Friday, 22 September 2017

9 Lessons I've Learned as a Parent

It's a long old slog. But as I say goodbye to the 'baby' stage and my sons grow into little boys, I've been reflecting a little on what I've learned in the early years.


1. A broken lift can ruin your day


The shoes are on, the change bag is packed and the baby's in a fresh nappy. Stage 1 of my plan is complete. I arrive at my destination and park up successfully. As an added bonus, the baby's fallen asleep and stays asleep as I pack him into his buggy. I'm onto a winner. Stage 2 - BOOM. 

Now all that's left is to stroll into the upmarket department store, navigate my way past the fancy bags and shoes that no longer warrant buying, shimmy up in the lift to the nice, clean, cake-laden cafe on the top floor and slurp myself into a coffee coma.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

How to Make Red Berry Liqueur (in Time for Christmas)

It's sad to think we're moving into Autumn and towards Winter but, to cheer you up when the nights start closing in and the kids have walked puddles of muddy slush all through your kitchen, here's a delightfully warming recipe I picked up from Good Housekeeping magazine back in 2011. The good news is that this only needs a month at most to mature and doesn't need any specialist equipment, so you can easily start it in the next month or so and it'll be ready for Christmas. Then all you have to do is pop on your slippers, curl up with Strictly and enjoy a tiny tot of this gloriously rosy liquid sipped from your favourite glass.


Despite having pasted this recipe into my recipe scrapbook six years ago (how is it that long ago?) this is actually only the second time I've made it. Though not due to any fault of it's own, that's for sure.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

PJ Masks Magazine - Review

I'm not sure I can remember a time before PJ Masks was in our lives, it's now such a firm favourite with the boys, especially Little O. So I was absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to review the brand new PJ Masks magazine which went on sale this month.




Sunday, 27 August 2017

My Top Ten Favourite Cuddles

I'm holding my hands up: this is the fluffiest of fluffy posts. Fluffier than a Pomeranian puppy. Fluffier than an Eighties blow-dry. Fluffier even than the contents of your granddad's belly button.

You get the picture, so let's get to it.


10. The Upside-down One

This is not altogether dissimilar to a wrestling move I saw once in telly. Your arms may be around their waist but you are most definitely not face to face. Much to your detriment. But if you can hold the move for the customary 10 seconds, it's classed as a cuddle win.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

I'm Not Ready To Be A 'Mum'

Something diabolical has happened.

Little O has started calling me 'Mum'.

I know it's not like he's started calling me 'Homer' or anything but still - I'm 'Mummy' not 'Mum'. 

Mums have school age children and make packed lunches and arrange sleepovers. I still have all those things yet to come. I'm not there yet. I'm not ready to be a Mum.




Wednesday, 2 August 2017

How To Make Homemade Red Gooseberry Wine

When my mother-in-law passed me the massive bag of red gooseberries, I had two choices: I could either make them into something to eat, or something to drink. Taking the vote to social media, the response was overwhelmingly in favour of the latter (no surprise there).


My next choice was whether to follow the recipe in my 'Drink Your Own Garden' book which happens to be as old as I am (no googling, please!) or to just ask my mum who, by all accounts, has been home-brewing just as long. 

Maybe it was giving birth to me that turned her onto it, who knows?

Anyway, again I chose the latter. Mainly because I find mum's method much simpler and also it requires less jiggery-pokery involving enzymes and other chemicals I've never heard of.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Why Parenting Needs Positive Thinking

Let's get this over and done with.

Parenting is hard. I know. I've been there and I'm still there. I'm talking about the early (and not so early) days when you would willingly palm your precious bundle off to the postman, the bus driver, a neighbour, the guy on the doorstep offering to replace your fascia. Anybody. Just to get some kip.




Tuesday, 4 July 2017

8 Times I Missed Out On A Celebrity Autograph

David Beckham


I was walking back from my lunch hour, and had just turned the corner out of Carnaby Street when I happened to glance up at a man walking past me in the opposite direction. He wore a baseball cap and was surrounded by five or six men who looked like they worked out regularly. 

It was only after he'd passed me by that it struck me. Hang on, I thought. Was that who I thought it was? Surely not, could it be? Yes, yes it was. 

You might know him as 'Becks', 'DB7', 'Golden Balls', 'The Beckster', 'Becky From The Block'*, 'Lord Beckingham', or as I like to call him, simply 'our Dave'. It was, indeed, Mr David Beckham. 



Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Lost in Vegetation: When Little O Went AWOL

"Where is he?" I asked.

"I don't know," replied S. "I was in the animal barn and he just ran off. By the time I got outside, I couldn't see him."

Little O is 3. Neither the shouty tellings-off nor the calm explanations have gotten the message across yet that he mustn't run off. I've told him that he mustn't do it, that if he wants to go somewhere he must ask Mummy or Daddy first, that if he runs off and we don't know where he is, he'll be lost. I've lied and said we'll have to go home without him. I've told him off severely when he's done it nevertheless. I've tried everything - and will keep trying, until he gets it. 

Today it's a farm, tomorrow it could be a road.



Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Voice of Fear Can Never Win

Dear Voice of Fear,

You're not winning. I just thought I'd point out that fundamental fact.

In this thing we've named 'the war on terror', I reckon, right now, the judges are probably sneaking a look at their watches and hoping no-one's pilfered their sandwich from the staff fridge.

Because it's obvious. No matter what happens, we will keep on living.


It's not that we don't care about the tragic effects of these cowardly endeavours, because we do. But it's the fact we care that makes us so strong. 

You're like a tick on the belly of a faithful dog. You're trying with all your might to suck out it's life force, but that dog will carry on fetching that ball, and chasing that pigeon, and farting gloriously in it's sleep.