Thoughtless drivers in parent-and-child bays SHOULD be fined

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK, car seat

Struggle – it’s not easy getting Sonny Jim in and out of this

Nabbing a parent-and-child parking space isn’t illegal, but using one without a child in your car could soon land you with a £25 fine.

Hoo-blooming-rah! About time too.

It comes as a new survey reveals that one in ten people now park in a parent-and-child bay even when they don’t have a child in the car because they’re not scared of getting punished.

As a mummy, let me tell you, it feels like more than one in ten. The chances of ever getting one of these spaces is always pretty slim.

And it’s not until you are actually faced with the logistics of getting a baby out of a car seat, and into a buggy or trolley, without scrapping the cars next to you, putting your back out or bashing your tot’s head on the door that you realise how much you really, really need the extra space. Continue reading

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I thought I’d be a Pinterest mama, not Amazon Prime

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, whatkatydidUK

Better than any imaginings – me and my boy

IT’S a funny thing, but becoming a parent forces you to give up on childish ideas of who the adult you might be.

Since having Sonny Jim I’ve realised that being a journalist in New York – living a Sex and the City style life – isn’t actually for me.

Since becoming a mummy I’ve known for certain that I’m never going to just jump on a plane and lose myself on a beach somewhere, working in bars by night so I can sleep in the sunshine all day.

The ship has sailed for me to suddenly become the girl with the signature red lipstick and envious eyeliner flicks. With a picture perfect city apartment.

I’m never going to grow out of being clumsy.

I’ve never been more happy in myself, but this transition from the idea of the grown up you, to the reality of it, is easier for some than others. Though no one ever seems to talk about it – instead we all seem to muddle through in our own ways, in our own little worlds. Continue reading

I’ll do anything for my boy… even holiday in a caravan!

Katy Pearson, triplets, #whatkatydidUK

Summers as they were: Me (complete with a broken arm) with my little brothers and sister

MOTHERHOOD definitely does something funny to your brain.

When I was little our family holiday was always a week, spent in a caravan, somewhere along England’s south coast (apart from the one year we ventured to Wales, stayed in a chalet and it rained the entire time.)

They were lovely holidays – fun-filled and drama free – but I grew to hate the caravans. The fact the beds were so small that if you rolled over you rolled out. That unless it was baking hot (in which case you couldn’t get cool) then you were always a bit chilly – and everything just seemed, well, a bit damp. Continue reading

My chat with… Maureen Nolan

Maureen Nolan, Footloose, Katy Pearson, Essex, #whatkatydidUK

Footloose: Maureen Nolan as Vi Moore (c) Matt Martin

THIS tour of Footloose the Musical has been more than a little bit emotional for Maureen Nolan.

The 63-year-old, who found fame as part of Irish sister band the Nolans, has had rather a lot on her plate while playing Vi Moore, in the musical coming to Basildon next month.

Indeed, it was actually mid-show that she realised her marriage to Ritchie Hoyle was over. Yet she’s not missed a single performance.

“Oh yeh, that was difficult,” she sighed, in her soft Irish burr.

“I didn’t miss a day because of it [the tour] though. I was very tempted…you know when you’re just so low, and our family, we’ve been through a lot recently with cancer and illness.

“But you’re either going to pull the covers over your head and never get out of bed or just get up and get on with it. Continue reading

My chat with… Gareth Gates

Gareth Gates, Katy Pearson, Footloose, #whatkatydidUK

Footloose – Gareth Gates as Willard (c) Matt Martin

WHEN I chat to Gareth Gates – star of Footloose – the Musical coming to Basildon’s Towngate Theatre on August 21 – he is fulsome in his praise of our county.

“I love Essex,” he confesses. “It’s a great place, fun. My best friend in the world, Matt, he lives in Essex. He lives in Southend, so I’ll be staying with him probably while I’m performing.”

In fact, it transpires he even owns a house here.

Six students at Rayleigh’s Masters Performing Arts College actually have the Pop Idol’s runner-up as their landlord.

“I own a house in Leigh-on-Sea – a student house,” he explains.

“Matt [Plummer] is the principle of Masters – the performing arts college – and I bought a house literally down the road from there in Leigh for the students.

“I’ve got six students living there.”

So, he’s no stranger to Southend or even Basildon – where he has performed before. Continue reading

It’s thanks to IVF on the NHS that I have my boy

Katy Pearson, scan photo, seven week scan, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydidUK

As a seven-week fetus – our first look at Sonny Jim

TWO years ago today I was sat clutching my husband’s hand at Bart’s Hospital in London.

After nine years of trying for a baby, five years of fertility treatments and a round of IVF, it seemed I’d finally fallen pregnant.

And two days before my 31st birthday we were waiting for a scan to confirm that it was definitely true, for a first look at our baby, to see its teeny little heart beating.

When Sonny Jim’s flickering heart flashed up on the grainy screen, I cried. He looked a bit like a prawn. Or maybe a crocodile. And it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Continue reading

Mums about town: Family fun in south Essex, Aug 11-Aug 20

the Princess Emporium, priory park, essex

Find the fun: The Princess Emporium will be at Priory Park tomorrow

Play in the Park. Friday, August 11. 10am-12.30pm. Free. Suitable for all ages. 
There will be water play, playdough, songs time with instruments, some books and arts and crafts. Oh and bubbles. Find the fun at Priory Park (the green space behind the museum.) Bring sun hats, sun cream, snacks, water, blanket, activities/toys to share.

Caterpillar Club. Tuesday, August 15. 10am-12pm. £6 per child. Suitable for one to four-year-olds.
A fun morning of indoor and outdoor activities for pre schoolers at Langdon Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve, Lower Dunton Road, Basildon. Booking essential, call 01268 419103. Continue reading