Wednesday, June 29, 2011

rainbow cake

For the best visual impact : actual effort ratio I can't recommend this cake more highly.

The most time-consuming part was having lots of fun reeling through Pinterest finding 'inspiration'. All hail Pinterest.

The easiest part was taking heed of the advice to freeze the layers before constructing the final product. This meant I could bake the layers in two batches, over two evenings, and keep them in the freezer until the night before the party.

The most important part is to use decent food colouring. I did not, as one guest's mother (half?) jokingly inquired, use natural food dyes (have your seen those colours??) but soft gel paste colouring made by Americolor . Brilliant stuff.

 pre-outer icing, with the wooden rainbow puzzle which inspired it all

The most anti-global imperialism part was staying true to my belief that I spell colour correctly, despite what blogger and every other website on my path towards creating this masterpiece told me.

The yummiest part, in my opinion, was the creamy vanilla icing I made from Julochka's recipe. This even after I abused it's subtle constitution by re-beating it on the evening of construction (I'd made it much earlier that day) instead of having the patience to allow it to come to room temperature in her own, sweet, time.
Thank god Husband is such a good plasterer - his skillz came in handy.

The most anxious part was when I thought my final layer was looking decidedly brown, but it turned out a beautiful deep purple once baked.

The most engineerical (real word, I promise) part was dividing the batter. Once I'd calculated I should use 360g per layer the rest was a ... well, cake walk.
Digital scale ahoy.

The funniest part: when the final chunk collapsed at the party.

Such fun!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

over the rainbow

It was a little unnerving, when looking for ideas for this party, to discover that Rainbow Party had a whole other meaning I'd not been aware of. It seems my tweenhood was far more protected than I thought at the time ....

Anyhoo, be assured that Frieda's 4th Birthday Party on Saturday was not that colourful.

It did however feature some orgasmic deliciousness, not least of all my darling girls.

(alas, little friend Eva's life will now never be complete without a rainbow cake all of her own)

ye gods, what is this thing of such colour and deliciousness?

yes they have matching cardi's - but only for Very Special Occasions.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

winter snail

Dude, you best get a-moving.

You so don't want to be here on Saturday.

I know its cold and you've got that whole open blood system thing going on but seriously, suck on some citrus and get on yer bike.
Many children, much running, squealing, salty popcorn - nuff said?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


She was born on the same day as Frieda, 4 years later. 3 years, 364 days and 22 and a half hours later.
To be exact.
On the same day as me, 4 years later, my best friend has become a Mum, and I really, honestly couldn't be happier for her.

How can two magnificent people become even greater? By producing a third magnificent being of course!

June bug.
Juniper berry.
Dju know mos.

Welcome long-awaited and most deliciously anticipated little thing.
Your whole world welcomes you with open arms.

Monday, June 20, 2011


My Frieda is four.
I can't hardly believe it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

4/10 things I lovetohate that you do

Many years ago I blogged the process of rehabilitating the fireplace in our house from it's gold-gilded, knick-knack besmirched existence to what I like to think is a much more stylish picture altogether.

It's a pretty fireplace but alas not a functioning one, when we bought the place we were told it was boarded up. I recalled something about the chimney cladding being damaged, I remember being horrified at the cost of chimney-sweeps, I even remember some ha-ha conversations about acquiring a monkey with a webcam to go in and assess the damage.

So imagine my gobsmacked surprise when last night, right in front of my eyes, eight winters later, the dude calmly removes the board blocking the flue and lights a fire.
Wha ... ?

I nearly lit a fire of my own.

Apparently every time he's suggested trying to light it in the past I've vetoed the suggestion for fear of filling the house with smoke and ash ... this I don't recall as clearly.
What I do know is that sitting in front of our own fire last night was heart-warming.

Thanks babe.

Friday, June 17, 2011

use your kind words

The ever wonderful Krista from ~my life as i see it~ has this line inviting one to leave comments.

Use your kind words.

Krista is the kind of blogger I wish I was; infrequent but when she does post every one is a gem, well-considered, prosaic, thought-provoking and gentle.
I feel like she asks us to respect that, to tread lightly, to be our best selves.

For isn't that was using kind words really is? To be your best self, to be respectful, to think before you blurt.

I've been thinking about this recently as Stella starts to develop language. To understand words, link them with images, become more aware of subtle tone, emotive inflections, to mimic and express herself in more and more ways.
I'm dusting off the skills I largely learnt from my Mum when Frieda was at this stage.
Stella and I sit together 'reading' a book. On a page of farmyard animals I ask her, 'Where's the duck?'.
She points to a sheep.
I smile encouragingly and say 'That's a sheep, he goes baa, isn't he lovely and woolly. Here's a duck, swimming in the water, quack quack.'
She quacks and points to the duck, 'quack quack quack'.
There is no negativity in this space, no harsh words, nothing shrill or grating.

Sometimes I rue that my words to Frieda, and hers to me, are not always as kind. But then I remember that they're kinder than they have been in the past, kinder than they will no doubt be at some stage in the future.
Kind in all the ways that really matter. This is an ever-changing process.

And I have to giggle that Stella's first 'phrase' is 'bag 'og', said with a little menacing finger in the air, whenever our poor hounded bull-terrier enters the room.
Not all of one's words are kind, and one can't be expected to stick to the kind ones all the time right?

But ...

Recently I witnessed a woman I know speaking to her husband in the most revolting and patronising manner. I wouldn't speak like that to our dog, no matter how many times she'd shat on the bathroom floor.
I don't know the circumstances of the altercation, and while I believe that no one truly knows the inner workings of someone else's relationship, I do know that to speak to another human being in that tone reveals a total lack of respect. And that made me sad.
And it was in front of their children and mine. That made me sadder.

The next day I stood behind a man at a pay-parking stattion. His coin kept dropping through, rejected by the machine. He kept trying, the machine kept denying and eventually, instead of the exasperated huffy sigh I was expecting, he threw back his head and laughed, catching myself and the growing queue behind me unawares, making us all smile too.
As he walked away to try another station I noticed he was wearing a dog-collar. Not being a man of god I couldn't say whether that was what made all the difference, but I could tell he was, in his head, using his kind words.

Such a small thought, but such a vital one. Use your kind words. I bet you'll hear them spoken back to you.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

under the in-flu-enz

The sick is upon us. Man, woman, child (x 2), we've all gone down.

Not bad going considering it's early June, by this time last year we'd already had all manner of medical dramas too boring to remember or link back to.

This has been a nasty one, one of those which befuddles your mind. And god knows I don't need anymore of that.

Under the influenz(a) I have, in the last week ...

... lain awake in a fevered insomnia composing what I thought at the time was a hilarious and witty blog post about suppositories. Yes, suppositories. Pediatric ones at least, but still.

... lain awake in a fevered panic thinking that my book club was due to arrive at mine in a few hours and I'd done nothing, was sick as the proverbial sick dog, the place was in chaos and, and, and arghhhhhhh!

... sent out 12 invitations to small friends of Frieda's who all have at least one younger sibling and one parent who'll accompany them to a birthday party in her honour AT OUR HOUSE IN TWO WEEKS TIME ON WHICH DATE IT WILL UNDOUBTEDLY RAIN OF COURSE. Yes I'm shouting, have you done the maths?

... shipped my eldest daughter off to her Granny's twice as she's recovered faster than the rest of us and has been driving us all bezerko with her boundless energy and ear-splitting good health. She's much happier there, trust me.

... been reading lots of delightful books, some of which I'll probably have the pleasure of reading again as already I can't remember a thing about them. Double the value!

I'm feeling better now. Really. Except when I think about the party. Arghhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

in flagrante

Turns out when one leaves two (somewhat hideous, knitted by a kindly friend of Ouma's) dolls alone in the boot of the car they, um, grab the opportunity ...

Lucky buggers.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

me, in lists

fun ~
a trip upcountry BY MYSELF to visit a very wonderful friend. 2 flights and a train ride in which to listen to music and read. 2 afternoon naps. lots of laughs. a full body massage. a pat on a long awaited and joyfully anticipated bump.
2 x outings to the theatre. one for a brash ballet, one for a ponderous puppet show.
a loud evening of lots of food and even more wine.

life ~
poo, or lack thereof. not mine. poo, or too much thereof. again, not mine. art, a little bit of it. mine. plans for a birthday party. slowly saying goodbye to a grandparent. thinking about how to explain that to a small girl. settling into winter. remembering what it's like to be cold. appreciating anew the art of the snuggle.

food ~
cupcakes and champagne. steak. salmon. pizza. more steak. banana bread. lamb stew. wine. clafoutis. mussels. prawns. fillet in a brandy mushroom sauce. more wine. more cupcakes. perfectly roasted vegetables. perfectly roasted potatoes. wine. perfectly roasted pork. chocolate almond biscotti.
winter's not so bad ...

Friday, June 03, 2011

you'll never hear this from me again

I imagine you may have thought you'd never hear from me again.

Life, she is busy. She is fun, but busy.

So here's the thing: oddly it's when I'm hardly blogging that my followers numbers increase.
And I need 2 more.

I'm not at liberty to say why, but I know that's just boringly wanker-ish, so here's a couple of answers - you pick the one which works for you.

a) I've been given 1 week to live and my life's ambition is to have 188 random strangers following my blog
b) I'm working for an extra-terrestrial government and my mission is to get the number 188 in use as widely as possible
c) I made an oath 3 years ago that I'd stop blogging when I got to 188 followers and I'm sick of it now
d) 188 is my celestial-aura-tastic-astrological-birth-synchronastic number
e) I'm bored of the (baby) thumbnail gallery of pics in my followers block
f) I'm in need of a happy number (of which I'm assured 188 is one)
g) I've bought some shares

Roll on in lurkers.