Two o’clock this afternoon and the little ones were in transit to the doctors for their flu vaccination and John had just finished the arduous job of mowing the lawn. With sweat on brow he made his way to the terrace. The grass was gilded green and shining with brilliance once more. Reminiscing on ‘leaf fall’ the ton of crispy, now brown, dull leaves have all but gone. Just a handful remain, hanging on to the oaks branches for whatever little time remains for them. The sun was shining and hot. In the shade of the bay window the thermometer read nineteen degrees, but in direct sunlight, it felt like summers embrace once again. Off with my tee shirt and a little sunbathing was had. The middle of October, who would have thought it.
It is now three o’clock and the little ones and I are in the car whilst John is waiting at the school exit. Should be back in ten minutes with the girls. Thor is sleeping like a log and Aaliyah is snoring merrily in the middle. Caleb is awake and thus far being very good. He has just told me that he wants to wee, which is very good as at present we have both Thor and Aaliyah on potty training and we think Caleb is maybe six months off. Aaliyah has just woken up and started groaning and shouting. Five minutes later and the foul mood has just dissipated with the arrival of John and the girls. We’re on the road.
Sindy on lunch, John at home mowing the lawn, the little ones back from preschool, sitting up watching Tee and mo. No nap today, like we could imagine they would, as this afternoon were off to wilds of Devon. A small excursion for them first as they are off to have their flu vaccinations, then back home before we pick up the girls from school. Oooh aaah oooo is all I can hear in the background, that and the little chuckles from the children. The dogs have finally settled down, since the general hyperactivity surrounding lunchtimes.
Jo has picked up the keys so the dogs bestest will be calling in tonight for their evening run and thrice daily until our return on Monday. The dogs are getting excited as their dinnertime is around the corner.
Thor is still coveting his crown. In fact they’re all still in tact. Aaliyah is holding hers crawling along the floor like an army commando on a training exercise. She has just scaled the sofa and thrust her crown on top of my head. Little hands are gently squeezing around my neck. She can be very loving. Oooh, fingers now over my nose and Thor is explaining to me that Aaliyah is on my back and now he wants to have a wee wee. So he’s now sat in the hallway on the potty. The dogs are whining and Thor is now insisting that Aaliyah has bitten him on his jumper (she hadn’t). Aaliyah spins around on the carpet like a whirling Dervish. She is now hugging Remus, still whining and Gracie looks on, unperplexed by it all. Welcome to the world of three year olds. Just a small moment of many, interwoven seamlessly into and surrounding our lives.
Update once we’re on the road.
What might I be talking about tonight? Chips and choices. Am I referring to a secret gambling problem?
Nah – dinner menu of course. We’re really excited about our Devon weekend break to see Alistaire and Lorna. The children’s bags are now packed all except for their swimming togs and armbands. Pretty sure they were stashed away in a bag now residing in the eves. We hid them away after our summer holiday in Le Rouret in the Cote d’Azur. Sindy will have to do a ‘recky’ in the morning. However the provisions bag is packed, including all those things I said they would have to wait until they were at least seven years old to enjoy. At this point, I have to laugh. We don’t do sweets, but crisps and chocolate were unavoidable. They get given sweets in their party bags occasionally (from the multitude of birthday parties) and that is ample. It’s like they have all grown up, once weened off of their diet of milk, on to juice and squash. I am happy now though as if they want a second drink at mealtimes, they are always given ice cold water. A thing they now actually even request. Right, we are all ready for the road trip tomorrow as soon as the girls have finished school. They are all sleeping well so far tonight. I think Sindy must have had words to persuade them not to stay up for two hours on a bedroom rampage.
Okay back to the dinner choices. Clearly I had a few things to clear out of the fridge pre weekend away. Chips were offered to all. Yes, oven chips – I am not an abuser of that deep fat fryer. High days and Holidays me thinks. I’m looking forward to a second usage though. But we had a few things in the fridge to clear out. One portion of lasagne, one portion of Kiddies Cassoulet, one portion of roast pork and Savoy cabbage sautéd in butter and Pea curry (mutter) with chapatti were on offer on our ‘Chips and Choices’ night. Amritsar has helped make chapatti with me before, so she chose the very mild pea curry, Tara the lasagne, then Caleb the pork of all things and Thor and Aaliyah the mutter with chapatti. All was well for thirty seconds until Caleb starts screaming ‘ no, no, no – I eat pea curry’! I said you asked for pork, Sindy said, you asked for pork, but he still screamed. ‘Second choice then Caleb’ I decided, knowing full well that the mutter and chapatti was off the menu for me tonight. I shared out the sausage from the Cassoulet. All were happy. John is back from Dublin but staying in London as he is at a function. I am not cooking for him, so I knew with the children’s dinner choices , I would be enjoying the leftovers. So I have just microwaved a plate of pork, cabbage, the remaining pea curry and oven chips. I’ve never eaten microwaved oven chips before, but in their favour I have to conclude, not actually that bad…
Well a different day today as every Thursday, the little ones attend another preschool and the hours are 9am – 3pm. Their usual weekday hours are 8.30 – 11.30am. They take in a packed lunch today, so I am pretty much redundant after breakfast until the mid afternoon. I sometimes get to escape the house, but today I have been waiting for our Plummer Nick to arrive to assess the cisterns of two of our four toilets. Exciting day for me then. It is almost 2pm and he’s just left with his assessment and will come back to do the work at a later date.
The dogs are very full on, so it’s not really a day off for me. They follow me around from room to room, as they do. But I’m so used to it after ten years of the practice. They used to get fed once daily at 4pm but they seem to live on a twenty three and a half hour cycle. Remus starts to whine an hour of so before his dinner and as a result, I constantly give in a little earlier. Over the past few years 4pm became 3.30pm, then that became 3pm and so on… I now feed them at 1.30pm and that’s soon to become 1pm.
Back to Thor’s day, sorry, Thursday, the not so famous five haven’t broken their crowns made at yesterday’s breakfast quite yet. Though Caleb’s is looking a bit bent and squashed. Thor insisted on wearing his on the school run. The rest happily left there’s on the radiator beside the kitchen table. He and his sister are still at school. But Caleb came home just before midday as he seemingly bumped the back of his head. Now sending a little one home if he was physically sick (vomiting), I get it, but for a bumped head, what’s that all about? He came in with Sindy full of smiles, she left and he finished his packed lunch at the table and I continued to sterilise some jam jars that I had just made. All jam makers know that the latest project needs to be immersed in boiling water for at least fifteen minutes to insure it will stay perfect for the upcoming year (or two) in the cupboard. I’m still not won over by ‘Nigella’s’ just turning them upside down for a few minutes. I finished and then lead Caleb upstairs for his nap. In the absence of Aaliyah and Thor to start playing with, he went down immediately and a kiss and hug later I descended the top flight of stairs. How was The rest of this Thor’s (Thurs)day? I’ll let you know later.
Stood on the terrace, I see some commotion going on in the trees of a neighbours garden. There is a local colony of Ravens. Maybe there are thirty of so in number. The mass of them seem to badgering two or three of their number. They are mid flight and the victims have just flown out of sight! There is a lot of squawking and their numbers seem to be flying from tree to tree in an uneasy manner. I heard that ravens live in highly organised communities and their intelligence is on a par with dogs! Looking at them, they are certainly acting as silly as our two dogs at very least. The three ravens being badgered have re-emerged and are now sitting on the bare branches of our oak tree. Still together, I guess they must be family members. We stick together, through thick and thin, don’t we, families?
It does bring back memories of my time spent on the roof top of the world, Nepal. I spent much of my time there back in mid to late 2015, just post the big earthquake had dominated much of the world news at the time. We lived in an apartment in an area known as Lazimpat, a fairly central suburb of Kathmandu. We had a balcony and lived on the fourth floor. The view was quite special. The city is in the foothills of the great Himalayan mountains. Well, our view on clear days stretched over the city with the craggy mountains, sometimes dancing with the thin, low clouds as a backdrop. Every evening at dusk, without fail, the skies would fill with thousands upon thousands of ravens. Over a forty five minute period, the sky would darken and this black mass of feathered foul would fly in one particular direction. There was clearly a roosting area that they would nightly invade. I guessed one of the now defunct palace gardens, perhaps further afield. Aaliyah and Caleb were just very small babies then! Friends (and nannies) Bharti and Rekha had joined me, flying up from Bombay! They were interesting times…
I am relaxing beside the TV and thought I would end the day with a little update. Johns mum has not been well of recent, so he is over in Dublin for the night. He saw his mum earlier as she had returned home from hospital. He is staying with his sister. I hope that his mum is comfortable. Sending lots of love. He just called and said Sara (his sister) was doing Indian tonight! I had to smile, she had taken from the freezer what she thought were onion bahji’s and they turned out to be meatballs. Me, sat at home on the other hand, have just downed a meal of chapatti and the vegetarian leftovers of Sunday’s curry, mutter (pea) and channa (chick pea). And ironically home made onion bahji’s. I believe Sara is having the meatballs tomorrow. I sympathise as I am so freezer focussed with cooking in bulk and portioning etc, but I’m a bit rubbish with labelling.
The children ate ‘Kiddies Cassoulet’, a favourite of mine and theirs. It’s really posh beans on toast. Easily made and scrummy too. Eight Irish sausages (cut up), one tin of Branston Baked Beans. Sorry for the defection Heinz, but yours taste too sweet (please drop the sugar content). A tin of chopped tomatoes, some seasoning and lots of freshly made breadcrumbs on top.
Since they went to bed, I have only been up three times now to quieten them down – they are now finally silent. They must have crashed with sheer exhaustion.
Gracie escaped the garden earlier and I finally found her after twenty minutes when I heard the snarls of a dog fight. She had slipped through the yew hedge and headed for a neighbours garden where she was sounding off at their Jack Russel. Naughty Gracie.
More tomorrow nite nite
Juicing grapes is a slow process. The first year I attempted to juice our first crop of grapes, in my pure ignorance, I spent two hours trying to pass them through a muslin bag. Or a white pillow case actually. It took hours to release the juice. This years bumper crop of grapes would have taken a couple of days. Anyhow, this year I cropped the vine in 4 stages. The total weight of grapes was in excess of twelve kilograms. Anyhow without child labour this year, I washed the black grapes and filled the very large saucepan I use for jamming then squeezed like mad with my hands. Once juice is released I kept topping up the pan until seventy percent full then to help release more juice I heat until boiling. Now with my trusty new sieve, I’ve gone through three so far this year, I start scooping out the pith and seeds and press firmly on the mixture with a spoon and the final juice is released. I discard the pith. Once boiled and the scum is skimmed, you have pasteurised juice that is fit to make perfect ‘Grape Jelly’.
I thought back to last September, we harvested early. It was a weekend and the weather was mild. Not sure how sunny it was, but I remember John and I had a Pims and lemonade poured. All five little ones had their swimming costumes on. We had been playing ‘The water slide’! Don’t mix up ‘water sliding’ with ‘water boarding’ now. We put down a ten metre strip of black tarpaulin and someone holds the hosepipe at the top of the children’s green slide. The kids love it, so much screaming and shouting and above all sliding. And it’s competitive too. I’ve gone off focus, back to the grape vine. Secateurs in hand and the children’s small paddling pool besides me, I’m pruning away and throwing the bunches of grapes directly into the pool. It’s not long before Tara comes running up screaming ‘Aaliyah hit me, Aaliyah hit me’, then she sees what i am doing. The vine is fifty percent done and the pool is filling up slowly. Tara doesn’t give it a second though. She jumps in and starts squishing with her feet shouting out ‘Ritza, Ritza’ to Amritsar ‘come here it’s fun’. Within minutes the others are over to investigate. First Amritsar and then Thor joins Tara in the paddling pool, both also jumping up and down laughing and screaming. ‘It’s squishy Dadda it’s squishy’ Thor screams and fists clenched tight he stamps harder, one foot after the other. Aaliyah and Caleb were bemused, sat with Daddy at the table on the terrace, under the parasol. Daddy raised his Pims and lemonade and said ‘cheers’. I continued pruning and throwing in the bunches…
So this morning we finished off the ‘Bear Bear Boulders’ and ‘Cheerios’ (we don’t have a pet name for those! I saw the scissors on the counter as I had just used them to open a frozen block of ratatouille. I don’t know why but I started cutting the flaps off each box and then both boxes into three even strips width wise. Then one by one I cut zig zags along one side of each strip. And low and behold, we had six very regal looking crowns. Needless to say the not so famous five all went off to school thinking they were princes and princesses.
The three little ones back for their lunch from preschool had elevated themselves to two Kings and a Queen. And unlike Yesterday’s fiasco, they all three of them ate all of their crunchy toast and salami. No more ‘camp run a muck’ please. Both Sindy and I had a serious word with all three of them and they are now sleeping soundly. All is quiet upstairs.
Yes it certainly is Autumnal. The mornings are dark and it is as dark as Remus’s inky black spots when the children march up the stairs at bedtime . The house has a partial view, out on to woodland. There is even a spill over into the bottom of the garden. One of these trees is a very old oak tree. It is very large, so I guess it is really quite ancient. It’s leaves turn an amazing burnt orange in early to mid September. It really is quite beautiful. It’s leaves have all shed at this point. All of the other trees are just starting their preparations for leaf fall. The vast pallet of greens are yellowing slowly, a few hints of orange, but none look as magnificent as the oak tree at the bottom of the garden…
Just before the not so famous five marched up to bed I had an altercation with Aaliyah. In recent times, since we arrived home from our summer in Provence, she has become so close to Remus and Gracie our two Dalmatians. I guess she actually missed them an awful lot! A friend of the family Jo came in thrice daily to run, walk, water and love them, so they did not have to go to kennels. Aaliyah did not see them as anything but troublesome before the holiday. Since our return home she only has love for them, insisting on hugging Gracie and Remus as much as she can. Of course, Gracie and Remus love the attention very much and they lick and lick lots. No more kissing we always insist. But Aaliyah and Gracie are the best of friends. I do love nick names and each of our five children have their own ‘baby names’… as do Remus and Gracie.
When Tara and Amritsar were just one year old we had a brilliant au pair in London called Essie. And back then she lovingly referred to Remus as Remo (something I picked up on) and I often call Gracie ‘Grace Grace’ as I do with ‘Thor Thor’ (it’s a Thai thing)!
Anyhow – the story is that I referred to Remus and Gracie as ‘Remo and Grace Grace’ and Alliyah was not happy. ‘Their names are Remus and Gracie Dadda’ she shouted and started to get very upset. ‘We all have baby names’ don’t we Bee Bee I insisted. She thought for a moment and said ‘Yes we do Andi’ (Thinking Andi was my baby name) and she giggled. Dadda had to smile.
Firstly I want to roundup my days of the week and their meanings. I completely forgot yesterday as I was so in awe of the fried torn potatoes and a big thumbs up for the deep fat fryer (sorry all). When I do fry, which is no more than once a week, I usually end up patting the excess oil off with countless pieces of kitchen towel. Using the fryer allowed me to drain and shake a few times. I tipped out on to kitchen towel and absolutely no excess oil. There is kitchen science at work here that I won’t go in to, but food absorbs less oil when immersed in very hot fat opposed to cooking in a method such as sauté! Well, back to finishing my summing up of the names of the origins of the days of the week and you probably have figured it out already! Yes, Monday is the day of the Moon, another commodity of time in our lives. Not only do we enjoy it every twenty eight days but we also have a constant reminder of it at the beginning of each and every week. And so now we come to Tuesday, so named after the Nordic god Tiw (also known as Tyr), so Tiwes daag in old English became Tuesday in modern English. Tiw is a pretty cool God and is in fact a brother of Thor and son of Odin.
I am now sat in the kitchen with a full sink of grapes immersed in water. There were a few mouldy bunches that I splatted on the terrace floor, but I think I just about caught them before the last of the crop was doomed. As I said earlier, I will juice tomorrow. The immersion in water is obviously to clean them but also it gets rid of the earwigs who love to make their homes inside these sweet, seeded vine fruits.
My thoughts have returned to the little ones nap time earlier today. Their midday sleep is almost at an end and today is proof of that. Once Sindy went on her lunch, they didn’t settle. I went up three times in the first hour to try and corral them to their beds, but they weren’t having it. On the third visit, I thought it strange that Caleb was holding his duvet completely covering himself. On closer inspection, duvet lowered, he was wearing one of Tara’s out- grown red and white polka dot dresses… it’s not the first time we have caught him in a dress, I think it has something to do with his admiration of big sister Tara (who looks out for him with much care and tenderness) I’m sure he’ll grow out of it. Though it is a worry…
With the two days of constant rain and drizzle now behind us, I am today harvesting the last twenty percent of our ‘Concord’ grape vine. This has been a bumper year due to the phenomenal amount of sunshine and heat. On the other hand, the Apple harvest from the trees in the kitchen garden was appalling. I want to simply juice the remainder of the grapes and then I am planning to freeze it for jamming at another time. If the provisions cupboard could talk, it would say ‘not another Grape Jelly, i’m so full up’!
I have just made the little ones lunch consisting of chunky bread, cheese and Branston pickle and a chilled glass, rather plastic beaker of black current juice. Sindy is on the pickup from preschool and it’s a quarter to midday. Car pulling up so I will get back to this blog in twenty minutes… well twenty minutes have passed and the little ones are settled in their adjoining rooms at the top of the house, our nanny has just exited and gone home for her lunch break. I’m smiling, remembering Thor pulling away his chair from the table leaving it a metre or so behind him, in preference to standing whilst eating his lunch. I took a couple of photos as it seemed quite funny at the time. I was told by Sindy that he had been a bit naughty at preschool and was made to sit on their ‘Thinking Chair’. Probably the reason he wanted to stand. Well with all the theatricals he wasn’t doing much eating. Talking mostly or posing for his photos. Well Aaliyah and Caleb has finished by this time and Thor was making a joke of something. He spun around and his black current drink splashed all over his sandwich. Thor didn’t seem too bothered, he told us that he didn’t want to eat it anyway. He’s funny with cheese, he likes it one day and hates it the next. But he nearly always eats it with pickle, nearly always…
Off to harvest those grapes now. But I will leave the juicing until tomorrow. And maybe I’ll reminisce on last years ‘Grape Harvest’ them.
Well all the children were a bit sleepy at dinner time. But all finished their lasagne as one house rule is that if you leave good food on your plate there’s no room for dessert. And today whilst Sindy went to pick the girls up from school, the little ones and I made jam tarts using my homemade preserves. Thor filled the raspberry jam ones, Caleb filled the black cherry jam ones and Aaliyah filled the pineapple jam tarts. A great contrast of colour, dark purple, red and yellow. Everyone enjoyed!
The three little ones had a shower tonight and the girls will do tomorrow’s hose down. We forgo showers on Saturdays and everyone baths on a Sunday. Then through the week the girls and the little ones take turns on a nightly cycle. All is quiet now and Sindy has gone home. The dogs are quiet on the sofa as they are on weekdays from 5.30pm until 7pm when John arrives home.
A roast dinner is usually the Sunday finale of the week but my assertion on cooking Indian last night and John loving his roast, I have decided to do a ‘Mock Roast’ tonight. Roast pork in home made pork gravy with steamed/sautéed Savoy cabbage and deep fried ‘torn potatoes’.
I think you get the gist that I love my chest freezer as cooking and portioning in bulk makes big meals easy. The sizeable piece of pork – leftovers from the last roast leg of pork meal was defrosted this morning with a freezer bag containing the pork jus (gravy) made with old fashioned Bisto gravy thickener and all the meat juices that the joint submitted. The cold meat is easily sliced thinly or thickly, whichever is your preference and then after whisking the gravy with a little water to become a velvety smooth texture you can add the sliced meat. Simmer on low heat for maybe an hour, but keep an eye on it.
Savoy cabbage shredded with the omission of the hard veiny bit and place in a frying pan with a good spoonful of butter and a little water, salt and pepper. Place on the lid and steam first for maybe 10 minutes stirring occasionally. When the water has evaporated and the leaf is tender – but still with a slight bite, you’re there – just sauté for a few additional minutes. Now ‘Torn Potatoes’ you may ask! Just microwave Maris Pipers or King Edwards (in their skins) for however long they take to cook and leave to cool a little. Remove the skins and cup both of your hands around then apply slight pressure towards the sides and slowly push until the potato breaks into two halves (practice makes perfect). Then break each half into two or three wedges lengthwise. And there you have it – torn potatoes. You can shallow fry and turn after the down side is Golden brown – but if you dare to deep fry, go for it! After a lifetime of caution on deep fat frying – I remember my fathers dependency on it, we only deep fry or sauté maybe twice a week st very most, ((John and I). I just purchased my first ever deep fat fryer and am using it for the first time ever tonight. The multiple ridges of the torn cooked potatoes give a much larger surface area so cooked at a high temperature – these are the best ever potatoes you are ever likely to eat.
Well time to eat. Still quiet upstairs and John and the hounds are perched on the opposite sofa. I am pretty hungry now! So Bon Appetite…
The girls are just in and have changed out of their uniforms. Sindy had just lead all five upstairs to sort out their beds. There was also a mass emptying of their draws last night that they were supposed to clear up after school but Sindy decided to clear up that mess earlier today as even Tara and Amritsar would not have tidied up the clothing with any sense of order. Each and every one of them has amassed a collection of soft toys, books, plastic toys and bits in their beds! There has to be a culling every now and then as all this stuff – enveloped within their bedding must make it awkward to sleep. I think the outcome will be just two soft toys and a book each. Thor tends to be the worst hoarder as he likes to covet things, even scraps of paper and tissue. There’s no hope I despair.
This morning went smoothly. I won’t do a repeat on the average weekday breakfast but they were all out on the school run just after eight o’clock as the preschool starts at eight thirty. It’s just so quiet after they leave, so unlike the the early days when we had five children of three and under. I had to smile when you would hear a comment from a mum stressed out about having three under fives. At this time even the dogs settle for two hours, that is unless there is a car driving past along the driveway. Dalmatians, or at least ours start wining or barking at the slightest sound. I turn on the television to mask some of the external sounds, either the news, music TV or if I’m a bit annoyed with them I leave on children’s television. Both dogs are in the habit of following me from room to room. I used to refer to them as ‘The Shadows’ as I seem to have two of them. Even now I have just left the children with Sindy in the living room to finish writing this as Tara, Caleb and Thor were starting to climb all over me. But yes, I am now in the kitchen and low and behold! Remus and Gracie are standing here staring right up at me. In the past they ignored a few commands so there is a generic one now for ‘settle down’ or ‘go away’ and that is simply ‘on your bed’ said with a certain strength of voice. On hearing this they will generally go back to the living room and get onto the sofa. I have to smile.
Just serving up dinner – home made lasagna made with three hour slow cooked minced pork with masses of garlic. More from me later.
Yes it’s late now and to be honest I’m pretty shattered after a very long day of the onslaught. I certainly don’t want to sugar coat this blog – it is an uphill struggle a lot of the time and today much like many Sundays started with the screams of the little ones and indeed finished with the screams of the little ones.
John passed on a conversation he had with Thor today and this I will share with you!
Thor, have you been playing with my wallet, where are my credit cards? Daddy, I put them away, safe from the little ones! Thor, you are one of the little ones. Daddy, I am big now. So Thor, where did you put them? Daddy, I can’t remember, but they are safe.
Yes Thor has his little ways and we love him all the more for it. Our son certainly entertains us.and the Sun, you know where I’m going – Sunday is clearly named after the Sun.
I cooked an Indian dinner tonight for john and I! Did I tell you I love to cook international cuisine? I got quite good at the flavours of the sub continent when I lived there for eight months. The curry sauce is at the heart of the meal and of course the marinade. I always make the gravy (curry sauce) in bulk and freeze in useable portions. The same is to be said for both ‘channa’ (chickpea curry) and Dal (Yellow lentil curry). I make a very mean chapati (flat bread). Very thin and light, but to be honest paratha is our preference and honestly, you wouldn’t bother to make from scratch as to buy in frozen, pre rolled dough makes so much sense. One defrosted channa made light work and the other defrosted gravy (curry sauce) halved, made a mutter (pea) curry and large red prawns made the other. The real taste of India, very unlike the usual Indian eateries here in the U.K. that fill their standard menu of sauces with vegetable oil to ‘bulk then out’. I actually stopped ordering in Indian food a few years ago as I was sick of being up half the night with indignation.
it is the reaction of the oil with the spice that creates indigestion, not the spice alone, so just omit the vegetable oil.
Knowing the entire meal was made with two teaspoons of oil – duh! Rest assured, healthy and so much tastier too.
Thinking about bed now – so that’s all folks!
I believe it was the Romans’ that gave us a seven day week! Hence the conquered heathens gods were incorporated as well as something of their own. Saturday is indeed in homage to the Roman God And planet Saturn.
Yes of course you could all just google this information – but as our son has his very own day – I thought it would just be a bit of fun. Just had to do a potty run as Thor just left a little bolt of thunder and one needs to be quick as Gracie was sniffing around the said potty – naughty Gracie!!!
06.00 sleeping 06.02 open door invasion bed jumping screaming me escape coffee followed breakfast juice bagels Bedlam settled dogs wining TV talk party spaghetti bolognese screaming drawing Tara Amritsar Daddy party me home little ones dogs feed Caleb scream naughty chair scream bed peace Thor Aaliyah treats chocolate grapes milkshakes me pear peach jam make milk shake Caleb up draw dinner home girls daddy balloons lots pop sweets balloon pop Thor scream balloon pop dogs wining sun set neighbours mowing lawn crazy!!! Bedtime soon everyone running ‘hey google’ (lol) music ‘shake baby shake’ Lush dancing crazy balloons dancing laughing screaming Thor balloon pop laughing laughing screaming Thor flower smiles ‘shake baby shake, again…
Almost bedtime – Phew
Well to my surprise I was informed on my arrival home that our babysitter Nikki was coming tonight! Due to the three nights in Devon next weekend, it seems that her night was brought a week forward to tonight!
Lots of hugs today. Firstly on my arrival home and secondly just before bedtime. I do miss each and every one of them when we are apart, but I do realise that some ‘me’ time is necessary. The contents of the fridge were looking rather slim, so I decided to warm some baguettes from the freezer and fry as much bacon as I could lay my hands on. A huge smearing of Heinz tomato ketchup and we had lift off. Five full tummies and thirty minutes of children’s BBC and they all followed Sindy upstairs for showers and bed.
Johns arrival coincided with Nikki’s. I had been pre warned about it but with nothing booked we thought we would try a local gastro pub and were rewarded with a table, a meal of lamb shanks and a rather nice French Chardonnay. An unexpected night out and for that I am grateful. I am also very thankful for having a TV that works tonight. John just informed me that he eventually found the remote control last night (after 36 hours without) at 10pm at the bottom of the log basket. The usual suspect Thor, post interrogation broke and pointed at Caleb, though the remote was nowhere to be seen. John in his wisdom, later decided to forensically search a few of Caleb’s known hiding places and voila! There it was, hiding in the bottom corner of the basket.
Roll on the weekend… Goodnight
Firstly apologies for an absence of two days. I felt guilty for this time off – sorry once again. Well where was I? Okay, I can’t leave the house midweek, even with Sindy’s help as she has her midday breaks. I am officially house bound. We do go out at weekends as a family but that is more sporadic as a rule. Well I spent 2 nights in London, two very relaxing nights. Time well spent compiling a memoir that I have written. Plus a couple of hours on the town.
These fortnightly breaks have evolved out of needing a sheer break every so often. John of course goes into work daily and returns home exhausted. There’s not a lot to talk about in the twilight hours of the weekdays. Sindy of course has a home to go to and all weekends off, so there’s just me at the house twenty four seven. It’s unlike the early days of children when it’s just so full on – Sindy has a great regiment at home and is happy every two weeks to stay over her lunchtime break. This has allowed two nights to myself to relax and reminisce, or venture out to London’s Soho or the late night scene in Vauxhall. We still have the apartment in London hence every two weeks I ‘escape to the big smoke’.
I went out on Wednesday night ‘Wodins day’ and had an early night on Thursday. I am sure that you have guessed it and I did promise to fill you in on the days of the week and their histories. You already know the sound of the word Thursday and you don’t have to look very far for the God that Thursday is named after. The one and only Thor, god of thunder! Our little boy has extra credence for having his very own ‘Thor’s day’ each and every week.
Now there is some academic discussion on Friday. It’s another Norse God and this time it’s a woman. Firstly there is some debate as the name of the Goddess Frigg doesn’t really anglicise well! It’s just one of those words that doesn’t quite sound right in the spoken English language. So Frigga’s day (Friday), some are associating with another God Freya from another Germanic tribe! The two names are both associated with being the wife of Odin. As we know, Freya is a popular name here in the U.K. today and as it happens, it was one of our girl name choices that was considered before Aaliyah was born. The name Freya that is, not Frigg.
Sat on the train now headed back to ‘the shires’. Back in time no doubt to rustle up the children’s dinner.
I’ll tell you all about it later.
All upstairs now and our nanny has just left. Time to maybe break some eggs! The entire school was participating in ‘Well Being Day’ so sweet… everyone had to dress their egg up as a small baby and look after her or he for the whole day. That’s so thoughtful, the idea of children behaving responsibly and caring for their own little egg.
Well big or small – it always comes back to the little things doesn’t it! Nite nite.