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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Drama: The passport edition

I have a nemesis. The passport application form.

It should be simple. Fill out the form, send it off with a cute photo and bosh! New passport for your kid. IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE.

On the first form my countersignatory signed just outside the box. JUST. Like, less than a millimetre. apparently seeing someone’s teeth is a no-no too. Anyone tried getting a passport photo for a two-year-old? Getting this kid to sit still (on my shoulder incidentally, with my arse sticking out of the photo booth) is hard enough without having to worry about his eyes being level with the line, head straight, looking forward, neutral expression. Talk about ridiculous, jeez. What’s he gonna do, hide a bomb in his nappy? (actually he doesn’t wear nappies but still, he’s hardly the underwear bomber).

So then I did another form. Made a small mistake and had to go over a letter to make it bold. Yep, rejected again, with the second photo where Max had a shadow under his neck.

Third time lucky? Taking no chances with the photo, I took Max to a photo studio and paid a tenner for all of 3 minutes of the photographers time whilst Max sat for 2 snaps before promptly bursting into uncontrollable sobs. Still, we got the money shot. (Literally. Seriously thinking about setting up a kids passport photo studio).

How did he manage to look so different in each photo?

I attempted the form today, was so nervous about filling it out correctly that I put Andy’s passport number instead of mine in the box. This is the point the form got the better of me. Oversensitive? Yup, but after countless trips to the post office, finding last-minute countersignatories, hemorrhaging money to pay for photos and a holiday booked in FIVE WEEKS I’d had enough. A new low: crying over a mistaken form. At work. Nice one.

So here I sit, surrounded by rejected applications and my final form which I’ve just asked my neighbour to counter-sign and guess what? She made a mistake. I’ll take it to my new BFFs at the post office but I know what’ll happen. I’ll try not to clobber them with my reams of useless forms, get a new one and start the rigmarole again. Only this time we have a 2-day bank holiday to hold things up leaving 5 weeks to get my Son a passport. Otherwise I’ll have to smuggle him across the continent in a (well-ventilated) suitcase. It’ll be an adventure, yes?

Now, excuse me, I’m off drown myself in wine, eat my body weight (or the weight of the stack of applications, whichever’s heaviest. I’m guessing the latter at this rate) in chocolate and laugh at my dog trying to catch the fly buzzing round the room. It’s pretty funny.

Starting school and freaking out

Last night we made a visit to Finn’s primary school which he starts in September. Now I’m proper freaking out. We were sat in a hall listening to the headteacher talk about settling new kids into school and I found myself fighting back the tears. What’s wrong with me?

I should be ok, right? I’ve had 5 years to prepare for this, he’s totally ready and beyond himself with excitement. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I’ve been overwhelmed and found myself counting down the days until the boys start school but it’s suddenly all happening too fast and my baby is all grown up.

We went to a 5th birthday party last week and these kids were so different to Finn. Compared to these boisterous boys with their name-calling and rough and tumble, he’s so little and innocent. It’s inevitable that he’s going to become more independent, form his own opinions and become his own little person outside of the influence of me, his brother and his Dad and I’m looking forward to that and seeing the person he’ll become but it’s laced with a sadness at the loss of precious time I’ll have with him.

I find myself anxious now at what are probably very silly things, like how will he know where to go? Will he be frightened if he doesn’t know where to put his stuff? Will he know what to do if he needs to go to the toilet? Things which will all be explained to him, of course but most of all I’m worried about him feeling frightened and alone.

The school seems great. Yesterday was reassuring and they are obviously used to silly parents like me with silly concerns and they were quick to say that the kids are eased in gently and will have 6 weeks of half day ‘settling in’ sessions to get used to the routines. They even get to wear slippers in school for the first 2 years to help them feel comfortable which is very cute.

So, I have the next 3 months to ‘make the most’ of my time with Finn. Though how I do that has always been a mystery to me. I guess we’ll have lot of days out, lots of play and get some good quality time in. It’s going to be tough on his brother, too as he’s been a massive influence to him since the day he was born. They idolise each other and I know Max will miss him as much as me.

A good thing to come though is the fact that I’ll have lots of one-to-one time with Max. Time we’ve never had. Come September, I’ll be starting the application process for him, to start next September. Lord knows what I’ll be like when that day comes. Time to have another perhaps…



Woah. Being ill isn’t good. Being ill with 2 children to look after? Even worse.

For the last 2 weeks I’ve had some random virus. It felt like flu but I don’t think it is as I’ve managed to infect people who’ve had the flu jab (sorry, Mum). To say I felt like I’d been hit my a truck would be a massive understatement. I couln’t get out of bed for 5 days. Again, not ideal when you have kids and your husband is out for 16 hours a day.

Then Max got sick too, that’s when I really got pissed off with these germs ‘take me but don’t take my baby’. So there were 2 of us, curled up in bed whilst poor little Finn has been watching ‘I Can Cook’ on repeat. Hey, don’t judge, he’s been having a BALL.

Today is my birthday, I still feel like crud and I’m totally OVER this now. But I have lost half a stone. Every cloud and all that…

Flu Soup

So today I took a sick day. Actually I didn’t take a sick day because I don’t work (in the traditional sense) Wednesdays and it turns out you can’t call in sick to anyone when you have kids. Except your Mum. But mine was off sick. Oh, the cruelty.

As my appetite is non-existent but I need to get me some vitamins, I made soup. Flu-soup if you will. It’s so easy that even the most flu-riddled can probably manage to make it (in between dizzy spells and trying not to die* as I did). It’s packed with nutrient-rich foods and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

You will need:

250g yellow split peas, green or red lentils
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 sticks of celery, chopped
2 handfuls of kale
2 handfuls of peas
A thumb-sized piece of root ginger, grated or finely chopped
Half tsp turmeric
Half tsp garam masala
1.5l vegetable stock

1. Pour the stock into a large pan and bring to the boil.
2. Add all the veg, lentils, ginger and spices to the pan.
3. Bring to the boil, season to taste and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils are soft.
4. Remove from heat and blend to a purée. I like my soup mega-thick so add more water if you prefer it thinner.

See, told you it was easy. Now eat, and get better.

* I was not nearly dying. I’m a bit melodramatic when I’m ill

Lust List

It’s my birthday in 2 weeks. This means trawling the virtual ether for prettiness to drop some heavy hints (subtlety has never been my strong point). It’s been fun. Here is this week’s list:

Alfie the Apple – twobadbananas

Rob Ryan Bells Vase – Wild & Wolf 

Josie Nautical Striped Dress – Oliver Bonas 

Friendship Bracelet – NOTHS

Bohemian Ceramic Bowl Set – Horsfall & Wright

FINISH Flat Sandals – ASOS

An exhausted lady’s make-up bag

In Days Gone By I would think nothing of casually leaving the house without a scrap of make up on. These days have sadly passed for a number of reasons

a) ‘Casually’ leaving the house? Oh, come on.

b) I am 33 in 2 weeks time. This didn’t bother me until I got a new camera. Like seeing yourself in HD all your crinkly glory in EVERY PHOTOGRAPH YOU OWN

c) In the last 5 years I’ve been through 2 pregnancies, childbirth (twice, obvs) and now am keeper to 2 small people who don’t rate sleep as highly as I do. Turns out this takes its toll on your face. Who knew??

So these days there is at the very least a slick of mascara and liberal slather of foundation before I start my day.

I’ve experimented with many a product promising concealing, brightening, tightening and lifting over the last few years and these, my friends are my failsafe exhaustion-busters…

1. Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

2. No. 7 Instant Radiance Beauty Lotion

3. Rimmel Lash Accelerator

4. Clinique Shimmering Tones Powder

5. Benefit Boi-ing concealer

And this is the result. Alot less scary than the original version

Will you be my friend?

A handful of times in my life I’ve met someone (usually female) and just sort of ‘clicked’. That happened today at work. My last client of the day came in and I felt like I could talk to her forever. We found out loads of coincidences and parallels in our lives and I found myself really wanting to be her friend.

Which is weird, because you can’t really just say to someone “will you be my friend?” especially when you’re meeting on a professional level.

If this were a sexual thing, with a bloke, it would be different (if I weren’t painfully shy and like, married) because then it’s acceptable to ask to see someone again, but what do you do in this situation?

Is it ok to ask someone to be your friend? Is it possible to do it without seeming sad, lonely and desperate? I’m none of those things *cough* maybe sad *cough* but genuinely would love to meet for a cuppa, perhaps a playdate and get to know her better.

How about you – anyone ever brave enough to actually do this? I’m genuinely intrigued.

Disclaimer: I realise I may sound a touch stalker-ish after re-reading this. I promise I’m a well-rounded, normal individual with plenty of *actual* friends. Not just the ones in my head.

Bristol: the M Shed edition

FINALLY we have sunshine. I’m not going to bang on about my rainy day woes but lets just say they have been plentiful. Andy’s brother and sis-in-law were visiting from London Town so we decided to take a trip into Bristol (something we don’t do nearly often enough, I LOVE exploring the Harbourside) and visit M Shed.

M Shed is a museum dedicated to the history of Bristol. Perfect for families, it has lots of interactive exhibits to capture the imagination of little visitors. As well as the big old bus which is always a big hit, they are also displaying the pirate ship used in Bristol-based Aardman Animations’ lastest film The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists.

And of course, no day in the sunshine would be complete without an ice cream at the end.

Childrens books: Nancy Tillman

Whilst searching for sewing patterns, I came across the blog of Lazy Seamstress. Jeanette’s daughter, Florence was born on the same day as Max but sadly passed away just a few hours later.

Jeanette wrote a post about buying this book by Nancy Tillman for Florence. After reading her post I bought the book myself and it has since become one of my favourite childrens books.

Nancy writes beautifully and captures perfecty the love for a child. The story behind my buying the book gives the words a different significance than if I’d simply seen it on a shelf in a bookshop. It remains a emotive reminder of how precious life is and all we have to be thankful for.


P.S. I have also since bought this book by the same author. Equally as beautiful


Lust List

If this blog had a Lust List (it doesn’t, I’ve checked) this week, it would look something like this…

1. Karoliina top – POP! The Fashion Store

2. Skirt – H&M

3. VERA Flatform shoes – ASOS

4. Vintage spoon ring – POP! The Fashion Store

5. Woofie cushion – John Lewis

6. Jubilee mug – Emma Bridgewater

7. Snack tubs – Paperchase