Saturday, 11 April 2009


It's awards season again and the marvellous Tania Kindersley of Backwards In High Heels has very kindly passed on a gong to this blog. The award exists to be passed on (as they all should) so below are the rules:

1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.

2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.

3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.

Instructions: On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then “add image” it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the “picture” widget. Also, don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.

Alors – the 5 fabulous blogs.

If you have been left out, it’s only because there are so many of you whose blogs I enjoy and want to spread around.

1) The lovely Rol at Sunset Over Slawit. Rol is an astonishing fount of knowledge on music, (especially if it's Morrissey), and ways to cope with being unable to scratch your arm when it's in a cast. He also writes (novel on the way), and nobody seems able to explain how he fits a day job in.

2) The excellently red-haired Laura at The Poet Laura-eate. She is fab. The Wendy Cope of Blogger. Poetry, Oxford current affairs, and a lovely fleur-de-lis backdrop. Plus she knows how to do those Flickr slideshows.

3) The genius that is JRSM at Caustic Cover Critic, a blog whose raison d'etre is to celebrate (or, where necessary, ridicule) the art of the book jacket. An invaluable guide to the beautiful, the unimaginative, the unusual and the derivative. Just lovely, and always funny.

4) Usedbuyer2.0, at the blog of the same name. A bookseller of many years' standing, his blogs are a delight to read; in the last few alone I found references to Cavafy, Edward Lear, Auden, AND quotes, AND room for wonderful digressions on bookshop life in all its strange and peculiar splendour. Also many, many, wonderful clerihews, an artform that is unjustly neglected at the moment.
5) Last but not least, Jonathan at Bookseller Crow. What more can I say than - there is no intentional bias towards the booksellerish in my choices, but Jonathan always makes me laugh.

My Five Fabulous addictions:
It's not like I'm particularly secretive about my addictions, so you probably know all this already, but here are a few of the more socially acceptable ones (the Gitanes and their ilk will be glossed over).

1) Obviously books! Unable to leave a bookshop with fewer than three, usually more. My job and subsequent perks/discount mean I very rarely buy anywhere else, especially since I get free proof copies of many many things, and am on good enough terms with most of the publishers' reps that I can ask them for freebies; under most other circumstances (old, out of print, etc) I recommend Abebooks - worlds superior to Amazon and a bigger range - plus more of your money actually goes to the bookdealer than on Amazon.
2) Perfume. Sorry, I know I'm a bit nerdy on this point but I consider it as important as clothing - ie wearing different ones to suit your mood, the weather, the time of year etc. As a result I have rather a lot. I have nothing against people who have a "signature scent" - in fact I admire their tenacity. But I like the fact that the larger your range, the more you can make olfactory jokes with yourself (nobody else is likely to get it) - like wearing "Rain" by Marc Jacobs when it's raining, or "Rousse" by Serge Lutens because you have red hair. My absolute Mecca for this (apart from, in The Real World, Liberty's) is The Perfumed Court, who will sell you tiny tester-sized bottles of pretty much any perfume so you can try before you commit. Invaluable.
3) COFFEE. Enough said. In an ideal world espresso all the time, but sadly I'm over 25 and can't sleep if I drink it after lunchtime.
4) My/our thick quilted mattress-topper (John Lewis). I have never slept so soundly.
5) If I have an alcoholic addiction here, please note that while I would find life very drab without alcohol, I am by no means an alcoholic. Apparently considering the number of boozehounds and manic-depressives on both sides of my family, this makes me quite unusual. But I do like a nice Calvados.


Steve said...

"I do like a nice Calvados." Is there such a thing as a bad one?

usedbuyer 2.0 said...


Good woman, Lucy Fishwife,
Teaches one to relish life,
True and righteous altogether,
So her gong I'll humbly treasure.

Rol said...

Thank you, Lucy. I've never been called an Astonishing Fount before. Something close to that, but never that.

Thanks for the Abebooks link too.

As to quilt-topped mattresses... whenever we stay in a holiday home or hotel room, the first thing we do is remove that bloody thing (or turn the mattress over). Otherwise it's like sleeping in a bloody oven.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Steve- Personal view is that Calvados is a bit like Spanish brandy - the quality is in inverse proportion to the price. I've had some frantically expensive ones that were totally over-worked and thin, like expensive Armagnac. But I'll drink them all.

I passed on the gongs to people whose
Blogs made me laugh or inspired clerihews.
While there are many who inspire guffaws
The only poetical one was yours.

Rol - Hah you've just reminded me of the Fast Show sketch ("Chanel Nein presenta Count Mysterio! Total Mysterio! ...Total Count!")
The mattress topper is more for squishiness than warmth - did try a sheepskin one and yes, too hot. But nothing beats that "I can't feel the buttons on the mattress any more!!!" feeling.

French Fancy... said...

Well done on the award - it does look a bit more 'now' than some of the floaty Victoriana ones.

Am absolutely riveted by Fiona MacCarthy's biog of Byron. Please tell me it sold lots of copies. Now that is how a biog should be written - one of the best that I've ever picked up.

Re perfume - I used to be a perfume addict but now I'm in the country with insects out there when the sun emerges, I drown myself in anti-bite stuff and seldom spray nice things from April until October. My favourite is Joy by Patou, but not the EDT, it has to be the perfume proper I'm afraid and it costs!

Lucy Fishwife said...

LAURA - Didn't mean your blog wasn't poetic!! Obviously your blog is a world of poetry!!!! While clerihews are enough of a recognisable formula to for me to have a go, I can only read and admire yours. Am I sounding totally obsequious? Creepy? Mission accomplished, hopefully...

Lucy Fishwife said...

FF - OOh Joy. Gosh that's an expensive taste - on the other hand a very little bit goes a very long way! There must be some kind of splashy lemon thing you could wear that would tone in nicely with citronella - Eau du Sud? Eau Sauvage?
Haven't read the Byron yet, but we've sold several (we're small so that's a good thing!) - will read it!

mantua maker said...

Fiona MacCarthy wrote a nice little piece in The Guardian about how "The Curse of Byron" struck her while she was writing that book:

I haven't read it but I've read her biog. of Eric Gill, also brilliant - my Dad was very keen that I should read it (bit weird that, what with all the incest, but he did know EG's brother).

French Fancy... said...

note to mantua maker (seeing as you've not got a blog) - thanks for the link to that MacCarthy article. Very interesting

Ok Luce - you can have your blog back now


French Fancy... said...

on second thoughts I'm reclaiming your blog again

for anyone trying to get to the article the link didn't work so I googled and this is the URL

French Fancy... said...


mantua maker said...

Oh sorry about that link, maybe this will work: haven't got into setting up my own blog yet as I would end up spending my whole day in front of the computer. I've just added my website (bit old now) to my profile, though, as the other Mantua Maker out there might appreciate that.

Sorry Lu, here's your blog again. kx

Cassandra said...

Excellent. Am always on the lookout for fab new-to-me blogs. I will check them all out. Am SO with you on coffee. Will be writing more about that soon.
Re perfume - I am a signature scent girl (Fidji by Guy Laroche) partly because perfume is so bloody expensive. (Will def check out the perfumed court, though). The THING is, though, if you wear lots of different scents, don't you find that you get traces on your clothes and they form a slightly confusing cocktail? I'm not suggesting you don't wash your clothes, Lulu, but what about scarves and coats and things like that?

Lucy Fishwife said...

French Fancy and Mantua Maker - Oh get a room, you guys.(Thanks for the links though)

Cass - Scarves yes, but not so much on coats etc - I tend to spray it erm down my cleavage. I only have lots because I have been buying it for years (well, a few years) and keep it in a dark wardrobe (helps against deterioration); also Perfumed Court have provided many many 5ml bottles (perfect for handbags and holidays). Will definitely be giving Fidji a go.

Stephan Scharnberg said...

There's plenty of Calvados to be had in Erich Maria Remarque's
"Arch of Triumph"!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on coffee and alcohol. Books are good too.

Perfume is disgusting and I have no idea what a mattress topper is. Sounds worryingly incontinental.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Stephan - Really?? Will have to read it! Love a reccommendation so thank you. Have only read "All Quiet On The western Front" which was a little short on Calvados.

Relucs - Oh thanks very much, I'm not THAT much older than you! Incontinent indeed. mattress topper = Quilted sort of stiffish duvet (or incontinental quilt, fnar fnar) type affair that goes on the mattress under the sheet. Soft, squishy, comfortable, like sleeping on a cloud, unless you're Rol, obviously.
I swear, somewhere out there there's a perfume for you. we will find it.

JonathanM said...

Dear Mrs Fishwife, thank you for my award and my apologies for not responding sooner. I have been rather busy, but will get to a response once I have finished modelling my superhero cape and the band has left town.

I'm very glad I make you laugh, although I should say that I thought I was writing a documentary novel.

PS I confess that the whole of the 1980s went by in a blur of balloon flights and calvados fermier.

Perfumeshrine said...

Excellently done my dear!! You deserve it and you're prompting me to find other good blogs as well.
Books and perfume are among my confessed addictions as well and as to that Calvados, I will raise you one and drink to your health :-)

Perfumeshrine said...

Oh and adding another rec for Fidji! (by all means, if you want me to send you some gratis ~I do it all the time and am Europe-based as well, so no big deal, honestly~ just drop me a line at my mail (in profile). :-)

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Aw shucks Lucy! Many thanks for the lovely award and I am only sorry I am so embarrassingly behind on my blogging lately (you'd think being redundant I would have all the time in the world, but I seem to have less time than when I was at work, aside from beating myself up that really I should be focussing on finding another job every time I log onto said blog!)

I must post a poem soon to live up to your glowing poetic tribute! Then again I've heard it's quite a common thing to start a blog on one theme and then find it starts to go off in a direction of its own!

Yes I am a bookoholic too, albeit a terribly slow and easily distracted reader.

And no, you can't beat a decent mattress or a heavenly scent (do you remember Heaven Scent?)!

Mind you I revel in the challenge of proving one doesn't have to be a dull virtual-teetotaller or coffeetotaller! I am sure you wouldn't be either.


JRSM said...

Thank you very much! Sorry I didn't respond to this earlier, but, ahem, being off work for a short while has, ahem, curtailed my net habits a bit,ahem, not reading this, are you, boss? Looking forward to the books you've raved about the proofs of, too: they sound great! (And wishing I hadn't bought 'The Green Hat'.)