British Holiday

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Transit van,
Thermos flask,
Tartan blanket,
Plaster cast,
Ginger biscuit,
Brighton peer,
Lovely cuppa,
Is it dear?

Beach is no-go,
Antiques road show,
Sod it,
Rain,
The kids can pogo,

More rice cripies?
Conan,
Christie,
Who made lanes,
So bloody twisty?

Sunshine?
Keep it,
Not our remit,
Where would all the,
Clotted cream fit?

Caravan,
Clan,
Tins of Spam,
It’s how we roll,
Who needs a tan?

Gwen

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Interview With an Inactive Blogger

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With her wide spanning inactivity on gob stoppingly named blog ‘Life the Universe and would you pass the Custard creams’ I decided to catch up with illusive and mono talented writer Gwen Braknell in her Birmingham home to find out what it was that held her up.

Gwen, 22, and recently confirmed to be 5 ft 5”, shepherds me awkwardly through her door and offers me a selection of increasingly unappetising organic teas. I select a beneficial brew that smells of old flannel and we finally settle down in her lounge to begin the interview.

I wonder what it was that kept this great blogger from writing for so long? Had she finally succumb to the Netfilx free trail and shrugged off her free will in exchange for auto play and Emmy nominated watchable drugs? Or perhaps she had discovered a cute new youtube star and needed those extra hours in the middle of the day to catch up on them buying breakfast cereals, or check out a new sped up vid of them making a coffee with one of those eco unfriendly machines that the middle classes park between their food dehydrator and Nutribullet. Or maybe she had simply got lost in the black hole of her Amazon suggestions, read  68 book blurbs in one night and had to have a lye-down before she did something rash like buy a mechanical apple peeler.

I suggest these things, and she nods sagely, as if a little of all is true.

 

Gwen: You’ve hit on something there Julian. But in truth what happened was I woke up one morning and I had no arse. I was ‘not-arsed’ as the doctors call it, and when I tried to sit down to blog I couldn’t, no matter what I did you see, I simply couldn’t be arsed.

 

Julian: That’s shocking!

 

Gwen: It was a shock. But you know-and I want to raise awareness here-it’s actually a condition that will affect 95% of people at some point in their lives. Writing a blog actually put me at greater risk of being not arsed.

 

Julian: Are there other risk factors?

 

Gwen: Yes, owning a gym membership, that’s actually the highest risk factor. Also having library books due back, forms to fill in, underappreciated relations to call, or just feeling a bit tired.

 

Julian: Is there a cure?

 

Gwen: Not a life long cure, a sufferer will always experience recurring attacks from time to time, but there are effective treatments. New Years eve is one, also public shaming and near death experiences.

 

Julian: So you’re back to blogging, what helped you?

 

Gwen: It was a near death experience actually.

 

Gwen looks teary at this point, I scootch in closer and proffer a Kleenex.

 

Gwen: It was recycling night, I slipped on an Argos catalogue putting out the bins. I fell backwards and suddenly I really felt my arse, I just knew it was back. The first thing I did after separating the plastics was lurch towards the laptop and began a post.

 

So there we have it, all this time Gwen has been suffering in silence with a little known medical condition, she could not be arsed. But there is hope for the future, she’s feeling a little better, and hopes to enjoy blogging again. She is also writing this herself only pretending to be interviewed by a man named Julian.

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Mary and the Toothbrushes

The lesson for this post dear reader is never let your Dad get an idea in his head so he can blurt it out at the worst possible moment.

I’m repairing a statue of the Virgin Mary thanks to Dad – I know nothing about statue repair but thanks to the interwebs I’ve got some general idea of how it should work. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone based in the UK doing this so I’ve had quite a fun morning trying to translate (for want of a better term) American brand things into their English equivalent. Fun Factoid for you all: American sheetrock is English plasterboard; you learn something new everyday.

First job is to clean the statue and hope I don’t do any more serious damage, I am a little concerned the plaster will be really too old and just start coming apart. My tools for this are toothbrushes (baby, soft & medium), baby buds (normal & mini size) and an eyeliner brush and some warm soapy water. I have only vague idea how useful these things will be but ever onwards!

(And no I’m not ashamed of the caption for that last picture – I should be)

I have now gone onward and fears about plaster where unfounded, though it did absorb the water. Most useful things are eyeliner brushes and baby buds, I was correct in the surmise that they could lift off the dirt better. Although the way I found to lift off the dirt most effectively from around the beads took off not only the dirt but also the layer of paint. Toothbrushes made no impression when I tried to scrub these strange grey patches that were on the robe. But she is now much cleaner and ready for the second stage. As this goes on it gets more and more daunting, because each stage of this process means I can muck it up all the more.

Second stage requires  lacquer to create a seal against the old plaster and the new, according to what I watched this is needed to stop the water being leached out of the new plaster and making a bad bond. The video I watched had used shellac – note here readers this is not stocked by Wickes. The small hardware shop about 4 streets away did however have French Polish (contains pure shellac!). I went with that and hoped for the best.

A word to the wise DO THIS OUTSIDE – its one of the more potent polishes and really builds, I felt very sick afterwards and I only used it for about twenty minutes in small dabs on a paintbrush. But now Mary looks like she’s just been to one of those fry-up vans you find at road sides and spilt her egg and bacon sarnie all down herself.

I still have to do the chief repairs on this now – biggest of which is hiding the fact that Mary broke around her feet and was inexpertly glued back together. There are hideous solidified oozing of old brown glue all around the base and she’s missing part of her foot. Oh and a very slight nose job she’s missing a fraction out of the eight side. That’s not a nerve racking thought at all.

au revoir

Elinor

P.S. Oh and this all has to be ready within a week! See never let dad’s get ideas, you’ll end up painting statues and worrying about the abrasive damage of toothbrushes!

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And in she fell like a drunken water-buffalo

 

Owie…no I’m not drunk (despite the title of this post it refers more to reappearance on the blog after long absence – it amused me) No I’m not drunk but I feel like the interwebs are slowly frying my brain. I struggle trying to juggle my now enlarged presence on the internet as well as being somewhat busy myself in the real world.

I have been painting, a rather large painting; my usual size of work is 6×4 inches or 5×7 inches, so naturally the next step should logically be to size up to 6×3 metres. I will point out not in watercolour it was poster paint. What was I painting at the size – not a massive meecum tea-party but a pantomime back drop for “Babes in the Wood”. It was quite fun if rather painful at times between realising on the test piece that I was working on that all the green was drying instead of a lovely mossy greenish-yellow was drying brilliant neon and splodging paint in a somewhat leaf like appearance on a canvas for 6 metres by 2 metres. My right arm hurt so much the next morning!

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The director then liked the test piece I did so much that they wanted another one to hang on the flats. That led to some interesting working conditions for me as the light had gone in the utility room. I am particularly proud of my sign it does look like I nicked it off the M5 – and I got one in there were supposed to be more in the trees referencing jokey places but the director thought it would “distract from the performance”. I refrained from pointing out to him that this was a pantomime not the RSC’s latest production of Othello. And of course I snuck a mouse in – only visible to the actors but they liked it.

The job hunting continues interspersed with me getting dropped into things e.g. painting pantomime scenery. My Dad has also managed to drop me in it as a statue restorer! This is an idea he had and thought that it would be fantastic thing for me to do and I’d be able to do it easily. So of course he mentioned it to our parish priest who then promptly handed him a statue of the Virgin Mary for me to repair! This was at Christmas time and she stayed on the breakfast bar to two days until I got too worried she would fall off so she’s now spent nearly 3 months down the side of the sofa swathed in bubble wrap. And now it turns out this is a gift to a doctor he knows and they want it roughly in the next two weeks. Cheers Dad! Thanks for that. I should probably go and unwrap Mary and start figuring out what I should do with her.

au revoir

Elinor

P.S. If you the miss the meece you can catch up with their antics over on Twitter or Facebook – they did a whole Nativity which kept me rather busy. 

P.P.S. I don’t know what’s wrong with the pictures but I’ll figure out how to fix it – when I took them they looked alright

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Gigour Mortis

The disallowed and the disaffected,
In a pub that smells of disinfectant,
Disappointment and disarray,
As the dishcloth dystopian cabaret,
Mount the stage and discharge,
A dearth of dismal dirges,
Dispelling any kindly urges of applause,
Or pause, for any thoughts on art,

Not so smart,
This dandy, Disney, death metal display,
A distinctly down number,
And a slow slow sway,
This is Friday,
And we’re in this encasement of a basement,
Listening to Dumbo the disquiet arrangement,
I’m not even a goth and I don’t drink beer,
A question, a thought,
Why am I here?
Shuffling in the downstairs of a blue strobe,
Dilapidated death trap,

We’ve nothing to say,
But when we do we shout,
The toilets don’t lock,
And when they do you can’t get out,
Don’t touch the doorman,
I think he’s got scabies,
Wade through bog water to get to the ladies,

I’m guessin’ it’s distressing,
Dishing out drinks in this dive,
In this honeyless hive,
Of worker fleas,
Of printed tees,
That don’t make sense,
But smell of cheese,

Leave your dignity at the door,
Down twelve Daniel’s,
And lie on the floor,
Who needs rugs,
With cliental décor?

The guy over there has met his maker,
Face still clinging to the flock skull paper,

The disaffected, the misdirected,
The common nightly binge collective,
Those disposed to excessive drinking,
Those devoid of critical thinking,
The disinfected, the disallowed,
So help me God,
This is my crowd.

Gwen

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Veg Patch Cake

This was my sister in law’s birthday cake, I’ve seen cakes like it floating around pinterest and it was a lot of fun to make one myself. The soil is dark brown sugar if you’re wondering.

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Find me (cake) on facebook

And Twitter

 

Gwen

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Feed the Soul

A small poem based on a random youtube comment I saw the other day. The comment appears on the last line.

Warm and soft beneath my fingers,
Now all is gone, now life is cinders,

Perhaps I’m only trying to hide,
That all of us are black inside,
But I’ve seen in you, I’ve melted there,
And all is bright, and true, and fair,

Your world was me and all I know,
I’m sorry that you had to go,
I’ll cry aloud, alone, without you,
RIP, my baked potato.

Gwen

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Appetite at Night

At night suppressing thoughts of hunger,

That supper was a time ago,

And dreaming of the fridge’s plunder,

Humming gently floors below.

Gwen

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Royal Iced Winterland

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Gwen

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Winter Bunnies Birthday Cake

A wintery gluten free birthday cake for my sister who is 11!

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Gwen

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