Monday, June 27

Photomarathon 2011

A bit late in posting this, as it all happened two weeks ago, but had a fantastic day at my second Photomarathon. Still as creatively challenging and downright exhausting as last year, but loved it, loved it, loved it.

Topics were: 1. Entry number/Work of art 2. Inside out 3. Community 4. Super powers 5. Drama 6. Great outdoors 7. Double 8. My secret 9. Element 10. Movement 11. Obstacle 12. I have a dream

You have 12 hours to take 12 images on 12 topics - in the right order. Huge frustration when Gwen dropped her ice cream on the floor and was in tears ('Drama' anyone?), but I hadn't yet done the previous pic. Or, a real 'Gah!' moment for the 'Double' topic, when I saw twin boys, about 9 years old, dressed in identical shell suits and eating identical ice creams and then, about 10 minutes later, saw toddler identical twins on identical trikes with identical outfits - but I hadn't bloody done 'Great Outdoors' yet.

Here's my go at it anyway - can I just add a disclaimer that my image for obstacle is probably the worst picture I have ever seen (perhaps with the exception of Mr Meep's infamous crap wildlife photography, which involve a load of trees and a small out-of-focus blob of the back end of a cat/cow/lion in a corner) but it was late, I was tired, I was hungry and my feet hurt.

Saturday, June 25

The Rhino and the Caterpillar

The fraggles are going on a farm trip with my mum on Thursday.

"Are you looking forward to the farm trip, Moll?"
"What do you think you might see at the farm?"
"Um... a rhino... and a caterpillar."

There you go then.

Thursday, June 23

Molly is Two

Dear Moll,
You are two years old and absolutely bonkers. You started off as the quietest, most chilled out little baby, lulling us all into a false sense of security as you are now a bona fide nutcase.

You shout, you screach, you sing out of tune very loudly, you take your nappy off, you take your clothes off, you jump on top of me, you get out of your car seat straps, you kick your shoes off, you squirt moisturiser on the floor, you empty the shower gel into the bath, you smear yoghurt all over the table, you throw things down the stairs, you run away constantly, you climb on everything, you leap off everything you climb, you put the toilet roll down the toilet, you stick your hands in the toilet, you draw all over you arms, and when you're excited, you do a big excited smack on whoever's nearest to you at the time.

But at the same time, you have a lovely, sunny nature - always happy, rarely cross, never had a proper tantrum. And you're so funny, making us all laugh out loud every single day with your funny faces and amusing chatter ("Dog poo is... really nice" "Done a botty burp yesterday" "Molly's got hair, Gwen's got hair, Daddy's got no hair!" "Oh-my-god, oh-my-god").

At two years old you love dressing up (but only in either a fairy dress, a swimming costume or a dressing gown), talking about the time you fell in the stream, saying "Ziggy Zaggy", putting Gwen's nighties on, You Are My Sunshine, playing with Duplo, reading Tickle Tickle, doing everything Gwen does, a pat on the back at bedtime, Sing a Song of Sixpence, pretending to be a baby, picking flowers, splashing in the sea and being nakey.

For your second birthday, you sported a big huge shiner of a black eye from one of your many tumbles and ended the day by smearing black face paint all over the dining room walls and biting my big toe really hard when I wasn't looking.

Happy birthday, you little nutter.

Love, Mam

Monday, June 13

Zebedee Shepherd 1999 (ish) - 2011

Dear Zebedee,
You were our first pet. You first came to us in 2003, from a 'broken home' where you'd been so stressed you'd nibbled half your fur off - and you had a manky eye.

You spent the first few days behind the sofa, but gradually ventured out into the lounge and reluctantly joined in with life in the Shepherd household - I'd sit on one end of the sofa, you'd sit on the other with your back to me and I once found you balancing on the ledge of the open bathroom window.

You were prone to randomly attacking us with your playfulness - Dave's hand, the back of my leg... nothing was safe. We called you Evil Zeb, imagining that when we were out, you'd get out your maps, invite round your gang of neighbourhood moggies and plot world domination. We'd stroke your whiskers so you'd do a particularly evil snarl. We made up a song about you called 'Black and White Fool' (to the tune of Jimmy Nail's Crocodile Shoes).

But you mellowed with age and became a people-cat. You liked to be cradled like a baby and never, ever struggled to get away. You liked to rub noses with me. You'd lie on your back so we could tickle your tummy. You were incredibly furry and purry.

When we moved house three years ago, it was a mixed blessing for you. On the plus side, you had acres of open fields at your disposal and as many mice as you could eat. On the downside, a house move with a renovation going on was all a bit much for an old cat like you and you never quite got the hang of the whole toilet thing (poo behind the telly anyone?). So for the last few years, you've lived in your little cat igloo in the conservatory (aka your stinky lair).

We always joked that you'd lived to 20, stubborn until the end with non-retractable claws and halitosis. Well, you didn't quite make it that far, but you had a good innings.

We had a lovely burial in the garden for you today. We wrapped you in a cosy orange blanket and put you under the fig tree. We each said something we liked about you (rubbing noses, your loud purr, your friendliness), then we covered you over with earth to keep you nice and warm.

I'll miss doing noses with you. I'll miss your incredibly loud purr. I'll miss your hoarse miaow.

We are all really sad that you're gone.

Rest in peace, you black and white fool.


Friday, June 10

Mumbo Jumbo

I don't mean to sound like some kind of awful competitive mummy type, but Moll is quite articulate for her age. She speaks in full sentences and can have proper little conversations with herself/her teddies/Gwen. Problem is, most of what she says is a bloomin load of old nonsense.

Reading an animal book
"Look at this lovely fish"
"Yes, bit my finger yesterday"
"What, a fish?"

Before bed, we talk about the day's events.
"So Moll, what did you do today?"
"Fell in the stream." (She didn't)

Just as I'm closing the door after saying good night.
"Yes, Moll."
"Got dirty knees now."
"Have you Moll?"
"Yes, filthy they am."

"Did you have a picnic with Nana today?"
"What did you have in your sandwiches?"

Wednesday, June 1

Writer's Block

I have writer's block. I want to witty anecdotes and funny stories and tales of the loveliness of the everyday. I want to write to remember. I want to create. I want to start that children's book about the stinky spaniel. I want to write more poems about peas (you can never have too many).

But it's late, my brain is frazzled, so I'll just post a picture of some cows instead.