Tuesday 31 July 2007

There is much to be done...

the mother of the Lovely MissE
is coming to supper.

The only thing between me
and the delightful, welcoming house
that she will enter this evening


hours of hard work.

I would rather be lying on the sofa
eating cherries
and checking out my favourite blogs.

writes of a wonderful life
beachcombing and flying kites
with her little girl,Margaret.
It sounds idyllic.

Third Times A Charm
is much closer to my own experience
because she has boys that need patching up
and she cooks chicken nuggets occasionally.
fascinates me.
This is a world where 8 year old girls drive Ford pickups
and working with Daddy means steer wrangling.

Uncommon Grace
writes movingly of her struggle with depression
but takes pictures of her children
that make your heart sing.

Toddler Planet
reminds me of how precious every moment is
as she battles heroically against breast cancer.
I am astonished by her courage.
Please visit her website
to learn about inflammatory breast cancer.

has two little girls just starting ballet classes.
If only I could wind the clock back
to the day when MissM chose her best dress
and put on her little red shoes...

Send me calming vibes...
MasterM is so anxious to impress
that he is scurrying around like a house-elf.
Note to self: Must have Mother of MissE to supper more often

Monday 30 July 2007

Watching the Flowers Grow.

This is the window box that catches the morning light.

I see it as I stand in the kitchen and drink my first cup of tea.

I have too many things in my life at the moment
to be a good gardener.
That time will come.
I hope.

But I pull out all the stops for my window boxes.

I love them because
they are small landscapes
which can be planted on a whim.

You feel in control.
You can experiment with colour and shape.

And then you can throw them away and start all over again.
I like that too.

Sunday 29 July 2007

The Battle with the Ironing Basket

It is not good news from the front.
The enemy has made advances in all areas
and severe shortages have resulted.

There has been a small but successful counterattack
on the left (sock) flank.

This is enough black socks for a regiment
and they are ready for action.

Whoever thought of coloured toes
should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

MasterM has 15 pairs
with labels sewn in by my own fair hands

Now for an unsavoury visit
to the odd sock mountain.

MrM said "If they were washed more often
we wouldn't need so many"

Now that's war talk.

Saturday 28 July 2007


Continuing my mini series....

"Unexpected Developments in Evolution"

Friday 27 July 2007

The Naming of Flowers

My mother knows the names of flowers.

Granny's Bonnet, Policeman's Helmet, Lady's Slipper

Old Man's Beard, Ragged Robin, Touch-Me-Not

Sweet William, Herb Robert, Corn Cockle

Eyebright, Self-Heal, Feverfew

Harebell, Larkspur, Bird's Foot Trefoil

And she knows where the wild orchids grow.

Thursday 26 July 2007

A La Mode...

A whole wall of Crocs!
If only MissM was here to help me choose.

There are so many decisions to make.

Which colour?

Which pattern?

Should I go for the waffle cut out...

Or the Mickey Mouse effect?

I'm thinking that if I had feet this big

I probably wouldn't choose lilac.

I am not sure if they are

the ideal shoe to start walking in...

but I am tempted by the pink ones with silver dragons.

Oh no!


I want these!

I hope that Manolo never reads this blog

because somebody might have to call the ambulance.

Silly Shadows

I love this photo.

It was taken with much laughter
by me
while MissM held her new dangly earrings.

I complained that they were moving
and she complained that her arm was probably going to drop off.

When I looked at the photo there was the shadow.
I said 'Look, look, there is a shadow of a rabbit on the wall!'
MissM said 'I know, I did it deliberately.'
She has to be very patient because I can be slow on the uptake sometimes.

It exactly captures what I try to do with photos for this blog.
They are immediate because they are memories.
I snap rather than pose.
I hope they are lighthearted.

p.s. she can also do wolves, swans, eagles and The Taj Mahal.
Well, maybe I made up the bit about Taj Mahal
but you never know
because my daughter is

Medical Update

The Lovely MissE is now recovered
and sits beside a pool outside a French chateau.

MasterM pines on the sofa in Chez Magpie
and watches television programmes on
to pass the time.

His only consolation is the knowledge that
the Poorly Teddy triumphed again.

Wednesday 25 July 2007

Patent Remedies

The lovely MissE is not well
and so MasterM has summoned up all our family magic
to make her better.

Meet the Poorly Teddy.

He is a teddy who dances for you and plays a merry tune
when you fall over and bump your knee.
It distracts you for long enough
for your mother to slap on a plaster.
Especially useful for accident prone little boys.

This is the LemSip mug

It was painted by MissM when she was five at a school fete
and is used for hot drinks when you have ‘flu.
Especially useful for man ‘flu.

Dumbo and the Duvet

The final stage before hospitalisation
is an afternoon on the sofa under the duvet watching Dumbo.
It works every time.

I was very touched by this.

Sometimes family traditions grow and become more important than you realise.

MasterM may be a hard bitten athlete-in-training

but he still believes that the Poorly Teddy can make you better.

Tuesday 24 July 2007

Souvenirs from Amsterdam

MissM returned from Amsterdam on Friday
shiny eyed with stories of life in a new city.

no clogs but lots of windwill photos

She brought souvenirs which she has kindly agreed to share.

delicious pastries from Simon Meyssen, Broodbakker

She was lucky enough
to be invited to stay with a friend who lives there.

3D glasses for watching Harry Potter

They explored the canals, the flower market
and the wonderful museums...

new perspectives

and ransacked the flea market.

matching bangles - it's a chick thing

The thing that she found strange
was the complete absence of other teenagers.

She was told that they are turned into sausages when they are 13.


Poffertjes - bought to humour MrM

Many thanks to the family that she stayed with
who could not have been more generous with their hospitality.

Monday 23 July 2007

Domestic Intelligence

I think that the free pens and pencils forgotten in drawers...

a past life

say a lot

a past job

about your family.

a lifelong commitment

I didn't show them all

next to our favourite restaurant. ever.

because you might have got the wrong impression.

the future

Sunday 22 July 2007

Harry Potter - We Were There.

In late 1996 or early 1997, sitting in the children's section of the local library, I noticed a new book on the shelf. I read it while MasterM and MissM were immersed in
picture books and Disney videos.

MissM's teacher had not heard of it - unimaginable now.

When the paperback came out I bought a copy for when they were old enough to read it themselves which is why we have
a first edition of the first Harry Potter paperback.

Parts of the third Harry Potter film were shot close to ChezMagpie.

As a conscientious mother I arranged an expedition to share in the excitement. The most important scene was at Hagrid's Cabin and on the day that we went - as luck would have it - the whole of Hogwarts had turned out. We knew the area very well and walked along tiny woodland paths to the back of the set. Then MasterM and MissM scrambled through the bushes to the very edge of the filming area.

MasterM was wearing green and brown. MissM was not.

And now, ten years later it has come to an end.

Hogwarts has formed a delightful background to their childhood and early adolescence and I feel very grateful to J.K. Rowling for all the happy memories.

MissM went to Piccadilly on Friday night - straight from the airport - and waited in the queue for the midnight hour. She eventually reached the shop at 2.15am and got to bed at 4.00am. It has been quiet ever since.

We were there at the beginning.
And at the end.
And in the middle (if you know where to look).

Saturday 21 July 2007

The Suit

This is a self indulgent post

There is no excuse.

I should have put it straight in the wardrobe

but I am weak

as soon as I saw the red lining

I couldn't help myself.

I did remember this ...

from "The Tailor of Gloucester" by Beatrix Potter

which was another suit made for a wedding morning.

It is not convincing but it is the best that I can come up with.