Monthly Archives: January 2011

Half a year has gone by…

Wow, today Little Man is 6 months old.

I can’t quite believe how quickly the time has flown by. I mean, everyone warned me it would, but in those first few weeks it’s hard to imagine it EVER feeling like time has passed quickly.


He's Half A Year Old!

Happy Half Birthday!


But, the beautiful boy is half a year old.

And in a few months, I will be 30.

I think it’s time for me to acknowledge that I am, in actual fact, a grown up.


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Anyone Know A Mr Rupert Holmes?

See if you can follow this train of thought:

Borrowed a baby walker = time to start thinking about babyproofing = sort through kitchen cupboards = remove anything sharp, fragile, poisonous from lower cupboards= find the cocktail ingredients from three years ago’s New Year’s Eve party = pino coladas = my first summer in London = cocktails and Rupert Holmes single

Phew. That’s quite a train.

But that is how I got to thinking about pino coladas and getting caught in the rain. About not being into yoga and having half a brain. And Mr One Hit Wonder Rupert Holmes.

We don’t drink very much (hence the cocktail ingredients [read: bottles of the hard stuff] still being in the cupboard, right at the back), but when I do it is usually for some special celebration, and if it doesn’t taste sweet and fruity, I can’t drink it. So pino coladas are my cup of tea (Heehee. Cup of tea. Cocktail. Weird combo). In fact, a pino colada was the first alcohol I ever (knowingly and willingly) drank…

It was 2004. We were newbies in the UK and loving it. It was the start of a great summer in London (yes, they are possible). Fab housemates in our new house. Certainly worth celebrating. Man, we went all out! We hollowed out coconuts and pineapples, bought curly straws and paper umbrellas, and – my first ever online cd purchase – had If You Like Pino Coladas playing in the background.

Ah, those were the days! I had great fun in that house. Some days it feels like just yesterday, other days it’s like another life… it’s a far, far cry from the life I live now. [Which is lots of cry and no far, far.]

Mr Rupert Holmes might have been forgotten, but everyone remembers the pino colada song, and I will always remember my first summer pino colada party 🙂


Now, who’s up for cocktails??

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The Kitchen Table Appreciation Society

Double Teaming on the Changing Table

Before Little Man arrived, my thoughts were all about his arrival. Ouch takes up a lot of brain space! I had thought ahead enough (and made lists and more lists) to pack my hospital bag and get clothes, nappies and a bath, but I really hadn’t thought very much about the practicalities (How can you really prepare when you have no idea how things are actually going to be?), like where we would change his gazillion nappies, or where we would put this baby bath when he was in it.

So when we brought the li’l guy home and had to do the first nappy change, things got a bit chaotic. Suddenly you realise that you need to have everything to hand, and you don’t realise what ‘everything’ is until you’re right in the middle of a really nasty newborn nappy. [Aside – haha! We thought those were nasty?!]

And that is how our kitchen table became our changing station. It was the perfect size for changing mat, nappies, basket of vests and babygro’s, and other sundry items of changing paraphernalia.

Also, when there is a serious case of projectile poop, it lands on the laminate flooring rather than a bedroom carpet. (And quite a bit on Love Of My Life too!)

But, we now have a space-saving changer that you rest on top of the cot, then whip off when you’ve finished and, voila you have your cot back. So I am pleased to announce that WE HAVE OUR KITCHEN TABLE BACK! And boy, do I appreciate it so much more now. Nappies, vests and babygro’s have new homes in drawers, shelves and cupboards where they belong.  And I have somewhere to fold washing. I have somewhere to put stuff when I don’t have time to file it. You know those dishes that, before you can pack them back in the cupboard you first have to unpack the entire contents of that cupboard because it lives right at the back underneath ten other dishes? Now I have somewhere to dump – err, temporarily keep – them until I have time to unpack that cupboard.

And in theory, we now don’t have to eat our meals on our laps anymore… That is going to be a bad habit to break – we are so used to eating dazedly in front of the television.

I grew up eating every meal as a family around the table. And I loved it! It is most certainly something that I want Little Man to grow up doing. Real conversation, proper quality time, enjoying each others’ company…


So I’d better get that washing folded and packed, file away those bank statements and pack those (darn) dishes away.

Let’s eat!

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Ooooh, I want one!

I really want a typewriter.   A proper old manual one, with spindly keys and a noisy carriage and an ink ribbon.

I can get one for a reasonable price on eBay (although the postage cost is usually almost as much, if not more than, the actual typewriter).  The ribbons too, can be sourced fairly easily and cheaply online.
But I am doing the sensible thing and exercising restraint, waiting until I go back to work and we are no longer on maternity leave rations. LOML is impressed with the sensibility of my decision, which feels good, but I still don’t like to wait. In fact, thinking about what I can afford when I go back to work makes me look forward to going back.

Humans are, I think, by nature pretty selfish creatures. And I don’t mean this in a negative, cynical way. I think it’s just a fact. Being married has been revealing for me because my self-centredness clashes with my desire to make someone else happy; to put their needs above mine. And having a child means that I can never be truly selfish again because there is another little person who needs my time and energy more than I do.
So really, I can wait for that typewriter because of my time not my money. I know myself, I am still too selfish to have a typewriter. I will think to myself, Little Man can play by himself for just a couple of minutes while I type this. Instead of being there with him, using my time and my energy on him, playing and cuddling and singing and being.

When I look back on my life, will I regret not hacking away at a noisy typewriter, or not squeezing in every moment I possibly could of my boy’s fleeting babyhood?

I still want a typewriter. But I am not ready for one. Not yet.

Hermes Baby, or My Baby?

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The Depression of the 30’s

The decade of the 1930s saw the Great Depression in the United States and many other countries.


1981 babies are turning 30 this year.

I know some people who are depressed at the thought, but I’m really looking forward to turning 30. It could just be because I’m expecting 2011 to be a good and exciting year. (Weirdly) I’ve even tried telling myself some of the things others are moaning about, but I can’t seem to get the negative things to stick.

So, sorry to those who aren’t happy about the big three-oh, I’ve tried feeling bad because I’m ‘supposed’ to, but I’m psyched! The peer pressure to be pessimistic doesn’t seem to be affecting me.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons I like being this age:
‘Peer pressure’ – who cares?
‘Not a teenager anymore’ – hurray!
Highschool is so very, very far behind me now.
I reckon 30 is the new 20.
Bring it on 🙂

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At long last – the promised brownie recipe 🙂

Preheat oven to 140 deg C

Melt 110g butter (I use real butter, not margarine, melted in a bowl in the microwave)
Stir in 2 cups of white sugar, then 3 beaten eggs.

Sift (if you really want to!) and add:
1 and 1/2 cups plain/cake flour
9 Tablespoons cocoa
Generous pinch salt

Mix well and add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence.
Stir together, spread on a baking tray (greased or lined with baking paper).

1. 15-20 minutes at 140 deg C
2. 10-15 minutes at 100 deg C

Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares.
They are deeeeeelish eaten still hot, or served warm as a dessert with strawberries and ice cream. They keep well in an airtight container, if they last that long.

*Baking times: I go for the middle ground when it comes to the baking times – 18 minutes at the hotter temperature, then 12 minutes at the cooler temperature. I also sometimes leave the tray in the oven for a while after I’ve turned it off… as the oven cools, it leaves the top with a thin, flaky crust while the insides remain nice and soft. But often I just can’t wait that long and take them out as soon as possible!

And please remember, every oven is different, so you may want to experiment a little with the timings.


Filed under Oh Sweet Chocolate, Oh Sweet Food, Oh Sweet Handmade

I Say Po-Tay-To, You Say Po-Tah-to

I am, right now, sitting in Little Man’s darkened room. He’s asleep at last and I intend to keep him that way as long as possible. Which is why I am here in the dark holding him. Sigh. Usually I quite enjoy this quiet time – perfect for catching up on Facebook and emails* or Googling random things – but today I am hungry… so I keep Googling about food and making it worse (why do I do this to myself?) I was thinking – dreaming – about tonight’s jacket potatoes, when I came across a whole site dedicated to the wonderful potato.

When it comes to my Food Favourites, potatoes are way up there (okay, okay, I have lots of favourites but potatoes are really high on the list). I could easily eat potatoes every night, and usually would prefer them as the main (only?) part of the meal instead of a measly side.

So I was excited to see a whole website dedicated to the love of potatoes… so excited/obsessed/hungry that I had to blog about it.

And now back to my hunger-induced imaginings… Soon I shall be biting into a perfectly baked potato – HOT HOT HOT, crisp skin, soft insides. Hmmm… what are you eating tonight??

Sidetrack: I also noticed a link to a potato growing project for schools… guess what I want to do when I go back to work?

*E-mail vs Email: I’ve dropped the hyphen these days. Anyone else do that too? Are there cyberspace rules about this?

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