Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Russell Square in Winter

I love London...


I can’t say we’ve really been affected much by the snow here in central London, it settled for about 5 minutes then turned to sludge. Some of the parks have crisp white blankets of frost in the mornings and I have been wearing my new Wellington boots everywhere, even to supper at Kettners on Monday although I changed into my red Mary Janes at the bar. 

I went to a quick Christmas party before with a fantastic view over the old site of Middlesex Hospital:


Oh Christmas tree.

Having started off with 2 baubles, one red and one blue, gifts from Christmas past one saying ‘Baubles to Christmas’ and the other ‘Merry Whatever’, I was a bit worried our Christmas tree might look a little bare this year. I usually have a theme, for example, one year was shells and bells, one year – minatures, alcoholic ones, that was fun, if a little pricey but not really suitable now we are parents. Twin mum had a box of old decorations that were going to whomsoever wanted them from which I rescued the gold baubles. I found some hand beaded black angels in an art gallery up the road for next to nothing and I had some odd birds, make of that what you will. 

The GR was unsure of my black angels (made by South African tribeswomen) but I liked them. I filled in the gaps with fondant stars, (roll out shop bought Royal icing then press out star shapes with a cutter and dry out in a very low oven for a couple of hours and paint with melted white chocolate). When I started to put a doilly around the base The GR got very agitated but when I covered most of it up with an image of Maurice Sendaks’ Wild Things he was happy. Erbie too, he points at the tree and says ‘star’ and goes ‘boum boum boum ’ at the Wild Things.

Catch-up in brief

The Grandad is here which is jolly, having a grandparent for Christmas that is pleasant to be around and easy going. Sadly he is here because he has left his second wife (mother-in-law number 2). So things are a little cramped but cosy. Erbie is loving it. The Belle Mere has made contact via text and has gone away for Christmas and New Year and Epiphany, so all quiet on the Western front as it were. We got a Christmas tree in a pot from Covent Garden which was great fun. The GR carried it back and got mud all down his new coat. I decorated it in gifted baubles, fondant icing stars, black angels and birds. I'll take some photos later. I managed to get Christmas cards made and sent, not very seasonal but hey. My best friend from the States came to visit and met Erbie for the first time, she has a mane of golden hair so he roared quite a bit in her presence. She came bearing wonderful gifts and we spent some time feeding ducks in Regents Park and wandering around our old haunts on Marylebone High  Street. I've managed to do some Christmas shopping, still have mince pies to make...

Friday, 11 December 2009

Christmas Cards

I make my Christmas Cards every year, which used to involve me thinking of something witty or a scapel at very least. Now however I can barely scrape an idea together let alone an evening of cutting and sticking. These Beatrix Potter ones rather caught my eye, but have sold out already darnit. I shall try and garner an idea at the craft fair tomorrow, if not it will be a fuzzy London photo with Christmas emblazoned across it in a brown envelope .

Alphabet Blockers

Alphabet Blocks by Bob and Roberta Smith for the Tate

I find alphabet blocks strangely desirable. I could get some for Erbie but these wouldn’t really do, charming as they are, they only contain letters to make the statement ‘Make art not war’; which although carrying the right sentiment wouldn’t make for good standard educational alphabet learning, just random words such as Worm Karma or Kmart. 

New Banksy?

Banksy, Broadwick Street, Soho, London, December 2009

Badly out of focus I know, due to me not wanting to use flash to keep lovely tree shadows on the wall. It’s just up from PrĂȘt on the way to Carnaby Street. A comment on street performers perhaps?

Christmas Lights

Erbie still has a cough, it is really hanging around, so we have not been out much. He woke up at 3.30 this morning and we couldn’t get him back to sleep. Childcare involved moi on sofa snoring, him playing brum brum cars and shredding toilet roll, with occasional eye unsticking from me to offer cereal or book reading. Kids TV doesn’t even start till 6am. Anyway we all went back to sleep at 11, so I await tonight’s outcome. Bugger all this ‘extra hours in the day makes them sleep longer at night’ nonsense, I’m happy with sleep all night uninterrupted and get up at 5am.

Kingly Court, Soho


Jaeger head office, Soho

Windmill Street Gallery, W1

Charlotte Street, W1

Absolutely Fabulous

I found the bit I was referring to in ‘Flashcards’ below, (on youtube of course). If you have the time and inclination and feel the wont to accidently spit out whatever you have in your mouth at the time with laughter watch this clip through to the end. 

Miranda Richardson is brilliant, and I believe this sequence maybe responsible for my commando style baby rearing - one nappy, no change of clothes and no buggy! 

New parenting skills AbFab style. 

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Flash Cards

Or rather, not so flash cards. Having seen several of these on offer in various book shops, which all seemed rather boring, we have made some of our own. Obviously it is important that Erbie can say BT Tower, it being a local landmark and all, so far it is ‘Bitty’, but I’m still impressed.

If I do buy any I’ll probably get some french ones from Grant & Cutler in Soho but they put me in mind of Miranda Richardson playing the hilarious pushy mummy in AbFab. She holds up a card and says ‘mummy, mummy, mummy very tired’.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

If you are reading this

...and you know who you are.

Call your son.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Barbie dollface

OMG Christian Louboutin has designed a Barbie doll, now there’s a doll Actionman or hell even batman wouldn’t mind sharing a shelf with. This ‘Cat Burglar’ Barbie comes with four pairs of her own mini sized red-soled Louboutins complete with their own dust bag and shoebox. She’s a collecters item but I’d just have to play with those shoes. You can get her from for £100, the only way anyone would be able to get 4 pairs of Louboutins for £100 anyday – unless you know differently of course.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Note to self.

Go here Craftacular .

Twin mum day.

I have a close friend who is the mother of twins and I received this email from her today. Next time I’m feeling a bit annoyed because Erbie has stuck his mitten in a puddle or is teething up a storm I shall remind myself there’s only one of him to worry about, I don’t know how she does it.

What a mad morning, I went to the park where both girls decided to sit in a puddle. A puddle of black mud and yuck. They did have their muddypuddles (waterproofs) on, but their fleeces and everything else is black, no other children do it, why do mine?  I did not want them in the buggy they were so dirty I took off  their muddypuddles for the trip home, during which they just yanked each others hair all the way, with me screaming at them (very attractive).  At home I tried to get lunch ready whilst they both decided to empty the freezer. M. then fell off of her chair on to the little table, sending baked beans, fish fingers and waffles flying all over the front room, hers and her sisters. M. split her lip open and the dog ate all the food.

It gets worse I made them a sandwich, then trying to get them up to bed, F, even though she says careful at every step, fell down the stairs. Tears of drama from both of them, one is still awake and its twins club today and I will have to get them up again at 2.30.  I have just hoovered and mopped all the mess up downstairs and I am shattered. I haven’t even started on the washing and bed making yet and have the cooking to do for the girls tea let alone our supper.

All in a day of a twin mum. Is it too early for a glass of wine??

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Today we are mainly reading

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendack, Erbie can't get enough of this.

or this...

This is out from the rather fabulous Holborn library, where Erbie now has his first library card.
The pictures are all appliqued, and it's about names of baby animals, you know - cygnets, tadpoles, foals, chicks and the like. What is a baby kangaroo called? A joey - yes!

Every night without fail, when we get to ‘Goodnight stars’,  our star shaped fairy lights get switched off and its time to snuggle down.

Owl babies or ‘owbees’ as Erbie calls it, my favourite, more for the pictures than the story.

Crystal Skull

Erbie’s cough has now turned him into a snot bucket, streams of green flow from his nose at such a rate he has already filled three bandanas this morning. The pair of us are going a bit crazy from being cooped up inside and I decided I needed to take him out before his new nickname became ‘The destroyer’. So far he has torn the spine from three books, desecrated the John Lewis catalogue, tipped every small, arch of foot piercing toy out and thrust them behind the sofa, the radiator, or into the small gap between the dishwasher and the sink, snapped all the crayons in half and eaten all of his Jungle Book stickers. The last straw was when I caught him with a tampon clutched in his little fist whirling the blue string around in a manic fashion. 
So, to escape from the Erbie making crumbs, mess, destroying things, mummy sweeping, mummy putting things back in boxes, mummy sweeping cycle, we popped over the the British Museum to look at the crystal skull. They bought the crystal skull in 1897 from Tiffany & Co NY, believing it to be of ancient Mexican origin, more recent research however has revealed it to be a 19th century fake!

The British Museum WEM

Crystal Skull (British Museum)

Other nonsense

Quote of the day

‘They tuck you up your mum and dad...’
Anon - after Larkin

“Philately will get you everywhere”

“It’s not the despair, I can handle the despair. 
It’s the hope I can’t deal with”

“Each new friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

‘Come on Dover move your bloomin’ arse’.
Eliza Doolittle