Friday, May 31, 2013
Secretly I wish she didn't need the glasses, because although they are cute, I find her eyes much more fascinating to look at without that distraction.
Charlotte had her braces put on today. Unlike her brother who has a tiny mouth with no space for his 28 teeth, so needed four taken out, Lots has a huge mouth with lovely straight teeth. Unfortunately a routine x-ray showed up that 4 of her adult teeth were missing. Of course, at first the dentist suggested we just leave the baby ones in as they often last to age 35 with enough care and attention. I could see the thought behind that - when her four baby teeth fall out in her thirties, she'd have to pay them a fortune in dental work to plug the four huge gaps. So I suggested that if we took them out and closed the gaps then she'd maybe even have room for her wisdom teeth when they come through and the nice orthodontist agreed.
However, twelve hours in, with sliced gums and unable to eat she's beginning to question my logic and saying the baby ones might have been a comfier option. I remember from autumn 2010 (when Marcel's were put on) that this is a passing phase. I hope I'm still around when she hits 35, to point out that had I not taken this decision today she'd be forking out the equivalent of a grand or more at that point rather than using it on childcare, holidays or whatever her needs are then! She'll thank me then I'm sure.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
You've got to love her.
Marcel had gone through a wanting-a-pet phase at about eight but I was in the throes of leaving his father so it was fairly low on my to-do list back then. But the last year Léon has become unstoppable with his constant harping on so we weighed up the options - the climate ruled out a dog for me, the bus route next to our house ruled out a cat unless we wanted a splat instead of a cat, no one could be bothered with a fish tank and we felt a bit sorry for guinea pigs and rabbits outside in Scottish weather, so a hamster was bought. Lots didn't come along to choose her, and showed no interest when we brought her home despite Amaia jumping and shrieking with excitement. She's more or less ignored her for the two weeks since we brought her home.
But tonight I noticed she stopped and looked in (the cage is in the hall between the TV room and the living room). I watched. At first she spoke to her, then started to hand in some nuts and seeds, which Rosie was taking in her paws and storing in her cheek pouches. Finally she started shredding paper and playing tug of war with her before letting her drag it in and take it off to make a bed. She was soon calling me out to see what Rosie could do (she was making some bedding and a food store in her tube). She's stopped short still at calling her cute (so far), but she's definitely beginning to warm to our little hamster.
Then I met my current husband - who had lived in Georgia. (Ex-USSR Georgia, not US Georgia!) In Georgia they eat a lot of aubergine and they know how to cook it. In Georgia when you board with a family, they teach you how to cook it. What Thomas can do with an aubergine is almost orgasmic - (I'm still talking cooking!) I could live on aubergines alone for weeks on end, if only he's doing the cooking - it's all in the salting technique. Divine! His აჯაფსანდალი is to die for!
So I was right - something that beautiful does taste as good as it looks... eventually.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
It must be the climate - we are overrun with rhubarb in our garden. Having had two rhubarb crumbles in a week, and given enough to the neighbour to make a third, while holding back enough for one of Thomas's spectacular rhubarb meringue pies, I realized I was going to have to make jam for only the second time in my life. Given I still have some rhubarb and ginger from the last rhubarb invasion I decided rhubarb and vanilla would be a good alternative. So I have just finished making six pots. I decided to experiment this time mixing jam sugar and normal sugar, with a view to making it less set than your bog-standard UK jam - I prefer the French/Danish runnier alternative, so I am hoping it is less solid than my last attempt.
Maybe I can get Thomas to rustle up a nice fresh loaf to try it for brekkie, because I don't think a boring toast-loaf will do my masterpiece justice!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
I've been having some fun with hot chocolate tonight. This stuff is warm to the touch and leaves your skin feeling great but more importantly it had definite entertainment value with Amaia not at all convinced I was still really me and dragging me through to the bathroom begging me to wash it off. I might take to wearing it out, so I can be anti-social... If I am struggling to recognize myself and so are my kids, it would be great for incognito shopping!
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Finally Lidl came up with a compromise. What better to relieve stress than a weed-singeing flame-thrower? And it doesn't upset the strawberries in the slightest. Now we're fighting over who gets to scorch the patio and we're even having teenagers beg a go! Brilliant.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Much as the games and t-shirts are beautifully designed and awfully cute, I must admit that the concept of Lego Star Wars (etc) has often puzzled me. Who came up with the idea? Why? And how did they get the two big franchises together?
So since Léon got his latest t-shirt, again I find myself wondering...
Angry Birds Star Wars? What?
Friday, May 17, 2013
Amaia got it into her head today that she wanted to wear her party dress to nursery. Made of silver, metal disks, it is quite heavy and looks stunningly over-stated, especially when everyone else is in a sweatshirt and leggings. So I had to laugh when I went in to a sign that said 'Yellow group keep your shoes on, we are going out litter-picking' That must have been quite a sight!
You really never can predict what is going to come out of their mouths, can you?!
This new phone definitely has a better camera on it than the last one. Unable to fit the DSLR through the cage door, I stuck it in and snapped, only to realize I'd managed to get Rosie holding her tiny back foot in between her hands, licking between her toes. Cute!
Monday, May 13, 2013
Oh look mummy, Rose street is a bit like the name Rosie. I pointed out that Rosie is the diminutive of Rose and that sometimes in families or informally you use a diminutive of your name, whereas in more formal situations you use the full form. As an example I explained that although we call Charlotte Lots or Lotsie at home, she would most likely be referred to as Charlotte by teachers or in her future place of work. I continued saying that if Lots was one day to apply for an important job like prime minister, she'd likely call herself Charlotte. I also mentioned that sometimes people use a more formal name when they get older too. Anna thought a moment then asked:Can we call Rosie Rose once she grows up? Of course, I replied, if you want. and then Anna added And we'll call her Rose too if she becomes prime minister! At first I laughed at the ludicrous idea of being governed by our pet hamster but looking at our current duo down south, I know who's getting my vote. ;-)
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Anna thought for a moment and then said (completely seriously). 'That's probably just as well. If we'd got a cat one day and our hamster had been white, it might have mistaken it for a mouse and eaten it, but this one looks much more like a hamster so a cat wouldn't get mixed up!'
I can see an obvious flaw in that logic, so it is just as well we aren't planning on a cat any time soon.
Friday, May 10, 2013
I found a farm breeding them on facebook, so made an appointment for this evening. Poor Anna was sent home from school sick so had to stay home with Marcel while Thomas and I took Amaia and Léon to choose one. They had cages with girls, who were climbing up the sides, obviously full of nonsense and boys who seemed more laid back. Léon opted for a little girl who is 60% white with a browny-ginger head and a gingery-grey bum. On our return Léon decided he wanted to call her Donut but proceeded to refer to her as him all the time so we suggested giving her a girlier name might help focus his mind. So Amaia came up with Rosie which seemed acceptable to Léon as an alternative. So now she's Rosie the Hamster.
I'd forgotten one of my oldest friends, Linda, is a hamster-daft loony so Rosie's holidays are all sorted too which is a weight off my mind because convincing my mother to babysit a rodent might have been harder than convincing the sun to shine during a Scottish summer.
Anyway, so far she's quite fun, she's moved all her food and bedding up into her climbing tubes, presumably in case we try to steal or something. Anna still isn't feeling well enough to have a proper look and Lots is treating her with disdain but Amaia is the most surprising. She's completely thrilled and hasn't left her side all evening!
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Anna: Was I born when we moved to this house?
Me: No, you weren't, but you were in my tummy.
Anna: So did you move here all alone?
Me: No the others were with me - Marcel, Lots, Léon and daddy too...
Anna: No mummy, you and daddy didn't get married till I was one, so he couldn't have moved here with you before I was born!
Me: Daddy and I lived together for years before we got married.
Anna: No, you couldn't have!
She knows daddy is her daddy, but she thinks we didn't live together till after we got married. Interesting logic. I guess in her head I got pregnant, and then spent a few years trying to find out who the father was so I could marry him! Sweet - looks like the 15 year old just became 5 again!
So in a matter-of-fact-cum-bossy tone she directed her friend 'Ok, so pretend we've got our boyfriends coming over. You run around and decorate the house nicely, while I prepare an impressive meal! Then we can do each other's hair!' That in itself was enough to make me laugh, when Anna shouted after Emma 'And don't forget to decorate our bedroom nicely in case they decide to stay for a sleepover!'
I'm going to have my hands full with that one!
Sunday, May 05, 2013
Friday, May 03, 2013
It stated that kids were starting to mix up their jackets given they are all the same and often coming home in the wrong one (if they are all the same I am wondering why, for the most part, that is an issue?!) However... we are advised to clearly name them and if possible add a badge or ribbon to make them unique to your child!!!! I'm shaking my head! Here's an idea (that I have been following with my two all winter) - How's about not buying the school jacket and sending them in in one that is different from all the other kids, so they can tell them apart?!
Sometimes I amaze myself with my genius! ;-)
When Thomas was first moved into my office back in 2002 my only experience of Scandinavian languages was a two-year Swedish course I'd taken at uni, primarily as way of escaping two further years of Middle High German. (Well, unless you count the 60s Abba records in Swedish that I'd bought myself as a ten year old, memorizing the lyrics, without understanding them until ten years later at uni). I was better at reading and writing it than listening to it, simply through lack of experience. Unlike my French, German and Italian, I had never lived in Sweden, and that makes a world of difference in language learning.
When Thomas occasionally spoke Danish on the phone, I followed none of it, but when he left the odd newspaper lying about I got the gist, given it is written fairly similarly, even if the pronunciation is a million miles away (to a non-Scandinavian). Obviously over the years I heard more and more Danish and I got better at following it. Three years ago Thomas and I were in Sweden. He bought the Larsson trilogy in Swedish. I picked it up and read the first chapter. I followed it well but found for the next few days it affected my Danish - I started pronouncing the Ks in Danish as SH like in Swedish in my head and I stopped reading it because I could tell returning to my first Scandinavian language was adversely affecting my Danish.
As an old Abba fan I heard last week that Agnetha had released a new album. I popped on to Youtube the other day for a look and my first search came up with this interview instead. I put it on. To my surprise, my Swedish wasn't as rusty as I thought and I followed most of what Mats and Dag were discussing in the first half. Suddenly Sidse from Borgen turned up and of course spoke in Danish instead. It was strange. From her very first word the effect was a bit like someone turned off the background noise, or cleared water from my ears. Every word of Danish was clear and crisp and so much easier to follow than the Swedish that it surprised me. That language that ten years ago was totally incomprehensible alongside its easier Scandinavian neighbour had become part of me. I didn't need to concentrate as I did with the Swedish, I could listen to the Danish while typing this, without thinking. When Sidse and Agnetha finally got to talking together, there was no contest as to who was the easier to understand. I have to admit I have finally come full circle. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would reach a day where Danish was easier than Swedish. But it definitely is - even with all those funny sounds!
Don't tell Thomas!
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
I quite like 'la poignée un bon de basilic'. I'm also puzzling (ironically) quite a bit over the meaning of 'la signification' ;-) Of course, we have the obligatory untranslated bit in the last sentence with that well-known French word 'warm' and the 'et de haut avec' in the middle seems quite meaningless too.
I'm loving the verbs in the German one this month! I think 'goldene' is my favourite. 'Slice' and 'cook' are very German too though!
It's funny. I'm too lazy to go through to my kitchen and read the English or the Italian to piece together what it actually says but I am not sure I can fully get it from reading the French and, or the German! Or rather trying to match the two, is a bit of a challenge. I don't think that's quite what they intended!
Anyway, well done to those Italians for keeping me amused another month!