Yum, yum: ‘That snail is not a snack, Sonny!’
Do you ever hear yourself say something, and then have to laugh at the ridiculousness of what has just come out of your mouth?
I’ve found having a toddler, this happens more often than the pre-child me could ever have imagined possible.
I was pottering a bit in the garden the other day, with Sonny Jim. The weather has been so blooming dire that as soon as even the smallest ray of sunshine can be seen, I bung his wellies on and we’re outside.
Anyway, all was well, until I heard the unmistakable “yum, yum, yum” coming from my two-year-old. Continue reading
Essex lad: Jimmy Doherty (c) Rob Wilkinson
Jimmy Doherty is a farmer and TV presenter, famous for the show Jimmy’s Farm. He is mates with TV chef Jamie Oliver and the two film Jimmy and Jamie’s Friday Night Feasts together. Here he chats alligators, Southend road trips and Essex humour…
What is your favourite thing about Essex?
I’ve got such great memories of school trips to Colchester Zoo. I had a lovely upbringing in Essex and one of my favourite things, not far from Bishop Stortford on the Essex boarder there, was strawberry picking. I remember picking strawberries as a kid with my family, at a pick your own kind of thing where you have to go and weigh your basket and I would have eaten so many strawberries myself that I’d have about six in a punnet to be weighed, but I’d eaten about a kilo.
Essex provided for me, a great childhood – a mixture of town and countryside at the same time. And there’s a certain sense of humour that you get in Essex that you don’t find in many other counties.
Jamie and Jimmy’s café is on Southend pier… how did that come about?
My nan used to take me there all the time. And when we learnt to drive, all our friends had a little road trip to Southend and had fish and chips. It always had that element of escapism and fun. We could have taken the show anywhere, but Southend plays on our heartstrings, both me and Jamie, because growing up, Southend was, for me, always the place you went to for fun and Jamie’s family originate from Southend anyway, so it was a natural sort of thing to do. Continue reading
Giant bunny: You take your eye off your toddler for two seconds
Let me preface this by affirming the fact that I am no grinch.
I knocked out a fireplace in Sonny Jim’s nursery when I was six months pregnant, mainly because I loved the thought of my child at Christmas having his own chimney for Santa to come down.
Any excuse to drink Prosecco and giggle and I’m there. And I love a cake, a balloon and bunting more than I probably should in my, ahem, mid thirties.
But when did Easter become such a production?!
As the daughter and sister-in-law of priests, I’m not talking about those celebrating their faith.
Look, let’s be frank. It’s the day before Easter Sunday. The chances of me actually making any of these are slim (read non-existent.) I am mostly planning to pour myself a nice glass of wine just as soon as the toddler has gone to bed.
These Dr. Oetker recipes look super lovely. And I’d love to be someone who just whips up a treat like this. So if you are, and you happen to need some sweet last minute Easter inspiration, here you go!
Easter Bunny Cupcakes
Prep 1hr 30 mins
Cook time 35 mins
Serves 12 Continue reading
Thanks to IVF: My darling boy
I’ve written previously about how IVF on the NHS in Essex is fast becoming a thing of the past.
Until 2014, all the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the East of England offered the same level of provision to all eligible patients, which was in line with the NICE recommendation of three full cycles of treatment.
Then things started to change all over the country… especially here in Essex.
By the end of last year lots of CCGs had ditched IVF completely – in a bid to save the NHS cash. Mid Essex now offers no IVF whatsoever, neither does North East Essex. Or Basildon and Brentwood. Castle Point still offers two cycles. And most recently, Southend (after an extensive consultation process) now offers just the one cycle – and only if you’re under 40.
The moments matter: Sonny Jim is two!
SONNY Jim was two yesterday. TWO.
And while he is (pretty much) hitting all the necessary milestones… walking, talking (though not as much as some, admittedly, one of his pals can count to ten!) building towers, using a spoon and so forth, these “achievements” are not the things I want to remember forever.
When he’s grown and busy building a life of his own, I don’t want to forget the fact he was once obsessed with his breakfast bowl. That he’d walk around the kitchen with it for about five minutes before you put his cereal in it. And then when it was being washed up that he said, “bowl bowl gone!” and “bye-bye bowl bowl” when you put it in the cupboard.
I don’t want to forget that he loved balls, or ANYTHING that he could “roll-roll-roll”. Or the way he would say, “oh dear.”
Post-tantrum: Sad times
It’s Sonny Jim’s birthday next week… but he’s made a bit of an early start on the terrible twos.
The tantrums and the oh-so-dramatic tears would actually be pretty funny if, a) they weren’t so loud and b) it wasn’t my child doing it.
I know I’m not the only mama who is trying to navigate their way through their days without triggering a scene that would leave the Hunk looking like a calm and rational being.
So, in the spirit of solidarity, here are some of the reasons my child has cried this week…
- The washing machine stopped
- I wouldn’t turn the street lights on
- I gave him his lunch (he wanted his lunch)
- I didn’t let him stand in dog poo
- The washing basket didn’t fit in the washing machine