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!

Tea And Cake On The Lawn

Not quite the sunny afternoon that I had envisaged, however it was hot in the sunshine, slightly cooler in the shadow!

We had tea and cake on the lawn – can’t really get any more English than that I guess!

Everybody happy, so not a lot to say! It’s odd isn’t it? When the children are naughty, I have so much more to report on. When there is harmony, I am relatively lost for words!

Trying to keep a smile on things and not dwell on this predicament that we are all in! I know that each and everyone of us has lost something within all of this! But our personal time in lockdown keeps us and others safe, doesn’t it?

More draw to draw reorganisation and tidy up planned for tomorrow! I have to comment that I think we all have at least a couple of unorganised draws and cupboards. I actually found it quite therapeutic. Why don’t you try a mild declutter. You might actually enjoy it as I did and it certainly took my mind off of things! There is a small adrenaline rush that you get whilst tipping unnecessary bits and bobs (hiding away in your house) into the trash! And of course, the odd bit of treasure that you had forgotten that you had!

John has just mentioned that I should write that Thor, whilst jumping on the trampoline this afternoon noted that bouncing made his snot go down quickly(er)!!! You have to smile!

Tidy Up Tidy Up

11am and our household is a busy nest of ‘Tidy Up’. Now, we are not slovenly by any means. Though having said that, I am probably talking about Daddy and Dadda! The children of course are a whirlwind of chaos when it comes to making a mess! I have spent the last 2 hours going from room to room trying to make tidy of the mess that is all around. Daddy had 2 massive outdoor electrical extension sockets with, wait for it, 12 plugs for his ‘home office desk’ in the living room. They have been removed for storage back in the shed. His excuse was that he couldn’t find the white office 4 plug one. He only has his laptop and printer to charge. In my draw to draw reorganisation I found a US to UK single plug and a UK to US double adapter! So, thinking outside of the box, those outdoor extensions are now removed and we have a makeshift double plug adapter (for UK)!

Cushions for the outside sofa on the terrace have just been brought downstairs from the spare bedroom by the girls as we will be spending our afternoon in the garden. The said cushions have not quite made it outside as they are the walls of a maze now being constructed in the living room. Thor is loving being on his iPad once more. I presently sit at the kitchen table and he keeps shouting over the every move that he makes on the app that he is enjoying. He is a very happy boy!

The others are all playing in the new maze. I am about to go back to my tidy up! Tara has just shouted ‘We need a maid, we need a maid’! What! I exclaimed, ‘we made a maze, we made a maze’ she said. I sit here and think! ‘I am amazed’. Now back to the tidy up and that massive pile of washing. Plus it is almost lunchtime!

More later on regards our antics in the garden. Although I have not left the house in over 4 weeks now, we are fortunate to have a large garden. 20 degrees centigrade of sunny springtime promised for today. Another good reason to find a smile I am thinking.

Decisions Decisions Decisions

Early afternoon here in ‘The Shires’ and we have all debunked to the garden! A bit of a chilly mist this morning, reminiscent of those found on cold December days. The blanket of cloud gone now and the warmth of the spring sun can be felt on our faces. A simple lunch of toasted artisan (sun dried tomato) loaf and charcuterie was had, the very essence of spring and summer eating!

I had excavated the bottom of the chest freezer this morning and pulled out a 1kg box of King Prawns. I then realised that they were best before August 2017! I defrosted them and part cooked them, but then felt awkward about my choice not to have just binned them. They have sat there all of this time suspended, little blue icicles, but were they safe to eat? I asked a few people on Twitter what they thought and it was a resounding ‘Don’t Do It’, except for one lovely ladies vote of confidence – thank you for your optimism dear heart!!! But I ultimately decided to go with the majority on this occasion. If not for me, then for the lives of the children I thought.

Anyhow, I finally shaved this morning and I am starting to look a little like my new iPhones emoji! I was playing with two possible looks! My first option was that rather 70’s looking ‘Gringo’ moustache style (can I still say that) or secondly, the Jazz beard – timeless in appearance! I went for the latter!

Another Visit From The Tooth Fairy

Amritsar has had 2 loose teeth as of late and this afternoon the first of those said teeth came out, taking her grand total to 4 at this point! John has just crept up to their bedroom and brought back down a letter addressed to the ‘Tooth Fairy’! She’s not asking for too much is she!

Now filled out and coloured in (as requested), the letter has now made its way back up to the top floor with a shiny new £1 coin.

On an unrelated matter, I have a little update on Thor who has behaved overall pretty well as of late. However, his behaviour pre bedtime tonight has been absolutely appalling. He firstly lashed out at his brother Caleb and then went on to throw his tablet across the room. The screams that were heard after that – well, I do not have words. So, Master Thor has no iPad privileges tomorrow. He even had the bare cheek to scream ‘Naughty Dadda, Naughty Dadda’ at me whilst he screamed and lashed out yet more! All quiet up there now since they went up.

Getting late here. Bedtime soon for Daddy and Dadda. Stay safe and try to smile a little please! I know it is hard in these unprecedented times.

Today Is Just Another Day

Now, I tend to skip breakfast. Yes I know it’s the most important meal of the day, so they say! But the children enjoyed their usual 2 bowls of breakfast cereal. We tend to do ‘baked’ goods at the weekends. Though every day is seeming pretty much like every other day at this point. It’s Friday isn’t it? Yes, Amritsar has just confirmed that it is! She’s very good like that.

Screen time has mellowed them all this morning. Tara and Amritsar have done a number of their school tasks, though Tara is overall trying to avoid completing some of hers. The girls sat in the kitchen with me to do their read a book a day challenge. They are both very good readers, though I am constantly amazed with Amritsar. I think that her academic nature will take her far.

Anyhow, I’m just sterilising 5 x 318ml jars of Dadda’s homemade, home grown grape jelly. I froze plenty of juice in the autumn as well as crabapple juice and apple pulp. I foolishly do not label much of the food that finds its way into the freezer, so it’s always a guessing game as to what I have actually retrieved. And today was no exception. Last night I defrosted apple pulp to help gel this afternoon’s new replacement black cherry jam and I thought that I was making a few jars of crabapple jelly this morning! Now, my sense of taste and smell isn’t the best so I asked Amritsar if the juice was crabapple or grape. Definitely crabapple she exclaimed. Well, 10 minutes into boiling my juice and sugar (equal amounts) I noticed that the jam mixture still looked very liquid! I freaked! ‘Its grape isn’t it’ I muttered to myself. So I quickly grabbed 400g of the apple pulp and stirred it into my mixture. Silly Dadda, but I thought clever enough to realise my folly, given my experience in the gelling abilities of my jams. As you know I do not use any expensive shop purchased pectin. Just apple pulp and lemon juice for Dadda’s jams and jellies!

I might write up both recipes for you tomorrow. But please be sure that both of these are very sexy jams and are best kept from the little ones and enjoyed solely by us grownups. The black cherry one is particularly good on chocolate ice cream with a splash of double cream. Though in fairness to the children, I did use the final jar on their chocolate ganache birthday cake. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, but Wow, that cake was ‘to die for’!

A lunch of chicken samosas and poppadoms was had with a good squeeze of Heinz tomato ketchup. Just as they would have been enjoyed in India! Yes, tomato ketchup is the perfect condiment for such a tasty and moorish lunch!