Monday, 29 June 2009

My World in Motion -Jo Whiley

Last week I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Jo Whiley's autobiography.

I obviously looked at the photos before I started to read the book - you have to don't you? Let's face it, if you have ever 'tuned in' to the mid morning slot on Radio One you will already be a little envious of her life, combining a beautiful family with gorgeous stars and providing her own soundtrack in between. Me, I LOVE the Live Lounge.

So all in all I was excited to read her tale.

I would say if you have never heard Jo on the radio you may find this book hard to read. She writes as she speaks and it is like a conversation, albeit one with herself, you how easy it is to digress and then repeat yourself? So, as you read this you will expand her audience to two (you'll understand this when you read the book).

Anyway, it isn't a straight chronological catalogue of her life, but rather it is about all the bits of her life that make her her. From her lovely but different sister and those trials and tribulations, to the life she has now, the life where Mika pops in for breakfast - well nearly.

I must say it isn't smug, and she isn't blase about the VIP life she can have now. You actually continue to like her more and more, as you read the book. Although her sister has very special needs, she has what appears to be a perfect family, in the one she came into and the one she has created. It is definitely this strong foundation that has allowed her to forge her way in the world.

Would I read it again, probably not but I would love to be there in person to have the conversation and save her talking to herself.

*While looking to create the link from Amazon I spotted that this is available on CD, and you know what, that might be the way to go, as I said she writes as she speaks.

Tale of two brooms

I wouldn't say my girlie friends and I are messy, but a booze fuelled
picnic of bread and cheese in front of the rugby is bound to involve
some crumbage.

The level of crumbage scattered on the back of the dead cow on the
sitting room floor was obviously more than Isobel could take.

First she disapeared off into the kitchen and came back brandishing
the little broom.

When that was simply greeted with 'how sweet' she went back out to the

Determined to get us to clean up our mess, she returned with the full
size broom and proceeded to sweep the floor.

I took the hint and shook the rug out the front door.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Run, run, run, runaway

Yay! Little girl's passport has arrived.

I feel like bundling her in the car and running away to France, just
because we can!

(I can't think of a title right now)

At what age to children start to realise how embarressing their parents are?

I do have a reason for asking, not just that I think I have the potential to be an embaressing mother, I actually llike to think I'm quite a hip mother, oh no I think just saying that makes me embarressing anyway, I could have said 'I'm down with the kids' and that would have been worse.

Anyway, I digress, how unusual, oh no there I've gone again!


Back on track. The point of this post is...

On our way to nursery, Isobel and I always pass a doorstep that is occupied by a mother watching and waving to her boy as he goes to school. I'd hazard a guess, not a particularly educated one but, that he is around eight years old.

No, I don't think the watching and waving is the issue, it's the fact that she stands at the side of a busy road in her dressing gown. A red and white polka dot dressing gown.

I have noticed he doesn't even look back.

I think I should add this to my list of things not to do unless I deliberately want to p off my little girl.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Happy bathtime!

Funny five minutes?

When I was younger and rowed with my Mum or simply hated the world so was crying, if my younger brother and sister approached me, I would always say I was having a 'funny five minutes'.

My funny five minutes probably ended up being a funny five years, but that's teenagers for you.

Isobel seems to be having her own funny five minutes at the moment.

At nursery I am no longer dismissed with a cheery wave, a 'bye' and a lovingly blown goodbye kiss. She no longer stands at the door to great her playmates with a 'hiya'. Nope instead she is to found clinging to the neck of her obviously lovely mummy. I have to hand her over to a carer for a cuddle, beat a hasty retreat (before I too cry) and pear through the window to make sure I have happily been replaced by toast.

Bath time is not a playful affair. Isobel happily climbs the stairs and once in the bathroom will present me with gifts from every corner, she will merrily wee on the bathroom floor and reach for the loo roll to mop it up. But put he in the bath and she shouts, clinging to the side for dear life she even attempts to climb out. Me, I wash her and her luscious locks as quickly as I can before snuggling her up in her towel like the precious little baby she is.

If I get in the bath too, of course everything is fine. But I like to bath with a glass of wine and not be in my pyjamas by 6:30.

So, is this just a funny five minutes or is it really going to last for five years?!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Spare cake

So we are on day two of recycle week and our pledge to eat leftovers for lunch.

I have kind have interpreted that to mean 'waste less food', so I have:

Given our spare cake to our neighbours (yes there really is such a thing as spare cake)

And turned pesky left-over pots into lunch fit for two princesses

So far so good.

Belated Father's Day Post

Sunday was not only midsummer's day but was father's day. To be honest it was a day I rather churlishly didn't feel like celebrating. What father is there to celebrate and does PD really deserve a celebration?

I did bake a cake, Isobel made a card but otherwise we made no fuss, but actually I do want to write a post about the 'father's' in my world.

Firstly, there is my Grandad. I had a Grandad and a Grandpa, not that either of them were particularly 'father figures'. But Grandpa afforded us a home we could never have had otherwise, and Grandad had just always been Grandad. I have lovely memories of Grandad: going up to the library roof to collect the weather stats for the paper; printing the racing results on the bottom of the paper; helping a tipsy Grandad welcome in the guard ship in the days when Sandown Bay Regatta seemed so glamorous; in fact tipsy and inappropriate but always there probably sum up my Grandad. He may, in so many ways, be half the man he was, but he's still my Grandad.

Then of course there is my Daddy. Mummy and Daddy divorced when I was very young and I actually don't think I have any family memories of us all together, and that makes me sad. My father remarried into a new family and even got himself a new daughter called Zoe, there wasn't much difference in our ages either. Add to that the fact that Daddy then worked abroad forever and you have a very estranged relationship, not in a malicious way, but I can't pretend we don't both have 'issues' because of it: me the typical abandonment unloveable ones and he, well I don't think it's been an easy path for him either. We haven't even managed to introduce him to his latest grandaughter yet.

I have a step-father too. But by the time my mummy had remarried I had left home, so he didn't get all that much opportunity to be a father to me, but he has to my younger brother and sister. He makes my mother happy and kind of completes our little family.

So, that leaves PD.

Someone to whom I will always be grateful to for Isobel.

He will, I'm sure, continue to support us financially for as long as he can or until I can be the independent girl I'm used to being. He will always want to be Isobel's daddy, she means the world to him.

Yes, he lives nearby and yes we were close, but as with all these things I feel we are drifting apart, I guess that's healthy in someways, for him and for me. But I don't want my daughter to have the same feelings I do, I want her to have a stable family and not to be the same muppet around men I can be.

And then that leaves me thinking about how would another father figure fit into our lives? I guess we'll have to wait and see what the future holds.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Recycle Week

This week is recycle week and I have been tagged by the lovely Tasha to make a pledge for said occasion.

But I am struggling.

Here are the details:

This is what you need to do:
  • Visit and sign up to one of the pledges to waste less.
  • Share the details of your pledge on your own blog.
  • Chose five other bloggers, who will also be up for a bit of recycling fun.
  • Come back to this post at The Rubbish Diet and share your pledge with others, by placing a link to your pledge in the comments field.
  • Optional - as a thank you to all involved The Rubbish Diet will be publishing a British Mummy Bloggers' Recycle Week carnival on Monday 29th June. To be included, simply submit your favourite post revealing the progress of your pledge by Saturday 27th June - email to karen[at]therubbishdiet[dot]co[dot]uk.

Well, I am actually pretty good at recycling, I even keep shopping bags in the pushchair AND I have a small one in my handbag. I know, I know I should have a halo.

I did think about going 'waste free' for a day but I have a baby, babies don't do waste free. Even if you use terry (or whatever the equivalent is these days) nappies there is still a nappy liner.

So the only other contender was 'Left-overs for lunch' most of the week I only cook stir-fry and cook what I need. So I will plump (hopefully not literally) for this - a bit worried about the pile of potatoes I have at home but potato salad and smoked salmon sounds good. I don't think eating leftover-homemade Victoria Sandwich filled with fresh raspberries will be a problem!

Ok, I think it may be a bit late to tag people but just in case I tag (non mummy bloggers):

The non-maternal but funny Cat

Pants-on-the-outside Diary of a ledger

And the lovely newbie Butterfly girl

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Foreign films

I travelled into work with my NCT buddy today, nothing really unusual in that. We travel together most days, meeting at Nursery or en-route, dropping off our little girls and heading for the 8:09 to Waterloo.

There was also nothing unusual about the fact that in those 30 minutes on the train we cover all topics (yes we are the girls having a giggle and the occasional cry on a packed commuter train).

Today we covered dating, drinking, tantrums, work - she hates PowerPoint, I hate spreadsheets and we both have a day of our hates ahead of us, we did say 'swap'.

But we also talked about how sometimes no matter how dear a person is to you, how much of an in depth shared interest you have like say a daughter, that there are times when although you hearts are on the same page it's almost as if you are a badly dubbed movie - you are the voice and he is the picture but you just really are not in sync.

At times like this it is really tricky to work out how to co-parent.

Hey, ho girls coming over tonight, yoga tomorrow, party on Saturday; nothing really wrong with this picture as long as I don't allow myself to be dubbed.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Frankie says

I had a little treat today, yes just a little one.

I took up a Grazia offer to have a £59 facial for £20. It was all microdermabrasion and stuff, so not a long drawn out affair.

But something funy happens to me when I am told to lie down on a couch and relax, be it a facial like today or an osteopath treatment, I cry.

Great big blobby tears fight their way out of the corners of my eyes; I swear they are so big and blobby you can almost hear them hit the ground.

I guess I need to get better at relaxing.

(Got to say, the facial while not a pretty-pretty-pat-pat affair was extremely effective, I look like I've been on holiday!)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

No tiaras

But plenty of tantrums. Maybe you only get a tiara when they are of Elton John proportions.

A few weeks ago I was thanking the world for my sweet natured little girl, adding the word 'yet' to the end of any sentences discussing the tantrums of little girls nursery friends.

As in 'We haven't had that YET.' I thought by adding the 'yet' I could perhaps ward of the inevitable.

Nope. I have now experienced tantrums, believe me my little girl has a touch of the drama queen about her (no idea where that came from!), she even produces real tears.

As any plugged in Mum would I have been doing a bit of reading. It's actually quite interesting. It sounds a lot like being a teenager and a little like I feel now: it's all a quest to establish her uniqueness, to work out exactly who she is and where her place is in this world.

Something which is frustrating when you are an allegedly communicative thirty something, but as a fifteen month old little girl who is best at saying 'bye' and 'nana' it's all the more frustrating.

So from the lovely Penelope Leach, who has been around since the seventies (when coffee tables where strewn with ashtrays), I learnt the following things:

  • Tantrums are more terrifying for toddlers than their parents
  • There is no point telling babes off, they won't remember what the crossness was for

  • Being nice, and trying to avoid tantrums is NOT going to spoil your child, it's going to help them feel confident in your love.

So, Isobel can cry and shout and we'll try not to make a big deal out of it, not over loving, but just let it go and move on.

And PRAY that this passes SOON.

*As I write this she is being her usual angel self, sitting next to me 'writing'. I have got over the fact that she can put lids on things, but how has she always known how to hold a pen? Oh, and she trys out her left and right hand

Monday, 15 June 2009

Blog stuff

Yesterday, we dodged internal thunder storms, tigers, elephants and gorillas, to meet the British Mummy Bloggers in the Rainforest Cafe.

Well not all of them, but many. I wish I'd got to speak to more mummies but it was nice to chat to those I did. Sparx and I even had a non-baby related chat - a rare thing these days. Now I have even more blogs to keep up with!

(I should mention it was a free lunch - yay for us. Silver Cross paid, and we had a look-see at their new products, but for me they will always be the makers of lovely carriage built prams, no matter how innovative they get. They are British, so do take a look.)

Wife of Bold is another new blog I discovered recently and she has tagged me. For this lovely rule of eights meme.

1) Mention the person who tagged you (done)
2) Complete the list of 8's
3) Tag 8 others and let them know

8 Things I'm looking forward to:
  1. Reading my new books: Jo Whiley and the new Carlos Ruin Zafon book 'Angel's Game'
  2. Being allowed to sleep ALL night at some point in the not too distant future
  3. Having the NCT girls over for dinner on Thursday
  4. Getting back into yoga
  5. Fulfilling my dream of hopping on my beautiful new bike to go wherever I like with grace and ease
  6. Going to a grown up birthday party on Saturday (well, it might start that way...)
  7. Bestival
  8. the future

8 Things I did yesterday

  1. Took Isobel on the tube
  2. went to the mummy bloggers lunch
  3. had an orgasm
  4. made granola bars
  5. read the paper
  6. drank too much rose
  7. ate more junk food than a grown-up should
  8. weighed myself

8 Things I wish I could do:

  1. Treat them mean keep 'em keen
  2. walk into a room of strangers without my heart racing
  3. write better
  4. a headstand
  5. sing, I think everyone wishes I could sing.
  6. be a size ten
  7. ride my bike without falling off
  8. channel more goddess energy

8 favourite fruits

Can I just say: Summer pudding

8 Places I'd like to travel:

  1. New York
  2. Morocco
  3. India
  4. Cuba
  5. South Africa - have to say that if Isobel is to meet her paternal grandparents and see her godfather again!
  6. The Galapagos
  7. Chile
  8. Antartica

8 Places I've lived:

  1. The Isle of Wight
  2. Bondi
  3. Stoke-on-Trent
  4. Weybridge
  5. Twickenham
  6. We'll see...

I tag:

OMG I'm pregnant (counts as two because she is ... pregnant!)

Little Mummy




Ok, I can't count...

Saturday, 13 June 2009

I wonder what today will hold

Yesterday afternoon I had absolutely no control over how we spent the time.

While I was putting a potato in the oven for little girl's tea, I casually mentioned going out on her bike afterwards.
As I pottered in the kitchen I could hear a 'Yeh. Yeh. Yeh.' coming from the dining room. I went to take a little look-see at what the game was.

Isobel was in the cupboard under-the-stairs pointing at her bike, going 'yes, yes, yes?'

I got the bike out and she climbed straight on. Ok she was facing the wrong way but it was clear what she was after. She even started saying 'Bye, bye,' just to prove it.

The she demanded to have her socksss and shoesss on. And that was it, we went out for tea and abandoned the potato (yes I switched the oven off).

In the cafe, as she fnished her tortellni, I mentioned going to the park when she was finished.

As I popped her back on her bike I noticed a bit of a whiff, a nappy requiring changing. The cafe loo is a bit small, so I headed towards Waitrose. A trip which involved crossing the road to the park.

Pointing back towards the park, Isobel again started with the 'yes, yes, yes?' (I can't believe she remembered where it is... it's quite scary)

We made it to the park with a now clean bottom, and little miss independent climbed the steps to the slide, turned round and slid down the slide backwards feet first.

(I was too busy catching her to take a slide picture.)

*update - today Isobel walked home from town, a good fifteen minute walk for adult legs; I have no idea how long it took us, but luckily we weren't in a hurry.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Not really a fear

But I am a little nervous about the mummy bloggers meet on Sunday.

I'm trying to just be excited.

I'm trying not to ponder what one wears when meeting 'virtual' friends
for the first time. I'm trying to pretend it's no big deal.

I am excited, but please remember that I talk when nervous, so if you
find yourself face to face with a babbling fool on Sunday be kind, she
is not overly confident, just overwhelmed.

Sent from my iPhone

Very not fearless, but very Friday

There is somewhere I would normally be tonight, something I have done for years. Something that I'm not doing but perhaps I should be.

I'm not at the Isle of Wight Festival. I always go. Last year I took Isobel; the year before I made her; years before that I had some very good times.

But you see even last year was a little odd.

One of my romantic notions was that we would always go as a family during the day, with grandma baby sitting in the evening. In a way we failed on both counts last year. Grandma was away, and we were only pretending to be a family.

In actual fact PD had already announced he was leaving (it took him a while to actually go). Me, I was reeling a little, but determined to hold my family together in whatever way I could. I was sure we could be a family, a proper, whole loving family and that PD would see that in time.

But here we are one year on and I'm still struggling not to plan things for us to do as a family, and I really shouldn't.

I'm just not sure how to play it.

But I am sure it is time to move on, build a new improved future for me and my little girl, while also regaining the bits of me I fear I have lost.

I guess that was what the life modelling was about, I wanted to do something bold, something different, something to talk about.

I'm rebuilding me, my confidence, my heart.

(Watch this space)

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Yay, I have just applied for little girl's passport, which means we can run, I mean go-away anytime we like.


Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Someone else loves us

The lovely Clareybabble has awarded us an award, I'm not sure which one, but one of them says I have to list 10 things about myself, and as I have a minute or two on my hands, here I go:
  1. This is the longest I have ever been single for: one year, so far.

  2. I was once a dummy in a lifesaving display. This involved being winched into a helicopter from one lifeboat and down into another - I wish I had been able to keep my eyes open a little more!

  3. I was an extra on Grange Hill - they visited the Isle of Wight and we were the other school. Yes, if you've worked it out this was in the 'high' days of Zammo and 'Just say no'.

  4. I was once nicknamed lobsterbolly at work

  5. I had a lisp when I was younger, cured by speech therapy, but sometimes I wonder when my little girl likes Ssss words so much: sockssss, shoesssss...

  6. I have a degree in Economics and am a qualified accountant but I hate, HATE, numbers

  7. My car was clamped for unpaid road tax today

  8. My first car was a red Renault 5 called Rupert

  9. In 1989 I took part in one of the first ever Russian School Exchange trips, an amazing time to visit Moscow, Perestroika and Glasnost just beginning.

  10. The thing that scares me most is losing my daughter.

I think this qualifies me for the honest scrap reward:

I bestow this to all those who don't already have it. Honestly, please help yourself.

(Not alturistic, I'm just nosey and want to know as much as possible about everyone)

Monday, 8 June 2009

Words but just not mine

I do tend to bury myself in a book when I can't face the world. Right now I am losing myself in the 'The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite' but more of that another time.

Before I could start on this I had to finish Salman Rushdie's 'The Enchantress of Florence'. I have only recently discovered the joy of Mr Rushdie's story telling; Midnight's Children had me racing through the pages yet willing it not to end - always the sign of a good book.

The Enchantress is indeed a talented tale, a tale of tales within tales as varied as the lead character's multi-coloured lozenge coat. It really is a fairy tale, Laurence of Arabia meets Lucretia we travel through time and lands, fantasy and history.

It really wouldn't seem at all credible except that there is a four page bibliography at the back. I admire the amount of research almost as much as the imagination.

It is a little complicated so really not a dip-in-and-out read more of something to loose yourself for hours, long pleasurable hours.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Look what we made!

Well, isobel's contribution was play nicely while I made them.

By play nicely I mean empty all the kitchen drawers onto the floor.


Friday, 5 June 2009

I risk being struck down by lightening

Todays post is fearless in itself because I am risking the wrath of those-who-stand-in-judgement-of-others.

Having written about how upset I was not to be putting my baby in bed last night, I have decided to leave her at Nursery for the afternoon.

I will explain myself - even though I shouldn't really have to.

I have a cold that appears to have gone to my chest, in fact if it was 'the old days' I would blame it on the social activity of holding a Marlborough light (obviously I wouldn't have inhaled!) or second hand smoke, I am wheezing like I consumed my whole duty free allowance. So, I think a trip to doctor is order.

Also, we had planned a lovely garden play date, but the weather is as miserable as I am, so she will have more fun at nursery.

And I can sleep and be ready for a fun packed weekend.

Actually yes that's what I will do, I will investigate options for under twos on a rainy weekend.

Worse case scenario we may try baking, such a tough life!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

What a silly sausage

I've just emailed PD to tell him that little girl likes to play in the garden after school, because for the second time in her short life I will not be picking her up and putting her to bed.

I'm teary already.

It's silly because sometimes I long for more freedom, sometimes I delay going home by 15 minutes just so I can 'be' a little bit longer, sometimes I look forward to 7pm bedtime, sometimes I wish I had someone to share the responsibility...

Maybe I just need to miss her sometimes too.

Not so wordless Thursday

Ok, I hold my hands up, I took wordless wednesday a little too far and didn't actually post.

Now it's Thursday here are some of the actual words I have written lately:

To PD this morning:

You know the saying 'every little helps'?

Well, I just won £2 on the lottery, yep a whole £2.

Woo hoo, we're in the money....

To the Dishy Danish Dude who is helping me cycle:

Took a tumble off my new bike last week - hole in jeans, grazed knee, you know the sort of thing, comes hand in hand with a loss in confidence and dented pride. I'm 36 for g*ds sake, I should be able to master riding a bike.

To my boss at work:

Should I be mooing right now? (I'd sent a bolshy email)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Her head is spinning, like a whirlpool it never ends

Isobel has discovered the delights of getting dizzy.

She has found if she turns round and round and round and round....

her legs go wobbly and she feels a little funny.

Hmm, not so sure it's quite such a good idea to let her enjoy this sensation too much.

Or maybe I should just join in.

Monday, 1 June 2009

15 months

I haven't done one of these for ages, so I think it's long over due.

My little girl is 15 months old today. Not a baby that I need to celebrate her first tooth or her rolling over. There are plenty of milestones ahead and we have met so many already.

I want to celebrate the fact that yesterday I asked her to pass me the butter from the fridge and she did.

She took a tea bag from the tin and put it in the cup, and then helped me measure out the sugar - we were halfway to making a cup of tea for her darling daddy.

She was helping Mummy. Helping her mummy in the kitchen.

Visions of jam tarts dance before my very eyes.

Genetic engineering?

I wish I'd listened a little closer when PD regaled me with his tales of childhood accidents: bits of tree lodged in his eye, broken bones, permanently grazed knees. It's surprising his Mum wasn't driven to an early grave. (Not to mention the fact he now lives a million miles away)

Mind you I was prone to putting holes in the knees of my tights, but nothing really serious, oh a bit of shoe polish eating and shutting my thumb in the hinges of a front door maybe, but nothing requiring an anaesthetic.

Isobel seems to have inherited an accident prone gene from one of us. True she is an adventurous, energetic little girl and I love her lively spirit but, I wish, I really wish I wasn't so familiar with the accident form at nursery.

I wish the application of arnica wasn't such a regular part of our bedtime routine.

I wish my daughter hadn't banged her head again.