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Tea for Two

I tend to experience mild panic if I have to mention the evening meal in conversations. Yes, I know that sounds crazy. But the problem is, in the UK it is a very confusing topic. Tea. Dinner. Supper. Who knows? I fear that I will create a huge misunderstanding and have to embarrassingly explain myself, red in the face and repeating myself (because that’s what I do when I feel uncomfortable).

I have had a looooooong comment thread about this on Facebook, pleading for some clarity on the issue, but all I have discovered is that there is no clarity to be had.

So far I have discovered that dinner is considered the main meal of the day, but this could be lunch or evening – and so for some people (or on some days) dinner means the evening meal while for others it means lunch. See, no clarity! I once invited myself to someone’s house for tea and noticed a rather shocked look on my potential host’s face and had to quickly add that I meant a cup of tea rather than an evening meal (see the first paragraph to picture how well I rectified the situation). In South Africa, if I’d said the same thing, the host would’ve known that I wasn’t talking about supper, but about a hot beverage and perhaps a biscuit if I was lucky.

Anyhoo…. the reason I write this is because I recently found myself in a situation caused by this exact miscommunication. Luckily, it was with good friends so I actually didn’t get all flustered and flushed of face. Here’s how it went down.

Text message from friend, let’s call her L: Do you and little man fancy joining us for tea today?

My first reaction: This is England, she means supper. Hmm, I’ve not been at someone’s house for supper since Little Man came along, but since they eat early, around 5, because of their children, it shouldn’t interfere with our bedtime routines too much. Ok, we can do this. Oh, I’d better check that she does actually mean supper, not a cup of tea.

Text message from me to L: Sounds lush [Yes, I used the word lush. I’m trying to whenever possible. It’s a Gavin & Stacy thing] 🙂 Just say when and we’ll be there!

See how I was trying to figure out the tea/supper quandary by asking what time she wanted us there?

Text message from L: We’ll be in just after 2, so about then would be lovely xxx

Bingo! It’s a cup of tea, not supper!

But then, to throw a spanner in the works, Little Man had a really long nap and I knew we’d be very late. Oh dear, I didn’t want to get there just as they were getting their supper ready and interfere with their plans. So I send a few texts to keep L informed of Little Man’s sleeping patterns, and eventually at around 3pm I phone her.

S: Can we still come over? Sorry we’ll be so late. We don’t want to get in the way of your routines and supper and so on.

L: You do know I meant come for dinner, right?


So much for my super sleuthing… I got it wrong, anyway!!

As I said earlier, luckily they’re good friends so we could have a good ol’ laugh about it. And Little Man and I were very grateful for the nice evening with friends (this was the week LOML was away) and the  * s p e c t a c u l a r * food.

More about the spectacular food tomorrow… 🙂

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Japan

I have avoided writing about Japan.

I can’t even comprehend what’s going on over there.

My brain can’t compute. I don’t think my empathy extends that far.

And I guess that I’ve been avoiding it because if I write posts about every disaster that I see on the news, this blog will just be a constant news stream. How do I decide which disasters to write about and which to ignore? (Yes, I have been ignoring it. Not just ‘avoiding’ it. It’s just too difficult.)

This seems to be one of my ‘things’ at the moment: I’m suddenly very aware of the stuff going on in the world. And I mean the bad stuff.  I’m slowly emerging from my baby-induced bubble and it’s like I’m seeing all the horrible things for the first time. My filters are out of practise. Let’s face it, we all have filters. There is no way we could get  through each day if we couldn’t filter out certain things and just get on with looking after ourselves and our families. But have we become so good at blocking out the awful things that we forget about them completely? Had I become so complacent about poverty, disease and disaster that I’d stopped caring, and now suddenly I feel bombarded by it? My ‘comfort zone’ (for lack of a better description) has been jiggled around a bit, and it’s not pleasant.

I wish I could go out there and solve all the world’s problems. But I feel utterly helpless, and I even feel as though it’s pointless to try to help – I mean, what is my little donation to charity actually going to do? The problems are so big.

 

Sigh. Saying ‘it’s not fair’ is useless. But I can’t stop thinking it.

 

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A Week Of Handmade Valentine’s Ideas: Tuesday

Yes, I know it’s not Tuesday. But yesterday my blog was down, so today will be two-for-one!

In the run-up to the cheesiest of all celebrations, I thought I’d get in the Valentine spirit and hook us all up with some cute ideas, whether to do, or give, or hint at to be given, or to make to *show the love* around your home. I think they’re kinda nice. And not too cliche (in my opinion). Best of all, they’re {mostly} handmade and non-bank breakers.

Special Places Print

Personalised Destination Print via Betsy Benn

I absolutely *love* this idea!

And really there’s no need to pay for it get professionals to do it for you, all you need is a clear font on your computer, a printer and some paper or thin card.

Frame it, or don’t.

Fold it in half to make a card or keep it as a poster.

Hang it up on your fridge with cute magnets, or make a mini version to put in your loved one’s lunch box (okay, WAY TOO CHEESY! Apologies)

And who says it has to be meaningful destinations? What about quotes from a favourite lovey-dovey film? Or your own silly sayings that are like inside jokes just between the two of you?

Endless possibilities, people. Endless!



My own take on this idea, using a quote.

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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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Blogaholic

I am a blogaholic. This was only discovered recently, but I believe that even though caught early on, the onset has been so sudden and so strong that I fear I may never recover.

 

It all started with just one blog. One magnificently wonderful blog.

Under The Sycamore

Ashley Ann is a photographer, and obviously one of those people who can visualise something as just an idea and actually turn it into a real, beautiful thing. She does this with her photos and with her amazing DIY projects. She’s also mum to four children, and doing a pretty darn great job of it by the looks and sounds of things.

Her blog is my daily fix of inspiration. She is always positive and intentional and unpretentious.

*When I grow up I want to be just like her*

Have a look. Now. Well, first look at the tags at the end of this post and if none of them appeal to you, you probably won’t appreciate her blog quite as much as I do.

 

After starting with just reading one blog, I naturally progressed onto others, some of which you will find on my blogroll of links.

If you have any favourites, I would love to hear about them!

Post a comment with the details, and I will check it out.


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Filed under Oh Sweet Handmade, Oh Sweet Life, Oh Sweet Words, Uncategorized

Hello world!

Well, this has been a long time coming… and naturally, since it has taken all day just to figure out how to set up this blog, I have neither time nor inspiration for anything interesting, insightful or funny for my very first post.
But, needless to say, I am excited about this foray into the world of blogging and hope to have something slightly nicer for you to read in the near future.
Peace out!

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