Wednesday, 28 February 2007

a walk in the park

That's what people told me a second pregnancy would be like. I don't think I ever got to clarify whether they meant it was like a walk in the park on a lovely sunny day when you're on your own, or a walk in the park on a rainy day, running after a four-year-old who insists on jumping into every puddle he sees and going in a direction completely opposite to where you would like to go (which is pretty much what a typical walk in the park is for me these days). Because that's what this pregnancy is like—it's tiring and constantly throwing me off with its demands on my body and emotions.

I stopped baking after I did the Valentine's Day chocolate cupcakes as I have been in a lot of pain these days. Simon has taken over my role as house chef for the time being. He has been making American pancakes every weekend for months now, and last Sunday, some of our friends came over to try his pancakes. So we had a very late breakfast at 11 o'clock, but the pancakes were worth the wait. We tried all sorts of things with them, from strawberry conserve to peanut butter (a rather adventurous friend did this, and he seemed to enjoy it). Such a shame we didn't get to take pictures as we were too busy gobbling up the food. Lucas and his little friend Jacob both ate their cakes with maple syrup and lemon juice and then proceeded to wreak havoc in the lounge. Chef Simon was showered with compliments by our guests, and came down with the flu a few hours later. Sigh.

Anyway, I managed to take a picture of the last chocolate cupcake before it was consumed. It was not the prettiest of the lot, but it was just as yummy.

And here it is, with my latest bedside reading (and doing) companion, along with The Complete Maus (which is more like a reading and weeping companion). This one I had to order from Amazon, as I couldn't find it in any of the Cambridgeshire libraries. Maus, on the other hand, was a pleasant surprise as I never expected to find it in my local library. But there it was, sitting in a corner along with some other less noteworthy graphic novels. I love going to the library. I also managed to find a copy of T.C. Boyle's collected stories in the library sale and got it for a measly 30 pence. Have I said I love going to the library?

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Post-Valentine post

I came home in a rush yesterday afternoon after hitching a ride with someone from the office. My husband, Simon, and I work in the same office but he had to stay late and I had cupcakes to bake, so I opted to leave early.

I asked our childminder to drop off my four-year-old son, Lucas, early so he wouldn't miss the fun of making chocolate cupcakes. He and I prepared the batter and poured it into the muffin pan. Unfortunately, our top oven decided to go mental last night and burst out into flames in the middle of the baking process so I had to wait until I had cooked dinner in the main oven before I could put the poor little cakes back in the oven again. So what was supposed to be a nice Valentine treat for Simon and Lucas is lying untouched in a big tub in the kitchen, waiting anxiously to be eaten and judged later today.

We normally don't celebrate Valentine's Day in our household, although Simon made attempts to make it a romantic day in the past, attempts which I resisted. This year, though, as part of my resolution to embrace my arty, romantic, domesticated side, I decided to buy a present for Simon and cook a nice dinner for him and Lucas. I managed to get the present, but didn't quite manage the nice dinner I had pictured in my mind. I still managed to serve my boys Swedish meatballs, curly fries and petits pois swimming in gravy and cranberry sauce, which they loved. And of course, the cupcakes had to be replaced by something less sophisticated (ha) so the boys had a few pieces of Green & Black's white and mint chocolates instead.

Anyway, right now I am eagerly awaiting a couple of Japanese crochet pattern books I ordered from eBay. I've been trying for ages to finish the amigurumi cat that I started crocheting a couple of weeks ago, but I'm a perfectionist when it comes to crochet, so every time I saw something out of place, I undid my work and started over again. Sigh. One day my fingers will get used to doing crochet again. I shouldn't really be tough on myself as I had not crocheted for almost twenty years. I'll post pictures of my work next time I log on to this blog.

                                     This is the cover of the amigurumi pattern book I ordered.

                                        And this is from inside the other book I bought. Isn't that 
                                        lovely? I'll definitely make this one as soon as I get the book.