January 31, 2012 § Leave a Comment
If you’re visiting for the children’s listings, please visit the new website SE19kids.com
December 26, 2011 § 12 Comments
I have to admit to there being times when I’m not sure I fit into this mum blogger thing. This Christmas I am not going to let you into the secret of my homebaked festive delicacies (probably something to do with the fact that I can’t cook for shite), nor am I going to regale you with tales of the magical Christmas I spent with my three little angels: diddums, pookums and munchkin chops. You see, I am the Morrissey of mum bloggers, and this Christmas I have definitely felt more bah humbug than ho ho ho.
Now that DD* (vomit) is 6 months old, I’ve caved into half bottle feeding, and I am once more under the curse of horrible monthly hormones. I suddenly find myself struggling for inspiration for the lighthearted and witty blog posts I have been conjuring up for the last year. I feel myself wanting to write about dark nights, loss of identity, crises of confidence. But this blog is me, publicly. I don’t want to share my soul searching with everyone that knows me.
Also, a terrible thing happened. On Christmas Eve we had some neighbours over for morning coffee and mince pies. I believe I uttered the inexcusable phrase “our new coffee machine was a triumph.” OH nearly had a hernia he laughed at me so hard. What have I become? I need to get a life, and fast.
So with that, I am taking a break from this blogging lark. If I only have a few hours spare a week, why am I spending it reading my twitter feed and writing this? Really, my life is passing me by, I need to take charge. I need to read some decent fiction. Watch some fantastic films. Get to the theatre. Challenge myself. So as I approach my one year blogoversary, thank you for reading, and I may be back, or I may not.
*”Darling Daughter” – abbreviation beloved of Mumsnet
December 18, 2011 § 4 Comments
This week KateTakes5 asks, What are the Five things that Make your Christmas Christmas. This year we are ‘doing’ Christmas at our home for the first time, so it’s all a bit new and I’m hoping to create some moments that will soon become traditions chez Porridge. The below are some timeless classics from the family archive.
1. Dragging reluctant family members to church on Christmas Eve. Last year OH said he wanted to wear a sign on his head that said ‘I don’t normally do god’ as he finds it such an uncomfortable experience. Personally I don’t care that we’re not a religious family. There’s something pit-of-the-belly exciting about going to church on Christmas Eve, whether a drunken midnight mass or a 4pm children’s crib service. And I love a good sing-song. Some of those Carols are made for belting out, although it’s been a good ten years since I could carry off the descant version of Oh Come All Ye Faithful with aplomb.
2. Waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas Day/or coming home after midnight on Christmas Eve and opening the stocking before anyone else. I’m still firmly of the ‘tear everything open before it gets light’ ilk. I’ll be taking a leaf out of me ma’s book and springing some surprise table presents later on.
3. Playing drunken board games. Hearing my Dutch stepdad pretend to host his own quiz in the style of Irish Henry Kelly from Going for Gold probably can’t be beaten for comedy value. (He was a stay-at-home-dad at the time and watched a bit too much daytime tv.) But you never know.
4. Deciding that ‘breaking open the port’ is a good idea.
5. Buying OH a present that he really can’t hide his dislike of. Recent examples include a polka dot sweatshirt, some green American Apparel trousers, and a bag of cheese and ham from Aldeasa Duty Free (admittedly not my finest hour.) This year I think I’m safe. I mean, he’ll LOVE that canary yellow cashmere cardigan, right?
Pop on over to Kate’s gaff for some more Christmassy tales.
December 15, 2011 § 2 Comments
I’ve conducted a highly scientific study over the last four years, to determine the effects of a continual lack of shuteye. The study involved hundreds of mothers of young children, and a control group of childless females of the same age. I’ve weighted the results so as to be demographically representative of the UK as a whole. That’s not actually true. My study involved one sleep-deprived, touche eclat* addicted, individual. The results below are observations about how my brain has started to malfunction since the arrival of three children since 2007, none of whom are as closely acquainted with the insides of their eyelids as I would like them to be.
1. Short-term memory shot to pieces. Think: must wipe table. Wipe table. Go back into kitchen. Think: must wipe table. Find table already wiped. This happens so frequently I’ve started to worry about early onset Alzheimer’s. It happens for mainly mundane tasks. Is it because as I wake up every couple of hours through the night I very rarely achieve deep sleep? Perhaps a sleep-deprived brain only has space for a certain amount of memory, and it prioritises the big stuff. Eg. Get children from school. Give children food. Put children to bed. Am thinking I may have to act like Guy Pearce’s character in Memento, although instead of tattooing my body with personal information I could write on my arm with a bic biro each time a task is completed, eg: BOILER IS ON! TOAST IS PRESSED DOWN!
2. Inability to recall names, faces, events. Parents become ‘so and so’s mum’. I smile vaguely at most parents on the school run because I’m sure I’ve probably spoken to them before. I told the nice beauty therapist who does home massages etc that I wished I had had a facial in the last five years. She informed me that she had given me two. I cannot remember this.
3. Limited grasp of the passage of time. Will Young won Pop Idol ten years ago?! (Note the significant cultural event that I chose. See next point)
4. Increased denseness/interest in lowbrow television. My inability to concentrate on highbrow programming is lamentable. I wish I could say I watch BBC4 on a regular basis. No, nowadays I even lose interest in the news after the headlines. I choose programmes with a nice sequentially unfolding storyline, upbeat soundtrack, and subtitles reminding me of each character’s name and location of the scene. Something like Made in Chelsea or Towie. I also can’t watch in real time, I have to record everything so I can forward past the ads and dull bits. I went to an opera recently and found myself wishing for my remote.
5. Accelerated ageing. Grey hairs, sallow skin, aching limbs. Partially offset by reduced alcohol consumption and lack of sun damage from foreign holidays.
*Dark-shadow concealer of the gods
December 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
Walking through a cold, wet, churchyard with a friend this morning, a small muddy dog clattered towards us. We looked around for its owner, but there was no one. The dog was perhaps a Jack Russell cross, the kind that would look at home curled up on a betting shop floor. He had no collar. When we went close to him he started to shake. Then he tore past us and out into the middle of a busy road.
We ran after him, and I managed to gather him up under one arm. Muddy and wriggling, he seemed anxious, and again we looked around for an owner. There was none. After a while we decided that we would have to take him to my house, and place the necessary phone calls.
My dog Doris was happy to have a friend to play. The new dog, “Scraps” as OH named him when I called him about the situation, was friendly. Immediately pooed on the floor and peed on my laundry basket, a bit too interested in the baby, trying to lick her face and jump up next to her on the sofa, but friendly. And thankfully happy to run around with Doris in the garden, once I’d hastily grabbed some wood and made good any betting-shop-dog-sized holes in the fence.
I spoke to the local dog warden and immediately said I didn’t want him taken in to the pound. She arranged to visit to scan for a microchip. Was it madness, or hormones, perhaps some kind of uncontrollable maternal instinct, that made me immediately pray that no owner would come forward? The dog would be ours for Christmas.
The upshot? Scraps was claimed. By someone who lives fairly close by. Who didn’t even manage a thank you. I just hope that she manages to keep him safe. Scraps deserves a happy Christmas, whether on a betting shop floor or in a warm comfortable home.
December 9, 2011 § 3 Comments
There’s this man I share a bed with
He is gentle and kind
Does his share during the night
Carrying children in and out
Tucking in and comforting
He makes a fine cup of tea
Before he leaves
Delivered with beautiful smiling eyes
Then he is gone
Until nighttime again
And I am already turned in, feeding the baby
I think I would like to see more of my spectral companion
In daylight hours
Although I know he is working hard for us
And his eyes shine back at me every day
Reflected on the face of his eldest son.
December 6, 2011 § 1 Comment
It was a familiar scene on the way home from school pickup. 4yo complaining loudly about the lack of snacks upon my person, 2yo arching his back and refusing to be strapped into the double buggy, baby crying softly. A large lady stops at the bottom of the hill and smilingly awaits my approach.
“Good lord,” she says, hands on hips, by way of greeting. “You haven’t got three under five, have you?” When I nod my affirmation she continues: “I did that too. Mine are in secondary school now. I think that most weeks I manage to smile, oh…three days out of seven.” When I giggle in response she looks quizzical. I don’t think she was joking. “Good luck,” she says, fixing me with a serious stare. ”God bless. It does get better.”
I don’t know whether to be grateful or to cry. Three days out of seven?! Is that what I’m aiming for? I think she meant well. But next time I see a benevolent-looking stranger I’m going to keep my head down and walk straight past.