Thursday, 30 April 2009

Oh and another fearless feat

I've allowed myself to fall in love at least three times.

And I'm prepared to do so again!

Fearless or foolish?

Sent from my iPhone

I felt the fear and I did it anyway...

Sometimes it's easy to forget who you are and all the things you have done that make you 'more than just a mum'.

So last night, over wine and whisky, I was reminded of all the fearless things I have done:

Lived in Australia for a year at the age of 19;
I have swum with wild dolphins;
Jumped off a bridge only with the aid of big knicker-elastic. Ok it was VERY big knicker elastic but ultimately it was just elastic;
I have held some one's hand as they took their last breath;
I have trekked in the Andes to Macchu Picchu;
I also have stood up in front of 500 people to give a charity speech, now on more than one occasion;
Learnt to rise a bike in my thirties;

And now I am raising a child.

If I can do it anyone can, but that doesn't make it any the less scary.

Sometimes it's worth reminding yourself how far you have come, if only to give you the strength to carry on.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Who can I pass this onto...

Ok, so I've been tagged by the lovely Mamma Po on the glorious Isle of Wight, and although I seem to be wracking my brains to tag someone who hasn't been so already, I will try and answer the questions (somewhat hastily as I am at work):

What are your current obsessions?

(In no particular order) Yoga, learning to ride a bike, teaching little girl to talk, regaining perspective.

Favourite food?

Cauliflower cheese and oven chips

Fish, chips and champagne

Steak Tartare



What’s for dinner tonight?

If I go to yoga - nothing

If I don't go to yoga I now have a hankering for steak, salad and sweet potato wedges

Hangover cure?


Moaning a lot, doesn't work but seems to happen anyway.

What’s the last thing you bought?

Egg and tomato breakfast baguette from Pret

What are you currently listening to?

Keyboards tapping, St Pauls chiming and on my iPhone are Fleet Foxes, Ben Iver and The Chemical Brothers.

What are your favourite holiday spots?

Well, the Isle of Wight is where I run to most - my mummy lives there

other than that I can't think about holidays until I can afford one!

What are you reading now?
The Enchantress of Florence - Salman Rushdie

Itsy Bitsy Yoga - Helen Garabidien
Mind Gym: Relationships - Mind Gym

Use 4 words to describe yourself.

Generally: Happy, loving, optimistic and occasionally naughty

Right now I tend to be: Blue, dull, moany and self-absorbed

What is your guilty pleasure?

Fridays: Going to yoga while my baby is at nursery, and spending the afternoon drinking champagne with Erica.

Who or what makes you laugh until you’re weak?

My neighbours and my family

First Spring thing

Retrieving flip-flops from under the sofa - told you I am an optimist

Where are you planning on travelling to next?

I'm running away to the Island on Friday.

Otherwise, I guess the next big trip is to SA to visit PD's family.

What was the best thing you ate or drank recently?

Several bottles of 'Don David' shared with friends on Sunday

When did you last get tipsy?

Sunday - the Don David did it. Or this evening if you read this on Thursday (nothing like forward planning)

What is your favourite film?

Life is Beautiful or It's a Wonderful Life

What’s your favourite song?

Right now it's Prettiest Star by David Bowie, I dedicate it to my little girl.

(Isobel's is Nellie the Elephant by the Toy Dolls)

Share a piece of wisdom.

'This too shall pass'

If you could change anything in your life so far, what would it be?

I would have let PD go before Isobel was born and dealt with it with greater grace. I treasure every second we spend together as a family and love sharing her sprecial moments with him; I will always wish things were different but they aren't and I can't change that.

So ladies, the game is, you answer the questions, changing one question for your own, then forward to ? others - who is left!.

Cool Bananas


New Mummy

Confidence Update

Galvanised my post yesterday morning, I ventured into the long wet grass of my garden and peddled.

I didn't fall off, but as my garden is only 30 feet long I pretty much got to practice stopping and starting. But, thanks to PD's presence, in the evening I cycled around the block a few times and even ventured along the main road to the station.

I didn't fall off even when I fearlessly turned right onto a main road, but as I still struggle to look over my shoulder or to signal I wussed-out at the junction and wheeled across the crossing. Hey, it's a start.

Meanwhile, Isobel spent the day toddling around the house, as she had by the end of the day acquired 3 facial bruises I think we are about even.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


My day began at 5:50 with my beautiful little girl calling 'Daddy, Daddy, Daddy' at the top of her voice - he has never ever got her up in the morning.

(Ok that's a little harsh, when he was here, way back when, we did race each other to get to our smiling little baby, but that was forever ago.)

A little indignant I delivered madam her breakfast in bed and returned to mine praying she would return to sleep.

She didn't.

We read, we played and we even danced.

I've been over compensating again this morning because in a wee few hours I am gong to have needles stuck in my daughter, potentially give her autism but save the world from a measles epidemic - yep it's MMR time.

Heigh ho, must be done.

(Spelling of 'heigh' is a copy from a Stephen Fry tweet and if anyone knows how to spell it must be him.)

Monday, 27 April 2009

It's just a question of confidence

I've just realised that Isobel and I are both going through the same mini crisis at the moment - and it's all about confidence (albeit in the face of grave physical danger).

As I wobble on my bike, she wobbles on her feet. Just as I can get from A to B on a bike but as yet choose not to go too far, she can easily take 8 steps yet chooses not to take more. Just as I have a DD to help me...

She has me!

Actually it's more true for Isobel, she generally chooses to only walk in my presence, not at nursery and not for her PD. She will do it in front of them and even let her fairy godfather get in on the coaching act at the weekend, but just as long as I was there.

As confidence is one of the things I really want my daughter to have, something I struggle with, I guess I have to get on my bike and ride.

My, that thought makes a mighty fine pair of stabilisers.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Night cap

Yesterday at our brunch with the two Es we were discussing many things. Brunch with two one year olds is a bit like speed dating; you can have many conversations as long as they only last a couple of minutes. In this way we covered MANY topics.

Little E, it has to be said, is not the best sleeper, and grown up E is now trying many tricks to improve this situation.

As Isobel has a tendency to wake up very early - anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 am - (although she does go back to sleep with a bottle and no bother) I thought I would employ one of these tricks.

Excitedly I skipped off to Waitrose and bought some Hipp Organic Good Night Milk, it's one of those thick milks with cereal in to help babies not be hungry in the night - no they don't do a Crunchy Nut Cornflake one.

As I mixed the bottle I was already thanking this miracle elixir, kicking myself for not having tried it sooner and imagining residing in a delicious slumber in dreamland until the godly hour of seven o'clock.

At 2 am I was awoken by a screaming child, who worked herself into such a tis I expected the neighbours to knock down the door to rescue us from a marauding intruder. Normally a quick cuddle and she's back to sleep - nope it took an hour, and three screaming fits before she fell asleep.

Then she had the audacity to still wake up at 6 o'clock and not go back to sleep.

Overall, I wouldn't say it was a success.

(And I'd meditated so was actually having lovely lucid dream filled sleep at the time, but no I don't know the lottery numbers or what I should do next)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Girlies who brunch

We took our friends, Emma and Eloise to the cafe today.

We had a lurvely time even if Alberto appears to have been abducted
and been replaced by another Italian who tries hard but manages not to
amuse but only to annoy little girl!

I can't believe I said that

Regular readers (yes all three of you) will know that often I go quiet it's because I don't have anything good to say.

It's true, this week I had a major implosion, luckily the intensity was fierce so the longevity was short.

On Wednesday I muttered some words I never thought I would hear myself say. On the train home from work, I was tired, well weary. It felt like Groundhog Day (so american but is there an English alternative?).

The sun was shining, the pubs by the river were serving jugs of Pims and I was going home, as I always do; to put my baby to bed, as I always do.

And I realised: I hadn't been enjoying my little girl that much lately and I said so. I can't believe it but yes I said the words and I meant them.

(In fact I hadn't really been enjoying anything very much - god I can be a miserable cow.)

I said those words and the flood gates opened. It was nasty, PD bore the brunt but now it's over.

I was so pleased to see my little girl the next morning, the sun still shone my neighbours rallied around making me feel loved and I went to yoga.

I'm hoping to be back on track now, so you'll be hearing more from me...

Friday, 24 April 2009

I want to ride my bicycle...

This morning I was to be found in a playing field with a rather fit, and quite nicely tall Danish Dude. And I returned home with a slightly sore bottom.

Ok so the title kind of gives it away, it wasn't the DD I was straddling, I was learning to ride a bike.

Ten years ago I had a lesson but now it's serious; I must learn to ride a bike before Isobel does!

I mean since that lesson ten years ago, I can ride a bike; if by ride you mean propel a bicycle from A to B without falling off. But, if by 'ride' you mean go in a straight line, with minimal wobbling and be confident enough to lift hand and look over shoulder (as is necessary to turn a corner), well that is another matter.

( I wasn't even sure about the ability not to fall off after 4 years of bottom not touching saddle)

I wobble, I weave, I grip the handle bars so tightly I think my knuckles will burst out of my skin.

I have never ridden on a road (lots of lovely cycle paths in the borough of Richmond) and to fulfill the image in my head of me in a summer frock cycling to yoga or taking babe and picnic on the back, well I'm a long way off. Even after that 2 hour lesson kindly paid for by the City of London.

I have to practice, which is cool, but hard to do when you can't take babe, and if can't practice can't get confident enough to take babe...

I have two weeks before the next lesson and the DD wants to be able to take me out on a proper ride!

Monday, 20 April 2009

A month of Sundays

(An excuse to post pictures and say little)

A scary insight into my morning mind

This morning I was having a dilemma. A dilemma of the what-shall-I-wear-to-work kind, I'm sure you all have them, unless you wear a uniform of course or are a boy...

Anyway, I couldn't decide between the pencil skirt and heels look or the tea-dress and Mary Jane's.

After shower I went with the former; doubted whether it suited my mood, so set out to change. In the end I compromised with a less tight pencil skirt, a frill-fronted open neck blouse, red Mary Jane's and, what can only be described as a 'scoop- neck' 'tank-top'.

I then pondered whether scoop-neck was the appropriate term, but more importantly are 'tank-tops' still called 'tank-tops', or is there a far more 'down with the kids word for it - it came from Oasis after all.

By now the word 'Tank-top' was filling my head and all I could think of was Frank Spencer, and I silently 'ooh Betty-ed' all the way to Nursery.

My sanity was saved by a girl carrying a pink watering-can shaped handbag - now I have Radiohead singing in my mind.

A definite improvement.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Place holder

This is just a page mark for a post that was terribly witty in my head at 2 o'clock this morning, but isn't translating to the page.


Friday, 17 April 2009

Isobel's favourite word..

is bloomin' 'Daddy'

We get home and as we reach the front door it's 'Daddy, Daddy, Daddy'.

And he doesn't even live here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

A sorry tale

So, Friday morning I was up bright and breezy, and actually very excited; I was excited because I was going to yoga! (No, that's not sad bit)

I was merrily glugging my way through gallons of water in preparation for all that sweating and hotness; I'd squeezed my self into my favourite yoga outfit, which doesn't suddenly give me the body of a carrot-juicing-lithe-18-year-old-yoga-bunny, but makes me feel the part, as well as being practical.

(A quick aside - you know they say you are what you eat? Well I'd much rather be a chocolate eclair than a brown lentil, mind you a nice crisp juicy apple wouldn't be so bad....)

Back to the story (riveted aren't you?)

So there I am in all my yogary (like finery but yoga instead of fine); PD is on his way to look after Isobel.

And Isobel...

is pulling all the books off the bookshelf.

I bent down to remove her from the area of temptation... (tension mounts)


Yes, you guessed it. My back went again.

See, it is a tragic, tragic tale. Well, I cried.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Short but sweet

Yesterday Isobel said 'Mum' not mama not a mamamama whine; nope a
full blown, beautifully articulated

'Mum', no one else heard it, she's not repeated it.

Not like Daddy, which is the first thing she said when we got home!


Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Get your motor running!

Born to be wiiilllld!

She mastered this in minutes, but no she isn't getting one, even if her trike will never be quite the same again.

Smug? Moi? Absabloominlutely

And why wouldn't I be.

I'm driving a great car, I paid for in hard earned cash; to the island
to see family who will be as pleased to see me as I am to see them; there is roast chicken and crumble and a million hugs waiting on the other side of the water;

And when I look over the shoulder this is what I see.

Sent from my iPhone

(Update: This post made Isobel so nauseous, she 'puked' as soon as we arrived!)

Friday, 10 April 2009

Clear as a Bel

Isobel has articulated very clearly her first proper word.

I don't mean mama or even dada, nor any of the other sounds that sound
like words.

Nope, today Isobel very clearly said 'Daddy'! And she said it
approriately. I'm not spitting as many chips as I thought I would be!
I just tell myself it's because I taught it to her. (You just knew I'd
take the credit somehow.)

Oh, she also said 'bye', not the ba ba we've known to be 'bye' for so

Love her, she has been absolutely delightful today.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Carry on regardless

Litte girl can shake her bum with the best of them.

Nothing more to be said when DJ Bel is in the house, loving the iPod, loving the BOSE.


Apparently that's how I look today.

So while my daughter has regained her angel status, I, it seems have not.

According to the friend I have just had lunch with, I've lost my inner light and am appearing in more ways than one to be very, very dull.

I would dispute it but it's true. My light is hidden under an extremely cumbersome bushel of financial doom and gloom. My 'it's only money' mantra is stuck on 'it's only...'

He's right I need to pull myself towards myself and find the me again. My backs better so it's back to yoga tomorrow.

I'm actually not being sarcastic when I say I'm excited. It's a start.

Meanwhile, if you see me wandering aimlessly without so much as a rucksack on my back, can you point me in my direction because I am looking for me.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Ghost Busters

There is something weird in my neighbourhood.

You remember that beautiful, happy, independent angel child I'm always going on about?

Well, in the last 24 hours she has been possessed. Possessed by the spirit of a terrible-twoer. I have had crying for two hours in the night - she has NEVER done that before. And tantrums, gosh she can throw a wobbly.

Tonight, with cornflour in her hair (nursery - don't ask), desperately requiring a bath to wash it out, she cried so hard I thought she'd explode. She was so clingy I ended up getting in the bath with her and then she was happy.

Does anyone have the number for ghost busters? Or a catholic priest?

As much as I admire spirit, I'd quite like to exorcise this one sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Last night was a big occasion for me, it was the first time in Isobel’s 13 month life I haven’t put her to bed. I found saying good by to her at nursery that morning very tough. I knew she’d be fine but would I cope?

My head knew she’d be ok, and that was exactly what my heart was worried about, what if she didn’t miss me…

Well, she didn’t; she and PD were just fine without me, I think what that means for the future scares me even more… heigh ho best I get used to the idea that she will have a life without me before she is 18!

Anyway, there was a very good, and quite swanky reason I missed the pleasure of bedtime: I was attending a private viewing of a charity photo exhibition and in amongst the photos of various celebs and sportsmen, was one of me.

The Willow Foundation is a charity really dear to my heart, it’s set up by Bob and Megs Wilson (who now treat me like a VIP!) to provide special days for seriously ill young adults (bit like Shooting Stars but for 18-40 year olds). For some reason, even though I’ve been interviewed for their DVD and a book, not to mention done countless speeches in front of hundreds of people for them, I can’t seem to write about it here.

Grab some tissues, go to thewebsite, watch the video, I’ll post the picture and the book extract at some point.

Maybe then you’ll understand, or maybe not – I'm not sure I do.

For now here's a picture Isobel with Bob and Meg the day we made the DVD last summer.

Meanwhile, for an evening I was reminded that there is a slightly glamorous side to me, and as much as Willow say I do for them, they have given me far more than they can ever imagine, and not just because of James.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Weather girls

I know us Brits have a reputation for talking about the weather, but is it really that surprising? Our weather always is surprising us and it never quite gets it right. It's too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, and our seasons never quite tally.

You can always guess what time of day someone got dressed, in fact doing so is one of my favourite games.

Take today: Isobel and I were up early, when we left the house I had removed the parasol from the pushchair for easy raincover access, Isobel was wearing a jumper and raincoat, me I had on coat and boots, and PD was exclaiming that t was colder than yesterday.

By the time we had been to the cafe, the library and the swings, a different look could be seen on the streets of Twickers; more cardie than coat and pumps not boots.

By the afternoon I'd swapped woolly tights and boots for leggings and pumps and Isobel was playing in the garden in her vest and I was coating her in sunscreen.

I know there are some people who dress for the alleged season, I had one friend who swapped the contents of her wardrobe twice a year when the clocks change. A risky strategy if you ask me.

Is it any surprise that one of my most used apps on the iPhone is the Yahoo Weather.

Live Saturday action

Friday, 3 April 2009

One, two, three

Four! Unaided steps!

And repeated!

Ok so I think she enjoys the throwing herself at me at the end best,
but we are both very excited.

I can't video it because it's me she's walking to but I am desperate
to show it off.

I guess PD should be the second to see it, he has been walking hand in
hand with her a lot. I always thought she'd learn to walk between the
two of us, but at least she walked to me!

Sent from my iPhone

The pencil case is a BIG hit!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Who loves ya baby

If you tell Isobel you love her, she replies with kisses.

Nothing else to be said really. X

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Obviously a me day

I've just walked along a sunny South Bank to Waterloo (funnily enough
the buses around The City are a little disrupted), it was a
bittersweet walk really.

Sweet because it is one of my places, one of the places I feel at
peace with me and my place in the world. I just don't have so much
time to amble these days.

Sweet because of the sights and sounds of London on a sunny day -
buskers, performers, gigglers and shouters.

Sweet because of the book stalls, the cafes, the bars and the general
al fresco.

But towards the end I found myself getting bitter, in fact as I sit
on the train typing this I could almost cry.

Suddenly I feel the loss of my freedom.

I had a fleeting thought of stopping for a chilled spritzer.

I shook it off, I'm on way to collect little girl.

But the thought didn't go, I just kept thinking 'why shouldn't I', 'it
wouldn't take long', 'I could couldn't I'?

But I couldn't; if was a daddy I probably would have, but I'm a mummy
and therefore I'm hurrying home.

And now I mourn the loss of all the sunny afterwork drinks.

Sent from my iPhone

Me (again)

Do you want to know a secret?

When I'm at work I don't feel like a Mum, I just feel like me. Although I will gladly boast about my daughter and flash her picture when the opportunity arrises.

Do you want to know another secret?

I Twitter, yes I don't just whitter, I Tweet. This again tends not to be about me being a mum, as when I'm being a mum I don't have time.

My first Tweet this morning was about the Guardians April Fool -

A tweet too far even for me perhaps...