Archive for the 'writing workshop' Category

Caution: Severe Slush Ahead

No, no, we haven’t had another dollop of snow, I’m talking slush as in mushy gushy ♥ lurrrve ♥

You see, I am doing a little multi-tasking & getting all romantic, because a. Claire, over at The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, is holding a Valentines Carnival (because she might act tough, but she’s a big sappy girl really 😉 ), and b. I haven’t made time to play over at Josie’s Writing workshop in ages, but this week, option 3 is: Write a post on the theme of ’soul mates’. Do you believe in them? Have you found or lost yours? Or are you still looking? 

So, without further ado, may I present a bit fat chunk of sun shining, birds tweeting, song in your heart, lovey dovey goodness. (Don’t panic, normal service will resume soon!)


Do I believe in Soul Mates?  Oh yes.  I met mine nearly 13 years ago, and have never looked back.

Was it love at first sight? Actually, yes, I think it was.

We met, completely by chance, at a night club.  I had no idea he even existed before that night, and now I can’t imagine life without him.

That first night, we just clicked. We spent four hours sitting outside under a big full moon, just talking, and freaking each other out with the amount of spooky coincidences and similarities there were between us.

In the previous year, we’d been at 3 of the same parties, 2 of the same gigs and both been to see the same play, on the same night, yet never even bumped into each other.  It was almost like fate had been trying to throw us together, but had a bit of a rubbish aim… until then.

I had never felt so instantly comfortable with anyone before, ever. Believe it or not, I’m generally pretty shy around new people. Not with him though. It was like catching up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. It was just a perfect fit from the start.

We moved in together after two weeks. How mental is that?
Our friends & families thought we were loopy, but we didn’t care. It felt right.

And it was. It still is 🙂

We have been through so much in the last 12 and a bit years.
Good stuff, not so good stuff, and some frankly amazing stuff.
We’ve travelled, we’ve explored, we’ve had adventures.
We’ve strolled along the beach together at sunset, and we’ve toddled along it at sunrise, after many an epic night out. (Tenerife, 2002, in particular, was a bit special!)
We’ve been wild & reckless, rocked out at more gigs & shows and bars & clubs than I can count and got up to allsorts of mischief.
We’ve done scary grown up stuff neither of us had contemplated before – like mortgages & joint bank accounts!
We’ve supported one another through anything and everything.
We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and shared everything in between.

He makes me laugh a lot, and he knows exactly how to make me smile when I’m down.
He gets me.
He’s the only person who really knows everything there is to know about me.
He is my rock, my voice of reason, my partner in crime, and my best friend.
He’s also pretty easy on the eye, but don’t tell him I said that 😉

And of course now, he’s my baby’s Daddy!
The Little Dude is by far our biggest adventure yet, and I can’t imagine a better person to be enjoying it with.  We are loving every second.

Sure, there have been hard bits, and I have no doubt there will be more in the future, but so long as we take it on together, I know it’ll be fine.

Because I do believe in soul mates, and I feel incredibly lucky to have found mine.


Guilty, Your Honour.

mister maker cbeebies arts craftsWHAT a day.

It started so well – LD slept through till 7am without a peep. Awesome. We had breakfast, we played, we sang, we read, we had lunch, we watched Makka Pakka be all OCD-like with his stones. All good.

LD went down for a nap at about 1 ish. Woke up screaming at about 1.03.  Yep, seems tooth no.3 is finally on the way – right at the back, can just feel it starting to poke through. Every time he tries to sleep, it kicks off.  Poor little dude 😦  He finally crashed about an hour ago. I don’t have high hopes for a restful night.

But enough whiney stuff, let’s talk guilt.  But the good kind.  The pleasurable kind.  That’s right lovely blog readers – we’re talking Guilty Pleasures.

For you see lovely @porridgebrain asked on twitter yesterday for writing workshop prompt suggestions, and she only went with my idea – woo! Given my big love for the workshop, I am super flattered!  Of course now, I must play the game & confess to my own guilty pleasures.  So, here we go:

1. Cult Teen Movies.  Honestly, I don’t really consider myself a grown-up.  Even now with my 30th birthday & a seven month old son under my belt, my brain still thinks I’m 20.  And so every now & then I indulge myself and watch Heathers or The Lost Boys and imagine what life would be like if Christian Slater or Corey Haim were my boyfriend. *wistful sigh*…

2. Trashy chick-lit.  I got an A for A Level English Literature. I can converse about Shakespeare and Hardy & Austen with the best of them, and I truly do love proper novels – both of the old and modern variety.  But sometimes, I do rather enjoy just switching my brain off & reading a vacuous of tale of love and betrayal and shopping.

3. Biscuits for lunch.  At least once a month (yes, often when mother nature is a house guest), I will secretly skip anything of nutritional value at lunchtime, in favour of sitting with a big mug of tea (and perhaps one of those fluffy novels mentioned above), and work my way through a whole packet of biscuits.  Shameful? Probably.  But SO good.

4. Facebook Stalking.  There are SO many people on my friends list who are only there out of politeness. Who I rarely see, only know through friends, or just don’t really care about (don’t judge me – bet you have some too!), but I do quite enjoy checking up on their statuses and the like – particularly when they’re bitching about other pseudo-friends they don’t realise you know. It’s like a little real-life soap opera 🙂

5. Inappropriate crushes. I’ll happily tell anyone who cares to listen about my deep love for Johnny Depp and David Tennant and Robbie Williams… … … sorry – got distracted 😉 – but I also have several less high-profile crushes that I tend to keep to myself – Andrew Castle on GMTV is probably old enough to be my dad, but he’s everso dishy.  Mister Maker on cBeebies – the LD is a long way off cutting and sticking, yet we watch every single day.  And Simon Cowell.  Yes, even with that hair and those trousers.

I could go on, but I think 5 guilty confessions will do for now.

As always, all of the prompts over at Sleep is for the Weak are brilliant, so go have a peek. I may still have a go at some of the others myself, but for now, there’s a little boy starting to stir who needs my attention.

While I do that – consider the comment box a confession booth – what are your guilty pleasures?

Not exactly wordless Wednesday…

This is me multi-tasking like a proper mummy – you’re impressed, right?

The photo, counts as a Wordless Wednesday, but by cheating, and adding a few words, it’s going to magically turn into my entry to this week’s writing workshop over at Sleep is for the weak.  Clever eh?

I was all up for doing No.1 this week & treating you to a bit of a photo walk, but the weather had other ideas. So, I’ll save that for another day & go with No.4: Tell me about something precious you gave away.

First up, here’s the photo:

tiny newborn babygrow meets seven month size babygrow

scary how fast time flies when you're a mummy!

The one on the bottom, is one of the LD’s current sleepsuits.  The one on top, is one of his very first.

Despite being 10 days late, and weighing in at a pretty respectable 7lb, none of the newborn or 0-3 month variety we’d stocked up on fitted him – he was so skinny, the daddy had to do a mothercare run to pick up some ‘tiny baby’ ones so that he wasn’t swamped.  Looking at those tiny little suits now fills me with a mixture of emotions – amazement that my now 18lb monster ever fitted in them, nostalgia for those early days where all I could day was stare in wonder at the wrinkly and gorgeous baby I’d just had and heartache when I dwell too long on the memory of a traumatic birth & the hard bits of those first few weeks- breast feeding tribulations, LD’s trouble gaining weight, having to take him back into hospital… *shudder*.

Mostly though, it’s happy memories of what seems like a lifetime ago despite being just seven short months.

As I mentioned in this post, I’m a terrible clutterbug, and too sentimental for my own good. I hadn’t got rid of a single piece of outgrown clothing before this week. Now, I’ve made a start. I sorted through & pulled out all the tiny baby sleepsuits, vests & babygrows, threw them in the wash, and ironed the lot. I bundled them all up with a few soft toys and blankies, and donated them to our local SCBU.  Because as precious as they are to me, they’ll be far more useful to the next mummy who’s baby makes an early appearance & is in need of something tiny to keep them warm.

I let myself keep the one in the picture though.  Well, it’s not as though it takes up much room 😉

One day…

Work shop time over at Josie’s again!  This lovely mummy is still not 100% fighting fit, so go show her some love.  Despite being poorly, she’s still put together some excellent writing prompts – because she is a trooper & generally brilliant.

So, this week, I’m choosing No. 1: Write about what you hope for ‘one day’.  Sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

One day, I’ll have this whole mothering gig well and truly cracked. I’ll know exactly what to do in any given situation.  I won’t doubt myself, I won’t let myself think ‘oh-my-goodness-i’m rubbish at this’, I won’t assume that everyone else knows better than I do.  One day.

One day, I’ll be a proper domestic goddess. There will be no perpetual pile of laundry, the ironing mountain will be vanquished, the floors will be clean, the cupboards will be full & there will be something delicious in the oven for dinner every.  single.  night.  One day.

One day, I’ll cross everything off my to do list.  There will be no unpaid bills, no post-it notes on the fridge advertising the jobs I keep avoiding, no little pile of ‘to deal with later’ letters on the table, collecting dust.  One day.

One day, I’ll have my old (ie. pre-baby) shape back.  My skinny jeans will be rocking the park & playgroup scene rather than hanging trapped in my wardrobe, dreaming of former glories.  One day.

One day, we’ll be comfortable.  Living each day without worrying about cashflow, those stupid bills, budgeting, snapping up bargains, stretching every penny to breaking point.  We’ll have enough to be happy and occasionally even silly, rather than just ‘getting by’.  One day.

For today though, I’ll make do with stretching the grocery budget & feeling a bit podgy in my ‘fat day’ jeans.  I’ll be happy with the quick & easy chilli we’re having for dinner, and that pile of washing & ironing can wait another day.  Because today, I’ve been playing with my little boy.  My gorgeous little man whose big blue eyes & cheeky monkey grin make me do the same – he could care less about the house being immaculate so long as can reach his toys & his favourite book for story time.  And his daddy will be home soon.  My best friend and the love of my life – who insists he doesn’t care about the baby belly & actually bloody loves my chilli.  Suddenly everything else doesn’t seem all that important. 

And besides, I’m sure the rest will all fall into place… One day.

Writing Workshop Catch-up…

Writing-Workshop-BadgeLovely Josie over at Sleep is for the Weak was a poorly bunny last week, which sadly meant no workshop, but was also sort of lucky for me as due to The Mr being on holiday and generally playing havock with my routines (in a good way really – love you honey!), I didn’t get a chance to do anything for Workshop #4.  Soo, I shall take the liberty to do so now…

I’m picking No.1: Write about an overheard conversation.

(Please note, what follows is a true story. You can’t make this stuff up!)

The Little Dude & I are in Boots, stocking up on 3 for 2 Christmas presents.  Well, I’m deliberating over presents, LD is chattering to his cuddly fox rattle.  It’s all good. 

I’m looking at a set of In the Night Garden figures – perfect for a friend’s daughter, when I see a little blonde boy of about 2 gleefully pressing buttons on any and every noisy toy he can get his chubby little hands on.  Cute, I think.  He gives me a cheeky toothy grin & shoots off to stare in wonder at all the festive sweeties.

Suddenly I hear someone screech ‘Shandon! Get here, Naaaaa!!’ – hate to sound all posh, but it was a voice that wouldn’t be out of place selling apples in Albert Square.  You know what I’m talking about.  I look up to see the little blonde boy being grabbed by the arm & fastened into a double buggy next to a little blonde girl. ‘You’re doing my f**king head in today!!’ she continues.  Nice.  I can’t help feeling sorry for the little guy – he wasn’t being naughty as such – I can’t STAND it when people swear in front of kids, and oh my God, what sort of name is Shandon anyway?  ‘Just sit still and behave – be good like Moet.’ …penny drops.  Shandon, is in fact, Chandon.  And his sister is Moet.  Uh-huh, mother of the year named her children Moet & Chandon.  Altogether now, W . T . F ?

Don’t get me wrong, naming your little darlings is one of the most important and personal decisions you ever have to make – and if you love somthing, you should go with it, regardless of what anyone else thinks.  But there’s a limit, right?  I know us mummys are supposed to support eachother, solidarity and all that, and call me judgemental if you like, but I think anyone naming their children after beverages needs to have a serious re-think.  But then who knows, perhaps their cousins had already used Bacardi & Smirnoff?  Proper classy like.

Amazing what you overhear when you’re trying to stretch the Christmas budget!

Don’t forget to go & check out the rest of the great posts over at Sleep is for the Weak.

Recipe For a Perfect Day…

Writing-Workshop-BadgeIt’s workshop time again over at Sleep is for the Weak (I know, where does the time go?), so go have a look for some great writing and inspiring prompts to get your creative cogs a-turning.

(Click here for the prompts, and here for the links to all of this week’s entries.)
(But read mine first, or I’ll pout.)
This week, I chose:
2. Write a recipe for something abstract – i.e. a recipe for a good/bad day, recipe for a perfect Halloween, recipe for a happy mummy/daddy etc.
(And don’t worry, you don’t need to be from the house of Nigella to give this one a whirl :D)
Recipe for a perfect day.

Start with a base of sleeping in until at least 8am, with mummy waking gently from slumber to the sun shining, birds tweeting, and baby chatting contentedly to himself.

Smooth over a thin layer of milk, plus peach & banana porridge for baby, and a thicker layer of coffee for mummy. (For best results, use proper coffee, made in a pot, not instant.) Add Nutella filled croissants to taste.

Combine with a couple of large cups of morning playtime. Equal measures of singing and dancing and cuddles.

Snuggle up with a slice of good reading and quiet time, then set aside for a minimum of one solid hour napping time.

Once rested, blend in a portion of lunch – perhaps granary toast with mushed up avocado for two, with added strawberry fromage frais. Add a liberal pinch of mess – it’s all part of the fun of learning!

Mix in a lovely walk in the sunshine, adding your choice of park or seafront. Be sure to thoroughly marinade with all the sights and sounds along the way.

Cover with an afternoon nap. Once chilled, blend in something delicious for baby’s tea and leave to settle while watching Hollyoaks together.

When the daddy gets home from work, generously apply more cuddles.
Combine daddy & baby, and gently whisk in more milk, and the bedtime story of your choice.
Place baby in cot, sprinkle with goodnight kisses.

In a separate bowl, combine mummy, daddy, some tasty dinner and at least two large glasses of wine. (Can be substituted with bottles of beer as a variation.)

After all the ingredients are combined, gently simmer and enjoy the warming satisfaction of a perfect day.
And don’t forget to save the leftovers for tomorrow!


Everyday Inspiration…

Writing-Workshop-BadgeMummy Porridge Brain is putting us to work again in her Writing Sweatshop Workshop 😀
Hop on over for more brilliant prompts to exercise ye olde grey matter & get your creative juices flowing.

This week, I toyed with opting for No.1: You get a day off. No kids, no housework, no responsibility. Where would you go? What would you do? – but all I’d do is a. sleep, b. make like a potato and veg with dvds, junk food & readables, or c. retreat to my wonderful magical room of fantasy. Given that c sadly doesn’t exist, and a&b wouldn’t make for terribly exciting reading, I have decided to go with:

5. Sit in a room of your house you spend a lot of time in. And really LOOK. Notice all the details you usually miss, and describe them with all the creativity you can muster. Let the every-day inspire you.

Sitting comfortably?
Me too. On my sofa, in my living room.
My living room, which, once upon a time, was a haven of carefully selected, 100% colour coordinated, classy, comfortable, chic. Deliberately positioned cushions, perfectly aligned coasters on polished coffee table, pretty photo frames and other objects dotted here and there (always grouped in threes – it’s an interior design thang sweetie), no mess, no clutter, everything had it’s place.
Then I had a baby.
An almighty inflatable donkey attached to a felt play mat sits on the floor to my left. To accommodate the overflow of my growing boy, he’s been joined by a safari themed playmat in all the colours of the rainbow. They don’t match eachother, much less the rest of the room. They are strewn with various rattles and cuddlies, a muslin square, a baby whoozit, and what looks like a lump of half eaten – yep, it’s a chunk of chewed-round-the-edges rusk. (note to self – pick that up.) To my right, there’s a bouncy chair. A bright blue bouncy chair, covered in frogs and turtles. That is definitely not in-keeping with the decor.
A few feet in front of me, my once Mr-Sheen’ed to within an inch of it’s life coffee table, is now littered with… stuff. Let’s see, there’s an empty little stars pot and a bib, smeared and smelling of strawberries. There’s a copy of Cosmo which I think I managed to read about 4 pages of before a certain someone decided that pretty, glossy magazines make great noises when ripped and crumpled. There are 2 cold half cups of coffee, a distinctly drool-covered remote control, and oh look, another chunk of rusk.
Other side of the table, the faux-leather magazine rack that used to be where the uncrumpled glossy magazine loveliness lived, now houses nappies, wipes, and a selection of creams. And, there’s a bright blue changing mat propped up against the wall. (At least it matches the bouncer I suppose.)
Right of the coffee table, is the other sofa (those still match too. Just.), and on that, sits the love of my life. My Mr, My other half, The Daddy, My best friend. He’s half watching TV, half falling asleep, and in his arms, is the reason for the inflatable donkey, the froggie bouncer, the nappies and the empty little stars pot – our son. The tiny little person who somehow comes with more stuff than the Mr & I have put together. (even including my bags & shoes. really.) Our precious little baby boy who came along and turned everything we had gotten to know as normal completely upside down.
Sure, a tiny part of me misses the serenity of the way this room used to be.
Yes, I’d love to sit and drink a whole cup of coffee while it’s still hot, while nonchalantly flipping through a glossy magazine.
And no, I probably wouldn’t miss playing ‘hmm, wonder what that new stain is?’.
But the thing is, I’m a mummy now, and I love it.
I love the toys everywhere and the general sense of disarray & mayhem.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
(Though the neurotic tendencies do still insist on coordinated cushion covers and the groups of three – gotta have some standards!)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Josie was right – the everyday really can be inspiring! – Have a go yourself – it’s very fun.
And remember, the first rule of Writing Workshop, Is that you don’t talk about Writing Workshop.
Except actually, you should. Lots. To everyone. It rocks.


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