Mulled wine – not just for Christmas

Plus a variation for those of you who want something lighter and more refreshing. I love mulled wine. I drink it a lot during the autumn. It's great if you have company because you can leave it on the stove and let guests help themselves. Halloween and Bonfire night are great times to kick off … Continue reading Mulled wine – not just for Christmas

What to do during lockdown… Part 1 – Podcasts

I always associate podcasts with smart people. Smarter than me people, anyway. I'm lucky - somehow a lot of smarter than me people are generous enough to be my friends. I'm glad. They're really helpful in expanding my gaze at the world. They are fonts of wisdom when it comes to what's big, what's new, … Continue reading What to do during lockdown… Part 1 – Podcasts

Here comes the sun…

A Sophie’s Voice tradition – the annual commemoration of Child 2’s arrival.

Sophie's Voice

It’s Beatles Day. I live just off Penny Lane – and have done, on and off, for nearly 23 years. I used to love The Beatles. I still love Penny Lane. I love the bakery where I buy my pastries. I love the corner shop (that isn’t on the corner) where I buy the milk. I love the pub where we get Saturday lunch occasionally. I loved the Washerama when I didn’t have a machine and it was still open. I love the giraffe statues my children admire on the walk to school. It’s really pretty fantastic. 

However, due to constant exposure to the Fab Four, I never choose to listen to their music. What’s the point? It’s shoved into my ears constantly anyway.

Except this song…it’s too beautiful to ignore. In fact, it’s almost perfect. I sang it to my youngest daughter at seventeen minutes past midnight on the…

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A quick word about holiday sweaters…

Occasionally I suffer from depression. That's enough about that - I'm British so I don't dwell whilst the dark passenger isn't riding my coattails. Anyway, it tends to make me rather zealous about holidays. All holidays - I don't discriminate. They all have a meaning and a purpose so they're all equally important. I'm not … Continue reading A quick word about holiday sweaters…

Blogmas begins with my likes and dislikes

4 years ago I was much better organised around the holiday season and I was a regular Blogmas contributor. Here’s my first ever Blogmas post for Sophie’s Voice – when this incarnation of my blog was just about to celebrate its second birthday. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Sophie's Voice

When somebody asks you to write a post about five likes and / or dislikes, you think ‘easy’. Then you sit back and…

Seriously, I know that I overthink everything but this has really taught me about myself. Specifically that I’m quite possibly completely incapable of focus.

Likes

Pomeranian dogs – I’m not going to apologise for this. They’re cheery. There isn’t enough cheery about.

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Seafood – most of it anyway. Mainly I prefer it hot but a really handsome man can feed it to me cold dipped in aïoli. I give my consent freely.

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Midnight blue – it’s not navy and it’s not purple. Sorry, I know it when I see it – it’s just perfect.

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Peonies – they flower for two weeks of the year. One of which contains my birthday. If I don’t get given them, I buy them for myself.

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Speed – I have a naturally…

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Celebrate 60 years of NORAD’s Santa Tracker

As some of you will have gleaned over the course of the last year, my children are still devoted believers in some of the more magical characters from everyone’s childhood – since Child 1 lost her first tooth aged 7 she is yet to become jaded and cynical about the existence of the Tooth Fairy. In fact, after our customary thorough research, we know that it is a service performed as a team effort by Rosemary and Vicki.
Well, the kids still believe in Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Pere Noel and every other incarnation of the face of the Christmas delivery service. I’m not sorry. Let them have some magic for a little while more. NORAD is just the cherry on top. It’s ostensibly a high tech approach to the most traditional story of Christmas. Perfect for a generation growing up watching conspiracy theory videos about Ana and Elsa on YouTube.

Sophie's Voice

Here at Sophie’s Voice I am very strict about the importance of keeping the Christmas holiday period sacred.
Preparations and celebrations will commence tomorrow – on the 1st of December.
I am, however, well aware that some of the people who make the holiday so magical start their work a little bit earlier in the year.

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Take, for example, the NORAD Santa Tracker team. These lovely people have kept children all over the world au fait with the travels and travails of Father Christmas every year for the last 60 years.
Here’s the entire real of Mr Christmas’ journey in 2014. Spare 14 minutes – you won’t regret it.
Oh, and a word to the wise, any Santa cynics will be blocked – hate the holiday, not the show.

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One week until Mother’s Day – get your shizz together, please, everybody…

Here’s an old favourite that’s always relevant on the day before Mother’s Day.
Enjoy being strongly advised by an expert in failed Hallmark holidays.

Sophie's Voice

Have you planned your Mother’s Day celebrations? If not, good luck trying to get that reservation.

Do something that I rarely advise and take the advice of Miss Vogue and buy your mother a luxurious present that isn’t related to you or the kitchen.

I also have a few little tips that will earn you a gold star sticker – or a merit badge, if you manage them all:

Give your Mum (please note the capital – she deserves it) a lie in. Change her sheets the night before if you want. Remember reciprocity is one of the keys to peace. I prefer it if my bed looks like something from my imagined Parisian apartment.

Make sure that a cup of tea or coffee is ready for her when she wakes up. I know some people go for breakfast in bed but make sure that she likes it. Personally, I’m…

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Swerving that ‘community spirit shite’…and failing somewhat

Sometimes little things really restore your faith in people. I live in a tower block that had a lick of paint, a general spruce up and some clever marketing invested in it about 10 years ago - and nothing much since. Now the community is what makes it feel like a place you can call … Continue reading Swerving that ‘community spirit shite’…and failing somewhat

All the crazy is worth it for a few seconds of magic…

3 years later my mixed emotions towards maternity are a lot more positive. I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that no parent is perfect and I’ve learned to have fun with my children. It’s been a wonderful privilege to watch them become themselves.

Sophie's Voice

This time four years ago, I had 2 hours to go until I gave birth to the pre-schooler. Labour lasted a blistering 49 minutes with the human bullet weighing in at just 5lbs and 13oz.

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Mr Sophie’s Voice and I thought we’d never have children. We were wrong. I’m very glad to say.
I am – like many of the women in my family, seemingly – not really ‘the maternal type’. I certainly find it difficult. I don’t think that I’m a natural, by any means. Motherhood is frustrating, thankless, boring and dirty. It’s also unbelievably rewarding, joyful, fulfilling and enlightening.

Like me, maternity is a swirling mass of contradictions. We don’t get on that well but we’re still in love.
I find it tremendously hard to be a mother because I can’t do it perfectly. I’m also very similar to both my daughters – which means that our home…

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“Fuck you, I like guns.”

"Be honest, you don’t need that AR-15. Nobody does. Society needs them gone, no matter how good you may be with yours. Kids are dying, and it’s time to stop fucking around.". An excellent article on gun control today... https://wp.me/p88Odx-5l