Of course, the act of ironing something, whether it be your husband’s underpants or your own office-ready corporate cuffed shirt, isn’t actually related to feminism or feminist ideals in any real sense. Because you can iron, and be a feminist, as my friend S pointed out. Because, actually, you can be and do anything, and be a feminist, as my fellow feminist Emma Watson pointed out, this week, to the sound of a million clicking frantic ‘shares’ on Facebook, in her address to the UN. Right? Right. Which is the right thing to tell the kids, because apparently the world is still full of people who bristle at the word, which is a bit mental and needs addressing. Because being a feminist is a good and reasonable and healthy thing to be, and if my boys grow up not being feminists, I will consider that I failed at my job.
It is perhaps that I am just not the ironing type, and while I can appreciate a smooth crease-free surface as much as the next person, I don’t fancy actually doing it. Ever, for me, or anyone else. Of course, I did feel the ironing pressure regarding Casper’s school uniform, and did a few shirts and then realised that if he wore his jumper all day, the problem goes away. So, yeah, he gets a little hot at times, but it is a small price to pay for my Freedom From Dreary Domestic Concerns and so we just have to carry that particular burden. Or, specifically, Casper does. But it is getting colder now, so. Ahem.
Also, on that note, the baby doesn’t wear shoes even though he walks everywhere, stumbling and drunken and narrowly missing table-corners wherever we go, hands out in front like a pantomime zombie, then teetering precariously like a tight-rope-walker over wide footpaths and floor. But not with shoes, because you need to learn this walking malarkey barefoot, and not with socks, because he takes them off, and there are only so many pairs of baby socks that I am willing to lose along the A40. But how many concerned people point his brown little bare feet out to me, I ask you? Asking me where his shoes are, or his socks, and asking if he is cold, and wincing as he pads along?
It’s a constant conversation. So I say
“He doesn’t have any shoes yet. I’m from New Zealand. We don’t put little babies in shoes. It’s cultural. And it’s not THAT COLD.”
Whereupon they may well take a sideline glance at my sweltering jumpered sweaty-headed Casper, and then I slink away, fast.
Here is a photo of a roasting ox at Meatopia, a festival of meat food we went to without the children. We ate so much meat, and quaffed a few rum lemonade-y drinks and became giddy and sweaty with the lack of small people baggage and animal fat.
Here is the ox meat, carved, served in a huge yorkshire pudding, swimming in gravy and horseradish sauce. I know it looks vomity, but you have to understand it was a kind of life-changing meat experience, the kind of which I may never have again. Salty, smoky, fatty, dripping, warm and earthly and very, very pink. I am misty-eyed as I remember it.
And here is the dog, lying on the couch, exposing himself and dreaming of stolen chicken carcasses:
And last weekend, a little wander down to Portobello Road, to eat crepes and hotdogs from the Germans. Noah struggled a little with the boiling nutella, apparently.
But the real news is this: Mark, Barnaby and Noah are away this weekend at a Cub Scout camp, doing things with climbing ropes and rifles (?) and having room inspections and doing their own dishes. Barnaby, Type A, packed his bags perfectly and thoroughly on Friday morning before school. Noah, half an hour before they were due to leave, lay down on his bedroom floor and practised his Kevin The Teenager routine on me, sarcastic and whinging and self-pitying, and told me to go away when I tried to help him pack. After they left, I found all of his clothes strewn around the room. Mark said he didn’t actually pack anything, so he is borrowing Barnaby’s stuff. Dork.
Anyway, the whole weekend we have had quiet and calm, and as much as I still like the others, and will welcome them back, it’s been really good having them go away. Frankly, they should leave more often.