Thursday 28 June 2007

Off Gallivanting...

A weekend in the country beckons.

Have packed umbrellas, waterproof coats and hot water bottles.

See y'all next week.

Paws for Thought

Make time for yourself.

Allow yourself the space to relax.

Express your inner child.

Love Poppy x

(Yo! Ginger!)


I quite like ironing

I'm liking this whole, crinkle thing more

if I spend less time ironing

I can spend more time improving my mind.

Wednesday 27 June 2007


Come with me to the water meadows

through reeds

and past bull rushes

to secret places

where lilies bloom

and the heron waits.

Monday 25 June 2007

On The Importance of Photographs

Guscott was a hamster.

  • Small and nippy.

  • Lived in a complicated cage that only MasterM was able to re-assemble.
  • Addicted to pine nuts.

  • Escaped and recaptured at least twice.

  • Much loved.

So far, so average. Everyone has known a hamster like Guscott.

When Guscott ground to a halt on his yellow wheel at the advanced age of two and a half his little body was lovingly encased in a matchbox coffin, decorated with messages for the hamster afterlife and some pinenuts for the journey. MasterM and MissM escorted him to the vets and we gave him to the very kind Veterinary Nurse.

To her credit she did not snigger when confronted with two weeping children and merely murmured "Do you want to collect the ashes tomorrow?"

I must have looked aghast because she quickly explained that it would not be necessary.

As we left the surgery MasterM asked in a quavering voice

"What will happen to Guscott?"

I had prepared for this moment. I spoke in language that he was familiar with.

"Darling, Guscott is going to have a Viking funeral."


I had not realised that eight year olds could shriek so loudly. I hurried them both to the car and then said in my most soothing voice

"Let's go home and look at the photos of Guscott so that we can remember what a lovely, friendly, funny hamster he was."


dear reader


  • Picture me searching fruitlessly through boxes and boxes of folders of photos that had not been carefully organised into albums.

  • Picture my children looking at me and knowing that they knew that I was a failure as a mother.

which is why

when we went to the shop

to buy Hatley

  • large and gentle
  • addicted to Shreddies

  • lived in an even more complex construction (guilt money)

  • escaped and recaptured at least twice

  • much loved

I made sure that every aspect of his life was fully documented.

It also explains why I am the one with a camera at family gatherings.

At the back of my mind there is a small voice whispering

"This could be it. This could be the last picture of us all together."

The End of the Beginning

These are other people's children.

For three years they have written thousands of words.

And this is the end of all that.

There are tears of elation and tears of disappointment.

And farewells.

Now is the time to face up to the future.

Sunday 24 June 2007

Paws for Thought

Try to get into a regular sleep habit.

I recommend at least eight hours a night.

Sleep helps your skin to relax and regenerate.

Love Poppy x

(Reaching out to the spaniel community)

A Diet of Worms

Share my pain

warning: pictures may be slightly blurred
due to large champagne cocktail on empty stomach

crab tian with mango salsa

line caught sea bass with anchovy and olive risotto

warm chocolate sponge with walnut and banana* parfait
*not local

hot, hot coffee

petit fours

MrM thinks he can have both white chocolate truffles
...think again, MrM.

Saturday 23 June 2007

Questions for my Estate Agent.

  • What is a palazzina? Is it a small palazzo - because if I am spending €3.6m I 'm not wanting anything small.

  • Why has it got two bedrooms and two kitchens but only one bathroom? Does that mean that I have to cook my own breakfast but I get to share a bath?

  • Artist's studio...I'm worried about the neighbours. What sort of artist is earning enough to buy a palazzina?

  • Is the Gothic Cortile petrol or diesel?

  • As the property has a private boat entrance is there a gondola provided or do I have to bring my own?

  • Is there an agreement covering communal areas? Because otherwise the shared staircase is going to be a deal-breaker.

Friday 22 June 2007

Shopping with MissM

MrsM... Should I buy this ?

MissM.. Only if you want to look like a Solero wrapper

MrsM... So that's a no, then.

Thursday 21 June 2007

Oranges and Lemons

It has been stressful today


the deep and meaningful post that was scheduled

has been cancelled

until further notice.

These roses were given to me yesterday.

I am astonished how much I love them.

To a Blackbird from a Magpie


...thank you for being my blog guru...

Wednesday 20 June 2007

Stir with a Knife, Stir up Strife.

MasterM is deeply troubled by this blog.

carving knife - sharpened theatrically by MrM on Sundays

"I think that it is very worrying.

First of all because you said that you would NEVER do a blog"

bread knife - a gift when I went to university in 1981

"And also because it is weird"

heritage cheese knife c1950 with horn handle

"Why is it weird?"

bagel knife - bought at Amish market in Lancaster County - much loved

"Because you are putting all that stuff on the Internet."

"OK - talk to me about Facebook and your 356 friends"

tomato knife - used only by MrM

"That's not weird. That's normal"

One for Sorrow...

...but let's not talk about that...

...let's talk about...

Thank you soooo much, MrM.

Tuesday 19 June 2007

An Apple for MissM

Today MissM had her braces off.

She has been visiting the orthodontist for two years and suffering all kinds of contraptions and indignities without complaint.

The orthodontist has been a model of kindness and efficiency and the treatment proceeded exactly as he said it would two years ago.

I asked MissM what she would like for a treat

and she said

an apple

I arrived at the surgery feeling like the Wicked Witch.

But MissM

- who knows her fairy stories -

said that she would only be worried if I brought a poisoned comb as well.

Which I hadn't planned to do.


how does MissM feel

now that she can eat apples whenever she wants?

MissM feels like smiling.

Monday 18 June 2007







What's not to like about Geraniums?

Sunday 17 June 2007

Fathers Day

A few things that you didn't know you needed to know about MrM.

He is absent from September until April - or May -

depending on how well London Irish are doing in the League.

He loves coffee cake

which is a pain in the neck because everyone else likes chocolate cake.

He has a shelf of books about the Spanish Peninsular War.

And he can help MissM with her Greek translations.

He knows what all the remote controls do.

Even in Irish holiday homes.

He is a great dad.