Down & Out In A London Kitchen

Esther Walker started a food blog called Recipe Rifle in 2009 when desperate and unemployed. In 2010 she married restaurant critic Giles Coren and far, far too quickly had a baby daughter, called Kitty.

Sugar & spice and all things nice... for now

Posted by Esther Walker
Esther Walker
Esther Walker has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Now that Kitty is doing quite a lot of talking, and a reasonable amount of walking (as long as she’s holding your hand) I can see a little girl emerging from the blob of a baby.

And I have started to quite excited about it. I have started to fetishise childish things – even though I was a sickly, friendless, fretful child who often refused to go to school – and have all sorts of daydreams about creating an idyllic childhood for Kitty.

You know the sorts of things I mean: fish fingers and peas, sitting on the sofa watching Charlie and Lola, teddies, Brownies, hair in bunches, jumping through sprinklers in summer, bedtime stories, scones and hot chocolate after school, Disney films, best friends and worst enemies, colouring in, Play-Dough, new pencil cases.

It’s all about correcting the things I thought were lacking about my childhood, which had no routine and very little structure. We were allowed to do pretty much anything – we spent entire summers without shoes on, played with matches and knives, fell into bed when we felt like it and had a bath if we thought it might be fun.

But I fear that I only have a tiny window to wallow in this childhood I intend to manufacture for Kitty: we were at a big garden party the other day filled with families and I was sitting in a corner with Kitty, who was eating mud or something, when two little girls of five and seven wandered past me.

“You can be 18,” the seven year-old was saying, “and I’ll be 21.”

Then it all came back to me in a horrid instant – that yearning, that invades little girls quite quickly, to be older, to be grown-up and powerful, striding about toting a handbag, sunglasses and lipstick, rather than holding mummy’s hand, all little and funny and unimportant.

I try to be realistic about childhood and children: I remember quite clearly at about nine years old stumbling upon a vile game of mummies and daddies played with Ken and Barbie in the playground; also a very dark collection of children’s stories in which terrible things happened to naughty six year-olds, that I used to read over and over again. So even though it was so familiar, that wish-we-were-older banter of those two little girls, it made me feel so depressed.

Still, I’ve got three and a half years left. Better make the most of it.

0 votes
  • Print

Recent posts

If you haven’t got company, yo...

For the last two and a half months, we’ve all been living with my parents, while we have a kitchen extension built. At first it was a bit tricky, a b...


Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition
Place-Classified-advert-336
TLR-advert-May2014-336

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]

APPLY NOW


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]

APPLY NOW


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]

APPLY NOW


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]

APPLY NOW


Live-in Housekeeper
Our client is looking for a very capable, experienced individual to become the new housekeeper at their 6 bedroom, rural home. [...]

APPLY NOW



MORE JOBS LIKE THESE
Lady-directory-button-NEW

Horoscopes

What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter