Saturday, 28 February 2009

No line on the horizon

My days have been blurring into a haze of U2. Earlier in the week I was entering myself into ticket ballots and sending in questions to ask the band (no joy). Yesterday was spent chasing them around various BBC radio stations (via my DAB dial, not on foot) and then camping out in the sitting room waiting to 'push the red button' on my TV when they appeared on the roof of Broadcasting House at 6.30pm. As they appeared I was shaking, every hair on my body stood on end and I am not sure I took a breath for several minutes.
I think I was calmer the one and only time I have seen them in concert although as I was very nearly in the toilet as they came out I think I was just relieved.
If this all sounds a little odd for a mother-who-turns-40-this-year remember I am the first-born of a woman who didn't get off the sofa for several days when Elvis died. Turning to music and a strong frontman to make the world a better place comes very naturally.
In this morning's post was their new album. It is not released until Monday so thank you Amazon for giving me a headstart on all those nobodys who think they love Bono more than I do.
I haven't actually got much further than the first two tracks as my time is just not my own anymore but one of them seems to be on repeat in my brain. Perhaps 'nappy brain' is all a fallacy and you actually become better at absorbing information?

Today was a beautiful day (no more U2 references, I promise) so it was lovely to get up to the allotment and do more digging - will it ever end? To compensate for all that fresh air and activity Emma and I took the children to Pizza Express on the waterfront and Archie let slip his future ambitions.

Scarlett-Watch .... she woke up yesterday morning with the ability to crawl perfectly, her day sleep is still a little hit and miss and she may have been exposed to the chickenpox virus during our pretty day with Hesper, Mabel and our knitting. Taking into acount the incubation period, there is an outside chance that she may be Spotty Muldoon when we go to stay in Norfolk.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

All I want to do is knit

After two and a half days work (comprising 23.5 hours), two very late nights and the back end of a cold I am finding it hard to function. Scarlett appears to have dropped all day sleeps ... I repeat ... Scarlett appears to have dropped all day sleeps. This didn't really affect me so much when I was doing my Work Marathon but it could make tomorrow and Friday verrrrry interesting.

I suspect Dan is quite pleased to be getting back to work as he has been most affected by this change of routine but he has also had to clear up some pretty unpleasant poos (I just really can't go into it).

Sunday, 22 February 2009

What I have realised this weekend

  • It doesn't matter if I am a little tired of 'That's Not My Fairy' ("her hair is too frizzy", "her wings are too fluffy" etc etc), Scarlett loves it.
  • I must learn not to spend money before I have earned it. Oh so often I find that an article is not published and therefore I don't get paid. Thankfully (this time) I was only daydreaming about spending.
  • Rather than tearing your hot toast by trying to spread cold butter, lay thin slices of butter on the toast then wash half the kitchen floor, check child is OK, wash the other half, check child is OK. Miraculously you can now spread the butter on your lukewarm toast. So good to know.
  • The best way to deal with raspberry blowing at mealtimes is to cover yourself with a tea towel, pair of sunglasses and shower cap.
  • Having an hour on my own at home, reading a book and drinking a cup of tea is one of life's simple pleasures.
  • £65 doesn't buy as many groceries as I thought.
  • Jade Goody's terminal illness has touched me more than I ever thought possible.
  • I don't know how many types of grass there are growing naturally in the UK but I found at least four different types during a (very intensive) weeding session of a small space at the allotment yesterday.
  • If I only eat when I am hungry, finish when I am full and enjoy every mouthful of whatever I fancy it turns out that I eat half as much as I think I need.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Subliminal dog training

I can't really say that I have the best trained dog in the world. Despite many years as Suffolk's answer to Ace Ventura/Dr Doolittle, Matisse doesn't really do what I want when I want. Scarlett, on the other hand, has taught him to sit and raise one paw (see above) using nothing more than intermittent eye contact and a piece of food randomly dropped from her highchair.
Today was lovely both in content and weather. This morning we went to see Emma and her daughter Nerissa for some tea and pretty biscuits. Emma and I were one of five in our class of just 30 (or so) girls -I think you can see why we have both tried to pick less common names for our girls.
This afternoon we had Granny Time (a little like Hammer Time but without the silly trousers). I hadn't seen Mum properly in a few weeks and it was lovely. There is something so warm and relaxing about her house that I could have gone upstairs and snoozed until the morning.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

I feel like I've been kicked in the head

I had such a bad headache last night and this morning that I have checked my face several times today for the imprint of a horseshoe on my forehead. Luckily my super-strong American painkillers (that I couldn't take when pregnant and shouldn't take whilst still breast-feeding) saved the day.
With a whole day at home I really should have got on with some knitting but, with Scarlett in need of continual entertainment, in the end I knitted just two rows of the using-up-my-wool-stash blanket.
I heard Wayne Hemingway on the radio yesterday saying that now is the time to focus on creative plans if you can keep your overheads down. Driving back from Bury I was full of plans for a knitting group and shop but today I have struggled to remember what they were.
Not good - this is why I have to write everything down.

Getting to grips with Twitter I realise that there is a once in a lifetime opportunity here for me to send Bono a message. With my brain the way it is I cannot think of a single thing to ask him. I am tempted to tell him that I was a little surprised by the dark eye make-up he was sporting at the Brits last night (I suppose that explains the dark glasses) but not sure that is likely to prompt a reply.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I used to be wild, not domesticated

Here is tonight's ironing, note the inclusion of an apple for scale. Until I had Scarlett I didn't iron anything. I was very fastidious about how I hung things up to dry and then hoped I was perfecting the shabby chic look. Now, I iron everything (apart from pants) and have a strange sense of calm when it is all done and neatly piled.
Having said that, I don't look forward to it so use my hatred of things being out of their place as an incentive - by putting up the ironing board and getting out the iron as early as possible I have to do it as I cannot bear for them to be out any longer than is necessary.
Make any sense?
So, today is the end of Dan's "weekend" and he dragged himself off to work at 5. He's out tomorrow night (football - hopefully not joining the 'Jim Out' protests that are all the buzz of the town), then working Thursday and Friday night.
Fingers crossed we will get to sit down with a glass of wine on Saturday night and I will still be awake at 9.
When I got home from work my inbox was literally bulging with old photos, carefully scanned and sent by Auntie Penny.
In honour of all her hard work, here are a couple of gems....

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Use it or lose it

On the same day that I heard the Suffolk Nappy Network is in danger of being closed I also overheard someone saying the the lovely wool shop in town is closing. I just had to go and see the sign, and it is true.
OK, so she wasn't the most competitive on price and she seemed to be closed most times I walked past but I still want her to be there when I need her.
The old independent shop / local pub dilemma ..
I tried to talk to the owner and she was really off. I have put this down to a) perhaps having had many people she didn't consider to be regular customers saying how sad they were or b) she just wanted to get home.
Lurching from one bit of rubbish to another I also watched the most awful game of football under the heading of 'Me Time'. I really do think Jim might have to go and do something more interesting instead.
On a brighter note, two more beds have been dug at the allotment, the house is clean, the sheets have been washed and I received some photos of Scarlett from Thea that are just gorgeous (see above).
Scarlett has perfected the sitting-from-flat-on-her-back manoeuvre so she greets us with a big smile over the top of the cot when we get her up in the morning. Unfortunately she has also introduced headbutt-mummy-in-the-face so I may well be going to work tomorrow with a fat lip and two black eyes.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

I was brought up in the country, honest

Today we went to see Thea in Frostenden (near Southwold), I love these days.
After lunch we went for a walk through muddy lanes. I was such a Townie in my trainers and with my Mamas and Papas buggy that kept getting stuck whilst Thea strode ahead in her wellies with her 4 wheel drive pushchair.
Bless her for saving us, I think Scarlett was a bit fed up.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

All good things come to an end

My morning routine can never be the same as Scarlett fell off the bed this morning whilst I was making a cup of tea. I thought I might have got away with it as Dan was out walking Matisse but the red marks on the side of her face were the clue that something had happened. This is only the second time there has been an accidental tumble; the last time was off the sofa when I was looking up images of Claudia Winkleman to see if I looked like her. Oh the shame.
We had our last baby yoga session today. It seems such a short time ago that we were the newcomers, where has the time gone? (I know, all parents say this). Sadly, after our swimming class on Friday we will no longer see Hayley and Hepsie each week so Tweedledee and Tweedledum will have to go their separate ways - although looking at the following I suspect Hepsie may be relieved.

On our way home from yoga Scarlett was so tired that she fell asleep drinking her milk in the pram and there she stayed for two hours. I had planned to wander round town but with no money and feeling a bit hungry I opted to come home instead.
Wow - could the days of spending and eating for all the wrong reasons be behind me?
I worked from home today so Dan and I didn't have to perform the Working Parents 100m Relay, handing over Scarlett like a baton at 3pm. The weather was very grey and wet this afternoon so when Dan went back to work Scarlett and I retired to the bedroom where I read articles and ticked off many items on the Master To Do List whilst she learned to open my bedside drawers ...

Monday, 9 February 2009

The best thing about going to work is coming home

Another wet Monday at work but who could complain when they come home to this little face!
Slept really badly last night so heading off to bed soon (going to bed at the same time as Eastenders must be some sort of record).
I think my sleep was hampered by having had a slightly odd evening, but it certainly wasn't helped by the spike of activity prompted by my spilling a pint of water into the open drawer of my bedside cabinet as I went to turn out the light.
First job this morning was to sort out the damp contents - what on earth was a Pritt Stick doing in there?

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Having a dog but barking yourself

I seem to have become a baker over the last couple of days. "What is the point of being married to a chef if you then have to make your own bread?" I hear you say. Well, despite some random award in bread making and a tendency to panic if we run out of wheat-based products, he just doesn't seem to like making bread. I love it. All that kneading is good for the soul. My only problem is that I have an intense dislike of wet dough under my fingernails, so I have to use a wooden spoon until the dough gets to the 'workable' phase (it would be so much easier if I was just scared of spiders).
Anyway, today I have made two seeded walnut loaves and I am giving one to my brother and sister-in-law as they are having a bit of a rubbish time (obviously not really rubbish or I would be doing something more helpful than making bread).
This morning started with breakfast at the Greyhound with Scott and Jason. Always a welcome start to a Sunday and a chance to digest the papers and discuss the main topics of the day. Well, that is what Scott and Jason do. I amuse Scarlett with unwanted sections of the paper whilst I eat my eggs on toast before they get cold and try to remember if I have an opinion on anything outside the overuse of Calpol and working mothers.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Barbara Good becomes Margot Leadbetter (hopefully)

What a beautiful day - cold but very sunny, my favourite.
These days are my most productive so by midday I had

  • Cleaned out my two rabbits (Lentil and Angel)

  • Washed up (twice)

  • Let Dan have 30 minutes quiet time to read his book in bed with tea (Wife of the Year?)

  • Made a loaf of bread (cooling as I type)

  • Walked to the allotment and dug one bed thoroughly and re-dug two beds (that will teach me for just turning over the dirt last week in the hope that the grass would die)

  • Bought a few necessities at the Co-Op

  • Walked home pushing a now very heavy pram

For the rest of the day I plan to eat some of the bread (but not all of it), flick continually between sport programmes (the Mighty Town are playing Swansea, England are playing cricket and rugby), read the Saturday Times (well the bits I am interested in, no point setting my sights too high) and get ready to go out for supper looking amazing and not like the person typing this who has mud under her nails, baby food on her face (don't ask) and is wearing a very unsexy combination of saggy trackie bums / shapeless tops / maternity cardigan / large woolly socks.

Friday, 6 February 2009

One man's messy wardrobe is a baby's paradise

Our morning started with a game called Retrieve the Cufflinks (above). Dan's half of the wardrobe is probably exactly the same as the wardrobe of his 13 year old self i.e. pile it high and slide the door across. Except, he never slides the door so Scarlett, perfecting her caterpillar, slither and roll approach to locomotion, had a great time rummaging through a range of items most of them probably very unhygienic. That'll teach him ...
For a second, well perhaps two seconds, I really thought we were going to have some of the snow that is causing 'serious disruption' everywhere but here. Big blobby flakes came down thick and fast for at least a quarter of an hour but melted as they hit the pavement. What a waste.
So we headed off to swimming. The journey today seemed quite eerie as I noticed the pathologist in last night's Killer in a Small Town (Channel 4) was driving along the same route as he was being interviewed about the murders. Watching the programme last night took me back to how we all felt at that time - fascinated, horrified and eventually very jumpy.
Anyway our Little Mermaid took the class in her stride and even let me do a few dips under the water.
The only other event of my day was going into town to fulfil an overwhelming desire for Salmon Teriyaki. This wouldn't seem strange , or even worthy of a mention, were it not for the fact that I have been vegetarian for 25 years. 'Luckily' I was unable to find such a dish so pie and veg it is.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Sometimes a day in the house is no bad thing

So, after much thought, I have decided to stop thinking about having a blog....
The title comes - in a roundabout way - from an article I read in today's Times entitled 'I should have ditched feminism for love, children and baking' by Zoe Lewis.

Today we were supposed to be going out with Thea & Rufie and Hesper & Mabel but a combination of ear ache, lost mobile phones and too much rain led to Scarlett and I being on our own at home. Sometimes this can feel too much but today she was happy to play whilst I sat next to her knitting a dishcloth using up (very old) cotton yarn.
She came quite close to crawling today but went backwards more than once (Note to Self: must not turn phone sideways when filming as have no idea how to rotate the shot and save potential viewers from neck ache).
As well as attempting a blog I am also listening to radio programmes via podcasts so today I heard two episodes of Mark Kermode's Film Reviews and one of Simon Mayo's Book Reviews. As I joined Twitter yesterday I feel I may be finally joining the Technology Revolution.