Ok chinese duck chicken stir fry from Tana Ramsay’s new book Home Made was on the menu tonight. Sorry no photo but when you finally get to eat at ten past ten at night you’re not particularly keen to stop and take a photo first. Imagine though a noodle stir fry with duck chicken on the top and you’ve got it. And just as it’s very easy to imagine what it looks like, it’s very easy to imagine what it tastes like to, i.e. not particularly remarkable. The chicken with a honey coating was bland and the noodles and vegetables tossed in soy sauce, mirin, garlic and ginger pretty much what I’d do with a stir fry anyway, so ‘so so’. Top marks for her lasagne from this book, distinctly C- for the stir fry.
As I mentioned earlier, my incredibly exciting plans for today was to go and get some toothbrushes for the kids after school. I picked up Girl Lacer, detoured via the playground, followed by a quick philosophical / scientific conversation with her;
“Mummy, who helped when all the people were just about to be born?”
“Mmm, midwives? Oh you mean before there were people at all? Well you know how I was saying the other day about how some people believe in God and how they go to church to talk to God (this is connected with Girl Lacer asking the other day what the church she goes to tap class in is for*), well those people believe that there was a man and a woman called Adam and Eve and they were the first people. Most people however believe the scientific theory that people come from chimpanzees**, that some chimpanzees slowly changed into people.”
“Is that why there were no shops?”
“Uh? Yes, there were no shops. They lived in the jungle.”
“What, here?” (as we walk through suburban London).
“No, in Africa. That’s where people think people come from. As there were more and more people, people left Africa and eventually we were all over the world.”
“That must have taken over night.”
“Bit more than that I think.”
Anyway after that bit of ground breaking conversation onto Sainsburys. Mr. Lacer thinks I shouldn’t go into Sainsburys as I always end up spending more money in there than in Waitrose because whereas Waitrose just sells food, I go into Sainsburys and get assaulted by special offers and things I never knew I needed and I am so weak, so weak. So along with two toothbrushes, we brought three tubs of Food Doctor seeds (special offer but in my defence the whole family loves them), two sets of Christmas cake decorations, a bottle of vanilla essence (which I did need), a set of Racing Grannies (Christmas present from the kids to Mr. Lacer) and two Charlie and Lola activity packs (well it was 3 for 2 in the Sainsburys gift section). The Charlie and Lola activity packs are going to be stocking fillers for the kids, a little difficult therefore purchasing in front of the kids but they were at bargain prices and I wasn’t sure they were going to be there for that much longer. Boy Lacer was pretty much unaware but Girl Lacer was (specially when her friend and my friend (her friend’s mum) came along and stopped to talk about what we were buying). I’m hoping she’ll forget (no chance) but I’ve covered it by saying I’m helping out Father Christmas. I’m not sure how long Father Christmas is going to last, considering she’s a girl who no longer believes in magic. I think I believe in magic more than she does in fact she’s been known to pat me on the hand patronisingly and go “Mummy, you know magic isn’t real”.
* I should point out here we’re the most un-religious family you can get.
** Remember, I’m explaining this to a 4 year old here.
Katie from Ebury Publishing has successfully lured me onto the website for Russell T. Davies new book ‘The Writer’s Tale’ after commenting on a post of mine on the subject. The aforementioned website is here by the way for anyone else interested, it includes .pdfs of some of his scripts and some of RTDs rather good drawings (I never knew he could draw). Before I finish my spot of free advertising I rather like this quote that is on the website and I assume is taken from the book.
Writing isn’t just a job that stops at six-thirty . . . It’s a mad, sexy, sad, scary, obsessive, ruthless, joyful and utterly, utterly personal thing. There’s not the writer and then me; there’s just me. All of my life connects to the writing. All of it.
Russell T. Davies has more writing talent in just his right big toenail than I have but even so, I so, so, so agree with that quote.
Definitely a book for my Christmas present list.
Not doing much today, I’ve got a stinker of a sinus headache (currently wondering whether it’s one of my sinus headaches I’ve always been prone to or whether it’s one of the many side effects listed for citalopram) and I’m just hanging out on the sofa with Boy Lacer. It’s already 2.20pm, Girl Lacer will be out of school in an hour! I’ve promised her we’ll go to Sainsbury’s after school (woo hoo exciting!) to buy a toothbrush (I bet you’re so jealous now of my exciting life). I’ve already been in town once today so I could have got it then but Girl Lacer is I think missing doing the ‘normal things’ like choosing your own toothbrush so she got upset yesterday with the thought that I’d go and buy her toothbrush without her.
As today’s title suggests I’ve had some mail; the report from Boy Lacer’s playgroup assessment, apparently his playgroup is doing a good job (which I knew sort of, I’m really pleased with them) but the speech therapist offered them some suggestions about communicating with him and also said she’d put Boy Lacer’s name down for a panel to get funding for extra support for playgroup. The playgroup assessment was Boy Lacer’s final assessment for his autism diagnosis, the report didn’t say whether the assessment had confirmed it or not (although putting him forward for that playgroup funding is fairly indicative isn’t it?), currently he’s ‘social communication disorder probable autistic spectrum’. We’ve been working on the assumption that the probable will be removed as the only reason they couldn’t say it was autistic spectrum straight away was because they hadn’t observed him with other children but from my experience with him with other children (other than his sister) I know what he’s like (although he is showing signs of improvement). Anyway I guess we won’t know until his next appointment, which is in November.
Also coincidentally in the mail today was a mailing from the National Autistic Society (NAS) which was incredibly depressing after reading Boy Lacer’s report. NAS are currently fundraising for their Education Advice Line and why it’s so important and Boy Lacer’s future education, namely his secondary education, worries the hell out of me. We’re incredibly lucky in that we live virtually next door to a lovely mainstream primary that specialises in social communication disorders (they even have a special unit within the school), so Boy Lacer will go there (Girl Lacer goes there already, the school also has a fantastic academic reputation) but then after that . . . We live in a highly competitive grammar area and whereas the grammar schools are great, the secondary school, not brilliant and (yes I know things can change) I do not want Girl Lacer going there, let alone Boy Lacer! We’re hoping Girl Lacer will make the grammar school (although with 9 girls applying for every single place, that’s going to be another stress), maybe even Boy Lacer could try for it if my feeling that it’s Asperger’s is right (although I’m not sure how he’d fair in such a competitive environment) but other than that the nearest specialist mainstream secondaries for Aspergers are miles away, I don’t drive (can’t really, Boy Lacer isn’t the only one with dyspraxic tendencies) and the specialist secondaries are at least two bus trips away. It’s just the thought of my currently mainly happy little boy getting lost (not in the physical sense but in the emotional sense) and bullied in some overcrowded, nightmare zoo of a secondary is my worst nightmare.
Forty minutes now till Girl Lacer gets out of school. I actually find it easier to do housework when she’s here (I never thought I’d say that, I always thought it’d be easier to get things done with one less child under my feet) but she’s good at keeping Boy Lacer company (he’s sitting beside me at the moment watching In the Night Garden, he has a man cold at the moment). If I go and disappear off somewhere else in the flat when it’s just me and Boy Lacer, to do some chores or something, I feel guilty about leaving him alone.
On one final positive note, Boy Lacer’s drawing is improving daily. Today he drew some of pictures for the first time deliberately using different colours to mark out different things. He drew a rocket, the rocket was purple but the windows were blue (previously the rocket would have been all purple say) and the sun, it’s rays a different colour. Other than the fact that Girl Lacer’s (already good – sorry proud mummy moment there) drawings have also improved recently I’d be having trouble now distinguishing between the two of them in their drawings.