Monthly Archives: March 2012

Happy Easter


Happy Easter Holidays everyone!

Here are some photos that sum up this time for us; my Grandma’s recipe book (1957), Daisy with a daisy, Paul with Daisy at Shibden, Tree gazing with Daddy.

I hope you all have an amazing Easter celebration, we will be in North Yorkshire and The Lakes over the next few weeks, stopping off at home for the bank holidays. Otherwise the Easter Bunny may not know where to deliver the eggs!




Having a baby round about the same time as another woman is like the superglue of the friendship world- it bonds you together and neither of you know quite why this happens.

You both have friends without kids but its like diet coke- its coke but not the same anymore.

I can think of one exception, but she is a nanny, and we are superglue bonded through a hundred joint experiences already…

When you hang out with your friend with a baby about the same age as yours, you find yourself in a zen zone of mutual helpfulness that needs no prompting- you will both be looking out for each other’s progeny as well as your own- it goes without saying. Because of this, it is incredibly bloody relaxing.

So thanks, Lindsay, for the excellent IKEA teamwork.

FAO IKEA; just bought a lovely lamp, but it’s name… ARSTID. Rethink?

Tiger Mummy


When I wrote a poem on this blog on the 20th March, my Mother commented that I was a ‘Tiger Mummy’.

This is in reference to a personal phrase me, my mum and my sister use when talking about protecting each other…

We say we ‘turned in to a tiger’ when we have had to change our usual countenance to one of fierce, visceral protector.

It is part of motherhood to occasionally have these feelings for our babies, and I make no apology for it. I will always be there to protect her when she needs it. But its clear from everything she does that she feels totally safe, and I’m so glad.

I asked Paul what objects would sum me up for him. He replied ‘your big, soft quilt…your breastfeeding…your hair slides. I find them everywhere, little reminders of your beautiful, soft hair’.

I hope Daisy remembers both sides of me when she looks back at her childhood- that I loved her with, soft, warm doughy cuddles…and that I protected her like the jewel she is.

I love her.

The Second Spring


Daisy and my Mother, Gwanny, stride out in the unusually warm April day. It is Daisy’s second Spring.

Our garden has emerged, suddenly, from the icy blanket of Winter, and everywhere there are green shoots and flowers peeping out from where there was plain brown earth only last week.

They fill the bird feeders, a weekly ritual- Daisy methodically taking fistfuls of seed and releasing it, with a crackle in to the plastic cylinder, my Mother sitting quietly by, ready to help but letting Daisy take the lead- a silent but comforting presence.

Thanks to Mum our small but sunny little piece of moor is filled with the sound of Chaffinches, Robins, Blackbirds and Bluebirds. Our cats click jealously from behind the french doors, eager for a slice of bird pie for supper.

Daisy loves to mimic the birds’ wings and their song. She says ‘Brrr! Brrr!’ (Birds! Birds!)

I watch the birds, and my daughter and her Gwanny too, from behind the glassy haze. I see rainbows of light surrounding them and occasionally arcing between them, fast as quicksilver. I wonder what silent and ancient connections pass between them, granddaughter and grandma, bonding them mysteriously and forever. They share a secret, nourished love and when they are together they are both lit up, inside and out.

Today, Nearly April


Hurry up, April. I’m done with March! You’ve had your marching orders, you heard me, sling your hook. The planets will be in a different, more favourable position on the 3rd of April, and I for one am glad.

Soon I’ll be having a long-scheduled hair appointment at my gorgeous salon in York. I return to York periodically to revisit my glamorous self, she doesn’t get much of a look-in these days though.

When I’m there, it is the city of me and my husband, of food shopping at M&S, of walking to the Odeon on a Friday night. Of second-hand furniture shopping, shoe shopping, meals out, fudge. Jewellery. Engagements and weddings and decorating houses. Of playing at it, as my Dad you say.

Here in April, there will be new carpets. New, lovely carpets with yummy tones of navy blue and orange (bonkers?), I’ve sold some of our furniture and that will need replacing. I’m very cross with our sofa, but my anger can’t magic £300 so I’ll have to live with it for now. Perhaps the carpets will be enough. Oh, and we’re painting, too- the living room and the stairs and the upstairs landing. I suppose this decision to make where we live NOW a nicer place signifies a shift- we were all about moving and we still want to go, but since house prices have gone to shit it’s here we have to stay for now. And so we will make our home beautiful again.

That’ll make living in it better.

And of course, April is my new business venture birthdate. Daisy Cakes will become a trading, real-live business. I don’t have any ambitions, particularly. Just that people might eat my cakes and love them.

So much to do before then, business accounts and environmental health and STUFF.
And breastfeeding. Months ago, I set easter as a target for weaning. No, that isn’t going to happen. Certainly not. Not when she practically takes a running jump for my breast… But I’m choosing to listen to her and trust what she needs. I owe it to her.

Plus, it looks like I’ll be going on some training to learn how to help support breastfeeding mothers for the good old NHS.

April will be a good month, and if it isn’t, there’s always May.

Daisy, Asleep


My baby’s curled hand
Clutches Mr. Cloth
And her steady breathing
Is all I need to hear
To drift off

She has pink marshmallow cheeks
And skin Princess Di would envy
So soft is it, and creamy white
Her hair as soft as a newly hatched chick’s
And cherub lips pout, stubbornly

She’s had her fill of milk
And her palms are grey from felt-tipping,
And from up here she looks
Like a tiny chimney sweep
Put to work, in Dickens

So abandoned to sleep,
She is vulnerable,
But I won’t leave her
I’ll watch over her,
My new life’s work

Her snoring is loud for one so small
But I love to hear it
It signifies all is as it should be,
Mother and child frozen in tableau
Like the ancient ones did

I am contented,
And Mr. Cloth agrees.

Speech! Speech!


All of a sudden, my baby has started talking. I had previously been a little worried about her speech, other babies we know (and of course I have known through my work) were much more experimental with their sounds by her age, whereas Daisy had only a stock selection of sounds: ya yayaya, mmmama, daddaa…her first word apart from Mama, was ‘Yes’ and she spoke that quite some time ago.

But then, gradually, she began to use the words in context and to respond to my questions with Yes or No, meaning what she said.

Then she said ‘shoes’. Then ‘Cat’ and ‘car’. Thinking this lovely but not necessarily deliberate, on we pottered, until she said the words in their appropriate uses … ‘Car’ when we were getting in to the car, ‘shoes’ when she went and got her boots because I said we were going out…

And this weekend, to her repertoire she has added:

Thank You
Om-boo (tombiliboo for those of you familiar with ‘In the night garden’)
Dais (her home-name)

It is amazing to me, still, after all of the children I have known and looked after how fast she can learn. She is a delight! My baby.