Friday, January 19, 2007

It's a free country

When I turned on my computer this morning, my hands went cold at the thought of people I didn't call Aunty, reading my blog. I never knew fear did that to you. I should have made pastry. Thankyou very much to anyone kind enough to leave a comment - even the slightly mean ones. Better out than in, as they say. Up to now, I haven't had to reply to any comments because I haven't had any readers - apart from Aunty (sorry about that hottub story by the way Aunty.) It is probably breaking blogger etiquette to reply to the comments on an actual post but until I figure it all out - just for today:
1.*My recipe (rather than one snatched from the net)for chocolate rice crispy cake.
Buy rice crispies. Tell the boys to put back the cheesey quavers, blackcurrant fruitshoot and 17 comics complete with 17 unnecessary toys sellotaped to the front cover. Ignore wails of "But I really wanted one of those." Stand in queue at local supermarket. Think up 53 retorts to the hatchet-faced shop assistant I always get, who seems to have taken a personal dislike to my children. Pay with a £20 note just to irritate her. Leave the shop. Return.
*Buy very organic and expensive chocolate. Hope not to get hatchet-faced assistant. Fail to recall any one of the 53 retorts when she looms up behind the till and snarls at the four-year-old for standing on the conveyor belt with a shopping basket on his head.
*Return home. Realise six-year-old has technically shoplifted the quavers. Turn on TV for the children. Make cup of tea. Eat large amount of chocolate and bag of cheesey quavers. Feel slightly sick.
*Break hypnotic spell of Scooby Doo to drag children into kitchen for mummy time. This, after all, is why I quit the day-job. Explain empty quavers packet away to small and accusatory inch-high private eyes.
*Melt chocolate.
*Allow four-year-old to pour in box of rice crispies.
*Realise this was a mistake.
*Clean up half a box of rice crispies from floor, kitchen surface, top of the oven and room upstairs that we never go in.
*Allow both boys to stir concoction with wooden spoon.
*Tell boys that hitting each with a wooden spoon is a bad thing to do.
*Realise there are no bun cases in the house
*Drive to supermarket for buncases. Hope not to get surly assistant. Give her £50 note. Smile sweetly.
*Return home. Scoop gungy spoonfuls of crisping chocolate gore into bun cases.
*Carry over to fridge with immense pride.
*Wash baby thoroughly.
(My recipe for pastry before anyone asks me for it is similar but less chocolatey.)
2.My reasons for agreeing to move to Northumberland (which I have apparently failed to explain adequately to anyone at all, including myself. This is probably as good enough time as any to do it.)
Love, simply. Mine for my husband and my husband's for this bleak and beautiful placeland. I do not know whether he realises quite how difficult it has been. I hope he does not really. I do not want him to think that I am being a martyr, all bloody and limbless. I agreed to come because he wanted it so desperately and I thought I should be willing to try something new. There aren't many laughs in that are there?
3. My voting intentions.
Iain Dale kindly linked to me on his fascinating pages and suggested in his comment I might like to vote Tory in thanks to him rather than Labour in tribute to Tom Watson who linked to me first. I had been thinking Tom could play Carlo Ponti to my Sophia Loren in the movie. Then I realised Ponti was dead? So maybe not.
This is an interesting one, because I think I am probably just the demographic David Cameron wants to vote for his party. Grateful though I am to Iain Dale and much as I would love to make it onto his blogroll, I have to be honest, Berwick upon Tweed is a Liberal Democrat constituency. Alan Beith, MP has 53% of the electorate and a majority of more than 8,500. He spends his entire life trying to dual the deathtrap known as the A1 so that post offices can travel up and down to Edinburgh in safety. That is when he is not trying to stop the RAF spooking the foxes and telling the barboured countryfolk they have a right to hunt cows. All in all, I do not think a Tory vote from me would count for that much. Sorry about that Iain. I am also slightly uneasy about the blogging equivalent of a casting couch but since my new-found happiness in Blogland is at stake, I am willing in principle, if enough readers are at stake, to vote for both Labour and Iain Dale's party - although that would mean voting twice. Perhaps I could move to Birmingham.Wife in the Midlands? Hmm.


Gordon said...

Very much liked your 'recipe.'
YOu are a talented writer and look forward to reading your stuff regularly...I made the journey in the other direction 30 years ago and while I miss much about the regrets!
Keep smiling

Minum said...

It really is a treat to read your blog, thankyou. 2.5 years ago I made a similar "big move" to improve the quality of our family life, and nearly died of misery in the first year or so. Really happy now, and glad I've learnt the art of being able to change, which I've never sucessfully done before.

I also live in a Liberal constiuency, but am quite seduced by Iain Dale's brand of toryism.

javelin said...

Keep blogging you have a great writing style.

Linda said...

I assume you know by now that you have now been made famous by Andrew Sullivan in his blog. I am a reader in NYC who once spent much time in Northumberland, having dated a man living there, but broke it off due to the fact that I couldn't imagine living in that part of the world full-time (especially in the winter). I enjoy your writing and am looking forward to reading more.

Amos said...

Came to you from another blog (political and stateside). Hope I can make you feel all squishy by letting you know someone in Boston is reading you. You're about to get a lot more traffic, M'Dear.

Leigh said...

I followed Andrew Sullivans link to your blog. I have to agree with minum, your blog is a treat. You've made me laugh out a loud more than once. Take care.
Another New Reader of your blog,
Houston, Texas

Pierre ! said...

Cherie, such whoops of joy and "how cool is that?" make this a schedule to fly with. I wish you well with your quest, and offer you my undying support.
Pierre XX

carpundit said...

Reading from the USA, thanks to the link Andrew Sullivan threw up.

Your writing is good and your stories both interesting and sympathetic. Keep it up. Does Blogger charge by the bandwidth? You're going to spike!

Anonymous said...

This blog is the best thing I have read on the web in the past twelfmonth ! Keep it up - we are rooting for you. Now Berwick - is that further up than York or not ?

I would also say [speaking as I do living in Bristol] that being sort of half-way between pretentious London, and wild & woollyfull Wales, there is no bad thing in people just admitting to liking the 'Bill'. I have no telly and prefer to read - but the 'London' thing of having to pretend that you're a snazzy fox living in 'Sunday supplement' land can get tiring eventually.

Having religious parents but not being that way inclined myself, I'm afraid I have no sympathy for you on that front - some of us have had to get to grips with that dilemma for far longer. Then again, I don't have kids, so my life is easier..

Don't give up though, London is going down the pan, and whilst where you are now may not be ideal, I am sure you will find a happy medium in the not too distant future.

p.s. sorry I'm rambling, but have a squiz at the Karren Hardie website - she had to make a big adjustment in her life, and she has some 'top tips' - you never know you may end up on 'Strictly Come Dancing' !!

teapotmeister said...

This was once a 'one cup read' its a full "pot", twice over...a stirring lincture.

Anonymous said...

Lovely blog. Heart-wrenchingly sad, but achingly well-written. Love it. (thank you Tom Watson)

Alex said...

I'd more then happily swop, and return to Northumberland from London...

dylan said...

Well you are not so isolated as to suffer the loss of crispies and quavers. Imagine if you had to actually make your own! Now that would really make for an adventure. What if you moved just a little further out from where you are? Just beyond the fringe. Maybe an island? You could turn that into a TV show! And eventually, here in the US, we would copy it and broadcast your life, at that point twice fictionalized, all over the place. But you can also keep things as they are, which is great.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is wonderful! I love your writing style and humor. I only discovered you yesterday, but look forward to reading you daily. I, too, was transplanted with young children many years ago from a large metropolitan area to a rural area, so I understand your trials. If you can continue to see humor in those trials, your success is assured. Please keep us updated on the house.

A stateside friend.

wife in the north said...

Minum: yes there is definitely an art to change
As a newcomer to blogging - what is a spike?

Ben Jephcott said...

Tracking back after being linked to your current troubles with Tory minders by Manda Scott. So are you going to vote for Alan Beith once again, or the Conservative.

I love your writing style, it jumps off the page / screen.

Ben in Shropshire