Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dinner Shoes

Well, that's what I call them anyway. Perhaps you know the ones I mean? Fabulous shoes that make you look stylish. Sensational shoes that make you feel sexy. Awesome shoes that unfortunately will only take you from the car to the restaurant before the balls of your feet start to burn. Shoes that should have no place in the wardrobe of a woman of my age and supposed wisdom. Ha!

To be fair I've avoided the lure of such footwear for the last four years. A combination of uneven paving slabs, a ticking clock and a pair of red patent peep toe 4 inch wedges left me with a flake fracture, torn ligaments and a new respect for 'killer heels'. My shoe cupboard has become a heel free zone.

There are times however when only a pair of Stupendous shoes will do, when the fear of possible injury must be overcome for the sake of stately extra inches and well defined calves. My sister-in-law is getting married in a couple of weeks and I felt it was time to loosen my self imposed stiletto embargo. These were the result.

I didn't actually mean to get a pair that were quite so high. I blame the need to colour match them to my dress. These were the only pair I could find that were exactly the right shades ( yes, my dress is pink and orange, part of the whole getting used to colour I mentioned way back here, but it is tempered with some ivory and beige, can't have me getting too carried away now can I)

Having worn flatties for the last few years I look upon my new shoes as something of a challenge. I thought it would be best to wear them a few times before the wedding, breaking them in so to speak as well as acclimatising myself to the thinner air at altitude. So for the last few weeks I've been prancing around in them while doing my chores, much to the hilarity of the men of the house. 

The highlight for my charming family came when I went to do the ironing. I stood for a good 5 minutes trying to work out why the board was jamming at a lower level than normal. Try as I might I couldn't get the damn thing to rise high enough. It was bad enough when my own stupidity dawned on me, that moment when I realised the board wasn't shorter, I was taller. But my dopiness had been witnessed, and judging by the incredulous looks and voluble mirth I doubt very much if I'll ever be allowed to forget it. 

I've given up practising and have decided that if I get my 6 foot plus boys to walk at either side of me I can hook my arms through theirs and they can hoist me up half an inch. It's a bit early in the year for 'walking in the air' but needs must. Besides, having done it for them so often when they were younger I think its payback time.

One last thing before I go. Since it took soooooo long finding the shoes I decided it would be easier to make a bag myself. As luck would have it I had some pink silk in my stash and wonder of wonders it was a match. As my sewing skills still aren't quite back to normal I cheated slightly and bought a clutch case and frame. My slightly wobbly hand was actually a boon when it came to spreading the glue :o) I think it turned out rather well if I do say so myself. 


Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Housewife! Grrr. I hate the term. 

Somebody somewhere has to come up with a better name for it. I mean for goodness sake I'm not married to the damn thing am I? If I was you can rest assured it would have sued for divorce years ago on the basis of irreconcilable differences and neglect. 

Homemaker isn't much better in my book. I am not the only person responsible for making our house a home. It kinda denigrates the input of the rest of the household don't you think? Not only that but it makes it sound as if I should be following some universal recipe or pattern, which I've yet to receive by the way.

As for Stay at Home Mum! Okay, so I'm a mum and I don't actually have a paid job that requires a 9-5 Monday to Friday routine, but I sure as heck don't stay at home every day either. There are numerous volunteer positions out there that wouldn't be filled if we mum's did decide to confine our duties to our own little enclave. 

With that small rant over I have to admit that regardless of which label is eventually decided upon it's not going to change the fact that I'm not a very good one. One of the reasons is my lack of organisation in some areas and an over abundance of it in others. In other words I get caught up in the teeniest tiniest of details, often fixating on them, and subsequently ignore the bigger picture.

For instance, while all of my flatware may be polished and facing the same way in the cutlery drawer, there could very well be a couple of casserole dishes soaking in the sink. For every pair of socks patiently matched and flyped ( and believe me with 3 males in the house there are more than a few ) there is likely to be a shirt languishing in the ironing basket. While the mirrors in the house may be sparkling and smudge free its debatable whether the sun would be able to shine through the grime on the windows to reflect in them.

But my particular domestic drawback is never more obvious than when I go grocery shopping. The usual weekly provisions are deposited in the basket with little thought, so ingrained that if I were a spy I would probably recite bread, milk and cheese instead of name, rank and serial number. It's when I have to replenish an occasional consumable, the ingredients that are only used once in a while, the problem presents itself.

You see I don't write things down, it would be a waste of time since I've never quite got the hang of taking a list with me. Instead I try to remember the required items. And shockingly I do remember them - quite often for the next five shopping trips! Once its in my head its there to stay , no matter how many times I buy it. So I find myself with cupboards filled with a glut of bottled lemon juice, mango chutney, Worcestershire sauce, desiccated coconut, mushroom ketchup ....... the list goes on. My latest fixation was mayonnaise. I now have 6 large jars of it at my disposal. 

In an attempt to rectify the situation, and since I have still to return to my workroom, my creativity has moved to the kitchen and I'm currently experimenting with ways and means of incorporating mayonnaise into our meals. So far the results have been edible, always a boon I feel, and while many efforts will never see a saucepan again two new family favourites have emerged. One uses the mayonnaise almost as a carbonara sauce substitute. I figured it almost had the same ingredients so why not give it a go with some bacon and tagliatelle. The second one is this....

...I can assure you it tastes much better than it looks, please put it down to poor photography. A combination of beef strips, mushrooms, onions, mayonnaise, french mustard, horseradish, stock and mushroom ketchup ( see what I did there, I managed to use two of my excesses! ) We haven't given it a name yet, I just get asked for that beefy mayonnaise thing, but I have taken the time to write down ingredients and amounts so I'm not the only person in the household who knows how to make it.

So does that make me a chef? A cook? No, it just makes me a slightly obsessive compulsive 'housewife' who needs to clear out her cupboards and learn to make lists. 
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