Thursday, 29 November 2012

Things to work on with Ben

Bedtime hour and bedtime routine...bath, teeth brushing, dinner etc. story time. Actually, I asked two parents today what time P and S go to bed....sometimes 11! and L and R...around 10:30 or 11. Not good. Ben is looking tired today. He needs to go to bed at 8, but will compromise...8:30 latest 9. A hot bubble bath always calms him down. And if he is not in bed by 8, he will not get a story.
Homework....Got to be stricter with the homework and make a time when he does it. Otherwise, he will not get a weekend movie.
Need to print out the rules and put them on the fridge...back to star charts.
The donut thing.....He needs to learn the value of money. He has been talking about various careers. No to banking...he says that's boring. Possibly a pilot. or engineer....early days though. ha ha.
Need to make some Christmas biscuits and do a bake sale. He likes that.

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Bed wrestling, and pancakes. Let me see if I can pick your nose with my big toe Mum. No! Mind the finger. Sunday morning fun. Aeroplane, chinese acrobatics, fiesty boy. Popped into Pret on the milk run. A chat with Assam. Luckily, it can be told as an open and closed case. Should I tell Ben it's alright? It's weighing on his conscience. Where the heck is Oskar? I haven't seen him for a month. He's usually in his 'office' a few days a week. Laptop and latte. What happened to the population dynamics book? Blastman in Bournemouth for the weekend. Told Laundrette Man the donut story too. Laundrette man asks me to contact salty dog again. Still on the look out for tankers. Pity you can't buy them at Argos. He was away in Dubai when Old Salty passed through town end of October. Hmmm. Hmmm. Long chat last night....a booby bashing time.


Finally, I see Oskar. Catch up with coffee this morning and again tomorrow. A busy itinerary. Film guy today for a few hours sorting DVD's. He's teaching a Bond class. Misplaced Casino Royale. A find on the way home....a sporting goods store tossing out a 16 compartment rolling storage unit. No taxi would take it. But half way home, a lovely man called Ernest from Addison Lee asked me if I needed some help and gave me a lift home in his van. Nice to know there are some humans left in this city. He said that every woman is someone's daughter, wife, or lover. Nice thought. Back in touch with Raphael. Haven't spoken for over a year.


All day painting dinnerware plates 12 and 14 inches. A vase and a baby teapot for a woman who stipulates 'no orange'. An impromptu evening out to October Gallery with Kevin, Ben, and some friends to hear a debate about the Mayan Calendar, Timeline idea which was some bollocks created out a mathematical equation using the I ching. Best speaker was Daniel Pinch...something.... from NYC. He was more concerned with the real global issues of global warming, animal extinction, fish being depleted from the oceans and overpopulation. So the debate changed. Ben made up a rhyme afterwards....This Mayan thing....we aint gonna die....It's all pie in the sky.  Ha ha.


China painting again today. Bowl, vase, large cup. Keihriko was in. Her husband works hard as a sushi chef. No one wants to be a sushi chef anymore. Didn't realise it was such hard work. Wouldn't know. Chopping fish. Making small balls out of rice. Slicing up eels and mackeral and yellow tail. Had sushi tonight. Picture was a plonk. Wasn't recieved in the spirit I intended. Rude. Speeding down a dead end to nowhere. Long wait just got shorter. Think it's better not to begin. Terribly chilly these days. Tiring times.


Ben in a pooky mood. The I hate school mood. Hmmm. He says he misses Grandma. It's about twenty five days away. We bought her a card last night, but he hasn't written it. Alice and Roberto going to Puerto Rico. Us to Grandmaland. Christmas play on Wednesday so glad we won't miss it. More dinner plates today. A short swim, but the pool is so small. There were six people at one point and only three lanes. Bike still in Covent Garden. Hope it's still there. I better get it tomorrow. Santa show in Wales. Ran into the taxi lady in Waitrose while eating a deli pie. Swimming makes me hungry. I purchased a lot of tea. Tea binge, nice sea bass, maple syrup, gruyere. Stocking up for the winter. That whole donut thing last week....sigh of relief. Must get the dalek costume back.

Busy Weekend

Saturday an impromptu walk on the Heath with Sydney and Juliet...tree climbing, petting other people's dogs, throwing sticks, running in the mud, fresh air followed by hot chocolate and pizza and later on a fun time with Chris....dinner guest baked seabass and a game of rummikub. Sunday morning took the boys to see Tim Burton's movie Frankenweenie...very dark very enjoyable....a dead dog is brought back to life by lightening....a girl with a cat who has esp fortells the future by spelling it out in poo....a mad scientist too mad for the provincial town he teaches in called New Holland. Great. And then an awful sappy film about Jack Frost. I kept wanting the credits to roll. Subway....and an afternoon of swimming at Cally pool followed by a roast chicken dinner. Very active weekend with no time for the planned toy tidying as scheduled. Tomorrow! Ending the day with Jacques me quitte pas. Always love that song.


A run around Russell Square four times, then to Covent Garden to organize dvds. Made a roast beef and roast potatoes. John was in and out. Met Felice from Milano who is in need of someone to make up samples for Moda In. Possibly a new work colleague. He knows the drill. I used to sell textile designs there. Book sale today, but Ben has enough books and needs to do his homework. Dinnerware order for dinner plates and side dishes. In the china shop tomorrow all day after Buddhist chanting.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Yesterday, entering the lift on the way to school, Ben asked, "Has the Queen ever said the word 'photosynthesis'?" I think she has. I think the Queen has said Photosynthesis before. Not sure how many times, but I'm sure she's done it herself.

Do you think she watches Dr. Who?

What would I like to know about the Queen? Has she ever thought of doing something more constructive with all the money she has? One of the richest people in the world. If that were me, I'd change a few things. But maybe she's too busy waving.

He also wants to know about worms...How many different kinds of worms are there mum? I could only name nightcrawlers, maggots, and pink worms. Not a scientist. Not sure if maggots qualify.

And then on to the popular topics of sink holes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis and other types of horrific weather.

Lemsip and peppermint tea the current answer to boring cough. Noticed that Lemsip actually takes the tea stains right off your cuppa. So wondering what it's made of. Alternating, lemsip, smokey, and echinacea tea. Can't be all medicine.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


Not one to kiss and tell, but as there were no kissin', think it's a tale that's not worth missin'. Certainly have had a few laughs about Logman or should we call him BirchBoy?
So, I thought I'd trip down to Haselmere for some country air and meet up with a country boy in his own habitat. So I cycle down to Waterloo and hop on the train...nice to get out of London for a few hours...We'd corresponded for a few weeks. He, unlike other folk, was not shy of talking on the phone and seemed sane with a hint of humour. Well, I guess his phone personality is one thing. I did notice that he lingered often for dramatic pauses. That's not something to employ when you don't know someone well. Old friends are good at lingering dramatic pauses, but strangers....only if they're professional stand ups. Otherwise, I'm checking my watch and trying to get off the phone.

So I arrive at the station. I've made an effort. I'm standing there. I see a hand waving from a car. A hand and forearm waving from a seated position in a vehicle. Get out the damn car. Don't you have any manners? We've never met before and you can't stand up and get out of your tiny Toyota after I've been on the train for an hour. So I continue standing until he gets off his bony ass and stands up to motion me towards him. Wow. This is bad manners and he doesn't even know it. That's ok if you're old friends, but not someone you haven't met before. I sidle over to the pale blue car and he throws the door open. Gentleman. Says hello and leans forward for a ?kiss?? as if I'm his wife and he's picking me up from my work commute or something. Did I miss something here? Think to myself, this guy is harmless...a bony waif of a buckle up the seatbelt and oh....hand touches knee. Another strike. I really don't like complete strangers touching my knee. I just don't. So this guy has three strikes before we leave the parking lot.

My hiking group had been down to Haslemere and I wanted to see it. We'd planned a little walk and a pub lunch, but he rudely told me I wasn't dressed for a walk as I was wearing a dress and spoke to me as if he thought I'd never seen grass before. Then, another sore point....I mention that these roads aren't made for cyclists. Lots of bends and blind he launches into how much he hates cyclists and thinks they should pay road tax and how many accidents they cause. I just stayed quiet as I could see there would be many other opportunities to argue. Not good to argue within the first five minutes.

We drive to Thursely and find a nice pub nestled in the fields. The Three somethings. Acorns maybe...Kings. He orders a coffee, so I follow. We sit down. I want the seat with the view of the door and the rest of the pub as I can see this is going to be tedious. The barmaid is asking who won the election. I shoult out Obama... She's glad. The other pub boy is glad too. A little banter breaks out. The date guy looks betrayed like I'm not supposed to speak to other people. The pub worker throws some logs in the fireplace. It's a lovely scene. The date guy moans a few minutes later that the wood isn't ready for the fire. I suggest some kindling would help it. He says no...It's birch. Birch doesn't burn well. Birch or Ash... I say I don't think it's birch. Birch has white bark. ....No. this is birch. Lot of birch around here. I say no. the bark is too thick to be birch...(at this point I realise he has won the wood identification arguement as it is going to be birch whether it is or not) I laugh to myself. And say...Let's just take it to the lab and get it tested. Wow. How pedantic. Let him win...this loser. Even the guy working the bar was standing behind him holding back a smirk and rolling his eyes.

It is wrong to meet up with someone for a first date and let them splash out on a meal. He wanted to though. And I wanted to see the countryside...and meet him...until I met him. He probably feels cheated. It's much better to spend a half hour with a coffee....low investment, low starting point with these internet dates. Then no one is disappointed. And it is much easier to be pleasantly surprised.

The menu was fabulous. A little posh pub grub. Baked brie, baked goats cheese....and we both had the confit duck. My coffee was cold. I ordered a cider. Everytime I tried to speak, I felt I got interrupted. His tales were nothing to record. He wanked on about his achievements? no. He didn't. He seemed more interested in reprimanding his brother for being in love with a married woman for the past twenty years. He told of this in detail. But that's not even his life. He only mentioned much later that he had been a chef for the better part of his life. A saucier. Sauces only....ofcourse that extends to fish and meat. Sauceman as opposed to saucy man. Trying...I started to say," I make a really nice creamy tomato sauce to go with mussels..." but was cut off by.."Oh please don't tell me. I prefer to taste it myself and guess the ingredients." if that's going to happen. Not be tasting my sauce buddy...I can tell you that right now. (Perhaps if I come across someone like him again, I will not hold back. He needs to learn some manners.) So I guess we're not talking about mussels. search...

Best fumble yet....I'm half way through my dinner and he says that being a chef, portion control is important....and my portion is much larger than his. The meat is dry and overcooked...this is not confit duck and your portion is almost twice the size of mine....Then he offers to cut my food for me as I have a broken finger. I push the plate over telling him he can have the rest if he's still hungry. Oh no. That was not my intention. I don't mean to take your food....please. I just see you're struggling with your fork. How rude is that? Telling someone they got a bigger piece of duck than you did? What age are we here? Am I at a kiddy party with uneven slices of cake? Kids slurping down sheets of icing come to mind. Tears...I didn't get the piece I wanted with the rose on top.

Many walkers came in the pub. It's near the devils punchbowl. I'd like to go again with different company. Hard to get to by foot possibly but doable. A lot of walkers for a weekday.

We leave the pub and go for a walk. There is only half an hour left to enjoy the gorse and the fields. It's pretty. It's a bit cold. He tries to take my hand with his sweaty palm. Why? Isn't it obvious? Does he think things are going that well? We walk. He sees a birch tree. "See. That's a birch. It was definetly birch back there in the fireplace. !!!"


Monday, 5 November 2012

Practicing Scales

Practiced my flute today. Can even hit the a flat with finger broken. Not bad. Thought I'd take Ben out for a third evening of fireworks, but I think we've both had enough. Really do wish M would get a winter coat. It bothers me. Well. I look after my own son well enough. I don't think they realise they are neglecting him. Take some time out and do something with your child other than plonking him infront of the tv. It is sad.
He's now interested in making his own fish fingers. Master Chef Jr. That would be an improvement. The ones in the box are like rubber. Full days in the china shop this week stocking up for Christmas. Vases, teapots, mugs etc. Put about twenty tiles up on the 19th of October, but they are all down now. People knick them. Just a few remaining. Oil deal obviously not happening. Haven't seen him around. That was a funny five minutes....Antwerp, tanker MOT guy, yes....we're looking for LPG tankers...100,000 tonnes if you have them. I guess he'll be selling his laundrette soon if that goes through. Thank you very much for introducing us. Here...have a coffee.