Tuesday 31st March
Today has been all about the money: Daisy earns her first 50p before 7am. I am lying in bed sandwiched between two children. Nobody should be awake yet in my book. I have my eyes shut resistant to the knowledge that I’ll have to get up soon; ignoring the jabs from children’s elbows and legs.
“Would you like a massage, mum?”
My eyes snap open. Daisy knows the way straight to my heart.
“Yes!” I say quickly before she changes her mind.
“It’ll cost you 50p,” she negotiates.
I shake her hand, deal done, and quickly turn over so she can begin. She’s very good. She’s had plenty of practice.
I lie facing Ollie. His bottom lip goes out:
“I just wanted to massage you too,” he says sadly. I’ve never been so popular.
So once Daisy stops, I turn over and Ollie starts his ‘massage’ The day is really looking up. Ollie’s massage consists mainly of kisses to the shoulder but I’ll take what I can, plus he doesn’t want paying for it.
Mid-morning I decide to face the music re: my outstanding library fines. It’s an on-going, life-long issue. The problem started in adolescence. Unfortunately it’s in the genes (mother’s the same, if not worse); and although he’d like to deny it, I’ve married a man who is the same (on Graduation Day, he had to rush to the library first to pay off his fines before they’d let him join the ceremony).
The problem stems from the fact that I am such a lover of libraries; I should learn not to go back, but I can’t. I seek their forgiveness (in the form of hefty fines), and then before I know it, I’m back again withdrawing a stack of books: books on gardening; on cooking; on keeping your own chickens; on how to take better photographs. You name it, I’ll take it out. Sometimes they’ll just sit on the coffee table looking pretty; and other times I’ll surround myself in bed with them. Going to bed with a stack of cookery books is one of life’s great pleasures.
The problem comes with returning the books. I’m happy to take them back, but there’s always one that gets lost; or the three weeks whizz by and I’ve forgotten to renew them.
The thought of finding all our combined library books today makes me feel tired, so I sit on the sofa and make a game of it. For every library book the children find, they receive a marble; every marble is worth 10p.
I think somewhere along the way I have been conned: our own books added to the pile on the guise of being library books, or something like that; because by the end, Daisy has amassed £1.50 worth of marbles, and Ollie, £1.00.
At the library the kids frolick in the children’s section, climbing on the wooden fire engine; while I brace myself to speak to the librarian. I have bought a replacement Wombies CD to cover the one we lost. I hand it over dutifully and am told that there is now only an outstanding balance of £22.50 to pay (let’s hope Tom doesn’t read tonight’s post..) These are fines accrued while I faffed around, not getting my act together about ordering another CD from Amazon. Infuriating, really.
Afterwards I am much in the need of caffeine and sugar. We go home to make the chocolate nests.
Normally we would use shredded wheat, but I have a weakness for the crunchy, chocolatey-ness of nests, so we go for a gluten-free, me-friendly option.
The basic recipe is below. I have to confess to making a greater quantity of the chocolate mixture (chocolate, butter, golden syrup) as I like a thick coating on those flakes. Feel free to mess around with the chocolate mixture to cornflake ratio.
I ate one still warm with a cup of tea. Just what you need after a financial trauma at the library, (no doubt I’ll be back within the week though; some people just never learn).
Ingredients: makes 12
- 100g chocolate (just plain for dairy-free or 50/50 plain and milk for children)
- 50g Pure spread or butter
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 100g (gluten-free) Cornflakes
- 36 mini chocolate eggs
- baby chicks, optional
- 12 cup cake cases
- A 12 hole muffin tray
Place the 12 cup cake cases in the muffin tray.
Place the chocolate (broken up in to pieces), the butter and the golden syrup in to a heat-proof bowl.
Stand the bowl on top of a pan of simmering water and stir until everything has melted.
In a large mixing bowl, put the cornflakes.
Pour over the chocolatey mixture and stir gently but thoroughly so all flakes are coated.
Spoon the chocolatey cornflakes into each case. Make a little dip in the centre with your finger. Place three mini eggs in the centre with a chick.
If you can resist eating them immediately (I couldn’t), place them in the fridge for 30 mins to set.