New menu launch: At Las Iguanas
Las Iguanas, on the Boardwalk, intu Lakeside, has just launched its new winter menu
There’s 12 delicious new dishes alongside classic favourites like fajitas (which I can personally vouch are a little bit of heaven on a plate), enchiladas, and its award-winning burgers. And with 14 new cocktails on the drinks menu to try, it would be a pity not to make a little stop off there for a post-shop natter.
Which is exactly what me and one of my BFFs did last night – making the most of the two-for-one cocktails (all day, every day, FYI.)
But what’s the new menu all about? Continue reading
Hours old… and already being mined for his data
A while back I wrote a piece questioning why Bounty reps were allowed to cold-call mums on our maternity wards.
Picture the scene, I said.
You’ve just pushed a baby out. Or basically been slashed in half to birth your little one.
In your arms is the most precious thing you’ve ever held – and you have no idea what you’re doing.
You’re in a state of complete exhaustion/elation. You’re an emotional wreak. You’re in pain. Parts of you that you didn’t even know existed are hurting. You have no real idea what day/time it is. You’re in a total just-given-birth-blur. And then, at the foot of your bed, is an unsolicited, cold calling sales rep, wanting to take your baby’s photo and mine you for their data.
It hardly seems ethical. Should this really be allowed?
The response I got at the time surprised me. Continue reading
Soft play session: Sonny Jim and pal
I’ve been pretty good at avoiding soft play. Particularly – and especially – during school holidays.
But the other week, I capitulated. And Dante’s circles of hell have nothing on these padded-cell like death traps as far as I’m concerned.
I understand to the uninitiated, this probably seems unreasonable. What could be better for parents than indoor wonder worlds of mazes, slides and ball pits? So, consider this my attempt to enlighten you. Here’s exactly why I hate soft play centres…
1 Other people’s kids: You’d think no parent would want to be the one with feral kids. You’d think wrong on this. I don’t know what happens, but when kids get inside these centres they turn faster than a Mogwai in rain. Continue reading
My heart: Sonny Jim and me
It’s a man’s world… so the saying goes.
And nowhere is that patriarchy more apparent than when it comes to fertility.
For all the strides that have been made over the last century. For all the hard-fought rights (to vote, to own our own homes, to smash those glass ceilings) when it comes to having children, nature has us pegged at a real disadvantage.
Women get maybe a 20-year window in which to have their babies. And that’s it.
However we dress it up. Whatever advances that have been made by science, no one has really found a viable, risk-free way for women to put off children well into their forties.
At 35 women’s fertility goes off a cliff – conceiving gets harder and the risks to baby and mama go up too.
Fellas though? Well there’s absolutely nothing stopping them having little ones into their dotage. Continue reading
Newborn days: With my Sonny Jim
FRIENDS of ours have just had twin girls and seeing the pair of them, daughters in arms, and joy positively emanating out of photos, really took me back to Sonny Jim’s newborn days.
In some ways (clichéd as it sounds) it seems forever ago and yet I can’t believe that I have an almost two-year-old.
It got me thinking how it’s really easy to say the wrong thing to a new mum. When you’ve just had a baby, especially your first, the most insignificant observation can seem like a criticism. You’re pretty emotional, you’re SO tired and you’ve, quite frankly, NO idea what you’re doing. So, here’s my list of things you totally should not say to any new mamas in your life…
- Is he a good baby?
Well, he killed the cat last night… seriously what does this even mean? They all cry, poo, drink milk and sleep. Some more than others. There are no bad babies.
- Are you feeding him?
No, he’s living off air. What this is actually asking, is are you breastfeeding? And, honestly, why do you need to know? I desperately wanted to breastfeed Sonny Jim and he absolutely couldn’t do it. It was a bit rubbish.
Hope: My Sonny Jim
In an ideal world, having children would really be as simple as wanting to have children.
But it’s (increasingly) often, not that simple. And when you start negotiating your way through fertility treatments, you can begin to feel like you live in a bit of a will-I-ever-have-a-baby? bubble.
In all honesty, it’s not a particularly fun place to be. It can be lonely. Often it’s not something you really talk about with other people. And even the ones that you do talk to, most of the time don’t get it. They’re either full of well meaning, but a little bit patronising advice (“just get drunk and have a good night, it’ll happen”) or they tell you to “relax.” (Word to the wise, hearing this does not make you feel relaxed. At all.)
Throw in some added hormones once you start actually having treatment and it’s all too easy to lose yourself in a big swirl of longing, fear, envy and god know what else. Continue reading
Trolley tot: Sonny Jim
EARLIER this week, I think I was in the same queue in the supermarket as the midwife who delivered Sonny Jim.
She had paid and was gathering up her bags as I wheeled my trolley with toddler aboard into line, so I only caught a glimpse. But it looked like her.
And it was the strangest thing.
For a moment, I was about to rush up to her. To show her how lovely the little boy who she guided into the world was growing up to be. To tell her all about him. To get him to give her one of his high-fives and waving hands.
And then I realised that she would probably have absolutely no idea who we were.