Welcome To Springtime (In Baby Animal Gifs!)

Little rabbit gets a big kiss.

Cutest Baby Animal GIFs Pitbull

Little orangutan gets a shower.

Baby Orangutan Bath

Little monkey gets a bath.

Baby Monkey Bath GIF

Little hedgehog licks the hard-to-reach bits.

Baby Hedgehog GIF

Little polar bear learns to walk.

Baby Polar Bear Learns To Walk

Little cat schools big dog.

Dog Boop GIF

Little bat yawns.

Baby Bat GIF

And finally: little pig crawls out from under his blankie.

Cutest Baby Animal GIFs Baby Pig

“Spring is the time of plans and projects, ” said Tolstoy in Anna Karenina.  My project:  to keep plugging away at my book, and to keep trying to manage my naughty spine with good grace. What are your plans for the season?  


The Art Of Conversation


Photos by Hugh Mangum from the Duke University Archive


‘I love you, Pudding’, I told my sweet three-year old in the car this week.

‘I know,’ she replied. ‘But ’I love Daddy the best.’

‘That’s not so nice to say that’, I said. Pudding was confused.

‘I not say I hate you,’ she explained.  ’I just mean Dad’s better than you.’

‘Yes,’ I said. I thought I’d drop it. It reminded me of the time a two-year old Peanut summoned me to her room at 2am to tell me the same thing. Thanks, ladies. I’ll just go wash some more of your clothes, shall I?

But I’ve confused poor young Pudding. Yesterday she asked ‘Is this a swear word? I like you best Mummy. Is that a swear? What one is a swear?”

‘Look,’ I said. ‘It’s not a big deal Pudding. In this family we try and make our words be kind and nice to each other. We try not to say things that make each other feel sad. Do you understand?”

I called in the seven-year-old. ‘Peanut, you tell your sister the kinds of things you would not say.’


Thanks’, I said.

As you were, girls. You’ll figure it out.

Happy Monday folks. My your day be full of love and laughter. My littles have just appeared requesting Turkish toast with honey and bananas. Must report for duty.


(ps – Join me on Facebook here.)

Just Me, A Coffee and A Good Movie

This morning I felt pretty ordinary. The old back has been troubling me for a couple of days, and my creeping sinus infection has stepped up a notch. Inspired by Beth, I took  the day off and played hooky from normal life. I went to the movies and saw the most beautiful film: the 100 Foot Journey. It had everything: romance, food, the French countryside. A perfect film – and because I watched it at 10am with all the seniors, the cinema even provided bickies to go with my takeaway coffee!

I could not have been happier. Afterwards I wandered the shops a little and bought a couple of new tops that said ‘springtime in Provence’ to me.

It was a good day. Good for the spirit. I sometimes need to make myself press ‘pause’ on the constant motion of family life, the endless mental planning that runs like a soundtrack through my brain. Must do this, and then this – pick this up, shop for that, cook this, buy that, book the other, don’t forget! don’t forget!don’t forget!

Lovely to take a little time-out. Let’s call it day-release from the madness of motherhood.


Feeling Good: The Best Thing I’ve Watched In Ages

Brilliant performers the Umbilical Brothers, at the top of their game.

And speaking of performing, should you be near sunny Coledale in a couple of weeks, we’ll be debuting the family band at this show. Come and say hi.

Photo: Sunday week, good folk. Gonna be another memorable, special afternoon. Spread the word. Bring your Pa.

Choosing Your Moment to Shout ‘Penis!’ And Other Examples Of Comedy By Children.

Helsiniki dog from New Old Stock

This is life with a three year old: at the dinner table, I told a funny story about  Peanut as a baby. Little Pudding roared with laughter. ‘Oh, yes, dat was a so funny!’ she shouted and then stopped when we all turned to look at her. ‘Wait’, she said. ‘Was I there?’  The whole family cracked up then, and Pudding was delighted,  so pleased at her comedic genius that she tried to keep the spotlight on her by yelling ‘Penis!’ at the top of her voice. (Not a bad trick at a dinner party.)

Also, life with five year old: ‘Do you have gigantism?’ T-Bone asked me, out of nowhere last week. ‘No, I don’t, ‘ I replied.  But the next day he asked ‘Mum, do you have elephantitis?’ ‘No!’ I told him. He didn’t ask me the obvious next question: ‘Mum, do you have a self-esteem problem?’  Also, last last week at rugby,  T-Bone swore one of the dads was called ‘Arkward’ until we finally unpicked the situation enough to realise that he’d heard someone point to him in a group and say ‘Well, this is awkward’.  He’s also said that he’s really looking forward to playing in the Under Nines, because the tackling starts then, and so it’s like you get lots of cuddles in the game.

Gor bless em, kids. They’re bloody hilarious.

Happy Monday, everybody! Let’s cane this week like a naughty schoolboy.

Aging Gracefully


Yesterday at lunchtime I got a text from my friend S. ‘Send a topless picture to A, ‘ it said. ‘She’s having a bad day and it will help her. I just did it and I told the others.’ I am a strong believer in the power of community ridiculousness,  and so I took a selfie in which I tried to pinch my own nipple with a pair of kitchen tongs. In fact I overcooked my eggs trying to get the shot. (It’s harder than it might sound. Try it! I’ll wait.)

I sent off the picture, and that afternoon, up at school for the Book Fair parade,I saw A and asked if my nipples had pleased her. She was confused – her old-school phone doesn’t accept pictures! So I had to pull up the photo on my own phone and show her there. We looked at S’s photo too; more involved than mine. S had actually wedged her phone in the fork of a tree and taken a video where she ran towards it through the bushes. At least, I think that’s what was happening. I didn’t have my glasses on and it’s definitely the kind of thing S would do. School mums, you know what they’re like.

A was very pleased. It did lift her mood, so the job was well done. Just another day in the sisterhood.

After school, though, I ran into the deputy head, and offered to take her pic with my little Peanut. (They were dressed as the same book character.) I snapped the photo and then said ‘I’ll text it to you!’.

Have you guessed what is coming?

My toes are curling at the memory.

I opened my messaging page, and while the teacher looked over my shoulder, up came  a picture of me, close up, topless, looking very serious and manipulating myself with a kitchen implement. I quickly stabbed buttons to get rid of the image, but I am not the quickest at this.

My only hope is that she was not wearing her glasses. I can’t even imagine what story her brain would fit to that photo. Do you think they will discuss it in the office?

Please god, let her not have been wearing her glasses.

Join me on Facebook here

Sex Tips From The Past: Sexual Positions, For Mediaevalists or Modern Multi-Taskers

I missed last Wednesday’s Sex Tips From The Past post. I meant to write it, but it was such a busy week, and I was so tired; you know how it goes sometimes. I should have just scheduled it in – but I didn’t. Really, I should have just got started, right? I would have gotten into it once I started, even if I didn’t feel like it at first…

This train of thought has gone to a place I had not intended.

Enough about me!

Back to historical sexytimes.

German philosopher, theologian, alchemist and astronomer Albertus Magnus, also known as Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne….Cologne…not that one needs an excuse, but what better a time to insert the Old Spice Man?

And hello again. Magnus died in 1280 AD, but before that he ranked five sexual positions from ‘most acceptable’ to ‘least acceptable’ as follows:

1) missionary

2) side-by-side,

3) sitting,

4) standing and

5) a tergo (a well classy Latin way of saying ‘in the style of the dogs’). 

Magnus said the missionary was the only completely “natural” position; and the others were on a sliding scale of naughtiness.

The Karma Sutra, ancient erotic Indian text, contains such a total of 64 positions (known as the 64 Arts) that include the Galloping Horse, the Rutting Deer and the Congress of the Cow. Should you be in a gourmet rather than anthropomorphic mood, Cosmopolitan Magazine’s offerings include ‘The Linguini’ and ‘The Sensual Spoon.’

Missing, in my opinion, the common positions ‘Wait, Did You Hear That Noise?’, ‘You’re On My Hair’ and the ‘God, I Really Should Wax my Legs’.

But, prego, allora,  if you have a busy week ahead, here are some brilliant ways to multi-task getting on the job with, um,  getting on with the job. (Cartoons found here.)

The Yardwork Position

The Good Food Mood


And finally, one I’d like to send out to my dear friend Shelley: The Doing Your Taxes

As always, my friends, happy Hump Day and all the very best with your climax.


Other Sex Tips From The Past:

The Hairy Joy of Hairy Sex

Sex Tips From 1962: Register your reluctance to do ‘unusual practices’ by outraged, silent acquiescence

Sex Tips to Avoid (doughnuts, forks.)

Join me on Facebook here. x

Brief, Amusing, Non-Stressful Viewing for Sick-A-Beds

If you are stuck in bed,  sick,  sore or recovering from surgery, chances are you have only enough attention for short and non-stressful viewing. (Take a hot tip from me and don’t watch Game of Thrones while coughing up blood.)

I have this ongoing web-series list that I sometimes update, and I  like to send it to sick  friends. I don’t think I’ve ever posted it here, though, so here here go: short shows, funny and offbeat, suitable for all illnesses including man-flu and homicidal PMT. (It’s a thing! Science says it’s a real thing!)

Drunk Histories - actors get shitfaced, re-enact scenes from history.

High Maintenance: a pot dealer makes his daily rounds, reviewed by one critic as ‘Girls, but hazier’.

Park Slope: two superficial, homophobic lesbians from Brooklyn are hilarious.

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee: Jerry Seinfeld does, you know, what the title says.

7 Minutes In Heaven: comedians share a short, awkward and outrageous moment in a closet with Mike O’Brien, ending always with his attempt to make out with them. His pash with Ellen Degeneres is a particular highlight.

Know any more? Let me know and I’ll add them to my list. And if you’re not well, I hope you feel better soon. It sucks to be sick. It bites the weiner, as Shakespeare said.

A Great Date Night Movie

I have a lady crush on  Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who just keeps getting better with age. She is hilarious in Veep as a foul-mouth, hapless Vice President, and she was so compelling to watch in the movie Enough Said.

This was such a lovely date night movie. Louis-Dreyfus is so endearing to watch, so natural and charismatic. She’s adorable in this film – I think partly due to great writing and partly to the chemistry she has with her co-star James Gandolfini of Sopranos fame. (He died only a short time after wrapping Enough Said. It adds a sad poignancy to know this gentle, warm performance was his last.  )

Here is Louis-Dreyfus as the Veep.

And here as Elaine,  dancing.


And here in an excellent Fresh Air interview.

She’s fantastic.  Team Dreyfuss for the win!

As for us, tonight I am thrilled to report that SBS online is playing Borgen Season 3. Joy, your name is Birgitte Nyborg. I have a hot date with the couch, half a Crunchie bar and a scientist who smells like Dencorub (soccer injury, don’t ask.) We’ve got an extra toddler sleeping over tonight (feel better soon darling Jen), so I am also indulging  my 4-child fantasies… Wish me luck that all four sleep through the night!


It Will Be Sunny One Day: Stephen Fry’s Advice On Depression.

Amongst all the sad reactions to the death of Robin Williams this week, I particularly loved Terry Gilliam’s words: ‘Robin Williams, the most astonishingly funny, brilliant, profound and silly miracle of mind and spirit, has left the planet.  He was a giant heart, a fireball friend, a wondrous gift from the gods. Now the selfish bastards have taken him back. Fuck em!’

In a sadly prescient interview, the new Slate podcast The Gist recently talked to writer Amy Solomon about the link between comedy and mental health. You can listen to that podcast here. Last night busy baking cakes and wrapping presents (another little one’s birthday in my house today), I listened to the Mark Maron interview with Williams from 2010, where the two comics discuss his life, career and struggles with addiction. Williams is candid, warm and funny.

Ah, we are poorer without him.

Finally, from the lovely website Letters Of Note, this advice that Stephen Fry wrote to a fan with depression. It is so apt and moving. I am committing it to memory in case I should ever need it.

Long may Stephen Fry live to bring beauty and wit to us all.

And vale, Robin Williams.