Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday 28 June

~  Breakfast: two slices of brown toast, one with marmite the other with marmalade, eaten with a glass of orange juice (with the marmite one) and coffee - milk, no sugar - (with the marmalade one).  The whole is a harmonious balance of tastes for each part of the tongue, salt, sour, sweet and bitter.  Even the matching beginnings of the words 'marmite' and 'marmalade' seem to contribute to the aesthetic satisfaction.

~   Owing to a combination of being short and broad and owning a black dog, I dislike wearing pastel or over-bright colours.  I have bought washing machine dyes in dark blue and a dark purple.  The t-shirts - sky blue, a leafy pale green (pretty but not for me) and a rather crude viridian - which I subject to the dark blue dye give good results, a strong rich blue in the case of the sky and pale green, slightly pleasantly dirtied in the latter, and the viridian becomes a very fine dark teal, peacock even.  However, when tried with the purple, the light olive green dress which I never could take to in that colour, turns out an alarmingly violent violet.  I decide to dry it and try it on again to see if I really like it enough to make it worthwhile risking applying another colour on top - the dark blue again, or another green, even brown or red - to try to rectify it, or just to cut my losses and put it in the relais.


~  (Picture) A wren's nest under the porch at my brother's, close enough to the front door to touch.  The birds left invisibly a short time ago, and the nest is now unravelling.


~~~


10 comments:

Rouchswalwe said...

A marvelous morning meal!

HLiza said...

My dad used to force us to add marmite in our porridge and soup when we were young..now I feel like looking for one. Haven't eaten it for ages..

herhimnbryn said...

Marmite and marmalade, hmmm. I know they weren't on the same piece of toast, but the idea reminded me of Mrs Cropley's cakes in 'The Vicar of Dibley'.

May I suggest the following combos on toast? Marmite and avocado OR marmite and grilled cheese.....right, time for breakfast.

marja-leena said...

Have yet to try marmite for some reason though I've had English friends who ate it.

Your dye experiments interest me. I remember trying something similar years ago but was disappointed that it was not fast. What do you use?

Zhoen said...

I've always wanted to try marmite, maybe this year.

Julia said...

You may be short but you are definitely not broad!

How do washing machine dyes work? Do you run the machine once more to work out the dye afterwards? I'd love to see the results.

Barrett Bonden said...

Colour on top of colour - that will surely appeal to Plutarch. In the dim distant professional days when he was writing stuff and I was editing it, I complained about the state of his manuscripts. From this grew the ad hoc adjective palimpsestuous. But yours is a sartorial palimpsest, a record in depth of aesthetic impulses. I long for a cross-section, submitted to a scanning electron microscope, photographed, enlarged and put on display - a technological record of the Lucigian Period, famous for chromatic subversion. If I were still editing Plutarch most of these five-dollar words would have been excised.

Lucy said...

Thanks chaps. Julia, you are too kind. I thought I had been kind enough on myself using 'broad' rather than another adjective...

Marmite. Whole anecdotal volumes could be written on it. I am especially tickled to know that it travelled to Malaysia where it was put on porridge! I was not brought up in a Marmite eating family, but was partially converted to it by the worthy family of socialist Quaker schoolteachers of whom I have written before - they also had Twiglets at parties which are kind of Marmite en fête. My conversion was completed on moving here, when something weird happens and you start craving all kinds of things you scarcely thought about before. Really though, I'm not sure I like it mixed with anything much, I have tried. Just plain on toast. The key is to wash down the last Marmite mouthful with the last of the orange juice, pause, take a gulp of coffee, then start on the marmalade piece. Otherwise I can see how Mrs Cropley's marmalade and Branston pickle Victoria sponge cake might come to mind...

Washing machine dyes. Not the old fashioned Dylon powders, which were fugitive and unreliable, but something called 'Ideal' from the supermarket, not very expensive, though the range of colours was limited. They come in funny little sealed barquettes, rather like those used for microwave meals only smaller. There's a liquid dye and a fixative powder. You snip the corners off each. place them carefully in the drum with half a kilo (a lot) of salt, and wash at 40 degrees. Then you wash the stuff normally straight afterwards. There's no residue, though they say if there is you can quickly swish the machine with bleach solution, and they seem to be very fast, as I threw another green t-shirt in when I did the second wash-through in the hopes that it might pick up some spare colour from any residual bleed, but it seems to have taken none at all.

In fact the purple frock has gone blotchy. I think perhaps because I left the washing powder sprinkled on it for too long (waiting for cheap rate electricity as I was rather alarmed at the amount I'd been using), or perhaps because it was too new and hadn't been washed out sufficiently first. So I'll abandon that one. My main concern is the pollutant effect of it, since our washing machine run-off doesn't get properly treated - one reason I like the Indian wash-nuts - so I don't know if I'll be doing a lot of it. The blue was very good though.

Well, I'm certainly writing plenty again, much of it in comments! Lovely to see you again.

Sheila said...

I just love the photo of the nest. Nests amaze me, kind of the way spider webs do.

Three beautiful things is a great idea. Maybe I should try it to get myself going again on my blog.

I did do something, not related to writing, but to being intentional about finding the good. I happened upon a shop with these beautiful "charms" intended for making jewelry. They were, in my opinion, overpriced, and not in my budget. But I found one that says "faith," and another with "abundance" on one side and "gratitude" on the other. They called out to me, and I broke the budget and responded. I put them on my keyring, so that each time I pick it up or put it in my pocket, I challenge myself to think of some abundance in my life and to be grateful....and to look at life with faith, even and especially when that is hard.

It has helped so much that when the "faith" charm' metal link broke, I got florist wire and wired it back onto my keyring. Whatever it takes to keep the faith! :-)

Alison said...

Reading this makes me think of my teen years, when I used to dye all kinds of clothes, and tie-dye my t-shirts. We had (and still have, in the stores) something called Rit dye. Rit seems to be nothing like your magical dye, though; it left stains on everything. We boiled the clothes in giant pots on the stove and they had to be washed separately for the rest of their natural lives.

Marmite. Reading about your breakfast caused me once again to make my annual vow to eat marmite. I have the typical fascination for it that most Americans do - we hear horror stories, we hear love stories, we hear all kinds of stories about marmite. I must try it, and I shall try it exactly as you described.