Short temper, exploding irons, calming blogs.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

That blissful, chic, charming and silver-tongued lady over at Femme D'un Certain Age has very kindly passed on a blog award to me: I have to name twelve blogs that "we admire and who bring rays of sunshine into our lives every time we visit."


Only I am still beyond furious that my 'cleaner,' who never cleaned, but broke six irons and three washing machines in five years, who remained in my employ through the goodness of my soft-give-a-struggling-single-mum-a-break heart chose yesterday to deliver a torrent of abuse and storm out to take up the many other offers she has apparently had for her unparalleled tea-drinking, moaning, dust-avoiding, implement-busting and swearing skills.

So I had a look at this morning's cache of reading. Not a pretty sight. There are some blogs that I visit, in the first caffeine-fuelled rush of morning in order to pass a few happy moments while the bots are farting about losing PE kits and suddenly remembering they have to go in today dressed as Egyptian slaves. There are the dullest blogs in the world where we are treated to literal blow-by-blow accounts of the colds being suffered by the entire family. There are mimsy doily-folding 'ettiquette' blogs. There are dense wear-my-learning-heavily pseudo-intellectual blogs that make no sense however much vodka I throw at them. I won't go on for fear of offending...


In honour of the real cleaning agency I am interviewing later, I will make these ones lovely drool-worthy house-porn. This is the stuff that I was glued to this time last year while seven shades of shit were being knocked out of my downstairs rooms and choices of kitchen handles, brushed-nickel-tap-questions, bot-fuelled doubt over the dark wooden floor filled my nights. I pored over these lovely sights sitting in my Hades of a building site while the plumber and electrician fought over who would salvage the old range and the painter despaired over my dramatic choice of grey-green heritage paint and lobbied bluntly for a nice sunny yellow. Had we even met?

Anyway, here are a selection of talented and delicious men and women who kept my sanity and whom I will be pulling up later when the agency cleaner asks what my house looks like inside My Parallel Life.

Eddie Ross - my first true design blog love, even though he doesn't know I exist. His makeovers are stunning and I adore his new place in the country. I dreamed that one day I'd have a cocktail with him in the NYC apartment before nipping off to hunt flea-market bargains to make over. He shows you how to tart up old crap, how to arrange flowers like a 50s prozac housewife and is, in My Parallel Life, my absolute bff.

Belgian Pearls - I fell in love with belgian interior design when I was about 17 and it stays firm as my first love. The drop-dead clever simplicity of neutral natural material - linen, wood, pewter. Artfully arranged antiques and nothing superfluous or jarring yet amazingly easy to live in. Nobody, in my little opinion, does it with more verve and charm that the delightful Greet, whom I am also honoured to call a blogmate.

The Lettered Cottage - Layla is very sweet and talented and Kevin is like an angel with a power tool. Her place is stunning and I love the inspiring how-it-happened photos that accompany each transfromation. I love her taste and she does all sorts of amazingly clever things on a shoestring. Gorgeous.

Simply Seleta - all sorts of stuff, not just her yummy all-white beach house and incredibly photogenic children. I head over here for calming eyefuls of pretty stuff she has spotted. Sometimes I even buy it. She was where I first learned the prase 'fo shizzle.' That's a lot to answer to in my house.

Cote de Texas - Learned and erudite but never speaks down. I have learned so much from this lady and am always enchanted and diverted by the different styles she discusses and the mouthwatering pictures she delivers.

Velvet & Linen -  Isn't it stunning? I adore this lady's taste - so elegant, so cleverly neutral and always perfectly executed. Very clever at finding interesting stuff too. Dangerous late at night if you have a credit card handy. Do you think that Brooke and Steve would notice if I quietly moved in and perched permanently at the bar in their kitchen? I'd bring my own vodka and would be terribly amusing if clients came round.

Greige - yes, there is a theme here; calming, pebbly coloured rooms; this blog is wall-to-wall beauty. I would like to live in every single room featured. I would like the writers to know they are responsible for the avoidance of several ire-fuelled rants as I float off into serenity scrolling through their fabulous images.

Blue Remembered Hills - who funnily enough is also a blog-mate a fellow Lucia-phile. He looks at interior design in a historical context and writes engagingly and knowledgeably about his subject. His posts are impeccably researched, full of human detail and always always erudite and beautifully illustrated. When I grow up, this is the type of blogging I aspire to.

Dear readers, skip on over and soak up some stunning words and pictures. Those featured, over to you - Blogs What Bring Sunshine is tonight's prep. Meanwhile, I've got to go home and start the sodding ironing.


  1. Thanks for the recommendations. Do you also know vintage simple? You might like her too...good luck with your, do you all still call them chars?

  2. Dear Elizabeth,
    I can not express my feelings by reading this about me and my blog! I feel so honoured!
    You are the sweetest! I will remind this!!
    Thank you so much!!!!
    A big hug!

  3. You're a fabulous writer! Please rub some of your talent onto my tired-of-typing wrists. The part about your Egyptian slave children made me laugh out loud.

    Thanks for including me in your list today - I'm flattered to be in such wonderful' shizzle.

  4. That you, a woman who writes beautifully with wit, humour and charm, said that about me is quite moving, and I thank you for it. Really.

  5. You know something, Els? I just love everything about you. I really do.

    Today my cleaning lady begged me never, as long as I live, to buy My-Reason-For-Living-In-France another shirt. She then broke a wine glass -- missed the shelf entirely. Fortunately it was of the every day variety.

    I think I shall make up awards to give you two or three times a week so I can see what you have to say. (Glad I didn't pass on the one I received today about the 10 Things That Make You Happy. . .)

    xoxoxo, Tish

  6. Oooh, can't wait to lose myself in these fabulous-sounding blogs. Then again, they are sure to induce a teeth-gnashing fit of house envy, so maybe I'll go and lie down on my Ikea bed instead and stare at my B&Q light fitting. Damn this recession!

  7. We have very similar taste Elizabeth! You picked several of my favorite blogs. I will definitely check out your other faves.
    BTW: you are always welcome at our bar, especially if you bring the vodka. You remembered that I'm a martini kind of gal!

    Thank you so much for including me ;)

    xo xo


Please leave a comment if you can be remotely bothered - anything you have to say is valuable and I absolutely love hearing from you all. Elizabeth