Yesterday, while pretending to supervise teeth-brushing but actually usuing the time to study my reflection in the mirror in the boy’s room which shows up all the bumps and pigment damage and new lines, I discovered I am getting furry on the face. There are quite long blonde fine wispy hairs which, frankly, constitute a blonde man’s ‘tache, and some downy bits covering my lower cheeks. Which came from nowhere, and probably have to do with some man hormones combating my woman hormones and WINNING. So, ageing is also a tiny bit about morphing into maleness. WHO KNEW?


We noticed this on our hallway wall:


And we asked the boys who did it. They all looked completely surprised that we even asked, and each mumbled something about it not being them. We figured out that Ned couldn’t do it because he’s too small (note short tawny head in the bottom of the photo) and Barnaby wouldn’t have done it because he takes his drawings very seriously, and that one in any case would have shamed him with inaccuracy and roughness. So it was one of the middle kids, neither short, both a bit free with the wall-decorating compulsions. So a few days later Mark was wandering down the hall with Casper, and he pointed to it and said

“Whoa, that’s really awesome! Who did that?”

To which Casper proudly said “ME! Its a melting snowman, can you see?” And Mark turned all wolf-like and told him he must never draw on our walls, and Casper got all indignant and said that Ned must have done it.

They are all a little bit thick.

Here’s the dog, who is similarly a bit thick, and a tiny bit annoying. I’d say the piechart assessment is for Magic The Excitable Biting Puppy about 25% annoying, 25% really lovely, 10% gross-clean-ups, 40% hides-under-the-kitchen-cabinets-and-we-forget-about-him.


Cute though, and so ultimately forgivable for the damage done to our stuff, the poo-chores, the wee, the barking and bad dog-bone meaty smells which have begun to seep from the couch where he sits. The couch which is now getting foam torn from its insides, piece by piece.

We had two birthdays. Barnaby turned 8 and asked for a volcano cake with velociraptors on it. He designed it, and we tried to make it. It got a bit over-embellished for my clean aesthetic (controlling) tastes, but it wasn’t about me, ahem, and so I let it turn into this:


See? And that is a little kid-hand in the bottom of the photo, not toes, as my dear friend Elizabeth had thought. Even I draw the line at feet in cakes. You see how the cake looks violently assembled and a tiny bit vomity? It kills me.

Then we had a day in Paris without children or dogs or even luggage, just ourselves, a lunch date, and hours in which to explore Les Puces for French vintage ephemera. Here’s the brasserie:



And us, all excited to be on a date in Paris BY OURSELVES!


We fell asleep in the Eurostar going there, and fell asleep on the way back, and the incredible, beautiful, amazing babysitter had them all asleep in bed when we got home at 7pm. It was like a gift from the heavens. And we brought home bread and a pear tart and high-fived ourselves for days.

And now we are halfway into a mid-term break, and we are crossing off our Holiday List with trips to the Science Museum, the Hayward Gallery for the Light Show, the cinema, hours of uninterrupted Lego playing, sleep-ins and trips to the park to sit on logs and fall in mud. Here’s the chopped-down tree which has provided the children with hours of boyish passion:


In other news, my running has been scaled down to 21kms a week, I am eating a bit more cake than I should, we are looking at houses to buy in Acton, and I am desperately trying to persuade Mark that we need a holiday in Sicily in July. He is a stubborn, stubborn man.

Right, me and my glistening ‘tache are off to feed the blanketed TV-watching children some eggs and to rescue some shoes/modem wires/bank statements from out of the dog’s mouth.

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9 Responses to Moustache

  1. Gem says:

    I liken reading your blog to going on holiday. It has the excitement of the build-up of anticipation and expectation. Then during the actual proceedings, it fills me up to the brim with the pleasure I knew it would, and I enjoy every second. Then the flatness sets in when it all comes to an end and I start looking forward to the next one. Does that make sense?!
    Gem xx x

  2. Georgie says:

    Excellent writing Jodi. Always funny and cool. The Parisian photos! Oh god, they’re just so beautiful! Good tricking by Mark.
    Aaaaand I too have gained some extra hairs (unfortunately not just blonde) in the moustache region. Mine turned up a few years ago I thought to coincide with becoming a teacher…. So that the evil teenagers would have something extra (and real) to mock me with. Not that I ever heard any specifically mo’ leaning insults.
    Anyway, I love your blog. Xxxx

  3. Fedora Four says:

    You’re back! Went a bit OCD on the checking for a new post – badgers are real-badgersarereal-BADGERSAREREAL

    • shambition says:

      Me too! Managed to get distracted for 2 days & lo, there is a new 2-day old post.
      Anyhoo! I keep seeing the facial hair, saying “god, no!” then forgetting & finding it’s not there when I look again. Cyclical? But I’m resigned to being at the start of a new stage in my life where I will start losing head hair & sprouting chin hair simultaneously. Sigh…

  4. Mel says:

    Yes, nobody warns you about the facial hair. I’m thinking of hiring myself out as a lookalike for General Kitchener in case there;s any demand for it. Great post as ever, glad all is well. I think I also picked up that you have some other news from a conversation you were having with someone that decided to display itself on my news feed (and possibly everybody else’s that you know….). Good old facebook….

  5. Kerry says:

    You need to give me the number of the babysitter who has them all asleep in bed by 7PM!
    Loving Mark’s reverse psychology with the wall art.

  6. alisoncross says:

    The wall art – well, Banksy had to start somewhere and it might just have been crayon in the hallway 😀 Puppy is gorgeous. I cannot face the house-training and will probably give a home to something with a grey muzzle and a limp at a date in the near future. Don’t worry about the moustache. My girlfriend’s daughter (when much smaller) asked me why I didn’t also grow a beard. I had my first electrolysis session as quickly as I could thereafter and I wish I’d done it YEARS ago. And you got to Paris!!!! Looooovely blog post – am feeling all cheered up now, fanks! Ali x

  7. Gen says:

    Hey Jodi, a great blog. Lovely to hear how you guys are getting on. You are a truly amazing, unique and patient person. Boys all look great. Oh how I laughed when you said you had been to Paris for the weekend alone. Gosh it must be six years ago that we went together that weekend with the two boys in the double buggy to celebrate James birthday! How blissfully ignorant I was to the demands of wee children. Sending our love Genevieve

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