Hairdressers

No dessert has hair, so I’ve been enjoying myself recently watching the humans around me being caught in the hairdressing conspiracy. While you might say the conspiracy consists of hairdressing and general beauty parlours making people spend too much money on trying to keep themselves looking the same (as if frozen) when anyone should be able to tell that looks are one thing that are meant to change, I actually mean a different sort of conspiracy.

A human of my acquaintance is in a dilemma regarding her hair. Apparently there are two different people working at the salon she patronises, and she much prefers the haircut that one gives over the other’s. This sounded straightforward enough to me, but hearing the reactions of the humans around my plate, I decided to investigate. It seems that this kind of thing is very common. Many find it too awkward to say straight out that they would like to only make appointments with the person whose cut they prefer, and end up going to great lengths to not appear as if they have a preference, while also trying get the hair they want. Geez was my initial reaction. I thought it more proof that humans fuss too much, but I then tried to imagine how I would feel in that situation. It was a stretch of the imagination – as a custard, the thought of going to a hair salon was like a human’s thought of going to Hogwartz – but I used my visualisation skills. If I liked the way one stylist dusted me with powdered sugar better than I liked the way another did (not that I would ever agree to such a thing in the first place), what would I do? I could see that the tactful dessert in me would cause me to try to avoid being too obvious.

It’s ridiculous, really. You’re paying the salon, and deserve be able to get the best cut, yet it feels like too much of personal insult to deliberately avoid one of the people who works there. I imagine it would be much worse if there were any personal connections, either between the hairdressers or between myself and one of them.

I’m sure some of my human readers will have had experiences involving hairdressers and tact, and will be able to illustrate it properly in their heads, as I was only imagining it for myself.

Sweetness, LC

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A Dessert Reflects

I’ve only just seen the post on the WordPress blog discussing the new system of badges for blogging achievements. They also talked a little about looking back what you have accomplished. So, while this blog is less than two years old, and is not a huge achiever, I feel I will devote a short post to thinking about my 15 odd months of sharing my thoughts on the world.

A numerical approach to looking back – I’ve had twelve likes over my 28 posts, which doesn’t really seem like a lot, but considering how few I always had earlier on, I’m reasonably pleased. Seven followers so far; and I’ve had twenty comments (not counting those made by me).

So Far: I’ve had From The Plate, I’ve written posts that observe the world. I hope that the humans who read my blog can see that a dessert lying on plate picks up more than a hidden camera. I’ve dabbled in photography, and opened a Flickr account. There are many successful bloggers out there, and while I don’t count myself as well-known, I know I am paving the way for writing food to go online.

My ideas for What’s Next vary. One fairly clear idea is that I will probably go on Facebook. Getting carried away with publicity ideas, I also did consider going on YouTube, but then realised I would have basically no use for it. You can always find me at my Gravatar profile – a kind of central. I also (at the risk of making this a very clichéd “looking back” post) want to thank all my readers and guests. “Anything can happen if you let it,” says Mary Poppins. Well, I think it would be nearer the truth to say that making anything happen is generally a mixture of letting it and making it, and I certainly do plan to make things happen here – slowly.

Sweetness, LC

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Photography – autumn leaves

After From The Plate ended, I’m now relasing more photography. I’m sure that this isn’t a unique idea – taking pictures of autumn leaves -but I am actually quite pleased with these:

Sweetness, LC

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Day 7 – From The Plate (Lemon Custard presents a virtual festival)

Fancy Wrap-up Speech by L Custard

Thank you all for attending (attending?) From The Plate. We are now at the final day. I’ve never done anything of this kind before, and have been fairly pleased with the results. Thank you to my three interviewees, who participated in Five Minutes With a Custard. I had two guest writers as well, A Leek Writes and Pink Champagne – thank you both. I’ve never had guests before, so I’ve quite enjoyed it myself. It’s been an interesting exercise. I’m very grateful to the readers (human or otherwise) who have seen FTP through. I’m finishing off with a kind of review – a selection of three polls (what a surprise). You may say that I’m throwing away the final day by using it to review the last six, but what human has insight into how a custard should blog? Hoping you’ve enjoyed the festival,
LC

No interview questions as polls today. I hope you’ve enjoyed the festival, and I will be returning to my usual observations after this.
Sweetness, LC

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Day 6 – From The Plate (Lemon Custard presents a virtual festival)

Welcome to day six! Only one more day to go. First up, my third and last interview – from Five Minutes With a Custard – with a new acquaintance of mine, a Mrs Fry. Next, a new poll.

~

Five Minutes With a Custard
Today LC brings you an interview with her classy acquaintance, Mrs Fry. Sophisticated Mrs. Fry shares her views on comfortable seating and search engines.

Lemon Custard: If you were one of the four seasons, which do you think you would be? Note: be careful not to simply pick the season you like best, as that will only be groaned and eye rolled at – think of one you’re similar to.

Mrs Fry: Spring – I constantly feel as if I am starting, reinventing and rediscovering facets of my life and myself. It’s a constant cycle of budding renewal. And I love flowers.

LC: Do you prefer handkerchiefs over tissues? Note: Give some basic explanation of why or why not.

Mrs F: Yes. More classy, and softer on the nose. Although highly unpleasant if only have the one AND the flu…

LC: Do you have a least favourite kind of salad dressing?

Mrs F: Excrement – that would have to be fairly unappealing on a salad. On anything really, now that I think of it – of course I don’t speak from EXPERIENCE.

LC: Should hats be stored in hatboxes, on hat racks/stands, or in some other imaginative fashion that LC can’t think of yet (except maybe for chucking them on the ground)?

Mrs F:  I keep my hats either in a drawer or on my candelabra – with my wigs. I am a truly classy individual.

LC: If you use Google, do you always feel incredibly lucky simply from looking at the empty search bar? Note: This may or may not result in clicking Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

Mrs F: I just typed my name into Google and clicked ‘I’m Feeling Lucky,’ It turns out I wasn’t…

LC: Are you absolutely hooked on these unusual questions, can’t wait for more, and think all interviews should be like this?

Mrs F: This format is certainly keeping me on my toes and so bound to prevent dementia in some form, therefore, good on it.

LC: While you probably don’t sit under tables as a rule, do you prefer sitting under coffee tables or writing desks?

Mrs F: Writing desks – duh.

LC: Are you normally awake at 4:30am? If you are, just sigh and say you are, but if not, proceed to the real question: Would you be more likely to be up at that time by staying up a little later or by getting up a little earlier?

Mrs F: It depends on whether I’ve been watching TV/reading in my love seat that night or not (see next question.) Most likely getting up a little earlier though.

LC: On the average day, is lying still on a couch boring or relaxing?

Mrs F: Relaxing – especially if accompanied with a book or Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs. Oh, and just to be specific, not any old couch but my magnificent golden love-seat that is essentially an oversized armchair that will seat two people or one woman, a packet of Pringles, a block of Top Deck, a quilted throw, the DVD remote and three cats where necessary. The only drawback being that I WILL fall asleep due to its irresistible, wily comfort and wake up, disorientated at 3am.

LC: If you are hungry right now, would you rather freshly shucked oysters with red chilli and lime juice with fried shallots, or slow roasted pumpkin risotto with baby beets, goats curd, asparagus and micro celery?

Mrs F: The pumpkin one. ALWAYS the pumpkin one…

~

I am now using another interview question as a poll. Where should hats be stored?

Thank you to the lovely Mrs Fry for spending Five Minutes With a Custard today. I’ll be seeing my readers again tomorrow for the last day of FTP!
Sweetness, LC

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Day 5 – From The Plate (Lemon Custard presents a virtual festival)

I’m kicking off day five with a new poll. Again, I’m using an interview question from Five Minutes With a Custard – which season would you be? Next, A Leek Writes returns to the festival with a fascinating article.

 

Again, I’m using an interview question for a poll. Do not simply pick the season you like best, as this will only be groaned and eye-rolled at – think of one you are similar to.

 

Next up, FTP presents a special guest writer – blogger, multimedia journalist, poet, artist and playwright: A Leek Writes!

~

Guess the animal:

Adorable.

A ridiculous bumbling over-sized fluff-ball, this animal propels himself on springy legs and podgy paws. He tumbles his weight over itself lazily (and usually hungrily) through the Tibetan Plateau in the general direction of bamboo stalks. They snap with a satisfying crack as he snacks. The vast, hefty muscles rippling under the thick soft coat of stark white fur are… absolutely wasted as he eschews most traditional survival skills and opts for a diet of bamboo. He could hunt and eat meat if he wanted to, and has to eat bamboo for 14 hours a day to get just enough nutrition in 40 pounds of it. He is potentially a 350-pounder wallop of frosty vanilla ice cream tolerating a bucket of dark chocolate sauce tipped over his sides. His ambling walk is helpless and silly and his eyes peer out from exquisite, symmetrical plates of black fur set in the face, fixed in a surprised and cute expression across his wide, white forehead, with little black ears perched on top.

He has no idea how cute he is.

Or how solely dependent on human conservation efforts.

We are of course talking about the Giant Panda.

They are believed to date from 3 million years ago – a “living fossil” – which is remarkable considering their reliance on bamboo and lack of much agility or adaptation since then. Their cute puffy cheeks actually hide ravaging teeth and muscles that allow pandas to rip into the toughest of stalks – but apart from that, they don’t store fat, they don’t hibernate and they don’t really hunt if they can help it. So they are always looking for food.

In China’s Han Dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD) people believed pandas had mystical powers. They freely roamed the gardens of emperors. Pandas are now a Chinese National Treasure.

The scientific estimate of their population is now only 1,600.

About 300 are in reserves, zoos and wildlife parks. Zoos outside China hire pandas from the Chinese government and this money is used for wild panda conservation.

Speaking of which:

Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine) are 8-year-old pandas and the first to grace Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland – the first in the UK in 17 years. They arrived in December 2011 and proceeded to take everything by storm all over the news:

The pandas travelled the 5,000 miles non-stop to Scotland from China on a special flight that became known as the FedEx “Panda Express”. The pair will stay for the next 10 years and it is hoped they will breed cubs. Speaking of which:

A crèche has been built for TWO baby pandas – in case they have twins. Around one in two panda pregnancies result in twins, but in the wild the runt is usually left to die… so Edinburgh Zoo has created a nursery to help two cubs survive. Vets have a dedicated room to incubate and hand-rear the second infant if they get twins. If both cubs can be reared, it’s important because it could increase the numbers of pandas to potentially be released back into the wild.

The zoo’s chief executive Hugh Roberts said: “We see the pandas as catalysts for research, education and conservation – aimed at improving the future for pandas.”

£42,722 was the first price of controversy; the Scottish government threw a ‘welcome party’ for the pandas. Two months after their arrival, they knocked the King penguins off the top of the adoption list – now panda adoptions account for 16% of all animal adoptions/sponsor an animal.

Zoo worker Tracy Hope said: “Our king penguins had actually been top of the animal adoption list for the last 7 years, but being very regal poised birds they seem to be taking the news very well.”

That’s NOT to mention the BBC in their “Women of the Year” shortlist knocked out the humans – and put Tian Tian, the panda, as the ‘face’ of December. Feminists and all other people capable of human sensitivity were appalled when there are so many high-achieving women in the UK and the world – but their defence was basically not to take it so seriously. (It’s not Time magazine, okay?)

The pandas were sick with colic and taken off from public viewing a couple of weeks ago – but don’t worry, they are better now! It is normal – colic is common in giant pandas with sensitive digestive systems adapting to a slightly different bamboo.

I don’t need a reason to dedicate this article to pandas; they are always adorable and helplessly in need of conservation. I have a prized army of toy pandas. My name rhymes with panda. But with the ongoing kerfuffle over here in the UK upon the arrival of the first pandas in 17 years, this post was irresistible.

aleekwrites.wordpress.com

~

Thank you to A Leek for being a guest writer today. I’ll see you all tomorrow – day 6.
Sweetness, LC

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Day 4 – From The Plate (Lemon Custard presents a virtual festival)

Welcome! Today I bring you another interview from Five Minutes With a Custard. I’m using the same ten questions on another interviewee: my charismatic friend Teabag. Next, a very special guest appearance by lovely writer Pink Champagne. LC

 

Five Minutes With a Custard

Your host L Custard catches up with the charismatic Teabag for FTP’s next interview. Teabag discusses autumn and displays nonconformity in food choices.

Lemon Custard: If you were one of the four seasons, which do you think you would be? Note: be careful not to simply pick the season you like best, as that will only be groaned and eye rolled at – think of one you’re similar to.

Teabag: Autumn: mostly reliable weather, not too hot, not too cold, not too damp; small problem with leaves…

LC: Do you prefer handkerchiefs over tissues? Note: Give some basic explanation of why or why not.

T: I actually carry both at the same time.

LC: Do you have a least favourite kind of salad dressing?

T: Anything too acidic – say, lemon.

LC: Should hats be stored in hatboxes, on hat racks/stands, or in some other imaginative fashion that LC can’t think of yet (except maybe for chucking them on the ground)?

T: On hat racks… and can be done artistically.

LC: If you use Google, do you always feel incredibly lucky simply from looking at the empty search bar? Note: This may or may not result in clicking Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

T: Don’t use Google.

LC: Are you absolutely hooked on these unusual questions, can’t wait for more, and think all interviews should be like this?

T: Er – I’ll say – yes – definitely.

LC: While you probably don’t sit under tables as a rule, do you prefer sitting under coffee tables or writing desks?

T: If I had to, I’d say coffee tables.

LC: Are you normally awake at 4:30am? If you are, just sigh and say you are, but if not, proceed to the real question: Would you be more likely to be up at that time by staying up a little later or by getting up a little earlier?

T: I’m fairly often up at 4:30, when I wake during the night.

LC: On the average day, is lying still on a couch boring or relaxing?

T: More boring, because I’d only be doing it when I’m tired enough that I need to.

LC: If you are hungry right now, would you rather freshly shucked oysters with red chilli and lime juice with fried shallots, or slow roasted pumpkin risotto with baby beets, goats curd, asparagus and micro celery?

T: A mix of the two. Freshly shucked oysters with red chilli – no lime juice – shallots, pumpkin risotto, no goats curd – and asparagus and baby beets.

Next up, From the Plate presents a guest appearance by the lovely writer Pink Champagne! I’m sure this will be very special, as this the first fiction piece ever featured here, and we couldn’t have a better writer for it. Enjoy.

Tower of Destiny

By Pink Champagne

~
“Because talent won’t be quiet, doesn’t know how to be quiet. Whether it’s a talent for safe-cracking, thoughtreading, or dividing ten-digit numbers in your head, it screams to be used. It never shuts up. It’ll wake you in the middle of your tiredest night, screaming, ‘Use me, use me, use me! I’m tired of just sitting here! Use me, ********, use me!’”
– Ted Brautigan, Stephen King’s
The Dark Tower VII

~

Some knew him as the boy who came to school each day in a pair of house slippers. To others, he was the kid whose athletic inabilities were what got him picked last for teams. A kid who sat silently at his desk in the back row, hunched over a spiral-bound notebook, in which he scribbled things no one but him ever read. He was someone unable to form and keep friendships, yet everyone knew his name.

Quinton McQuaide, the boy whose father had abandoned him and his pregnant mother when he was two. But Quinton’s lack of companionship had nothing to do with any desire to remain solitary. No. It was tied entirely to those around him. Those whose shallow opinions of people not fitting their definition of ‘normal’ had followed him like a shadow since childhood.

It had come about, through years of self-teaching and strict discipline, that Quinton was able to condition himself against those who dared inflict pain upon him. Like a tortoise concealing itself inside its shell, he found it just as easy to shut out the world around him. Whenever he felt tense, or things became too difficult, he had only to close his eyes and escape into his imagination. To worlds in which ideas flowed like rivers and words painted the skies like rainbows.

While most children had forts and tree-houses, Quinton was content to know he would always have something better. For as his peers began to abandon their forts and tree-houses, Quinton’s imagination continued to soar. It was maturing, just as he was maturing; he sensed this not only in his body and soul, but in what was right there in front of him. Could see it in the words he chose, and in how his handwriting was beginning to lose its childish scrawl.

There was something else, too. Something he had been putting off for years, only he didn’t know it. Not until the day he and his fellow classmates received flyers from their homeroom teacher for some afterschool club.

Normally, Quinton ignored such things, since most of his peers would sooner trip him in the hallway than be seen talking to him. Well, unless their intent was to make fun of him. Only then would he see the logic in their deprived attempt at socialization.

Were it not for the careless way Quinton’s teacher placed the paper a bit too closely to the edge of his desk, then perhaps it might not have fallen when the boy’s elbow inadvertently nudged it. But fate was on his side that day, and the paper sailed to the floor, landing face up. Seized by what felt like God’s own commanding hand, Quinton leaned over and snatched up the paper. He scanned its contents, his slate-blue eyes squinting behind the lenses of his thick glasses.

 

ATTENTION STUDENTS: 

THE LITERARY JOURNAL HEREBY REQUESTS YOUR PRESENCE AT ITS NEXT MEETING! 

Day: Wednesday, October 8TH

Time: 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

Place: Art Room 

All grades welcome!

Refreshments will be served!

Hope to see you there!

*If you have any questions, please contact Miss Moran (facilitator and guidance counselor).

Like the time-travelers in the science-fiction novels he devoured, Quinton’s mind reeled backwards in time. To an event in which he’d been very young, but not so young that his memories had been adjusted. In his mind’s eye he saw himself at seven years old, seated in the driver’s seat of his mother’s 1942 Plymouth. They had been coming back from the grocery store, when the car unexpectedly broke down just ten miles from their trailer. Flat broke until Friday’s paycheck, Quinton’s mother had ordered him to operate the pedals while she got out and pushed. Delighted by his mother’s suggestion, Quinton had obliged as eagerly as any sixteen-year-old about to take the wheel for the first time. Although a small woman, his mother had delivered to the car a mighty push, giving it the kick-start it needed. For precisely ten seconds, Quinton had reveled in the excitement of chugging up Main Street, seated in the driver’s seat of his mother’s car.

Perhaps the idea of attending a meeting of the Literary Journal was the kick-start he needed. A push in the right direction, as his mother would say. A push that might just send him stumbling down the yellow-brick road, toward his own tower of destiny.

Quinton tucked the flyer into the back pocket of his jeans just as the bell rang, signaling the end of yet another school day. Slinging his book-bag over one shoulder, he rose from his desk in the back row, and headed for the door.

~The End~

Thank you to Teabag and Pink Champagne for featuring in today’s festival. Thanks to my readers; I’ll see you on day 5!
Sweetness, LC

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Day 3 – From The Plate (Lemon Custard presents a virtual festival)

Welcome to the third day of FTP! Today, I have (surprise) another poll. Then, I present a
photo project of my own – on two incongruous things. Enjoy! LC

 

A well  known author, Lemony Snicket, one of very few human authors whom I admire, comments on the many reasons you may not have heard from somebody after contacting them. He points out that ‘no news is good news’ is a senseless expression, and gives an example situation: “maybe they are surrounded by fierce weasels, or perhaps they are wedged tightly between two refrigerators and cannot get themselves out”. It’s true that I have never imagined weasels as fierce, but this question set me thinking along the poll lines.

 

“Dairy and Fauna” by L Custard
“Egg photos and flower photos?” humans wonder. I think it works quite well.

To start with, I've got a simple still life (I quite enjoy stil lifes - or should it be lives?). Egg - metal dish thing - fake marble.

 

Extra egg added. I'm trying to give an uncluttered appearance to the dairy photos.

 

This photo effect gives a slightly less minimalist feel, but I was suprised at how good it looked on the metal dish.

 

Now for the fauna. I was very pleased to get such effective natural sunlight in the photo.

 

The flower pictures were entirely spontaneous: I just saw them arranged there and thought the composition was perfect.

 

Thank you all – day four is approaching.
Sweetness, LC

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Day 2 – From The Plate (Lemon Custard presents a virtual festival)


To kick off day 2, I present the first of three
interviews I will feature throughout the festival -
an interview with WordPress blogger A Leek Writes!
Following that, I am presenting one of the interview questions
in poll form – for you to answer. LC

Five Minutes With a Custard -
L Custard interviews remarkable indviduals from around the world

Today LC puts the wonderful WordPress blogger A Leek Writes through ten questions. Journalist A Leek speaks on hat storage, handkerchiefs and coffee tables.

Lemon Custard: If you were one of the four seasons, which do you think you would be? Note: be careful not to simply pick the season you like best, as that will only be groaned and eye rolled at – think of one you’re similar to.

A Leek: Summer of course, I love being yellow and bright and sunny!

LC: Do you prefer handkerchiefs over tissues? Note: Give some basic explanation of why or why not.

AL: Tissues. They are a lot more versatile and I’ve seen many different, and very pretty, packs of tissues. Handkerchiefs are better-suited to a 19th Century coat-pocket.

LC: Do you have a least favourite kind of salad dressing?

AL: Anything purple or resembling beetroot!

LC: Should hats be stored in hatboxes, on hat racks/stands, or in some other imaginative fashion that LC can’t think of yet (except maybe for chucking them on the ground)?

AL: I have all my hats ‘inside each other’, hanging up in a pretty bag. Mainly because I have too many for my tiny hook. I would love a hat stand, or a mannequin head to put them on.

LC: If you use Google, do you always feel incredibly lucky simply from looking at the empty search bar? Note: This may or may not result in clicking Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

AL: …Not always. I like to see all my options first!

LC: Are you absolutely hooked on these unusual questions, can’t wait for more, and think all interviews should be like this?

AL: I think your questions are funny and they make me smile. I am also pleased you thought of them – if you don’t, no doubt it would be a long time before someone else comes along who is half as imaginative.

LC: While you probably don’t sit under tables as a rule, do you prefer sitting under coffee tables or writing desks?

AL: Coffee tables I would think – they’re positioned in more central places for more observation. As a Lemon Custard who observes, you probably know this.

LC: Are you normally awake at 4:30am? If you are, just sigh and say you are, but if not, proceed to the real question: Would you be more likely to be up at that time by staying up a little later or by getting up a little earlier?

AL: This is quite an interesting question. I try my best to reverse my night owl habits, but it never happens – I would find it easy to stay up until then. As a matter of fact – I’m up at 4:30am right now! Isn’t that uncanny? But that is because I have an airport to attend to. You know how it is.

LC: On the average day, is lying still on a couch boring or relaxing?

AL: It’s beautifully relaxing. And I tend not to fall asleep so quickly on a couch.

LC: If you are hungry right now, would you rather freshly shucked oysters with red chilli and lime juice with fried shallots, or slow roasted pumpkin risotto with baby beets, goats curd, asparagus and micro celery?

AL: Goodness, I’m already hungry now! See, they all sound perfect, but if I was *hungry* (which was the question) I would say pumpkin risotto would have more substance. Oysters are a fancy aperitif with very little food worth dining over.

~

I’m now giving you question number eight of the 10 famous interview questions in poll form. Time for YOU to answer about your sleeping habits.

Thanks to all my readers (and to A Leek Writes )- get ready for day 3!
Sweetness, LC

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Day 1 – From The Plate (Lemon Custard presents a virtual festival)

Fancy welcome address by L Custard

Welcome to From The Plate! I really don’t know if anyone has done anything of the kind before, but I’m sure no custard has. During the seven days of this festival, I’ll be presenting a series of three interviews I’ve done with individuals from around the world (“Five Minutes With a Custard”). I’ve put together ten questions, and am seeing how my acquaintances respond to them.  Plus, there’s a mine of polls coming up in the festival. Lots of photography is also on my agenda, but I’m not going to give away too much now. Hoping you enjoy the festival (March 1 – 7),
Sweetness, LC
(Find the festival info here.)

I’m kicking off the festival with a photo project I’ve done recently, followed by a poll.

“Books Up Close” by LC
Here is a small collection of four pictures I’ve been working on. Each is a shot of a book seen very close up, and edited slightly to give them an air.

This is slightly obviously a book, propped up. I've given it a warm feel, which I always feel evokes books and words.

This is the edge of a rather huge book (Shakespeare) in a slighly blurred shot

The two covers and pages of a hardback

I like the little stipes in the binding here, and I've tried to make this look slightly painted

Next up – a poll, the first of many for the next week.

Day 2 of From The Plate is coming right up with some very interesting marterial. See you all tomorrow, right here! (LC’s imitation of a TV host).

Sweetness, LC

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