Friday, November 27, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Most people who know me probably realise that I am almost fanatical about my food. I always try to explain that this is part of my cultural heritage, that it is an inherently Cantonese thing (to the point that the standard greeting between Cantonese friends tends to involve asking if they’ve eaten yet, or similar) but the truth of it is that I’m probably just plain obsessed.
However, it can’t just be any old food. It’s got to tickle the taste buds, be interesting and preferably with some provenance. I love nose to tail eating, am passionate about seasonal, local produce and proper animal welfare but am not a vegetarian. Giving the animals we eat as food a decent quality of life should be a matter of course but I certainly don’t see why I should stop eating them as long as I do what I can to ensure that I buy responsibly and respect where the food comes from.
If you had told me before I had the children that a really good idea for children’s TV would be a series of short 25 minute operas or operettas, I would have laughed. What a bizarre idea; surely it wouldn’t work!
Ok, I was wrong.
My children have just discovered The Wonder Pets, a cartoon where most of the dialogue is sung – in essence a 25 minute operetta. They are completely hooked. Jocelyn in particular adores the Wonder Pets. All this week, she has been singing the phrase “What’s going to work?” after which I get a chorus of “Teamwork!” from both children. They have also just about figured the words to the theme song.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Every Sunday, I spend several hours cooking. Some weeks I spend two to three hours and other weeks it is more like five or six hours, depending on the number of meals I am making in advance and their complexity. I try to have all the meals for the working week cooked and also to prepare all our lunches for the week in advance.
There are many reasons behind this but the main one is to save time and money. It is often between 6pm and 6:30pm before we get home on a weekday (often I am even later than this) and the girls are tired. They want to be fed immediately, bathed and put to bed otherwise tempers start to fray (and we get tantrums). There is only really time to do a bit of reheating, rather than cooking from scratch.
Additionally, buying ready made stuff is neither satisfying to the palate nor to the wallet. Despite our jobs, money is still tight (costs of living in London, childcare for two children 5 days a week balanced with being low down on our respective pay scales) and we still scrimp and save at every opportunity. Besides, I come from a family where no matter how busy my parents were, there was a proper meal for the entire family to sit down to in the evening. A very Chinese tradition.
Thus the need for the cooking marathon. Last week, I hadn’t had the time to make our lunches and spent about £25 on some rather limp and bland sandwiches. Ouch!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The party season is well underway and over the last month or so, the girls have had a very active social life going to all their friend’s parties. They seem to have had great fun in the process. We’re busy most weekends as a result!
The first party of the season was attended by Jocelyn – she was invited to her best friend's Georgia’s birthday party. One evening in October, I happened to ask Jocey (the first time I had asked – at the time I asked I wasn’t even sure that she would be able to answer the question) who her friends were. Her response (and she says this every time now!) was “Err…Lucas…Georgia…Georgia…Lauren…”. Georgia is obviously of such importance that she gets mentioned more than once!
Georgia’s brave Mummy and Daddy invited lots of little toddlers to their house for a painting party. It was a lovely party, very well run and the children enjoyed it immensely. Jocey wasn’t at all shy and was in playing with the other children in no time.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I confess that it has been two months since I last blogged. Life has been so crazy that we haven’t had time to stop – the weeks have just hurtled by. It is a shame as so much has been happening but I am hoping that I’ll be able to recall most things. I think that ultimately I do enjoy keeping a diary – I did as a child – and perhaps this blog is an extension of that. Shared memories have always been really important to my family; thus we are a family who love to tell stories and laugh over photographs of past adventures.
At present, we are well into the party season and almost every weekend has seen some celebration for the girls or their friends.
This is mainly an account of the time up to our holiday in Devon, where we celebrated Jocelyn’s second birthday.