Thursday, 21 June 2012

Auction fever....

"Auction fever" is a nasty bug.  Symptoms include itchy hands relieved only by giving money in exchange for, what can only be described as, TAT.  I'm not sure if "tat" has the same meaning to my non-UK readers.  You may call it junk.

Grandad and Uncle Luke returned from auction with a box of goodies including a guitar with a couple of strings and broken tuners; a little Tike car with a bent wheel; and the most hideous pot you ever did see.

"Tat" aka "junk" aka "rubbish" aka "auction fever"
They also bought a trampoline.

Now we have had long discussions in this house about whether to buy one for C or leave it until she is older, I guess that question has now been answered.  It came "as is" with no safety net; nor padding around the springs; nor ladder.  We um-ed and ah-ed about whether to buy these accessories, not from a cost point of view but ironically from a safety point of view and have decided to leave the trampoline as it is:

1. no safety net = no false sense of safety. We have seen children bouncing off the safety nets and playing more recklessly than they would otherwise, because they think they can't fall off.  There's a good reason Nanny says "stay in the middle" and if you fall off onto the grass you'll know why.

2. no ladder = no unsupervised play.  If she isn't big enough to get on by herself then she isn't big enough to play unsupervised.

3.  spring padding = creeping closer to the edge.  This follows on from 1.  C knows the metal is hard (she's banged it); she knows you can slip through the springs (she put her hand and foot through them - on purpose of course).  She also knows to stay in the middle and if you jump off of the middle you stop and go back to the middle again.
IMHO "safety features" not only give children a false sense of security but adults too.  I can imagine thinking "I'll just pop the washing on, C will be fine in her enclosed, padded jumping cell", when what I should have been doing was leaving the washing and standing trampoline-side saying "I see you've jumped off the middle"; to which she will reply "oh no - in the middle" before moving to jump again.
Who needs a ladder when you have a Grandad?
So, for the time being the trampoline stays.  As for the other tat, if you find you desperately need a broken guitar then email me.... 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


"Big" aka BA; and "Small".  Aren't they just the cutest?

Monday, 11 June 2012

In these shoes?!?

One of each next time?

"In these shoes?".  Ah I love that song by Kirsty MacColl.  But actually this is not a post about dear Kirsty but about a conversation I had with C this morning.  Her favourite phrase at the moment is "me no like this".  Even if she liked 'this' yesterday.

Today the objects of her objection were my faithful canvas pumps.  As I started to put them on she exclaimed "no Nanny, me no like this" and began rummaging through my shoes.  I knew exactly which pair she would want me to wear.  Sandals?  With socks (it's still cold and rainy here)?

As Meatloaf sung "I'd do anything for love but I won't do that"!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Hosepipe Ban

Elderflower Delight
Yeah, I know.  How DARE I mention the hosepipe ban when we are all being rained on AGAIN.

Today, for the first time ever, I made some Elderflower Cordial (and Elderflower Delight, like Turkish Delight but with Elderflowers).  My dreams of sipping ice cold cordial on the deck on a balmy summer evening were quickly replaced by the reality of drinking it at the kitchen table with rain pattering on the glass.  Ho hum.  Never mind.

Just because I can, here's a flashback to last week, when it was insufferably hot; and there was a hosepipe ban; and there was a little girl who wanted to play in water; and there was a nanny who didn't fancy taking zillions of trips to fill up the paddling pool with a watering can...

Monday, 4 June 2012

Stranger Danger

C loves transport.  We talk about trains; planes and automobiles - although we call them cars ;) - on virtually every trip out.  Or even if we are staying in.  We recite who has gone where and by which mode of transport.  So I thought it would be nice to take C on the bus.

Planes; trains; automobiles;
One fine, sunny day when the car seat had been washed and I couldn't be bothered to put it back in the car, I decided that it would be the perfect bus trip day.  We talked about catching the bus to the library and then took a leisurely walk down to the bus stop (I can't really go anything but leisurely with a tot and I refuse to rush her, but that's another post entirely).  I thought I had left plenty of time but as we turned the corner at the bottom of our 'hill' - yep you guessed - the bus was pulling in to the stop.  At this juncture I scooped C up (buses are rarer than hens teeth in our village and I was NOT going to miss it) and ran waving one handed to the driver to wait.

When we got there, me panting and flustered, C paid the driver the money and he gave her a ticket.  Then an elderly lady on the bus, who  presumably had heard me telling the driver that I hadn't caught a bus for a long time and that this bus trip was C's treat, pulled a chocolate bar out of her bag and gave it to C.  We had a great trip and it was only when we were talking about it later in the day that I became aware that C was under the firm impression that you pay the driver the money and then a lady gives you chocolate!  Bus companies I hope you are listening because that sounds like a GREAT idea.....

There have been a couple of reactions to my story where people have commented adversely on my allowing (and thereby encouraging) C to take sweets from strangers.  I politely disagree with them.  In fact I would be brazen enough to say that children are statistically more at risk from people they know than they are from complete strangers.  Of course I will do my damnedest to keep her safe and teach her common sense but I do not want C to grow up thinking evil is lurking around every corner and there is always someone out to get her. 

And anyway, it feels good to believe the best of people.  Maybe that's why we invited some people who we had never met - I say "never met" but I had read her blog so surely that must count for something - to house-sit for us for a long weekend.  Ok, I admit some people thought we were mad - but hey, it worked out great and as the old saying goes "strangers are just friends you haven't met yet".