Back to ‘housewifely’ normality today, after a weekend of standing in a cold tent in a National Trust car park. Saturday had been awful, with the rain I only sold one board book (so a fiver). Sunday was better, but still a long day, for relatively not that much return.
On Sunday the mother in law and my oldest nephew (who lives in a house where the toy storage is colour coded) were visiting and the flat was a tip and as much as I’m not particularly house proud, I do hate it when people see it in a bad state (even if it takes me two days to get it into visiting state first) but I’ve just been so busy and on top of that working that weekend and the weekend before. I just had to tell myself that it wasn’t my mother visiting.
So today was nice, getting to do a bit more normal stuff, although normality won’t return until 6th January really. I had to run to the bank and the post office first thing and then back home, with some time to actually do some housework, I actually took pleasure in it, shockingly, it was nice to do something ‘normal’. Later on I had to make some cakes for Boy Lacer’s Christmas party, I really must buy another cupcake tray, as with only one and needing to make 30 cupcakes, I had to bake a big bowl of cake batter and then bake in three shifts. Whilst waiting for the cakes to cook, I managed to find time to start and complete, a little project I had been meaning to do for ages. I’ve had my eye on getting myself a red flower brooch for a while, I wear a lot of grey and green, grey is my equivalent of black and much as I love it, it’s nice to have a splash of colour as well and as for my legion of green in my wardrobe, well red goes with green naturally. I’d seen some flower brooches at some of the many craft fairs I’ve been to recently but they were a) expensive b) often a bit garish (and not often red) but when I saw a red flower hair pin project on Bugs and Fishes I realised I could easily convert it onto a brooch. I followed Lupin’s instructions, but drew the patterns free hand and the result, I’m really happy with. I think it looks a little more subtle and delicate.
It’s now Tuesday, I discovered as I was about to download the photo of the brooch onto my computer that I could no longer read the card in my phone come camera, even though I can see the photos perfectly fine on the phone itself. So I’ve just had to resort to e-mailing myself the photo.
As for the cakes, I didn’t get a chance to ice them until after work (last tuition of the year, yee ha!) so considering the time, I quickly abandoned my idea to decorate them as teddies and just dolloped a blob of my favourite baking cheat (trying not to think about the E numbers), Betty Crocker vanilla icing, ohh it’s so thick and creamy and I could eat it straight out of the tub! Then to top it off, I topped each cake with a single chocolate button. I of course had to try some, just to check they were ok of course and they were delicious. I use a lovely and simple Annabel Karmel recipe, where there’s none of this separating eggs or multi-stage malarky, just bung it all in and mix, making sure of course that you are not using butter, as the mix goes all lumpy but are instead using margarine. I made literally a big tin’s worth and then a small tin on top (for us), here’s the big tin, half way full.
I got to playgroup this morning, to discover that someone else had also volunteered to bring cakes as well, which I hadn’t realised (must have been a very last minute decision, as the slot had just me when I checked last week), so it turned out I needn’t have made 30 cakes, so honestly, if I’d had a separate container with me, as I waited outside that playgroup, I’d have whipped half those cakes out, to take home again. Let’s hope there’s some left when I pick up Boy Lacer.
But back to last night, did anyone catch Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen? Oh that woman should be put on a national prescription for seasonal woes, I’ll readily admit, I have not been particularly enjoying the run up to this Christmas as it seems to me these days that Christmas = too much work for me, but if I could just curl up on Nigella’s couch and let her feed me mince pies (and I don’t even like mince pies) and cocktails whilst I looked at her twinkly decorations, all would be right with the world. I didn’t manage to catch Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen live as it went out, as I was working but as soon as my student was out of the door, it was straight to my DVR and a comfy blanket on the sofa. We’re full of cold in this house and although Mr. Lacer is full of certified man flu, I’ve been battling on, but oh it had been bad last night when I was working, try talking about the Haber process whilst your voice is slowly going and you’re trying not to drip nasal secretions on the paper, not good. Funnily enough I’d been feeling a lot healthier before I started work that night. Anyway, getting immersed in Nigella world soothed all ills and I now, even though, as I say, don’t like mince pies, will be making her mince pies (I found the recipe for the pastry, which looks so beautiful to use, here but could not find a recipe for her cranberry mince, lucky I have the book, as it was the cranberriness of the mince that sold me, but you could just as easily use stuff out of a jar). The girdle buster pie looks lovely to (recipe can be found here) and I’m very tempted to make a child friendly version of it, although it would only be mine and Girl Lacer’s girdles busting, as I know Boy Lacer wouldn’t eat it and I doubt Mr. Lacer would be keen. Roll on more Nigella tonight!
Finally we finally got Girl Lacer’s school photos yesterday, very delayed (first (and possibly the last time?) the school had used this particular company). Girl Lacer looks lovely and very grown up and rather scarily like a politician! You know those little head shots that accompany promotional literature during election campaigns, I can see it now, ‘The Right Honourable Girl Lacer, member of parliament for Little Bucketshire, Liberal Democrats’. The photo just exudes confidence and competence, like ‘I’m a big girl now and I know it’ sort of thing. I could see her as a politician, she’s very bossy but also very just.
Oh and whilst I’m talking about the kids, one more final thing (honest), Boy Lacer can drink out of a normal cup now :) ! We had managed to transfer him to using a normal cup with a straw a few months ago but he literally did not have a clue about how to arrange his lips around the cup to drink normally, he was also very scared he would spill it. However last week I ran out of straws, so I tried him again with a normal cup and he did it! Still spills and dribbles some, which he gets upset about but a definite improvement. Other than that he’s getting confused about asking for help, he’ll say “I want to help” which depending on the situation (and it can be hard to tell) means that he needs help or that he wants to help me, sometimes he’ll say it randomly and I haven’t got a clue what it applies to. My friend S, whose son is on the spectrum, warned me that can happen, when they start talking, how the sentences aren’t quite right.
Right, really must do some housework! This is my last child free time till after Christmas and I need to dig out all the presents from their hiding places!