the emo counts?

Dinner was, again, prepared through the duration of Claudia - too much facebook does not a dinner-on-time make. So all in all, I was just about able to serve up things-in-pitta-bread and marvel at the way Matt's partner was wearing pink patterned wellies which sort of accessorised with the studio sofa.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Paint, Pizza and Mr Pringle-Head

Tonight at 6.30 we were clutching lovely warm pizza boxes in readiness for some more Claudia-ness. A food-delivery-necessity situation had occurred -  another Slutty Tuesday. Couldn't cook, even though I obviously, desperately, really did want to, as there was not an inch of space on the worktops.

Today's mini post-work siesta, this time right at the tail end of 60 Minute Makeover, left me with option a) snooze some more, or b) Get On With Something. So, resuming the kitchen painting I'd started on Sunday it was. This time I was winging it - still in work clothes. The fact the trousers I wore today are my favourite 5 years old ones, with my charity-shop biba-esque swirly print top, was treading dangerously. But they, and I, escaped unsplattered and unscathed.

Anyhow, there we were, non-functioning kitchen, oven hidden under newspaper, worktops covered in all the 60's coffeepots and jugs I'd moved from the tops of the cupboards. So, v-e-r-y, v-e-r-y dusty...

And then pizza. The Pringle-quiffed one was not on there tonight - obviously only available on Mondays. There were glimpses of eyebrows, and did you see those white shoes - the kind to wear to dance round your handbag? And... at last... a hint of hair-misbehaviour, when there was a strand-lipstick collision situation.

And now we really must go and google Felicity Kendal for some pre-botox'n'lift pics. Or is that really how good that liquid yoghurt is?

Monday, 4 October 2010

Didn't They All Do Well!

...Which takes us right back to shiny filmy frocks, caked-on make up and a conveyor belt on a Saturday night. but this time round, no conveyor belt.

A Friday-night kick-off to Strictly, then. Startled celebrities spun, stumbled, sashayed and otherwise smoothed us over. And then some more did it all over again the next night... which brings us to Monday, the post-work kip meaning dinner was only just getting underway when Claudia popped up. A bit of veg chopping and soy sauce pouring, then a bit of Claudia-viewing... and back and forth 'twixt kitchen and telly. A cheeky asymmetric Tin Tin look from Craig, and Claudia channelling Cathy McGowan but looking like there'd been a hurried dash to the studio from some flour mixing incident at home. And can someone please take Ann Widdecombe to Rigby and Peller?