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Tuesday, 18 September 2007

A Squeal of Thanks and Homework

How exciting is that!! I go to waste some time on the site ("how rude," as F8 would say, "how offensive") and trawl through some favourites, bits of which I might have missed while idiotic enough to live life, go on holiday to avoid flood-cum-droughts, and wrestle with slippery beasts.
(Enough Lolly-talk, you’re losing your audience.)
And in my cyber trip to the gorgeous @themill what do I find but a RGB award?
Long have I wondered how the blessed get these honours and now I know. Actually, I think we can all just nick the image, but I want @themill to know how embarrassingly pleased I am by this, and for the rest of you to know that it was really and truly conferred and not just the product of a burgling spree.
(You are right to have entertained the thought, however; although I am a little bit hurt that you did so.)

According to @themill I can nominate 5 more. And knowing that several of you already have this, you will forgive me for not selecting you, so I will go for, in no particular order (the power, the power):

LittleBrownDog: my kind of girl, albeit with an absurdly strong sense of responsibility towards her Akela: step back from the beige uniform, put down the cheesy balls!
ChrisH: those paintings (by association, if not her actual mitt on the brush) and that assiduity – so shaming to the lazy – (even if she can’t undo her own bra. Honestly!)
Frances for bringing the unknown world of New York retail into our (largely) British lives.
KittyB for being naughty but a horribly accomplished role model. Those flower photos, those cushions and All Those Plans for Christmas! KittyLand in December, anyone??
IrishEyes, a true teller of tales, an old fashioned and absorbing style, witty and warm and thoroughly readable every time.
Elizabethm for being inspirational, yet still dry and funny. Anyone who’s not read the story of her illness should hie them over and be prepared to be awed. Still waiting for an invitation to That Cottage, mind.

Oops, can’t count. Oh well.
Still a-flush with my award, I am finally tackling my homework, with which I am several days late – and I was such a Good Girl when young, wail. The smells and sounds one.
Now, you’re going to have to like me a lot to hoick the old carcass around the world like this to prompt me from my coma, but here goes.
All pretty obvious stuff:

That wall of heat that wallops you when you get off the plane on holiday. The worst of the preparation is done – you’re there, for God’s sake – and, from grim grey skies to that muzzy warmth: who cares if you left the oven on? You didn’t. Enjoy.

Later, unpacked, the sea can lap round my ankles, feet disappearing into fudgey sand. Getting ready for supper, my back will feel tight from the sun, my nails white from swimming and my lungs pure from sea air. Aaaah.

The smell of my children. Don’t wince, they’re young and fragrant, their skin soft as Teflon. Plus they’ll immediately start bickering about who kisses first or second so I’ll have to rise from the dead to thwack them.

Various commercial scents, the lifting of the lid gets me full throttle in the solar plexus, kick-starting a terrifyingly powerful drag back to the past:
Cachet, which my friend and I used to wear to go to parties in the 6th form: a welter of unhappy memories, slights, disappointments and waiting in the cold for a lift home can flood back with that one;
Paco Rabanne for Edward, and happy hours spent in duty free buying it having sprayed on everything else just in case;
Royal Secret for my mother, although I don’t know if they do it any longer? But it’s her, and her getting ready to go out and looking beautiful and glamorous and coolly jewelled.
Obsession for my father;
Miss Dior, if I’m being solipsistic (and, let’s face it, why not?) for me. My mother first gave it to me at 16 and despite going wild in duty free (see above) I’ve never really succumbed to anything else.

Someone whispering, “Supper Is Made Forever...” or, oh let’s say AND, whispering, “We’ve Arranged Fairies To Do The Laundry …. Forever...” Who could die with that offer on the table? Go on, let’s complete the trio with that immortal promise, too-little heard, “My Turn To Drive…” A girl can dream.

The crunch of snow beneath the skies on the first day of a skiing holiday. The sky is blue – it was pleasingly grey in comparison back in Blighty, remember, for schadenfreude is part of the deal; the promise of vin blanc shimmers in the pleasingly near future and the queue for the ski lift is minimal. Heaven.

Flowers, the old faves: David Austin roses, wallflowers, sweet peas, Freesia, Elaeagnus angustifolia “Quicksilver”, honeysuckle and jasmine, night-scented stocks and Nicotiana. Greedy nostrils sated, the hayfever pill was taken earlier.

A gentle pop and the fat fizz of champagne glugging into my glass. My big glass.

Cool, clean sheets, and one’s legs scissoring in them, back de-clicking after a long day.

The smell of a damned fine Indian meal, accompanied by the sizzle of chicken on tandoor. Seated opposite me will, I know, be my glorious little F8 tucking in bigly, while T11 anxiously nurses his coca cola, knowing it has to last the whole meal. It’s these inevitables which are so comforting.

Children singing. Sobbed when they did Land of Hope and Glory at a recent school concert, ditto when their orchestra performed a joyously rambunctious version of English Country Garden.

The bit before any meal with friends or family. That first glug of wine and the hand reaching for a shiny olive. The anticipation, always the anticipation, that indefinable sense of things being in train, the work all but done, the enjoyment about to begin: Christmas Eve over Christmas Day. It’s all but palpable.
There’s no-one to pass the homework on to, aren’t I the last?


Crystal Jigsaw said...

Big tick for the homework and a large A in the top corner.

Congrats on the award.

Crystal xx

elizabethm said...

What a lovely list - kept me saying "Yes" to so many: clean sheets, champagne, the first olive.
And thank you so much for the nomination. bit overcome actually.
I thought you knew you had a standing invitation to the cottage with all or any of the family or all by yourself for a sneaky weekend away (you can bring Jane if you like).

Suffolkmum said...

Your blogs are like waiting for a bus Milla, we wait months and then two come along at once. I can't keep up. Cachet - oh my God - totally forgotten about that. Just reading the name brought back my 6th form days in glorious technicolour. And that wall of heat when you get off the plane - and an Indian meal - even the similarity of boys nursing their cokes - so much to agree with!

IrishEyes said...

Feeling suddenly giddy with shock and delight. An award! thank you dear creature, this is the first I have ever received, and I am blown like a fleecy cloud about the sky with it. You have made my day, no, you have made my year! Thank you x 100,000,000 times.

Cachet eh? You too? He was 18 in Leaving Cert year - used to take the same bus to the Saturday night disco at his school...I yearned from afar, and that's about as far as it got. Cachet didn't cut it...she wore Charlie. The hussy! still and all, wouldn't change OH for Cachet or Calimari! All time fave for me is "Je Reviens" [Worth] a sort of personal statement.

Absolutely love the list, top of the class girl, straight A's all the way.

An award, WOW! [stupid silly grin on face, smile a mile wide!]

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Hi Milla - so lovely to have you back for the New Term. Well done on the award. A+ for the homework - and yes I can empathise with your list except for reaching for the olive . . eeuuurrrghgh - it is a taste I have tried to acquire, but failed. . . we eat sweet chilli crisps instead.

Casdok said...

Loved your list!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

wonderfully put
Cachet...remember it well!

Hannah Velten said...

Very entertaining blog - love the way you write...agree with all the holiday/anticipation points on the list, clean sheets (I've got them tonight so will try the scissor maneovure) and FIZZ being poured (don't have any of that tonight - shame!) and can I please borrow the fairy laundry/chef if she, or he (shouldn't be sexist), ever arrives....
Mootia x

Exmoorjane said...

And about time too (stands, hands on hips, tapping foot). But, all is forgiven as that was absolutely TOP (as James would say). yes to all of them except the dodgy perfumes. totally totally that first whiff of 'off' when alighting from a plane - heat is best but anything different will do. Now, tell me how for heaven's sake I get my RGB award up? Last time I tried I crashed my entire blog.
Oooh, just caught Elizabethm's invite - take me! take me! take me!

@themill said...

Gorgeous? Moi? Oh how kind you are.
Loved the list and had forgotten about 'Cachet'. I think I wore it after my 'Charlie' phase.

CAMILLA said...

The memories have come back Milla, remember Cachet, used to wear it years ago, wonderful, so too Dorissimo, so gorgeous one could almost get totally hooked on the stuff. Love the feel of cool crisp sheets, cant wait for that, have not slept in a bed since I dont know when.!!

Well done on your Award, and your Homework has got a very big gold star from me. Thank you for your kind comments Milla, sooo kind.


bradan said...

Lovely list, though I'm still not sure what it's all about - I mean having to do the 'homework' thingy!
I remember Cachet, but wasn't too keen, I loved (still do) Miss Dior and would like a loan of the fairies, please!!

Tara said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Country Craft Angel said...

Brilliant to see you blogging again Milla. Just been having a mammoth catch up (you are verging on prolific again!-sorry that it took the near car crash to start it though)

Love your list of smells and sounds (my homework long overdue) I laughed thinking of you and Cachet perfume-@the mill got in first-I was also a Charlie and a Panache girl!!

Keep it up Milla.

warmest wishes

Frances said...


I almost missed this. Almost is a very powerful word.

Always greedy and wanted to hear your voice. Glad that school is back in session.

Congrats to you on the award which you do so deserve. And I do humbly thank you for passing it on to me. Wow. Truly do not know what to make of it.

Maybe along with our sensations homework, there could be an examination of our favorite, or most welcome, or not-so-easily expressed emotional responses.

I really do have difficulty receiving recognition. It is lovely to be able to say thank you and I do say thank you to you!

Your list on sensations invited us all to share what you've felt. And you took us to those waters, meals, youthful spritzings, descents from airplanes,cars, whatever to the first breath of a holiday. And so much more. Very exhiliarating, Milla.

Thanks so much. xo

Tattie Weasle said...

Champagne - there's nothing quite like that subtle fump noise as the cork is eased out or the sound of it tickling away in the glass - I used to love going to my grandparents cos inevitbaly Grandpa would say: "What day is it today?" and one of use would tell him and he'd reply "Excellent a perfect day to celebrate - champagne anyone?!!" Seriously spolit!

Pondside said...

Wonderful list - I loved it all. So interesting to find out a littl more about one another this way. I will always think of Lanvin when I think of a scent for my mother.

muddyboots said...

what a wonderful list you have there!

Casdok said...

Ps Your not an old bag!!! :)

Pipany said...

yep, clean sheets, champagne and so on here too Milla. Well done for the award too. You deserve it xx

annakarenin said...

Lovely list but oh the puppy blog. If they are anything like Setters though the first two years are the worse. Unfortunately some b***** b****** stole our last one just when she reached that magic age and I can't face going through it all again until we are desperate, so Sassy will have to remain an 'only' dog and rely on the cats for company. Much easier to train and fine if they are introduced after the dog. Our last cat spent his entire existence terrorising our dogs at every opportunity, because he came first.

KittyB said...

Ahem, ahem, much clearing of throat through sparkly eyes, 'aye thank you'. So kind. Naughty, moi? Why whatever do you mean? Titter.

Nice smells and sounds. Have some virtual pop and sparkle from a glass of champagne I'm handing you. Of course if you all came to Christmas at La Maison Kitty then you'd get the real thing, naturellement...

Oh b*gger, now I've got two logos and sets of others to sort out - and I still haven't done my homework. Not that I'm bragging, oh, shut up Kitty, return to the wine...

LittleBrownDog said...

Oh, Milla - I'm all overcome with excitement at the thought of a real live blogging award, the cheesy balls are just going everywhere! (what do I have do to transport it onto my page, though?)

Excellent smelling choices - can identify with many of these - yes, yes to the warm wall of air off the plane. I'd forgotten that. Time for another holiday, methinks.

Mwah! again for the award (just trotting of to pop it on my page...)

LittleBrownDog said...

...just worked it out (lifting the award thingy). It's mighty easy, isn't it. Might just pop out to bag a few more...

Woozle1967 said...

Great list Milla, and chuckled at the dog-owners-pros-and-cons!

Read about your knock-throughs with much envy - we are up to first lift but hoping for 2nd scaffold lift next week........... if the weather's not too bad. Novelty's wearing off now and I've only been playing a few weeks, unlike you! We can't be that far away from each other - we're 20mins from Tewkesbury.

ChrisH said...

Bum! How come I missed this earlier. So sorry my dear, I really enjoyed the list and didn't realise I'd one an award - even if half of it is Tom's (Bum again! Let him get his own award!) Thank you darling.

Jaja said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog . Just read through the first page of your blog, warm and funny.

Gloucetershire, definitely a place I ve read about in a book!

Congrats, by the way, on the award.