Sunday, 6 November 2011

Stuck on you

Does the visual really need a caption?

Well, just in case:
Maddy + me doing some not-quite-as-well-supervised-DIY-as-I-thought = narrowly avoiding the fingers of Maddy's right hand becoming a fused, fleshy flipper.
*And breeeeeeath*

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Rhythm and rhyme

One of Maddy's current favourite books is the brilliant Peek-a WHO? by Nina Laden:

However, Maddy hasn't quite grasped the concept of the rhyme that flows through the book.
So we have a cow (Peek-a MOO), a ghost (Peek-a BOO) and even a train (Peek-a CHOO CHOO) but when we get to the mirror (Peek-a YOU) she always exclaims Peek-a MADDY.
This is not a genetic default from the Roskill side, I tell you.

Some time coming

We've been a bit remiss recently when it's come to updating the blog, but we've all had a terrible time of late.
I've been trying (terribly hard) to sell the Volvo.
Kate's been on a terribly strenuous shoot in LA.
And Maddy's been jibber jabbering away, which is terribly tiring.
So we've taken a week off and are on our very own staycation down in Cornwall, for a bit of much needed R&R.
There's even a Cowshed spa around the corner. Although the service is terrible - they said they wouldn't look after Maddy while we were having our 2 hour (each) signature facial and massage combo treatment.

Friday, 2 September 2011

The beginning of the end of an era

It was with a heavy heart that I had to stick the below sign into the window of our beloved Volvo a couple of weeks ago:

It reads:
Much loved 1966 Volvo Amazon
My wife said it's not a good family car.
I disagreed.
She won.
Given we apparently live in suburbia, both pedestrian and road traffic is at a bare minimum, which has meant zero enquiries... until last night.
Coming back from work, I spotted a man taking a picture of the sign and thought I might have snagged me a buyer.
Sadly, he was just a divorcé whose ex-wife had forced him to sell his old car.
We shared a moment.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Bank Holiday

A bit of a fuzzy piccy here - due either to the driving rain or the poor photographer.

From Left to right: Matty, Maddy, Martha, Anna, me, Dom, Luke, Kat, Rocco, Lisa, Jowler and Arthur.

A perfect Bank Holiday weekend at Heatherfield.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Charlene sent this to Kate and Amy last week:

Maddy and Leyla had been apart for a WHOLE WEEK and were clearly happy to be back together again.
Reunited, and it feels so goooooood...

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Posing on Hampstead Heath

On the swings with cousin Alex, over from Qatar (and showing off his swarthy, Arabic complexion):

And a pre Raphelite solo shot down by the duck pond:

Picking up bad habits

Grandma and Grandad down = a little too much time spent in the pub

Grandad hopes Maddy will be able to open her gullet by the time she's two.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Vocabulary update aged 17 months exactly

With translations:

Aya Hello. Nice to see you again.

Momee Mother dearest

Narna Bendy yellow fruit

Maw Why yes, I'd love another slice.

Bubbul Look at those beautiful translucent spheres

Mil I'd certainly like some of that nutritious liquid that
comes from the finest Jersey cows

Uh-oh Oh dear. It would appear I've spilt some of this
morning's white gold.

Ba-Ba You can leave now. I've had quite enough of your
ugly mug.

At least she's got the basics covered.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The mane, tamed

Charlene finally managed to rule Maddy's crazy hair.

Something we've singularly failed to do over the last 16 months.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Mini Me

Need I say more?

That's what happens when Kate's in charge of getting herself dressed in the morning.
(We've been granted a weekend's loan of Layla's 'Je t'aime' jumper - a sell-out hit in from Kidsen which meant Kate had to rush out and buy her own statement top).

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Viva Italia

We've just come back from 2 dreadful weeks in Marche and Umbria, where Maddy really showed the Italians how the Brits behave abroad.
She starts off nice enough:

... but then gets bored of the camera, and treats us to the Paparazzi death stare:

... fuels her rampage with a banana:

... washes it down with a Coca-Cola (which is Italian for 'Coke'):

... gets on the beers with Dad:

... stuns the locals by streaking across the Italian countryside:

... narrowly avoids being locked up by the local policia:

... and then hides the hangover behind her over-sized pink sunny g's:

Phew. What a fortnight.

Friday, 17 June 2011

It turns out that this year, my Birthday falls on that other special day of the year, 'Fathers Day.'

Maddy, as thoughtful as ever, has created two cards for us.

All fair and equal there, you think. Until that is you read the messages:

Mummy's card:
'The lovely message written on the front of this card roughly translates to: To the bestest Mummy in the world, I hope you have a wonderful Birthday! Love you lots! Mads. XXX (sloppy kisses)."

Daddy's card:
"Happy Father's Day. Lots of love, Maddy."

I think we FINALLY have proof who Maddy loves best...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A speaking part

Much of the past few months has been spent enunciating VERY SIMPLE words but inches from Maddy's face, hoping in vain that she's going to experience a lightbulb moment, and sentences are going to pour forth from her mouth.

Alas, our hothousing has failed to pay off. Until that is today when Charlene, our nanny, left for the evening and said Bye to Maddy. After waiting for a suitably dramatic moment (Charlene had actually gone) she waved her hands and said 'bye' in reply.

Yes, we agree, we think she's a genius too.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Grubby oik

This year, we are holidaying in Italy.
But from Maddy's general appearance this weekend, you'd be forgiven for thinking we were off to Magaluf for a week of boozy, sweaty, oikery.

Brings a new meaning to the phrase 'the lady is a tramp'.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Minty snogs

Up until recently, Maddy's weekday morning ritual has broken down as follows:
Tip the contents of Kate's make-up bag onto our bed.
Try to take a swig of coffee when we're not looking.
Chew on a toothbrush in imitation of Ma & Pa doing their morning ablutions.
And so on.
But just recently, she's developed a taste for minty mouthwash. Not directly, but rather diluted on the tongue of a willing parent. So after we've washed our mouths out with Listerine, Maddy sticks her tongue out for a quick minty snog. Which really sets us up for the day.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

These boots are (not) made for walking

Family legend has it that when I was a little girl, I told Auntie Jan and Uncle Col that walking was boring because all you did is put one foot in front of the other.

It would appear that Maddy agrees wholeheartedly with my assertion, preferring to be carted around the Suffolk countryside in a specially built rucksack, rather than getting those squidgy legs moving backwards and forwards.

At first glance, the photo below might appear to show a pleasant Saturday afternoon picnic, mother and daughter busily tidying up after some enjoyable finger food. But look again friends. There are actually three MAN-EATING CHICKENS in the photo, and me and Maddy are in fact attempting to flee the scene to avoid being PECKED TO DEATH.

STD, as you might have guessed, is behind the camera, having decided that it was of greater priority to record the incident for posterity rather than save the lives of his nearest and dearest.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Battle scarred....

...and not just Maddy either. Both me and Soft Touch Dad will forever have imprinted on our memories the image of Maddy’s First Major Fall.

STD had given Maddy a ‘hard to carry’ item, and as she was attempting to negotiate the mean streets of Brent Council’s uneven pavements with the aforementioned unwieldy package, she went flying. And with no hands available to cushion her fall, her face bore the majority of the impact. Cue bloody nose, bust lip and three traumatised people. Picture of Maddy below. Nothing of me and STD, it was too gruesome.

The Big(gest) Sleep

8.40am. Yes, TWENTY TO NINE.

That was one almighty kip. Maddy’s longest to date, in fact.

Needless to say, had Kate or I been compus mentis enough to check a clock prior to Maddy waking us up, we'd have leapt out of bed and raced into her room, legs and arms flailing, fearing the worst.

But instead we had a much-needed lie-in.

Plenty more of those please, Mads.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Measuring up

The day after the Royal Wedding, our very own princess gets measured for the first time against the kitchen doorframe.
Although a fun occasion ceased to be so when both Kate and Grandpa found it necessary to forcibly pin Maddy to the doorframe:

The Generation Game

Four generations, gathered at Heatherfield for the Royal Wedding weekend (including a rogue Harris):

And Maddy finally realises these things tend to work better in ascending age order:

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Skyping the grandparents (Part 2)

With Uncle Olly, during which Maddy gets a little bored and goes fishing for things in Dad's mouth:

And before too long, is able to see her fingers through Dad's nostrils:


How much easier life would be if we had a baby like Frank Muir's loveable but eternally mucky Afghan hound, What-a-mess:

Instead, we've got his demanding Labradoodle distant cousin, What-a-fuss.
But we wouldn't change Maddy for anything in the world.
(We so would, but you can't sell babies on eBay).

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Mr Whippy, this is not

Stop... forcing...

... this ice cream...

... down my throat.

I hate it.
(Which is what happens when Grandma splashes out on £2.50 a scoop, organic vanilla ice-cream, rather than Mr Whippy and a '99 Flake).

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Life imitates art

Maddy was incredibly helpful with the weekly shop yesterday:

And ended up inadvertently re-enacting the opening credits of her favourite TV show:

Monday, 11 April 2011


No, no. Not that sort of STD.
Kate has taken to calling me Soft Touch Dad, which happens to share the same rather unfortunate acronym.
What's worse is that it's entirely unjustified. Why shouldn't a doting father pick up his daughter at the first squeak of discomfort - what harm could it do?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Country dogs

We've just returned from a magical weekend down at Little Clench, where Maddy was introduced to a number of rural beasties.
The local dairy herd (which were very popular):

A couple of local pigs that Jane & Dave are fattening up for sausage meat (less popular, although that could have been due to their aforementioned imminent slaughter):

And the most rural of all beasties, perennial favourite, Great Uncle Dave himself (again, not really convinced - much to Dave's continued bewilderment):

Friday, 8 April 2011

Easy Rider

We've always known that Maddy had something of the dramatic about her.
But even we were surprised at her early interpretation of Dennis Hopper's hell-raising Billy in Easy Rider:

In fact, these guys aren't even drinking while driving.
And their bikes are no match for the plastic fantasticness of the Mothercare Smart Trike.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Skyping the grandparents

So, we finally managed to get Grannie & Grandpa Roskill up and running on Skype for Video.
One very expensive fixed-line phone call later (no, the irony isn't lost on me) and Gramps was able to take some lovely shots of technology in action:

Now all I need to do is show him where the 'Print Screen' button is.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Up those wooden hills

I'm not sure whether we've mentioned this before, But Maddy has spent the last 12 months living a rather sedentary existence. Long after her other friends started bombing around on their hands and knees, Maddy still had a limited travelling radius which didn't extend beyond where she could reach or fall.

So it's come as something of a surprise to us that she's not only started walking, but has also acquired additional skills to aid her to get from A to B. Crawling has recently been mastered. And yesterday we discovered her climbing the stairs. Completely on her own, wobbling precariously about 9 steps up.

Yes. We did panic...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Goodbye baby. Hello toddler.

I don't think Kate's post below does justice to the momentous events of the last 48 hours.
Yes, Maddy took her first unaided steps.
(The below film is actually her third set of first steps yesterday afternoon, down at GG's flat - who you get a brief shot of at the very end).
But the first set of first steps took us both totally by surprise. So much so, that Kate burst into tears.
And she's been scooting around the house all weekend, making the most of losing an hour last night as we welcome in British Summer Time.
Maddy that is, not Kate.

Our work here is done

Yes. A milestone has indeed been reached. Aided somewhat by the lure of a biscuit.
Note the lunge for the biscuit. Mouth first.
That's ma girl.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Lounging in Stella

McCartney, not Artois.

A very chi chi birthday present from Godfather Dom, Anna and gal pal Martha.
Brilliantly accessorised with my toothbrush and Kate's rejuvenating eye cream (shhhhhh - don't tell anyone I said she uses that).

Monday, 14 March 2011

The week that was

Not only did Maddy turn 1 last week, but also:

She started standing unaided. But only when she's concentrating on something else. As soon as you point it out to her and she realises what she's doing, she falls over.

She added 'ma-ma' to her verbal repertoire. Although I wasn't there to witness it, and am therefore treating this with some suspicion (whatever Kate says), particularly as she has yet to repeat said feat in my presence.

Her first top tooth came through. I understand the tops ones are the worst for teething pain, so we've made a breakthrough there (no pun intended).

She threw her first tantrum. Not such good news. Not. good. At all.

A cake fit for a princess

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, eat your heart out:

Huge thanks to Grannie Roskill for this labour of pink, glitzy love. It doesn't matter how tack-tastic everyone said it was (!) Maddy absolutely loved it, and that's all that matters:

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Birthday Girl

Super chuffed about being 1 today:

Really? Can't you at least wait until I've done my hair?

Monday, 7 March 2011


What Kate has bought Maddy for her first birthday on Thursday:

Having vetoed my suggestion:

Just want everyone (including Maddy when she grows up) to know who the more generous / loving / caring / better parent is.