Friday, September 29, 2006

Fridays and Fermented tea

Fridays are always manic in our household.
I seem to be perpetually chasing my tail.

This morning I took the children to school then drove over to our nearest Wild Oats for some snacks for the workshop I was leading, I know, this would be far improved if my organisational skills were such that I wasn't zipping out for this stuff last minute! However, this is me! While in W.O I saw they had some Kombucha tea which I had been hearing people talk about, so popped a couple of bottles into my cart. Do you do that? Go in for one or two things, start off with a basket, then have to change to a trolley cos you get too much!! Well, that's me too! Anyway, digression (perhaps it's the fermentation that is adling my brain as I type!)this is meant to pick up alertness, help boost your energy levels, aid with digestion etc etc. The lowdown is here then I forgot about it.

The rest of my day follows that I finish the workshop at 11.50 with a pick up at school at 12 and probably an 11 minute herding these poor women out of the door, picking up karate kit and lunchboxes, I am now tearing back up to school to get W and I. I rush in out of breath to my poor daughter, the last one standing in the toddler playground and my son, who was about to be ferried back inside with the other Lost Boys, smiling and apologising to respective teachers.

We always eat lunch at school on a Friday so I don't have to do the darned drive back home an added time! Then W. goes for his Tae Kwon Do. Once this is over, I. and I have a disagreement about her being strapped in the car seat, which, despite the fact I tell her this is non-negotiable (yeah right, a 2 year old will obviously know that word!) I do feel for her as she spends a lot of time in and out of the car. We go home for 50 minutes, enough time to diaper change, let the dog out for a run, answer a few calls and e-mails, read a couple of books, tidy up the mess leftover from this morning and then back up to school to get T. He finishes at 3.30.

We are then back in the car, but not before allowing them to run around the labryinth at school - which, they decide to do barefoot - okay so it is the middle of September, it rained last night and there are twigs everywhere, but they are MY kids, so whaddya expect? I call last orders, we all pile back in the tank, back home, ONLY......wait for it. You think the story has ended there??? Oh no. We pull in the drive to the cries of "where's my backpack?" F^YU*&^*&^*

So, through gritted teeth and threats of no snacks cos there won't be time before supper, I return the same blasted route back to school only to find his backpack sat by the grass where he left it, but no lunchbox. So, here I am, serious idiot's head on, combing the school after everyone else (except the teachers) have left for the day finding his school reader and lunchbook, smiling inanely at any teacher I meet and mumbling into my beard about "not having yet made it home!"

SO, to make a long story even longer, the Kombucha is now opened and tried and it is weird to say the least, however, there is a great feeling of "I couldn't carelessness" about the way I feel as I type, so either that is my inner self becoming more and more restored, or I picked up the bottle of Chardonnay instead who knows??? Or rather.................
Who cares?????????

Monday, September 25, 2006

Feminism - part II

So, having finished my recent books I have decided to explore further the discussions of women's issues and in particular, feminism.

For many years I have thought I have hung on the outer boundaries of feminism, being a strong persona who makes her own choices believing that a woman has an equal a right as a man. However, the more I think about it, the more I think the word feminist does not do feminism any justice. For me, the word itself is far too strong a word. It depicts images of angry man bashing or hatred, along with words such as anarchist or terrorist. There is an obvious difference, but sometimes our language is in fact just too black and white. Whilst naturally one's profession often ends in "ist", words that describe a movement or character ending in "ist" for me are too harsh. Perhaps a better way to describe what a feminist is to me, is an advocate for feminine energies.

To me, being an advocate is doing what I do, helping women speak up for their birthing rights, it is being able to make choices as to whether I work or stay at home, or do both and not whether one is "more feminist" that the other. It is advocating for joint responsibility and management of our household and the chores, it is advocating for our sons to be able to play with dolls if they choose and our daughter to climb trees and play with cars. It is advocating for my body and my mind (although I know I lose the latter on occasions!!) and then finding time to reassess and readjust when things get out of alignment. Most people I know advocate some or a lot of feminine energy, so to feel that I fit a "category" of women is actually a contradiction as for me, all women exude certain extremes and it is for us as women per se to see the choices we make (as long as they are indeed choices) as acts of feminism. We may not entirely agree with the decisions or choices, or least choose them for ourselves, but, if the decision is made from the information they have gathered, then truly it is a choice. Read this article I found. I think this perfectly sums up what I am trying to say that even to class oneself as a feminist is itself a choice these days.

What do you think - let me know!

Friday, September 22, 2006


It is quiet! I have given into the bewitchment of the square nanny for half an hour so I can gather my thoughts and write my blog. I had all my past "clients" (friends now one would hope!!) over for coffee this morning with their new (and not so new) charges. So I was late for pick up, then W had asked for a picnic on the school lawn with his friends, so we did this before rushing off to tae kwon do and then home. The mail was left strewn with the dirty coffee cups and enough biscuits to feed an Pinky Dinky Do is babysitting whilst I (obviously!) am washing dirty cups!!! I am now, again, trying to multi task (okay, so NOT washing cups) but chat with a friend on MSN about "sexy-vend" and answer e-mails. T. is going on an after school Friday night playdate tonight. He and his pal had been arranging it since the start of term and it consisted of an hour here, an hour at his friends house and two hours at the local hands on museum!!! Seriously! If we had done all that, it might have been 10 mins after all the driving! So what with trying to keep my head around fast chat on MSN and sexy-vend and Philip Larkin......hmmm Julie, I am losing it! I don't know if my peaceful half hour is exactly that!

Tomorrow is just as manic. T and W have swimming followed by a party and then T is selling popcorn with the scouts in the afternoon. I am going to the gym at 8am YES 8 AM cos there is no other time in the weekend to go. Right now I feel totally motivated about that.......i will let you know if I make it though!

W. made me laugh the other day with his "out of the mouths of babes" comments. Apparently he had seen an Albert!!! There is me thinking "a what?" I have heard of (but thankfully not seen) a "Prince Albert" but "what is an Albert W??" - "it was in T's magazine. It was about the Back Yardigans new movie" - Oh now I get it!!!!!!It is so hard keeping up with "kidspeak" come back Clockwork Orange!

Saturday -

Fall is coming really early this year. It is so noticeable here with the leaves. There is an ethereal beauty to the days. They start foggy then usually pick up with sun shining through the goldening foliage. I suppose with the fact that there has been less sun this year than normal. It is naturally very very beautiful but the sooner the leaves turn, the sooner they drop! Part of me really loves the start of autumn, the foggy starts, darker evenings, wood fires, lead up to Christmas etc, but at the moment we are in a limbo land. Some days it is really cold, particularly in the mornings or wet, other days it is up in the 80s again so I never know what to dress the children in, shorts, trousers??

We have the first of our second year of visitors in a couple of weekends. R's great aunt and uncle followed by my cousin. Mum and Dad are going to be joining us for Christmas this year which will be lovely, well, apart from the fact I am on call for a birth around 17th, still, Christmas can always be postponed a day if necessary!

The children are continuing to entertain this weekend with their funny comments. T, who is proving to finally be understanding why he doesn't have candy often or blue food colouring, was at a party today. As usual the goody bags and party food were of delightfully bright and hypnotic colours. R. had let both of them eat one of the small gummy candies that were in their bag and T took great delight in telling me that "if you want me later mummy, I might be on the ceiling" !!! Don't ya love em?? I's contribution to my book of "Crazy Commentaries from the Little People" was on our drive to the store this afternoon. Each day her vocabulary is increasing and she is stringing together more and more words. As we were driving she kept saying "yak, yak" so of course, I asked her what was "yak". She then told me "daddy's car, smelly, yak"!! Hmmm, tell it like it is babe!! time for a clean out I think!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Toilet seats are a girl's best friend!

Or so it would appear! I's new favourite fashion accessory seems to be her Dora the Explorer toilet seat. She has taken it upon her self to do some haphazzard "toilet training" of her own!! So who am I to stop a girl when she has an idea in her head?? It is pretty sweet and at times even fairly successful, particularly when I am able to play ball and sit next to her on the throne for up to half an hour at a time when she pulls faces, makes grunty noises, gets off, says "done" or "finished" only to then decide she needs "potty, I need potty" grocery shop this week was going to be done online, only right now, unless I can re-organise the computer to set up in the bathroom, I might not get past the fruit aisles! So if this is the beginning of losing the diapers then it is no great loss, however, the boys did take some time to be dry so I am in the meantime learning many new fruits that I didn't know existed!!

If you are wondering where the information on Patrick has gone, he has now been found a sponsor which is great news, his fees have been paid so he can start his training in November and eventually go back to work in the village - a great resource.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Damn, damn and damn!

Instinct is an amazing thing. One should trust it and stick with it!

I am sitting here today feeling really annoyed at myself for not trusting my intuition. Yesterday i was at the birth of my clients, she had admitted herself at around 11 with some light bleeding, which could have been bloody show. I joined her at 11am and she was 3cm but not really feeling many contractions. To cut a v. long story short, she agreed sometime in the afternoon to her water being broken and then her contractions over the next couple of hours really started to kick in. She was coping pretty well, but kept withdrawing and fighting the contractions and I had a hard time keeping her with me and helping her work with them. Eventually she decided she wanted an epidural so they checked her dilation, which was then at 5cm, and she waited for the anaethetist. He took another half hour, during which time she was getting really intense contractions, which seemed to have a plateau to them ie: lasted a while and then subsided to only give her around a minutes grace before the next one. She seemed to me to be really progressing and then even going through transition where she got panicky that the anaethetist wasn't coming, however, it had only been half an hour. It crossed my mind to remind her that she was doing so well and I was really confused how hard these contractions had suddenly become that I even wondered if she couldn't get through without the epidural, so all I said - kick myself now- is "are you sure you want this". I should have maybe been more audible and suggested a re-examination!!!grrr - mad at myself!
He went ahead and put in the epidural and within 10 minutes the baby's heart rate dropped. It did recover, but they decided to then check her again.....guess what!! 10 !

So this went on for a while with her pushing, actually really effectively considering she had had an epdiural, until she had been pushing for 2 hours. She did have a tetanic contraction at one point so they had to give her a shot of terbutaline to relax her uterus. Gradually over this time the baby's heart wasn't recovering as quickly, he had passed meconium and the doc couldn't feel the cord around the neck, so my thoughts were that he was reacting to the epidural, it was a real coincedence! She and her husband were left to discuss c-section eventually as the doc couldn't get the vacuum as the baby was still too high. He was posterior which I had told her he was when she arrived with back ache so we had been working to try to turn him, but obviously it hadn't worked. So with that, the culmination that the ultrasound had said the baby was at least 8lb6 (since when do ultrasounds talk anyway!?) and the dropping FHT, she was prepped for surgery and her hubby and I doned scrubs. Within 10 mins of waiting, the nurse was back to say that she had had the baby, crash c-section! Apparently when the anaethetist put more epidural into her catheter, the baby's heart had dropped again and not recovered.......not jumping to conclusions here, but......coincedence I don't think so! So now I am mad at myself for what might have been, I keep thinking if only I had told her that I felt her dilation might have changed, we could have gotten her checked and she probably would have had the baby (with some vacuum help maybe) vaginally! Oh, and the baby was only 7lb 13, so trusting the "voice" of technology all the while is not always the best way to go.
She and the baby are fine however so the end result was great. Next time, I will trust my thoughts as it would not have hurt to have voiced them a little louder.

Friday, September 15, 2006

"I am not my hair"

This made me laugh - tell me I have a poor sense of humour, but over here we get the BBC world news. Most of the time this is the rare flicker of sanity there is within the US television network, but yesterday was priceless! Toward the end of the news they always end with the more "lighthearted" pieces. A British man, holidaying in Spain, had set up the most elaborate burglar detection and security system in his home. Basically he had cameras that triggered an alarm which then sent a phone call to his cell phone telling him of the current burglary (or maybe false alarm) anyway, he can then go online and watch all this happening. What was his response when asked about his recent break in that he was able to watch from Spain from his PC? - I was totally shocked !! Eh? Surely if you set up such an elaborate system and it goes off, it can't be that much of a shock to watch people burgle your house after all, that is what it is there for isn't it?

We are sitting amidst torrential rain yet again! Today I had to purchase a rain jacket, I have lightweight jackets and I have heavy fleeces and snow coats, but since we arrived here, we haven't had weather like this. It is still warm, so not snow jacket weather by all accounts, but it is way to wet for a denim or other jacket. I need something that I can fling over a t-shirt to do the school run. However, being me, this "fling" has to be the right kinda "fling" baby! so good old North Face came up trumps this morning. In the meantime, the darned scout cookout for which I was in such a hurry to be suitably attired, has been cancelled. It might sound obvious, but e-mails were sent earlier in the day to say that, in true scouting spirit, we would meet rain or I was practising my "I really want to be here" smile. However, obviously by 5.30pm and no let up in the rain, sense actually got the better of them, much to W's disappointment. TBH, they are both pretty shattered from a week back at school and they have swimming tomorrow. Not wanting to "hot house" them this is gratefully postponed until Sunday.

R is still not right, we are working on a theory right now that his food is causing a back up progressively over the day, hence the fact the attacks are worse in the evening after his evening meal. He is currently trying the theory that by eating his main meal at lunchtime and snacking in the evening, perhaps the backlog won't be so bad so his stomach, intestine, gut, whatever it is that is causing these spasms won't react so badly. So far, not bad, but he is still suffering. His tests are lined up for this week, so maybe, maybe we will get some results and answers.

Excitingly, we are hoping to get tickets to go and see India Arie in NYC in October. I have a really selective amount of people of whose music I really like, I tend to like tracks from different musicians and my choices are quite eclectic, that said, India Arie is one of those who really hits the spot, her lyrics are just so powerful, so I am excited that we might be able to go, as long as we can get a sitter!

Well, it is time to go and tend to the needs of a bottle of "three blind moose" that has been delightfully chillin' since about 4pm, that is when the need hits of a Friday evening - the weekend starts to seep in and weave it's wicked way hoorah - I wonder if I am going to have to share??!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Beowulf and Montessori

Well today has flown past again. I only seem to get to bed these days for it to be time to wake up and then go back to bed! I made three visits to school today, pick up separately one for each child!! All of whom had fantastic days and, bar the eldest, have gone straight off to sleep with tired exhaustion - yay! I had a parent orientation in school led by the school directress. As usual M is a very enlightening and vibrant speaker, she always makes me feel refreshed and renewed in my choice to use Montessori even when there are things that puzzle me about it. Take a question asked this morning about Montessori approach to creativity and imagination in stories. M explained that it was always nurtured never supressed and yet from the teachers, the kids would get the "real version" of events, so for example, rather than telling the story of the bad wolf who went to blow down three houses belonging to pigs that talked and wore clothes, they would tell the story of say, Johnny Appleseed or Albert Einstein. That said, were a child to make up a tale of talking animals that do amazing things, then this creativity would be celebrated and nurtured. Montessori was a believer that children's creativity comes from within and therefore it will express itself without force, which I like! I agree that by the "reduced-media" policy and enabling children to have access to books that are less fairy tale like and more realistic, they are actually opening doors to children using their imagination far more than providing clear cut images on a plate.

R. is feeling a little better at the moment, I am pleased to say, is also taking a few days off work! He has some tablets that are appearing to keep the pain at bay and hopefully he will get some tests done this week. I, on the other hand have started a new is the "lose 6lbs overnight" diet. i think I ate a salad that disagreed with me yesterday, so he basically walked in the door from the hospital to me crawling into bed and handing them over! Bet he thought I was faking!

Tomorrow is my driving test. Crazy but it brings back nervous memories. I have been driving for 17 years. I hope this doesn't fail me due to complacency. My mom to be is holding off at the moment (keeping my fingers crossed for her legs to stay that way until tomorrow evening!.

Well, I am off to that place of down and dreams now but to end must just ask this...if Montessori is not keen to teach from legend and myth but rather from truth and fact.........why is my elder son doing Beowulf for his school play this year?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Brangelina and Big Pants

Well, how is that for a Saturday in September? Brad Pitt has declared that he and Angie are not going to get married until laws ae dropped in the US where everyone has equal right to getting married. I would like to think that be pledging this he is supporting this case had I not read somewhere else that Angie has turned him down and they are continually fighting. Not that I really give a flying fig about them, but I just love the way that the media twist things around. On the other side of the world, Bridget Jones is auctioning her big knickers. I seriously don't know what all the fuss is about......they only have to open my top drawer and could probably make a mint!

On this same day in history, R is in hospital, I am not trying to make it sound mundane by wibbling about Brangie and knickers first, just it might sound more panicky than it now is. He went in on Friday after a particularly violent attack. He was totally floored by the pain which had now moved to the centre of his belly. i ended up calling 911 and they came and gave him some morphine which didn't do any good, so that shows how severe his pain was. The admitted him but still can't find anything. The current talk is that he has severe IBS, but I had no idea that suddenly, mid life, IBS will come on that severely. I thought it was primarily an intolerance to things aggrevated by stress or eating. His has been painful for three weeks, then suddenly it changes, the pain is far worse and has moved and he is eating nothing different to his usual diet which is low fat, low cholesterol etc. So he is currently being observed and I hope to pick him up today. I have no idea how he will cope if he has another attack at home and we can't keep going into the ER. I don't like to admit it, but I had hoped they would find something, at least that way there would have been something to remove or treat. This is stabbing in the dark.

This weekend is going to be it's usual insanity. The boys are at swimming lessons this morning, and then I was hoping to take them to the Oyster festival with a friend and her children, however, I forgot about W's class picnic this afternoon AND I hope to be able to pick R up somewhere inbetween. I think we will probably postpone the oyster festival until tomorrow. Last night, in bed, I could hear the concert from my house!! Bo Bice was playing along with a band called Third Sister in which one of the teachers from school sings!! Oh and to boot I am supposedly on call, but have had to hold off for yesterday and today. Unfortunately there are no back ups available for this weekend either!

My patience is really being tested this week. The boys have had 13 weeks of being in each other's pockets and it is now at breaking point. I have had to ask them to play in separate rooms this morning as I cannot take anymore screaming or crying. Funny, these are the moments that I would LOVE to admit never happen, that discipling positively creates children that are mild mannered, patient and always gentle. But that is NOT the case and there have been moments in the last couple of weeks where I have actually lost my temper and shouted really loudly at them. Personality plays a huge part in the way a child is. T is loud and likes to organise things and struggles with the concept when he is not in charge. This year at school I hope will help him with this. He will be the youngest in the class (tri-age system) and there will be times when he will need to be second fiddle. W. on the other hand has been suffocated this summer. He needs the space to express and imagine. He is only doing mornings at school and I am going to get him together with my friend's middle child so that they can play together unstiffled by the older siblings. This is such a hard situation. I don't want to suppress T but want W the chance to make decisions that are not influenced by his older brother. I am also taking W to Tae Kwon Do on a Friday. I want him to channel some of his energies into something positive. W is not aggressive and is quite sporty, but he might enjoy a positive and focussed individual sport that doesn't require "working under someone" ie a team game, but allows him to be able to take responsibility for improving under his own steam. He did pretty well on his first lesson until he saw T at the door then he wanted to be with him. Still, next week T will be in school all day so W won't have the distraction.

I still struggle with allowing them to "be". I, as a child, was loud and tbh pretty bossy and obnoxious at times. I want them to really be able to get on in life and make and keep friends. I know things will change over time, they will have sad times and difficult times and I can't shelter them from those, in fact I can only equip them to deal with them as everyone needs to go through them. I still fight inner gremlins though that wants them to be liked by everyone. I know this is actually my own needs coming through here, and not theirs! Guidance is the key and I think T is leading the way and we are learning together!

I have my driving test this week!! I know, 17 years of driving and I am actually worried I will fail (see, here I go again!!!). I have been driving for so long that you fall into bad habits - anyone around here drive holding the wheel constantly at 2'0 clock? There is also a written test. This will be the day she goes into labour!!

Well, better get on, life is never dull at The Beehive!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

Here is a great restaurant I went to with the boys on Friday as their "end of vacation" treat - The Lime Restaurant. W. as usual managed to find the smallest green bits to pick out of his food despite my asking for no salad!! However, to give him his due, he ate two carrots and a minute piece of broccoli yesterday. Today's menu is Moroccon; pitas with veggie burgers - complete with soy cheese! and rice salad. C, P and the children are coming for lunch but as my mom is due any time now, I have it all pre-prepared just in case I have to bail.

Here are a few of the recipes:

"I will not ever never eat a carrot" veggie burgers!

About 4 grated carrots
1 tin of pinto beans (or kidney beans) drained and rinsed
half an onion grated - this will make you cry big time - be warned!!
1 garlic clove chopped small
3oz of cheese (this can be substituted for soy cheese)
A generous squirt of tomato sauce or paste (slightly less if you use a concentrate)
enough breadcrumbs to form a stiff consistency
Salt and pepper to taste

If you have veggie eaters then go ahead with grating the veggies and mashing the beans. If, like me, you have a child who can syphon out the smallest smidgen of a veg, then I throw it all (minus the breadcrumbs) into my food processor to ensure it doesn't resemble that which it started out as!! I then mix in the breadcrumbs separately.

Take dollops of mixture and form them into patties. If you want to freeze them, put layers of greaseproof paper inbetween each one.

When you come to cook them, sprinkle a light coating of flour on each one and then gently fry the outside just to seal them. I then take them out of the frying pan and actually bake them.

They can be served however you want, in a bun, pita, alone, with homemade chunky potato chips or a baked spud.

The other part of today's recipe is a rice salad which I will serve with the burgers:

Boil brown and wild rice (less of the latter) until soft - not mushy however!!
Drain and allow to cool, stirring occasionally or it'll stick!

Cut into miniscule pieces (or use your processor for speed) three sticks of celery, a red pepper, either half a red onion OR about 4 spring onions.

When the rice is cool, mix the veg into the rice.

1 level dessert spoon of grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of honey
juice of one lemon
1 table spoon of cider vinegar
4 tablespoons of olive oil
A generous handful of corriander (cilantro if you are over here!)

Mix this vigourously and then pour onto the sald ensuring it is all coated. Refridgerate before serving.

Cucumber and mint salad also goes nicely with this and you can pad out the burger with avocado slices and I made a home made tomato sauce which is below:

Tomato sauce
2lbs of tomatos - I NEVER faff with de-seeding or skinning - life is too short!
3 tbs of a good quality vinegar I used orange and muscat
salt and pepper to taste.

This is so simple - just let it boil, then simmer so it reduces. Pulp it to within an inch of its life in a liquidiser and it becomes a thicker sauce. If you feel the need to thicken it still, make up a small amount of flour paste to add.

Finally to wrap up, this is a dairy free cheesecake which is low in cholesterol too!

Lime and gingernut cheescake

Crush a pack and a half of gingernut biscuits with around 4 oz of melted soy butter (put them in a ziplock, use a rolling pin, think of someone who drives you nuts, and beat the living bejeezus out of them - you will get small crumbs which are the best to use!)

Put this mix into a flan dish and press down firmly, then allow it time to harden in the fridge.


2 8oz tubs of Tofuti (which is a tofu based cream cheese)
About 4oz of powdered sugar (icing sugar) however, as always, my measurements are NOT set in stone and I believe in an ongoing quality control which determines if I need more or less sugar!
Juice of 2 limes
Grated rind of 1 lime
Either beat this with a fork (great for your arm muscles) or take a hand whisk to it. It gets runny, but don't worry it re-sets.
Pour it onto your now set base and re-fridgerate.

When you are about ready to serve, use a potato peeler to put curled chunks of 75%or more cocoa solid chocolate (ok, so not entirely without sin!) which doesn't contain any milk product and then I thinly slice a lime and put the slices around the edge - that is just purely pretentious! you can skip that bit if you want!

So that is it, enjoy. it can all be done in advance, hence the fact I am catching up with my writing! It should be pretty low fat and low cholesterol, there is no dairy or meat and should fit for most allergy groups, except wheat.

The tennis, I forgot to mention!
It was a great day.......started dull, but still perfectly good for watching. C and I were in seats in the Arthur Ashe stadium (equivalent of centre court!) and watched Lindsey Davenport wipe the floor with a Croatian, the number 2 seed (a Spaniard) whose name defeats me right now play an immensely fun match with a Peruvian called Luis Horna (yes, of course i remembered his name!) despite the critics saying he would be knocked out in 3 sets, the match played the full 5 and it was close! The final match was Serena Williams - unseeded against Daniella someoneorother from Slovakia, seeded 17th. Well, always the performer. Serena didn't fail to please and took out the Slovak!! What a match that left the whole stadium on a real high. C and I then headed over to Grand central and a mooch around. Although, anyone who knows NYC will know that you don't MOOCH in NYC. You need to know where you are going and get there fast! Everything is fast, spralling and BIG! We had no map and no clue where we wanted to go. However, we eventually ended up at Time Square and a great Sushi restaurant.
You know, there are some cities in the world where the best way to discover them is to just walk, then you find the hidden gems, Rome is like that, Hong Kong, Antwerp, Ghent and London to an extent. Brussels on the otherhand is similar to Paris I think, there is a lot in one place, then you have to physically get transport to go somewhere else to see the next bit, the in between part is not so interesting. New York is just so mammoth but not so much in terms of distance, more in terms of intensity. The problem with NY is that it is difficult to "see out". Buildings are so tall, streets look so similar. I am sure there are some hidden wonders in NYC off the beaten track and the tourist trail but I need to find a book that tells me where to find these places. I am sure you will have your own thoughts on this! Let me know!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Quiet time

I am hiding! I. is happily playing in a box downstairs with R and the boys are playing with the playmobil quite contentedly at the moment, so I am going to grab these few precious moments.

As I sit here writing this I am realising with some sadness that summer is truly closing. We are receiving the tail end of Hurricane Ernesto right now, some pretty high winds and rain, the leaves are definately turning and life has that real autumnul feel to it. I am wearing trousers for the first time in 4 months and we are having to put the lights on in the day! I do love this time of year, approaching harvest time, lots of autumn crops, squashes, apples etc but I feel it is so early this year. I hope we have an indian summer later.

We are at the end of our mini market garden for the year. We had several aubergines, courgettes and a great crop of mini tomatoes this year. The melons and beans were eaten by something. We will need to re-think our "security" for next year. It is deer-proof and racoon proof, but probably they were eaten by mice or squirrels. If we end up being here a little longer I think next year we will actually invest in a proper wooden frame and firm wire netting.

We had quite a collection of frogs over there which has been fun for the boys to watch. They also found a cicarda in the house the other day, we were able to look at it's serated back legs and listen to it sing. Fortunately we were also able to release it without it being harmed.

After all my concern about T's lack of interest in something this summer, he has proved me wrong: I have been given some very interesting lessons over the last day or two about the dinosaurs. He amazed me with the knowledge he has picked up from his Leap Pad. Do you know what Trilabytes are? I didn't, I don't even know if I have spelt it correctly. He is just like his daddy, he retains these facts so well. He is going to be soooo useful in a pub quiz when he is older! W. on the other hand is more like MY dad, a "tinkerer" - he likes to do things with his hands, make things.....take things to bits!! he favours this kind of activity over more sedentary things.
I. has had a very productive morning today. They say that children learn by copying, hence the phrase "monkey see, monkey do" - well this monkey certainly DID! This morning I think she wanted to be mama for the day. She has climbed up, via the laundry basket, onto our dressing table and got my make up bag, I was out with T (see, these things only happen when i am not here!!)....she redecorated not only herself, but her bedroom too. There is one thing for washable crayons, which we now have, but washable make up is not going to prove a big seller!! So, R. did his best to get it out of her carpet and she is currently sporting a look that will do Dale Winton proud!! I have been freed of about $80 worth of make up during her little frenzy!

After deliberation, I didn't send the note to my friend. I decided that I have had more time to think about it and by sending it, I would have left myself wide open to misinterpretation and like the advice I had for V. sometimes it is bolder and more mature to take the passive road.
I am going to quote my best friend's advice now:

"In life we meet some great people who we would love to hold onto forever, but often the reality is very different when those "friends" can't be bothered!
Channel the time you have saved from this friendship into your others or into something else positive." Thanks Fred!