Wednesday 30 November 2011

Shop? I'd rather drop.

I battled the shops today with two kids. In my heart, it was to be a fun day full of festivities, Christmas shopping, a little mooch in the cherry tree shops, a stop for a well-earned hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, time spent leisurely marvelling at the wonderful toys and generally enjoying the fact the teachers are on strike.

The reality? A bored, whingeing toddler trying to escape a dodgy, mouldy, wonky-wheeled, semi-collapsing stroller. Which, as the day went on, became more likely to collapse as it got laden with so many carrier bags, I needed one of those lorries behind me, warning everyone of the Wide Load (no, not my bottom on this occasion...something even wider).

The relaxing light luncheon (notice I go for the fancy term) which I envisaged would be in John Lewis (it is quite sumptuous in there in the run-up to Christmas) didn't go according to plan either. The Princess decided she wanted to go to McDonald's for a treat.

Now, I hate Maccy D's with a passion but I thought for a rare treat, why not?

After queueing for 40 minutes (would rather have teeth extracted by Captain Hook) and people-watching (someone tell me, why do ALL boys aged between 9 and 16 look like members of One Direction and wear mustard-coloured chinos which fall off their backsides?) we finally got our mediocre meal, which we ate in seven minutes and then felt starving hungry after. Why do we do it?

Then the Princess decided to hide from me in H&M and I couldn't find her in all the crowds. This also happened in Primark (which is hell in itself). Then the Prince shouted out "I hate you" (he gets it from the Princess) at the top of his voice to me while I tried to put his shoe back on for the six hundreth time (I eventually  took them off and shoved them in a bag).

It seemed the world and his wife were in Reading today. Everyone seemed stressed or pissed. Think I'd rather have been the latter, given the choice.

My mum swears by "what I call" Clickmas. Basically any online shopping and she has a point. It definitely has its merits.

Although I bought some gorgeous vintage Christmas cards, edged with glitter, and all of the husband's presents which I normally struggle with.

On another recent (more relaxing) shopping trip, I bought this Flat Stanley book from Oxfam which I read as a kid. Stanley Lambchop. Love it. Today I didn't get a second to nip to a cherry tree shop (not that I would have fitted in the door anyway, far too wide).

99p for retro capers with Stanley (he's flat, you know)

I never even got that hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows either. Think that's what hurt the most...

 Sometimes I wonder where the hell my children get their energy from. They like a mini disco every night before bed. I literally sit and watch, wondering what the heck has gotten into them. Then they sleep 12 hours through. They'll do it again when they are teenagers. Thought I'd share last night's moments with you!

Tomorrow I am out all day shopping with a friend, something we arranged weeks ago. Only her baby and my toddler in tow. Will I EVER learn...

Friday 11 November 2011

Remember them

The following poem is written by my seven-year-old daughter and the head teacher put her in the prestigious Gold Book for her effort. I feel so proud of her, no one helped her to write it.

The Poppy Blows

The poppies blow
The poppies blow
All shiny and red
In the field
In the field
Where the poppy lives
Always silent
Always silent
The poppy is God
The poppy is God
Over again is blood
The poppy is red
The poppy is red
The poppy blows
The poppy blows
All shiny and red,
In the field
In the field.

Monday 31 October 2011

Which witch is which (or Smashing, pumpkins!)

Happy Hallowe'en!! The Witching Hour.

Every night when it is the bath and bedtime routine, we refer to it as the Witching Hour. The children become dreadful, some may say vile. And everyone knows NEVER to phone during Witching  Hour. My mum, my sister, the husband, my friends, market research people. 

By day my children are adorable. Pretty well behaved.


By night it's a different story. So everyone knows to stay away til I've settled the bairns and got them to bed after a trillion stories and a battle in the bath. 

Then I know Witching Hour won't be upon me for another 24 hours and I celebrate another hectic evening over, with wine or chocolate. 

Or both if it's particularly fraught! Tonight it's been an entire bag of Cadbury's Chocolate Eclairs and no I'm far from proud. Just rotund.

Hallowe'en here consisted of a little tea party for the Princess in fancy dress of course. A menu of Witches Fingers, Bogey Brains, Wizard's Ear Wax and Troll's Brain awaited them (in basic terms: golden chicken goujons served with broccoli, sweetcorn and lovely jacket spuds!!!)

We had games galore. Apple bobbing, a Treasure Hunt, What's in My Cauldron game and then we went Trick or Treating. 

These witches/cat definitely had the X Factor

Enough to put me off my Chocolate Eclairs (nearly)

Enjoying a cup of Bats Blood
 I can't get over how fast the children are growing. I've looked back over the past few Hallowe'ens.

The Princess in 2007

The Princess and her skeletal cousin in 2009

Butter wouldn't melt (2010)

One for her 21st

Definitely one for his 21st!!!
One very wicked witch...poor Prince

Pumpkin carving in Yorkshire 2011

The Princess and her cousins, Yorkshire, 2011

Perfect for pumpkin soup
Not so perfect for my kids who HATE pumpkin soup

I would like to thank you all for your very kind words over my last post. It is stressful but I am literally "all cried out" now in true Moyet style and am trying to pick up all the pieces. I know we will be fine, I was never destined to be homeless.

I will catch up with all blogs over the weekend I promise.
P.S. look at my Sunday lunch yesterday (which went in the oven at 9.30am as I forgot about the clocks!) 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.......
So with Hallowe'en well and truly out of the way, it gives me great pleasure to crack on with Christmas. Where ever we may be.

Monday 17 October 2011

To be beside the sea

When I need a breather from the trials of life, I take to the sea. The air fills my soul with clarity and energy. It works wonders for my perpetually blocked sinuses and blows away the cobwebs. I feel at one with the sea. The waves mesmorise me, calm me, heal me. I watch it bring in the new and spit out the old. The sound, the feel, the soothing.

So we were expecting cool, windswept weather for mid October when we hit the beach yesterday, but alas, it went a little something like this. Yippee!

Oh I do like to be....

So quiet for a hot day


Still not interested?!! Hmmm?

A chip fit for a Prince

A total beach babe

A bit of sauce at the seaside, naturally

I took this for my bro - the ultimate Beano fan

Who could those three lovely people be?

Ah! My greatest achievements!
(Look at the sea, like diamonds dancing on the waves)

Solid as some rock...

Mad sea hair and 100 per cent cherry tree outfit on me.
(The husband has no hair, thanks to the photo skills of the Princess)!

How can this be October?!
But now it's definitely getting chilly. I'm feeling it within my bones. I LOVE the sun so was thrilled to get one last blast of it this weekend and can now accept that autumn is well and truly here.

PS. Going off on a total tangent, as only I do best, look how proud the Prince is with his 95p Vacuum cleaner I picked up in Help the Aged. Just wish it really worked!

Wednesday 12 October 2011


Today in a flash:

Three (two are mine) over-excited, shrieking children in the garden, all cock-a-hoop at 7.40am. Meanwhile I am bent over the worktop, huge towel over my head, steaming my blocked sinuses to death. Trying to reach my nirvana. Hard to relax in the Olbas steam when you can hear kids shouting: "Tell him to wee on the slide".

School drop off. Not late today. This is a major achievement. The kids all high five me. I am officially Super Mum. The handsome dad  (even though some people are questioning my taste, mainly my husband) asks if I want to hang out in the skate park after school. I tell him no, I am too busy. Ha! In your face!

Took the Prince to the park.

Then took the Prince to the toddler group. I've not been for months. I. HATE. IT. It is one big clique. It was OK when the coffee and biscuits came out but then they announced there were only enough biscuits for the kids today. Gutted? I nearly wept.

Survived the group, rushed home, fed the Prince and put him to bed. Then had several matters to deal with. Wolfed down lunch.

Took the Prince to breastfeeding group. I call it B.A. As in Boobs Anonymous. It's mainly for mums with tiny newborns who have trouble breastfeeding. Then I rock up with a huge tot. I am the only one there who is trying to wean him off. It's becoming a joke. He is boob obsessed. After the group we dashed to Lidl (I love their cakes) and a woman accidentally knocked into the Prince. She said: "I am so sorry for bumping into her. Or is it a "he"? Hard to tell with the long hair."

HARD TO TELL???? He was wearing boys' clothes with Thomas the Tank Engine on, a blue cardigan and boys' shoes. Which bit of my son did you think made him look like a girl?? Oh, the two inches too long hair?Right. Jog on lady. Anyway, hastily got on the phone to my trusty hairdresser friend to give him a make over.

School run - avoided the vile unfriendly mums, talked to the lovely genuine ones. Dashed off, and headed to my friend Gabi's for tea. We had very in depth discussions about life after death. Beats talking about soiled nappies, that's for sure.

After tea we zoomed home and I put the kids in the bath. Twenty seconds later they were out again - the Prince announced he had pooed in the bath. Two panicking kids out promptly. He NEVER poos in the bath. Dried them, got them into bed for story time and later tackled the small brown floating object in the water. It was a Lego helmet. No poo anywhere... (*sigh*).

I had time, in all this madness, to buy the following dress for the Princess for a bargain £4.99. Oxfam is one of my favourite "cherry tree" shops and this dress is a Disney Wizards of Waverley Place design. The Princess loves this show so I am once again Super Mum.

But now I don't feel like Super Mum. I am exhausted. There is a Toblerone and wine in the fridge. I promised I wouldn't..........ah, I deserve to be a little wild tonight after such a hectic day, surely?

Friday 7 October 2011

Produce from the orchard of cherry trees

I've just finished the articles I needed to write today so I thought it was a good time to update the good old blog.

I've had horrid sinus infections twice recently which have worn me out. But facial steaming is the key and so I enter that little steamy nirvana twice a day. Other than that, I'm tickety boo and have visited loads of charity shops!

I am thrilled to have finally got a place on the Breastfeeding Network course. I start in January and then once I am qualified, I will work as a volunteer on the maternity wards and help all the new mums. I am so passionate about this and am seriously excited. There is a creche so my Prince can come with me (he rarely leaves my side anyway) so it's all good news.

The past week or so has been jam packed. We've had a family picnic in the blazing heat by a creek in the countryside which was amazing.

Anna, the Prince and myself. Basking in the sun and scoffing

The husband and I

I love this pic so much! It was scorching and the kids refused to wear a hat

We also went to a lovely wedding evening do, just the husband and I. We danced our pants off all night. The venue was the stately home where we had our wedding breakfast nine years ago, right next door to our little family church where my parents married, we married, we were all christened as babies and now where my grandparents are buried. It evoked wonderful memories and as we strolled around the grounds, we wondered where the past few years have gone. And where we will be in the next nine. I had a slight wobble thinking of my grandparents lying near by, but the husband helped me through the tough times and we ended up having a ball. He is a marvel and I often take his kindness and gentleness for granted, which I must try not to do.

Last Sunday I became godmother to Cuckoo's baby boy and we scoffed cream teas afterwards in a stunning location with the sun beating down on our backs (cake and sun are in my top five fave things). Since then, we have had friends round for an informal dinner, Evil Tuesday turned out to be rather pleasant, the Princess went to several houses for tea which freed me up no end and I am totally on top of all my chores. I feel light. This is rare.

So, what have I bought since I last blogged?

I am loving this Union Jack place mats and coasters. £2.99 from Lidl. Absolute bargain.

I bought this gorgeous jug from Barnardo's on Wednesday (£2.49 originally Sainsbury's). I remember seeing it in Sainsbury's and deciding not to splurge my cash. Now I am thrilled to pick it up cheaply.

My dear friend French Sophie (I call her this to differentiate between her and another Sophie I know) bought me a dozen roses for my birthday and they have lasted well - I am down to the last four!

I bought the Princess this purple dress for £3.99 from Oxfam. I truly love it, as does she. It was only from George originally but it is tres cute and great quality. Remind me of a Quality Street (or is it Roses...)

 I also bought this Boden blouse, to sling on with jeans for the school run. A fiver from Oxfam. Not bad, not bad (said in Spikey's voice from Notting Hill.)

And last night we had friends for dinner.

Nothing fancy, just good wholesome grub

I used the sparkling tealight holder that my parents bought us as a housewarming gift. I'd wanted it for so long but as a thrifty kind of gal, it was too expensive.

So all in all it's been pretty hectic and busy but lovely. Tomorrow the husband has the day off and so we are going to indulge in some precious family time. Last weekend we were rushing around like mad things. I love the calmer, peaceful times so I reckon it will involved good walks, perhaps a cream tea and an evening snuggle in front of a DVD once the kids are in bed.

Oh and a lie in for me tomorrow as he will be up early to watch the rugby! Bliss. I am so looking forward to a long doze.