Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Proud Mummy Moment

My Beautiful Girl played her cello in her first "proper" concert. I nearly burst with pride. I'm well aware of how unseemly it is to brag about one's child. I am also aware of the Curse of the Smug Mummy (teenage horrors await) but I don't care. I was - I am - SO proud. She's such a great kid. 

I love you, my beautiful, Beautiful Girl.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Half-Term Stats

Cinema visits: 1
Pony riding lessons: 2
Good friends caught up with: 4
Rooms in the house thoroughly tidied, scrubbed and vacuumed: 4
Exhibitions seen: 1
Arguments over getting dressed NOW because we're going to be late: 0
Delicious lunches in favourite organic cafe: 1
Hours spent catching up on school work: 12
Cupcakes baked: 12
Rows of Heirloom Blanket crocheted: 5.5
Hours spent watching Rugrats: too ashamed to admit
Pottery painting afternoons: 1
Long lunches with the extended family: 2

The week whizzed by, in a blur of slow days. An oxymoron, I know, but that's how it felt. I'm sad it's over, but finally feeling more energised and positive. Still can't wait for Spring though!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Valentine's Day

Elegantly iced prettiness? That I can't do. Squidgy chocolate and hazelnut yumminess? Now, that I can ....

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Saggy old cloth cat

One of my strongest and least expected reactions to becoming a parent 7 and a half years ago was to develop a strong antipathy to many aspects of modern life. Here was this tiny bundle, all pure and innocent, and we'd brought her into a world that, all of a sudden, seemed dirty and dangerous. Watching TV and reading the newspaper seemed to bring into our home a world that revered the shallow and stupid, that valued the acquisition of ludicrously expensive consumer goods above all else, a world where skimpily dressed popstars cavorting and singing totally inappropriate songs were hailed as role-models for little girls. I wanted to protect the Beautiful Girl from all of this. I wanted to deny the fact that we live in a slightly run-down suburb of the second largest city and instead move to a gingerbread cottage in a wood somewhere. In short, I wanted her to grow up in the 1950s.

I did what I could. I ignored the pink sparkly T-shirts with "Babe" written on them and dressed her in dungarees and duffell coats and Mary-Janes. I read her books by Shirley Hughes and Enid Blyton and sang old-fashioned nursery rhymes. I banned any TV channels that included adverts and instead she watched CBeebies and an old Bagpuss DVD. She - we - loved Bagpuss. It was gentle and quiet and thoughtful and it had the best music. I bought the soundtrack and we listened to it over and over. In the car, in her bedroom playing with her toys, in the bathroom while she splashed amongst the bubbles. We listened to it so much that the CD started to stick and jump in odd places. Bagpuss provided the soundtrack to the Beautiful Girl's early childhood.

A couple of weeks ago I saw that Sandra Kerr and John Faulkener, the respected folk singers who wrote and sang the Bagpuss soundtrack (aka Madeline the rag doll and Gabriel the toad) were bringing the songs and music of Bagpuss to our local arts centre. And it was wonderful to listen to those songs again. Here, for you, is my favourite....

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Winter Blues

I've been suffering from an extended case of the January blues, which explains my absence from this blog over the last 6 weeks. This is, on the whole, my happy place where I come to celebrate all those little moments (and hours and days and even weeks) of loveliness that, on the whole make my life a quietly happy one. A combination of factors this winter means that I've struggled to do that recently. Usually I love winter - the cosy, snuggliness of it, the wrapping up warm, the excuse to stay indoors and read and eat custardy puddings. This year though I've found myself desperate for Spring. When it started to snow yesterday - and worse, to settle - I honestly wanted to weep. So resignation was the most positive feeling I could muster this morning when Beautiful Girl wanted to go out and play in the snow. Muttering under my breath, I got wrapped up and we trudged to the park to meet friends. But you know what? We had such fun! We went sledding, we built a snow fort, we spent ages doing nothing more than rolling enormous snow balls into the river in an obviously futile attempt to build an ice bridge. And then eventually we came home, pink-cheeked, cold and tired to hot chocolate complete with marshmallows on the top. You don't get that in May.