29 September 2008

Blue Peter eat your heart out

When your three-year-old demands "an alien in a ballerina dress with a sparkly necklace", a certain inventiveness with egg boxes is required...

22 September 2008

The open road beckons (very slowly)

Slight hiatus at the moment, for which apologies. There's been lots of work, together with a couple of weekends away. I've still been posting over on the Recipes for Millie site, so if you want more insight into the minutiae of life with a three-year-old then hop on over. Oh, and some recipes of course.

In other news, we appear to have bought a caravan. A Rapido Confortmatic folding caravan to be precise. Here it is up in the back yard in all its glory:

See - walls, roof and everything. Beats sitting in a tent, especially when you have this interior to play with:

Check out those 1970s colours! Here's how to put one up:

Needless to say, it took us slightly longer...

16 September 2008

Books galore

One of the nice things about going away for a week to France, apart from the fact that you can actually see some sunshine on a regular basis, is that you get time to read some books. Not that much reading was done in the sunshine - a certain young lady was too busy playing in sandpits, swimming in lakes and swimming pools and shopping at our favourite place in Bergerac (the fizzy sugar cubes for the bath were a big hit).

I did make a dint in my pile of books, though, mainly by staying up until the early hours until I needed matchsticks to hold my eyes open. It was such a luxury to read in peace and quiet (there's no broadband, hence no distractions).

Scores on the doors:

The Rose of Sebastopol, by Katharine McMahon

Found at the library, but I'd have been quite pleased if I'd bought it, as it wasn't a bad read. It lost its way towards the end (to be honest, it could have ended a couple of chapters earlier), but I liked the characters, and the way they were drawn (there were some nice sewing details too). And I'm a sucker for a long drawn-out romantic thread. Mind, I couldn't tell you anything about the Crimean War now - it obviously went in one ear and out the other.

The Palace of Strange Girls, by Sallie Day

I liked this one a lot, but I did manage to devour it in a couple of hours, which usually means it's light on the description and heavy on plot and characters. I liked the picture it drew of 1950s Blackpool (fairly accurate, according to my Mum who was brought up there), and I loved the way each chapter was opened by a quote from the I-Spy-at-the-Seaside book. Rather a predictable ending, but I liked how it got there.

The Ghost, by Robert Harris

Ooh, plot plot plot plot bit of character development plot plot plot. You know what you're getting with a Robert Harris, really, don't you? Not as good as Fatherland or Enigma - maybe because the subject matter wasn't as interesting - although I'm sure Tony Blair's memoirs will be a riveting read.

The Visible World, by Mark Slouka

I sort of liked this one - or rather I liked the fictional memoir which makes up the first half of this book. The romance thread lost me though - in fact I didn't bother with the second part (the romantic novel), as I could cheerfully have banged the main characters' heads together by that point.

04 September 2008

3 today, hip hip hooray

Following on from last year's Joseph and his multicolour dreamcoat cake, I present this year's birthday offering:

M was determined it was going to be a 'strawberry cake'. It came out pinker than I expected (I think for a true red colour you'd have to use an awful lot of food colouring), but tasted pretty good (it's just Nigella's all-purpose birthday sponge underneath). The rest of the birthday tea vanished fairly quickly too.