Monday, 26 April 2010

Cleanin out ma closet

I spent the weekend reorganising my wardrobe, bedroom, and life in general, barely emerging from trackie pants until Sunday night's shower when my hair rediscovered the fact that it is, indeed, blonde, and not a dusty dark brown. I also found some old pics, which is always licence to waste a happy half hour this case, the pictures of Brazil in 2004, including my 30th bday stay in a rather fabulous old colonial pousada in the city of Olinda (I used to want to call a daughter that, and D-Bubz could have ended up as Recife (pronounce the R like an H) if he were similarly unlucky. I have big hair, and a bigger hot tub. Anyways, it feels great to know that all my winter clothes are banished, and even my currently-too-small-summer-clothes have a place (bottom left side of bottom drawer). I've got rid of two whole binbags to charity, and am feeling very clothes-detoxed.

Also spent some of the weekend in the garden with the bubz, who had a lovely time playing with our neighbour's little girl, getting into practise for the arrival, a week late due to volcanic ash clouds, of his big sis this Wednesday. I can't wait for her to see how much he's changed, so that's going to be a lot of fun, and am expecting lots of moments like this one with Mehlina:
...he loves little girls and being mothered by them, and is incredibly docile as they drag him onto their laps etc.

Anyway, I never mentioned that D-Bubz is now a bona fide model, with a Littlewoods shoot under his belt. I registered him with an agency some time ago, but have been unable to go to a casting until they texted with one a few weeks back that wasn't too far from me, so off we went, Grandma (who was staying) in tow. It took place in a studio in SW London and was relatively painless: he just had to try on a couple of outfits and grin at the photographer. Later that day, I caught Grandma flicking disparagingly through a babywear catalogue and saying somewhat darkly: "There's that Archie from the audition, pretending to be a girl under that pink blanket - says it all really" to D-Bubz, who didn't look too worried.

We got a call on the Sunday night that they would like him to come to Hove (Hove!!) the next day to take part in the shoot. Of course we couldn't say no, but it was a major mission driving down there on a Monday am, but eventually we got to the stunning location house right by the sea. It prompted a major fit of lifestyle jealousy on behalf of all the parents who were there (all pretty nice I must say, though Archie wasn't there - guess we pipped him to the post). There was a Monty, a Kitty, a Kiki and a Reuben. And my Dylan, the only one who couldn't sit up un-propped. Later that day, after a quick sojourn at the beach and on our ridiculously congested journey home, I got a call saying they wanted to use him again the next day back at the audition studios, so off we went again. Unfortunately, despite him doing his solo shot like an absolute pro, none of the crying which the other bubs were indulging in, the photographer couldn't get rid of a shadow on the background of his shots (he was lying down while the other precocious snotbags were sitting), thus all the potential outfits for him to wear after that were taken away for the arrival of the next boy baby, and my dreams of seeing him all over the Littlewoods catalogue all dashed, bar the one group shot from the Hove shoot. I'd also left my wallet in the car when I was dropped off, so had to beg for assistance and was granted a cab home (it was amazing actually and far beat getting public transport so thanks to the production team), which just added to my sense of being a stressed mum about town who forgot to wipe the puke of her shoulder.....anyway, not heard from the agency since, so just waiting for the cheque.

In other news, D-Bubz is now taking the odd bottle of formula, and seems to suddenly love it - hallelujah! With the slight drawback that as I'm using Nannycare goat milk formula (available in health food shops), when he voms it smells of goats cheese. But hey, at least I'm not having to get them out 4x times a day, its down to x3....far more discreet I must say....

Mother In The Hood xxx

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Torn between Supernanny USA or George Lamb's breakfast slot on 'surely they can't bin it' Radio 6 this am, I wisely plumped for the latter and got the usual excellently eclectic mix of old and new inc some seriously booty-shakin' disco. I always want to note down half the tracks although that's rather more like studying than entertainment. D-Bubz has feasted on water with watermelon juice, porridge, yoghurt and banana so I am feeling like a good parent, but this is often a temporary state. I can make myself cry just thinking about my failings thus far, and am not sure whether listing them here will be cathartic but for the record they include, 1) using baby wipes within days of his birth (you should only use water and cotton wool but the sink in his room wasn't connected to the mains and so I found out too late after our plumber's departure that I really needed hot water in there - that's actually a major failing on its own). 2) Giving him Cow & Gate non organic baby porridge at 4 months, instead of expressing milk and giving him Organix or something - when I switched, his poo got noticeably lighter. 3) Going silent and abstracted whilst engaged in changing or dressing him, often ignoring him for minutes on end. 4) These suddenly sound very trivial and I can't for the life of me remember the others right now, which is probably a good thing.

"The hallucinations were growing. Now, every time she turned from unloading the dishwasher in either the morning or dusk light, he was there, for a second. She had given up trying to ascribe this to a trick of the light, or her over-fertile imagination, it was too frequent and the clarity of the visions too strong. She was definitely being haunted, and the ghost was definitely him. She sensed no malice, but ever time her stomach churned with adrenalin, he seemed close enough to touch, to talk to, to push. But there was no way she was moving, or talking, or shoving."

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Flying without wings

Aside from the obvious issue of crushing the travel dreams of millions, not to mention making it tricky for acai berry devotees to get their fix down at that there Selfridges, it felt pretty amazing to see nothing but blue, blue skies for a whole six days (as well as just a tad eerie, but as a child of the action blockbuster, I quite like the feeling of the calm before the armageddon). As the world's planes were grounded, out came the sun, and The Orb's 'Little Fluffy Clouds' was oft to be heard in our garden (about as close to the husky-voiced angel from that track I'm ever going to get, unless the (clearly loving it) Icelandic prime minister is right and that was simply a rehearsal for the big performance to come imminently, in which case we'd all better get a little more seafarin' in our ways).

The D-Bubz, of course, had no idea why we were all getting so worked up about the lack of vapour trails, and continued to be gamer than Stu Francis post-cabbage hurl. Apart from when emitting puppy style whimpers, although what better excuse for acting like a baby than being one? So every time he looks at me imploringly while doing his best impression of the Andrex labrador pup, I remember that one day he'll be the one trying to get me to let go of his hand and refusing to submit to any PDAs. These are golden times, and whatever lies ahead - be it the end of air travel, the rising of the tides or the loss of the global bee population - my boy will face it bravely, and I will be by his side.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Divine Miz

I watched last night's 'The Delicious Miss Dahl", or whadeva it's called, with a mixture of screaming lifestyle envy and disbelieving hilarity (esp when they filmed her winsomely wandering with a pout on reciting poetry), but by the end I had grudging admiration for her and her array of "transporting" (she said it many times just so we'd get it) travel-inspired dishes from variously India, Mexico and New England (her granny lives in Martha's Vineyard doncha know). Not sure what dish I could conjure up in memory of my dear departed gran and her one-room bungalow in Southcote, Reading, but it certainly wouldn't be clam chowder - more like toffee-flavoured blancmange made with gold top milk, and you'd take out your teeth to eat it, but that's by the by.

What the BBC have cottoned onto with their blatant and effective creation of the nation's New Nigella TM, is that not only can Sophie talk chicken brothy froth with a nice line in intelligent delivery, but she has the anecdotes to back it up; whereas Nigella would never rhapsodise quite so eloquently re the joys of being crap at making rice, she's too busy being perfect while we're too busy wondering if she really does have blowtorch attachments on her breasts (great for the tops of creme brulee). Sophie, however, can empathise, even if it is from the lofty position of moneyed successful model turned slightly odd writer, turned, with a definite whiff of home-cooked inevitability, into the new titillating female chef on the (marble, Magnet) block. How many male chefs are there who combine the qualities of marinading and pulchritude to such an extent? The answer is zero, and I bet none of them have grannies in Martha's Vineyard either.

Am off to see if I can find her recipes online - her dahl (geddit?), sweet potato and lemon pilau looked, as was suggested, like the perfect Sunday night dinner, and if I can cook it, maybe I'll turn into a rich and successful renaissance woman too?