Friday, July 31, 2009

a royal truth

So I ask Rebecca...
'Are you sure?'

Her answer: 'Would a princess lie?'

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Remembering Paris

We will always have Paris...

A year ago we were on holiday in France. What is not to love about it - well, except for the part where we got totally ripped off catching a cab! Forget that... remember Paris, the beautiful baguettes, the utterly addictive Pain au chocolat, the baskets and pots of geraniums all over the show, the speedy trains, the history, the jam with the cute gingham lids (I have 1 jar left in my pantry), the crepes, lots of "Ben & Jerry's", the Mona Lisa and of course Rebecca favourite - "french Mickey land"... which was really beautiful... that landscaping

Rebecca is up there somewhere

Then we went to Madeira where we did some serious unwinding, after a birthday celebration second to none... I had a massive fireworks display for my birthday. My cousin was in the military over there so he can get hold of pretty much anything... it was dazzling and with a brass band to boot. The time there was spent wisely - sleeping, eating (I discovered Lays 'prosciutto' flavour), tanning, swimming, jogging (a necessity after all the french food), leisurely strolling the island and very little else.

I ate berries from this bush virtually every morning when I jogged past:

This is where Rebecca spent most of her time - the Aqua Park, this water ride below was mellow, but on the other side were the crazy water rides that she loved, I couldn't bear to watch...

How I miss those sunny places now... if only I could escape winter every year!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Being neighbourly

This really tickled me so I thought I would mention it. Our neighbour also has a little daughter and yesterday Rebecca asked if she could come play for an hour. I wondered how they organised this without telephones or running over - as we have a 2m high wall around our property. Then I went out back and saw their conversation... while we may have high walls, they have even higher jungle gyms and tree houses, so they were just being neighbourly... shouting back and forth.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Heed the right words

is better than might, though the poor man's wisdom
is despised and his words are not heeded. The words of the wise
man heard in quiet are better than the shouts of him who
rules among fools.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Paddington Bear had the right idea about marmalade. I love the story about his birthday, where he goes to a posh restaurant and orders as follows...

"I think I'll have a marmalade sandwich." Looking around Paddington decided a place as important as Porchester must serve good marmalade sandwiches, and he was anxious to test one.
"I beg your pardon, sir?" exclaimed the waiter "Did you say a marmalade sandwich?"
"Yes, please!" said Paddington.

Here we are (my sister's hands in pic, she popped in to visit at the wrong time, but it was helpful with all those endless lemons - but she did get lots of tea to keep her going).

The messy bit:

The rewarding bit:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Home time

We have had an eventful few days. Our male rabbits have reached a certain age of 'maturity' - the male hormones are pumping so they are constantly challenging each other. When I noticed it, I thought it cute but then I started to see large chunks of fur flying and a couple of deep scratches. If there is one thing I can't handle, its blood. My world immediately starts to turn and I gotta sit before I pass out. What a sissy, yes? Anyway, so now they have been separated which is so heart sore but at least it saves me an expensive visit to the vet. They are gorgeous though.

Rebecca had her cousin over for the weekend so I didn't see them much. I just went around the garden picking up bits of discarded clothing and empty snack bowls... on the benches, up the jungle gym, under the trampoline etc.

I was home bound so I tried my hand at marmalade. We love marmalade but don't really like the store bought stuff. I've always wanted to make it but all the recipes sounded so laborious but not so... it turned out to be fairly simple. A little time consuming and you have to be attentive to the pot but really not difficult - so now I'm stocked for the winter.

Wayne was away at the Cotswolds for a bit... it looks like the shire, in Lord of the Rings... so beautiful! We also had 2 days last week at a lodge in the mountains... they had a spa, it was lovely, I drooled during the massage.

On Saturday I planted a new lavender hedge. It looked so pretty until the storm hit... now it looks like Shrek's swamp.

Have a good (although wet) week!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Miss Mouse

I have a dear friend that has been inundated by mice. It seems they (a rather large mouse family... and growing daily) have taken up residence in her garage. It's now time for drastic action because she, like me, doesn't think that sharing her home is an option. I decided against sharing this information (her colourful narrative of the mice termination project) with Ruby because she has a particular fondness for the little pests.

She fell in love with Angelina, a tale about a mouse that wants to be a ballerina and has several of the books. They are the sweetest mouse family imaginable, I must admit. I too, on occasion have thought that Mrs Mouseling's cheddar cheese pies sound marvellous - plus, she has the cutest crockery! Anyway... back to Rebecca... true story, one day while we were driving home, she said "Isn't it a pity we aren't mice", then turns to me and goes on, "I wish I were a mouse, I really do". I started laughing and she added "Mom, I'm not joking. I wish you, dad and me were mice!"

Mice!!! - I kid not.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Marble memory

Saturday mornings are usually reserved for baking, but I've just been so tired the last couple of weekends, I've not done much of anything (on Saturdays I'm normally full of energy with a 'To do' list as long as the Nile). Rebecca is so familiar with this that she will normally wake up and follow her nose to the kitchen. Last weekend she woke up and said, 'Mom, I smell nothing.' I realised that as parents, in the day to day traditions, we are building strong memories - so yesterday I decided to make something I haven't done in a long while, good ol' fashioned marble cake.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease a loaf tin.
In a mug, warm 2-3 tablespoons milk and add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder. Mix.
In a bowl, place 185g softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup caster sugar. Beat well. Add 3 eggs, adding one at a time and beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift 2 1/4 cups self-raising flour and 1 scant teaspoon baking powder.

Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the flour into the butter mixture, alternating with 185 ml milk until almost smooth. Spoon half of the cake mixture back into other bowl. Stir the cocoa into one of the bowls.

Spoon in alternating spoonfuls of the two into the baking tin, then using a knife or skewer cut a few strokes to create a marbled look. Bake for 50-60 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.
It was a beautiful day out, so we had tea and cake out in the garden. Lovely.

Friday, July 3, 2009

They're flowering

"Ah, there is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort." - Jane Austen