Friday, October 30, 2009

Get up, get out, oh what a beautiful day

This was the view from my bathroom window this morning.

What a great start to the day.

I'm taking Peaches to a Halloween crafts party at Wildwood - a forest park with adventure playground, badgers, wild boar and wolves (relax - they are in enclosures).

So clearly the day might end in tears for someone, but a great start nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Write a blog and be respected

Ever felt that shiver of shame at being regarded as a 'mommy blogger'? Well have no fear. There's just one or two rules to follow and you too can be taken seriously as a writer or social commentator.

First up, don't post photos of your children just because they are finally wearing that cute pink hat. Or spotty boots. Using your child as a fashion plate demeans you and the child. Get serious, think of an erudite subject and research it. Form your own opinions.

Hey you! Yes, you there at the back. Stop gazing at the baby photos already.

Create time for yourself to write and be creative. Don't let your child(ren) stay up too late or get up too early. Teach them to tell the time and stop bothering you. When they do finally crash out, do not, repeat do not, whip the camera out to record their dreamy features for posterity.

Go and use that time to do something useful.

I'm looking at you, when I say this. Step away from camera.

Look on your time with children as a learning experience. Don't chuckle at their poor pronunciation, but enunciate clearly so they learn to communicate effectively.

Don't perpetuate their amusing little ways that will end up seeing them being ridiculed in a school yard.

Even if that is how she keeps her fingers crossed for good luck (and chocolate raisins).

Finally, don't use a phoney theme of 'how to be a serious writer' just to show off your child's first written word. Even if it is 'mummy'.

Noone's going to fall for that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rule No 2: Stay open to new ideas

On Sunday morning, we took Sue and Mr Scrappy for a walk along The Street. The Street is a shingle spit going out from Whitstable in to the Thames Estuary/North Sea.

It's also where Recaro proposed to me. I remember being very nervous. Well, you would be too if you were handed a diamond ring on a shingle beach with the tide coming in. I didn't want to lose that bad boy. (I mean the ring. Not the man - though I didn't want to lose him either. Enough! You know what I mean.)

It's a great spot for Sue to remind me how much fun you can have when you try something new.
THIS much fun.

Gah - it looks cold, doesn't it?

In fact, Sue taught Recaro a thing or two during her visit. I can almost hear her now helping Recaro navigate the blogosphere. Sue and Mr Scrappy's train was about to leave Whitstable in 15 minutes time, not that you can tell from how chilled Sue is. Maybe she wanted to stay?

Need I tell you that he doesn't concentrate that hard when I'm talking.

(By the way, I'm sitting on that very stool right now as I type this post. I've just finished a cottage cheese sandwich from Tea & Times.)

Sue also mentioned to Recaro that she has an Easy Yo yoghurt maker. She even went so far as to recommend buying an Easy Yo yoghurt maker.

Did he listen?

What do you think?

You mean you want evidence?


He would NOT accept any alternative yoghurt maker. Only Easy Yo would do.

(Believe it or not, this is not a sponsored post. Dammit.)

We've since made the raspberry yoghurt and found it very tasty. Peaches wanted more, which I regard as a huge success since she's previously always turned her (pretty, little) nose up at anything that isn't fromage frais.

So. We are now an Easy Yo family. If that's not strangely lush, I don't know what is.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rule No 1: Keep it real

Let's cut to the chase, here's Sue and me on the beach near the lifeguard station at Whitstable.

I don't think I've ever been so excited to meet someone at the train station. When Scrappy herself appeared on the platform it was like meeting an old pal. She even brought Mr Scrappy too.

Sue has met a number of bloggers already - but I was a newbie to meeting real lifers. It's a lovely thing to get to know someone through their writing and to discover that she lives as she blogs. She's a straight up and down, funny woman.

After a welcome cup of tea, Peaches found Sue's glittery shiny purse (it was out already - I'm not training up an Artful Dodger, K?).

Ah we thought. Let's go shopping.

We walked up the beach first so that we could got to the harbour market. Of course we had to stop for photos at the diving helmet bench.

Are you wondering where Mr Scrappy is yet?
TA DA! There he is.

Sue did much shopping. Other lesser shopkeepers in London apparently didn't approve of her credit card. In Whitstable they had no trouble taking money off her. Isn't that nice?

Having spied just some of her stash, she's done very well. I'm looking forward to the fashion shoot post that must be coming up sometime soon on this blog.

By now, Sue and Mr Scrappy had been in town a whole two hours. So with a stash of cheeses from the Cheese Box we went off for a drink at our local. For some reason (beer in one hand, cheese and biscuits in the other) I haven't got any photos of this.

Our local - The Fountain - is a back street boozer, but not without it's own graffiti art/hospitable charms. When the landlord realised Sue and Clive were only in town for 24 hours, he went and bought his preferred cheese from the Cheese Box so that they could try that one too.

After a short while, Peaches declared herself tired and went for a nap in her buggy. She slept all the way home, because clearly there was someone in the gang who knew exactly what to do with small girls.

Check out the shopping bags on that buggy. There not mine, that's all I'm saying.

Friday, October 9, 2009

26 and half hours

... before Sue and Mr Scrappy step off the train at Whitstable station.

Have I cleaned the house? (No - but the cleaning lady has been).

Is the restaurant booked? (You betcha)

Is the babysitter booked? (Yay!)

Are we excited? D'yuh think?

I am one strangely lush mother.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Too quiet for school

Yesterday Peaches got sick. She had one of those deep, nasty, croupy coughs. She also lost her voice. Fortunately with some day time cough medicine and a bed time dose of baby paracetamol we all had a good night's sleep.

Today, she's staying home with me while I attempt to meet a number of work deadlines. It's all working pretty nicely, because although she's not well enough for nursery school, she can't speak loud enough to interrupt my work calls.

The worst she can do is rock up to me while I'm on the phone to whisper, 'Is that the doctor?'

I've even let her do some handpainting. It didn't start off as handpainting of course. I supplied brushes. Things just didn't work out that way.
Fortunately, we've done enough painting for her to know the rules.


I got away with it. All is calm and I'm going to take a lunch break now.

On Saturday, Recaro wasn't so lucky. Peaches 'helped' him clean the car. Need I even type the words... he got soaked.

Finally, here's a warning for Sue and Mr Scrappy who will be HERE, this Saturday. When travelling through rail stations, watch out for the tickly barriers. We think she means ticket barriers, but maybe she knows something we don't.