Wednesday, 30 April 2008


I've blogged before about No 2's rotten teeth - a result of having chicken pox at 6 weeks old.
We've waited quite a long time for the perfect (in terms of the other teeth) time for them to be removed - and yesterday was the big day!

They were to be removed under general anesthetic (which really made me feel anxious).
After the worry over the anesthetic I was suprised when the anesthetist did it so quickly than neither No 2 or I saw it coming, and such was the shock from the speed, that I didn't have a chance to get emotional!

My dear friend 'Gordon' was there to 'hold my hand' - she was brilliant, talking at me and stopping me from watching the clock!

The husband arrived (by the skin on his teeth - haha) just before No 2 came round.

The waking up was by far the worst part, she looked so distressed, blood pouring out of her mouth - really ghastly.

There is something about seeing your child so shaky and upset, that makes your stomach turn over.

The only humour was found when we opened the little envelope which contained her tusks - don't look at these if you get queasy!

The shock of seeing these monsters caused us to burst out laughing at the absurdity of something so massive coming out of her tiny gums. Nervous laughter?

I thought you might like to show the following images to your children what can go wrong in the tooth dept - it might shock them into being fastidious!!

Here's a really horrid close up of a cavity!

I hope I haven't put you off your suppers!

No 2 and I have spent today on the sofa in a nest of duvets and pillows, watching movies and eating ice -cream.

She's been sick (apparently a result of swallowing blood - yuk - too gruesome) but looks a bit brighter this school tomorrow I think. Dr Mummy prescribes more love, more ice - cream, more movies!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

L.O.A - update

MMMM, I have just discovered that my perfect laundry system has a flaw!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Laundry Obsessives Anonymous

Mrs G (top gal) and Jenn (admirably orderly) have recently discussed 

the stress that is laundry.

I feel forced to pitch in with my two penny's worth of thought on this matter, as prior to the instigation of the new DC laundry regime....the laundry reduced me to tears!

My husband and children have a different outlook on laundry to me (I think, as a result of never actually doing the laundry themselves), they have a predaliction for creating more laundry than is truly necessary - No 2 especially, sees it as her one gal mission in life to create Mount Laundry - this is because, in the past she has viewed it as a means to 'tidying up her room'. Groan!

As a result of stupid amounts of my time being wasted washing things which are actually clean, and then putting them away, I devised a new hard line 'Basket' system - mainly to prevent me being a basket case! 
This is how it works-

  1. Each person has a basket, into which their clean clothes are deposited.
  2. Each person is responsible for 'putting away' (this totally avoids "Mummy, where's my....")
  3. Any clean laundry sneaked into the wash to avoid 'putting away' is immediately put back in the offenders basket.
  4. Lined up, the baskets give a very visible message about who is creating the most mess.
  5. Bad offenders get bigger baskets, and therefore have more 'putting away'.

Initially the laundry load was roughly the size of Mount Etna, but it's amazing how quickly the contents are shrinking - having to deal with their outfall definitely focuses their minds!

I put away any linen - tidily so I can find things quickly -

I am aided and abetted in my regime by my friend the Aga (these pics are for Jen). 
Having an Aga isn't very 'green' if you just look at it as a cooker, but they really are more than that... after making some morning Aga toast...

I neatly fold the wet laundry on the top and front....
as a result I don't need a dryer...and most things get 'ironed' by the heat from the Aga - HURRAH! no ironing!

I use ecologically friendly washing powder -

which basically means that the laundry never comes out startlingly white - shame!

Just in case you were beginning to imagine that Domestically Challenged is actually Domestic Goddess, don't be fooled - this is the only area of our household which has any of the rest of the building site which is our house would have you running scared!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Cheeky Georgian Boyfriends

We all know how fond Mrs G is of her secret boyfriends, and her passion for my neighbour Johnny D - we can't blame her, he is rather beautiful after all!
Like Mr G, my Husband is quite safe...mainly as a consequence of my secret boyfriends being 250 years old - as I go weak at the knees at Mr Darcy and Mr Darcy...

Mr Darcy the first

Brrrrrrrrr (little shiver of delight)

Colin Firth of course! He of the wet shirt

....very delectable, and he still makes me go weak at the knees....but hold onto your bodices ladies, there is also 'Mr Darcy the second'.....

Rupert Penry Jones - "oh Rupert you are too gorgeous".....quite scrummy, and definitely on my boudoir access list!

What do you think ladies? Do you approve? If you're not sure take a peek at this-

OOOOH, can't we just imagine him appearing out of a lake in sheer, wet, linen..... 
(knees wobbling)
I can't believe you're still not convinced?

.....Oh good grief, still not falling for him? Try this for size!

Auntie M, have I perchance, perked you up this evening?

With sincere thanks to Google Images for the photos - no really THANK YOU Google, ......especially for the last one!

Thursday, 24 April 2008


Last night, as we drove home, we saw our lovely neighbour, normally the most cheerful person, he was looking uncharacteristically  sad.
We were too when we discovered the reason for his unhappy face - his very beautiful (inside & outside) blonde wife has been diagnosed with skin cancer!

BB (beautiful blonde) is younger than me, fit as a fiddle and has two tiny children. 
Seeing them with worry etched on their faces had my stomach in knots - how is it such a lovely, sweet couple get this **** thrown at them? It seems so horribly unfair.

I believe in karma - but honestly they are too nice to have put out any bad - so how is it that things happen this way?

They are being very positive and apparently the cancer isn't as bad as it could have been, but it is aggressive, she has to have more skin snipped away just to make sure they got everything the first time....but positivity aside I can see their worry.

As BB is very fair  - she thankfully was 'mole aware' a moley person, now I will be paranoid - please check your moles everyone.

And please, whatever your faith....could you will BB to be clear and safe.


Wednesday, 23 April 2008

And the winner is......

My challenge to circulate Claudia Roden's "Taste of Italy" round the world - giving recipe joy begins with the winner of my Trulli question...

....but four lovely bloggers gave the right answer - Puglia - or as the Italians would call it Apulia!
The most fabulously unspolit area of Italy, with the best food, and fantastic chefs!

Kit, Juggling Jen, Smalltown Mom and Scrappy Sue all got it right....but how to choose who goes first? Tricky, but I took an idea from the Mom Bomb - we have no Joey the cat here, but we do have Ambrose....

"Ambrose, would you mind helping me to pick a winner?"

"Meow, get lost, I'm far too superior to help you, meow!"

"Chikkies, will you help me?"

"OOOH no, we're busy climbing ladders and standing in food bowls - very important chicken work don't you know!"

"Who is going to help me? The children are at school.....and I can't do the choosing...."
"I know, I'll get the hairy hound to decide." "I know something she simply won't be able to resist..... balls (the hound has OCD with tennis balls)."

Hairy hound adores fresh tennis balls, but due to a very small (but loud) mouth can only pick up one at a time.

And Hairy Hound chose Juggling Jen's ball as the most delicious! Congratulations Jen!
Thrilled with the prospect of chewing a new fluffy tennis ball, she retreated to her favourite spot...

Hiding underneath the summerhouse means you can chew tennis balls in peace!

Jen if you email me your address I will post 'Claudia' off to you pronto - and I'm really looking forward to hearing how the big Italian cook up goes! 
Ciao Bellas
xxxx Hen xxxx

Friday, 18 April 2008

Get this Mrs G!!!

Having LOVED the Engineering cats.....this made me giggle -

These are directions given by an engineer (male, obviously) - bless!


Coming from Exeter down M5

Take A38 from Exeter towards Plymouth

Take Exit for Totnes (after Ashburton turn off)

Set mileometer to ‘0’ at top of slip road, then read the numbers, don’t add them!

After 4.4 miles: turn left at roundabout towards Totnes (drive for 1.2m)

At 5.5miles: turn right at traffic lights towards Kingsbridge (drive for .95m)

At 6.55 miles: turn left towards Tuckenhay (drive for 1.75m)

At 8.3m: turn right towards Tuckenhay.

Follow signs to Cornworthy/Dittisham then after 2.35 miles

At 10.65 miles: turn right towards Dittisham, at ruined stone arch behind hedge in field

Continue on this road towards East Cornworthy/Dittisham

At 11.6 miles: Framing Yard on right.

WHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - you have arrived at your destination! What do you think Mrs G?

PS: The Husband loved the cats -  guess what his profession is - hah!


Thursday, 17 April 2008

I can be Bossy too!

Bossy too? - most people who know me would tell you I invented the word.......
I can't defend my bossyness - What can I say? I am a control freak - Phew, never been to AA, but maybe just admitting it is terribly good for one?

Anyhow - my little grey cells were thinking what to blog next....and inspired by The Mom Bomb's lovely pussy
(that made your ears prick up) awarding me a lovely prezzie, and by Mrs G sharing her fun time with Bossy...the grey cells formulated a plan!

I haven't got time for a road trip....but how is this for an idea?

We have a little competition to find an initial winner of my favourite recipe book....

The Question is: Which area of Italy is filled with Trulli and Olive groves?

I'll send the book to the winner, who then cooks ones of the recipes, blogs about it, and sends it on to another foodie blogger, who repeats this amusement....and so on, and so on, it goes on - with the idea being that the book eventually wends it way back across the pond, complete with lots of comments within written  by all you glorious gals out there in Blogland - 
I selfishly end up with something really very special, and we all might learn some delicious new recipes on the way.
We could then repeat again, with someone else starting and ending the process.

I could just be being really Bossy.....but I'm hoping instead you'll think this is fun! :-)

What do you think?

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Busy Bee

Wow, it's been a really busy week - unusually for me I've been doing 'proper' work, all of which required lots of concentrating - lots of meetings and describing - I'm pooped!

I'm jolly glad I'm not normally that busy - I've had no time to blog, no time to read...but, Hurrah - it's done and normal service can be resumed!

Added to the mix last week, I broke my Kitchen Aid mixer - and let's face it you do have to be doing something pretty stupid to manage that! I wandered off,  mid dough making...the dough jammed the hook, and I wrecked the gears - which reduced me to tears!
Anyhow, the reason for telling you about this, is that Kitchen Aid were absolutely sporting - I rang and confessed my mistake - the next day UPS picked it up, a week later they delivered it back....fixed - AND FOR FREE! I'm impressed and very grateful!

I wanted to share this photo with you -

Amongst the frantic concentration last week, we sneaked off briefly for a stiff drink at the pub in Castle Combe - it looked weird - the same as it usually does, but always looks old and quaint.....but not quite like this!
Security men guarded the roads in, huge lighting trucks had parked in the normally beautifully manicured lawns of the larger houses and lots of houses had been turned into "shops", and all traces of modern day living had been scrubbed out!
The mysterious cause was that yet again the village was being used as a film set - this time "Wolf Man" with Anthony Hopkins.
So, there we sat, outside the pub (except that now it's a greengrocers) amongst all the film crew and their preparations. Sipping or drinks, perched on the last remnant of the 20th century - a picnic bench (only half an hour to go before the film set remove said bench and shut the village!)
Snowflakes began to fall, to complete the chocolate box scene.....a lady on the next table piped up "OOOH, look they've even made it snow..."
The crew looked unerved.....for twas not man made was the real deal....and the "Wolf Man" wasn't planned to be set in a snowscene!!! 

The village remained closed for the next couple of days, lit up at night for night filming - so bright that we could see the glow! Then the circus packed up shop, and moved on to Lacock...who spend every other week playing host to film crews - it must be weird living somewhere which constantly gets turned back 200 years!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Happy Birthday Jo


Have a really wonderful birthday, full of love, pressies and special times,

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Clare Grant's 3BT

Last night I finished John Naish's book "Enough"- WOW - that book has really crystalised lots of things I was already thinking about...and has made me think about lots more besides.
I felt very unsettled, and should have been asleep, but my brain was whirring !

In the final section of his book he applauds Clare Grant's blog - her blog is a tool to allow her appreciate all the positive things which happen during a day - the small 'unimportant' things....which put together make us feel grateful, which make us feel happier, which make us feel 'grounded'.

It works - I had a bit of a **** day yesterday - but this changed when I got out of bed at midnight (unable to sleep after finishing the book), I sat on the stairs in the dark, opened my laptop and found "Three Beautiful Things" made me think what were that days 3 positives....and there were three - easily!

And My 3BT today..

Korat cats love each other very much -

Blackberry and Custard learn to fly - Custard makes it onto Marjorie's back!

Doogs finished our new kitchen table....the surface is just as beautiful as I hoped, when we found the hunk of Elm tree, blackened and almost with a lot of love from him it's something we will appreciate every day.

So I'm laying down a challenge to all you gorgeous bloggers out there - I know that you are a pretty positive bunch (even in the face of adversity). So, come on - I want to see or hear about your three beautiful things....

Hen x


For those appreciative bloggers who liked the table...these are for you!

This is 'before'

And after the Doogs has been busy!

Dougal Black Furniture

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


After a few late nights we are all a little tired, so we took it easy this afternoon, the girls and I played Bananagrams - it's like Scrabble without boundaries!

Each player takes 21 tiles, then using your own tiles you make interlocking words - your partners do the same with their own tiles, the first player to use up her tiles (without cheating) shouts "BANANAGRAMS" and wins!

It's a great game - which was given to us by my friend Gordon.

Obviously you try to use up the letters with a few longish words, that make you look half intelligent, or if you're like me you hope for a dream selection from which you could spell lots of related words - very satisfying!

A dream selection could be

Although, more often they look like this -

The children use it to get my attention....

Has anyone else got a good Bananagram?