Emily and Phoebe

Sunday, March 29, 2009

In the dark

Well, we kept everything switched off for an hour last night, during which time we played old-fashioned board games by candlelight and would undoubtedly (if we had had a piano) have enjoyed a jolly good sing-song. (If we had had a piano and knew how to play it, of course, because enjoying a sing-song around a piano that's not being played is just silly.) There was such an atmosphere of Victorian conviviality that I really felt as if I ought to be reading aloud to the family from the latest installment of a serial publication by Mr Dickens. The only latest installment of a serial pubication that we had in the house was SpongeBob SquarePants magazine, though, which would not have been quite the same, I think.

Anyway, from the point of view of educating the kids about saving energy and climate change, the hour without power was a great success. In fact, they said they were having a great time and wanted to do it again next week! On the other hand, I've rarely seen them move as fast as when the hour was up and they rushed to switch on the TV again...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Switch off your lights!


Monday, March 16, 2009

Cereal offender

Emily has definitely got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. Her mood does not improve when I ask her if she would prefer Grump Flakes or Grouch Krispies for breakfast...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rich man, poor man

Emily: Daddy, are you rich or poor?

My poor love. She has obviously heard all about the credit crunch and is concerned that we may be in dire financial straits. I must put her mind at rest.

Me: Well, my darling, I don't suppose I'm rich but I'm certainly not poor either, so there's no need to worry.

Emily: Oh, I'm not worried, Daddy. I was just wondering, if you die...

Me: What?!?

Emily: Sorry, when you die...

Me: What?!?

Emily: ...and people ask if you were rich or poor, what should I tell them?

Me: [A tad frostily, perhaps] Well firstly, I doubt if anyone will ask such a question, and secondly, you will certainly be too consumed by grief to answer, so I wouldn't dwell too much on the problem if I were you.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Phoebe has got tired of waiting for me to do as I promised (start teaching her to read English) and is working her way, on her own, through an old Spot book. Amazing! She really is learning to read all by herself!

(I wonder if the same strategy could work in other areas. Perhaps if I withhold food from them, the girls might spontaneously start teaching themselves how to cook...)

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Emily: "Dad! Dad! It's that man on TV who's just like you!"

Oh dear, this must mean she's watching Casino Royale. I saw it was going to be on this evening but I think it's much too violent for young children. Why do they put on unsuitable films so early in the evening?

Me: "Darling, are you sure you should be watching that? It might be a bit frightening."

Emily: "It's not frightening at all, Dad! Come and see! He's so funny!"

Funny? Possibly it's not Casino Royale, then - I don't remember it having a lot of laughs.

Emily: "Dad, come and see. He's just like you."

I walk over to the television. She is curled up with laughter in front of what seems to be not a 007 action adventure, but some lame comedy starring David Spade. I wait for a while but no one else appears. "Emily, you surely can't mean that I look like David Spade!" I exclaim with indignation. "He's small and wimpy and his face has a sort of unpleasant weasly expression."

Emily: [Possibly not paying much attention to me now] "Um... yes? What's your point, dad?"

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

One-word film review

Bridge to Terabithia


Monday, March 02, 2009

When I grow up

Phoebe: "When I grow up I will be a maths genius like Frankenstein!"

Emily: "Einstein, Phoebe."

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting...

Just got round to watching Kung-Fu Panda with the kids. They've seen it a bunch of times but I haven't had a chance to spend any quality sofa-time with them recently. I feared it was going to be one of those films that are more fun for tinies than grown-ups and that I'd have to just grin and (panda) bear it, but it was actually pretty good. The excellent animation (which was, satisfyingly, not only as fast as lightning but also a little bit frightening) and a good few laughs more than make up for the schmaltzy "message" and unlikely ending. (Is it odd of me to complain about unlikeliness in a film about a talking panda who learns kung-fu? Even the most extreme fantasy needs to* have some kind of internal logic, I think.) The only thing I didn't understand was why it had to have such a star-studded cast. OK, Jack Black was terrific and the part was obviously written with him in mind, but Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan added nothing to the film except increased publicity, and I can't really see the poi-

Oh, right. OK, I get it.

*I'm very, very excited that I just mistyped "to" as "typo"!!! What are the chances of that? (Probably fairly high actually, given that "y" is next to "t", "p" next to "o", and that my typing could only be less accurate if I tried it wearing boxing gloves...)