Thursday, June 27

Small triumphs

Sports Day.

Lapin runs elegantly and floats into a very close second place. She is disappointed to be beaten by her best friend again but has high hopes for the long distance race. She runs her heart out and finishes distraught, ribcage heaving and tears streaming. 5th place will not do, despite my best efforts to comfort her (and point out her young age in comparison to the others.)

Bounce runs with great determination, his eyes locked on the finish line and his little legs thundering up and down. He is 5th and very pleased as he beat the one boy he really wanted to.

With strong encouragement, I run the Mothers' Race and win. Again. It is becoming embarrassing but I confess my competitive spirit is so strong that I am fiercely determined to burst through that ribbon first.

The smalls are very proud of me, and I of them, and that makes me smile.

Tuesday, November 13


I have a sunny disposition and can usually be relied upon to find a positive slant on almost every situaton but I confess that having to deal with the fall out from Sunday's disaster has made me feel very grumpy.  What irks me most is that the dogs' owner can choose what happens next. All he has to do is prove to the Dog Warden's satisfaction that he will in future ensure the dogs are kept within his property and then they remain in hs care. He can choose to put them down if he fears that they may pose a threat to other animals or people, or not if he feels there is no threat. This irritates me no end as due to his negligence we had no choice about the demise of the rabbits, even though we were keeping them responsibly and in a safe place. I wish I could say that there is no doubt that the animals pose no threat but I am terribly afraid that one day in the future I will be forced to say "I did warn you" and it wll not be with any sense of triumph.

Monday, November 12

Mindless violence

Picture from The Guardian
Whilst we were solemnly observing two minutes silence on the train at Gatwick, pausing to think of all the fallen who have given so much so we may be free to choose our futures, a mini massacre was taking place in our garden.  A pair of Rhodesian Ridgebacks, escaped from their garden and roaming unchecked for the fourth time this week, launched such a ferocious attack on the hutch that it is broken beyond reasonable repair and the rabbits were left sadly defenceless. Thankfully the children were not present to see the ten minutes of carnage that left their beloved rabbits strewn in pieces across the lawn but their devastation has been heart rending to say the least. The dogs' owner has been, wringing his hands and wondering what he can do to make things better. As Lapin says nothing will make it better as Stanley cannot be replaced. As you can see, he was not your ordinary rabbit.

In the grand scheme of war and the many hundreds of thousands of lives lost, two rabbits is not the end of the world. However, we have lost two great friends and the gap in our lives is palpable.

Wednesday, September 12


What was the best thing about going to the Parade?

Bounce replies "I saw Mo, he saw me and we did the Mobot together."

Well worth the trip.

Wednesday, September 5

Mourning a Gentleman

Early this morning a great man was taken gently into the endless night, a man to whom the epithet Gentleman truly belonged. 

John Lawrence was a fearless and talented amateur jockey and also a journalist of great professionalism, insight and wit. A man with such integrity and humility he filed copy for the Telegraph shortly after being passed on the long Aintree run-in during the 1963 Grand National without showing any great bitterness in that last gasp defeat.

 Picture from the Daily Telegraph

Later as Lord Oaksey (having inherited the title from his father) he was a founding Trustee of the Farrell-Brookshaw Fund which became the Injured Jockeys Fund, providing financial and pastoral assistance to jockeys forced to end their career through injury.

A man of great wit and humour he exuded intelligence and mishief in equal measure and was rarely without a chuckle.  His autobiography Mince Pie for Starters is typically self deprecating and the audio version, read by John himself, told with such amusement the listener feels great pity not to have been there at the time. 

I was honoured to have known him albeit briefly in the twilight of his years and shall remember him with great fondness and respect.

Thursday, July 26

Sartorial opinions

Cycling in to town this morning, enjoying the early morning balmy warmth on our skin, we chatted idly of this and that until Lapin suddenly spluttered the following phrase with utter distain:

"Mummy, why is that man wearing socks with sandals?"

and then with some surprise:

"Why are you laughing? What is so funny about that?"

and finally in a disgusted tone:

"And they were navy socks with cream sandals."

Is it any wonder I find cycling in a straight line so tricky?

Wednesday, February 29

Innocent gluttony

In a few minutes of post-school artistic activity, (whilst his laissez faire mother attended to some emails upstairs) Bounce absentmindedly ate his way through nearly a pound of dried apricots. When faced with his parents' laughing incredulity he innocently said

"but I was hungry, and I'm allowed to eat fruit."

We await the consequences nervously.

*Picure from