Thursday, 25 June 2009


"Wimbledon isn't as good as it was the other day. Can you change channels for me, please?"
Desparate lengths mothers will go to for a few peaceful minutes.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Is It Just Me?

Is it wrong that I don't want this little chap to grow up? I just want him to be this size for always (actually a few lbs lighter would be better cos he's getting a bit heavy to carry around now.) And I want him to wear little outfits like this for always too, although he'll probably have something to say about that on his first day at school.Babies look so cute in vests and babygros, don't they? Perhaps it's just me, but I can't understand why people seem so keen to get their little ones into jeans, shirts, jumpers, and even trainers - they'll have to wear 'proper' clothes for enough of their life so why not relish them being babies and dress them in soft, comfy clothes? Not to mention the fact that it's got to be a damn sight easier to get a babygro on a baby than a pair of jeans! I was in the 'Parent Room' in John Lewis yesterday changing DC and giving him his lunchtime bottle. Bearing in mind it was about 24C yesterday, he was just wearing a vest. A lady came in with her four-week old baby who was wearing a vest, a t-shirt and a pair of jeans; he didn't look too happy and she finally twigged that he might be a bit hot (not to mention uncomfortable I'd have thought with that nasty denim rubbing against his tiny little legs.) Stop trying to turn babies into miniature grown ups and let them be babies!

OK, give me a hand down from my soap box now, would you?

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


DC & I have been left to our own devices for the second time in a matter of days as international businessman jets off yet again (last week Zurich, this week Krakow where, incidentally, it is tipping down with rain.) So, today DC took me in to town (Reading, that is) to enjoy a little retail therapy. He was incredibly well-behaved, sleeping from 10am til 2pm thus leaving me with plenty of time to stop for coffee, cake and my book in Costa (I highly recommend their chocolate tiffin), lunch and more of my book in M&S and lots of in-between time for perusing the shelves, aisles and windows of various other establishments.

In John Lewis I treated the household to a barbecue bucket. We do have a 'proper' barbecue, but in all honesty it barely got used and has now turned in to a tower of rust. Recently hubby & I have been bombarded with the fabulous smell of other people's barbecues (why do they always smell soooooo good?), so when I saw the bbq bucket, I thought it would be perfect for us - just about big enough to cook a couple of snags and a chicken breast, which I think will be better than having to fire up a big barbie.

In Hotel Chocolat I bought a few bits for my friend Val to say thank you for passing on some of her boys' clothes for Arthur and, what luck, I just happened across a bar of chocolate that was half price for myself (bottom left). Always worth a look in H. Chocolat as they quite often have some of their chocs reduced.

Then it was on to M&S where I spent some time perusing the delight that is their 'Cake Shop' (fancy name for a section in one of the aisles.) I came away with my current favourite - the Fridge Cake, aka chocolate tiffin - don't you just love the retro packaging M&S are using for some of their things at the moment? I should start making it (tiffin that is, not retro packaging) myself since it's not exactly difficult but I just never get round to it.

Now we are home, enjoying the cool temperature of the living room, watching Wimbledon,
drinking cloudy lemonade and eating another piece of tiffin.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Happy Father's Day, Happy Birthday, Happy Summer Solstice

Lucky hubby started his very first Father's Day on his hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom and kitchen floors, poor chap; still, at least it shows what a fastidious household we are...

We were cleaning the house in preparation for our first overnight visitors - Grandma and Grandad, who were coming all the way from Wigan. It's Grandma's birthday today, so we were going to have a double celebration what with it being Father's Day as well. Except that things didn't quite go according to plan when the clutch went on G&G's car at the service station on the M6 toll road, thus leaving them at the mercy of the AA man and leaving us with only Father's Day to celebrate.

After he had finished his housework, hubby was allowed to open his Father's Day pressies, with a little help from his friend.DC did quite a good job of shopping for gifts for daddy: a photo frame complete with photo of himself and daddy, ten 8ft bamboo canes (amazing how he managed to fit those in his pram), some yummy Thornton's chocolates (perfect for sharing, hint hint), a bag of Haribos, an 'I love my daddy' coaster, and a big chocolate cake. Clever old DC.

And after that, hubby was allowed out to play at his allotment.DC & I even went along and offered a helping hand - I'm quite adept at weed-pulling, although my short attention span means I only helped out for 30mins before making my escape to Stresco's where, as per usual, I managed to buy everything on my list plus three hundred extra things I had no idea I needed.

Mid-afternoon found both my boys having an afternoon nap while I caught up with the latest episode of Big Brother (yes, I know it's a terrible thing, but I just can't help myself.)

We finished off the longest day of the year with a walk along the Thames (photos to follow as I've managed to save them to the camera memory rather than the memory card and I need to find the cables to allow me to download them - technology and me aren't the best of friends.)

Monday, 15 June 2009

Baby Love

This is my new favourite photo of DC. He looks a bit surprised, doesn't he? Perhaps he was wondering why I would want to take a photo of him with dribble on his chin. It wasn't a conscious decision on my part.

Hope the Cath Kidston fans amongst you are impressed by his CK cowboy print changing mat in the background!
Other baby news: my old school friend Tasha has just had a little boy - Billy. That's her third (2 boys and a girl now), so I've got some catching up to do. Congrats to Tasha, Rene and their brood.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Wooooo, how exciting!

Some of you may know, but some of you may not, that I really enjoy the Agatha Raisin series of books by MC Beaton. I discovered them by accident when the very first in the series - Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death - was on special offer in Waterstones for 99p. Now, I'm a sucker for a bargain, as the yellow labels in the fridge will attest, so I couldn't resist buying it - and the title was rather intriguing too. As soon as I read it, I was hooked. There are 19 books in the series so far, and number 20 is due to be published in October (perfect timing for it to be on my birthday/Christmas list). I've read 18 of them - can't bring myself to read number 19 and thus render myself Agatha-less, so it is sitting on the bookcase awaiting the day when I can resist no longer.

Agatha Raisin was also the cause of me meeting a fellow blogger - Pie of She is also an Agatha fan and kind of stumbled across my previous blog as a result of this shared love. And, best of all, we even got to meet up when hubby & I were in Maine last year.

Anyhoo, the whole point of this blog posting is to share my excitement with you all over the fact that MC Beaton will be appearing at this year's Reading Festival of Crime Writing and, wait for it, I've got a ticket! YAY! Hubby picked it up for me the other day, and I am most chuffed. Can't wait to hear what she has to say. I know it won't all be about Agatha as she also writes the Hamish McBeth series (I've read one of these and should really read a couple more since hubby bought me them for Christmas), but I'm so looking forward to it already! I'll try not to be too awestruck and sit there with my mouth agape, gently rocking back and forth and dribbling like DC, perhaps I'll even think of a question to ask, but I doubt it.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Room to Move

Delightful Child has finally spent his first night in his cot. Up til now he's been in his moses basket, and for the last couple of weeks we've been really having to shoe-horn him in to it - poor little chap will probably be stunted. But finally his nursery is finished and he is able to make the most of having room to move:

John Travolta, eat your heart out.

It was a night of many firsts - first night in his newly-decorated nursery, first night in his big cot, first night in a 'grobag' instead of blankets which are too easy to kick off.

And continuing the theme of yesterday's posting when I admitted what a wuss I have become since getting up the duff, today I started packing away DC's newborn and 0-3month clothes which are now too small for him - made me feel a little bit sad. Still, they'll be put to good use when DC's little brother or sister come along... Watch this space.

Cry Baby

Me, not Delightful Child (although he definitely has his moments). However, if DC decides to cry in the middle of the Marks and Spencers cafe, that wouldn't really be a head-turning event (unless he was really screaming I suppose.) But when a grown woman decides to shed a few tears over her 'Luxury Hot Chocolate' (that's with added whipped cream and marshmallows - a new mum needs the extra calcium for her bones and sugar for energy...), then that's just weird, isn't it?!

Since I got pregnant, the tears just flow so much more readily. When the Olympics were on last year, I found myself getting all weepy when people were awarded their medals - didn't matter whether it was Team GB or Team Kazakhstan (although of course it was much more rewarding to find Team GB on the podium). Now I find myself able to cry at the drop of a hat at tv programmes, adverts, films and, as I discovered yesterday in M&S, books. I'm currently reading The Book Group by Elizabeth Noble; not necessarily the sort of book you would expect to reduce you to tears but there was just a little section about the birth of twins, one of whom was stillborn (I'm welling up as I type this just thinking about it - talk about soppy!) And the tears just trickled down my face; luckily I had a couple of serviettes to hand to swipe them away but not before the man on the next table asked if the air conditioning was bothering me!

I guess those hormones must still be coursing through my veins.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Morris Dancers and Tiddleywink

On Sunday hubby, Arthur and I continued our search for "the perfect place to live" with a trip to Wiltshire and Somerset. Our ultimate goal was Bradford-on-Avon, which we had heard from several sources was a rather pretty little place. Along the way we passed through Wotton Bassett, Calne, Melksham, Box and Corsham, not to mention countless other tiny wee villages and hamlets. Unfortunately, none of the places we visited passed our exacting standards, not even Bradford-on-Avon which, although extremely pretty, just didn't tick enough boxes as a place where we could see ourselves living.Still, we had a very pleasant day out, brightened along the way by stumbling across a group of morris dancers having a little jig about next to the village green in Holt - how cool is that?! It's not everyday you're driving along and happen to glimpse such a "traditional" English scene - morris dancers, a village green, a flagpole with the Union Flag a-fluttering in the breeze. Hubby was v. excited as this was the first time he had ever seen morris dancers "in real life". Needless to say, we just had to park the car, unload Delightful Child, and spend some time wallowing in this rural idyll.And then, a little further along the road, it got even better when we drove through the 'blink-and-you'll miss-it' hamlet of... wait for it...


How cute; you've just got to love the English countryside, haven't you?! Which came first - the place or the game? Perhaps it's where the game was invented. But imagine living there. No one would believe you when they asked for your address! 'As if', they'd say. 'Is it anywhere near Toy Town?' 'Are Noddy and Big Ears your neighbours?' No doubt the novelty would wear off after a while.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

What a Difference a Week Makes

Last weekend: We were in Scotland (above)
This weekend: We are in England

Last weekend: We were staying in a castle (above)
This weekend: We are staying at home (not above...)

Last weekend: It was hot and sunny, with ne'er a cloud in the sky - with a high temp of approx 82degrees farenheit (28celsius for those of you who are a bit more au fait with this new means of measuring the temperature)
This weekend: It's raining cats and dogs and is somewhat chilly (approx 17celsius)

Last weekend: We were Arthur-free for the first ever time, for two nights
This weekend: We are back with the little man, and loving it (look at those eyelashes - does it looks like I've been applying mascara to him?!)

Last weekend: We were at a wedding
This weekend: We are enjoying our very own wedded bliss, which consists of dusting and vacuuming in perfect harmony (I dust, he vacuums)

Last weekend: He was Best Man
This weekend: He's still the best man, in my opinion (ahh, aren't I soppy?)

Last weekend: The decorators had just started
This weekend: The decorators have nearly finished - paintwork is shiny and white, walls are crisp and clean; just our bedroom left to do

Last weekend: We owned two cars
This weekend: We still own two cars, it's just that one of them doesn't live with us anymore...

So, to precis, last weekend hubby and I were at Borthwick Castle, approx 12 miles south of Edinburgh, for Mark & Fiona's wedding where hubby was Best Man. We had a really lovely time and the weather was absolutely fantastic but, boy, that spiral staircase in the castle was a killer! We left Arthur in Wigan with his grandparents and had our first two nights without him. It felt a bit odd at first and every now and again across the weekend I would wish he was there for a cuddle, but all in all it was fine as we knew he was in very good hands! When we drove up to Wigan, hubby and I went in convoy as we were taking our old car, Pierre the Peugeot, to stay up there. We want to test out whether or not it's possible to survive with just one car and since the tax & MOT are up soon and we would also have to buy a parking permit for a second car, it was the sensible option to take Pierre to live off-road oop north for a time while we test the theory.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Most Comfortable Place to Sleep

is definitely Mummy's shoulder; although once her arm goes dead, Mummy doesn't necessarily agree.

And the great thing is that I get to practice my pout at the same time.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Here Come the Girls

Ooo, what's that at the bottom of the garden?

Last night hubby went to pick up three new additions to the family - Audrey, Gail, and Sarah-luv. We've had chickens before - Rita and Mavis were the first two, who were then joined by Deirdre and Blanche. Blanche, however, made a swift exit once we had learnt she thought she was a cockerel and liked to practice making as much noise as possible early in the morning. We then had to re-home the other three when we went travelling last January; we were rather sad to see them go and were determined to get some more upon our return. However, living in a rented house, we weren't too sure of the etiquette of chicken-keeping so we decided to wait until we moved into the new place. And so, after 16 months of chicken-less-ness, here we are with three lovely little ladies of approx seven-weeks old. Hopefully they'll be laying yummy eggs in the next eight to ten weeks - fabalicious!