Thursday, 23 December 2010

Well, for once my photo looks current! It was actually taken two years ago - before Lily had the audacity to tower over her older brother. We are very careful now with our photo-taking to ensure the disparity isn't obvious - short of popping Sam onto a box (a la Prince Charles). I'm still convinced he will shoot up when he hits puberty - and if he doesn't, well, so be it. He's gorgeous, and will be in hot demand in an 'Aston from JLS' way!

This has been my first Christmas since starting work, and thank goodness I'm not hosting. I'm a christmas food masochist who needs to make everything from scratch - although I am painfully aware each year that no-one gives a monkeys if your stuffing is from Nigella or Netto. The most effort I made was in 2001 (my first ever 'Christmas at Ours') and made everything from Nigella's 'How To Eat Book'. I had always been deeply impressed with Lidgates Butcher in Notting Hill (posh meat, posh prices, even posher customers) and when I came across her recipe for 'Lidgates Cranberry and Orange Stuffing', I was sold. Shame no-one else was. Hideously bright pink (surely that wasn't the intention?) it poked out of the Turkey's backside like a bad case of piles. I insisted on helping myself to a large portion but struggled to find any merit in the taste either. It was the source of much mirth then and ever since. Please leave well alone if ever tempted!

No, this year the mantle falls to my sister-in-law. She has a very keen cook of a husband too, so I'm hugely looking forward to his grub. My heart always used to sink slightly when we had it at my MILs; she means well, but a frozen Bernard Matthews Butter Ball does not cut the mustard does it? The thing used to come out of the oven swimming in water - not a natural juice in sight. No worries - a quick douse of Bisto (beef) Gravy Granules and Bob's Your Uncle!

What a snob I sound. I hope your Christmas lunch is everything you hope it will be (with a few cold spuds for later). Have a great time!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Last Day

Well, it's all gone pretty smoothly. She loved her day, and can't wait to begin in January. It helps that the uniform is purple (how expensive was that?).

Today is her last day, and she told me this morning that she feels weird. I feel even weirder. I went to the carol service yesterday and felt awkward - I'm sure it's all in my head, but when you move a child away from a school, the implication is that you're not happy with it. I found myself avoiding the glances of the teachers and the other mums, and justifying the decision to those who asked as a 'giving both kids the same opportunities'. Then I wanted to back track and say,'not that this is not a great school, and I'm sure your kids will do really well here, and pass the 11+, and it's not that we have loads of money because we don't, and there'll be no more skiing hols for us for a while etc. etc.' But I didn't. I just felt awkward. Mr G is picking her up today, and just as well actually. There will be tears, and he copes much better with her in those situations. I'm sure a trip to McDonalds will dry those eyes!

I'm in the office today, and meeting up with a couple of old girlfriends tonight. We're going to Benihana - a Japanese restaurant where the chefs cook amazing things at your table. Anyone been to one before? I'm hoping the snow dump that was forecast yesterday doesn't materialise - or I will be stranded in London.....

Friday, 10 December 2010

New School Dramas

My stomach is in a knot as I wait another half an hour before I can go and pick up my daughter after her 'trial' day at her new school. I didn't expect to feel like this, but ever since we told her she was moving it's been a roller-coaster of emotions. One minute she's excited, the next in tears. She has had to do some tests to see if she'll be accepted. I know that she really needs to balls these up to be rejected, but she does suffers from nerves. Will she burst into tears in front of the headmistress when she thinks about the friends she's leaving behind? Will she feel lonely in the playground at lunch? Will she freak out when they play netball in PE, which she has never learned?

Why am I moving her then? Because we already have a son in a private school (there was no place for him in Lily's state school) and I just cannot justify it anymore. I am earning enough to pay for her, and she definitely will benefit from the extra attention and facilities. She is normally super confident in new situations (e.g on a film set, where she knows no-one) so my fingers are crossed.......

Friday, 26 November 2010

From a rock to a hard place?

Look at this - a whole month almost since the last post. How crap is that. I'm so impressed with the bloggers who get something up every day. Could it be that I'm losing enthusiasm since my last post got no comments? Yes, I think that's it - yet I know that it's no good just writing the posts, you have to market yourself to other bloggers if you want an audience, and that takes time - time I just do not seem to have. In addition to work, I have spent November xmas online shopping, sorting out two new cars, researching car & life insurance, driving Lily to extra ballet lessons for exam, home-coaching for said exam, home-coaching for drama presentation, revising Erosion, Tectonic Plates and Volcanoes, having new bedroom furniture fitted, digging out various dirty sportswear from wash bin I haven't had time to wash, entertaining 8 adults and 9 children for Sunday lunch, pleading with my son to do x, y, z without being told......

I watched a great programme on Sky 3 the other day. 'The Real Desperate Housewives'. It made me feel a whole lot better about my life! Basically featuring women who had given up careers which they had thought were crucial to their self-esteem, they found they were more content with their lives having stepped down from the ladder. Most of them were in their 40's and had been brought up in the 1980's, told by their frustrated mothers or academic girls' schools (both in my case) that we owed it to the pioneering feminists to have it all.

I bought into this completely. I had seen what staying in the home all her life had done to my intelligent, opinionated mother. As with most women brought up in the 50's, she married young to get away from home, giving up a place at university to start a family. She missed out on the liberation of the 60's by three years. By the time skirts went above the knee and The Beatles to the top of the charts, she was a housewife in Suburbia with two children and a husband planning a year's trip to Tanzania 'for work'. Why she had me in 1967 I have no idea (well, as a teenager I did hear them arguing once about the merits of that decision - yes, I was a slip up).

I was completely seduced by the media of the day too - Cosmo was forever printing articles about 'How to get Ahead' at work, illustrated with images of beautiful power women with glossy hair and slimline briefcases, knee on desk, perfectly manicured hands around the tie of a weak and feeble male colleague. Advertising was also littered with these depictions of the modern female in charge - Charlie, VW Golf, Clarks, Kenco - this was our destiny, and lo and behold if you even considered the possibility of a family.

I was very good at biology - my mother spent a long time counselling me to go into physiotherapy, chiropody etc. on account of the fact I could do it easily part-time once I had kids. Huh! I wasn't going to work part-time! I wasn't going to have kids! And anyway, I had never seen anyone in the NHS in a shoulder padded suit and heels.

So I took a law degree, began a career in marketing and lived the life. It was no-where near as glamorous as I had been led to believe. There was a lot of stress, not a lot of money, far too much alcohol etc. I still loved it tho' and frankly, felt smug that I had ticked all those boxes.

Then I met Mr G. Now, after a couple of painful relationships, I hadn't had a boyfriend for three years. I was never getting married, or having kids. I was about to buy my first flat, and was interviewing for my next step up the ladder. So getting engaged after eight months, married after a year and pregnant the following winter (just before Millenium eve.....) had definitely not been part of my plan.

Neither had staying at home. But that's exactly what happened. Back in 2000, 6 months maternity leave was the max. I wanted a year with my baby, and my boss said he would have me back part-time any time I wanted. Perfect. Then he moved, there was a re-shuffle, and I was left with no career, and a mortgage we were struggling to pay on one salary. However, the main issue for me was that I was now a full-fledged 'stay-at -home mum'. I had loved my year 'off' from work, but there was no way I wanted to make it permanent! There was only one thing for it - get pregnant again, and at least justify the 'sacrifice' I was making.

And that's the way it stayed for another 8 years. Slowly, slowly, I began to embrace my new role. I was a mother, yes, but a home-maker too. This encompassed all the financial admin, holiday organising, house buying and selling. I hated not having my own money, but I had a husband who never kept tabs, and we shared everything. Money was very tight and we had our fair share of ups and downs adjusting to family life and my role within it. We had always agreed that I would work again, and I'm incredibly lucky to be doing what I'm doing now, but I would be ok with my life if I wasn't. I had a great career and then a family - that is having it all. Bringing up a family is the most important and rewarding job there is, and I really think that it is finally being appreciated as such.

What are your thoughts on this? Are our teenage girls still getting the 'be ballbusters' message or is there now a more measured response to the dilemmas of being a woman in today's workplace?

I know I've only scratched the surface of theses issues - but look at the length of this post! Not the best way of securing comments... I know, I know!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Well, you'll never guess (well, you would if you knew me better) - Sam's crutches got left on the trolley at Charles de Gaulle airport. I blamed the taxi driver, but clearly the fault was mine. The reason they were on the trolley however, and not on Sam's arms, was because he had made a miraculous recovery that morning and said his ankle was fine. I insisted he take the crutches in case the walking in Paris proved too much, but alas, we now had no choice.

Fortunately, it was all good. We stayed in a traditional French 17 century hotel, The Henri IV, and the kids loved it - especially the winding staircase which stretched up 8 floors. The sun shone and we did the works. My feet have never been so sore - God only knows how Sam coped, but he did great.

Can I make a confession tho'? I'm secretly glad it's all out of the way. The next time I go to Paris I want to spend my time languishing over a glorious breakfast, followed by a spot of boutique shopping (and cook-shops! I had to walk past so many fabulous cook-shops on our way to the next 'must-see' on our list that I almost cried). In the afternoon, it would be back to the hotel (Crillon, with any luck...) for a nap, afternoon tea (there are some English customs I take with me everywhere) and an evening out in a fabulous restaurant or smoky jazz club. I will glance out of the cab window (as I am whisked along the left bank) to spy the Eiffel Tower, admire the Notre Dame as I stroll along the Seine, appreciate the splendour of The Louvre from the outside, but I will never again do the tourist trail. I know it makes me sound like a cultural heathen, and I swear if the museum could be closed just for me I would love it - but the more of an old bat I get, the less I am able to cope with crowds, and I want to simply enjoy Paris for what it intrinsically is, rather than what it has on show. That is hard to do with kids. They are not welcome in good restaurants (the food is too sophisticated anyway), they can't drink and they hate shopping.

I'm so glad we did it tho' - I love creating memories for the kids. I had never seen the Eiffel Tower sparkling like it now does on the hour - especially as we were right at the top when it first happened; it's like a thousand flash bulbs going off. When our plane took off at 8pm on Sunday night, Lily caught it shimmering again in the distance and she instantly had the whole plane ooing and ahing. Brilliant.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


It's finally happened - Sam's worst nightmare. He's broken his ankle playing football. Not because he was bravely attempting a sliding tackle or aggressively fending off an opponent while tearing down the wing. No. Sam broke his ankle while stepping on a stationary ball. He has offered up a complicated explanation of how this occurred after a heroic save in the back garden of a friend's house. I have my doubts.

In spite of being in a fair amount of discomfort, he then went to a swimming party, where he was able to climb up and down an inflatable octopus for a good 30 minutes before he realised that the pain was not going away..... This was followed by a trip to A&E where the tiny chip in his ankle bone was magnified for full effect. Fortunately, he wasn't put in plaster as we are going to Paris on Thursday and the doctor felt that an elastic stocking and crutches would suffice. These he found an exciting challenge until the novelty wore off after a couple of hours. I have now had three days of full on whingeing, not helped by Amazon's failure to deliver Fifa 11 which was hastily ordered as a potential distraction, but has merely served as another source of frustration (his and mine - he has just asked me yet again if I did actually order it).

No doubt my next post will be telling you all about Paris and how we got on (and off the Batobus every ten minutes...)

All I can hope for is that it doesn't make him even less reticent on the football field than he already is (see post 'Parental Guilt part 1' below). You never know, it could make him fearless now the worst has happened and he didn't actually die - who knows?

Monday, 18 October 2010


I'm having a wardrobe dilemma. This is nothing new. I have always had problems buying clothes, but now I'm in my 40's, it's got worse. Let me explain. I am not one of those stylish women who effortlessly establish their signature look, which they update each season with the addition of a trend item which says, 'I'm not a slave to fashion, because I have my own unique style, but I do have my finger on the pulse, and will add pieces seamlessly when it works for me'. No no no. If you see me regularly you will know that more often than not my outfit will say, 'yes, here I am again trying desperately to dress with style, but not quite deciding if I am going to embrace my mid 40's and dress at Fenn Wright Manson or cling doggedly to my youth and insist on Top Shop'.

The age problem has not helped the fact that I have started being greedy with styles - one minute wanting to look all rock-chick, the next lady-like in a fifties suit, the next 70's in flares and wedges. I sort of try them all, but cannot settle on one, and it frustrates me. I have read interviews with women who have eclectic wardrobes, and they always say 'I dress to suit my mood; I never feel the same from one day to the next blah blah blah' - and position it as a positive thing. I just end up feeling fake and frustrated that I can't decide on one look and properly invest in it, rather than just bits and pieces of every look that only give me a total of four outfits, because nothing is interchangeable.

You would think that entering middle age would simplify things. You only have two choices really - classic or classic with a twist. Except when you're greedy. And it's very easy to be greedy when fashion is so fabulous and diverse - which let's face it, right now, it is. If you were in your twenties in the 1990's you will get this. It was the worst decade for fashion BY FAR. Look, I like minimalist clothes (as one of my looks of course....) but all we had year after year was dull shift dresses (hopeless on a pear-shape with hollow back), kitten heels (even worse with thick ankles), hipster trousers (flat abs anyone?) tops that barely brushed waistbands, only to reveal a not so tasty muffin top. Clothes were either coma inducing or designed to make your 20-something body feel 40-something. I didn't have the confidence to branch out, but I was desperate for prom dresses, platform heels, sloppy Joe jumpers, high-waisted flares - oh wait, that's what's trendy NOW - right?

So, therein lies my problem. I just want to stick my nose in the fashion trough and suck it up - gorgeous gladiator heels that make you feel fabulously confident (since when did a kitten heel do that?), voluminous layers that are comfy and flattering, whimsical dresses which cinch at the waist (hurrah!), sheepskin jackets that are tough but cosy, military coats which embrace your inner Russian heiress. But there's my perennial problem again - no one style, thoughtfully put together. Just a gluttonous desire to feast without sensible, budget controlled consideration for the merits of the capsule wardrobe. Urgh - even the phrase sends me to sleep. Capsule Wardrobe....snore...

It doesn't help that I am so influenced by my surroundings. I now work in Soho and am regularly exposed to Top Shop Oxford Circus and a myriad of even better boutiques. I buy say, some chunky ankle boots and peg trousers (not too 'mutton') and then won't wear it to the school gates because I'm afraid that the Boden mums in sensible shoes will think I'm trying too hard. Next day I'm in Old Amersham, buried in middle-England conservatism, pop into Phase 8 and find myself buying a nice little waterfall cardie which I wear to pick up the kids but instantly hate when getting dressed for work.

I know I've waffled on, but you can see my problem(s). Does anyone empathise with this double (triple? not sure which) life dilemma or are you all thinking I'm a total flake who needs to get a grip? Better still, and much more fun, just vote for your preferred shoe, and I'll get the picture.

Monday, 4 October 2010


I was having a lovely lie in with Sam on Saturday while reading The Times, which I love, but rarely finish until the following Saturday. I spotted him intently reading the back of the paper I was holding, and I got that warm glow we get when we realise that they do sometimes spontaneously seek to improve their minds all by themselves. After his eyes had left the page, I turned it over to read, ready to have a stimulating discussion about said topical subject:

'I have been faking orgasms for two years - shall I tell my partner?'

Okaaaaaay. Some of you may be aware that in the Times Weekend section, there is a sexual problem page. I was well aware of this, but clearly, in my smugness at having brought up a spontaneously mind-improving 10 yr old, had momentarily forgotten. It crossed my mind that this might be a good opportunity to have 'the chat'. I have been in a slight tizz about this ever since I got wind of a rumour that one of his school friends regularly tunes into the Adult Channel on Sky (yes - really. Apparently just women in sexy underwear rolling around on a bed, but still).

I had already talked about it with Mr. G and he said he was relaxed if I wanted to do it (the chat, not the sexy underwear - don't be ridiculous). Although slightly disconcerting, I welcomed this task as a parenting challenge which could only strengthen our mother & son bond. I now glanced at Sam. He was staring straight up at the ceiling in what I swear looked like slight shock. Then I panicked. I hadn't even planned on getting onto the subject of orgasms at all! I had in fact already sent off for a selection of 'let's talk sex'/'what's happening to me?' type books, but when they arrived I was so horrified at the graphic detail that I hurriedly ordered a 'how are babies made?' type book instead, which I hadn't yet received. Crikey - how could I have the chat without providing the literature for Sam to stare at, thereby freeing him from making eye contact? You see, I really had thought of everything. So I chickened, and put a swift end to our lie-in muttering something about getting Lils to ballet. What a wuss.

The topic remained on my mind all weekend; how I was going to tackle it, phrase my answers to awkward questions etc. However, while we were all lolling on the sofas watching X-Factor on Sunday night, Mr G casually mentioned that he and Sam had had a little discussion about making babies yesterday, and how 'you're all cool with it aren't you Sam?'. I couldn't believe my ears - not only had Mr G unceremoniously trumped me, but then neglected to even bloody mention it! Sam had clearly gone straight to his Dad. Well, I wasn't going to miss out. 'I have a book coming in the post for you Sam - and you can ask me anything you like - anything - you know, give you a woman's perspective and all th...', 'K Mum- whatever' he says, eyes simultaneously rolling while never leaving those of Cheryl Cole....

Have you gone through this parenting rite of passage? How was it for you?

Friday, 1 October 2010


...with my gorgeous new toaster from DeLonghi. This was a complete impulse purchase when my 12yr old Dualit began to consistently burn one side of my toast while barely warming the other. It was a wedding present, and I loved it dearly, but I cannot do with rubbish toast 7am in the morning. Funnily enough in a meeting with a colleague last week we were discussing offline word-of-mouth and she was laughing about her evangelism for her toaster. I quickly emailed her and discovered it was this one. Ten minutes later the white version was on its way.

It arrived just in time to do my lunchtime pitta - perfect! My son, who is poorly, likes his less crispy, so I was able to do that for him as there is a dual setting. What do you think? I do feel disloyal to Dualit - 12 yrs is a good run, but it has no bagel setting (toasts one side more than other). Also this one was £60 as opposed to £140 for the Dualit (gorgeous in Azure blue tho' above).

Let's have a poll - which one would you have gone for? (and, yes that is a bottle of voddy next to the toaster - you never know when a hair of the dog will be required!)

PS - This is not a sponsored post, and I doubt I will do them as it may end up being a conflict with my job.

Monday, 27 September 2010


Had a great night on Friday night with my 1000heads' colleagues Lauren and Roxy, meeting up with some other family bloggers at the Miele Gallery in London. Because I work from home most of the time, I haven't spent much time with my fellow workers, so it was lovely to get to know them better.

We had a cookery demo of the Miele Steam Oven from the lovely Silvana Franco before sitting down to a yummy supper. It was fabulous to meet some of my favourite bloggers and get some tips on increasing my followers - Twitter it is then! Felt weird waking up on Saturday morning; my husband was away and the kids were staying with friends. It must be over ten years since I've had the house to myself in the morning; I thought I would relish it, but when I looked into their rooms I felt really sad to see their empty beds (yes, yes, missed Mr G too!)

My daughter is in a frenzy of excitement - she left at 6.30 this morning on her first day as an extra for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. We live close to Pinewood, and as she has already decided that acting is her calling, I accepted an invitation to sign her up to a kids' extra agency. I've had to carefully manage her expectations re: becoming Johnny or Pen's NBF. She may not even be in the same scenes, let alone meet them. While she's there she is expected to do homework with a tutor (I wouldn't let her do it otherwise); they are only allowed to work for three hours a day at this age. I was concerned that the school wouldn't be keen, but they are very open to allowing the kids these kinds of experiences. I would love to my son to do it, as I think it would give him a lot more confidence, but he's not interested.

The shoot is taking place at Greenwich Naval College - a two hour drive from Pinewood. The other kids she left with this morning had come from Bournemouth and Swindon, so they've already been on the road since 4am. I'm not sure I would be that dedicated to my child's ambitions - I barely made it out of bed at all. What is your opinion on allowing kids to do this work? I wouldn't be keen on her having a major role, and I definitely will not be taking her to any West End auditions either, but what if it was what she really wanted and she showed real talent? Tricky one.

Thursday, 23 September 2010


Ok - quick post, need a rant:

My time is precious - I work 10 - 3 for 4 days a week, giving me one hour a day to sort out house, family stuff, finances etc. Fridays come round and I'm putting on the first wash of the week - you get the picture. Why oh why must I spend at least five minutes a day (or 30 minutes a week) tearing plastic wrapping off badly targeted mailshots (my kids are 10 & 8 and I'm still getting brochures from TGLT co. etc) and separating them out into the recycling. Then, come Friday, I spend at least another 30 mins at the tip throwing away said recycling (my council only comes fortnightly and there wouldn't be room to move if I waited. Plus I have to lug it all down our long drive, so I may as well). It wouldn't be so bad if Boden didn't send me catalogues/leaflets/even newspapers every three days.

I always tick the 'don't contact me with carefully selected offers' box, so God only knows how much those people are getting - and do they all recycle?

Today I received this brochure from the (drumroll..) 'House of Bruar'. As far as I can tell, you need to be popping up to the lodge (along with your pack of spaniels, no kids in sight) every weekend to need anything from this company, and only then if you're into theme dressing (see above). So that'll be me then!

Ok - rant over, I'm not drinking this week, so the tension has been mounting somewhat...

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


I had a magic moment this morning. My son's shirt needed tucking in, and as he always makes a hash of it, I bent down to do it for him. He put his arms around me and the top of his cheek brushed against my eyelid. I was immediately transported back to his babyhood when our cheeks would touch all the time when he was in my arms. I told him, and you could tell he loved hearing about it. Kids love to hear about themselves when they were little. It seems like yesterday to us, but to them it must feel like the deep and distant past.

I remember being his age and looking back on the sixties (the decade I was born in). It really did seem like an ancient era - accentuated by black & white TV and shaky cinefilm. With technology moving on even more quickly in his generation, he must view say, CDs, as dusty relics from a bygone age. He simply couldn't believe it when I told him that email didn't exist when I began my career in 1990. I remember we had a fledgling internal system, and the day the IT Manager announced that we would soon also be able to connect with our clients caused massive excitement.

Mind you, coming back to work after ten years has also brought its own surprises. Everyone now uses email for everything - barely anyone uses the phone at all. When I worked in advertising the office was so loud, I would have to find a room to make an important call. This suits me actually, as I communicate so much better with the written word than the spoken. Yes, I have been told that this is because my brain works slowly....Presentations are now 'decks' and you never see a desk top computer. I actually went to a meeting without my laptop and got a few funny looks.

What other differences? Oh yes - no suits at all, not even for client meetings. Maybe that's my industry but I never see them in shops or magazines anymore. Finally we are freeing ourselves from the need to look like businessmen to be taken seriously. Doesn't explain why we religiously wore them to weddings though - Why?

It doesn't help that I am a good 13 years older than everyone else. I am so surrounded by fresh faces, that I am regularly lulled into a false sense of youthfulness and I get an even bigger shock than usual when looking in the mirror ...

Monday, 20 September 2010

PARENTAL GUILT (part 1...)

Well, all good on the birthday front. Presents went down well, and Fegos came up trumps with a new sausage Eggs Benedict, which hit the spot with me (am a secret Egg McMuffin fan).

We spent the morning watching Sam play football. It's always a frustrating experience; here is a boy who plays brilliant football in the back garden, but hangs back on the pitch. Of course it's a confidence thing (he's a good 3-4 inches shorter than most of the players), and he's not a naturally aggressive kid. It will come in time, but this season they're dropping boys who don't perform from the squad. Seeing as Sam genuinely believes he can be a professional footballer, this may come as a blow...

This is one of the hardest aspects of parenting for me. Dealing with disappointments - theirs and let's face it, your own, is tough. Nothing beats the pride you feel when your kid achieves something but you also feel their pain when things go wrong, and you don't always deal with it in the best way. It's a fine line between teaching them to take responsibility and damaging self- esteem. Then of course comes the guilt if you feel you missed the mark.

At times like these, I often think back to 'Little House on The Prairie'. Ma and Pa Ingalls had it nailed. No yelling or sulking (I'm talking about me, not the kids) just lots of cosy chats on the bed about misdemeanors, with lessons instantly learned forever....oh for life in The Midwest c.1870 (yes I know Nellie Olsen got whipped, but you would wouldn't you?)

Thursday, 16 September 2010


I've spent half an hour wrapping Mr G's presents. He works in interiors and is always brilliant at making an effort with these things so I've reciprocated this year. I've actually been out and bought coordinating gift bags, paper and boxes rather than scrabbling around for stuff I can recycle without him realising. I embarrass him when we are given things in gorgeous wrapping - if it's salvagable I will store it and use it again. I get the habit from my Dad. Last xmas our gifts from him were in the wrapping paper we had used the year before with the old creases showing.....I promise I'm not
that bad. For me it's less about being frugal, and more about not being able to chuck out lovely things. My heart sinks when I buy something which gets put in a lovely thick paper bag with ribbons, because I know I'm going to have to save it!

However, frugality is super-cool at the moment, so finally my Dad is fashionable. He's a war child, so I get it, but it drives MR G mad. We were offered a battered old suitcase with rusty locks the other day, and he still uses the same tea towels we had when I was growing up. It may be the same dish cloth too come to think of it...

Obviously we hang onto things for the sake of memories too. We hear a lot about clearing clutter from our lives, but there are some things I really regret getting rid of. Sometimes I don't even remember throwing them, I just get a sad hollow feeling when I remember they are no longer with me (I'm thinking specifically about a 50's style dress I wore everywhere in my early twenties - so many memories - where did it go?)

Tell me about things you've chucked out and regretted (or are you a secret hoarder?)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


What to write for your first post? It’s like the first line of a novel isn’t it? You imagine lots of fellow bloggers clicking away after three seconds determined never to return.

Today is my husband’s 41st birthday. He’s away and has been for the last three birthdays. We hid a card in his bag, and we’re having his birthday on Sunday instead. To be honest I’m birthdayed out. Both kids have their special days at the end of August, followed by parties once the new term arrives (you’re thinking ‘what possessed her to have them both in August? – hadn’t she heard of the school year cut-off?' Well, yes, and to this day I can’t explain why I did it once, let alone twice).

Poor Mr G; there I am collapsed in a heap from organising all the presents, family and friends celebrations (each with a separate homebaked cake), thank you notes etc. and I can barely muster the enthusiasm to shop for his card. Frankly it’s a good job he’s away because I need those extra few days to go online and spend vast fortunes in P&P getting stuff delivered in record time for his return.

I hope he doesn’t expect Eggs Benedict again this year for breakfast. I’ve attempted them three times in all, and I’ve finally admitted defeat. The hollandaise always curdles if you leave it to stand for three minutes, but even that was easier than poached eggs. I think of myself as a good cook but they are impossible. And don’t tell me to get a plasticy things for the microwave, or a metal thingy to hang off the side of the pan. I’ve tried them ALL, but never achieved that gorgeously plump cloud of delicious promise which gets served up all over America (and which Mr G tucks into every time). I thoroughly enjoyed it when Lisa Faulkener messed them up before going on to win Masterchef. Mind you, Danielle Lloyd did a great job, much to my disbelief.

I think instead I'll plan a brunch at our favourite cafĂ© – let someone else have the cold sweat (and no lunch to prepare - result!).