Monday, 31 October 2011

What a week!

Last week I had my first experience of "school holidays" since I was at school.  It was Max's first half-term holiday and fortunately I had enough holiday to take the week off too.  After Paul and I had been to Windsor we still had the rest of the week ahead of us and it went something like this:

Monday - return from Windsor.  Paul off to play golf with my Dad and I took Max and Penelope to see some friends of ours that used to live near us but now live near my Mum and Dad.  It was nice to see K and her children E and S.  

Tuesday - mess about in the morning with my niece M and the kids before getting in the car and driving back up north.

Wednesday - Paul had the day off so we took Max and Penelope to Knowsley Safari Park.  I was quite surprised at how much Penelope seemed to enjoy looking at the animals and giving the lions and tigers her best lion roar.  To be honest though her best lion roar (whilst very cute) sounds like a lion that has lost its voice!

And the obligatory "monkey on the car" shot - although technically it's actually a baboon - that's me ever the pedant!

Thursday - Paul was back at work and I packed Penelope off to nursery.  It was nice to have a day with Max on my own, something that I've not really been able to do since I had Penelope.  We made cakes, although halfway through making cakes I realised I couldn't find my muffin tin so a quick visit was had to the shop to buy one.  Note to self - must remember to check kitchen equipment!  After we made cakes it was off to the cinema to see "Dolphin Tale".  Now this was Max's choice of film, chosen because "The Lion King" looked "too scary Mummy" and so apparently did "The Smurfs"!  We were duly entertained with the tale of Winter the dolphin and her prosthetic tale.  Afterwards we enjoyed looking at Winter's website and the webcams of her there.

Friday - a morning visit to Coffee-au-Clay was had followed in the afternoon by a Halloween party at V's house.  Penelope made a slightly grumpy cat and Max refused to dress as anything remotely Halloween related on the basis that "it's a bit scary" - hmmm I sense a theme here.

Saturday - a visit to see Paul's Mum and Dad in Sheffield

Sunday - a day of rest or, in my case, a day of being covered in vomit by a poorly Penelope!!  Yuck!

Phew - I think I need another week off to recover....

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Last weekend Paul and I were lucky enough to have a couple of nights in Windsor without the kids - thank you Mum and Dad!!  We stayed at the very nice Macdonald Windsor which has only been open about a year.  We managed (quite handily) to pay for the bulk of the room courtesy of Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

We had a lovely couple of days, wandering round Windsor and down into Eton.  We did the obligatory tour round Windsor Castle, which is absolutely stunning, especially on a sunny autumn day.

Surprisingly we didn't do too much talking about the kids.  We talked more about where Paul wants to go on holiday when he turns 40 (not for a few years yet) - Pebble Beach to play golf in case you're interested which you're probably not! And what we want to do to the house - the extension has only been finished about 18 months and we're already thinking of the next job - probably closing the gap between the lounge and dining room.

The kids had a nice time with Granny and Grandad and (hopefully) Granny and Grandad enjoyed it too. Sam time next year Mum and Dad??

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Every so often

Every so often your children do something that either makes you laugh out loud or wonder at their achievements.  In the last week Penelope has achieved the former and Max the latter.

Last Sunday was my nephew, J's, christening.  Penelope managed, during the middle of the service to get her head stuck in some stair spindles!  She had been wandering up and down a ramp and had previously popped her head through a set at the bottom and shouted "hiya" to us.  Unfortunately when she tried it further up the ramp she discovered that the spindles were closer together!  Result - one small child with her head stuck!!  

Now when I tell this story (which I have done a lot since Sunday) everyone asks me whether I panicked and I have to confess now that I didn't (well not at first anyway) instead I was just laughing at her - is that mean?  When I tried to get her free there was a brief moment of panic when I did wonder if we'd need to call the fire brigade but with a bit of a firmer tug she was free.  We had about 30 seconds of what I like to call her "diva" cry, but I think that was more from embarrassment than anything else as both her ears were still intact.  Hopefully she has learnt her lesson and won't try that again.  Now I just need to see whether my dad caught any of it on video :)

Max's class are currently doing work around the theme of "Autumn on the Farm".  They had a lady from Stockley Farm come and talk to them about the farm.  I was told very specifically that on the farm they grow "cabbages, fruit, things and vegetables"!  Max very proudly told me that the lady had asked the class whether anyone knew which machine was used to cut the corn.  Apparently Max was the only one to put up his hand and answered her very proudly with "combine harvester"!  I'm so proud that a) he knew the answer and b) had the confidence to answer the question.  

When I was at school even if I was certain I knew the answer to the question there was no way I would put up my hand just in case there was a slight chance I was wrong.  I can only hope that I have and can continue to give Max confidence in himself.

I'm a very proud and amused Mummy this week!!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Sometimes I feel like I do every job I have badly - bad mother, bad wife, bad lawyer.  I feel bad that Max has to go to after-school club even though it's only two days a week (thank you V for meaning it doesn't have to be three!), that Paul has me moaning about everything and about how he doesn't help enough when really he does plenty and that everything at work is so rushed, because I have to leave to pick up the kids.

I must try and remember that plenty of people are worse off than I am and that plenty of children go to after school club more than twice a week, that I have a husband that puts up with my bitchiness and that I have a job that I (sometimes) enjoy.

Here's some pics of the squidlets to remind me that they are fine.  Penelope enjoying some pizza..

Max dressed as a pirate..

I could go to my grave knowing I've been a bad lawyer but a bad wife and mother?  I don't think so. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Last weekend I went on a spa weekend with 5 other members of the MM.  We went to Shrigley Hall near Macclesfield.  We had a great time and the package generally represented good value for money.  The thing that let Shrigley Hall down was the service we received.  Nothing major but just a series of little things that left you wondering why such a lovely hotel couldn't get them right.  I felt compelled to write a review on TripAdvisor.  Nice to know that the hotel monitors the reviews.

It's a far cry from the excellent service that Paul and I experienced when we went to Menorca last year with both the children.  Penelope was about 5 months and Max was a 3 and a bit.  Having had one of our bags delayed, Max then got chickenpox the day before we were due to fly home which meant that he couldn't!  Paul and Max got their first "boys' holiday" and Penelope and I flew home on our own.  The hotel was great while Paul stayed there the extra days, the holiday rep was fab and everyone was very kind and helpful to me travelling home on my own with a small baby.

It's very easy to complain about poor service but fewer people take the time to compliment good service.  After Menorca I took the time to write to the holiday company to praise the rep for her help.  Recently after a minor issue with an order from John Lewis I got great customer service from them and complimented the person I dealt with there too.  Let's celebrate the good and focus less on the bad - it might just cheer us all up!

Anyway, suffice to say the less than perfect service at Shrigley Hall has not put us off having another MM spa weekend next year.  I am already trawling the web to find a venue!!