Cold, and colds.

Yesterday, according to my new iPhone, it was minus 5 degrees outside. All plans of driving to a National Trust property to have scones and tea and play in the gardens or other equally ambitious ideas of going mudlarking on the Thames searching for clay pipes and roman coins were put quietly aside. Going out the door in this current cold snap is like walking into a refrigerator and closing the door behind you, but not in a *fun* way.

And we are all recovering from some terrible flu-esque swollen-gland sore-throat fevery thing which made us all sick last week and which made us wonder again why are we here by ourselves with no one to look after us. Sometimes you really need a mum/sister/cousin/best friend to mind the kids while you go and sweat your fever away in a dark room with only a few lemon and honey drinks to break the delirium. Casper got tonsilitis, Noah’s eardrum perforated and the baby suffered from very bad dreadlocks:

It has been a tough week.

My ‘running’ has been tossed aside for blankets and radiators and two episodes each a night of The Killing. (It is as good as everyone says, and Sarah Lund’s jumpers exceed their hype. And I now believe I can understand Danish.) All evening appointments have been cancelled, the school run has been undertaken in the car. I haven’t eaten anything other than chicken broth since Monday, and we have been through about 7 bottles of Calpol. I am waiting for my jeans to slip down off my hips in a thin snakey sickly kind of way. I thought not eating food for a week would show somehow, but the jeans still refuse to budge, the cheeks remain full, the arms plump like good italian sausages. I don’t even have romantic consumptive hollows under my eyes. WHAT IS THE POINT OF ALL THAT SUFFERING?

Anyhoo. There have been two birthdays in the last two weeks. I made Barnaby a spider cake, which was specifically requested. It was a triumph, if you don’t mind the shameless bragging.

Ned then turned two and he got a supermarket cake. The rule is, if you are too small to notice that your mother bought the cake for you at the supermarket alongside sausages and toilet paper on the day of your Actual Birthday, then you are too small for your mother to feel like she was Bad. Or something like that. There is, of course, no question that birth order has quite a lot to do with all of this, and that each kid after Barnaby gets a significantly less-generous quota of the Mother-Feels-Obligated tasks. Sorry about that, small fellas, but it is biology. Beyond my control.

Here is the Hedgehog cake blazing with all the ferocious intent of an actual furnace with a stunned and pathetically-grateful Ned:

Watch that small and chubby baby-hand, there, Son.
So post-birthday we all got ill and lay down a lot and watched telly and we cried and we sweated and we coughed and we used a lot of drugs. Then we got better and now it is the holidays. HURRAH!
And I have been going out in the company of women all weekend and I feel a bit of love for the ladies, really. Friday night was Bookclub, where we talked a little about Tea Olbrecht’s  The Tiger’s Wife, a lot about my trip home, mudlarking, kale salad and whether children need fables in their lives. The women are clever and funny and everyone has really good skin. It is very aspirational. And then yesterday, we did THIS MAGNIFICENTNESS:
Pret A Portea at The Berkeley Hotel as a pre-baby send off to the lovely and very funny Jo. The patisserie was served on Paul Smith-designed crockery and had been inspired by A/W collections from Sonia Rykiel, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, Burberry (the trench, obv), Valentino etc etc. There were some very odd savoury fishy bits underneath the cake which seemed to have no relation to clothing, and sandwiches that were channelling nothing really but egg and beef and salmon influences, but the cakes were excellent and properly mental. The Miu Miu heels spoke for themselves, really:
Soooo much more fun than sweating on the couch.
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6 Responses to Cold, and colds.

  1. Jane says:

    Hang on hang on HANG ON!!!! A CAR?!! Wow, times are a changin’ in old London town!! P.S. Love the pics

  2. theharridan says:

    TWO cars, Jane, TWO! Yes. It makes sightseeing of a weekend that much more fun, and quick trips to the Westfield for coffee from the New Zealand cafe now take about 4 minutes on the westway. And no accidents yet, hurrah!

  3. Ah, the delights of shared rhinovirus, it almost makes me pine for the days of whining, sniveleing noses, red-rimmed eyes and scabby nostrils, demands for “magic medicine” and deep, inner warmth.

    I’m just glad I discovered whisky. It doesn’t stop the symptoms, but after a few, you just don’t care anymore.

    PS It works on the kiddies as well.
    What fun.

  4. alison cross says:

    A single child leaving trails of snot behind him like a small, flu-ridden snail is bad enough….but for the entire TRIBE to be down with it must have been horrendous *makes mental note to buy shares in Kleenex*

    Those cakes are SPECTACULAR and it looks like a good time was had by all. I would have been the Greedy Guts that inhaled them all, leaving the others with the sandwiches.

    Hope you get to go mudlarking soon – that sounds excellent fun!

    Ali x

  5. Ban says:

    Although the spider cake is by far superior to the hedgehog the latter is still very cute and appropriate for a 2 year old. Happy birthday boys….. we are gearing up for 2 birthdays here soon.

    I hope you’re all feeling better now and the running can resume. I haven’t run all week and there is no sickness here to blame!

  6. The cake rule needs formalised and publicised.

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