Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bodiam Castle

There is the slightest hint of spring in England lately. It is no longer pitch dark at 4:30 pm; color has reappeared in the form of tiny yellow daffodils popping up; the sun came out a few times. To take advantage of the good(ish) weather, and to get out of the house after a long, especially tough week, we drove an hour and a half to Bodiam Castle in Kent.

Add caption
Feeding the ducks. Ducks intimidate me, so here I am showing the duck I mean no harm and hoping it won't peck at me.

The castle was so picturesque--the ideal medieval castle complete with moat and drawbridge. Isn't Penny so cute?

Esmé is also cute!

The ruins

At the top of the tower.

The well

Sweet Penny!

Eating lunch in the cafe.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Celebration of Roo

Episode VII from Annie Phillips on Vimeo.

I made this slideshow for Roo's birthday. (Not directed by JJ Abrams.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Nice Pants

In England, these are not pants:

These are pants:

So when an American says, "I like your pants." An English person hears, "I like your underwear."

(You can guess where this is going.)

A few days ago, I stopped by the dry cleaners. I was standing inside the shop, and it was tiny. So tiny there was only enough floor space for myself and the man behind the counter. The girls waited outside the door in a shopping cart (this place is outside the grocery store), and I propped the door open so they could see me. Yes, this place was tiny, indeed.

I told the man I was here to pick up my dry cleaning. He asked for my name and I gave it to him. That was the extent of our conversation; he was somewhat terse and avoided eye contact as if to say he was ashamed of working in such a tiny shop. I didn't judge him, though. So to fill the empty air, I conversed with Esmé outside the door. She asked what we were doing, and I loudly replied, "We're picking up daddy's pants."

I instantly remembered the many times I'd been laughed at by my English friends for calling "trousers" "pants," so I glanced quickly at the man behind the counter to gauge his reaction. Nothing. Or at least he made no sign of being either appalled or amused at my misspeak. But just to cover myself, I said awkwardly to no one in particular, "Er, trousers."

I suppose that man has heard of some people dry cleaning their underwear, he's probably just not used to them yelling about it to their kids in the street.

At least I corrected myself. Usually I don't even think about it, which would explain why the Young Woman at church yesterday didn't quite know how to respond when I asked her if she knew how to hem her pants.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Slim Pickins

Today I read this quote by Isabel Allende on someone else's blog: Give, give, give--what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don't give it away? Of having stories if I don't tell them to others? 

Roo keeps telling me to blog more; but, to be honest, the month of January has only offered meager scraps of stories to tell from the Phillips household. Regardless, let me give, give, give what I can conjure.

One time a couple weeks ago it snowed, which, if you live here, that's a big deal. They sent us home from church early. There were about three inches of snow accumulated on the grass. The end.

Once upon a time, we built a fire in our fireplace; not so much to keep us warm, but because I like to poke and prod and mess with the flames. (This isn't as much a story as a mundane fact.) The end.

One time last week, Esmé threw up in the bathtub. The details are gory, so I will spare you. (No picture will accompany this story.) The end.

There was once a game on our ipad where you get to build your own gingerbread man. And one day, Esmé built a gingerbread man who looked just like Prince. The end.

See what I mean? The pickins are pretty slim...

What a Mother Sees

Lunch for two - Esmé's is on the right, mine is on the left. A mother sees the potential in the heart-shaped crust.
The bed as a form of entertainment. Also, the best rubber band wrists ever.

My best hair dressing skills on display.

A good way to get some mommy relaxing time.

A baby who won't be a baby for much longer.

Two girls who don't realize how lucky they are to have each other.