sirisa clark

the things I do and the words I choose

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Ebay Sunday: Tie Dye

I mentioned prepping some Ebay Sunday snaps at the market on Thursday, here they are:

A couple of months ago, tie-dye invaded my consciousness, and suddenly I was seeing it everywhere. I’m still not clear whether this is because it became really popular, or because once you start thinking about something, all the existing instances in your cognitive environment are fore-grounded. (In my case, the fact that I’m short-sighted helped the effect. From a distance, lots of different patterns look like tie dye to me).

Anyway, a tie dye dress became the goal, and I found this one from New Look for about a tenner on ebay. I love it: it’s really comfortable, I get compliments every time I wear it, it travels really well, and it’s perfect here in Italy because in the evenings I can throw it on and cover up my legs for excellent mosquito protection!

Another day I will tell you all about my experiments in making my own tie dye…


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Mad dogs and English girls

Another beautiful day in Southern Italy? Another trip to the beach!

We took a picnic of cheese, tomatoes and bread, and hit ridiculously clear waters with a lilo – the perfect way to simultaneously enjoy the sea and also sunbathe.

After about five minutes in the water, I started to notice a strange sensation: tiny white fish nipping at my feet! I don’t mind a fish pedicure, but these little guys were going for the softest, living bits of my feet.

Now I’m sure the Italians are all thinking: these English girls are maniaci! What on earth is she doing, knitting on the beach??

Why yes, red is my favourite colour!

Well, let me put it this way i miei amici italiani: not everybody gets 30C weather in September. Tomorrow we go back to London, where Autumn has already established dominion over the climate, and British hearts brace themselves for the rigours of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

More importantly, Ben’s birthday is just a few weeks away, and so suddenly I am working to a deadline.

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Notes from the Stiletto

Back in March, I came out to Italy to visit Leila, and had this brilliant idea.

I would leave a pair of shoes here ready for my next visit – I would save space in my tiny hand luggage allowance, and always have a pair of sandals here for future visits. Brilliant!

When I arrived on Tuesday, I remembered my cunning plan and pulled my battered old ballet flats from a drawer in Leila’s spare room. All around the heel and ball of both feet, tiny flowers of mildew were blooming. No matter – I left them out on the patio all day and overnight, certain that the mildew would dry out in the hot sun.

Next morning I skipped out to the patio to admire the sun’s handiwork. I discovered the inside of the shoes covered in trails of glittering snail slime, right alongside the persistent mildew flowers.

I decided it was time for more drastic action, and pulled out the white wine vinegar. I’ve read a million times on the interwebs what an amazing household cleaner vinegar is. Kills mould! Brings a shine to old mirrors! De-stinkyfies stinky things!

Sure enough it worked a treat on the mildew and snail goo, but I spent the rest of the day walking around, convinced I smelled like I’d shoved my feet into two bags of fish ‘n chips…

Mmmm, your feet are making me hungry…

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It’s Market Day in Galatina!

Leila woke us up with the threat that if we didn’t get up soon, we’d miss out on the market. Out of bed we leapt! Who would miss all of this?

We bought a mezzo-kilo of peanuts for Leila to make peanut butter, and a kilo of arborio rice for Ben to make risotto al funghi for dinner. Om nom nom nom!

Rani was taking a photo of my dress for this week’s Ebay Sunday, and this guy insisted we take his picture too. Okay!

We lunched on fresh tomatoes and capsicum, grilled aubergine slices, and the most delicious ricotta cheese you can imagine. I’m not gonna lie: I mostly just sat there eating the ricotta with a spoon.

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Town Square Galatina. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Buonasera da Italia!

We have skipped town just as the really miserable weather hits London, and escaped to the South of Italy, where it’s 30C. Sorry London, but Italy wins this round…

So far today we have:

  • woken up at 4am in London, done the taxi to the airport thing and then the hideous Ryanair business (seriously, if any other airline flew direct to my mum’s region, I would avoid Ryanair like the plague. It is the devil’s airline).
  • Met at the airport by Leila and Rani, and greeted at the house by the cats (well, Pablo. Suki likes to pretend we are mere shadows who plague her existence with attempts at affection and bribes of fish).
  • Had lunch on Leila’s new patio, worked on my knitting and made plans to hit the beach tomorrow
  • Had a mega-siesta to recover from said 4am wake-up call
  • Dined on fresh fish grilled by Ben, then wandered into the square for some gelato


So far, so holiday!


Ebay Sunday: the last hurrah

I have been waiting very patiently for the last of my frenzied ebay purchases to arrive. Technically, it arrived well over a week ago, but I’ve been too busy to go and pick it up from the post office (I can understand that the Royal Mail has to deliver during the day because the majority of their clients are probably businesses. But hey, the collection office is used almost exclusively by people who miss deliveries because they are at work. So here’s an idea: why not be open in the evenings?? Closing at 4:30pm is helping nobody).

I digress. The last ebay obsession I fixated on before going cold turkey was buying a new everyday bag. Not because I don’t love my current bag, but as a back up should it ever give up the ghost.

My current bag is almost everything I could ever want in a bag:

1) It is a neutral colour and style that goes with just about everything (well, I think so. I may look at photos in 10 years and wail at my younger self’s total lack of style. That has happened before and will happen again.)

2) It has an adjustable strap, allowing me to wear it either on the shoulder or across my body.

3) It zips shut at the top, meaning I can open it with one hand when I need to, but it’s sufficiently difficult to get into that nobody is going to just reach in and lift my purse. As a Londoner, this is one of my greatest paranoid fears.

4) It seems to be modelled on Mary Poppins’ bag. This bag will hold almost everything I throw at it. Most days that’s phone, ipod, keys, mirror, assorted lipstick, balm, gloss and stain, kindle, wallet, glasses, sunglasses, pens, bottle of water. Sometimes I will throw in a cardigan, my tablet, some tupperware boxes or my bulky camera for good measure. Bag never complains. Bag eats it all up. The only one who complains is my shoulder, which is where the cross body option really comes into play.

So, now you’ve had that little ode to my current bag, here is his new understudy, a mustard yellow leather bag from Fossil, which I think was £25 including postage:

So what is the verdict on New Bag? How does he measure up to Current Bag?


  • He’s made of real leather, which probably means a longer life
  • He’s mustard coloured, and I am big-time into mustard
  • He has a pretty embossed flower pattern, which I am also digging
  • He’s smaller than Current Bag, potentially forcing me to carry less stuff, and have less back ache…


  • He’s smaller than Current Bag, which makes him less versatile
  • He has a shorter strap, also less versatile
  • His zip is on the side, partway up – which means it’s difficult to make full use of his size

All in all, Current Bag is still close to my heart. But as society doesn’t frown upon bag polyamory the way it does with husbands, it’s fun to have options!

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my heart skips a beat

I didn’t write yesterday! I feel a bit like a spell has been broken, and actually looking at the time (23:54) I won’t manage to blog today either. Rats.

In truth, I wasn’t blogging because I was out having a good time: singing my heart out in a karaoke booth in chinatown for my girl Sam’s birthday. I think the internets can wait for that.

Today I’ve been doing next to nothing, due to a prolonged sensation of wooziness since about midday (perhaps I’m really not meant to give blood). I have napped, drunk tea and knitted, watched Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who.

It has been glorious.

So, a rather dull post today, but to make up for it I’ve included a vid of the version of Empire State of Mind I like to sing at karaoke: