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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

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0001/8314/products/Nigella-Keep-Calm-Mug-MAIN_large.jpg?1276104373

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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.

Mugs May 9, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in about me.
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Today, I’m going to write about mugs….yes, the ones we drink tea or coffee out of.  More precisely I am going to celebrate my success of this last year.

Seems confusing?  Well….maybe… So let’s start at the very beginning.

This time last year we were celebrating Mother’s Day as we’ll do tomorrow.  This time last year I had a 4  month old baby that I was still exclusively breastfeeding,  a toddler of 2 years 3 months, and a little girl of 3 years 8 months.  As you can well imagine I was not exactly a happy mother of 3 beautiful, perfect, little princesses, but an exhausted one.  We had had a very wet and cold winter and I didn’t leave the house at all except to take the baby to her medical appointments.  Can you imagine … 4 months blocked at home, busy all day and night with the kids?  Well I can.  I was there.

On last year’s Mother’s Day we travelled to Gozo, where my parents live, for the weekend.  It was probably our first visit there since the baby had been born.  At one point during the day, my man and the two older girls came up to me with a bright  blue shiny Upim bag (with the shop’s logo emblazoned on both sides).  I remember feeling rather curious about  what they could have gotten me from this shop.  As I slowly unwrapped the packets I found myself looking at 6 identical mugs.

“So what’s the big deal?” you might be saying.

The thing is that they were not like this

neither like this

nor like this.

But like this

And there’s wasn’t just one of them but six!

I remember feeling like crying at that moment.  I now know exactly the meaning of “my heart fell”.  Of all the mugs there were on the market I had to get the most ugly colour one can imagine.  For my little break from my ‘dreary’ life, I was going to have to look at the saddest colour of them all. I remember looking at the bag and thinking “I like the bag better than the mugs”.  And the bag is horrendous.

This time last year, if I had time to make myself a cuppa, it meant I had a little time for me.  It meant I was going to enjoy making and drinking my tea while it is still warm.  It meant that I was going to let myself be transported with my thoughts else where for a few moments.  In my ‘uneventuful’ and colourless life, this was my only moment of escape.  And I couldn’t bring my self even to put these mugs on the shelf with the others.  I hid them in a cupboard that I never open.

A couple of days later I finally brought myself to disclose this to my sister.  I was so very ashamed of my self.  I’m not one who can hide her feelings.   But this is the one time I hid them.  I was so ashamed of my feelings over half a dozen stupid mugs!  My sister fully understood what I was trying to say.  I remember feeling so relieved that someone understood me and didn’t think I was becoming neurotic.  She proved me this when a couple of days later she turned up with these.

Lovely, aren’t they?

And for a long time, they were the mugs I reached for, for my little, far-between quiet moments.

On re-reading the above, I realize I was either on the verge of some kind of depression or completely exhausted, this time last year.  This is not to say that this year I’m not exhausted, because I am.  But I’m definitely not depressed.  Since then, I brought the mugs out of their dark corner and have even shared this experience with my man.  I now use the mugs even purposely.  I have discovered their single, not-to-be-ignored, plus – they keep tea warm much longer!  For someone who needs to be doing one million other things while having breakfast, this is most definitely a plus for the mugs.