I shouldn't feel guilty buying my own birthday present but I do. There's no-one else to buy it for me and does it matter if I used the last of my pension pennies to lash out on something extravagant? Try convincing yourself that it's okay to buy something that you might not wear but then I thought, well, I'll have something nice to be buried in. Good, that's done, I don't feel guilty now and I must remember to put it in my funeral plan, along with what tiaras to put in the slideshow (no-one wants to see my life) along with a never ending CD of Celine Dion singing the theme from Titanic. I'll have fun, all the New Agers say we turn up to watch our own funeral. I by-passed the drop of delicious that those shoes are, peacock feathers and diamonds, the decadence just slayed me. I'd have to have matching crutches to stop me falling over.
But when I saw this fabric, embroidered over net with sequins and ribbon roses, I was in love.
I bought a yard to dress a doll and considering the slashed price (click and see) I kept thinking how nice it would be for a gown. That last burgundy frock on that skinny tart got me going again.
It is heavily embroidered at the bottom, not so much at the top and don't forget this is net over the store's silk so it's not so red or pink, it's burgundy.
It's delicate and probably not washable although any food would fall through the net to the underskirt. By the time I had added up the cost, what I'd saved (considerable) plus a discount for being a regular customer minus the postage (bummer) I'd talked myself into it. But the finger did hover on the buy button after all I still haven't opened the sewing machine since the move back to my sewing room. And I still haven't cut out a new or three winter dresses I need. I mean someone the other day down at the Home said how nice my dress was. I've been wearing said dress for 35 years with an extra inch or so put back in the side. Something to be said for buying good wool and a lasting pattern. You know, I didn't even realize I'd hit the buy button.
This is Red Cabernet pure Thai silk. It's costly and the alternative is faux silk dupioni in cabernet.
One is luxury, the other is, well, nice but not silk although I save quite a lot on both. I haven't decided yet. A discussion with Mother, my sewing mentor, is in order. She's already seen the lace so I'll let her decide since it'll be her gift to me. She never knows what to buy me and this birthday is a crappy one, you know, one of the tombstones on the way to old age. I really must go and see if there's a sewing machine under that cover. Comments are welcome except snarks about circus tents will be dealt with severely.
Oh how true this is! Our Miss O'Dyne has an excellent post up about obesity and lovely photos of our Members of Parliament who are showing us how to follow their guidelines to fitness.
It is too frustrating for me. In one week I have gone down 4 kilos, next week I could go up again.
I'm the heaviest I've ever been and I feel it. Remember the old "Pinch test", I'd have to take mine with a sliding door.
Am I depressed? Well, shit yes! I'm bombarded daily with articles on fat this, obesity that and why don't you lose weight and make room for 6 more people on the planet. My family on mother's side is big, fat, the O word before it became fashionable and it was only the women. We also have loads of breast cancer and ovarian cancer and more fat. I have a side by side photo and believe me you couldn't fit a biscuit between the wall to wall boobs on all of the sisters and cousins.
My sister was thin. I have two of her dresses that would fit on one leg these days. She smoked and drank, still smokes but has cut down on the drinking but age has caught up with her and so has the backside. When the lodger came and lodged, she was cooking with a lot of cream and butter, recipes from the 70s which she hadn't bothered with for years. The lodger would also bring home an ice-cream or a cake and it only took 6 months for her to start wobble walk. She dropped the cream and butter and full cream milk and ice-cream but once on the downhill wobble it's hard to get back. She's now stuck with that middle age spread even with the hard nursing work she does.
I have several middle age spreads, how generous is that, thank you, body. Stress will kill me.
Mother stress, cat stress, diabetes stress, blood pressure stress, agoraphobia stress, and just for dessert, plain old worry about stress. I even stress about my stress medication.
I'm stressing now. I know when I open the fridge door I will not find the pavlova and lemon meringue pie sandwich I'd love to find but broccoli, beans, carrots and a small piece of organic chicken. It's not going to do a bit of good in the de-stressing department. And the cat's starting up now and his food smells better than mine.
Two gowns, pink, feathers and beads but a world of class between. That's Laura Dern with her father, Bruce, in the image above. Delicate beading, necklace to match and just enough feathers to float.
And here's our favourite 'Trash Girl' Paris Hilton also in pink, feathers and beads. Chop off the train of garish feathers, take them up to the beaded part or the beaded part down to the feathers and it might be passable for the Burlesque stage. Smart girl though, the dress hides her feet and she has enormous clodhoppers.
At the moment, this is my favourite gown. Milla Jovovich wears ruffles but not too ruffly. And great sparkly shoes, platforms, so loses points but at least she doesn't look like she has chook feet all bone and sinews, so gains points.
That silver detailing is all beading and the neckline is low but there's no chance of her having a wardrobe malfunction. Do the clicky thing and drool for the earrings, gorgeous. I think I'll have this in my usual burgundy colour. I'd better take the neckline up a bit, I would definitely have a wardrobe malfunction if I tried it this low.
About 25 years ago this form of lightning called a red sprite was usually only seen by planes flying above storm clouds.
They're believed to start as 100 metre balls of ionized air shooting down from about 80 km high at 10 percent the speed of light followed by a group of upward streaking ionized balls.
This image taken during the week above central South Dakota, USA, captured a bright red sprite against the streaks of an aurora. It also showed the storm clouds crossing the bottom of the image which was photographed by Walter Lyons (FMA Research).
Red sprites take only a fraction of a second to occur and best seen when powerful thunderstorms are visible from the side.
The poster below shows the different types of lightning including red and blue sprites.
He likes his toys all tied together, catnip dragon, ball of wool in velvet, Christmas scrunchie he found under the chair and Miss O'Dyne's lovely bird feathers arranged to look like the real thing.
So he had good fun screaming round the lounge room and throwing feather toy and leaping like 10 lords a dancing until he was exhausted and landed on my foot.
Ten minutes later I look down at my foot and there is a river of blood flowing into my crappy old thong. It went through the holes and spread and kept spreading and flowing.
I'm still trying to get the stain out of my rug. I had to hip hop over to my bag and get an antiseptic wipe and the river is still flowing. All he'd done was prong me with the tip of his claw but it had pierced a little vein and it was everywhere. Not an artery, too dark for that, just a vein and I had felt nothing.
Good thing I'm used to the sight of blood and it is time the thongs went into the bin. The cat never opened an eye or offered to help.
I had several brilliant posts but I can't see to post anything. Stupid eye drops that make the iris look like a lunar eclipse and makes me not be able to see at all. Cat didn't believe me until I dropped the contents of the can on his paw.
Now the cost of eye glass lenses is/are "oh dear lord, I'm heading for the poor house' expensive.
Good news is I have wonderfully healthy eyes and an empty bank account.
In more good news, there is now a company that puts nose pads on plastic frames for numpties like me who need the lens to be a certain distance from my eyes which doesn't happen with plastic nose pads. And you still can't get a decent size pair of glasses unless you throw a Britney and scream to have lens put in sunglasses.
Mothers Day afternoon went off without a bang only because they were all asleep until the tea trolley rattled. And I have to go down again tomorrow. It's fish lunch so I have to arrive with party pies or mother starves. We've discovered why the cook is so crap at cooking, her credentials come not from a cooking school but from being the tea lady. I bet her fecking tea was crap as well.
Now going to feel my way around the kitchen, cook and not set fire to the pan, again.
You must do the clicky thing to get all the glory of this photo. There's a lot going on in the sky and on the ground. Rogelio perched above a secluded cove in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in California. He used a long exposure to bring out the light from the stars and nebula in our Milky Way galaxy. Then moonlight and a brief artificial flash illuminated the beach and inlet. McWay Falls is usually obscured but they're just visible below image centre and the Pacific Ocean is to its right. It's a composite image taken two weeks ago and it's the sort of thing I'd like to be looking at from my 10 star hotel room.
I am not a perching above a secluded cove person waiting to click a camera. I'd rather someone else did it.
Tomorrow is Mothers Day afternoon at the Home, do not expect sweetness and light when I next blog.
I know it's been quite some time since we were up close and personal with the window cleaner, the broom, and sundry other dirt thingies and unless I win Tattslotto it's going to be a lot longer.
You could have warned me about the double curtains in the bedroom. They still looked good from my side albeit a lovely silvery grey instead of the shiny white they were the first time I put them up, unfortunately from the other side of the window, I saw shreds and not from the cat.
Yes, I know I promised the bedroom that first thing in the morning I would wash the good bits and remove the shreds but that was before I set fire to the frying pan and forgot the uncooked porridge in the microwave because the cat was hungry and gnawing on my foot and the back door needed to be open because he nearly went through the glass after the bird and gawd before I knew it, 10 o'clock and I hadn't even take the BGL for the morning or remembered that I was having porridge and didn't even need the pan on.
I was on my way to the curtains when the Avon lady called.
I was on my way again when I decided to look through the catalogue in the minute of sunlight that was all we were going to get today.
Then it was lunch and I hadn't read the news online and the cat spotted my collection of bird feathers and wondered why he was racing around outside when he could play inside. So from the eyes in the back of my head where the front ones were reading I knew he'd jumped on the writing desk (as opposed to the computer table) and was making off with my best one and dropping the load on the desk to the floor.
By now I could really hear you screaming dear bedroom and I determined to do what was needed. What was needed was an 18 year old, approximately 6 foot 4 inches who could climb a ladder without a myocardial infarction. Someone who could move a curtain rod, get the dreamcatcher down without the cat getting those feathers and wouldn't fall off the bed when the knees went.
My equipment of ladder, small broom, walking stick, pick-up stick were all needed. When did my knees get so wobbly standing on the bed? And the dust and the dirt. Just how long has it been dear House? Back to the kitchen for the hand vac. Use pick up stick for picking up tissues from behind the bed. Before taking down the curtains I had to undo the fairy lights from the bed head otherwise they end up in the curtain. Back to the sewing room for the scissors. Finally the ladder, good wide steps but bending the knee to get on the bed was a cruncher. Walking sticker unhooks the curtain rod and the curtains come off in a cloud of what could have been concrete mix it was so thick. No wonder I've been wheezing like a 80 a day smoker.
Sit down while the washing machine is on and pray this side of the curtain doesn't disintegrate in the water. So far so good, umpteen metres still intact. Back up the ladder, wobble wobble, damn where's me balance gone and start re-threading back on the rod. Thread, thread, wobble, nearly fall, repeat until all curtain is threaded and back on hooks. Slip the rod over the central hook.
Down the ladder and use the pick-up stick to even up the gathers, gathers are stuck, of course they are, you idiot, they're stuck on the central hook. Walking stick takes the rod off the hook now the gathers are even and lordy the room is bright without the shredded backing.
It shows up the chandelier which wouldn't have looked out of place with the Addams Family.
By this time I'm lying on the bed, looking at the filth that has fallen on the lampshade and finally deciding that I must sparkle up the chandelier while the glass cleaner is in the same room as the ladder.
Oh crap, the ladder again. Oh crap, the light globes are hot, because the lights are on, don't get any wet stuff near them, never mind the 3rd degree burns just sparkle the drops and get down the ladder.
So one promise kept, dear house, shame about the clothes still laying about and the jewellery not put in boxes and the bags not put back in the wardrobe and don't whinge about the window not being washed, without the shredded backing I'll need the insulation. And I'll be sleeping in dirt tonight if I don't find the energy to change the sheets.
When I am Prime Minister, all crocks over pension age will be given their own cleaner and that will take care of the boat people. I'm surprised they haven't thought of that already.
Who else would I think of when reading an article about farting? Especially when Kath is such an expert on such matters and so ladylike about her little adventures. Scientists now have a growing appreciation of the importance of gut microfauna and its noxious emissions. But one person wants to know why, since farting is wonderfully rich in sounds, soft or loud, why we don't speak through our bum instead of our mouth.
It's not frivolous because it seems that no part of the human body has evolved specifically for speech. We just speak through the same orifice that handles breathing, eating, drinking, vomiting and burping. Did you say vocal cords? They're only two flaps of tissue to act as a seal to keep food and drink out of the airway when we swallow. So why didn't evolution turn itself upside down and using the spincter as a vibrating seal, make that end the speaking part?
Because we have a mouth, tongue, teeth and throat to make sounds, actual speech instead of the paarrrp booom of the lower regions. That's not to say it doesn't happen, all of us know people who do speak out of their rear ends, constantly. Footballers could go through life without opening their mouth once. I suspect some politicians do the same but are such practised ventriloquists, we haven't cottoned on yet.
Which brings us to the humble herring. Flatulent herring communicate by paaarrppp as do other fish, whales can dong a rumble that floats for miles but it has it's problems. Orcas home in on the sound of the farty herrings and and flatulence becomes the dinner bell.
This little bird, the sociable weaver (Philetairus socius) and his mates build these huge communal nests from sticks and grass which last for decades and are homes to multiple families.
They live in the Kalahari desert, sweltering sun by day, freezing at night but the thick thatch protects the birds from both. Usually they would build the nests in trees and trees aren't exactly abundant in the Kalahari so the birds use the telegraph poles and as you look into the distance you can see the nests down a straight line of poles. Do the clicky thing as it looks great as wallpaper.
Food is not abundant either so the birds don't breed until they are 2 years old and living communally means there are always workers to repair any disintegration of the nests. Utilizing the telegraph poles means the birds have expanded their living range where before they were confined to wherever they could find suitable trees.
You can find more of Dillon Marsh's images of these fantastic nests here and also have a look at his black and white images of shipwrecks off the Cape.