Three weeks in Europe

London

 

Italy – Pisa, Florence, Rome

 

Edinburgh

It’s a good time to be gluten intolerant

When my father first embarked on a gluten free diet, it was difficult and expensive to maintain. As the years have gone by, though, products are becoming more and more easily available. Not just in health food stores or online, but in mainstream supermarkets and at reasonable prices. And if there is something you can’t find (like really yummy hot cross buns and crumpets), you can always get good quality gluten free flour and make it yourself. Options are expanding all the time. And today I found gluten free Weet-Bix from Sanitarium! They’re made from sorghum, and they are actually really good. I am so thrilled, because Weet-Bix is one of those things you can’t easily make, and I love it. 

Reading

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This is just a straight up brag post. Elspeth, who is not yet five, is pictured here reading Henny Penny to Evelyn. Sounding words out, correcting mistakes, clearly not simply reciting from memory. Elspeth’s reading is just incredible and I am constantly amazed at what she reads, and how quickly she reads. The other day she glanced at my computer screen for a moment and then said, “I saw you type ‘eye roll.’” She’ll read product and brand names in shops, even things we don’t buy or have in our house. She’s quite the clever clogs!

Sacrifice

I think just about everybody is aware that becoming a parent is going to involve some sacrifice. You give up work for a while, you have to forgo certain social activities, you can’t sleep whenever you like. But over the last five years of motherhood, it’s the smaller things that stick out.

Music choice: I can’t listen to my own music without somebody saying “But I wanted Disney songs!”

TV and movies: Ditto, if it isn’t Disney or Pixar, it just doesn’t happen.

A leisurely meal: Any meal is inevitably going to be interrupted, either by the need to go and assist a child with something or by a child wanting some of what I’m eating.

Daydreaming: Doing nothing sends children a clear signal that now is a good time to need me.

Silence: What is that?

Walking: I can’t just stride off anymore, I’ve got to modify your pace to suit shorter legs. This has also lowered my level of fitness and my weight; I used to briskly walk everywhere, but now I either dawdle or take the bus.

Belongings: Nothing is really mine anymore, not if somebody else thinks it looks appealing. Without constant vigilance and repeated “That is not yours!” things get lost or broken.

Personal space: I can’t move without elbowing somebody in the head.

Doctors, dentists, and hairdressers: I prefer not to have two bored restless children hanging about while people are trying to do delicate or precise things to me.