Tagged: Family life

Music and madness x

(A pic of my fantasy music room in Paris)

The only time I play the piano now is at Christmas. I have a battered old carol book that gets pulled out every year and the fingers get dusted off.  The violin does come out of it’s case occasionally – we got together with friends on the 4 Jan (should’ve been the 6, except that was a Monday) to celebrate an Armenian Christmas (none of us are Armenian) with gifts of traditional dress, food, music and dance. I was on the fiddle, the husband was singing, Charlie on the drums and Bella on the Tamborine: As is every parents right,The video will be used to mortify them on their eighteenth birthdays. Needless to say, it was a fabulous evening, of the type we need more of. For me, it was interesting in that it has always been the spontaneous music making that I have loved, not restricted by notes, rules and history. Neither of my children play instruments, they’ve been offered them, Bella even played the flute for a while, but it takes a lot of discipline to play an instrument well.  And the truth is, much of that discipline comes via parents who can see the end game.  Which does work to a certain extent.  But the real heart is when a child will sit down and play just because they want to.


This is something, particularly as an ex-professional musician, I have thought a lot about; I would like Bella and Charlie to be able to create music themselves – it is one of life’s great joys –  but maybe in a less formal way. And I think I’ve found the answer: I’ve come across Piano Note on Youtube. A series of piano lessons designed by song writer and recording artist Lisa Witt, where the manuscript is thrown out with the rule book, instead everything is taught through chords and chord progression. This means you progress much faster, develop your ears and learn to accompany yourself to your favourite songs. Who needs more?



Bella and I are playing for 15 minutes a day. We’re hoping to persuade Charlie to join us.  And who knows, maybe it’ll lead to more amazing evenings like this one.


I hope so.

Laters, Kate x

RIP Kiwi..


Bella and Charlie had a lesson in the fragility of life this week when one of their much loved dwarf hamsters, Kiwi died.


I think as a parent part of the reason you agree to pets is to open that door to the experience of the circle of life: To love something, be totally involved…and then to lose it…death is the bleakness lurking in the shadows..it’s the moment the clouds close over the sun..

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They decorated the coffin, layered it with love..and Charlie wrote a poem..

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We did a funeral service..I sang (probably not the highlight) but I’m hoping this experience will give them something to remember when something more serious inevitably happens.  It makes you sadly realise how jaded you become as a adult – and how the innocence of childhood needs to be treasured: Little things do matter.

Laters, Kate x

Pockets, Pockets, Pockets x


Time is a muscle that needs to be stretched and I’ve been doing my best to limber it up without running the risk of becoming a frazzled, urban melodrama.  It’s a fine line.

– There’s the new fitness regime: I don’t want to hit that New Year winter coat without having done something, and I’d like that something to be a enjoyable, new, permanent addition. Swimming (good for the joints I hear) seems to be it.

– I’ve just done a massive summer/autumn clean of the house from cellar to attic (After the summer hols the house starts working as a dam of clutter and misplaced objet d’art holding back ideas n free flow, but it means wading through the detritus before calm descends. Which I thought it had, except now I can’t find anything.  The calendar anyone?

– I have an Art Project with a deadline in November (more later).

– And the house – we hope to start renovations after Christmas, but it all needs planning and research..it’s the sort of thing that is very necessary and rather enjoyable but sucks the hours away.  Thankfully I’m beginning to make interesting discoveries, like space-saving pocket doors – not seen much in the UK, but they are the perfect room divider.  This initial idea came from Pinterest and is American, all the doors on the UK sites are very modern…I like the idea of vintage doors complete with beading and a bit of stained glass…I think more research is needed..


Now..What’s the time?

Laters, Kate x

The Tooth Fairy x


Up there with Father Christmas is the parental joy of being a tooth fairy: There can’t be many times in your life you’re allowed to flutter about a room to offload and collect your special cargo.  Except it’s never as simple as that..particularly when the tooth is accompanied by a secret letter..



Job one: Wait till child is asleep, creep in, sneak letter out from under pillow..

2. Compose response on bits of tissue paper with fancy writing, chuckling at your own cunning and ingenuity..

3. Decide to take it a step further – find leaf from the garden to wrap letter and money in. Seventh heaven!  (Husband shakes his head in despair..)


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4. Head to bedroom. Move stealthily towards bed.

5. Disaster! Drop tiny letter from leaf somewhere on dark floor near bed.

6. Flee out.  Find torch app on mobile phone.  Enter bedroom again.

7. On hands and knees eventually find letter under bed, but knock the Furbie next to the bed in excitement of success…it springs to life, dancing and singing.

8. Run to the door with errant Furbie clutched in hands.

9. Wait 30 minutes before returning to complete task.

10. Stupidly leave effing Furbie on own bedside table.  Effing Furbie proceeds to wake through the night.  Effing Furbie gets thrown down the stairs…


Then a few days later I found this in the garden, under a bush:



It reads..Dear Pretty One, Please may I have a magic necklace so that I can turn myself into a mermaid with a turquoise tail…


Rod, own back…


Laters, Kate x