Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Still MIA, mired in more goop, and completely depleted! A patchwork post from me this time...

The Monochrome Paint Tray
Goodness, it is a long time since my last post, but - much like the Brexit talks - I seem to have been on a runaway train of (in my case home improvement) setbacks. The sloping floor issues alluded to in my last post got Very Slopey Indeed, and that floor had to be ripped up not long after it was laid, after being declared 'failed'. Cue purchase of new floor, more goop (brown this time!), another 12 hours straight of fan whirring, more floor laying, and a post mortem with the supplier of Floor No 1, the technical niceties of which I will spare you. And the final upshot of which is some way off.

There was additionally a fair old smattering of plumbing and joinery problems following on immediately behind, though I am thankful that Floor No 2 is showing no signs of legging it on its own, like the last 'floating jigsaw' disaster. If someone offers you a 'click-style' floor Be Very Afraid. I can see that this post may be becoming quite Capitalised, not far off the texts from my sister-in-law's brother, who has his phone settings weirdly turned in such a way as to Capitalise Every Last Darn Word.

The 'before':

That's a big sink!

More 'before':

The blue fishing net is for rescuing mice!

No sooner had the workmen gone off for Christmas, when I succumbed to some kind of winter vomiting bug, which lasted two full days and nights and then a bit, and completely kiboshed my Christmas prep and any social plans last weekend. I was weak and nearly delirious by Christmas Eve from not even keeping water down, and the doctor called me in for tests, to see if I might in fact have food poisoning rather than the Norovirus, say - only I had a very similar 'do', you see, earlier this month. A friend kindly ran me there, as I would not have passed the: 'Are you too ill to pick up a twenty quid note from the bottom of the drive?' test, never mind make my own way to the surgery.

I turned a corner finally on Christmas Day itself, but lost a couple of days and all their concomitant Facebook posts and depressing news bulletins, crowds in Asda, futile hunts for cranberry sauce at this very late stage, seriously discounted Christmas cards, and what have you. Moreover, I was meant to be on stuffing and veg duty in a combined effort Christmas meal with two friends, but by the time I felt more myself, the shops were well and truly closed. I felt decidedly sheepish showing up to the meal without having contributed to its making after all, but that is just how my recovery worked out, honest!

Oh, and I did manage to spritz on a bit of By Kilian's Amber Oud on Christmas night, as I promised Undina I would. She has kindly given me samples of this at least twice now. ;) And if you haven't already seen it, Truffle makes a cameo appearance in the latest post on Undina's Looking Glass, as Undina celebrates Rusty's 10th birthday and features a gallery of other pets in Perfumeland. I must say that Truffle looks particularly imperious in the photo Undina has chosen. The highlights for me in her post were Rusty powering through the paper hats, and a little dog with unfeasibly huge ears. But yes, I did wear my designated scent last night, and very wintery and comforting it was too.

Source: Lucky Scent

But generally of late perfume has been a little distant from my mind. I am not ready to park Bonkers - though the thought has certainly occurred to me - but I shall be in this distracted phase for a while yet, with the French house completion in the early New Year (whee!), and a lot more work to be done on the utility side of this multi-tasking utility/shower room. The other wall is a truly fantastical tangle of cables and pipes, with random bits of wood here and there and splodges of white and red paint (not pictured ;) ).

The 'during' (snatching a brief window of opportunity between Floors 1 and 2!):

The 'so far' (skirting boards and window sills, mirror etc to come, plus a few remaining fixes / bodges here and there, the need for which I am hoping you won't notice):

Now in 1995, it so happens that I did a research project on applications for curved glass of various kinds, and predicted that the curved shower enclosure market in particular would be huge...and was proved right! I was even offered a full time job on the back of it, though I didn't want my life to be all about glass any more than I wanted it to be all about coleslaw a decade before. And now for the first time, 23 years on, I have such a shower of my own...;)

Going back to the time when I was ill, Nurse Truffle kept up her usual devoted vigil, spending a good 90% of her time night and day either in or on my bed. She only ever does that when something is wrong with me, because as we have discussed in previous posts, Cats Know. There I go again. Italicised caps, no less. The downside of her coming and going at will is that the white duvet cover is now well and truly decorated with muddy paw marks, and despite three washings I cannot get the blessed things out. I may need bio rather than non-bio washing powder, come to think of it. Anyway, I do kind of forgive her, as she was so attentive, washing my eyes, nose, and cheeks periodically as she saw fit. Here she is, checking out the clean sheets post-recovery.

Echoes of The Handmaid's Tale?

In other Christmas news, ex-Mr Bonkers was on national telly three times in a week, playing bass with Roy "I wish it could be Christmas every day" Wood, my tinsel on him. This means the tinsel has made it onto four out of five terrestrial channels now...cracking BBC2 is proving more of a challenge. This year I have told ex-Mr B he can keep the tinsel, as I don't normally have a use for the big furry red strands he favours.

Live on The Last Leg

And you won't be surprised to hear that I couldn't possibly do any kind of New Year's perfume round up, as I used to do in the old days on Bonkers, because I am barely aware of what is coming out on the market anymore, unless I am sent it, or one of my blogger mates grabs me and says: 'Try this!' Also, most revealingly, I did not jump on my copy of the latest edition of Perfumes: The Guide, as I did with the one from 2008, when I was first mad for the stuff. Instead, I had a bit of a flick through when it arrived, looking up some of my fave fragrances from recent years (such as I could even remember!) and glancing at anything that happened to catch my eye. But since then the book has languished untouched on a side table. I find the plethora of releases frankly too overwhelming, and my own interest has waned, I cannot deny it, from its frenetic early phase. I still love fragrance, I still help friends locally find 'the one' - or one possible 'the one' more like - I wear perfume more often than not, though perhaps a bit more 'not' lately, and it will always be a thread in my life to some degree.

That all said, I do see myself as a fading character - if 'character' is not overstating it - in the blogosphere. Yes, I feel I am slipping away gradually from the scene, and that is okay. There are newer, more passionate bloggers than me taking up the mantle, who have the energy and drive - and who may well have just as much chaos in their home lives to boot, but if so they are better at managing it, haha - or more professional in compartmentalising their lives, maybe. I am not gone yet though, and there are perfume posts I have up my sleeve, it is just that I cannot bring myself to write most of them at the moment. For I like to write about what is uppermost in my mind there and then. And that so often used to be perfume, but it isn't right now...So we will see.

I am not so distracted though that I wasn't very sad to learn of the passing of the great, maverick perfumer, Vero Kern. Val of APJ was her good friend and 'brand ambassador', and will miss her keenly I know. I met Vero just the once in 2015, for afternoon tea at Zurich railway station, and was struck by her lack of airs and graces, and how she ploughed her own high quality and very personal furrow amidst the welter of cookie cutter dross. We spoke in a comedy mix of English and German, and she said that she liked the fact that she never knew whether I would review a new scent of hers or not - and if I did, she knew it might not be till ages after its release - which seemed to amuse her. Of her work, I liked the Mitos best, but am also curiously partial to Rozy Voile d'Extrait, and Rubj on a very 'bosomy' day. I don't have too many of those, to be fair.

Note that I was so overawed to meet Vero that I only took a photograph of her feet and little dog, whose name I can never spell, so always gloss over.

Out of interest, I looked to see what I had posted around this date some years ago,to contrast where I was then versus now. Here is a perfume report from Paris in 2011, for example, featuring JAR Parfums.

Eight years ago I linked to a guest post I wrote for Cafleurebon(!) on perfume gift giving.

While this year I am mired in goop of every hue and throwing up, haha. Which, interestingly, I believe is also known as 'Huey'. Hue knew?

But as Val also says, 'this too shall pass'. She's very wise, our Val.


Anonymous said...

I am so "gutted" (if that's not too appropriate a word) for you. What a complete nightmare. Yes, things sometimes have to get worse before they can get better, but that doesn't usually mean having runaway floors and then getting really ill. And at Christmas! You must be utterly exhausted.

Thank goodness for Nurse Truffle (by the way, try rubbing the stains with washing-up liquid before washing the sheets in the machine - that often works).

You wouldn't be the only blogger who is gradually retiring from the perfume world ... but I really do love reading about your adventures, whatever the subject, so I hope you continue to write.

Wishing you a very happy 2019 - and hoping you will feel really well and that you enjoy your fabulous new bathroom.


Vanessa said...

Hi Jillie,

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement, and I know you are no stranger to house-related disruption yourself, having recently moved.

Ah, I did try that washing up liquid trick, which is my go-to technique as well, but in vain. There is something about paw marks where they get 'set' and ingrained remarkably fast. If I have to lose the duvet cover it is not so much of a price to pay for having enjoyed that continuity of nursing care. ;)

A very happy 2019 to you too, and thanks for reading and commenting on Bonkers!

Vanessa said...

PS LOL at 'gutted'. I like the cut of your punning jib. ;)

Tara said...

Honestly V, anyone who has stuck with you with up to this point will not mind one jot if you move away from perfume. We are here for you and whatever is happening in your Bonkers world. Perfume is enjoyable but the least fascinating part of it!

Vanessa said...

Aww, thank you, T! I am always unsure about how on-message a blogger should be, and assume it should be most of the time, anyway. Time will tell how much I do manage to write about perfume, and how much readers may drift away if I don't!

Mals86 said...

Good thing you had Truffle to look after you! Sending you warm holiday wishes.

Vanessa said...

Thanks, Mals, and the very same to you!

teardrop said...

De-lurking once again to tell you how sorry I am to hear you've been so poorly, Vanessa! It sounds like Nurse Truffle has done an excellent job taking care of you, though. Please give her a snuggle of appreciation from me! Your bathroom is looking great, too.
I do hope you continue to write your wonderful blog, whether "on-message" or not. Those of us who love reading it are in it for the long haul. I wish you a happy, healthy & productive New Year!
P.S. I saw that performance on The Last Leg & thoroughly enjoyed it, plus that is my favourite Christmas song. Who knew that was my favourite blogger's ex? It's a small world indeed. :)

Vanessa said...

Hi teardrop,

Thanks so much for de-lurking! And for your appreciative words about the blog and sympathy about my being ill. It is an important issue, whether I can 'legitimately' stray from the perfumed path without losing readers in droves. Well, there may not quite be droves reading to start with, but you know what I mean. ;)

And what a coincidence about The Last Leg. Funnily enough, the very first 45 my ex bought as a boy was 'Fire Brigade' by Roy Wood, little knowing that he would be playing in his band all those years later...

Happy New Year, and I trust you and yours have been lurgy-free this Christmas!