Our coats, the camera and the dog lead are lying redundant on the stairs. Every time I declare this to be the moment to venture out of doors, the heavens open. I don't mind the rain. But walking the dog and the boy in a torrential downpour I can do without, frankly. It really doesn't make for a harmonious household. And anyway, Olly is engaged with old toys that he found in the attic yesterday. Sam's old Robot Wars toys. A programme from a time when my eldest was about the same age as Olly is now. It's lovely to just let him be. Engaged in imaginative play and chattering away to himself. And I'm not feeling the need to fill his days with me and him stuff. I'm learning to let my children be. It took long enough, mind.
Inspired by Annie (Is there anyone out there not inspired by Annie?)
- Olly was given the choice of three small pumpkins for a pound each, or one big one for three pounds. He chose the latter, but then decided to hide it in his bedroom. He has wrapped it up in most of my tea towels, and has told me that he won't be carving a face into it. I'm not sure what he plans to do with actually.
- I am going on some sort of detox, starting Monday. In an attempt to kick start my return to the healthier lifestyle that was abandoned during the summer holidays. What is it about old habits? They are tenacious little blighters, aren't they?
- Happiness reigns here once more. We are a contented household, I think. I am feeling balanced and calm. The scales are not tipped too much one way or the other, and whatever life gives us at the moment we are coping with.
- My friend Liz, spoke of the wonders of upper thigh gap last night. This means nothing to me. Nor does a cleavage. I have to push both of mine together to make one good one. Without a bra, it's like two golf balls in a sock.
- I am lately enthralled to Liza Tarbuck on Radio 2 of a Saturday evening. I listen to her show while I am pottering about in the kitchen. Totally my kind of woman. And I bet she doesn't give two hoots for upper thigh gap.
- Yesterday I read 'George's Marvellous Medicine' to Olly. I though I'd try out books with more words than pictures. He was enthralled to the story, hence the trip up into the loft to find his brothers collection of Roald Dahl books. Next up, 'The Twits.' I am struck by how his understanding and enjoyment of stuff is changing. All of a sudden he is growing up. We still wrap him up in cotton wool a bit though. Marc and I are holding on to his littleness in a way that I don't think we did with Sam and Alf. To us, he'll always be the baby. Does anyone else feel that way about their youngest?
- I don't like Halloween. Plastic masks, and trick or treating leave me cold. I don't get the idea of dressing up in order to look gruesome. Why? If I dress up, I like to think I look better than I did before. And don't knock on my door after 8pm, because I won't answer it. It's usually only a group of teens with one Scream mask between them, hands outstretched for a fistful of sweeties. I can be a bit bah humbug like that. They'll bang on my door, and I usually shout 'Bugger off!' Sometimes they respond in kind.
- I wrote my first Christmas 'to do' list this morning. I'll say no more on the matter.
- Like Annie, I am perplexed by the continued flowering of plants in the garden. Snap Dragons in October? What's going on?
- I have a recipe for the easiest, and possibly the loveliest biscuits ever. Store cupboard staples, cheap as chips and you can dunk them in your tea! I cook and bake loads, but don't share on here because I don't photograph foodstuffs very well. However, you really need to try these:
125g sugar (any kind you have. It's not a fussy biscuit)
1 tsp golden syrup, although I usually slosh in more. Actually, can you slosh golden syrup?
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1tsp boiling water
125g porridge oats
125g self-raising flour
Put butter, syrup, bicarb and water into a large pan and melt. Take off the heat, add the flour and oats, stir to combine.
Place teaspoon sized balls on a baking tray, leaving space between to spread out. I have made them bigger than this, and they work just as well.
Bake in the oven (160) for about 0-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
*Taken from Lisa Faulkner's book 'Recipes From My Mother To My Daughter'
A surprisingly good cook book.