Archive for September, 2009

On my toes

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

OK, I need some help from somebody who knows. I thought my grasp of science was quite firm but I find it shaken to its foundations by tricky questions from Maggie (who, incidentally has been in and out and in and out of school like a tee-to-tum* this past week; we have no idea what is going on except she’s a bit poorly. Sometimes.) We’ve been touching on evolution a little since our visit to the Natural History Museum in the summer, but it is all a bit confused. What can I say, ask me about molecules!

She declares she doesn’t believe in dinosaurs because it doesn’t seem very likely, does it. Well no it doesn’t – and how to explain that they are not like fairies or, you know, dragons, or something that you can choose to believe in a bit if you like but really we all know they are not true. Or Santa – and we’ve had some interesting chats about the juxtaposition of him and Jesus, also, thanks to the church school she is attending.  The Christmas when Jesus was born was indeed the first Christmas, after a fashion, but was it the first time Santa brought presents? And if not, why not?

So. We established rather reluctantly that dinosaurs had existed a long time ago (we saw the skeletons, remember). But – here’s the science bit – did the monkey things** evolve from the dinosaurs? Or did they evolve from the other mammally things that were around at the same time (I think), mammoths and, um, sabre-toothed tigers and suchlike? And if that is the case, did they share a common ancestor? I am pretty firm on birds (and I imagine reptiles) evolving from dinosaurs, but didn’t some fishy thing crawl out of the swamp on its fins at some point? Was the pre-dinosaur, and did that then evolve into us or into birds?

*A thing that goes in and out a lot. No idea; ask my mum.
**She’s fairly unquestioningly happy about us having evolved from monkey things, and I am reasonably happy about hominids and Lucy and missing links. I think. We haven’t got into that in depth yet.

What a week!

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

And yes, it is only Wednesday. Morning. After a very productive weekend (damson gin, plum wine, 3 loaves of bread), Sunday night was mostly spent listening to Tamsin cry with earache. Cameron sloped off to the spare room but I don’t think any of us got much rest. Irritatingly, the next day she was perky and bright while I moped about waiting for bedtime and wondering whether the day would ever end. One night of proper sleep then the school rang at Tuesday lunchtime for me to go and pick up a very poorly M. White, hot, headache…so I spent last night listening to her breathing, which didn’t sound very good. Occupying one child who wants to lie all sad and cuddled on the sofa at the same time as another who is rapidly developing cabin fever is something of a challenge – and C is away – and I have a stinking cold, did I mention that?

Moan moan whinge whinge.

Hippy birthing

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

First “hypnobirthing” session today. Mostly comprised sitting all quiet and comfy with my eyes shut for half an hour (nothing wrong with that) while the…hmm…not sure what to call her; hypnotist conjures images of gold watches and yooou are feeeeling sleeeepy while hypnotherapist suggests I have Issues. Anyway. She did a kind of guided relaxation, of the type that I am rubbish at after yoga classes. Bodily relaxation fine; stopping my brain from making endless to-do lists, not so good. Oh and I imagined I was in a beautiful garden a bit. Can’t honestly see how it is going to help but I am quite willing to give it a go: can’t hurt, can it.


Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

OK so I haven’t quite been here as much as I intended.  Part two of our hol has not yet appeared. Today: a new term, a new school year. And boy are we back to normal: Mag loved school of course, despite a small wibble when we went in to her new classroom, saying goodbye to Ruby (different class this year) and not knowing where her drawer was. But apparently her new school shoes were brilliant. Tamsin and I zipped into town on the bus to visit the market for 2 kg of plums – I have an unexplained urge to make wine – and some damsons for gin, then she went off to preschool. Cameron has gone to Italy via London (he is showing some press people round Ferrari, how horrible for him) and I am home alone in the rain with a short deadline. And actually rather enjoying being on my own for the first time since July!

I haven’t set foot on the allotment since being kicked off: am going to have to stop being sad and embarrassed and get myself down there. There’s a sandpit and two raised beds (and some lovely veg, and a rhubarb crown that I know they have been coveting) that I will not leave for the next person. It’s raining though; did I mention that?

english ones

I’ve been reading…not that I am ever without a book, but I’ve been getting through them at a better rate (we’ll see what happens now it is term-time again). One of my reads was not on the label, an interesting book in the same vein as tescopoly or fast food nation. It wasn’t full of surprises but has reinforced a lot of the things I was trying to do anyway – so I am back baking bread, which had slipped over the holidays (and early pregnancy too, don’t forget – a pretty damn good excuse if you ask me) and stepping back from the meat-centric diet we had drifted towards. (This is complicated by Tamsin being almost exclusively carnivorous.) I have dug out my excellent river cottage bread book and today attempted english muffins (that’s them in the picture); bagels are next on the hit list. I am unsure about prawns, the farmed fish/wild fish thing continues to confuse me, but I feel quietly smug (and lucky) to have an organic farm shop in the next village that competes with the supermarkets price-wise and stocks about 95% of things I want.