Riding boots

My sister in law was wearing these marvellous riding boots at Christmas (she, unlike me, actually has a horse so they are Proper Ones).

Riding boots
Riding boots

I ended up googling them and then ordering them from a place called Satin Stitch Equestrian.  I ordered them on Boxing Day but hadn’t taken into account that this place is not Amazon so the boots only got dispatched on 8 January (meaning I wasn’t in the IoW to collect them).  All was well, however – my husband’s parents went and got them from the Post Office.

They are pretty comfy.  I have an old pair of brown leather boots which are meant to look like riding boots but which have entirely fallen apart around the heel so I hope these will be more long lasting.  I wore them for a long tramp around the grounds at Osborne House on their first day and they kept me warm.

Eggy Matzos

At the weekend, my son likes to have eggy matzos for breakfast (I refuse to cook them in the week as it takes too long).  Technically these are Matzo Brei but I’m sure I don’t make them the correct way.

I first read about this in an Annabel Karmel book and it’s one of the few things that I still make.  I use three eggs and three matzos (AK says to use one egg per two matzos but I changed it).  Break the matzos into pieces and soak them in a bowl with cold water.  Beat the eggs in a jug.  Drain the water and squeeze out the excess.  Add the beaten egg to the matzos.

Heat up a frying pan with some butter.  Add the eggy matzos – you want them to fill the pan in the same way a pancake would.  From this point, cook in the same way as a pancake – you will need to turn it halfway through.

We each get a third
We each get a third

Some people add icing sugar but I think my children get enough sugar.

Jupiter!

At the weekend, my husband went skiing with a load of other guys so I had the children by myself all weekend.  We took the opportunity to do a picture of Jupiter for my son’s Show and Tell (which is in a week and a half).

Jupiter, Earth and a picture of the Juno probe
Jupiter, Earth and a picture of the Juno probe

The thing with stuff like this is that it needs to be something that your child can reasonably do a lot of themselves.  I bought a load of coloured card and some sheets of white tissue from that art shop Cass.  We drew around a tray that goes in the microwave when we want to use it as a convection oven for the Jupiter circle and drew around an egg cup for the Earth circle.  The relative dimensions aren’t quite right – Jupiter has a diameter which is 11.2 times that os Earth – but it was the best we could do.

To get the lines across Jupiter, we cut out strips of different coloured card and tissue and glued them onto Jupiter.  The tadpole-like shape you see is the Great Red Spot.

For Earth, my son cut out some little green blobs and stuck them onto the blue circle.  The white tissue at the top and bottom represent the polar ice caps.

New clothes for the girl

Boden have been having a sale and I ended up buying this top and trousers for my daughter from their clearance section.

T shirt and jodhpurs
T shirt and jodhpurs

The jodhpurs were £7.80 (originally £19.50) and the T shirt was £4.35 (originally £14.50).  There is some nice stuff in the clearance section but it is mainly for ages 11+ (stuff that would be super on my three year old but that few thirteen year olds would willingly wear).

Swollen face

Yesterday, I woke up to a seriously swollen face – the top left hand of my cheek makes me look like a lopsided chipmunk.

Ugh
Ugh

I had thought that I’d just need antibiotics and that I’d had an ulcer that had got infected.  Unfortunately, the dentist had a look, took another X-ray (I’d had one at my check up last week but then, of course, I felt absolutely fine) and did this horrid thing where he made all my teeth cold to check that they still have feeling.  The X-ray didn’t reveal anything very interesting but the overall result is that I need a … root canal <“shudders”>.

I have been prescribed some antibiotics for my swollen face so that should clear up soon.

I don’t much like going to the dentist.  It makes me feel sweaty and anxious even thinking about it.  Even though I KNOW that this bunch know what they are doing.

I have an appointment with the root canal specialist a week on Friday.  It is an hour and a half long, which terrifies me.  I know that there are people who are far worse off than I am.  I mean, there are people in war zones.  People who couldn’t afford the cost of the root canal (I have insurance, thank goodness).

I still feel rather sorry for myself.

The last of the children’s ski gear

Yesterday, the last two things I’d ordered for the children arrived.

Ski goggles for the girl and mittens for the boy
Ski goggles for the girl and mittens for the boy

My daughter chose the goggles herself (although there were only two colours to choose from – blue and pink).  The mittens were about 30 quid – last year, my son’s gloves were lost pinched at his ski school so this pair are going to be covered in name labels.  Do you think it would be overkill to sew in name tapes?  On the tag, not through the glove shell, obviously.

Piano

A couple of months ago, Knowing Kimberley had a nice post about her daughter learning to play the piano.  My son has just started piano lessons (he asked for them but children are fickle), leaving us with rather a dilemma.  You see, people who are musical tend to say that you really, really need a real piano if you want to play.  However, as we live in north London, we have no wall space for an upright and would need to get rid of a piece of furniture to fit one in.  Which would break my heart if no one ends up playing it.  Never mind the cost.  Still, he needed something to practise on.

We ended up getting this:

We bought this in the Yamaha shop in Soho
We bought this in the Yamaha shop in Soho – weighted keyboard with 88 keys

We’ve all had a go on it and have discovered that playing the piano is more difficult than it looks.  My left hand is not used to having to work particularly hard.  Plus, I am not used to having to move my hands over the keys – I played the trumpet as a child and that wasn’t a skill I needed.

So I’ve decided to get some lessons.  I’ve had a look on Gumtree, Next Door and here and have found someone who teaches part time at a school and is able to give lessons in the day at my house.