Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bananas and Custard? Yes please!

I am meant to be at work today having supervision; however, it has been postponed, so I am sitting at my desk thinking about all the things I want to write about, my mind is a wash with ideas. I have spent the last few days manically writing bits and pieces down when they come into my head.

What to cook what not to cook, how to discipline a child, why I don’t agree with smacking, why co-sleeping saved my sanity and my marriage. How blessing others is a blessing to yourself. What to do with toxic friends. Why travelling with a child is the best experience in the world. This blog has become an outlet for all my minds mutterings, and I love it!

I can not help but think of my friend Hugo today, I love him like a sister loves her brother. We both love bananas, custard and brown sugar! I can not actually remember a time that I was not friends with him.  He is married to a beautiful lady called Emma, and they have a gorgeous baby boy called Louis. They now live in Munich, Germany, I miss him lots, thank God for Skype!  Noah and I were fortunate to spent Tuesday with them eating Roasted Chicken with garlic and tomatoes, playing lake monsters and catching up on life in general. Happy times!

This coming Saturday, is the first “Womens Breakfast” at our house. Noah is spending the day with Nanny Jane, our wonderful, amazing and caring nanny. We love her dearly, she has become a part an intergal part of our family. Neal has been given a free pass to go fishing, so he too is a happy man. I on the other hand am beginning to wonder what I have let myself in for, pancakes, bacon, coffee and orange juice at the ready. Will any one turn up? Who knows?


Do lobsters really scream when you cook them?

Sundays oh how I love Sundays! Today even more so than most.

Noah decided that he would bring various musical instruments to church and play along with the worship band! when I say musical instruments read, a blow up guitar, a toy trumpet, a Moroccan Sintir and two of the most annoying (why did I buy them?) rattle drums. He seems to already be displaying rock star tendencies, as I caught sight of him with the blow up guitar thrashing it around whilst head banging.

After lunch we had planned on Gruffalo hunting in the local woods, a past time that neither Noah, Neal or I ever seem to tire of. However it was a wee bit windy here today and one look outside the three of us opted for indoor free play. I love that “indoor free play”, what that really means is daddy played on the iPad, Noah got his cars out, racing with his imaginary brothers around the house (yes all 14 of them) and I baked  The Everyday Cake (if the link works you should be able to click on it and see the recipe)

There appeared to be a lobster in my house today, why I do not know, but there was and Sunday dinner consisted of mashed potatoes, broccoli, peas and lobster. Noah was excited, he had told anyone and everyone that we were having lobster for dinner. He has asked questions about the shell, the pincers or nippers as he calls them and how we cook it, how we eat it and if it taste the same as one of those crabs he caught this summer.

Now I know that I am fortunate with Noah, and he tends to eat most things. We have one meal time rule in our house, and that is we all eat the same thing. Ever since Noah was a baby, he sat up the table with us, smelling all the foods that he would one day eat. I used to sit him in his bouncy chair on the table (do not try this at home and then sue me if you baby falls off) He has always been in the kitchen with me, as a baby I used to wear him in a sling whilst I cooked. Once he could walk I gave him vegetables to cut up using the pampered chef my safe cutter (brilliant buy). He sat on the work surface dipping his fingers in various cake mixtures, trying different tastes and textures. I can not say that this has or has not contributed to Noah’s eating, but these are things I did. On the whole we eat a variety of meat, fish, vegetables, rice, pasta, potatoes and puddings. I am not saying our diet is perfect, I mean I love biscuits! But I think we do alright.  Anyway, I digress, back to this lobster.

Now cooking it was the easy part, boil water, add lobster, wait till it turns orange. Getting into it, now that is a whole other matter. Our dinning table looked like a lobster has literally exploded on there, as I glanced up from trying to delicately remove some meat from the tail with my fork, Noah had a whole claw in his mouth and was trying to suck out the meat. Overall it is safe to say, yes our family eats lobster, but next time we would need at least three, and actually I would prefer to be sitting at a table on the beach watching the sun set, as some one served me fresh lobster!

Now Noah is in bed, Neal is back on the iPad and after I sign of here, I am heading for another piece of cake, cup of tea and will be curling up on the sofa with my book. I love reading nearly as much as I love cake!

Because I love him

If we are home, Neal and I rarely eat without Noah. But tonight is different, Noah has been fed and bathed early, and is currently curled up in bed with some warm milk and a DVD. I am in the kitchen preparing this evenings supper, and Neal is still out fishing. We had been invited to the opening night of Christmas in Wonderland at All Manor of Events, however we have opted for a night in, just the two of us.

We, Neal and I have not always had the smoothest of relationships, and there have been times I have loved him in spite of, not because of. And I am pretty confident he has felt the same. We have taken our marriage vows seriously, and have looked towards my parents who are in their 46 year of marriage, for advice.  So, yes, we are the couple that has “date night”, yes, we are ones that often switch off our phones, and sit for hours playing scrabble whilst discussing our hopes, dreams and our struggles. Tonight is one of those nights, I have made Toad in the Hole, and Chocolate Souffle for pudding, the table is laid, there are candles lit all around the dinning room, and I have laid scrabble out in the living room. Tonight, is about Neal and I. You see, I love him, I really love him. I am not that great at telling him, I struggle to show him, but I love him.

My Writing Process in 82 Easy Steps

So true!

Two ladies, three nights, a dozen or so horses, a bit of bartering, no sense of direction and a couple of camels…you might be close to imagining the fun we had in Marrakech

I have just returned from a three night city break in Marrakech, I might add it is the first time I have been away without my son, and I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Marrakech is a city of contradictions, the donkey and cart uses the roundabout with the same gutso and authority as the brand new white Range Rover sport that is sat beside it. The ladies go about their daily business dressed either in the full hijab or western clothes with their hair flowing down their backs.

It has often been said that woman can not travel light, and I for one would fall in to the category of packing things “just in case”. So it was as much to my surprise and it was to Di’s that when I opened by “hand luggage only” suitcase, I found in there 9 pairs of knickers, two vests, a jumper, a pair of linen trousers and my pyjamas! I am sure I meant to pack more, In fact I remember ironing more, (well more clothes and less knickers) I must have got distracted somewhere along the way.

Our days are spent exploring all the different parts of both the old and the new city, hopping on and off buses and traveling by horse and cart. We spent time bartering for goods that we did not want at a price we believed was a bargain and had no thought as to how we would get them in our suitcases on the way home. But this is all part of the experience of Marrakech. I can not read a map and have no sense of direction, Di can do both and we still got lost; that too is all part of Marrakech, the roads and narrow alley ways all look the same, and a couple of left turns and Di and I have found ourselves in the middle of a residential area completely lost.

Once the Souks and busy market square became too much we did the two things that immediately relaxed, rejuvinated and refreshed us. Firstly we headed to La Mamounia Hotel for a coffee, yes it is expensive, but for an hour of pure pleasure it is completely worth it. Secondly we had a hammam. WOW, my skin as never felt so soft and smooth and my my body has never been so relaxed. I would go back tomorrow to Marrakech just for another hammam. We opted for Les Secrets de Marrakech and had the full works. Amazing

As ever I still have questions;  my thighs are still hurting from the camel ride, is this normal? Does anyone actually eat the snails that are sold in the market? and finally and maybe most importantly has anyone ever been on holiday and not seen a “lookie lookie man”?

I loved my time in Morocco, I loved spending time without my husband and son. I loved sitting in a roof top cafe sipping Moroccan mint tea for hours on end without having to worry about Noah. I loved that Di and I loved our time together, so much that we are planning another city break next year. More than anything though, I loved that I missed both my husband and son!

So there I am in my husband’s t-shirt and a pair of flip flops scrubbing brush in one hand, bottle of bleach in the other, bending over the toilet…

When I realise: How did I get here? I mean really, it is Friday morning and I have spent the last three hours cleaning the house, bleaching the bathroom (due to Noah’s projectile vomiting in the middle of the night) and changing bed linen. Now as I know my father reads this blog, please excuse the next sentence…see Pop’s I do know how to use a mop and bucket!

As my friend is often reminding me “Bianca life is not like the Boden catalogue”, and right now I have to agree, when was the last time I opened the Boden / Joules / Cath Kidston catalogue and staring back at me was a woman, dressed in her husband’s t-shirt, hair tied up with her sons pants (yes I have done this when I could not find a hair tie), bending over the toilet scrubbing the pan to get rid of the limescale?….

Last night was Home Group, I did not have time to make the cake, arrived half an hour late, (better late than never) and then got the giggles. They were reading from Isaiah 52 I think…. and this was all I heard, “the uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again”, well quite frankly that was it, I could not stop laughing, and to make it worse no one else found it funny, and the more I tried not to laugh the more I laughed, I even tried closing my eyes but then all I pictured was the “uncircumcised and defied” not being allowed to enter. Whoops!

Anyway, It is Friday, so in our house we have family night every Friday. We each get a turn to decide on the food, drink and game we play. Tonight, Neal is in charge of drinks, (let’s hope he read this blog and remembers to pick some up on the way home, Noah is choosing the game, and he has opted for Thomas Take and Play Sets. I am on food, I had thought about a cheeky adventure into town to the local Cafe Rouge, but as Noah is unwell, I am going to play it safe, with chicken breasts wrapped in bacon, with roast potatoes and whatever vegetables might be hiding in the fridge.

I still haven’t packed for Marrakesh, in fact I am still not dressed and it is nearly two thirty. But I have scrubbed the toilet! And I have been invited to attend a children’s book launch tomorrow.

The to do list: Where is my pot of tea?


So Whilst I love Tuesdays, Thursday’s I am not so keen on. They seem to involve too much doing and not enough sitting drinking tea.

I work a twelve hour shift on a Wednesday; like most things in life it has its advantages and disadvantages. It means I am able to work 18.74 hours in a two day week, perfect for the work life balance, however, not so perfect when you have been at work for 9 hours and are ready to go home and you realise there is still another 3 hours to go and you are becoming insanely irritable!

But hey, it is now Thursday morning, and I am sat in front of my laptop, in my pyjamas, thinking when I agreed / was coerced into doing this blog, I am not sure I realised exactly how much time would go into it. I have so far set up my facebook like page, apparently that helps increase traffic, invited and shamelessly plugged my blog to all who would listen, and even some who were not so keen on listening. Noah is currently sitting on the floor next to me, dressed in a spiderman onesie loading all his cars into the back of a bin lorry. Today he has opted not to respond to Noah or Spiderman and I have been informed that today he is Iceman!

I have a house that needs tiding, more laundry to do than I want to think about, a suitcase to pack, a cake to bake for home group this evening, supper to cook for the family, Kumon for Noah this afternoon, photos and recipes to upload on here. Not to mention the dreaded post office queue for Neal’s passport. So how am I going to do it all?

Who knows, one thing is for sure, I will be reporting back here, letting you know!

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