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Alexander Residence: 01/12/10 - 01/01/11

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Listography

Kate at Kate Takes 5 has a fab new linky idea, Listography.  What.  a.  brilliant.  idea.  I love a good list.  I spend lots of time writing them so I can lose, abuse and ignore them.

This week the theme is top five good things about having children.  Now this is a list I sometimes lose sight of, so it is very good to come back to it:

1. Children live in the now.  After an early morning flight to Spain earlier this year we found ourselves surrounded by grumpy adults in a slow moving hire car queue. Our kids had everyone smiling again as they pushed each other round on their car seats.  Kids can create magic anywhere, whereas adults waste time waiting for it to start.


2. The joy of playing. I've blogged a bit about this in 2010. Kackel Dackel and Sindy houses. Need I say more?  I reckon you've had enough now of toilet humour.

3. Creativity. I love to paint, stick, glue and glitter alongside children. Children don't give into their inner critic as easily as adults. As a result they are prolific artists who derive huge pleasure from creating.

4.  Let's pretend.  I love children's unihibited ability to play and pretend.  As a Drama teacher I was continually amazed by it.  It's something actors spend ages trying to channel themselves back into.


5. Children's stories. Whether in books, in your head, in their head, on stage, film or TV the magical world of storytelling is a fantastic place to visit.

Kate was right, lists do tell a lot about a person don't they? As I do this the kids are half watching Shrek, there are umpteen million paintings drying in the kitchen.  One is playing mummies and daddies and the other is wielding an Aquadraw set.  It's also been a day with its fair share of stresses, but this reminds me it's so good to pull out the positives.

Looking forward to reading everyone else's lists.

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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Kackel Dackel has arrived!

I blogged last month about Kackel Dackel, the game that involves the dog that poos.  It turns out my lovely brother bought it for Miss L for Christmas.   For some reason you can't get it in the UK, so he had to order it from Dutch Amazon (maybe the Brits are too prudish?)

Basically you feed Kackel Dacekl a ball of playdough, take it in turns to roll the dice to see how many times to pump the lead, and if you are really lucky he poos and you collect it in your shovel.  The winner is the first to collect three poos on their shovel.

It had the whole family in stitches.  This is when we had calmed down a bit, but at least you get to hear the glorious sound effects.



Sorry to lower the tone.  It's so wrong, but I can't tell you how much I needed a laugh like this.

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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing Day leftover pasties


I am no domestic goddess and earlier I tweeted my excitement at boxing day being all about the microwave. Then we found a leftovers pastie suggestion courtesy of able and cole organic delivery company.

We got the pastry recipe from Nigella then each of us made our own pastie out of the leftovers - nut roast, veggie sausages, chopped up roast veg and pots, gravy, peas, broccoli. Mr A snuck some meat in his. You can add cranberry sauce and stuffing too.

Anyway it was totally worth turning the oven on for half an hour for. The kids liked making them too. I am well and truly fit to burst now and might not move off the sofa for some time.

I love Boxing Day, no pressure, no expectation, a chance to actually watch some tv.

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Silent Sunday



Silent Sunday

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Saturday, 25 December 2010

He's been!

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Happy Christmas


Happy Christmas to YOU!

I can't quite believe what a magical adventure my first four months of blogging has been. Looking forward to more adventures in 2011.

Love Penny
x

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The truth behind those Christmas tweets.

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My head is slightly frazzled but after a really challenging day some loose threads suddenly came together.  After reading an article in The Guardian by Oliver Burkeman I've been thinking a lot about the truth behind status updates.  We all know what we tweet and facebook can be a glossier version of reality.

Today I half wrote some tweets but the reality of the 'situation' here at Sickly, Snotty and Stir Crazy Towers was so dismal I couldn't bring myself to tweet them.   I don't want to come across as a whingebag, I'd rather wait until my positive outlook has been replenished. 

Oliver Burkeman's article made me think we should be open about the ups and downs.  Especially at Christmas when we all know that beneath that shiny wrapping we all have some serious challenges to meet.  So this Christmas I thought a more honest blog might be appropriate.

Julie at The Sardine tin challenged me to bleat, for those that haven't met this fab concept it is for those points that are too big to tweet and too small to blog.  I feel a bit like a pathetic sheep lost in a field of snow at the moment.  So in the spirit of being more honest here is my 'interpretation' of bleating, some tweets I did send this week, and some I didn't,  followed by the real warts and all you can't fit in 140 characters.

Just dusted of Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess to make Christmas Biscuits as a family.
The kitchen is covered in flour, we still have to ice the bloomin things, we've all eaten to many and are all on a sugar low.  I'll end up eating most of them and feeling cross with myself.  Watching a festive DVD or making a snowman as a family would be less messy and fraught.  Why didn't I smell a rat when Mr A started buying me cookbooks all those years back?  Where is Mr A?

I do love my mum friends but it does depress me when the conversation turns to washing powder.
I read Metropolitan Mum's post this week, about how she didn't recall 'signing up' for all those extra bits of housework when she became a mum.  Since then I've been on my feminist soapbox (what an unfortunate metaphor).  During our Christmas drinks my friends and I were also having a good old feminist rant, about how we ended up with the lion's share of housework.  Then the conversation turned to washing powder brands, at which point I threatened to leave unless we changed tack.

Kids had huge simultaneous tantrums then fell asleep. Hope this marks the end of their viruses, often find a tantrum works wonders ;)
We all had a tantrum, G was lying on the kitchen floor, L was bawling in the Wendy house and I was sobbing into a pile of wet washing.  Sometimes age 2 and 4 is a magic combination, sometimes it takes every little bit of strength I have not to lose my rag,  today I had no strength.  If you can't beat them join them.  Wishful thinking too, they woke up even grumpier and snottier. 

My dad just reminded me Christmas is just one day. Much needed perspective :)
My dad called while my laptop was dying, the poorly 4yo was shouting for snacks and the poorly 2yo was wailing from his cot.  A much needed pre-Christmas counselling session in which the 4yo was pacified by yet more Cbeebies and I sat in the rocking chair with the 2yo nodding off.  I agreed with my Dad to put the OU assignment aside until after the big day.  The frustration of not getting any studying done because the kids were too ill to go to their morning at nursery is making me a very poor Florence Nightingale.   I twitch and itch when I hear a CBeebies theme tune.

Just handed my husband a Tommee Tippee full of milk and said in all seriousness 'there you go', fortunately didn't give the 2yo my husband's glass of wine.
I am officially losing it ;)  But we laughed, and then I had a much needed G and T or two. 

Happy Christmas, you have to love the silly season, warts and all. 

I would love to invite:

to have a bleat!

If anyone else needs a good pre Christmas bleat please go ahead and comment below (or leave me your link to your bleat)  I offer you a safe space to let the stress out before the big day:

 Allaboutus and such like's fab bleats

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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Gallery - Love


There is nothing more loved in this house than Spencer bear.  Once upon a time, as you can see above,  he was fluffy, his fur was yellow, his eyes sparkled and he had smart clothes.  Now, after two years of hanging with Mr G he is worn, faded, he's lost a lot of weight, his eyes are glazed, quite frankly he is a shadow of his former self.

Here he is over the summer, on the right, drying after his weekly bath, next to emergency bear. 


Spot the difference?  Newly purchased, emergency bear had taken a spin in the washing machine with Spencer bear, in a vain attempt to make him a passable substitute in well, bear emergencies.  Silly idea, even after several washes, the evil infiltrator was detected and thrown out the cot in seconds.  No, to make a real bear takes something very different... love.

All you need is love and I reckon it's going to be a love fest at The Gallery this week.

If I don't see you again before the big day, HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

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Monday, 20 December 2010

The one where I am a playwright

Severe writer's block today, not on here.  No, it appears that today, when I am supposed to be doing "creative writing" I would much rather be blogging.  I am doing an OU Creative Writing course.  My task is to adapt the short story I wrote for my first assignment in to a film or a stage or radio play.  I should be able to do this, I studied Drama, I taught Drama and Film.  But taking plays or films apart, or teaching other people to do it, is proving to be a very different art to putting them together. 

The biggest problem is I have a ghost in my story.  I am scared stiff of putting her on stage as having a ghost on stage has so much potential for naffness.  I know it can be done, but it is a challenge.  I just keep getting haunted by awful visions like this:


I think it could be a good film, I am thinking of Sixth Sense.  It could also be a radio play, but I am only just admitting that my Radio One days are over and that Radio Four might be good listening (I know...I have been missing out), so I can't say it's a medium I know in the same depth.

At the moment I have so many different versions in my notebook it is beginning to look like a series of Friends.  I've also been reading Alan Ayckbourn's Crafty Art of Playmaking.  It's a very useful book but stylistically I am not a huge Ayckbourn fan and I fear his influence is rapidly turning my work into a farce.  Anyway, these are my favourites:

The one where the ghost haunts through the radio while her husband is on a first date and he smashes the radio.

The one where the ghost comes home to find her husband with a new girlfriend but they can't see her

The one where the ghost comes home to find her husband with a new girlfriend and they can see her

The ins and outs of what ghosts can and can't do is a minefield too.  Walk though doors? Be heard? Be seen? How do they travel? 

So anyway, help me out here, which title jumps out at you? 
Radio? Film? Stage?
Any good examples of ghosts in plays or films you can think of to inspire me?









This is part of the BMB Blog hop:



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Saturday, 18 December 2010

Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday


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Friday, 17 December 2010

Dear Julia Donaldson, on rhyming for Northerners.

Dear Julia Donaldson

I think you are an amazing writer and poet.  However, I have a problem with some of your rhymes.  In Stick Man, you rhyme laugh and scarf.  And In Tyrannosaurus Drip, you rhyme can't and plant.  Sorry Julia, but they don't rhyme, not in the North of England.  Each time we get to these bits, and we get there a lot, because my kids love your books, the words stick in my throat.  And the time I had to read Stick Man in public, at playgroup, how humiliating.  Apart from that, we believe you are a complete genius.

Laugh rhymes with phaff, gaff, naff.
Scarf rhymes with barf, hearth,
Plant rhymes with pant,
Can't rhymes with not a lot up North.

Best wishes
Penny

For more Dear So and So letters click the pic:

Dear So and So...


By the way, I've been shortlisted for the Brilliance in Blogging Award, if you've enjoyed reading this, would you take just one little minute to vote for me?  I'm in the first category - Fresh Voice of 2010.  Just click on the flag:


Thank you :) x

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Miffy giveaway result


The winner's of the Miffy lunchboxes were lucky numbers 5 and 14 that's @Katetakes5 and @wendy_mcd83.
Random numbers generated Dec 17 2010 at 14:0:3 by http://www.psychicscience.org/ 

Congratulations, will tweet you to get your addresses.

Thanks for entering. 

If you are still Christmas shopping http://www.miffyshop.co.uk/ has a great selection of Miffy goods which would make great Christmas presents and stocking fillers.

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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Cheat's Guide to Christmas Cards

I've never been totally comfortable with Christmas cards.  I love writing and letters, but all that excess paper always upset the environmentalist in me.  At school I used to donate to charity and give all my friends a chocolate instead.

These days it's trickier.  The family mantra as regards Christmas has always been Keep It Simple.  I do send cards  if I am going to write a letter, to relatives I don't see often.  Last year I discovered the Jib Jab card.  It's much more personal than an ordinary e card.  With Mr A's work and my theatrical background (drama teacher) multimedia just seemed more us too.

So this year I cast us in a disco extravaganza, it took ages to choreograph ;)



It's really simple to do, and people I have emailed it to seem to have appreciated the giggle.  Head over to jib jab for more ideas.  If you are in the US you can even have your mugs transferred onto mugs.  I think you have to pay to join, but no more than a box of Christmas cards.  Make sure if you do cheat though, that you donate something to charity too.  I find it makes the e card an easier pill to swallow.

By the way, I've been shortlisted for the Brilliance in Blogging Award, if you've enjoyed reading this, would you take just one little minute to vote for me?  I'm in the first category - Fresh Voice of 2010.  Just click on the flag:


Thank you :) x

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From play to performance

It's the first week I have joined the Sleep is for the Weak writing workshop and I have been meaning to for so long.  I'm trying to fit in an OU Diploma in Creative Writing, although I keep finding myself blogging instead of doing coursework.  Maybe the writing workshop is a good compromise?

The writing prompts are all to do with remembering and childhood.  This is a mix of seeing the nursery show from my child's perspective (prompt 3), which stimulated some 'bittershiny' baubles of memory of my own childhood experiences of performing (prompt one).

Miss L
Mummy is it nursery today?  Is it the show?  I don't want to be in the show.  I don't want to sing Beatles songs, I want to sing 12345 Once I caught a fish alive.  I don't like it when all the mummies and daddies are staring at me.  It's too loud.  I don't know where we are.  This hall is huge.  Why are we in the church for the show?  Why aren't we in nursery? Everyone is looking at me.  This is where we do playgroup.  With Mummy.  I miss Mummy.  I want to be with Mummy.  I'm poorly. 

Me
Year 1-  I am standing in the school hall at lunch time, small and excited and fresh from running round the playground.  My best friend has dragged me in to audition for the choir.  The teacher hits a note on the piano, it reverberates off the polished wood floors and across to the wall where the pull out wooden climbing frame is fixed.  It sounds beautiful.  She asks me to sing the note back, I do, loud and proud and full of enthusiasm.  She tells me 'No'.  I am sent back to the playground.  My friends can stay.

Year 3 - I am a snowflake, we are doing the Nutcracker.  I have a floaty white costume and I twirl and dance beautifully.  Someone knocks the Christmas tree and lots of decorations fall off,  Tracey says it was me.  I am cross and say it wasn't, but everyone is staring at me afterwards.  Laura says she can see my pants through my costume.  I am cross with mummy for putting me in navy pants, she smiles and tells me how well I did.  She didn't notice the decorations fall off.

Year 6.  We are auditioning for Snow White.  I refuse.  My teacher asks me to 'just read the witch's part' so that Joanne can audition for Snow White.  I make a very scary witch.  The next day I am cast as Snow White.  Jenny teases me and says I'll have to kiss Ian who is the prince.  I cry and refuse to do it.  But something has changed in me.  After Christmas I write and direct a play for my class.

Year 7 - I am cast as Cinderella.  I am supposed to kiss Prince Charming Paul, but we just skip that bit.

It just kept on going from there, I loved Drama at secondary school, I studied it at University and I became a Drama teacher.  It took me time, and lots of encouragement to find my confidence.  And a teacher who cleverly tricked me into performing when the spotlight was elsewhere. 

Confidence is a delicate little bird, it needs to be nurtured and released slowly into the world.  I took Miss L to a drama workshop recently that was about play rather than performance and she absolutely shone.  I know performing is a useful skill, but sometimes it heaps on a whole load of pressure on where it just isn't needed.


Thanks for reading, looking forward to reading the other posts :)

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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Assuming the Ostrich position at Christmas, or a headstand, downward dog, cat, cobra, child's pose, corpse pose for that matter...

Mr G attempts a headstand
I could be blogging about Christmas, but if you hadn't guessed already, I am a bit of an ostrich when it comes to Christmas.  I like to bury my head in the sand/snow, and pretend it isn't happening for as long as possible.  Bit like this picture of Mr G.  So how do i keep calm and carry on? 

I've recently rediscovered yoga.  I have found an amazing teacher whose class keeps me sane.  Every week I feel totally transformed afterwards.  This week I feel on cloud nine, and a bit cheeky.  One week I cried all the way home, but in a really wonderfully cathartic way, some sad feelings that needed to be let out.  By the time I got home I was fixed.  Last week I felt soooooo sleeeeeeeepy.  Next week she is promising to help us feel grounded in the run up to Christmas.  Normally whatever I need to feel I feel, yoga seems to untangle the day for me. 

I've always dipped into yoga and have some good memories.  Lying on the mat relaxing at the end I always have some random thoughts drift by.  Today, my mind drifted back to yoga experiences in my past. Some funny, some magic, one scary.

My very first yoga class was terrifying.  Me and my fellow trainee teacher H ran out into New Cross screaming with a mixture of laughter and shock.  H was white with fear and shrieked most the way home that he felt violated.  The teacher was clearly a sadist, the walls were covered in chains and she spent and hour and a half poking and prodding and sitting on us to get us into positions I have never seen since in a yoga class.  The sort of class that gives yoga a bad name.

I attempted yoga again when me and Mr A first moved in together in Brighton, when our relationship was still young and he would attempt things he thought were silly to impress me.  The teacher of 'Beginners Yoga' used to spend an age demonstrating each pose while Mr A made up his own poses with names like 'taramosalata' behind her back.  It was fun, but for all the wrong reasons.  I found another class with my cousin, it was amazing, like being on drugs without any nasty side effects. After just five minutes breathing and holding my tummy I was smiling like a crazy lady. Since then I've been hooked.

Next me and my teacher friend K attempted yoga, this time in Brixton.  We sabotaged all health benefits each week with a pint of shandy and a packet of crisps in the pub afterwards.  I'm not sure if it was the yoga or the chat, but it got me through one of the most stressful points in my teaching career.

Then there was pregnancy yoga, lots of sitting on swiss/gym/birthing balls discussing our symptoms followed by some very gentle stretches and lots of lying on bean bags.  Heavenly.

And mother and baby yoga.  I absolutely swear by this as the best baby bonding, mother nurturing experience I have found.  I did it with both kids.  I spent some of the time feeding or trying to soothe a grizzly baby rather than participating, but with Mr G especially, I noticed after a few weeks we really settled into it.

Lying there in the relaxation bit tonight, where the teacher comes and helps you stretch your arms and legs, pulling really gently from the wrists and then the ankles and giving them a little squeeze, it suddenly hit me why I love this class so much.  It was such a motherly gesture.  When you spend all your time mothering, yoga gives you some of that back.  It was my mum who first introduced me to yoga and relaxation - both such wonderful gifts which I intend to pass on.

Both my kids are picking up loads of moves from Wayballoo, so I think they'll love kids yoga class when they are a little bit bigger. I'm just waiting until they are both old enough to go together, rather than juggling Mr G while Miss L refuses to participate without me, because stressing me out defeats the object of relaxing them.

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The Gallery - Sparkle

The theme at Tara's lovely Gallery this week is Sparkle.  I nearly gave up, because catching sparkles, well blimey, that sounds like a job for a 'proper' photographer, with special equipment.  Because sparkles are elusive little creatures I reckon, you think you've caught them, but then they dazzle you, leave you blinded and left with a bit of a blur.  Being more of a writer than a photographer I love to yank tease out the story behind my photographs to fit the prompt.  Luckily something sparked.

On Friday night I went out with my Mummy Mates, it's been four years since we met at ante natal classes and we're still going strong.  It's nearly Christmas (Did you know? I try to deny it for as long as possible, while engaging in enthusiastically in all Christmassy pursuits that don't involve shopping). So we shunned our standard issue sweatshirts and jeans stained with all manner of kid stuff, and donned our party frocks and posh shoes for a night of eating, drinking and cackling. 

Sparkly, shabby chic, silver party heels were my shoe of choice.  But hey I don't get out the house that easily, first I had to distract someone else who had taken a shine to them.  Here they are as modelled by Mr G, I reckon between us we caught a sparkle:




Pop over to The Gallery for some more Sparkle


By the way, I've been shortlisted for the Brilliance in Blogging Award, if you've enjoyed reading this, would you take just one little minute to vote for me?  I'm in the first category - Fresh Voice of 2010.  Just click on the flag:


Thank you :) x

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Sunday, 12 December 2010

The must have Christmas present of 1984

I was tweeting about what to buy my 4yo this Christmas, do I buy the Barbie she has seen advertised on telly really wants?  I object to Barbie on lots of levels (pink stinks, unrealistic images of the female body, gender stereotyping, over packaging, not Sindy), but I know deep in my heart that I also really loved my Sindy dolls.  Elsie, who writes the wonderful Babylonlanetales blog and specialises in the art of coveting things, sent me a picture of the Sindy house she bought her 6yo daughter on eBay (very good move).  I was suddenly transported back.  When I was little I so coveted a Sindy house like this:


Look at that pool and roof terrace!

Many years later I found out that one Christmas my parents did buy me a Sindy house. But when my Dad took it home and began to put it together he decided it was badly made heap of plastic junk and took it back to the shop.  Instead I got a Dolls House.  In all fairness, this was a great present which stood the test of time.  Although its occupants upgraded to a larger residence, its contents are still cherished possessions:

Mum's fallen asleep in her dinner, toy's everywhere, nothing new.

Mr A's mum remarked recently that the Dolls House bears a striking resemblance to the real Alexander Residence.  We both peered inside, looked round the room we were stood in, looked back into the Dolls House and went quiet for a moment.  It's scarily spookily true (except we have carpets).   I wonder if this one move by my parents all those years back may have helped define my tastes somewhat. So extending that argument to its logical conclusion...had I been bought a Sindy House, would my house now sport a roof terrace, stables and pool?

I doubt it, so many influences contribute to defining your tastes (and your income). But it hit me that toys can have a huge impact on your life.  And that I am still no closer to knowing what to get the 4yo.  Sorry, I get in some hideous wrangles over the politics of toy buying,  I now know how my parents felt...

So did your toys define you?  What stands out looking back?  What do I get the 4yo for Christmas ;)

By the way, I've been shortlisted for the Brilliance in Blogging Award, if you've enjoyed reading this, would you take just one little minute to vote for me?  I'm in the first category- Fresh Voice of 2010 http://www.bmbblog.co.uk/2010/12/announcing-the-brilliance-in-blogging-short-list-.html

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Saturday, 11 December 2010

Silent Sunday



Silent Sunday

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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

My Year in Facebook Status Updates

I saw this on the wonderful Headhuntress in Hampshire's blog and had to join in. It's an application on facebook that makes a collage of you status updates for the year.  For me it was made by the fact that it got my Race for Life time in. 

There's also an update about a very bizarre event last week.  I received a phone call from an old lady referring to me by name and asking if I was going to be dressing up as Santa at Bardells garden centre the following day.  I actually panicked for a minute, I used to be a drama teacher and thought I might have been volunteered by someone.  Fortunately it was a case of mistaken identity.  I think she might have said Teddy, not Penny.  I hope so, a female Santa, that's scraping the barrel.




If you want to try it, get the app here: http://apps.facebook.com/my-year-in-status  Let me know if you do and we can all link up:

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Gallery - Pearly Whites

The theme at The Gallery is white.  On the drive to playgroup today, the trees were frozen white.  Against the clear blue sky they looked stunning.  I saw lots of photographers out and about.   I probably should have taken five and captured the magic but the kids were wailing.  I wasn't in the mood either, I'm finding ages 2 and 4 combined totally unbearable quite challenging this week.  So instead I took a mental picture. 

Tonight I looked through the photos of my enfants terrible as babies.  There they were wrapped in white hospital blankets and white towelling babygros.  And a special drawer in my heart, which I think I must I have locked in the midst of all the recent tantrums, reopened.  I could see so much of the wonderful, (if a bit headstrong) little people they have become.  And they had lovely pearly newly grown whites to show me:


Miss L and Mr  G aged 11 months and 9 months.

Smile.  It's a new day tommorow. 

Lots more white stuff in The Gallery this week, did you manage to catch the tree pictures I didn't?  I have just seen Tara's post, she did and it's beautiful.  She mentioned the White Witch in Narnia too, funny because that's who I have been mostly emulating this week.  I even wrote that I was a white witch in this post last night, but then I deleted it because I thought white witches are normally good.  So thank you also Tara for the Narnia reference my tired brain was hunting for.

And 'ere can I interest you in a little giveaway I'm hosting to do with a little white rabbit caled Miffy?

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Miss L's Feeling For Snow


Miss L is learning lots of Beatles' songs at pre school at the moment.  Last week I nearly choked on my porridge when she started singing a slightly condensed rendition of When I'm 64 that went: 'When I get older, drinking some wine, many years from now.'  

I think The Beatles are having a bit of an impact on her.  She has been playing in the snow and making up songs about it.  I had my phone to hand and got it down roughly:

The snow fairy lives in your garden.
She will make footprints.
She will go outside.
She might go in your garden.
You might see the footprints.

I love it in your garden so much,
that's where I flutter about.
I can flutter about.
I can flutter about.
I love footprints,
I love footprints,
I love footprints today!
 I love footprints. I do!

The snowflakes fall down to the ground.
And whoosh and whoosh and whoosh!

We love...diddly do!
Diddly do...we love to.
We love...diddly do!

A little Beatlesesque but also reminds me a little of Winnie the Pooh too, when he goes out in the snow and sings 'How cold my toes tiddly pom....', or something like that. 

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Sunday, 5 December 2010

Silent Sleepy Sunday

Arranged by Miss L, photo by me.
Posted by Picasa

Silent Sunday

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Thursday, 2 December 2010

Penny in Miffyland and a GIVEAWAY

Penny was beginning to get very tired of being pregnant, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her husband was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book', thought Penny, 'without pictures or conversation?  And then Penny's Mummy and Daddy suggested a visit to an art gallery.   From behind a pillar appeared a white rabbit... (Thanks to Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)



This was taken when I was pregnant with Miss L (just thought I would make that clear), at an exhibition of Dick Bruna's illustrations at Manchester Art Gallery .  I loved his work as a child but as an adult the exhibition gave me a whole new appreciation.

Bruna used to be in advertising before he went into illustrating kid's books.  I think this really shows in his knack for communicating powerful messages simply.  Although his illustrations are far from simple to create.  Often it can take Bruna all day to get an expression just right. “For me, less is more. I work very hard on tears, making two or three of them, and then finding that one tear is more effective”. 

Miffy is 55 this year, but doesn't look a day over 5.  But even more remarkable, Dick Bruna is 82 and still works every day in his studio in Utrecht.

http://www.miffyshop.co.uk/ has a great selection of Miffy goods which would make great Christmas presents and stocking fillers. With Miss L starting school next year I am very drawn to this Miffy lunchbox:
I also have two to giveaway to two of the people who leave a comment below.  Please remember to tell me how I can contact you. 

For extra entries you are very welcome to tweet 'I have entered the Miffy giveaway http://t.co/UzCsu5i  #win #comp'  /follow my blog/ follow me on twitter @Aresidence/ mention this prize on your blog.  Please leave a separate comment for each you have done so I can allocate a number to each entry. 

Good Luck!  This is open until Thursday 16th December.  I am sorry but UK entries only.

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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Results of the Usborne Giveaway


I can officially announce the winner of the Usborne touchy feely baby Christmas book is: Lou (Congrats - I will tweet you to get your address).

If you didn't win never fear I have another very sweet little giveaway to do with that gorgeous rabbit Miffy.

Thanks for entering.  Enjoy your Christmases with your newborns and take LOTS of pictures!

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