Sunday, May 20, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

Now I suspect if we have half an eyeball and half an ear we know what we should be eating, drinking, reading, watching and generally doing in our lives these days.  We know we should eat more vegetables, drink more water, read the latest Booker Prize winners, enjoy opera (preferably Wagnerian rather than Mozart, which is rather light and frothy) if we are going to live long and productive lives, make ourselves more worthy and generally be all round virtuous human beings.  But to be honest there are times when we rebel; speaking for myself sometimes when I know I should be eating a tasty and delicious piece of salmon (just think of all the Omega 3s), what I really crave is a Hot and Spicy Thai Two Minute Noodle Soup instead.  And that is just the beginning of my bad behaviour.  If you look at the butterflies above you can see a recent example of very poor taste, and my word so pretty!  I can't wait for spring time to come when I can turn on their little batteries and put them out in the garden at Shoestring Cottage and they can flash and pulsate and generally look garish and vulgar.  When you first turn them on they flicker different colours quickly, then they develop different shades with longer phases between colour changes.  They are fascinating.  That is only the start of the guilty pleasures I have been indulging in lately.  Another (and an even worse one) is a passion for the reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex.  In fact the whole family sits down and watches double back to back episodes once a week.  We feel a bit ill afterwards, but we don't let that stop us.  There, I have admitted the worst - what is your guilty pleasure?

On Saturday night Mr Shoestring swept me off my feet - literally.  We went down the road to the local RSA where Tony Wellington performed his act including Roy Orbison and Engelbert Humperdink inpersonations.  (Another low brow guilty pleasure.)  I don't know what got into Mr Shoestring, but he was a human dynamo and refused to sit down for more than one song at a time.  He wouldn't go home until the last number of the evening and it has to be admitted we made something of a spectacle of ourselves.  (I realised this when a couple of locals came up to me and commenced their conversations with, "You're not from around here, are you?")  Not that we were rowdy, you understand, just very visible with our constant presence on the dance floor.  Mind you, Mr Shoestring suffered the next day.  He confided that his thighs were a bit sore.  Personally, I put that down to doing the twist but I could be wrong.

In the garden the mild autumn continues.  We have roses, snowdrops, marigolds, cyclamen and succulents all blooming at the same time while the freesias are bursting through the earth along with the daffodils and jonquils.  All in all it is rather unsettling and seems wrong somehow to have all these things blossoming at once.  I suppose we will suffer the consequences next summer, because without a cold hard spell to kill the bugs the roses will suffer, but for now we will just make the most of it and be thankful for a warm season.

A while ago I used some old china and glassware to make cake stands.  This weekend I put them out in the garden, which is rapidly filling up with old pieces of china and cutlery.  One is glued onto on a wooden stake which I plan to grow variegated ivy around, and the other is on an old cut off limb in the plum tree.  If you have a go at making some of these yourself just use five minute epoxy glue, it is very simple to do and lots of fun.  The cups at the top would look pretty with small spring bulbs such as hoop petticoat daffodils in them, but I think I may have left it a bit late for this season.

Speaking of the plum tree, it took a hammering this weekend when Mr Shoestring decided to "prune" it.  I am not sure where Mr Shoestring developed his pruning skills, but as soon as me mentions the word I head indoors.  He does not prune with a pruning saw, he prefers a chain saw and on this occasion the chain saw broke.  (Possibly this is a good thing, it may have prevented further depredations.)  Once he pruned a venerable old olive tree and I was horrified to discover that it was left with only two small twigs.  It did recover though, so I bite my tongue and say not a word when pruning is under way.  The plum tree looks very sad and dejected and I can imagine all the birds flying "home" in the evening and being very perplexed as to where they are to spend the nights from now on.  We will just have to await further developments and hope for the best.

Apart from gardening I carried on with the quilting on the pink/yellow quilt, I am approaching the end now and pleased with the result.

Now I just have to bore you with one more photo of green glass items.  The Dancing Queen has started a collection also and wants to know how many pieces I have.  (I suspect I may have some serious competition on my hands.)  Well, I have counted up and there are nine pieces so far, and here is a photo so The Dancing Queen can see them.  I was thinking I had better stop collecting but now I have a good reason to continue, I can send some pieces to The Dancing Queen.  I think there were a couple of nice pieces at the last market I went to, I hope the are still there next time.  The thrill of the chase!