Sunday, August 28, 2016

When the World Was Flat

Anybody else remember the Flatsy dolls, circa 1970?

They came up in the comments on a recent post at Bag and a Beret - both Shelley and I mentioned being called Flatsy in our pubescence, a name that was trumpeted on TV commercials at the time thanks to the Flatsy doll and its taunting jingle: Flatsies, flatsies, they're flat and that's that - that's that!

Only a man would give them a name that's sure to torment early adolescent girls. Asshole.

I'm making more of my own flatsies - paper dolls - but I choose to call them Two-Dimensional Divas, avoiding even the shorter '2D' in case that makes anyone think of a bra size, albeit a freakish one.

Here's a Two-Dimensional Diva inspired by one of my fave television characters. Do you recognise her?


It's Elaine Benes from Seinfeld! Her wardrobe is so distinctive and I wanted to have it for myself.


Um, it's not really my size, but at least I can play with it.

This is what I started with - the 'Elaine' template I drew and the possibilities for her signature floral dress.


She really deserves an entire Elaine wardrobe, but I started with the one dress, ankle socks and loafers, blazer with big shoulders, and blue backpack. And of course, her big hair, which I made from lace.





Remember this episode of Seinfeld where Elaine sees a mannequin that looks like her? (This one has Italian subtitles - che strano.)


I hope Elaine wouldn't get upset about my paper doll.

Val



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Driving Miss Llygad y Dydd

I am becoming such a little old lady. I don't like driving anymore. I sit in the passenger's seat with my handbag on my lap, my hands folded on top, and I tell my driver to slow down, for goodness sakes! I swat him with my fan for good measure.

Of course, it's partly because I'm used to driving on the right side of the road, and I moved to a country where they drive on the WRONG side.


But what really makes me cringe is how narrow the roads are! When I learned to drive, I was taught to leave about a foot between my car and other cars. When I mentioned that to a British woman, she said they generally just left room 'for a piece of paper' between cars! And people drive faster here, on those narrow roads. It's enough to make your sphincter both tighten and loosen when a looming lorry is speeding towards you on a two-lane road that is enclosed by hedges or stone walls.

Then there are the single-lane secondary roads, especially here in Wales where it's not very busy.


You hope you're near a wide spot when you meet a tractor whizzing between fields.


I've been letting Mr. S do most of the driving, but I also force myself to keep in practice. I mean, what is wrong with me? When I lived in the UK before, I drove all the time. I could squeeze through traffic, and I only knocked a mirror off once. Now I am such an old woman.

Speaking of old women, we went to a car boot sale (swap meet/tailgate sale/whatever you want to call it) at a little local church. There were several mature women selling baked goods. Look what we got.


That's right - Apricot Whisky Cake. It was delicious!

Old ladies rock!!

Val

Friday, August 12, 2016

Stress? What stress?

I can't believe how quickly we've settled down in our new home, thousands of miles away from where we lived for ten years. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.


We spent months sorting through and clearing out a home we loved, and saying goodbye to family and old friends. Now that I'm sitting here in Wales, fairly relaxed, I look back and wonder how I got through all that stress.

Here's what helped - I gave up wearing make-up and jewellery, quit cutting my hair, and stopped worrying about what I was wearing. That's why you haven't seen any pictures of me here on the blog for quite some time. It was essential, though, partly to save time and partly because I didn't always know where my things were during the move!

Since I'm a freelancer, I still spend days looking like this.

Still also wearing baggy old shorts, weather permitting

I made some paper dolls to stand in for me on social media - they're better dressed than me!


You can see them on the right sidebar as the buttons linking to my Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages. 

Guess which one's my favourite?


I call her Velma.

Which one is your fave?

Val

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Phone Booth



Now for something completely different -

Here's a mini-story I wrote a few months ago while I still lived in the States. In the UK I should probably say The Phone Box (especially with this photo).




She hurried into the phone booth and exhaled. With the door closed, she was alone. It was quiet. No one else was breathing the air. She felt invisible, just like she felt in the car wash. Alone for a moment, away from the friction of other humans, away from everything that can go wrong.

But she wouldn't be going to the car wash anymore. Her car had just been wrecked. She had run from it and into the phone booth without even looking at the other car - and people - she had smashed into.

It had been bad. 

How long did she have before someone came looking for her?

She just couldn't take one more thing! It was impossible that so much had been dumped on her in the last few weeks - betrayal, abandonment, theft.

Liars, cheats, bastards! She had tried to be good, she tried to do the right thing, she worked hard, she was polite. And people just shit on her, no thought for how their actions affected her. Selfish!

Tears never left her eyes. She couldn't see beyond one minute.

Now she could hear the sirens. She screamed out loud and stomped her feet. She hit the sides of the phone booth and wailed. She cursed and swore and cried as she thought about how her life had slipped out of her control.

She opened the door of the phone booth and walked toward the police car.