Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The First Fall.

The snow was coming thick and fast at 06:30 when we woke up this morning. It was all very short lived though and virtually all gone by lunch time.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Coming to terms with a concept.

That concept is the Advent calendar. I wanted to get the Playmobil Christmas Post Office one for Toddler last year but completely missed the boat and by the time I actually got round to finding one they were like gold-dust and sold out everywhere I looked. So this year I've been organised (I've got nearly everything bought now) and I bought her one in plenty of time.

We didn't get round to getting it out of the box until the evening of the 1st. In the box you get another box which is the box that has the windows you open and you also get the backdrop. Every day you open one of the windows and inside there is a prop/toy that you can use to make the Christmas Post Office scene.

Him Indoors dutifully put the backdrop together and we asked Toddler to open the first window-A little postbox that opens and closes. Then...a meltdown. Toddler just couldn't get to grips with the concept of 'one door, one day' and got extremely upset. Toddler has two very distinct cries, one-'You've told me 'no' and I'm not having it' cry and two-'I am genuinely extremely upset' cry. On the evening of the 1st it was definitely cry number two. After five minutes Toddler was still really upset. After ten minutes she was still really upset. By this point I was getting really upset. What to do?

Him Indoors leapt into action with a very enthusiastic re-telling of The Nativity story with Baby's half-moon pillow shoved up his jumper for good measure when acting the Mary part. It did the trick and now Toddler is happy to come down each morning and ask, 'Can I open a window now?'

The Playmobil Christmas Post Office Advent Calendar-Day One.
Day One's present is the little red postbox.

Friday, 16 November 2012

To move or not to move?

The village is not very big (although compared to some it might be massive) and decent family-size housing stock can cost upwards of £600,000. We are most definitely not in the £600,000 bracket, we got a steal of a house at a good price due to the previous owner's relationship break-up (they wanted a quick sale) and the fact the house is on a busy main road. The developer who built our house in the 1930's also developed the road behind and that's where you'd have to have much deeper pockets than ours to buy a house.

My family never moved house whilst I was growing up and perhaps as a consequence of that I haven't stayed still since being an adult.  There was a time (when I was still at university and subsequently making my first steps in the adult world) that I calculated that I had moved 14 times in 3 years!!!! It's never been quite that crazy since.

Perhaps I'm a bit of a nomad at heart. I don't tend to get very emotionally attached to bricks and mortar. Home is where my family are ultimately. Whenever I move somewhere I feel like the custodian of the property rather than thinking it's 'mine'. 

Before we moved to our current house there was talk about moving to Kent where my mother-in-law lives. We even went to view some properties but nothing came of it. There is no more family in the village now other than my own, but a few good friends and lots of lovely locals.

Kent would realistically be the only place we would move to, to be near family-No moving to Devon or anything like that for us. I am aware that I do not want to move Toddler once she is in 'proper' school, so the window of opportunity to move is closing.

I love the village, the house is great, the schools are good, my friends are here, transport links are very good, I wouldn't have to drive the children everywhere as they got older...

So why do I still feel that tug to move occasionally?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Listography-Top 5 things I'd like to be reincarnated as

A bit late on Listography this time around as the lurgy got me earlier in the week and I've just been playing 'catch up' ever since. Anyway, down to business...

Thanks to Kate for another great 'Top 5...' How does she think of all of them?

Here's my Top 5

1.  Western political leader-just to see what really goes on.

2.  A butterfly-all that life packed into such as short space of time!

3.  A princess-to see how the other half live.

4.  A published author-they say that we all have a book in us somewhere-don't know where mine is!

5.  De Li from Waybaloo-that looks like a nice life.

If you'd like to link up and let the blogosphere know your Top 5 you can here.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Rain, rain, rain or I should've looked at the Met Office weather report before I left!

It rained on the school run today. Not poured, but a steady rain that eventually began to soak through my raincoat. Since the start of the new school year we have been trying to walk to the next town when Toddler has a morning session at pre-school. (I really should think of a new blogging name for Toddler as Toddler really isn't a Toddler any more.) We are fair-weather walkers I must admit and I normally check the forecast, but today I didn't. But every cloud has a silver lining-the children don't mind one jot about being under the raincover, they positively enjoy it. I know that a good few of my friend's children hate being under a raincover and will scream blue murder and try and rip the thing off. The other silver lining of the walk back this morning was a beautiful sight-A spider web, with said spider sitting right in the middle, the web bejewelled by raindrops. I tried to get a pic of it on my phone but it just wouldn't have come out. That beautiful little spider web made it all worth it.

My trusty e3 bought off ebay for a bargin price with everything included-some of the best money I ever spent.

Meal Planning Monday

Even though I've been absent from Meal Planning Monday for two weeks I've been keeping up with the planning but I just haven't had the time to put it on the blog. There's been loads to do on the house (we've been extending the kitchen and giving the whole of the back of the house an overhaul) but now that Toddler is safely at pre-school and Baby is happy on the playmat I can get on with my entry for this week...Except that this week I haven't done my usual look through my cookbooks and come up with my plan from them. I sort of formulated a plan as I walked up and down the aisles of the supermarket yesterday. So here goes...

Monday: Spaghetti Bolognese (I bought some unusual and multicoloured pasta shapes so hopefully Toddler will think that's great.)

Tuesday: Casserole

Wednesday: Butcher bought burgers, homemade chips and beans

Thursday: Something with chicken-I'm at a loss as I type-Any ideas gratefully received!

Friday: Lemon Sole parcels

Saturday: Whatever my mother-in-law serves up for my youngest sister-in-law's 18th

Sunday: Rotisserie chicken, new potatoes and salad

So that's it. I wonder what Saturday will bring?

Monday, 10 September 2012

Meal Planning Monday

After my not-so-great start to joining in Meal Planning Monday last week (i.e. writing the post on Monday but then completely forgetting to link it until the Thursday) I will endeavour to do better this week.
Anyway-the plan for this week:
Monday-Jambalaya (This went down well. I made it with the 'Chorizo style' sausages from Sainsbury's and they really worked in this dish).
Tuesday-Fish pie (or all we do is eat meat all week).
Wednesday-Toad in the hole.
Thursday-Chicken and chickpea pilaf
Friday-Lemon sole, new potatoes and green beans.
Saturday-Menudo (men-oo-dough). I'll cook this tomato based stew with chicken.
Sunday-Steak pie, mash and veg medley.
A good few one-pots there. Less washing up=more time to do other things.
If you want to join in with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday click here.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Meal Planning Monday

Thursday 6th September 2012-Oh dear!!!! I was just catching up with Mrs M and I realised that I didn't link this post! I blame lack of sleep on the part of Toddler and Baby. Oh well, only 3 days late. Will try harder next week-promise.
My first Meal Planning Monday! I think I'll (and moreover my family will) be forever grateful to Mrs M for coming up with the idea as I am the queen of spending a good chunk of money in the supermarket, exiting with about five bags full up with shopping and still not have anything to make a meal out of!

Here goes...

Monday (As it's 8:55pm I can report this was a success. Toddler even said, "This is yummy Mummy." She has never said anything of the sort before.) : Roast chicken, mash, peas.

Tuesday: Spaghetti Bolognese.

Wednesday: Crispy chicken fajitas and salad.

Thursday: Spanish tortilla, salad and coleslaw.

Friday: Fish pie.

Saturday: Lamb casserole.

Sunday: Chicken burgers in buns with salad.

An abundance of chicken and salad I'll agree but they're favourite staples in the Village Mama household. I used to eat a lot of vegetarian (I'm not vegetarian) food before I was hitched-might try slipping some more veggie options in in the weeks to come.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Listography-Top 5 songs I grew up to.

Kate's Listography is back after a summer break with 'Top 5 songs I grew up to.' For me that's tunes from the 80's. Let's see what I remember...

1.  'System Addict'-5 Star, the UK's answer to The Jackson 5. I loved 5 Star, bought their tape and the 5 Star annual. I was quite surprised to see one of the sisters from the group on 'The Voice' tv show recently.

2.  The one where the chorus went 'Hey, how are you doing? I'm sorry you couldn't get through-but this is a message that's been recorded especially for you...' I can't remember the name of the song or the band but it was the first song that popped into my head when I read Kate's original post. I remember as a child that it would be cool to sing the chorus into an answering machine I would have as an adult-to this day I've not done it.

3.  'Take on Me'-A-ha. Iconic video and catchy tune.

4. 'Karma Chameleon'-Culture Club. Didn't know what it was about then-still don't really know what it's about now. Catchy tune though.

5.  Anything by Howard Jones. Bog-standard name--excellent tunes.

So, that's my top 5. Scoot on over to Kate Takes 5 if you want to join in too.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


I like to think that the World has an order of balance about it in most things. Yesterday the World did a great balancing job with the people I came into contact with.

There wasn't much love in the village yesterday for me, Toddler or the tandem buggy I was pushing around. I've never known a day like it! It began when I was attempting to wrestle the raincover out from under said buggy and put it on. Two men (about 60-65ish I'd say) who could have easily walked around the other way made a big point of walking/squeezing past. Then in the little supermarket (where they seem to be perpetually stacking the shelves) an elderly lady tried to squeeze past Toddler whilst simultaneously saying excuse me and lifting her basket directly over the top of her head! Toddler was standing as far to the opposing side as she could, the aforementioned shelf stacking causing an obstruction as they had parked the cage of goods to be stacked on the other side of the narrow aisle. Honestly! If you're going to care enough to say "Excuse me" why not care enough to wait for someone to move. Then I had a woman actually huff at us whilst leaving the check-out, again clearly not having enough time in her day to wait the 20 seconds it would have taken us to vacate the space for her. "You must have been doing something wrong." I hear you cry. Letting Toddler cause chaos perhaps? Whizzing the buggy uncontrollably up and down the aisles and through the check-out? Honestly, no, there was none of that. Like I said-never known a day like it!

Now for the balance. On the way home a workman blocking the pavement moved his wheelbarrow and all his 'Men at Work' signs so I didn't have to cross the road. A lady stopped her car to let me cross when she didn't have to and the old man I've known since Toddler was a baby (when he mistook her for a boy-we had a denim blue buggy and I always dressed her in tops and trousers) blew me a kiss from the other side of the road.

Balance restored.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Popping Out

Those days are now gone when I just could
Pop out to the shops
Or nip out for some food
Every outing is now a military procedure
As I rush around in a hurried fever
Tissues or muslin I'm sure to forget
As I pack up the bag in a bit of a fret
Perpetually ten minutes late-it's what I'm known for
Right! Off we go! Popping out-it's done for!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Not the rock hard candy type that you get as a gift when someone you know comes back from the seaside or the ones you find at the beach but the one that becomes your ballast and safety when times become choppy.

A friend of mine is going through a bit of a time at the moment. She and her family are facing a bit of an uncertain future right now but she would never really talk about how it's affecting her. As far as I understand the situation she and her husband are both to blame (although she will say that all the questionable decisions have been his). Anyway, she's been my rock on a good few occasions and I only hope that she can open up just a little bit more and let me do the same for her.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Fun at Sacrilege 2012

Not as bizarre as it sounds! Sacrilege 2012 is an inflatable re-creation of Stonehenge by the Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller. It's on tour as part of the 2012 Festival and it's FAB! Check it out at Sooooo much fun and free to boot. Fantastically well organised and the staff are great fun and do a sterling job of keeping everyone safe whilst on the bouncy Stonehenge and entertained whilst waiting to get on the bouncy Stonehenge.

Toddler and I were extremely lucky to chance upon it on a fairly early jaunt to the local park and were part of the first group to go on. Sometimes when a chance thing like that happens it makes me feel very lucky indeed. (I don't ask for much in this World!)

If it's anywhere near you in the coming weeks I'd urge you to have a go. I'm not that fit and haven't done any exercise for ages but I bounced about like a mad thing for nearly all of the 15 minutes of time allowed per slot. Fantastic bouncy fun for all.

If Sacrilege 2012 is near you any time soon-Have a go!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

I know I'm tired when...

A friend of mine who has two under threes (like me) berated her sister who is a nurse not so long ago. The sister had mentioned how tired she was and my friend replied that she didn't know the meaning of tired. My friend's point to her sister was that, yes, although she has a tough and extremely responsible job as a nurse, on her days off she can sleep all day etc.etc. if she wants. You may already be ahead of me here but the sister doesn't have any kids and only has a flighty boyfriend to deal with (I think she lives on her own).

Anyway, we all make our choices in life.

I am embracing the tiredness at the moment and trying to be a happy tired (much like being a happy drunk I suppose). I know I'm tired when...

I can't string a sentence together. My speech is always the first thing to go. Writing/typing I can just about manage but forget any actual sense coming out of my mouth.

I've been staring at the same mug/spot on the carpet/child's toy for a good 3-4 minutes.

I've had to read the same sentence from my book/newspaper/magazine about 8 times and I still don't know what's going on.

I've been washing the same plate/fork/spoon for about 4 minutes and I don't even realise my sleeve is wet.

Yes, I'm definitely tired this evening.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Listography-Top 5 things about the Summer hoidays

Listography is back and this time around it's about the Summer hols. Thanks to Kate for another great Listography idea. Here's my top 5...

1.  Not having to do packed lunches. I definitely need some inspiration for September! Toddler is quite fussy anyway and it depends which way the winds blowing as to whether she eats much or not.

2.  Not having to get into the car. I have a bit of a love/hate thing with driving. If there had been a pre-school in the village that would have suited Toddler I would have sent her there but as it goes we ended up deciding on a pre-school in the next town which is about a 45 minute walk away with the double buggy. Part of my get fit routine from September is to walk to pre-school at least once a week!

3. Being able to walk about in the village between 3:15pm-4:00pm without having to walk in the road/navigate hoards and hoards of teenagers. There are two secondary schools, one at either end of the village and it's just an absolute pain to walk around in the village at that time of day-I avoid it!

4.  Links to number 3...Being able to board a bus between 3:15pm-4:00pm without having to do battle with hoards of teenagers that don't know how to queue or board a bus without it turning into a mess.

5.  Being able to attend singing, dancing, gym groups that we normally wouldn't be able to attend due to pre-school. Toddler loves a good sing-song and a bounce so these groups really suit her down to the ground.

So, there's my top 5. If you'd like to join in just write your own post and then link up via Kate's blog.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A pox on this house...

Well, not a pox exactly but definitely illness. Of the one baby, one toddler and three adults who live here all of us to a greater or lesser extent is ill! What are the chances of five members of the same household being ill at the same time? We've all got this-it's worse than a cold, but it's not quite flu-thing! In spite of it all Toddler is doing really well with potty training. I decided that the summer hols. was the right time to tackle it. We started last Thursday and on Tuesday she had done both businesses in the potty. Considering she was adamant that she wasn't even going to sit in it until the Monday I think that's great going.

Looking forward to a healthy household sometime very soon.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Rainy day play

It rained and rained and rained all Friday here. We could have gone out but in the end we just stayed in. Here are some of the activities Toddler got up to: Mummy 1 - T.V. 0

Happy Land Village

Artistic with the Noddle Doodles

Thanks to Stressy Mummy for the inspiration for this one ( A few plastic pots, some silicone cupcake holders, an enamel plate and some dry rice and pasta.

And today as it rained and rained-A trip to the Horniman Museum, South London (  Toddler having fun making music.

Playing the giant xylophone

Monday, 2 July 2012

The boy/girl thing.

The whole boy/girl thing has entered the house. Whilst watching the beginning of 'Rory the Racing Car' Toddler piped up, 'This is for boys!' I can only assume she was refering to the cars. I tried to explain that Rory was not just for boys but she was having none of it! 'They're toys for boys I think,' came the reply. I explained that she has two cars which she plays with and that Mummy drives a car and she's not a boy. She was still unconvinced. We don't actually watch Rory so we don't know the characters but suddenly there was a little pink girl car on our screen. Toddler was then convinced that Rory was indeed for girls and boys. I guess she's getting the whole boy/girl thing from pre-school and the world around her in general. We've never said that certain things are for boys/girls at home. Him Indoors is particularly particular regarding teaching Toddler everything he knows regarding D.I.Y etc. even at her young age. I can't do anything handy and he's determined that she doesn't rely on anyone to put up a shelf, paint a wall properly etc. She's got her own little (play) toolkit and has watched as the builders and then her Dad have transformed the rear of our house from a tiny kitchen to a full rear extension. I feel I'm waffling here a bit so I'll just leave you with a couple of photos...
Kitchen extension and dining room in foreground
Although not the same angle what it looked like with some finishing touches to be added

Monday, 25 June 2012

A man in uniform.

I've never subscribed to the whole 'I love a man in uniform' thing until about half-an-hour ago. I was driving Toddler to pre-school, rounded a bend in the road and saw a man crossing in what looked like a 1950's airline pilot uniform. As I rounded the corner and clocked him crossing I said 'Wow!' It just popped out like that-'Wow!' In the moments that followed I tried to analyse why I'd said it. The man in question was probably mid to late 50's, average build and looks. If he'd been in normal clothes I certainly wouldn't be writing about him now. Must have been the uniform.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

If I'd have known that it would be the last time I'd see you.

I feel as though I've been given a strange sort of 'gift'. My Mum who went to live overseas a couple of years ago has been staying with us whilst we've been renovating our house and making the transition to a family of four. She'll be 69 in a couple of months time and apart from being a type 2 diabetic seems to be in fairly good health. However she is nearly 70 and the plane ride is 23 hours long so I'm thinking that there is a higher than average probability that a day at the end of August may well be the last time we ever lay eyes on each other. Having this knowledge-What do you say? What would I have said to my Dad had I known that it would be the last time I'd see him. As it goes I think the last thing I said to him was probably 'Bye.' I've thought about writing this post for a while and it makes me cry every time I think about it. What to say? I'll probably stick with the time honoured 'Thanks for all your help. Love you. Bye.'

Friday, 22 June 2012

R.I.P. kettle

A couple of days ago our kettle just stopped working. I knew Him Indoors was out and about for work so I asked him to stop by one of the nearby supermarkets on his way home to pick up a new one.

He was asked to bring back a cream or clear kettle and this is what he brought back.

I made the point that that was not what I'd asked for.

But it goes so well with the splashback was the reply.

The light is slightly different in the two shots but they are indeed a near perfect match.

Don't you just hate it when they're right like that!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Photo round-up (or Lazy mummy way to blog).

Oh dear...where does the time go? Near enough every day I say to myself, "Must get on with my blog, haven't written anything for ages," and then it's bedtime and another day has passed and I haven't done a thing except look after the house and children. Very important jobs I hear you say and yes they are but surely I must be able to fit something else into the day? I think my time management skills need a serious looking at. To that end this post will be a series of photos taken over the last few weeks that I could have turned into independent posts but just didn't have the time to. Here goes...

Rain, rain go away.

Onwards and upwards with the house renovation-next job to tackle-The Dining Room.
The 'Dorothy the Dinosaur' balloon that cost more than a King's ransom.

Rainy day art work.
Street party fun with Toddler A.K.A. Her Maj.

The Village gets into the Jubilee spirit.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Baby doesn't like the limelight.

A friend of mine in the village is very arty (I am not in any way arty). She's trying to get her photography up and running and has quite a bit of experience photographing older children but no experience photographing babies. She asked me if she could come round and do a shoot with Baby and I jumped at the chance. I offered to pay but my friend said to wait and see how it turned out first.

She's just left after spending a good couple of hours here trying to catch Baby at his best. He didn't smile once! Not once! He's not an overly smiley baby but he does have a great smile. (All babies do don't they?) I tried everything that normally makes him smile and nothing worked, nothing. My friend tried too and worked really hard to get some good shots. Baby fell asleep half way through the shoot for about 15 minutes so that explains a lot. He woke up and did some more shots on his tummy and then it was time for us all (Mummy, Toddler and Baby) to have some shots together. Still no proper out-and-out smile from Baby. I guess he just doesn't like the limelight.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

It's nearly finished!

Today I'm linking up with the lovely Catherine at Making it as Mum for the Making it Home part of her blog. Catherine knows about all things home and knows how to make a space work-oh, how I wish I did!

Well, the kitchen is nearly finished. It has taken ages! (The work started back in September) Him Indoors has done most of the work all by himself saving us thousands. (My friends are quite envious of having a handy husband-"My husband would call someone in to change a fuse" was a comment from one friend.)

Purple splashback. I wanted a 'statement' colour here as everything else is very safe and neutral. We'd originally chosen a blue/purple but they sent this one by mistake and I'm so glad they did as when we held up the blue/purple sample against this one we realised that colour would have dragged the whole thing down. Thank you renovation Gods! The beauty of this is because it's just screwed to the wall it can be changed at any time. (I will definitely NOT be changing it any time soon.)

Behind 'the tower' is the boiler and cylinder-a huge thing that looks very complicated to me. Anyway, Him Indoors built the housing and put the doors on. At some point, when time allows, but sooner rather than later we'll spray paint the bottom two doors with blackboard paint so we and Toddler can let our creative juices flow. Toddler loves drawing and mark-making so that should be right up her street. Also it's at the opposite end of the kitchen from the cooker, so well away from any danger.

If you've got a renovation, decoration or interiors post you'd like to share you can link up to the Making it Home section of Making it as Mum here.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Oh is jab day.

Today is jab day...I hate jab day. Immunisation, inoculation, jab. Baby will be having his second lot of jabs this afternoon. I get quite shaky normally but today will be even worse as this is the set that Toddler had a reaction to. When Toddler had these jabs the right side of her face was affected. It was if someone had drawn an invisible line right down the middle of her face and everything to the right of that line was affected. Her eye and right side of her nose and lips swelled. By the time the doctor saw her the swelling and redness had subsided to almost back to normal. An appointment with the consultant followed which didn't clear up the cause of the reaction unfortunately. The nurse spoke to me at Baby's first jabs appointment regarding Toddler's reaction. I said I was happy to go ahead with the second set of jabs as I know he won't necessarily react the same way and Toddler has not reacted to any jabs since. The consultant also mentioned that it might have not been the jab and could have been some sort of external irritant and the timing was just coincidental. Still hate jab day though.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Work of the future.

I'm definitely not going back to any sort of paid work any time soon but occasionally my mind does wander down the road to a few years from now when I will be in a position to be gainfully employed again. I know full-time teaching is definitely out as I really can't see the hours I feel you have to put in to be a successful teacher and those I feel I would have to put in to run a successful household tally up. Young children also have to be dropped off and picked up from school so that's another consideration. What kind of job allows you do it from 9:15-2:45???? Perhaps something I could do from home and control my own hours? Holistic therapy has been an interest of mine for a while. After having Toddler my back was in an awful state. Physiotherapy didn't seem to be doing much but the reflexology sessions I had really helped-so perhaps that's the way to go.

I'm really enjoying being a stay-at-home mum and to be honest I never thought I really would. There were some days after having Toddler when I thought I would go completely bonkers being a stay-at-home mum but as the months and years have progressed I've grown to enjoy it and I feel like we all get a lot out of it. One day it'll be back to work...but not just yet.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

A lot can happen in six-and-a-bit years

I can't remember what sparked this thought this morning-tiredness + 'baby-brain' does not a good memory make! Anyway, I started thinking what had happened to me over the past few years and at first I didn't think it was much but as I thought I realised there was quite a bit going on...

Summer 2005-Move to Spain with long-term partner after having broken up and getting back together about 18 months previously.

Winter 2006-Break up with said long-term partner.

Summer 2007-Return to UK.

Spring 2008-My Dad died.

Summer 2008-Meet Him Indoors.

Spring 2009-I am pregnant with Toddler.

Summer 2009-Move into flat with Him Indoors.

Winter 2009-Toddler is born.

Summer 2010-Move into house.

Spring 2011-Move into current house.

Spring 2011-I am pregnant with Baby.

Winter 2012-Baby is born.

So, yeah, a lot can happen in six-and-a-bit years!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Right now I love...

Ah, my poor neglected blog, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day! So I thought I'd do a 'Right now I love...' series of posts to get my blogging mo-jo back. I'll include all sorts-it could be a product, t.v. programme, book, place to visit etc.etc. Any products I include, unless otherwise stated, will be things that I've bought for myself or others or that I just have around the house.

So let's kick off with Right now I love Chessington World of Adventures in the rain. Him Indoors had booked a day off recently and, yes, it turned out to be one of the wettest days we've had so far this year. He'd booked the web pre-school offer which, as I understand it, is non-transferable so we had to go and it was great! It was tipping down by the time we got there and there were just a few cars in the car park so we got to park right by the entrance. The lady at the entrance told us that because it had been raining for more than an hour we'd be able to use our tickets again for entrance on another day under their 'Rainy Day' policy. Basically, if it has rained for more than an hour they log the day in their system as a rainy day, they let you keep your original ticket and all you have to do is look on the website to see when you can go back under the terms of the policy. I imagine the list of available dates to go back will be restricted, I've yet to have a look, but nevertheless I think it's a great idea.

We had the park more or less to ourselves but there were enough people there that there was still a good atmosphere. No queueing or waiting around for anything and at all the shows we were at the front with an unrestricted view.

It was a fantastic day despite the awful weather, but it didn't rain the whole time. We thought that we wouldn't get to see the mammals due to the rain but we managed to see most of them. Typically, about 4:30pm when most people were getting ready to go the sun broke through the grey clouds and it was beautiful.

One thing I would suggest to take, that we didn't, if you think it might rain whilst you're there take a couple of small hand towels to wipe down seats.

Chessington World of Adventures in the pouring rain-Love it!

The fascinating 'Bearcat'-it smells of popcorn-honestly!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The village in Village Mama UK

I realised recently that I've never explained my blog name. Why am I Village Mama? I'm in the fortunate (as far as I'm concerned) position that I've lived in the same place my whole life and up until roughly this time last year in the same house. When I say "...I've lived..." I mean in the sense of the family home has always been the same, at the same address. I've actually lived all over the place in England and even had an all too brief stint (2 years) in Spain. Up until last year four generations of my family had, since the early 1900's, occupied the same property so I suppose you could say the village is in my blood. This time last year we moved-but only across the road!

As you can imagine the village is very important to me and even more so now I'm a stay-at-home mum. Near enough everything I do has its roots in the village. Unfortunatley Toddler's pre-school is in the next town which is a drive away-shame, can't have everything. The village isn't even really a village in the rural sense as it's surrounded by fairly large towns. In my view it's a little oasis in the midst of its near neighbours. I could now go on to write a whole list of things that I love about the village but I won't because you get the picture already.

At times, when I have the time to think about it, I feel quite sorry for Him Indoors not to feel as connected to the place in which he lives as I do. How can you feel that connected to a place and community when you get up, go to work outside of that community, come home again and don't leave the house again until you go to work the next day? The only job I've ever had in the village was as a young teenager on my paper round. When the time comes again for me to go back to work I can only hope there's a job waiting for me somewhere in the village.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Listography-Top 5 wishes for my child

I really enjoy reading the Kate Takes 5 blog and this week's listography is another cracker. Top 5 wishes for my child...that's got me thinking.

1. Not to be downtrodden by the world. I think it can be quite easy to let things grind you down. I think I'm specifically thinking about bullying when I say this. Toddler is such a happy-go-lucky soul at the moment and it would break my heart to see this chirpy, sunny personality get chipped away by negativity.

2. To have great friends. I've really not been in that many 'situations' in my life but the ones I have been in I've been damn lucky to have the friends I have.

3. Health. Nuff said.

4. To keep a love of music. Dancing, singing  and instruments. If you can express yourself through one of these mediums, even if your not that proficient or talented, your world is a good place.

5. Success. In whatever-the big things, the little things, school, relationships, profession, cooking etc. etc.

Friday, 20 April 2012

OMG! Heart racing, head spinning.

OMG! I know in the grand scheme of things what just happened doesn't amount to much. Nobody was hurt, nothing was broken etc but I still feel quite sick at the thought of it! I had just added a photo on to my Blogger profile, was about to link up with Making it as Mum's Making it Home linky and a Blogger message popped up that my blog had been removed. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Oh no I thought. All those posts I thought. Toddler will never be able to read what I've written I thought. Don't know why I thought that last one as Toddler is just over two, can recognise words but can't, of course, actually read anything yet. I quickly shut down all the windows in the hope that logging on from scratch would do the trick. Of course it did, a verification code was sent and all is well again. Must have been due to me adding the photo to my profile. It's good that Blogger keep an eye out so to speak but my head is still a bit spinny even now. Then I thought about my reaction to this...Why should even the mere thought of losing this blog create such a reaction? 1. I suppose that I feel my blog is part of me as it contains my thoughts, feelings and experiences. 2. A bit of a dark one but if anything were to happen to me at least a little bit of me would be forever in the blogosphere as long as it existed. 3. It's mine, all mine and as a mother, daughter and wife there isn't much that's mine, all mine at the moment.

I'd better go and link up with the Making it Home linky before I forget.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

One step forward...

Today I am stressed. Not the ranting, stamping my feet stressed but the internal, slowly simmering under the surface stressed. I am a woman whose kitchen still isn't quite finished. Every conceivable worksurface is covered with bits of wood, pots of paint, boxes of screws and tubes of sealant-hardly the room to prepare a sandwich. Him Indoors has been working so hard on it and has saved us a lot of money into the bargin but it all seems never ending-it's been going on since September. We will have a lovely space when it's all finished so I can't get too bothered about it. The fact that I've got a horrible ulcer right on the side of my tongue so I can't eat without being in pain and I can't talk properly is probably adding to the stressy feeling. Roll on the day when the kitchen is complete-Then we go on to the dining room...



Saturday, 14 April 2012

April Goals-Update

I joined in with the Kate Takes 5 Listography on April goals earlier this month and I have to say it's not going well. My first goal was to increase my five-a-day intake and I'm still only managing two a day now at best. (Does strawberry jam-the really posh, expensive kind count as one of your five a day???) The only thing I've managed to make in my kitchen so far is fairy cakes and buttercream. (This sounds shocking I know, considering we are on the 14th April but as per 'What happened to me' I'm still recovering and Mum has been living with us and doing all the cooking and cleaning-God bless her!) I have managed to catch up with one of the two friends I've been meaning to catch up with and I have backed up my photos but only by default really...I was updating my phone and running a 'sync' via my laptop when my mother decided to take it upon herself to close the laptop therefore shutting the whole system down even though two minutes before the deed was done I'd expressly told her not to shut the laptop. As a result of the system shutdown all the photos on the phone were lost but thank goodness I'd backed them up to the laptop not five minutes before the phone was wiped. This then spurred me on to backing up all photos on the laptop to an external hard drive should anything else happen. Finally the whole 'active outdoors' thing is coming on slowly but surely-a couple of walks to the village and to the park so far and lots of trips to medical appointments which can't really be classed as 'the great outdoors' but I guess it's a start.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

One of the best things...

One of the best things that has ever happened to me happened to me yesterday evening. I reckon I'm quite lucky as lots of good things have happened to me so far but this little thing that lasted mere seconds ranks up there with the best of them. Sitting on the sofa Toddler took my face in her hands, looked up at me, smiled and said, "I love you Mummy" completely independently and out of nowhere. I don't really have the words to describe how I felt but I had the biggest smile on my face after those few seconds.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Listography-April Goals

Thanks to Kate from Kate takes 5 for making me actually sit down and think about some goals for myself. It's been SO long since I've thought about any goals for myself. I've thought about goals for Toddler-No I'm definitely not a Tiger Mum, Toddler's goals have been more like-try the big slide in the park. Goals for the house-must get kitchen finished. Etc. etc.

Hmmmm...goals for myself-here goes...

1. Must improve my 5-a-day number. At the moment I'm getting about 1-poor show I know.

2. Actually try out some of the recipes I spend so much time reading.

3. Catch up with two friends I've been meaning to catch up with for ages.

4. Back up my photos. I must have loads that if (God forbid) anything were to happen to my laptop would be gone for good.

5. Get more active in the great outdoors.

I've got my doubts about numbers 1 and 4 but I will try. Perhaps sticking this list to my fridge door might help.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Listography: Top 5 beauty products

Joining in with Kate Takes 5 Listography-this week it's Top 5 beauty products. I must admit that I really don't spend much on products as you will be able to tell from my list. Everything in my little make up bag costs a few quid apart from the one or two bits I've bought when feeling a bit flush.

Here's my list:

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser: I really don't like thick, heavy moisturisers so this one really suits me and great price too.

Nivea Visage Tinted Moisturising Day Cream: Again, don't like heavy foundations so a tinted moisturiser is more up my street.

Professional Kohl pencil from Avon in Brown: Double ended eye pencil with the colour at one end and a smudger at the other. Perfect for me as I'm not the best at putting on eyeliner so when I muck it up I can just use the smudger and pretend the smokey eye look was the one I was going for all along.

Stila Lip Glaze in Vanilla: A 'feeling flush' product but well worth it. This product is fantastic. I don't know what it is about this product but it can take me from harassed mum to party-ready in the time it takes to slick it on-Fab!

Boots Natural Collection Lash Length Mascara in Black: A great all-round mascara for a great price-What's not to like?

So there we have it. Not a lot of money spent but at least the above products save me from looking like 'ten penneth of God help us' as my Dad used to say.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Feel the blogging love.

I'm back in the blogosphere! Since writing 'What happened to me.' I've been recovering and today is the first day I've felt strong enough to even open my laptop. I have to say that even feeling quite weak and trying to get my strength back and looking after Baby and Toddler (thank goodness my mum has been on hand to help) I have missed the blogosphere. I've found it to be such a positive place filled with interesting people and interesting posts. Of course, my own blog has been neglected over the last few weeks and I've got to spend some time catching up with my favourite blogs and updating my own. In the coming weeks I've got appointments at various clinics and the hospital and, of course, I've got my lovely two to spend time with but I'm hoping there'll be a bit more time for blogging too.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

What happened to me.

Well, we are now a family of four.  Baby made his appearance last week but we only got home on Monday.  Baby is absolutely fine-it was me that was the problem.  After a pretty much textbook start it all went horribly wrong at the end.  Baby was born with me just on the old gas and air (love that stuff) and a bit of help with the ventouse.  Unfortunately I got a third degree tear-not that I can feel that now to be honest-and my blood pressure crashed through the floor.  I was in theatre for three hours with them trying to stabilise me. It was all very E.R.  I was conscious the whole time and very calm.  I remember asking lots of strange questions to the medical team-"Am I going to die?" "Am I going to be alright?" "Whose blood are you using?"-I ended up having three transfusions and staying in the high dependency unit.  I have to say the care I received was fantastic.  It all sounds very dramatic but all's well that ends well.  The midwife said it'll be a few months recovery for me but my baby boy is well worth it and I couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Listography-Top 5 things that make me happy

I'm joining in again this week with the Kate Takes 5 Listography.  It was great to have such a positive response to my first Listography last week and it was fab to see all the other Lists.  The blogosphere really is a fantastic community to be part of and being a newbie that's a good thing to know.  Anyway-on with the list.

Top 5 things that make me happy:

1.  When everyone else (in the family) is happy.

2.  Going out for a walk on a snowy/sunny day.

3.  Singing.

4. Knowing the kitchen will be finished soon.  More about that in a planned 'Evolution of a kitchen' post coming soon.

5.  Knowing that next week I can eat whatever the hell I like.  Currently 39 weeks pregnant with gestational diabetes so I've been on quite a strict diet for the past 8 months.  I must be one of the very few women who look like they've actually lost weight during their pregnancy.

So that's the list.  I know 4 & 5 are time specific but I had to include them as they really are going to make me extremely happy.

Monday, 13 February 2012


I've wanted to join in with the fab Kate Takes 5 listography for a while but just never got around to it.  This week it's all about your top 5 mugs.  Like many others joining in I've definitely got a thing about mugs.  Here's my top 5 (in no particular order).

The newest of my favourite mugs. Not actually given to me but given to Toddler from a non-mummy friend of mine for Christmas!!!!  Now it's mine-mean Mummy!  Toddler does like pointing out all the animals to me though.

Love this mug.  I think it was hand-thrown and glazed.  I like that you can see the grooves in it.  It's my big mug.

Given to me by my cousin.  The fact that you can just give whoever is being 'mother' the mug and they know exactly what you want-genius!

Reminds me of cosy Cornish seaside holidays-enough said.

A pressie from me to me a couple of winters ago.  It's my winter mug and I only drink out of it whilst the weather's cold.

So, there you have it.  If you've got some faves too join in via the linky at Kate Takes 5.