Saturday, April 10, 2010

Would you like a piece of my sandwich?

Turned in early last night after the trip to Paris. The spare parts for the stove have been ordered and fresh supplies of champagne from the old fashioned vintners chosen and paid for. There was a time when I used to fly to New York or LA twice a month, do a couple of days work and return home with absolutely no side effects. These days I'm exhausted after going through airport security and that's before even getting on the plane. Clearly the onset of middle age is when you get jet lag without the jet. Another of the problems with travelling is having one of those faces that attracts lunatics. At Orly airport yesterday I was happily sitting minding my own business in the departure lounge when a lady came up an offered me part of her ham and cheese baguette. Why of all the people in the airport did she chose me ? Why would anyone offer you part of their sandwich ? How should one respond ? How is it these people get through security while I'm invariably treated as though I've got 10 kilos of Semtex in my shoes? The uncharted etiquette of modern life.

While I was dealing with the wild haired lunatrice the font was dealing with the village associations and the organization of the concert. The meeting was prefaced by mayor with the comment that ' there are no politics in this village'. A sure sign if ever there was one that centuries old intra-village hatred and loathing bubble just below the surface. The idea that post concert refreshments should be limited to a glass of wine and a slice of quiche still seems to be quite impossible for the villagers to understand. As it stands after the concert there will be a tour of the pottery museum followed by a four course meal ( two courses by each association) and a talk on the history of the village given by the deputy mayor. A little fine tuning remains to be done if we are to avoid the evening from hell. How sensible does a concert , then a glass of wine sound to you?

Wilf and Digby are sound asleep in the courtyard silently exuding happiness from every follicle. They do not like it when one or other of us goes away. This time Wilf simply refused to eat dinner - a situation that has rapidly remedied itself since my return.

Help please with a family dispute. As a child in the 60's toy stores sold a product that enabled you to make your own balloons. If memory serves me right it was a coloured gel like substance that came in a tube. You squeezed out a small amount, wrapped it around the end of a straw, and then blew through the straw to create your personal balloon. 'The font' claims never to have heard of such a thing and certainly never to have played with it. Does anyone else remember this product ? Did it have a name ? Is it still made ?


  1. I don't know what you call it, but I loved that balloon making gel - of course I could never make a very large balloon with it. I just found it on Wikipedia so it must be true -
    Now you can say "bah" to the Font.

    As for that ham sandwich - I just won't go there!


  2. Oh, yes, I remember that toy! Being products of that era, my sister and I played with the stuff. As I recall, it had a nasty smell. Could it have possibly been toxic? Back then I don't think there were as many regulations for toys as there are now. I don't think it is sold anymore, and don't recall the name. On another note, I think the concert sounds like a fine idea and except for living here in the US and not being able to go, I'd like to attend just to see all the hoopla!


  3. I remember that! Try this link, but it looks much like product I remember:
    I can still evoke the sharp smell and the satisfaction of watching your bubble grow but not pop like soap bubbles! In fact, I think in the day they were considered more bubble than balloon - nowhere near as robust as a balloon.

    Lovely blog, and two precious precious doggies. I have a coton de tulear, could practically be a mini-Digby.

    So sorry about your misadventures in Italy and so sorry to lose such a charming family to France, of all places!


  4. Lynn is right--I looked it up too because I remembered it--It's a wonder with all the toxins the toys had in them when we were growing up that we can remember our own name and remember that we shouldn't take candy from strangers, or a sandwich! :-)
    I have enjoyed your pictures of Paris and hearing about your trip! There really is no place like home!!
    Finally, THANK YOU also for your kind good wishes for Hamlet, they are very much appreciated!

  5. Hey there Mongoose
    I think this is some kind of census to divulge our ages!!...shame on you!
    Yes, okay, I'll admit I know it too. To add to this sweet equation...remember I grew up on a remote rural farm (in the 1960's) in rural SA. My dad brought it home for me one day - he'd purchased it at a local 'Bric-a-brac' store. Obviously I was delighted...morphing into despondencey when the silly thing deflated.
    As is common in this particular cohort of your research, my memory fails me as to the name!
    ps. The heat is still on here...some think it's laughable, although the kind of rhetoric spewed does incredible damage. As a Scotsman, are you really perturbed about the British journalist? For the record, I think the whole fiasco is unforgivable! There are measures being taken to ensure press unity...

  6. I don't remember that toy... and I was a young child in the 60s. Funny memory.

    The sandwich story had me chuckling. You must have looked hungry! I'm sure that you handled it diplomatically.

    I agree, as I hit middle age, I often get jet lag without the jet. Yet, I never think to blame it on my age... Maybe I should!

  7. We had that stuff that you made those balloons out of, too! I think they do still sell it, too. I think it went by different names, but the one I remember is Miracle Bubble. Sorry to the font, but you definitely win this one!

    I am SO glad to know that I am not the only magnet for weirdos in the world! When I was in college, I worked in the campus library. Every freak in the world found me in there, from the crazy albino to the guy who read me poetry in the back stacks and told me about his mother dying. I swear that I've never done anything to encourage these people, either. I'm glad you made it home safely. Did you try the sandwich?

  8. I'm only 2, so I'll take the ham sammich please!

    But SHE says yes was a stinky thing came in red or blue and you had to work quick before the stuff setup. You didn't get lovely big balloons like the illustration on the box, but you did yet smallish ball size balloons that collapsed if you messed with them much. But since everyone got pleasantly silly from the fumes, it was ok. Glue sniffing had not been invented yet, you could still purchase airplane glue at the hobby shop even if you were 8 or 9.

    She says she always attracts the talkers on planes. Even armed with a book and iPod.


  9. The first time I ever played with the "magic plastic" was when my father returned from a business trip in London. Many of my favorite childhood toys came from Hamley's where appearently it is still a big seller:,default,pd.html

    Sophie's human

  10. I have no idea what you are talking about with the balloon toy... but my husband remembers it vividly. He can't recall the name, however. But he swears you are not crazy.

    Edward is just back from a trip to the seaside.
    He was thrilled to bits to be there, and thrilled to bits to come home.
    Dogs are the best.

  11. Yes I remember that - but not the name

  12. I remember it as well - so whatever toxins were in it, apparently our memories are still intact. Course I couldn't tell you my zip code....