Today you can win a copy of ‘Licking the Spoon’ by Candace Walsh.

My memory is not great. I can barely remember anything that happened as a child and am constantly letting my own children down by not being able to remember their first steps, first words, and other important occasions that mothers really should have etched in their minds forever.

A lot of the memories I do have are connecting with food, primarily the smell of certain foods and of meals being cooked. View Post

Today I am taking part in a blog tour. Yes yes, I know, yawn yawn, but pay attention please because this blog tour is promoting a very special book. (Plus you get a nose round the author’s house.)

Lunchtime by Rebecca Cobb is beautiful, her illustrations are adorable and Rebecca herself is lovely. Lunchtime is, as Julia Donaldson said, “Funny and charming – as delicious as the little girl’s dinner.”

"Lunchtime by Rebecca Cobb"

But then I would say all these nice things wouldn’t I?

Why?

Because Rebecca is my step-sister.

I know, cool right? What a talented family we are! (And renowned for our modesty.)

I have already mentioned Lunchtime, but it was in a post that was a bit crowded with other things, like my collection of jugs in the shape of chickens where the milk comes out of their beak, so in this post we get to find out a little bit more about Rebecca and where she works.

"Rebecca Cobb's work place"

“This is what my work space looks like,” says Rebecca. “It is very exciting because a couple of months ago it looked like this”:

"Rebecca Cobb's work place"

“And then we attacked it with a crowbar and it looked like this”:

"Rebecca Cobb's work place"

“And now it looks like this”:

"Rebecca Cobb's work place"

“As you can see it is still a work in progress” says Rebecca, “but compared to the rest of the house, which is a bit of a building site, it is the most finished room. This is also our bedroom at the moment and having a bed right next to my desk makes it very tempting to sit in bed under the duvet to do my drawing, especially when the weather is so cold. But I tried it the other day and instantly fell asleep for 3 hours so I have banned myself from doing that!”

“I mostly draw at my lightbox because even when I do not have it switched on I like the smooth surface of the glass to draw on. I have it right in front of the window and I can look out at the garden which is a bit derelict at the moment, like the rest of the house, but it is full of birds and the next door neighbour’s cats. One of the many brilliant things about moving into our house is that we can now have a pet and I cannot wait to get a kitten!’

Lunchtime is doing a blog tour to celebrate its release in paperback so now you have no excuse for not buying it, even if you are a bit of a skinflint.

‘Ay up.

(That was me experimenting with accents. I don’t think it went well. I won’t do it again.)

Today I’m giving a bit of a plug to a whole month of competitions that Whitworths Sugar are running over on Twitter during February. As you know, I’ve been getting my bake on with Whitworths lately, so thought I would help you to win your own Whitworths Sugar goody bag, so you can make delicious pear and ginger cake too.

"Baking sugar"Whitworths is holding a different competition every week, with three winners being picked at random every week. Here’s what you have to do: View Post

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Bath university to see England play Australia. They won. It was awesome.

It was the first proper live netball match I have watched that wasn’t being played by slightly wobbly mums, and it was incredibly inspiring – we all came away absolutely buzzing, and with big plans for our own netball team.

Less inspiring though was the team mascot. The event was packed out with women and girls, and yet at half time they got this: View Post

As some of you may know, underneath my heart-of-stone, gin-swilling exterior, I have decidedly hippyish, earth-mother type tendencies. I hardly ever make Belle have a bath and I breastfed her until she was two and a half! I know, shocking isn’t it? An ongoing supply of free nutrition that helps protect against infection, obesity and can raise your IQ? Whatever will nature think up next.

"Musings on Motherhood"I’m currently reading ‘Musing on Motherhood – About Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding: An Anthology of Art, Poetry and Prose’ – edited by Teika Bellamy – and it is absolutely fabulous. As it says on the tin, it’s a collection of writing and art from real mothers, talking about what it’s really like to be a mother – not just the practicalities of never being able to go to the toilet alone, but the emotions and feelings that swell up in you at the most unexpected of times and the amazing bond you form with your baby, even though they’re basically just a helpless ball of mess and screams.

Some of the poetry I had to sort of pretend to read, but that’s just because I’m a bit thick and don’t really understand poetry. Any mum though I’m sure could relate to this one by Marija Smits:

The Cold Cup of Tea

An already-cold cup of builder’s strength tea
Is sat by the sink, and saying to me:
‘I’m delicious, delightful, so drink me up do!’
But I’m knee-deep in nappies, and children, and poo;
So call me again when I’ve sorted this mess
And have time to relax, and unwind and de-stress…

*

Later, much later, when the kids are asleep,
In my nightie and slippers I quietly creep
To the kitchen, and there is that cold cup of tea,
Still delicious, still delightful, and still waiting for me…

….

What I love about Musings on Motherhood is that it gives you the opportunity to take a bit of time out from actually being a mother, and think about what it means – what is it that defines us as mothers, what are the shared experiences and emotions we all go through?

For me, it’s hard to pin down exactly what being a mother is all about. I became pregnant for the first time when I was 16, so hadn’t even really started to figure out what it meant to be a person, let alone a mother. My identity as a parent is so integral to who I am as an adult woman then, that I can’t even begin to separate out what it means. I have never been a grown-up and not been a mother, it is just who I am.

What does being a mother mean to you?