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

Monday, October 31, 2011



So third time around, we've decided not to find out the gender of the baby. The other half wants a "surprise". He did last time too, but I cruelly convinced him that we should find out by arguing that it would mean we could ignore half the baby name book. It worked a treat. See, my husband does NOT like to talk about names, and I absolutely LOVE too. He thinks we should just wait until the baby is born and then decide, but I know that those heady days immediately after giving birth render one a little bit loopy, and I'm not sure that's a good state in which to be dreaming up the all-important name. A bit of background research - a list of say 5 names for each sex - is, in my opinion, a very good thing to have in your hospital bag. Names are tricky to agree on and it's good to know where you both stand. As a friend of mine said about her and her partner's inability to agree on a name for their daughter: "We agree on everything: politics, religion, ecetera, but can we agree on a name that we both like? No, we cannot."

Anyway, I found something that I wrote about names when I was pregnant with our first and it seems just as applicable now as it did then, so I thought I'd share it:

Now that we know we’re having a girl, there has been a sudden increase in the frequency of the question: “Do you have any names yet?” Yes, we do, and I’m fast learning to keep them to myself. People don’t seem to have any problem telling you what they think, or pulling a face. My dad, not one to beat about the bush, just says things like “no” or “really?” or “that’s a bit silly”. Thus, several perfectly lovely names (in my opinion) have been discarded. In fact, we’re running pretty low because evidently you can’t please everyone, or indeed anyone, when it comes to names. I’ve tried not to be influenced by external forces, but when someone pulls an expression akin to sucking on a mouthful of manure, it’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve convinced yourself that an utterly ludicrous name is fabulously unique and meaningful. See, when you’re flicking through the baby name book, it is very, very easy to get carried away (think Apple Paltrow, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, Shiloh Nouvel Pitt, Diva Muffin Zappa, Tallulah Belle Willis, the list goes on and on and on), and trust me I have come up with some shockers. My husband's response to an early list was: “Where did you get these from? Were you trying to think of the most horrible names you could?” It’s actually pretty hard to find a name that you both like, and once you do, firm favorites often become completely unimaginable a week later (thus confirming my suspicion that I should NEVER EVER get a tattoo) for no particular reason.

Please, please, if someone reveals their list of possible baby names to you, lie, goddamn it! Lie! You probably will once the baby is born and the name decided on, so why not now? Even if we do settle on Ermintrude and you think it’s the most hideous name ever, please don’t tell me. In turn, I promise not to utter a word (or pull a face) when little Osgood’s arrival is announced.

I should add that my brother recently revealed to me that when we did announce the name of our first born, he wasn't sure if it was a joke or not. I don't think this was because her name is that out there (maybe just a little quirky and retro), but because we were pretty sure that she was going to be one thing and then when we met her, she really wasn't, and we went for something else on the list (a very late addition and one that had been earlier rejected by Mr-I-don't-want-to-talk about-names). It suits her so much more than we could have known at the time, but then perhaps all babies grow into their names and we really shouldn't worry so much...

Thursday, October 27, 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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



My little boy turned 2 yesterday. We celebrated with an intensive day of play - paddling pool, play-dough, painting, reading all his new books and some old ones, playing with lots of great pressies - and a delicious blueberry cake for my blueberry-loving rascal. A very happy birthday indeed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011



I really, really needed my writing morning today and it didn't happen - a feverish, very pale little girl meant we had to make a hasty retreat from Kindy. It's been a few weeks since I had a morning to myself and this along with the big fat rejection I received in the post yesterday left me in dire need of some time to remember who I am when I'm not being mama. You'd think I'd be used to rejection - I am definitely toughened to it - but it still hits you like a slap in the face. The little ones I can brush off, but the things you've put a lot into, well, those rejections make you rethink everything, if only for an hour or so. I've always been one of those people who is fired up by failure (when I was put in a low set for maths at school, I worked my butt off until I was the girl most likely to get an A*- I settled for an A, but there you go!), and nothing's changed. I have a mental list of people who haven't believed in me and who, one day, I'll prove wrong. Is that healthy? I don't know, but it certainly is motivating. Yesterday, I doubted whether I was on the right path, I wondered if perhaps I've been kidding myself. Should I just put my energy into something else? Get a vocation? Today, despite my lack of writing time, I feel more level-headed. I love books; I love words; I love to write. Even if no one ever publishes my novels, even if I never get to stick two fingers up at all those non-believers, that, in itself, is enough.

Friday, October 14, 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.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

We have a somewhat tough-love approach to growing vegetables, in that we just throw some seeds into the raised beds, and let mother nature take her course. Last year, the results were pretty pathetic, but things are looking up. We've had lots of delicious broad beans, a few beetroots, and then today, we dug up about 50 of these beautiful potatoes. Not bad, considering I just stuck a few sprouting potatoes in the ground!




Thursday, October 6, 2011



Most of my daughter's questions seem to be about science - not exactly a strong point of mine - so I'm very pleased with her latest favourite:

"What makes you happy?"

My initial response was "coffee, a really good cup of coffee", but she wanted more, so I added "flowers, they always make me feel happy." Then I thought a bit more: "When you two and daddy are happy, then I feel happy too."

"Mummy, what makes you not happy?"

I considered this: "Whining and being hungry."

For once, she seemed satisfied with my answers. Now I just need to find out why lemons are yellow, ladybirds have dots, and meteors can fly without wings...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011



The final and most unreasonable demand of the day:

"Daddy, please can you stop breathing? I can't get to sleep."

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Cake as protest?

The Women's Blog

I always knew it was powerful stuff.
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