Shop here at last!

Ok, so after much delay, then much work – we now have lift-off! Merulapie (pronounced meh-roola-pie) is now open and ready for business! Yay!

I’ll be keeping this blog for more personal posts, (and will probably revamp this blog a bit) but the new shop blog is here. The following is taken from my first Merulapie blog post…please come visit and update your bookmarks, rss feeds etc, etc!

We stock contemporary homewares, gifts and art – all created by independent designers.



The Merulapie blog will feature new Merulapie products, arts and crafts projects and creative fun. We’re delighted you popped by, so feel free to comment or get in touch at hello@merulapie.com. Please come back soon for more creative goodness, we’ll be happy to see you!

Here’s my Day in the Life; a perfect lazy Sunday.

Have a luxury lie-in until midday when I get up, reluctantly. I laze on the sofa, cuddling into Lee and drinking a cup of chamomile tea. I am sleepy and relaxed.

We make smoothies with banana, tinned strawberries in fruit juice and frozen mixed berries. Cold and refreshing. Back onto the sofa to enjoy them and watch Shipwrecked – which I hate, but can’t help but watch.

I call my Mum and catch up on the week’s news. It’s nice to speak to her after a few days away.

I go and check my emails, blogs and the usual web favourites. Chat to Claire on MSN – she’s finally back from Bankok – yay!

I go for a shower while Lee cooks veggie fingers and Quorn burgers. We eat them in pitta bread with tomato ketchup.

The next few hours are spent organising washing, surfing, watching tennis, and general weekend pottering. I also take a look at our new backgammon set – the instructions appear clear, but on further reading become confusing! I decide to focus on learning the game with a clear mind.

Lee cooks dinner – pasta and green pesto with smoked salmon and vegetables. He also makes a huge pot of minestrone soup in the pressure cooker. I like the ritual of the pressure cooker; waiting for the boil and hiss of steam and the constant noise reminding you that food is being cooked, until you decide to let the final blast of steam pour out.

We eat dinner and watch the Wimbledon men’s final. Towards the end of the game, Fiona calls and we have a chat with a pause for me to SQUEAL as Nedal wins the tournament.

The night ends with us watching the movie Into the Wild. Beautifully shot and a fantastic script – lyrical voiceovers help build the story. It is incredibly satisfying to watch a film that hits the spot.

Off to bed…..

Fellow Day in the Lifers:





Give me a shout if you’d like me to include you in the links – all are welcome to join in! Claire is choosing the next date.

Here’s a belated Day in the Life, sorry for delaying the process!

Our Day in the Life was spent at Peasebay, a lovely caravan park between Dunbar and Berwick Upon Tweed. Lee’s Mum and Dad hired a caravan for the week and we joined them for two nights.

Ready to travel.

Ready to travel

Note the suitcase is bulging. Due to typical Scotish weather we didn’t have a clue what to take – so we took everything.


We arrived to a stunning view and more importantly, Morgan the dog looking sad and cute. She can be described in three words: sooky, doe-eyed and hungry.

Twee caravan

The caravan was filled with twee little ornaments and nick-nacks. It was rather sweet and just what you expect a Scottish caravan to be.

A walk on the beach after dinner. Great fun playing with Lee’s new camera.

I was so happy to see the sea! It felt like I’d not been near a beach in years.

I love the pretty yellow colour. We had fun in the sand dunes trying to take this photo.

Getting the sand out my ballet pumps.

A windbreaker in front of a caravan.

Doesn’t everyone love a traditional phone box?

We joined Jeanie and Bill (parents-in-law) in the caravan park social club. Jeanie had just finished playing bingo. I was delighted to find that my favourite pear cider was for sale! We enjoyed the band and had a wee dance at the end of the night.

A wee swift half when we got back to the caravan. Lots of giggling and nibbling food. Jeanie and I sat gassing for ages. The next day I was dying of a hangover and the cold. We went for a short drive around the nearby countryside.

Ignore my dodgy fringe. I am Big Chief. How.

I nominate Alice to pick the next day in the life.

All photographs copyright Lee Black (www.leeblack.co.uk).


The time came to renew my passport. What fun. A form which MUST be filled in with black ink. I was terrified the pen I used was a fading black, sort of grey ink and not black enough. I worry the form will be sent back, stamped – USE BLACK INK. It was an easy form to fill in, but I am rather annoyed with the Passport Office. My 10 year passport was renewed last year, but as I want my new married name on my passport, I must pay full price just to change my name. £79. What a rip off. I believe it is due to stringent identity checks, though I may be wrong. Any ideas readers?

I found two passport photos left over from last year’s passport renewal. So, I decided to send them in. Oops, I read that the photos must be taken within a month of an application. So I went to Asda to get my photos taken. Bad idea. I come out the booth in a rage. I have never looked so terrible. I remember how bad James Brown (may he rest his bad self in peace) looked in his last police mugshot and consider that I look worse.

I get my haircut on Saturday and feel great. I have been walking about ever since with a just-stepped-out-of-the-salon hair-flicking feeling. It’s still long enough to tie up, but short enough to have lots of layers and dry in five minutes. Yay! I am convinced my next round of photos will be better.

So yesterday I went back to Asda to get a new photo. This time I put on a war-mask of make-up. I put on more slap than a transvestite; because the lighting is similar to being on stage, photo booths don’t always show how much make-up you are wearing. This time I am attempting damage limitation. I enter the booth, lip gloss to the extreme, blue steel glare to the ready – and yes, it’s done. Not so bad this time. My hair doesn’t look as short as it really is, but never mind.

Over to the Post Office counter for the Check and Send service. The lady examines my photo. My eyes are too high. No, not that I have a strange shaped head, but the positioning of my head is outwith the allowed height. Urgh! I couldn’t even adjust the seat as it was a fixed bench.  A total of £8 wasted on passport photos and I didn’t even enjoy the experience. Remember how much fun it used to be when you got four different photos and they flashed so quickly? I wonder if any of those machines are left?

So, following some refund advice from the lovely ladies at customer service (the staff there are always so helpful and friendly) I had to drive to Byres Road to find a Snappy Snapx or Fotofarm or whatever they are called – this time the photo was fine, not very good, but it looks ok. I look rather fed-up of the whole situation.

I rushed all the way to my local Post Office and they got the form sorted before closing time.

But now I’m left with a total of fourteen passport photos and they are not bonny enough to offer to a friend or loved one as a wee reminder of how I look. It’s amazing that three photos taken in one week can look so different. I don’t think I can ever recapture the freshness of my passport photo, aged sixteen.

Next Day in the Life

Thanks to all who took part in the Day in the Life blogs.

Claire, Marceline, She’s Crafty and Emma. Give me a shout if you need to be added to the list.

Claire has nominated me to choose the next date – let’s make it Saturday the 3rd of May. Please feel free to join in – the more the better!

I’m off to compose a blog. For your interest, I’m currently caked in make-up; my cheekbones have never known so much blusher before. As my best friend says, “You are asking the wrong person if you want to know if you’ve overdone your make-up.” For she is the blusher-bronzer-eyeliner Queen. Come back later to find out why I’m dolled up…

Day in the Life

Here is my Day in the Life as chosen by Claire.

8.45am Jump awake with fright for unknown reason. After a bad sleep last night, I try to get some more rest.

9.45am Alarm goes off. Press snooze button.

9.55am Alarm goes off. Get up and wander about the house, getting myself a cup of fruit tea and trying to waken up.

10.05am Phone my sister to find out how she’s doing. Arrange to go and visit her in the afternoon.

10.15-12.10pm Feeling rather ill today, I decide to take it slowly. Spend the remainder of the morning showering, checking email, chatting on MSN and getting some housework done. I treat myself to half hour on Animal Crossing – YAY I won the Flower Fest and got a trophy.

12.15pm Phone a contact for my research work and am delighted he agrees to let me interview him straight away. He’s very helpful and interesting which always helps.

12.50pm Heat up burger (Lee made amazing homemade burgers yesterday) in oven and go to tidy some clean clothes away.

1pm Straighten hair. Now my hair is short it takes hardly any time. GHDs- I still love you. Put on makeup.

1.10pm Eat burger. Yummy!

1.20pm Tidy the house some more, leave to drive to my sister’s house.

1.35pm Arrive at Suzanne’s. She coos at my new hair (always gives me a boost to get hair admiration!). Little Josh is sitting on the floor with cushions all around him. He’s laughing and smiling and managing to stay upright….and he’s falling back. And he’s up again, smiling, and he’s back down again. I tickle him and call him a weeble (weebles wobble but they don’t fall down) and he tips forwards again.

1.40pm Suzanne realises the baby car seat is in her husband’s car, so we can’t go to the carpet shop. But neither of us are too bothered and decide to just hang out.

1.45pm-3.50pm We chat, fuss over Josh, have a coffee and catch up. I feel tired again and decide to drive home before I get too sleepy.

4.10pm Back home the sun is streaming into the kitchen, but the house feels cold. Switch on heating.

4.20pm Have a quick chat with my Dad and find out all the Fife gossip.

4.35pm Decide I need to lie down. Set alarm for 35 minutes. Cannot sleep, but close my eyes and rest.

5pm Get up and wander about the house feeling a bit disorientated. Spend some time tidying out my bedroom. The chest of drawers is covered in bits of paper and random objects, so I tackle the mess. I spend a lot of time clearing out my jewellery box and badge box. Find lots of pretty things I’m not fussed about but decide my niece Eva will like. Put them in a spare box and keep them for her. I remember the delight of being giving sparkly costume jewellery as a child and think she will enjoy playing dress up with beads and hairbands.

6pm Put some wholewheat pasta on for dinner. My wonderful husband made bolannaise sauce yesterday, so I am delighted I don’t have to cook. I go back to finish dusting and polishing the bedroom.

6.15pm Dinner is served! It’s yummy, but my tastebuds must be dodgy as I cannot taste the six cloves of garlic Lee put in the sauce. Yes, SIX cloves of garlic.

6.45pm Lee drags me out for a walk. It is beautiful and sunny and I push myself to feel motivated. We take a slow walk to the park and Lee takes photos on the way. We wander about the park. As we head home my legs slowly decide to stiffen and ache, so the last part I feel a little like the Tin Man.

7.25pm Change into tracksuit and sit myself down on the sofa.

7.40pm Realise Lee has left the camera charger at work. The camera doesn’t work and needs to be returned to Canon tomorrow. (Thanks you Citylink for collecting it between 9am and 5pm, how accurate.) So I put my jeans back on and we head over to Lee’s work to pick up the charger. I go along just for the fun of it.

8.15pm We are back home. Settle on sofa. Watch Delia. What are you thinking woman? I shout at the tv many times over. My reliable cook has gone a bit odd. If you are going to cheat – buy a ready meal. If you are going to cook – follow a basic, classic Delia recipe, they are foolproof.

8.45pm Give up on Delia. Phone Audrey for a quick catch-up.

8.55pm Sort out some treasury business for the craft group.

9pm Watch programme on addiction. Very interesting.

10pm until bedtime…the rest of the night is spent watching TV, surfing the internet and doing the dishes.

Not the most exciting or glamourous of days, but I enjoyed myself.

Out of ink

The daffodils are now out in force in my front garden. Against the green hedge they are bold yellow and sway alongside the green shoots which have failed to flower. Little blue flowers are peaking out of the pots, though less than I hoped; I blame my local squirrel for rummaging and messing about with my bulbs.

I’m hoping to use my vintage flower press (given to me by Lee for Christmas) to preserve some of the flowers – I must remember to cut some before they die. I’m not entirely sure what to do with the flowers once they are dry. I imagine they will look sweet on cards – but any other ideas would be welcome. Last year I had my wedding bouquet dried and some of the flowers framed. I collected them from Bonnyton Designs a couple of weeks ago. The result is pretty and a nice keepsake. I can’t remember the names of all the flowers used, but I love the blue thistles and roses together – fresh they were luscious and dried they have an aged, vintage look. The lady from Bonnyton Designs rather kindly gave me a large box containing the rest of the wedding flowers, dried and ready to use. Any more ideas? They are not flattened, just dried. I would like to reuse them as I love their colour and texture.

On a less flowery note, I don’t have much gossip. My leisure time has been filled with easy entertainment – TV. Perfect. Shallow, clever, glossy, realistic, mysterious, glamourous. Whatever. My current favourites include: Dexter, Point Pleasant, Gossip Girl, Torchwood and the Apprentice. BBC iplayer is my friend. The latest series of Lost is amazing! Still frustrating as ever, but a pain I’m willing to endure as the mystery unfolds or gets more tangled.

As part of the re-organising plan, we have a new printer set up and ready to go. It was £35 but looks rather snazzy. It is incredibly hard choosing a basic, good quality printer so I resorted to the same model my parents own. Though I am rather sad to see my old printer go. It’s been a trooper, here from the year 2000 when we first moved to Glasgow. It managed to grunt and groan its way into printing our wedding invitations and thank you cards. It survived many art projects and CV prints, university essays and song tabs. Like a grumpy old man, it did make a fuss when prompted to print – back and forth several times before deciding to take the paper, then pause, not take the paper and start all over again. Sadly, I have resorted to personifying my printer. Once more my sentimentality is getting out of control…