Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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!


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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.

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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…


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I went back to the dentist on Wednesday, still feeling sore and ill. Don’t worry reader, I am not a gore bore – no horrid details will follow.

With one swift look my dentist decided to take the tooth out there and then. Eek! I said. I have never had any dental treatment other than scale and polish and seals, so it was scary. I am lucky to have a fantastic dentist who is also very nice, so he reassured me and swiftly gave me several injections. I went back into the waiting room where I sat nervously shaking. The lady sitting next to me also reassured me that he was a good dentist and it was all worthwhile. “I’d rather have my three bairns again than go through toothache,” she said. I often find advice from strangers oddly reassuring. In Glasgow strangers are often happy to chat and I’ve been given some rare thoughts at bus stops and in waiting rooms.

With my mouth gradually numbing I found myself thinking of Lea, recovering from DVT and a stroke. With my drooping mouth and lack of muscle control, I realised how helpless she must feel. I only had a tiny insight into what she was going through, but I felt ashamed for being so nervous over a temporary ailment. I was still shaking badly, though apparently the shaking is a result of the injections – made worse by my anxiety. I went back in – and it came out with one pull. I am embarrassed to admit I cried, then screamed – but my dentist assured me I squealed a second before the extraction. The thought of getting the tooth out is obviously worse than the process itself!

I felt rather odd for the rest of the day, I am not sure why – perhaps I was slightly shocked about the extraction, or the anaesthetic had left me giddy. A couple of people told me there is a form of cocaine in the injection – I have no idea if this is true. However, I do remember a story my sister told me many years ago….Suzanne was working for a community project interviewing drug addicts about their habits. For taking part in the interviews, the addicts would receive a can of Irn Bru and a Mars Bar. She met many interesting people and heard some amazing stories. One man told her about his experiences at the dentist. He went to get a sore tooth out. Afterwards, he went home and injected some heroin, getting the best hit of his life. He realised the anaesthetic combined with heroin was making him super-high. So, over the next year he kept returning to the dentist, getting teeth removed and going home to get his fix. During the interview with Suzanne, he took out his false teeth and opened his gummy mouth. “See?” he said, smiling.

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Blog goblins

I am so annoyed – I spent an hour writing a blog last night and it vanished. I went to publish and it was gone. I wonder where all the lost posts go? Do the blog goblins steal them away? I imagine a pile of words stacked up in some gloomy den, destined never to be read. Ah well, it means more writing later on today. I’ll try my best to find the lost words- my teeth have silenced me enough this week.

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Well, today I have a puffy cheek and a lot of pain….thank you wisdom tooth for arriving on Good Friday. Perhaps God’s way of reminding me Easter is not all about eating chocolate? I’m not religious in any way, but I have been saying wee non-religious prayers to request an easing of the ache. I managed to survive quite happily with a little bit of discomfort through the weekend.

Lee’s Mum and stepfather Bill held a family party at their house on Saturday night in honour of Lee’s 30th birthday -it was great fun! It was fantastic to get family and friends together. I think this was the first birthday Lee has celebrated with his father. But it was down to sad circumstances…Lee’s Dad has been in the UK for a few weeks. His wife had been visiting UK on business and collapsed on her arrival. She had DVT and three blood clots raced round her body. Two in her lungs and one in her brain. Sadly, she also suffered a stroke, so she was in intensive care up until last week. On a positive note, she is managing to speak, but it will be a long process before she will have a decent quality of life. It puts all aspects of illness into perspective.

We spent Saturday night eating (on one side of my mouth!), drinking and letting Lee’s younger sister Ashley take pouty photos of us for her Bebo page. Pouting is an art form which must be practised. I’m afraid my lips are just not meaty enough for mega pouts.

Sunday was spent eating soup – (by this point the pain was building up) and driving back to Glasgow where I lay on the sofa. I visited the dental hospital on Easter Monday for an emergency appointment. The dentist was lovely as he thought I was “17, 18?”. On examination he loudly exclaimed, “Oh my God, oh dear!” when he saw my tooth. It was nice to get reassurance that my moaning was justified. I’ve got a large abscess and an ulcer and a wisdom tooth with no space, all fighting in the one spot. So it was a large dose of antibiotics, painkillers and mouthwash for me, along with a trip to M&S food for some mushy foods. I have been eating baby size spoons of mousse, strawberries, macaroni cheese and smoothies. Back home, Lee made me a childhood favourite – egg in a cup. Yes, it’s that fancy…just soft boiled egg mixed with butter, in a cup. It is  soothing and warms the heart when I feel ill.

It’s rather tempting to look up medical ailments on wikipedia when one is ill. I learnt-“In Thailand the wisdom tooth is described fan-khut (ฟันคุด) “huddling tooth” due to its shortage of place.” Wonderful imagery; as wisdom teeth don’t appear like a bolt of sensibility – more like a gnawing inconvenience. The Thai definition is far more accurate – as I huddle up on the sofa and wait for my puffed up cheek to subside. I hope that tomorrow I am talking less like the Godfather and more like myself.

Come back tomorrow for the latest Day in the Life blog, as chosen by Marceline.

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It was Lee’s 30th birthday yesterday. I cannot believe he has left his twenties behind! Over the last week I’ve been thinking a lot about the past; how we first met, what we used to do, who we used to hang out with. It’s amazing the memories that pop up: teenage walks in the park, fancy dress parties, nights at the local social club and those awkward moments where you are learning to co-exist with another person. I feel a great comfort knowing someone so well, and we’ve shared some hilarious times together. I’ve known Lee since he was 18 and I teased him that this is the last year he can go on an 18-30 holiday. I think he is missing out on a good time. Maybe….

I baked Lee a birthday cake. It turned out spectacularly bad – sunken and a bit salty tasting. I rushed to bake a lemon sponge – by this point Lee arrived home. It was un-iced and still cooling but he didn’t mind. It’s the thought that counts. So we shared a bottle of champagne (though I’m sure I drank more than he did, I certainly felt it this morning) and a stunning dinner, cooked by the birthday boy himself – fresh mussels in white wine and onion sauce, fried halloumi, smoked salmon and salad. Note the small salt and pepper grinders – they are magnetic and look like wee rabbits! How cool. A birthday treat for Lee, a salt and pepper-a-holic.


I am starting to realise how much I now blog about food. (Note to self: indulge in other hobbies than just eating. )

After lots of food and drink I found a stylish use for a champagne top – a sovereign ring! Perhaps we are not so grown-up after-all.

This month I’ve been having the strangest and most vivid dreams – last night was a treat…I dreamt I had my teeth whitened. It started with me looking into one of those mirrors you find in theatre dressing rooms, surrounded by beaming lightbulbs. A crowd of my friends and family stood over my shoulder ready for my first smile…and BAM – I smile, my teeth blindingly white, brighter than bright, like some Hollywood doll. Everyone oooohed. Yet I found the effect of smiling or even opening my mouth lead to beams of light streaming from my face. It was un-nerving to say the least. It was like being Tom Cruise, leading the Scientologists, all in awe of my perfect smile. One person commented, “They are so much better than Colleen McLaughlin’s teeth” as if it were proof of my superiority. How random; I wonder what you dreamed about last night reader? I’m tagging anyone that reads this blog to write a blog on ‘What I dreamt about last night’. Just let me know by commenting so I can be nosey!

In a final note, here’s a photo just for Claire, who has been harassing me for blog posts (I’m so glad, it keeps the momentum going!). Her love for sock monkeys knows no bounds, so here’s a towel monkey as found by my parents on a cruise to the Far East.
towel monkey
He was hanging in their room one night.
My father felt something bump into his head and looked up to find this cheeky fiend. What a work of art. I can barely tie a sarong, let alone make a towel animal. At least I know my limits. I wonder if I’d find a towel monkey on an 18-30 holiday?

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