Thursday, 21 June 2012

Baby hand Mould

Baby hand mould

Anyone who has had children will tell you they grow far to quickly, before you even know it you are looking at baby photos without the faintest memory that they could have ever been so small.

We visited my Mum at the weekend and she gave us a special present, a baby hand mould kit. Well I say kit, it was actually just the ingredients  Alginate and plaster of paris. Ours had been given to my Mum by a friend who had it left over after commissioning some work from the police making rubber cadavers for use in training exercises ( I have seen them by the way - bloated and rotten corpse of overweight man found in water was my favourite)

Anyway, we made a couple of hand moulds from baby jasper who is 10 weeks old (already!!)

First step make a container, cut the top off a bottle, split it down both sides and cover with tape, also tape over the rough top edge.
Next mix the Alginate  (a very light blue powder) 1:1 by volume with luke warm water and mix
Next step, swear a bit when you realise you have faffed about too long and the Alginate has set into a solid rubber chunk

Try again, this time directly in the (leaky) pot and mix quickly with a fork

 Stick babys hand in (Alginate is nice and gentle so you don't need any clingfilm or vaseline) try to hold still fort three minutes and get a blury shot of crying baby. Next gently pull arm out with a satisfying slurp, have a look in mould at little finger holes.

Mix plaster of paris 1:1 warm water and pour into the mould

When the plaster is hard the fun starts, peeling off the alginate

The next bit is almost to exciting for words, you don't have any idea what you are going to get so as the little hand is uncovered it is almost like seeing you nnew baby for the first time

Taa daa -  a perfect tiny fist, a memory for ever.

By now Jasper had fallen back asleep so we had another go and got another shape

Disaster the hand has snapped off at the wrist

The index finger fell of thsi one as well, but we fixed it with glue

You can get Alginate on eBay - we used about 150g for each hand.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Mommatwo hoola hoop

Lizi has been pressuring me to write a blog tonight. So here I am a new blog post. It's pictures of Lizi trying out her new hoola hoop. I win.

Saturday, 16 June 2012


I took Roman to the local ship today, they have child size trolleys which he loves pushing. As we were going round we saw a little girl about the same size with a little trolley as well. In his loudest voice Roman shouted "HELLO, WE HAVE THE SAME TROLLEY" and the girl bellowed back "YES, WE HAVE COME TO BUY TOILET PAPER, THAT IS ALL" so nice when Roman gives someone else a chance to embarrass their Dad.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Hotel Fun

* I originally posted this about a year ago to a blog I no longer write*

Hotel fun

I stayed in a hotel last night, It reminded me of something that happened last time I was there that I thought was amusing enough to share......

It was about three years ago, My company had put me up there the night before an interview for the job I have now.

I arrived late, tired from a long drive, I still had just enough spark to attempt a little flirting as the receptionist checked me in. To get to my room I had to walk through the bar to the lift at the end. It was a fairly uncomfortable walk because the bar was full and for all I knew anyone in there could have been on the interview panel or perhaps other interviewees, obviously first impressions count so I made an effort to walk tall, to act calm and composed and give off waves of confidence as I made my way through.

When I got to my room, I immediately began hotel SOP, that is I took all my clothes off, save my pants (a particularily worn and crusty pair), set the bath running and grabbed the ice bucket.

The ice machine was in the corridor just opposite my door, the place seemed completely deserted so I thought I would run the risk and nip out as I was for some ice, I leant out, checked left and right and made my move to the machine, chucked a couple of scoops of ice into the bucket, checked the corridor again and darted back to the room.

I think I allowed myself a slightly thrilled smile as I reached my door having gotten away with my dirty dash.

I pushed the door didn't move.

I pushed harder...the door was stuck

I pushed even harder....desperately trying not to accept the unthinkable truth.....the door was locked, I had walked out, without the key and the door had clicked shut behind me.


You can imagine the rest for yourselves. With the bath still running I had to act fast, I had to walk, in just my pants, through the bar full of my future employeers, back to the reception, to the girl I had attempted to flirt with not five minutes before and ask for another key. Armed with only a grungy pair of pants and an ice bucket, I briefly considered putting the bucket on my head to hide my shame, in the end I took a deep breath and as the lift doors opened onto the crowded bar everyone fell silent and I made a second effort that night to walk tall, act calm and composed and give off waves of confidence.

I got the job.



A very heavily pregnant Elizabeth and I relocated to Dorset from London a couple of years ago. There are many things we miss (and even more that we don't) but chief among them is the variety of food. In our local supermarket the world food section is where they keep the pasta and seems to be carefully avoided by the locals. It's a far cry from our old life; Jamaican patties from street vendors in Greenwich, Korean food in Holborn, Ethiopian in Kentish Town and buying spices by the kg for about the same price you would pay for the little jars of stale and dusty Schwartz in the supermarket. But by far the biggest thing I miss is Sushi (vinegared rice) and fresh Sashimi (raw fish).

Semi regularily we do make our own at home, it's not really difficult as long as you keep your knives sharp and wet. We can't get sushi rice down here so I use Arborio which works just as well. There is a lot of fuss on the internet about buying Sashimi grade fish but I always just get whatever is on the fish counter in Morrisons and have never had any problems. I can't make it anywhere as near as neat and beautiful as a proper sushi chef  but it tastes great.

 The table above is from when @jenclone came to visit

Still there is nothing like having Sushi made for you, so when we planned a day trip to London at the weekend Sushi was top of my list. The only problem with Sushi is that it is expensive and I generally leave the restaurant worried about the cash I have just blown and still hungry.

The solution for me is all you can eat Sushi buffet.

We chose Hi Sushi because they do just that and went to their branch in Muswell Hill because it fitted nicely with our travel plans.

 I didn't much fancy trying to sit on the floor but luckily they have thought of that and brought the floor up to chair level.

First course, I can't remember exactly what is there other than obviously the salmon and the white fish is grey mullet
 I had never tried straight boiled soya beans before but actually they were lovely, Lizi let one get away from her and it landed under a chair at the bar

We went for some hot food next, tempura prawns, squid and sweet potato, some spring rolls, pork and chicken escalope.
 More Sushi, this time Lizi ordered and did really well apart from the salmon skin sushi, I just couldn't get my head round it - but that might of had something to do with the insane amounts of sushi I had already eaten. We cleared the plate apart from two salmon skin rolls that we just couldn't face.

At this point I was stuffed, I had really wanted to try the clam sashimi but it wasn't to be.\

 Fill up on Sushi = Mission Successful.


*I originally posted this about a year ago on a blog I no longer write*


When I got home this evening Roman our two year old was climbing up the walls with cabin fever having been stuck in the flat all day while lizi was cleaning it top to bottom.

It was still light and warm so I took him on a little walk to stretch his legs, we live right next to the Rodwell trail which is an ideal place for a wander or cycle.

The Rodwell trail follows the path of the old Weymouth to Portland railway that used to transport quarry workers adn the stone they mined on and off the island. It has been closed as a railway since the 1950s but has been given a new lease of life as a footpath with lovely smooth tarmac. The platforms for several stations still line the route and give an eerie glimpse of the past. There are some great photos here

As soon as we got onto the trail Roman started shouting at me about 'flowers, flowers Daddy!' and was soon grubbing about in the undergrowth, seemingly impervious to the great clumps of stinging nettles.

After he emerged with a handful of what I call Elderflowers, (i'm sure I have the plant name wrong but if you do ever want a positive ID on a plant or bug you have found the best place to go is Ispot where you can upload your pictures and have a geek check them for you), and starting puffing away I soon realised he was actually looking for a dandelion. I steered him towards something more suitable
Thus armed he has another go
only instead of blowing he sucked....yuck

The story does have a happy ending, I re-armed him and we spent some fun time blowing dandelion faries everywhere - hurrah!