Friday, December 21, 2007

"X"mas and Spreadsheets, and Chocolate loyalty cards

Not a promising blogtitle. Nevertheless, I will press on because my blog was never designed to be interesting or notworthy, its just a blog.
I'm about to be in full Christmas mode- surrounded by innumerable new clothes and a leaning tower of dirty washing, (who knew!) I am nonetheless happy in my tiny pad, which now has a tiny Christmas tree, and my tiny sofa is covered with tiny gifts, some are even wrapped!!!
My New Years resolution is but one: keep track of my finances.
Yes, and do some washing.
Montezuma's chocolate makers have just opened up a shop in Spitalfields. I bought the whole shop.... truffles, bars and bars of their delicious dark chocolates in dozens of varieties.... Chilli, Single Estate, Geranium and Orange, and Snowman Shapes. yum yum. And, joy of joys, they have a loyalty card!!! I have two stamps. not one, but two!! I was about to leave when they told me that a large selection of their truffles are vegan......
I get the feeling a new year resolution regarding the fat deposits on my body from chocolate consumption may well be added to the list....!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Triple duvet delight tempered by utter launderette absence.

In my miniscule shoebox with sink and bed I now have 3 duvets. Stars on the ceiling. A functioning shower. A feeling that all the Spare Stuff is about to be taken away (thankyou Freecycle). The only problem is: no washing machine. The "nearest" launderette is nowhere near. It is about 3 miles by bus, and in no way convenient. All three of the ones which my landlady remembered have closed/become dry cleaners.
And "Independence" to me, does NOT mean taking my sodding laundry to a selection of friends, or, my parents to do. And handwashing is just not on. I'm left with four options:

1. Trek to launderette (think positive: there might be Good Shops too)
2. Use launderette near work (Is there one?)
3. Continue to use friends and family's machines at risk of total embarrassment for nuisance/freeloading (no pun intended)
4. Buy new clothes each week from Primark and give them to charity/sell on ebay ("worn once only")

Monday, November 05, 2007

House poem


The houses we leave still need us.

Pantries, porticoes.

Those transoms float

vagrant plans, hopes.

It's only in our dreams they are

planed, hinged, mortared.

Eaves, joints sprouting

if we'll just bring

shingles to them. The Czech crystal:

each bulb dangles

lonely, lightless,

old without us.

Lonely, lightweight, old without us,

newsprint fusses

in the basement,


papers refuse to stay in their bins.

Who can pretend

sump pumps still know

what to do? Stowed

trashbags from breakups unable

to sleep. Gables

dream us back, brass

keys in our grasp.

Janice Moore Fuller from Séance (Iris Press, Tennesssee, 2007)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I feel like Dr Who. Lost in time and space. The only one left.
Me and Mr Sir D, despite his consummate spider throwing skills, have parted ways. I'm in a kind of painful confused limbo.
When my alarm went off yesterday, I dozed, and each time I opened my eyes I expected to be in a different bed- My old room from childhood- Greenford-Stratford-Manchester- when I opened my eyes each time I didn't know what to look for. I was, in fact, in Stratford, under double size duvet and cow print fleece in my single bed single room- my matchbox refuge from a world so hard to understand that only the alarm and the job keeps me going, repeating things, routine, get up, work, drink, bed. Repeat. Add friends and therapy and dancing and tiring late nights and long concerned telephone calls and there you have it. Life, the Universe and Everything.
If only I never had to actually come out from under the duvet than surely all my problems would go away? Can one be paid to sleep all day?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Invasion of the Macro Spiders! warning! spider pics!

Inspired by macro pictures in the lovely badger's blog, and by missed picture opportunities (even when in sweaty fear) in Stray's.......when I saw this enormo arachnid lurking behind my front door I had to take a picture of it despite my revulsion. My digital camera, an Ixus 500, is really rather good at macro shots..... even when the owner of the camera is shaking and jumping away at the last minute. The spider didn't even blink (well I assume it didn' spiders blink?) and didn't move a muscle when the flash went off. I was practically halfway back up the stairs again however. To get good macro you have to be CLOSE. Bluuurgh.
The Mr Sir D arrived and shooed it out. Phew.

Monday, September 03, 2007


You Won eBay Item: Raleigh Impulse racing bike !! (all in working order)
I went to collect the bike in Oval and the guy was LOVELY! He adjusted the saddle height and gave me a cycling map of London. Ebay's Feedback does not have enought space for how lovely a guy he was. Then I cycled from Oval to Plumstead (ow) to attend the Wiccaning (baby naming) of the newest addition to my massive extended family of friends, Lily McCavern Dodds. Oak leaf wine is weird but nice!
picture later.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

MY Bicycle!

This is going to me MY bicycle. I'm bidding on it on ebay. I love it already. It ends in 9 hours. Oh the tension!! It has those drop handle sexy bars. It is not black and it does not have a stupid basket.

Its my reward for managing to not drink loads of booze every single night this week. I overdid it Thursday (see previous post) but I loved the thisisnotabar thing anyway and I've done really well all the other nights. I'm going swimming now too. Every week. HONEST.

I AM healthy. (repeat to self each minute)
mmmm. Chocolate.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Today at 2:17am and at 7am

Don't ask me why, but I drank a bottle of pink wine, an espresso martini* and two cans of dodgy lager, the latter along with some incredibly cool people in a "This is not a bar" type smoking law loophole "Gallery": a tiny dark room full of art all lit with candles in Shoreditch.

God I feel terrible. Even though I had a big bacon and egg bap, slept through my lunch hour and drank a pot of office filter coffee the size of my head. Can't wait to climb back into bed!!! having scraped the white candlewax off my black dry clean only jacket, and cleaned the nasty little spots of god knows what off my shoes of course.

*Its a double espresso, shaken with gin vodka and martini over ice before being poured into a wanky looking glass and garnished with 3 coffee beans. They're £6.50 and I didn't order it! I asked for beer. It was way too late after that for any type of going back and I wasn't vastly surprised to wake up on my mate Paul's sofa......

But at least I did get to play with the cutest baby in the world between 7 and 8am.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I've been busy. The constant drizzle, and the widely varied bowel diseases that the dogs up and down my road like to exhibit copiously on my morning walk to the station are getting me down enough to blog about it. And, since when did my leisure wear of choice become a yellow pinny? It was my Grandma's pinny so it has Grandma-magic in it (when I put it on I tidy like a whirlwind).

I see myself, however, as more of a silk-pyjama and slippers girl in my "resting" hours; or, in sweatpants, energetically jogging, swimming and/or playing wii. Reality dictates mundane, more drab tasks.

The heaps of clothes I own are starting to tower over me with terrifying regularity. How can one person use so many dishes? wear so many..... pants? since when did 5 days of living mean two solid days of cleaning tidying and washing? I have lost track of all those craft activities I meant to do: this year will once more be devoid of hand made Christmas cards: my friend's birthdays slip by unnoticed: jewellery lies unrepaired, ideas, once sparkling, are gathering dust, and my artistic tendencies are becoming as scrawny and dry as the broccoli I attempted to grow.

Darkness gathers: the damp roads and houses of London are huddling together as winter approaches early. My duvet beckons......though it probably needs cleaning, too.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Poisoned (but not by Poofter Pete) or: What its like to be allergic to food.

After years of assuring people that my carefully controlled allergies and my strict diet are real, I have actually had an allergic reaction to something. I feel so steamrollered that I have been asleep on the sofa for the past hour. It feels a lot more real to me now. I was on the way home from a stonking weeked with brumcunian; I mean, wow. and what a cat. what taste in films! great sofa and better clothes than me, dammit. I had already accidentally eaten something rather milk-related and suffered almost no reaction whatever, the day before I ended up rushing to A&E in Watford, about 4 minutes after having a single bite of this flapjack. Not in a restaurant, in my home, on the street or in a shop. Or anywhere near safety. On a train.

There was no way I was risking keeling over with anaphalactic shock on a moving train miles from anywhere so, blessed with magical Fiona Luck as always, 2 minutes after I realised that taking an antihistamine just wasn't going to cut it this time, the train had just come into Watford. I calmly pocketed the flapjack and my EpiPen where I could find them both. I made a move and got a cab to A&E right where I happened to be. My throat was burning, my lips and neck were swelling, and I was losing my concentration. Everything was in slow motion, and crystal clear. I was finding it hard to talk as I uttered the immortal words no cabbie ever wants to hear: "take me to the nearest hospital".

I got lucky: sat in A&E feeling like a prize melon, my airways failed to become constricted, the swelling subsided and I was sent home having had steroids and antihistamines because there was no need for resuscitation. I went to hospital because I honestly thought that there would be. I had every single sympton of impending shock. I threw up twice, reacting inside my mouth to whatever evil substance it was, all over again as it was on the way out. Lovely. I puffed up like Marshmallow Man and my neck started to itch. I threw up the steroids they gave me (Tip: never search for tiny white pills in a cardboard bowl of vomit: it makes you look certifiable)

Then Mr Sir D came and collected me in the ultimate mercy mission. I threw up the second lot of steroids, narrowly missing the Car. Then another delayed reaction and woke me at 4am in my own bed covered in excruciating nettle rash. With no strength left to get to the Piriton, just rode it out and scratched until dreaming of cheese graters and emery boards, which is what it feels like I've been swallowing for the past week. Today, my ultimate hero Sir D has made home made bread, soup and plain rice for me, (so I know EXACTLY whats in it) and I even managed to write a wicked sweet potato soup recipe as the ultimate recovery soup.

Good things come to those who wait. And to those who act quickly. Thank you MedicAlert and thankyou Anaphalaxis Campaign. I would never have made it back to Purple Drak Plaza without you :) I now have to write to Virgin and Jack Cakes etc, after much much more sleep.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May Day

May Day was on May 1st obviously. But I've been so exhausted by all this morris dancing that I haven't had a chance to blog. So here I am, should be in bed, blogging about MayDay. It was a very sunny day (unlike the rest of May) and here is the New Esperance Morris Traditional May Day milkmaids Garland crossing the road in Camden. I thought it was a great picture of tradition and a modern city, etc etc. More coming soon!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Enormous Spiders

I found this spider in my garden and thought it was huge. But no, no, an even larger one was lying in wait for me this morning in the bathroom. It was not stripy but it was big enough to talk. And jet black, so large you could easily distinguish its thorax from its abdomen, and its jaws, and boy, those legs!!!! It is the second spider (I'm shivering as I write this) that I've found in my bathroom this weekend. I think they are trying to steal my easter eggs. Mr D had just left... and I'm ashamed to say that I came over all girlie and unable to cope with the sheer size of the thing (I mean, what if it's LEGS didn't fit into the catching implement? what if one fell OFF?) and I rang him on his mobile to ask him to come and get rid of it for me. Mr Sir D used to keep a spider in one house, in his bathroom, you see, called Shelob. It was so enormous that it ensured the complete privacy of the bathroom to Sir himself. He is not afraid of spiders. But I am. Yes I am!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lemon Flat Pie

After my first ever taste of lemon meringue pie at Christmas time, made by shadowdraic's Mother, I was completely hooked. However, being hooked upon a substance, in many cases, does not mean that one can make it as I'm sure many will agree. The pastry bit went rather well: I bought it at Tesco. It seemed a bit shallow, (the depth of the pie case, not the act of buying it at Tesco) but all the lemon bit (which came out perfect) fitted into it.

Now we come to the meringue. I have been able to eat eggs for 3 years now. I am very good at fried eggs, and I can make scrambled eggs, and lovely fluffy omelettes. BUT. I have never made meringue before, and this is the bit where I wished a) that I had asked a trusty Delia book about it, b) that I had checked the use-by date on the eggs prior to beginning, and c) that I had an electric whisk. Seperating the eggs went well, considering. I swear there was no yolk in the white. The whites and sugar were beaten and beaten with a fork but to no avail. The whitish, sugary egg-soup which resulted was poured, hopelessly, onto the perfect lemon filling and baked. See pictures. Next time..... I'm asking my Mum to make the meringue!

Fresh eggs, electric whisk, digital weighing machine, baking beans, parchment, and a proper pie tin are all on the shopping list marked "urgent".

Here is the recipe, in case anyone is brave enough to have a go:

100g shortcrust pastry, baked blind for 12 minutes in a pie tin. Or just buy one.

For the filling:
50g cornflour
225g Castor sugar
half a pint of water
the rind and juice of 2 lemons
2 egg yolks.

For the meringue:
2 egg whites
100g castor sugar.

Measure the sugar for the filling and the cornflour into a saucepan. Crush all lumps out of the cornflour. Gradually stir in the water. Add the lemon rind and bring to the boil, stirring all the time until thickened and translucent. In other words, there will be particularly bizarre and sudden change in texture, and it should then look like lemon curd. Cook for 1 minute. Take off the heat, and stir in first the strained lemon juice then the 2 egg yolks and mix well. Pour into the pastry case.

To make the meringue:
The recipe says to whisk the egg whites until thick and fluffy and then fold in half the sugar, whisk again, and fold in the rest of the suger. All I can say is: do not do whatever I did. The eggs must be extremely fresh, I now think, and the kitchen utensils grease free. Even a little smudge of grease will ruin it, I've heard. Search me if thats true or not. Follow Delia's instructions, or something. Make it fluffy, and make it light, ok? Spread it over the top of the pie.

For fluffy sticky meringue, bake in a ferocious oven for ten minutes until browned all over.
For crispy dry meringue, bake in a slow oven for 30 minutes or until crispy.

Let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tagged! its a meme!

I've been tagged to write "5 things that you didn't know about me" (by badger that)!!!! Its a LOT harder than it looks. And, reading through, it seems to be some sort of modern confessional. Bizarre.

1. I used to be an operator for a "text date" service which would send smutty texts to men for £1.50 a time. I sat at a computer entering whatever came into my head. Every 10 seconds a different "profile" would appear and a conversation, similar in style to msn. I would read the profile bar and pretend to be "Tracey" or whoever, send a text, to "Derek" or whoever, then onto the next one. Its amazing what people will pay for. Theres a lot of lonely people out there.

2. At a festival a few years ago (ahem) I found my ex fiancees tent and took out all the pegs and hid them beneath some poor innocent's car. I'm not proud. But it felt good!

3. As an April Fools joke I once persuaded the form teacher at school to anounce that there was going to be an audition for Dr Who in one of the classrooms at lunchtime. About 4 people turned up. I was called mean. Probably, I was.

4. At College, I embarrassed myself on Induction Day by standing up in front of the class and presenting my personal project (it was an Art College). My project in part, was all about the different colours that numbers have, and their personalities. I asked the students what colour Wednesday was, and was greeted by a stony silence. I was 19. It was only after a sympathetic student approached me with a video of Horizon's "Orange Sherbet Kisses" that I found out I was Synaesthetic. I had thought that everyone saw the world in the same colours that I do. They don't.

5. When I was young I always wanted to be a princess with long blonde hair that trailed on the ground when I walked and a pointy silver hat.

Monday, March 19, 2007

To party or not to party?

I've discovered that I'm not sure if I prefer babysitting to partying. Both involve equal amounts of laughter, fun and tears and both leave me exhausted. I missed Mikey's (far left, above) party on St Patricks Day to babysit, and will soon be doing some babysitting for Paul and Charlotte (above) whose first offspring Mina first saw the world on March 12th. Ahhhh.

Surfing all things purple and socky and I have found a page that is a liiittle tiny tad over obsessed with socks. But, down to the important things. Normal Marmite or Guinness Marmite? Is there, actually, a difference? WIth my untrained taste buds, I can't tell. Slightly less strong perhaps. I love it though. You can't get it in Ireland, I've heard. Some people care enough to chat about it on the marmite forum. Some are selling it on ebay. An internet forum about a yeast based salty spread? What's next, a London Pride themed Marmite for St George's day? Ah.....thought not.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Flapjacks II. The Great Baked Ones

Call me boring but I love to cook flapjacks. I struggle for the perfect, easy to remember recipe, yielding chewy in the centre, not too sweet, not too dry flapjacks, that crumble in your mouth not in your hand (TM). The microwave flapjacks in previous posts have been ultra-yummy. What does one do, however, when faced with a kitchen devoid of a box that goes Bing? Take half a block of hard margarine, 5 tablespoons of sugar, 2 of golden syrup, and a pint of rolled oats. Melt, mix, pour into greased tin. Bake, (180 C oven 20 min) eat. It's that simple. And I LOVE it!! The last picture is the correct amount of flapjack to be left over after about 10 minutes.......!


The ultimate in over-hopeful exercises..... I have stabbed an avocado pip with corn on the cob holders to suspend it in water and grow an avocado plant. The plant, even in 5 years, will apparently never yield any avocados, but they do make glossy-leaved house plants. And, I can say that I grew it myself. Mango tree next.... tomorrow, the world!!!

Here's how to grow an avocado
And a pineapple
And a mango tree

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Jones: The Best Cat in the World

Surely only Jones could be caught winking at me. The only cat that would cuddle and nuzzle me (and sneeze on me) without stalking off (too often). A cat that put up with being carried around by me, regally, as if to say; "I am the most perfect cat Ever, obviously I use Humans as my sedan-chair from time to time. At my convenience, of course". When I called upset, my best friend Fee used to put him on the phone to purr to me, and the world seemed less harsh in an instant. He was a big fluffy tart of a cat, beautiful in a soft lazy way. Jones will be sorely missed.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

No pictures of snow/14 places to lay my hat and still no home

I've fallen out of the habit of using my camera. On the way to work this week, if I had the camera in my hand, I would have taken pictures of snow covered mattresses and discarded red plastic fencing, and the road-edges of snow turned black by London.
I'm really looking forward to settling in to the New Place. It will be the fourteenth place I've been in, fifteen if you count the flat that Mum and Dad lived in before buying the current family home.

1. Mum and Dad's for 19 years, went to school, grew up slightly, but not a lot.

2. Renting with Michael in Boston Manor for 1 year. Found out how to shop and also how to rid a flat of fleas in the carpet, and how to escape the Landlords bailiffs and that when in court, always take legal advice first.

3. With Michaels parents in 5 storey mansion in Ealing for 6 months. I once set off the alarm by accident the police were called and before I could even get dressed and I was locked in the house behind huge black iron gates talking to the police in only my dressing gown. Found out that even professors have to have heart-lung transplants.

4. Saxon Drive with beige carpets with Michael, who was just like the guy from "Sleeping with the Enemy" for 10 months. Found out that love doesn't mean forever, and oranges are not the only fruit.

5. Highfield Road 3 roads away from Saxon Drive in my first shared house, with vegan computer geek Lee and surveyor Nick and a florist whose name I've forgotten, for a year. Used to be able to get in with a credit card if I'd forgotten my keys. Found out that it is possible to be in love with several people at the same time, but not to correctly fill in my tax return on my own.

6. On my own in Alperton for 3 years, in a conversion flat above a couple who used to beat their 4 year old kid and social services would never come, when they went, then above an alcoholic dustman and a beachball shaped lady called Donna. He used to drive the dustcart pissed. But they were very nice to me. Found out that one should never ever have a house warming party and invite more than one person one fancies.

7. With bony nutritionist called Audrey who boiled split peas at 7am and only ate raw vegetables in Perivale for a year. Found out that meat is not murder.

8. In Stratford: back at college in the box room (£30 a week; bargain? hmmm) in a tumbledown house with Jon, Dee and Ben, a cellarful of cheap red wine and a generation of mice for 2 years. Found out that I can kill small furry cute animals.

9.Living rent free briefly with friend J Lord in his shrine to American entertainment, in Langley for 8 months. Found out that there is more to life than computer games consoles, but not for many.

10. In West Acton in lilac room in a flat with tiny ginger girl with heaps of severe food and skin problems and her boyfriend Darko who was a drug dealer who used to use the phone in the same way that Dom Joly does, for 4-5 months. Found out that all the dietary help in the world cannot cure severe eczema in those affected.

11. In enormous hessian carpeted room in Stoke Newington with live-in lesbian landlady for almost 3 years. Found out that fetish clubs are not an ideal place to meet trustworthy people, but pubs in Stoke Newington are.

12. Back to parents to recover from severe debt and depression (Thanks Mum and Dad, I'd be in the gutter if it wasn't for you, well, still in the gutter) Found out that its possible to not have a job and to be ill for a very long time, and that its not just me that it affects either.

13. With Drak in North Acton above crazy letter-writing-banging-on-ceiling neighbours for 8 weeks, found out that one should not run to the police in the rain... and NOW

14. Greenford. The last one for now, the last one until the next time, it's for a year, I don't know what the neighbours are like, theres a balcony (is that bad?) and a garden (mowing the grass? how do you do that?) and I'll have my own titchy room to make stuff in, etc

15. I have no idea whats next and I suppose I never will have any idea.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Great Chieftain of the Puddn' Race

Work drinks Friday and then missed a dance but met randomly with knots of friends normally only seen at Festivals. Odd to see them in the dark of London. It was the type of evening that finishes at The Dublin Castle. We finished at The Dublin Castle. I walked over hill and under dell and got home at 5am. I think it's what one calls a bender!

Burn's night party yesterday. Haggis, whisky, and far from maddening neighbours in London. A chocolate fountain featured heavily, and I know you won't believe this; but melted chocolate goes really well on raw broccoli. It's called Chocky-Brocky. The Awful Poo Lady wouldn't agree!

I'm reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, and today on Storypeople I saw this. I've been reflective during my two 3 hour journeys to and from the coast for haggis. I have had time to stop and stare. I even took some pictures of what I was staring at. I miss my own computer. It's fast and its big and it's black and it's mine. I miss being able to come in and relax. But I've been missing that for a long long time. I miss having a place to be, a place to hide, a place to stay, a place to just.... be myself. A door to shut. I miss my old flat in Alperton. I was alone there, with the odd maroon bathroom suite that showed the tiniest splash, and the "Terrific Turquoise"(tm) kitchen. But I wasn't happy then either. I'm happier now than I was then, less confused, more analytical, more...Grown Up.

I wonder if I'll ever settle, or always be like Holden Caulfield, forever clutching at straws in low life bars with velvet joke seating, or wandering through the sewer like Richard-Richard-Mayhew-Dick from Neverwhere. In and out of jobs, easily bored, easily hated, easily drunk and easily fooled. I wonder who am I? Do I have a spark of intelligence, or is it just idiocy to big myself up, am I flattering myself, in, what is after all, a web log here on the net for everyone to read. Nobodies reading about nobodies. Sure, I can read and write, but I've hardly made a super success of my life. Do I stand out from the crowd because I'm different or because I'm a fool?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The search for the perfect lip balm

I thought today I'd blog about some minutiae I've been obsessing about. Really, really little things that irritate me. Like, having dry lips. I find petroleum products and cheap lip balms don't work on me. I also can't bear that freezing stinging sensation of menthol and peppermint in lip balm. EVERY lip balm I have tried seems to have some type of mint oil in it. It feels like I've put my lips in a freezer !! Plus, I hate sticking my fingers in the stuff. I don't want it on my fingers. I want it on my lips.

Here's a list of some the lip balm attempts I've had lately. Just in case theres anything about lip balm you'd always wanted to know but been afraid to ask. Unlikely, yes, but I have to write this down somewhere.... because next winter when the Lip Balm Fairy (like the odd sock fairy, but greasier) has stolen every single lip balm in the house and I'm haplessly searching the shops for another, I'll know which one to get. There's even a lip balm addicts forum and general rant-a-thon here.

1. Vaseline in a little tin. £1. Makes fingers greasy. Not emollient enough for me.

2. Urban Decay "Lube in a Tube; Miami (pink)". £5 ebay.Great name, pretty colour, moisturising and glam at the same time. Shame it's mostly petrolatum with eight tablespoons of freeze-o-lip peppermint. Ow. Will give it away to a Young Person.

3. Burt's Bees Lip Tint (Rhubarb) £4 ebay. Great colour, all natural, very emollient, stays on for ages. Shame about the peppermint oil. If I wanted to stick my lips in liquid nitrogen, I would have done it by now. Interesting rosemary leaf aftertaste. Gave it to a friend who is veggie.

4. Clinique "impossibly glossy" lip colour. £11. Salesman told me it was moisturising. It is, and it's a beautiful colour, the "french peppermint" in the ingredients list doesn't sting or freeze, but alas, my hair sticks to it. Not attractive. Still, its a good piece of makeup if my hair's up... but to be honest my lips remain flaky if I use it on it's own. Face it, it's makeup.

5. "Lip Rescue" tea tree. £2.50. Yuk, yuk, yuk. Whatever posessed me to buy the Tea Tree one? Have you ever tasted Tea Tree oil? No? It has a medicinal taste reminiscent of TCP. AND it has peppermint oil in it, but not as deep freeze as the others. Very long lasting emollient though. Impressive. But tastes YUK.

6. FLP Aloe Vera lip balm. gift. The one I used almost all of and then lost last year. Excellent and lasts all day. Doesn't taste of anything imparticular. Just found it, with free delivery, here.

7. Clinique Glosswear for lips. £10. The only cosmetic stuff for lips I've ever come across that actually moisturises. Amazing, long lasting but a little sticky, and quite glittery, which is not ideal for everyone.

8. Collection 2000 Plastique lip gloss. £2.39. Yes, yes, I know, its a "gloss". But it was cheap. And it has no peppermint and it moisturises and it tastes of cherries. But my hair sticks to it. And it needs re-applying every half hour. Nice colours, though.

9. Nivea "Velvet Rose"£2.30ish. Nice colour, bizarre dry feel and fake rose taste. Weird. Not moisturising enough for me.

10. TEN???!!! I can't believe I've tried more than ten lip balms in my life. It's only grease for lips. What is so complicated???

10. Neutrogena lip balm £3. Excellent but I became allergic to it on the second stick. What a shame its perfumed.

11. "Unpetroleum" lip balm, jojoba, £3 from Fresh n Wild only, it would seem. Excellent. long lasting and flavourless, very moisturising. Used a whole one, have been unable to find another one though. Have scoured the web. Still can't find. ARG!

12. Superdrug gloss n care (or some similar name) £1.29. Funny little tube of greasy gloop that is quite good but tastes of vaseline. Icky.

13. Nivea Lip Care Repair. £2.75ish. Fabulous, but again, having gone through 2 sticks, I'm now allergic. Its must be the SPF stuff I think.

And finally!!! The ones I'm about to try, having scoured the net for the ingredients in advance, to check that 1. they have no petrolatum, 2. they have no "parfum" 3. they have no peppermint or menthol or tea tree yukkiness 4. They come in a stick, not a tin 5. They are less than £5 each THEY ARE:
Burt's bees honey lip balm. Beeswax base, honey flavour.
Badger lip balm stick. Beeswax base, unscented.
Vegan Lip Balm. Hemp based (of course, what else?)
Alba Botanica Lip Balm. Coconut based. Could be good. Who knows?
Lip Smackers. Still trying to find out the ingredients. From America. They even do Dr.Pepper flavour!

Right that's the end. I'm off to have my lips.... surgically replaced or something.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Angel or Devil?

oooooooooo. mmmmmmmmmm. smmmmmmmmeeee.
I just bought a new perfume in the sales. Its snuggly-vanilla-dusty-sexy in a kind of Francine-from-"Strangers in Paradise" baby powder scented way. It's called Ange ou Demon, by Givenchy, (I'm SUCH a consumer!!) and the advertising describes it thus;
"The top notes are fresh with essence of white thyme, mandarin orange from Calabria and essence of saffron. The middle note mixes maxillaria orchid, lily and ylang ylang, while the base note is made of tonka bean, vanilla, rosewood and oak wood absolute"
Which is a dead posh way of saying; it smells gorgeous!!!
I've been searching for something to replace my old tarty red "Hypnotic Poison" as my Expensive Once a Year perfume of choice... something thats guaranteed to please me at birthdays, always easy to find etc, you know the thing. Hypnotic reminds me of bad old times and i'm hoping to find new Good Times with this one. I hope the price of the thing comes down soon though!! Its more expensive than printer ink.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Project Pashmina

Here is Drak's bath turtle regarding a sofa-full of pashminas with iron-on diamante on them. I made them for the girls at Ells and Farrier for being so brilliant. One for each, in their favourite colours. Ells and Farrier being a shop where I used to work, about a year ago. Since I left, the girls have given out my business cards for me like they're going out of fashion, and secured me most of my income. Thing is, the Pashminas are Christmas presents. Thing is, I just finished them today!!!!

I thought "Yeah, this'll be cool, handmade pressies, grab 11 viscose pashminas from Berwick St, I'll just whip them out of their packets and iron the matching diamante onto the edges. Except, coming from the wholesalers, once out of wrappings, they stank. Of Old Warehouse and stale smoke, Old Incense and Old... well, Old Spice I expect!!! Literally. I washed them and hung them up and patiently dried them and folded them, then realised that pashmina shawls are about 2 metres wide.... no way could I afford that much diamante. Then I ran out of time.

Xmas suddenly happened, was over before I could say "diamante", then I realised, round at Drak's place, no iron...... and no ironing board. Feeling that perhaps that Project Pashmina had got a little out of hand, I bought the nescessary equipment, (thankyou Argos for a £4 iron!!!) sprinkled diamante into the corners of each (looks lovely) and now, finally, after a completely unexpected day off, they are Finished!! nearly 24 square metres of fabric in all, 11 scarves, and each with a sparkly glittery corner. Aw. Almost makes Christmas worth it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

new year, new, er, blog

Onwards and upwards. Two steps forward, one step back. One key frame at a time (Thanks Stray for that analogy; genius) Having my cake, eating it, and having another one in the oven just in time. Wearing smart clothes and feeling good about it. Choosing grey and liking it. The big C-word; Change.

Seeing as 19th November was my last post and since then I've had 3 jobs, lost one, done more days on Portobello Market than I thought I was up to, made the worlds supply of dangly sparkly earrings, gained friends, lost friends, had massive arguments, temporarily moved out, temporarily moved in, been tormented by the boyfriends neighbours, wished everyone Happy New Year and Happy Christmas by text message but not in that order, failed to give out most of my carefully wrapped presents and now I'm about to temporarily move again......

I thought I'd better update.

This year I'll be making more jewellery just for me and just because it's nice. It will feature in a new page on my website, and lots of the old pages will bite the dust.

This year I will say "no" more often. No to small jobs that take whole days to organise pay for and collect and profit me £5. No to going out on a weeknight. No to "special favours" that profit me nothing, not even money, but only eat time in the way that only "special favours" eat time.

This year I will find a lovely shared house or flat with a clean kitchen somewhere North-ish Finsbury Park kind of area, and stay there at least three years.

This year I will have a brilliant job in which I hope to learn a lot at the same time as helping people a lot because apart from choosing the right bead and the right colours and the right outfit, ultimately that's what I'm good at.

Circumstances permitting, I might have pink hair again. But it seems... expensive and unlikely to forward my career unless my career really does turn out to be Portobello market-based!!

I'll have to wait and see.