Tuesday, 29 June 2010

On Play Dough and Play Doh

In my mind there are loads of fun and educational activities I would love to be doing with HackneyChild - baking cakes, creating family trees, bark rubbing, reading long books, making indoor gardens, having pretend camps and parties and discos - but the presence of rather demanding HackneyBaby makes this difficult if not impossible. This makes me sad, although I'm hoping in a few months HackneyBaby will be able to watch happily from a high chair or Bumbo without getting tetchy.

In the meantime, I did manage the other morning, while HackneyBaby and Hackney_bloke slept, to make play dough with HackneyChild. I remember my mum making shedloads of this as she ran a playschool, and I remember the salty taste so I must have been eating it, ugh. I had picked up a recipe from the local children's centre, and we duly mixed all the ingredients together. But it wasn't doughy, it was practically liquid. After adding more flour to no avail, I decided the children's centre had brilliantly missed out the instruction "and then cook over a slow heat". It's not the most brilliant play dough in the world but we made cakes in paper cases decorated with, er, lentils and pasta, as all the best cakes are. Next time I hope to use a proper recipe like this one which sounds lovely from Nurturestore.

From play dough the thing to Play Doh the brand - the people at Play Doh kindly sent us a Fun Factory, like the one I had when I was little, so even if all my attempts at making it fail we still have the factory version. The good thing about it is HackneyChild can play with it by himself, although he's not very adept at turning the wheel to get the different shapes - he is six months younger than you are supposed to be though. He likes to make noodles and press the dough (or doh, I suppose) onto the patterns.

One of his first actions was to mix together the colours to create a kind of purple, and I had to bite my tongue and let him - it's his Play Doh after all. I'd hoped my attempt at play dough would be useable in the toy but I don't think it will be, it's too gooey.

So, the home made and the branded in fierce competition - I'm not sure which he likes best, but I'm sure there's room for both, just as with the home made puree versus jars.

Friday, 25 June 2010


Our street just gets trendier and trendier. Excitingly, we have been invited to a private view of an exhibition at the former Post Office, called Keep Me Posted, which is all about "our postal history and heritage". I particularly like the idea of the hand carved seat on which visitors can write a letter and post it in the "elegant George V pillar box" that stands outside the post office.
This invitation is very good news as we never get out anymore what with HackneyBaby and all. Maybe there will be alcohol! Also, maybe the footfall of visiting artists and art lovers will be such that one of them will see the For Sale sign outside our flat and want to buy it. You never know.
Despite the fun-ness of Keep Me Posted, however, I'd rather, on balance, have a Post Office.
Next I would like someone to take on the closed fish and chip shop and turn it into a yummy fish and chip shop, like Faulkners, please. Or maybe someone will take it on as another exhibition space on the history of cod.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Questions questions

A conversation when going through the park today:

"Mummy, do dogs do wees?"
"Do cats do wees?"
"No!" [incredulous laughter]
"No, they do. It's true."
"Do cats have winkies [penis]?"
"Are all cats boys or all cats girls?"
"They are some of each."

 I have no idea what drugs they put in Smarties these days.