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Keep calm and carry on June 11, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in about me, Life with 3 princesses.
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I first came across this piece of wisdom in this book.

I love Nigella’s way of writing.  She makes everything seem really easy and takes the cook’s approach to cooking instead of the chef’s.  I first came across her books when I poached a gift my chef brother had been given – How to Eat.

Back to Nigella Christmas.  For the big day she is first photographed carrying this mug (there I go again with mugs).

Keep Calm and Carry On Mugs

Here it is…. Encouraging, is it not?

The history of this motto dates to WW II.  It was meant to be ‘splashed’ all over Britain had Germany succeeded to invade it.  Since this did not, in fact, take place,  the original posters were never used.  At least one survived and was discovered earlier this decade.

Back to me…it has lately become my mantra.  I repeat it to myself often especially during the long hot afternoons when I feel only like lying down and dozing off but have to remain alert, entertaining and responsive to my 3 princesses.  For now it’s working… I hope it’s magic doesn’t fade.

Photo credits: http://www.nigella.com/product/default.aspx



My still life June 2, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses, The Gallery.
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This weeks’ prompt on Sticky Fingers is Still Life.

Well, I thought hard and long because my photographic skills are very limited but in the end I decided to link together 4 elements that I have written about earlier or at least meant to.

The are:

a mug of tea

hand cream

home made (with the princesses) cookies

some time for me

My photo put all 4 together. Here it is:

Put together like this, it looks like I’m going to have a few minutes to myself.  I’d start with applying a generous coat of hand cream (the best for someone who like me gets very chapped and dry skin is Neutrogena), then I’d munch my way through the cookies (these are Anzac biscuits revisited – I add chopped cranberries to the mix and some vanilla essence) sipping my tea (in my favourite mug that TP got me for birthday last year) as I go.  I’d be having this on our terrace (here, more often than not it’s hardly ever prohibitively cold) at my little table covered with my favourite tablecloth (that I got at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome in July 2000).

Now, please, don’t start thinking, that I do this every day, or every other day, or every week …. I hardly ever get to drink my tea warm enough for it to be a pleasure, but if I had to imagine a simple way to have a break – this would be it.

The sound of silence April 18, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
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I think, for me and other mothers, the most beautiful sound of all must be the rhythmic peaceful breathing of the children sleeping soundly after a busy day.  It is beautiful not only for it self  but for what it promises…an uninterrupted night of rest for us too.

That’s my background music at the moment.

We had a very hectic weekend…. I’m not sure if I prefer the regularity and predictability that the weekdays give us or the loosely planned weekends when we have more time to spend as a family.

This morning, on a whim and correctly predicting that not many parents had our plans, we headed for our favourite park.  There were only a handful of other children there so we could allow the princesses to run around more freely.  I have to thank once more the bank that sponsored it.  Watching our youngest princess The Star running around and enjoying herself falling down without hurting on the grass (in this country open areas of this kind are very rare and far between) and getting up again ready for her next sprint, I caught myself praying more business organisations feel their social conscience ticking and the need for our children to have more of this kind of spaces. 

Now a short detour….

There were less people than usual because during this weekend Pope Benedict XVI visited Malta where we live.  This Sunday (the BBC journalist got the day wrong) morning thousands of people lined the streets from where he passed in his ‘funny car’ – The Princess’s words not mine – on his way to one of the largest open spaces on the island where he said mass. Consequently less people at the park…. hey…here we’re not that many so events of this sort have a felt effect all round.  Yesterday The Princess participated in a short but beautiful event organised for children.  They gathered in front of the Presidential Palace in Valletta where they sang their hearts out and finally got to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the Pope – belated by one day but I guess in these cases it’s the thought that counts.  I had been asked to accompany her and assist as a helper with the 5000 children that were expected to attend.  I’m not sure what TP will remember most from this event…. will it be the tiredness? will it be the friendship formed in those few hours? will it be the songs? will it be the ‘funny car’? will it be the disabled children present that she observed at length and asked a million questions about? will it be the Pope? will it be the German translation of Happy Birthday she learnt? Only time will tell.

Back to our trip to the park…

More touching than The Star’s off-roading, this morning I found myself wondering when the change in The Cherub took place.  I chose this nick for her because this is what she looks like – let’s just say she’s a little on the chubby side… eh… at least for me this is what a Cherub looks like.  Today, for the first time ever, she challenged herself to attempt the climbing frames she has always pointedly refused to try.  She got half way up a very tough one and I will never forget her look of satisfaction as she looked down on me and said “Maaaaaa loooooooooook! I quickly took out my mobile and took her picture which, typically me, now I can’t transfer to the pc… But when I’ll manage I’ll attach it… promise. She didn’t go further up but came down slowly and surely and on touch down when off to the next one.  Maybe my worry that she will shy away from any sort of physical activity to become one of the dreaded by very real statistics about children who prefer to play computer games to sport is unfounded.  Only time will tell but we’ll do our very best to encourage her on.

And because unless we keep them busy, kids start making trouble we invited my sister and her husband for tea this afternoon…. 

The Cherub rolled out the dough for the sausage rolls, closed them and is now brushing the pasty with beaten egg. The Princess is rolling out the dough for the scones.

and prepared scones, sausage rolls, egg-mayo sandwiches, some fresh strawberries and loquats (I’m under the impression this is the English word for naspli).  Now, I know, my sister will probably read this, but I do have to write this next sentence down…at least to silence my conscience that troubles me every time they leave our chaotic household.  I often get the feeling that after every visit my sister, refreshes her arguments in favour of being a family of two.  I pray she will never regret whatever decision they take.  

There is much more to share, but tonight I’ll opt for enjoying the most beautiful sound in the world (according to my father too).

Good night.

Figolli time March 31, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in Life with 3 princesses.
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Where are the days going?

I wish I had less to do to enjoy doing what I have to do.  Does this make any sense? I wish I didn’t have to think of and eventually carry out all that needs doing for this family to enjoy my princesses growing up.  But such is life and carry on I must.  (This past weekend was fantastic and I got to enjoy a childfree wedding celebration – a very beautiful –  as an adult not as a parent. The couple are very dear friends of ours. But that is long forgotten. With the Easter Holidays approching the work doubles as I prepare to be more free when the princesses are all 3 at home. )

TodayTP and  I spent all morning making Figolli (traditional almond filled pastry shapes). At times I continues alone as can be imagined.  They are a time consuming item but we only do them once a year.  The best part of it is letting imagination and creativity run wild and  decorate the freshly baked figolli with royal icing.  Here the girls gave a ‘helping hand’. 

This year we did some lamb shaped and many heart shaped figolli.


Well the very very best part is sitting down to a cup of tea with figolla and blogging about the day in a finally-silent home!

me: what colour shall we make the hearts? TP: shocking piiiiiiiink