Saturday, January 24, 2009


Alex wanted to make cakes after school yesterday - I convinced him today would be better, so here we are making some cupcakes. He did most of it, with some help and a lot of direction from Mummy. The cupcakes were chocolate, of course - if you knew Alex, you wouldn't need to ask!

And here's the finished product - about to be one cupcake fewer...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A day to remember

Looking forward to the events later today - and glad I'm not trying to be in DC myself to see them - exciting I'm sure, but the crowds - no thanks! I shall get my excitement through the wondrous medium of television, thanks very much...

I did do something today that I never imagined I might do, though - I hung an American flag outside my house (from the upstairs window). I've nothing against the American flag per se, I'm just not a flag-waving type of person in most instances. Oddly enough, despite that, I do own an American flag - this was from when my dad died - it's not the flag from his actual funeral (my brother has that, in a display case with my dad's military medals - but even if I had it, I wouldn't have hung it, as it was folded by a guard of honour at the actual service) but one that Nancy bought because she hadn't yet received the official flag and was worried we wouldn't have one. So in the end, there were two - but only one used at the funeral. As the flag I have was only folded by me & my kids in the fashion I learned in Girl Scouts, I wasn't worried about unfolding it and hanging it out. It's a full size flag, though - it's HUGE!!

But today, for the first time in quite a while, I am happy to boast a little about my American-ness. As many Americans in Europe (and elsewhere) will understand, it's been very tough being a liberal American in the recent past - I'm not pleased with our previous President or most of the decisions taken while he was in power, so it's a nice change to have such a positive statement being made as the election of a young, intelligent, liberal person as president. The fact that we finally have a non-white President is just icing on the cake. (Personally, it's the intelligent & liberal aspects that truly excite me - who'd have thought the US would have elected someone so far from the middle of the road?)

Anyway, I look forward to watching coverage of the inauguration later today and just hope that my fellow countrymen & women will give this intelligent and honourable man the chance he deserves to try to undo some of the damage done to the US at home and abroad over so many years where those at the helm considered so little the role of such a power throughout the world in favour of lining pockets at home. [Run on sentence, I know, I know.] I strongly believe that as the most powerful nation in the world, the US has a responsibility to act wisely and responsibly and set a good example for all nations and it makes me happy, and yes, even proud, to have elected a person who at least intends to lead us in that direction.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Big Bed on the Floor

This is where the kids decided to sleep last night - they piled all their duvets and a big stack of quilts on the floor, and piled in like puppies - it was actually very cute and there is just enough space to make it not too squashed...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Rant about Seasonality

We had a very frustrating shopping trip today, Olivia and I, most of which I will spare you the details of (though in retrospect, it's sort of funny - a lot of unsuccessful errands - I came home, told Geoff about them all (poor him) and finished by saying the only thing that was really successful was I did find a new black bra - pulled it out of the bag - and it still has the flipping electronic security tag on it so I have to go back to the shop to have it removed! (it's one of those ink kind, so forceably removing it would probably ruin it)).

Anyway, what I will complain about is gloves. One of the items on our list was another pair of gloves for Olivia - she has one, but they are a little small in the fingers, and anyway, sometimes one gets misplaced or they get soaking wet, etc. Now, in case you are living in India or something, and aren't aware of it, January in the UK can be pretty cold. Particularly this year. The high today was about -1C. Ok, it's not Antarctica, but hey, it's cold. Guess how many shops I looked in for kids gloves (I lost count after about 6). Guess how many had any. Guess what they did have - their SPRING lines. Did I mention that it's January? Did I mention that the high today was about -1? Two supermarkets I was in briefly were putting out Easter Chocolates. Easter is in April. It's January. I HATE this. There should be a law. OK, enough said....

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Kids dancing

They like to make up dance routines to pop songs...

Monday, January 05, 2009

Snow day

...which doesn't mean the kids are off school or anything - it's only a tiny bit of snow. But it was enough to make them want to get out of bed and get dressed promptly, despite it being the first day back to school after the Christmas holidays. Here they are after breakfast playing outside in the snow - it's not really as dark as it looks, though it was very overcast -- looked like it was going to snow again - and behold! it is snowing again - gently. Don't think we'll get a lot more, but it's a very snowy sky up there, so you never know. At least it's better than the delightful icy, freezing rain which blew into our faces all the way home from dropping the kids off....
Anyway, there was enough snow to make this rather small, but intensely cute, snowman - he's about 10 inches high. He'll probably melt before they get home from school, but you never know - it's been pretty cold lately, he might last...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Tea Party

Olivia hosts a tea party for Flora (the owl), Bubbles, BlueBear and Favourite Blankie (don't ask me how a blanket drinks tea - just accept that she does - and that she's a girl).