Thursday, January 31, 2008
It didn't start wonderfully well. It was 7 o'clock on a Thursday night but there were only about 3 tables taken up despite the fact they had 20-30. We decided we wouldn't bother with alcohol as we just wanted some food, so ordered two cokes. When they brought the cokes they were in glasses about a third the size of your usual restaurant glass and half full of icecubes - no big deal. We looked around and were amused by the fact that they were mightily over-staffed - one chef for each person eating there that night, 3 waiters available per table and a restaurant manager wandering around. Maybe they expected it to get busy later.
For starters Thomas ordered the pâté and salad, I ordered the mushrooms. The pâté came discoloured, with less than half a slice of toast cut thinly and a tiny salad. My mushrooms were quite odd - they were boring button mushrooms that had been fried though not in much butter, but they came on sweet brioche bread with hollandaise sauce which was a bit like overthick garlic custard! Interesting - I'll try anything once.
For the main course Thomas had lasagne and I had risotto. The lasagne was unaccompanied - no salad, no garlic bread and about the size of portion I would serve Léon in the house. Thomas ordered a side portion of garlic bread to supplement and it came as two small slices (and was charged extra). The risotto was bland - the rice was cooked to the right consistency but had little or no butter or parmesan in it - like they were trying to make that fattest and most rich of Italian dishes into a healthy diet food - a bad move... give me one of Thomas's risotto's from Jamie Oliver's cookbook any day!
The dessert was cheesecake and though on the set menu, was charged £3 each extra. It was quite nice - green with a sprig of mint on top - but the actual cheesecake was not obviously a particular flavour - it might have been mint because it was green but it might even have been pistachio - I really don't know!
After all this we decided to opt for coffee at home instead.
We asked for the bill - 40 something quid. Not particularly overpriced, though nothing like the value we get at the village...until you consider the starters were hopeless, the maincourses were child portions and we had no alcohol or coffee.
Next time I feel like an easy meal and find myself in the shopping centre in Newton Mearns near Il Pavone sud, I will remember that I can have tiger prawns and two of Marks and Spencer's best steaks with a bottle of wine by walking a few steps further.
Today Anna got to meet her Collins co-bump. Julie, from the Production (no pun intended) department was about 3.5 weeks behind me all through my pregnancy and from half way through we both knew we were having little girls, so we'd planned to meet up once we were both on the other side. I was in the middle of a photoshoot when wee Aimée yawned, instantly Anna, who was staring at her, caught her yawn - I didn't realize that was an instinct that started so early (Anna is 6 weeks old, Aimée 3). It was a very sweet sight. When I showed this photo to Carol, another dictionary co-worker, her reaction was to ask if we'd shown the girls a dictionary or something equally boring - funny!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
It didn't start well. Apart from the obvious cracked, and aching boob, I went through the drawers and found all the bits of my much-detested Avent Isis breast pump - I loathe it with a passion - except the pumping handle, rendering it absolutely 100% useless. So I had to drag myself up to Asda at 9pm in the pouring rain and stormy wind. They had a new Isis for £18, which I knew would be the easiest manual pump, as it is actually the only one I have ever grudgingly got the hang of, but given how little I intend to use it, I figured the Tommee Tippee £10 pump was probably more sensible.
I came home, sterilised it, and sat for 20 minutes producing a pitiful 30ml. I figured that although that was very little, it would be enough to test whether or not Anna could work out how to suck on a bottle, given exclusively breastfed babies are notoriously stupid when it comes to bottles, lapping at the teats but not sucking and getting nowhere fast.
Half an hour and a whimper or two later Anna has got nothing out of the bottle except a great deal of frustration.
She's tired and very unhappy and considering seriously how to learn to shout 'Bugger off, dad!
The steak and haggis on Friday night looks like it might be hanging in the balance!
Friday, January 25, 2008
I now have the challenge of trying to express milk - something I am not particularly good at and I hate doing with a passion - for next Friday complete with wounded boobs, as Thomas and I had intended to attend HarperCollins annual dinner dance for the lovely meal. And however much I enjoy a free meal at the Marriot, I am not willing to compromise my 'not a single mouthful of formula before solid food' motto that I have rigidly stuck to always as I hate the stuff with a passion and all it represents. I guess if the boob continues to ache, I could always wear something loose and hide her inside just till the meal is over ;-)
...lucky for me Thomas happens to have a tube of the antiseptic cream Danish farmers use on cows with sore udders...what?! Cultural differences between close European countries never cease to astound and perplex me!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A salesman drove through from Edinburgh and started badly. Thomas and Derek showed him our new long extension room saying it was perfect for a kitchen, and he started explaining why the current small kitchen would be a better choice. They stuck to their guns and I even, at one point, heard him more or less suggest 2 kitchens - the current one with the washing machine, sink, dishwasher and tumble drier - a kind of wet room, and the new one full of cupboards - not quite my idea of the optimum kitchen triangle. Eventually they beat him into submission - we could choose how many kitchens we needed and which room to use. Result!
Two hours of measuring ensued culminating in an announcement that our kitchen would cost £13k...in their January sale. Wow, a £26k kitchen! I only paid £28k for a 2 storey extension of 4-5 rooms in my old house 3 years ago - even allowing for inflation, kitchens, to my mind, should always cost less than house extensions (especially when the house extension actually included an Ikea kitchen and all the plumbing and gas for it!) Derek then explained how much he expected us to have to pay, given the price of his own kitchen from the same company last year. Miraculously the kitchen fell from £13k to £10.9k to £9.2k over the next 10 minutes and our reply, of course... on your bike, we can get a kitchen in Ikea for £3k and there is no one in the west of Scotland who'd dare to suggest it'd cost £6k to fit it. All in all a disappointing evening.
I'm away to compare Ikea kitchens and B&Q kitchens with MFI kitchens now!
Having checked these now I feel invigorated, and sure I can soon have a perfect new kitchen for much less than nine grand :-)
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Originally uploaded by http://www.flickr.com/people/42225166@N00As you know our very own Banana Girl is now 4 weeks old. This phase of babyhood, I find, is marked by snuffliness. Tiny babies, probably up to 2 or even 3 months, from what I remember with the others, have such tiny nostrils, that their airways get completely blocked on a daily basis. They get anxious when they try to breastfeed as they can't breathe properly and eventually they end up sneezing out lumps of snot that even a fully grown builder would be surprised by. I have found from Marcel onwards, that you can loosen the snot and make them sneeze it out by dripping sterile water or saline solution up their noses and massaging olive oil or baby oil into their nose at the same time. I am forever astounded though that I have never seen baby snot mentioned in a single baby care book. I know it isn't a nice topic, but most first time parents must spend weeks at a loss wondering how to help their little cherub breathe and eat. I think I am going to start a Baby Bogey web help page ;-)
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thought I had to blog this one in brown!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
What a relief... though I'll miss free(ish) parking in town and the ability to quickly run to Sauchiehall street for a quick shopping spree, or Cambridge street for an Italian meal.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
At last! After a week of clueless pee and poo everywhere around the house, in pants and everywhere else, followed by a week of pee and poo in the wrong places but at least accompanied by an embarrassed look, Léon has finally got it! Completely. He says potty, he uses it, he pees over and over looking very proud, and wants to carry it by himself to the loo and even waves it goodbye as he flushes it away! And he poos in it too - hurray! We're definitely on the right side of the hill now - a week from now, I estimate, we'll even manage ASDA in a pair of pants - what a clever wee man :-)
Friday, January 11, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
I've just been ironing for about 4 hours - why did I think a family of 6 was a good idea? Anyway, I know I used to ponder socks while dealing with laundry (I still do - I will blog my odd socks next time I have a spare minute). However what struck me tonight was the different stages kids go through with relation to underwear... depending on their age and sex. Now, I was doing about 6 days ironing, so as you may imagine the basket contained 6 pairs of adult female pants, 6 pairs of adult male pants, and even, slightly surprisingly 6 pairs of little 8 year-old girl pants - however there seems to be a huge difference between boys of 2 and 10 - and I am in doubt as to which is best! My basket contained only 1 (yeuch) pair of 10 year old boy pants, and 18 (yeuch) pairs of age 2 boys pants!
Sunday, January 06, 2008
I already moaned about this house's cowboy appliances. We happened upon a thermometer in the flat the other day so decided to measure the temperature inside our dodgy built-in fridge - an impressive 11°C. Over Xmas Thomas had turned off the heating in both the porch and the kitchen-to-be in order to store extra drinks and vegetables for the big family meal on 26 December. We measured it - a slightly better 6°C. So I have just suggested we turn off the fridge altogether and move everything to the porch until we can afford a new fridge :-\
I wonder what Léon and Anna will bring to the chaos in a few years time?
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
The chance cards were also more modern: I won a million in a reality TV programme and was fined for using my mobile while driving!
Even the tokens were modern: a mobile phone, a hamburger and a roller blade boot!
The hotels (see photo) are now NY-type sky scrapers, but the most radical, if you look at the photo has to be that there is no money any more! Thomas is paying his 1 million fine for landing on Marcel's hotel by VISA, and Marcel is registering it on his electronic card reader!
I feel old!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Is it something about January? You may remember my rant when I was unexpectedly stung by a wasp in January last year. That was in the flat in Glasgow, so imagine my surprise this evening when Thomas came down stairs in the house holding another dead wasp, explaining he'd encountered it walking along our upstairs hall - give me strength. Is it global warming, or just victimization?