Monday, 30 July 2007

Award from A Broad - 29 July 2007

Well hello! I've been fighting a losing battle with my broadband. Yesterday it won - hence the late award. Today, I return - unscathed but determined. I will prevail!
Enough dramatics.

The logo has been chosen - offically through the vote, but also by Lady M, who last week successfully guessed the outcome and posted it on her blog. Had the chosen logo differed from her choice I would have asked her to change it (which may, or more likely, may not have worked). But as she got it right, we'll chalk it up to female intuition.

So the logo is:Although I may mess around with fonts and layout in weeks to come. It's all this time I have....

But on to this week's award. Yesterday, among other things, was also my mother's birthday. Happy Birthday Granny!

Which meant that I specifically wanted to find a blog that she would enjoy. The criteria were - funny, warm, posts not too long (my mum is a busy working granny) and clever. And I thought she might enjoy one of my favourites - Drunk Mummy. Please understand that this is no reflection of my mother's drinking habits - her initials are PMW, with the 'M' being for 'Moderation'. Although there was that incident when she discovered vodka and Red Bull at a function in Jo'burg....

But we digress. Drunk Mummy writes a fantastic blog with lots of warmth, humour and advice. The advice portion is strictly about wine. But, fortunately, in the world of Drunk Mummy, there is a bottle for all occasions - house cleaning, camping, swimming in Welsh waters all warrant a glass.

Her style is laid back and light. It's a bit like having a chat with a really good mate. I always leave with a smile on my face. And if you don't, well, you could always drown your sorrows in her recommended tipple.

Mom, you might not be able to actually get your hands on any of the wine suggestions (my mum lives in Cape Town) but I'm sure you can find some suitable substitutes (I repeat, she's in Cape Town).
PS What with the dodgy broadband, this post has taken me four and a half hours to put together. Let it never be said that I am not a dedicated blogger!

Saturday, 28 July 2007

The Eulogy

A year ago tomorrow my father died. I've been thinking all week what to write about him and have realised that I am not ready to say anything new. So here's what I said at his funeral:

Thank you for being here today to share in this celebration of the life of a man who was straightforward, honest, fair, intelligent, loyal, funny, dedicated to his community and on occasion, even a little cranky and eccentric. A man on whose feet I learnt to dance and whose arms could hug away almost all of my childhood troubles – my Dad Joe.

I think everyone who knew him will remember his sense of humour. Dad never knew what to do when people were sad or upset. Whenever my Mom was unhappy, my brother and I would joke that Dad could be found up a ladder – a place where she wouldn’t follow. His other solution was to crack a joke. So, I thought I should share an example of Dad’s sense of humour.

Dad enjoyed his food and wine and developed a girth to suit his appetite. One day my brother, who was about seven at the time, asked him what was inside his tummy. Well, an illness in Dad’s youth had required surgery and left him with two scars on his abdomen – one long and one small. So father solemnly explained to son that a rugby ball had been inserted into his stomach via the long incision and the small one was for its annual service where it would be re inflated using a bicycle pump. The joke backfired on him a little when his son – who, of course, believed everything his father told him, documented this scientific marvel in a school essay which was later displayed at his school open day.

Dad was really a very practical person. He showed gratitude by repairing plumbing, love through building furniture and social commitment through electrical planning for countless Rotary projects. He was an engineer and in his case I do believe it was a calling – all of the hobbies that he had over the years - yachting, flying model aeroplanes came back to engineering. It was his job but also his greatest pleasure. He did not, however, require that things look beautiful – a recurring bone of contention between my parents - only that they function smoothly and efficiently. I am sure we will be pulling prestik off walls and unwinding recycled wire hangers he converted to many uses for many years to come.

Any tribute to my father would be incomplete without a mention of his life as a Rotarian. He joined Rotary the same year that he married my mother – in 1968 and since then has been committed to serving his community through this organization. He has volunteered his time, skills, energy and even his wife and children on occasion. But I think he always appreciated what he got in return – a deep sense of satisfaction and his very best friends.

A side of Dad that many of you may not be familiar with was his romantic side. The flowers on his coffin are a reminder of the first flowers he ever gave my Mom – Compactas which he called "Hermanus red roses". He was actually quite determined in his pursuit of my mother. He planned the courtship on a calendar – when each family member would be introduced – where he was going to take her and when. And with a great big star on the day he planned to propose. Considering that it was only four weeks from first date to proposal, such organization was required. Six weeks later they were married.

As a teenager with the hormonally charged notion that I would set eyes on some boy at the Bishops disco and have found my life partner – I remember asking him how he knew so quickly that Mom was the woman for him. He told me that he loved her because of her faults. Now, I will agree that on the face of it this doesn’t sound like much of a compliment, but his theory was that one should look for a partner whose failings we could live with which in turn makes their positive attributes so much sweeter. I still think he must have been a remarkable judge of character to have figured that out so quickly. My brother and his wife were together for 6 years before they got married and my husband and I were together for around 3 years before tying the knot so the skill appears to have been lost with him!

On my wedding day my now husband hired a beautiful old car for the occasion. On the way to the church I waited for my Dad to give me one last bit of sage advice. The secret to a long, healthy marriage maybe. But he didn’t. Instead he grilled the owner of the car on all its glorious specifications. Everything from top speed to tyres was covered. But marital advice - none. I remember feeling a bit disappointed at the time. But now I think that he felt his job was done. He was giving me away and, I hope, believed in my ability to figure out the rest on my own.

And now, without the man we loved so much, and with God’s help, that is what we all must do.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Wedding bells

Expat postings can be compared to marriages.

At first there's the frisson of being in something new - finding your way around, forming early opinions, the desire to be open minded and to make it work.

Then there's the wedding - the day you find your new home, the furniture arrives and you celebrate having done it.

The honeymoon follows closely thereafter. The routine is new and, therefore, not boring. You relish the new things that are better than the old things that irked in your last posting. You begin to explore your new home. But it still feels like a long holiday.

The marriage begins when the new environment leaves the toilet seat up. The climate may start to challenge, or perhaps local customs leave you questioning your integrity. You offend without meaning to, or take offence where none is meant. For some, these are easily overcome - identified as unique and special, sometimes even embraced.

In other postings, the foibles become too much. It's time for a separation. And then, with the panic of an impending move, you fall back in love with your new home, as you squash all the outings an experiences you were hoping to get to but thought you would have time to do 'later', into a few short weeks. This is where I am now. Marveling at the beauty of Scotland's greenery, splashing in its puddles, in awe of its history. And packing...

We've been lucky so far, our separations have all been quite amicable. Along the lines of 'I think we should just be friends'... but heartfelt.

So Scotland, may I come back to visit one day? And please (please!) do you think you could let it be for a sunny fortnight?

Monday, 23 July 2007

Day off

Actually, I'm elbow deep in house cleaning (preparing for new tenants to see the house), sorting clothes, arranging travel vaccinations, etc., etc. So it's not really a day off.

But, if you're interested, here's a piece I wrote for Topblogmag. Still not a featured piece. Maybe one day....

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Award from A Broad - 22 July '07

Hurrah! We have logos. Yes, that's plural! Which, given that my budget for this project is, um, well, nothing, isn't half bad.

Trawling the options of free logos has been enlightening. I was really only interested in things that had some connection to the title 'Award from A Broad', which limited me to planes and buxom wenches. Sadly, the buxom wench department was either nearing x-ratedness (is that a word?) or frankly quite ugly.

So the short list is as follows:

Option One: Aeroplane tick
You get it right - a big tick from abroad...

Option Two: Buxom trophy

I find it vaguely disturbing that she appears to be kneeling. And that she appears to be fully clothed except for her chest area. But other than that...

Option Three: Heart globe
Because I luv ya!

Option Four: Daisy
Because that's what we broads do - we give each other flowers.

Option Five: Calendar girl
Because it had to be done.

So now you choose - the poll will be on the side bar.

And on to this weeks award.

I think that many of the readers of this blog are already familiar with this week's recipient but I feel her popularity is no excuse to omit her from my list of Uber-blogs.
Lady MacLeod is a Scottish/American globe traveller currently living in Morocco. She writes about her everyday experiences in Morocco, gives tantalising insights into her love life and potted history lessons. Her interest in current affairs is clear with many thought provoking posts tackling the meaty issues that many of us (or maybe its just me) shy away from while blogging.
She researches her topics but is always humble enough consider other points of view. I have been known to disagree with other bloggers and have become quite annoyed with how many delete comments that aren't in agreement with the post. Not so, with Lady M. Opinions are welcomed and the discussion made more stimulating for it.
Lady MacLeod, may this award be proof that I knew you before you were published.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Fun, no matter how you look at it

I am the first one to acknowledge that, when sitting inside looking in the rain, it is never a good idea to ponder what the family in Cape Town are up too. But this weekend it was irresistable. After all, they were off the coast of Gansbaai in a cage looking at 4m Great White sharks.

So, had I been in Cape Town this weekend, I can say with some confidence that I would have seen this.

I would have swum in that cage on the right.

That could even have been my arm.
But I wasn't in Cape Town. I was in Scotland.

So instead I went to the Linlithgow jousting tournament (as you do), and saw a knight in shining armour...

men wielding swords...

and men on horses wielding long pokey objects.

All great fun. And I didn't even get seasick!

As an aside, the duel re-enactment involved much hurling of period abuse. Bambi was clearly paying attention.

Mummy, what's a fornicator?

Monday, 16 July 2007

Scottish children

in their natural habitat...
The one on the left actually has a South African mother and an Irish father. But, you know what they say... If it walks, like a duck and talks like a duck....

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Award from A Broad

We have a winner! For the award, yes, but also for the title. I am proud and honoured that it was my suggestion that swung it. Although, it is possible that this may have been slanted a bit by excessive voting from,

But moving on swiftly... The next step is to develop an icon. I have a few doodles, but no matter how firmly I glue them to my monitor, I can't get them to stick to my blog. Alas, they also present me as being a little more buxom than a look in the mirror reveals to be the truth. Any suggestions? How does one 'invent' a button?

And now for the main event. The blogs I follow are pretty diverse. I tend to favour blogs written in interesting places or blogs that are particularly funny (and here a surprising number of Mom blogs feature), but there is also a sub-category of blogs that fulfil some purpose in my life - blogs that provide me with recipes (none of which I've actually tried) and those written by people so on the edge that, even in my darkest days, I emerge feeling certain of my sanity. These are known as Blogs with Jobs.

Todays recipient of the newly named Award from A Broad is one such blog. Mr Angry writes a blog called I am Livid. It is a rant blog. Each working day Mr Angry has a really good gripe about something - modern art, cobblers, the odd irreverent whinge about terrorists. I love getting up in the morning, going online and finding that someone has already had a good rant - makes me feel more inclined to be sweet for the rest of the day.

Be warned the language is floral. But as my dear Mum always says, 'rude is fine, as long as its funny.'

I doubt Mr Angry reads my blog and I'm too scared to tell him about this award lest I somehow incur his wrath. But, even when I don't agree with him, he makes me laugh and that's worth some sort of prize isn't it?

Besides if he doesn't know about the award he can't complain that it still doesn't have a button attached to it...

Friday, 13 July 2007

Eating out?

Mother at Large has tagged me on a food meme - the idea being that I share the details of five eateries in Glasgow that I would recommend. This is problematic for two reasons:

The cost of eating out here leaves me with heart palpitations. For what I would pay for a beautiful meal at a reputable restaurant with a sea view in Cape Town, I can get a deep fried pizza in Glasgow. Lucky me, this would probably arrive with chips.
Budget eating in Glasgow requires the bulk consumption of grease which, after the heart palpitations would probably just send me straight to the ER.

As you may have guessed we have not eaten out very often since we've been here.
This is not to say that Glasgow does not have some fine, grease-free establishments - just that I have not frequented them. That said, there are a few places we do go to occasionally that I will share:
1. Heart Buchanan on Byres Road - amazing deli, lovely (but painfully small) coffee shop and, if you're getting to the end of the month they will slice you very small pieces of cheese to suit your budget.
2. The Loft in Ashton Lane. Spacious, family-friendly restaurant with good pasta menu. I appreciate that they have no specific kids menu but do kids portions of anything on the menu. It kind of fits my ethos that children are people too. It's also right above the Grosvenor cinema which is handy. But beware of children racing around the wide aisles in Little Tikes red plastic cars. Newbies usually sport shin bruises for weeks.
3. Wagamama on West George Street. Okay, so this is a cheat - it's a chain, I know. But I love good Japanese noodles and they really are good here. Again, it's spacious - I like to breathe between mouthfuls of food and the service is fast but not pressured. The do have a kids menu, but its not the usual fish and chips fare. Bambi particularly loves their chicken noodles which come with a mandarin sauce and slices of apple. Yum.

and that covers my culinary experience of Glasgow. Other attempts in my budget do not bear repeating.
So, instead, I thought I would tell you about my favourite two establishments near Cape Town. Because I'm homesick. Again.

1. Le Petite Ferme, Franschoek winelands. Unbelievable food with incredible views. The Good Man and I have always gone here to celebrate our anniversary - well, when we're in the Cape that is. The form is to have a drink on the lawn in front of the restaurant while perusing the menu, then meander up to your table. Enjoy a glass of the house wine (from grapes grown on the estate) over a fantastic meal and then go for a quick lie down in the shade of a tree to contemplate your expanding girth as you consider the desert menu. Which is sufficiently tempting to draw you in for another round. There is no hurry here. Lunch is considered a three hour affair - only one sitting gets booked. Bliss.
2. The River Cafe, Constantia Uitsig. When the Good Man and I had to introduce our parents to each other in the week before our wedding, this was the estate that we trusted with the food. Of course, this auspicious occasion called for the auspicious big brother of the River Cafe, the award winning Constantia Uitsig Restaurant. But now, dust having settled, we prefer the more casual ambiance of the Cafe. It's strictly a breakfast and lunch affair. Tables are arranged on the terraces and the menu features food that is familiar but always with an interesting twist -perfectly prepared and presented. And the wine shop next door isn't half bad either...

I see much opportunity in this tag. I challenge ('cos lets face it that's what tags really are):


Katie, and


who may well be able to shine a more informed light on the Glasgow eaterie scene. And its about time I learned!

Reluctant Memsahib - although may I request your recommendations are for Nairobi eateries??? Cheeky, I know

Debio - 'cos I'm hoping to spend a wee bit of time in Dubai soon too.

On a completely different track, my big brother in South Africa is going shark cage diving tomorrow. Now how many of you can say that?!

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Eyes right->

As some of you may have noticed, democracy has arrived at this blog. After suggestions (mainly from Lady M) and opinions (where Omega Mum and Stay at Home Dad featured strongly), I have drawn up a shortlist for the title of the Sunday Award.

Please vote - it's completely anonymous. So even you lurkers out there who visit but never comment (you know who you are...) can make yourselves heard on this not very weighty issue.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

The Journey

I went down to Durham yesterday to fetch our new car - peace having once more been made with the British banking system.

I caught an early morning train down, via Newcastle, to Durham and then drove straight back. My ideal would have been to spend a bit of time exploring Hadrian's Wall, or maybe some of the nearby coastline but parenting commitments back in Glasgow did not permit.

That said I really enjoyed the journey. It reminded me of why I don't like flying - firstly because I am afraid the machine might plummet to the ground, but also because flying is too fast and too distant from the action to give a real sense of the journey. Driving a large vehicle along long stretches of highway reminded me of the trip I did with my mom and my dog from Cape Town to Zambia.

Over a distance of over 3000kms we left the pace of the city and moved in convoy with our truck to the sedate and dusty streets of Lusaka. We encountered heat, dust, goats, elephants, giraffes, unbelievable African bureaucracy and phenomenal scenery. Our route took us through Mafikeng, into Botswana, through Nata with its endless salt pan, over the border to Zambia on the Kazungula ferry and onto the Great North Road to Lusaka.

The ferry was undoubtedly the moment of greatest symbolic change- a 400m comma between what I knew in southern Africa and what I would come to know in Central Africa. It slowly carries a truck and a few cars at a time over the crocodile and hippo laden waters of the Zambezi. As you wait your turn there's little to do but ponder the islands and banks belonging to Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and the animals who travel obliviously passport-free between them.

I hear that the new bridge at Shesheke is easing the pressure on the pontoon as many trucks now detour through Namibia. But it took us time to cross the Zambezi – queuing, waiting, chatting with others doing the same. And finally being carried over on the belching platform as it fought against the rivers flow. It was the best introduction possible to Central Africa – chaotic, beautiful, slow. It could not be forced and it all got done in its own way and in its own time. I'm sure it was frustrating at the time but now I long for journeys that speak so accurately and honestly of the destinations they reach.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

That award thingy

And you thought it was a one week wonder...

There were a good few comments last week that this weekly award thing I've started should have name. And an icon. But as I have no idea where to start with icon design and, as an icon should bear some relation to the name of the award, we'll start with the name.

Lady M had a few good suggestions, but none quite perfect. Observe:
The On the Move Award - but many of the blogs I really like are written by people who don't move. I achieve stability in my life by living vicariously through theirs.
The Expat's Acknowledgment Award - which would mean acknowledging that this is an expat blog. But it's also a Mom blog at times and a personal blog always.
The Hot Woman gives you a Nod Award. Lovely. But lies.
The I'll do anything to Warm Up a Bit and Reading Your Blog Helps Award. Very accurate but not very catchy. Not to mention that by the time you've typed the acronym TIDATWUABARYBHA, you may as well just write the whole thing.

I've been thinking along the lines of thumbs. You know - thumbs up! But also that Bambi is a thumb sucker and it brings her tremendous comfort and joy - which is what these awards are meant to do too. What about the Rear Digit Award (RDA), to guide in in how to spend your recommended daily allowance of blogging? Nah, too obtuse.

Oh well, any suggestions welcome.

So now for this week's announcement. This weeks still nameless award goes to Reluctant Memsahib.

Mem is a writer and mother. She has recently moved from a farm in the shade of Mount Kilimanjaro to another, which she calls 'the outpost'. I know it's in Tanzania and, I'm guessing, its remote. Tomorrow she leaves England, where she has been hunting school placements for her children, to return to her outpost.

Her blog transports me to a place and way of life I have seen, but never lived. Mem writes about the beauty, laughter and peculiar trials of life in East Africa with sensitivity, frustration and affection. Her writing is honest and her take on life often very funny. It is a wonderful blog to visit with a large cup of coffee - be transported.

As an aside, the Reluctant Memsahib also has ties to Kenya and has been a generous source of information to me offline regarding my impending move. I so hope that we can stay in touch and trade stories form our respective corners of Africa in the months to come.

Safe travels home, Mem. I hope the outpost is ready for you!

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Annoyed and confused

Yup, you're right. Another rant coming. If you're after sweetness and light, go away. Nothing for you here today.

It all started on Thursday when I bought a car on eBay. A four wheel drive which we plan to take to Kenya - cars being ridiculously expensive over there. I got an extremely good deal that would have had me quite worried were it not for the sobbing sounds emanating from the other end of the phone when I called to arrange payment. Anyway, this was not what annoyed me - although I suppose that reveals me as a heartless bitch who had the rest of the story coming to her...

Anyway, the seller would accept Paypal but would then slap an extra 4% on (which starts to negate the joy of a good deal) so we agreed that the Good Man and I would drive down to Durham today and pay him in cash. And then make a weekend of it somewhere pretty on the coast. So far, so good.

This morning I go to the bank to draw my cash over the counter (it was a good deal but still a sum over my daily ATM limit!) and... they're closed! No counter service on a Saturday. What?! I know for a fact that people shop in Scotland on Saturday. And what about people who work 9-5 jobs during the week. What are they meant to do? I'm now confused.

So, now I can't pay cash, I revert back to the Paypal idea. Except they set a limit on the amount you can pay through their system unless you register your bank account - which takes three days. ARRRGHHHH!

I phoned my bank and try to arrange a CHAPS transfer which should have the money in his account on Monday and asked them to email him a confirmation. They do the transfer but say they can only email me 'for security reasons'. Ah, what? How would emailing someone a letter, containing only their bank account details and confirmation that money is being paid into it be a security risk? I don't understand. So they email it to me but via their website and in a format that cannot be forwarded and has no letterhead or mention of the bank name. So it does not prove I've made the payment. Fortunately the seller (who by this stage is utterly sick of hearing from me every five minutes on a Saturday morning) agrees to just let it go.

But the whole experience got me thinking about other things here I don't understand.

Like 'health and safety'. Everything is more difficult because of health and safety. Public pools can sell goggles, costumes and diving hoops for children. But no floats. Health and safety. So it's okay to send them to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a hoop, but God forbid a child should float! Risky that! Children are, however, allowed to bring their own floats to the pool. Somehow having bought them elsewhere renders them 'safe'. Makes you wonder what the staff keep under the till...

We've also been told by various accommodation providers that they are unable to provide travel cots due to 'Health and Safety'. It's much safer for young children to fall out of standard beds?

And gas and electricity bills that reward you the more energy you consume. Now that's confusing! They charge on a sliding scale! You pay less per unit OVER a set threshold. And then you're told how serious energy conservation is. Surely making the first bit cheap and then charging everyone through the nose for using excessive kilowatts or - dammit, I don't know what a unit of gas is - would incentivise people to use less. Bizarre!

Anyway, the upshot is that I'm NOT in Durham. I do NOT have my new car as the seller wants the payment to clear first (fair enough - this does actually make some sense). I'm annoyed, confused and once again convinced that there is a set of rules here that I am simply not meant to understand and that are kept secret from foreigners.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Smeaton in Poetry

Got this on email today - have no idea who wrote it. Someone Scottish I would imagine.

Twas doon by the inch o' Abbots
Oor Johnny walked one day
When he saw a sicht that troubled him
Far more that he could say

A fanatic muslim bastard
Wiz doin what he'd planned
And intae Glesca's departure hall
A Cherokee he'd rammed.

A big Glaswegian polis
Came forward tae assist
He thocht "a wumman driver"
Or at least someone half-pissed

But to his shock nae drunken Jock
Emerged to grasp his hand
But a flamin Arab loony
Frae Al Qaeda's band

The mad Islamist nut-case
Had set hissel' on fire
And swung oot at the polis
GBH his clear desire

Now that's no richt wur Johnny cried
And sallied tae the fray
A left hook and a heid butt
Required tae save the day.

Now listen up Bin Laden
Yir sort's nae wanted here
For imported English radicals
Us Scoatsman huv nae fear

Okay, so it's not quite Rabbie Burns...

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Local Heroes

The Scottish press today is full of stories of heroism.

At the top of my list is Alan Johnston. Released after a four month ordeal following his capture in Gaza, he handled the media surrounding his release with grace and appreciation. He has a point. The support from the media in campaigning for his release was phenomenal. He was able to hear about their support on a radio he had from two weeks into his captivity, which he makes clear was a powerful 'psychological boost'. He could barely have shunned them in the hours following his release.

But just imagine spending four months in solitary confinement - the last three without exposure to daylight and then, quite suddenly, being thrown into a media circus. Most of us would have been stunned, meek, timid. Instead he was articulate and grateful, highlighting the plights of other hostages and apologising to his family for the stress he had caused.

He even had light moments, getting a quick haircut in an effort to lose what he referred to as 'that just-kidnapped look'. And promising to stay out of trouble. 'I couldn't bear to ask you all to do all that twice, just imagine the embarrassment.'
Being captured and incarcerated doesn't make a hero. But this is a man who lived in Gaza for three years before this incident, reporting for the BBC as sensitively and factually as any journalist I have seen. That's brave.

Now, he is handling his release with such dignity that I have confidence he will make some good come from what must have been a nightmarish ordeal. But it may be in the background. He is quoted as saying, 'You are about to see a rapid decline in my profile. I'm sure that if you hear from me again it will be in the most work-a-day, normal, BBC, journalistic context. The Johnston family is about to go back to the obscurity in which it was extremely happy for about 45 years. '

Mr Johnston, I do hope to hear your voice on the BBC World Service in Kenya.

And then there is a local hero of an altogether different mould. John Smeaton, the baggage handler who brought down the terrorist in Glasgow airport may claim to be no hero but 1000 pints at the Holiday Inn say otherwise. He says he was only doing what anyone else would have done in similar circumstances. Um, am I the only one who fears they may not have tackled a potential suicide bomber if given the opportunity.

You're one brave Weegie, Mr Smeaton.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

The secret life of Bambi

'Mummy... ,' said Bambi as I was putting her to bed, 'I'm not going to cry and I'm not going to call you back.'

Well, that's a relief, I thought. I'm not very good at guilt before bedtime.

'Lovely, honey, now go to sleep.'

'And I'm not going to hide behind my curtains. And I'm not going to look in my cupboard. And I'm not going to play I spy with Teddy.'

Hey ho! What! Get out of bed? After I've turned the light out? Clearly there has been a little nocturnal action I didn't know about.

We used to listen to Bambi as she fell asleep through the baby monitor. She would begin with conversation and word experimentation. Teddy would be instructed in the ways of the toddler - she'd cover eating with a spoon, drinking through a straw and list her favourite menus - with a strong, but not entirely accurate, focus on chocolate. And then she would sing, which would send her to sleep.

Being a bit concerned about the bedtime conversation I turned on the monitor again for the first time in a long while. There was a bit of muffled conversation and a clear rendition of Twinkle Twinkle before the silence of sleep.

But it was telling that her soft animals were lined up in a row on the floor this morning, carefully covered by a blanket.

'Do you think they slept well Bambi?'

'Yes Mummy. I sang them a lubyebye...'

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Drumroll please

As promised I am now starting my weekly Great Blog award. Over time I will think of a snappy title and no doubt figure out some fancy graphics too. But right now its just a homespun affair.

Now, before the big announcement (yes, I can see you perched on the edge of your computer chair), the rules. Actually, there are no rules. It's my award based purely on my own opinions and taste in what constitutes a good blog. But there are a few notes, namely:

  1. The award will be presented in random order. Although I am deeply fond of today's winner, it is being named first due to a random process - picture me with a hat and little itty bitty pieces of paper and you'll get the idea. Wait, there's no picture of me on this site so you can't picture me. Okay, so just picture an arbitary brunette with a hat... you get the idea...
  2. This is a no strings attached affair. Winners are not required to nominate other bloggers (although, clearly, sharing the love if you so desire is fine), read my blog in return or even thank me if they do not wish to do so.
Right. That about covers it.

So the winner for today is.................

Stay at Home Dad

He lives in London, raises his daughter and writes about his experience of being a parent. What I love about this blog is the style in which it is written. SAHD provides his readers with accutely observed glimpses into his life with his daughter. He marvels in the minutia that so often slip me by. Everytime I visit his blog I am reminded of something that I fear I may have forgotten were it not for this voice drawing it to my attention. Bliss.

And the London housewives are giving him a spot of bother at the minute. Cheer up Stay at Home Dad. I think you're terrific.