we started watching Borgen

Yes, I know we are terribly late to the party on this one but truly, you should have seen how we dragged our heels over Downton and then devoured the lot in the space of a few weeks.


My husband and I actually don’t have that much in common. Which sounds terrible, but isn’t really. We sort of muddle along in happy discordance. Me: Running. Him: Swimming. Me: Fish. Him: Steak. Me: Breakfast-skipper. Him: Fast-breaker. Me: Books. Him: Football. Me: Shopping. Him: Surfing. Me: Weekends spent exploring and socialising, and as far from anything remotely resembling chores as possible. Him: DIY and pottering in the garden.

Anyway, you get the drift. Factor in work, kids, friends, general grind and it’s hard to get adequate doses of quality time, although surely this is the case for everyone, whether they connect over a shared passion for the History of Mongolia or not?

So I was cheered to read this article by Francesca Hornak in the Sunday Times Style a month or so back. We’re normal! We’re normal! Flopping exhaustedly on the sofa and zoning out to a box set or serialised drama is what we’re all doing. Cool.

Recently, we’ve covered House of Cards and Broadchurch. Last year: The Killing, The Bridge, Homeland and, as mentioned, Downton Abbey. And last night we started on Borgen, which I’d bought from Nordic Noir after meeting them at the Scandinavia Show last year. There was a nice sense of homecoming about it; the by-now-familiar sounds of the Danish tongue and a strong female lead. Not to mention a handful of recognisable faces from The Killing!


And, in other truly excellent revelations: the news that 24, complete with the wonderful (and fanciable!) Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, is returning to our screen in 2014. Hooo-LA!! Now this one really makes me happy. After all, we are the couple whose engagement was punctuated by an episode of 24, with the proposal coming, inconveniently, just as the programme started, meaning that the answer was not given until full 24 hours – oh alright then, one hour – later. What life-changing decisions might we make during the course of Live Another Day, do you think??!!



I have lilies in a tall vase

Stargazer lilies are, no question, my favourite flower, as anyone who was at my wedding might have been able to guess.

wedding 4

I used to buy them weekly; huge, exuberant, unnecessary blooms that lifted my heart and, with any luck, detracted from my less than stellar efforts with making the house look nicer in any more of a lasting, meaningful way. But a while back my vase, my one suitable vase got broken. I think it was my eldest son who was responsible and I think I’ll have to probably dock his pocket money, if I ever get around to actually giving it to him and not just fashioning vague plans involving star charts and chores.

Anyway, since then, my trips to the florist have gone one of two ways: I either remember the absence of a suitable vase and end up grudgingly buying something that I love less than lilies (I mean, any flowers are good, obviously; well, unless they remind you of someone bothersome or odious that is…) OR I exercise my talent for wilful ignorance and buy lilies, only to get irritated on my return home by the lack of a suitable vessel, and by the poor display made by jamming them all into a defunct-by-virtue-of-its-missing-lid spaghetti jar.

Today was a special day in our household; an anniversary, one that deserved lilies and deserved to have them properly displayed. It’s not a hard thing to buy a vase, and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get around to it; nor do I know why it took a mention of Emporia on a local blog to get me through the door, since I’ve gone past them a gazillion times when out running. Anyway, today I was determined that my Stargazer lilies would be comfortably vased, if I may fabricate such a word. So to Emporia I went, and a vase I bought, and a treasure trove of gifty goodness I found within a short jog of my front door.


It’s funny, but little things like shopping locally give me quite the happy glow these days; one that I think will add to the pleasure I take in my flowers as they unfurl over the course of the week, as my daughter hovers at the ready with the scissors to “snip out the stainy pollen bits that would’ve ruined your wedding dress if the flower lady hadn’t done it Mummy.”


he is so wonderfully consistent

There’s nothing ungenerous about my husband- in his attitudes to people, his open mindedness, his time and his money, he’s one of the most giving and kind people I’ve ever known. Which is all very well and good, but I’d say he could do with narrowing his focus a bit, because his attention to detail sure could use some work.

On a recent trip back from working abroad, he sought the help of a Duty Free sales assistant, telling her that his wife wanted ‘something to do with touching a pussy.’ By the time they’d established that it was Touche Éclat that he wanted (touch the cat, in his version of Franglais, you see, hence his confusion) the poor women was so flustered, or possibly offended, that they didn’t even bother to discuss the appropriate tone for my colouring and I ended up with the lightest shade: not ideal for my Asian skin.

Today, he’s returned from a week in Miami, bearing a Marc Jacobs bottle. “Well, I figured, you like his clothes, so maybe you’d like his perfume too,” he said. The box looked very blue; some, without meaning to be sexist or cliched, might even say masculine. I sprayed it on my wrist and took a whiff. “Thank you!” I exclaimed. “Thank you for my aftershave!” His response has been one of complete disbelief and incredulity; I’ve had to show him this page, complete with body-confidence-crushing picture from The Truth About Beauty,
to convince him.

He’s off to New Zealand tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to unwrapping a pair of men’s briefs or somesuch on his return. After all, he’s bound to go into a store and ask for a Y-front rather than a B-cup. He’s consistent, my husband , as well as kind and generous. I love that about him. And I’d far rather have a laugh than beauty products anyway.