Glasses Go Gishhhh



Porca Miseria Hanging Lamp by Ingo Maurer. Photo from 

Must be a High Gravity day here at Garrison Grumpy – my Trout underlings are smashing glassware like a Greek tourist dinner party. I spent most of this evening hugging a sobbing Midi, who lurched from one disaster to another; Mini precariously balanced bowls on the final micron of the edge of the table for others to look at the wrong way and send plummeting to their fate; then The Boss did his usual smash-it-all-into-the-dishwasher so it would only wash whatever survived.

On the bright side, the floor’s now swept spotlessly clean.

You Really Know You’re Loved When


May 29: Midi Minx had a bit of a runny botty on Wednesday night and Thursday morning = instant 48hr pass (quarantine) from school. She spent Thursday in a nest on the sofa, blinking at CBBC from behind her new, thicker glasses. I joined her in the waves of nausea and stomach cramps. In fact, I felt so awful that The Boss drove Maxi to Cubs whilst me, Midi and Mini got ready for bed, then lay in the big king size bed, snuggled up in front of Star Wars. All 3 of us were very, um, ‘windy’. Wee Midi gazed up at me with her big hazel eyes one time I apologised for letting one go: “That’s ok, Lovely Mummy. I still love you”. Arrrrgh, what a little sweetie! She certainly knows how to win me over

Midi The Quizzical


As we were stumbling out the door yesterday in a rush to school, Midi wrinkled her little brow.

“Mummy, can I ask you a question?” she frowned. Oh boy. My minxes don’t half pick their moments. I remember when her big sister asked something similar.

“Sure. Quickly. Mini: get your shoes back on. Maxi: where’s your homework bag? Girls: out, out, out!” I barked.

“Mummy, who’s Rip?” Midi asked.

“Huh?” I said eloquently.

“Rip. You know: Rip. The man who’s got lots of headstones”

Midi the Quizzical Bless. I stopped and laughed and gave her a hug. Maxi butted in and explained what R.I.P. means to her 6 yo sister.

Every day’s a school day, eh?

A Good Daddy…


A Good Daddy…doesn’t just paint his daughter’s fingernails; he asks her which colours she’d like best.

Christmas Cards


Minxes signing their autographs

Minxes signing their autographs

Despite having them out on the mantelpiece ready to write since 1 Dec, I’ve been putting off writing Christmas cards all month. Normally I really enjoy sitting for a couple of evenings, thinking about each of my friends and family in turn as I write a few words to them in a daft wee card. Not this year. I’ve been wondering why. The best I can come up with (other than that I am obviously a lazy nightmare of a person) is that writing to a friend I’ve not seen all year makes me feel wistful and melancholy. Writing to a family who have one less person to mark the New Year with than they had last year is just heart-breaking. Next year I’m going to buy a village a goat in lieu of buying and sending any Christmas cards. The Boss voted for the village we live in. I out-voted him.



Hello again! It’s been a manic couple of months: I’ve been teaching knitting and crochet at weekends and evenings, designing patterns, testing patterns, and volunteering at the school twice a week (hehehehehee, Minxes: there’s no escape from Big Bad Mummy). And I’ve been shuttling back and forth to the GP with Midi Minx.

I’ve been fretting about Midi’s health for a year or so now, punctuated by the odd visit to the GP, but these past 6 weeks she’s noticeably unwell. At parents evening, her teacher collared me about Midi’s constant abdominal pains, skin colour (grey) and general demeanour. I shared with her the long list of things that taken all together have me worried literally to tears, and she’s pretty concerned, too. I think I’ve exhausted everything I can achieve at the GP’s surgery, short of dyeing my hair to a conventional colour and growing a penis. So The Boss is going to go in with her tomorrow and see if that helps. On the bright side, though, we now know that she’s definitely not allergic to penicillin. Though it didn’t seem to work too well…

Noooooo! Don't chop me up in vain!

Noooooo! Don’t chop me up in vain!

Anyway. This isn’t the place to share a 6 yo’s symptoms – she’d be mortified. I could also fill a page fretting about how I think she’s losing weight (I’d no idea until last month what weight she was, so can only use her now-baggy clothes as evidence of either weight-loss or rubbish laundry skills) and how her once-chubby hands have grown slender and Big Girl-like. Instead, I’ll write another long list of points for the doctor to ignore tomorrow, and share this photo that definitely sums up the Family Trout’s feelings about my cooking: I’ve been experimenting with Japanese-style food. Let’s just say that I’m not a very good cook.


Road Rain Ragin’


Midi Minx at 22 months old, Dec 2009. Not much has changed since.

I’m so ANGRY!!!!

To the Yummy Mummy in the Discovery the other day, blatting down the back road in the pouring rain:

Yes, dear, I *know* that the nasty rain is scary! It might smear your caked make-up and fluff-up your newly-straightened bleach job; it makes you faff about with all those hundreds of confusing levers, to find the windscreen wiper one; it sprays up when you drive so fast and stops you being able to see; and it makes Torquil and Desdemona in the back squeal when it touches their precious skin. But PLEASE don’t cuddle up to my car’s bumper for comfort, because:

  • I have a heart of black coal and don’t give a shit
  • I might have to stop faster than you can blink your heavy eyes
  • … actually, I can’t be arsed anymore: BRAKING DISTANCE, BRAKING DISTANCE, BRAKING DISTANCE you stupid fool. Look it up.

And to the pair of teen wannabe goths:

Stop sticking to other cars’ shadows. The light won’t really melt you. And you might live long enough to lose your virginity. If you’re really lucky.

Name Your Kids Carefully


When we named the minxes, we diligently thought through everything: did their initials spell out something silly? If they hated their first names, did they have popular and ‘classic’ alternatives in their middle names? Did their names sound ok when shouted loudly in the street?

I thought we had it covered. I really did. Till these 2 incidents:

1. Stood in a garden centre, yelling for Mini, who’d disappeared. People look at you really strangely when you’re shouting, “Rose! Rose!” right in front of the rose bush selections.

2. Watching Mini disappear into the distance at a rate of knots in the supermarket. People gasp and snigger when you shout, “Wait, Rose!” in the middle of Tesco.

Road Safety


Tootling around the B roads round here in the car, I’m starting to get used to coming head-to-head with joggers. They’re easy to spot: dressed head to toe in the winter-spring season rural camouflage (shades of grey, black and washed-out white (and that’s just their faces…)), headphones on, oblivious to anything except their pounding feet. Don’t get me wrong – to paraphrase the latest FB status that’s gone viral, joggers rock! But it would be really cool if some of them realised that sometimes I can’t always see them in time to avoid them. I can’t always swerve past Ghost-Joggers them if I suddenly happen upon them, right in the middle of my lane, just as I round a corner, past a stream of traffic coming the other way. Raises the old heart-beat a bit.

Anyway, so I think that’s me established that nowadays I tend to deeply annoy other road-users by taking blind corners at the kind of speeds where I can come to a sudden stop if a hidden, camouflaged jogger suddenly reveals themselves. I am no longer Mondeo Mummy (Mondeo Man but with more hormones). I don’t drive like a granny (jeepers, have you seen the speeds some of these elderly mamas career around the countryside?!), I drive like a learner.

I may now take to sounding my big old car-horn as I go round these corners – it’s not just the headphoned joggers I need to watch out for! I’ve seen a fair few grandparents pushing babies in buggies along these same B roads (to quantify: I drive past 3 or 4 a week. So not hordes, but it’s not an isolated incident). Today’s sighting was pretty typical:

I drove past a wee old man tottering down the road with his grandchild (great-grandchild?) in a black buggy. He was in this season’s rural camouflageI’m not saying that the buggy was replacing a zimmer frame, but he didn’t look steady or strong enough to hoik the buggy onto the verge if he came across a lorry going in each direction at the same time. Or maybe he was so unsteady because he was walking 3 over-excited dogs at the same time, who were twirling and spiraling round his legs and the buggy wheels…? Never mind, at least the baby was getting some Nice Fresh Air, head roughly car exhaust height, hoovering up all those lovely fumes from cars accelerating and braking round the road bends. Excellent!

Of course, don’t forget that these people walking babies have successfully brought up one or more kids themselves, as they’re wont to remind you, so they’re perfectly safe, responsible child-minders, and how churlish of you to question otherwise?

Meh. I miss getting to 5th gear.