Archive for February, 2013

An imaginary conversation with the star of this week’s Chat

Imagine the scene. You’re at a pub, let’s say, with some friends. It’s one of those things where you’re all sitting around, you’re comfortably tipsy, people start name-dropping, you know the type of thing I mean. One person mentions their brush past a local politician ten years ago and soon everyone’s at it.

“Well, yes, of course Brad Pitt’s always around town now because he’s bought that house down the road.”

“O really? You know, I get the same thing when I serve Ian McKellan a coffee every morning. Yes. Didn’t I mention? Yes, he gets a cappuccino, no chocolate.”

“I totally saw Gary Barlow the other day on the train. I said hi to him. He seemed really lovely.”

“Well, my cousin’s mum’s nan is Cilla Black so we’re always seeing celebs. Yeh, totally.”

And then…. The claim to beat all claims…. One of your gang pipes up with, “I was in Chat the other week.”

Wowzers. Everyone is floored. What better claim to fame is there than that?!

“Amazing! What were you in it for?” you ask.

“O, I was the fat bloke on the front cover with a massive hangy fat section where my skin was all loose and stretchy.”

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“O. Ok. And what did you talk about in the story?”

“All about how I had low self confidence so I started to eat more and then I had no-one and nothing and thought ‘what’s the point’ and hated myself and couldn’t even look at myself in a mirror. My sister was in the story too, talking about how her boobs are just flaps of skin that she rolls up and puts inside her bra to try and make it look like proper boobs.”

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“Great. Uh. So what did you do about it? When you hated yourself and couldn’t stand the sight of yourself and felt really self conscious?”

“O, I went straight to Chat, of course. I told them all about it and they printed a really super massive picture of me with no clothes on and told my story.”

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“Did that help?”

“I dunno. But that’s not the point is it? The point is that Chat is always the place to go with all your woes. And also, now I’m famous. That’s my life’s work, right there. I am an achiever. I have done things and achieved things. I am The Chat Man.”

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“Good one…. *aside to other friend* your Cilla Black story was better.”

And now imagine that that man is you. Imagine that’s the single interesting thing you have done in your life. Depressing.

Crazy talk

Crosswords. What is with crosswords? Honestly. I remember a time when the most a crossword required from me was the answer to four down, “the colour of grass.” O, clever me, I would think, whilst writing the word green into the little boxes. I am a genius, I would often also think, as I filled in the word ‘Shrek,’ the answer to the next clue. And so on and so forth. Until my fabulous little crossword in the back of the Bunty magazine was complete.

Yesterday evening, as I sat perusing my copy of the Royal Geographic Society magazine (cause that’s the kind of girl I am), I found a crossword. Oo, exciting, I thought, reaching for a pen. I looked for a clue about a film actor or the capital of Russia and found the following….

“Contested subcontinental area – ask him about rebel’s leader.”

What. On. Earth. What was this drivel?! Had the crossword making man had a stroke whilst writing the crossword clues? This meant nothing to me. It was like alien talk or something. I read and reread the words. It was like someone had flipped through a dictionary and picked out words at random. It literally meant nothing to me.

I burst out laughing at the absurdity of it. There must be a problem here. Because I am a crossword demon and this clue means nothing to me. Therefore, the error is clearly in the crossword. It is the only explanation.

Danda looked over as I pointed and exclaimed.

“O yeh,” he said. “Ask him about rebel’s leader. It’s an anagram. Yeh. An anagram of ask him. And about rebel’s leader, that’s an R. So an anagram of ask him and the letter R is Kashmir. The answer is Kashmir.”

Ok, now I definitely know something fishy is going on. Who has organised this? This nonsense talk? Has this been set up like a candid camera show? It’s an anagram of ask him and R?! Why? Why on EARTH is it an anagram of ask him and R?

He continued on with this nonsense talk for quite a while e.g. “Belgium ambassador holds venomous reptile!” was apparently “mamba” and the answer to “A social class in India discard English,” was “caste.” Because, obviously, obviously, it means the letter E when it says English.

Well, pardon me for thinking that the word English meant the word English.

I feel left out. It’s like there was a class at school on crossword solving and I was off that day and have been left behind. I remember the good old days, when the clue was, “where you roast a chicken” and the answer was “oven.” I was clever then. I was a crossword genius. Now I am a crossword dunce. I am the girl who’s picked last at crossword practise. I shrug cluelessly when I am asked to help with “Abandon drainage channel” because it sounds like a load of crap someone just spouted for fun.

What is everyone talking about? Is there any hope for me?

Chit Chat

Ok, here it is. The long awaited next installment of Chat. In this latest offering, I’m going to concentrate on the Top Tips, which are absolutely phenomenal. Fasten your seatbelts because it’s going to be a rollercoaster.

Ok, top tip number 1….

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Store your special crockery in plastic bags, we are told. Just go and bloody do it, alright! Put your crockery, the special stuff, not the normal stuff, this is important. Put it in plastic bags. Why? you may ask. Well, isn’t it obvious?! When you usually get the special crockery down to use and you give it a quick rinse before using it then dry it off and put it on the table, don’t you ever think about how irritating that thirty second process is? O goodness, that was the longest thirty seconds EVER! I wish there was a way to cut down on that rinsing and drying time. Dah, dah! Chat to the rescue! By wrapping your special crockery in plastic bags, you will be able to unwrap it and use it straight away, without having to wash it first. Wow, what a revolutionary time-saving idea.

Next up, the non-flowering plant solution.

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Ever had a plant which wouldn’t flower? A cactus, perhaps? Ever had some artificial flowers hanging about the house, no longer of any use? Well, you can do what this woman has done and snip the heads off the flowers and simply glue them to the plants which are being naughty and not flowering! What a marvelous solution! The keen eyed among you will notice that this helpful reader has even glued some big plastic ladybirds to their naughty unflowering plant too. There’s nothing I like to see better than a real cactus with artificial flowers and ladybirds glued all over it. Such beauty.

The next unbelievably good tip is as follows: “Drawer stuffed with tops that crease? Attach small hooks to your wardrobe door and hang them up.” Now I’m not one to point out the obvious but, just this once, I think I’m going to speak up. Is this reader in fact suggesting to us that we attach small hooks to wardrobe doors to enable us to hang our tops from them by the straps? And is that, or is that not, the basic premise of a clothes hanger? Have they in fact suggested, a rudimentary clothes hanger-esque device which, actually, is less convenient as it is attached to the door, whereas a clothes hanger offers the versatility of being able to transport the top around, still hanging straight, to whatever destination the chooser should see fit? Is that what’s happening here? The top tips section has given itself over to the ramblings of mental patients who’s best offerings are rubbish versions of things that already exist?

I despair.

Thoughts

I’m having one of those I-can’t-think-what-to-write-about days. Well, actually, I should qualify that statement. I’m having a bit of a lazy morning where I’ve spent an hour or two reading other blogs and listening to an audiobook so now my brain is in too many different places to think of something to write about. So I shall just list the thoughts that are in my mind right now.

– Will I ever become a world famous piano player? Or will I forever be stuck on the line, “And you come to me on a summer breeze” from How Deep Is Your Love? And are ten fingers enough to play this piece of music? At the moment, I need about twelve to be able to play it properly.

– Chocolate and cherry mousse cake is fabulous. And making a genoise sponge for the first time went ok. As did making custard from scratch…

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– Beouf bourginon is not actually that difficult to make. It is also extremely tasty, despite its easiness…

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– Planning an African adventure is muchos fun, even if it isn’t going to happen for over a year…

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– I can’t cope with X Factor winner James Arthur’s ‘my-parents-divorced-when-I-was-a-kid-and-now-I’m-traumatised-for-life’ routine. I just want to shake him and say, “Get over yourself! Grow up! I know your parents are divorced but SO ARE EVERYONE ELSE’S!” He writes songs about it which are really ‘deep’ apparently. So his Mum says. “Yeah,” she goes, serious face on and eyes looking down to the ground. “It’s really… It’s really… (she searches for the appropriate word, having used deep about four times already)… It’s really… deep.” Thanks for that, o mother of great eloquence and feeling. It’s good to know that, as a man in his 20s, the single most important that has happened in his life is still the separation of his parents when he was in primary school. Sometimes, Mr Arthur, people are better apart. Get over it.

– My rooibos tea has gone cold.

– There is a cat digging in the garden. I didn’t know cats dug.

– I am really intrigued about what happened with Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend. I genuinely really like him. I just finished reading his autobiography, Blade Runner, a few weeks ago and it was really good. He seems like a down-to-earth, decent type. And a brilliant athlete. His arrest for murder seems totally at odds with the man I imagined him to be. Of course, a book written by him will obviously give the impression that he portrays, not necessarily who he actually is. And by the same token, a charge for murder is not a conclusion of guilt. There’s this space in between the law and the media and the person’s own voice, where they reside, and I don’t suppose I can know who he is or what has happened. I guess we will see what the outcome is.

– Today I am going for lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in way too long. I am excited.

A Valentine’s mix-up

Yesterday, I finished work at 3pm and decided I’d potter into town and get some ideas for Valentine’s Day. Unusually for me, I didn’t have anything planned. Now I’m a girl who loves to plan a surprise. Any occasion. I’ll get started on plans months in advance. I love it.

So Valentine’s Day was on the horizon and, for some unknown reason, I just didn’t get round to planning anything. I’m ok at last minute so it wasn’t a major problem but I was a little surprised. That’s why I decided to wander around town for a while looking for ideas yesterday. I thought I could form a plan whilst seeing things to get inspiration. 

I went into the fancy, preppy Jack Wills and perused the sock section. I visited Molten Brown and smelled the many shower gels. I looked at the photo frames in Zara Home, the jumpers in Crew Clothing and the books in Waterstone’s. Eventually, whilst wandering around M&S, I decided on a nice pair of pyjamas (that I will inevitably steal and start wearing within a week) and, remembering that it is just Valentine’s and not a full on birthday or anything, restrained myself enough to just decide to buy some chocolates to go with the pyjamas.

I headed straight for my favourite chocolate shop. It is called William Curley’s and is a haven of chocolatey goodness. It has won awards. It runs chocolate cookery courses daily. Its chocolates are flavoured with the delicate tastes of Scottish heather and Richmond Park honey. It is phenomenally good quality. I always put a little something from William Curley’s on the side of birthday gifts.

Danda called while I was on my way there and asked me where I was.

“O, just in Waitrose,” said I, sneakily. For I am very sneaky sometimes. “I’m getting us some dinner.”

“Brilliant. I’ve been at the garage all afternoon. The gears on the taxi broke. The mechanic just got finished and I’m driving back. Do you fancy going to the cinema tonight?”

“That sounds great. Call me when you get here.”

I hurried to William Curley’s, for I would have to get home and hide the presents before Danda got back or it would ruin the surprise. Turning into the little lane, I started to imagine what chocolate I would pick for him. I pushed open the door, stepped into the shop and looked up…..

…. At Danda!

There was a moment of recognition as we both realised what had happened. He was at the till paying and just suddenly said, “Get out!” pointing wildly at the door, at which I turned on my heel and fled, laughing uncontrollably.

O well. There goes the surprise! And now I have to think of a new plan for the chocolate part of the present, as I obviously didn’t get any. Maybe a hug will do?

The shepherd

It’s Rambler5319, my Wednesday guest blogger, with the post for today. Enjoy!

 

When I was a student there seemed to be particular artists and certain pictures that were popular. I’d grown up in a house where art was not talked about except when pictures or sculptures made the news so I didn’t have a favourite artist or picture. However, many fellow students decorated their walls with posters of pictures by Dali (Metamorphosis of Narcissus with its two hands holding the eggs with a flower coming out of one, The Persistence of Memory with its watch faces flopping over tree branch); Turner (The Fighting Temeraire was very popular along with Rain, Steam & Speed); Magritte (Time Transfixed – the train coming out of the fireplace & the man with the bowler hat on with an apple in front of his face) and those impossible pictures by Max Escher (water going downhill which ends up higher than its starting point, men walking on the underside of staircases etc).

 

Check this out and follow the water from the base of the wheel and watch it flowing downhill all the way round and yet it finishes higher than the wheel:

 

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee36/AussiEmedia/ART%20Paintings/Maurits%20Cornelis%20Escher/escher2-105_twon_waterfall-detail.jpg

 

And then this one.

 

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee36/AussiEmedia/ART%20Paintings/Maurits%20Cornelis%20Escher/escher2-001_twon_ascending-and-desc.jpg

 

How can there be two sets of people ascending and descending the stairs at the same time with different outcomes. Take any corner to start and then follow those going up and see how they end up lower than their starting point. Then go back to the same corner and follow those going down and see how they end up higher than their starting point. Bizarre!

 

Another popular one was the 1559 picture Proverbs by the Dutch painter Pieter Breughel (the Elder). If you fancy trying to spot a few here’s the link:

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/30/Bruegel_Proverbs.jpg

 

I’ll start you off by taking you to the bottom left area where you can see a man – “banging his head against a brick wall”. See if you can spot any others. They are Dutch (so you may not know a lot of them) but a number are in use in English so you may recognise those. If you’re struggling, the answers with the part of the picture to which they refer, are here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlandish_Proverbs

 

Anyway that’s just by way of an intro to this week’s topic which is to tell you about one of my favourite pictures of the last 10 years or so. Here it is:

 

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It’s not by an artist as such; it’s a simple postcard size black & white photo. I had seen it many years ago when driving up and down the motorways of the UK. A large version was hung on the walls of one of the motorway service areas on the M6 called Tebay Services. It’s located about 300 miles north of London & 30 miles south of Carlisle on the west side of England. (This picture has since been moved to the Rheged Centre in Penrith. This means it is actually nearer the area where its subject lived.) The service station itself has a very interesting history: it was built in 1972 and is still operated by the farming family (now its second generation) through whose land the M6 motorway was built.

 

However there’s just something about this picture that appeals to me. There is something in its simplicity because of the subject matter. I’m not looking for any deep philosophical meaning here but to me it definitely projects something. I see an old man; I see a weathered face which kind of says it fits with its environment out on the fells of Cumbria; I see strength, determination and years of experience, a shepherd going about his business doing one of those special things that shepherds do – rescuing. (The word shepherd is, as you may know, a contraction of the phrase sheep herder.) I wonder what you see in it? It’s just a shepherd carrying his crook in his left hand with a sheep on his shoulders but it poses an obvious question: since sheep can walk why is he carrying it? Perhaps the sheep was injured and he was bringing it back to the farm to tend to it; perhaps the sheep got separated from the main herd, even lost, and he found it and was bringing it back to the fold as it probably wouldn’t just follow him on its own. Or maybe it was something else. One thing for sure is that the sheep is completely safe. There’s something that says just keep still and you’ll be ok, I’ll get you back, I’ll get you home. Also, if you can, look at how many ‘layers’ the shepherd is wearing – I can see at least 4 and in addition there may be an undergarment. It’s therefore probably a cold part of the year – certainly not summer as the sheep has its full coat.

 

I can tell you that, because of the area farmed by the shepherd in the picture, the sheep is a breed called (Lakeland) Herdwick. Herdwick comes from the old Norse word herdvyck meaning ‘sheep pasture’. Informed sources say that the average figures for the weight of a full grown sheep of this breed are: ewes 77-99lbs (35-45kgs) and rams 143-165lbs (65-75kgs). Now look at that picture again – this guy is carrying a ewe so could easily be about 6-7 stone in weight across his shoulders. Now think about this – with that pure white beard, how old is he and how did he hoist it up there? How would you get an animal, which probably wasn’t keeping still, of that weight, across your shoulders?

 

I know, from what the service station owners told me when I rang them to ask about the picture which wasn’t there last time I stopped for a break, that the guy’s name in the picture was Isaac Cookson. Using a bit of investigative reasoning I worked out (given that it turns out to be quite an unusual name in the census records) that he was born in 1873 in the village (parish) of Bampton a couple of miles NE of Haweswater and about 25 miles NW of Tebay Services.

Haweswater is a reservoir completed in 1935 to serve the Manchester area’s growing need for water and, as with Lake Vyrnwy for Liverpool (post 28.11.12), involved the damming and then flooding of a river valley – this time, the Mardale Valley – where 40 people lived in 9 houses. They had to be moved out and their village was then demolished. The reservoir name comes from the name of the much smaller original lake but obviously disguises the fact that it was built for a large industrial town many miles away. It sounds just like an ordinary lake similar to others in the Lake District (Ullswater, Derwent Water, Coniston Water, Ennerdale Water etc); they did a similar thing with the name for the reservoir for Liverpool calling it a lake.

 

Isaac remained in the area all his life living on Gill Head Farm. From the 1881 Census we know that Isaac’s parents (Robert & Jane) & his siblings were living with Jane’s parents at Gill Head Farm. The Cookson family (with their ages in brackets) consisted of Robert (36) & Jane (34) with children Noble (9), Isaac (8), John (6), Kate (4), Tom (3) & Joseph (1). Interestingly, although sadly, the census records show that John & Joseph were both born blind. They do not appear in the 1891 records for the family but John reappears in the 1901 & Joseph in the 1911 where both are shown as “basket maker, blind”. By then both are in their thirties and lived on to 83 & 80 respectively.

 

Lakeland farmers used to meet up once a year, during November, at what is called “The Shepherds’ Meet”. Here they would come together to socialise and in observance of the code of honour for the fells each would bring any stray sheep they had found on their land. The owners of the various lost sheep would be identified by a complex system of ear markings that might involve punching, cropping, keybitting, fold-bitting, ritting, upper and under halving and forking; these marks could be on one or both ears. Just a verbal description of the cuts would be enough for a farmer to recognise whether a sheep belonged to him.

Check out this diagram showing different types of ear markings showing how various ‘cuts’ were made in the sheep’s ears to identify the owner. This interesting pic is from the Staffin EcoMuseum on the Isle of Skye and some of the text is in the local dialect but there is a partial explanation in English at the top. (You’ll need to drag down the page just a little to see the picture.

 

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=x6Yc8mfchzc6vM&tbnid=X1xwAsLa5nQK8M:&ved=0CAgQjRwwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.skyecomuseum.co.uk%2Fbrogaig.php&ei=xi0aUfb4Maio0AX9x4G4Dg&psig=AFQjCNHs7oXsid6Dr-WLwZkWKhma5D4DBA&ust=1360756550862128

 

There is a great story about Isaac who rarely ever left his farm: shepherds took pride in their appearance and one Friday evening Albert Graham was walking past the farm and saw Isaac outside having a wash in a washbasin – Isaac told him, “I’m thinking o’ going to Penrith on Tuesday”. Nothing like being prepared well in advance, eh? Nice one!

Isaac attended his 61st annual Shepherds’ Meet in 1952 (aged 79) and said, “I’m good for a few more yet”. (He actually died in 1956.)

 

And that’s why this is my favourite picture. There is so much you can get from it.

 

And to close, a bit of Lakeland/Sheep trivia.

 

Beatrix Potter (Mrs Heelis) didn’t write about Herdwick sheep but she was definitely keen on them. From the money she earned from the Peter Rabbit stories, during the 1920s, she bought up Lake District farms that were under threat from development. She encouraged the revival of the Herdwick breed of sheep and was president of the Herdwick Breed Association for a time in the 1930s. When she died in 1943 she left all her farms to the National Trust specifying that the sheep on these farms should be pure Herdwicks.

Today, there are around 50,000 Lakeland Herdwick sheep being kept commercially on about 120 farms in the Lake District some still owned by the National Trust.

 

And finally,

BANANA News:

 

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If you remember last week’s post about my supermarket bananas I mentioned that they’d come from Cameroon and the previous week from Ecuador; this week they were from Colombia – the world’s 8th largest producer of bananas. I’m curious as to where next week’s will come from.

 

Silly things that have happened to me in the kitchen

1. I was once, foolishly, trying to squeeze too many things into the cupboard and the precariously balanced cheese grater at the far end was being steadily pushed closer to the surface. Eventually, I put one too many mugs in the cupboard and the grater fell. On instinct, I just reached out my hand and caught it…. And grated my little finger on the side that you zest things on. It was torn apart and in tatters for weeks afterward.

2. I sometimes store things on the very top of the cupboards because I have run out of space inside the cupboards. I had put some flour up there and was trying to get it down. Being the LazyLauraMaisey that I am, I couldn’t be bothered to get the chair or a step ladder. Or anything in fact. I just kept jumping up trying to grab it. Eventually I had tugged it to the very edge of the cupboard by jumping and grabbing it a little each time. When I had run out of energy, I just looked up and thought I’d probably have to give in and get a chair to climb. It was at this moment, standing underneath it and looking up, that it eventually tipped and fell. On to my face. My nose and top lip to be exact. About a third of the bag of flour also broke free at this point so my head was left in a cloud of flour and my nose felt broken as the bag fell to the floor and tipped almost the rest of the flour out in a nice little pile at my feet.

3. Left the tea box on a hob which was still turned on and burned through most of the tea bags inside the box. As a ps, burnt tea bags smell Dis. Gus. Ting.

4. (This one wasn’t me.) A friend once dropped her phone in a pan of oil then panicked and ran it under the tap to wash the oil off…!

And the winner is…ME!

And the winner is…ME!.

Again? O, ok, let’s do it. Another award….

I had a plan for today’s blog. A plan which promised greatness and fabulousness and all the things you all love best about my blog…. I was going to get a copy of Chat and do a write up for you. But something insane happened. I couldn’t find one anywhere! So I’ll have to go to some different shops tomorrow. Sorry to disappoint you all.

In the meantime, I was nominated for an award so I’ll get on with that.
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The rules:
-State 10 random facts about yourself.
-Answer the questions given to you by the blogger who has tagged you for the award.
-Tag more people.
-Give them 11 questions to answer.

Ok, 10 random facts, here goes…
1. I once had an odd fixation on blueberry flavour Nutri Grain bars
2. I love cereal/fruity/nutty bars. Love them.
3. I was so totally in love with Jesse from the film Free Willy when I was younger.
4. I once asked for a monkey for my birthday and was super annoyed when I was told no.
5. I have read everything Enid Blyton has ever written.
6. I did my undergraduate degree at the university where Enid Blyton studied.
7. I’ve never seen the film, Fame.
8. I don’t really like the film Bugsy Malone. I’m sorry.
9. I have degraded myself by starting to drink decaf coffee, after spending so long attempting to develop a proper coffee habit. I’m ashamed and sorry.
10. If you spell my surname backwards, it says Yes I Am…. Maisey…. Yes I Am…. Maisey…. See?

Here are the questions asked me by Momina, the fabulous blogger who nominated me (thanks loads, by the way).

1- Who is the last person you usually think about before going to sleep?
Danda

2- Something you do alone, but wouldn’t do in front of others.
Throw my head around a bit dramatically when playing piano.

3- Do you have any strange phobias?
I’m not keen on tin foil. I used to get terribly embarrassed if I opened my lunchbox at school and my sandwiches were wrapped in tin foil.

4- One Favorite Novel that you’d like to recommend people to read and why.
Definitely F. Scott Fitzgerald. But which one? Tender Is The Night. Or The Beautiful And Damned. Actually let’s go with Tender Is The Night. Fitzgerald’s ability to write characters is amazing. The minute details of how relationships work, how interactions and people become complicated and intertwined. Everything about life gains a beautifully tragic edge when I am reading Fitzgerald. Reading him makes me want to write, makes me want to be grand, makes me want to have fantastic unachievable dreams.

5- Do you take the shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels? 😛
Yup. Still got everything from the room in the Savoy. The headed paper. The sugar packs. The soap. The shower cap. Everything.

6- Do you use Post-Its?
No.

7-If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Right here in my house. On my road. On this lovely hill near my favourite park. With my lovely friends and neighbours. 

8-What inspires you?
Life. Nature. Richmond Park. People. Silly things we do and say.

9- Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
Done both. Bungee jumping more scary.

10- Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
When I was trekking the Great Wall in China and I was trying to learn some Mandarin, I counted my steps aloud from one to ten over and over to learn. That was eight years ago and I still can count to ten in Mandarin now!

11- Have you ever danced without music?
All the time. Honestly. All. The. Time.

Ok, now to tag some more people. As opposed to tagging them actually, I’m just going to highlight some new bloggers on the scene that I’d like some attention to go to because they are fab.

Lovefoodlovefashion
Marktedlord
Eatmovelove

It’s up to you guys if you want to answer the questions or not. No pressure.

1. Why do you blog?
2. How do you feel about chilli chocolate?
3. Tea or coffee?
4. Next holiday destination….?
5. Am I invited?
6. Delia Smith or Nigella Lawson?
7. Do you mind that Nigella Lawson is essentially soft porn?
8. What are you getting me for my birthday?
9. My computer has stopped letting me print things. Why is this?
10. How do you feel about Starbucks?
11. I don’t really like orange juice. Do you think this could create a problem for our friendship?

The wisdom of children

Molly on rabbits:
“I like wibbits. I want a wibbit. And I tarry it. And tuddle it. And tiss it.”

Molly on hippos:
“I don’t like hippos.”

Molly on frogs:
“I don’t like froggies. I like wibbits.”

Molly on midday cuddles:
“It’s not tuddles time. It’s playing time.”

Molly on planes:
“A lane, a lane! I’ve got a lane at home”

Molly on swimming:
“I got doddles!” (goggles)
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Ella on blackbirds:
“O, a blackbird! I’ve always wanted to see a blackbird!”

Ella on the lovely new book she was given as a present:
“O no. I don’t think there’s room on my bookshelf for this.”

Ella on her punishment after being naughty one day:
“Daddy, I think I should only have one book before bed, not two. Cause I’ve been very naughty today.”

Ella on the stars:
“O, look! A constellation. Look, the archer!” (She’s five, by the way.)

Ella on her best attributes:
“I’m the funniest girl in the class.”

Ella’s first joke:
“What sheep eats a flower? A strawberry!” (Don’t ask.)

Ella on history:
“Before the dinosaurs, there were cavemen and caveladies.”

Ella on her romantic prospects:
“When I grow up, I’m going to marry Adam. When I’m 13.”
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