Emily and Phoebe

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Phoebe's birthday*

"And little girls in Athens now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not there,
And hold their Barbies cheap whiles any speaks
That went to Phoebe's party at her school."

*And St Crispin's Day

(I was hoping to be able to post pictures of all the cake and jollity, as Phoebe's teacher had very kindly offered to take some snaps of the party for us. Unfortunately, as I was getting everything ready the birthday girl went into a huge fit and starting screaming "No cameras, no cameras!", so I can only assume she has sold the exclusive rights to Hello magazine...)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bicycle 2

A look of grim determination is etched on Emily’s face. “We’re not leaving this park until I’ve learned to ride my bike, Daddy.”

I groan inwardly and consider what my response should be. I am tempted to point out that we don’t have a tent and sleeping bags with us, but I suspect that she is not in the mood for playful sarcasm. Instead, I murmur something about it getting cold and the possibility of rain.

Monday, October 16, 2006


"Phoebe, are you going to eat your food, darling?"

"No, Daddy. It looks so delicious that I want to keep it for tomorrow!"

Friday, October 13, 2006


Distracted as I am by the effort of trying to make out my own scrawl - does that say tomatoes or potatoes? - it is some time before I become aware that the shopping basket carried by Emily has become rather full, and that she has been struggling to follow in my wake as I glide up and down the aisles.

"I can carry the basket if it's getting too much for you, darling."

"No, it's OK, Dad. I can manage. And anyway, you're carrying that heavy shopping list."

Had I mentioned that her use of irony is becoming increasingly proficient?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Phoebe had a fall in the playground today and bumped her head. Ice was duly applied and tears were wiped away. Eyewitnesses say (I'm not making this up) that she was blown over by a gust of wind.

This I suppose is what comes of being nearly four years' old and only 13 kilos.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Emily's nightmare

"I dreamt that I was in bed and ET came into my bedroom and told me to phone three witches."

Um. OK.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fun and games

The girls are forcing Nevi's father to play Twister with them. He is currently due in for a hernia operation next Friday. That date may have to be brought forward if he carries on like this.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I am teaching Emily how to ride her bike without stabilisers. Based on our first lesson together, I have drawn up a list of instructions to help her.

DO keep both hands on the handlebars at all times.
DO NOT let go of the handlebars and lunge for my throat when you feel yourself wobbling.
DO sit properly on the saddle.
DO NOT wriggle about, repeatedly shouting, “My vagina hurts! My vagina hurts!”
DO keep both hands on the handlebars at all times. (This rule bears repeating.)
DO NOT attempt to hurl yourself from the bicycle screaming, “It’s a bee! It’s a bee!” when “attacked” by butterflies or bits of fluff floating through the air.
DO NOT attempt to hurl yourself from the bicycle screaming, “It’s a bee! It’s a bee!” even when attacked by real bees. Stings are character-forming.
DO try to go in a straight line.
DO NOT keep going in a straight line when there are trees and concrete pillars in the way.
DO avoid people and pets.
DO NOT make a special point of targeting couples walking hand-in-hand through the park. They are not “asking for it”.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Talking about getting dressed in the morning (see previous post), Emily is very into coordinating whatever she's wearing each day, matching the right trousers with the right top, and making sure that her whole look is appropriately tomboyish.

Despite being unable (or at least refusing) to dress herself, Phoebe too has very definite ideas about what she wants to wear, and is not slow to voice (or scream) her disapproval of others' suggestions. The result however is not what it could be. Or as fashion-designer-turned-scriptwriter Antonis has rather cruelly commented, "You can tell she's English, can't you?"

But hang on a minute! Just look: a t-shirt that's several sizes too big; an unbuttoned shirt on top; spindly legs poking out from beneath...

She dresses like me!!!