Spookalicious: Gothic layer cake
Okay, I admit. The chance of me actually finding the time to whip up any of these is slim (read, non-existent.)
But these recipes from Dr. Oetker are just too lovely not to share…
Gothic Black Velvet Halloween Cake
Preparation time: 2 hours plus chilling, cooling and setting
Cooking time: 55 minutes (including 5 minutes to melt the chocolate)
Serves: 10 Continue reading
So worth the wait: Me and my Sonny Jim
Next week is National Fertility Awareness Week (#TalkFertility.) As someone who waited NINE years for her baby boy, it’s a cause close to home.
So, to mark it, here are nine things people who are struggling to have a baby really hate being told…
*Just relax… it’ll happen just as soon as you stop worrying about it.
Trust me, hearing this does not make you feel zen. At all.
*You’d be such a great mum/your husband will be such a great dad.
When you’re living with the fear you’ll never have children, this cuts. Deeply.
*It could be worse… you could have cancer.
Yes, generally things can always be worse. But this is kind of like comforting a person whose mother has just died by saying, it could be worse your mum and dad could have both died. Continue reading
Coming to Southend: OMD (c) Mark McNulty
OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) have more than been around the music block.
With their 13th album just out, the Synth-pop pioneers have been at it since 1978 – with seven top 10 hits to show for it – and too many tours to mention.
Now back in the road again – and heading to Southend’s Cliffs Pavilion on November 1 – the band’s singer and bass guitarist Andy McCluskey was on bitingly good form and feeling a little philosophical when we chatted.
“Regrets? Oh God, yeh I’ve got regrets,” he groaned. “How long have you got? Listen we did everything we did for what appeared to be the right reason at the time. We made an album called Dazzle Ships which now is heralded as our masterpiece, a slightly fracture piece of genius music, but it destroyed our career. Continue reading
Pumpkin picking: Sonny Jim in his monster leggings
Admittedly, as the daughter of a priest I probably shouldn’t get so excited about Halloween.
But I love any excuse to dress my little man up in a cute costume. And for those of you who are a bit like me in that respect, here are some of my favourite outfits for little ones this All Hallow’s Eve…
PS Here’s Sonny Jim totally rocking his monster trousers by Look What Panda Made when we went pumpkin picking in Battlesbridge, Essex, yesterday. And despite the many attempts made by him to pick up all the biggest ones, we managed to make it home with mud-free knees. So they’re totally going in the wash right now so as they’ll be dry again before all the spooky fun is over for another year… Continue reading
Fear free – Sonny Jim runs along the esplanade
There’s a rather famous poem by Philip Larkin, which opens with the line “they f*** you up, your mum and dad.”
It was a somewhat outrageous read when I was 14 and studying for my English Literature GCSE – but the sentiment stuck in my mind.
Now almost two decades on, a mummy myself, I find myself pondering the truth of his lines,
“They fill you with faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.”
I am a worrier. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had anxiety over something gnawing away at my gut, prickling just at the edge of my consciousness. In a weird way it has probably spurred me on in life. I might as well put myself out of my comfort zone, take the big leap, I’ll worry it about it, whatever I do. Continue reading
Long wait: Me pregnant with my Sonny Jim
Today one of my best friends is having her baby shower. I’m really looking forward to it…which is a new thing for me.
Pre-Sonny Jim, when I was struggling to fall pregnant, one of the things I found most tough was going to baby showers.
When you’ve been trying for a baby for years, have undergone a load of fertility treatment and nothing seems to be working, spending an afternoon looking at teeny tiny babygrows is painful. Continue reading
Essex girl: Bestselling author, Martina Cole (c) Charlotte Murphy
She has been writing bestsellers for 25 years and has achieved sales of over fourteen million in the UK alone. Here Martina Cole chats Essex girls, cockle sheds and loving bad boys…
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET VICE?
Emmerdale! On my life I have to watch Emmerdale, because of Cain Dingle. I’m trying to get up an online petition that he has to take his shirt off in every episode. Whether it will happen we don’t know but we can only hope. My other secret vice is I go to Leigh cockle sheds some times. When my daughter was very little I used to take her down the cockle sheds – she was six months old when she had her first jellied eel. And I still love it down there.
WHEN ARE YOU AT YOUR HAPPIEST?
I think when I’m with my grandchildren probably now, coz I’m getting on a bit. I do travel extensively though.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN ESSEX?
There’s so many to choose from, but one of my favourite places is the Boatyard in Leigh. It’s beautiful. Great food. I used to live on Benfleet Road. It was beautiful. It was like a footballer’s wife’s house. Had an indoor swimming pool, the lot. I loved it. When I moved over to Kent my daughter thought we’d gone poor. She said to me, Mummy have we gone poor, and I said not really, no! Continue reading