28 December 2006
21 December 2006
Sadly, so many of them look like they've been thrown together at the last minute, with text that seems to have been typed by a dog in a small back room somewhere near Grimsby, and computerised illustrations that someone did with Paint after several bottles of wine. I guess it's one of those things that anyone thinks they can do - ooh, yes, let's write a book for a baby. What a doddle. Write a couple of words, put in a couple of sickly pastel pictures and away you go. Oh, and why not add a musical doo-dah while we're at it, to really annoy the parents.
In reality, because you're working with a more limited vocabulary (although Slinky Malinki manages to include the glorious phrase "rapscallion cat") you really have to make the language work twice as hard. The ones that do it best (and also seem to get the best reaction from my consumer sample of one small child) are those that string together rhymes and silly words, and match them to carefully drawn pictures. Oh, and anything with a cat in it is a winner in our house.
Here's my list of "books suitable for 15-month-olds that I enjoy reading too" (although after the tenth rendition in a row my enthusiasm might take a slight downturn).
Pants (anything that begins "small pants, big pants, giant frilly pig pants" has to be good)
Room on the Broom
Barnyard Dance and Hippos Go Berserk
Miffy at the Gallery
The Baby's Catalogue (reminds me of my 1970s childhood)
M seems to like all these too, judging by the number of times a day I am brought them from the book basket.
19 December 2006
At the moment there's a fantastic exhibition about Robert Westall (of Machine Gunners fame) which M loved because there was a projection of WWII aeroplane flying around the room, and which I loved because it was talking about his links with Tynemouth and Northumberland (and the plane was pretty cool too). We both liked the Blitzcat illustrations (cue much miaowing from M). And we also popped in on story time, listened (ish) to a story about a blue kangaroo, and made a christmas tree decoration. Definitely beats sitting at work staring at a computer screen...
18 December 2006
17 December 2006
Actually, it was quite fun to watch - in a 'oh my god it's so terrible it's really good' kind of way. Top tips include:
- outstanding Telegraph product placement
- the snowy lands of Surrey, where snow appears and disappears from shot to shot
- Cameron Diaz running for a mile along a 'snowy' lane in stiletto heels without pausing for thought
- Jude Law smirking in every scene
- the old bloke who can't walk miraculously discovering that he can run up stairs
13 December 2006
So I've had it with tv cookery for the moment. What I really need is a bit of Julia Child.
12 December 2006
11 December 2006
So I'm proposing a whole new schedule for Christmas 2007, in a bid to avoid all last-minute card-writing, present-buying and mince-pie-making.
January: buy Christmas cards/presents in sales
February-July: write 10 Christmas cards per month, gazing into crystal ball to predict (a) degree of pennilessness (b) progress of diy (c) behaviour of offspring/cat/husband
August: wrap presents
September: make mincemeat/mince pies
October: eat mince pies
November: eat mince pies
December: eat mince pies
By my reckoning that gives at least three months of pastry ingestion, which can't be bad at all.
06 December 2006
I realise that my baking exploits probably aren't wildly exciting, but there's a limit to how much excitement you can squeeze out of suburban life. I keep trying to kid myself that we're still living in the city, but once the Avon lady and the Betterware catalogue man have been round I know there's no hope.
04 December 2006
Not content with attempting to do the domestic goddess-thingy food-wise, I've taken it upon myself to make some Christmas cards. It's December 4, and I've just begun. No pressure, then.
Above, you'll see a sneak preview of this year's card. As the design afficionados among you will obviously guess, it's a Scandinavian theme (which may have something to do with the fact that the wrapping paper I'm using came from IKEA last year) using the traditional four-year-old's drawing of a Christmas tree that seems to be my default setting. I expect the orders to come rolling in at any moment...
Actually, it's rather satisfying cutting and sticking, and takes me back to being about six and making scrapbooks on that weird coloured paper. Did anyone else save sweet wrappers and cut pictures out of the Mothercare catalogue, or was that just me?