Left-Over Posts? Snippets Not Quite Meaty Enough On Their Own To Make A Satisfying Post?
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Saturday, 28 August 2010

I hate shopping for clothes

And I ám a real woman. Honest.
Most women I know buy clothes on a weekly basis. Friends tell me they’ve found such a great skirt and terrific boots in that shop and last week they bought a great whatever where ever. Of course they always look terrific and very fashionable, while I’m usually in jeans and a T-shirt or in my riding gear. Next to them I feel even more frumpy than I already am. But since I’m up to my knees in horse poo most of the day (I just love to exaggerate now and again; actually it's up to my ankles) there is no point in me being fashionable. That’s my excuse anyway. Because I really don’t like shopping for clothes.
It’s not something I’ve inherited, because every time I have a conversation with my mother (or to be accurate; every time my mother talks to me), she tells me she has bought this and that, preferably on sale. “20% off, couldn’t leave it hanging there. Have to buy something to go with it now.” Which will be her goal in life for the week after.
I have no goals in life. And if I did, they would certainly not include shopping for a skirt that will go with a shirt. No way José!
So, I have brought the frequency of shopping for clothes back to twice a year and only when in dire need.

Yesterday was one of those occasions. I didn’t feel fat (see? I am a real woman.). Always a plus point when one needs clothes. So I felt up to the task before me. I wanted to buy two pairs of good jeans, a couple of shirts perhaps and a long woollen cardigan. Definitely a long woollen cardigan.

The first clothes shop I encountered after parking the car looked promising so I went in. In no time I had scored a pair of dark jeans that fitted well (the question is, will they turn out to be good jeans, because sometimes jeans for some reason have a Jekyll and Hyde personality. One moment they fit perfectly well and the next moment they will either be too small or too large. I have the feeling these new jeans will be too large, but we’ll see. Or is it just me who sometimes ends up with Jekyll and Hyde jeans?)
Anyway, then I saw an interesting pair of grey trousers. A nice design with fun back pockets and some lovely details. Not exactly what I was looking for, but they looked like jeans, only grey and very in vogue. So they fitted the bill more or less. But would they fit me?
They did. And I thought they looked good on me.
Then I obviously needed something to go with the grey trousers. I found a long sleeved sort of T-shirt with a subtle print that went wonderfully with the grey trousers. And also with the jeans. But then again almost anything goes with jeans.
This was a promising start to the shopping trip. Would they perhaps have that long cardigan for me too? I browsed through what was on offer. Rails full of all sorts of garments. I picked out a very finely knitted long woollen cardigan with two obscure flaps hanging from the back. Hmm. Puzzling. Nice sleeves though (narrow up to the elbows and above that wider and sort of gathered together on the side). But the flaps were just weird. I tried it on and examined the result in the mirror. Hmm. Not sure. Strange flaps.
A woman emerged from the fitting cubicle next to mine. She looked at ‘my’ cardigan and asked the sales woman if she had another one of those (pointing at the one I was wearing) for her to try on. I considered it a good sign and decided to buy the cardigan too.
What else could they have for me?
Again I browsed through the merchandise. Interesting looking shirt. I plucked the hanger from the rail. Hmm. No. Wasn’t quite ít. I put the hanger back on the rail. The garment dropped to the floor. I picked it up and tried to put it back on the hanger, but I couldn’t figure out which hole was the right one to drape over the hanger. It was exactly as wide on one side as on the other and the sleeves were coming somewhere from the middle. The only clue I could find was a label at which I decided would be the top of the shirt. Strange shirt.
I couldn’t find anything else that appealed to me enough to try it on, so I decided to pay for the two trousers, the T-shirt and the cardigan.
Since I was on a roll, I went further on my quest to find some decent Autumn/Winter clothes.
I went into a couple of other shops that had nothing that appealed to me, until I came to a shop I had been in before. Last year, when I was on the hunt for Summer clothes in fact. Nice clothes, but horrible staff. The pushy sort, who like everything you try on. “Looks gorgeous on you. Could have been made for you. It’s my favourite too.” That sort of sales talk. Since trying on clothes is not my favourite pastime (did I mention that already?), I’m usually in the right state of mind to answer back with: “you would say that wouldn’t you. You want to sell it to me. Do you work on commission? Have you bought one of these yourself? Does it look as good on you as it does on me?” Usually I’m quite a friendly person. It’s just that the longer my shopping trip lasts, the longer my toes will grow.
But still, I was on a mission and I liked their collection, so I just had to take the sales women into the bargain.
I found a nice long woollen cardigan, also grey, but made of thicker wool. Almost exactly what I had in mind when I started looking for it. And a fun striped long sleeved T-shirt that would go great with the other stuff I had already bought and with the newly found cardigan too. So I disappeared into a cubicle and tried both on. When I stepped out to criticize the outfit, I was immediately stalked by one of the sales bitches. “Gorgeous cardigan that is, isn’t it? It looks so good on you. I love that cardigan. And the shirt is so nice isn’t it? (not waiting for an answer) They just ‘fly’ from the store. It looks lovely with that cardigan blablabla”.
I raised my eyebrows as high as they would go and just looked at her.
It worked. She closed her mouth and took a couple of steps back. (Do you think I frightened her?)
Anyway, I decided to go for both garments and found another shirt, this time with a little bling on it, in the last shop I went into and then I went home.

“I’m pooped”, I sighed to hubs. He shrugged his shoulders and said something like: “pfff, you only went shopping for clothes. How tiring can it be?”

So I started thinking what the difference between ‘female and male’ clothes shopping is.
You see, women have to decide: “Do I want trousers, a skirt or a dress? Do I want casual or not. What colour looks good on me? What colour do I want? Do I need something to go with it? Do I have the right shoes for this outfit? Does it make my butt look fat? Does this flatter me in the right places?” And more of those dilemmas.

Now, I can only go with hubs’s shopping habits, but I think male shopping goes something like this:
Man enters shop he always goes to, sales person knows him and says: ah, Mr. Soandso. Is it that time of the year again? Haha.”
Man says: “Yes it is”.
Sales person says: ”Well, what can I do for you this time.”
Man says: “I’d like two of these (points at trousers he’s wearing), this size, different colours. Three shirts to go with them and a jumper or maybe two.” Or he says: “I need a suit.”
Sales person rummages through the collection, picks out a few things, man tries them on. It fits, he pays. Simple.

No difficult garments with long purposeless flaps, no shirts that have confusing top/bottom issues, no shoes problem, no fat butt, or if fat butt… who cares.

And still, hubs does not like shopping for clothes either. I don’t understand.

Carolina ;-)

Friday, 27 August 2010

We Can't Ignore It .

It's the centenary of Mother Theresa's birth this week .
I feel she would be making everyone sit up and take notice of the Pakistan flood victims and that we wouldn't all be allowed to carry on hoping that someone else would lend them a bucket .
She knew , better than anyone , how to make us HELP .

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The kitchen's got a new cook!

say hello to Carolina, who will be giving us language lessons and her special brand of deep-fried mars bar.

Welcome to the soup, Carolina.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Wake Up People!

In the far off town of Plinkton, deep in the noyder Kaderoons, a flenny masnerat sat in the bushes, feeling slightly loopig. In the nedglim light of his lantern, he watched plosklash creatures of the night zoom around above his head. He was wishing he was still at home with a flagon of yetamalt in front of him, and his piouz woman snuggled up at his side.

Go HERE to see where the ten strange words originated this time, and maybe then write your own story?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

No Smoking

Surreal or what?

Next door to Valley's End is another small town where a lot of strange people live. The Welsh Marches are like that, characterful, colourful and some areas you could call downright weird. We have beautiful scenery, housing used to be quite cheap; it isn't  any more, if any of you are tempted by what I am about to describe, but tolerance and a live-and-let-live attitude are still valued highly.

One day I will write a post on the many colourful characters calling this area home. Let's call the town BC, and, for now, let me tell you this little tale.:

There is a pub which has, for years, turned a blind eye to the consumption of certain substances other than alcohol on the premises. it still does, allegedly. In fact, I was told, that on a summer's evening, when doors and windows were open,  if one inhaled deeply, one could feel a pleasant sensation just by walking past. I also understand that hardier types used hardier substances, all freely available. Allegedly.

Those of you unfortunate enough not to be living in the scepter'd isle (Great Britain) might not know that smoking was banned in public places some years ago, I forget exactly when.

One day a customer in this particular pub lit up a cigarette. The landlord immediately shouted at him to extinguish it, pointing to the 'No Smoking' sign above the bar, saying, "Do you want to get me into trouble with the law? There's a smoking ban and I'll thank you not to smoke cigarettes in here".

I understand, other substances do not fall under this jurisdiction. Allegedly.

This tale is hearsay, pure and simple. You never know who might be reading Fridge Soup.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Carolina Is On A Roll

See what immersion in The Soup has done for her! Go HERE for a second helping of her recipe!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Why It's Deceptively Hard To Speak Good Dutch

Carolina has just proved , with her very clever poem on the two languages , that the Dutch are all fluent English speakers .

Which makes those of us who move to Holland lazy . Even after three years of Dutch lessons I , and my fellow students , were floundering . Our group included Polish art historians , Moroccan security guards , a Hungarian lecturer in Logistics , Somali nurses , a Brazilian Feng Shui expert and an assortment of women , myself included , who'd impulsively married a Dutchman and were now realising that learning to make Stampot and Pea Soup wasn't enough . We'd have to chat in Dutch too .

We from northern Europe realised that we shared shared a lot of words , our languages being related and influenced by one another . I , having grown up in Glasgow , found the word for light , "licht", perfectly easy . Kist and kerk made perfect sense . In fact Fresian's even easier to understand , though I'll never be able to speak it . The rest usually spoke reasonably good English . So we'd improvise .

When in doubt , say it loudly in English with a Dutch accent .

If you see what I mean . " Alle hens aan dek" , All hands on deck , of course .
Blindingly obvious .

Scribbly Gum

Jinksy's post on Napple Notes today 'Nature as an Artist'- celebrating the (far-from-plain) Plane tree - reminded me of a variety of Eucalyptus I came across in Australia: the Scribbly Gum.

I was told that a little bug gets under the bark and wriggles around. When the tree sheds it's bark (do all Eucalyptus shed their bark? I can't recall) it reveals the path the bug took - as though someone has scribbled on it! What a great name for a tree - maybe we should adopt it as the Patron Tree of Writers ... or think of more imaginative names for the trees we have?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Time To Say Hello To Carolina

Because she is a very clever and witty Dutch lady who writes a blog in English, as well as her native tongue! She has allowed me to persuade her into being a guest in the kitchen, and has thrown this very clever mix into the pot, on the clear understanding that I am copying and pasting her offering from HERE at Brinkbeest in English. I once had the honour to become her very first follower, and have delighted in her humorous writing and delightful photographs ever since. It is easy to see why...

Go nuts, learn Dutch

Our word for bicycle is ‘fiets’
Nothing in Dutch is ‘niets’
Something in Dutch is ‘iets’
And ‘straten’ in English are streets

A kiss is a ‘kus’ or a ‘zoen’
Money is ‘geld’ or even ‘poen’
Brave can be ‘dapper’ or ‘koen’
The man on the ‘maan’ is the man on the moon

Some of our words though are somewhat alike
For instance a dike or a dyke is a ‘dijk’
Although a dyke could also be ‘pot’
But if she likes men, she is not

And my ‘knie’ is your knee
(A difficult walk that will certainly be)
But you have to say ‘Knie’ and not knee without K
I know, it is hard. ‘Het valt nog niet mee.’

You’ve noticed a rhyme scheme is not part of this post
Somewhere along the way it got totally lost
And if you read that out loud, it won’t even rhyme
Some people consider that almost a crime
But I’m not a poet or ‘dichter’ you see
You can’t expect more of someone simple like me.

P.S.  It may say below that this was posted by jinksy, which I guess is true, but I assure you the brains behind the whole thing belong to Carolina.

Friday, 13 August 2010

You Can't Miss It . . . .

it's just  a dozen steps down  from / it's the house with the red front door / small front garden / cat in the window /  metal gate.

Or whatever.

Every time I hear the phrase 'can't miss it'  when given directions to a house on a suburban street my heart sinks.

Whose dozen steps? a giant's , a midget's ? Half the front doors in the street are red, most of them have a small front garden. I count at least four metal gates and the only cats I can see are the ones stalking the road for sparrows.

Please, could I have a flag flying or a loudhailer calling me? It would save me first driving up and down your street,  then doing the same on foot, having had to park the car miles away.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Youthful Merriment

From the local Leeuwarden paper :
" A young man was arrested on Monday evening for throwing eggs out of a third floor window in the middle of town .
He later apologised , saying he'd intended to hit a friend but had hit people sitting on a cafe terrace instead . "
You can see how it might happen ......

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Day out

Today I am being treated to a day out in Kidderminster as a cover for picking up yet another ebay purchase by OH for the car.   I do see life!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Blame It On A Wordle

If you wonder what a Wordle is, go  HERE !

Dire Warning- Part The First
If your girdle starts to wobble
while he spouts a lot of twaddle,
then greet the morn with joy
and do not spurn
a boy whose shy advances
soon burn with ardent glances
designed to make a maiden
blush to peach
though her heart remains
securely out of reach.

Dire Warning- Part The Second                                   

Let silk and tulle enticed him,
promise of a frisson splice him
as surely as a hatchet splices logs;
think of it as kissing lots of frogs
before you find a Prince you can engage
and trap just like a sparrow in a cage.

With a feather touch that lingers
from the tip of gentle fingers,
make him glow with white hot passion
in the best time honoured fashion
till he falls, a willing victim, in your trap,
as you snuggle ever closer on his lap.

Then a ruby trickle leaves the pouting lip,
while greedily from out his veins you sip
as daintily as if from out a cup,
though this tea is not one normal people sup...
till finally you toss him in the hall
to lie, a compact heap, where he may fall.

For him, his sweet rose bud will never flower;
he has reached his unexpected final hour.
There will be no rude awakening
for the fatal kiss has taken him
to heights no human ever likes to scale-
and that my friends, concludes my grisley tale!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Danish Parking, Italian Rules

The last time we were in Denmark, The Great Dane and I got a whopping huge parking ticket.  We thought it might have been because we were driving a rental car with German plates, but we were unable to find out what law we'd broken.  A cousin who is a lawyer told us that we would probably never know.  After reading this in yesterday's local paper (here courtesy of the Telegraph online) I feel that the mystery has been solved.
Who knew that those erstwhile solid (stolid) Danes view traffic rules with a downright Mediterranean attitude?

Saturday, 7 August 2010

With Age Comes Disillusion

"Do Kinder Eggs always have cars in them ? "
"Not always , no. "
"Not even oneways ? "

(Kinder Eggs are little chocolate eggs with tiny tacky "surprises" inside . Irresistible when you're three.... even , I have to admit , when one's slightly older than three. )

Friday, 6 August 2010

Vignettes of French Life (No. 7 in a series)



Even after all this time, I am still astonished by French insouciance when it comes to the use of public space.  

The postman only grudgingly interrupted his extended conversation with the driver of the grey car because the car behind me got tired of waiting and finally honked at him.  He got out to deliver his mail and eventually drove off, but not before he and the Dutchman in the red car had a lengthy exchange about their respective rights to the road, with a few nationalistic slurs thrown in.  

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Can I have a P please, Bob?

As we seem to be continuing to delve into matters normally restricted to the privacy of the smallest room, I decided there would never be a better time to add this to the mix:

Taking the piss

Her morning urine
nitrogen rich
she pours still steaming
on the compost heap.

Around the garden
curtains twitch
like eyelids opening.
The neighbours believe
she is a witch.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

I post this post at the request of my most devoted fan, a Mrs. Trellis of North Wales.  She says I should put it in U bend.  She's a Poor Old Soul, so I asked her, "Don't you mean YouTube?"  "No," she said, and hung up the call.  CLICK  to listen to the Music of the Spheres.  And no wisecracks about "Don't you mean b*****ks?"