It’s Not All Mary Poppins

My Reputation is Made

I was toasting tortilla shells. Ever done that? You slice them in half or quarters, depending on their size, and then you put them in the toaster to crisp them up. Let them cool, and then give each piece a sharp rap, and, voila, tortilla crisps, suitable for dipping. Into baba ghanouj. I still have some left. Yes, you might use the grill in the oven, but I only wanted a few.

They didn’t get quite brown enough the first time, so I popped the toaster down for a second go, and continued my primary task – making dinner for my family. Thank the lord my sweetie is the usual cook in this household…

I was distracted. My back was to the toaster. And, like the proverbial frog in a pot of water, I didn’t notice the clouds of smoke billowing from the toaster until the smoke detector went off. At exactly the same time my neighbours appeared on my front step.

“It’s just toast!” I holler, too busy whacking the button on the detector with the broom handle to bother with niceties like opening the door. They wandered off, satisfied that their home (we live in a semi) was not destined for ashes. They call reassurance to the neighbour two houses down – two houses! – who had been alerted to the problem by the billows of smoke coming out my front door. Billows which I, in the kitchen from which they originated, had been blithely oblivious.

My sweetie arrived home as I sat on the porch after the crisis, chilled wine in hand. Both neighbours leaped in to tell him the story. I let them. May as well let them have their day, and maybe they’ll let me live this one down. But I doubt it. I suspect it will be the fodder of much hilarity at street parties down the years.

Outside the house, my sweetie makes comments only about how I burn with passion in all sorts of ways. What a supportive partner!! Inside, I say, “You know, I’m going to be one of those women you have to keep out of a kitchen when they get to be eighty.” We laugh, and he adds, “You’re a dangerous woman to leave alone in the kitchen right now!”

I fear he’s right, and though I laugh, it’s not without a certain rueful unease. But on the bright side, one more escapade like this, and I may not have to – nay, be allowed to – see the inside of a kitchen ever again!

September 1, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Men in Motion

While the children were away this month, I did some planning, and had some fun shopping for toys. Among other items, I purchased these two lovely items, a retro blast from the classic past:

Hobby-horses!!!

(AKA, for the cognoscenti, “a stick wiv an ‘orses ‘ead ‘andle”. Not purchased at Woolworth’s, more’s the pity, where they would have been much cheaper, I’m sure.)

I presented them to the two boys who are here today. Showed them how to use them.
Then left them to it. As you can see, they’re having a great time with these things! My home resounds with “gidd-up”, and “woooo”, and the galloping of slipper-shod horse hooves.

Yeee-haw! I’m back to work!

September 1, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Did I Miss Them?

My eldest asked me a day or two ago if I’d missed the tots over my month off. I think she was a little taken aback by my unequivocal “No”. I’m fond of them, and all, but I’ve treasured every bit of my time off, and apart from acquiring a few professional items (how fun is it to have to shop for your business in toy stores, I ask you??), they have not been on my mind.

But today, when I walked down the street with little George’s hand in mine, and listened to Zach’s much-increased vocabulary in that adorable toddler voice, I felt a surge of happiness wash over me. I do love these little guys!

Yes, I’m glad to be back, and yes, I did miss them!

September 1, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Feeling Wistful

Feeling wistful today. Not because I go back to work today. Not because my eldest is back to school after a brief visit. Not even because my two younger children go back to school on Monday.

Wistful because I picked these up on the three block walk home from the bus stop. The trees are still green, yet there are leaves on the ground. Just a few, here and there. Not all over the ground. Not the crisp, crunchy, crackling carpet that is to come. Which, I admit, I love – it’s one of my favourite sounds, that whish and crackle round my feet as I kick through the drifts of leaves.

But it’s coming. Fall is coming. And, while I love the soft amber light of warm autumn afternoons, though I relish cool, crisp mornings, though I glory in the blaze of colour that is autumn in this part of the world, autumn is also the harbinger of winter. The fading of the light. Long nights, crackling-with-cold days. It’s not the loss of warmth that makes me wistful, though, it’s the fading of the light. Evenings that start at 3:00 in the afternoon, full dark by 4:00. Sunrise at 8:00.

I mourn the fading of the light.

September 1, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments