So glad you've come...

Welcome to Tigressland, my own personal little corner of the Internet where I hang out expressing my views about the smaller things in life. No controversy here (I'm saving that for the book lol) just the everyday minutiae that add up to my rather unpredictable, but always fun, life! So pull up a cushion and come chill.....and follow! We bloggers love it when you follow ;-) ~Tigress

Thursday, 29 March 2012

All hail the almighty toothpick...

It boggles the mind you know: the level of creativity and dogged determination of some people. Take for example, Scott Weaver,who, over the course of 35 YEARS, completed this here sculpture. 35 YEARS! 35 ....are you serious?! I mean even Michelangelo only fluffed around for four on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel! Like don't get me wrong, I'm impressed and all...but what I want to know is...what makes you wake up one morning and say; "I'm going to take 100,000 toothpicks and make a sculpture depicting San know, just for shits and giggles"? How on earth does that just pop in there with. "What socks should I wear?"  and "where the hell are the coffee filters?"

I'm eating pizza right now (a piece of useless information for you) and, for a moment, entertaining the thought that perhaps Scott was just a hard core Fraggle Rock fan in the know, an industrious wee youngster whose first aspiration in life wasn't to be a rock-star or policeman, but simply to be a Doozer and create epic construction.

But this kinda takes it into a whole new universe dunnit?...And turns the tables something wicked when you think about it...I mean what self-respecting Doozer wouldn't want to grow up to be Scott Weaver?!

Now I will confess though, I have had desires to do something radical and artistic like this in my time, but I was never a completer....I was an epic starter of things....but wasn't quite so epic at finishing them. While this has improved in my later life, I do have many unfinished projects laying about the place that bear testimony to the fact I frequently have the attention span of a half-baked goldfish.

So what kept this boy going?? Abandoning the quandary of what inserted the idea into his consciousness in the first place, one is hard pressed not to be just as baffled by the question: "Why didn't he give up halfway and hurl it in the bin?" It must have been tempting at some point surely. You can just about guarantee that there would have been days when perhaps the cat had playfully knocked the whole shebang to the carpet and he felt like giving up toothpick sculpture in favour of, say, taxidermy? But no! He resisted! He didn't say: "Sod this for a game of soldiers" and use it for kindling....he kept at it....adding toothpick after toothpick until his vision was complete.

It's astounding really and all I can say is jolly good for him. From someone who is artistically challenged by basic origami....his achievement is nothing short or incredible. And as I'm finishing my pizza I cannot help but be mindful of the fact that Mr Weaver has elevated such a humble object to almost mythic status. This in mind however, I would still be sorely tempted to snap a wee piece of said sculpture would I be seated next to it right now as a bit of pizza crust has nestled itself most uncomfortably between two molars and yep, you guessed it...I've run out of bloody toothpicks!!

Monday, 12 March 2012

A boat for Lil Blondie

My child is not what you would call particularly 'girlie'.

Though I'm not into labels all that much - so shy away from the term 'tomboy' - I have no problem recognising that her interests transcend the unfortunate 'gender norms' still reinforced by the gender-specific garbage marketing rife on today's children's television.

You see Lil Blondie has a slight obsession: at the ripe old age of 5 3/4: she wants to build a boat. And not just any boat...a frickin' great ship what shoots things, carries passengers and even has a helipad - musn't forget the helipad.

And she wants to do it all on her 6th birthday in June.

Now believe me, I am secretly delighted that although my little girl happily wears pink and loves kittens (she can choose whatever she wishes), she is also Ben 10's number one fan and is not afraid of the concept of blowing the crap out of something.

But none of this helps me build a boat...

Sorry, I mean ship.

But I know I have to at least try and delay her desires a little as I don't really have a Titanic's worth of boat-building materials laying around at my disposal. But how?! It's not like she's even remotely interested in the ballet classes her older sister wants her to do!

My first attempt involved going for the model know with pop out cardboard bits and such. I saw one in the Avon catalogue of all places and wondered if it just might least until she went onto something else. When it arrived, away for Christmas it went. Come Christmas morning, the slim unwrapped gift drew a bemused stare. "It's a boat" I said, smiling. The stare shifted from bemused to 'are you shittin' me, coz that's one damn skinny boat!?'

Supposedly, according to the packet, a 5-year-old could have put this thing together....pfft, well I'd love to meet the little twerp! It would have to be one of those smart-ass prodigy kids that was completing the Rubic's Cube while still in triangular trousers and tossing up between between fixing the family car or building a new doghouse just for recreation by the age of four, because I'm thirty-God-damned-seven and I was swearing incredulously after five minutes! It had no less than 5 sheets of pop out bits, and most of them were not what I would call large.

Eventually, however, with the Blonde one checking in on me periodically, the 'HMS Morfolk' was born. Complete with guns, tower thingie and yes, even a helipad.

This should do her I thought and proudly presented her with my creation. I pointed out all the various bits and pieces and patted her on the head saying: "Yay, now you have a boat!"

"Oh that's a very nice boat, Mum, but mine's gonna be much bigger than that!"

Crap...this could be trickier than I thought.

Time for Plan B...

"So what sort of job do think you could do to work on a boat?" I asked

Through her furrowed brow I could almost hear the cogs whirring as she entertained the options.

"I could be a pirate!" :D


After discussing the logistics and legalities of such a career choice and the possible unfortunate outcomes to both self and others we decided against that one and instead analysed some more acceptable avenues such as going into the Navy, becoming a diver to explore old ship-wreaks or conduct wildlife research, and working on a cruise liner.

After further thought, though, her face lit up: "What about the helicopter, maybe I could fly in the helicopter?!"

We had discussed helicopters and their occupants before. This was working better than I thought!

"You certainly can sweetheart! Flying a helicopter would be a cool job!"

"Oh I don't want to fly it" she corrected me; "I want to ride in the back of it like the crewman does."

"Well that would be great too!" I encouraged

"Hmmm" she murmured half to herself: "You know what I need now though?"

"Well I think, just from a Mummy's perspective, you need to study hard at school and make sure you grow up really strong and healthy."

"Yes, yes' I know all that!" she dismissed impatiently, "but what I really need....

She pointed her finger firmly in the air and put on her 'earnest face'. practice!!

I didn't like where this conversation was heading.

"And lots of it!"

You know what's coming next

"We need to build a helicopter, Mum!" She said matter-of-factly.

"Oh do we now!" I spluttered. Though I should have seen it coming...this was not panning out well for Team Mummy at all. :"Oh so I suppose you want to build THAT on your birthday now?"

"No silly, we're building the boat on that day remember"


"Well what else am I gonna park my helicopter on?!

Where the hell is that ballet brochure....

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Gravy Master!

Now you may recall me mentioning that I am not the most culinarily gifted person in the whole wide world.

To be fair though, if there's a recipe involved, the product has usually been relatively edible (unless it's jam - that hasn't been so good)'s when I start to get cute and try winging it that things get a bit hairy.

But surely to God I should be able to concoct a fairly decent stew without too much drama? Shouldn't I? After all, as my fiendishly Tigeresque male friend frequently intones: "It's not rocket science!"

Well I'm not so sure about that.

You see my attempts as stew making 'sans-recipe' have not been a howling success. They've either lacked flavour, didn't thicken right, or were generally plagued by some other gourmet shortcoming that was serious cause for a facepalm

So last night I caved.... I Googled it, and came across a recipe that even my five-year-old could probably have managed.

I diligently followed the instructions....right up to the add 'Gravy Master' bit.


I live on what I swear to God is the arse end of the planet....we don't HAVE "Gravy Master"...hell we don't even have "Gravy Apprentice" want gravy round here you make it in the pan using the meat drippings! Though I must confess, I did find lurking in the back of my pantry a box of Gravy Somethingorother that was gluten, dairy and everything else free that I must have bought a while back thinking I was going to get all illustrious and roast something.

Yeah, that'll do.

But this is where I had a question....does this 'Gravy Master' stuff thicken things...coz if not then I was in a spot of bother...coz I knew my Somethingorother would!....Best we wait till the end. I was trying not to get distressed at this point as the whole point of me finding a recipe was to avoid the whole 'winging it' scenario and the possibility of placing the entirety of the project in jeopardy.

I was nervous...I had 1kg of mincemeat, four carrots and an onion riding on this; I did not want to go down.

So I took the careful approach, I thickened it a little at a time till it reached the desired consistency. The concentration was intense, I didn't want to overdo it. Thoughts of my sliceable jam shot through my head. But I pushed them aside...I knew I could do this!

It was time for the taste test....good God it was edible! How did that happen?

The potatoes were mashed, the plates were waiting...

I was beginning to get excited...

Just a little.

Once served onto dinnerware it was presented to the waiting offspring.... The teenager cocked a suspicious eyebrow and sampled tentatively. After some deliberation she grunted her down. Lil Blondie (cute but brutal) also took a mouthful...this was the true moment of reckoning...

"You know Mum....that's actually not bad."

I smiled...a someone just awarded an Olympic medal :D...Kid approved food produced by moi...there is hope for me yet!

"Well it's a lot better than that horrible jam you made anyway!"