Nice Knitting from Nona

Freddie has the good fortune of having a nona (a continental term for 'grandmother' for those who don't know) who can knit and was delighted to receive a package from New Zealand a few days ago with a new light brown cardigan with a motorbike knitted into the back and a gorgeous blue and red stripy hooded top.

It may be June, but he has actually worn both of them today  – it was a bit chilly in the morning so he tried out the brown one as he balance-biked his way to the childminders. Then he struck a pose in the other one this evening – he looks great in both of them – excellent colour choice.

Chuffed with my new bike, chuffed with my new cardie!

'Thanks Nona, these will keep me warm until I get bigger and bigger,' says Freddie.

It's book time!

Boys. Men. Cars. Brrrrmmm….

Freddie and I found a big box full of Scalectrix tracks, cars and accessories on the wall outside a house in Brixton last year. The dad leaning on the fence assured us it worked last time he had set it up two years ago.

So it's been sitting under the bed waiting for a rainy weekend ever since. Last month it poured down and Mary was in Ireland for the weekend. The timing was perfect to get the tracks out and get those cars smokin'… Continue reading “Boys. Men. Cars. Brrrrmmm….”

Sourdough fingers

Baking bread. I've been an eager convert ever since we got our first breadmaker three years ago. But around at Mike and Elena's in December, I read their copy of Leith's Baking Bible. Yum. Three pages of detailed instructions on making one loaf of sourdough bread; the adjectives were inspiring promising thick crusts and intensely chewy insides. And there's no need to add yeast; it gets captured from the air around you.

So Mary found me a copy for christmas and Freddie and I have been busy successfully experimenting ever since. And the breadmaker that was once my pride and joy is relegated to a five minute knead every now and again.

So what does it involve, making these loaves, you ask? It takes about five-ten minutes a day to have a 1kg loaf every three days. Here's what you do: Continue reading “Sourdough fingers”

Christmas in London

This year we stayed in London. All our neighbours got together on the Sunday beforehand for a good laugh and pot-luck.

Then Christmas took off in earnest for Freddie with a trip to see Santa at a shopping centre on Christmas Eve, although as you can see from the photo, his excitement was replaced by shyness as soon as he got to see the white-bearded man in the red outfit. Continue reading “Christmas in London”

Freddie’s Three!

Freddie turned three on the 30th of November but we didn't get around to a birthday party until last Saturday. And it's taken me this long to get the photos and videos from the four cameras together! We had a great day, loads of food and presents for the birthday boy.

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishing, cards, presents and effort for him; he really felt special. Here's a couple of photos and a video of the blowing-out-the-candles moment and bouncing-on-the-bed hijinks:


A Nature and DIY Weekend

This Saturday we skipped off to Pett’s Wood again. It’s so peaceful out there, barely a soul for miles and the rustle of the squirrels and balmy wind in the autumn leaves, the sound of birdsong, and random mushrooms sprouting off the leafy paths are all so relaxing for a brain, child, relationship and body constantly on the go during the week.
It’s only a 25 minute trip on the train from Brixton Station, then a 10 minute walk to the forest. We did take a detour through the charity shops where we found a Matchbox motorbike for 15p – Freddie’s not lost sight of it since.
We also found this cool tree with eight trunks and a raised bit in the middle. Freddie and Mary stood in it, and with the sun shining through the canopy captured this halo of light and family-ness:
Saturday night Craig stopped by for dinner then Freddie and I toddled off to Brockwell Park this morning while Mary practiced her yoga. Freddie’s pal Leon (they both get childminded by Patricia) and his German parents Phillip and Stella were there. Really nice to meet them after all this time.
Last month we bought a dishwasher. Plumbing constraints forced our workbench elsewhere, so a few weeks ago we picked up a 2.5m x 60cm worktop and finally got around to installing it this afternoon/evening. And here it is in all it’s glory:

Porridge: Chief of Scotland’s Food

Every morning Freddie wakes up to a steaming bowl of fresh porridge. But it's not your usual oats'n'water sludge. Freddie's discerning palate expects the very best quality organic ingredients. And our parental anxiety demands a nutrionally complete breakfast for our number one son. So we make it using Flannagans Oats from Waterford and Jersey whole milk. To that base we chop up some seasonal fruit – berries, bananas and mango all go down a treat. Half-a-teaspoon of sugary stuff – honey, concentrated juice, molasses or demerara sugar – and some ground nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazlenuts, pistachios, pecans, they all go well in porridge). Stirred up in a bowl and sitting on Daddy's lap, Freddie can often be seen wolfing it down at 7.15am weekdays….


Big Boy on the Blower

You may have noticed Freddie’s lack of attention to his online communications over recent months. That’s because he’s been busy chewing the fat over the phone. He’s also been a bit of a tinkerer, and converted a number of common household implements into serviceable appliances Alexander Bell would have been chuffed with. So click on the image to view some cracking shots of Freddie talking turkey on his telephones to all manner of friends.

Picture him jabbering away ten to the dozen – heyo? heyo? woosh, woosh, washer wee??’ then listening intently to the sound coming out of the TV remote. Hah! It’s a riot. He gets such a surprise when the phone rings mid-conversation as well. It’s like he’s getting busted for making out he’s popular when there’s really no-one there. But as this article from the Sydney Morning Herald contends it’s the choice of a generation:

90 per cent of young people admit they have faked a call. Often they are trying to cope with social anxiety by showing they have someone to talk to, or just want to be called away from an awkward situation…but some are so determined to show off that they pretend to wrap up Hollywood deals in front of their friends.

We can’t wait for him to announce his Oscar nomination!

Walking Personality Bon-Vivant: Freddie Pope

I finally found some time to edit and upload some footage of our gregarious wee fellow running down the hall, switching off a light, and exhibiting a smile and an obscure chortle type noise. So here you are, press the ‘play’ button to view:

Freddie’s Personality

Freddie Walking

Freddie says ‘Zach’ while looking at a photo of his cousin…

Heh, Zac sent us a christmas card with a photo of Jamie and his good self at the beach. Freddie was instantly intrigued at these depictions of relations from afar and excitedly rattled off their names whilst dreaming of sandpits and castles. So here he is shortly before bed last week going over and over his christmas card from Auckland…

Isn’t that sweet?