Friday, 25 March 2011

Trend Setting


My little girl has been having weekly swimming lessons for a couple of years and loved them.  When she turned 3, I no longer had to be in the water with her, the nursery rhyme accompaniment stopped and the hard work began.  Needless to say, she no longer enjoyed the lessons but I was delighted as my role was just to watch with the other  mums from the cafe window! 

We started to read The Deep End by Rebecca Paterson at bedtime which sparked her interest in the swimming pool, particularly searching for the plaster in each illustration.  We decided that we would give each other the thumbs-up sign, just like the teacher in the book, each time she completed one of her swimming tasks.

It's worked perfectly and she is now happily putting her face in the water, concentrating and zipping along with the teacher's help.

It's worked so well in fact that now all her classmates and their mums are giving each other the thumbs-up too!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wibble-Wobble, Wibble-Wobble

When making satsuma jelly with a three year old, don't expect an even distribution of fruit..........


Bright yellow forsythia, that staple of English suburban gardens, shrieks that Spring has sprung.  Our neighbour's forsythia has pushed through our yew trees but I could never cut it back as it's always a delight to see it's vivid yellow, spiky flowers each March. 

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Cake is good

The splashes of cake mixture and light dusting of flour on my copy of Mary Berry's Simple Cakes shows that it is much used.  It's a favourite because it has plenty of photo illustrations, the recipes are easy to follow and the cakes are always fantastic.  

Banana cake is one of our regulars.  It's easy peasy to make as all the ingredients get thrown in together, whisked, then poured in to the tin and into the oven.  It's a brilliant way to use up old bananas that turn black in the fruit bowl, in fact the more rancid the better! 

Another foolproof favourite is lemon drizzle cake.

And the chocolate roulade can confer domestic goddess status!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Lost and Found

My little girl loves this story of the friendship between a boy and a penguin and enjoys peering at the quirky illustrations.  

However, when we went to see it on stage it had lost some of its charm and she kept asking "is it finished yet?", loud enough for all in the tiny theatre to hear!

Yet despite that, for many days after she asked when could she go to see the penguin again and wanted to have the book read at bedtime. 

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Colour Me Spring

 After such a grey winter, Wisley seemed awash with colour.

First we saw the most gorgeous exotic butterflies, some as big as saucers, currently in residence in the tropical Glasshouse.

Even the brown ones were glamorous!

Then outside was the purple, yellow and white of the crocuses,


the dusky pinks of the hellebores,

the bright white and green of the snowdrops,

and the whites and browns of a tabby cat basking in the sun!
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