Priority seats for mums with toddlers: now there’s an idea

We all know being a mum with a buggy on public transport can be tricky: there’s usually a (large) step up to board the vehicle, sliding doors to manoeuvre and narrow aisles to navigate, but when you’ve successfully accomplished those, you’re generally pretty well catered for. Unless you’re unfortunate enough to travel on South West Trains. It seemed the perfect mode of transport for BB and I ahead of a weekend in Dorset. The excitement of the station, a picnic lunch as houses whizzed by, a table on which to do colouring and plenty of space to clamber around. I don’t know what I was thinking. Clapham Junction + toddler in a pushchair + weekend bag on a Friday afternoon = bad idea. […]

By |April 29th, 2013|Family life|0 Comments

Silent Sunday: April 28, 2013

By |April 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

While you were sleeping

It never fails to amaze me what it’s possible to achieve during afternoon nap time. This week, between the hours of 1pm and 3pm, I have: 1) Given four wooden chairs two coats of paint 2) Washed, folded and put away five loads of washing 3) Sorted out the household budget for the month 4) Written three blog posts 5) Had a nap myself 6) Saved the world (ok, I made that one up) And that’s not all. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve said to myself ‘You’re knackered. Today you’re going to sit down with a cup of tea while BB’s having her nap’. This never happens, because there are always so many things it’s so much easier, and quicker, to do when she’s not there. Which got me thinking. There must be an army of mums across the country, the world even, who after clearing away the lunch things and settling their pre-schoolers in their cots spin into action and accomplish all manner of weird and wonderful tasks in just two little hours. So I googled ‘things to do when babies are napping’. The very first page to come up suggests ‘what to do while you’re waiting for your baby to wake up’. Waiting? Are they insane? Who on earth ‘waits’ for their baby to wake up? It then goes on to suggest five fun activities to do during this ‘boring’ nap time. […]

By |April 26th, 2013|Family life|6 Comments

Tuesday: the best day of the working week

The nuclear winter is over. Yesterday we emerged, blinking and pale as though we’d been indoors for a thousand months, and were greeted with a cloudless blue sky and glorious sunshine. For the first time since we moved to the south coast five months ago our daily constitutional walk was less constitutional and more playful: we shed our coats which had begun to feel like a second skin, we felt the warmth of the sun on our arms, we threw stones into the sea and ate ice lollies. The sun went straight to our heads. And we weren’t the only ones. Beach hut doors were thrown open, barbecues were lit, old ladies, also blinking and pale, were wheeled onto the promenade to sniff at the sea air and students played guitars on the beach. A queue snaked out from the ice cream kiosk while women who really shouldn’t wear hot pants and men who really oughtn’t go shirtless did just that. Children, like BB (pictured), and dogs leapt around on the pebbles, giddy with the sense of excitement they’d caught from the adults. […]

By |April 24th, 2013|Exercise, Family life|1 Comment

A girl can never have too many…headbands

Now I’m not normally a fan of headbands on babies – I don’t really see the point, especially when they don’t have any hair – but check this out (pictured). This super duper little number from Cute Cute landed on our doormat on Friday and I’m in love. Forget plastic or fabric covered metal, this one is made from the softest lace, boasts a glittery pink rose and is about as Downton Abbey as you can get. Needless to say my little rose adores it, and it’s been round her head ever since. It even fits round my head, and as Misery Guts unhelpfully pointed out, it would also make a great garter (for me, not BB, of course). […]

By |April 22nd, 2013|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Reviews|0 Comments

Silent Sunday: April 21, 2013

By |April 21st, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

More conversations I’ve overheard this week (and wish I hadn’t)

Is there no limit to what people will openly discuss in public places? It would appear coffee shops, where regular followers will know I can often be found bashing out a story or two when I’ve swapped my mummy hat for my journalist one, are now the place to conduct business. Apart from failing to give anyone involved any privacy, I don’t think I’ve ever come across anything more unprofessional than discussing the inner workings of a company or individual next to yummy mummies sipping their skinny lattes or journalists on the hunt for story ideas (aka moi). These are (just some) of the exchanges I’ve been unable to avoid overhearing this week: 1) A testosterone battle between one suited man and his colleague, one of whom had flown to their coffee shop meeting (in Sussex) from Liverpool. After outlining the agenda of their meeting – how best to bid for funding for the charitable trust they worked for – they then spent more than an hour criticising each other’s decision making skills. Not very charitable. And surely this could have been done over the phone? I still can’t help but wonder how much the flight cost the poor charity. 2) An interview for a new coffee shop manager. It transpired the existing senior barista wanted the job, but the man from head office conducting the interview told the applicant he didn’t think this chap was ‘quite suitable’. I’m not sure if they’ve told the poor guy yet – when I ordered my cup of tea this morning he’s still being super helpful and friendlier than usual, although I’m not complaining. But something’s not right when the customers are one step ahead of the staff. […]

By |April 18th, 2013|Family life, Food, Work life|0 Comments

The hoarder next door: yep that’s me

Two weeks after committing (online) Tesco suicide, things are going swimmingly with Asda. Not only does the weekly shop now arrive on time and in date, it is cheaper and so far has come with one of my favourite things in the whole wide world: free samples. These appeal to me on a number of levels: 1) They’re free 2) They come in the cutest, minniest sizes you’ve ever seen. Think Honey I Shrunk The Pantene 3) They are trussed up in equally miniature bags, often featuring a bow This is the little stash (pictured) which arrived this week: eight tubes of Colgate toothpaste and five sachets of stir fry sauce. Of course they can’t possibly be used. Because they might come in handy one day. Like the miniature pots of Sudocrem, the tiny tubes of Johnson’s and a hessian pouch of cotton wool balls that came in the hospital bounty pack when I had BB. All of which are in the drawer under her cot, still in the little bags they came in. […]

By |April 16th, 2013|Family life, Food|2 Comments

Silent Sunday: April 14, 2013

By |April 14th, 2013|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Comfy shoes: the thin end of the wedge gets thicker

If my plastic glasses were the thin end of the wedge, then the wedge has just got thicker. Decidedly thicker. Check out my latest shoe acquisition. Designer? No. Gorgeous? Sadly not. High heeled? Don’t be silly. It is with the greatest regret I must admit, for the first time ever with the exception of trainers, I have bought a pair of shoes based on their comfort, durability and affordability. From Clarks. They look like the sort of thing my 87-year-old Granny would wear. Worse, they are the sort of thing my 87-year-old Granny does wear. Even my 91-year-old Granny, who owns a pair of Ugg boots, is more on trend than I am. Worse still, my new pair of shoes boast WaveWalk technology. Attractive. […]

By |April 12th, 2013|Beauty, Family life, Fashion|2 Comments

Passport photo shocker

I’ve done it. I’ve scarred BB for life. Despite best efforts, this is her first passport photo. It’s going to haunt her for the rest of her life. And she’s going to hate me for it. Kissable lips and delightfully chubby cheeks aside, how is it possible that she looks as though she’s been shouldered into the frame with her hands behind her back by a burly police officer having done something she knows she really shouldn’t? And how is it possible that what was a fairly expensive salon bob looks like I’ve put a pudding bowl on her head and cut round it. Badly. […]

By |April 10th, 2013|Beauty, Family life|2 Comments

When I grow up I want to be…a gardener or tree hugger

She’s only 19 months old, but I already know what my daughter is going to be when she grows up: a gardener. The seed of thought was first sown in my mind when I caught her singing, yes singing, to a pot of campanula while stroking the leaves. She jumped when she saw me, and then smiled and carried on, making her way from one plant pot to another in our sun lounge. The process is now repeated several times a week. Her Granny then bought her a miniature gardening kit for Easter, which she didn’t pay much attention to until we got home. I put it away in her bedroom, and the following morning, realising things had gone Very Quiet, I discovered she had extracted the watering can and fork from the kit, and was in the sun lounge pretending to water the flowers. While singing. […]

By |April 8th, 2013|Family life|0 Comments

Silent Sunday: April 7, 2013

By |April 7th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The joy of…chocolate

I think the picture speaks for itself...

By |April 5th, 2013|Family life, Food|0 Comments

I’ve finally committed Tesco suicide

I’ve committed Tesco suicide. That is, online Tesco suicide (vowing never to shop at any Tesco, ever again, is likely to inconvenience me far more than it will inconvenience them). The action comes after our home shop was late for the second time in a row, the third time in a month and the fifth time this year. I don’t just mean 10 minutes late; I mean three hours late. Of course things happen: first the delivery van was in an accident. Then it broke down. Twice. Then it never arrived at all thanks to the snow, and after being trapped on the M23 for eight hours in blizzard conditions I’ll give them that. Then the delivery driver fell down a flight of stairs. All I can deduce from this list of excuses is this: we must have the most hapless delivery drivers in Christendom. This ‘service’ incenses me beyond belief. What is the point of offering a one hour delivery slot if you can deliver the groceries at any other time except the allotted – and paid for – time? Why run such a service without a contingency plan for when things break down or said hapless driver finds him (or her, but highly unlikely) self in an accident? Why only text to tell your customer their order will be late half an hour into their delivery slot, when you must have known hours ago? And why not offer to refund the delivery charge? Anyone other than a supermarket giant would have gone out of business, and deservedly so. […]

By |April 3rd, 2013|Family life, Food, Uncategorized|6 Comments