30 Jul 2010

Hestia is perfectly Frank

from icanhazscheezburger.com
So, it's like this.  For the past few years I have harboured a desire to learn to play an instrument.  Having a child ensured that a whole load of (very) noisy toys tumbled into the house, including a recorder and a mouth organ.  While Sonshine whizzed about destroying planets with Lego space ships, I diligently tried to learn Yankee Doodle Dandy on the recorder.

After a while, well, after Tertarus nearly put his fist through the door in patiently-borne aural agony, I decided to leave my self-taught recorder skills to one side and embark upon Keyboard Lessons.

Fondly imagining myself rattling out a bit of Philip Glass in a couple of months, I was directed to Frank for lessons.  Or as I call him The Long-Suffering Frank.

Hestia - Day 2 of the new Regime

There is no day 2 of the new regime.

I ate the rest of the cake.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow :-)

Hestia is - a Beautiful Blogger ;-)

I am running so far behind myself with my blogging that I can no longer see my wobbly ass jogging ahead of me.

Some time back, Viv at Kismet's Companion nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger award.  I got to know Viv when I signed up as a complete rookie for training when I joined TABI (the Tarot Association of The British Isles).  Since then we have become firm friends, even though we have not clapped eyes on each other since 2005!  It just goes to prove that the friends we make on-line can truly become real friends, even though you may never meet.  I look upon it as a sort of pen-pal thing for the 21st century.

Viv's blog is a clever combination of Tarot cards as imagery and the ongoing trials and tribulations that make up life.  And knitting, there's lots of knitting.  I am the proud owner of a beautiful scarf that Viv knitted me - so am longing for the Autumn weather to set in so that I can go out for a scuff through the leaves wearing my Cat's Paw design scarf.

She also makes soap, but because of the vagaries of  Health and Safety, she isn't advertising them - yet. But I hope this will change in the near future as I love using her soaps :-)

I'm supposed to tell you 10 things about me that you might find surprising.  I don't have a single thing about me that any of you might find surprising, to be honest.....

1  I am the Chairman of The Tarot Association of The British Isles.  I told you that the other day - so no surprises there then! 
2  I am learning to play the keyboard with my long-suffering tutor Frank.  Latest tune: Only The Lonely.  It doesn't matter whether it's Abba or an Irish jig, I only have one speed: funereal.
3  I would rather read a book than have sex.  Unless I'm sharing a bed with Mr Clooney.
4  I love burlesque - the whackier the better! Like this from Little Brooklyn
5  I perform random acts of kindness - but you must NEVER be found out or it doesn't count :-)
6  I like tap dancing even though my body and feet move at different speeds from each other
7  My favourite food is sashimi sushi
8  My favourite films are:  Some Like It Hot, Fried Green Tomatoes, Brief Encounter and Wall-E.
9  My two favourite novels de jour are:  One Day (David Nichols) and Precious Bane (Mary Webb)
10 My favourite fruit - banana :-)

Now I believe that I must nominate 10 blogs to be recipients of The Beautiful Blogger Award.  It's so tricky so forgive me if you're not on the list!

2 French Sampler
3 Tired Dad
4 Fashions Most Wanted
5 Non-working Monkey
6 Belgian Waffle 
7 Trying to look fab in your forties
8 The Harridan
9 This Girl Is
10 That's Not My Age

It was so difficult trying to pick 10, but honestly, I check everyone in my Blogging Gods and Goddesses list on a daily basis (sometimes several times a day!) - so feel free to check out any of them.  I really wanted to nominate A Doctor's View but he's stopped now - which is a shame because he was hugely entertaining!  If I haven't nominated you, it's not because I don't love you with every fibre of my being, but just because I've got to stick to 10!

Ali x

29 Jul 2010

Hestia - Day One of the new Regime

I get up  - I'm in a good mood and vowing to get myself back on track in my life.
I congratulate myself on remembering to take the recycling out to the kerbside.
I resolve to make myself a bowl of porridge for breakfast.
I listen to Brian Johnson of AC/DC talking about being on Top Gear and inexplicably find a piece of this in my hand.
Shortly thereafter, I find it in my mouth.
I am genuinely surprised and annoyed with myself -  I’ve had a bit of chocolate cake and it's not even breakfast.
I go for a shower.
I will start Getting Serious About Things properly.

28 Jul 2010

Hestia survives Birmingham

Something that some of you might not know about me (and by telling you this I blow the ONE rather surprising thing that I could have revealed in the Beautiful Blogger post....which I *will* get round to sorting out Viv, I promise!).  I am a professional Tarotist.  Not only that, but the lovely people at the Tarot Association of The British Isles (TABI) made me their Goddess, I mean, Chairman.  Twice.

This does not mean that I am The Best.  It simply means I am a safe pair of hands and spend so much time staring at a computer screen that my eyes water and my wrist develops a shiny patch from resting on the keyboard.  No.  Honestly, that IS how I got that shiny patch......

Hestia considers Blackpool

We stopped off at Blackpool for a couple of nights whilst en route to Birmingham where I was hosting a Conference.  The journey down from Scotland had been punctuated by splattery rain showers and Blackpool itself sat grey and miserable as our car pulled up at The Big Blue Hotel.

Ah, The Big Blue Hotel - the only hotel you are happy to hear screaming from as you trundle up with your wheely-case - because it is owned by (and overlooks) Blackpool Pleasure Beach itself.

Unflapped by the drizzle and sight of holiday makers in rain ponchos, Hestia's clan set off to explore the Promenade before dinner.  As Billy Connolly once said, 'there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.'  And, for once, we had the right clothes!

Here are the vital statistics of our sojourn in Blackpool

25 Jul 2010

Hestia considers her hair

Warning: Keep away from naked flames (and guns)
I need to make a confession to you.  See that picture of me that pops up on your blog?  You know, the one with the Noel Cowerd arch expression?  Well, it IS me, but it is hugely different from how I actually look:  I am to that picture what flour is to a Victoria Sponge - I am IN it, but have been so hugely transformed by the other ingredients that you'd be hard-pressed to spot the original weevil amongst the fluffery and puffery of cream and jam.

In that pic, not only am I made up to the nines, I have Had My Hair Done.

God, I hate my hair.

23 Jul 2010

Hestia is....in Engerland

Just a quick one to let you know that I have not forgotten about m'blog.  I have spent two days in Blackpool at The Pleasure Beach and have decided that I am a Complete Woose - but more of that when I get back home to my pc.

I am now in Birmingham for a Conference.  Somewhat unbelievably, a Conference that I've organised. So, to prevent rising levels of hysteria, I have organised a family outing to Toy Story in 3D.  This will ensure that I arrive at the conference venue calm, if a little tear-smeared and snottery.

Am so far behind in reading YOUR blogs too!  There maybe a a little rash of comments from me over the coming week.

Home on Monday - speak to you all then :-)

Ali xxx

16 Jul 2010

Hestia...does Pop Master

Those of you reading this with some kind of UK-DNA coursing through your veins will probably be familiar with the daily head-to-head in Pop Master.

For those of you who have not clue what I'm referring to, it's a daily music competition run on BBC Radio 2 by the droll Ken Bruce.

At this point, I must quell your excitement by clarifying that I was not actually on THAT Pop Master, but the one in the kitchen this evening.

15 Jul 2010

Hestia...gets her priorities right

Hmmm - Tom Ford? Doesn't he make cars?
I know that it's hard to believe, but there ARE downsides of being with the Domestic God that I live with - let's call him Tartarus (Greek mythology = the darkside of the underworld) for ease of reference.  Yes, he's a control freak. Yes, he's uber-tidy and yes, there is not a sliver of romance glistening in the coal-black darkness of his soul.

But let's not say those things like they're BAD.

12 Jul 2010

Hestia does Stained Glass

I have returned from the GSA and must warn you that five days swanning around the Mackintosh building with REAL arty students has quite turned my head and I've gone absurdly boho....

2 Jul 2010

Hestia is....not dead

Just a quickie to let you know that I have not died since my Columbo moment at the end of June - just bloody busy!

On Sunday I'm off to the mainland for FIVE whole days of tuition at The Glasgow School of Art - and I can't WAIT!

I've booked into some great self-catering accommodation in Glasgow called The White House for five nights, so I'll not be holed up in a tiny hotel room with only free-view telly or pay-per-view porn.  I'll have me laptop with me and I plan to bore you senseless with my Adventure in Glass.

I have been somewhat Hestia-like today - I made JAM!

The gooseberries were being decimated by thrushes and blackbirds, so I decided to get out there with a bowl and get some picked.  They're not ripe and hard like frozen peas - but they were MINE and the birds were having NO MORE.

So...I made gooseberry jam.  Correction, gooseberry and elderflower jam.  Impressed?

Sonshine made the labels for me - several pots are to give away to Juno and three friends (LM - will have some jam for you on Tuesday when we meet up!)

I've got some great book reviews (the books are great, I mean) to get up for you - will do that when I'm ensconced in my bijou studio flat in Clevedon Terrace.

Even more exciting for me than the Stained Glass workshop is the fact that I'll be making my way around Glasgow on public transport! Yes, I'll be a stalwart of the 66 bus as it trundles along Great Western Road.

The Art School phoned on Monday to confirm that the course is going ahead:

'Oh hi, this is Arabella here from the GSA?  You're slated for one of our Summer School course?'

I wasn't sure whether she was asking me or telling me.  She had that upswing at the end of the sentence? You know what I mean?

'I've got a list here of things that you should bring with you?  Old clothes? An apron?'

'.......and a big box of elastoplasts!' I quipped.

Silence.  The tumbleweed rolled past me into the humour desert.

'No, sorry, that's not on my list?' said the disembodied Arabella down the phone.

*sigh*  It could be a LONG 5 days.

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: