Picking strawberries in his pyjamas: Sonny Jim in the garden
Helloooo strawberry season!
It’s a sure sign that summertime is here when strawberries hang heavily from their runners.
Last year more than 137,000 tonnes of strawberries were sold in the UK, with shoppers spending upwards of £1.3 million on the classically British berry.
And the cold start to the year (remember that snow?!) mixed with the recent warm days and cooler nights, has led to a slightly later start to the strawberry season. The resulting slower strawberry ripening means this year’s British strawberries look set to be packed with more flavour than usual. (Sonny Jim certainly seems to be enjoying the dozens he picks daily from our garden’s strawberry patch!)
And Essex has more than a couple of spots where you can pick handfuls of strawberries yourself. Here are some of the best… Continue reading
Going down well: One of my porn star martinis
When your local bar has an extensive revamp, reopens with a new name, new look and promises “epic food, creative cocktails and great times” then it was only a matter of time before I’d be checking it out.
The Oakleigh, in London Road, Leigh-on-Sea, launched a couple of week ago and is offering a new restaurant, cocktail bar and evening bar.
It’s on the site of the former popular Bellini Bar and Brasserie, which closed a few months back – and is run by the same folk, namely the McManus Pub Company.
I’ve had a fair few girly nights at Bellini (pre-baby, its oh-so-moreish jam donut cocktail gave me possibly one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had!) so when I was invited along for dinner and drinks at the Oakleigh, there was no way I would be saying no.
The husband and I headed up there last night, after our tot was tucked up in bed and the babysitter safely installed in front of Love Island. 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
Running wild: My Sonny Jim making the most of the road being closed
FOR a few hours on Saturday afternoon I felt like I’d stepped back in time.
Our road was closed for a royal wedding street party. There was bunting. Chalk drawings on the floor. Kids running wild up and down the avenue. Neighbours sitting on curbs in the sunshine, sipping beers and prosecco.
It was blooming lovely.
I was never allowed to play out as a child. But even if I had been, it wouldn’t have been as charming in the Nineties as it was for my Sonny Jim on Saturday. He literally had the time of his life. He ate his tea in the street, chased his aunties (and his football) up and down the road for hours and by the time bedtime came around, he had two grazed knees, dirt all over his face and was a sweaty, sticky mess of sunshine in toddler form. Continue reading
Bourn Hall Wickford: Me with fertility nurse specialist Angela Leach
A NEW multi-million pound IVF clinic officially opens in south Essex this week.
More than a thousand procedures, to help people struggling to conceive, will be carried our per year at the £5.2m Bourn Hall centre.
I was given a tour around the London Road clinic in Wickford ahead of the opening.
The purpose-built centre replaces a smaller, satellite clinic, which was in the same road, and is one of six Bourn Hall clinics in East Anglia.
Sarah Pallett, Bourn Hall’s business development director, said: “Our concern is people often go into denial about their fertility problems and put off getting advice through embarrassment. Continue reading
Child-free… and enjoying the fizz
It’s not often I get a whole toddler-free Saturday afternoon.
So when I do, I really, really want them to be fun. Which is why I was delighted to be invited along to Pink Vanilla Events’ first ever tipsy tea party.
Held at the Rayleigh Club, the afternoon is the brainchild of creative director, Amy Langmead.
And, Oh My God, was it a fun few hours.
When we arrived at 2pm we were greeted by a couple of butlers in the buff (*blushes*) and handed a glass (the first of many) of prosecco. (NB if you’re given a glass of prosecco with a puff of blue candyfloss on the top, eat it, don’t push it into your glass. It’ll turn your fizz blue and you’ll end up looking like you’ve got a flute of WKD blue in your hand. Classy.) Continue reading
Sometimes with a toddler, a husband, a job, a blog, a dog, and an endless to-do and should-do list, it can be a bit difficult finding a bit of time to just be me.
To get a bit giggly, to have a glass – or three – of prosecco, to chatter about stuff that isn’t important, but just interesting.
And it appears I’m not alone with this.
Which is why the Amazing Club came about.
Set up by two make-up artists (who happen to be sisters-in-law) its aim is to be somewhere women can escape, chat and rediscover themselves. To stop feeling like a watered down version of yourself. To meet new people. A reason to make time for you. It’s not just for mummies. Or business women. It’s for all women. A supportive group. A grown-up gang. A tribe. Continue reading