Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Gallery - Food

I've seen some amazing entries for this week's gallery already and some truly delicious food!   The only thing that Chick and I have cooked that turned out well was an Annabel Karmel recipe for Marble Cake and I can't tell you how proud I am of this picture:

Chick and I have inherited my Mum's sweet tooth and when my Grandad was alive it was a running joke in the family that he always used to get pictures of my Mum when she was eating....bless her!!  So continuing this tradition, this is me at Easter stuffing my face on Skegness sea front with donuts and ice cream......yum:

This is Chick continuing the family tradition for a new generation on her 6th birthday whilst having a break at the Natural History Museum:


Monday, 27 September 2010

A nice surprise

On Friday the lovely people at Interflora sent me this amazing present, causing a huge amount of speculation at work as to who they could possibly be from:

This was the card that came with them:

How nice is that???  Thank you Interflora for such a lovely and thoughtful present. They made my day x

p.s. I haven't told anyone at work who they are can be our little secret ;-)

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A lovely start to the day....

Picture the scene:  It’s 11.30am on a Saturday morning and I’m asleep in bed because I was out partying until 5am.  I hear a great knocking on the door and rush downstairs to answer it thinking that it must be the Postman with a lovely parcel for me. Imagine my great confusion when there is no-one at the front door and then someone knocks again on the back door!

Having been dragged from my hungover bed, I am wearing white sparkly bed socks and am naked apart from a High School Musical blanket covering the necessary parts!!  I may have mentioned before that I live in the Ghetto so we aren’t among the nicest houses in the world and most of you know that I’m not particularly house proud and my garden needs some serious work doing on it!!

So I open the back door in my dishevelled state and standing there is the woman who owns the house next door (very posh Southerner, probably about 70, bought it as a ‘holiday home’!!).  The conversation went like this:

Her:  Sorry to get you out of the bath.

Me: Huh!?!

Her: Just to let you know that the old tenants have moved out and some new tenants will be moving in.

Me: Ok

Her: I presumed you weren’t living here anymore when I saw the state of the garden and nobody has swept the entry for ages.

Me: Huh!?!

Her: Whilst sweeping the entry, I thought I noticed that the water pipe leading from your house looks damp.  Can you please sort it out as we share a bathroom wall and I don't want mine to get damp.

Me: The water pipe is damp? *smirks*

Her: I’d like the address and telephone number of the housing association please because I’d like to make a complaint?

Me: Errrrrrr.....sure but I’ll have to bring it around later. (not having a pen tucked between my nakedness and my high school musical blanket)

Her: Looks me up and down speculatively

Her: I take it your daughter doesn’t live here any longer? (casts eyes around the garden!!!)

Me: What?

Her: Hmmmmmm (still casting eyes around the garden) 

Me: I’ll bring the number round later.  (slams door!)

(Sit down for a minute to try and let my brain catch up with what just happened!!!) OMG! What a fucking bitch! So now I feel very slovenly and I’m expecting a visit from the Housing Association and Social Services sometime next week!  I may not be the best Cleaner or Gardener in the world but I love my daughter more than anything and NO-ONE will ever be able to dispute that!!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Secret Post Club


It's that time of the month again........when I get a lovely parcel from another member of the Secret Post Club set up by the wonderful Heather over at Notes from Lapland made all the more exciting this month by the fact that I opted out in August due to the craziness of our lives!!

I was beginning to panic that it had been lost in the post but when I got home from work yesterday I had a card from the Post Office to say that they were looking after it for I hot footed it there after work today!!  This is what the lovely Antonella from Living Abroad sent me:

A beautiful scarf which will come in very handy over the chilly months to come, a 2011 diary, a hair set for Chick and a book of Yorkshire recipes.  The first one that we are going to try is Parkin.  For those of you who haven't heard of it check out this description!!!

A huge thank you to Antonella xx

Monday, 20 September 2010

I'm out and about today......

.......and therefore not really here!  You can however find me here talking about our adventures at Bosworth Battlefield:

Or over at Me, The Man & Baby guest blogging for the very beautiful Emma and discussing how everyone feels it's okay to pass judgement on your Parenting skills:

Otherwise you could pop over to the review blog and enter my latest giveaway:

Enjoy visiting!!! Normal service will resume very shortly!!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Letters of Intent


Had the week from hell?  Somebody getting on your nerves?  Why not write your own letter of intent and link up with Julie over at Foursons.


Dear man who broke my heart

I’ve been fine for a long time now.

Our friends try not to talk about you when I’m around. In fact, ever since you moved away I’ve been generally able to put you out of my head......until just recently. 

Chick has been asking about you, wondering why you don’t keep in touch and why you don’t come and hang out with us anymore.  As she gets older she sees through the lies and knows it’s about more than just the fact that you don’t live here any longer.

She mentioned recently that she would ask your best friend for your address so that she could write to you.  As if my heart wasn’t broken enough, I have to help Chick deal with being sad about you too.  I told her that I would e-mail you and ask you directly.  That e-mail took me about a week to compose and then I had to get drunk to send it. You duly replied and Chick sent you a picture that she had made for you.  I can almost deal with you staying in touch with Chick as I know that you love her almost as much as I do. I just want to do it at a distance.

I was hoping that would be it but now you want to be ‘friends’ on Facebook.

I’m aware it’s a ridiculous thing to be worrying about but I just don’t think I can do it. I can’t handle you appearing in my news feed.  I don’t want to see how happy you and your girlfriend are.  I’m still ok with avoiding talking about you with our friends.

 I’ve been fine for a long time now but I need to keep it that way.

Love from

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Do your kids walk to school alone? What age is the right age?

I’ve seen lots of discussion recently around what age you should let your kids walk to school or out on their own. Recently there was uproar in some quarters when a couple in London allowed their 5 and 8 year old children to ride their bicycles to school alone.  I have to admit to being in the disapproving crowd but I’ve been thinking a lot about if I have the right attitude.

I think things are very different now than they were when I was young.  We all played in the street or fields together without anyone worrying where we were. I was allowed to go to the shops with my friends but it wasn’t a massive issue as everyone on the Estate knew each other and you still got told off by other people’s parents.  From the age of seven I refused to let my Mum walk me to school and made her stand at the end of a very long road and watch me.  She could see me most of the way but for the last 5 minutes I was completely on my own.  She recently told me that she used to worry all day until she picked me up at the school gates about whether or not I made it!

Chick doesn’t have any of this.  We live quite a way from school over several major roads and I wouldn’t let her walk on her own.  I don’t mind if she wants to bike or scoot and not be right next to me but she has to be able to see me and we have to cross the major roads at the same time.

She also doesn’t get to play out in the Street at our house.  We live in the ghetto in between two different drug estates on a relatively busy road and I don’t feel that it’s safe for her. There are also no other children on the street.  The one saving grace for us is that her two best friends live in cul-de-sacs and when she stays with them they get some freedom and are allowed to go and play anywhere within certain boundaries.

Having said all this, I do think that Chick needs to be given some freedom to learn to deal with crossing the road alone etc so this morning I let her go to the shop all on her own!!!!!!  I’ve never been so scared in my entire life but we live literally a 30 second walk away and she knows the shop keeper!  I kept the front door open the whole time and told her to yell if anyone grabbed her and I’d be there instantly.  I’m not sure I’ll be letting her walk to school anytime soon but we are taking baby steps towards her being confident enough to do this when she moves up to the next school!!!

So what do you think?  Do your kids under 10 walk to school or the shops alone?  Do you never let them out of your sight without another adult or do you think that we are all far too over protective??  I’m very interested to know what people think.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

It's only just begun......the Tween years are upon us!!!

Seven is a funny age.

You don’t want to kiss me at the school gates anymore because you are too old! Fortunately you are still young enough for me to force you.  I cherish every kiss.

Holding hands has been banished but occasionally you forget for 10 seconds and let me have a hold!  I’m making the most of every second.

Mentally you think that you are very grown up but emotionally you aren’t quite there yet!  I thank the heavens that you aren’t! Once you do start getting emotional/hormonal I think we may have a few showdowns!!!

You are finding out how horrible girls can be!  Avoid the horrible ones and find some nice ones. Unfortunately this is a lesson that you’ll be reminded of constantly no matter how old you are.  The friends that stick by you make it all worthwhile.

Dancing to Justin Beiber at the school disco makes you happy.  So does playing with all of your babies and dressing them up to ‘drop off’ at nursery in your imaginary games.  I fear that we don’t have long before the Justin Beiber moments outnumber the dolls!

Being without a car this week has been a blessing in disguise as you actually converse with me again.  We will continue walking to and from school even when the car is fixed for this reason alone.

One thing that hasn’t changed since you were old enough to talk is that you still say ‘I love you Mummy’ as I tuck you into bed!  I love you too Chick!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Monday Picture Post - Battles, Hawk flying & Triathlons!

Last week was the first week of having all the students back at work and so I didn't really get much blogging done at all!  I did however have a lovely weekend so I thought I'd share some pictures with you.  On Saturday we went to Bosworth Battlefield:

This is the girls.......who should be restrained like this more often ;-)

What we actually visited for though was so the girls could do this:

Then on Sunday my middle brother completed his first Triathlon! This is me & Chick being chief supporters:

This is the man himself at the finish......barely breaking a sweat!

Well done Bro!!! We love you! x

Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend too!

*There is still time to enter the 'Deadly 60' giveaway on my review blog!!!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

International Literacy Day

You probably don't know this but yesterday was International Literacy Day. I received an e-mail from a PR Company that I met at CyberMummy asking if I'd be interested in writing a post about it to generate some interest as they are doing some pro bono work for the campaign.  I inherited a real passion for reading from my Dad and was an avid reader from a young age who would devour anything that I could get my hands on so I’m happy to do anything to help with raising awareness.

I was very proud of being in the advanced group of readers at school when I was about 8….yes I’ve always been easily pleased!! When I was a teenager I had two library cards, one for the library in my home town and one for the village library where my best friend lived.  It sounds ridiculous but between us we read almost every book that the village library had to offer. I can still devour a book in one sitting although obviously since I had Chick I don’t get so much chance to do this.  I like to think that I have eclectic reading tastes but actually these days my taste is similar to my taste in cinema so tends to be cheesy, funny books aimed at women, Harry Potter or Diana Gabaldon with maybe a little soft spot for the Twilight series.  I also think that if it wasn’t for the amount of reading I did as a Teenager I wouldn’t have been so inclined to want to see the world.

I still live in my home town which has rather a large College and University population and to reflect this, a big library.  Not only do they have books (a surprise, huh!!) but also a whole children’s section with comfy couches and teddies, activities and book hunts for kids, free internet access, a local history centre, newspaper archives and DVD’s & CD’s for hire, which the secret geek in me thinks makes it a pretty cool place to hang out.

Once Chick was born and I was a stay at home Mum, we had a crazy amount of clubs that we used to go along too, one of which was called Wriggly Readers at the library.  It involved singing and stories and all kinds of fun and we attended from Chick being about 8 weeks old, which was the age she got her first library card!!!! I don’t know if she just inherited the gene or if it’s because she was around books but Chick is also crazy about books and also loves the library.  If she is given a choice of what she wants to do anytime she won’t pick theme parks or expensive treats, she chooses a trip to the park and the library.  Guess she also inherited some of my secret geekiness!!

I’m so grateful that both Chick and I are fortunate enough to have been taught to read and have enough money to have a house full of books as well as the facilities of a great library.  I can’t help but think how different my life would be if I couldn’t read. I would never have moved to Germany or California. I would never have visited Vietnam. I wouldn’t have a great job or be able to write this blog.  I can’t imagine how difficult life would be without the ability to decipher words. It must be like living in a foreign country the whole time.  How do you do all the things that the rest of us take for granted like the bedtime story, applying for jobs, filling in forms? 

Did you know that there are 776 million people worldwide that can’t read or write? Did you also know that there are twice as many illiterate women as men?  So what can you do to help? You can click on the link to find out more or follow @roomtoread on Twitter here.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Wedding Pictures

My beautiful Mum got married at the weekend so I thought that I'd share a few pictures with you!! The first one is me:

My gorgeous girlie was the one and only Bridesmaid:

Last but not least the Bride & Groom:

It was such a lovely day and a party so amazing that I'm still suffering the after effects today!!!! Congratulations Mr & Mrs B xxxx

Friday, 3 September 2010

Back to School

Chick started back to school yesterday and is now in Year 3!!  I know I say this about almost every picture but doesn't she look soooo grown up!!!

I wish I was clever enough to photoshop out the Ghetto that we live in but I'm not, so I can't ;-)

Look how much she's grown in just one year:

Before you know it I'll be waving her off to High School and then University!!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Gallery - A day in August and #Blogladesh

I've been trying to write a version of this post for days now but everytime I sit down to write it, I put it off as too big a job because I just can't find the words!  Those of you that don't read lots of Mummy blogs and aren't on Twitter may not have heard of this project. On Sunday, three British Mummy Bloggers flew out to Bangladesh with 'Save the Children' to witness first hand the amazing work that the charity does out there.

The main aim of the trip is for us Mummy Bloggers to raise as much awareness as possible ahead of the UN Summit in New York at the end of September. We want World Leaders to re-commit to the Millenium Development Goals, which are currently way off target! So what can you do to help?  Pressing the button below would be a great help:

The idea behind this week's picture was for everyone to take a picture on Sunday as a show of support for the Ladies travelling to Bangladesh.  It could be anything and anywhere and was to build a picture of all our lives.  This is Chick just chilling out at home:

Is it my best work? No it isn't!  However, every time I look at Chick this week I'm grateful that she's healthy and fed and well nourished.  She isn't suffering from Malaria or life threatening diarrhoea. Every time I've felt sorry for myself or start worrying about our lack of cash or thinking about how I'm gonna manage when the car fails it's MOT.......I tell myself to be grateful that my daughter isn't going to be one of the 9 Million children that dies from curable diseases this year and that my problems are nothing compared to what these Mothers are going through!

I know that I haven't done justice to this project with my rambling post so please, please, click on one of the links above to find out more.  If you have a Twitter account then please follow @SaveChildrenPR and consider RTing their many amazing Tweets!

You can also watch the bloggers journey on Twitter by following @porridgebrain @mummytips and @nixdminx. Let's all press for change.