Monday, June 30, 2008
Last week Thomas and I were in B&Q. I decided with the kids away this week and me no doubt moping about the house, what better time to paint the kids' bathroom wall the same colour as the tiles and freshen it up, while distracting me. So I checked the Dulux colour samples and found the exact shade of hyacinth to match the tiles. I had them mix it and I took it home.
Today I opened my tin of hyacinth paint to start on my wall to be confronted by a hideous smurf-shade of blue nothing like the colour on the colour sample chart...Bizarre! I took it back to B&Q and complained. I showed them the colour it was meant to be on their chart, and the colour in the tin. Patently they'd pressed the wrong button. The offered to remix me 2.5l. The guy double-checked the shade and put it in his little machine. It shoogled it a couple of minutes and he opened it, to find again it was nothing like hyacinth, not much like smurf either, second time round. This time it was duck egg - another shade that would clash horribly with my hyacinth tiles. The machine was broken or having an off-day.
I swapped it for an off-the-shelf Dulux, which I am not quite sure will match, however, when they scanned the 3rd pot after me waiting a second ten minutes in the returns queue, the item went unfound so they gave me the 3rd pot free and a credit note for £18. So if this one doesn't match I can always try getting the hyacinth at a different B&Q.
Now I know it was meant to distract me from missing the kids but I didn't mean it to turn into a week-long saga.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Marcel has decided he likes Taggart. This is good - I am so sick of Simpsons reruns I think I'd watch anything else instead. He was watching an episode the other afternoon and one of the main characters was a woman called 'Charlie McEwan'. Marcel shouted to me - I know that actress from somewhere, she's been in something else I've seen. I came through for a look, expecting someone well known, only to be confronted by the little-known Scottish actress Lorraine McGowan. Of course he should recognize her - he saw her every day of 2003-04. She was his primary 2 teacher at Kirkhill Primary! I pointed out to him that it was his teacher and he looked more than surprised. Of course, he is now going into Primary 7, so Primary 2 is a fair way off in his scheme of things but I was quite amazed he couldn't place her at all - or maybe he was just thrown by the unexpected setting! I thought I was supposed to be the old one with the failing memory but at 40, I still remember my Primary 2 teacher!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
My very first memories are of shoes. I wonder if that is because your eyes are closer to your feet as a small child?! I remember being 2 years old and wearing bright red sequined slippers. The next shoe memory is wandering about in my mum's powder blue and powder pink court shoes at 3, feeling like something out of a 1950s American dream. I wonder if Léon will remember these photos being taken when he is 40!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I've always had wee pet names for the kids. When Marcel was born he got called Minimec for a while through toddlerhood. Charlotte became Puddiny as a pudgy toddler. Later she became Naughty Lottie on Marcel's request, and finally she is now Lots. Léon was dubbed Pudge by Charlotte almost from birth, which alternated for a while with Nénaw, Léon's own name for himself. When Anna was tiny she became Anna-bits as in bitsy Anna. Léon has obviously been inspired by this. As of last weekend he has sponaneously been calling Anna Anna-cake, a name invented by him alone. Sweet!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Léon's had a funny little cyst below the surface of his right cheek now for the whole of this year or more. Every time it looks like it is about to clear up, he wakens up with it redder and sorer than ever. He scratches it till it bleeds, then he scratches the scab. I have asked the doc about it several times and am usually told not to worry, it will go away of its own accord eventually. Tired of the whole thing, I decided today to ask for him to be referred to a dermatologist. Now that's done, I probably have to wait a year for the NHS appointment, but at least we are getting somewhere.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I saw this today and it made me laugh. I won't know what to do with my Wednesdays from now on given The Apprentice is the only programme I watch on TV all week - maybe I should watch a lego episode every Weds from now on! Of course like most people, I would have to say the Kosher Chicken was the highlight of the 12 weeks but last night did upset me - poor Claire was robbed. Sir Alan must be mad!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I did have to question a few changes since my day however. When I was a kid, back in the nasty old days when people were told they were useless or stupid, rather than always being told they were wonderful, you could pass or fail. You sat the test, you waited a week and then at a public ceremony the names of those who had passed were read out and you went on stage where you received a certificate of merit and a badge. Passing was an important achievement so you wore your badge proudly on your blazer till you left school 8 years later. Marcel seemed less impressed by his new high-tech (compared to mine) badge. He seemed surprised I had kept mine. Oh everyone got one, he said - If you did badly, you passed with a C, if you did well you got an A or B. But everyone got one, he explained. Now I know psychologists argue it is healthier for a child's self esteem to never fail, but is that cheapening success in some way in the minds of the more successful kids? And of course, is it setting kids up for the real world? When someone who has never been given the fright of inadequacy enters industry with the old schoolers of my generation, their self esteem may be in for a really rude awakening!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
As I twittered the other day, we've been having fun with IKEA's kitchens. It all came about by accident. Thomas and I went to IKEA last week and were looking predominantly at wooden and white kitchens. One of us, I am no longer sure which, suggested that the high gloss coloured kitchen doors we had seen would be daring but given they didn't have an in-store model it'd be a bit too brave to opt for it in the dark. I googled IKEA to see if they had a picture on their website and realized the prices were in dollars, oops, I was in IKEA USA. I switched and immediately noticed the examples of kitchens and decor in the UK were different. Excellent! That meant that by hopping from IKEA USA to UK to Sweden to Japan to Canada etc I'd get lots of decor ideas.
Above are 3 kitchens as advertised on Canada, Russia and UK respectively. Trawling the 3 sites I found IKEA assumes Canadians won't buy wide drawers, Russians prefer black to green, they don't seem to sell green doors in Russia at all. Looking in detail at all the kitchen ranges worldwide, I became fascinated by the job of IKEA kitchen brochure photographer! Often whole cabinet fronts are changed, the cooker hood is swapped over but the vegetables on the work surface remain untouched. Sometimes a full glass of juice in one photo becomes a half glass in another - I guess whoever changed the fronts got thirsty! Looks fun, though - maybe I'll apply for that kind of photography job just for the fun of seeing how it is done!
Of course another thing occurred to me while I was trotting the globe - a price comparison. I was gobsmacked to find, for example, that IKEA Sweden, the mothership itself, charges exactly twice as much as IKEA Denmark for several of their identical models, despite similar taxes. Naughty - I suppose they are counting on home-grown loyalty. I, for one, would be driving to Copenhagen if I happened to live in Malmö. And even in the EURO zone they don't hide this fact. I found a kitchen being sold for around 1900 Euros in both Italy and Spain retailing at a mere 700 Euros in Belgium! (Dad says there has to be some incentive to move to Belgium!)
All in all I had a fun day surfing my kitchen-to-be!
Oh, and I wonder if I am becoming too frequent a visitor to IKEA... as I turned into the car park yesterday my parents had to laugh when a little voice from the back seat exclaimed: Yeah! Léon's havin' meatballs!