Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

This weeks ponderings.

I have read two incredibly thought provoking blogs this week which have really stayed with me so I thought I’d share them with you and would try my hand at a bit of a deep and meaningful myself, don’t let that put you off though ;-).

The first was a blog about the impact your own self image and self worth has on your children and the second one is written by a lady living with cancer. Seriously- keep reading.

I can not comprehend what having cancer must be like even though it has touched several members of my immediate family, but I imagine that you reevaluate what (and who) is genuinely important to you.

I can’t imagine that, if I had been told that I had only months to live I would be looking at my body and criticising it.
I like to think that I would have the fight and the drive of Helen who is working her way through her ‘List for living’. I am totally into numbers 6, 11, 13, 19….in fact, damn it Helen, your list is too good, I am thinking of taking it as my own).

I doubt I would wake up each day thinking- Ergh, look at those stretch marks, look at the crows feet, you are a literal body stocking of porridge. Cover it up immediately, you are gross.
I am pretty sure I would be waking up and thanking God for another day on the planet to spend with my babies and those I love.
I hope I would be loving and lunching and laughing and LIVING.
I might give a nod of recognition to the fact this body of mine has seen me through 2 pregnancies, 3 marathons and 32 years (so far) and has done so, in the main, without giving me too much grief. Not too shabby.

I would be horrified and broken hearted if my children felt that their worth was wholly related to the way they look and not to their glorious spirits and beautiful, imaginative, inquisitive and I hope, open minds.
Now, as stated previously, I am as happy as Larry if someone beeps my in the street, it is a boost! I also like it if people say that I am kind, funny, friendly or intelligent. Basically, I like it when people are genuine and kind.

What I want for my children is for them to value themselves and have the confidence to say; yep, that’s right Bruce, I am off to my quilling lesson now and I am going to be wearing an outfit that I have fashioned from a shower curtain and a beret. I am sorry if you now feel I am not cool enough to be seen with. Good day to you.
I want them to be comfortable in their own skins and, since they are learning so much about life from me (as testified by this picture of Baba A with my eye liner on- we are approximately equally skilled in this area)

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I want to make sure it is good stuff.
To this end I have bought myself some Wonder Woman knickers.

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According to Wikipedia, she stands for justice, peace, love and sexual equality and I am all for that. Initially I will be wearing these underneath my jeans but as my confidence grows, who knows- I may have some sewing lessons to make a cape and some head gear. Incidentally, if you also wish to learn how to sew a cape, I know just the woman!
I heard a good piece of advice the other day which was- when you want to give someone a piece of your mind, why not start with a piece of your heart. I am going to give it a go. I am going to try to give people, including myself a break. I expect this may be tough as some people seem to insist on behaving like utter tits. I mean you cast of TOWIE.

Have a good week all.
Lots of love. XxxxX

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Our house, in the middle of our street (#Ineedalaundrybasket)

This evening I will mainly be searching for a new house. This one is not doing what we thought it would when we bought it.
The principal problem is that it has no airing cupboard.*
This is the only possible reason I can pin point that I have not morphed into the Wonder Woman that I imagined as soon as we received the keys. Unbelievable.

This house promised much- the vision was clear;

The images of the kitchen informed me that I would become an accomplished chef knocking up a soufflé at the drop of a hat, feeding my children a range of utterly organic, picked from the garden, delights daily.

The pictures of the bathroom allowed my mind to wander to the incredible new beauty regime that I’d be absolutely rigorous about. This in turn would turn back the clock so far that when I opened the door to sales people they asked if my parents were home (or, since I’d taken the time to learn French, whether I was the criminally attractive nanny).

The garden and garage lead me to consider a home gym and daily yoga ritual. Clearly, I’d become a lean, lithe, bendy, triathlete, Wirrals equivalent of Jessica Ennis if you will.

Yoga at home

Ommm

(Don’t comment on the fact that she is a heptathlete. This isn’t all 100% factually accurate. Feel free to comment on other bits though).

The enclosed porch ensured that we would be the sort of family that would automatically remove our shoes, swapping them for cosy UGG slippers, as soon as we got through the door. No scuff marks for us thank you very much.

Love this- find similar here: www.etsy.com/market/take_off_shoes

Love this- find similar here:
http://www.etsy.com/market/take_off_shoes

*The increased levels of space screamed; YOU ARE SOOOOOOOO ORGANISED. YOU WILL NEVER LOSE ANYTHING AGAIN. EVER.
Then they whispered seductively, and your clothes will always, always be hung up (and not on a cheap wire hanger!)

This is more attractive to me than George Clooney...almost!

This is more attractive to me than George Clooney…almost!

I was fooled dear reader, neigh conned, into thinking that it was the house that would do all of this for me. Not so my lovelies, not so.
This is what actually happens in our hovel home;

Culinary delights that I have knocked up so far this week include;

Uncle Bens microwave rice (I added a tin of tuna to ensure balance)
Beans on toast- minus the beans
A fruit salad (not really a salad as such, just one fruit eaten after the other, labour saving.
I’m not going to sell myself short though- I did make a cracking baked ham and a trifle (sans cream-forgot in my panic) for my mums birthday last weekend so it’s not a total lost cause.

Re my beauty regime- this basically means that I sometimes put on make up. Even though this is occasional at best, I believed the woman at the MAC counter who (was totally lovely) suggested that if I just bought X, Y and Z that I’d look fresh faced and glorious each day. The routine would be so quick and easy- hum…the lesson took 90 minutes, how was that EVER going to translate to under 4 minutes- answer? It wasn’t.
I am sure I would look an utter dream if my lipstick hadn’t be mangled beyond recognition on day two and if I rose at 5am to shower, dress, meditate and apply my make up with brush 187 (a duo fibre brush you idiots) and then follow up with the powder to ‘contour’ my moon face (brush 168, natch!)
Sometimes, when I have enough mental and emotional strength remaining, I remove the make up at the end of the day. This is rare but when it happens it is usually with a baby wipe. #Soz
Oral hygiene means remembering to put in some gum before conversing with adults.
The yoga that I planned to practise daily in the garden has led to a long, lean, taut frame and an arse that you can bounce a ball off not materialised BUT, I am absolutely in love with Fresh Start Health and Tommy Tight Pants so I am half way there… I am rewarding myself with enough carbs to sink a ship, not totally what they recommend.

Ah, the no shoes in the house policy. This is working famously. My UGG slippers are so comfy and match perfectly with the girls and Mr L’s. it really allows us all the opportunity to feel snug, cosy and really relaxed at home.
NB- Some/all of this paragraph is an utter fabrication.

uggs

Fitted wardrobes-These are the biggest source of my frustration. They- much like the Pacapod of my earlier post– are not magic. ANNOYING. Really bloody annoying.
The house fills with washing daily. The wardrobes basically spew out laundry.

URGH. Every freaking day.

URGH.
Every freaking day.

The wash basket is basically a torturous version of the magic porridge pot- that does not even allow for all the shit that doesn’t even make it into the basket.
I start the whole washing rigmarole-washing in machine, forget washing in machine, washing stinks, re wash washing with additional items.
This continues verbatim until there is just a lone sock in your drawer, tucked in between the redundant Anne Summers (I want to pretend I am more Agent Provocateur but that would be a big, fat, lie) clobber that now might as well serve as dusters; small dusters- my dust would be no match for these slithers of material).
Eventually the cycle is broken and clean dry clothes arrive upstairs again. They rarely make it to the nirvana of the afore mentioned total storage solutions. Our bedroom looks like Primark on Christmas Eve (minus the people- we aren’t sex people Lynn!)

SO- as I say, I am looking for a house with an airing cupboard, I think that should fix all of the above, no questions asked. Any ideas where I might find one?!…

PS- My mother helpfully pointed out that I could be far far closer to the lifestyle porn that I envisage, if I stopped with this bloody blogging, got off my ass and did the ironing/dusting/hoovering/soufflé.
She’s not wrong but that stuff is just so much less fun, I don’t think it will ever happen.

PPS- Since I originally published this post I have realised that in fact it isn’t an airing cupboard that is the problem…it was a washing basket…with built in sorter. Yes…that’ll fix it!

Theres a flippin' 2 week wait on this...I sense I'm not the only one with a broken house!!

Theres a flippin’ 2 week wait on this…I sense I’m not the only one with a broken house!!

Tell me I’m not alone?!

Muma.

XxxX

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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Sick of this S#%t!

Today my daughter was, literally, sick in my mouth.

Yep, I have actually had another humans vomit in my mouth!! Grim.
She was sitting on my stomach and I was doing the sort of silly noises and ridiculousness that people do in front of babies and to thank me for my efforts she did a beautiful smile and laugh.
Then she leaned forwards to get closer to my face and vommed in it. ;-o

After that she did a poo sooooo serious it exploded out of the nappy, covered two baby grows and actually even went in her hair. It was a bath job.

Then, after a few quieter hours we braved some chores. Whilst grinning her way around Heswall like an utterly gorgeous show off, she was sick in her hand, down the sling and my top and then- because it was a stealth spew (ie one her idiot mum didn’t clock onto right away) she wiped her sicky fingers in my face!!!
In my actual face.

Oi, ma- we’re both covered in sick here

– is what, I can only presume, she was trying to say.

Returning home after the nursery run we had the usual bath, milk, books, bed routine.
Happily this was also followed by projectile vomit so violent it hit the wall, soaked the cot and both of us (again).

Nothing funny about today dudes!!
Weirdly, I am absolutely not sick of this #%^* and would do the whole shebang again tomorrow in a heartbeat for just one of her toothy grins.

Loads of love.
Xx

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PS- This time last week life was somewhat different; I was living it up in Malmaison Manchester with my own mum and sister (I will be lobbying for a rerun of this with my girls when they’re old enough).
It was, quite simply amazing. If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, wedding, funeral, day ending in a Y. GO.
SERIOUSLY, BOOK IT.
We sipped champagne, chilled at the spa, dined at the Smoak house and San Carlo and basically acted like rock stars! I was born for that kind of s#%^!!!

XxxxX

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Mmmmmmmmmm Malmaison

It is days like today (read last week!) when I feel genuinely sad for vegetarians. It feels like they live a sort of weird half life where they can never experience total happiness because they will never eat a Tomahawk steak from The Josper Grill at The Malmaison, Manchester.
Sweet Jesus, it was gorgeous. Best steak I have ever had. EVER.

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We were there to celebrate me ma’s 70th birthday and it was a top choice. Nothing has been too much trouble. So far the only blot on this particular copy book is the fact that we had to wait for an additional champagne flute- I’ve filed this away on a box marked ‘First world problems’.

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On top of the world (well The ‘Pool)

Now, I know that many of you will have been on tenter hooks waiting desperately for my review of Panoramic 34 where Mr L and I dined on Friday, but my week has been pretty busy planning for the party of the year (aka mums 70th).
In between times we have also been to a family fun day, a toddlers birthday party and Tesco where I bought the whole shop and then, struggling with a ten ton trolley with a dodgy wheel, I set of the alarms.
Of course I did.
I was worried that I was being too efficient and was looking to embarrass myself and waste a bit of time in one easy manoeuvre. Job done! I had to go through all my bags and show my receipt to find that the jumper I’d bought still had its security tag on. Seriously?! You are a jumper- from Tesco. Why do you need a security tag. Save them for the Hendricks and other quality items.

So- back to the job in hand. My valuable thoughts on Panoramic….

Underwhelmed.

But, since one word does not a blog post make, I will tell you why.
(First though- did you know that there is such a word as whelmed?!? Yep, I checked it out. That is the level of dull I am now at- who knew!)

OK… Here goes, I was expecting a real, serious treat. Full on fine dining, sommelier, the lot.
What it is- is a restaurant with a view.
From one window it is a view of Cosco.

It may very well be that my experience was clouded by the fact I had no time to look forward to the evening what with the projectile vomit, the missing of the bus and the subsequent row in the taxi.
I might have viewed the whole evening differently if my stress levels had not been through the roof and my luxurious preparation ritual hadn’t amounted to applying some make up whilst holding one baby and calmly requesting that the toddler put back the can of shaving foam.

Anywho, Mr L and I arrived and were back on speaking terms.
The view from the base of the tower is pretty uninspiring- it is basically a tall building accessed from a Liverpool back street, not a brilliant start but not a deal breaker- onwards and upwards (to the 34th floor as it goes).

We were greeted by weird pink lighting.
No one offered to take our coats. Humph. (Keep an open mind Muma, don’t speak too soon…)

We were shown to our table which was excellent. Even on a pretty drab evening we had a brilliant view of Wirral and the Welsh Hills so I imagine on a balmy Summer night it would be better still.
The tables light up. Quite a quirky effect and looked good but- presumably due to the electricity needed for the lights there isn’t leg rounder the tables. Bit annoying.

The waitress came over (who btw was dressed a little too casually for me- how come they don’t have a uniform??) and offered us water but made no mention of pre dinner drinks or anything. Only if we’d like to see the wine list. Obviously that was a resounding yes.
We are out, for dinner, on a Friday night. We are sans kids. The wine list is essential pre dinner reading.
Anyway-ordered a cheeky G&T. Had to ask what gins they had which, when pressed, was an okay range but why wouldn’t you say what’s available.
I don’t get it.
I used to totally love being a waitress, I used to up sell, chat to customers and basically treat work like an evening out.
This is not what happens at Panoramic. Clearly I don’t want someone to bore me with how they are using this job to pay for uni/boob job/trip to Peru, but a touch of personality never goes amiss I would say.

The food was pretty good. Perhaps a 7/10?
I had pork belly followed by pancetta rolled beef which was served with liver.
As I have said before I am trying my best to become a cultured and unfussy eater so I tried it. Twice. The results are in- I CAN NOT abide it.
I wanted to be sick in my bag. That is absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the cooking- Mr L said it was the best liver he has ever had. I can’t deal with the texture it was akin to having a cats tongue in your mouth. Soft but rough. Blah. My stomach is churning slightly now just thinking back to it.
The beef was rare and gorgeous. Lovely, lovely. Melt in the mouth tender. Yum.
The parmesan mash was perfect. Very smooth and plenty of taste without being overbearing.

For dessert I had toffee apple mehringues. The least enjoyable part of it was the teeny tiny meringues. You wouldn’t see any such thing at Emma’s or Brimstage, they were neither chewy or crunchy. Just a bit meh really. The presentation was excellent, the toffee apple and the Chantilly cream were lush but they don’t make up for the utterly average meringues.

Mr L had rabbit to start followed by Seabass and neither complained nor waxed lyrical about either.

So- if you are soooooo boring that you discuss ratings over dinner you might say that being underwhelmed is 6/10 or less, whelmed (yep, I am actually giving you a definition!) is between 6 and 8 and to be overwhelmed you are looking at 9 or 10/10, then we were underwhelmed (and boring!).
It wasn’t hideous, it wasn’t complaint worthy but it wasn’t worth going back to either.
Meh.
The whole experience was much like their choice of background music. Overrated and pretty bland. 😦

Where have you dined that you’d rate or slate?
Next on my list is The Mal in Manchester (did I mention that I’m here, for two days, having a spa and shopping trip!!!)

My current review is pretty short and simply reads:
Absolutely immense. Get yourselves here.

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Random Acts of Kindness

Afternoon ladies and gents.

I hope that you are well and happy and looking forward to a great Fathers Day weekend.

Just wanted to let you all know that I had an utter nightmare in Tesco yesterday. Baby B was crying her head off. Real, red in the face, wailing- you know the sort of thing.
I couldn’t pick her up, control the trolley, get the stuff that I needed and ensure that Baba A was content too so I just had to try to keep calm and carry on.
I lost count of the number of people that gave me the big eyes, made statements like;

She certainly knows how to make herself heard.

She’s got a temper

For someone so little she can make a real racket

You’ve got your hands full and so on.

Added to this it was absolutely tipping it down and 2 women that I saw had parked in the mother and baby parking without any kids. Annoyed is not the word.

Now, I could focus on the people that made my supermarket trip more fraught, more stressful and generally a pretty grim start to the day.
But I won’t.
Instead, I would like to thank;

-The lady in the milk aisle who obviously saw that I was at the end of my tether, feeling as though I had a neon sign above my head reading ‘MUM NOT COPING’. She touched my arm, asked if I was ok and said.
‘Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.’
I thought that was so kind of her and I was really touched she bothered to say something.

-The lady on the till who offered to pack all of my shopping so I could pick up the baby and try to soothe her. She did all the scanning whilst talking to Baba A so she was entertained too.

-The lady who stopped to help me pack up the pram in the car park. It was absolutely lashing it down, she had her own stuff to do and she still stopped to help.

I was so chuffed that people bothered to help me, it made my dad!

Random acts of kindness are little things that can make you, and others feel warm and happy inside. I think that we need a bit more of this in all of our lives.
I googled the term and it turns out that there is a RAK movement in Liverpool. The website tag line is ‘Its BOSS to be kind’ which in itself makes me smile. Check it out here and friend them on FB (if you like!)
Turns out that Danny Wallace has also written a book called Random acts of Kindness so if it has been awhile since you’ve done anything nice this could give you some hints on where to start- it would be even nicer if you bought it from a charity shop or independent bookshop like Linghams for example ;-).
Of course, you could spend your day stomping around being a right old angry pants if you want but it probably won’t feel quite so fuzzy.

Have a good day now.
Loads of love.

XxxxX

PS- Went to Panoramic last night. Read the review tomorrow. 🙂

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One for the Dads

As another Fathers Day looms I find myself considering what fatherhood means to me so, here are afew of my views of the dads in my life…
I think that more often than not, Dads don’t get enough recognition, they are described as disposable, often made to feel like they are less important than the mums but I think that often they are the ones doing the behind the scenes, unglamorous jobs like:
1) Chasing a poo around the bath with a sieve before it totally breaks up and requires marigolds and more Cif than is safe in a confined space.
2) Buying a roof rack, not for the ski trip of a life time but for a slog down the M6 which will be punctuated with milk stops, sick stops and ear bleed inducing wailing.
3) Watching their partner expand to the size of a whale and then see them push something the size of a melon out of a hole which was considerably smaller to begin with. And then when they look something like a sad deflated (knackered) balloon they are tasked with reassuring this emotional wreck of a human that they love them all the same.
4) The late night run to the supermarket because the wife who is actually at home most of the time and does actually pass a shop daily, forgot to get more milk/bread/anythingthatyoumightneedtopreventatotalbedtimemeltdown.

It has to be said that also they can also often be found sitting on their asses watching final score but that is a post for another day!
————————————————————————————————————————————

My own lovely dad passed away very suddenly on 3rd November 1987. I was 7 and my sister was 8. It was totally out of the blue and our family was never, ever the same again. I remember that night vividly and still occasionally wake up crying. (Heart attack incase you are wondering). My life has probably turned out entirely differently than it would have if my dad had still been alive. Hey ho.

I think it is fair to assume that I have placed my dad (and my views on marriage and fatherhood) on a pedestal. It is because I don’t recall my dad making any mistakes, I don’t recall any rows between my parents and don’t recall ever feeling anything but loved. Pretty special.

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Family Corbett! Weird that we are all lying down in the snow hey- it almost looks like the photo should be horizontal doesn’t it!

Obviously that is a child’s extremely rose tinted view on how things were but I am not interested on hearing the alternative. I feel that I (and I hope my sister feels the same) was incredibly lucky and I wish those same feelings for our own two babies.
So, beyond the age of 7 I never witnessed the realities of life in a very traditional 2.4 children family, with parental rows, dad tellings off, dad vetting boys at the doorstep and the specific type of mess and baggage that you get as you grow up in a traditional family.
It sometimes feels as though my own experience of family has made things impossibly difficult for me in the future because I grew up with a mum doing the job of a mum and dad. She didn’t have to compromise or discuss discipline with anyone but she didn’t have anyone to turn to and say

look what we made, aren’t they amazing

OR, particularly during the tough teenage years (for me I’d say between 13- 25)

What in Gods name can we try now, she is driving me up the wall.

It must have been beyond tough and I am so sorry that she had to go through that but, my blueprint for parenting comes from this and, as a result, I am a difficult, uncompromising and independent woman that is often a pain in the ass to live with. My expectations of a father figure are at best rose tinted and at worst totally unrealistic and therefore totally unattainable. I am getting my head around this! And I can only apologise to my husband. (Apols Leary).

My memories of my daddy are pretty few and some are mere snapshots, possibly even imagined memories from the photos I have seen. I recall snuggling in his lap whilst he watched American Football (in the good old days when it was on channel 4), I remember him ‘tidying up’ my ice cream in Parkgate and I remember him teaching me to ride my bike.
It is absolutely possible that these activities were carried out following the same sort of hushed conversations about killing an hour before bath time, avoiding the witching hour and other such ‘chats’ that the Leary and I have most weekends but it matters not. I missed him dreadfully when he died and I still miss him today.
I was 16 when I had my hair cut short for the first time and I cried myself to sleep worried that he wouldn’t recognise me when I got to heaven (another optimistic idea thinking that I’d be knocking on the pearly gates at some point…far more likely to be heading for eternal damnation but at least I’ll be warm)
When I went to uni I worried about my mum being on her own and at every family gathering there is a dad shaped hole.
I am so sad that he never met Mr L, I am sure they would have really hit it off and the fact that we have two girls that he will never meet breaks my heart but it is what it is.
I like to think that he sees what we’re up to from a good vantage point 🙂
I know that I am not a special case. Everyone has their own baggage and stories to tell (or keep to themselves if they are less mouthy than me!) but, if you have a dad, someone that is like a dad or anyone that has been a special part of your life, let them know. You never know the moment. There is a very poignant blog here which is worth a read.

I think our own Mr L is doing a fab job. I absolutely love overhearing him talking to the girls or watching him playing when he doesn’t know I am there (sometimes the girls aren’t there either and it is just him and the little pink kitchen!)
It is so obvious that he adores them and it makes me love him even more (sick bags available at the end of this post).
I know it doesn’t always come across that way because it can be tough to be your happy go lucky, sunny dispositioned self when you are;
*crying with exhaustion or frustration or a mixture of the two.
*shouting a request for a nappy/wipe/towel/vat of wine (delete as applicable) over a cacophony of crying.
*trying to go to the toilet whilst simultaneously carrying a baby and dragging a toddler that is hugging your leg.
*talking through gritted teeth in the pitch dark about why someone did or didn’t do something which they may or may not have said they’d do.
*a total physical and emotional train wreck.

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Mr L introducing A to B!

That’s all I wanted to say really. Dads are pretty special.

Happy Fathers Day dudes.
XxxxX

PS– This totes emosh post is in place of any fathers out there actually getting their wish of:
– A lie in with tea and the papers in bed and possibly a cheeky hand job 😉
– A bike ride sans baby seat
– An opportunity to watch a programme of their own choice from start to finish instead of In The Night Garden.

PPS– If you go out for a Fathers Day lunch remember that you will have to take the kids and also, you will have to pick up the bill (remember that I’m not ‘working’ at the moment).

You can’t have it all hey.

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Summer Sunday Review

Evening all.
What a gorgeous gorgeous day we have had hey. A perfect day for dining out you might say. Today family Leary have darkened the doors of The Devon Doorway, Gayton.
When we used to live daaaan saaaf, I used to be genuinely excited to see the Devon Doorway knowing that I was nearly home.

Dining with a dog, outlaws and two ankle-biters you need afew things;
A good kids menu,
A good wine list and,
Speedy service.

Two out of three ain’t bad.

I had the amazing foresight to check the menu online and order baby A’s lunch so it was ready on our arrival.
This proved useful as the service was pretty tardy.
The staff were very attentive on our arrival providing the dog with water and us with menus and the nibbles that I’d ordered over the phone- sometimes I really do surprise myself with my bright ideas!

However, the drinks took a long time to arrive and though the waitress came back quickly for our order, when we asked for a little more time she didn’t return for quite sometime. Thankfully the weather was beautiful, the girls were asleep so we were not in any major hurry. If they’d been awake and grouchy I would have been very jumpy and it would have spoilt my dining experience- yeah, that’s right, I’m calling it a dining experience. I am a bonafide idiot.

Sooo- we had;

Starters-
Asparagus with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce (£6.25)
Roasted Mushrooms with cream and white wine sauce and crusty bread (£5.25)

Mine was the asparagus. If I was going to be critical- which I am- I’d say that the egg wasn’t brilliantly presented. It tasted beautiful though and was a generous size.

Mains-
2 Sunday Roast Beef (£13.95)
1 Roast Lamb with apricot stuffing (£16.95)
1 Grilled Salmon Fillet with a green salad (£13.50)
1 children’s risotto balls and tomato salsa. This should have come with a carton of cracker juice but for some reason didn’t. I didn’t realise this until afterwards so didn’t challenge it. Annoying. (£5.95)

Mr L’s candid views are as follows….

The roast was pretty good but the Yorkshire pudding wasn’t as good as it looked and there weren’t enough roasties.
Also (back to me!) the menu says roasts are served with seasonal veg. Call me picky but I wouldn’t say that red cabbage and swede and carrot mash scream summer?
The risotto balls went down a storm and the salsa had a bit of a kick.
My salmon was excellent. Moist with a crispy skin. Yum.

Desserts-
Nothing on the menu massively appealed to me to be honest but Mr L and his pa had Rhubarb and custard Eton mess. Sounds grim, didn’t look amazing. In my view you shouldn’t mess with a good old fashioned Eton mess but, as they have I might as well tell you what the husband thought of it-
Myeh- (screwed up face) it was alright but not amazing. Totally not worth the wait.

Our waitress was lovely and I thought I recognised her so I asked her where she went to school. I reckoned she was a few years younger than me.

Me-

what school did you go to?

Waitress-

West Kirby.

Me-

I thought so, I think I recognise you.

Waitress-

Were you a teacher there?

WTF- How old do I look- I thought that she was about 3 years younger than me. How OLD are we. Gutted is not the word! She was 18 for crying out loud. I am 100.

Long and short of it- lovely place, very nicely decorated. Ideal for chilled out drinks with friends, sharing plates and lazy lunches. Not ideal if you are clock watching.

Family friendly- I would say so but the slow service could be a killer. They didn’t seem to have any little activity bags or anything for children so take stuff to keep them occupied.
Mother in law described the toilets as posh which can only be a positive.

Bill, including drinks and tips- £140.00. (For 4 adults and a child)

So, dear reader, where should I go next week? Suggestions please… XxxX

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How to Look Good Naked.

Evening all. I am writing this en route to London on the train to see The Stone Roses.
It is a glorious day and I can not wait for a beer in the sun with the husband.
The outlaws are looking after the ankle-biters and we’re off.
Our walk to the station was punctuated by my eyes nearly popping out of my head as I spotted various shock horrors and people that my mum would kindly refer to as a 3 M’er. The M’s that she refers to is Mates, Mirror, Mum.
Eg- the only reason she would have left the house looking like that is the 3 M’s- no mates, not mirror, no mum. Basically no one to pack her back upstairs saying- you look a show, now get your ass back up those stairs and get changed. (Obviously I always look polished and fantastic!)

So, now we are on the train and, following a refreshing slumber, I am people watching and listening.
In our carriage is a lad, of around 8 who has been collected from his ma by his dad. So far he has eaten a bag of crisps, a large bar of dairy milk and had a drink of Monster.
No fucking wonder the government is spending so much money on their Change for Life campaign.
The chocolate doesn’t even get divided into lines, just eaten straight from the modern (no satisfying nail through foil and break) packaging.

I hear a lot about this Change for Life initiative as Baby A’s nursery is taking part in the scheme so we regularly receive leaflets, fliers etc on the simple changes you can make to your diet.
I genuinely did not realise that there were people who were so dim that they needed telling that eating a truck load of chocolate whilst watching Britain’s Got Talent was not as good for them as strolling to the park, having a run around and then walking home chomping on an apple.
Tips actually include;
*Fill up on healthier food like fruit instead of food high in fat and sugar.
*Swap watching TV for doing an activity.

If you are so thick that these tips are genuine news to you then surely it would be a help to the rest of us if you do eat yourself into a coma?

Mr L’s friend put it very succinctly when he came over and noted me watching Gok Wan’s How to Look Good Naked.
How to look good naked?
Eat less.
Exercise More.
Wear Lingerie.

Simples 🙂

Anyway, the gig at Finsbury Park is nothing short of immense.
There are all types of people there.
Stone Roses fans are their own breed, some look like they’ve been totally out of it since the infamous Spike Island gig and some look like they’ve moved into respectable suburbia but have got a pass for one night only back to their youth.
We stand somewhere near the back just in front of three bloody good bloke types who are so out of place they may as well be fish up a tree. One, I’ll call him Quentin, was overheard lamenting the fact that his bonds weren’t performing as well as he’d hoped. He sounded like an over privileged twat.
See other things that Quentin likes here.
As I am a few beers in I almost amble over to let him know that but then Ian comes on stage and saves the day.
His voice is shocking. He doesn’t sing a note in tune, the beers are extortionate, the queues for the toilets take hours and absolutely none of that matters. It is the best thing I’ve heard in years. Spending a whole 24 hours just me and the husband is a rare treat and reminds me that he’s a good egg! (Writing this as I am being forced to watch BGT live final. Loving the egg lady!)

XxxxX

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PS- Slightly eating humble pie as the Change 4 Life leaflet does have some good recipes. Perhaps it isn’t totally like strapping money to a firework…

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I’m becoming an actual housewife!

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Hey guys and gals (presuming that any blokes are still reading this given last weeks vivid descriptions!)

I am,having an AMAZING week so far….
I have cuddled a naked waiter (lovely guy called Graham-perfect idea for a hen do, birthday party or similar. Sadly I feel it would be inappropriate to use his services for either a naming day or a 2nd birthday) even more sadly due to the whole knicker debacle I had to buy an emergency beastly backup corset type affair (yes people, I am now a customer of Ann Margaret’s, Heswall!) and it is visible in the hen photos. This is principally because it came up sooo high. Basically if my Grandma lived closer I could have borrowed something equally as fetching from her. I could make a cheap gusset joke here but I will refrain because I don’t wish to lower the tone! I even behaved relatively well on the night out. Disappointing.
Chilled out at an amazing spa sipping some fizz whilst looking out on a field of cows.
Spent time with my gorgeous, beautiful, yummy girls swimming (I am getting a new costume this week following a second boob ordeal).
Had my nails done (thanks lovely Lauren), I am living by the rule that your nails, much like your feet, don’t get fat and therefore can nearly always look good. I have become so shallow now that mine are manicured that I basically waste about an hour a day flashing them at myself and am wearing rubber gloves to clean- what have I become???

Anywho, I have had to do some cleaning as the outlaws are en route as I type. I don’t want to advertise the fact that on occasion we reside in more of a hovel than a home so I was on it like a car bonnet yesterday. I even moved the table to mop the floor. (Basically feel like a war hero due to this gargantuan effort).
I have even cooked all meals for the weekend from scratch.
What with the corsetry, the cooking and the cleaning I am basically turning into a quintessential 1950’s housewife (with a potty mouth and poor sense of dress). I heard myself say to the girls yesterday ‘we have to go to the butchers now to get something for daddy’s dinner’ and, I no word of a lie, I secretly really liked it. I think that is because I just choose a couple of bits to be housewifey about and don’t spend my days cleaning, scrubbing and being oppressed. Those bits probably weren’t so great for the Emmeline Pankhurst’s of the time. (Yes yes, for those with an eye for detail I am aware that she was long dead by the 1950’s but you catch my drift no?)

The reason for all of this preparation and planning is because the husband and I are going to London Baby. To see The Stone Bloody Roses. YEY. The outlaws are looking after the girls for a whole 30 hours. Either of these are likely to be topics of next weeks blogs! 😉
I have written a thesis on what they do, when they eat, sleep etc etc and I am pretty sure this will be used as fuel for the BBQ as soon as we step on the bus but what can I do!? I have left their red medical books by the door…

So- if anyone wants to suggest possible topics for conversation with my husband they would be most welcome! We have two train journeys to fill plus one heavily hungover morning in a hotel…

In the mean time- cook this. It is absolutely lip smackingly lovely. Especially in this weather. I can’t believe it, I am actually becoming a cook! (Read, now knows how to make three things adequately!)

Off to Bootcamp this eve, saving the calories for the weekend! Can’t wait.

See you next time. Have a wonderful weekend all.
XxxxX

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