Friday, 25 April 2008

Giveaway winners and notes from my week...

After a difficult sewing session mid-week my machine stayed under its cover harbouring troublesomeness - its tension was all over the place and the perfect stitches that I have come to expect from my lovely machine during the four years that we have known one another seemed to have disappeared. In the 1980s my sister and I used to watch a sitcom called Girls on Top, featuring Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Tracey Ulman and Ruby Wax - at the time it seemed like one of the most amusing and brilliantly scripted pieces of comedy that I had ever been permitted to watch - in one particularly memorable episode Dawn French falls ridiculously (and unrequitedly) in love, and wafts around her flat dreamily, eventually crashing onto her bed melodramatically declaring: every song on the radio seems to mean something. This used to make my sister and I howl with laughter, perhaps because who hasn't listened to a song at some point and self-indulgently related the words to their own situation? Anyway, I won't reveal which particular mournful line it was that Damien Rice sang that I managed to relate to my sewing machine not working, because that would simply be too humiliating, but the fact that I was able to do it at all perhaps suggests how distressed I was feeling about this loss of service and reliability! Part of me wanted to rush it to the sewing machine repair shop, the other wanted to delay this inevitability in case they told me that it was beyond repair, but yesterday I did finally take it in, if only to avoid having to listen to Leonard Cohen, which would have been the next logical step. What a wasted week, one turn of a screw and it was fixed, and the lovely man in the shop even gave me a new spool stalk when he saw that mine was bent....and all without charge (although I was so grateful that I wouldn't need to be without it for a week that I did feel compelled to leave a small amount). On the music front, I am now listening to Josh Ritter...who is our new favourite singer and I can reveal that I have applied none of the lyrics to either myself or my machine (the link is to one of his most hectic Dylanesque songs, but this one is a little more subdued if you have a headache).

So, during my almost stitch-free week I turned my attentions, with dinosaur-boy and Zebra-girl as my assistants, to cake-making. Recently I've noticed that food manufacturers have been forced into stating in brackets the origin of their gelatine on the listing of ingredients. As children, probably due to not being able to face the consequences of her offspring being ostracised further by having to refuse jelly at birthday parties, as well as the mini-sausages and ham sandwiches, my mother happily encouraged my sister and I to take part in a little self-deception ("I think gelatine is made from the dripping of melted down horse hooves, which makes it more of a by-product - like eggs or milk), but now that the word 'beef' appears after the word gelatine (so WHAT were the horse hooves all about?!) this trick no longer works for me. I called a crisis meeting with Mr Teacakes and a gelatine policy was decided upon. "What do you mean no jelly lemons and oranges?" Zebra-girl squeaked, aghast, when I broke the news to her at the start of a cake decorating session. It is for this reason that I allowed the children to make a consolation Everest cake, overloaded with Chocolate Stars and Smarties... I'm not sure there is a mouth big enough to nibble its way into that strange mountain, but they had fun creating it and the loss of jellies has thankfully been forgotten.

Anyway, onto my tiny giveaway...how lovely it was to hear everyone's best loved words! I was reminded of some of my own forgotten favourites: Eiderdown, Bumble bee and Marshmallow (yes, they of the gelatine-derived loveliness...oh how I shall miss them!) and I especially loved reading and learning about the words that had been chosen from different languages...I also learnt from the emails that were exchanged following one of the comments that there are a lot more rude words beginning with S and ending with M than you might first think...but perhaps it's best not to ponder on that for it worries the spam filter and causes an unhealthy amount of filthy laughter).

Some of you - those that haven't been squirrelling the discloths away already - asked where I'd bought them: Waitrose and Sainsburys and I can only implore you to rush to the cleaning ailse immediately and stockpile the floral loveliness in a way that leaves my own stash looking completely sane and rational in the eyes of Mr Teacakes.

This weekend has been so busy and full of lovely visitors that I haven't managed to find a time to get my little Teacakes to do a draw with me, so instead I have used a rather dull and soulless 'random number generator'...it said it was picking pseudo-random integers, whatever they are...so it feels doubly random to my mind. By the time I'd tried to count around some of the commenters who very sweetly left their favourite words, but asked to be excluded from the draw on the grounds that they too had been doing their own bulk-buying, I think that Bec of The Small Stuff and Jo of French Knots are the winners, so do please email me with your addresses, and I will try and get myself to a postbox at some point this week!

(The pear at the top of this post is a pincushion that I made for Ian's mother some time ago that seems to have previously escaped being blogged! Pesky pear.)

Hope you have all had lovely weekends. x

17 comments:

  1. Oh wow - thank-you so much. I should really send you a photo of my current dishcloth - it would make you so glad that your happy little cloths are going to a home where happy cloths are sorely needed :)

    I'm glad your machine is ok, and that you won't have to go through the pain of separation. Not so glad about your info on the gelatine though...it is one of those uncomfortable things I have always managed to put to the back of my mind. But now I can no longer ignore it. I'm not vegetarian (for various reasons) but I do try to keep my meat consumption limited and as cruelty-free as possible (luckily we have lots of free-range, grass fed and organic options here). But gelatin I fear does not come under any of these banners...:(

    Oh, and what a lovely pear (sorry, that sounded like a Benny Hill line didn't it!).

    I'll send you an email with my address. Sorry about the essay - feeling a bit verbose today...

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  2. oh dear, you've reminded me I really should get my sewing machine serviced....
    love the pear!
    can you find any jellies made with agar agar, a sea weed derivative that works as a setting agent like gelatin?

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  3. Oh sewing machine woes are the worst. I always assume it's something I've done (and will do so even more now of course) and my machine is rebelling. I over-anthropomorphise. But I'm glad it was mended swiftly and easily.

    Cake was and is the correct answer to any trouble, of course :)

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  4. The only way to avoid sewing machine meltdown (and corny music therapy!) is to collect them- I have five in various hidden places so my husband doesn't find out!

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  5. Well done to the winners.
    Right I'm off to buy some of those gorgeous dish cloths fro myself lol
    I've ben eying them up in Sainsburys for ages now you've giving me the best excuse for purchasing them hehe! I didn't win :(
    That's what I'll tell him in doors ;)
    Great post hun. And yuk I never knew what was in gelatine ooow I won't be giving the girls anything with that in anymore. Thanks honey for the info.
    Have a good week.
    Hugs.
    Catherine x

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  6. What a lovely pear! I'm glad you got your machine fixed, and what on earth do you mean that gelatine is not from ground down horses hooves? I am 29 and have been quite content to avoid things with in it because I just could never get the image of Black Beauty out of my head when I saw a wine gum!

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  7. I have lost my machine to the menders this week as well and have been utterly lost without it. My has cost a bit more than yours though! Its funny how attached you can get to these things.

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  8. Poor sewing machine - but I am glad to see you made the best use of your time meanwhile; the cake looks like something my girls would adore. Embarassing confession time - when I was a teenager I copied out the lyrics frmn a particularly depressing Cure song and stuck them on my wall - a girly version of Kurt from Clarice Bean!

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  9. I bought 2 packets of those dish cloths in Sainsburys (they are half price). My collegaue thinks I'm mental for buying such pretty things to scrub my dishes but I love them. Thanks for drawing them to my attention, they are so me! :-0

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  10. Oh thank you! They are sooo much better than my 'poundshop specials'!
    Hope your machine is on it's way to full working order.

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  11. The pear is just adorable! Thanks for the music link - I liked the first noisy one in particular. Right....I'm off to Waitrose!

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  12. You can buy them in Asda too - I got strange looks for loitering in the cleaning aisle deciding (out loud to my children) which ones would look best in the kitchen!

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  13. Gelatine - ug, and it crops up in so many foodstuffs.

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  14. Glad your sewing machine is all better now... I didn't realise that about Gelatin, will have to watch out for it..thanks for the info. Lovely pear too
    Lisa x

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  15. Hi Flossie,
    It's Miss L. I have been catching up on your blog.Thanks again for my elegant and bold teacup and pretty teabag holder that you gave me for my birthday. Futhermore the generous quantities of wonderful dishclothes.
    I am still thinking up brilliant words to send to your blog.
    Mr P has just made a rhubarb crumble!
    See you and get crafting!
    Miss L

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  16. I'm sorry that I missed your giveaway! And I'm sorry that your machine is not cooperating, but your cooking skills look like they're getting a workout. Now...come and see my giveaway...

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  17. I second the agar agar, my mom used to make the most fantastic almond jelly with it. Sounds like you girls had a wonderful weekend in London.

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Florence x