Rodent cupcakes

October 24, 2011 § 4 Comments

Today the downstairs of my house resembles the aftermath of an explosion in a toy factory. In order to breastfeed the baby I have to clear a path to the sofa, pushing aside crayons, dinosaurs and the occasional Cheerio. “Thank the lord the cleaner is coming,” I think. So shoot me, I do have a cleaner that comes each week. Although ‘Saint’ would be a better job title.

Sadly, though, the cleaner is not coming. She gets in touch to say she’ll be with me tomorrow. “Dammit,” I think. I have a friend and her son coming for lunch. I detach the baby and do a hatchet job on the house. Quick wipe of surfaces, quick empty and reload of dishwasher. Then insanity strikes. I decide it is a good idea to make cupcakes. 

As I’m running around the kitchen getting prepared, I realise that the floor is a bit crunchy underfoot. I have failed to hoover or mop the kitchen floor, and it has crossed the line from ‘lived in’ to ‘venue of South East London mud wrestling championships.’ No time to rectify though, because the doorbell rings.

I apologise for the state of the house as I welcome my friend, and continue to make the cupcakes. In my haste I drop the electric whisk on the floor. Do I wipe it clean? Of this I am unsure. Possibly I continue whisking.

Our conversation turns to the morning’s events, and I remember that my 4-year-old had run into the bathroom this morning to show me a still-alive three-legged mouse trapped in some tupperware. In retrospect I am not sure why I shared this information.

“Bloody cat,” I say.

“Where did he find it?” asks my friend.

“Oh, in here,” I say truthfully, gesturing absent-mindedly at the kitchen floor.

Before she leaves, I offer her some cupcakes. “No you enjoy them,” she says generously. Suddenly it dawns on me. I have invited a friend to lunch, prepared in a kitchen that was home to a bleeding three-legged rodent not four hours previously. And the floor is probably dirtier than the local bar.

I guess it’s official then; I suck at homemaking. 

Thank god I’ve got some delicious cupcakes to make me feel better.


This post first appeared In the Powder Room


silent sunday

October 23, 2011 § 3 Comments

Inspirational people

October 12, 2011 § 2 Comments

This is the prompt over at Tara Cain’s Gallery this week. Do visit to read about the incredible Dr Amiri. 

I wanted to post about a man I met nearly ten years ago now. His name is Dom Williams, and he lives in Guatemala. I first met him when I volunteered on the Phoenix Project, which provides free education to an indigenous community near Antigua, Guatemala.

Dom and his wife, Doreen, dedicate themselves to running community projects, in Guatemala, where they live, and also in other Central and South American countries. The sad fact is that within these communities many children do not attend school, and certainly after the age of 12, most girls are no longer in education, as if there is any money to spend, it will be spent on boys. I was extremely struck by the poverty that many of these girls are living in, the small amount of food that they have to survive on each day, the backbreaking work that they undertake in the fields. Currently more than 500 people are receiving an education thanks to Dom and Doreen. The pic below shows Dom (back top right, and the local women who have received scholarships for their families).

Dom works for volunteer organisation Global Vision International (GVI), and his dedication to providing volunteers with an incredible experience was trumped only by the dedication to the communities within which he works. To say it was lifechanging is an understatement. After returning, I quit my well paid job working in the magazine industry to work for GVI. Sadly the income wouldn’t cover the childcare costs so after my first child I went back into publishing, then more recently worked for a management consultancy. To this day though I think about GVI and I don’t think another job (aside from motherhood!) could ever be more fulfilling.

To find out more visit the Guatemala blog here, or watch a video here.
To have a laugh at my twenty something self, have a look at the old project video here (I’m on about 1 minute 24).

Pop over to Sticky Fingers blog to read more.

Save the Children healthworkers campaign

September 19, 2011 § 4 Comments

I have three children, and every pregnancy has been the same. I spend nine months fantasising about a wonderful peaceful waterbirth, gently squeezing my other half’s hand, cherubic baby popping out and only causing me a mild backache. Yet it seems even going into labour naturally is unrealistic for me, forget about the rest. The excitement of my waters breaking slowly turns to disappointment as yet again my body lets me down. 48 hours later I’m wired onto machines that say ‘ping’ with a drip in my arm to bring on the contractions – never a birthing pool in sight. In two out of the three labours the baby has gone into distress, immediately detected by the midwives and resolved by speedy delivery, one of them in theatre. After my last labour, only twelve weeks ago, I remember saying to my other half “I’m so glad we live when we do. A couple of centuries ago, without inductions and accessible medical expertise, would any of my babies have survived? Would I have survived?”

Perhaps I should have said “I’m so glad we live in the developed world”. I didn’t think about it at the time, but the sad truth is that all around the world mother’s and their babies are dying, because of lack of access to healthcare. That’s why Christine Mosler, over at Thinly Spread, is flying to the UN with Save the Children to appeal for global access to healthworkers. And that’s why I am adding my story to those over at Mummy from the Heart‘s blog. And why you’re reading a serious post from me for a change. If you haven’t already, please sign the petition here.

Time out

July 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m taking another time out.
Baby has colic.
4yo has no nursery.
1yo is almost 2 and it shows.
No time to sit/blog/think!
Back next week I hope.

a brief musical interlude

June 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

I am taking a week off to get to know my new baby.

Thanks to all my friends and family who have been so supportive, helping out with the other two urchins, making food parcels and the like. A particular thank you to Charlotte over at blueskiesblog who left this homemade breakfast hamper on my doorstep. If you’re looking for foodie inspiration, pay a visit to her lovely blog.

the breakfast fairy


See you in a week!

silent sunday

May 1, 2011 § 17 Comments

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