Friday, October 24, 2014

reading modern classics

These are the last two books I read and they were so good!  I'd meant to read them both for years, being the kind of books you feel you probably should have read.  The Go-Between was exactly what I'd imagined it would be - dark, gripping, slow-burning and fantastic - and Cold Comfort Farm was exactly the opposite of what I'd imagined and all the better for it - an absolute romp and really smart and funny and modern.

I don't know that I've got much else to say on the subject, I just get excited when I hit upon a good reading vein.  I'm thinking Lucky Jim next?  Kingsley Amis is another void in my reading history.

So far my attempt to read more in 2014 has been going well.  I still wish I could squeeze a few more books in, but it's already my most well-read year since becoming a mother and it's only October.

And what am I doing blogging at 5am?  I spent yesterday having a horrible time in hospital (a very simple procedure made much more complicated than it should have been because of my pesky heart) and went to bed super early to recover from the ordeal (I am now recovered...physically, at least! ha!) which meant I couldn't get back to sleep after Dulcie woke me up at 3.30am.  Oh well, it was a good opportunity to finish reading Cold Comfort Farm with a cup of tea and a blanket :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

what's in our drawers?

 The most exciting feature in our new bedroom is a work-in-progress.  Graham found these drawers lying in a lane near his work and managed to persuade one of the delivery drivers to pick them up in the van then persuaded one of his customers to deliver them to our house.  He sanded them down and oiled them up and got glass cut to replace the missing fronts.  I loved the drawers but wasn't sure they'd look that great once all our pants and socks were visible inside, so Graham recycled an unused wardrobe backing and cut it up to make these little dividers to hide the drawers' contents.  What a guy, huh?!  I've been lining the drawers with lovely green wallpaper that we got in the sale section of John Lewis and covering the dividers with insanely glittery gold wrapping paper from Paperchase.  I've just got five glittery bits still to attach - slowly, slowly catchy monkey.  We've both been collecting small items to put in the drawer fronts for decoration.
 This photo is a bit rubbish, but it gives you an idea of the drawers in their entirety.  Excuse the surrounding mess too.  I'm not sure all the items in the drawer fronts so far will be staying, I've just been trying a few things out, mostly stuff that's been in the house for years just looking for the perfect home.  I think this will be my favourite piece of furniture once it's finished, it's going to be smashing and fun to look at and use.  What more could you ask for from storage for your pants and socks?!
Not wanting to be left out of the family project, Dulcie has been creating her own displays in the drawers too.  She was very proud when she presented these dirty socks and sellotape to us :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

harvest "festival"

 You might remember I blogged about our vegetable "garden" a while back.  Well, we've harvested!
 And this is our harvest.  Our ENTIRE harvest.  Behold, the most expensive four carrots (I'm not sure why one came out yellow) known to man!
 And here they are next to my freakishly small hand for scale.  Hmmm.
I think Dulcie's look here says it all!

Actually, she was pretty impressed, as was I.  We motherfreakin' grew these from seeds!  Wow!  But I suppose the garden overall couldn't be called a great success.  We hardly spent any time out there either, I guess it just didn't fit in with our busy lives really.  And (now, this is so typical of me/us) we ended up not managing to eat the carrots before they went rubbery and ended up in the bin.  Boo hiss!  Honestly, you wouldn't think it would be that hard to find time to pull up and nibble some carrots, but that is how we roll.  Still, I think Dulcie certainly got SOMETHING from the experience.  

What remains of our garden now looks a real mess.  I need to find the time to pack it all up.  I'm not sure whether we'll repeat the experiment next year or call an end to our gardening foray.  I'm loathe to admit defeat, but I'm not sure the experiences of this year have really got me in the gardening zone.  We'll see how we feel in 2015.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

time-travelling tuesday (part 23)

Stoats and shrews, it was a week of nature spotting for me.  I think this was the only time I've ever seen a stoat and it was standing up just like the one in this picture.  Shrews, however, were ten a penny, but I was still always pleased to see them and their ridiculous noses.  There were definite upsides to growing up in the country.  Dulcie's version of nature consists of pigeons, magpies, lowly grey squirrels and maybe the odd fox or rat if she's lucky.  Mind you, what Glasgow lacks in wildlife, it makes up for with cinemas, swimming pools, parks, libraries, soft play...  Plus my parents' new garden is a haven of frogs and hedgehogs.  Yeah, she'll be fine :)

20th May June 1988
Went to Finlays house.  I saw a shrew running into its hole.  I've decided to start a band.

21st May June 1988
Today it was Gartly sports.

22nd May June 1988
Played with Callum and James.

23rd June 1988
Ballet exams today.  The policeman came to stamp the bikes.

24th JUNE 1988
Today I was sick.  It is very very very very very very very very very very very hot.

25TH JUNE 1988

26th June 1988
I saw a stote.

Monday, October 20, 2014

watch with mother

I don't think Dulcie was even born by the time I started looking forward to the day when we'd be able to watch films together and, at last, those days are here!  A few weeks ago, while Graham was at work, Dulcie and I made an impromptu visit to the Saturday-morning child-friendly screening at our local cinema and saw Boxtrolls.  Dulcie and I go to the cinema quite often to see episodes of her favourite TV shows, but I wasn't sure how she'd cope with a full-length film.  Turns out it was a breeze - Dulcie was wide eyed with amazement for almost the whole time.  Being familiar with the cinema seats and screen didn't detract from the excitement for her at all and she was definitely drawn in by the sweeping cinematic scale of it.  I had to break out the snacks for the last 20 minutes or so, but her interest was definitely held throughout.  I really enjoyed Boxtrolls too - a great story and beautiful stop-motion animation with plenty of chuckles, something for everyone!
We've also been making the most of our vomiting days to watch some films at home - every cloud etc.  Gnomeo And Juliet was new to both of us and was OK, but way too much Elton John for my taste and I'm not sure Dulcie would have lasted the entire film if she hadn't been too ill to move!  101 Dalmatians was a major hit though.  I've always loved that film and I was pretty confident Dulcie would like it too since she already enjoys some of the music from it and is very interested in Cruella De Vil as a character.  She ended up loving it so much that she watched it twice in one day.  I see multiple viewings in our future and I'm perfectly happy about that :)
Not a film, but our local cinema recently showed Bagpuss at Toddler Time, to my huge excitement.  I bloomin' love Bagpuss and couldn't wait to share it with Dulcie.  I think she loved it just as much as I ever did.  She's still only seen two episodes, but has been talking about Bagpuss for weeks to anyone who cares to listen.  I think her granny is planning on getting her a Bagpuss DVD for her birthday.  Yippee!

There are lots of films I'm still looking forward to sharing (or should I say films I'm glad to have an excuse to watch again and again?!) but most of them will have to wait until she's a wee bit older, I think.  I'm talking Labyrinth, people!  Oh, yeah!  Hopefully there will be lots of films on in the run-up to Christmas that Dulcie would enjoy that we can record and watch at our leisure.  Children's Christmas films - I can hardly wait!

Have you got any recommendations of films a toddler and her mum might enjoy?  Preferably ones without pretty girls who want to marry into money.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

what a mug

I Don't Like Morning People Hand Painted Funny Quote Art White Mug 12 oz Dishwasher Safe
This mug (by Farizula on Etsy) sums up my feelings about life at the moment.  You could substitute pretty much any word for "mornings" or "people".  It's official, I DON'T LIKE ANYTHING!  Grrr.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

halloween's coming

Eastern Small Fry Bat . Print

Halloween is coming and I thought Dulcie and I were agreed on what her outfit should be.  For ages we've been talking about her dressing up as a cave girl, not exactly traditional Halloween fare, but on the scary spectrum, which is more than close enough these days.  She's got two events on the day - a party at nursery (which I'll be going along to) and small-scale guising with a few of her little friends in the evening.  I thought one outfit would suffice for both and I was excited about making a simple but fun cave-girl outfit for her and maybe even a matching one for me.  Matching outfits, people!  But now that the pumpkins are in the shops, Dulcie claims she reeeeeally wants to dress up as a pumpkin (I blame Charlie and Lola) and I know you can get cheap pumpkin outfits (for less than the cost of cave-girl materials) in Home Bargains and the like.  What a dilemma.  Do I satisfy my urges for a home-made lifestyle and spend more time and money on the cave-girl costumes or sell out and make Dulcie's day with a shop-bought pumpkin?  I wasn't going to go mad on the outfits if I was making them, I'm talking arm and head holes cut in a pillowcase really and fake fur cuffs for ankles and wrists, so it's not like it would be fulfilling my life's crafty ambitions or anything.  I guess I just like the idea of being the kind of mum who made Halloween costumes (that's the sort of childhood memory I'd like Dulcie to have) and there are only so many years that Dulcie will be dressing up at all.  But is it fair to force these idea(l)s on Dulcie when she'd be as happy to go with the flow and fit in with her peers?  I need to decide now so I can order a cheap leopard-print duvet set online if I am caving it!

Apologies for missing Time Travelling Tuesday yesterday.  Dulcie and I have both been struck down by yet another vomiting bug lately (each one worse than the last) and foolishly went to my parents' house as planned, thinking we were over it, then got stranded there for days, too puky to travel home until last night.  I'm still at home in bed/on the couch but have packed Dulcie off to nursery, like the big meanie I am, despite her pale face and protestations.  I keep hoping that this will be (must be!) the last stomach bug of the winter, then realise that winter hasn't even begun yet.  We are officially sick of sick!

UPDATE:  Four days later, the decision has been made.  Dulcie will be dressing up as a shop-bought pumpkin.  What can I say?  It's what the girl wants.  She couldn't even be swayed by the offer of a home-made Frankenstein costume, which I think would have been amazing.  Embrace the mass-produced pumpkin, Mum...  Hopefully I'll be allowed to make Halloween costumes in future years.  I'm going to start making Christmas stuff this week, just so that I don't feel like such a flake.  Dulcie WILL be exposed to my handmade dreams one way or another!