makar [ˈmækər]
n (Literature / Poetry) Scot a creative artist, esp a poet
[a Scot variant of maker]

Friday, September 30, 2011


{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by Soulemama

Sunday, September 25, 2011








I grew up with poppies, daffodils, honeysuckle, and hollyhocks, so when the wildflowers appear they seem even more beautiful because of their strangeness. The colours are more vibrant, the forms more complex, and the numbers vast! As for freesias growing on the nature strip, I just can't get over that. They are, without doubt, the smell I most strongly associate with the house where I grew up, not because they grew in the garden, but because they were my mum's regular treat to herself whenever she went to the florist. The smell of them in your bedroom when you wake up in the morning is heaven!

Friday, September 23, 2011

this [bad mother] moment

To counter all the pretty pictures and tell it like it sometimes is...

We're on the bus, coming home from a lovely lunch with some friends. Both children are covered in chocolate ice cream; to be honest, so am I. One child is crying because he is tired and doesn't want to sit in the pram; the other is sitting backwards on the seat and quietly throwing up. Nice. The bus driver is remarkably cool about this, and no one on the bus says a word, but I can feel the weight of disapproval in the air. What a bad mother! Still I clean it up, he falls asleep, we get home, everyone is fine. Just another day.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Today, I decided to have a big sort out of my wardrobe: some items are heading to the op-shop, others were set aside for an upcoming clothes-swap, and my winter stuff was scurried away for next year. Of course, it has been absolutely hideous weather all day and I'm wondering if I might have been a litttle premature in declaring winter over. Anyway, I made an interesting discovery in the wardrobe: this stack of books.



They cover all things parenting-related and while, they by no means constitute my full collection on the subject, I thought it was telling that I should find them here, tucked away like some dirty stash. I'm not sure why I decided that this was the place to keep them, but it seems a little odd, as if I'm ashamed to own them. Perhaps I don't want others to know that being a mum doesn't come naturally, whatever that may mean. Surely, they should take pride of place somewhere prominent, evidence that I've done all the reading and ahem, know what I'm doing?

Friday, September 16, 2011


{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by Soulemama

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My girl's been many things over the last few weeks:

a cat


a builder of butterfly nests


a dressmaker (well, grass-skirt maker)


a flower shop owner


However, this evening, at dinner, she informed me that when she is bigger she is going to go to university to learn how to make dolls. She went on to elaborate: she is actually going to learn how to make sick dolls better. At this point, she broke into song: "Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick..." So we're going to have a doll-doctor in the family. How fabulous is that?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We were 21 and had spent the last six weeks travelling around India. That day was the day we were due to fly home, Mumbai to London. Back to university, to our families, to a world that seemed so slow and monochome and safe compared to the one we had just experienced. We'd checked out of the hotel earlier in the day and spent a few hours buying last-minute gifts. When we returned to collect our bags, the men at the desk were very excited. To begin with, I had no idea what they were talking about: something to do with planes and New York. It wasn't until they led us into one of the rooms and turned the television on that I started to piece together what they were saying. We sat on the bed and watched the footage, transfixed and horrified. My boyfriend (now husband) couldn't stand it; he went to buy some Indian sweets for a friend back home. I stayed to watch some more, unable to hold back a few hot tears. I remember thinking, now the whole world's gone mad, where can this lead?

Somehow we managed to get back to London only a few hours later than scheduled. This was despite the fact that the scanning machines at Mumbai airport weren't working and they had to search all bags by hand, and that no one wanted to get on the plane. This didn't seem to be so much a matter of fear, but more that people just couldn't drag themselves away from the television screen, knowing that there would be no further source of news for several hours.

It's a cliche, but those six weeks spent in India changed the way I perceived the world: it was a lot crueller, entirely unjust, and far, far less safe than I, in my naive, idealistic, privileged state, had hitherto grasped. And it will forever be tied up with those images of New York, which felt, at the time, like the beginning of the end.

Saturday, September 10, 2011



There is an awful lot of school-talk in my life these days (I suspect there shall be for many years to come), and so I found myself drawn to this article by Zoe Williams . The English school system is rather different to the Australian one, but she makes some applicable points, not least of all that "we have gone mad, on the subject of schools. We have gone collectively insane".

Monday, September 5, 2011



Father's Day started out a little topsy turvy with Mama getting to sleep in (until 8 o'clock!!) and then having breakfast cooked for her (Turkish pancakes, bacon, and maple syrup...heaven). I made up for it though by cooking lunch, which culminated in this delight. Courtesy of a Nigella Lawson recipe, it was, we all agreed, the best cheesecake EVER! Light and creamy and not-too-sweet. As for pressies? Well we didn't quite manage to find what we were looking for at the shops, but he was presented with a very lovely painting. Underneath our daughter had commented: "My dad is really funny and tall. He teaches me silly things." Pretty much sums him up, I reckon.

Friday, September 2, 2011


{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by Soulemama

Thursday, September 1, 2011



Today I went into a bookstore. I don't know why I did it. I have bookshelves full of unread books, a stack by my bed, and many more scattered about the house. I am still reading last month's bookgroup novel and I really should have started the next one. Somehow I convince myself that I'm just going to browse. Twenty minutes later, I leave with three books. I just can't help myself. I love books. They are my passion, my inspiration, my obsession. I was recently made to feel a little guilty about my book-buying by a friend, who asked me what I did with all my books once I'd read them. The answers is that I mostly keep them. I like being surrounded by books. They are there as a reference point, to be reread or lent to others, and now that I have children, they are there as a backdrop, to be picked up, one day, by a bored teenager and discovered all over again. I'm not going to feel bad about buying books: some people like to spend their money on music, or clothes, or gym membership, or wine. I love to own books. It's not extravagent; it's the thing that keeps me happy and connected to the world beyond that of a stay-at-home mum. Besides, if I want to be part of the publishing industry again, if I want to write novels myself, then the least I can do is support it by buying a few books each month. As if I need any excuse.
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