Tuesday, 24 February 2015

I spy purple flowers

Oh hurry up Spring.
Winter is all very well, it brings us Christmas and I adore Christmas. But once the festive period is closed it's all rather cold and dark.
Until Spring pokes its head around the corner and reminds us pettier and sunnier days are ahead.
Spring is my favourite season of the year, not too cold, not too hot. Just right. With daffodils and Easter eggs to cheer us.
I was reminded that Spring has nearly sprung, during my recent walk around the village. Okay, I still had to wrap Tommy in his water proof and wind proof all in one, and pop his red hat on his head. And I still wore my grey winter coat, with all the buttons fastened. But the sky was definitely bluer.
Flowers in the cottage hanging baskets were stirring. The park was coming alive again, with children playing underneath a warmer sun. The village is changing with the season.
Oh it's nearly here. Colour is nearly the new black.

I spy purple flowers. It's all very exciting.

The trees are still bare, but the blue sky will soon introduce the blossom.

I'm a huge fan of this shop in the village. I popped in for a natter and a new candle holder for the kitchen table.

Hurry up Spring, I'm eagerly waiting for you.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

The plastic cow

There's a craft village not far from our home. I've often visited it for inspiration and cake.
Now I have Tommy, new doors have been opened in this craft village, to an inflatable farm and plastic animals.

Checking the big slide out.

Working the digger.

The inflatable farm was lots of fun.

Tommy loved patting the animals.

Tommy was very fond of this cow.

With daddy and a lion (not a real lion).

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Cupid, draw back your bow

I used to be a hopeless romantic.
This was before I joined the real world, before I grew up.
I spent a lot of time with my head in the clouds and romantic fiction.
This did not prepare me for real life.
I remember feeling quite shocked when I realised that relationships were not all roses and hearts. They could be hard work. They also had the power to make you feel mad and sad.
Then there was Valentine's Day. What high expectations I used to have for this day. I was usually disappointed, sometimes bitterly so.
Therefore, I was actually grateful when our yearly work conference was always held over Valentines Day. This meant my hopes would not be dashed of mini-breaks, rose petals and baths of champagne (okay I didn't really expect baths of champagne, that would have been a waste, but can you see where my head used to be). Instead, I was guaranteed to be spending the evening with colleagues, dancing on tables in Cannes or Barcelona. Which wasn't a bad way to spend an evening.
Fast forward to 2015. I no longer hold Valentines Day with such high regard. I even heard myself saying to my husband Mark only yesterday, "Nah, don't worry about booking a meal anywhere, save your money. It's just another day."
Crikey, how times change. And do you know why? Because Mark does thoughtful things for me every single day. They don't have to be big gestures, it could be getting up first to prepare Tommy's bottle, so I can have fifteen minutes extra in bed. Or walking to the shops in the pouring rain to buy my shampoo, so I don't have to. Or scrubbing the walls and carpets when I projectile vomited everywhere due to a sickness bug. And what about the time I had an ulcer in my eye, and he set his alarm to put drops in my eye, every hour throughout the night. The list is endless!
Finally, I feel loved and secure and happy. So I don't mind if we stay in on Valentines Day and watch Take Me Out and drink wine, like any other Saturday night.
Of course I am not knocking anyone who does celebrate Valentines Day, and dines out by candle light, or bakes a heart shaped sponge cake to eat from the same spoon. Why not? I just hope you both remember to be thoughtful and kind to each other all the other days of the year.
Oh and for the record, I've bought some heart shaped chocolates to place on Mark's scrambled eggs in the morning. I couldn't resist them.
I guess old habits die hard.
Romance is not completely dead.

Chocolate for breakfast.

To be honest, most nights I light these. I do love candle light.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Krayzy Kids

If ever I needed reminding of Tommy's comical character, I was reminded at Krayzy Kids. Oh he is such good entertainment value.
It was Elsie's 2nd birthday celebration, invites were sent via WhatsApp. How modern.

This was the kid's dining table, the calm before the storm. Tommy stuffed way too much chocolate in his mouth and then ran around peering in everyone's bags.

When Tommy met Tommy. He did make everyone laugh, waving at himself in the mirror and then kissing his reflection.

He danced in the soft play area, even when there was no music, well he sort of bends his legs and wiggles.

And he loves bending down and looking through his legs and laughing. I was too slow for this snap, so you'll just have to imagine it.

Then he ran in the 2-8 year old play area and Mark and I had to run after him. Not that we minded, it was great fun in there!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Who killed Betty Braithwaite?

Currently, I am guzzling water with lemon each morning, digesting vitamin pills with my evening meal, keeping on top of the housework, and trying to exercise at least twice a week.
This will probably last until February. Only eleven more days to go!
Welcome to my January.
The month I decide I must stop being a lazy slob. Although in fairness, the slobby, lazy thing only seems to occur in December. Once I’ve finished all the Christmas shopping, December birthday shopping, important office duties, December birthday present exchanging, Christmas present exchanging, house decorating, and a million shopping trips to Sainsburys.
Yes, once December decides to stop being a busy bee, I like to watch telly and eat chocolate, both in vast quantities.
In my defence, I tried not to be too gluttonous last December. Because it’s not a great start to the year when my clothes feel ever so tight and the thought of one more Strawberry Cream is making me feel woozy.
However, health is important, right? Therefore I am making the effort. I am also trying to be a domestic goddess, in between writing my book.
Writing my book. There, I’ve said it out loud, to other people. Which means I have to do it now.
I’ve reached the point in my life where I don’t want to say One Day any longer. I am being bold and doing it. And I quote, from something I read on Twitter – Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic.
Okay, I might be allowing myself to become slightly carried away with the boldness thing, but can you see my point?
I’ve had an idea rattling around in that brain of mine for a while now. Actually, I have other ideas keeping it company, but let’s concentrate on one idea at a time. For I am the master of day dreaming and what if’s and strange situations. I have always believed I am one of life’s observers and thinkers. The time has come to write a book about it!
So, my theme is based on a conversation where you should not judge a book by its cover, as things are not always as they seem. The reader is immediately transported back to the 1950’s, where there are flawed characters, secrets and lies. Throughout the book you will have clues and red herrings, and in the end all shall be revealed as to who killed Betty Braithwaite.
I have an agent in mind, a company who are keen to address new writers. However, I have been warned manuscripts may be rejected due to the simple fact of the agent's high work load.
I’m wondering how many budding want-to-be authors have decided enough is enough, in January they must write their best seller? Hopefully not too many!
Of course I am prepared for rejection. Then I shall improve and keep on trying, whilst remembering Stephen King and J K Rowling almost gave up before they became legends and millionaires.
Well that’s my goal for this year.
What’s yours?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Let it go (the cold never bothered me anyway)

Isn't it funny when you are really not looking forward to something, and then it turns out to be quite fabulous.
I suppose if you're not armed with very high expectations, you are easily pleased.
Sometimes it's a simple matter of, it wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be!
This is what happened to me on the 31st December 2014.
It was new years eve. Hubby, myself, and Tommy, were invited to a friend's house.
I'll be honest with you, dear readers; I was thoroughly content to stay at home, in pyjamas, with hubby, child, and chocolate.
However, when one is invited out, and when one's husband is eager and willing to accept invite, it could be considered inappropriate to decline invite in favour of, sofa, Cadburys, comfy nightwear.
So we ventured out.
"Are you really sure you want to?" I kept whining, all day, to my hubby Mark.
He was sure he really wanted to.
"But what about Tommy?" I said on more than one occasion, and repeatedly questioned to myself.
"All the kids are going, it will be fine," was always Mark's reply.
Mark is an optimistic with regards to life, our son's sleeping habits, and his general care.
I am optimistic with many matters, alas I am also peppered with realism, especially with regards to our son's sleeping habits and general care.
On our way to friend's house we stopped off at my father-in-laws. Mark and I were offered wine and Ferrero Rochers, Tommy excitedly ran around the house, trying to touch and pull everything in sight. After five minutes I was exhausted.
"I'm so glad I'm not going out tonight," said my father-in-law, with a relaxed smile, in his comfy arm chair.
He wasn't helping matters.
"I would much rather stay at home too," I confessed, whilst ensuring Tommy did not fall into the fireplace, or cause considerable harm with all objects in father-in-law's house.
I sighed when I thought of our small, Tommy-friendly home. I sighed louder when I thought about our next destination; our friends's huge(albeit lovely) home, with potentially hazardous situations.
I practically shuddered when I imagined an over-tired Tommy and myself pacing their huge house, whilst trying to convince him that everything would be okay if he just relaxed and fell asleep!
We left my father-in-law's house shortly after Tommy nearly tumbled onto the glass polar bear. We then arrived at my brother and sister-in-laws house, on route to friend's house, where I was greeted with a glass of bubbly, and a very tired nephew.
"As soon as we arrive at Michelle and Steve's I'll put him to bed," said my happy sister-in-law. I tried not to be green with envy when I looked at my wide awake son, who was running around with a dinosaur in his hand.
We walked to Michelle and Steve's house, with children in prams. My nephew promptly fell asleep, never to be woken again All NIGHT. Tommy pointed at everything during the journey to friend's house, and growled. He keeps growling. Luckily, so far, everyone finds it amusing.
Okay, here's where the night took an unexpected turn. You could have literally slapped me round the face with a
wet hedgehog.
Tommy did not run around the house, nearly crashing into glass/sharp objects/anything that would have hurt him or made him cry. He did not cling to me in a terrified way, wailing at anyone who dared to look at him and try to make him laugh.
He did not spend the majority of the night sobbing, due to over-tiredness and sheer frustration.
I did not complain that my back was aching from carrying him/bending down to rescue him/running behind him in a concerned manner.
Tommy found the playroom and played merrily and quietly ALL NIGHT. He did not even notice when I prised myself off the bean bag and sneaked out for cheese. Of course I made sure another responsible adult was in the playroom to supervise.
Yes I probably spent most of the night in the playroom, but it was fine. If Tommy was happy, I was happy.
It was actually quite relaxing sipping wine on a beanbag, watching his face concentrating on pretend and safe pots and pans in a pretend and safe kitchen. Other friend's popped in from time to time to chat to me, sometimes they even offered to sit with him and the older kids whilst I ate/danced/chatted to other guests in the kitchen.
Next, exhausted and content with all his playing, Tommy reached out to me and fell asleep. If only every night was this simple! I made him a little bed on the armchair in the open planned lounge and kitchen, so I could keep an eye on him. He was the last child to fall asleep, Freya, Ana and Georgia were sleeping soundly on the sofas and Ava and my nephew had slept the night away upstairs.
So I managed to indulge in some adult time too, satisfied in the knowledge that Tommy was sleeping soundly.
And he didn't even wake up when we all serenaded each other with the Disney classic, Let it Go. Or when we danced around the kitchen to Auld Lang Syne at midnight.
That, dear readers, is what you call a surprisingly successful, and quite fabulous, night.
Happy new year!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The zebra and the gingerbread man

It's been a very festive week, with a special guest appearance from a zebra and a gingerbread man.

On Christmas Eve I made the Christmas crackers, whilst sipping Chablis and listening to Christmas music.

I also made the place settings for Boxing Day.

Christmas morning. He's been!

The teddy in his pjs, from Tommy's stocking.

This one was as big as Tommy!

Who says frogs can't ride on buses?

Someone's been a very lucky boy.

Playing with daddy.

Pressies at nanny's house.

Tommy in a box.

I wonder what's in this bag?

The zebra ride on.

Tommy's first Christmas dinner. With paper hat.

Christmas pudding or mince pies?

Our table for Boxing Day.

The Christmas log.

The Christmas tree cheese cakes.

Chasing balloons in Mickey Mouse pjs, at my friend's birthday.

Me and my pals.

The coffee shop stop with friends. And the gingerbread man.