Tag: memories

Moments

Our lives, our memories are made up of little moments …

***

Just as I was about to strap T in the car to go trick or treating with her friends last Monday, she bent forward and vomited all over her lovely La Muerte dress.  It looked like liquid chocolate on her black dress, which spilled into her orange pumpkin bag.  Her little friend who came over for a play date exclaimed “Oh T, you’ve got the bug now!”  And my little girl burst into tears, just as the afternoon was fading and the night was creeping in.

***

It was our wedding anniversary last Sunday and in the car, on our way to Truro, I turned to my husband who was driving and said “Guess how much I love you?”  How much?  he asked, humouring me.  I replied “more than infinite!”.

At the corner of my eye, I saw the T’s facial expression change.  She was hurt.  The look of betrayal was all over her.  This is our thing.  Every night just as I tuck her in, we go through our dialogues:

“On the day you were born”.  She replies with “It was the happiest day of your life”.  Followed with a “Guess how much I love you?”  Her answer is always “More than infinite!”.

“You know I love you more than infinite too, just like your dad, right?”  I said to her as I reached out and held her hand in mine. She nodded her little head and the hurt was gone.

“She smiled and said with an ecstatic air: “It shines like a little diamond”,
“What does?”
“This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.”
– Jean-Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason

 The Reading Residence

Remembering Summer

It was a lovely windy summer’s day when I took that photo.  The sun was at its best, shinning and making everything look doubly beautiful.  The colours were absolutely stunning.  It’s one of those days where everywhere you look, your breath is stolen away by the sheer delight of witnessing such splendour. I want those days back!

There was a soft breeze blowing against the blades of grass and the lovely wheat stalks were happily swaying along.  Everything about that day was in perfect harmony.  Vibrant colours, warm weather and stunning surroundings, these are what summer days are made of.  A complete contrast to what is outside right now.  From where I sit and as I’m typing this, at the corner of my eye, everything is grey.  Grey, greyer, greyest.  The dullest of grey, can it get any worse than this?  Oh yes it can.  I guess we should be thankful that although it is dim, at least the day is dry.  There’s nothing worse than a gloomy and wet autumn day.

I’ve been staring at the photos I took last summer.  This particular one was taken in June.  A few days ago, I decided to make a VSCO account, so if you also have one, do follow me there and I’ll follow back too.  I haven’t really uploaded much photos yet, but intend to do so.

Now excuse me while re-live my happy summer memories of lovely days like this one.

What about you?

Do you have any favourite summer photo?

What sort is it?

Do share.

Five Fun Activities to do on a beach when you're Four

Summer certainly feels like it has finally come.  Although of course we still do have days when it rains and it actually feels more like autumn than summer, but then again, this is England.  It rains in every season, that’s just the way it is.

We had a close friend stay with us during the break in May and we took her to New Polzeath beach.  When you’re four years-old, the sea is still a bit off-limits to you, unless you’re wearing a wet suit, then you can probably do belly-boarding with your parents.  But since little T has outgrown her suit and we haven’t bought a new one for her, she had to content herself with playing in the sand or:

1.  Play or splash-about in the little pools.

When the tide has ebbed, it leaves lovely little pools perfect for little ones to have a play-on.  Some of them are deep enough for a little swim, and some are perfect for splashing around as seen on the picture below.

sandpool_littlesteps

2.  Meet and make new friends.

And of course, just like swimming pools, these little body of water are perfect for meeting and making new friends.

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Little T and her new-found friend played together for a few hours.  Chasing each other around and just lolling around the little pools chatting.  It was lovely to watch them, isn’t this what summer memories should be all about?

3.  Eat ice-cream

If you’ve visited any beach in Cornwall, seeing a Kelly Whip Cornish ice-cream van on the beach is a typical scene around here.  And of course, when it’s there, you must not miss the chance to eat your favourite flavoured ice-cream, it’s all part of being on the beach, you see, especially on a Cornish beach.

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4.  Make a sandcastle or a sand sculpture.

But if you’re as creative and as artistic as our close friend S, instead of a sandcastle, why not make a seahorse instead?

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And here’s little T with her creative/craft/arty Auntie S, making a sea-horse sculpture which she aptly named Curl.

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They used sea-weed to decorate Curl and an ice-cream cap and some shells for her eyes.

5.  Watch the tide come in.

And lastly, wait and watch the tide come in to take your sea-horse back home again.

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Little T and her Auntie S watching the tide come in.

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And from the top of the hill, we watched Curl slowly disappear.  In little T’s head, she was waving goodbye to her and saying “Thank you little T for releasing me back into the sea”.

What about you?

What are you favourite things to do on the beach?

Do You Want to Watch the Snow Man?

I can’t believe Christmas is over!  Can you?  How was it?  I’m sure everyone has had a lovely Christmas, especially the children.

Anyway, as mentioned on the 23rd we caught a short-train ride to London to watch Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman.  For those who aren’t familiar with this lovely children’s story – it’s about a boy who builds a Snowman which magically comes into life.  They then embark on a lovely fun adventure which includes flying over hills and ocean, then the Snowman takes the little boy to meet his other Snowmen friends, have a party with Father Christmas before taking him back home.  In the morning, he wakes up and finds that the snow man has melted.

Here in the UK, they show the animated film when it’s nearing Christmas and usually repeat it either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas day.  This year, we decided that Little T was old enough to be taken to the theatre.

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And since we were spending Christmas with my in-laws who live just outside London, it was the perfect excuse to go to the capital.  We decided a matinée would be perfect.

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To be honest, Little T wasn’t really that excited.  I guess in her young mind, she probably thought that we were just going to see The Snow Man on the big screen.  Since we arrived early, we decided to kill some time at the nearby Waterstones.  And their she saw “The Snow Man and the Snow Dog” (sequel to the Snowman story) soft-toy and book which she’s been wanting to have for the longest time, and to which we kept saying NO.  She already has the book you see, and we just thought that it was a waste of money to buy the book again just because it came with a toy.  Why couldn’t they just sell the soft-toy separately?  This time though, her grandfather gave her some pocket-money to spend and by this time, we’ve run out of excuses to say no.  So yes, she came away with a snow-dog too.

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How can you say no to that face?  Actually we do, loads of times.  The trick is to say it without looking at her.  If you steal a glance, you will lose.  Little T can hypnotize you into saying “yes”, just don’t look and you’ll be fine.

stage

Then it was time to go in.  There were of course, loads of children, even younger than little T.  It was actually like a children’s party in the theatre.

Like I mentioned earlier, little T was probably expecting to see the big screen come to life, she didn’t expect though to see characters “live”, her face lit up and broke into the most beautiful smile you’ve ever seen.  And the husband and I agreed that it was so worth braving the cold and Christmas crowd in the capital.  It was also at this point where we both decided to add this to our Christmas family tradition, go to the theatre and watch a show.

Before intermission broke out, the famous flying scene happened.  I swear all the children had their mouths open and everyone heard a collective gasp.  It was brilliant!

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While eating her ice-cream, I asked little T “Do you think it was magic that made the Snowman and the little boy fly?”  In between scoops she said matter-of-factly “No mum.  They both had strings on their backs”  (She meant wires of course).  I replied, “It’s magic T!”.  She repeated firmly “No mum.  It was string“.  End of story.  Before I could convince her otherwise, it was time for the second half of the show.

We actually expected the second half to be shorter.  It wasn’t.  There were lovely dance scenes between the Snow men, the Ice-Queen and even Jack Frost had a guest appearance, even though they (Ice Queen and Jack Frost) were not in the original Raymond Birggs’ story – it was still lovely.  However, not-so for the little ones, it was just a wee-bit-too-long.  I think the show would’ve been better if it was just a bit shorter, otherwise, it was fantastic!  Great show, good cast, even loved the additional characters like the Snow Queen and of course, the effects was just fab.  And at the end of the show, snow actually fell all over the theatre, the kids loved it!

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especially this kid.

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Then out the theatre doors we went, into the maddening London Christmas crowd.

What about you?

Did you see any Christmas show over the holidays?

Little Gardeners

Every Wednesday, the little ones at T’s play school do some gardening.  It’s all about getting dirty!

Here’s little T doing some digging.

And of course, it isn’t all about gardening, actually it’s always all about playing!

Little T with her friends.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a kid again, all care-free?

And then it was time to plant the potatoes!

Mr. Bloom will be very proud of these tiddlers!

Of course, Wednesdays wouldn’t be complete without going down in the valley after all that handwork in the garden.

This is what all childhood memories should be made off!

Don’t you agree?

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mill’s Country Kids.

And also linking-up with Mums Make Lists

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Life before T

Long before T was born, I worked as a volunteer (Media Communications Officer) in a small NGO in Tamale, a town in Northern Ghana, West Africa.

This was my home:

We didn’t have much.  VSO, our organisation gave us a few essentials/furniture.  The rest we had to buy from our meager allowance.  I bought a small electric  fan, cutlery, plates a few pans and other kitchen utensils.  I also felt the need to liven up my living quarters and so bought some sarongs in cheerful yellow/orange colours and used them as curtains/table-cloth.

See that brown tie-dyed cushion covers with the turtle design? I brought it back with me to England and is now prominently displayed on our couch.

It took awhile for VSO Ghana to provide me a wardrobe (which they did with other volunteers), so I had to make do with a makeshift one – I hung my clothes on a string which I tied between two windows.  But in the end, had to keep my stuff in my suitcase because it was so dusty.

Oh my word, the dust!

Some days the dust would be so thick, the moment you finished sweeping, your floor will be covered in dust again, especially when the Harmatan came.

My house was across a mosque and at dawn, I would be awakened by the sound of prayers.  Then at lunch-time, when I heard the call to prayer, I knew it was almost time to go back to work after my break.  Then again, the sound would come in the early evening.

Of course, one cannot think of Ghana without remembering the heat.  I would welcome that kind of heat right now, even for just a day.  The kind that makes you want to take off all your clothes and no matter how much cold glasses of water you consume, your thirst is never quenched.

I remember the days felt longer and life seemed slow.  My placement was a bit of a disaster, but in spite of that, I have very fond memories of Ghana and the people there.  My Ghanaian colleagues and I (because of the lack of work), used to while away the day by talking about reggae music, Bob Marley and his life, football and about life in my country.   Of course, they were curious about where I came from and wanted to know more.  And when our secretary went on maternity leave, we all visited her at her place.  Her daughter must be in first grade right now.  It feels longer than that, way longer than that.

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s The Story

Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them!

All About The Flowers

As I’ve mentioned, my husband and I aren’t big on Valentine’s Day.  Last year I baked a cake and we ordered a Chinese take-away.  This year we talked about having our own fruit de mer, but when my husband said he’d have to go out first thing in the morning to get the seafood fresh, I tried to convince him that it wasn’t worth it.  But he was adamant, not knowing that fresh seafood was not the only reason why he wanted to go to the shop first thing in the morning.

He wanted to get us fresh flowers and apparently, during Valentine’s Day, the lovely fresh flowers are known to disappear real fast and if you buy them mid-morning all you’ll ever get are left-overs.  Come to think of it, this may be the reason why I never got any roses on Valentine’s Day, not that I ever complained or that it mattered.

So there he was along with other husbands/boyfriends rushing to get the first blooms and all they found were crap ones.  When they asked a member of staff, it turns out that the delivery van was late! I found that funny, of all days, he was late to deliver the flowers on Valentine’s Day!  He probably just made a side-trip to deliver his flowers to his wife/girlfriend.  Anyway, seeing the disappointed/panicked faces of the bewildered husbands/boyfriends – the same staff took pity on them and told them that there were actually about five fresh bouquets at the garage.  Before she even finished her sentence, my husband was out in a flash.

To make the story short, he got the best two bouquets from the bunch.  Of course I was really touched, I finally got my lovely red roses, but what really, really, made my Valentine’s Day is that he didn’t forget his daughter.  You see, little T loves flowers too.  I guess she sees her dad buy me flowers every now and then.  She once told me “I want Dada to buy me flowers too” I told her I’m sure he would oblige if we asked him.  I’ve been meaning to, but keep forgetting.

We heard him park up in front of the house, still in our pyjamas, Little T and I watched him from the window.  When I saw the flowers I said to her “Dada has bought us flowers!  It’s for you and me”  Her face broke into the sweetest smile and when he came in, I quickly said “Dada, thank you for buying me and Little T flowers“.  And winked at him, just so he’d know that I was going to share my flowers with her, not knowing that she had her own!   So here she is, smiling for the camera with her tousled hair and first ever bouquet.

My husband said “I just wanted to be the first one to ever give her flowers”  Wasn’t that sweet?  She was ever so pleased and even asked me if she could arrange the flowers herself.  I let her.  Now her beautiful flowers are in a vase in her bedroom.  She likes to look at it and say “I love my flowers!”

As for the fruit de mer – it was absolutely delicious!  Never mind if we didn’t talk about anything romantic and instead ended up talking about history.  Actually we were talking about Hilary Mantel’s multi-award winning book “Wolf Hall” which I haven’t read and he liked.  He mentioned about how Cromwell lost his wife and two daughters in the sweating plague at that time.  What was sad about this is that he never really knew his youngest daughter and his only memory of her, is a little girl in wings (which he made for her) and refused to take off.  He never even had the chance to have her portrait taken, so there was nothing for him to remember her by, except that one memory of a little girl in wings.  It broke my heart.

This post is linked up with PODcast’s What’s The Story.

And the Oliver’s Madhouse

How was your Valentine’s Day?

All About A Boy

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that T has a best-friend named F.  I’ve mentioned him countless times here.  He is an important little person in my daughter’s life, in our life, especially since we have now become good friends too with his family.  I’ve never shown his face before out of respect for S and C (his parents).   But this time, I’ve asked permission from them to post the following photos just to show you how adorable this little V.I.P in my daughter’s life is.  He is the cutest little boy in the world.  Yes, I’m biased.  But hey, this is my blog!

They first met at play-group (children under 2) and bonded over trains and cars.  T and F loves trains and cars.  I don’t really remember when exactly she declared that he was her best-friend, what I know is she started saying this after her second birthday.

The first photo was taken  on T’s second birthday.  F is just about a month older than T.  This was after her party.

And this was taken on T’s third birthday.  See how much they’ve grown?  We took them out to celebrate on an impromptu birthday picnic and steam-train-ride.  I wrote about that on this post.

Waiting for the steam-train to take us back to Launceston.  Aren’t’ they loveliest little BFFs?

They are so good together.  Don’t get me wrong, like all best-friends they also have their moments.  You would hear T suddenly burst into tears and hear a little protest from F, sometimes it escalates but most times, you’ll hear them laughing.  And F takes care of T, like really looks after her.  One time, I wasn’t with them.  They were out with F’s parents at the Farm shop.  T and F were playing outside and there was one bigger and older boy who didn’t want T to play in the toy tractor.  T burst into tears and when F saw this, he came bounding up, my husband was too far so he didn’t hear what F said to the big boy.  But the bully backed down and and let T in.  They also like to play “saving-each-other”.  T plays a very good damsel-in-distress, when she needs “saving” F would come up to her with his “strong-big-hands” and save her.  And she’d do the same for him, though admittedly, he does most of the “saving”.

I’m wondering though how long it will last.  When do boys start ‘hating’ girls and vice-versa?  Who knows?  They might  just skip that stage and just be friends… always.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s they Story.

And The Oliver’s Madhouse

What about you?  Do you remember your first best-friend?

Two of Us

Two of us riding nowhere
Spending someone’s
Hard earned pay
Two of us Sunday driving
Not arriving
On our way back home
We’re on our way home
We’re on our way home
We’re going home …

You and I have memories, longer than the road that stretches out ahead …

 -Two of us, Beatles

This is T’s and Doc’s first walk together.

It was only till the end of the road,

because he has yet to have his jabs

which is scheduled a few weeks from now.

T and Doc will grow up together.

Isn’ that the loveliest thought?

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s the Story?

And The Oliver’s Madhouse

Hope everyone in the UK have not been affected much in last night’s storm.

As for the rest of you guys, have a great week ahead of you!

Remembering a Dog

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His name is Mutley, not was but is, because although he is not with us anymore, he is and always will be remembered.

We think of him all the time.  When we see or visit a place we know he would love (any kind of body of water or open space), my husband or I would look at the other and say “Oh Mutt would’ve loved this!”.  Every now and then we would look at our daughter and say “He would’ve adored her”.  You see, our Mutley died when I was a few months pregnant with T.  They never got to meet each other.  But she knows of him, we talk about him a lot to her and there are also photos of him around our house.

It’s one of those things that happened so fast.  We were visiting a friend in Bristol whom Mutley also loved.  We shared our friends with Mutley, he was friends too, with all our friends and would even go on vacation without us, with one of them.  Anyway, on that particular visit, I noticed that he was limping.  When we came home, we called up the vet and scheduled an appointment.  I think that was a Monday, on that first day he warned us already It could be bone cancer and told us what our options were.   I remember thinking – This is happening too fast.  He’s talking too fast.  I wanted him to stop, to shut up and just stop talking.  But he kept going on and on and mentioned the words put him to sleep, or cut off his leg .  

On our way home, I kept saying It’s not cancer, he’ll be okay.   My husband said if it is the C word, then he will have to be put to sleep.  We argued.  I was furious with him for deciding too quickly.  I needed time to think.  But what choice did we have?  The vet said that cutting off his leg won’t even guarantee that it would save his life.  The Mutt with one leg?  He’ll hate that!  And then there was also his age, he was around 11, not a young dog anymore.  The drive home was one of the longest drives in my life and a huge lump accumulated in my throat that made it very hard for me to breathe and swallow.  It stayed there for months.

On the Wednesday, he was gone.  That fast.  It was indeed bone cancer and he was put to sleep that very same day we found out.  I wasn’t with him.  It was only my husband and he had to drive back to work after that.  He said it was one of the hardest things he’s ever done.  He didn’t want Mutley to know what was happening and tried to be nonchalant, as if it was just any ordinary day and he was just dropping him off for now.  Mutley went inside the vet’s office with his tail wagging.  And that was that, he never came back home to us.  We never saw him again.

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As I type this, I feel the tears coming back.  Oh Mutters, I miss you.  You never got to meet T.  She would’ve loved you and you would’ve adored her.  

Life was quieter when it was just me and the Mutt.  My husband then was teaching in a college that was about an hour’s drive away from us.  So it was just me and him most of the time.  Instead of walking to the playground like I do now, I used to take Mutley for walks in the headland.  We live in doggie heaven – vast open-space and rolling hills, complete with rabbits to chase.  But he sucked at chasing them.  My husband and I used to laugh and say that Mutley must be the biggest joke in Bunny Land, how the rabbits must have a laugh about how he would try to chase them, but they always got away.  I must admit though, I hated walking him in the cold.  I feel guilty about it now, how I used to stomp grumpily out of bed, to walk him in the cold.  I’d stomp away fuming silently, my wellies landing heavily on the ground, because I’d rather be in bed than out in the cold, and he’d be trailing back behind me, looking guilty and even apologetic as if to say I’m really sorry about this … He was that kind of dog you see, sensitive.  He knew when you were cross with him, or if you’re in a happy and loving mood.  I used to watch episodes of Grey’s Anatomy one after another, and I’d sit there sniffling away and as soon as he’d hear me sniffle, his ears would go up and would quickly go to me as if to say Are you alright?  Why are you crying?  And he wouldn’t go away until I assured him that I’m fine and I’m just being my usual soppy self crying over the latest woe of Meredith Grey.  And every time he’d see my husband and I hugging, he’d bounce around looking really happy and wanting to be included in the hug.  So we would always make a point to bend down and hug him too.  That’s what Mutley was like.  For the longest time, I would say Oh Mutters to that forever empty space in our living room where he liked to curl up and lie.

And now we are thinking of getting another dog, but it doesn’t mean that he will be replaced.  That other dog, will be an additional to our little family, just like Mutley is and always will be a part of our family.  It took awhile for us to even want to have another dog, but we know that the time has finally come.  I think he would like that, yes, I definitely think he would.

I’ve linked this post up with Podcast’s What’s the Story

ANIMALTALES