Sunday, November 30, 2008

My own, personal Jesus

When we moved into our house last December, the old lady that used to live here (or her lazy-ass family) had kindly left an assortment of crap for us to dispose of. There was a threadbare couch, colour: tartan. There was a linen cupboard full of mismatched pillow cases and random curtains. There was a plastic bag filled to the brim with Japanese school books (?) and Japanese medical supplies (these were pretty cool to look at). So far, so good, all of this stuff could be easily dumped to make way for our own collection of clutter. That was until I went to take down the holy pictures (Jesus, Mary, St. Anthony... all the gang) that were on almost every wall.
I put them all in a pile in the living room intending to hide them in the wheelie bin the following week. As days passed, they started to creep me out. Jesus, with his magicians cape, his heart pouring blood and spitting fire and thorns, his doleful eyes and his spindly fingers reaching out from the frame. Mary, with her know-it-all expression holding a baby with an old man face.
A little note in the corner of one of the pictures says, “I will bless the house in which the image of my sacred heart is exposed and honoured.” That’s a threat if ever I saw one. What he really means is “Take this down and some serious shit is gonna hit the fan.”
Other people agreed that removing them was a bad idea. There was talk of bad luck, curses, fiery pits and a Jihad on our house. The only piece of helpful advice we got was to deposit them in our local church and let them deal with it. This one I considered but it seemed to involve an awful lot more effort than stuffing them in the wheelie bin or just keeping them.
So they still live here, Mary propped up against a bottle of Bacardi in a bookcase and Jesus hanging out, leering at people from above the stove. We figure we’ll just leave them here whenever we sell the place, problem solved!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hardy girls

I'm a big fan of Terry Bradley's stuff. His painted ladies look like proper hardy bitches and the colours are zingy.
Unfortch, most of his originals cost over ten thousand eurons and even at that there's not many around, but what you can get is a stamped and numbered print on textured paper for €190. Fierce!

Top tip

Seriously, I hate bees so much that even putting up this picture is making me retch. Look at his furry little body! Look at his spiky little legs! It looks like he's landed on my screen! I've never even seen one this close before, but if you do allow one to get near enough to you to get stung, just before you pass out with the horror of it, do this:

For wasp stings put vinegar on the wound. This neutralises the irritant.
But with a bee sting you have to use bicarbonate of soda because vinegar has no effect.

It's B for bicarbonate/bees, and V for vinegar/vasps.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Take the floor

Flooring is an expensive business. I love real wood floors, but the budget wouldn't stretch to the cherry beauties I've been lusting after since I picked up my first interiors magazine. Imagine my delight when, having rented an industrial sander for around €80, we uncovered some passable floorboards underneath about ten layers of thick, dark brown and dirty varnish in the bedroom of our ancient Cork city two-bed.

We varnished them for another €30, and while I'm sure most wood experts would tell us they're incredibly damaged (particularly after some brutal and inexperienced treatment with the sander) they're not bad at all. The pic above is pre-gloss, but it shows the pre-sanded shite we were dealing with.

The pic below is what it looks like now, magic!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pretty things

Until I win the Euromillions (something I consider a real financial possibility- so much so that I'm completely avoiding the scary pension plans the banks keep trying to sell me) I generally won't have €435 to put in a wallet, let alone spend on one. But this arty mini-insert by Paul Smith caught my eye. Wouldn't it be nice if there were more nice images inside things that are normally plain and boring? Like when you buy a black winter coat and the lining is bold leopard print or neon paisley.

Wallet, €220, Dolce & Gabanna, Insert, €215, Paul Smith.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy birthday OOAL!!!

Out on Limb is an independent label run by these three beans. On Friday, OOAL celebrated five years of missed deadlines with a bash in Dolans in Limerick. Debauchery ensued. And cake! And dancing with the nicest people in rock.

More here...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Red alert

"Do you think we should paint the back door bright red babe?"

No, I don't

"Right then, well I've painted the door bright red already. I was sure you'd say yes so I suppose I jumped the gun."

Does it wash off?

"I don't think so, it's quite thick."

For Christ's fucking sake.

"Right, well that's that then."

...Oooh, that's not bad actually. It's very cheery.

You know what's cheap?

And it can do great things to boring rooms. Here at Pedestrian HQ, Mr. Pedestrian went mad with a small tin of retro red gloss, the most satisfying paint of all. He coated the door to the garden, which the previous owners had painted a thick muddy brown- inexplicably, they also used this shit to destroy the frame on the original sash window and windowsill at the front.

When I first came home from work and saw it, I thought he was after having some kind of breakdown, but minutes passed and it started to grow on me. Now I think it's a hit, very early 50s retro. Plus, red is considered a symbol of integrity in China. Integrilicious!

Plum deal

There are a few things I don't mind spending money on. One of them is make-up. The right make-up can make you feel like a supermodel, it can make you look like you didn't drink almost two bottles of wine last night and it can hide the teenage skin you shouldn't be having to deal with in your twenties.

Eye-shadow is always a winner... particularly eye-shadow palettes, which last for ages and ages and usually contain something for all occasions. Being blue-eyed, I'm always on the look-out for plum tones, which makes Bobbi Brown's new Velvet Plum Eye Palette well worth the €50 price tag.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Passive aggressive Christmas gifting

Trendhunter has compiled an interesting list of Budget-Friendly Holiday Gifts. I don't know about you, but I don't know any little girls who'd appreciate a 'corn husk doll' over a one of those Bratz sluts or, say, a plastic bag filled with hair.

I don't even know what a 'corn husk doll' is, but it definitely sounds like something you would get beaten up for producing in the playground.

Other questionable suggestions include 'homemade bath soaps'. I can only presume you would make these by melting down bits of other soaps in some kind of cauldron and squashing them together into a soap shape. Trend Hunter suggests you present these to your "grandmothers, friends, neighbors and daughters in-law". All of these people will put your horrid soaps straight into the bin and then take them out again every time they have friends over to illustrate how mentally unstable you are.

"A warm glow within the home on cold and brisk winter nights is something anyone can appreciate" says TH. To make candles I'd imagine you first need to go and buy candle wax, candle wicks and jars in which to make your candles. If you're shopping for all that crap, I reckon you might as well just buy a fucking candle.

Wardrobe mistress

I've had my eye on a fabulous €1400 wardrobe in Harvey Norman for a while now. It's big and roomy, with plenty of space for shoes and bags. The problem is that if I were to purchase said wardrobe, I would need to devote one of our two small bedrooms to housing it, which would defeat the purpose. Then someone suggested built-ins. I've looked into it and this would set us back at least €2000- I could buy a whole lot of shoes with that.
SO, we headed for B&Q, where we discovered sliding wardrobe doors for under €100 each, and they're nice too. We got some advice on the whole building malarkey and bought the supplies, so we're gonna build the freaking thing and that's that - at less than €300!
Screw you Harvey Norman!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Penney's from heaven

Spotted this black sequin bomber jacket in Penney's today on my way home from work. At first I was its biggest fan, (€21, black, sequined - what's not to like?) but the more I looked at it the more the appeal faded. Eventually I had visions of it being worn with tracksuit bottoms by girls with dirty fingernails and greasy ponytails and decided it was a bit too 'pram face' for my liking.

On the plus side, this one-shoulder pleat dress is on the way in February, a proper steal at €19.00.


The Sexy Pedestrian is heading for Limerick at the weekend for Out on a Limb anniversary boozing, but what to stash my stuff in? The ideal weekend bag needs to be big enough to fit two full outfits, two pairs of shoes, hairdryer (why are hotel hairdryers always crap?) make-up bag (allowing for more than the basic foundation, mascara, bronzer combo) and the inevitable extras (scarves, underwear etc. etc.)
In the interest of appearing low-maintenance, I always try to stuff as much as possible into a girly overnight bag. This generally ends in disaster, wrinkled clothes and lost bras. On the look-out for a sturdy replacement I discovered this little beauty, wouldn't you know it - in a men's shop.
It's classic and roomy with plenty of pockets for bits 'n bobs... ladies, I give you the Luxury Canvas Holdall, €114 from Topman.

The cost of a piece of luggage should be distributed over the number of times you'll use it in a year, so if you take ten weekenders and the bag is €100, by my calculations that's a mere €10 a trip... bargain!

Spider man

As most freelancers and accountants will probably know, getting money out of people can be a bitch, but you have to admire this guys style...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Now you're cookin'!

Erik and Michelle Robson, the husband and wife team behind the Dublin restaurant and wine bar Ely (Ely Place) have combined their expertise in a sexy new cookbook.
Taking in two of my greatest loves, food and wine, the book boasts over 70 fabulous recipes as well as an oyster shucking lesson and tips on how to create a cheeseboard, serve great coffee and mix cocktails.

Staying in is the new going out so fire up the oven and try your hand at Pesto Lasagne, Ely Fishcakes and Warm Dark Chocolate Fondants. Accessorise with one of Clodagh McKenna's new 'LOVE' aprons and you'll never want to order a takeaway again.

The Wine and Food of Ely Through the Seasons', €35.00, is available exclusively from Ely and a select choice of retail wine merchants.

'LOVE' aprons from

Take note

Oh, to have limitless funds for designer stationery. My first stop would be Smythson, where I'd snap up the full set of Rachel Whiteread Art Diaries (from €430.61- ouch!) Smythson of Bond Street,

Dream Cream

As a tribute to the heritage of their iconic Eight Hour Cream, Elizabeth Arden has now introduced a vintage edition, taking inspiration from the 1950’s and capturing the
decades' distinctive retro designs. Combining Breakfast at Tiffany’s with American diner chic, this cult classic is set to be on every beauty lover’s wish-list, it's currently on the tip-top of mine.
The ultimate multi-tasker, Eight-Hour Cream works on everything from cracked lips to dry elbows, eyebrows, cuticles, insect bites, windburn, or as a gloss for lips, lashes and cheeks - a one-for-all if ever there was one.
Eight Hour Vintage Limited Edition is available at Elizabeth Arden counters nationwide, for an investment of €21.

I'm so in love...

I was never a Dorothy Perkins girl until recently when I stumbled upon their Cork store by accident. They're brave with their accessories (I'm in love with their Rhinestone Flamingo brooch, €17) and their basics are good quality and, more importantly, good value.
I'll be using the Red Slubby Hat to cover up yuletide hair hangover but I'm going to take my chances on finding the grey leather bag in the January sales. Unless I give in and panic-buy before then, which isn't unlikely.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The sexy pet-estrian

Pets are great. Yours truly and Mr. Pedestrian love dogs, but we work the Nine to Five so we couldn't handle the guilt of leaving a puppy at the manse all day while we're out making Eurons to spend on goods and services. Then we were offered a kitten, a handsome ball of fiercely independent black fluff with a white chest - it looks like he's wearing a Tux. We decided to go for it, and so Jobe joined the Pedestrian team.
What we've found is, as far as pets go, kittens are surprisingly cheap. In fact, Jobe was so cheap he was free. A week's food averages about €3, he's obsessively clean, sleeps all day and entertains us endlessly. He's so cute it's hard not to squeeze him to death.

Cats: The Recessionists' pet of choice.

Mojitos? No problems!

I used to think Mojito fun was limited to pricey cocktail bars and debaucherous birthday parties (usually mine), but in the interest of joining freshly fired bankers and hedge fund managers in the recession poverty party, I've just made one at home and it's freaking delicious.
Why haven't I done this before? It's easy-peasy! It goes like this:

Limes €1.89 for four
Bacardi €21.99 for a whole bottle (70cl)
Candarel (powdered sweetener) €1.59
Mint €1.20 (fresh mint is undeniably zingier, but dried is okay)

I got a free 'muddler' with my Bacardi (Dunnes) which was sweet. It's a dealie for mashing the ingredients in the glass, but a fork will do diddley.

Just whack half a lime (sliced), two spoons of Candarel and about six mint leaves (half a teaspoon dried mint) in a glass and mash together, add a shot of rum, another half of rum for good luck and top with ice and Club Soda.

I'm the proud owner of a Magic Bullet blender which, just to be fancy, I used to crush the ice. Garnish with a slice of lime and and a straw and wave goodbye to your worries.

By my calculations, you can get 20 cocktails from a bottle. In my local boozery, they're €8 a pop, or €160 for 20! Make them at home and you save €138... more than enough for this piece of Julien McDonald leopard print fabulousness, a steal at €78 clams from Debenhams!