Friday 29 February 2008

29th February

If we had a fire
this would be one of the things
that I would grab on the way out.

It has marked the passage of childhood
month by month
year by year.

from gap toothed smiles to braces
from wiped noses to shaving cream
from pinafore dresses to designer jeans
from tricycles to driving lessons
from storybooks to Camus and Shakespeare
from bows and plaits to heated rollers
from recorder to orchestral works.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if
the magical extra day,

I could find lego on the floor,
tiny socks in the laundry
and two little children absorbed beside the sand pit.

I wish.

Thursday 28 February 2008

Don't try this at home

MrsM falls in the bath, badly.
Very badly.
Resulting in attractive yellow and black bruises
And severe pain when doing anything requiring a right arm.
The friendly doctor at A&E said it happens all the time
And it will heal over the next three weeks.

So listen up good people...don't use Smooth and Sleek shampoo
It is slippery.

And in other news

The Lovely MissE is mingling with elephants

MasterM is immersed in his French A Level coursework

(and counting the days until MissE returns)

MissM is lecturing MrsM on Buddhist meditation

(did you know that Craving leads to Suffering?)

MrM has been making exciting plans on Expedia

It is nice to have something to look forward to...

Wednesday 27 February 2008

Of the Beginning

Who is to say when things begin?

I think that it must have been in old Nelly's shop
standing silently among the tottering piles of plates.
I ransack my memory for details
but there is only light streaming through tall windows
onto dusty bowls and serving dishes.
The blue and silver pushchair must have been there somewhere,
but it is only the china that I can remember,
and old Nelly who sat on a kitchen chair among the tea chests
and talked to my mother.

It must have been then...
among the dust and the crumpled newspapers,
between the heavy black door and the worn floorboards,
beside soup plates and tureens, odd saucers and teapots.

The beginning was then.

Tuesday 26 February 2008


shards of black,
soft white frilling,
miniature blossom,
small curls and puffs,
slivers of light from the shattering buds

new beginnings,
Spring set free.

Monday 25 February 2008

Sound Check

Blackbird wanted to know what I sounded like.

This was the only thing I could think of.

Sunday 24 February 2008

Under the Spotlight

We went to a Fashion Show

and I discovered

that I am hopeless

at taking Fashion Show photographs.

It is not as easy

as I thought it would be.


This Fashion Show was organised by two pupils
and featured 40 young models, male and female.
It was generously sponsored by local businesses
and enthusastically supported by parents.

All monies raised will go to
Breakthrough Breast Cancer

I thought of Susan at Toddlerplanet
who is returning to work
and beginning to plan for the future
with her husband and two little boys
and I was glad to support this very worthwhile charity.

Shopping without MissM

Shopping without MissM is a dreary affair.
I find myself looking at terrible clothes
And wondering which one to buy.

And then I hear MissM say

It depends whether you want to look like
a Dentist, a Doctor
or a Geography Teacher.

So I buy myself a bag instead.

Saturday 23 February 2008

Paws for Thought

It is that time of year again
and so I thought I would pass on
my tips for effective revision.

Break your work up into bite-sized chunks.

I recommend these high energy snacks
- they are delicious and nutritious
and will release serotonins to help you feel relaxed.

If a friend suggests a walk in the park - say YES!

Make sure that you get plenty of sleep.

Love Poppy

I am thinking of getting white highlights too...
What do you reckon?

Friday 22 February 2008

Happy Landings

Last night the Lovely MissE set off
on her travels around the world.
First Stop - Thailand.
She has worked very hard for six months
to earn the money to pay for this adventure
and deserves to have a wonderful holiday.

The Mother of the Lovely MissE
has spent the last six months
researching inoculations, visas,
travel insurance and gadgets for travellers.
She is amazingly organised
and I'm hoping that she will teach me
everything she knows next year.

MasterM was very brave at the airport
but has quickly discovered
that it is not the traveller who is lonesome.
It is the person who is left behind.


the Lovely MissE is writing a travel blog
- much to MasterM's chagrin, it is the cool thing to do -
However, gap year tales are not really suitable reading
for elderly people of sensitive dispositions.
Like myself.

So he has not shared the blog address.

Thursday 21 February 2008

A New Job

In which I am offered a job
with more money
and more responsibility
and I turn it down
because I like the job that I do
and the people that I work with.

It wasn't an easy decision.

Wednesday 20 February 2008

A Posy from my Mother's Garden

My mother said

My garden is a disaster this year

What with the wedding...

and the art exhibition...

and working in the shop...

and the weather...

But it does look pretty from the bathroom window.

I wrote this post last summer
and found it again yesterday.
It makes me smile because
I can hear my mother speaking so clearly.

This sort of memory makes a blog much more than a photo album.

Tuesday 19 February 2008

Come to Tea!

I think it is about time that you all came round for tea.

I have some Dragonfly tea
and so I am really hoping that Dragonfly can be there.
I am going to unpack my best Dragonfly china
- doesn't everybody have Dragonfly china? -
but I am going to ask Steph at Curlew Country
to bring some spare cups and saucers from her lovely collection.

Do you think LovethoseCupcakes
will bring a box full of her fabulous cakes?
Breadbox will have to come early
because she will be folding the napkins.
The house will look gorgeous
because Jane will be doing the flowers
- I am hoping for a Hellebore arrangement -
and if I ask nicely......
Vanessa will help with the table decorations.

I know, I am spoilt.
Spoilt, I tell you.

It is going to be such fun because
Blackbird will be there to make us laugh
- and maybe give us makeover advice.

Don't worry, you will know me immediately
because I will be wearing an apron
which I have borrowed from Florence
- I would rather wear a kimono
but it might look too informal.

Iliketomakestuff will be an honoured guest
because she kindly gave me an award.
Angie gave me one too
- but I will have to persuade her to fly from Michigan -
perhaps she could come with Ginnie and Anne.

It could get a bit rowdy
so I think that we will need Carrie to keep order.
Sorry, Carrie, you have got the most experience.

I am hoping that Fairlie can come
because I have only just met her
and I think that she might get on well with Lina.

I have just thought....Driftwood - can you bring a tea cosy?
Or two - because I love them so much.

It seems selfish to ask Tracy
to come all the way from Norway
just for tea
but I know that she would love to meet Ginny.

who needs a break from being SuperMum
- just for an hour or two -
Kirsty, can you make sure she comes with you?
(but maybe she had better do the driving...)

Megan who is in the middle of moving house
could talk to Ali about photography - it might distract her.
(Don't forget to bring Kristina, Ali)

I know that Becca is busy
but if Mary and Carolyn came too
they would have such fun talking about books
that she wouldn't mind sparing the time.

Right, so that is sorted then,
I will see you all this afternoon at my house.

(Errr...Val... do you mind helping with the washing up?)

Oh...and if I haven't mentioned you...
please don't be offended
just come anyway...
and bring a friend.

You will all be most welcome.

Monday 18 February 2008


When I was a little girl

the Parish Priest would visit our home once a year,
always on Shrove Tuesday.

He would sit at our kitchen table
and eat my mother's pancakes until he could eat no more.

Now, a lifetime later,
I watch my daughter mix the batter

but it doesn't seem so very long ago,

that scrubbed pine table with the four little children

and the friendly priest who loved pancakes.

Sunday 17 February 2008

Making a Difference

They say that if you give a man a fish he can eat
but if you teach him how to fish he will live.

What about a child?
If you teach them that they can make a difference
What does that do?

Carrie, who has been a good friend of this blog,
has a nine year old son, Wyatt.
Wyatt wants to give money to children in Africa.
He has set up a website for donations
and started the fund with his own pocket money.

The charity he has chosen is
The Open Arms Home for Children
and already he has raised enough money
to make a real contribution
to their work in South Africa.

What will this mean to Wyatt?
He has learned that he can make a difference,
even though he is only nine.
It is a lesson he will remember all his life.

And who knows what he will do in the future?

If you feel that you would like to help Wyatt
contribute to this worthwhile charity
he will be grateful for every single dollar.

Saturday 16 February 2008

It has been a long week.

Camellia japonica 'Marjorie Waldegrave'

Thank you for your kind thoughts yesterday.
The interview came and went.
I will know the result some time next week.

I have had a slight problem with Blogger...
the comments were not being notified to my AOL account
and were bouncing back to the writer.
(Thanks Breadbox for letting me know).
I have now sorted the issue with the comments, fingers crossed,
reading the Blogger help message board was a scary experience.
Did you know that blogs can just disappear?

I am thinking of going over to Typepad...
What do you reckon?

Welcome to the person who found ChezMagpie
by searching for
luminous pink bed socks

Have a great weekend!

Friday 15 February 2008

My Dilemma

I am

a mother

and a wife;

a cook, laundress and gardener;

and sometimes just myself.

I am also a salarywoman.

I have been asked to apply for a new job
and today, I have the interview.
When they ask me if I have any questions
I shall say

'Can you tell me where I am going to find
another two hours every day?'

Thursday 14 February 2008

A Soundtrack for V-Day

MissM complains that my ability
to listen to the same song
over and over again
goes beyond the limit of human endurance.

But that is what I do...
when I find something I like,
I stick with it.

Happy V-Day, MrM.

Wednesday 13 February 2008

A Secret Meeting of the Shepherds Pie Club

MasterM has a straightforward relationship with Shepherds Pie.
He hates everything about it.

So now we eat Shepherds Pie in secret,
when he is not at home.
I don't know why that should make me feel guilty.
But it does.


Edited to add

It would appear that a dislike of Shepherds Pie is a Boy Thing.
I had assumed that it was specific to MasterM and my fault
- due to some long- forgotten but very damaging incident
in his early childhood.
I am so grateful to you all for lifting this burden
which has worried me for years.

Tuesday 12 February 2008

Addition and Subtraction

There was a time when I set the table for two

or for four.

Nowadays, sometimes I set it for five

and sometimes for three.

I suppose there might come a time

when I set it for six...

but I won't worry about that now.