Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hats, Puns and Puddings

Being an established Post Crosser - and I feel I can stake my claim to this now I have sent and received over 50 post cards - I have noticed that other countries often have more exciting variety of stamps in day to day use than good old Britain. Russia has beautifully detailed illustrations, for example, and I like the Finnish ones, too. 

But this week I received some photos from a Post Crosser in the Netherlands (oh yes, some of us continue into the realms of proper penpalness and graduate to the use of envelopes!) and on the envelope were stamps in the style of our day to day silhouette of a human head ones i.e Her Maj The  Queen. 

Now, I don't know if the human head silhouettes on this envelope are of any Dutch significance but what I do know is they are sporting different styles of lace hats. Very attractive. And it got me thinking, 'Wouldn't it be great if, when the stamp artists were drawing their stamp silhouette of Her Maj The Queen, they said, 'That's the one with the crown done, Your Maj; how about we do another now of you wearing a bobble hat?' And there could have been a variety of stamps produced of the Queen in various headgear to add a bit of variety to our day to day stamp use.

For example, Queen in a fez. Queen in a beret. Queen in a diving helmet. Queen in a sombrero. Oh, I could go on. 'Please do!' I hear you shout. 'No, no!' I say. 'Oh, okay, one more for luck - Queen in a balaclava.'

Anyway, enough hat. On with more insignificant stuff. 

Walking to work on Friday (I have been walking lots every day for the past two weeks in an effort to shift some weight, pre-Christmas stuffing; I have succeeded in gaining a pound of muscle...just there...on my left thigh) I had an excellent thought for a piece of writing. Actually, it was a laboured thought leading up to what I consider to be a rather good Christmas-related pun. And I am going to inflict it (the story) upon you, dear Much Malarkey Manor guests, starting on The First Day of December and continuing in increasingly exciting instalments all the way through Advent to Christmas Eve when it will culminate in either a magnificent triumph of literary perfection (and preferably a publishing contract because Daisy, the Mystic Chicken has predicted that 2014 will be my year of writing triumph) or fizzle into a damp puddle of lukewarm egg nog and you lot muttering, 'Was that IT???'

(Good Lord, that was a long sentence. Shall I edit? Shall I Marcel Proust.)

And I have decided to make a Christmas pudding this year, having neglected the task for the past nine because I am the only one who really eats the stuff and the Much Malarkey Manor Jaffa Cake and Malteser Christmas Trifle has taken over as Festive Pudding of Choice. What has changed my mind? I shall tell you. Being a granny! 

When I was a child, one of the best things about the lead up to Christmas was the making of the Christmas Pudding. Especially because the recipe used by my Mum involved grated carrot, which I thought was brilliant. And also because you got to Stir and Make a Wish. Every year I wished we could have a dog. I was 16 by the time that wish came true. A lot of pudding stirring. And I think, 'Wouldn't it be lovely to reinstate the pudding tradition with Kayleigh?' Plus, Andy and I went for dinner to a friend's house last night and there was Christmas pudding and it was bloomin' delicious.

You will be pleased to know that Daisy has finally finished her moult. I have never known a hen moult to the extent Daisy has achieved. I was growing concerned, especially as the threat of snow has been on the weather soothsayer's lips for over a month now. I was thinking I may need to knit her some thermals. But hurrah! This week she stopped leaving a trail of feathers wherever she roamed and a frock of best new feathers has begun to sprout. Plus, she pecked a piece of pasta from Primrose; it's always good sign of returning perkiness, when chickens use alliteration.

News on the woodburner front. Well, after ten days of no communication from the fitter-man, for which you could substitute 'after ten days of Denise growing ever more tetchy because nothing was being done and her emails were being ignored,' he finally got in touch on Friday with the intensely detailed missive - 'Hearth ordered. When ready, will be in touch to arrange installation day.'

So it might all be done by Christmas. But just in case it isn't, I have a giant cardboard and crepe paper robin planned to stand in front of the gaping hole in the chimney breast. 

And that's about it for today. I have a Christmas Story to plan and a pudding to make. 


Countryside Tales said...

Well now, I think the idea of a Daily Homemade Christmas Story is an excellent one. I shall look forward to reading installment the first in twelve days' time!!

Anonymous said...

As long as the jaffa cake and malteaser trifle is still in attendance I will be as happy as larry. Assuming Larry has had a good year.

rusty duck said...

Is the mystic chicken going to be as accurate as that Octopus?
I shall be sitting on the edge of my seat awaiting the Christmas tale, vying for position with CT.
P.S. spurred on by your lemon verbena, the tarragon is now unearthed and safe in the greenhouse, along with a salvia and a cosmos. You see how I need you to keep me on track.

Lou Mary said...

I love the idea you send and receive postcards - such a wonderful hobby! What about a language barrier?? When I was travelling around eastern Europe last year I collected a stamp from each country to add to my scrap book - some of them were delightful!!

I look forward to reading your Christmas instalments!

Denise said...

CT, I am doing frantic planning - me and my big mouth!!

Chris, of course the usual trifle will be available! It has become its own tradition now. Fear not, my son!

The Mystic Chicken, Jessica, is far more accurate than Paul the Octopus. I believe it is sucker related! Glad the plants have made a dash for the greenhouse, although my French Tarragon has survived the last two winters outside. Must be in a particularly sheltered spot, or just tough as old boots.

Hello Lou! Well, most Post Crossers speak English, which is lucky for us English speakers! Occasionally I try to impress with a spot of German, French or Spanish but only if I am feeling very confident as I don't want to offend anyone! I agree about the stamps - lots of countries make a far better effort than us.

Vera said...

You have been busy hithering and thithering, this-ing and that-ing! Wishing you lots of energy to get it all done! Wishing you lots of creative inspiration for your writing.

Denise said...

Thank you very much, Vera! Keeping know how it is! X