Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow. Just snow.

Three minutes after I filmed this, the snow stopped. Thirty minutes after that, everything that was stuck to the ground had melted.

As a gal born and raised in Western Washington, STORY OF MY LIFE.


Disappointed in Edinburgh,

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Will I ever wear a jean skirt again?

I was looking through my old Facebook photos today, as is my routine on 'no TV Tuesdays'. Yet, this time I noticed something I hadn't before:

The jean skirt!

Photos indicate that it was a big part of my life—not that long ago, and for a long time. But what happened to it? Why has it been so absent from my life for the past few summers?

Here are my guesses:

1. It's out of style. Is it out of style? If so, maybe my brain subtly picked up on that.

2. There's been about three sunny days in Scotland since I moved here five years ago, and I wore shorts on those days.

3. You just don't see denim skirts as much here as you do in the States. They're very American. I've abandoned my heritage, and therefore the jean skirt.

4. I discovered £7 black skinny jeans at Primark back in 2011 and haven't looked back.

Char and I in our jean skirts in Malta. 

Typically, after hiatuses such as this, I would rediscover the forgotten garment and begin to work it back into my wardrobe. But I'm 28 now. I have a bowl cut and a Unique Taxpayer Reference number. My jean skirt years might be over for good.

This may be one of the most inane, narcissistic blog posts I've ever written. But that makes me like it even more. I can't wait until I'm 108-years-old, reading this from my 3D Kindle Space virtual reality hovercraft, and chuckling at my 28-year-old self contemplating whether jean skirts still have a place in my life.

Bye for now,

P.S. 'No TV Tuesdays' isn't some television-free day I've committed to doing once a week. It just happens to be the day that I have no TV shows to watch. We have to wait a day to get US shows, and nothing good airs on Mondays.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Baby Nutella

Don't you dare accuse me of not covering the hard-hitting news stories here on Madgespace. This one's hot off the press.

A french judge has just ruled that a couple can't name their newborn daughter Nutella.


Well, as the judge so matter-of-factly stated: it's "the trade name of a spread." You have a point there, judge. But on the other hand, Nutella actually sounds like a girl's name. It's not as crazy as naming your kid Kleenex or Nestle Tollhouse (although that does have a nice ring to it).

Thanks, Anna, for letting me use the torso of your child (without asking).

Here's the kicker. The parents didn't bother to show up at court! So guess what the judge did? He named the girl himself! He went with "Ella", which makes sense as a shortened version of Nutella. But he could have gone with 'Hazel' to keep a bit more with the theme. Or what about 'Nuttah', the traditional Native American name meaning 'my heart'? That would have worked too!

All I'm saying is this:
  • Nixing 'Nutella' as a baby name? I'm generally OK with the logic behind that. 
  • Taking it upon yourself to pick a new name for the kid? I find that a little presumptuous. At least give the parents another chance at naming her. They can phone you with their second choice (they don't really need to be in court for that).

OK, that's all for today. Anyone else craving crêpes?


Sunday, January 25, 2015

My shampoo's so fancy (you already know)

My dream gig would be writing the copy for shampoo bottles. One time Andy and I stayed at a cool hotel in Glasgow—the CitizenM—and boy was their shampoo copy on point. It actually almost inspired me to write a Tripadvisor review. I didn't end up doing it, but that was the closest I've ever come to contributing to the online travel community.

Anyway, they actually had two types of shampoos in the room. Shampoo for morning people and shampoo for night people. The morning one had a fresh, citrus scent. The night one was more frankincense and myrrh. This is what the bottles said:

Designed for citizens
who embrace the day, 
wrestle with the light of dawn
or who are jetlegged into
thinking it's morning
even though it's midnight. 
CitizenM shower gel and shampoo
will make you feel like
you've just opened your eyes
after the best dream-filled
sleep of your life. 
And perhaps you just have. 

Designed for citizens
who live by the night
dance with the dark and
don't wake up until
the sun goes down.
CitizenM shower gel and shampoo
will make you feel like
you're about to walk out into
wonderland and that somehow
everything tonight will
just fall into place.
And you never know, it just might. 

OK, it's a bit gratuitous for a hair cleaning product, but they get away with it because it's a hotel. You're on vacation! That's exactly the type of "whisk me away" language you want. I love it. I'd recommend the hotel for the shampoo bottle copy alone. 

What got me thinking of all this was my new, Argan Oil of Morocco shampoo I bought today. I was at Boots for the quarterly toiletries shop and thought, hey, why not treat myself? Of course I'll always be loyal to the Herbal Essences family, but it's nice to switch it up every now and then. Plus, the posh, gold-topped Moroccan shampoo was on sale.

This evening after yoga ("Can this blog be anymore middle class"? the British would say), I gave my scalp a good sudsing with the new 'poo. So far, so heavenly. I also like the bottle's short stature. It makes it sturdier and less likely to topple over on our shower floor. We don't have a shelf. 

Hmm...not sure 'poo is a good nickname for shampoo. Maybe shampers is better. 


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Annabelle: Part 2

If you haven't already, read Part 1 before you read this.

"Annabelle?" I shouted again. I couldn't believe I'd remembered her name. I hadn't actually read it off the flyer, but my subconscious must have jotted it down just in case this hero-making moment presented itself. 

I looked back at my friends. 

"Justine, I think it's that lady. The one who's missing," I said in a loud whisper. She looked confused. It didn't register. "The one I told you about on the phone. The old lady!"

"Oh yeah. Oh my god!" Justine said, remembering our brief conversation a half hour earlier. 

The three of us ran up to the bushes, peering through the tangles of leaves and branches. 

We saw her. Frail. On all fours. Crawling through the mud. 

She wore a long, beige trench coat and had a pale blue kerchief tied around her head. As she moved, she dug her bony fingers into the soil, pulling her withered body forward through the sticker bushes.

"Annabelle," I said for a third time. 

She looked up at us, her cheeks hollow and wrinkles deep and dirty like a dry riverbed. Slivers of sunlight pierced through the branches, casting sharp, sinister shadows across her gaunt expression. 

"Hello," she croaked. 

*                      *                      *                      *

Image via Wikimedia Commons

There was no way this 90-year-old, 90-pound woman would make it up those stairs. So, we split up. Justine and I would go get neighbour-man. Connie would stay with Annabelle. Poor Connie—always getting the raw deal. Explaining to the neighbour that, as a matter of fact, I did know where his missing mother-in-law was—that would be awkward. But sitting in a forest cabana with the Wrinkled Witch of West Kenmore? That was worse. 

As expected, pulling up in Justine's Ford Probe, pounding on neighbour-man's door and telling him that we'd found his wife's lost long mother was awkward. It had been less than an hour since he was on my porch asking me to keep an eye out for her. This just seemed too convenient—like I'd kidnapped her and kept her hidden until the 'Missing Mother-in-Law | Reward: $1million' flyers went up. 

The man seemed surprised by our quick discovery, but said he and his wife would follow us in their car back to Connie's. 

Walking down all those steps with the two of them was agony. What were we supposed to talk about? "So, does the old bat escape often?" "Have you heard that the Kenmore Premix is going to be torn down and replaced with a movie theatre?" No—smalltalk didn't seem appropriate. We opted for silence. 

When we finally arrived at the bottom, Connie and Annabelle were sipping bottled waters and chatting. They'd become fast friends. But when Annabelle spotted her daughter and son-in-law, she flipped out. 

"No! No! Don't send me back there!" she pleaded with us. "I won't let that man tell me what to do! Don't make me go!"

With each refusal and accusation, the atmosphere got more and more uncomfortable. I remembered my Mom telling me that people with dementia often lash out and even lie about their loved ones. I decided to believe that was the case with Annabelle. What other choice did I have?

Over Annabelle's squawks, Connie suggested that she ask her neighbours if we could use their electric tram to get the frail old bird back up the hill. It was either that or we tie her to an inflatable pool lounger and drag her up the stairs. Annabelle's middle-aged carers weren't offering up any suggestions either. They just stood there being utterly unhelpful.

While we waited for Connie to call us on the cabana landline with the go-ahead, things got more awkward. Out of nowhere, neighbour-man looked at me and said, "Call 911 to let them know we found her!"


"Call 911 and tell them that we found her. We filed a missing persons report earlier," he said. 

"Oh, ok," I said, too disarmed by his sudden command to question it. I pressed 9-1-1 on the keypad and started speaking to the operator. 

"Uhh. Hi, my name is Margaret and I found an old lady who is a missing person. So, yeah, umm, I just wanted to let you know we found her..." I trailed off. Did neighbour-man realise I was just a 19-year-old idiot? Why was he making me do this? And was calling 911 really necessary?

Eventually, as my "ummms" and "I'm not sures" became more frequent, neighbour-man gestured for me to hand him the phone. He started explaining things to the operator and I tuned him out. I had done what the situation had asked of me, and now I was finished. 

I hightailed it home. The whole thing was too weird. Too tense. I'd never liked meeting new people, and this just confirmed it. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

RIP SkyMall

Annabelle: Part 2 has been delayed until tomorrow because I've been too busy having a GREAT DAY. Yeah! Take that!

Right now, I'm watching 'Big Brother's Bit On The Side' (the Big Brother after show).

Earlier, Andy and I went to the cinema to watch 'Whiplash'. It's a film about a jazz drummer and, despite that premise, it's fantastic. Go see it. I liked it better than Birdman and Foxcatcher.

Before that, I went to Craigie's Farm with Char, Freddie and Elsie. It was typical Scottish hurricane conditions, but there's a café there, so ye-haw!

But, as Lisa Vanderpump would say, today wasn't all diamonds and rosé. I also learned that SkyMall has filed for bankruptcy. If you didn't already know, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

A page out of SkyMall.

Image by nowviskie via Wikimedia Commons

The best way to make yourself feel better when something like this happens is to immediately identify and blame the culprit. In this case, I'm going to blame rich people.

Every time I read SkyMall, I think "Yep. I'd buy that. Yep, that too. Yep. Yep. Yep." Why don't I actually buy the stuff? Because I don't have any money! But rich people, they have no excuse. Damn them. DAMN THEM.

Now where am I going to get a raincoat for my dog? Or a high heel wine holder?


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