Blustery Bloomin’ Day

Everyone, it seems, is busy today. Yes, I have housework to do, but that is not really optional so I don’t like to think about it.

Confectioner is Confectionising all day. I just mailed her a recipe for proper Turkish Delight from my giant book of Perfect Christmas, Shrek Style. I cannot wait for her Nommy-Wear party next week.

Financier is re-financing, shopping away for all and sundry and not really open to suggestions.

Overlord just rented that bloody new Elder Scrolls game. Goodbye TV for the next 6 days.

Children are snoozing, unfortunately, given it is so late in the day.

I… am networking socially, flicking through aforementioned cookbook and trying to figure out what dinner will be. Maybe LubScouse, Nigella style, although I don’t have Bay leaves. Maybe just pancakes.

I have some cream soda and I ate my Twirl and I am amused by the conversations that go on among friends on this Networking site. (no endorsements here, ha ha!) 

The Socialite is stuck atop a mountain with no food and no transport and while I do feel sympathy, as that is a bit awful, I can relax in the fact that she is at home with a big fire in her stove! Much love sweetheart 😛

The weather is a bit crazy although I have still not even a sniffle of promised snow. Cheesebrained Forecasters. Snow is important to me at this time of year and if you predict and predict and then nothing happens, you should be fired because evidently you are not doing your job right!

Overlord’s family are having several conniptions and a kitten over there. Trunchbull is attempting to mediate between and overly festive Tim (the Toolman) Taylor and the younger son who shall go by the name of Big Yellow. Brownie, the sister, is cloistered, avoiding the fighting. 

I’m not a fan of argumentative households but by gum I wish my house had had a few arguments so I’d have been able to grow some backbone in my youth.

And now, to dissolve myself in the rest of my book and later watch the new Audrey Tatou release. Oh to be French, and live in a city-like area and have lots of mula. Ho hum.

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Cooking and a-baking

I’m a humungo fan of baking. I just wish the ingredients were free. It’s kind of Ina, Giada, Nigella and Guy to discreetly yee-ha the benefits of vanilla extract, but I don’t have 8 euro to spend of a bottle of vanilla smelling oily stuff, the essence does just fine.

I go through phases of baking. I love watching the shows and taking down recipes and trawling sites like FoodBuzz etc for cool alternatives to stuff I haven’t yet made but do sound super good. Last night I made Oatmeal and raisin cookies. They were NOM. So nom in fact, that I brought in 90% of them to Wednesday’s class so I wouldn’t nibble on them at home. I also made gingerbread men. I was testing out a recipe because the last two times have been dismal and I blame European measurements for that. I’m not a fan of Star Spangled Banner and its inhabitants, but they know how to keep it simple  in the recipe department. Cups and spoons, people- all the way.

Sometimes I don’t cook for a whole week, that’s normally when I’m feeling especially shite about the fact that Wednesday won’t eat proper meals at the moment. I slaved away for 45 minutes on a garlicky cheesy pasta with no spicey bits and she wouldn’t even smell it. Sigh. Bug ate it and Overlord ate it and it was a bit tasty but it’s a heck of a bummer when your kid prefers your dessert to your meals. Annabel Karmel can go and shove it, as far as I’m concerned with her salted food and squinkie sushi. My three year old eats German sausage, ham, pepperoni, plain cheddar cheese, plain brown bread, plain baguette, plain fiscelle and pb and J on crackers.

Give me a parent who is not frustrated after a year of this eating style. Yes I know she’s fed and she does eat apples and grapes and drinks lots of water etc and eats as much dairy as she wants but I am sick of non-couture food. I’m not even allowed make jambalaya for Christmas. I could just make it for myself, which now that I think about it, might be a good idea but GOD I am tired of lower middle class , fryer standard. GAAAARRRRRR

 

15 minutes later, I am calm. Children both fed, thank you Pepperoni pizza and now I can relax and plan my Christmas Confections!

Toddler Observation (and Crisis management)

Yesterday was a fun day. Wednesday cowered behind teacher when Overlord came to take her home. Today, Wednesday held fast to a toy phone, similar to the one featured in Toy Story 3 and demanded to bring it to share with Bug. While I do applaud her inane want to share things with the little sister who has not started school, it was, as usual, a little bit embarrassing to think of reasons to extract Wednesday without phone from the class room without a tantrum, fight or statue-like protest. Daddy’s birthday invariably became the reason to leave. I feel sorry now because Overlord will now be faced with a chorus of ‘Happy Birthdays’ tomorrow when we drop her off and pick her up.

I don’t mind this, I think its cute. Overlord, however, will not be best pleased in the manner of Colonel Brandon when Marianne becomes partial to Willoughby. Cue scowl, stompy feet and a ratty temper. He got his birthday gift a while ago so in his view, Birthday is done. But today, after school, we three trotted off ‘doon the toon’ on a Dora style quest to pick up some stuff for him. What followed was a dropped Pretzel, a moping Wednesday, a sleeping Bug, a berry popping Wednesday, a running off Wednesday and… as always.. the demanding Wednesday.

“I want.” Is my most hated phrase in all languages. Well no, I prefer the way it’s forcibly polite in German and just so cultured sounding en francais. Wednesday “I want”-ed about two dozen things before I’d even hit the second aisle of the store and I wasn’t so much fuming as boiling over. I have a ‘hands in pockets’ rule in stores which at this point in her, admittedly, short life, Wednesday seems to enjoy flouting. I know she’s young and she should be a allowed a modicum of self-expression and curiosity but Good God… I am, right now, going to search for a book on how to raise your children the French or Swedish way. Those kids are always immaculately behaved (and dressed) and I want me a piece of that.

Wednesday began pointing out all the flaws and oddities in the customers we passed also.

“Why does she have a red nose?” While POINTING to an old lady in a motorised wheelchair.

“Mommy he did a bum burp” Of the man beside us in the queue.

“That little girl has knotty hair” At a little girl with gorgeous ringlet-style curly hair. Her mother looked at me, seemingly askance, but privately wondering why I couldn’t keep a vocal rein on my beautiful little girl.

We had picked up all our stuff when up all our stuff when Wednesday announced “I’m really really super Big BIG hungry”. Roll shoulders, exhale slowly, crack neck and walk on. This is her complaint after eating a pretzel the size of my head. We get to the far end of street, wherein no stores or cafés lie and she announces her need for the bathroom. Oh boy. Exhale again, give a stern warning to hold it in, pick up Overlord and go home, whereupon, she forgets about her urgent need, sits down to an episode of Poppy Cat and leaks.

Wow, Bridget Jones. You CANNOT complain.

The Egyptian and Israelis

I read about Aliaa Elmahdy a few days ago and thought ‘Well, good for her.” She stripped off and posted a photo of her hair-bow clad self on her blog to highlight her message about freedom of speech which seems to be under serious stigma in the Muslim worlds of Egypt and similar. She was branded all kind of things along the lines of the infamous Jezebel of Bible stories and received quite a few death threats, I’d imagine. 

Then I’m reading the Daily Mail this morning and there’s an article of the 40 Israeli women who followed suit and stripped off in support of Miss Elmahdy, covering their modesty but leaving the message pretty damn visible. 

I have nothing but respect for these women. While quite a few of the older and younger generations and my own, as well, have lambasted her as an ‘attention-seeker’, a ‘slut’ and a ‘fame whore’, is what they are doing much different than burning their bras? Nothing short of full nudity shocks any one any more in these days of sexual and emotional numbness and I think their plea for the allowance of freedom of thought is an admirable one. 

I, unfortunately, don’t really feel strongly about anything except etiquette, eloquence, my children and chocolate to make such an extraordinary step in the step of emancipation of thought and wow, with that kind of strong, progressive and ultimately defining attitude, I might be adding Aliaa Elmahdy to my list of role models for my children. Along with the Duchess of Cambridge, Emma Watson, Aung San Suu Kyi and a few others, I hope Aliaa Elmahdy does continue to think free and inspire.

School Intimidates me

It has always intimidated me. Possibly because I moved around a lot when younger and then we broke routine and settled down in those crucial adolescent years and for me, fitting in was like pulling teeth and I’ve had that done sans- pain relief.
But I’m not in school anymore, not at the ripe old age of.. ahem.. but my little Wednesday is and we got off to a pretty good start. It was all good, teacher, aide and I were getting on fine in the tiny class of 9 kiddlywinks. Then I got sick- was way out of sorts for two weeks and during this time I simply wasn’t able to leave the house so Wednesday did miss out on school. When we eventually got her in there, she came calling her teacher by the full name, rather than ‘Teacher’ and using terms like ‘I’m worried’ and ‘take care of yourself’. Now I am petrified- somewhat inexplicably- about going in there. This morning, I had a wonderful excuse in the form of Bug who is anxious as hell to go to school so as Wednesday was running in the door, Bug began acting up so I swooped her up and out with a hasty farewell through the window. I have to go back and collect her in a while.. or maybe I’ll send Overlord in instead. Still not sure why I’m quite so agitated about re-establishing parent teacher contact, but I hope I get over this hump soon. Mandatory coffee morning is coming up!

True Blood

Wow. Have found a site dedicated to the gloriousness that is Eric, well and Sookie too. Dedicated to them as a couple really and oh boy! Here I was thinking I was loopy as hell for liking Sookie Stackhouse enough to talk about her out loud- but no! The moderator and posters, like me, think Alan Ball has completely skewed up the adaptation for TV, so I now know I am not a complete cynical cow and I might at some point lament the choice of the weak chinned Swede for the role of the hulking great sex pot that is the Viking, but for the moment I can dwell happily in my wonderful little happy sub-fantasy land of vampires and faye and fun things like that!

The big wide world

Today was market day. Not in the old fashioned sense, but in the new fashioned sense. Market day, here, is a parade of well dressed men, women, grannies, granddads, tourists, babies, preggos and even dogs. Overlord, Wednesday, Bug and I ventured out to the market because Overload had a craving for the spit roast pork that one stall sells in a little take-out bucket with fried onions, stuffing, potatoes and crackling and it does smell mighty good. So off we went. Getting down there, we passed the teenagers who dress like they long to be naked but don’t want to show an inch of skin,. I will have a rant some day about leggings. So, yes, teenagers with lycra, moms in tracksuits and dads  with scruffy faces and kids with McDonalds’ faces and knotty hair.

We got to the park. All well and good because Bug invariably falls asleep in the moments before we pass through the gate and then WHAMMO- instant, universal makeover. I swear to god I saw that couple lounging around in the pub in track pants two seconds ago. I know that baby was in a off-white snowsuit and now it’s a pristine pink one. That woman did NOT walk from the train station in stilettos. etc etc etc.

Apparently there is some sort of member’s only subscription to the gate keeper. Pay 100 bucks a week and as you walk through those old, tarnished, yet persistently sky blue gates, you will metamorphose into the likes that could put Heidi Klum and the Klum family to shame. Overlord, walking in his Oakleys and Cantos was nonplussed. I, however, was squirming as Wednesday was in hot pink trackpants, a slightly too short on the arms puffer jacket and wellies. Good God only a moderate amount of mortification would have sufficed. Bug was dressed quite well, in contrast, but was bundled up in the cocoon in the stroller and so her titian hair was the only thing on view for admiration.

I, really not bothered and predominantly lacking any kind of wardrobe was wearing Overlord’s jeans, Overlord’s intentionally outsized white hoodie and the only pair of shoes I own that do not have a wicked heel on them. Add to that, elbow length, fly away, fading dye hair and minimal make-up and I would not have liked to have seen me from another person’s POV. Heck no.

In addition, I’d love to know where these people have the money to buy all these clothes. I thought we were in the biggest job drought to hit Ireland since the famine and yet every second teenage girl has an “I Heart PB” bag and most moms look as though they’ve just walked off Gok Wan, while the children must each have Next’s wardrobe at their disposal. Weep.

Wednesday and Bug have a tonne of clothes, mainly because they have two fairy godmommas in the Financier and the Confectioner who spoil them ROTTEN. All I’m asking is to win the lotto, just a little Lotto, the Monday Millos or something eency weency like that, to smarten up my wardrobe. That or I am going to rack up some cash, buy four pairs of Levis or Wrangler’s, quite a few cowboy, lumberjack and black shirts and long sleeve bits and live like a mountain woman for the rest of my life.

Someday It’ll be sorted. But for now.. I’m going to change into Overlord’s purple lazy boy pants. Because I am at home and not on bloody parade.