It’s September and it’s back to London, back to work and back to school. We returned gratefully to the sun still shining, which we are all taking advantage of because we KNOW the clouds are coming…and the grey skies…and the rain…which we need of course, but which come and settle in for what seems days…and sometimes even weeks. Okay, enough….the sun is shining and I’m already missing it… Read more
Archive for SchoolDays
London is baking and we are all melting. I am loving it so am not complaining. My kids aren’t even complaining and they are still in school! But I need to complain a little bit about THAT. WHY are they still in school? Ah yes, the term thing again (Terminal Leave).
Last year while standing at a bus stop with C1 and C2, one of London’s Double Decker Open Top Routemasters came down the street full of ‘Hot Lifeguards’. I can’t confirm if they were ‘hot’ (I know, shame on me), because I was immediately distracted by both C1 and C2’s wanting to know, ‘why those naked men were throwing pants off the bus.’ I looked up and can confirm that they were not exactly naked, but it was difficult to see with the hailstorm of hipsters, bikinis and thongs thrown from atop the big red bus, along Kensington Church Street… Read more
C2 (who is 6), wanted to know why Americans celebrate Independence Day. This is how the conversation went at breakfast on Wednesday.
C2: So why do Americans celebrate the 4th of July?
Me: Because it is the day we declared independence from Great Britain, back in 1776.
C2: What was Great Britain doing in America?
Me: Remember we learnt that during Thanksgiving – the Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower.
C2: Oh yeah, so the Native Americans kicked out the English?
Me: Well, not quite but the American Revolution was a war.
C2: So who won?
Me: The Americans
C2: YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS !!! … Read more
C’s birthday is this week and he turns lucky 8. We celebrated his birthday and Father’s Day all weekend but that doesn’t matter come the actual day, and on the day, C would like balloons and cupcakes and to go out to his favorite burger joint around the corner after school.
I made a cake for him on Saturday and when C was helping me frost (ice) the cake, he said ‘I think we’re one of the only families that make our own cakes’. There is not enough sugar in the world to make that statement any sweeter and I was not going to spoil it by telling him that I have only made him home made cakes for the last 2 years. Now was not the time to confess. So for his actual birthday, I revert to my old ways and am off to the Hummingbird Bakery to get a few cupcakes. Read more
Shoppers love to brag about their shopping experiences but I am not a shopper. I don’t mind buying for others on special occasions but shopping as an enjoyable pastime is not my thing. Shopping out of necessity is tolerable but I want to get in and get out with no messing about. Today, I went into a London shop that is really just a door front, albeit on the High Street, but still just a door front, with a catalogue… Read more
Most London schools have 3 terms. Perpetual pregnant parents on this side of the pond. Of course they don’t call it that in school but that’s what it is. Trimesters. Threes. Kids clubs, school activities and academic calendars all follow the same rule of thumb, or maybe the first three fingers.
Now that the kids are at school full time, only a few clubs have been scheduled outside school hours. Yet, every time I finally write that check and confirm registration, it seems I trip a wire to notify the termkeepers and before I know it, a text and email reminder arrive requesting me to book ‘next term.’ Really? Already? But I just got THIS TERM sorted! I have figured out why I just can’t get the hang of it. Read more
Yesterday at the playground, while kicking the ball around with C, he shouted, ‘Good Save Mum!’ I may have inadvertently blocked a goal, which would have been more luck than skill, but I was not startled by my football skills or even my own son’s praise. It was the ‘Mum’ thing that caught my attention.
For 8 years I have referred to myself as Mom, Mommy or even Mama, yet I am under no illusion about the inevitable. I know my efforts are futile and that nature will undoubtedly prevail over nurture and I will be known, called and referred to as Mummy. But ‘Mum’ ???
Sure, I know, it’s not a big deal and kinda cute I suppose and it is most certainly a playground passage of rite required of younger boys becoming older boys but maybe…just maybe it is more than that. Could this be further proof of what I have always suspected? Read more
On the first weekend that I have ever had to myself in my own home, with my husband and children camping, I sit down to read the newspaper and my kitchen wall is mocking me. How have I not noticed those grease marks, the finger smudges, and at least a billion tiny flecks of blu tak on the wall. I am trying to ignore it but I can’t. I need to paint it.
Really? Now? Why? I know I should treat myself to a massage or go for a long walk, take in a movie or even read a book. What on earth has come over me deciding to paint my own kitchen wall. I do not even know where to buy paint, but this wall is staring back at me now, laughing at me, cajoling me into its dare.
I may not have thought this through but there is a shop across the street that I am sure will have exactly what I am looking for. But I don’t know what that is yet. One concern I do have is that my newfound determination is to paint 1 wall. Not the entire kitchen. Can I find a match? Read more
Immediately I feel like an indignant schoolgirl, slouching my shoulders and sighing out of tedium while I write, ‘I will not chew gum in class’, on the blackboard 20 times. But I politely reply , ‘Well, I suppose it is because I was NOT BORN in London’. Think about it. Wouldn’t it seem a little bit odd if I actually DID have an accent? Sure, Madonna sounded like a Brit when she lived here and Gwyneth probably does now too, but what adult American moves to another English speaking country and HONESTLY develops an authentic accent? I can tell you, it is not a natural process. You have to come from that place – otherwise it just isn’t right.
I have lived in London for 14 years. But I was born in New York… in New York City…a lot longer than 14 years ago. My passport says United States of America (and another says Republic of Ireland, but that is another story) and my residence is in the United Kingdom. I AM American, and I sound like an American. Because I grew up in America.
But I am also a Londoner, even if I don’t SOUND like one, I think. I’m not normally self obsessed with these kinds of questions because, does it REALLY matter? But lately it has been bothering me because…