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The Week I’ve Had (26th December 2010)

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There are so many pigeons on our roof. I love the purring noise they make while they’re settling down; it’s much simpler than getting and feeding and cleaning up after a cat, listening to them perched up there. But they’re terrified of humans; they flap away in a panic every time I go near a window.

These two were huddled on the stairwell windowsill when I headed back to work on Tuesday lunchtime. I knew they’d fly away the moment I took the first step down from my door and I wondered momentarily whether my boss would accept, “I can’t come back in; there are pigeons outside,” as a good excuse for staying home. I decided probably not.

On Wednesday, my Tea Swap parcel arrived. Yay! I feel quite bad about how little I sent in my own parcel now as this one was brimming with tea bags and little pouches of loose leaves (including gingerbread ones – mmm!) and a box of Make Us A Brew mint ‘n’ chilli and origami swans and paper stars and two handmade hairslides and loads of fabric with pretty teacups all over it. Wow! Thank you!

Here’s a picture of me wearing one of the hairslides. I think I need to talk to everybody with my head tipped at this angle from now on and some sort of portable makeshift Photoshop filter held in front of me!

I loved the sparkles of this icicle hanging basket.

On Thursday night, Steve and I went for dinner at some friends’ place. One – Bruce – is very insistent about the giving of Christmas presents; you may already know that I’m not big into Christmas, but I don’t mind an excuse to wrap things up prettily if a friend maintains it’s important!

Secondhand sheet music has been my wrapping paper of choice for much of this year, but the enormous jingle bells I found in a charity shop this week made the gifts extra festive.

One of the cats was very pleased to see Steve and immediately pounced on his back and started trying to wash his hair. The boys thought it might have been some sort of fellow-ginger bonding ritual.

Bauble on a desk at work; we closed up on Friday lunchtime for a week and a half.

<self congratulation> Our friend Martin was working Christmas Day (he’s a student-cum-barman) so couldn’t go home; he came round to ours for lunch instead and was presented with a card we had devised and I had made whilst tipsy the night before. It’s a Schrodinger’s Cat reference (because he goes on about that darned cat a lot) – the tag on the outside reads, “A present is put in a box. The box is wrapped. How can you tell the present is still awesome?”; the inside reads, “You can’t. You’d better open it and check!”</self congratulation>

I was thrilled with my Secret Santa gifts. I was excited to recognise Kayleigh Bluck‘s name on the return address, and the tote bag and magnet inside did not disappoint!

Steve also did well presentswise; these are all the ribbons I removed (in preparation for recycling, not out of my general Grinchy bah humbugness) from the wrapping paper his parents had used…

And today: the traditional Boxing Day “Wii ‘n’ Toastii” session at our friends’ flat.

Saturday Thrifting

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A few days ago, Elsie at A Beautiful Mess blogged about her quirks and guilty pleasures. Ever since, I’ve been trying to think of some (illustratable ones) of my own but… you know… what with being perfect and all, it was kind of difficult.

Comedy arrogance is certainly not one of them.

Anyway, this morning I was wandering around the Salvation Army charity shop down the road from my flat. It’s one of the few left in town which doesn’t realise the value of its own stock, so it’s still possible to get a gorgeous vintage bargain in there!

And… that’s one of my guilty pleasure habits.

Not getting a gorgeous vintage bargain exactly; getting a gorgeous vintage bargain I neither need nor intend to use. For example, today I came home with two books of sheet music (when I can neither read sheet music nor play an instrument), a knitting pattern for wombat-shaped toys (I haven’t knitted a stitch in my life) and a single bed sheet (when our bed’s a double):

Look at that dapper moustache! How cheerful he looks with his cavalcade of happy songs! Look at the song titles! Sheet music joy!
I’m not so clear why I wanted the Beethoven one…

I would quite like a knitted wombat toy…

Of course, some of this will get re-purposed for my shop. The sheet music will probably turn into paper “song birds” and the fabric has multiple uses (and might help justify having bought Things to Make from Odds and Ends because I liked the hideous lampshade on the front).

More usefully acquired were these Avon playing cards (50 pence!). How cute are they? And seasonal, too…

I bought them planning to turn them into gift tags or business cards but, now that I’ve got them out of the box, they’re not going anywhere; I’m far too smitten with them.

Things I did resist buying included a funky pyrex casserole dish (as I already have a stack I never use) and this blanket (because it was itchy):

I also resisted this fab old suitcase. The catches don’t hold any more and it’s too big for the “I need a cute retro suitcase” photo shoot I have in mind, so I thought I was being sensible leaving it… Then I got home and realised it’s the perfect shape, size and colour to turn into the coffee table our living room is sorely lacking; I’ll be going back on Monday lunchtime to see if it’s still there!

I love that it still has the name tag attached!

In other Saturday news, our new (working!) TV was delivered today. Here we are, watching it scan for new channels:

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