Sunday, 12 June 2011

Then they were Two: It's Official

I am now in charge of two 2 year-olds.  The Tank and Magpie can be divine little cherubs one minute, and gross satanic monsters the next.  But at their birthday party last Sunday held in their Grandmother's garden, they were as good as gold, despite the washout - dashing around in vintage frocks (read: my own unworn party dresses) in pouring rain, having the sugar-fuelled time of their lives.  A marquee was acquired after a last-minute dash to Homebase.

Cousin Teddy's amazing mother has her first ever go at decorating birthday cakes, which were gooey and gorgeous, despite being wheat-free for me (marshmallow and buttermilk were the secret ingredients)


After the rain comes cake frenzy (look at those desperate hands)
Three sisters (I'm the deranged one in the rain-soaked hat) help the birthday girls to cut (and eat a lot of) cake

Duck-obsessed girls eat iced ducks
...and more ducks
Big Daddy keeps an eye on marquee roof leakage while Magpie is already soaked

Cake carnage

Luisa, maker of the creamiest, yummiest cakes ever, my mother GA (short for Grandma) and Magpie
Me looking a tad eccentric in hat and shades and JJ, friend and toddler-whisperer extraordinaire

Chief toddler whisperer Phoebe (far right) with Alice and twins Archie and Eliza.  The Tank takes a juice break  (far left)
A sneaky hot dog

A push by cousin Joe
Sisterly love on the actual Big Day
As above
Mapie, Purdey and cousin Teddy
The Tank, Magpie and the super-cute, ever-patient, cousin Teddy

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Navel Gazing Q&A (aka my first tag)

Lovely Mama at Manana Mama has just tagged me.  So now I've got to bare all.  I hope my happiest moment is yet to come.  I have gone straight to The Guardian piece that inspired MM's tag, and have not come up with my own version (as the ever-creative MM has).  We have Wyoming in common when it comes to happiness!

When were you happiest?
Oh God - can I have three moments?  No, make that four:

1.When I realised I was pregnant with my twin girls

2. & 3. in South Africa and Wyoming, both times up a mountain on a horse (not the same one, and not when pregnant).

My POV astride the stupendous horse Ace, descending a mountain into a lush valley
4. Walking my dogs down a valley in Gloucestershire where we rented the gatehouse of a famous writer.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Bryn Parry (Help for Heroes charity founder) for showing us that compassion and drive can take us a long way

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What was your most embarrassing moment?
At Prep school when, as usual, I wasn't concentrating in a history lesson and thought shell-shock happened on a beach

What is your most treasured possession?
My under-used office at the end of our garden
My office in the London snow

What makes you unhappy?

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Frown lines

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Meryl-bloody-Streep - sometimes my life is that serious
The most flattering photo of Meryl Streep of all time?
Which living person do you most despise, and why?
Nicole Kidman - overrated and over-botoxed

What is your favourite book?
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate

What do you owe your parents?
I owe my father everything, and I owe my mother a care for personal grooming

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
My father, for not being able to introduce him to his grandchildren

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My children

What does love feel like?
Unconditional, except when I'm tired and somebody is tantrumming

What was the best kiss of your life?
Wiith an ex-flatmate in Antibes in about 1998

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Bradley Cooper for sex appeal, Michael Macintyre for humour, Daphne du Maurier for creativity, and closest friends for friendship.
Bradley Cooper: the photo speaks for itself
If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
My Greek rescue dog, Klefti
Klefti, our charismatic Greek stray and a very pregnant me (not sure why K is wearing a harness and a lead)
What is the worst job you've done?
At the BBC working for a woman who hated.....women

What has been your biggest disappointment?
The conviction that I needed to settle down in my early thirties

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
The Wild West

When did you last cry, and why?
Can't remember, but it won't have been long

How do you relax?

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
A bigger home

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Imagination by Belouis Some

How would you like to be remembered?
Did her best (kind of)