Sunday, 21 October 2012

From one extreme to another Part 2

I'm so cross. (*pouting and arms folded) I had this great idea to edit an interview from GOOP curator Gwynneth Paltrow with my own take on it. How she thinks we're spending our next holiday in The Hamptons, or weekend even; how we can cook up macro rice flax nibbles for snacking on during the day, and the towels from Turkey that we should buy from her site, costing more than an entire bathroom refurb would.

But it's been done! Admittedly it's a lot nastier than I would have written, but I would have included a lot of the same things (just in a nicer way). There is a lot of commenting that I don't agree with. Well I might but I certainly wouldn't put it in print.

So the moral of the story is - do your research before you plan to post something!

For those of you "in awe" of the wife of the most boring group in the whole world, it's http://videogum.com/263061/holy-shit-gwyneth-paltrow-gives-helpful-advice-to-busy-working-moms-like-herself/webjunk.

Just remember I didn't write it!

Domestic almost-bliss

Today I made a delicious lamb cobbler, the first time a cobbler has worked for me (in my oven). Friends visited us during a walk and despite being in my pyjamas with not even a washed face, let alone hair, I was able (when Mr Humdrum returned from shopping) to offer them a slice of chocolate and beetroot cake, fresh from the farmers' market.

There is one week until the end of this half-term, and it's taken me these seven weeks to feel satisfied with the landscape of my week. When I have time to cook a more challenging meal, when I need to rustle up something quick (before swimming and after Park Wednesday), where to stop off on the way home from school for veg/milk/library books to save me going out after the school run, and short cuts to make life easier (chippy after football on Fridays).

All this organisation makes for a more relaxed Humdrum. And that cake was so delicious, I think I'll have another slice while Mr Humdrum is snoozing.

Friday, 19 October 2012

From one extreme to another Part 1 (and yes I'm back)

(The return of Humdrum. Let's not get too excited about this, I've been gone for just over two months, although still blogging on my son's (private) site. I've enjoyed not feeling stressed about not posting ... but as work isn't stressful anymore, I feel I might - just might - be able to cope with a post every now and then. Let's see how it goes, shall we?)

"From one extreme to another" captures two articles from opposing websites - this week Femail (the Daily Mail "females" pages) -v- Goop (a website "curated" by that well known mum-from-the-block, Gwynneth Paltrow). 

Femail has always had a special place in my heart, namely it causes my heart to beat really fast in ANGER and DISGUST at what the Daily Mail is finding newsworthy and appropriate to print. Fast forward a few years, switch jobs and go onto blood pressure tablets, and it no longer angers me quite so much. It saddens me and worries me more. But still I read it every now and then.

This week I read an article - Was I wrong to let another woman's son see me naked in a changing room? 

The author, a mum of 2, was changing in a female area for families when another woman started arguing with her that she shouldn't be doing that, and that her 5 year old son shouldn't have to see another woman naked. The gym manager however said that the author was in the right, and the other woman wasn't. Cue lots of comments of support, and obviously loads of comments amazed that she could be so selfish and wrong to undress not in a cubicle.

This led me to think about my own relationship with nudity, and it has been something I've talked about with friends. Growing up, I remember chatting to my mum when she was on the loo, and seeing my dad in the bath, albeit he had a flannel floating above his you know what! With my 6 year old, I take baths with him still - he loves them purely because I play a silly game about a dinosaur walking along the side of the bath who keeps falling in, and who talks in a silly voice. 

When he comes into our room in the mornings (we both sleep naked), we cuddle him and the only gripe I have is that he elbows me in the boobs quite a lot. When he was younger, he asked about the differences between mine and dad's bodies, and his. We answered them as honestly as we could (just don't let me repeat the "Daddy puts a seed into mummy", "What? Like an apple seed?", "Yes", "Do I have apple trees in my tummy?" explanation again please).

I did read in a book our friends call The Bible (The What to Expect series) that by now (age 6) my son shouldn't be taking baths with me (this is more about opposite sex nudity). I disagreed (but only with that - the rest of the book was ingested and acted upon to the letter!).

I don't see what's wrong with how we treat nudity in our household. Of course at age 8, he will have to go into the male changing rooms at swimming when I take him (hurrah no towelling down!), and will probably notice if he starts feeling odd about it. My mum has stopped bathing with him as she didn't want him to be laughed at in school if he told them he baths with his nana. That's fair enough. 

So in all, this was a balanced article from the Femail website. Let's go through the checklist:


  1. Did it offend single mums?
  2. Did it offend working mums?
  3. Did it offend stay at home mums?
  4. Did it offend mums in general?
  5. Did it invent a new way to sub-divide the nation?
  6. Was it sensationalist?
  7. Was it a "Look at me I'm so unpushy/unhelicoptorish (insert current buzz word)" - akin to saying "I haven't revised at all for my exams" having been up 24/7 for weeks?
I can answer yes to only one of those - number 5. Not bad. 

Look out for Part 2 from Goop tomorrow.