After the flood, tasty croque and birthday boy

30 04 2012

1. It’s a beautiful day and feels especially great after all the rain.  This is how Noah must have felt emerging from the Ark with the pairs of animals following the flood.

2. The Croque Monsieur in Waitrose cafe is unexpectedly good.  Isla gurns at the old ladies behind, who smile back.

3. Happy birthday Mat – a glass of Saumur to celebrate 40 years in the world.


Freed, rainbow and horsing around

29 04 2012

1. The post-party hangover is relatively light, which is a merciful blessing.  Just as everyone is emerging from their bedrooms, Archie manages to lock himself in the bathroom.  Thankfully, Mat and Chris manage to prise open the lock and get him out.

2. The sun comes out in the afternoon and I feel like doing cartwheels in the garden I am that pleased to see it after what feels like so long. I manage to get two loads of washing dried on the line and notice a feint rainbow poking through the clouds.

3. A quick walk down to the Co-op blows a few cobwebs away.  Doris bounces up and down on the Buggy Board, pretending she is riding a horse.  Isla grins.

Gnarly cycling, clockwork and night on the (wet) tiles

28 04 2012

1. The rain is beating down on the windows when we awake but we adopt a ‘hey, we’ll just have to get wet’ attitude and head down to Bedgebury Pinetum for a birthday cycle ride. It’s great to be outside after what feels like incessant rain for two weeks.  It is even dry for the first half of the ride and the picnic and at the end we all huddle under the play park pirate ship for coffee from a flask as the rain drizzles down.

2. Everyone piles back to RTW for birthday cake, cava and presents.  My military plans work like clockwork and everyone is fed, watered and seems to be enjoying themselves. Mission accomplished.

3. Friends old and new out despite the lashing rain to celebrate Mat’s 40th.

Neighbourly revelation, cheerful and birthday begins

27 04 2012

1. I stop and chat with the neighbour whose house is attached to ours.  Often we only have time for a quick hello but today we have chance for a proper talk and he tells me about the previous occupant of his house who secretly buried empty gin bottles in the garden…

2. Sometimes Doris is a little ‘tired and emotional’ by the time I pick her up from nursery on a Friday lunchtime.  ‘She’s been very cheerful today,’ says her keyworker.  ‘Tearful I ask?’ ‘No, cheerful,’ she corrects me. Excellent.

3. The birthday extravaganza begins as guests arrive from all over the country ahead of tomorrow’s bike ride and booze night.  Tonight is very chilled though and, once the kids are in bed we get chance to catch up over pizza and cava.

Grinning, Dumpty and mega chilli

26 04 2012

1. Isla grins as we sing ‘row row row yet boat’ and do the actions, her pearly white new bottom teeth gleaming as she smiles.

2. There is yet another picture of Humpty Dumpty that Doris has coloured in at pre school to bring home – the third this week. I start to think ‘where the hell am I going to put them all?!’ but she has copied the words Humpty Dumpty so nicely and filled in her name with such great care that I couldn’t possibly chuck em.

3. I spend most of the day making a monster, catering-sized chill con carne for Mat’s birthday extravaganza on Saturday.  It’s pretty damned good, even if I do say so myself…

All present, tomato transformation and how the other half live

25 04 2012

1. We take the stick insects back to pre-school a) still alive and b) all of them still in the tank.  I consider this a major achievement. They still creep me out quite a lot though…

2. The tomato seedlings on the windowsill are really thickening out and turning into ‘proper’ plants.

3. For one day only the women’s and men’s changing rooms at swimming are swapped over so we get to see how the other half live.  I love being nosey. However, it turns out the blokes’ room is much bigger and much nicer than ours. Reminds me of the time at secondary school my friend and I dared each other to run through the boys changing rooms and out the other side.  I was so scared of getting caught I didn’t even get chance to have a proper look at anything, shame.

Stamps, stick insects and sticking

24 04 2012

1. It stays dry for the walk into town and Isla very obligingly sleeps so I manage to get lots of things done, although Superdrug has had a run on stamps ahead of next week’s price increase so I am unable to stock up at the lower price.

2. ‘Would you like to take the stick insects home tonight?’ A shiver runs down my spine when one of the teachers from pre-school asks me, as horrible memories of our year 4 stick insects from 30 years ago come flooding back. But Doris is very excited at the prospect so I give them a chance and they’re not so bad.  Just don’t want any of them to escape…

3. Doris ‘helps’ me make Mat’s birthday card and is very good at glueing and writing her name but loses interest when Same Smile comes on Cbeebies.  It’s very satisfying to make something for a change rather than just buy it.