Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New arrivals

I don't think I've told my lovely readers (for you are all lovely, small and select group that you are) about the new residents at our house.  Here is one:

That's Billy.  His mate, Cuddles (not pictured) is bigger and a kind of rumply tortoiseshell.  I am very fond of him because he looks just like the guinea pig that used to be on Playschool on Wednesday when I was little.  Jack, of Jack and Jill.  We got them a couple of months ago from a shelter and they have been great.  Really tame and pretty and fun to watch.  As they are from a shelter they have been both desexed and microchipped, which is somehow comical.  DH says surely if you lose a guinea pig you just - in the nicest possible way - move on, so the microchipping seems a bit over the top.

Here's my other new baby.  Isn't she beautiful?  Her name's Cora, in case you were wondering.

And also in case you were wondering, no I am not usually the kind of person who names her appliances.  But the KitchenAid is so much more than an appliance!  She's a friend, really.  A friend that makes my kitchen look crap, and causes me to mutter with even more discontent than usual as I try to find things in my hopelessly overstuffed cupboards.  (A pantry!  A pantry!  My kingdom for a pantry!)

I chose Almond Cream over the flashier, more obvious colours.  Although I am almost swayed by that aquamarine one on your blog, Melissa.  I can't tell you how disgusted Abi was with my muted choice though.  She sat there looking at the brochure, swooning over the metallic purple and pastel pink and was totally underwhelmed when I pointed out my favourite.  

I looooooove Cora.  I use her at least four times a week and only have one attachment so far - the grater/slicer one.  I don't have a food processor/blender anymore as it broke, but with Cora and her unnamed friend the cream bamix lurking behind her there, I don't need it.  

I decided Cora needed some new friends, so as our old four-slice toaster was only half-working, and as our ancient blue plastic kettle was, well, really ugly, I got these:

Couldn't get cream, sadly.  But maybe that would have been too matchy, anyway.

Here is something else that happened in our house last week.  We went from this:

to this:

Can you see the little bob?  Abi has been agitating for months to get her hair cut and we finally succumbed.  And she looks adorable.  It really suits her and is so much easier.  I am a bit shamefaced that we held out for so long.  It's her hair after all.

Well, tv time is over, so off I go.  To make salad.  Not in Cora, sadly.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I am experimenting with saying yes more often. I read in someone else's blog that she was doing the same and it definitely resonated with me. I say no to my girls too often. And for no good reason. Because I'm distracted. Because I'm thinking about all the stuff I have to do. Because I, shamefully, sometimes just can't be bothered and want to DO IT MYSELF without the loving 'assistance' of my little girls.

 Well, it won't be so long before they have a thousand things they'd rather do than hang out with me in the kitchen, sitting in front of the cupboard doors, cracking every egg, washing every tomato, peeling every carrot. It won't be too long before they don't want to hold my hand all the time, or snuggle on the couch, or have me dress their babies and pretend to be a little girl. And it will end faster if they come to assume that my answer will probably be 'no' to whatever it is they want.

 So today I said yes when Abi wanted me to be the little girl while she was the mummy. I said yes when she wanted to make some muffins in character. I said yes to using the hitherto banned glitter to make butterflies. And to Evie, my firestorm girl, I said yes to 8 extra serves of chocolate powder in her psyllium-laced milk.

 What do you think? Is saying yes something you have to think about?

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I have been thinking about sisters. Sisters in literature to be precise. They always seem to be used to illustrate opposing characteristics, two sides of the same coin. Elizabeth and Jane, Elinor and Maryanne, Antigone and Ismene, Regan/Goneril and Cordelia. The pretty and the interesting, the sensible and the passionate, the resolute and the gentle, the selfish and the loving.

If one is one thing, does that mean the other can't be? Elizabeth was pretty, but not as beautiful as Jane. Elinor was sensible and practical, but full of concealed passion, nonetheless. Maryanne was not without sense. Jane was too subtle and intelligent a writer to fall totally into either/or, but the last groups I mentioned are more black and white.

Other examples are coming to mind. I Dream of Jeannie and her bad, brunette sister. Cinderella and her step-sisters. Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield (hello SVH!).

I am the mother of sisters. I also have a sister, whom I adore. But she is much younger than I, and the comparisons are not really there to be made when one is a toddler and one a teenager. I can feel in myself the temptation to think of my girls as 'the ___ one', at different times. You know, Abi is sensitive, Evie is confident. Abi is cautious, Evie is bold. Of course, Evie is also sensitive and Abi can be bold, so I feel this maternal labelling, no matter how loving, could limit them in my eyes and in their own.

Do mothers of boy/girl pairs do this? Or mothers of more than two girls?

Abigail Pearl, my heart song, my tender place, my Snow White
Evangeline Flora, my little peach, my joyous girl, my Rose Red

See how addictive? And another pair of diametrically opposed sisters.