Saturday, 30 January 2016

Cold feet and girlie socks

Look at your feet.

Fill in the blanks - my feet are ..., they feel ..., they look ...

... knobbly, svelt, plumptious, furry, hairy, bald, smooth, flaking, dry, sweaty, clean, dirty, stinking, warm, like ice-blocks, socked, naked, pink, white, blue, black (see a doctor), numb, tickle-y, pins and needles-y, beautiful, sexy, hobbit-y, cloven ... etc

Mine are cold.

A day of shopping, providing a taxi service to Littlest, gardening and sitting at my desk has (and probably, predominantly, the latter occupation is to blame) resulted in freezing toes, white skin and a tingle where the bunion is just beginning to say it's chilly down here.

It's not helped by the nakedness, due to tardiness in the dressing activity after post-gardening ablutions earlier - um, just pausing to assess that image ... no I'm not shivering in the altogether at my desk - that would be weird in January. Weird any month of the year. No, the tardiness was due to utter disdain for the choice of socks in the sock drawer. Not only do us gals have to pay more for our toiletries, but our expensive fashion socks are a pathetic apology for foot attire - thin, run to holes faster than pastry would were we to en-croute our feet, barely stretch above the knobbly bits of our ankles and shrink even if hand-washed. Who hand-washes their socks? - me. After too many mornings trying to squeeze my feet into tiny, scratchy, vaguely tube-shaped mats of knotted, sharply cutting, toe-nail snagging threads, masquerading as the socks that fitted yesterday but ain't going to fit today. Men on the other hand have thick, durable, plush socks which cocoon their feet in a thermal, swaddling blanket of woolly extravagance. Okay,  so they might be a little or indeed totally unfashionable, but my feet wouldn't care.

I'm off to find some man socks ...




Sunday, 17 January 2016

Turkish delights and birthday cake

Apart from this ' :-) ' how do you write a grin?

Smiles come in all shapes, sizes and motivations. There's the barely there, I mustn't smile, demur, hinted-at smile. The embarrassed I-have-no-idea-why-I'm-smiling-but-I-am-and-I-can't-stop smile. The forced I-should-be-smiling-because-everyone-else-finds-this-funny-even-if-I-don't smile. The I love you smile between adults which is very different from the I-would-starve/cut-off-my-arm/go-without-chocolate-for-the-rest-o-my-life-if-only-I-could-see-your-smile-every-day-and-keep-you-safe-for-ever smile between a mother and her child. Then there's the I'm happy, just simply, overwhelmingly happy smile sometimes accompanied by a humm-ful tune. Proper smiles involve your eyes. Sad, forced and embarrassed smiles do not.

So what about grins. Are they perhaps just very big smiles?

Is a grin a smile on a grand scale? The Sydney Opera House of smiles. A smile as deep in feeling as the Grand Canyon and as wide as any ocean. It radiates, infects and consumes. And spreads faster than fire, if whipped up by laughter. You could experiment with this in an open crowded space - stand and grin and start to laugh - you might feel like a wally-banana (Littlest's latest expression) but you'll quickly get noticed and make others laugh. And quite probably - as long as you're not arrested - have a jolly time.

It's perhaps obvious, but different things make different people smile. Grinning is no exception. Your emotional state and physical well-being have a role to play too. Recovering from an interview rejection or suffering from a bout of flu are not scenarios usually associated with grinning - unless a friend discloses that the job was not right for you, for lots of reasons, including that after 3 months they would ask you to go to China and you don't speak Chinese and you don't like rice and then the same friend spends the next five minutes making elephant noises with your packet of paper hankies.

I grin fairly frequently. As witnessed by all the lines on my face - I think they're called smile lines. Okay, technically they're age lines but I call them smile lines. Yesterday, I smiled as I shared a Turkish feast from a local Take-Away restaurant. I smiled a slightly inebriated smile as we shared fizz, then wine, then heavenly, orange muscat. I smiled at one of the best cakes I have ever eaten. And scoring my smile lines a little deeper, I grinned, as nine of the loveliest people in my world stood, waved their arms in the air and hollered happy birthday. At me.

Thank you.






Friday, 1 January 2016

Hell-Slinki and other festively muddled words

Christmas evening - so often an anticlimax - is a time for games in our house. The sort played on boards with teams and counters and winners. This year it was the turn of Articulate; a great game when lubricated by two glasses of bubbles, a couple (or three) of wine, one of pudding wine and enough food to ensure your tummy remains full at least until snacking-time just before bed. And a game at its best when played with the ages that extend across a family brought together to share Christmas.
Everyone has a different approach to the game - from the competitive I'm-almost-nearly-sober-and-if-I-pinch-myself-I'm-definitely-awake-enough-to-win-this, to the pinching-me-with-a-lobster-claw-wouldn't-keep-me-awake; via the slightly bemused befuddled and mildly belligerent no-I-don't-need-any-help-no-no-none-at-all-I-know-doing-what-I-am, to the I've-been-cooking-all-day-and-my-brain-got-steamed-with-the-sprouts-and-I-can-barely-string-two-words-together-so-my-performance-is-going-to-be-cr@p, to the I-might-not-look-like-I-know-what-I-am-doing-but-I-do-sort-of-at-least-until-you-tell-me-I-don't.


So which type are you? Which were we?

Littlest was in a category all her own (sober for a start and very conscious of being the youngest and while happy to inject some mirth into the proceedings also desperate to avoid being laughed at).

These were some of her clues (in the Place, Nature and Random categories) -


  • One of those springy things that goes down stairs - it sort of walks - and falls - over the steps. And a place that's not heaven.
  • Being very tall and sounding a bit like Hermione Grainger but not all of her name.
  • A male horse thingy


Did you get them?

The springy thing is a slinky and the place that isn't heaven is of course hell.
Which makes Hell-slinky.
Helsinki!!

Being tall is being high. A high-Hermione or high-Granger?
... Hydrangea!!!

And I have no idea why she thinks all unicorns are male!!



Happy New Year to all who over the past 12 months have read these words on the Walking the Dog blog.