A couple times in the last week separate people have told me that I work too much.
It’s hard to believe when I picture myself taking a lunch break at home eating my beans on toast on the sofa watching Millionaire Matchmaker, but I suspect it could be true. The trouble with the type of work I do is that there isn’t a natural start and end. I don’t go to work and come home at certain hours – (or get to wear a pretty dress and nice shoes and talk out loud to real people) – the nature of social media is that it is always there, always connecting you to other people.
This is fantastic of course in many ways, but when social is your living it can be difficult to switch off. Ask Belle, she’ll tell you – I’m sure she would happily flush my phone down the toilet if it meant I focussed 100% of my attention on her for more than about twenty minutes at a time.
September is going to be a big month for us. Not only is Belle leaving primary school this summer and moving up to big school, but Bee, my precious first-born, turns into a grown-up and heads off to university in London.
As if by way of a reminder, Belle bought this home from school this week. My last ever copy. It is a truly terrible publication, full of poorly designed ads, yet I can’t help but feel oddly fond of it all of a sudden:
They are actually growing up and it is leaving me feeling a teeny bit sad. Read more
I was out for dinner with a couple of friends earlier this week. We were having a conversation about how scary it is nowadays that children are online so much, with access to goodness knows what, and how so much of their social lives revolve around social media. Read more
“Can you blog about it please Mummy?” is not something I hear a lot. “Nooo! Don’t blog about it Mummy!” is more like it. When Belle asked then if I could blog about the present she made me this week, I had to oblige, especially as when she checked my blog later in the day and I hadn’t immediately run to my laptop to write a post she looked very sad.
“I haven’t had time!” I protested.
“So why has this post about a breastpump appeared then?” she asked accusingly.
Given the success of Belle’s video tour of our hotel room last week, I thought I would share with you a little video she made about her top three favourite flowers.
She made this on a visit to Tyntesfield – a National Trust property near us. It was a lovely day and I was encouraging her to amuse herself in a nearby flowerbed while I had a little lie down in the sun. Independent play and all that. Very important you know.
If someone had said to you over Easter ‘how about a spot of camping?’ you may well have used an expletive. If someone had said to you ‘how about a spot of camping with a double bed, wood burning stove and flushing toilet in your tent?’ you might have felt a little more inclined to brave the cold.
We fell into the latter category.
We did meet with a few raised eyebrows when we told people we were camping for a few days during a week when the temperature at night was dropping below freezing, but it’s amazing how much warmer you feel when you sleep in a fur hat. Besides, what is living in the UK about if it’s not ridiculously cold camping holidays? Read more
That exclamation mark in the title isn’t just me being jazzy, it’s actually part of the name of the attraction. It’s like Ripley’s are saying ‘we are so much fun, even our name is bonkers!’
Belle has been wanting to go to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in London for a while – she loves weird facts – so given that quite a lot of her Easter holiday is going to be spent amusing herself while I sit in a corner of the living room working and telling her to sshhh, I thought a nice day out at the beginning of the break would be a nice treat for her, and win me some much needed ssshing points. Read more
I was out early this morning. While everyone else was still asleep I was on BBC Radio Bristol, doing my best to sound intelligent and thoughtful about my Ethiopia trip, and not like a toddler who had accidentally been given a microphone. I got back at about 8am, and the house was still silent, but as I was opening the curtains in the living room I heard some quiet footsteps on the stairs. I turned and saw Belle, arms held out in front of her, Jackie Chan style.
She saw me and looked relieved. “I thought you were a burglar!” she said.
“Nope,” I said, “just me.” And then I thought for a bit. “So you thought there was a burglar and you were coming downstairs to confront me?” Read more
Friday evening at 5pm is not, I can confirm, the time to just ‘pop someone down into town.’
It took me an hour and a quarter to drive about six miles, and by the time I got home at 6.15pm I was not in the mood for cooking. Jolly handy then than Friday was indoor picnic night. Having been bribing Belle all week to go to after school club with the promise of Jonathan Creek, Friday was a celebration of having finally reached the weekend, and a chance to crack open our very pretty new Emma Bridgewater picnicware.
Belle and I had already been shopping, and picked up some picnic bargains – 9p for a swiss roll! – so we were ready to get stuck in:
Unfortunately our mini fruit kebabs had to be abandoned when we couldn’t find the cocktail sticks, but we made the best of it and used some grapes as a garnish and whizzed the strawberries up into a milkshake.
As with all good picnics, the secret is in the presentation and although there is only so much you can do to make a white bread marmite sandwich look enticing, we tried our best:
It would be fair to say I was perhaps a little fraught during the picnic making process, (Boyfriend: ‘I told you it would take you a long time to get into town’. Me (screeching between gritted teeth): ‘Well that’s really helpful, thanks for that!’), but it’s surprising how soothing it can be cutting pizzas into circles and arranging swiss roll.*
Belle declared it ‘the best day ever’, so I consider it a successful indoor picnic. Boyfriend is now considering replacing all of our crockery with melamine though. Apparently I am clumsy. I don’t know what he is talking about, I can’t help it if we have plates that chip easily.
“I’ve been reading this great blog lately,” a friend was telling me the other day. “This woman clearly hates being a parent and is always going on about how she hides cans of gin and tonic in the toilet so she can get ten minutes peace. It’s hilarious!”
Well yes, I’m sure it is, but exactly how hilarious is it going to be when that woman’s children get older and read what she has written about them?
How might you feel for instance if you found out your mum had been posting pictures like this?