31 May 2010

Hestia ponders the nature of love....

I was going to post something about the highs and lows of caravanning, but since hubby just upped and off on his motorbike today after a furtive phone call to his Other Half, I decided to speculate on the nature of love instead.

The phrase 'Other Half' is used by my hubby about his friend.  Even when I point out to him that it's really a sort of romantic expression, he says he is using the phrase 'ironically'.

Which, given that he is a man whose humour level peaks at Oops TV, I doubt very much.

26 May 2010

Hestia says - enhance your life with fainting goats

This should give you a smile for Wednesday.

Ali x

23 May 2010

In which Hestia gets Daniel-ed

On Saturday, the hottest day of the year, I found myself in Glasgow with a couple of hours to kill before I met up with a friend.

I get a bit vampirey in the heat (hissing when I need to go out into the daylight and sometimes spontaneously combusting) so I was hopping in and out of the loveliest shops in the city centre, lingering in those with functional air-conditioning; perusing products with the studious face of a Woman Who Might Buy Something, if ONLY she could stand next to the portable air conditioning unit for another 10 minutes to gather her thoughts sufficiently.

Eventually, I slipped into one of Glasgow's most impressive stores -  I was looking for a nice MAC lippy.  But, in my haste to get out of the sun, I foolishly entered by the main door.  You know what that means, of course: I would have to run the gauntlet of perfectly made up face-goop pimps without making eye contact.

I bodyswerved the Dior staff.  Truthfully, they didn’t even try to pounce – a sweaty woman hoiking a huge laptop bag isn’t, I think, their target market.

I sneaked past some VERY interesting maquillage that was all pink and girly and which very nearly sucked me in with it’s dinky little pots and brushes and giggling staff…..but a tap on the arm caught my attention and I made the FATAL mistake of looking up at the tapper.

17 May 2010

Hestia does Burlesque - last bit (I promise!)

I am costumed up. My hands are shaking so much that I abandon all thoughts of eye-liner and new feathery false eyelashes.  My face is now pancaked chalk white, my brows coal black, my eye make-up is scarlet and orange, my lips are crimson.  I look like a psychedelic panda/hooker.

We’ve been working on our routines all afternoon and I STILL don’t have an ending. I decide to pretend to faint at the end.  If it was good enough for Des O’Connor at the Glasgow Pavilion, it’ll be good enough for me.

15 May 2010

Hestia does Burlesque Part II

We all sat nervously clutching our bags and, if I’m honest, trying to work out who was going to look worse than me with their kit off.

There were all sorts of women – a gorgeous blonde sylph from Ireland who was a classical dancer looking to branch out her skills; a 50 year old diver (looked absolutely rocking, let me tell you!); an American author who was about ages with me; a civil servant who worked at the Scottish Parliament….a grand group of girls out in secret, celebrating a 40th….and some mad keen neo-burlesquers who fancied their chances of making it big, one day, on the stage.

Our workshop leaders appeared – Tina Warren and her sister, Madeleine.  Tina was a tiny, slender thing oozing 1950s Bobby-soxer glamour – tie front shirt, blonde pony tail, ¾ length skin-tight jeans and the highest heels you can imagine.

Her sister Madeleine was a different creature altogether, equally slender, but dark-haired, pale and glacially beautiful.

14 May 2010

Hestia does Burlesque Part 1

I stood at the edge of the stage, my knees knocking and my heart hammering so loudly that I could barely hear the music stutter into life.

The audience clapped and whooped.  I couldn’t move.  What the FUCK am I doing?  I’m a mother! I’m the Chairman of the Parent Council at School!  I’m Secretary of the local Marketing Group!

But NEVER let it be said that I’m a woose.

I forced one foot in front of the other and inched my way to the front of the stage.  And there, dear reader, I took all my clothes off.


            Miss Dirty Martini

13 May 2010

In which Hestia admits that she is NOT Dita Von Teese

I love Dita Von Teese.  In fact, I have a strange fascination for burlesque strippers in general. That fascination is for another post, another time.  Today I want to look at the Retro Glamour look.  Here's Kristin Scott Thomas, a gorgeous-looking woman looking, frankly.....ancient.

11 May 2010

Hestia worships the Rock Gods

A year of anticipation reached its spandex-clad climax on Sunday night – Kiss played Glasgow and Hestia was there!

I saw KISS the last time they played Glasgow (Glasgow Apollo anyone?) in 1984. When I think back to that Glasgow Apollo gig, I remember being a frizzy-haired girl in a red leather bike jacket, slender of waist and big on ambition. Where did she go I wonder?

Back then, KISS had abandoned the face paint and the theatricals and were touring as a proper heavy rock band.  It was a great gig (today my hearing still whines from the noise excess of  that concert!) but we felt, in our heart of hearts, that we had been cheated of KISS the big, camp, theatrical experience.

Sunday night arrived and KISS delivered Big, Camp and Theatrical in spades!

6 May 2010

Hestia's favourite Downfall

More video WWII shenanigans, but this time from Adolf himself. There is a whole channel devoted to these parodies, but YouTube have been instructed to take them down.

Good luck with that one, Youtube!

Catch 'em before they disappear to Vimeo. Check out the one about Susan Boyle not winning Britain's got talent and also the one called, I think, Hitler phones the Call Centre.  I can't, for the life of me, find the original parody that I watched.....it's one of the ones where Hitler finds out that he is being parodied on YouTube.


5 May 2010

Hestia tries a little weed.....

I do not exist in an entirely uncivilised part of the world (we have a Superdrug AND a Semi-Chem), but we do lack access to a lot of the gorgeous stuff that I read about on other people's blogs. I've been casting around looking for some fabulous beauty product that is available locally and came up with......seaweed.

Seaweed in much more than just the slightly smelly stuff that you find washed up on the shore line full of strange bits of blue/orange twine and the odd seagull corpse, it is jam-packed with things that Are Good For You.

4 May 2010

Hestia hangs a good washing....

There is an unwritten requirement when you are attempting to reach Hestia status, certainly in Scotland: you must be able to hang a good washing.

Believe me, you can keep your home cleaner than a nun's joke book, but if the hanging out of your washing is shoddy, you will be persona non grata on Olympus and the subject of gossip in the super market.

My Auntie B hangs out the best washing you will ever see.

First of all - you need to clean your line - scrunch up a damp cloth and draw it right along the line. If you are anything like me, this will result in a frightening dark smear down your cloth and a couple of dead spiders - better on the cloth than on your clothes :-)

Next comes the hanging out of the smalls: socks hung in pairs and by the tops (you DID check them into the washing machine in pairs, didn't you? It's the only way to keep the Washing Machine God appeased, otherwise he sneakily eats one)

Knickers hang singly from a single peg.

I recall when Hubby and I moved in together, it came as quite a shock when he realised that I was not the sort of gal who ironed socks or knickers.  I have been known to only iron the front of a shirt.  What can I say? I'm feral.

Jeans/trousers are hung by the waist - it is worth tugging at any crushed material to get it as flat as possible at this point.  Saves any sweary unpleasantness when attempting to steam iron later.  Remember to pull pocket linings out to aid in drying process.

Tops/Shirts - hung by their tails.  Again, make every effort to pull collars, pockets, sleeves etc straight as you put onto the line.

Knits/Silks etc - sandwich them between two tea towels so that there are no peg marks directly on the fabric.  I know, it sounds a faff, but it's worth it.

Towels/sheets etc - do not need to be hung flat, but can be pegged in an attractive pouch effect. Auntie B swears that this helps with the drying - that because it can rub against itself quite easily, it makes your line-dried towel softer.  I'm not sure whether that's true, but it does save space on the line.

As important as the hanging up is the taking down.  Fold all items as neatly as possible - this cuts down (and can even eliminate) on ironing.  Sure, you look a daft fool trying to fold a school shirt neatly in a stiff breeze, but if it means you can watch Lark Rise to Candleford without having to stand behind an ironing board, so much the better.

Of course, your ironing board should have some kind of lightly padded reflective cover on it - to reflect the heat back into the garment (GARMENT???!?!?! - get me!). Use of a laundry spray is optional - but who needs a scoot of lavender when you've got the glorious scent of outside dried clothing?!

Bird on a wire clothes pegs from pedlars - check out their site, they've had Aardvark make them a manifesto of their own!

Hestia and Gilgamesh

I woke up from a dream a few months ago, with the word 'Gilgamesh' ringing in my ears. I knew it was a poem, but I'd never read it.

A couple of weeks ago I was in my local library (look, I always have a LOT of fines to pay) and there was a copy of Gilgamesh, translated and interpreted by Stephen Mitchell.  I had to borrow it, didn't I?

It's not an easy read, so I ploughed a lonely furrow through this ancient poem right to the bitter end, but I was rewarded by this:

'Humans are born, they live, then they die, this is the order that the gods have decreed. But until the end comes, enjoy your life, spend it in happiness, not despair.

'Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, bathe and anoint yourself, wear bright clothes that are sparkling clean, let music and dancing fill your house, love the child that holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.

'That is the best way for man to live.'
                                                                                           - Shiduri to Gilgamesh, Book X

1 May 2010

She's Always a Woman To Me

I love the John Lewis ad, it makes me feel all weepy - here's the people behind it.

Happy Beltane everyone!

Ali x

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