Ritzy and Tara Teething

I just found some old pictures on my PC that I took whilst living on the JVLR (Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road) in Mumbai. A rather long and ever so slightly smelly link road connecting Mumbai to Powai, a suburb.

I remember that period was quite difficult to deal with regarding my internment there. At that time I felt close to a nervous breakdown. Of course this did not affect my relationship with our two beautiful girls, but I felt devastated when my close friend Kayla returned to the UK. I felt very alone! Just me, 2 beautiful girls, their smiles and the two Indian nannies Manju and Nikki. Thank you for being there Manju and Nikki!

Moon Bathing, A Memory From Last Year

Tonight sees the full moon at its peak for this month, a super moon. However given the relatively cloudless skies, here in ‘The Shires’ this evening, I have just spent the last twenty minutes, taking the time to admire its evocative glare. Here in the crystal clarity of the countryside.

What with the lack of artificial light, the garden is illuminated with a frenzy of sparkles, which are dreamlike within their lustre.

The woodland beyond has taken on a magical, almost fairylike feel.

Okay, I’ve finished my cigarette now and I am heading back inside for a glass of white wine.

So, if you are not entrapped by the glare of the city, spend a minute out there and moon bathe for a few moments. It can be very contemplative.

To Our Nanny Sindy

Tonight’s blog is going out to our nanny Sindy! She has read this diary as well as participating within it from the very beginning (Eighteen Months ago now)! What a coincidence!

It seems fitting that tonight’s full moon should prompt me also to consider this!

Sindy was the very first person to purchase and read my book ‘Eighteen Moons’ available via Amazon (just search the title). The book tells the true story of just how my very special family came to be, fighting unforeseen odds and prejudice. We really did surf the final wave of international surrogacy in India, Thailand and finally Nepal on the rooftop of the world.

We do miss you Sindy, in this time of self isolation. Thank you so much for today’s ‘at arm’ visit at the front door to give the little ones their Easter hunt eggs and the girls birthday gifts. They all wanted me to write this to say thank you and that they loved you and missed you! I look forward to your return once we are through these awkward times!

Another thank you to Sindy is for tonight’s picture! One of the very few ever taken of the entire ‘not so famous five’ standing together without all hell breaking loose!

We hope you and your family are well at this time of uncertainty and worry.

Today’s Portraits of ‘The Other Three’n’Me’

I scoured my photo library on my phone to see if there were any portrait contenders for ‘Today’s Portrait’ but alas, I photograph food, spontaneous group pictures, the dogs, the house, garden, you name it, anything bar closeup and intimate portrait moments. The only answer was to crop and cut on a few ‘action’ pictures!

I did not even take this photo of Thor, rather daddy did a month or two ago whilst playing on our neighbours climbing frame! I did the crop however!

I had to go back one year for Tara’s finest closeup! As you may remember several months ago she stole scissors from school and badly cut hers, Thor’s and Aaliyah’s fringes. Caleb and Amritsar survived relatively unscathed!

Did you know that it was 1960’s fashion photographer David Bailey who masterminded the close crop idea? Cutting the picture in so close makes a more intimate connection with the photographed and the viewer! Do you think it works? Excuse the subject – well, I had to include myself in this didn’t I? On reflection, maybe cutting in works better in action pics – lol. Have a good day!

A Piece of Pie

Daddy and Dadda’s dinner last night consisted of a pie. But what was in that said pie you may ask! And I will come to that in a moment. Do you notice the slight bubbling on the crispy pastry lid? Looks a bit different from your regular golden brown pastry finish doesn’t it. I thought that it would be a great finish on a sweet pie, but this is a savoury one. Necessity is the mother of Invention, isn’t it? Okay, so what did I do that was so different last night? I must thank the panic buyers (of eggs, pasta, flour etc) for this. What with the lack of eggs, I decided to glaze my homemade 50/50 butter and lard pastry pie with double cream (not milk) as I am rationing what is left of our eggs. And voila – an amazingly moorish pie crust.

Dadda’s chicken and mushroom pie with broccoli and butter roast Charlotte potatoes! It was a very tasty dinner indeed.

But what of today? This morning saw 2 x cottage pies (to be cooked later) made for the children’s dinner and the freezer. Another small tip is to use your spatula to smooth the top and indent a pattern anyway you like. Just keep the spatula wet whilst creating your unique finish! Looks even better when browned.

Finally, with all of this extra time, we lunched on a salad Nicoise in the garden. One of my favourite all time recipes. If you are not familiar with this one, just count the ingredients! Mind you, only I had the anchovy filets on mine!

The perfect meal for Summer (and springtime) living. Lunch was enjoyed out on the terrace. I hope this weather lasts a few more days!

The children are all presently amusing themselves with their tablets and the TV. Thor sadly has to watch everyone else on their screens as yet again bad behaviour before bed last night has denied him another day of his iPad! More from me a bit later!

Today’s Portrait (Aaliyah and Caleb)

As a culture, us human beings have rather maxed out on the old portrait, haven’t we? Once upon a time only the super rich were able to possess their doppelgänger in 2D. Now sadly, the image of the portrait is a rather disposable thing, isn’t it?

Like most artistic pursuits, I love an image or object to speak to me! And I thought that tonight’s image did. An artist friend of mine just texted me some beautiful landscape photographs of a local beauty spot, taken before the lockdown! Landscapes also have to say something, be it proportional, depth, colour, lighting etc.

I have a dear friend @michelemartinoli who made me smile last year when she took a few photos of me for my blog! She said that she no longer took a picture in portrait!

Mich has enjoyed a lifetime career as a professional photographer and has photographed so many great, famous and not so famous people. I take my hat off to her for deciding to only take images in landscape and square! This is the new Instagram generation after all. She is a wonderful gal. I take my hat off to her.

Damn, I just thought! I now have to think about photographing the other children for ‘Today’s Portrait’. But give me a day or two! As ever, thank you for reading.

No Blog Today (Maybe a Poem)!

No Blog Today! But you know that I want to, don’t you? Can I sneak in a few lines, perhaps a pic? If so, what do I have! Hmmmh! Maybe just a memory and a Poem to boot.

Here is the only poem that I know off by heart! It adorned the bathroom wall in my fathers house when I was a child! Written by Mabel Lucy Attwell, I remember…

Please remember, don’t forget

Never leave the bathroom wet

Nor leave the soap still in the water

That’s a thing we never alter

Nor leave the towels about the floor

Nor keep the bath an hour or more

When other folks are waiting one

Please don’t forget it isn’t done!

Have a lovely day everyone and give a few hugs to the ones you love!