Wednesday 6th May
At pre-school pick up I’m called over by one of the teachers. My heart sinks. Last time I was taken aside, it was to be told that Ollie had spat at another child. I was mortified. It was completely out of character for him and he couldn’t come up with a valid reason for doing it. Outside nursery I gave him a grilling.
“Why did you do it? And where did you spit? Please don’t tell me you spat in her face?”
Ollie sighed, “I spat up her nose”, he said with an air of resignation.
Today, thankfully, it’s not another misdemeanour. Instead they want to tell me that Ollie has been getting on his political soap-box. Ollie is Green through and through. Whilst the rest of the household have debated and deliberated, Ollie has remained true to his beloved ‘Green Team’ even designing his own vest:
At pre-school he has been advising the staff against voting UKIP and giving the merits of going Green. Even Jennifer, the music teacher, ended up trapped in a David Cameron conversation with him and struggled to get away.
This political fevour is much the same on every car journey around the city. Both kids call out maniacally any posters and advertising boards they see.
“There’s the Green Team!”
“Oh no! Someone’s voting for the ‘Tourists‘ there,” (a mis-pronunciation that we haven’t corrected).
On a drive into rural Norfolk yesterday I was shocked to see the sudden change in boards as we left the outer ring road. Ollie spotted it first from his vantage point in the front passenger seat,
“Oh no, mum! I don’t feel safe! UKIP boards are everywhere,” he looks up anxious as he counts eight on his hands. No sign of the Greens, or his second choice, reds, out here.
On bank holiday Monday we finally get a knock on the door from one of the parties. It’s a Labour guy. I feel sorry for him, I really do. Little does he know, we’ve been desperate for someone to come round and answer some of our endless questions.
Tom gets the door. I am lying on Ollie’s bed recovering from a four hour jaunt to Eaton Park.
“Ah ha!” Tom is genuinely delighted when he sees who’s there. They discuss the economy, then local issues (the proposed northern distributor road) in depth. Just as our man is trying to wrap up the conversation, I leap up from the bed to question him about Labour’s education policy. I must look like a mad woman, appearing at the top of the stairs, hair all over the place, mascara smudged.
No sooner have my questions been answered, than Daisy steps forward (all four of us are standing on ceremony at the front door).
“Do you help poor people?”
The poor man clearly doesn’t have any children because he launches into a confusing explanation of the minimum wage verses the living wage which I struggle to follow. I think it must be lost on Daisy too, but apparently not because she solemnly turns to Ollie and says,
“Sorry Ol. I’m voting Labour now, not the Green team anymore.”
Ollie takes her deflection badly and responds with a short, sharp jab to the ribs before falling to his knees, sobbing:
“Don’t do it, Daisy!!!”
Our man takes this as his moment to exit. Tom and I make a pot of tea so we can discuss it some more. In some ways I’ll be glad when the election is over so that we can talk about other things again. In the meantime, I have the more pressing matter of working out how to break it to Ollie that he won’t actually be voting on May 7th………
If you are also in shock at today’s results, I prescribe this dessert as the perfect healthy, comfort food. Dairy and gluten free, it’s also pretty low on sugar taking most of its sweetness from the bananas. The recipe is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good book. http://goop.com/its-all-good-2/
Banana ice cream
- bananas, 4
- unsweetened almond milk, half a cup
- pure vanilla extract, 1tsp
- good quality maple syrup, 2 tbsp (optional)
Sweet & Salty Almonds
- almonds, half a cup flaked/whole/a combination
- maple syrup, 2 heaped tsps
- sea salt, large pinch
Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees / Gas mark 5.
Slice the bananas and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Place in the freezer for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile, scatter the almonds on another baking tray and roast in the oven for approximately 20 mins until golden.
Once the almonds have cooled, combine them in a bowl with the maple syrup and sea salt.
In a food processor combine the bananas, almond milk and vanilla extract. Blitz until the mixture is the consistency of soft scoop ice cream. Taste. If you want it sweeter, add the maple syrup and blitz again. The riper the bananas, the sweeter the ‘ice cream’.
Serve the ice cream immediately with a sprinkling of the nuts. Incredibly moorish!