Thursday, 28 June 2012

Cakes galore!

Just stopping by for 10 minutes (I must be strict this morning as I have a heap of stuff to do), to tell you about some things I've been working on.  I usually try to start work for the day in time for Woman's Hour at 10am - it gives me enought time to deposit various children to various places and whizz round with the hoover.....alhtough this morning my lovely husband has done that job.  Hence the 10 minutes!

This month is all about CAKES!  So far I have delivered a 30th birthday cake to a very happy mum, looking forward to treating her daughter to champagne today.  The family have two black labradors; mother and daughter and apparently the younger dog is cheeky and mischevious and loves to chase blackbirds in the park, whilst mummy dog looks on in disdain! 

Hopefully I have captured the different characters. 

I hope they have a wonderful day today.

Next on the list is a surprize, so I can't tell you about that one yet....
Next week I am working on a Wedding cake - a four tier affair with intricate details and a fun colour theme - again - I'll have to show and tell that after the Big Day!

These are some beautiful poppies in my mum's garden - aren't they gorgeous?!
The week after that is The Fete in the Park at which I am holding a stall, selling my stuff.  Now, I may be slightly mad to even think of this idea - but I saw a poster yesterday for a Sports themed cake competition.  "Hmmmm," I thought, "Should I just extend the period of stickiness in the kitchen for a week or so longer?"  The thought has kind of gripped me now, and I'm really bad at not doing things once I've had the idea.  My thinking was, what if I did an Olympics themed cake and auctioned it to raise a bit of money for Children on the Edge?  The Olympic Torch is coming through Petworth a couple of days after the Fete, so it would be the perfect Party centrepiece.  The idea is a hot one.

Last year, I auctioned one of my dolls for this brilliant charity and it's such a fantastic cause.  What do you think?  Am I one step away from madness?
Oh, it's aslo Cadan's 10th birthday the week after that.....but, hey, I'll be on a roll by then!
So, this morning's task is a bag commission and I can hear the news on the radio starting, so I'd better get on.

Aaaaah, so lovely to have a morning in the house without children.....just for a bit! xxx

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Give me your hands, if we be friends....

Nobody really tells you that the most exhausting bit of parenthood is not the sleepless nights, smelly nappies, taxi runs and constant tidying up job....oh, no - that's just the beginning.  The real hard work is in the emotional shaping and nurturing of a child and the way you feel every minute of it with them.  This week has been much like any other, with a few Mummery moments thrown in and my heart has been tested and squeezed by those ever growing boys of mine.

My family moved from Yorkshire to Sussex when I was 9 and I left behind  a lovely, sweet friend called Zoe.  I went through a really tough time in the next few school I was in as my family gradually settled into life "Down South".  I have a large "Port wine" birthmark on my left cheek which was significanly brighter when I was a child. Added to my very peculiar accent, this made me the perfect target for bullying.  I was thoroughly miserable for the 6 months I was at my first Southern school - being called all sorts of horrible names and spending most break times on my own, frantically writing down how I felt so that I could relay it to my mum when I got home; a kind of comfort blanket tactic.  I must have looked as odd as I sounded!  Things improved a little in my next school, but then the time came for "Big school" and after a family holiday booked in the first two weeks of term (NEVER do this to your children, please!) I found myself in a school where everybody seemed to have already made their friends and found their way round this terrifying complex of buildings.  I threw myself into working as hard as I could.

There is a reason I'm giving you this story of my life!  I've been having lots of conversations with my eldest boys recently about friendship and confidence and compassion and all those other things that go into growing up into a world worthy person.  I found myself telling number 2 son my story the other day - partly because I wanted him to know that others (even his mum) had been there before him on this well trodden path, but also because I wanted him to know that you do get through it and you are a better, more rounded, more compassionate and loving person.....not despite of it, but because of it.  I reckon a lot of the resilience I have now is thanks to the girls who pushed me over in the hall as I was waiting for lessons.  I think the empathy I can feel for others who are hurting is due to those boys who called me foul names.  I believe I am able to see things through to the end and work hard now, partly because I was branded the "school creep" and "Teacher's pet".  It was horribly tough at the time and I know I cried myself to sleep many Sunday nights.  I felt battered and bruised emotionally and remember feeling like I was someone very strange not to see the world the way these ever so confident people did.  Because they did seem ever so confident......

It's harder still when you are coaching your own child through the rigours of institutional education, which I have a definite love/hate relationship with at the best of times.  I would go through it all again rather than them if I could.  You just can't know as a child that these things are not only temporary, but are usually the product of someone else's unhappiness and self doubt.  I know in my heart though that they will be OK, because the message they get here is "You are loved, you are special, you are amazing and unique and you are watched over, every minute of the day." 

One of my deepest hopes for all my 5 boys is that they receive the precious gift I did when I was at school - a faithful friend.  A few weeks into this horror, I met two friends, one of whom is still my "soul mate" friend, who I don't have to talk to for months, but will know how I am feeling after the first "hello".  Knowing that you have one person who will know your heart - know who you are inside and who you can trust utterly is the most precious gift you could ever be given.

My other deep hope is that they take these experiences and absorb them into their personalities, like food for the soul, one day becoming fine young men who are confident enough in who they are not to stick up for themselves - because that's easy with a bit of bluster and attitude - but to stick up for others.  That's where the real bravery lies.

P.S. The photos have nothing to do with the post, I just thought I'd show you some of my pretty rain covered flowers and a few things I've been making.....because that would be better to look at than pictures of me as a 9 year old....