Wednesday, October 28, 2009

is becoming a reality ...

California Dreamin'. That's how that line's supposed to start, but as that part bears (bares?) absolutely no relevance to my life I'll not include it.

No indeed, what is becoming a reality is this child growing inside me. 20+ weeks, kicking like a donkey (albeit a little one) and just suddenly my brain is starting to ask; where will it sleep? what will it wear? And also, what the hell is it?
So far it's remained elusive, coyly crossing it's legs and refusing to reveal it's true self. In other words defying me already.
It's not that I must know or anything, it's just that I MUST KNOW. And no, it's not a question of pink or blue, it's a question of getting used to the format of our family, of preparing Frieda for her little brother, or sister. Of ordering that Meccano set online for husband if indeed it is another girl (an excuse to buy Meccano seems to be the only real reason why he'd care either way).

And so the urge to start digging out baby clothes and launder them, to start stockpiling nappies and rearrange furniture is growing. But I suffer no dillusions about why I'm feeling this way.

It's all due that other reality. The one in which a crew of men descend on our house at 7am on Monday morning to rip our kitchen and bathroom to pieces. The one in which we need to create a temporary kitchen in our lounge room, clear the cobwebs from the never-used 2nd shower (and make sure it actually has water!), pack up our existing kitchen, make a plan about the dog, order new floor tiles, find a bath we can both agree on without any shouting, find a temporary home for the gazillion powertools, boxes of books, camping gear, furniture etc currently stuffed into the small 'storeroom' which will soon become (can it be?) our Dining Room ... all before 7am on Monday morning.
Makes California sound quite attractive really.

So ja, those baby clothes will have to stay packed away. And this baby, he or she, can carry on kicking back (ha ha ha) and growing, and I'll apply my logistical mind to the more immediate conundrums we face.

Oi vey.

Monday, October 26, 2009

london ~ oddities

Lovely bike.

Landrover Offender. Wtf?

Scraps of felt tied to the Millenium Bridge,
apparently to promote Global Felt Week?

Kitty with a drinking problem.
Or maybe it was us with the problem.
No kitties were harmed in the taking of this photograph.


Spotted in a quiet corner of the IKEA warehouse.
An expression of employee dissatisfaction perhaps?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

london ~ food

Fortifying Sashimi & Edamame Bean Snack on arrival at Victoria Station.

Huevos Rancheros, brunch at Giraffe on the South Bank.

Starbucks, of course, but you know, actually not as good as Vida!

Tea at Liberty's. This is supposedly a serving for 1!
Genuine b&w Willow Pattern china, clotted cream, ginger cake and so much more ... sigh.
(3 pound 50 for Rooibos tea - wha ha ha ha ha)

Scallops with Parsnip Cream & Crispy Bacon, a starter at the Portrait Restaurant,
National Portrait Gallery.
 Poached Autumnal fruit with Cinnamon Ice-Cream,
dessert at same.
Swedish meatballs at IKEA!
Just a tad less swanky ...
Rocket, Parma Ham & Parmesan Pizza. Super thin base. Bliss.
Cute bowl of cappuccino, somewhere on King's Road.
Genuine bangers & mash with sprouting broccoli and onion gravy,
Lots Pub, maybe in Putney?
That mash was something else.
FOUR choices of Ben & Jerry's!
1 x excellent reason to immigrate.
More American imperialism - Krispy Kreme at Heathrow.
Pooling our remaining cash for one last sushi blow-out at Yo Sushi, Heathrow.

Friday, October 23, 2009

london ~ visual

Lights in Victoria Palace Theatre. We saw Billy Elliot.

It's pretty.

St Paul's & the Millenium Bridge from the Member's Lounge of the Tate Modern.

Bikes, bikes everywhere. And a strange exhibition.
Jeff Koons - meh.

More authentic art on the banks of the Thames at low tide.

Oxford Street. What recession??

And no pics but, be still my beating heart, we visited the Origin London Craft Fair. Mine eyes have seen the glory ...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

random still-exhausted brain farts




View from the Portrait Restaurant, atop the National Portrait Gallery

  • from arb-ing around on facebook earlier I already know my spelling and typing skills are up to shit - be warned
  • 7 shopping days in London: Total number of shoes purchased = zero. W.T.F?
  • number of other be-yooo-ti-fol things purchased = many, many, many.
  • the First World: boy do you forget how immensely different it is when you've been away from it for a while. Wow.
  • Africa: couldn't be happier to live here.
  • Accolades while I was away: a special mention by the enviable Mr London Street. Thanks guv.
  • Frieda: a magnificent angel of a child. It seems she can take my 10 day absence to the other side of the world in her stride, so how come usually I can't even go to the loo without her banging on the door and wailing?
  • Unrelated news: in the craziness leading up to my departure I forgot to mention the large-scale renovation (you know, that now-globally-standard pre-baby renovation?) we're about to embark on. As in, probably on Monday. Gulp.
  • Upcoming attractions: pictorial posts about the trip. 
  • Release dates dependent on ability of brain to switch back on and whether there'll be space to plug in my laptop in the one room we'll soon to be confined to for all our cooking, eating and hanging out needs.
  • Life is fun.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

au revoir

Off to London ...

Be good.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

the very best of friends (vol 3)

Growing up in a small coastal town as I did, life was for the most part all about surfing. Who did, who didn't, where, how (regular or goofy foot / boatman or doormat etc).
After my parents gave up driving me round the coast to a nice English-speaking private primary school every day, I finished my junior school days in our small verkrampt village school and finally, joyfully, moved on to the High School in the next town, a mythical place swarming with gorgeous surfers and the tantalising promise of a real teenage life (real = Beverley Hills 90210, of course).

We already knew, on our first terrifyingly intimidating day, to look out for 3 big boys in particular. The creme of the surfer crop whose reputations as bad boy surfer party dudes had preceded them down the coast to our little school.
I think, and hope, I'll never forget that moment, queuing up outside our new home-room, all outsized school blazers and knobbly knees, when a whisper spread down the row: 'Here they come! Here they come!' Girls and boys alike turned to watch in awe as the 3 of them strode past, achingly cool with their nonchalance and flippy hair. Two blondes and a brunette, they were the closest to celebrity most of us had ever come, and while I'm sure I wasn't the only one, right there on that spot I had an epiphany: the dark-haired one, he would be mine.

And get this: he is.

Granted it took a couple of years. He dated my then best friend (who my mother still cynically thinks I only befriended as her brother was one of The Three, thereby getting myself one step closer to my goal), and graduated 3 years before me, leaving town to do his (then still compulsory) military service.
I had the kind of high school experience one can only have in a small seaside town, a free, safe few years of crushes and endless summers and beach parties and girl friend dramas and a little bit of academia thrown in to the mix, and then one weekend he came back to town on military pass, and decided to take a chance on the girlie he'd always known had a crush on him.
And the rest is, quite literally, history.

I met my soulmate when I was 13, we started dating when I was 16, we got married 12 years later, and today we've been married for 6.
18 years together, and he's still one of my very bestest of friends.

I don't need to go into what you share in 18 years together, just the fact that its been the 18 years bridging teenagehood to grown-up parenthood says enough, and I can't do a big gushy post about what he means to me and count the ways I love him and yada yada, he's my guy, that's all there is to it.

But what I will say is that I think I've found the fountain of youth. For when I kiss him there's a moment there where once more I'm 16 on a beach somewhere, nervous and excited under the full moon, a moment where I'm 22 at an outdoor rave, ecstatic and uninhibited with thumping music and psychedelic lights, a moment where I'm 24, newly graduated from University and stepping off into the big wide world, I'm 26, baking on the rocks next to an idyllic mountain river, I'm 28, coming down the aisle before all our friends and family. I'm a first time home-owner, a small intimidated country girl starting University, I'm a dressed-up party queen, I'm a stressed-out event coordinator, I'm an awestruck first time mum.
On his lips is the taste of all of these versions of me, the lingering echo of the best years of my life (so far), and if there's one thing I know for sure, I will taste all of these there every time I kiss him until the last.

Happy anniversary babe. Love you.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

walk. run! walk. run! run! run! walk.

The bizarre duality of busy life, and a toddler.
This is not a new theme of mine, but I'm still sometimes amazed at how the rhythm of my days flow, intrigued at how they would look plotted on a graph, tempted to get a podometer just to be able to map out the differences.

Time with Frieda is slow and measured. Not that she is at all - she's busy and unstoppably energetic - but it's slow in the sense of how productive I am, and feel. Frieda time is all about Frieda, and all about what Frieda does and doesn't want to do.
I'm okay with this, really I am. I do believe it's not only hugely beneficial for a young child to have this kind of time with a parent (and ditto the parent to slow down and experience life with a child), let alone a privilege these days, but as I'm not with her all day and every day, I happy for our time together to run at her pace, to allow for unexpected diversions, to not be too fraught with schedules and tasks and deadlines.

The flipside however is that time without Frieda is often m-a-n-i-c. Time in which I find myself driving around town with my filofax open on my lap for making quick lists and calls, time in which I'm continually on the run, time which is as precious and fleeting as an hour lying on the couch reading The Gruffalo, but so much more pressured.

And while most times I'm really happy with this double life, I really do wish that the contrast between them wasn't quite so drastic.

And I know, I know, that I bang on and on about this, but seriously, do we live in a goddamn beautiful city or what?

Friday, October 02, 2009


this little puppy got spayed
this little kitty had a tooth removed

and this little kitty got pissed off with everyone else getting all the attention and got herself a tail graft ...

All today. Ok, except the tail graft ...

[apologies to all 6 of you who are also facebook friends and have been subjected to this already]