Saturday, 30 January 2010

Simultaneous Snow and Spring

On the way home from school yesterday I drove under a grey cannonball that came rolling heavily down from Carnmoney Hill. As it crushed all the light from around the car I realised that I had driven into a horizontal snowstorm. Most dramatic!

I share this to justify the fact that at 10pm, when three strawberries came crunching through the moonlit snow from Prince Charming's gig last night, it didn't seem at all unreasonable to be sledging in the garden for half a moonlit hour! They'll only be five and six for a little while, and it wasn't a school night, and I know you'll not tell my health visitor!

Thus it has been that Jojo has slept all afternoon. Mattman was taken earlier to a birthday party, so the house turned out to be most strangely quiet. I did wonder aloud that in years to come all Saturdays could be like this. PC was obviously struck, and instantly reached for the first baby ever born into this house. I too found things to do...

Not including this....

ps Prince Charming points out that his Lowden is nicer than the one shown here- his has gold tuning knobs...

Friday, 29 January 2010

Key men

I actually think he looks a bit like Camus here, which is still another link between Catcher and l'Etranger. Both very high books in my "Read and Wasn't Ever Quite The Same Again" list.

I may actually make one of Prince Charming's gigs tonight- if only because he's playing at the (very beautiful) church at the very end of our street, and at a relatively (excuse the pun) child-friendly event!

Some men have great power.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Happy Birthday, Crafting Catherine!

There has been surreptitious crafting around these parts for a fortnight. Lies have, admittedly, been told to keep CC off the scent. But all was forgiven during the three hours and twenty minutes of Bean Craftin' this morning!

Our little craft group celebrated Catherine's birthday one day early- my fault, work tomorrow! Niqi took her off to inspect white goods while Lorna and I hung the newly made banner, and assembled the fabulous button cake that she had made- on the cake stand that was our present for the birthday girl.

More and better photos will I'm sure be on Catherine's blog soon! But I wanted to post a little cameo of last minute button sewing late last night!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Now. HERE IT IS! Let's take a little moment just to peruse.....

Maybe we should look at it again.....

Two degrees, two children, and many adventures under the belt. But this is a Blog Award. Quite a new experience! Since August have I read blogs, marvelled at blogs, envied the awards and the give-aways. Hmmm. Hubris moment!

Apparently I now have to give it away? I have to share the love. Oh, alright, then.

I'll start with those to whom I can't give it. Crafting Catherine gave it to me, and also to Attic 24, Jane Brocket (where all this crazy domesticity, blogging, needles, arty photo obsession thing started with that first book of hers at Christmas 2008), Floss, Vintage Vicki, and Pretty Far West. So despite the fact that I read these blogs as often as I read blogs, I imagine I don't send them the same award in two days?

Therefore, I am unrolling a virtual red carpet for the following places where I hide my head in this little corner of the kitchen whenever I can....

...the sight of morning... is my remaining favourite. Intelligent, nay erudite; fine in the sense that china and art and perfection are fine! And likewise domesticali has been on my Favourites list from long before I thought about blogging itself. Blogs were mere windows into a world that I still admire with the detachment of having no particular hook (, needle or wooden spoon) of speciality. Knitting Iris would be such a window.

However now am I able to scroll through a Dashboard and so I'll add the deepest place on the Internet. So intimately real that it transcends anything else in this context. A Holy Experience. You have to read it for yourself.

And in the spirit of a Sunshine Award, my goodness, how can you read these ladies and not smile as you race to the kitchen despite the certain knowledge that you don't have corn oil in the store cupboard- The Big Stove.

He's never very far away, my Prince Charming, so he can have my last nomination for Worship and a Wild Life, which is the scarce but thinking portion of strawberry life.

And if a certain Lady Wendy would get her blog onto the grid she would be here too- that will definitely be one worth waiting for.... (And Floss, noted is the obscurity. I have much to ponder!)

Monday, 25 January 2010

holy experience

140. A sunshine award from Crafting Catherine has just arrived... I'm speechless. This is the mark of a real blog! I haven't worked out to do with it yet, but it will displayed with all the HUBRIS it deserves tomorrow!

141. Cooking Catherine called in for tea and chat this evening; 142. I had an interesting morning, of which no more can currently be said; 143. Prince Charming came to swimming lessons again this week which preserved some sanity. 144. A not disastrous day!

145. The GP I've been seeing at our surgery has listened and acted on my behalf and more interesting times await, I imagine. 146. Already I feel less anxious about being anxious!

146. One more day at home before school on Wednesday- again! Because that is a really super part of Monday night! 147. Although I should remember that it's Open Night at school tomorrow- thanks for the three Year 9s who will do their little cafe roleplay- for potentially four hours!

148. The General Inspection has now started in school, and colleagues are one day through. 149. No Inspector is scheduled to see me at all- dare I hope that this remains the case?!

150. Suns are most mindful of the news from Haiti, and pray more regularly than their bigger strawberries. Mattman beautifully asked to pray for Haiti at Sunday School. 151. is for the workers at Christian Aid and ailleurs...

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Can we have a story?

Not one from the shelves; one from your mouth?

This is the not-made-up-by-mum story that we've been reading in instalments over the weekend. We brought it home from the school's Book Fair on Tuesday, where I had, I felt, volunteered valiantly! Our first nearly Read It Himself by Allan Ahlberg- and we're hooked!

Mystery, humour, suspense. And a fridge that spells out its own magnetic letters. I genuinely thought it had it all- if you can both enjoy it as you read it to them, it has to be fabulous.

So, what with Book Club on Friday, we've all had a nice, booky weekend!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Sunny Saturday for Buns

Pretty Far West had a fabulously sophisticated fairy cake post yesterday, so we'll refer to ours as buns- good, honest, wholly unsophisticated buns!

Famished Four return from park and what do they need?

Sustenance and recreation long enough to hail the return of the parent of two.

Yum yum, miam miam; well done, Cooking Amy!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Mental maths

So I'm standing in an orderly line waiting to be called. I am occupying myself in constructive fashion, neither fidgeting nor prodding the people on either side of me. I am not whispering comments designed to amuse or denigrate. I am practising being clear-minded!

I am endeavouring to calculate the sum of the individual items that I have ordered. I am waiting for two things at £1.80 each. This comes from the top of the board on the left. From the bottom of this list I take £2.85. Moving across to the wider board in the middle I am concerned with one £2.00 and one £1.50.

I attempt six times to total all five things. I am ashamed to say that I came up with six different answers each time! One of them was, at least, correct. Needless to say Prince Charming got it right first time and with alacrity. (No writing down of the sum was permitted!)

Answers on a postcard, or in a comment, please!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


What a word. I like it a lot. It lies between hilarity and hysteria in the dictionary, and I think I'd like some!

Yes, that's definitely what I'm looking for in here.

Monday, 18 January 2010

holy experience

(Click on the link through this top box to see how the gratitude thing should really be done.)

131. "This butcher's bread makes me much happy."
132. Fresh crusty brown seeded bread from the baker's and the friend to eat it with.
133. Enough of Cooking Catherine's Boxing Day Chutney left to slather on the cheese.
134. New mornings, new weeks; the camera is still rolling.
135. Prince Charming has washed not only the mirey casserole dish, but also the dining room floor.
136. Book Club on Friday night.
137. Another day at home before school on Wednesday.
138. Swimming lessons with teachers more patient than mothers on the sidelines.
139. Burgeoning, awakening notions somewhere in my dusty head that the reason why it all feels so detached and suburban is because I have let it all become detached and suburban- but this need not be always so!
140. The dream of clarity. Clear mind. Clear mindedness. Be clear minded and self-controlled so that... 1 Peter 4:6-8

Sunday, 17 January 2010

This winter's mad excursion

Last Christmas holidays after all the excitement of indoor festivities we got up early and mounted the carriage pre-packed with provisions and appropriate clothing. Less than two hours later we were in Phoenix Park and heading for the Zoo. "And you didn't stay over?" everyone asked. "No, we just drove home." After coffee in Starbuck's on Grafton Street, and pizza beside Trinity College.

Yesterday, the roads being clear of snow and the skies calmed of storms, we decided to go to Kilkenny to meet a baby. Wise men, after all, recently travelled further for much the same purpose and in considerably less comfort. Three hours exactly from Belfast to Kilkenny it took, so the roars of the Celtic Tiger are still audible of you listen well. They were certainly heard on RTE radio in the interview with Bill Cullen. He might actually have been the Celtic Tiger...

The stern grey castle is no longer softened by all this ivy, and the Nore was high and brown and fast. But there is no other town in Ireland that makes me smile quite so much! Even though the book shop had flooded.

And the baby is lovely!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

Oh goodness, the snow has been washed away and replaced by a dictator of a slicing wind! We walked miles in the scrunching snow last week, but I am unashamedly ferrying in the car so far this week. Wet and wild- though too suburban to be wild enough for PC!

Am therefore trying to deny all hibernation tendencies by encouraging some creative colour! This is Jo conjuring up Minibeasts to go with his reader... Good old Santa for thinking of such a busy pack for a small boy's stocking!

I haven't been thankful in a while but I am nonetheless grateful, bringing me to 130 out 1000:

for the FABULOUS three weeks of snow that we had, for my three intrepid men who also loved the FABULOUS three weeks of snow, for the creator God who gives the snow and the rain and the everything, for Jo's insistence that we all say our thanks to that God last Sunday lunch, for the super friends with whom we have shared the last few weeks, for the wine and food and farewell to David Tennant that we all shared because we live in a free and fecund society, for Lorraine who will gleefully host a Book Club this month, for car insurance to hopefully take care of the nasty bits, for my "interesting" school wherein to teach, and for PC who keeps his hand on the rudder- or should I say keeps pulling the sledge!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


Oh how I wish I could take blog-worthy photographs! Maybe that should be my New Year project!

It's actually bright and crisp and even out there; I'm just in from our fabulous scrunch down the hill to school. And how lovely to get back into the Avenue and be able to see their little boot tracks going one way, with mine returning homewards.

I'm supposed to be at the Bean right now for its first convocation of the New Year, but the moment needs to be savoured!

Happy New Year!

Time stands still

 Hello! Sending you all lots of love from Northern Ireland, where nothing much changes just as everything changes, as usual. Time has stood ...