Friday, December 31


The house is eerily quiet as the smalls have gone to stay with their grandparents. During the evening phone calls, they breathlessly recount tales of endless exciting activities and then dash off to do something more interesting. In the peace that remains I have discovered how much more I can do if I don't get interrupted and also how much faster I can walk when on my own but I confess I am already looking forward to their return.

I love fireworks (in fact I really want to be packed into a firework when I die - MrP thinks this is more than a little odd) and tonight is a good opportunity for a gratuitous photo.

Happy New Year to one and all.

Wednesday, December 29


I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they whizz by.

With that in mind, is it too late to send Christmas cards?

Monday, December 20

Unexpected discoveries

Six hours into the long trip, Bounce suddenly confides that he needs a wee. This announcement is met with some trepidation. Bounce is not known for his forward planning, especially with regard to the emptying of his bladder. If he says he needs a wee, there is no time to lose.

At the time we were trundling along the motorway at approximately 5 miles an hour, hemmed in by lorries on one side and the central reservation on the other, not to mention cars to front and rear. The options are few and time is running out.

Thankfully, there is an empty bottle rolling around the floor. I will spare you the details but suffice to say, amid much hilarity, the deed was completed successfully into a secure container. Every time anyone asked for a drink they were offered warm squash - nobody fell for it.

However, unexpectedly, we found a use for it later. The windscreen squirt (that is the technical term) froze a little down the road and the muck on the glass was getting difficult to see through. It turns out, warm urine is just the thing for clearing the screen, and keeping it clear. Just in case you ever need to know.

Sunday, December 19


Yay! We made it. In double time and with a couple of interesting bits along the way and it was certainly worth the trip.

This is what it looks like on the motorway, after a blizzard. Those bright orange lights are the snow plough which was making onward progress possible. We were lucky, we had a long journey in the car and some good jokes with the kids but it was a lesson in paying heed to the news. Drive safe everybody.

Saturday, December 18


The intrepid travellers set out mid morning, hoping to avoid the worst of the weather. Unfortunately the worst of the weather hit the southern bit of the M25 just before we did so we have turned around and come all the way home.

Considering round two.....

Friday, December 17

Weather forecast

Tomorrow La Famille PM should be heading northwards to enjoy some early festive fun with aunts and cousins galore. Unfortunately, the Weather Men of Doom are predicting The End Of the World by Snow. Apparently, by mid-morning we will be pinned in the house by drifts measuring feet in height.

Needless to say, the travel plans are on hold, pending weather reviews on the hour every hour. I have a tapemeasure, a hot toddy and I'm ready.

Thursday, December 16

Bring it on

Most of the food is here, the rest can be sourced locally and has been ordered.

The tree is not here yet but is only just up the road.

Decorations are filed in pristine condition in the loft, ready for action next week.

All the presents are bought and I'm looking forward to wrapping them.

School's out tomorrow so the rigid daily timetable can be flung recklessly out the window.

I'm ready for the festivities. Rock on!

(I confess I haven't yet written my Christmas cards but I have them, and the Wallace and Gromit stamps, so all will be fine.)

Wednesday, December 15

Happy endings

In my line of work funerals are to be expected. In fact, if the truth be told, my regular attendance at funerals has become gallows humour to myself and my colleagues.

A funeral can invoke all sorts of emotions; some are filled with an enormous weight of terrible grief, some are just quietly mournful, some thankful for a life well lived and some full of happy reminiscence. Of course, many are a simmering cauldron of all of those emotions and more besides.

Often I leave a funeral feeling slightly overwhelmed by the responsibility of trying to assist people in a time of loss and wondering how I might best proceed. Just sometimes, as I walk away I know the tight knit family group will comfort each other and will pull together in their time of need. A close family is a lovely thing to behold and always gives me great peace of mind.

Tuesday, December 14

Pull back the curtain

When performing, it is always important to prepare by eating properly. Lapin made a special request for toad-in-the-hole as she dashed across the playground this morning. Perhaps aware of its important role, the hole rose spectacularly to the occasion.

Followed by an old favourite, pineapple upside down cake. (What a fabulously simple way to make tinned fruit more appetising, especially when served with good vanilla ice cream.)

Two clean plates later we were off through the dark woods to school, keeping our eyes peeled for Gruffalos though sadly there were none to be seen.

I am pleased to say, despite some last minute doubts from Bounce, who announced solemnly this morning "I can't do it", all was well. Bounce remembered his lines, sang his solo loud enough to be heard by his proud mummy lurking far at the back. Lapin was an excellent Wise Man who rode an awkward camel with great aplomb.

I am bursting with pride. Thanks for all the good wishes, it was lovely to know you were thinking of me.

Monday, December 13

Pre-performance nerves

Tomorrow night both Lapin and Bounce will tread the theatrical boards in the school play. I am wrought with nerves.

Lapin is a studious child, she knows her lines inside out and I have no doubt she will do the job perfectly.

Bounce on the other hand, is very much a fly by the seat of your pants kind of guy. He also knows his lines but only performs them properly when he feels like it and is concentrating. Not only does he have lines but also solo lines in a song. Lines, plural.

I cannot adequately describe how nervous I feel in anticipation of this performance. My fingers are crossed, and all my toes and I can hardly breathe.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, December 12

Sweat it out

My recipe for beating a sludgy winter cold.

Take one of these

...several of these...

..and just get those arms swinging until they look like this...

...and finally this:

That little lot kept me warm enough to take my coat off for a couple of hours and should keep the home fire burning for a couple of months. It temporarily cleared my fuzzy head and got some adrenaline pumping, not to mention a good toning for the batwing arms.

Good job done. Now I'm back to bed.

Saturday, December 11


La Famille PM have spent the early part of the evening watching Strictly Come Dancing. There was much discussion about the dancers and their dances, culminating in much pontification about who might make it to next week's final.

There is a concensus: Sorry Gavin but you have danced your last dance for us. It was a good effort and you have improved enormously but sadly you are not quite keeping up with the high standards in this year's contest.

However, tomorrow two couples will be eliminated and here we are stumped. Frankly we are unable to choose between the remaining four and are therefore on the edge of the sofa, waiting to see what the Great British Public decide.

The suspense is killing me.

Friday, December 10

Off to bed

sniff sniff blurgh.

Thursday, December 9

Comic genius

Lapin: Why did the monkey with one hand cross the road?
Me: I don't know, why did he?
Lapin: To get to the second hand shop.

Live at the Apollo next stop. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Wednesday, December 8

Nativity preparation

Much discussion has gone into the costumes for this year's Nativity. Lapin has been particularly exacting to compensate for the disappointment of being cast as a Wise Man. (She pointed out that she was not a man and therefore it was not the right role for her.)

Luckily she has been persuaded to continue in the role by the promise of a fabulous costume which has meant hours of talk, thought, design and fabrication, not to mention a prolonged period in the fabric shop getting all the right bits.

After an afternoon and evening with a little bit of glue, some sticky backed plastic and a few staples, the crown is now finished. Ta da!

Only the matching cape to go......

Tuesday, December 7

Passing time

Given some buttons and a pretty bowl, I can happily waste hours.

Do you think there will be a demand for this skill in the near future?

Monday, December 6

Christmas wishes.

MrsP: What is the one thing you really want for Christmas?
Lapin: A scrapbook.
Bounce: A Horrid Henry goo shooter.

Honestly, those few words sum up my children. They are beautifully undemanding.

Sunday, December 5


One of my favourite blogs is Domesticali. so when Ali posted about her trip to Origin where she saw some beautiful art work by Rebecca Coles, I was inspired to visit Rebecca's website to see her work in closer detail and loved it. Feeling brave, I emailed to tell her so and was lucky enough to be sent some tickets for this. in the most fabulous hall under several of these amazing mirrors.

Wanting a pal to share the fun, I knew the girl who would appreciate this trip the most so I called the lovely Louise and waggled my free tickets under her nose. Never one to miss a bargain (and the temptation of a shopping trip) she cleared her diary and beetled down to stay.

So, with heady abandon (the small P's were off elsewhere for tea so we had no deadline to return for) we skipped off to Brighton on the train. We perused the stalls, we made intelligent remarks, we ate, we went back to the beginning again. We bought presents and made lists of suggestions. We compiled lengthy wish lists for ourselves and ate our body weight in caramelised sugar decorations. We met the lovely Rebecca and thanked her for our tickets and lusted after her artwork (photos from her website.)

Then feeling replete, we went for drinks in The Lanes and bought some ridiculous shoes, before tottering home to MrP.

What a lovely treat.

Saturday, December 4

Unhappy surprises and the credence of youth

8am, the curtains open to a view of green. There is no snow only slippy ice, slush and small forlorn white patches on the lawn. Bang goes any plan for the sledging extravaganza part 4.

The smalls thunder along the landing and jump into bed.

Lapin: Where is the snow?
Daddy: I sucked it up in the hoover and sold it to the ice cream man.
Lapin and Bounce: Really?

11am, phone call from Granny.

Lapin: Have you got any snow?
Granny: Not this morning.
Lapin: Has Grandpa been out with the hoover?

I should have no trouble peddling the Father Christmas line this year.

Friday, December 3

A little chilly

The beautiful blue sky was clear warning of the drop in temperature and boy was it cold outside today. Thanks to a malfunctioning gutter we had some spectacular icicles all the way down the house, a glittering frozen fountain. The poor wisteria took the brunt and is clothed in an icy sleeping bag.

I'm amazed to see the spring buds are already formed and can only hope that they will not give up the ghost before the warmer sunshine returns.

Thursday, December 2

Enjoying a day off

Now I know there are plenty of people for whom the current snowy weather is a disaster but chez PM the mood is very much sunny optimism. Lapin and Bounce are full of the joys of an unexpected day off from school and heady anticipation of sledging with friends.

By some rare miracle I am also prepared - last year we bought some sledges (and I know exactly where they are) and we have more than enough thermals and waterproofs to keep everyone snug for hours. Which is lucky - we are out twice in the day and the second time do not come back until it is really dark. Everyone's faces are glowing with that reddish chill and their eyes are alight with excitement.

Even better, school is already cancelled tomorrow so there is promise of even more fun to come. Bring it on.

Wednesday, December 1


So, with all the excitement about the forthcoming Royal nuptials and fully anticipating a richly embossed stiff cream card invitation to be dropping through the letterbox in the January gloom, I have been out and found the perfect pair of shoes.

I have to confess I found them by accident at the end of a very luxurious day off with the lovely Tooting where we skipped around Brighton, whither the fancy took us (More of that later.) Anyway, just in case the upper wasn't exciting enough for you, just look at how amazing the soles are:

I think that makes me fully prepared. Right then Mr Postman, get that invitation to me pronto.

Sunday, November 21


I thought it might be nice to see what Perpetual Motion might look like if I made a few tweaks.

What a mistake. First, I changed some text colour and it didn't apply to all of the text so some bits were a totally different colour to others. It looked messy and I loathed it but I ran out of steam and left it unfinished and looking very unsatisfactory.

Tonight I sat down with some time to fiddle and a mind to put things straight. An hour of following Blogger's not so helpful suggestions and somehow I have made it revolting and can't get the old blog back. Yuk.

Tomorrow I shall research new options. Does anyone have any helpful hints?

Saturday, November 20

Indian summer?

With a quiet nod to Mrs M, a raspberry in November is not quite as sweet as its summer relation, but a delicious treat none the less.

Thursday, November 4

A little splash of Spring

As I sit working feverishly away on the computer, chasing one more tedious deadline (why are there so many?), I can hear the wind howling round the house.

Although the day is dry, there is a great deal of thick grey cloud, the light is very dull and the sun seems very far away. Always a sucker for a bit of procrastination, I start to peruse some photos and found this:

What a wonderful promise of spring colour and sunshine to come. In the meantime, I'm just off to light the fire....

Tuesday, October 26

Unexpected guests

Recently we found this unexpected visitor sitting in the sun on the pavement in front of the house. He lay pathetically on the floor, just waiting to be trodden on by anyone rushing on their way. Bounce spotted him with great glee, no doubt hoping for an excuse to be even later for school. So, with barely a pause, we whisked him to a safer place and galloped on our way.

Sadly the photos do not do him any justice at all. Lapin, with great enthusiasm, discovered that this is an Atlas moth - the World's biggest moth. He was comfortably eight inches across with his magnificent wings fully extended and had some fabulous markings. He did look a little ragged round the edges from his previous excursions but just feast your eyes upon his magnificent antenna and face.

After a relaxing day resting on the tree, basking in the sun and a small dose of sugary water dispensed by Lapin (not to mention the interest of most of the neighbours), he flew off into the distance. Let me tell you, the way an Atlas moth flies (erratically and with the same sort of surprised expression a heron wears when in mid-air as if they are not quite sure how they got up there), the distance is not too far away. I wonder how far he got.

Thursday, October 21

Seen today

2 fat crows, lining up for a fight. Their chest puffed out as they eye each other with contempt. Their black feathers gleam with a petroleum green in the autumn sunshine.

A small herd of deer, grazing stubble whilst one basks in the sun. Stretched out flat, it almost looks dead but twitches its ears from time to time to flick the flies away. Their coats are dark and velvety and thick enough to keep out the chilly breeze.

A cluster of pheasants, all looking alarmed but hovering in the indecision of which way to run first.
Heads up, their every muscle quivers with anticipation but they are still like statues in their fear or the unexpected noise.

A blue tractor, pulling a plough, followed by a greedy entourage of attending gulls, wheeling and swooping to find unexpectedly exposed worms and grubs.

I love to travel by train.

Friday, October 8


Phew! Is it Friday already? I have been chasing my tail even more than usual this week and the days have just disappeared. Naturally this means all the deadlines are nearly a week closer. Eeek!

Still, look at this lovely weekend we had:

1) Trip northwards to catch up with extended family, including one back from overseas for a whistlestop tour. Fabulous company as always with the noise levels ratcheting up and up throughout the day as more and more outlandish tales of larks and derring do are told.

2) Impromptu overnight stay in my aunt's swish new house with a chance for a more peaceful catch up whilst ignoring the tell tale thumps from upstairs which indicated Lapin and Bounce were certainly not putting their minds to sleep.

3) Quick visit to the very lovely and talented Tooting Squared who has been very busy organising Wandsworth Open House. The smalls made finger mice and other oddities with coloured card whilst I perused t'art. Very nice too. If you in the area and at a loose end, I thoroughly recommend a visit this weekend when most of the artists will be opening their houses for a second time.

4) On the way home (and on Tooting's advice) we popped in to see Caragh who is a very talented childrens' illustrator, and Brian who takes beautiful pictures. I am now lusting after a few more material things. I'm afraid I will never be good enough to be Buddhist, such is my longing for all sorts of things.

5) We came back to find that MrP had been very industrious and all sorts of tedious tasks had been finished in our absence. What a star he is.

6) Monday morning brought Book Day, a festival of dressing up as a character of your choice. Ever the individual, Lapin decided to be the Troll's recipe book. Cue lots of activity painting, sticking, writing and adjusting until it was perfect. Bounce chose to be a parrot so we mocked up a costume featuring a scary amount of red and gold sequins, topped off by a hat from the nursery end of year play. I'm told he was considered one of the best dressed children which leads one to wonder what on earth everyone else was wearing!

Thursday, September 30


Yesterday I went to have my hair cut. This is not a regular occurrence because I am too disorganised (and too busy) to put it at the top of my priority list. I guess it is a virtue not to list vanity as one of one's vices but the fact remains, it is nice to look good.

So, I now sport a slightly different mop of hair which should be nice and simple to look after. Why is it then that I am completely incapable of making it look nearly as sleek and stylish as the hairdresser?

Monday, September 27

Competitive parenting

I know it really isn't the done thing to be seen doing your offspring's homework but there is something very pleasant about sitting in the sun colouring in a picture together. Clearly I was merely in a supportive role but it was very therapeutic.

Do you think I will get an A*?

Saturday, September 25

Autumn sunshine

There is a nip in the air but the sun is shining and the sky is the azure blue of the summer so we nip out for a stroll.

The route is long, it twists and turns through trees and bullrushes and water meadows and finally up a towering hill. The views from the top are certainly worth the toil. The sea twinkles in the far distance and the ground is spread out like a patchwork quilt below us.

We are content with sanctimonious aches when we return and feel justified tucking into second helpings of lunch.

Wednesday, September 22


Turns out Bounce is only using one of his eyes to see. Cue smart orange specs and a hospital referral which will probably lead to a patch.

Now I am mother to a budding world leader and a pirate. That should have it all covered.

Tuesday, September 21

Early politics

Lapin has been elected to her school council. In order to be chosen she had to make a speech to her class and be chosen as the best representative. On the return from school I asked what she had said in her speech and the reply stunned me more than a little.

"I said I would have the best ideas, and look after the little children."

Watch out Miliband and Miliband, there is precocious young talent on your heels.


No charger for the computer for the past three weeks and a pile of work getting bigger by the day.


Tuesday, August 24


Sorry folks, not a thing to say just now. Feeling very scritchy and sore with shingles and just too tired to think beyond the smalls' bedtime.

Bak sun, as Wol would say.

Wednesday, August 18


"Mummy look" she says as she skids round the corner into the kitchen "this one is wobbly too." She grins and shows me the definite wiggle of the first lost tooth's neighbour.

At this rate the tooth fairy will be working overtime for the forseeable future.

Wednesday, August 11

Being sneaky

And lo, with much wiggling and pulling, the tenacious tooth finally fell out today so think of me this evening as I sneak soundlessly (whilst treading on the inevitable bits of Lego) into Lapin's bedroom a la Fairy de Dent to deposit a fat pound in the right place. In my day, I'm sure the tooth fairy was not nearly so flash with her cash - sometimes I feel inflation can really be over rated.

Monday, August 9


That tooth is still hanging about. The godfather and Lapin have made a double or quits bet for Thursday. I really don't think I can wait that long. I may have to resort to the time honoured method of string and slamming doors.

Is there a law against it?

On a more worrying note, the biggest spider I have ever seen has just strolled menacingly across the floor. If he hadn't looked so fierce, I might have asked him to pay rent. As it is, I am wondering whether it will be necessary to call the boys in blue to evict him....

Wednesday, August 4

Fruits of the season

Fresh kent cherries - better than sweets.

Though perhaps eating a whole pound of them could be classed as gluttony......

n.b. photo from The Wealden Times

Tuesday, August 3

Imparting knowledge

Apparently it is acceptable to swear when you are six under the following circumstance:

You are explaining all the swear words you know to somewhat surprised parents in a mousey whisper directly into their ear. You can only get away with this if you look very solemn all the while and blame a friend at school for telling you all of them.

I suppose I should be pleased her vocabulary is so varied, and she knows the meaning of each but it is quite a surprise. She is usually so innocent and a stickler for angelic behaviour!

Sunday, August 1

Oooh the suspense

Sitting in the sun at her Godfather's this afternoon, Lapin discovered her first wobbly tooth. She has been waiting for this moment for what seems like ages, increasingly desperate for an event which she thinks will signal being properly grown up. Apparently, all the people in her class have got big teeth and she has been hankering to join them.

She has a perfect smile, a neat matching set of brilliant enamel. The wobbly tooth revealed itself firstly as a little gap between it and its neighbour. The excitement was tangible and the Godfather has carried out his loco parentis role by making a bet with her about exactly when the tooth will fall. Gambling is such an important skill, I'm glad we chose her sphere of influence so wisely.

Does anybody know what the Tooth Fairy leaves these days?

Wednesday, July 28

Summer rain

Just as you think you can bear the sticky heat no longer, a monsoon arrives. The skies darken to night in brief minutes and with a sudden rush, great sheets of rain fall and loudly splatter the parched earth, the splashes rising several inches with the ferocity of the clouds.

Naturally if you are small, this is the moment you choose to find a friend for the recently captured caterpillar who is lounging (or maybe cowering) in a pot on the kitchen table.

I love the rain and revel in the warmth and strength of the water as it hurls itself from the sky, great rivulets running down my coat and dripping noisily on to the floor. The world smells wonderfully clean and fresh as the sun reappears just as quickly as it left but, seeing an even bigger black cloud lurking nearby, I ponder the wisdom of an evening on an outdoor netball court.

Tuesday, July 20

Busy busy busy

Where does the time go?

So much to do and so little time, lists upon lists and frantic activity as far as the eye can see. I'm sure I will be back soon - please hang on a little longer and normal service will be resumed!

Tuesday, June 29

Eight years ago

This time eight years ago I was slightly drunk (as I am now), dancing wildly and singing badly to whatever the band was playing, clutching the man I had married just a few hours earlier. I remember the heady frivolity of that night, and the many similar nights that have followed, with great fondness.

I am lucky that I found the right man and he stuck around long enough to think I was the right woman. In spite of all our many flaws, we are still happiest in each other's company and for that I am hugely thankful.

Happy Anniversary grumpy old man. x

Monday, June 28


A small harvest, but delicious all the same, and the promise of a few more to come.


Sunday, June 27

Baking in the heat

Round here there are several ways of enjoying the heat but it is Stanley who does it in style, lolloping slowly around the garden, pausing here and there to nibble something delicious. He is especially fond of lying in the shade under the raspberries where he is completely invisible to the anxious owner. He likes to hide when we are out of the garden but comes out when there is company to be shared, hopping past us slowly with a friendly waggle of the ears.

He is the biggest rabbit I have ever met with enormous satellite dishes for ears. A cat sized bundle of soft white fluff you can bury your hand in and is always spotlessly clean. One ear always sticks up, the other flops about unless he is feeling especially alert and he clearly considers himself the boss.

Given the chaos inside, he is probably right.

Wednesday, June 23

Two sad things

Today has been one of many tears, for all of us. A dear friend has moved far enough away that a visit would be quite an epic trip. I shall miss her enormously. She is a funny and happy soul, endlessly generous with time, friendship and hospitality and there will be a big hole in my life where she used to be. Still, a visit is in the offing and a trip to pastures new is never to be turned down.

The friend's daughter is bestest pal to one of the smalls so she has been sobbing, great waves of sadness at saying goodbye. They have had some great fun over the past two years and the classroom will be quiet without her. On the bright side, it is a fantastic opportunity to learn how to communicate by phone, email and Skype which I'm sure will be fun though I suspect it is bound to drive me nuts at some point.

Finally, as if the day was not sad enough, we came home from school to find the guinea pig had died, totally unexpectedly. More sobs, this time from the smallest small, whose pet he was. A state funeral will take place tomorrow, should any of you have a gap in your diaries.

Friday, June 18

Collective nouns

This afternoon, with what might be classed by some as reckless abandon, I have collected five extra children. There is now a tribe of seven running around the garden, driving tractors and trikes, watering plants, digging in the sandpit and generally getting up to all sorts of mischief. All this activity is accompanied by a constant babble of noise, most of it loud. I can only hope the neighbours are away.

I do no know what the collective noun for children is, but I would suggest a cacophony.

Thursday, May 20

Global thinking

Occasionally (very rarely as those who know me will attest), I am completely lost for words and this afternoon was a great example.

On our way to an afternoon without Bouncy treat, Lapin suddenly stops humming along to Radio 2 (I'm one of their younger listeners obviously) and says:

"Mummy, if the world is round like a globe, why does everybody on it think they are standing the right way up?"

I'm totally flummoxed.

Has anyone any ideas how to explain that to a small? Frankly, I don't really understand it myself.

Tuesday, May 18


Is there anything more pleasing than getting rid of a load of rubbish with a great big inferno? The Christmas tree has proved even more spectacular as it goes on its way to another world and all that boring paperwork looks really quite lovely as it glows fiercely red.

I'm off to bed, stinking of wood smoke but serenely calm..ish.

Saturday, May 15

Honest to a fault

Three six year olds and a four year old appear beside me, pushing one to the front. She speaks quickly and nervously, knowing that it is a Big Deal and they are all desperate for me to agree.

"Mummy, can we go and play in the woods?"

Our garden has a small back gate, which leads into a beautiful woodland, currently especially lovely with bluebells nodding their heads as far as the eye can see. Going into the woods means a little bit of freedom, a step out of my eyeline and into the great beyond. To be honest, I'm a little tentative; two of the four are not mine and the loco parentis responsibility weighs heavy on my mind but they are a sensible bunch and unlikely to run amok. Sensing my indecision she says

"We'll only go as far as the log"

The log is a mere fifteen feet into the wilderness, a great leap for smalls but not s distance to frighten a parent so I agree, setting a few rules.

1) You all stay together
2) You don't go off with anybody else without coming to ask me first
3) You stay behind the log

They rush delightedly out of the door, all four squeezing through the gap together and bounding like lambs across the lawn on their way. There is a loud silence in their wake and I bend my head to work again.

After a while the smallest returns for a wee, skidding round the corner in his anxiety to get back to the action. I ask him if they are all behaving.


"Are you all staying together?"


"Are you all staying this side of the log?"


There is a small pause whilst he looks at me and experience tells me to wait, there is something else to say. He puts his head on one side and says

"...but we have moved the log"

Thursday, May 6


Following the sad demise of President Umaru Yar'Adua his deputy, a man who has the fabulous name of Goodluck Jonathan, has been sworn in as his replacement.

Is it just me, or does that sound much more exciting than Brown, Cameron and Clegg?

Wednesday, April 28


Jostling with the hum drum of every day activities is a nagging voice, pointing out I'm neglecting those who care for me the most. So, if you are reading this and wondering if you will ever hear my dulcet tones again, I promise there is a light at the end of this tunnel and I'll call soon.

Wednesday, April 21


This is what I have been up to since the last post:

Five days at the races
Four days of tidying (not every hour of the day obviously - I'm not quite Mrs Beeton!)
Three reports written
Two lawns mown (pocket handkerchief size but I did have to do some mechanical work on the mower)
Two stays with friends and relations
One marathon (supporting role only)
One celebration of St. George
One convivial dinner party with friends
Countless hours of book keeping

Reviewing this list, I feel less guilty for not blogging more often.

Tuesday, April 13


There is a special sort of loveliness in those peaceful hours when everyone is in bed.

Productivity on all sorts of boring tasks is enormously increased by the simple method of less available distraction.

Not to mention an over indulgence in late night caffeine which keeps the eyelids stubbornly open.

Wednesday, April 7

Sunny outlook

Whilst listening to others complain about the effort of entertaining their smalls now school is out, I have been keeping uncharacteristically quiet. Thing is, (whisper this) I'm having a lovely time.

Me and the small have been going nowhere fast and chatting a lot along the way. I love the change of pace the holidays bring. We have time to stop and watch the world go by, not to mention a game of Pooh Sticks or two.

There is a special release in not having to watch the clock or chivvy and chase. There are long afternoons, stretching into twilit evenings that are perfect for just pottering. As yet, I haven't found a way of saying this without seeming unpleasantly smug so I just nod my agreement and smile whilst I think of all the fun we are having.

Tuesday, April 6

Bank Holidaying

Easter Egg Hunts - 1
Chocolate eaten - surprisingly little
Friends visited - 4
Furniture built - 1
Furniture moved - 9 (with more to go)
Loads of washing done - 53 (at least)
Piles of ironing done - 1 (luckily almost all our clothes are non-iron, classified by me)
Veg patch digging done - a little (The rest today, unless someone can provide a distraction)
Greenhouse cleaned - partially
Birthday presents bought - 3
Miles walked - at least 7
Fun had - lots

I hope you all had a similarly lovely Easter weekend. Must dash, I'm off to finish the "List of Things to do."

Tuesday, March 23


So, I have many character flaws. Little gliches in my genetic make up which could be classified as "interesting" if you were being charitable or downright irritating if you are not. I am aware of these foibles but not so great at keeping them under control so I occasionally put my not-so-teeny feet straight in the mire.

Those posters saying "engage brain before opening mouth" - they were written with me in mind. I've inadvertently lost friends for myself (and others) by recklessly speaking my mind without prior consideration of the consequences. Not that I'm a complete cow you understand, there is usually some provocation but I think my tolerance could be higher.

Yesterday I teased someone who, it turned out, didn't have a sense of humour about the subject in question. In the ensuing minutes of raised voice and character assassination, I got bored and put the phone down.

Not my finest hour but I'm bored of being treated like this. So, now the dilemma. Shall I take the high ground, ring and grovel an apology or wait for them to ring me? There are things that need to be said but sadly I'm not sure I trust myself enough to say them rationally and calmly.

Least said, soonest mended or shall I take the plunge and make a call? Come on wise ones, lend me your thoughts.

Monday, March 15

Frisky in June

What is it about June that brings so many March birthdays? More than two birthdays a weekk to cope with this month and I'm fast running out of present ideas.

What would one buy for these people?

1) Mr P, the suave and sophisticated man about town. Trouble with buying for Mr P is that if he wants it, he has generally bought it already.

2) Mrs B, flibbertygibbet socialite with the attention span of a goldfish.

3) Mrs S, serious literary reader with a penchant for cakes and knitting

4) Mrs F, friend of many years with varied tastes.

Those are just for starters. All suggestions gratefully received, thank you.

Wednesday, March 10


Tonight I have spent the evening restoring a much loved old friend to something resembling his former glory. It has been a job with a deadline requiring nerves of steel to prise him from under the nose of the sleeping babe.

I have cut...

and pinned.....

and stitched...

and finished.

Now he is tucked back into bed next to his loving friend, ready to be discovered in all his new glory in the morning. I hope Miss P is as pleased with him as I am.

Tuesday, March 9


Another busy day but one of being presented with problems I am currently at a loss to solve.

I am going to hope that the recommended eight hours sleep recharges the brain so I am filled with solutions tomorrow.

Would you all mind crossing your fingers, just in case?

Monday, March 8


Today I have had an unexpected free day with the Smallest P off to nursery and I have put it to good use. This is what I can do in a day if I really put my mind to it:

1) Three loads of washing, now dried, folded and in the airing cupboard.

2) An extensive haircut for many of the more unruly plants in the garden, not to mention the wisteria which was galloping recklessly under the eaves and into the loft.

3) Accidental plastic surgery on the end of my thumb.

4) Re-arranging the woodshed. There is something in there and it has deposited nastily on the wall. Ugh.

5) Supervising small people baking jam tarts.

6) Lighting a fabulous bonfire to get rid of the prunings.

7) Cuppa with the nice lady next door.

8) One game of netball in the freezing cold.

Along the way I was joined by a very noisy Robin who was busy telling the world this was his patch and he was very important. He sounded fabulous but wouldn't keep still long enough to take a picture. I hope he will hang around for a bit.

Tomorrow I'm off to do some paid work.

Sunday, February 21

Slightly damp and steamy.

That got your attention, didn't it?!

Ostensibly we are here as supporters for Mr P, who is running in competition today, but at the earliest opportunity we have ducked our responsibility and dived into a cafe for breakfast. The rain is teeming down and the windows are soon steamy with the moisture we have brought in with us.

A game is started to pass the time whilst we wait. You have to choose one of the two options, forsaking the other for the rest of your life. The small P's get the gist immediately and are enthusiastic players. They consider each option with care and reveal some preferences I had no prior knowledge of and then float some suggestions of their own.

So, would you rather have....

....ketchup or brown sauce?

...sausages or bacon?

...meat or cheese?

...cupcakes or doughnuts with sprinkles on the top?

The prize for best contribution goes to Miss P, recently six, who stops conversation dead with:

Would you rather have an elephant living in the house or central heating?

I'm still considering my answer.

Wednesday, February 17

Excitement, and anxiety...

A favourite friend rings to divulge plans for her imminent birthday and outlines a day of such decadence and frivolity that my mouth waters in anticipation.

My mind turn to "what to wear?" and I start planning an extensive sit-up regime and eye my trainers with a speculative eye.

Ah the folly of perfection.

Saturday, February 13

Far too high a price to pay

They say it's not the winning but the taking part that counts.

I'm guessing those that live by the prophecy are not Olympic athletes, lacking the necessary single minded devotion to being the best that sustains through hours, days and months of training.

Yesterday a young man, Nodar Kumaritashvili, leapt on a tea tray and raced down an ice tube for one last practice. Tragically, a minute error towards the end of the course resulted in a freak accident in which Nodar lost his life.

It seems barely credible that it is possible to fall out of the luge course, let alone that there would be steel posts with no soft protection so close to the edge, yet these are the factors causing such a devastating consequence.

One man, striving for an Olympic dream, lost everything.

Wednesday, February 10

Olympic dreams

Mr P and I were entertained last night by the trials and tribulations of the Jamaican bobsled team at the Calgary Games. I love a good story and this has all the necessary elements of a fairly ridiculous idea with an inevitably but nonetheless enjoyable happy(ish) ending.

I am now considering an entry for the 2012 Olympics and wonder which sport I would display astounding natural talent in. Any ideas?

Saturday, February 6


There is a great deal of pleasure to be gleaned by completing a boring task that is long overdue in pleasant surroundings, not to mention the residual smug satisfaction.

I am studiously typing at the kitchen table and listening to the smaller residents entertaining themselves and their guests with varying levels of giggles and stampeding feet and also taking a moment to gaze out of the window at the winter sun which hints at the beginnings of Spring.

Just lovely.

Happy Saturday all.

Friday, February 5

A competitive streak a mile wide

Once a week, I don purple lycra leggings, leave the smalls in the care of Mr P and let my competitive streak loose on court. I have a big competitive streak and in a match it is all consuming, enveloping my usual sang froid and giving me a fiercely barbed focus.

I would love to say I am a magnanimous player, getting pleasure from the poetry of the game and the cameraderie of my teammates. In my mind I congratulate good passes and smile encouragingly to those who have less confidence in their ability.

In reality I fear I am a harpy. I do say encouraging things but I suspect my facial expressions contradict the kind words. I jump up and down and shout far too much. I fight for the ball as if my life depends on it and run about like a lunatic. I'm all elbows and jutting limbs, flailing in the air and occasionally making painful contact with another player.

Sheepishly, I always say nice things to my opponent when we go off court to compensate for my ferocious behaviour on court and usually they understand.

Occasionally we lose a match I think we should win and I silently boil with rage. There is nothing that irritates me more than losing a match that we were capable of winning and I really struggle to be nice to everyone in those steamy minutes after the final whistle. I smile through gritted teeth and congratulate everyone on a game well played, then make a cowardly dash for the solitary safety of the car where I can rant to the radio all the way home.

How can I tame this arrogant monster and teach it how to play nicely whilst I still have a team to play for?!

Tuesday, February 2

A small pause

So, a small break in transmission for a work related holiday, and back to earth with a bump.

I have had small triumphs today with loose ends finally being tied into place, sad news from a friend who I hope will find things better than she expects when she arrives and am girding my loiins for some tedious paperwork.

I am in my kitchen, wearing my coat and balancing a hot water bottle on my lap. Do you think my anti heating militancy has maybe gone a bit too far?

Thursday, January 14

Practical shoes

So, as you can see, these are the sort of shoes a girl just cannot live without. A practical, good for every occasion pair that are a Gok endorsed basic staple of any chic wardrobe.

And besides, I have been coveting them for yonks and there they were, in a sale, in my size. A miracle not to be sniffed at.

Tomorrow, when I visit a dear friend, I shall give them their first step out and I know she will ooh at them just enough to convince me I had to have them.

That is real friendship.

Wednesday, January 13

Pleasures in the cold

1. The school run is enormously improved by the occasional snow ball and travelling by sledge.

2. Lots and lots of laughter and cameraderie.

3. A soft scarf tucked gently under the chin.

4. An inability to rush, giving plenty of time to savour the world beyond one's nose.

5. The quiet still of snow.

6. Coming home and snuggling in front of the fire.

I might be one of only a few, but I'm longing for the snow to last a bit longer!

Monday, January 11

Twanging the heart strings

In the final frantic minutes before the school run starts, at least five minutes after we should have left the house, I finally lose my temper.

The smallest bean, who is prone to following flights of fancy and whimsy rather than the task in hand, is not yet dressed.

This is a repetitive irritation and I point it out, once or twice.

Predictably he dissolves into tears and it takes even longer to get out of the house.

Later, when all is calm again, a small voice says "But Mummy, I thought we would be friends forever."

Honestly. What is a mother to do?

Friday, January 8

Arousing suspicion

Note to small children:

If you intend to scribble artistically on the furniture, it is best not to sign your work.