I am a female of a certain age – wife, mother of four adult sons, mother-in-law, aunt, sister, niece – all roles I relish and enjoy.  British but currently and temporarily living in Manhattan – how temporary is anyone’s guess at the moment.  The move to New York caused the most abrupt empty nest one can imagine.  As Nico said “We grew up and Mum and Dad left home”.

My main forms of relaxation have always been music, listening to it or playing the violin (although arthritic thumbs haven’t helped with this); reading; travelling; and cooking.  The boys suggested some time ago that I should start a blog and include my and their favourite recipes.   I am writing this blog for them, my greatest achievements.  I have to confess to being slightly anal and a bit of a perfectionist, so it has taken me months to start this.  I have wasted countless hours (another speciality) trying to think of a name, wondering how the blog would look, and debating what to write.   Of course, the only thing I achieved was to delay the start of the blog.

One advantage to being on my own a lot is that I have time to reflect, and I was thinking about my mother and wondering what she would make of the idea of a blog.  I’m not sure she would have liked the current penchant to share personal details online, but I know she would have appreciated the idea of passing on recipes, maxims and not too personal family stories.  She would also have told me to face up to my fears and say, as she always did when I wasn’t feeling particularly confident, “Chin up, deep breaths and off you go”.


In case you are reading this and you aren’t related to me, here is a quick reference guide to people mentioned.

  • Caroline – me
  • Suzy – my sister
  • Dad – my husband
  • Grandma – my mother
  • Papa – my father (may appear as Your Papa)
  • Andrew, Nicholas/Nik/Nico (he can’t make up his mind), Tom and George – my sons
  • Hallie – my daughter-in-law
  • Alexander – my nephew
  • Big Andrew – my brother-in-law
  • Jen and Ellie – my nieces
  • Matt – my informally adopted no. 6 son
  • Bapu – my father-in-law
  • Stede – my mother-in-law
  • Gran – my maternal grandmother
  • Pop – my maternal grandfather
  • Nana – my paternal grandmother
  • My Papa – my paternal grandfather
  • Auntie Aileen – my aunt
  • Daisy – Tom’s girlfriend

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