30 September 2011

Childhood Books - A Trip Down Memory Lane

At no. 90 on my Day Zero Project is: Make a list of my favourite childhood books.

E is now 5 and really settled into Year 1 at school. It took a while for her to get used to the change from Reception but she is growing in confidence and is happy. She continues to flourish with her reading and loves to share books. This made me think about my Day Zero Project aim to write a list of my favourite childhood books, and then locate the books for E and A to also, hopefully, enjoy.

My memory doesn't seem to reach back to the fantastic paperback picture books that are weighing down the children's bookshelves upstairs. I must have enjoyed this type of book as a child. I vaguely remember Where the Wild Things Are but it hasn't burnt into my memory as a favourite. Instead I recall the older reader books that have chapters and just a few sketches in them, the kind of book where the pictures grow in your head instead of being presented to you on the page.

So here is my list that I hope to share with E and A soon.

The Milly-Molly-Mandy series by Joyce Lankester Brisley

These stories were first published in Great Britain in 1929 and each book contains a series of stories detailing Milly-Molly-Mandy's adventures with Billy Blunt and Susan. Oh what gay adventures she has mushrooming, having tea in her friend's tree house and finding out that the storeroom has been turned into her very own little bedroom!

I loved these stories and will start reading them with E soon. It will very interesting to see what she makes of them!

The stories of Ramona by Beverly Cleary

I remember having a secret wish to be American when I was younger so I absolutely loved these stories with their pantsuits, crockpots and candy. I managed to keep a copy of one of the books, Ramona and her Mother, and flicking through the pages brings all the stories back to me. I must have read them 100s of times! I particularly like The Quarrel with it's undertones of gender stereotypes and parenting roles:

The stories of Paddington Bear by Michael Bond

I found all these upstairs lurking in a cupboard smelling of old book! I don't quite know why I don't have the original A Bear Called Paddington, but will have to locate that to start E and A's education in all things Paddington Bear. Saying that they have had a bit of a start through a DVD boxset bought for them by an Uncle but I will have to persuade them that the books are best! I still remember Paddington baking elastic.

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Photo source - Wikipedia
This has always been my favourite Roald Dahl book. I'm not sure why as it is all very serious and based on a Father and Son relationship. It just set my imagination on fire though. I still recall the  Gypsy caravan, the plump raisins full of medication to drug the pheasants, and how scared I felt when Danny was driving the car to pick up his injured Dad. I am recalling all this from memory but that just shows the power of books and what they can leave in our memories.

The Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves

Ah, a classic collection of books if ever there was one. I never owned all of them but definitely had my favourite; Mr. Happy, which my children now have a copy of too. The stories are very wordy but children just love them. My two also love the classic original TV series on DVD but obviously the books are far better!

Here is my favourite mug from the husband and broken glass *sniff* that my late Godmother bought for me as a young 'un.

So, what are your favourite childhood books?

28 September 2011

The Gallery - Home

This week's prompt on Tara's Gallery is 'Home'.

I have a love/hate relationship with my home. Bought 6 years ago with the intention of doing it up and selling it not long after having our first baby, we are still here. Now as a SAHM, and a rather annoying drop in the house value, we are having to stay put for the foreseeable.
So I have to stay in love with my home despite it's size and parking issues!

Home, so much more than bricks and mortar.

Definitely not a show home. It is often full of chaos, clutter and cosy corners of books and hobbies. (Please note the cover on the sewing machine - did that myself!)

But for me home is for the family and as long as they are happy the size and contents do not matter.

What photographic images would you select for 'home'?


26 September 2011

Why I love Mondays

Mondays, that dreaded back to work/school day. I used to suffer from the Monday morning dread but for now, I love Mondays.
"E" is settled into Year 1 and "A" goes to pre-school for the day so I have 6 hours of calm and peace and the house all to myself. Mondays are my days.

Today is a particularly nice Monday with the sun shining and temperatures unseasoningly high.

The garden is starting to look more autumnal with reds emerging on the leaves.


The sunflowers are well and truly finished but the sweet peas are fighting on.

 Will this be the last teapot of sweet peas for this year?

 The vegetable patch needs clearing and weeding...

 ...and the shed's treatment needs to be finished.

My shack needs treating quick as the summer sun has damaged one side.

Boris  just sits and watches it all.

Tuesday is Toddler Group for me and "A". I am now in charge and today I baked buns for the little ones and Millionaires Shortbread for the lucky lucky grown ups!

 On Saturday I bought some lovely starry fabric to make a curtain panel for A's room.

You cannot find any right angles in his room so whenever we have put up blinds or curtain rails they have always looked wonky. So I decided to use very basic curtain wire and the panel of starry fabric to give him a curtain that for once looks straight - ish!
 This is how it looks today.

I am very proud of this as it is only my second piece of sewing using my new machine!
So, there you are, now you can see why I like Mondays!

25 September 2011

Listography - Top 5 celebrities I'd like to go for a beer with

The lovely Katetakes5 has set us her latest Listography Top 5 list: Who would we like to go for a beer cider with? I thought very carefully about this so I could get a broad selection of conversation points, so I opted for the following:

Brandon Flowers

Bit of an obvious one for me really. But I would love to share a few pints with this beautiful man (if he still drinks?) and we would discuss music, his handsomeness, Las Vegas and what being a Mormon is all about!

Ronnie Vannucci

Another obvious one for me really. I imagine he knows how to sink a few and we would discuss music, his handsomeness, Las Vegas and maybe he would take me home to show me his drum kit?!

Nigella Lawson

Well as my children already think we are the same person (see here) then I think it would be good spending some time down the pub with the real Nigella. Maybe she could give me some tips on how to be true domestic goddess and do the whole lick lipping seduction routine!

Jack Dee

Purely for a drinking session of pure grumpiness and sarcasm.

George Osborne

A rather strange choice I know but I would so love some drinking time with this man just to ask him a few questions about the judgements him and his party have made about the likes of me - and if I got even more pissed off with him then I would happily throw my pint of cider over him!

So, there you have it, my top 5.

Who would you choose?



Silent Sunday


23 September 2011

Millionaires Shortbread- Scrumdiddlyumptious!

Today I had an urge for chocolate, gooey stuff and shortbread so I made Millionaires Shortbread.

If you fancy making some yourself here is what you will need to do.

For the shortbread base you will need:
225g plain flour
75g caster sugar
175g butter

Mix the flour and sugar together then rub in the butter until it comes nicely together.
Press this into a greased, lined tin (approx 10"x8") and prick with a fork:

Bake for 5 minutes at 170c then 30-40 minutes at 150c until it is lightly golden brown.
Let it cool.

For the gooey stuff you will need:
200g butter
1 tin of condensed milk (397g)
4 tbsp golden syrup

Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the milk and syrup.
Boil, reduce the heat and stir for about 5 minutes until it thickens.
Pour over the base and then let it set.

For the chocolately bit you will need:
240g plus, depending on how thick you like it, chocolate (plain or milk - your choice)
Melt the chocolate and pour over the set gooey stuff.

Pop it in the fridge until hard.
Cut up, eat & enjoy!

Like the title says - Scrumdiddlyumptious!

22 September 2011

"Look, it's Mummy!"

The awesome SAHDandproud has very kindly tagged me to take part in his meme. Now, the SAHDandproud's son has spotted some people, cartoon characters & images that he has pointed to and said "Look, it's Daddy!" I have thought about it long and hard to recall who my children have pointed at and said, "Look, it's Mummy!" This took a while. And then I remembered....

"Look, it's Mummy" (Nope, it is the lovely Nigella)
Why the confusion? Because I am the ultimate Domestic Goddess and am clearly a beautiful brunette with a gorgeous cleavage (that last point is a lie).

"Look, it's Mummy!" Err no, it's Wonder Woman
Clearly confused but I see their thinking; brunette, can kick arse, fit body, leggy (this time the last two points clearly do not relate to me)

"Look, it's Mummy!" Ummm, close, but no it's Elle MacPherson
I can so see how they could get this one muddled - I am clearly an uber super yummy model mummy on the school run!

"Look, it's Mummy doing her Zumba!"
Brunette - check, Toned - check, Gorgeous - check. (??!!)

"Look, it's Mummy" Ahem - no it's Megan Fox playing Mother Teresa (How? Why?!!)
I am clearly a saint after all.

So there you go, my children think I am absolutely stunning and fantastic at everything I do!!!

(Please note that all of the above is a big fat lie as I could not actually think of anyone that my children have pointed to and said "Look, it's Mummy!" but I still I wanted to take part so I cheated!!!! Gasp!)

I tag:

19 September 2011

Today I ....

Today I ....

.... finally bought some wool from the lovely Jumble Jelly shop in Bradford on Avon...

...and started knitting for the first time in two years!

I got stuck in making notes in my journal for a writing project that for some crazy reason have been asked to contribute to! I am a little bit worried at my writing capabilities. Actually that is wrong, in fact I am enormously worried but hey I'm willing to give it a go.

On picking my daughter up from school I discovered that a Viking Longship had arrived on the school field.

And, whilst checking my phone, I discovered what my children get up to when I let them have it as a treat to play games!

 They discovered the effects button - my son's head doesn't usually look like that.
 An arty shot from my bedroom window.
And yes, that is my backside.
Thanks kids.

And finally, today I decided I really must start exercising again

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