Curled up safe – as horror unfolded in Manchester
My sweet boy,
As the bomb at Manchester Arena detonated on Monday night, you had just woken up.
As I shushed you and cuddled you, other mothers were finding themselves in a living nightmare.
As you eventually went back to sleep, tucked up in bed with me, news of the deaths of little ones, just a few years older than you was starting to spread.
When we woke it was to the horror that 22 people were dead – that a pop concert, that was packed with youngsters, had been targeted by terrorists.
I’ve been cuddling you just a touch tighter ever since. Continue reading
Sonny Jim: The reason 2016 was my best year ever
For many, 2016 hasn’t *exactly* been a great year. In fact, some are going as far as to dub it the worst year ever.
We had Brexit, the murder of MP Jo Cox, Trump and bombings in Brussels – along with tragedies in Nice and Berlin.
You could argue it was the year that music died, with Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, Rick Parfitt and George Michael all passing away. And it wasn’t just in the music world that some of the brightest stars left us, acclaimed British actor Alan Rickman died of cancer, as did Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood and Carolina Aherne. Paul Daniels died of a brain tumour. Author Harper Lee died age 89, Ronnie Corbett died age 85, and Muhammad Ali died age 74 . Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds died only a day apart.
Doctors went on strike. A gorilla was shot dead. Brangelina split.
But amid all of this, as of March 22, this year became my best year ever. Continue reading
From Cook: Tiger Prawns in a sweet chilli sauce with pan-fried garlic, sauteed red peppers and mangetout
I finished work five weeks before my due date and was super organised.
Figuring there wouldn’t exactly be much time for getting creative in the kitchen with a newborn, I spent days cooking up meals with plenty extra to freeze. (In fact, the night before my waters broke I was obsessively making Ferrero Rocher bites – I *might* have gone a little mad by this point!)
The last of this frozen food (kindly added to by my family in those first sleep-deprived-is-it-night-who-am-I days) was eaten this week.
And though Sonny Jim is sleeping much better these days, there just isn’t the time for cooking a lot of the dishes I used to.
Which is why Cook is now one of my new favourite things. Continue reading
“Learning baby CPR is like having car insurance – you hope you never need it, but if you do need it you’re ever so grateful you have it.”
Baby first aid: Putting this worried mama-to-be’s mind slightly more at ease (PHOTO BY SARAH BRIGGS)
These are the opening words said in my three-hour baby first aid class with St John’s Ambulance.
The sessions, which are held all over Essex, cover everything from the correct recovery position for babies (cradled in your arms with their head tilted downwards – not on the floor on their side like adults), CPR and choking to dealing with fevers, croup and burns.
At eight-months pregnant with my first child, and by nature something of a worrier, I was prompted to take the class after the UK’s leading first aid charity aired its new Nursery Rhymes Inc advert – in which a short video featuring the stars of Nursery Rhymes Inc shows how to do baby CPR.
The campaign was launched after parents told the charity that their baby not breathing was the first aid emergency they feared the most, yet only one in four knew what to do.
I was soon to be one of them. And the thought of being clueless – or doing the wrong thing – should I ever find myself in that nightmare situation, quite frankly terrified me. Continue reading