I am Wonder Woman. It’s a secret. Nobody knows but me. My family thinks I am the domestic help and my friends, well, they only get fleeting views of me as I fly around ‘Wondering’.
Let me set the scene. Picture me: a manic, middle-aged matriarch, glasses at nose tip, in a cluttered, kid-stroke-cat filled kitchen (that’s stroke as in punctuation not caress), ‘phone clamped between shoulder and ear, stirring a pot of something aromatic and discussing the finances of the local youth club. With diminishing hormones I battle with a large house, career driven husband, teenage and seven-year-old daughters, a string of hobbies and an enthusiastic involvement in village organisations.
…It was not always thus. I was once a child, in an orderly and happy home. My mother organised, arranged and cleaned with a huge amount of energy, love and personality. And she cooked. And she taught me to cook. Continue reading I am Wonder Woman
Forget Marmite; Bovril is my family’s chosen British favourite.
As a child Bovril on toast was always present on the breakfast table, the squat brown jar rubbing shoulders with the marmalade, honey and condensed milk (another classic for another piece). Thick sliced white bread, toasted golden, not too dark, spread with ice cold slices of butter and lovingly topped with a thin smear of Bovril. One bite and the butter bore the impression of your front teeth. Ah happy, cholesterol days.
At weekends we often had fried bread spread with Bovril as part of the family tea, and after birthday parties, rather than waste the left over sandwiches they were fried for breakfast often with an extra spreading of Bovril.
I have carried on with the tradition, albeit in a slightly healthier manner. Continue reading On Bovril
OK so now she’s got a sense of humour there’s no stopping her, especially if there’s something she wants.
So there we are, 31st December and Mavis decides that her bedroom is too small for her needs. ‘Daddy?’, she enquires sweetly, ‘Could we knock my bedroom into Horace’s to make it bigger?’
Now strangely enough this is something we have been considering – in the long term plan you understand, and certainly not this year. Whizz’s face clearly depicts some hesitation, the possibility of a ‘Maybe’ type of answer so Mavis plunges on quickly ‘It doesn’t have to be this year or anything, next year would do’. A little pause for thought ‘Like tomorrow!’
It comes as a surprise when your child develops a skill she has not hitherto demonstrated. You know your child will grow into an adult and that along the way she will do new things but, nonetheless, when they present themselves they still impress.
Sadly for Mavis, when it comes to a sense of humour, she has as her examples Whizz and I. Still, when she says something witty, it makes us laugh.
Over the Christmas period Mavis has been going to bed later and later. Occasionally I have half-heartedly suggested that we try to ease in to school by bringing bedtime nearer to normal but when the time comes, I have become engrossed in a book or other project and her official bedtime has passed. This results in a sudden urgency to get her to bed, thwarted by her own inimitable tactics: I feel sick. I’m hungry, I … am … going … as … um … e-e-er … fa-a-a-st … as … I … can, and so on.
On this particular occasion Mavis was offered the opportunity to join us watching a film or to go to bed before it started and read a book for a while. She was not that keen on the proposed film but was torn between it and the unwelcome prospect of an early night. “We-e-ll” she pronounced, “I wouldn’t mind watching a bit of the film”.
“Which bit?” demanded Whizz
After a slight pause she grinned and announced, “The last bit.”
Everyone in my family has an alias on this blog apart from I.
In a blinding flash (aided by an excess of New Year’s imbibing) last night I came upon my own nickname; it is Lil.
You may wonder why I have decided upon this particular nom de plume. Well, exemplifying my usual poor taste, it is short for Lillets which, according to the packet, expand widthways in much the same way as my body has done during the festive season!