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.