Saturday, 29 January 2011

Don’t ask, don’t get.

I made this postcard to send to the local allotment site manager requesting a plot and it worked, I’m now on the waiting list. Number 204 but at least I’m on it!

House jewellery

Large Heart Shaped Escutcheon - £3.75 from Willow and Stone

God is in the detail, or so it is said and now that we are proud homeowners (don’t say that too quickly) I find myself noticing things I would have dismissed before, such as door knobs and light fittings, window latches, locks and escutcheons, oh dear! Changing a small detail such as a window lock does however update ones surroundings for the minimum of cost. We recently replaced the old broken nickel fastening on the sash window with a shiny new Bristol brass one and it really is like jewellery for the house. It makes me smile every time I look at it sitting there glinting in the pale Winter light.

Brass Bristol Window Fitting © Willow & Stone

Door knobs are next on the agenda as Erbie is fast reaching the height where he could take an eye out on one of the unclassy metal hook-like handles we have adorning our doors presently.

I rather like copper or brass or glass...

Olena Glass Door Knob from Laura Ashley

Talking of brass knockers we found out this morning that Kendal’s lump is malignant. Gulp, back to the house jewellery – quickly.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A Call To Arms

I’m not usually a political activist but what with the new government planning to sell off our forests and local councils having to cut funding for bedding plants and greenhouses. I call upon you to arm yourselves - with these flower grenades £11.50 for three from The Balcony Gardener, and you shall have buttercups and poppies wherever you go.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Terrible Twos

Erbie is two and has been since the end of August, lately he has been showing signs of the ‘terrible’ frequently bandied about with ‘twos’– terrible that is by Erbie standards. I believe it is all to do with him finding his own identity. My little bundle who once wore whatever I put him in and did whatever was asked of him is suddenly saying ‘no’ and having tantrums (of sorts). He is no longer a mere extension of me but his own little person, it is both exciting and trying at the same time. Whereas before when we were going out I’d stick his coat on, ram him into some shoes, stick him on my hip and we’d be out of the door, now I need to cajoule and barter. I read somewhere that it is not worth picking a fight with a two year old unless it involves their safety and have found this to be the easiest option. I still haven’t acquired the parental deafness to crying that I guess only comes when you have more than one.

I’ve found that offering a choice of (only two) items can help but once he has chosen I try to make him stick to his choice, that way we both feel in control, stripy socks or the penguin ones, that sort of thing. He will only wear his brown cord cap but at least he does wear a hat (he still has very little hair to talk of).

The other morning after refusing to put on shoes, he kicked out at the little row of them by the doorway and sobbed:

‘I smash my shoes, I sorry mummy.’

Once we are out, there are the shops to contend with. Having department stores as a sort of playground when we lived in W1 has, I think, helped him appreciate that lots of things don’t belong to us and therefore need to stay where they are. This works most of the time...

On Sunday the weather was miserable and Erbie was tired but as we hadn’t been out of the house for what seemed like days we took a walk to the nearby Farmer’s Market. On our way back we dropped into the local Garden centre for a nose around - lots of pots of pansies and primulas. There is also have a large shop that sells a wide selection of goods, I now know why half the local community walk around in Hunter wellies. They also sell some child friendly items among which was a a set of zoo animals in a bucket with a yellow safari jeep. Erbie decided he needed to have aforementioned safari jeep and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I left The GR queueing to buy a primula and took Erbie protesting: ‘I want it, I want it, okay, okay, lets go back, lets go back’, outside, this continued on and off for two thirds of the way home whereupon he fell fast asleep. He woke up 3 hours later happy as Larry.

His language is also coming on in leaps and bounds to the extreme that we really need to watch what we say in front of him or he will want it. The GR and I have started spelling stuff to one another, this only works if the person being spelt to doesn’t then trumphantly blurt out the word, this sadly has happened.

Recently Erbie and I were looking through a copy of the CBeebies magazine (I won’t buy it again, it’s the same price as a Vogue for God’s sake) and I was asking Erbie the names of things when suddenly he replied:

‘It’s cunt I think mummy, yes that’s right.’

I managed to calmly correct him but as I was saying we need to watch what we say.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Liberty Illustrated

Liberty is famous for its wonderful Tana Lawn cottons and has recently produced in my mind a rather topping collection using the skills of several book illustrators, ranging from Quentin Blake through to Lauren Child (the illustrator of Charlie and Lola). Some of the designs are quite charming - look, this one, in various colour ways is by Quentin Blake.

© Quentin Blake for Liberty 2011

© Lauren Child for Liberty

Brian Wildsmith © Liberty

And look, there are even some by David McKee, the creator of ‘Mr Benn’, ‘Elmer’ and ‘Not Now Bernard’, one really could imagine walking down Festive Road in a shirt made from either of these.

© David McKee for Liberty

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