Happy Friday! This time last week, I published a list of the five blog posts I'd most enjoyed reading during the week. Without further ado, here are this Friday's Five Favourites!
Lemonade Makin' Mama posted a lovely piece last week called Making peace with...me on the subject of body image. I'm still losing my pregnancy weight and turned to Trinny and Susannah last week after realising that I didn't much care for anything in my wardrobe and disliked the way I looked in almost every item of clothing. Sasha's post is a great reminder that we are enough exactly as we are - each one of us - even if we struggle for any reason with how we look physically. There have been quite a few blog posts written on this subject during the past week, partly as a result of TIME magazine's controversial article "Are You Mom Enough?" and Rachel Held Evans, a blogger I've recently started following with great interest, has penned a few excellent thoughts under the title "Enough: Or, why we should all be laughing hysterically in the magazine aisle". As someone who doesn't often go out to shop (one child per hand doesn't leave anything available for taking items down off shelves, so I have all my groceries delivered), I'm not confronted with many magazine covers on a regular basis, and since we don't watch much TV (although let's have three cheers for the new series of Lewis!) I also don't get bombarded with a whole lot of advertisements either, but they're still everywhere: on bus shelters, popping up all over the internet, in the hairdresser - they're impossible to avoid entirely, so a good dose of humour, aimed at a few of them at least, is certainly a helpful alternative to allowing an insidious feeling of insecurity to wash over us. This is, of course, exactly what the advertisers want ("Because you're worth it!"), and they care not a jot about the consequences for our confidence. So let's laugh, and do so hysterically, next time we hear or read or see something nonsensical dressed up as fact, and make it a habit to treat such propaganda with the mirth it deserves. Fortified fruit science, indeed! And before we steer away from this topic, I had occasion to visit our local Co-Op yesterday afternoon, and spent a moment in the magazine aisle to see if there were any humorous nuggets to be gleaned. I couldn't decide whether "YOU vs CELLULITE!" (capitalised, presumably, to underline the sheer magnitude of the war in question) or "I Hid My Crack Pipe In My Uggs" was the funnier headline (not that I'm trivialising drug addiction, you understand), and giggled all the way home. I suspect this game would be even more amusing if played with a like-minded friend, and would recommend it highly.
My friend Helen, who blogs at Northern Mummy, posted a beautiful and articulate piece recently entitled "Memories are made of this", inspired by her late grandfather and written after his funeral. I so much related to the idea that music and fragrance in particular can evoke vivid memories of days long passed; there are many pieces of music that I associate entirely with specific periods from my life and the people that assumed greatest significance at those times, and I completely agree with Helen that memories are a wonderful gift. As she concludes, "without them we would not be able to learn, develop, form relationships or enjoy any experiences half so much as we do."
Lovely Liz has started a House and Garden Blog, on which she regularly posts delicious recipes and wonderful gardening tips. She also has an excellent turn of phrase and I adore her crafting of such sentences as "oaty, syrupy cookies of much deliciousness and magnificence"! As a very novice gardener indeed, I'm inspired by her dedication and hard work in her own lovely garden and especially enjoy her step-by-step photos and practical advice. Please have a look!
Finally, I'd like to send you in the direction of Jaded Eye, a culture magazine run by our friends (and exemplary houseguests) Alex and Jim. They publish podcasts and written dissections of every film they watch and every video game they play, and although their tastes do not always match mine in terms of material, their post-game analyses are intelligent, insightful and entertaining. They most recently reviewed The Avengers (also known as Avengers Assemble) and I really enjoyed listening to their combined thoughts - shared internationally from both London and Milan! - whilst one child napped, the other was at nursery school, and I was busy with housework and delighted at the opportunity for a simultaneous catch-up session with the latest Jaded Eye post.
Hope you have a lovely weekend, with plenty of sunshine - we can dream, can't we!