Friday, December 30, 2005
Antlers Posted by Picasa

We had a gorgeous day yesterday: headed into rural Wales to visit one of Cameron's colleagues who shares a couple of acres of hillside with his wife, dogs, quails, chickens and best of all a couple of hawks (falcons? Not sure.) We had a good bracing walk (my goodness, I am unfit. All my walking these days is done at toddler pace, which has not equipped me for stomping about an icy hill) followed by a delicious long lunch in the warm. Maggie loved playing with the dogs, who were as tall as she is and Very Interested in biscuits. We then went and had a look at the beautiful birds, by which point it was getting dark so we left (roads a bit scary in daylight never mind dark icy snowy sleet).
Today is wet and windy and generally a day for making soup and pies while Maggie tests all her Christmas crafty stuff: we've had paints, pens, chalks and playdough.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Good things:
- House sale is back on, huzzah! What a nice Christmas present - we found out on the 23rd that the same old buyers have re-sold their house. Fingers crossed - again.
- Christmas: we had a lovely one. Lots of food (much cooked by people other than muself), some excellent presents, and a toddler to cheer us all along.
- Gorgeous freezing frosty blue-sky winter days. We walked at Walton Hall this morning and looked at their animals then had a nasty-but-warming coffee (where we were treated to a blow-by-blow account of Christmas at Skegness Butlins: we now know not to do that next year).
- Tomorrow we are venturing into deepest Wales to visit one of Cameron's colleagues on his country estate. Hawks and land and a fine cellar (apparently).
- The house smells delicious as I am making turkeylurkey soup.
Bad things:
- Maggie is a bit poorly and not eating or sleeping.
- Poxy estate agents appear to be shut (perhaps people don't buy houses at this time of year) so I can't tell our sellers that it is all back on.
- Lipstick removed from my handbag, gouged out and applied to the (cream) sofa. Arg.

More good than bad, so that's ok.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Is it really only Tuesday? What a week. Sunday, water poured from my shower through the kitchen ceiling and then the washing machine broke mid-cycle. Yesterday, I nipped upstairs for all of three minutes, coming down to find M on the sofa juggling eggs she had removed from the fridge and the dishwasher detergent (undersink cupboard unlocked because of staring sadly at the washing machine). Fortunately the eggs didn't break and the detergent remained unswallowed, but it felt like a narrow escape.
Today, however, things are looking up. The machine is fixed (good timing, we're just out of nappies) although Cameron did crack the plinth underneath while removing it. Fortune smiled, however, and the screw that no longer goes in the cracked plinth was exactly the correct size to reattach the dishwasher door, which has been hanging for a fortnight. Now we just need to stumble across the screw that holds the seat bit onto M's highchair and we'll be all intact.
Maggie and I went to the NCT Christmas lunch which was lots of fun in a complete bedlam kind of way. And we have nearly got all the decorations up, which I have thoroughly enjoyed this year: I bought lots of special decs while we were in Japan that have never been used. We did decorate our Japanese house but never had a tree, so lots of lovely things didn't find a place.
I went to have my hair cut this afternoon, and for the first time ever was talked out of it by the hairdresser. How odd. I am assuming he wasnted a teabreak, but he reckoned I need to grow it before cutting it and it would just look daft if he tried. So I left. What else could I do?

Monday, December 19, 2005
I'll play
Welcome to the 2005 edition of getting to know your friends. What you are supposed to do is copy this entire blog entry and paste it onto a new blog entry that you'll post. Change all the answers so they apply to you, and then publish! Leave a comment if you do this.The theory is that you will learn a lot of little (random) things about your friends, if you did not know them already.

What time did you get up this morning?
8.15 ish.

Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds. But small, tasteful ones.

What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Harry Potter

What is your favourite TV show?
The only thing we missed while away was University Challenge. I must confess to a sneaky love of Trinny and Susannah, and I am enjoying Bleak House.

What do you usually have for breakfast?
Usually toast; sometime cereal if there is no bread.

Favourite cuisine?
Japanese. Properly done.

What food do you dislike?
I like most things. Not keen on porridge, sprouts or swede.

What is your favourite CD at the moment?
Magic Numbers

Morning or night person?
Can I be a mid-morning person?

Favourite sandwich?
Tuna, mayo and red onion

What characteristic do you despise?

Favourite item of clothing?
Jeans (I might *watch* T & S; I learn nothing.)

If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be?
Costa Rica - I've had a fancy to go since I was about 14.

What colour is your bathroom?

Favourite brand of clothing?
Boden (I am such a middle-class mummy; just watch, I'll have the SUV before you know it)

Where would you retire to?

What was your most memorable birthday?
My 29th - swam in the sea and saw dolphins. Not usual for a January birthday.

Favourite sport to watch?

Who did you least expect to complete this?
No idea. Most of my real-life friends don't have blogs, so they aren't likely to, are they.

Person you expect to complete it first?
I don't expect anyone to do it.

Person who is least busy?
What, in the whole world? Who wrote these questions?

When is your birthday?
January - get my presents in the sale!

What is your shoe size?

Islay and Jura.

Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
Not at the moment, but who knows? One day we might move house.

What did you want to be when you were little?
A teacher. No imagination.

What is your favourite flower?
I love flowers. It would be mean to choose.

What date on the calendar are you looking forward to?
What dates are not on the calendar? Sigh. Um...the date we move. No: the date a few weeks after we move when we start to feel unfrazzled again.

One word to describe the person who you snaffled this from?
It's a secret

Wednesday, December 14, 2005
JCB song. Very cute - let's hope they get their Christmas number one - though some snow or glitter on the video, or some tinkly sleighbells, would have been even better. (Why don't people do proper Christmas songs any more? Meh.)

I've been sampling life as a single mum recently (how do they keep their sanity?). Cameron was out on Friday night, here Saturday and Sunday, then went away to Sussex for some coursey meetingy* thing on Monday. He'll be back tomorrow, but only in time to go to another leaving dinner in the evening - so I won't see him as I am going to stay with my sister in a bid to use up some of my daily word allowance, which has been festering. I had a small chat at the till in Morrisons today: woohoo. Then when I come home on Friday he will already be out at his Christmas bash (we're like the weather people). We hope to be in the same place on Saturday afternoon. In fact, we hope to be in the cinema (I definitely get to choose the film after this week) while Maggie goes with her Aunty Sara to see Santa at the zoo.
I'm feeling very boasty and proud of Maggie (ridiculous, I know: just as ridiculous as those mummies who are proud when their baby sits or stands. But still.) She knows colours: red, orange, pink, purple, blue, black, white, green. She has some trouble with brown, which she assigns to either red or black, depending on the shade. Not very impressive, perhaps...I wasn't that impressed myself until I found this link, which says naming one colour is advanced for 30 months (she's not 21 months yet), and this one, from the Mayo clinic, which says that while most 3-year-olds can sort by colour, most children can't correctly name four colours until they are 5. She is just brilliant. And now I will shut up.
*He's been arranging flowers and folding napkins. Amongst, I assume, other more high-powered activities.

Monday, December 12, 2005
Train 'em young, I say. I was reading this article in the Observer yesterday, Maggie on my knee. The print version was accompanied by pictures of Nicole Kidman and Victoria Beckham, so I pointed them out to Maggie, told her who they are and that they don't eat enough food. She then pointed at them both and said man! He he he.

Sunday, December 11, 2005
Actually, "arg" doesn't even come close. But this is a family blog, so I'll let you supply your own profanities when I tell you we just lost our buyer. (Because she lost her buyer.)

Saturday, December 10, 2005
Very proud of Maggie this week at swimming: we were to put them under water if they didn't mind, and even - if they were ok with it - to let them go and see if they would turn themselves round. The teacher said that she expected Maggie to be the only one to do it! She is a clever underwater swimmer.
Other news: house, Christmas, Cameron out or away completely every night. Am grinding my teeth.

Thursday, December 08, 2005
Am feeling very perky: a manuscript has arrived by request of the author. Apparently I am his favourite editor, which is nice, isn't it. Doesn't stop it being dreadfully tedious though.
No blogging because we've been very busy with Cameron's parents visiting and getting the shower and dishwasher fixed. The boiler packed in overnight too, but mended itself. A relief, because who wants to buy a new boiler just before moving house? (I am feeling pangs of guilt at leaving it to them, but not sufficient to do anything about it.) I went and visited our belongings in Stoke: managed to excavate about halfway into the container and retrieve the Christmas decs, which is the main thing. No sign of cookbooks, however; they must be buried under furniture.

Monday, December 05, 2005
Mermaids Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 01, 2005
Miss Saigon was fantastic: what can I say? I like musicals. It might not be cool but there you are.