27 November

Playing cards

If your children will be making cards, the last weekend in November is a good time to begin. Set small children up with crayons and be ready to snatch the cards away when they look good and to write a description of the drawing on the inside.[1] Middle-sized children often like to add shiny things[2] and to cut and paste. Older, less artistic children who feel shy about their skills or short of ideas can adopt any of my adult suggestions from previous weeks.[3]

Grandparents usually like homemade cards and so do crafty people. Some teachers appreciate them. Children of the same age as the artist usually don’t.

Shine on.

My cousin Bronwyn invited me around for lunch and we had a fragrant, vegetable-rich curry and a nut cake sprinkled with shredded coconut.

“You were right,” she said as she served me cake.[4] “Getting on top of pre-diabetes is about exercise, healthy eating and GI, and sugar is just a part of that.”

“Life is better with a little bit of sweetness,” I agreed.

“Life is better when your blood glucose levels are down, you’re feeling good and you’ve lost enough weight to fit into the trousers stashed at the back of the wardrobe,” corrected Bronwyn. “I’d think I was lucky to be diagnosed with pre-diabetes … but then I remember the nerve damage and the kidney failure and the blindness. They trump trousers.”

[1] My friend Jill advises against a method she tried when her son William was a toddler: she let him step in trays of paint and then run over a sheet of paper and she cut out the best footprints and pasted them onto card blanks. The cards they produced were sweet and quirky but Jill says the mess reached biblical proportions.

[2] I am fond of shiny things myself, and this is one of the 217 reasons I like Christmas.

[3] It’s quite safe: my adult cards are devoid of adult content.

[4] A small slice of nut cake, and it had no icing under the coconut.

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