Wednesday, 29 December 2010


Here’s a good idea from the lovely Kate Takes 5. I’ve never been sufficiently on the ball to join in all the Silent Sundays, Gallery’s and Wordless Wednesdays etc, but here is my offering for Kate’s new Listography:

My Top 5 Things About Having Kid’s:

1. Minesweeping their leftovers by way of an aperitif for your own evening meal.
2. The magic healing powers of your kisses and cuddles.
3. Playing, playing, playing.
4. Cuddling a warm toddler as they sleep in your bed, occasionally warming your leg with little bubbles of flatulent contentment.
5. Knowing the secret spot where with one well aimed tickling finger you can reduce your child to helpless crumpled giggles. Total control for a few fleeting seconds.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Christmas is over now and I'll have no more talk of it. Tomorrow I go back to work and the Christmas tree and its foot puncturing needles are being expelled into the garden where trees actually belong, thank you very much Prince Albert and your fancy Germanic ways.

I am tired and weary. My liver hurts. I have overdosed on pork products and I will scream if I have to count to the mythical 'three' one more time in order to try to stop a sugar induced tantrum.

Admittedly heart warming moments abounded. I have never been so proud as when watching my son performing his at his nursery concert in his Santa costume. Watching a dozen three and four year olds impersonating penguins in Christmas attire was hilarious and thankfully safely videoed for future blackmailing purposes.

The kids ooh'ed and aah'ed appreciatively over their pressies (again, responsibly captured on film) and there was only one person who brought a far more generous present than I bought for them; the politics of presents - the unspoken agreement that you will both spend a similar amount on each other, only for the other person to aim a passive-aggressive undercut by unilaterally blowing the budget. A different person would be grateful for the generous gesture, but sadly not me - it just makes me feel guilty that I didn't buy them something just as nice....

In addition it was lovely to see friends and family and spend time with them, especially on the day itself when a kind friend invited us and other friends with young children to her house for us all to create mayhem whilst she cooked. We had a great time and she is a good, good friend. Mwah mwah.

I find Christmas to be a bit like giving birth - all anticipation and anxiety in the run up to the event, barely tolerable pain and incredible joy on the day itself, then as soon as it is over you forget and within a few months you are ready to go through the whole blooming thing again........

I'm such an old misery - I blame it on a liverish reaction to another pig's in blankets based evening meal. Tomorrow I'm finding a recipie for miso soup or perhaps curly kale and mung bean stew.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Jingle What?

My son has been practising for his nursery carol concert but doesn't seem to be using the words I remember.

Never mind. He's still a star to me.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

T'was the Night Before Christmas


T'was the Night Before Christmas when all through the house

The only creature stirring was the kid's zhu zhu mouse.
A large glass of red was poured and ready,
Mum's little helper (to keep her nerves steady).

The children were manhandled into their beds
And visions of presents danced in their heads;
Mum and Dad drained, and with legs like jelly;
Had just settled down to watch some crap telly;

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter;
They sprang from the sofa to see what was the matter.
They ran to the window like bats out of hell,
Tore open the curtains and started to yell.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to incredulous eyes did appear
But a whopping great sleigh and eight bloody reindeer!

With a little old driver so lively and quick,
They knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
"Excuse me, but who do you think you are?
You crazy old dude - you've knackered our car!"

"And Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen;
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen;
Impressive you are, but what do we do
With a garden now covered in reindeer poo?"

Shocked by this outburst St Nick took the hump
Walked into the fence and fell with a bump.
Mum and Dad laughed; said "I think we're agreed;
It's not a flying sleigh but an eye test you need!"

He sprang to his feet and recovered his pride;
And with a sneer said "At least I've not lied!
You've told your children I'm bringing surprises,
But I'm leaving bugger all now for your early risers!"

His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses and his breath smelled of sherry.
The white beard on his chin was flecked with saliva,
They realised he was just a festive drunk driver.

"You don't frighten us - you nasty old goat;
Standing there in your smelly old furry red coat.
We've bought our kid's presents so go away please",
And with that they confiscated his keys.

He knew he was beaten and without any fuss,
He headed into the night to wait for the bus,
But they heard him exclaim as he walked out of sight
"Merry Sodding Christmas and to all a good night"

Credit of course must go the original poem by Clement Clarke Moore.
Variations from the original are all my own.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Winter Wonderland at Centre Parcs

So, a couple of months ago, when Christmas was just a far off possibility, I thought it would be great for us to snatch a quick few days away with the kids before all the craziness began.

"Ooh look..." I pointed out to my husband, "Centre Parcs puts on a Christmas Winter Wonderland in December. Visit to Santa, panto, fake snow, Christmas kids party.....all the usual festive gubbins out of the way in one fell swoop."

Seemed like a good idea. Husband agreed, so we booked to go on the 6th December.

It was of course one of the coldest weeks on record. Temperatures reached -17.5 one night, and the thermometer never ventured a mittened finger above - 5 the whole time we were there. We walked around in constant fear of being impaled by the two foot icicles which draped from every tree and the kids lips turned blue if we were outside for longer than 10 minutes.

If we were a skiing type of family the salopettes, fleeces and polar expedition outerwear would have been invaluable. However this is not equipment we had to hand as neither of us understands the allure of voluntarily turning oneself into a human missile on sticks and calling it a 'holiday' . As it was it took 10 minutes to dress and undress the kids from their 72 outer layers each time we changed location, and we had to learn how to manhandle them whilst wrapped up so tightly they could no longer bend in the middle.

Don't get me wrong it was beautiful, like walking through C.S Lewis's eponymous wardrobe, but as soft city dwellers we are just not used to these weather conditions. Due to slightly hysterical fears about frostbite I didn't take that many external photographs, but here are a few:

My son lobbing a pretty impressive snowball at me:

Our preferred mode of transport to see the big man himself:

The big man pretending he knows who Ben 10 is:


As holidays go it had good times and bad. The horse drawn carriage ride to see Santa was magical; the panto was fun; and the kids were agog at the magic of the setting. However they also remembered to throw in a few regular tantrums to keep us on our toes and invested a large amount of time in perfecting a form of harmonious stereo screeching which they find most amusing.

The worst thing about Centre Parcs is the constant uneasy feeling that you are being politely yet unapologetically ever so slightly ripped off. The good folks of Centre Parcs relax in the knowledge that they have a captive clientele and therefore squeeze that little bit more out of them than is strictly necessary. This included providing each cute little cabin on site with a very tempting log burning fireplace, then charging £10.00 for a bag of three poxy logs which each burned for a maximum of 2 hours. Harumphh.

Accordingly I have taken inspiration from our holiday and this season of goodwill and am happy to share with you the following festive offering;

holly leaves clip-art'The Carol of Centre Parcs'holly leaves clip-art

(to the tune of 'Come All Ye Faithfull')

Oh Come all ye parents,
Stressed and sleep deprived.
Oh Come here
To Centre Parcs
With purses open wide.

Come and behold how we
Part you from your money;
We tempt, entice and lure;
So the children still want more;
Then cry and screech and roar
At Ceeeeeentre Parcs....

I thank you.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Do This, Do This, Do This

In case you haven't already come across this, click here and amaze your kids, big or small, with a personalised message from Santa. It's free and a sure fire way of blackmailing your kids into behaving if nothing else. Do it, do it, do it, and let me know their reaction.....

Then go
here for complete festive amusement for you and your friends and family. Make sure you have access to photos you can download as you are doing it. I laugh at it every year - it never gets old.

Have fun x

Weather Warning - Two Feet of Snow Expected Today