Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Category Archives: Blogs

Kids. Don’t you just love ’em?

There is a new show on the BBC on Saturday nights called ‘Outnumbered’. I remember watching the first season and thinking how amazing the child actors are – I think they improvise the script. It is so well observed and really does depict family life (at least as I know it!) The little girl, Karen, is especially hilarious and says the cutest things. Here is a trailer of the show.

There are a load of clips on YouTube, this is one of my favourites…

I don’t know if you have seen this, it’s has been around a while but it makes me smile whenever I read these letters – childrens’ letters to God.

letters_to_God

Children really do have a knack for getting to the heart of the matter. A friend of mine was taking his 5 year old daughter to school. They were talking about what she had been learning at school. The following conversation ensued.

Daughter : ‘Daddy, my teacher told us God made everything.’

Daddy : ‘Er, yes, he did.’

Daughter : ‘So he made all the people then?’

Daddy : ‘Well, yes.’

Daughter : ‘What did he use for the bones?’

Priceless.

And to end, the shape of things to come?

blogschool

Kids. Don’t you just love ’em?

Birthday surprises…

On my birthday, I was pleased and proud, nay, I was dead chuffed even, to be approved by the World Blog Council. It just goes to show what a lot of grovelling can achieve and that flattery really does get you anywhere. I am in such illustrious company, I can hardly believe I was accepted, so many thanks to the Prof., the Colonel, Frau von Sauertraut (great hairdo) and all at the World Blog Council. Their gracious comments are below this amazing badge which shows the other WBC approved blogs.

worldblogcouncilappraisals3

“A good Frau from Dorset with an almost unhealthy obsession with bookbinding. ‘Much of a muchness’ ist a delightful blog written by a woman of many talents. When she ist not hopping around the South of France or Kalifornia, her blogging ist a nice glimpse into the busy life of this creative empty nest. However, when I tried her ribbon binding tutorial, the Colonel ended up tied to his office chair with polka dots all over his popo. But this blogger also has gut hair so ja, this application ist approved”.

Frau von Sauertraut, Cultural Advisor

“Well – I believe our Cultural advisor has summed everything up beautifully and as I am still tied to my chair (obviously I’m dictating this to Ms Tutt) I feel duty bound to grant approval.

Now Frau von Sauertraut – tell me more about this ‘popo’ of mine and how do we get rid of these pesky polka dots…?”

Colonel Reginald Fotherington-Blogworthy II CEO, MD, ARSE

Aw shucks! I’m blushing!

And now for some more exciting news (well, for me anyway….) Here’s a clue.

My birthday ‘celebrations’ might be over, my lovely sons might have gone back to their respective homes and Milo might still be snuffling around, wondering where his new playmates have gone to and although I am sad , as always, when my boys leave, I am also REALLY EXCITED!! It’s been a wonderful few days, the climax of which was the presentation of my birthday present – a joint gift from my sons (and their dad) – an air ticket to Australia – the trip to be taken, as and when I like!

Once I had checked it was a return ticket and I wasn’t being transported to the colonies, I was absolutely thrilled. I am hoping that I can go early in the new year so that it will still be summer down under. I have several friends and a sister who live in various parts of Australia so I hope that I can get to see lots of places. I’m really getting the travel bug but this will be my biggest adventure yet so I am going to plan it carefully. I am open to suggestions of places I really MUST see. Here’s a little music to get me in the mood….

Now I’d better get in touch with my Antipodean friends and family to warn them….

The bear necessities

There is rather a sweet blog called ‘Dear Teddy‘ which I have seen mentioned in various places around the old interweb (Daddy Papersurfer, 70steen and Olga, the Traveling Bra – I would have thought another kind of teddy was more her style!).

It’s a blog, by for and about all those old stuffed animals and other beloved childhood toys which have a story to tell.”

Well, a few years ago, I was given a rather strange bear as a Christmas present. I hesitate to introduce him to the other bears over at ‘Dear Teddy’ as I’m not sure of the reception he would get from Grumpy Ted, Snowy Bear and Busy Bear. He is a rather groovy if dare I say, freakish bear designed by Phillipe Starke the famous French designer. Here is a photograph of him….

I’m not entirely sure that any story this little bear has to tell would be suitable for kiddie’s ears. Quite how the puppy, the lamb and the bunny ended up where they did is a story for Hallowe’en I’m sure and would probably be a cautionary tale for us all.

And talking of Hallowe’en, (bear with me- tenuous link following)   Kim over at Laketrees is running another of her wonderful competitions to win a portrait painted by her. The prize will be a portrait of a subject of your choosing, painted in oils/acrylics on a 90cm x 100cm canvas. All you have to do is post about the competition on your blog with a link back to Kim, subscribe to her feed by email and then comes the hard part – choose your subject (you? your son/daughter? partner? pet?) and in less than 250 words say why you have chosen your subject and why you should win! The competition closes on October 31st (Hallowe’en – now you get the link) at 12pm (not sure what time zone that is so get your entry in early to make sure you beat it – Kim lives in Australia!)

Kim also runs the ‘Top Artists Directory’ blog which is a fantastic resource to introduce you to the many talented artist who have blogs. I am in there but I actually feel a bit of a fraud, I’m not sure I’m really an artist as such – and I have been so slack at making books recently (too many holidays, I hear you cry!) but I will get back into it soon.

Milo continues to be a total time waster, the only time I get anything done is when he is like this

He is just so playful and cute, I find it hard to ignore him. He is off for his second jab tonight so he will be allowed out to play properly then and can mingle with other dogs. I shall take him over to see my friend who has two Cocker Spaniel puppies ( who are quite a bit older than Milo) and we shall see how he gets on with them. He should be OK as he came from a house with lots of other dogs. In fact, I’m amazed at how well he has adjusted to just being with me.

I gave him a bath a few days ago. What a sad little creature! There is not much dog under all that fur and he stood there, shivering with fear and looking very bedraggled, skinny and sorry for himself. Once dry and brushed, he looks more like a teddy than Edward Puppyhands does…

Another teddy who I am quite enamored of is this one – the iPulse Teddy Speaker

Your iPod sits in a pouch on his tummy, the controls are on his paws and coloured lights pulse in his feet in time to the music. That is one hi-tech teddy – a Christmas present for the baby that has everything – including an iPod full of nursery rhymes and lullabies….

Here’s a track that should be on there, this is the original version of ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic’ by Henry Hall and his Orchestra – way before my time, you understand, but this is the version I remember from my childhood. And what about that record player? I’d like to see iPulse Teddy get that in his pouch…..


Hey! from LA!

Here I am in Venice, California, the sun is shining (as it has done for my entire stay) and I am having a ball. I have played tennis, eaten great food, been given incredible hospitality by some generous friends, been on a bike ride along the beach from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica, listened to wonderful live music, shopped, played with adorable children, hosted a party, watched tennis (Yay! for Andy Murray!) and seen a great movie (which incidentally also introduced me to my newest crush – of whom more later!) It’s surprising how energized and well, happy, I am, just being in the sunshine. It’s no wonder people are generally so friendly and sociable – how can you be anything else when the weather is so cheerful!

The film I went to see with my friend, Claire, was Woody Allen’s new film ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ starring Scarlett Johannson, Rebecca Hall, Penelope Cruz and my new crush, Javier Bardem.

Having only ever seen him in ‘No Country for Old Men’ where he played a murderous psychopath with a very strange haircut, I was unprepared for the sex-on-a-stick, all round gorgeousness that is Javier Bardem. I am in love. If George Clooney doesn’t hurry up and come and find me while I am still in LA, I may just have to switch my allegiance…

Claire, who you may remember I have mentioned before in this blog, has written a very funny book called ‘Plus One – A Year in the Life of a Hollywood Nobody’ (she also has a great blog) and the exciting news is that it is being made into a movie as we speak! Called ‘The Making of Plus One’ (check it out in the Internet Movie Data Base here) it is a movie about the making of the movie of the book (still with me?) and the brilliant news is that Claire and her sister Julia Fordham, get to make a cameo appearance in the movie, playing themselves. They are flying out to the South of France to film their bit next month.

Gosh! I actually know a movie star! Two even! That’s even better than meeting (well, gazing across the room at) the great Harry Shearer (of Spinal Tap and Simpsons fame), Victoria Tennant (who starred in one of my favourite movies ‘LA Story’ with her ex-husband, Steve Martin. And, Kim, incidentally, she is your favourite ballet dancer, Irina Baranova’s daughter!) and meeting Robert Shaw’s daughter and Tess Harper, who played Tommy Lee Jones’ wife in ‘No Country for Old Men’. It just occurs to me that means she has met Javier Bardem. I have sat next to someone who knows Javier Bardem!! Here she is with luscious Javier at the end on the right.

Star struck? Moi? Well, this is LA…

PS Just been reminded by Claire that on my first night in LA, we were in Hal’s restaurant in Venice and John Voigt and his son (Angelina Jolie’s brother) were at the next table to us. And I didn’t pick up on it – until everyone mentioned it on the way home. My biggest star spot and I missed it. Well, I was jet lagged…

Exit, stage left….

That’s it. I’ve had enough. My replacement garden furniture has still not arrived – despite being promised delivery in 2 weeks, 4 weeks ago. They now say, that they can only deliver my table when there is another customer in my area to deliver to ‘to make it worth their while’. WHAT?!!!! What if no-one ‘in my area’ buys a table for the next 2 years? Do I have to wait that long? They have my money, I want my table!! It’s just as well (sort of) that we are having a rubbish summer or I would be EVEN MORE ANGRY.

I tried to play tennis today and we were rained off after 2 games. I am sick of this weather, so when a friend who is holidaying in Mallorca rang me yesterday and said she had come indoors as it was too hot to sit in the sun, it was the last straw. I secured myself an invitation, booked a flight and am off to join her tomorrow. Who says I’m not spontaneous?

So, a very short post, just this, which is for writinggb who admired the BBC’s ‘Monkey’ Olympics trailer last post. Here is another promo the BBC broadcast a few years ago. I love it. So in the spirit of irony, I give you ‘A Perfect Day’. See how many celebs you can name…