Tuesday, April 29, 2008
After checking that I've turned all things hot, electrical or gas powered off, instructed Recaro on the items that need to be packed in Ellie's nappy bag and assured him her lunch/dinner bag is ready to go, I'll dash out of the house to catch my train.
Here's a few highlights of the journey I'll be taking. Just before crossing the river, my train takes me past the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. They've got a few buildings around here and I sometimes see them training some of the working dog breeds in the yard between these arches.
If I was sat on the other side of the train, I'd see the derelict Battersea Power Station. No one knows what to do with the Battersea site. It's contaminated land and has a listed building power station in the middle of it. Even though it's in central London and on the River Thames, I'm not sure it'll ever get developed.
Once I get into Victoria , my bus takes me past 'Little Ben'. I think this is one of those 'invisible' landmarks of London - you don't notice it until someone points it out to you. There are plans afoot to revamp a big part of Victoria. This clock will be taken away while the work goes on and then brought back again after all the heavy duty building work is finished.Here I am on the bus. The bus is empty - which means I took the photo last Friday when I went into work late. I'm far more stressed out and cross when I travel in early, but I think you can still see my frown lines between my brows.
This is a another picture of the New Zealand War Memorial on Hyde Park Corner. It was Anzac day last week , so you can see all the newly laid wreaths. Sadly I missed out on the Anzac biscuits that an Australian woman brought into the office. She's a cookie baking fiend, so I hope to get another chance to eat these when she organises a charity bake-off.In their crazed optimism about the British weather, the park keepers at Green Park have already started setting out the deck chairs. It poured down with rain today, so I'm not sure they've made much money so far this year. It costs something like £3 to use a deck chair for an hour. Bonkers. I'd sit on the grass and save my cash for buying some M&Ms at Disneyland one day...Or perhaps I'd save my money for buying an ocean going yacht. He he. I think ocean going yachts are just rich people's equivalent of caravanning. And as far as I know, there isn't a kitsh yachting equivalent to an Airstream caravan, which means that yachts are not cool. (See how I just saved myself loads of money and still sounded superior and snotty).
I jump off the bus shortly after the yacht shop and head into work where I get myself a coffee, raid the biscuit box for fig rolls and swipe a banana from the fruit box before everyone else gets to them first.
I take a random approach to my London posts. If there's anything you'd especially like to see or know, just say and I'll do what I can to oblige.
After shopping and collecting Ellie I got home to discover the neighbours had called the fire brigade. My neighbour took my housekeys as I was getting out of the house and he opened the front door. After I'd handed Ellie to my sister-in-law for some emergency babysitting, I raced straight into the house to turn the hob off.
I was followed almost immediately by a fireman in breathing apparatus. It's an odd thing - nothing was going to stop me going in the house to rectify my mistake.
And then I stood outside the house trying to calm down while the firemen checked the place over, before going to have a cup of tea with SIL. Ellie thought she was in heaven - she was playing with a miniature tea set. I was so relieved that I hadn't got upset in front of her.
Thank God for good neighbours. The house was full of smoke - there's a tang of acrid in the air - but no damage done. Apart from to the saucepan. When I'm feeling brave enough I'll take a photo of the pan. Until then, I'm still recovering my equilibrium.
Everyone (even the firemen) is telling me it's the easiest mistake to make, but I still feel like a dumb, distracted, klutz.
The thing I continue to discover is that as hard as I try, I'm still making new mistakes and I don't always learn from other people's. Dammit.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
As I'm a very lucky girl, we did our errands first thing and had plenty of time to go to our closest pub for a fish and chip lunch, eaten out of paper on the beach.
Once we'd eaten, we polished off a couple of beers too. We reminisced about the times we've spent on the beach as just a couple and relished the life changes and delight brought about by having Ellie in the family.
I wish you could have been there. You'd have seen Ellie sleeping in her buggy and then getting up to play and stagger about on the shingle.
In a concession to diet and to Ellie's lunch I didn't eat all my chips but saved some for her to eat along with mushy peas once she woke up. I don't like mushy peas myself - bleurgh. It's possible that Ellie hoped it was guacamole (this would explain why she didn't eat much of it!)
The cod and chips went down a treat though. We don't often eat take away chips. These were from V C Jones - also known as Meaty Jones. All the fish and chips are fried in lard. This makes them very tasty, but a bit of challenge for most people's guts.
After that we rolled back to the High Street to collect my bike. We had got it fitted with a child's seat so that I can start to get some exercise with Ellie in tow.
We gave her a choice of a Dukes of Hazard number or a pink one with white daisies. She pouted and smiled with satisfaction at choosing the flowery lid. Yet again I crumble in the face of the pink conspiracy.
I took this photo while pushing the buggy. Ellie cheerfully waving and crying out, 'Hello! Hello!" I think she likes the bike ride experience.
I've got a great big wicker basket that I can put on the handle bars. If the weather's any good tomorrow this might be her mode of transport for going to her childminder's house.
I love these little adventures. We cycled to church this morning. All the way there, I could hear her giggling and chuckling behind me.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The worst of it was not spending time with Ellie. However, Recaro and Ellie have been getting on great. I can see that she's far more willing to hold his hand when out walking and will look to him for cuddles in a way that she didn't always before.
I'm a bit behind in blogging. I've got loads of ideas that I need to work on, but I did at least get out on Wednesday at lunchtime to check out the quality of window shopping on Marylebone High Street.
For those of you that don't know it, this road connects up to Oxford Street, but quite frankly is a world away from London's main shopping street. Marylebone is very central, but somehow has a small town village quality in a very up-market way. It has a number of boutiques and interesting food shops. There are chains like Shoon and Saltwater, but these are smaller chains and I'm not sure where else they have outlets.
I was very excited when I discovered Shoon. The clothes were beautiful. When I'm feeling a little more flush, I'm coming back here for a major trying on session. These are clothes I want to wear.
Marylebone High Street is a relatively expensive place to shop, but I think has what it takes to make me feel more original, better dressed and stylish than if I stuck to Gap, Next or Zara. (I need all the help I can get - I don't have the knack for going to Primark or a charity shop and finding anything I like or that fits.)
Even the Waitrose is smarter than the average supermarket. I took a photo of its street clock - I love street clocks. How helpful is that to someone on a lunchtime shopping expedition? Very considerate.
Marylebone also has a number of great restaurants. The Providores is one that really stands out for me. It's tapas style but with an antipodean edge. Downstairs is informal with some shared tables. It's fantastic for breakfast, is great for lunch and I've heard good reviews of its restaurant upstairs for evening meals.
Another restaurant just off the High Street is Relais de Venise. This place only serves steak and frites - French style. Apparently it's brilliant so I'm trying to persuade my team mates that we should try it next time we all go out together.
I didn't have time to check out the home furnishings shops. There's the Conran Store at the top of the road and loads of others.
For the creative types among you, there are some excellent haberdasheries here too. I don't think you'll ever see a wider selection of fancy ribbons and braid on one street.
I don't think my photos do the place justice. If anyone can make any other good restaurant recommendations in the area, let me know. I'm hoping there's going to be few good lunches over the summer and I need to know where to go.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I thought he would be more interested in pursuing his research and academic goals.In fact all the technical cortex-schmootex stuff in the early chapters did make my eyes glaze over. But I persevered - or should I say skipped past all of that - and by about half way through I discovered that Charlie is giving himself over to simply telling a wonderful story about his daughter's developing mind.
- How (much) do you tell a child about their lost brother or sister?
- How long can/should you protect them from death?
- Where do dreams come from?
- Tell me a joke? (Will you get an abstract idea, a story, a dream or an attempt to repeat an adult's joke?)
- Do you remember being smaller?
- Ask them to draw a lollipop on a stick and a balloon on a string. A while later ask them to tell you about their drawings. Will they recall their creative intention?
- Ask if they remember a specific event 6 months ago? (Do they rememember a feeling, an object, a person)
- Ask them to imagine doing a specific thing in 6 months time. How might they remember today?
This post was brought to you entirely by Blackberry. My poor thumbs! At least I made good use of my commute home.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
What's worse, is that I'll be working in London again tomorrow. It's quite possible that since putting her to bed last night (Tuesday) at 8.30pm, I might not see her awake until Friday morning at 6.30am.
Thank heavens for photos. And a husband who knows how to play, bath, feed, put to bed and dress our darling daughter. If anyone's husband out there isn't pulling his weight right now, you can tell them about Recaro. He cooked dinner last night too after he got home from work in time to play with a tantruming/over-tired daughter.
Of course, he's trying to persuade me that we should get a dog and that I should buy him a boat.
Not a chance. Ha ha.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I'll wrestle this blog back under control if. it's. the. last. thing. I. do.
Okay. Now I've got it pinned down. All I need to do now so is get through my back log of memes. Other blogs are giving away exciting goodies - I'm just here telling you stuff about ME. Who could ask for more?
Saralynn - the Happy Baker - tagged me for a Six Word Memoir. The rules are as follows:
And I've also been tagged by Cajunchic at The Simple Cajun Life (though if you ask me, her life is anything BUT simple). If she can find time to blog, then I can find time to get through my memes.
So here are the rules:
1. Post 3 random things about yourself.
2. Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
3. Tag at least 5 other bloggers.
4. Let them know you've tagged them by commenting on their blog with an invite to participate.
Here's some very random things about me;
1. I'm clumsy. Especially with kitchen knives. Right know I have two cuts healing up. I'm not a self harmer, but if you saw my hands right now I could forgive you for wondering. In case you wonder - I wax my legs. There's no such thing as a safety razor.
2. I listen to weird bits of advice. Like my aunt telling me that used tea bags can stop bleeding. My uncle is on blood thinning drugs, so any shaving nicks can get way out of control. It really works. I can't remember what the active ingredient is, but if you ever you get an annoying paper cut that won't stop (and you don't want to cover your hands in plasters) try putting a wet, used tea bag on it. It stops the bleeding as if by magic. I'm almost looking forward to the next time Recaro cuts himself shaving... (just kidding).
3. I can't abide whistling. I think it's an abomination and one of the rudest things people can do. Co-workers, husband and many others think this is nutty. Including random strangers who I ask to stop whistling. It's got a lot to do with my mum telling my brother it was rude to whistle. Maybe he was whistling in an inappropriate place. Nonetheless, the feeling stuck. I find the noise really irritating and it bugs me that there's a tune going on in someone's head and I have to hear their awful accompaniment. I used to work next to a guy who would whistle as soon as it was past 5.30pm. He believed he only had to comply with my no-whistling directive during official work hours. It was okay though. I soon ran him off the premises and he's not come back since.
You know what. I'm not going to tag on this occasion. There are some really great posts going on around us right now. What I believe at The Natural Mommy (not that I agree with her - but isn't that part of the blogging fun?) and Eight Windows at I invented Motherhood to name just two and I don't want to get my tag in the way of someone else's well written, inspiring post. And of course we are just a post or two away from Reluctant's 100th post - which I'm looking forward to because I've asked her at least 14 questions and can't wait to read her answers. Also I haven't finished discovering the new blogs that Working Mum is enjoying. There's so much to read, comment on as well as laugh, cry, sigh and awww at. And that's before I've seen what Amanda's only gone and done now...
But just wait, because next time I might just throw a tag your way.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Check out the video of what Recaro stood by and filmed his mates doing on the train.
Friday, April 18, 2008
This is the building with the gargoyles. It's next to a very tacky leather jacket shop - I've cropped the photo. I didn't want to show you the things that displease me.
Here's the inside. The photo somehow makes it look very narrow, but honestly, it is pretty big.
Here's little lovely. She was very happy to get a run around inside. Because of increased security, I had to take the buggy around with us, but at least there were lots of French students on hand to lift the buggy up and down the numerous stone staircases for me.
Isn't that a spooky altar. I'll read up on what that's all about one day. Please don't have nightmares about this altar.
As soon as we got outside, Ellie wanted to go back in again. But I wasn't in the mood to attempt all the steps and deal with the teenagers again.
Within a minute of taking this photo, Ellie was asleep. Always a sign of a good day.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
There was a time that I always knew when she was ready to sleep. Her arms would go up to her head, ready for her sleeping position.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Just take a look at that top hat and ra-ra skirt ensemble. If that's not the stuff of 80's dreams/nightmares I don't know what is.
These old guys are found half way along Bond Street. During the middle of the day, tourists almost queue up to have their photos taken sat between FDR and Churchill. See how shiny FDR's arm and leg is. I think quite a few people have stroked that knee.
Eek. Not sure this is really going to help the hosiery department at Fenwicks.
This is upper Regent Street. Lots of crane and church spire action going on here. Peeking just around the corner at the end of the road is the home of BBC radio and the World Service.
Over the tops of the roofs, you can see the Post Office Tower. There used to be a revolving restaurant at the top and down in the basement there's a royal mail train service. All very secret agent.
I went for a very indulgent burger and fries at Hamburger Union. It was so tasty. Much better than I ever remember McDonalds being - but, shall we say, a little bit more expensive.
I know what you are thinking. I really should have tried harder about this. But I know the agonies I have gone through after harassing people for autographs. It's horrible. I feel so bad about making a complete idiot of myself. Taking a photo of John Hurt's back is definitely the best solution.
Please console yourself with a photo of Cavendish Square - which has secret underground parking below. Very handy for a spot of Oxford Street shopping.
And also consider the strangely lush plate and cup I bought for Ellie. And the very wonderful notebook for all my bloggy ideas. Isn't that colourful and non-workie?
This is the scooter that will take me from the station to home and family.
And this is one strangely lush mother who is really looking forward to seeing the love of her life and her beeeeyoootiful, funny, lovely and clever baby daughter.