Monday, January 31, 2005

A price far above rubies...

Monday morning - nearly lunchtime. Had a wonderful time yesterday. Met up with HW for lunch. Her little boy is the mirror image of Scrappino. Scrappino is quiet and reserved and her little one is loud and confident. And since opposites attract they got on like a house on fire. We took them to Highgate woods for a walk. HW's little one hit a tree. She told him to stop because the tree was crying. I told her she was a mad bloody hippy. She agreed.

Later I went to a bat-mitzva party. It's a bit like a bar-mitzva. Only for a girl. The main difference is that at a bar mitzva party there are always hundreds of 13 year old boys looking ridiculous in suits that are 2 sizes too big. It usually resembles a Bugsy Malone theme party. A bat mitzva is an altogether more grown up affair. Although it's still a fairly new phenomenon. When I had my bat-mitzva (some time back in the eighties) there were four of us lumped together and we had afternoon tea catered by the ladies guild in the shul hall. The ceremony constituted a painful recitation of Eshes Chayil (definitely Eshes - never Eshet) and we each read a couple of poems about famous jewish women from the bible. (We had one each and there were just enough to go round.)

In preparation for the big day we spent a year learning about Being a Jewish Woman. This, in a nutshell, consists of the following:
1. How to kosher liver. Liver has been sold ready-koshered for over 40 years. Despite this, we spent 3 consecutive sundays (and remember, I was 12 at the time!) learning about salting meat and leaving it for an hour. In a bucket. Or was it a tray? No, it was definitely a bucket. I think there might have been two buckets but I forget what the second one was for.
2. Plaiting challah. It's a bit like plaiting your hair. Only you end up with quite sticky hands. But the house smells lovely for hours. Trouble is, you can never make challa as nice as the kosher bakery. But nobody has the heart to tell you. I think that's why we started having hummous on the challah. So you wouldn't quite taste it.
3. Sew a challah cover. Challah covers are cheaply and readily available in all good Jewish book shops in a wide variety of colours and designs. Yet somehow it was deemed appropriate to force us to produce a challah cover in time for the bat mitzva party. (I don't recall the boys having to build a bima in a parallel woodwork class in preparation for their bar mitzva.) We had no training in embroidery, little talent and even less interest. But hey, overlooking talent and championing a lack of interest is all part and parcel of the Jewish Woman's Experience.

Not for the Bat mitzva girl yesterday. No koshering liver for her. She was joyously welcomed into the community as an equal adult in her own right in a ceremony perfectly suited to her talents, interests and ambitions. Of course, this was only to be expected. Many of the women who champion the cause of the bat mitzva celebration are those who fall into the category that some call the 'hemp skirt and sandals' brigade. The kind of woman who looks forward to childbirth as a validation of her place in the world and spends the nine months of pregnancy looking up recipes for placenta. But I did think in the car on the way home, "so what if they want the bat mitzva girl to eat her own placenta. At least they're not expecting her to kasher it"

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Just me, George Clooney and a cancelled date

So last night, the Lovely Chap texted me to say that he can't come round. This is the second time he's bailed out of a date at the last minute. How many dates does he cancel before I read between the lines? Answers on a postcard. So I stayed in and watch 'One Fine Day' on Channel 4 instead. The irony was not lost on me. Single mother with one child staying in (alone) on a Saturday night because her date has been cancelled - and watches a film about a single mother with one child who...meets George Clooney?!? Life is fucking cruel sometimes.

Scrappino was in 7th heaven mind you. His friend D slept over last night. The two of them bundled into Scrappino's bedroom and ate too much and chatted til too late and had a terrific time.

Off to meet SL - another single-mother friend of mine. Sometimes, I feel like I'm a character in 'About a boy'. God, I hope I'm not the mad one who tries to top herself. Anyway, you never know. After that film last night, I'm thinking maybe one day I might just meet a bloke who looks like George Clooney and live happily ever after? Though, knowing my luck, he'll probably cancel...

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Scrappino in love

Just a quick note about dinner last night. Around the table, there were eight women and Scrappino. Ordinarily, that would be his idea of a nightmare. Luckily, one of women (can you call a 10 year old a woman?) was K, so Scrappino was fine. He's absolutely besotted with her. And now that he's got that gappy gummy smile he's so cute that K is happy to spend time with him. Well, to tell the truth, she sort of pets him really. Last night she was even stroking his hair. But he didn't seem to mind, bless him.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Operation Dazzle Lovely Chap

Less than 24 hours til my second date with the Lovely Chap. Decided not to dye my hair. I'm terrified that one day it will all fall out and I'll end up bald so I'm weaning myself off the Clairol. So Lovely Chap will just have to ignore the roots. I'm still worried that the place is a tip. I've earmarked four hours tomorrow afternoon to tidy up the flat (I'm going to tidy the bedroom too. Think positive, I reckon). Four hours should be plenty.

Dinner this evening at K's mum's house. K was there so Scrappino was happy. My little boy is in love. With K. She's 10 years old and she's stolen his heart. Honestly. Scrappino is absolutely smitten. He's also absolutely toothless. His two front teeth fell out this week and have left a gaping hole. They've also left him lithping. So he now has a wide gummy smile and a soft lithpy voice. If that won't win K over, nothing will.

Off to bed now. Only10.20 but I need my beauty sleep. Operation Dazzle Lovely Chap begins tomorrow.

Appraisal update

The appraisal went remarkably well. Definitely a 'back slapper'. I'm going to keep my head down, work hard and try to wangle some kind of promotion over the next six months. Or at least that's the plan.

So feeling generally on a bit of a high. Only I just got an email from L who is currently having his jabs for his 2 month trip to Equador. Meanwhile P is finalising plans for her 3 month trip to the US. Why are my friends deserting me?? It's going to be a lonely few months...

New day - new blog

Day 2 and I'm still blogging. Kind of. My mind isn't really on the job. For a few reasons.
1. I have my work appraisal today. It's a toss up whether it'll be a back-slapping "well done" and a head-butting "buck your ideas up". I'll let you know.
2. I have a date on Saturday night and I'm already stressing about what to wear and whether I have time to dye my hair between then and now. Blonde roots are starting to show in the dark red. And if I'm not mistaken, there's a little grey too. (How the hell did that get there). You don't need to be a Freudian specialist to know that the roots fixation is a diversion tactic. I like this chap. I hope it works out. (It will probably end in shambolic fiasco - but you never know)
3. My little boy, let's call him Scrappino, is going ice-skating today. For the first time. And I won't be there to see it. One of those can't-have-it-all, single-working-mother moments. I've given strict instructions to his friends parents to take lots of photos. Parenting, live via satellite.

Be gentle - it's my first time

I'm asking readers to be gentle. But I know full well that nobody is reading this. (If you don't believe me, check the comments counter). But that's fine. Actually, it's better than fine. It's perfect. Perhaps by the time word gets out that I'm here, I'll have worked out how to set this thing up properly. How hard can it be?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Okay - this is a little more difficult than I thought

I've changed the font/background/timezone/username etc etc a zillion times in an hour. And now I've changed them all back again. I have a feeling I'm going to be playing around on this thing all day tomorrow. Thank feck it's Friday...