Wednesday 27 November 2013

The Face

Our lovely Alice is five months old it is a delight to be with her and I'm only too aware of this precious year of getting to know each other before returning to employment. Blogging for me is just as much about reading and commenting on your blogs as it is posting here. I look at my 'phone all too much anyway and I really don't want Alice thinking I've a black oblong of a nose, so I'm ready to make the decision to stop blogging. If I read an amazing quote that I want to save for posterity then I will post it here, more so it's stored somewhere and I'm going to start tweeting short favourite quotes as I read them but apart from that this is the last one.

Mother sent me this just after Alice was born and it seems a fitting way to close.

'The swaddled infant lies on her rug. She is the centre of the adults' care, of their comings and goings. Above her a shaft of light dazzles. The blurry brightness sharpens around tinkling objects swinging back and forth, back and forth. These tinkling shapes are tethered to the familiar voice, the familiar hand, the familiar smell. She has no words for these marvels. They are magnificent - but they are not enough. Her legs kick in unison. She cries out; there is a rustling sound. Events happen to her and around her in an unbroken stream. Her arms reach out to touch the firmness of the murmuring shadow above her. She struggles for this shadow to come closer. The fragrance now envelops. She wonders: Am I part of this warm shadow, so that I am lifted up, it really is me doing the lifting?Will this flow of movement, sound and smell transform into the familiar face - the beloved Face - that makes sense of me?
We emerge after nine months with very few welll-formed instincts. Fresh from the womb, we have no chance of finding our own legs and going off in search of food. We are helpless. We are equipped mainly with a desire for the human face. Babies are primed to search for any human face, though in time they seek out the familiar special Face they recognise. The beloved Face is sought with more energy and vigour than anything else.
Watch a mother and baby greet each other as the baby is waking... 'Hello. There you are. It's wonderful to see you.' And the baby mirrors this delight back, as she learns. 'Yes, I am here. And I am very wonderful.' This Face is our building block.' Sarah Savage Joseph

Rachel & Alice

Thursday 27 June 2013


Alice Emmeline
Born Saturday 15th June 2013
As Pooh would say
bisy, backson

Friday 7 June 2013

a dress so flowery

'Miss Marriot tying up the clematis and wearing a dress so flowery that many foiled bees buzzed angrily round her for a moment before going on to the less deceiving columbines.' Mollie Panter-Downes It's the real thing this time in Good evening, Mrs Craven


I doubt I'll be wearing a dress like this.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

long mornings

'June came in with fields of white clover, and Catherine spent long mornings in the open, reading to Audrey whilst Adam slept and the sunny countryside slept too, mile after undistinguished mile, all about them. Swifts swung overhead, blue church spires pricked the distance, the scent of clover was solid on the windless air.' Elizabeth Cambridge Hostages to Fortune
In the blissful ignorance before TT is born I like to imagine sitting under our apple tree reading whilst TT sleeps or plays. If I manage it once with our current weather then I shall be content.

Monday 3 June 2013

I am waiting

TT is due any day now, so we are waiting.

'the girl did not know what to do now - oh yes, she thought, I am doing something, I am waiting; but reason told her that waiting is not a thing to do. A wait is something being done to you. She thought of her mother in the railway station, but in that case the train had gone: you do not wait for what has already happened.' Elizabeth Bowen A World of Love

Enjoying the wait, but waiting.

Friday 31 May 2013

The Month of May

May started with glorious blue skies, blossom appearing on the apple tree in our garden, green shoots appearing everywhere, wearing shoes without socks.
Painted toe nails - one of the advantages of being 30+ weeks pregnant is that I have to have a pedicure, there is no way I can reach my toes to paint them!
A delightful christening of godchild number six and catching up with dear friends.
Mother and Pops coming up for the day. First time cooking summer food, pottering in the garden together and enjoying the sunshine.
My last week at work before maternity leave - all happening at just the right time. The final day, cards from different classes and being sung to by the different classes in my team. Receiving some lovely gifts, including a nappy cake and then to Canary Wharf for pizza. Home very tired.
Off to Twin and the Blessings for a lovely day. A BBQ in the garden and practising putting on a baby sling with a doll.
Cooking Warmth the meal I cooked on the weekend we became engaged as a celebration for first day of maternity leave.
Mother and Pops coming up for what should have been a day of gardening, but the persistent rain meant we sorted out the linen for TT.
Meeting up with a dear friend for lunch at Peter Jones and then on to try to get ahead by buying cards and gifts for all the summer birthdays.
Days having a gentle rhythm of reading, eating, napping, preparing for TT, pottering in the garden, doing small jobs.
A very belated birthday pamper day with Twin and Mother at Eastwell Manor. So lovely to have a facial, laze in the rest room, float in the deserted pool, have a foot massage, chat and catch up.
Off into town for friend's birthday meal at Bambou. I was determined to stay for supper and not just the drinks part. This will probably be the last time we go out on a Saturday night together with no babysitter.
Meeting up with new NCT friends for lunch at The Station, then after a brief afternoon nap out to Dalys Wine Bar to catch up with old friends.
A very wet day in Sloane Square, hoping to enjoy looking at Chelsea in Bloom shop windows, instead hiding in Patisserie Valerie with a dear friend and then hopping to The Saatchi Gallery and stumbling across Festival des Metiers a Hermes exhibition.
A final pre baby hair cut and lunch with Mama and Papa Warmth.
Good friends for a takeaway curry - we've finally found a good local takeaway Indian.
Pops' 70th birthday celebrations. Nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, aunts and immediate family. Thirty in all and the sun shone so magnificently that we spent the whole day outside, suntan lotions necessary.
A lovely Bank Holiday Monday - eating supper outside. Then the next day it rained and rained...
Quickly, or as quickly as I move at the moment, popping to Lambs Conduit Street to Persephone to buy Twin's birthday gift and then deciding I did have time to pop in Ben Penreath, even though I was then late meeting up with dear old colleagues at our favourite restaurant The National Portrait Gallery Restaurant. Lovely to see the views of London in daylight.

Finally finished Restoration by Rose Tremain - quite unlike her other books I've read.  It was a long slow slog. Speeded through Cocktails under the tree of forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller and The Rain before it Falls by Jonathon Coe. Baked this lemon drizzle cake for NCT ladies day, Hummingbird's Peanut butter and chocolate biscuits. A Ricotta and Lemon Cake, to use up left over ricotta, for Twin and Blessings.

The last day in May Twin and the blessings up and this also means the last month without a bundle of baby in our lives...

Tuesday 28 May 2013

glowed with flowers

Our final Jane Eyre floral spring quote.

'that bright May shone unclouded over the bright hills and beautiful woodland out of doors. Its garden, too, glowed with flowers: hollyhocks had sprung up tall as trees, lilies had opened, tulips and roses were in bloom; the borders of the little beds were gay with pink thrift and crimson double daisies; the sweetbriars gave out, morning and evening, their scent of spice and apples;' Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre
I've the first bud creeping on my roses and look forward to a summer of roses and sweet peas.

Friday 24 May 2013

muffins and meringues

Even without the arrival of TT this summer is a summer of parties. It starts this weekend celebrating Pops' 70th, then at some point TT will arrive, at the end of June Mama and Papa Warmth celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary and then the end of July is Granny Warmth's 90th. In between all these large parties are lots of birthdays.

''...Masked parties, Savage parties, Victorian parties, Greek parties, Wild West parties, Russian parties, Circus parties, parties where one had to dress as somebody else, almost naked parties in St. John's Wood, parties in flats and studios and houses and ships and hotels and nightclubs, in windmills and swimming-baths, tea parties at school where one ate muffins and meringues and tinned crab, parties at Oxford where one drank dark brown sherry and smoked Turkish cigarettes, dull dances in London and comic dances in Scotland and disgusting dances in Paris...' Evelyn Waugh Vile Bodies

What's your favourite kind of party?

Tuesday 21 May 2013

breathing scents of roses

I've been having such an enjoyable potter in the garden last week and over the weekend. The roses aren't out yet but the buds are there and on Sunday the sky was glorious. I'm excited for the summer ahead.

'The garden was peaceful, breathing scents of roses and stocks. The sky was glorious as if a flight of angels had just passed over, sweeping wings of gold from end to end.' Dorothy Whipple Someone at a distance

How is your garden?

Friday 17 May 2013

the friendship formed

As our due date gets closer we wonder what sex TT will be, who TT will look like, what their and our hopes and fears will be together.

'... she learned to know him, they learned to know each other, and she discovered with great delight that one does not love one's children just because they are one's children but because of the friendship formed while raising them.' Gabriel Garcia Marrquez Love in the Time of Cholera