Tuesday, 18 July 2006

The Dress

Oh dear, oh dear. I have been so good lately. I have been buying fewer magazines. Running out of pennies to spend much nearer to pay day than in months gone by! And then...

Sunday happened. I had seen an advert in our local paper to say that one of the wedding shops was having a sample sale. Sale! Wedding Dresses! How could I not go?

Of course not to buy, of course only to look. I was after all, if not hung over from the beer festival ( I didnt drink that much!) certainly not my best. And it is far too soon to buy a dress now for next August. Isn't it? But I thought a sale would be a good time to go and just have a look, maybe try a few on. I even had dear Carl come with me as I was so sure that I was just looking.

In we went, and I immediately saw two dresses. One, called Honey, was a gorgeous cream colour, with a bunch of fabric flowers at the waist. The other was a brilliant white with tiny blue beads across the bodice. I tried the brilliant white one on first. It is so odd, trying on wedding dresses. You stand there with no dignity in your underwear, and they drop it over your head, then you swim up through it towards the light- almost like changing a duvet cover. And oh, that dress! It laces up at the back, and suddenly, this tiny waist appeared! My stomach disappeared! It was magic. I stepped out of the changing room, and I really did feel like all those cliched sayings say that you will. I did try on Honey- but she did nothing for my skin tone, and made me feel all lumpy and bumpy. I tried the dress on again. I felt like if I did not lose a single ounce, I would still feel fabulous. I looked at Carl. He looked at me.

An hour later, I was laying our wedding dress in the only place in our flat that it will fit (not because it is a meringue! It is full at the bottom, but our flat is petite, and rather filled with books!)- our bed.

Should any of you fancy a peek- go to www.alfredangelounitedkingdom.com and my dress is in the bridal section, 1584 (not the price I hasten to add! Just the design number. Wouldn't you think that they would give them lovely names, and not numbers?)

Beer Festival

Saturday was another blissful day. Maybe I should change my blog name to Blissful Days, as that is what I seem to post about. Although every day several times a day I do find myself doing those tiny sips of tea that you have to do when your tea is too hot to drink properly, but you don't want to wait for it to cool....so perhaps for now, Little Sips of Tea it shall be.

Saturday was one of those days that I don't have to work. The plan was to wander into town, see Pirates of the Caribbean (Johnny Depp, sigh) and then go to the CAMRA beer festival. Our plan was hindered when we were told that Pirates was sold out for most of the day. A spanner in our works! But between us, lovely Carl my friend Lisa and me, we decided to book for the evening showing of the film, and spend the time before that at the beer festival. And it worked perfectly as it turned out.

The beer festival was so peaceful- the sun shone, and there were no frayed tempers. There were lots of tents, some with beer in, some to sit in the shade; there were many food stalls, an ice cream van, the local paper was being sold, and there were happy people everywhere.

I don't actually like beer that much, but I do like Belgian fruit beers. I enjoyed some Frambozen (raspberries, delish) and a scrumptious perry too. The thing that amused me most was this; I was wearing my pink monsoon a-line skirt with the pink ribbon belt, and had a pink flower in my hair. Lisa was wearing a similar skirt but in blue- we both looked very much like ladies, and there we were, all surrounded by big bearded beer drinking men, proudly holiding our pint glasses in pink-nail-polished hands!

The image just amused me.

The film was fun, and then we meandered home. Our snake proved he has very much a mind of his own once again; he has been ready to shed for a week now, and we had hoped he might shed while Lisa was here as she has never seen it. It seems snakes do not shed on demand though- he waited till we were out the other evening, and promptly stripped off then!

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

A Most Wonderful Day

Hello lovelies!

I am back and feeling much better, thanks. Ms Robyn, I did not get round to the mustard bath, but I did try the honey lemon and thyme- amazingly soothing, thank you! I sipped while wrapped in my crochet blanket, watching an old Hitchcock film- The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Now, do you have one of those days that you think will be stressful and trying, but is in fact, quite wonderful? Today was such a day. We have this marvellous thing called the Three Foot People Festival, for preschoolers in our park. They have a ticket to come in, and there are stands of information, such as us from the library, and also a giant sandpit, petting zoo, face paints, making a magic wand, fairy wings or flower fairies, also baby yoga sessions, our very own wonderful Bookstart session and more. It is paradise. The park is transformed- there are wonderful tents and marquees, and bunting everywhere. There are these giant coloured metal things like towers with butterflies and flowers on them, and an archway for them to enter through (a tall arch for their grownup, and a little one for them!)

I do sometimes find such things stressful- I am quite shy by nature. Small people scare me. But it has been a wonderful day.

Saturday, 8 July 2006

Comfort Food...Comfort Reads

Oh dear, oh dear. In the middle of my researches into how best to cope with this summer heat...I have...caught a cold!

When I try to talk, I sneeze and cough instead, and my nose won't stop running. In the hope that it was uncharacteristic hayfever, I took a hayfever tablet yesterday, but no, this is a cold.

So, there will be more on my stay-cool strategies later, when I am feeling less coldy!

Now I find myself wanting to huddle. Yes, I know it is far too warm, but I find myself wanting to wrap myself up in soft warm fabrics, to snuggle with a book. Depending on the time of day I find cold cold water soothes my throat, or is too harsh on it. Likewise, sometimes sipping tea as hot as I can make it eases my sinuses, and other times scratches at my raw throat. Despite craving salad for the last few weeks, all I really want now is chicken soup, and comfort food.

This urge for comforting has started me thinking- I also crave comfort reads. I have pulled Pride and Prejudice off the shelf, again. And then at work, I was rummaging about in the children's library when a copy of the Very Hungry Caterpillar caught my eye. Which made me think about the children's books I loved as a little girl. Our library was in an old building- it looked like a church almost, having a kind of tower at one end, and inside was (to my memory) one large room, once you got past the little foyer part. Built around 1700, it was once a little school for boys- now the upper floor, the towery part is the Thomas Plume Library, and the public library has moved to a large new building. But when I think about going to the library as a little girl, this is where I think of.

I have tried to upload a picture I found on the web...it is not a good picture, as you always see the library from the long side, not this angle...if it hasn't worked, and you are interested, which you probably aren't, google image seach maeldune centre....but anyway.

So, my comfort reads- books that I loved as a young girl. When I have children, these are the books I want to be able to share with them too. There are more of course, but colds seem to make my brain fuzzy, and for now, this is my list. I would love to hear your childhood favourites, and your comfort reads. Perhaps next time I post, I will post about the books I loved as a little girl who was no longer confined to the picture-book boxes, but starting to roam the proper shelves...

The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr
Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr
The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs- The Ladybird version (if Dad missed one word, he had to start the whole story again!)
Shirley Hughes- anything of hers really, but especially the Alfie and Annie Rose stories.

And one more book that I was thrilled to win on eBay recently- A Story Party At Green Hedges by Enid Blyton. Mum had won this as a Sunday School prize in the fifties...and if I was very good, I could take it down and read it.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Unexpected Kindness, and A New Project

I am sitting, sweltering on the Upstairs Enquiry Desk. We have no air conditioning. The windows do not open, and it is hot. And it has been madly, unusually busy. Map cabinets that try to swallow you to wrestle with, the rolling stack to negotiatie, and the Glass Cabinet (ohh, it is my favourite thing in the library! We keep all the old old books in there, and they smell so wonderful) to open too. A lovely lady who works in another department just went by the Enquiry Desk, smiled and asked if I would like her to get me glass of cold water as she was getting one for herself. What a lovely, kind thought. It is unexpected little kindnesses like this that really brighten my day.

And what a day it is. I long for thunder and lightning and a good long dousing in rain. It is so humid, it is like breathing in water when you go outside. I feel lethargic, but I cannot sleep. My patience wears thin, and I am not at my best at all.

This is one of the main reasons I have not blogged recently. I don't want to pollute the blogging world with my hot heavy hands typing grumbles. Also, I have been inescapably engrossed in The Brimstone Wedding which I read for Book Club!

So all this heat and my not coping admirably well with it at all has led me to wonder- how do people cope?

I see them, when I walk to work. In the underpass, they walk along with their hair all neat and sunglasses on. They look cool- as though the temperature is not affecting them. I think I am like that until I get home and see myself in the mirror, and squawk in terror at what the humidity has done to my hair.

I see them, at work- I work with a few. Those people whose nerves are not frayed by the relentless heat. They surely, must be sleeping well to be so patient and kind.

So my own project now, is to find out how they do it. To find out perhaps how it has always been done. Then, to do it. To find out some vintage tips for 'dancing through the day like a breeze' which I saw on one lovely vintage deoderant advert! That is what I want to do, to dance through my day like a breeze. To dance again, if not literally then in spirits. I think I shall write my findings into a Mimi Says column for Brocante Home.

Talking of which, have you paid a visit to lovely Alison recently? Do, do! Brocante Home gets better and better. In fact, if you are familiar with Alisons wonderful 'puttery treats' then perhaps, that is what I want to do- come up with some puttery treats for not just coping with this weather, but enjoying it!

I will report back...