It's good to share but keep your germs to yourself kids. Parenting, Life & Laughs

A walk on the wild side — September 1, 2016

A walk on the wild side

Today, I raised my fitness game from a Stage 10 Sofa Addict to Level 1 Pavement Pounder. I invested in some majorly comfy footwear to help me in my new quest and they’re awesome.  Like walking on marshmallows.  You’ll probably have heard of Skechers Go Walk shoes:

Legs depicted may appear chubbier than in real llife

They ain’t so pretty but who cares when you feel like your landing on a bouncy castle with every step.  They’re worth every penny.  I paraded, like an Olympian, in front of my significant other (who’s an all round sporty type with more than a dozen marathons under his belt) this morning in my ‘sports’ gear and all I got was an eyeroll.  I don’t know whether he has a death wish or just likes sleeping on the sofa but instead of reaching for the frying pan, I spun on my homey heel and headed out.  

Now, I’m not going to turn into a fitness bore, I’m writing this post in relation to a completely different gripe that I have.  I’m tempted not to complain about it at all because I know it won’t make me very popular with dog lovers but I live by the seaside and today, which was cloudy and breezy, I fancied a power walk along the promenade in a neighbouring town, for a bit of variety. 

Gloomy shot of the surf

The trouble was so did every dog owner know to man, it felt.  My problem with that is I’m not a dog lover.  I like dogs…on leashes…under control.  I like my sisters obedient little dog.  He’s cute, he’s familiar and doesn’t terrify me.

Cute, obedient and loves the snow – Sir Dougal

I don’t hate dogs either. The problem is, they’re off leash, they’re wet, sandy, slobbery and as much as I’m a clammy, sweaty mess myself, I don’t like it when they bound up to me, winding their bodies round my shins and jumping up on me. I deeply wish some dog owners could understand that not all people love dogs the way they do and most especially young children. 

My youngest son has a fear of dogs and has done since being barked at, right in the face, by a King Charles Beagle, at 18m old. He’d step into traffic to avoid walking near one on a pavement. It got to a point where he would cry and want to leave the beach in the summer because of the dogs running wild in the good weather.  Wet noses in your picnic, jumping on the kids and scraping their bare skin with their claws.  I’m an adult and I don’t like it.  Imagine being 2 ft tall and a great, slobbering, barking dog comes at you running.  

I promise you, I don’t hate dogs. I just wish more owners would take the time to train their animals properly.  Obedience classes and such.  

So apologies dog lovers, there you have it, my first, of what might become many, moans on my blog. I may have to rename it, the Daily Moan.

Young Adult Fiction, 90% crap? Say what? — August 31, 2016

Young Adult Fiction, 90% crap? Say what?

I bought a copy of The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge a few days ago, to give to my niece.  I read a few lines myself at first, then soon realised I had sped through quite a few chapters and was engrossed, which is why I was surprised by the article in the guardian about Young Adult Fiction at the Edinburgh Festival.  I’ve posted a link.  Have a wee lookey: 

Guardian Article YA fiction
I’m going to post a little review on The Lie Tree at some point once I’ve finished .  Am off to bed to drink in another few chapters now. My niece will have to wait!  Hope she doesn’t mind it’s been well thumbed. 

Sunday Brunch Heroine —

Sunday Brunch Heroine

Score some major Mum points with your ankle biters on Sunday morning with this easy peasy  Potato Scone recipe. Yum. 

It’s so simple, works every time & my kids (who are like locusts at a dinner table) observe me with a tilted head look which, is a mix between astonishment & adulation. “You made these Mum?” Says No.2 son, whom I find later, checking the bin for the Sainsburys wrapper he thinks I’ve hidden. Always the doubter!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Starving hungry children/husband/family /visitors etc.
  • 500g of mashed potatoes 
  • 100g of plain flour 
  • 50g of butter 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Background music, the essential part of cooking absolutely anything  

I’ve chosen the brilliant and talented, appropriately Scottish band, Chvrches. LOVE them. Wrap your ears around this:

ChvrchesClearest Blue

Fire away!:

  1. Add butter and salt to the well mashed potato.
  2. In a mixing bowl mix in the plain flour with the mash. Don’t let the mixture go dry. 
  3. Empty onto a flat surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the mixture  to approx. 3mm thick. Cut into triangles.
  4. Put each one into a frying pan and cook on both sides until brown. 

Et Voila!!

👌🏻 Handy Tip. Make some extra mash the night before and keep it refrigerated till morning 👌🏻

Now, there is some talk in these parts, that you should eat them with a bowl of broth or lentil soup but I say bollocks to that! You need to wash those bad boys down with a fried egg, sausage, black pudding or haggis (if you can catch one 👹) and an Irn Bru.  I should perhaps kill two birds with one stone here and advise you that, there, is also a terrific hangover cure along with a few squares of chocolate afterwards. Tried and tested. Trust me.

Hope you enjoy and perhaps give it a go. Would be really chuffed to bits if you’d share your results with me if you do! 

Sorry Kids, Christmas may be cancelled  — August 30, 2016

Sorry Kids, Christmas may be cancelled 

As a rule, as those who know would tell you, I never mention Christmas before Halloween at the very least, however, I had to nip to Sainsburys this morning and whilst parking I ever so very gently, doofed the car in the space in front. It was hardly a ding at all, just an inconsequential meeting of metal.  However, the old gent that was snoozing inside, jolted awake, clutching his chest, as if he’d just been transported back to the beaches of Normandy on D day.

Out I leapt to profusely apologise but I realised, as I reached his car, that he looked a bit like Santa. Long white beard. Festively plump. Ruddy cheeks (which, might’ve been the raised blood pressure from the shock). ‘Fuck, I’ve killed Santa’ I murmured without moving my lips, just incase he lip-read through the window. Unbeknownst to me, however, some creeping Jesus with cotton wool shoes was right behind me and gave me an odd look as he passed. Nice. So now there’s a witness…
As it happens, the charming old Santa impersonator, told me ‘not to worry, it’s only a car after all’.  No harm done.  I stood, ungainly and made strained conversation with him, for an uncomfortably long time just to reassure myself that his BP wasn’t about to end him & hoping Mrs Claus would appear with her shopping but he began fidgeting about with his glasses case and pill bottles.  There’s my cue to piss off, I reckoned.

So I bade him a reluctant farewell and got on with my day with a moderately, opaque conscience.

Only 115 sleeps until Christmas.  

Hugely Annoying Link to Countdown Clock

I’m sure he’s fine kids ……

‘Super Sex’ according to the Rev. I M Jolly —

‘Super Sex’ according to the Rev. I M Jolly

For those of you who are faint of heart, no need to be alarmed by the connotations of the title but the content I’m about to post reminded me of a joke by a most famous Scottish Comedian, Rikki Fulton (pictured) and one of his sublime characters, the Reverend I M Jolly! 

The reverend decides to stop off to visit a massage parlour after a long & gruelling train journey to Glasgow Central.  After being rubbed all over with baby oil by a gorgeous woman, she leans in close and says in broken English

“I give you super sex?

To which the Reverend, somewhat shocked replies

“I’ll just take the soup if it’s all the same to you”

The old ones are the best, so they say 😁

So here is where I link to my lovely new super soup recipe sent to me by my gorgeous niece in Canada.  She’s just starting out on her own in a new downtown condo in a fashionable district of Toronto and cooking for herself so the ingredients are simple and the results are delicious:

‘Canadian’ bacon, chicken & potato soup with spring onions & a sprinkle of cheese

Here’s what you need to fly to the supermarket for:

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper 
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 large yellow potatoes (cut into small pieces)
  • Bacon
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese for sprinkling

Now do this:

  1. Melt marg/butter in large stock pot, add 4 cups of broth, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. 
  2. When it is boiling point, add the potatoes and turn down the hear to medium to simmer. 
  3. Cook potatoes for 20-25 mins until tender. 
  4. Use a hand blender, or carefully add the potatoes/broth mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. 
  5. Garnish with bacon, sour cream, cheese or any other toppings of your choice.  Perhaps a cheeky crouton if that floats your boat? 

Oooooh lovely stuff.  Give it a go and remember I’d love to see your results if you do. 

Soups Up! 🍵

One Less Smile in the World #RIPGeneWilder — August 29, 2016

One Less Smile in the World #RIPGeneWilder

Oh, my heart hurts! What sad news this evening of the comedy and acting genius that was Gene Wilder’s, passing.  

I’ll have to call my big sister! She’ll be in tatters.  She has been a life long fan and I’m pretty sure the legit Guinness Book of Record holder ‘for viewing Blazing Saddles’.  Straight up. That is not even a comedic exaggeration. 

Just a few of my personal favourites
I dearly wish I had more time this evening to devote to more than a couple of paragraphs to this legendary, blue eyed, hero (however, I have a literal mound of ‘domestic commitments’* to attend to) but before I go, I just wanted to share my surprise in hearing he had passed away from the complications of Alzheimer’s. Apparently a little known fact and one he didn’t want to share because

he simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.

So, I’ll sign off with this link and let him sing us out tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, the marvellous Gene Wilder:

The Chocolate Room

*the f*!*$%#g ironing

80’s Child or Not, Have a Swatch At This 👉🏼 — August 27, 2016

80’s Child or Not, Have a Swatch At This 👉🏼

If, like me, you’re always looking for something new to binge on ‘tellywise’,

If, like me, the thought of celebrity reality shows/talent shows leave you more than just cold,

If, like me, you’ve had to claim on the house insurance because you’ve put your boot through the telly,

don’t resort to sticking hot knitting needles in your eyes/ears/other orifices in despair because help is at hand in the enormously gripping new(ish) shape of this new 80s themed drama series on Netflix:

There are NO spoiler alerts here because I want to leave all the nostalgia, mystery & intrigue for you to discover on your own but immediately, just from the title font you’ll feel something familiar (if indeed you’re an 80s kid).  Here’s a link explaining the typography if you’re interested: 

Stranger Things Typography

Another thing you may feel is that you might shit your pants at any moment, whilst peeking through your fingers but I’m the worlds biggest fearty*and I watched it. On my own.  In the dark.  Suffering flu symptoms. So man up ok.  It’s worth it. 

Then there’s the nods to some 80s classics such as: 

  • ET
  • Stand by Me
  • The Goonies
  • Close Encounters

To name but a few along with a gorgeous electronic soundtrack. 

The child actors are incredible and Winona Ryder (who seems to have disappeared from our screens in real life, perhaps after the clepto incident at Saks Fifth Avenue, where she was caught with sticky fingers?), is sensational. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always been a fan and who am I to judge? Sometimes the most gifted souls are the most troubled, are they not? Anyhoozles, I love her.  Her mannerisms, dark eyes and complexion are perfect for this role.

One other to look out for and I’ll say no more, is ‘Eleven’ (or El) She. Is. Magnificent.

Watch how you can comprehend every emotion that flickers across her brilliant, beautiful face. Star of the future, I feel.  Superb.

If you’re Scottish (or British etc) you might get the fact that every time they call out her name, “ELEVEN!!”,  I’d feel the urge to mimic them in the Burnistoun, Voice Recognition Elevator style. For those of you reading this from across the Atlantic and round the world, here’s a link to some Brilliant Scottish humor/humour from the comedy series Burnistoun. Get clicking.

Voice Recognition Elevator

Do please let me know how you liked it, either way 👍🏻👎🏻  and remember, you don’t have to be a cool 80s kid to participate 😉

‘Pox Watch’ — August 26, 2016

‘Pox Watch’

Aren’t kids great? In my experience, they categorically have a sixth sense to run a high temperature at the following times

  1. You’ve had a tough week & the Pinot Grigio & Netlix binge awaits on a Friday night
  2. You’ve got the suitcases packed and your leaving for more exotic climes in the wee hours
  3. You’ve finally made a date with your gal pals/bros, that you’ve cancelled on previously (several times 😬) with the same excuse.

Our 3 year old, the youngest of our brood of 4 (whose births span over almost a quarter of a century) is a tad under the weather and with the Chickenpox doing its rounds at nursery, I’m on ‘Pox Watch‘.  It’s quite cruel in the circumstances, having just savoured my first excellently chilled glass of wine.  Oh yes. Sure. Let me get a taste of it first then fall ill.  Thanks toots. 

There may be parents out there that merely carry on, pour another and calmly wait for the Calpol/Nurofen to work its magic (which Nurofen really is) but that’s not me.  My first reaction, after breaking out in a sweat, is “but what if I have to drive her to casualty?” or “what if I’m up all night cleaning spew from the walls and bedding?

 You see, having 4 kids (2 of each. Boys and girls, that is) times like these are regular occurrences.  I’m an old hand at this now.  Literally. Old.

I’ve experienced motherhood, giving birth to my eldest daughter at the tender age of 18 (on my birthday no less), a few silly age gaps later, two sons and my latest daughter, I gave birth to, 3 years ago aged 41. 

Yes, you’re correct, I should be in a cage in the circus, being poked by sticks. 

(The dawning of the realisation that at this rate, a book might have been more appropriate than a blog 🤔 has just hit me.)
So tonight, instead of feeling the warm ooze of   slight intoxication tingle down to my weary feet and watching my latest boxset crush, I will be on Pox Watch with my beloved 3 year old treasure.  I’ll gladly kneel on my gammy knees, sponging her hot little brow or disinfect the carpet and bedding at 3 am if she decides to projectile vomit like a scene from The Exorcist. You see, out of all my treasures, she is the one I fought for the most, before and after she was born but that folks, is a story of Pre Natal ups and Post Natal Downs for another time! 

So I’ll bid you good night comrades. I hope you all have a really, really frickin’ fab weekend.  

(She said, begrudgingly 😏)

It’s B* Day (*new blog) 🤓 — August 25, 2016

It’s B* Day (*new blog) 🤓

WOW! It has taken a Herculean push today to finally commit myself to my new blog! Finding the (precious) time, overcoming a little dollop of low self esteem as well as the feeling of being a teeny bit over ambitious, has been no easy feat but I’m here. I’m wearing lipstick and I’m here. HELLO! Greetings from a novice on B* Day! Squeeeee! So exciting!

I’ve hit the trail today with the bold intention to be entertaining and share my experiences (good and bad) on stay at home parenting (my fabulous 4) kids, caring (for my elderly awesome widowed Dad), relationships, life (and its obstacles) and there may be a sprinkling of fairly amateur but insightful reviews on cinema, relationships and foodie things on occasion. I ain’t no Nigella so don’t hold your breath. I don’t have the boobs for it (or an alleged Coke habit either) but what I can promise is that it will be honest, open minded and straight from the heart.

So there you have it. This is my objective.  My aim for my blog. I hope you will enjoy.  Any hints & tips will be gratefully received! Don’t be shy! I’m just a girl, standing in front of the world, wanting it to love her……😉

For now, am off to do a bit of ‘dance-dusting’ to a fine tune called

“Listen to me” by Baby Huey & the Babysitters