What are you reading?

street art follow the white rabbit

I am on something of a reading frenzy at the moment. DorkyDad and I are having a few weeks detox, and the nonsense on television every evening is so much less bearable when you’ve not had a glass of wine. So we’ve been turning the TV off and heading to bed at 9pm most nights for an hour of reading before we go to sleep.

My tastes have always been fairly eclectic, but I think with the last ten books I’ve read I may have surpassed myself.

Continue reading

Guilty Pleasures

The blog prompt over at BritMums this week is ‘Guilty Pleasures’ and they suggest either a post recommending your Top 5 blogs, or a post describing what you’d do if you got a full day to yourself.

In a slightly loose interpretation of the theme, I’m going to list the Top 5 guilty pleasures that would feature if I got a day to myself. Because, y’know, they’re lovely folk over at BritMums and I hope they won’t mind me bending the rules slightly…

My fleecy dress

I love my fleecy dress. DorkyDad hates it. DorkySon hates it. Pretty much everybody except me hates it. It’s Bench branded, so I thought I might be able to find a Google image to share with you, but apparently it didn’t get pass their ugly-filter. My Mum bought the fleecy dress in a charity shop, about ten years ago. She wore it for a week or two before deciding it ‘wasn’t really her’ and passing it on to me. I’d just started university. I was eighteen, and a size eight, so it probably looked quite cute in a warm hippy kind of way. Now, ten years and one pregnancy later, it makes me look like a blue, slightly lumpy, fleece-wrapped sausage. But I love it. I can wear it over pyjamas when I’m making coffee in the morning. I can throw it over my jeans when I’m taking DorkySon to nursery (that whole school run fashion envy thing that other parent bloggers stress about hasn’t reached me yet…). On winter days it stops me getting that chilly strip around my waist when my t-shirt comes untucked from my trousers. It has survived numerous clothing culls. It will survive many more. I love my fleecy dress.

Chip sandwich

I’m lucky enough to be married to a brilliant cook. DorkyDad does nearly all the cooking in our house. He’s the kind of person who, rather than walking up the road for a fish supper, will buy fresh fish himself on the way home from work, mix up his own spices and flour for batter, heat the oil to exactly the right temperature, and produce something beautifully light, crunchy and tasty. If he is ever out for the evening, I am not even tempted to try and recreate his loveliness in the kitchen. Instead I indulge in one of my guiltiest pleasures: a chip sandwich. There are a few rules with a chip sandwich that must be adhered to. It has to be made with the cheapest, crappiest white bread. They have to be proper fat chips; not silly, skinny little fries. There has to be plenty of ketchup spread on one side of the sandwich, plenty of mayonnaise on the other, and a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Ideally you should eat two of them, punctuated by a cup of strong tea, while watching a reality TV show.

Tumble dryers

I used to be quite green. In fact I used to be very green. I worked for a coalition that campaigned on environmental issues. I stood as a parliamentary candidate for the Scottish Green Party. I even went to the Arctic myself to see the effects of climate change on the ice cap. And, during that period of my life, I dried my clothes on radiators or hanging on a clotheshorse. They always ended up completely stiff. My jeans would stand up by themselves. My towels would leave pink welts across my skin when I dried myself after a shower because they were so rough. And I had to spend hours ironing out the strange creases in my shirts that resulted from them being hung up. But then we moved house… and the house had a tumble dryer. I had warm, fluffy towels in my life. I could wash my favourite sheets and have them back on the bed the same day, rather than having them dripping around the house for a week. I didn’t have to do any more ironing. There is an inverse relationship between my use of the tumble dryer and my participation in green politics; I am pretty sure that’s no coincidence.


It’s a bit of a cheat to include this, because I don’t actually feel very guilty about it. For some reason books are the only things I can spend money on without a hint of remorse. DorkySon has cottoned onto this pretty quickly, and knows I will rarely refuse him a new book. Three-for-two offers, and Amazon’s one click ordering have made it even easier than it used to be, but to be honest there’s not much I like better than going into a proper, old, independent bookseller and paying full price for a hardback that has never been opened. I suppose I justify it as being in some way educational. That doesn’t really account for the copies of the Loose Women book, Jeffrey Archer’s Prison trilogy and David Beckham picture autobiography that are currently sitting on my shelves… but hey, I have a degree in English Literature. I’ve actually read Ulysses. Sometimes you need a break from all that literary merit nonsense.

Expensive Wine

As a student I used to drink some awful stuff; three quid bottles of wine that would have been better used as drain cleaner; 50p shots of vodka and tequila from the student union bar; supermarket own brand cider; whatever shockingly coloured alcopop was on offer in the clubs that weekend. I don’t know how my liver survived. Then I met and married a man who really knew his wine… so now I still feel guilty about my drinking, but only because I like the really, really good stuff. I am a sucker for a nice, oaky Californian Chardonnay. That said, I am not a wine snob. We went to a tasting once and I almost got thrown out for giggling (‘Oooh,’ I said, holding my glass up to my nose and trying to think of something appropriately pretentious to say. ‘It smells like rolling in hay on an autumn day.’ The serious-faced men and women around the table nodded along with me in agreement…). I feel like I am betraying my Bacardi breezer past slightly, but nice wine really is, erm, nice.

So I guess (in an attempt to stay on theme), in the unlikely event that I had a full day to myself I’d sit on the sofa in my fleecy dress… drinking wine, reading trashy books and pausing for the occasional chip sandwich. The soundtrack to the day would be the constant clanking of my tumble dryer. Don’t ever let it be said that I don’t know how to have a good time.