31 Dec 2014

Hestia ... says goodbye to

1 ... worrying about things that will NEVER happen.
Today, for example, I wasted a good 10 minutes of my life wondering how I would survive being buried in an avalanche (FYI: I would keep my hands close to my face so that I can push away snow and create a breathing space and try to determine which way was up, by trying to get a little of the snow to fall on my face.  Or not)

This sort of shit has GOT TO STOP.

16 Dec 2014

Hestia shares 10 internet sites

The internet:
Addictive as crack cocaine
necessary as breathing
I am thoroughly enjoying my weekly Digital Sabbath.  So much so, I might extend it to TWO days!

But the intertubes are not entirely barren of worthwhile sites.  So here are 10 that I'd like to share with you that enrich my life on a regular basis.

8 Dec 2014

Hestia and Sonshine's....social dancing

Don't dance with her -
she's being a twat
When I was at school, we just used to call it Dancing and it heralded, for me at any rate, the magical dream-time when A Boy Might Actually Fancy Me and the Frock Frenzy that was the Christmas School Dance.

Back at secondary school we were all shepherded in to the Games Hall in the middle of the school building.  It had a high vaulted ceiling and smelled strongly of decomposing rubber matting. Or teenage boys.  I could never tell the difference.

4 Dec 2014

Hestia's...addiction (not Facebook)

When Winter is cold and fresh with pixar blue skies and frosty crunching underfoot, I do love it.  However, when it is dreich (dreary + grey + damp + cold) I start to feel miserable.

The sort of miserable that only a packet of Kitkats can soothe.

And it has been dreich for DAYS.

This is why I woke up this morning to find my tummy resting on the mattress next to me, like a newly-born puppy.

1 Dec 2014

Hestia is...too thin. But only on paper

I am off to Italy next Easter and I cannot WAIT. Every day I'm looking at images of the Best Places To Eat...ice-cream, pasta, milanese risotto etc etc etc.

If I'm like this in December, I'll need scraped off the ceiling by the time I have to get myself on a flight.

Anyhoo, my passport has expired.

I duly got another form and completed it, resplendent with two reasonably life-like photos for my new book.  My friend's husband signed the photos and today was the day that I tootled down to the post office to have them check it over before I posted it.

The service costs £8.00 and they EARNED it today, dear reader, because I made them WORK FOR IT.

27 Nov 2014

Hestia...is padded and stapled

I always envied kids who knew from an early age that they wanted to be train-drivers, vets, soldiers or tap-dancing strippers.  I never had a clue.

I'm now 51 and I still don't have any hard and fast idea of what I'll be when I grow up.  Perhaps I could be an upholsterer?

Thus it came upon me to try re-upholstering something.  Something simple with no fancy bits....

17 Nov 2014

Hestia's....red scarf matches....

So we've been away for the weekend, visiting Tartarus's sister in Aberdeen.  It's all very exciting - a niece about to give birth and a brother in law who is about to pass kidney gravel!

It was a lovely visit with plenty in the way of good eating and even a trip to the shops on Saturday to think about Christmas presents.  Yes, CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!!!! *hyperventilates into brown paper bag*

3 Nov 2014

Hestia completes...a Digital Sabbath

Darling Tom
I was feeling a bit trepidatious on Saturday night as I switched off all my electrical goodies: Would I be able to make it through 24 hours of no computery, ipaddy, internetty lolcat access?

One part of me said yes, the other part of me said: "Let's go look up 'success rates for Digital Sabbaths on the internet' before we do anything too hasty".

1 Nov 2014

Hestia and....The Digital Sabbath

It's amazing what turns up
when you google 'jesus and a laptop'
I know, it seems like my ancient religions are getting mixed up.  What's the Greek goddess of the hearth doing thinking about any kind of Sabbath? Surely it should be carefree debauchery all the way for me - sex, satyrs and sacrifices?

21 Oct 2014

Hestia and Sonshine.... watch The Kitchen

The Clapham Boys
So if you enjoy the insanity of Gogglebox (where you watch (on TV) people watching TV) have you tuned into The Kitchen?

It's on BBC2 and is sort of like Gogglebox, but with food.

The cameras follow a wide variety of families as they eat their way through their lives.  You can meet the Barry-Powers in Wales.  A blended family with several grown up children and a dog that comes out and in the kitchen window.

The Mitchell-Cotts who have named all their children after plants live in a sprawling (gorgeous) old farmhouse where their brood live a Swallows and Amazons life while their frazzled father does the cooking.

16 Oct 2014

Hestia...has a Cheap Date

Despite how it looks, it tasted BRILLIANT
See how the sauce has reduced down by LOADS?

The joy of having two butchers' shops in town is that when you spot something unusual nestling amongst the sausages and beef olives, there's usually a cheery soul in a white coat who can tell you how to cook it.

This is what happened on Friday when I moseyed into MacQueen's and spotted a frisbee-sized portion of....something interesting.  That 'something' turned out to be a jointed oxtail.  Well, strictly speaking COW'S TAIL.  But let's not quibble.  It was, David assured me, a very tasty cut of meat. Which seems to be the case with the inexpensive cuts, I think; the hard-working muscles (such as an ever-flicking tail) are most delicious - but they need aeons of time to cook them.

2 Oct 2014

Hestia...and the ongoing saga of curly hair (last one, promise!)

So, the day that I wash my hair, it usually looks ok.  But it's from Day 2 onwards that the problems usually start.  So, here's a week of hair, in pictures.

If you know someone with curly hair that they absolutely cannot handle, please show them these. There is LIGHT at the end of the curly tunnel!

OK, don't know what to do about the over-exposure of the on-board camera, but here is Day 1.
Ignoremy grey roots - I've also decided to grow out my colour :-D
We'll see how long that notion lasts lol!

And here is Day 2

Note:  The laundry just moves around, it never gets put away

I'm not sure what day this next one is - it looks like a Day 3 or 4 - but as you can see, it's still curly and not fruzzy like an electrocuted spaniel.  Just a permed spaniel.

I also no longer dry my hair with a towel - I use a t-shirt and this is called 'plopping'.  I have improvised here in this next shot and am wearing my pjamma bottoms.  

On my head.  

They are clean.

I also have no makeup on.  NOT EVEN EYEBROWS!! So sorry about the startling face :-/

Also, sorry for the startling black and pink pj bottoms!

But when your hair has soaked up all the water and you haven't  rubbed it at all,  you apply your spray gel or whatever it is that you are using and....

........it eventually dries like this.

So there you have it - how to look after curly hair.  

It has only taken me 50 years.

Looking back over these pictures, you can see what a complete horror I have of housework.
What you see isn't even the worst of it.

Look at this!

These live just out of sight of the camera and are permanently covered in laundry that needs ironed.

Don't you think that with THIS hair....

THESE houseworky skills....

Kelly Hoppen needs to look to her laurels?

Me neither :-D

7 Sept 2014

Hestia....and sonshine gets a haircut



See?  This is the curse of curly hair.  TWO inches lopped off his hair and it looks absolutely NO DIFFERENT.

You should have heard Tartarus when we got back from the hairdressers.  Much in the way of theatrical sighing, rolling eyes and pouting.  Like Mick Jagger only with worse dance moves.

I think Tartarus is simply jealous because his hair is soooooooo fine.

Not the hair on his body though, it's like a wee mohair suit.

26 Aug 2014

Hestia...is poo-less!

I have a hate/hate relationship with my hair.

My hair.  Actually, also my make-up
On the day that I wash my hair it curls beautifully.  But if I have to go outside (entirely likely) it begins to frizz.  Come day two after the hair wash and I look like I've been fighting (unsuccessfully) with badgers in a hedge.  From there on in, I scrape it back into a pony tail.  Although I've never seen a pony with a tail that looks like my hair.

I have had it straightened in the past - a keratin treatment which is actually quite good for your hair for reducing frizz - but I still had to do a lot of straightening.  And straightening isn't good for your hair.  And then there's the time.  And the cash.....

Reader.  I.  Have.  Had.  Enough.

22 Aug 2014

Hestia.... learns about denim

St Tiffany - patron saint of Denim Wearers
If you know me at all, you will realise that I am a fairly unreconstructed fashion person: I have written before about how my dress sense is more Matt Baker than Ted, my hair more Gene Simmons than Jean.

I love reading fashion blogs though, but usually while I'm slobbed out on the bed with my ipad and munching my way through a Tunnocks Caramel Wafer.  Like swimming with sharks and base-jumping off the top of the Eiffel Tower, it's grand to watch and read about, but frankly, I haven't got the energy or inclination to take part.

Then I happened upon the Guardian vlogs.

12 Aug 2014

Hestia.... has another tidy fail

I am a sucker for self-helpy-motivational booky stuff.  My friends joke that if there was a book to wean you off self-help books, it too would adorn my bookshelves.

Many a happy hour I have lain on the sofa, Loose Women chuntering on aimlessly as background noise,  reading about how to energise my life and git myself motivated.  I never stir from the comfort of the couch.

There are those who change their lives and those who just change their sitting position.

I am, unfortunately, one of the latter.

19 Jul 2014

Hestia's... #minionfail

Never send your minion out unescorted to buy coriander:

14 Jul 2014

Hestia....has a funny smell

Niffy footwear - fablas for clearing sinuses

We have a shoe cupboard.

Not quite as grand as maybe having a walk in thermidor containing your cigars, but still classier than anything that contains the word 'Kardashian'.

I'm not sure what the cupboard was created for originally, but it has a marvellously rumbly sliding door and shelves.  Lots of shelves.

I don't use the shelves for the shoes; they lie in a heap in the middle of the cupboard floor, causing the hoover to quake fearfully in the corner next to our never-empty washing basket.

The shelves are used for kitchen towels.  We have a gazillion kitchen towels - tea towels, hand towels, dog towels, glass cloths, aprons and the like.  And I don't think I've ever purchased a towel in my life. They must breed in there, in the darkness.

There is also an enormous amount of hats.  Mostly with novelty value.  Things that look like jesters caps complete with bells, a hideous ginger wigged thing that plays a Scottish tune when you press a concealed button, numerous skip caps, beanies and a straw sun hat (that I have worn once - to the Royal Wedding party a couple of years ago).

Also, eight single gloves.

And all the jackets and bags of every shape and size.

Got the picture?  Good.

I noticed that there was a bit of an odd smell in the shoe cupboard.  Initially I put it down to my running shoes.  I should really put the word running in inverted commas because I don't actually run in them.  I mainly jog along for a few minutes until Nero sniffs A Smell That Must Be Sniffed and my shoulder dislocates in protest at his sudden stop.

Anyway, it was an odd smell.

I took my running shoes and set them down next to the back door that night before I went up to bed. I rumbled the cupboard door closed. Lifted my handbag and went up to bed.

This morning I rumbled the door open again and the smell was greatly reduced.

I then went out to post some bits and bobs and get my daily shopping high in the Co-op. I opened my handbag and caught a distinct gust of something Unpleasant.

I snapped my bag closed and looked round apologetically at the rest of the queue.  No one was gagging.  I might have got away with it.

Once through the checkout, I stood in teh pouring rain, hauling the contents of my handbag out for everyone to see - purse, spectacles, house keys, phone.....

And there it was - the source of the evil smell.

Note to self:  When buying herring fillets on a Friday, make sure that they're not still in your handbag on the Monday.

7 Jul 2014

Hestia's moment with redcurrants

We are just back from a week in Stafford and by Stafford I really mean Alton Towers.  Not me, personally, of course - hey, I know my roller-coaster limitations and that limit is Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

But I'm not here to talk to you of vomiting small boys and ultra-expensive pottery!  NO! On our return, I spotted that the Redcurrants were not only gleaming like rubies from the Orient,  but that the blackbirds were gobbling them up as fast as they were ripening.

Picking had to commence forthwith.

30 Jun 2014

Hestia ....and Justin Currie

Relax, this isn't going to be a replica of When Hestia Met Paolo.  There was no pressing of the flesh, but I was still well within hormone affecting distance.

So, Nero and Sonshine were duly dropped off at My Day Carer and her husband (The Grass Fairy). Tartarus and I turned joyful Solstice faces towards Glasgow and set off on the ferry.  In fact, everything went entirely according to plan - the accommodation I had booked was expecting us! We got a car parking space right outside!  The studio apartment was luffly!  We had tons of time  to get to the gig!

We decided to walk.

Not an error in itself, but it took us a goodly half an hour, strolling down Great Western Road, sweaty joggers puffing past us, taxi drivers tooting, people unsure whether to drive in the bus lane or not....all the usual stuff.

27 Jun 2014

Hestia ....meets a local Rock God

If you read my Tarot blog, look away now because YOU HAVE HEARD THIS STORY ALREADY.  But like I said, I will NEVER stop telling people about The Day I Met Paolo :-D

So, I'm out having a totally marvellous grown-up moment with two girlfriends, celebrating my friend's 60th birthday and having a jolly nice time at a discreet and 'spensive restaurant.  We are just perusing the extensive menu when I happen to glance over the balcony (that's how posh it was, it has a BALCONY) into another part of the restaurant below.

Oh. My. God.


Paolo Nutini was standing chatting to some friends, well within hormone-affecting distance.  PAOLO NUTINI!!!!! Don't know who he is?  

Last Request was his first hit single.

And now, three albums later, the boy is well into his stride:

To cut a very long story short (and that's a LONG story that I will NEVER get fed up of repeating to my long-suffering friends, I can ASSURE you!) he looked up at us on our balcony and I just blurted out "can I take your photo, please?'

"Wouldn't you prefer to come down here and have your photo taken with me?' his face crinkled into a smile up as he looked up at me.  Cue melting heart and middle-aged lady googley-eyed adoration. Also, strange stirrings in very sleepy bits.

WOULD I?!  Is the Pope a Catholic?!  Does a bear shit in the woods?! With my knees knocking and my heart pounding I ran down the stairs two at a time.  Dignity.  Always dignity.

And lo! Out he unlocked the private dining room door and emerged into the restaurant hallway, slender, floppy haired and cute as anything! He kissed me on the cheek, shook my hand, snaked his arm around my waist (I sucked my tummy in for dear life!) and my friend snapped us on her camera phone.

As per all situations that make me nervous, I began to get the ol' verbal diarrhoea: 'I bet you hear lots of people saying this," I wittered, 'but I AM a big fan and I was really disappointed not to get tickets for your Glasgow gig before they sold out.'

Then he said these immortal words: "Want me to put you down on the guest list for the Edinburgh gig?"

Reader, I might actually have let out an involuntary little 'squee' at that point!  And so it was that he took my name and scribbled it on a sheet of A4 from the goggle-eyed receptionists and stuffed it into his suit pocket.

Update:  I didn't go to the gig (I was going to see Wicked in Glasgow the following night and it was going to be a logistical nightmare, plus I didn't think that the bit of paper would make it out of his suit pocket since he was jetting in to the First Communion and from Germany and jetting straight back out again).  On one hand, I feel sad about missing out on the gig, but yanno what? It doesn't really matter for "I too had my hour, one far fierce hour and sweet, there was a Nutini by my side and shaking knees above my feet."

*apologies to G K Chesterton's The Donkey for bastardising its lines :-D

23 Jun 2014

Hestia ..... is back!

Sorry for the long absence!

Nothing dreadful has happened, other than the fact that I've not had terribly much of interest to share!

The imac has been resurrected more times than Lazarus and the Geeks at the Genius bar managed to get my photographs of the holiday in Argyll off and safe.  Everything else got fried in the reloading of the software - which turns out to have been quite a lot really :-)

So here's a quick resume of what you've missed:

  • I met Paolo Nuttini.  Paisley-born rocker.  Cuter than a button.
  • I went to see Wicked in Glasgow.  It was wicked.  I have not an original thought in my head.
  • I have been looking after a baby blackbird who turns out to be the runtiest crow chick EVER.
  • I'm still 11 stone.
  • I went to see Justin Currie in Glasgow.  I luff him. 
  • I am going to a self-catering chalet 5 miles from Alton Towers.  Am dreading Roller Coaster Day.
  • Nero is going to kennels for the week.  I am also dreading this.
  • I have been buying some new paintings.
  • My mother is still sending me clothes 'that might fit me.'
  • I have developed a taste for cider.
  • This hot weather is too much for me.
  • Sonshine won a Bronze in a UK Maths Challenge thing.
  • I am addicted to the US version of the killing (am at Day 20) DO NOT TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS.
  • I have a jar of jam to offer as a blog prize.
  • Turns out my lucky pants aren't lucky.
  • Tartarus has seen the Scandinavian version of The Killing and made a blurt about the plot which resulted in MANY hours of shouting and door slamming and angry stabby motions into a poor defenseless loaf in the kitchen.
  • SOMEONE weed-killered my clematis.
And that's about it.  See? Nothing to report.

But I just want to thank you lovely, lovely people for your regular e-mails and little notes on my blog, asking where I was and if I was somehow locked into Downward Dog.  All I can say is, you should see my Reclining Pigeon.  You'd be itching for an air rifle to put me out of my misery.

So that's me back.  Normal service will be resumed just as soon as I can sneak on to the computer unnoticed by Tartarus.  So just pray for rain, ok?

19 Apr 2014

Hestia gets a Video Nasty

So, I've got this brilliant little yoga app called Yogastudio (think it was about 99p or something) and have been trying to do one of their beginner routines.  On the screen (white background, calming tinkly music) each pose is demonstrated and a lovely lady describes what to do.

Inside my head, I fondly imagine that I am like this:

This is the Yoga Studio lady.  Isn't she fab?

However, I thought I'd get Sonshine to video me (using the wee point and click which takes about 10 minutes or so of video footage) so that I could compare MY form with what it ought to look like, as demonstrated by Yoga Lady.

I changed into sweatpants, a sports bra and my thermal vest (come on, it's only April!) and got started.

Sonshine duly worked his way around me, taking shots of my back, my bending over etc.  It was only a 15 minute warm up, so I quickly uploaded it to the computer to watch back in comfort.

And then I watched it back.

And then I watched it again.  Of course, I was about as flexible as a Mortgage Provider and nothing was moving in the direction that it should but....

My GOD, I had no idea that I really looked like that!  Yanno, I KNOW that I'm no oil painting, but dear Lord, with no make up on at all, I was utterly fearsome - my natural expression looks like someone has left rotting herring under my nose.

And my waist! There ISN"T one!!

And my ARSE in those sweatpants?!  I jumped up from the computer and strode into the bedroom and yanked off the sweat pants in a single, horrified, move.  They are going STRAIGHT to a charity shop (once I've washed them, of course).

I painted my face - primer - the whole works.  Removed my hair from its habitual pony tail and smoothed it into submission with oil.  Got dressed in some proper clothing and sat on the edge of the bed wondering what to do.

Reader, some people might have taken this video as a wake up call to start doing something about their health - for their family's sake if nothing else.  


I headed straight downstairs to the biscuit tin and made myself a stack of Digestive Biscuits and jam. With creme fraiche.  Yes, it was the posh strawberry and rose petal jam.  I don't mind telling you, it was fantastic.  But 'fantastic' in the way that you might have frenzied drunken sex with Ian from Accounts in the toilet at the office Christmas party.  You know that you're going to HATE yourself in the morning.  And he won't call, of course.  Because you showed yourself to be a SLAPPER and STRUMPET. 

Yes, I hated myself.  I WAS that slapper and strumpet.  All for a stack of 6 digestive biscuits.  And jam.  And cream.  But, like the office party scene, I could NOT stop myself from doing it.  Even though I was hating myself as I stuffed every bit of creamy, jammy biscuit into my gob.

I decided, in the manner of all the best self-help manuals, to examine my relationship with food.  Turns out it's the most fulfilling relationship I've got.

1  I overeat at every meal - my portion size is about the same as Tartarus's and he's a very active man - fitting log-burners, tiling, cementing. I am only active on facebook and twitter.

2  I eat when I'm watching TV. Which is most evenings between 7pm and 10pm.

3  I eat when I'm sad.  Which is a lot of the time, thank you world.

4  I eat when I'm stressed.  See 3.  And 1. and 2 as well.  Now that Lucy's been bumped off in Eastenders.

5  I eat what's left on Sonshine's plate.  Mothers hate waste.  Also love buttery mashed potatoes.

6  I don't enjoy cooking (see: just about every food posting that I've made on this blog.  Never goes smoothly) so it's often straight from freezer to oven/microwave etc.

7  I adore sweets - no bar of choccy is safe when I'm around (see: Easter Sunday tomorrow when Sonshine goes to open his Easter Egg.  It no longer exists.  Or eggsists.

8  I adore savoury.

9  I adore patisserie.

10  I MUST have a biscuit with every cup of tea or coffee.  I have about 6 teas/coffees per day.

Something's got to change before I drop dead.

Suggestions and solutions welcome :-D

And no, I am NOT putting up a photo of me trying to do downward dog :-D  

17 Apr 2014

Hestia stacks up some Brownie Points in Heaven

not our actual crow - I was too busy to take
photos of the Rescue Operation!
Of course, as soon as the wood-burner is cemented in place a bird flutters to its doom down the chimney.

Sonshine and I listened with dread to the gentle tappings as it hopped around on top of the aluminium plate that had now been permanently sealed across the bottom of the chimney.

No longer could I just pull out the plate and let the bird fly to freedom.  No siree.  But maybe Tartarus had built in an escape-plan for trapped birds.  Maybe.

But Tartarus is now in Israel.

I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!  We've had three birds down this chimney in the past and Tartarus has been away at work every single time.  With a heavy heart, I set to work.

I unscrewed the aluminium plate from its position and tried vainly to dislodge it, but it was not for moving - when Tartarus cements something in place, it is a pretty good bet that it is cemented in for ever.  If I ever disappear in mysterious circumstances - tell the police to check up the sealed chimney, ok?

Then it was a rush upstairs to facebook and email to 'Mayday' the newly arrived and knackered Chief Engineer as to how we might rescue the bird.

After lunch we got the message - the actual pipe from the burner to the chimney SHOULD slide out. Yes, SHOULD slide out is not the same as WILL slide out, but with some judicious hammering and a fair old bit of swearing from yours truly and some nascent swearies from my son, we managed to slide the flue out from its casing.  So now the flue moved freely up and down in the aluminium plate.

But could we slide it out into the room and leave a hole for the bird to escape? Could we fuck, ladies and gentlemen.

We pushed and pulled and swivelled and swore, but there is no way we could actually remove it.  So we instated our emergency plan:

Shove the flue as much as possible into the chimney void and hope against hope that the bird would decide to launch itself down the flue into the unknown.  We wodged the flue up in place and hoped for the best. I left the torch on, so that it would have definite light to move towards.  Heck, I even prayed aloud to God, much to Sonshine's amusement:  'Come on, give us a break! We're trying to save another life here!'  OK - so its not quite the Lord's prayer, but it was all I could manage given the circumstances.

Many hours later (like 10!) Sonshine came bursting in to my Masterchef fantasy time and announced that the bird had tumbled into his room in a cloud of soot.

We both ran into his room and there, perched on the cornicing and, literally, shitting himself was a massive crow. I slammed off the lights and opened one of the curtains whilst simultaneously hauling open the sash and case window (not opened, incidentally, since the last time a bird got stuck in the chimney)

Nero was left in the other room while Sonshine and I tried to shoo Birdy to the window.  He got the right idea, but headed for the TOP of the window, not the lower bit that was open.  This led to me dispatching Sonshine to the garage for step ladders so that I could try sliding down the top window. THIS window, never opened, well, in living memory. Unbelievably, it gave a protesting squeak (the window, not the bird) and slid open!!!

And with a couple of panicked 'caws' and a big streaky smelly shit over Sonshine's White Dwarf magazine collection.....the crow flew straight out!!!

God listened! Tartarus helped! Sonshine helped! At last we managed to SAVE A CROW!

And today's job is to wipe all the bird poop off all surfaces and phone the roofer to install a mesh protector to the chimney can.

Save any lives today at your end?

16 Apr 2014

Hestia's Note To Self

Note to self:  
When Sonshine confirms that  yes, he's washed all the dishes, 
it's always worth checking what he means by 'all'

2 Apr 2014

Hestia's favourite jam

Strawberries and Roses
Bloody gorgeous

Oh my, but this is beyond delicious!

Henshelwood's are based here on the isle of Bute and you can pick up their gorgeous range of jams and chutneys via their website.

Imagine your favourite strawberry jam....now imagine it infused with the delicate scent of roses.  Honestly, you won't know whether to eat it or dab it behind your ears!

24 Mar 2014

Hestia and Nero

We have been jolly adventurous with our big greyhound and taking him to the beach twice a week. We go when the weather is not so wonderful, to minimise the number of dawgies that we might run into.

I don't think he's got an aggressive bone in his body - he's a runner, not a fighter.  Although if you are a Yorkshire Terrier, he might just eat you....

Anyway, here we are at the beach:


Sorry about this not being an embedded video, but living on an island where the internet is still cranked up by hand (ie sloooooooooow) I couldn't face another 45 minutes to upload the film!

Hope you enjoy it - and sorry about the wind noise.  It was blowing a gale at the time!


Sitting in bed with Tartarus having a cup of tea on Sunday morning.  I am singing along to a tune on the radio.

Me (with pride) :  Frank (my long-suffering music teacher) says that I have a very musical ear.

Tartarus:  What, just the one?

*no longer puffed up with pride*

How was your weekend?!

8 Mar 2014

Hestia is Elizabeth Taylor - Day 7: What was it allllll about?

Can it really only have been 7 days ago that I foolishly decided to do a daily blog about bringing out my inner Elizabeth Taylor?  That Buzzfeed quiz took over my life.....

I had hoped that Thursday would be my 'Martha' day from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' but I had too much to do after Tartarus got home on Wednesday.

Oh and about that - I turned up to pick him up with all the makeup and bling on and he ACTUALLY MENTIONED Elizabeth Taylor.  My heart soared - maybe I was morphing into her after all!!

But then he said that he had been reading my facebook posts, so he knew what I was up to.

Well, that's a bit more like it then.

5 Mar 2014

Hestia is Elizabeth Taylor: Day 6 - Husbands!

Elizabeth Taylor's love life is the stuff of legend - death, divorce, adultery - all seen through the lens of a newly born media merry-go-round.

And mine is exactly the same - apart from the death, adultery and celebrity.

There's a lot to get through - shall we just dive in?

4 Mar 2014

Hestia is Elizabeth Taylor.....Day 5: Career

I'm not about to pretend that every frame she shot was stuffed full of significance and quality, but I've jumped into her imdb page and perused her entire Filmography.  Did you know that she managed to punt out about two movies or screen performances a year right up until the late 1980s? She's got the longevity of Kevin the Pain Au Chocolat, no?

IMDb also lists 43 award wins and 18 award nominations - three of those were academy awards, or Oscars :-)

With an enormous list of movies to choose from, I've selected only

3 Mar 2014

Hestia is Elizabeth Taylor: Day 4: Causes

Elizabeth once quipped that some of her finest leading men had been horses and dogs and it was no idle joke - National Velvet and Lassie Come Home confirmed her money-making abilities for the studios and secured her youthful place in the glittery Hollywood firmament.

She adored animals - even as a small child she had ponies, chickens and dogs and fellow actors recall her turning up on set as a youngster with squirrels, dogs and all sorts of pets.

Although the pets on set stuff stopped as she matured into a shapely teenager, she continued to support animals in crisis and she became a patron of Dogs Deserve Better - a charity the rescues chained dogs and gives them a better life.

Elizabeth had converted to Judaism on her marriage to Eddie Fisher and continued to support Israeli causes throughout her life.  In fact, when the airline hijack took place at Entebbe Airport in 1976, she

2 Mar 2014

Hestia is.... Elizabeth Taylor: Day 3: Hair, Hats and Wigs

Farking TWINS we are
 It can't have been easy, being the most beautiful woman on the planet.  People expect you to look fabulous all the time.  Even when your husband has been killed in a plane crash (Mike Todd) or you are caught having a Weekend Away with your bestie's hubby (Eddie Fisher).

I don't know how long it took ET to get herself ready to face the day, but it's 11.15am and I've had to send Sonshine out for the Sunday papers and take the dog a walk because it's taking me so long to get my inner Liz fluffed up and ready for the day.

1 Mar 2014

Hestia is Elizabeth Taylor.... Day 2: Bling

Today's Elizabeth Taylor challenge is to wear Big Jewellery.

One might only remember the names of less than a handful of her movies, but we ALL remember the jewellery, right?

When her jewellery was auctioned at Christies, it raised a staggering £100,324,209.  The woman might have had dubious taste in men, but her taste in gems was unsurpassed.

Today's challenge will be tricky because I'm fresh out of plate-glass-shattering diamonds and mahoosive pearls that could sink The Bismarck. I do not own anything remotely approaching the Taylor Burton diamond.  

But I DO shop at QVC.....

28 Feb 2014

Hestia is.... Elizabeth Taylor: Day 1

So, it's like this.  I did one of those sanity-shredding quizzes that Buzzfeed pops onto facebook - Which Movie Star are you?  I secretly hoped for Jayne Russell - you know..... the smoulder, the bosoms, the smart line in patter.

How I got Elizabeth Taylor I'll never know.  As far as I know it was all diamonds, empty whisky bottles, Richard Burton and marvellous wigs.

So I have decided to live my inner Elizabeth Taylor for a week.  Liver failure notwithstanding.

27 Feb 2014

Hestia is...never googling herself again

NEVER Google yourself, dagnabbit!!

And if the accent is too impenetrable for you on THAT one,
here's Steeleye Span.  With Lyrics.

I'd much rather be a recalcitrant domestic goddess than the ugly old witch.
I'll ask Tartarus and Sonshine what they think.

On the up side:  I has a SONG WITH MY NAME ON IT!!!!

I am also a film director AND a director of Sport.

There is more chance of hell freezing over than me being associated with anything sporty.
Other than Spice.

What do you get when you self-google?!

26 Feb 2014

Hestia's New Squeeze - Tom Hiddleston

All other Favourite Men lists are temporarily suspended while I indulge my addiction to the divine Tom Hiddleston:

I first fell in love with Mr H in his role as Captain Nicholls in War Horse.  Only watch the next clip if you've seen it before.  And make sure you have a hankie ready - all that golden corn, all those young men.  What a waste of a generation.  But the movie also had another darling in the form of Benedict Cumberbatch.  I seem to be moving towards the slightly slighter gentleman as I am 'maturing'......

Anyway, to more upbeat roles.  He is the scene-stealing slightly fey Loki in the Marvell Avengers series.  Makes his brother Thor look like an utter twat, imo.

Here he is being Loki, but with the kids from Comedy Central:

And here he is being a baddy in the Jaguar advert (oh, be still, my beating heart!)

But he does very serious stuffs too - Coriolanus (I think I might faint clean away if I ever get to see this)

So - go on, share! Who is your current favourite squeeze on screen?

9 Feb 2014

Hestia and Some Blummin Awkward Shapes

No, dear Reader, I have not taken up interpretative dance and tried to throw a few shapes on the dance floor.  I have been at a day-long workshop on Cutting Awkward Shapes in glass and it was fantastic.

There was minimal use of elastoplasts.

Very little swearing.


3 Feb 2014

Hestia and the mystery of the disappearing bag....

It's hardly Louis Vuitton is it?
So, every day Nero and I trot out to do our two miles through the increasingly sodden, but undoubtedly Spring-like, woods. There is a great deal of talking aloud and sometimes the frantic sloshing of me clearing blocked culverts with my wellies.

There are ALWAYS poop bags.

These are actually nappy bags.  We abandoned the dog-poop bags (in Opaque Racing Black) when we realised that it was two quid for 50 dog bags or 99p for 250 from Semi-Chem.

Granted the nappy bags are peach-coloured and peach-scented and semi-opaque which is pretty gross, but I am £1.00 up on the deal so I can cope with hints of dog shit shapes through the plastic.

Anyhoo, the most peculiar thing has been happening....

...come closer

*conspiratorial stage whisper*

29 Jan 2014

Hestia and Nero

Please check out the artist's website Life Earth Sky
Kathleen Coy is painting 30 sighthounds in 30 days.
Fantastic artist and fantastic project
You know how I love my big Usain Bolt (ie my big black runner) of a dog and everybody laughs at me because I take him out in cold weather in his jacket and snood.

Although the snood is usually shirked off quite early on in the walk.  And usually as he stoops to sniff an interesting pile of dog poop.  The snood's been in the washing.  A lot.

Anyway, you get the picture.  I love him to bits.

The other night Sonshine disappeared out with his group of fellow ne'erdowells to go to Guildford Square to 'stand and chat'.  Or whatever it is that teenaged boys do in the dark on a Monday night.  I don't ask.

25 Jan 2014

Hestia's Del Amitri Moment

Yes, this will do me nicely.
And so it came to pass that I found myself lugging my overnight stuff plus flowers plus wine up the stairs to Bobby and Colette's lovely home.  At last - it was the day of Del Amitri!!!

Colette greeted me with a hug and an expression that I shall refer to as STF (stressed to fuck).  'It's so lovely to see you was your journey okay we've had a disaster WE CAN'T FIND THE TICKETS' all rushed out in one panicked breath.

I dump down my stuff.  This was serious.  C explained that they had had to move all their furniture so allow carpet fitters clear access for fitting and the tickets hadn't been seen since.  That was November. Idly I wondered whether

15 Jan 2014


So, it's a New Year....but it's still the same ol' shit.

Life here at Mount Olympus has not been without incident recently.  The Christmas holibags flew past as expected - nice pressies, nice food, rubbish telly, incomprehensible Dr Who etc - but on return to school, things started to go a bit pear-shaped.

Sonshine came home and announced that Child X (let's just call him Satan.  It will amuse me, if no-one else) had been telling everyone in the class that Sonshine had shit himself in the woods. Reader, I have no idea whether this is true or false.  Even if true, it's not the sort of thing that you want people to remember you for, right?

Anyway, as the week wore on, more tales come home from school of mild unpleasantness from Satan.

Wednesday evening arrives and Satan turns up at the front door for Sonshine to 'come out and play'.  At 8.30pm on a dark, wet, January night.  Clearly they were all going to be Up To No Good.  Sonshine said he didn't fancy it.  Door closed.  End of story.

Except it wasn't.

A short while later, while I was deep in the bowels of something or other of VITAL importance on the telly (ie Big Bang Theory) there was a terrible hammering on our front window. Cue nervous greyhound bladder evacuation and, if I'm honest, a partial Hestia evacuation too.

Tartarus shot out of the chair and ran outside.  Perps were gone.  Undeterred, Tartarus pulled up his hoodie and set off down the road.  Where he duly encountered a group of three boys.  Including Satan. You've seen the photos.  Tartarus didn't get that face by sitting at home at night doing knitting.  He left them in no doubt how things would go if he encountered them banging on the windows again.

And that was that.

Except it wasn't.

The following night, Tartarus was enjoying a spot of X-Box fun in the living room when I announced that Nero needed a feed.  I dragged the dog off his bed and just stepped my foot out of the living room when there was A Situation.  For a split second, I thought, 'Fuck, the sound effects in Deus Ex are good!' only for Tartarus to fly past me in the doorway and out into the night.

Yep, living room window shattered.

We have four cylinder glass, Listed B status windows (ie cannot remove them, must replace like with like, cannot install double-fucking-glazing etc) and one of them was in long, evil shards of thin Victorian glass, all over the floor.  And Nero's bed.  Unfortunately, I had removed the glass that had landed in his bed by the time I took the photographs.

I uploaded the photos to facebook where I spewed a furious 'public' rant at the little shit who had done this to us.

The police were called.  They duly turned up and took statements.  Including the details of the incident the previous night.

And then.


No visits to any of the previous night's perps to give them a stern talking to....NOTHING.

The law, is, I'm afraid, an ASS.

Sure, Tartarus couldn't positively ID Satan for the window breaking, but the two coppers sat on the sofa taking statements and saying how unlikely a coincidence it would be for another kid to break exactly the same window the next night.  How the kids could probably do with a bit of a fright, a warning shot across the bows...or at least their parents informed of the Wednesday night situation.  So I thought that was going to happen.  But no.

Sonshine goes to school and Satan gloats.  Sonshine goes to Games Night at a friend's house to discover Satan is also present.  Sonshine gets 'bare bummed'.  Which is the delightful process of being pinned down and someone planks their naked bum on your face.

So, I'm afraid that it's all down to your Friendly Non-Domestic Goddess to go and sort this out with Satan's parents and, sadly, with the parents of his 'friends' who held him down. And certainly the parents whose house this took place in.

Wish me luck.

I have also had my 3-yearly smear.  So for a bit of light relief and fun at Tartarus's man-love's expense, after all that doom and gloom, read this

6 Jan 2014

Hello 2014!

Kevin wishes you all a happy and prosperous 2014!
Well, here we are again - we've made it through another year!  *pats everyone on the back*

I'm not making resolutions this year because, well, I always get to about the 10th of January and decide that it's all too complicated and console myself with another bit of cake and a large whisky and ginger ale.

This year I've decided to focus on FOUR feelings that I would like to experience and basically, I will be trying to do stuff that makes me feel these sorts of ways.

What are the four words?

1 Jan 2014

Hestia's 2013

Me, Sonshine and the inimitable Legend!
My 2013 kicked off by finding a neat pile of fluff and ended with my memories of my own school dance horrors and trying to encourage Sonshine to be kind to Those With Unfortunate Frocks and Bad Hair.

February saw the commencement - after years of *cough* preparation - to work on the stained glass windows for the front door.  It's only taken the best part of three years, but 2013 saw the completion of BOTH windows.  There are lots of posts on the Windows Update (the only Windows' update that won't turn your computer screen blue.  Only my language) but here's the first post and the last post (should I toot a bugle when I say that?).

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: