Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Thank you Sewel much

A rare calm, happy and peaceful return from nursery chatting about dinosaur and train play as well as learning days of the week with Mia, Archie and Vasco came to a crashing end when (unbeknownst to me the news was on the radio) up pipes 'prostitue mummy' of course, typically, this time pronounciation was spot-on so I ought to have praised his sharp ear and lucid tongue but instead quickly turned the radio off and belted out my best 'the wipers on the bus go swishhhhh swishhhhhh swishhhhhhhhhh' - calm restored. 

I think its time to put the Eminem CD away too.

Not by the hair on my chiny chin chin

In a bid for more space and time in London we 'went up' into our loft earlier this year. Needless to say after a few months of throwing money we didn't have at the project and provarocating between sisal and hessian, we ran out of steam. What we have is a wonderful space but we haven't quite pulled the project over the line and one thing we distinctly lack in our house is mirrors. 

Most days I don't have the time to stop and take stock of my face (I know, hashtag first world problems!!) but this weekend on a rare outing in the car without a single other being with me, I stopped in traffic outside the Tower of London. After patriotically enjoying the view in smug silence my eyes caught a glimpse of a haggard older self in the mirror, of course it was actual-time me: marvellous. It's easy to fake an image when you never actually see what you look like..... However it wasn't the wrinkles or red eyes or tasche that really caught my attention or horror but the 3 long, dark whiskers that had sprouted from my chin.

I have a beard. 

Monday, 27 July 2015


My problem with partying, excitement and consuming a moderate amount of alcohol (anything over 1 glass of wine) is that I simply will never ever be 'plastered and orderly' and so I then spend the next 2 days apologising to anyone I may have/definitely offended. 

Todays apologies include Mr. P for pretending you pinched my bottom, Farmer Jim/Bear Grylls for downing your drink which happened to be the last pint in the house, the band for doing a disservice to your cool tunes with my usual Zebra-on-acid dance (at the time I think I look something between Gisele and Gwen Stefani with the rhythm of Beyoncé) and apologies to my husband for being the excitable dwarf lunatic (but thanks) that you kindly humour me with a rendition of the 'chain saw' - a mesmerising dance routine involving a pretend, heavy and out of control chain saw - that perhaps makes me look ever so slightly more sober.

Parties don't feature regularly on my calendar and I am slowly losing any vague social aptitude I once had. This week amongst potty training and number learning there is going to be a bit of work on my own etiquette. 

Friday, 24 July 2015


So the silver lining to seeing your little Thunderbird topple over on concrete whilst out in the pissing rain at the duck pond (aside from missing said duck pond by inches).. Is the drama and excitement that ensues. A grazed knee is a BIG DEAL and can take up at least 2 hours of entertainment. So following the sharp intake of breath, rush to aide the victim and massive cuddle; it has all been about BRAVERY, CLEANING WOUNDS and PEPPA PIG PLASTERS for an entire 180 minutes. 

The bravery was impressive, I mean, I am not squeamish but cleaning someone else's cut with antiseptic wipes to dig out the ingrained dirt had me wincing whilst my soldier was more concerned about the crumb he had on his finger. 'Wi wi wipe it muuuuuuummmmmmmyyyyyyyy' as though it was plutonium and his hand were about to fall off.

It was the plasters that stole the show. Having shunned Mr Men, SpongeBob SquarePants (we're not quite there yet), Thomas the Tank Engine and even Fireman Sam - it was everyone's favourite muddy puddle lover that would adorn the little bashed knee. The yellow plaster with Peppa and George dressed in just wellies wasn't enough. In the safety of his bed and in time it took mummy to walk to the kitchen, flick on the kettle and empty the dishwasher (fined tuned to an impressive 3 minutes) I returned to Peppa plastered all over him. What was even more amusing, puzzling and (being a little OCD myself) impressive was how the green ones with George dressed as a pirate only occupied his left arm, the purple ones with Peppa as an astronaut occupied his right arm and the remaining yellow ones covered his right leg. Plastered but orderly, just what I aspire to.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Rubbish record

7.10am and 3mins 38secs.

Well done chaps. AND this included a 'stand well clear, vehicle reversing', flashing lights, parked up beneath our window to let 2 commuters whiz by. Most impressive.


Now what am I going to do with my morning?

revisiting the Invisible Vein

Four years ago on Thursday I got hitched. A few years earlier than that I tried to write my thoughts on love in general. Tonight I reflect. It's not a masterpiece but to me it sums up what I understand love to be.

I love my family.
I love my friends.
I love my sport.
I love animals.

'The invisible vein' applies to them all and all the other things I love. 

LOVE LOVE LOVEY LOVE LOVE (no, I have not had a drink)


Immaterial, intangible, a most powerful thing,
Love pervades us all, the highs and lows that it brings,
It’s danger; it’s beauty, enervating the most robust,
A mystical, magical entity, it’s greatest ally is trust,

With trust it blossoms and numbs and protects,
Love in full bloom crushes boundaries, no regrets,
Nothing seems mightier than a love in full swing, 
Warmth, delight…. Innumerable, wonderful things,

The power of love lies in the weakness it bestows,
Those in its clasp don’t care, can’t direct where they go,
An enigmatic, unpredictable, amazing matter,
He who falls from its heights could be no flatter,

The loss of love knows no bounds, 
That wonderful manifestation turns.. in that cloud, one drowns,
The bleakest place is a lonesome love-lost pit, 
That ‘something’ missing, that inexpressible hit,

Realisation of indescribable, unfathomable feelings,
The loss of their comfort, leaves the lovelost reeling,
Bitterness inevitable at such a blow,
Yet on the fire of anger, time begins to snow,

In appreciating the enigma and power of love, 
It’s possibilities and capacities above,
Accept it, embrace it, no one can ever control, 

The power in life that makes the world roll

Thursday, 16 July 2015

What a load of rubbish

Wednesday mornings somewhere between 7.45am and 9.30am is a peak of bustling excitement in our household as we to and fro from the front sash windows, knees knocking, expectant squeals firing in anticipation of the weekly passing by of The ........... RUBBISH LORRY. Yes, that entire sentence is completely true.

There is the arrival of Helpful Harry as we call him, the sight of that orange tabard causes ripples of excitement as H Bomb climbs on top of his camping stove to adopt a prime vantage point..... The ripples are mine, the toddlers excitement is off the Richter scale. Helpful Harry with his endearing, charming smile (!) and acknowledgement of our stares, goes about his weekly routine of heaving and hurling rubbish sacks into the middle of the street. Conversation is brief and usually revolves around working out how long the lorry will take to catch him up. This week, it was 10 minutes behind but (as always) worth the wait.

The noise of the the huge vehicle turning into our road is unmistakable, the whirring, hissing, clunking and in mid-summer; stenching; is prolific, its tangible. We love it.

We love it for its predictability, for its necessity and for its drama. When will they arrive? Who will it be this week? (perhaps Harry is en vacance in espangol) Will they take all the rubbish? Whose has been rejected?  Will their 3.8 minute street record be broken? How many car horns will be sounded in the wake of the clearance?

If we're lucky an agitated driver (it's a one-way road) will sound their horn in utter frustration at the seeming nonchalance and slowness of the team but we merely look down and delight in the 'noise car makes - ohhhhhh beeeeeeeeep'. And revel in the 15 - 30 minutes the whole scene has had everyone ensconced for - marvellous, it's now only 3.5 hours until nap time.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Bee all and end all

I don't know what to do. 

Early summer had me searching, researching and pondering the best plants for my EXTENSIVE (!!) London maisonette garden and window sills. The big discovery, after much deliberation about potentially being deemed lazy and environmentally unfriendly, was the incredibly realistic artificial foliage on the market. 

Needless to say I didn't take too much persuasion - no watering, muddy windows, pruning, dead heading, petal clearance, repeat purchases after neglect.. You get the picture.

Yes, in May, my conscience barely stirred as I parted with less than it cost for 3 bottles of gin to adorn all window sills and half the garden with fake lavender, box and Argyranthemum (yellow daisies). No one ever asks, I never (until now) have to admit I am even less of a domestic goddess and even more of a windswept, haggard, clumsy and corner-cutting banshee than I let on. I feel I have to admit it now because there has been a considerable shudder of conscience since Monday morning. 

Cleaning squashed blueberries and broccoli out of a miniature ambulance and gazing out the kitchen window, I spotted a bumble bee. A lovely, humble bumble bee, buzzing in the mid morning summer sun.


I painfully watched as the bee set about 'pollinating' my 'yellow daisies'. My fake daisies were disrupting the delicate balance of nature. I tried to knock hard on the window to deter the bumble bee from further failed attempts to assist with fertilisation but I could do nothing but watch for 9 whole minutes (summer working bees only live for about 40 days) as the bee worked hard on my small selection of yellow flowers. Poor bee. You know the bee population of most species has dramatically reduced in the last few years and 2 species are now extinct! Probably because of people like me.

Later that afternoon in the play park I caught my eldest son squashing ants with his heel. I am sorry nature. I will make good I promise, starting with a concerted horticultural effort and a quick YouTube session with the boys on 'what we can learn from ants'.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

No use in crying over spilt milk

i beg to differ ..

And so does the sofa, carpet, curtains, iPad and my new suede shoes

Back to school

Breakfast has become a learning zone, thanks to YouTube and a sudden interest in the finer details of HOW THINGS WORK in this world. I call it edukitchen and being a nerd myself; I LOVE it! Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day and it has now been bolstered by factoids. 

So there was the confusion between planes, rockets and spaceships. Thank you NASA, we now all know the exact difference, plus there's Atlantis, Endeavour, Apollo, the Johnson Space Center. We count down with an American twang and flail our arms in the air at the much anticipated LIFT OFF to SPACE. 

Then there was the intrigue surrounding the multitude of farm vehicles, his green combine harvester being a particular fave. I explained that the pale cylinders in the field the other day were bales but I realised as I continued to elaborate that perhaps my agriknowledge could do with a spring clean. So today accompanying our blueberries and toast was Agrivids, a TOTAL winner. 9 minutes on Claas Lexions in Bedforshire merely whetted an insatiable appetite But OHH the straw-baling-chasing-stacking-harvest with 'here comes the sun' background music had us all, the wee wee man included, hanging on the edge of our seats.

Tomorrow we might do planets or plants but I imagine someone else will dictate our subject.

Watch this space (no pun intended)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Peace and Harmony in All the World (Peppa Pig 2004)

I am ironing (yes, and I just hoovered and made a lasagne but my Cath Kidston pinnie is in the washing machine - how twee) and I am tired because I actually had a social event last night Coupled with my usual 4 hour quota of broken sleep. But this post is not supposed to be amusing.

I am watching the BBC news on repeat and the coverage of the atrocities in London 10 years ago gives me an overwhelming sense of fear, sadness and helplessness for the future I am preparing my children for. This fear raises its ugly head periodically and I guess it is part of what makes us real. Terrorism is terrifying, it is something (almost) entirely beyond our control but with it is exposed the immense bravery and stoicism of those faced with the adversity, tragedy - havoc - it wreaks.

A juxtaposition of paralysed fear for the world the boys are growing up in versus an emboldened hope and drive to strive for unity, peace and togetherness. It is so incredibly encouraging and inspirational to see how people come together and push forward in the face of  disaster and I for one will do everything I can to ensure that my offspring are rounded, informed and peaceful individuals - as most of us are. 

I will do my best world.

Off my soapbox and back to the Philips Azure Precise 4340 and perhaps some Wimbledon.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Good morning

So the extent of our household conversation for the last 3 hours (it's 8.45am) has been thus:

F Burger (total words 0 decibel 460)

wahhhhheaaachhhhawwwwwww waahhhhhh wahhhhh wahhhhhh gaa gaa ha ga uhh uhh 

Me (total words 55)

twinkle twinkle, shhh, shhhh, twinkle, shhhhh, ugh, shhhhh, ok darling, lovely darling, just one postman pat, no more milk, shhh, inside voice, potty over there, GENTLE, oh lovely, thank you, boys shhh, careful, here you go, what do you say, good boy, shhh, it's ok, well done, there is no spider, wash your hands, leave that, oh

Daddy (total words 29)

Good morning (well it would be after 8 hours unbroken sleep) mummy's in H Bombs bed, cuff links, meeting at 4pm in Putney so might be back early, bye team

H Bomb (total words 368 only a selection below)

teddy, teddy, bed, milk, nee naw, nee naw, nee naw, 2,5,6,7,9,10!, mummy next door, daddy window, cool shoes, raa raa, postie pat, raahhh, weetabix, officer steale, rainy rainy (it's cloudless and 26 degrees), stuck, more milk, car, car, Peter rabbit stickers, water down the drain, spider, oh dear wallet, money, money, money in the shoe, H Bomb do it, here you go mummy, poo, poo, poo, leave it, dance.

They have just spent 4 minutes screeching at each other across the table, F Burger strained for a poo (the lactulose is still not working so this is particularly noisy and prolonged) H Bomb copied the grunts pitch perfect, they both laughed until some regurgitation occurred.

H Bomb is now dancing around the kitchen in his birthday suit aside from my salmon pink pumps stuffed with coins Swinging an umbrella.... And there is a pungent smell wafting from his brother who looks utterly delighted with himself. 

Happy Monday people

Sunday, 5 July 2015


so what is this all about..?

Ok I totally understand being embarrassed when your little child belts out hideous screeching or unsavoury behaviour in public. when you're trying to smile as you wrench them off the wooden choo choo train (despite 15,10,5,3,2,1 minute warnings of departure)and they (albeit accidentally) kick a clod of sand mixed with dog faeces in your mouth. 

But when your child is impeccable and staring down the barrel at a screaming peer who will NOT return the HotWheels surf Ute your little boy kindly 'shared'. Why does embarrassment strike then.. It's perverse. I actually think I need therapy. 

Spending your entire existence guiding your toddler down a morally good, steady path - desperately fire fighting the flickering flames of trantrumdom to be EMBARASSED when they are everything you want them to be in the face of the polar opposite?

I can only assume that this scenario is slightly unique (he does behave very well quite often actually - thank you very much).. In such that this is Baden Baden and despite my perpetual attempts to sound fluent, my German is not as wunderbar as I would hope. Wolfgang (who H Bomb shared his car with) is hitting his head against a tree and I can't work out what he is saying between the sobs but he has now turned to reversing very fast and hard into the waste bin and will not let go of the car his mother is trying to prize out of his clasp. H is in a state of shock and I kind of what to say 'good boy' 'don't worry' but I also really want to be able to say to Wolfgangs mum 'don't be fooled by this one, you should have seen him this morning when I didn't give him the YELLOW spoon, let alone when he noticed it had been given to his brother who was using it as a weetabix catapult'. But I just think my head is screwed on wrong. H Bomb was great, he shared, he was quiet and kind and I should have held my head high instead of cowering embarassed. 

When I stepped away from the scene, the car had been returned and the screams were out of earshot I thought, I need to be more continental. I mean Wolfgang was dressed in an outfit that would have made Prince George look like a total pleb and his mother was purse lipped and more than a little cold and intimidating. She wouldn't have worried one jot about my boys and I if the tables were turned, she would have walked off with her nose in the air to take Wolfie for a gluten free schnitzel at the Roederhof.

Yes, I am going to be more proud and more continental.... Except I might wear deodorant, every few days.

Deutsche Bank

Oh how it has all changed. This week Michael I am being a banker.

So H Bomb ran off to his bedroom - peering over his shoulder a couple of times, he pushed his door ajar....conspicuous by his silence he was doing either of 2 things - as it always is - a) a poo or b) something he knows he shouldn't. Despite the lack of odour, I could tell immediately by the look on his face that he was being naughty. On closer inspection he had a couple of 1 euro coins in his hand, one of which he was moving towards his mouth with a churlish glint in his eye. 

Choking/innumerable germs and a variety of other hazards seared through my mind. Plus, quite where he found the schrapnel, I'll never know. Even the most meticulous and fastidious parent would miss a trick with this little Houdini. 

'Ah ah ahh (because I somehow think making this noise akin to Anne from Little Britain is better than using the simple word NO) give that to mummy now, you must be CAREFUL (another phrase I am worried I overuse to the point of pointlessness) they are yucky and dirty and ....... Oh don't cry Henry, don't cry darling, here put them in your pocket but they MUST stay there and you can spend them in the shop later if you are a good boy'. Well we are on holiday so who wants too many boundaries and too much crying and what's wrong with a little bribe every 3 minutes.

Whilst I am off with little brother, collecting some washing, the 2 elder males in our family pop to the shop to get some croissants where a transaction must have taken place. 20 minutes later in walk daddy and Henry pleased as punch with the paper bag laden with stodge and our 'tour (ok, toliday) wallet'. 

Daddy slips off somewhere, similarly conspicuous by his absence for the aforementioned reasons. Henry trots over to me on the sofa swinging his bag of coins and notes and happily yelling 'money, money, money'. Thank goodness we're remote and in a foreign country. 'Money, money, money', he proceeds to empty the coins out. 'CAREFUL'. He starts stuffing them in his pockets, both trouser pockets are full to the point of splitting at the seam and he then melts down as 3 coins drop on the floor. 'Money, moooonneeeyyy, m, ma, money! Myyyyyyyyyyyyy money!!' And I mean inconsolable, fish-on-the-end-of-a-hook-flapping-in-desperation inconsolable. Clearly he was waiting to spend that nugget I saved from his gnashers and didn't get the chance on the croissant trip - daddy hadn't read the memo I stuck in my brain.

I can't even regale the extent of how ridiculous this tirade of yelling and flinging was but it gave me flashbacks of the first 2 an a half hours I bothered to watch of Wolf of Wall Street (A possessed Leo Di Caprio without the strippers and cocaine). Money can make you bonkers.

So we are now very casual about how we convey the concept of money and wary of bestowing its powers and most importantly discussing every breath our toddler takes out of earshot of the other adult. Hmm likely.