We’ve had a little breather from bloglife, to concentrate on editing our second book. So we thought that we would mention this holiday from blogging (on our blog) with our very own photo version of “out of the office”. All harmless enough until we showed the photo to a young friend, who immediately stopped us from posting it. That was when we realised how easy (and innocently) it is to give the wrong impression on the internet.
As we’re over the age of 25 (just?) and therefore somewhat rusty on a the latest signage of the youth, we had innocently assumed that a novel little photo of carelessly placed shoes with tied laces would obviously depict a state of relaxation or chilling out. Nope, it depicts something so removed from this obvious presumption, that it totally surprised us.
Good luck figuring it out, because we were clueless until last week?
Yes, you’ve read the title correctly. It seems that the trauma of house-hunting has finally got to our witch colleague, as she now believes that houses from the other side (previously sold and off the market properties) are communicating with her on the internet. Not wanting to offend our ‘house sensitive’ colleague – and careful not to use the language “what a load of rubbish ”, we indulged her medium skills and searched the internet abyss for these houses. To our surprise, they jumped out loud and proud as recently sold (but seemingly still not completed).
So, aside from our colleagues possible medium skills, what could have brought these extra little nuggets of false hope onto the internet:
- a technical glitch with her laptop;
- they are indeed back on the market (we haven’t actually checked, as they are not suitable for our colleague’s needs);
- a weird form of spam to catch house-hunters?
Our bets are on it being a technical glitch. The tell-tale sign is in the wording – one of the houses is described as having been extensively reduced in size. And so far we’ve experienced, that’s not how the descriptions go (even if that’s the reality!).
Not having much to say today, and it being just Tuesday, we’ve decided to put up a happy photo instead.
Actually, that’s not quite the truth. As you know we’re very focused on financial scandals and bubbles, with the current housing bubble being flavour of the month. Initially we had set out to write a piece on two of the infamous bubbles of yesteryear – Tulip Mania and the Boston Tea Party (as combined in our photo) – in a bid to understand why lessons are never learnt. But we couldn’t persuade our “house-hunt” traumatised witch to blog – she’s too fed up with the obvious flaws in the system to comment anymore (or today, at least).
So with that said, we just hope that you like the pic and have a nice day!
Oops – that was more than we thought. But, give three witches their brew…and the natter will pursue!
Yes, the glorious competition is almost upon us and we have arrived at our winning jumper – hopefully worthy of the fantastic detective Sarah Lund (see Wednesday’s post).
Enjoy the music and theatrics that tomorrow night brings!
Moving slightly away from the delights of one of our favoured cities (Copenhagen – see yesterday’s post), we have heard a few people quiz the benefits of the contest itself.
So on that topic…What has the Eurovision ever given us? Apart from glorious kitsch and a great laugh, how about the musical icons Abba and Riverdance?
It’s exactly 20 years since Riverdance, ever-so-slightly, out-shone the musical (?)contestants, and it’s been running strong ever since. One can only imagine the sales for static-inducing shiny shirts went through the roof in Spring 1994 – although a very difficult look to carry off, and… it must come with a serious health warning for spontaneous combustion, one imagines.
So maybe a billowing super-shiny shirt would have been more appropriate as our photo, but we’d promised the jumpers – so a jumper is what you got!
Yes, it’s definitely that time of the year again – that wonderful festival of kitsch is about to roll into town; The Eurovision Song Contest! But we thought that we’d deviate from the usual comparison of contestants and write about the venue instead - Copenhagen!
Yes it’s the capital of skandi-crime; Copenhagen. We felt the jumpers were a fitting tribute to our super crime-fighting heroine Sarah Lund (The Killing series). We also wanted pay tribute to our other heroine, Saga Noren (The Bridge series) – but beyond a deodorant aerosol on an office desk, we were a little unsure how.
So what are the chances of these two having to intervene during the contest to solve a crime? The darkened ambiance should suit Sarah perfectly, while the bizarre antics and costumes should encourage Saga to be even more forthright than usual. But kitsch is not a crime and so we can only daydream - but what fun if Saga had to join Graham in the commentary box!
For a city renowned for it’s skandi designers, a plain jumper is indeed an ironic mascot - especially in a place where wearing pearls can be carried off with a cool edge and stylised “Messy Hair” is the order of the day!
So tune-in (or buzz the broadband) tomorrow to view the next “Jumper of the day” !
Lengthy sessions trawling through blogs, or indeed writing them (with the obligatory endless tweaking/editing) can lead to the dreaded “Blog Fever”. Yes, it does indeed exist, as does its sibling “Blog Block” (but more about that one later).
But how would you recognise the symptoms, we hear you ask? Well, probably the following are good hints:
- Your chest begins to slide parallel to your desk, as your chin (just about) rests on the cliff-edge of your palm – while you scroll boggle-eyed through entries, and give yourself a very slow version of whiplash,
- Endless tweaking of your blog entry, and arriving back at the same grammar/wording that was stripped out in the first place,
- Fretting about the visuals (photos and cartoons alike) that are to accompany the text – our very own version of “does my bum look big in this?”, was stressing over whether the carpet, just-visible on the edge of our DIY cartoon, was looking grubby.
So how do you cure it? Turn off the computer! Simple really, but sometimes the simple things are the best…
Are the brakes finally being applied to the current crazy housing market? You will no doubt have heard the news over the last few days, that mortgage applications are going to include much more rigorous checks – to ensure a more realistic and repayable loan. Although this regulation is in itself a hefty dose of common sense, its application is not. Why was this not introduced at the time of the budget 2013, when the new mortgage schemes were unveiled – as apparently it was already in the pipeline? The phrase about shutting the door after the horse has bolted, springs to mind.
Policies do not need to stand alone, or indeed, should not! Surely post-crash/meltdown there is more of an effort to have a solid awareness of what is going on in the financial marketplace. The small leak in house prices that began in Spring 2013 quickly became a flood and buyers were overwhelmed as thousands of pounds were added frequently to the runaway situation. By now the UK is a varying patchwork of different house-prices and all of this has a knock on effect for the total economy. For example labour movement: I might be able to get a job in London, but can I afford to live there? Furthermore, applying the brakes in this way will cause chaos in the housing market. As far as we understand it, unless completion has occurred, any buyer in a chain can be challenged afresh (by their lender) over their suitability for their already approved mortgage.
Unfortunately, this episode will undoubtedly form an economic studies lesson in the future – why fiscal policies and regulation should be developed together for a unified aim, and not in blinkered isolation of each other.
Cartooning – all seems a bit ambitious, you (and us secretly) might think so. But we’ve decided to let one of the witches run this new pet project. She’s low and grumpy following her house-hunting saga (see House-hunting and…anger fatigue – 9th April 2014) and needs a lift/distraction. Plus, selfishly, us other witches can’t bear to listen to any more tales of house woe – or how you can spot an estate agent by the grey ¾ length coats they all seem to wear. And, as we’re coming into the Spring/Summer season, she’ll no doubt have a view on the lighter wardrobe too!
So, in a bid to lift her spirits (and to restore some tranquillity to the office) we’ve told her to “go for it”. The first attempt (see below and previous posting) was a little way short of excellent, looking more like a rejected “lot” on an internet auction site (yes, we’re still unsure what names we can mention) than a sharp cartoon. But practise makes perfect (and anything for a quiet life) we’re encouraging her all the way. But how on earth do those wonderful cartoons get crafted? So far we’ve figured out some rules:
Single blocks of colour with minimal or no shading (not sure if paint or coloured pencil is best),
The pen/pencil is paramount,
Zany expressions are a must,
Exaggerate unique physical characteristics of those sketched.
But what are the other rules that we’ve missed? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Yes, it’s true – the Vikings did actually arrive on the eastern shores of the Emerald Isle (Ireland) this week-end. Hundreds of visitors gathered to celebrate the millennium of the epic Battle of Clontarf, including 600 Viking warriors – all most appropriately dressed. There was much to do and see for all ages, from Viking village life to replica Longboats.
But maybe one of the more novel sights, were the 15 (or so) Viking warriors politely queuing for the 130 bus on Clontarf Road yesterday morning – while charmly greeting the numerous grannies out for their morning strolls. Now, how did they pay for that trip – hack silver perhaps?