Friday, May 30

I'm a writer and I've been tagged

I've been tagged by Rach, who is a bit like me but a lot funnier and doesn't bang on about babies all the time, to answer the following question: What revelations have you had since taking up your writing career?

So, in the form of a list (of course):

1. I've learnt that I like being free. Free means saying 'Oh, sod it' on a sunny day and sneaking off for a womble through some fields with your dog (last Wednesday). It means not being trapped in an office filled with suits from Next and talking about the weather. It means being able to take the day off, drive through a forest, then stop at a funny pub in the middle of nowhere for a pint of ale, some salt and vinegar crisps and a go on the rickety swing (a couple of Fridays ago).

2. I always thought that when I gave up the 9 to 5 and went freelance, I'd spend a lot of time in coffee shops, sipping Earl Grey and gazing out of the window. I have never done this. Not sure why, but I think I just like working in my slippers with tea and cake that's nicer and cheaper than evil Starbucks*. However, our village pub, which is just at the end of our street has Wi-Fi and serves a nice pint of Brains Dark, so watch this space. (Any clients that might be reading, if there are greasy marks on your proofs, I am sorry. It's the salt and vinegar crisps. They just go so well with ale.)

3. Some writing is dead glamourous and sexy. The stuff I do is most definitely not. When people ask what you do and you reply "Why, I am a top freelance writer-slash-editor-type person," they go "Oooo, what kind of things do you write?". Then you reply, "I'm a copywriter, so I write things for companies, like brochures and annual reports," and they just say "Oh".

4. You get to buy yourself a spanking new Macbook with the excuse that you need it for work and you get to claim it against your tax. And then, you get to spend half an hour taking photos of you and your dog in Photobooth (taking the picture over and over to try and get your expressions looking the same) when you should be proofreading a handbook for Medicine students.

*Other evil coffee shops are available.

Disclaimer: I am, in fact, a bit of a fraud because I do still have a part-time job too. But it is working for a mumpety charidee. And things are taking off so, who knows, maybe I could finally take the plunge and break free of the system, man.

Thursday, May 29

1 year (and 3 days)

Dear Snail,
You are one year old. What an exciting age to be - so many things to explore and bang your head on, so many manky things to pick up off the floor and try to eat.

Your crawling has reached a most unsnail-like pace and I can hear you slapping your hands across the wooden floor as you excitedly pursue a pet through the house.

You're also trying to 'walk' on all-fours (clearly way too much time spent with the pets), which results in a lot of head-bumps and wailing - although that's easily resolved with a wave of something shiny to distract you.

You have been giving me spontaneous kisses, which is just the best thing ever, ever.

You're trying to copy what we say these days - in your own little way, mimicking the syllables when we say 'Hel-lo' or 'Thank you'. I am way too excited about you talking - can you do it soon please? I like talking. I hope you will too.

What a lot has happened to you in one year. You've gone from a teeny, tiny, sleepy bundle that didn't open her eyes for two weeks, to an almost-toddler full of energy and grins and excitement and interest. Oh, and cake.

It's been an amazing year. I'm proud of me for surviving the extreme colic and the sleepless nights, for doing my own hippyish parenting thing with slings and cloth nappies and breastfeeding and baby-led weaning. But mostly I'm proud of you for turning into the perfect smiley, happy, chilled out baby. So yay us!

Thanks for everything, you gorgeous girl.


Thursday, May 15

A Week of Mumpets

Two of my favourite mumpets

It's certainly been a week for all things mumpet.

  • Mumpet moment No 1: Have discovered the soundtrack to my life - Hideaway by The Weepies. Lots of my favourite bloggers have been raving about them for ages, and I kept meaning to check them out. Mr Meep went on Itunes on the weekend, heard it and thought I might like it. He was so right. If muffins were music, this is what they'd sound like.

  • Mumpet moment No 2: All of the Meeps went on a family walk up the Garth Mountain (at the back of our house - I love this village) and we met an amazing man. 82 years old and still walking up the Garth a few times a week, a voice like Richard Burton and lots of stories to tell. I could have talked to him all day. After we met him, I told Mr Meep that I thought he was an angel.

  • Mumpet moment No 3: Stumbled upon this lovely Pollyanna-esque blogger.

  • Mumpet moment No 4: Watched this amazing film - I'd seen it before at the cinema, but it was so lovely, I watched it again.

  • Mumpet moment No 5: Met a lovely neighbour down the road - 78 years old (it was a week for mumpet pensioners) with twinkly blue eyes and thinks Blod and Gwen are both amazing, so I think she's amazing too. (Did I mention that I love this village?)

  • Mumpet moment No 6: Went to a yoga class with my lovely Buddhist neighbour (not a pensioner, but is a mumpet - did I mention...? Oh, I did).

  • Mumpet moment No 7: At the yoga class, met that very rare thing - an uber-mumpet. There aren't many of these around, but I think if I met Rolf Harris he would be one. She was stunningly beautiful in a healthy, glowing kind of way (mumpet points for the healthy glow), wearing birkenstocks (summer mumpet footwear of choice) and was really smiley (a mumpet basic). At the end of the class, the teacher said that Milly (mumpet name) has a glut of organic rocket from her allotment (mumpetdar going mad) and did anybody want to take some (Mumpetmumpetmumpetmumpetmumpetttttttttttttt)? I got chatting to her and it turns out not only does she have an allotment, birkenstocks, a smiley face and healthy glow, she also makes veggie boxes for her friends and keeps chickens. I hope she will be my friend (in a totally, like, non-Single White Female kind of way).

    Have you encountered a mumpet today?

    ETA Mr Meep's sitting next to me saying that my blog used to be a comedy blog back when it started, but now it's not funny anymore. Not mumpet!
  • Tuesday, May 13

    Turned Out Nice

    I had to go to London for work and I wasn't happy
    Alarm set for 5am to catch the morning train with all the dreary commuters in their uniform of sludge
    An all day thing, so no time to pop to the Tate or meet friends
    The Tube in rush hour - my worst nightmare

    Got to Cardiff Central
    Bought a fresh black coffee
    And the softest, sweetest almond croissant
    Found a quiet corner of the train
    For daydreaming and looking out of the window
    Watched the yellow fields of rape whizzing past
    Wrote some lists about everything and nothing
    Then got lost in a lovely book

    And on the way back
    Stopped off for suishi
    And a berry muffin to eat on the train
    More dreaming and scribbling and getting lost in my book

    It was perfect

    Friday, May 9

    Cake Friday

    Life is rather hectic. Right now you should be painting your dining room or proofreading something dull for a client or doing the dishes or putting the nappies in to wash while it's fine...

    But it's Friday and the sun is shining and you should be doing happy things. So you bake a sponge cake, fill it with raspberries and mascarpone cream, then enjoy it with a nice mug of Earl Grey.

    Saturday, May 3

    11 months

    Dear Snail,
    Well, there's one major development this month - you are mobile. Last Wednesday, you came home from your Grandma and Grampa's house and you crawled across the stripy rug. Since then, there's no stopping you. You are all over the place, especially - of course - in all the places you're not supposed to be, like your Daddy's Wii, and your Daddy's guitar, and your Daddy's Macbook. And oh, how you would so love to get your hands on the cat. You crawl towards him at top speed, screeching with excitement. Unfortunately, you haven't twigged yet that the screeching makes him retreat to a safe baby-free corner.

    This month, you've also learnt to clap your hands. You don't seem to be clapping anything in particular. You just like to sit back and show your appreciation for life once in while. And why not?

    I know your first word is just dying to come out - sometimes you look at me as if you're about to say something really profound. And you do - it's something like "Urdle, lurdle, urdle, lurdle", which I think is an incredibly shrewd and valid point. I think your first word's going to be 'Blod', your Daddy thinks it'll be 'Mum'. It'll probably be 'cake', because we talk about that a lot in our house.

    We've been out and about a lot lately - to the local pub, out for tapas, walking in the forest, messing about on the beach, toddler group, swimming class... you are so good and we can take you anywhere these days and know that you'll be OK. Your Daddy and I lead pretty much the same life as we did before you came along. Except with a little bit more dribble and a lot of food smeared on our clothes.

    Bedtimes are my favourite times at the moment. I love you splishing in the bath, I love cuddling you dry in a towel, then kissing your head a squillon times when you're drinking your milk. But best of all, I like it when we read 'This Little Baby'. When you see yourself in the mirror on the last page, you give yourself a big kiss, then turn your head to me so I can give you a kiss too - and it melts my heart every single time.

    You are a phenomenally fantastic snail.

    Love, Mam