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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Review: Motorola MBP855 Connect video baby monitor

MBP855 Connect , Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, #whatkatydidUK

While Sonny Jim slept – the MBP855 Connect watched

When Sonny Jim was first born we didn’t have a monitor.

He slept in the crib in our room when we were in bed – and when we were up he slept where we were, in a sling or the pram or a rocker.

When he started waking up less though and moved into his own room I suddenly realised just how badly we needed a good monitor.

We went for the Angelcare video, movement and sound monitor because a few of my mummy friends had it – and they really rated it.

And it’s been great. The sensor pad has kept this worried mama reassured past Sonny Jim’s first birthday. And the range meant I could be in the garden and still see and hear my boy.

However. It’s not very portable. So when I was offered the chance to try out the MBP855 Connect video baby monitor by Motorola, I was more than happy to. Continue reading

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

Our sunshine… by name and by his nature

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydiduk, #mummandsonny

Sonny Jim – our sunshine from the very start

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

It’s a sentiment that has survived centuries – and is one of the most famous lines from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

And it’s true – expect it’s kind of not. A rose might smell as sweet, but would you want to go sniffing something that was called rotten? You’d just give it a miss wouldn’t you? It’s why pollock doesn’t sell nearly as well as tastes-almost-exactly-the-same cod.

And when you are having a baby, names suddenly seem to matter like never before. Let’s face it, it’ll be a defining piece of his or her identity for a lifetime. Often it’ll be the first thing people know about about them – and opinions will be formed on what sort of person they are, on just the moniker you have picked out for them. No pressure, right? Continue reading