Being sick

Apart from being busy I have also been trying to cure myself in record time. As luck would have it just after I finished watching "Love Actually" on Sunday afternoon I began to feel rather queasy. I was starting to wonder whether the mushy gushy lovey doveyness of this particular movie was having that particular effect on me or indeed I was coming down with something. I decided it was the latter because my throat was also sore and no movie no matter how bad, good or indifferent had been known by me to actually hurt my throat.

I was quite apprehensive about the whole sore throat business because it had been exactly a month when I last had a sore throat that lasted for 10 days and I consumed innumerable panadol and close to the end I had a complete physical meltdown as a result of being stoic and soldiering on and on and on. I was loathe to repeat that particular experience but it was looking ominous considering I start my new job on Monday. I hope to maintain the record that I kept in that I have yet to ring in sick for my first day of work - even if it is to return after 18 months to a department I had worked previously.

Work on Monday was a nightmare - I stopped at the chemist and picked up some stronger form of aspirin and began a 4 hour vigil. Prior to leaving for work in the morning I asked P to stare down my throat and as I suspected they were covered in pustules - I am familiar with infected tonsils and what they look like as I suffered from repetitive tonsilitis throughout my adolescence. I decided I would make an appointment with my Doctor that night.

At the end of the days work I went straight to the Drs and the chemist, 85 dollars later I was on my way to recovery. I was prescibed 10 days worth of penicillin (I am allergic to sulphurs so can not have a lot of antibiotics that would otherwise have been prescribed) and some great painkillers (ones that I took for 3 weeks after the caesarian). I can happily write tonight that now continue on with healthy tonsils. They cleared up this morning which was fantastic. Much to my dismay I found I was experiencing side effects from my favourite painkillers and had to discontinue them. I decided I was better off dealing with the pain than experiencing nausea, dizziness and hot flushes.

Saturday's efforts. Posted by Hello

The Cake

I have finally put some time aside for me to write down something about my life since last Saturday. Because I have started my new job and I am very busy ( I actually got to work at 7am this morning!)I am going to try and do a few very short posts from now on instead of one big one.

The picture I have posted is the product of my efforts on Saturday when I spent the day decorating the cake (which I made on Friday night) for my sister in laws birthday celebration to be held that night. The cake itself is from a recipe for a amazing orange cake - and a huge orange cake it is. It required 500 grams of butter, 500 grams of sugar and 500 grams of flour. Knowing that given the time I had on Saturday, in between watching Elliot's last soccer match, shopping for a birthday present and looking after Gabriella my time for decorating would have to be spent wisely. I decided that the sheets of alternate white and milk chocolate was my best bet as it was the least likely to go wrong and would look the most spectacular and you can never go past lots of strawberries for a striking presentation. All of this was placed on top of the loveliest white chocolate ganache. Suffice to say by the time the cake was ready for eating I couldn't bear the thought of it but luckily it was a huge hit with the rest of the family.


Sunday lunch with old friends, more bloody marys and yorkshire pudding

Sunday from 11am was spent at an old friend and her husband's place for lunch. There was K and J. I lived with K in my last year of law school up until I went to England with P. So from 1987 to 1991 (with one year off for good behaviour when I fell out with one of the other flatmates and moved out). J was in the year below me at law school. So I guess I have known them nearly 18 years. Another friend F was there with her husband T (they are both lawyers too) and F and I went to law school together so I have known her 20 years. V and her husband B were there and I met V when we worked at a restaurant when I was a law student and she a communications student earning extra money so I think she falls within the 19 years and finally M and her husband R (another lawyer) who I met in 88 (and shared the same house as K with her) so she falls in at around 17 years.

All except F and T (they have 3 boys) had their children there, between us we have about 11 children with another one on the way for M and R. It was a very pleasant day and there is something quite relaxing about being with people you have known that long - because there isn't much to prove anymore we all are who we are I guess. We only catch up a few times a year and except for F from day to day we have nothing to do with each other.

In the last couple of years F and I have really renewed our friendship with daily emails and regular lunches. In fact F is my new boss next week which we are looking forward to as we have worked together in the past and neither of us have these enormous egos we have encountered more regularly with men.

Got home in the afternoon and needed a kip before waking up in time for ..........you guessed it... PT making Bloody Marys again. PT and V put on a traditional roast beef with yorkshire pudding and brussel sprouts the crispest roast potatoes and sweet potato and P made a beautiful red wine gravy. The cooking odours were just gorgeous and when my sister, her son and her guest dropped in to take my son home with them, I could see she would have loved an invite but I really couldn't do it as we hadn't made enough for 3 extra people. To be fair I had asked her a few days earlier if she wanted to come over for dinner on Sunday night and she had declined saying she wanted to get her son M home to see the new house ( they have moved to Brisbane from the coast) as it was his first time living in Brisbane instead of just visiting us.

Because V is an English expatriate the roast beef dinner was the best and I have been learning from both PT and V how to prepare roasts - though I wish I had paid more attention to her making the yorkshire puddings in the traditional Gordon Ramsey manner. I put out some lovely cheeses left over from the portions I had taken earlier to Sunday lunch - there was a beautiful blue, a double brie, a spiced gouda and vintage chedddar. We also had some great reds of course a Penfolds 407 2000 and a Penfolds Chalimabar 2000 as well.

We ended the night by eating the cheese drinking red wine and playing a hilarious game of Taboo.

Saturday nights all right for fighting and ironing.

Well the rest of Saturday was fairly quiet and luckily in order for me to recover from my Friday night P took Elliot and Gabriella to Elliot's soccer game that morning leaving me a few hours to get myself rested and together.

I took Gabriella for yet another injection (no 2 prevenar) poor petal, she is getting at least 6 more injections in her first year then Elliot got in his first year. I think our family Dr really hates to end an otherwise pleasant visit by inflicting pain and the visit concluding with some tears.

I spent the rest of Saturday dropping my house guests and my sister and her house guest at their wedding receptions or wedding meeting points and then grocery shopping. So from 1pm till late I was quite busy. Saturday night - and I decided at 10pm to deal with some ironing and putting away clean clothes and watching a DVD (The School of Rock - recommended!)because Sunday we were going out for the day and it was my only chance to get on top of some domestic duties before a busy working week began all over again.

If you think the last thing you want to do on a Saturday night is the ironing - I found out much to PT's surprise it isn't. The last thing you want to be doing on Saturday night is being asked by your house guest (who has no children) who has just returned from an evening out drinking and dancing with his wife .............."What are you doing ironing on Saturday night?"

PT got more than he bargained for when I answered because I turned into a rancid cow and said

" I am a working mother with 2 children its what I have to do. Would you prefer I sit around getting drunk on Saturday night. Stop criticising my life! I went out Friday night I am going out tomorrow - do you think I should just let the ironing pile up?"

He tried to apologise to me half way through the rant, but I wouldn't shut up. I guess I really felt he was being critical of the mundaness of my life, my life which I really quite enjoy and don't like to have to be defensive about. I guess while I accept that I like my life I don't like the mundane parts of it questioned like that and had to defend myself when he dared to question it after he had witnessed it in some of its tedious glory. He quite sensibly disappeared after that. But as I was tidying up I realised it wasn't fair to take out the fact that I really didn't want to be ironing on a Saturday night on him either.

Suffice to say we made up on Sunday morning. And PT who is a really really sweet good friend apologised and said - at least I felt comfortable enough to go off at him and you should be able to go off at a good friend occasionally and then get over it. I apologised and agreed that I obviously felt comfortable enough to speak to him as though I were going off at P! And we left it at that.

Friends, reality t.v., volcanoes and Bloody Marys.

It has been very busy since the weekend. Our friends PT & V returned from Vanuatu where V was working. Although they live in Sydney they returned to Brisbane first in order to attend a wedding over the weekend. It was actually only 2 weeks since we had last seen P - he has been our regular house guest since May while working on a well known Australian reality t.v. show. In fact V also works on a well know American reality show which had just finished shooting in Vanuatu when PT came over for a bit of a holiday after his job finished.

PT hates to talk about working on the Australian reality t.v. show which up until 3 weeks (?) ago was the only television show topic on everyone's lips. He was exasperated with P for telling people what he worked on it whenever we introduced him to our other acquaintances - however P's rationales was that PT's reluctance to talk about where he worked, when asked about what he did, could be interpreted as standoffish and rude. P was just trying to make our friends more comfortable with the situation because usually telling them what PT worked on was a real ice-breaker.

I told PT that if he wanted people to stop talking about his work then he should invent a really boring job that took him away from home - like traveling commercial mat salesmen. Once people asked about mats ie. what types? "Like the ones that the people in commercial places like the Woolworth's deli might put on the floor to prevent slipping" then there really isn't that much further detail anyone wants to go in.

Surprisingly though when we went out to dinner on Friday night and everyone focused on V's reality t.v. job - he was a little put off and jokingly said to me "Oooo Its the V show" and then appeared more than happy for a change to talk about his t.v. job if asked by anyone at the table.

For that dinner, P and I ditched the kids and tried yet another curry restaurant with another couple with whom we try to have a semi regular Friday night curry night with though usually with the kids. PT & V brought back some Absolut and we started at home with some Bloody Mary's so were pretty convivial at the restaurant by the time we got there and quite enjoyed the food and the company. It wasn't too late a night but it was wonderful to actually talk and eat food at a casual night out without the kids for a change and we ended the night with a game of pool at the other couples house around the corner from the restaurant.

PT & V came back raving about the island they stayed on with the live volcano but were generally unimpressed by the weather and the food and the cost of many things we take for granted like the cost of alcohol. PT said he found staying on the island with the live volcano quite unnerving as much from the sounds of the volcano as the malarium psychosis he was experiencing having taken a course of medication to prevent malaria. He likened it to severe paranoia and while was impressed by the show of nature was quite relieved by the time they left.


Back to reality

After a couple of nice non-work days - I came back to reality this morning when I arrived at my desk and saw the dreaded white folder with red writing - yes - a cabinet submission. For the uninitiated it means about 2-3 hours of intensely frustrating reading and writing about a usually complex topic with alot of history which has to be ultimately summarised into less than two A4 pages in less than 3 hours. The writing of these submissions are subject to formatting rules which means you can't make the text smaller or make the sentence breaks less and they have pre-determined headers and footers so there isn't actually much room left for content.

Having some experience with cab subs these days I am better at sorting out the wheat from the chaff (I think that is the saying) then I used to be. I had actually planned to begin the handover work for my job because for the next two years I am going to participate in a legislation project for the business of imprisonment as opposed to the business of transport infrastructure. Why would I want to leave behind transport infrastructure for work concerning prisons - let me tell you all the engineers I work with can't understand it.

Suffice to say I have had enough of working with the boys and their toys. Everytime a big infrastructure project starts happening I see the gleam in their eyes and the thought of using some big machinery (not themselves of course they wouldn't get their hands dirty) but being responsible for other people doing some shovelling and digging - a huge under the river tunnel - there are a lot of big boys I work with who can't wait till it all begins. Me, well I recognised the dichotomy between engineers and lawyers at law school and believe me it is still alive and well many years on into the workforce - we just don't problem solve or even approach a problem the same way so it makes the business of making legislation frustrating to say the least.

There is a quote I read some time ago "You should never see how sausages or legislation is made" and believe me the legislation I have been involved in making is not pretty. I have to remind myself that I don't own the policy and I didn't make the policy and the legislative product can only be as good as that input. I was in control of the process but not the policy and I did the best I could based on what I was told by the people making the policy at the time.

So in about 10 days I am out of there. I will still be making legislation - probably another messy job just doing it somewhere else. I have learned that legislation is far from perfect and the best you can do is just try to get something out rather than dwell on making it perfect because if you tried to perfect it you wouldn't produce a thing.

My motto for the life I have chosen to make in law in the public service as opposed private enterprise is "the grass isn't necessarily greener anywhere else just different" and God knows we can all do with a change now and again. In terms of my life in the public service since my return to law in 1996 its about my 4th department however since 1998 I have actually only worked in 2 departments. I am returning to corrective services after an earlier stint in their legal section prior to my having Gabriella. Still compared to some old time public servants I am doing something unheard of - moving around. I always keep my feelers out so I can go to a new job everytime I have enough of my current job so it keeps things fresh. This time my best friend has recruited me for this job - she will also be my new boss - I really hope things go well for both of us it is going to be quite a challenging project to get through.

Gabriella and the "Ekka" dress. Posted by Hello

Happy to be at the bay. Posted by Hello

A day at the Bay.

The park doesn't taste as good as it looks. Posted by Hello My sister SugaLu and I went to Wynumn for some fish and chips on Wednesday (our public holiday for the Ekka). It was as we anticipated, quite busy but nevertheless we enjoyed being outdoors and SugaLu and Elliot kicked a soccer ball around while I tried to keep Gabriella from eating every piece of dried up flora she could get her chubby little fingers on. In honour of the Ekka, P, insisted she wear a little blue, white and red checked dress above.

It was a nice way to spend part of Wednesday and the only thing I thought negative about the day at all was the way the grass had become so brown. Everywhere is looking so dry these days and not just our big back yard, its a little depressing to see absolutely everywhere now. Plus it makes me worry about when it begins to rain my fear is that it will rain for weeks.

King George Square Posted by Hello

More exhibition Posted by Hello

Tuesday afternoon at the Exhibition

Side Show Alley Posted by Hello P and I took Elliot for our yearly sabbatical to the Exhibition (a.k.a 'the Ekka'). What does it mean to me - strawberry icecreams, fairy floss, the ski lift, fireworks, animals, show bags (of course!) dagwood dogs and the fruit exhibit. I have some very early memories of going to the Exhibition. I hated the rides - due to my having motion sickness it is hard to try the Hurricane when you get sick just using a swing. I would only use the ski lift and that was it.

We always manage to get free tickets so we don't have any excuse not to go plus since Elliot became old enough to know a trip to the Ekka is synonymous with show bags we really need a good excuse not to go. Last year we took Elliot while I plodded around being 7 months pregnant it was quite an effort considering I could barely get P and Elliot to actually do anything or see anything.

What about the big Ekka drug scandal this year - it has been discovered that cows udders have been injected with an unknown substance to make them appear larger than they really are. I think quite a few news readers have been trying hard to deliver that news with the right tone given the recent drug scandals and the Australian cyclists. I think the message is very clear Australia is tough it won't tolerate drug cheats in relation to sports or cows udders.

Anyway back to our Ekka trip. P wanted Elliot to try an adrenalin ride for a change - in the past he has only been on the dodgem cars and the Ferris Wheel. This year we watched the Materhorn - initially we thought it only spun around very quickly and compared to a number of rides that seems relatively innocuous.

However, after we had purchased the tickets we got to see the entire ride and the carriages were rather savagely shaken from side to side while they were being quickly spun around. I took one look at P as he waited in line and we both raised our eyebrows. I told him that if he didn't keep a good hold of Elliot while it was shaking from side to side he would be in huge trouble. In the end Elliot made it through half the ride - the passengers were given the option halfway through the ride to bail out after this point the ride continues in a reverse spin.

Three showbags later we made our way home on the bus. Most of the fun for Elliot is our being able to take public transport as a family. We normally take the train but came through the city instead. I will post a few pictures next of the city I took while waiting for the bus.


My currrent favourite flowers. Posted by Hello

Fine Dining

Saturday night and we had P's sister Leanne and her husband Kevin over for dinner. Not just a simple cook up, we planned the usual elaborate appetizer plus three courses that we reciprocate between ourselves few times a year.

I spent most of Saturday morning shopping and then the rest of Saturday preparing. It was again a bit of a panic, because when Leanne and Kevin come for dinner knowing the standards we like to maintain I usually have the menu planned at least a week in advance. However, this time I left it mostly to P and wouldn't you know it midnight Friday night we were still deciding on the appetizers and Saturday morning we were settling on a dessert.

These dinners are becoming more and more challenging because between both couples we have already served almost all the classic food that each of us can think of - salmon, duck roasted and confit, quail, spatchcock, eye fillets, crabs, prawns, souffles, brulees, poached pears you name it between them and us we have probably done it.

The trick is to provide all courses but keep it balanced so we eat but we don't necessarily eat too much - I think we are all getting pretty good at it. We also manage to fit in quite a few wines. I think it wasn't too bad this Saturday only 7 bottles. We decided we had better use some of our older wine and we had some fantastic choices and instead of the John Riddoch (to heavy we decided) we went with the 1997 Capel Vale Merlot, which as it turned out was superb. That bottle as well as two delicious Pinots a Goundrey 1998 Reserve and a Cockfighters we managed to consume all of the wine and the food quite well I think without feeling too full.

We usually start with some seriously good bubbly - and this evening was no exception they brought a bottle of Moet and we supplied a bottle of Salinger. I decided to prepare a few appetizers - an amazing rolled herb omelette topped with salmoe roe on a crouton with sour cream and smoked ocean trout on herbed pikelets and blue cheese, pear and walnuts on herbed pikelets. Just a few so as not to spoil the next 3 courses.

Next I prepared the Tuscan bread salad from Philip Johnson's Ecco 2 cookbook with prawns as well as scallops. A lovely light entree for which I also had to make a tomato vinaigrette earlier that day so just another chore! We enjoyed a Grosset sauvignon blanc with the entree.

Paul decided to prepare lamb cutlets for a main course he found in the Belmondo cookbook. He made a dragoncello sauce earlier in the day - an unusual mix of fresh tarragon, bread soaked in red wine vinegar, garlic which was processed and olive oil drizzled through. An interesting and refreshing change from pesto and salsa verde.

The lamb cutlets (which were an incredible $42 for 20 of them - oh the price of meat these days!) were barbecued topped with the dragoncello and served on a bed of finely sliced savoy cabbage thorough which we had decided to mix through some lightly pan fried pancetta as well as balsamic and olive oil.

I also made a very creamy mash with some Dutch cream potatoes in case we needed another vegetable. I wanted that effect when you order mashed potatoes in a good restaurant and a bowl of the creamiest luxurious mash arrives that you wish you can replicate at home.

Dessert was interesting - I found the recipe in one of my trusty old Gourmet Traveler magazines. I made sure I prepared as much of it as possible earlier, even measuring out the flour, sugar and separating the eggs so I wasn't so inebriated by the time it had to be made and I couldn't close the deal. I had to use slices of poached pears to line four souffle dishes and then make an almond pudding filling. The pear and almond pudding was then baked and turned out onto a plate and served with double cream - we decided when we started eating it we also needed icecream. In retrospect we also needed a caramel or butterscotch sauce. Maybe next time..

By midnight I was in bed and could not for the life of me finish the Corona I thought I needed but actually didn't. P and Kevin stayed up till 1.3oam contemplating I don't know what but it was probably only the play list on Rage.

The next morning approximately 7am (Kevin and Lea and Theo (their 3 year old) stayed that night) with the 3 kids and a raging head for all - after a round of Beroccas, some great Lavazza coffee and tea and a beautiful double cheese omelette made by P (recipe from Sophie Grigson's Organic cooking book) we were ready to start another day.

I have yet to purchase my digital camera so I start recording some of the food that was prepared and the beautiful flowers I bought. I am currently in love with yellow Gladiolies in a huge vase in my hallway and I put some gorgeous iris's on the dining table. Maybe next time.


Elliot's soccer team Posted by Hello

After quite a few wines on Saturday night I decided to show my brother-in-law Kevin (also a lawyer) my latest interest ie. my blog. I think the creative expression appeals to him as it does me - the act of writing something that isn't a legal advice for a change. In showing him the site I also showed him how I could post a picture and the one I decided to post is Elliot and the soccer team. What a bunch of cuties they all are.

On Saturday, Elliot scored his first goal in normal competition (he has scored one previously at a soccer carnival). I wish I could have seen it but I was at home trying to settle the menu for the dinner that night... which is another story for my next web entry.

Thank God Its Friday

Well I have to really wonder about that. For my day at home with Gabi, Fridays can be incredibly hectic. Shopping with Elliot (home from school out of guilt that I had sent him when he really hadn't recovered), Gabi I am trying to find a present for Mamasan and Papasan, some new napery for the table and grocery shopping for dinner tonight and then take Elliot for a hair cut and come home and start the dinner.

Elliot was wonderfully patient while I went to Lincraft, David Jones, Bed Bath and Table and Bay Swiss and at least two other home stores to pour over their stock of place mats, napkins and table cloths. David Jones is the winner - 8 beautiful red and gold placemats and 8 calico napkins for $60.

We had P's brother Rod's inlaws over for dinner. Mamasan and Papasan a lovely Japanese couple who speak little to no English, which is a perfect match for us who speak little or no Japanese. All up there were 9 Adults and 4 children ( of which two are babes). Mamasan and Papasan return to Japan tomorrow after one month here with Rod and Takako, Louis (their 2 year old) and Kai (their 6 week old).

Our house smells like the an Indian restaurant this morning. Last night as I stepped out of the shower and took off my shower cap - I could smell all the indian spices in my hair. Not the fragrance I was after having had a well deserved hot shower. Although it was nearly midnight and I had just dried myself and it was about 12 degrees in the bathroom I decided I had to wash my hair I just couldn't bear the cooking odours on my pillow.

The dinner - 3 curries, a butter chicken, a lamb korma, a southern indian vegetable and breads and accompaniments. The curries were made with some gorgeous spices I purchased from Brisbane's Farmers markets. Given that P and I had worked in an Indian restaurant in Vancouver " A Taste of India" for 12 months we are particular with our "curry cheating". Long has passed our desire to purchase the myriad of spices and lovingly roast, grind and blend them into the perfect home made by non indian persons curry. We have tried them all and eschew everything for these curry spice blends by " Mudgeerba Spices and Curry Blends"
Once I got over paying $35 for two jars I was hooked. The jars are jam packed with spices and I am sure as many as a dozen or more curries await our dining pleasure in each jar.

On to dessert. For dessert - strawberry shortcake , though with my twist, melted chocolate just turned through the chantilly cream and topped with roasted hazelnuts.

Guests arrived at 7pm and I began cooking dinner at 4pm. To put it mildly it was all hands on deck and panic stations by the time P got home at 5pm. I also had to make the shortcakes and only got it right the second time around. Luckily I tried a crumb from my first batch - too much baking soda! I have found from experience there is nothing that can disguise the taste of too much baking soda. If you have ever tried something with too much baking soda you would know that it is a strangely chemical taint which makes me wince to think of serving it to my guests laden with the chantilly cream, macerated strawberries and chocolate. I am so sure they wouldn't couldn't have been polite it would have been horrid.

Don't panic, don't panic - No I don't have any icecream to back me up, indeed I have nothing in my freezer or fridge to back me up. I have too bake all over again. This time without the addition of the roasted hazelnuts to the pastry and without plain flour and baking soda. To make it foolproof I just use self raising flour. I start a new batch - they are the simplest biscuits I have ever made with the help of my trusty food processor ( I would love to say it was a "Magimix" but alas its a "Sunbeam" buts it a pretty damn good one" and I pride myself on my self restraint in purchasing the trusty and reliable Sunbeam as opposed to the glamour of the Magimix)

Anyway all the happy punters are gone by 10pm and P, Tania (P's sister) and I are left with a huge mess despite the dishwasher. We soldier on till my kitchen is back to normal. Now on to Saturday's dinner another panic it will be full on gourmet - we have decided on the appetizer, the entree and the main and I am yet to find a recipe for pineapple souffles, so I better get moving P and Elliot are back from Soccer and I will be in trouble for wasting time.


Quieter than usual

Elliot has been sick since last Saturday. Just a virus for a change, no high temperature, no vomitting. The last two evenings when I have picked him up after school he has come straight home and gone straight to sleep. So unlike his usual energetic self. Normally he would be driving me crazy - a favourite saying of mine to him at least once per evening

"Elliot - your driving me crazy".

Usually if he isn't singing or we aren't arguing over homework then he is kicking a balloon around with accompanying football commentary.

Instead its just P, me and Gabi. We have had some fun with her though. She loves getting a piggy back - she sits on top and chortles, her face beaming, eyes dancing and waving to me while I bask in her gleefulness.

A gift for Elliot from Gabriella.

I decided that Gabriella and Elliot would give each other books as gifts. I chose two of my favourites. For Elliot, Gabriella gave him the "Complete Chronicles of Narnia". For Gabriella, Elliot gave her "Little Women". I hope they will enjoy those stories as much as I have loved to remember and cherish them.
Posted by Hello

Not all good times. Posted by Hello

Gowning glory Posted by Hello

Princess Gabi Posted by Hello

Rainbow cake

Her special cake Posted by Hello

I was really trying to be pragmatic and not follow fashion. Later I found out that it is quite fashionable for wedding cakes to be made similarly. I organised the cake boards and made the cakes the day before and spent a few back breaking hours standing while icing and applying the tiny cashous.

Because I needed to be able to serve cake to our 40 plus guests and not wishing to employ staff for the day, I decided that these cakes could be made inexpensively and served without the necessity to cut, plate and provide cutlery.

That day, the children were drawn like moths to a flame, each one would stare until, involuntarily their little hands would be stretched out and drawing closer and closer to the cakes needing to touch what they were seeing and could taste in their minds. The adults were just as mesmorised - and when my friend Virginia made two dozen of the most gorgeous cakes decorated as flowers, some spiders and faces they were just as popular with the adults as the children.

Urban Princess

We held Elliot's naming day just after his first birthday so I didn't organise a christening gown for him - if we had another child we may not wait as long to celebrate a naming of that child.

For Gabriella I was going to buy her a beautiful dress and I asked her God mother- to- be to assist me with finding it. Fiona suggested using the gown that she had used for her 3 boys. We gave it a trial run one night - it is truly as beautiful as it looks.

I hope if we are friends when Gabriella has children we will borrow it again.

Naming Day June 13

I wanted to be able to record what a beautiful day it was in June when we managed to finally have Gabriella's naming day ceremony. Being agnostics we couldn't bring ourselves to go to a church though we wanted to recognise that Gabriella needed to have some special friends as nominated by us as having a role in her life.

Welcome to the world beautiful Gabriella - may love, happiness shower you for all of your days. Posted by Hello


Life is like........

Oh my God, the turkey taco sauce is bubbling away, the Simpsons are on, the baby just woke up and now I have committed myself to my very own blog. I will have to remind myself not to overuse exclamation marks and hyphens.

I have to work this all out and work four days a week and look after a house, a dog, a cat, a husband and two children, but I am looking forward to it. I