Well the good news is that I won’t be having problems with rabbits eating the vegetables in the garden any more, thanks to my firm but fair method of pest control (see below).
The bad news is that I don’t think it’ll work for the squirrels because they’re crafty little buggers and I think they’re politically motivated because they systematically targeted all of the strawberries last year. Ate them all, before they were even ripe (have I complained about this before? I complain about this on a regular basis). They know that strawberries are my favourite fruit, you see; they’ve seen what joy I gain from growing and picking them. I think the squirrels are upset due to the time I chased little Jimmy around the garden (I don’t know if the squirrel’s name was Jimmy) and the fiasco with the bird seed. That’s when things turned sour, but, see, I don’t think it’s possible to reach a truce with squirrels like I have with, say, the spiders that live in my window or the little vole who resides in the flower bed. Squirrels are bastards, and they’re smart. While I think my friend’s suggestion of land mines might be a little counter-productive, I’ve got to start putting up anti-squirrel propaganda around the garden or spread some rumours about them to the other animals or something because that strawberry shit was too far. Squirrels are devil sympathisers, after all. No, really, they are, I’ve seen it.
Last month I shared a project that I’ve had brewing for years, and this month I’ll show you what I’ve been putting off for probably just as long, or even longer. For ages I didn’t even bother trying to make myself some sort of logo, telling myself that the most difficult logo to design is probably your own. And designing logos is really difficult.
But then one day not long ago, as I was flying to work on my magic carpet, or whatever it was that I was doing at the time (I can’t remember), all of a sudden it was unbelievably, stupendously obvious what the design should look like. So I immediately, at a leisurely pace, set to work and rustled up a logo to call my own. I don’t think ‘design’ is supposed to be so ridiculously easy. I think it’s supposed to take weeks of furiously sketching out design after design, bits of crumpled paper littering the carpet as the designer rubs her bleary, tired eyes and sips her fortieth coffee of the night – it being 3am and the deadline looming. Well, I didn’t do any of that, which feels a bit like cheating. *Glances over the shoulder, then shrugs* Ah well.
If you’re wondering about the silly bird, I draw the bloody thing everywhere (notes, people’s birthday cards, work documents) so of course it had to be in the logo. I’m very fond of the little fella, you see.
I questioned whether to do a big, grand unveiling on here or whether I should just sneak the logo in somewhere and hope that no one questions where the logo came from or why I didn’t have one earlier. But, well, I don’t know what else to talk about on the blog this month so I might as well do a big, grand unveiling.
It’s April Fool’s day tomorrow, so now seems like a good time to tell you about the running joke I’ve been playing on my Mum for the last couple of years. Like any sensible grown-up she writes food shopping lists and leaves them in the kitchen, adding to them whenever food inspiration strikes and eventually taking the list to the shop so as to remember what to buy. It’s a good idea. However, if you leave your shopping list lying around you leave it vulnerable to other people adding things to the list without you noticing. Like ‘snakes’. Other than the fact that writing ‘snakes’ on someone’s shopping list is hilarious, the funny thing was that the first time I did it she couldn’t read what it said and she thought it said ‘snacks’. The other funny thing was how, displeased, she would always cross it out as if, if she didn’t cross it out, she’d accidentally buy snakes in Sainsbury’s. Hopefully one day she’ll forget to cross it out, black out and unintentionally buy some snakes, which would be fun (until they get loose in the house, and then there’d be trouble).
It became a running joke in the house to the point that other people started joining in. And then it evolved from snakes to, well, anything. One time my partner Max and I added ‘crocodiles’ and ‘lemons’ to a list.
Eventually, though, my joke backfired and someone got one of my shopping lists. Touché.
Does anyone play pranks on April Fool’s day any more? I find the unnecessary number of rules confusing (you have to prank before noon, while wearing golf shoes and waving your left arm?) and most pranks are just mean. Don’t do mean pranks, folks, because if you like doing mean things to other people you SUCK.
Pancake day is the most underrated public holiday. It’s so underrated, in fact, that it’s not even a public holiday! Quite frankly it’s outrageous. I mean, how is everyone supposed to properly appreciate the mighty pancake while at work all day? I need a day off to do that. And don’t give me that lemon and sugar crap. If the only pancake you’ll have is Goddamn lemon and sugar then you don’t deserve a day off on pancake day. People who only eat lemon and sugar pancakes are the same people who drive at 35 miles an hour everywhere and wear factor 57 suncream and buy Flora because they’re worried about cholesterol. Good grief, take a risk for once in your life. Try a different fucking pancake.
As you can see, the pancake issue is one close to my heart. I love those doughy delights. I have pancakes for dinner all the time; they were the first thing I ever learned to cook back when I was a wee lass. I like the thin crepes and I like the thick, fluffy American-style ones. I like the savoury ones and the sweet ones. I’m not pancake-ist.
The issue is how underrated they are, and how every year, on pancake day, people say “Pancakes are great, I don’t know why I don’t have them more often.”
I don’t know, why don’t you have them more often?
So my message is this: have a pancake on pancake day. Have a pancake on any day! In fact, have two pancakes. Have a spinach and ricotta pancake, or a creamy mushroom pancake, or a Mexican-style one. For dessert, have one with morello cherries, or nutella and banana. Feel joyous. Life is good. There are pancakes to be had.
Working at a computer all day occasionally has its perks. I get to be indoors when it’s raining, for example. But mostly it’s perilous and fraught with desk-related dangers. I mean, has the bloke working on the off-shore oil rig ever had a paper cut? Hmm? A real deep, filthy cardboard cut? No, of course he hasn’t, because he gets to not work at a desk all day. And I know miners have relatively adverse working conditions, but working at a desk considerably shortens your life in a slow, debilitating and not to mention boring way. I can’t think of anything more boring than literally sitting yourself to death. Death by being seated.
More importantly, welcome to 2017! I’m not sure what’s happened because normally January lasts for over six months but this time the worst month of the year has shot past like a bar of soap squeezed out an unsuspecting hand, leaping for glorious freedom like Free Willy only it’s a bar of soap and not a killer whale. I don’t have any strong feelings about the year so far, because, well, I don’t know, it’s only January so why bother with strong feelings or making predictions for the year. And stop sitting at your desk all day, it’s bad for you.
Ha-HA! The penultimate day of 2016. I’m stoked on 2017 mainly because I’ve got a friggin’ amazing Lonely Planet 2017 calendar and the photo for January is totally sick! Move over, 2016, you’re so last year.
I mean, let’s not be ungrateful here because 2016 started off pretty OK. Admittedly it slid more and more downhill from late June, but, y’know, there were some good things to take away from the experience. For example, when I was trying to come up with some positive things to take away from the experience I had a look at my blog articles from the year and realised how much better my photography is now compared to the beginning of the year. Like, so much better! How very unexpected. Then I thought, with a reflective shrug, about how my skills in Illustrator are a thousand times better now than they were this time last year. I mean, seriously, way better. While we’re on the subject, my Photoshop and InDesign skills have also improved considerably. Also I noticed the other day that my proofreading is better. This I’ve actively been working on for the last few months and it’s paying off. Go me.
And, most importantly, my goddamn sewing skills are better! Not long ago I expressed my bitter disappointment surrounding the surfboard sock I made, and, I’m pleased to announce, things have improved. A little.
Sewing is still annoyingly hard. And annoying. And hard. But, let me demonstrate to you exhibit A; the advent calendar I made myself throughout December. I’m so pleasantly surprised that if I was more arrogant I might even photograph it against a shabby-chic whitewashed pallet with sprigs of Norwegian Spruce and put it on Pinterest. I was going to write ‘just kidding’ but I’m not kidding. Though I do love Pinterest… in all its preachy, arrogant glory.
Christmas is Christmassing here at Lucia HQ. And by that I mean it’s doing the best it can considering we’re all ill and unenthused and in bed by 9.30. I’ve been doing a terrible job of eating loads (even the beloved Lebkuchen isn’t going down very well) but I’ve done excellently at lounging around like a fat seal pup, though far less cute, and for the first time in ages I’ve had nothing to do. I may have simply forgotten all the things I was supposed to do, or am subconsciously ignoring them, or (most likely) forgot to write them down so now they’re lost forever. To be honest, I care more about Kim Kardashian’s latest stupid face painting ritual than I care about all the things I’ve forgotten I’m supposed to be doing. Which is not very much. About a fifth the size of a nanometre… 0.2 nanometres, if you prefer fractions expressed as decimals.
As is customary I took some photos to prove that it really is Christmas here at Lucia HQ, and thus I present to you a handful of blurry photos (damn you slow shutter speed shaky hands!). I was getting experimental over several evenings with a long exposure of Little Apple Tree in the garden that has fallen victim to Christmas decorations, and things got pretty weird out there. Weird to the point where I don’t know what looks right any more and where I don’t know if I’ve created a monster or if I’ve had a photographic breakthrough. Alas, we live and we learn. On a side note, I’ve been improving my sewing since my disappointing surfboard sock, as you can see by the little stocking chain I made. I also made the wreath, purely with stuff I found in the garden. Apart from the ribbon, of course, which is from the Neighbour’s garden. They have a ribbon tree.
Wishing you a super Christmas time, my friends, and I hope you’re all enjoying some well-deserved time off and you’ve managed to avoid the dreaded lurgy unlike me.