Sunday, 24 June 2012

Chipper Nelly goodies and sunshine at last!

This is just a quick one to let you know about a fab giveaway over at Fee's which I urge you to have a look at. Although obviously don't feel you HAVE to sign up to win something so lush, because then it gives me more chance....mmmmmmmwwwwahhhhhhh haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

The sun came out this afternoon which meant Brighton beach was a happy place to be. Apart from when the Prince did his epic stone throwing....straight into a man's face. Not the happiest moment I've had in a while. I had to do a lot of apologising profusely and the chap took it well. Could have been a different story as it must have really hurt. Pesky kids.

But the weather really perked up finally.

Eye eye

Ha! Caught in a daydream!

Before the stone throwing/man's face incident

Soaking up those rays And probably ageing by the second.

Getting well broody. Thanks Cassius!

Modelling her cherry tree waterproof jacket

He's a Rocket man

I didn't buy this but you have to love this pair of cross stitch gypsy wagons
spotted in the Link Romania cherry tree shop (sorry for reflection)

I wanted to express my love for this brooch, hand made and given to me by Sharease.
A heart, pink, sparkly. What more could I ask for!
And now I feel myself going down with a very sore throat. Burning the candle at both ends is beginning to take its toll. I feel hot, achey and a bit off colour this evening. Time for early nights methinks.

Friday, 22 June 2012

It's not alright on the night...

Look what I spied in the cherry tree shop this week. SPOOKY!!! What is it with me and freaky doll things?

I'm coming to geeeeeet yooooooou.....

 And if you really wanted to, you could make this. Something lovely for the kids....ahem.

Eerie, dearie.

I also managed to spy these in the Link Romania cherry tree shop. £1 each. Retro recipes, natch.

It's Friday night and I've only just stopped mopping the kitchen floor and scrubbing the bathroom. What has my life come to? Where is the glamour for gawd's sake?

I used to have a social life on a Friday night BC (Before Critters). The husband still worked late shifts but he would get in from work at 1am and believe it or not we would go clubbing til the sun came up.

Get a grip, it didn't seem all that mad at the time - we lived in Bath city centre and we were young and naive. Fridays, I used to love you.


By the time I get the kids to bed and eat and clear up and sit down, it's verging on 9.30pm at least. Where has the evening gone?

I spend most of it doing this...

I do clothes, not clubs these days.....

The older I get, the less hours there are. Days used to stretch out ahead. I am never, ever in bed before midnight these days and then find I am waking up in the night. HATE that.

I mean, I barely get the time for cherry tree shopping these days. I need to make time, just like in one of my fave films Withnail & I.

Anyway, today has been quite frankly, rubbish. It's been a hectic week as I got a huge proofreading job to do over just two days before it had to go to print and I felt I was spreading myself thin as have no childcare. But it's done now and I met the deadline. Phew!

I think perhaps I've been overdoing it recently and I feel like I need time out.

The weather is grim, its blowing a gale here right now. Summer, where the heck are you?

Mostly, the beach has looked like this:

Then there was yesterday when I got back from the school run looking like the understudy for the freaky girl in The Ring. Bad times.

But this morning, this arrived for me, courtesy of the very wonderful Kylie and it made my morning. Bless her, she and I love Ladybird books and this little beauty headed to me all the way from Western Oz.

Ok, so I enjoyed it more than he did...
We had one lush day this week. Tuesday was lovely and hot. And I found this on the beach!

My collection is practically heaving now

Oh, and on a tangent,  we have found ourselves a delightful babysitter. The husband and I went out the other night (a school night, he is never off on a Friday) and had such a lush time, it was a long time coming so we shall have her over again. What a find she was. Not had a babysitter in nearly nine years, just parents. I have some catching up to do.

I got myself ready with a spritz or five of my favourite perfume. It smells exquisite. It's £3.99 from Lidl and I blogged about it last year. £3.99, that's like the price of a magazine!

Eau de Lidl, how I love thy scent

My actual best friend

I think I spend more time with it than I do the Husband!
I bulk buy it and it really does smell like Chanel. It's had so much press over the last year or so, but it's never unavailable. Lidl, I salute you. Its a masterpiece.

Off for a crazy choccy biccie now then bed. Rock and roll...

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father's Day

So, do I talk about the non-relaxing Father's Day? The one where we had to cram a whole day for daddy into just two hours as the husband woke up late after working last night AND had then gone straight to an indie gig (when will he grow up and realise his studenty days are like, well over).

About 20 minutes of shoehorning the Princess's gigantic muddy bike into our little Ford Focus, we then realised the Princess wouldn't fit in. So we shifted stuff around again and did the motor journey of doom, where the bike pedal and her face were way too close for my liking. Thankfully the sea is only a few minutes' drive. Note to self: must buy a bike rack.

The Prince scootered off into the distance, the Princess narrowly missed an OAP who was hobbling on the prom with a leg in plaster. She was fortunate that her other leg didn't end up the same way after my kids overtook her. Enter me, with much hollering.

Then we all came to an abrupt halt. Beach huts and shingle were all cordoned off. Police were there. Beach patrol were in action. Something was a-happening. Walky talkies were being used and everyone looked "important".

The husband and I, both journos, get excited by this sort of thing. OK, well I do. He was too hungover and tired. Was it a body? A drunk? An accident?

Turns out a world war shell had just washed up. The bomb disposal unit were on their way.

The Princess tutted and said: "All this fuss for a shell on the beach?  Everyone's weird!"

(Her history lesson time took place soon after).

Then we zoomed home for the frazzled  husband to drive into work and I had a grim afternoon with two hyper kids who were killing each other and too many chores. And there was me thinking Sunday was the day of rest. I actually hid in bed for seven whole minutes.

The Prince was the main problem. He has developed an obsession for Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name" which shouldn't be a problem normally as I am the most devoted fan those New Jersey boys could wish for. How I love Jon Bon Jovi in particular...

To the point where my friend created this for me
when I was pregnant with the Prince.
(The husband was not amused)
But the Prince wants to play that particular rock song (which he calls "Band Name") over and over and over again. At first I was rocking out with him, rather overzealously, like Jack Black in School of Rock (but on reflection, I was possibly more hyperactive). Then I needed to hang out washing.

"Band Name". So I'd go back in and play it again. And then hoover and dust.

"Band Name".  "BAAAAAAAND NAAAAAAME". Then much crying and stamping of feet until I did it. Then he wanted it louder. Then he wanted his keyboard so he could feel the action.

He does make me laugh though. We were in the library the other day and he spotted a rather rotund and butch woman using the internet. She was wearing (don't ask me why) a rather fetching neon orange "trendy" boilersuit. She thought she was the height of fashion presumably.

The Prince grinned and started pointing at her. "Look mum, it's the bin man. It's the bin man. HELLO BIN MAN".


Onto other things, my lovely sister Anna came to stay last weekend. Oh, we had so much fun. We all (including the husband) went down to the beach and lo and behold, the sea was full of kite surfers.

Just humour me for a moment or two.

They all start off on the green. It's tres exciting
Def a more interesting pastime than stamp collecting

This is the bit I love the most (oh, other than when they hang around on the beach with their wetsuits half off of course).

I could actually watch this all day long but alas, the tide goes out and RUINS EVERYTHING (sulk)

You know we belong together
You and I forever and ever...

Nice action

In you go, there's a poppet

And I was told this place was BORING before we moved here!

Oh how I love thee so. Sunshine, come back!

I got chatting to a kite surfer the other day. Typically I was wearing the worst saggy trackie bottoms you've ever seen (too short in the leg) and bad trainers, my hair was frizzy from the sea air and I'd just sat on a wet rock so from behind it looked like I'd weed myself. He had caught me taking photos of him and came over for a chat with his kite. And it was at that moment that I trod in dog's mess as well. It wasn't my finest moment and we shall leave it there.

Anyway, back to my little sister and I.

I got me £1.99 H&M dress on and my £1.50 cardie!

We all watched the boys do their kite surf thang, then scoffed tea and cakes in the cafe (actually, Anna and I shared a mahoosive wedge of lemon meringue pie which barely touched the sides)

The Prince found it mouth watering too. Literally!

 Then the husband took the kids home to enable Anna and I to have time to ourselves.

The "just got out of the surf" look

 Then we walked back to the house via a glorious parade of cherry tree shops.

I bought myself a chunk of Hugh FW for £2.99, when he was a little younger and slightly trimmer, bless him. SUCH a nice man it would seem.

Hugh's snaffled the bacon then?
Also found this!

A vintage kaleidoscope, if you will

Then we went home and  Auntie Anna put the children went to bed.

The Harry Potter bedding from the cherry tree shop!

I made a Thai curry and we drank fizz, celebrating the fact we had a whole night ahead of us.

The naughty look.
The husband has to be most patient with us after this!

 Oh and then we got silly and then watched Wolf Creek, the three of us hiding under the Blanket of Glory, while shovelling down keylime pie and Malteasers.

Is it any wonder my jeans don't fit at all (hence those dreaded trackie bottoms...oh the shame!)

And here we are, a snapshot of the Prince and his Bon Jovi moment, in a video that lasts 29 whole seconds. Tilt the screen if you fancy a peek as I can't rotate it. Bit dense and that.

This was the 100th time he'd done it, so the air guitar is not his best but look at his proud little face miming the only two words he knows! BAND NAME!

Zonked out after rocking out to "Band Name" one time too many, no doubt

On a poignant note, this weekend, I was due to have a lovely friend to stay a few nights. Sadly, her father has died suddenly and she had to cancel. Please include my dear friend in your thoughts. Thank you.  I would also like to send my love to the other friends who are without their dads today. Big love.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Paris I Love You

The city of cutting edge clobber. Paris and fashion = passion. The city of passion. A city for lovers. Twinkling lights and sparkling energy. Can you tell it makes me rather wistful? When Anita  invited me to her Paris Link Party, I sent her a speedy RSVP to say "Oui oui oui".

Paris is where my parents spent their honeymoon, decked out in long, woollen flared trousers. Not quite what I would call fashion but maybe it was haute couture way back in the 70s. My own love for the city goes back to my early teens.

On holiday in the south of France when I was 12,  I made friends with Dominique, an 11-year-old Parisian, and we became pen pals. We started off writing letters. Her English was better than my French but we found a way of becoming firm friends and still are to this day.


Before long we were jetting off to each other's houses on our own, the excitement cannot be described.

A young me in Paris. What a catch.....(ahem)

Dom lived with her parents and three siblings in an apartment round the corner from the Eiffel Tower.

The view from my room at Dom's apartment

The streets would smell of fried potatoes and omelettes. The humid buzz of traffic and mopeds excited me. We would spend our days wandering around, hanging out in Luxembourg Gardens watching the quirky artists. We would be enthralled by Marchello, a local character who amused us with his eccentric ways.

We would catch the metro, run around the grounds of Versailles and would return to check out the cool skater boys at Trocadero.

He was a boy, I was a girl, could I make it any more obvious
 (that he was well fit)

We would scoff more Nutella crepes than you could shake a baguette at and spend our pocket money on Naf Naf folders and notepads in Galleries Lafayette. Dom also taught me the best French swear words to shout at the top of my voice when we reached the heady heights of the Eiffel Tower.

The words she taught me from the top of here are baaaaad!

I was 15 when I was in Paris for Bastille day. I remember eating cucumbers marinaded in vinaigrette with Dom and her parents at dinner and then Dom and I went to a party with all her school friends. Late at night we all lay under the shadow of the Eiffel tower sipping Champagne and I had to pinch myself to be sure I was actually there as we watched all the glittering fireworks exploding into the night sky. Champagne and stargazing in Paris. How I wish I could relive it.

Everything we did felt sophisticated to me. The teenagers in Paris were far more switched on than those back at home. The way they ate, drank, smoked, shopped, talked...I was in awe.

I remember my last visit to Paris as a youth, when we went to the cinema to watch Schindler's List. Dom had a wide circle of friends and I sat next to Jean-Christophe, who happened to be the son of the Minister of Monaco at the time. He was older, handsome with olive skin and dark hair, slick with his fashion sense and better still, he turned up with a huge bag of foam strawberry sweets. I could feel electricity between us, I was certain his hand brushed mine on more than one occasion as we sat there in the darkness watching the film.

The colour red always springs to mind when I think of Schindler's List, for the iconic red coat worn by the little girl in the film, as well as those foam strawberries.

I thought about Jean-Christophe for the rest of the trip. Then I went home and wished I'd taken the plunge because quite frankly, dating a dish who comes from Paris and just happens to be the Minister of Monaco's son is a pretty cool prospect when you are 16.

Ten years ago, the Husband and I went back to Paris for Dom's wedding.

Jean-Christophe was there as a guest. Still gorgeous but more arrogant, he could only vaguely remember me. My romantic illusion was a little shattered, but by now, I'd already met the man of my dreams (well, other than Jon Bon Jovi, who was unavailable sadly).

Still, I moved on and we had a great few days.

Mucking around at the Pompidou Centre
Mimicking the lady on the poster...badly

In October 2010, the husband took me back to Paris again for a surprise birthday weekend. It was wonderful.

That's his sultry French look, don't you know?!

Ooh la la!

The thrill of walking around a street corner
and seeing the Eiffel Tower always thrills me

And not a hunchback in sight

We walked along the Seine late at night, hand in hand, feeling like young lovers who had only just met.

 The husband promises to take me back again sometime. And I truly hope he will, because for me Paris is the finest place on earth and nothing compares.

Enjoy the Paris Link Party held by Anita and feel the passion too.