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August Scavenger Hunt

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Almost the end of August and that can only mean one thing - scavenger hunt round-up time. There are a lot more iphone photos than proper camera photos this month but that's just because, much as I love my DSLR, it is not always particularly convenient to lug around with me and I've been out and about a lot this month.

So without further ado:


Beautiful countryside along the M6. May I just swank for a moment? I took this with an iphone whilst on a coach driving along the motorway at about 60mph. I am amazed it didn't turn out to be a big blurry mess.

A sport:

The reasons why I love the sport of three-day eventing are many. Here's just one: in this show-jumping warm-up ring you have a man who has ridden at 6 Olympic Games and won silver and bronze medals, been World Champion, completed the best event in the world 29 times and won Burghley twice. You also have at least one woman who has a full time job and just one horse. They compete on equal terms.

A boat:

Oh and they jump boats.

A picnic:

And people take their own picnics with them when they're watching it. How v. civilised. I was a bit too busy eating mine to take a classy photo...

A festival or funfair:

Edinburgh Fringe of course!


Homemade onion foccacia. It was absolutely delicious.

A fountain:

Ach, I totally failed to go anywhere that contained a proper fountain this month. Tenous link ahoy! I have an odd love for this song. I don't remember how or when I first heard it and I've certainly never been an American teenager but it has a hold on me nonetheless.

Something ancient:

It's a Belemnite fossil, in a seventeenth century limestone floor in a room that dates to the 1530s. Can't remember exactly how old the fossil is - I want to say 60 million years old - but I think it definitely counts as ancient, yes?


Must stop buying pretty fabric! I have no making mojo whatsoever at the moment and the fabric is just piling up waiting to be turned into stuff.


A quick snap of a flower stall on market day in Ormskirk

Street food:

Scrumdiddlyumptious fish and chips in Lytham, eaten sitting at a table on the pavement. Look, it's definitely the street - there's a car!

Something bizarre:

Me. With matching socks on.


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Alex, why are you wearing a party frock to work?

Funny you should ask! So, I got home from Edinburgh, opened up the wardrobe to put some clothes away and went "Huh?"

"Where are all my clothes? HAS SOMEONE STOLEN ALL MY CLOTHES?!"

"Oh. Bugger. I have killed my wardrobe."

I don't dare try and get anything out of the chaos pile because I know it will just explode all over me and I'll be trapped in a sea of ridiculous vintage shirts, tons of dresses and a veritable rainbow of cardigans. I've been living in jeans and tshirts all week but now I've run out of those too.

Party frock? Why the hell not.

And let's not be bashful when it comes to footwear. What goes better with a party frock than glam rock style shoes? I dunno. If I have any better options then they're buried alive in my wardrobe. I'll try and rescue them over the weekend.

Sadly this pair might have to go. Even with the aid of those weird heel strip things, they're still far too big. Curse those pesky old style IC sizes. If anyone is a size 6.5 or 7 and wants them, give me a shout. Would rather avoid ebay if posible.

Dress - Ghost, a present from the wonderful Christina
Shoes - Irregular Choice via ebay
Earrings - New Look
Ring - Dorothy Perkins sale

When In Rome

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

(Or Edinburgh...) Drink Irn Bru, obviously.

I'm back from Edinburgh.

I think I left my energy and body clock behind because I'm quite disgustingly tired at the moment. Probably the result of a truly hectic couple of days and spending 18 hours on a coach but my god it was worth it. What an amazing place! How have I never been before? Am already planning a return trip to do some sightseeing and shopping.

We had blue skies! I barely got wet at all, so all that fretting about waterproof shoes was completely pointless.

What did we fit into our packed schedule? Quite a mixture of things really. I know the Fringe is probably best known for comedy but we watch quite a lot of that anyway so we made the conscious decision this time to limit it to a couple of comedians that we hadn't seen before and fill the rest of our time with other stuff.

The World According To Bertie

This wasn't the most dynamic play in the world but it was never going to be. If you've ever read any of the Scotland Street books then you know the joy of them is in the little things. Not very much happens in terms of plot; it's all about the characters. It was done really well and I loved the staging - the play happened in about 6 different locations around the room and we were constantly swivelling round on our stools to follow it all.


This was a little one-man show, aimed at families. Hey, you know me though. I am never put off by anything targeted at a younger age group. Rightly so in this case because I absolutely loved it. It was a really wonderful mixture of storytelling, audience interaction, doodling on post-it notes and tales of constellations. Reminded me a lot of Diana Wynne Jones in style and coming from me, that is a big compliment.

Private Peaceful

I cried. Are you surprised? Thought not. It's a stage adaptation of the book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo and given how astonishingly good War Horse is, I really wasn't surprised by the quality of this. One actor on a very simple stage for a solid 75 minutes - just incredible. It was immensely powerful and moving.

Holly Walsh

Best use of Venn Diagrams. Ever. Oh she was funny. I've seen her on quite a few panel shows but didn't realise this year was her first time doing proper stand-up. You honestly wouldn't have known. She was really at home in front of the audience and we were all howling with laughter.

Chris Ramsey

If this boy doesn't make it very big very soon then there is no justice in the world. I left with properly aching cheeks because I'd laughed so much.

I find it so hard to describe comedy. It's not much use me going "And he did this HILARIOUS thing about Geordie Shore - HAHAHAHAHAHA! It made me CRY laughing!" (he did, and it did, but my retelling of it would be shite). I thoroughly recommend going to see him if you get the chance.

We wound the trip up by being in the audience at a live recording of the Radio 4 programme Broadcasting House. Ex-MP Neil Hamilton sat behind me. Yes, I do realise I'm about the only person in the world who would be mildly thrilled by this.

We've already got the dates in our diary for next year. Can't wait.

ps - am monstrously behind on blog commenting. Sorry! I'll try and catch up gradually but free time is very, very scarce for me this week.

I Hate Packing

Friday, 19 August 2011

Is anyone else as horrendous at packing as I am? I'm great at making lists but somehow I always end up running round the house at midnight the night before I go, desperately searching for my phone charger/pants/travel tickets and wailing about how difficult it is to pack everything I need for 3 days into one little bag. Stupid British weather. I can't just grab some sandals and a couple of dresses and go. Oh no, I have to pack for all eventualities. You just know it'll be boiling one minute and then tipping it down the next.

Clothes haven't been too much of an issue for this trip. My dilemma this time is shoes. The forecast, unsurprisingly, says rain in Edinburgh this weekend so I need something waterproof-ish. I have one pair of sensible waterproof shoes. ONE PAIR. And they are big clumpy biker boots. Everything else is either suede (I have way more suede shoes than is either sensible or normal), flat pumps that let the water in, full of ribbons and decorations (damn my Irregular Choice habit) or really high heels that are not at all suitable for hiking round a city in.

I've rifled through the shoe racks for what seems like hours, hoping vainly than a sensible pair will make themselves known. Wet feet it is then.

But in more positive news, I was visited by the Fairy Hobmother earlier in the week. She's a very lovely lady from Appliances Online who flitters around Blogland giving out treats. She saw my comment on this post on A Thrifty Mrs and has rescued me from a 9 hour coach journey of DOOM* by providing a shiny Amazon voucher so that I could stock up the Kindle and save myself from extreme boredom.

So I've treated myself to this, which is getting rave reviews from everyone I know who's read it:

And this, which intrigues me:

And one with such a shamefully awful cover that I won't reveal it. I love the author but dear god, the cover is cheesier than the Mayor of Cheesetown wearing a cheddar suit, an Edam hat and a mayoral chain made entirely of Babybels.


So! The Fairy Hobmother will be dropping in to cast her eyes over the comments on this post. Leave a wish and if you're very lucky, she'll get in touch and grant it for you. She's nice like that.

See you on Monday!

*Yes gang, I'm going by coach to Edinburgh. It was £9. The train would have cost a fortune and financially I'm living on the bones of my arse this month. Doing it this way means I have wine money, hurrah!

The Long and Short Of It

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I remember, not so very long ago, that I was griping loudly on here about shorts not suiting me. But I find blogging is very good for making you expand your fashion horizons. I took the plunge and bought a pair in the Gap sale last year.

I was an immediate convert. Then I went nuts and bought the infamous H&M ones in both red and navy.

And I've even plucked up the courage to wear my shortest and most madly patterned pair.

Want to see my new pair? I went bold with these ones. Prepare yourself for some orange shorty goodness:

They're definitely drawing comments from the people at work! It must be the colour of them because everyone should be used to me getting my legs out by now. I do love a bit of orange.

Shorts - George @ Asda sale
Top - Matalan
Cardi - H&M via charity shop
Shoes - Dolcis, ancient
Wristy thing - silk scarf
Ring - Next sale

My Charity Shop Luck Turns

Monday, 15 August 2011

I have had no charity shop luck for ages. A change of scenery this weekend did the trick though! I was kitten wrangling and house sitting in the wilds of West Lancashire as my brother was off having a drunken birthday weekend somewhere. Whilst I was there, what could be better than a little trip to Ormskirk and Burscough to check out their charity shops?

M&S Limited Collection shorts

An old Pentax camera case. How cute a handbag will this make? Look:

Two scarves, only £1 each. If the Aquascutum one is real then I will be as pleased as punch. If not, it's still rather fab so I don't really care.

Jewels! The beads and scarf ring were both half price at 70p and 50p respectively. The marcasite brooch was the princely sum of £3.50.

Oh and some books. Obviously.

And in non-charity shop related news, I went to a sweet shop:

And ate leftover birthday cake (triple choc fudge cake with sea salt and lime chocolate shavings on top), made with my own fair hands:

Drank some wine. Well, I always do what I'm told:

And looked after the kittens:
Oh Titch, butter wouldn't melt, would it?
Bruce has the most ginormously fluffy tail EVER:
Home now though. Ahhhhh.