Happy Father’s day, Dave, you are super awesome and just the best dad ever.
Also a happy father’s day to my own dad! You are awesome too!
In a little corner of the South Bank, nestled between to Hungerford Bridge and Jubiliee Gardens is a rather special place that houses two venues. The Udderbelly, a giant inflatable purple cow and London Wonderground, a beautiful spiegeltent that hosts cabaret, burlesque and a baby disco, which is where we found ourselves yesterday.
I was really looking forward to it as I’ve not been out dancing for almost two years, but I must admit I was a little apprehensive about how well Betsy would take the whole experience. She loves music, but it was quite dark and busy and the music pretty loud. But she had a ball. Immediately she danced her heart out with us and didn’t really stop despite being completely knackered by the end of it.
We had a lot of fun too. For a start there’s a bar, with proper drinks and everything, and the music was proper too, none of this top ten rubbish (I seem to be very much in old person mode at the moment…). Monski (a really charming host flanked by a couple of fun dancers, and she plays everything on vinyl) played a few well known children’s songs (See Those Sleeping Bunnies, Nelly The Elephant – the Toy Dolls version, awesome), but an awful lot of just very good music that people can dance too. Like The Cure! That made my day, that. Harry Belafonte’s Jump The Line got a play too and I’ve posted it below because it’s been a wonderful earworm ever since I heard it.
The disco is on until mid September, but only every second Sunday. We are planning on going again as it’s such a nice thing to do, especially as there’s the rest of the South Bank to explore.
Hooray for summer! The garden has really grown and is a riot of weeds, grasses and ground elder. There’s some beautiful flowers though and it’s lovely walking round and showing Betsy them. The courgette plants I hastily planted a few weeks ago are doing well too.
We recently got Betsy a little watering can and she loves to water the container plants, although her favourite game is chasing me round the garden to water my feet!
I’m taking part in Mammasaurus’ How Does Your Garden Grow? Linky. I cannot recommend taking a trip over there for some gorgeous photos and lots of gardening inspiration enough.
Well, ah, this is embarrassing, isn’t it? A post about Project 365 and I don’t actually have 31 photos for each day of May. I’ve thrown the towel in. The whole idea of P365 was to improve my photography skillz (yes, that is skills spelt with a z, I am totes down with the kids) and I found myself enjoying the whole thing less and less and I was mostly taking slightly blurry shots from the camera phone, which wasn’t really the point of the project.
It’s actually taken quite a bit for me to admit this, especially as this project is a wonderful way to see Betsy grow up, but having read the wonderful You Are My Wild for a bit now, I realised that that was much more up my street in terms of how I want to present photos. Does that make any sense? I’m not sure. I’ve done an awful lot of hand wringing for something that’s really quite trivial and it’s not like I’m giving up on photography for ever! What I’ll be doing in future is a monthly showcase (dump?) of snapshots.
Anyway, shall we get on with it? Earlier in May we popped down to my folks with a few friends to do a photo day. I must write-up more of that day soon.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything about food here, I blame the move and laziness (mostly laziness). But I have been doing a spot of baking and cooking here and there and I wanted to show you some muffins I made. The recipe is from The Pioneer Woman‘s mum and they are absolutely gorgeous. They make for a great quick breakfast and sit very well with a big mug of tea. The amazing thing about them is there is no butter or oil in them and not a huge amount of sugar either so they’re actually quite good for you! Especially as there’s banana, apple, oats and flaxseed in there. I’ve not posted any photos of the cooking process as PW does it so much better than me, but here are a few pics:
There’s quite a few ingredients, but the process is basically mix all the dry ingredients together, mix wet ingredients together, mix dry and wet ingredients together and bake. I used a different flour combo (I could have sworn I had wholemeal flour, but I used rye instead) and the recipe calls for a pre-made apple sauce, but I just made a small batch from fresh myself.
My little helper. She was fascinated by the cooking process and she liked to dip her finger in all the measuring cups of ingredients and feel the different textures. I’d advise not getting children too close to the treacle though, that stuff gets everywhere! She also loved eating these afterwards too and I think they make for a great children’s snack.
The full recipe is here and I can’t recommend it enough (quick note for Brits: molasses = black treacle in the recipe), I think there’s going to be a steady supply of them handy in the freezer from now on..
Well what a lovely, sunny and warm bank holiday we’ve had! Shame we’ve spent most of it indoors – I’ve been working on my skirt and Dave’s hurt his foot, but my sisters and brothers-in-law came to visit and we did manage a lovely walk around Trent Park. The place is *huge*, you really feel you are right in the middle of the countryside, despite being accessible from two Tube stations. It’s gorgeous too. There are lots of meadows, woodland, water and plenty of places to have some space to yourself. And it’s only a five-minute drive from me too. Bonus.
There’s also a wild animal rescue centre, a Go Ape, an ancient moat and Middlesex University used to have a campus here. There really is an awful lot to see! I really want to take Betsy to the Animal Centre, but we keep getting distracted by the woods and all the dogs that get walked.
Trent Park is open all year during daylight hours – it is a park after all – and can be accessed through three entrances. One next to Cockfosters Station (there’s a car park here too), a ten minute walk from Oakwood Station (both stations on the Piccadilly Line) and there is also another car park along Hadley Road.
Well hello 18 month old toddler! You are growing up fast! A baby no more. This makes me a bit sad, but not a lot as it’s SO EXCITING to see you develop into the spirited girl that you are. We have done a lot since my last letter. The most obvious being your speech. In the last couple of weeks we’ve had a bit of a language explosion and you are saying a ton of words to us (although I wonder how many people other than me, you and your dad can hear them). You can say:
You gesticulate wildly (you get that off your Grandpa Chris) when talking to us. There’s lots of finger-pointing as you get your point across to us, not unlike a drunk informing you you’re his best mate, while you babble on and on; you can be a real chatterbox!
Your personality is really starting to shine though now. You are a forthright and determined person. We recently stopped going to swimming lessons because you have had enough of the structured sessions and wanted to do your own thing in the pool. You love being in the water, but you hate being told what to do and when to do it. It’s a shame really, as I’ve loved taking you to lessons and it’s been quite a big part of your life since you were two and a half months old and I have to admit to being a bit emotional during the last lesson (but then I’m emotional about everything to do you with you) but it’s not the end of the world and we’ll still take you to the pool from time to time. There’s been a few times recently when we’ve met up with a friends and I’ve not spoken a word to them, because you’ve run off wanting to do your own thing – most definitely a free spirit! If I’m totally honest I worry at how I’m going to cope with you sometimes, especially during more trying times. I stress easily and have a temper (a terrible combination) but I am working through it and find myself reading a lot on gentle parenting (Circus Queen has posted a number of timely blogs recently and they have been so, so helpful) because I do not want to be a mum who’s first reaction is to shout at you, because no one wants that, do they? Also, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t take a blind bit of notice even if I did.
But you know what, Boo? You are so totally brilliant and my heart swells a little bit more every day, sometimes I think it will burst. There are definite challenges in our life, but we face them together and our bond becomes ever stronger.
Well April was lovely, wasn’t it? Some sun, a bit of warmth, lots of friends visiting the new house (and visiting a friend’s new house too), flipping perfect. We’ve had a bit of alfresco drinking and dining and a visit to Whipsnade. But mostly we’ve been settling into the house, playing and laughing.
3. cat scarf,
4. A painted egg from nursery,
7. Yes, she can!,
8. pretty flowers along Southbury Road,
9. meeting the neighbours,
10. A cheeky drink before home,
11. To do,
12. Elephants out for a walk,
13. Baby shower,
14. The daffs in sun,
1. Media waiting for Thatcher’s funeral prosession,
3. happy eater,
4. First BBQ of the year,
6. Spotting Daddy coming home,
7. Summer shoes,
8. Hello, vitamin D,
11. Betsy’s trying to feed Ian again,
13. Someone likes the front facing camera of my phone,
15. Last minute cupcakes for tomorrow’s nursery
We’ll be out and about more in May. The Boo and I have a trip to Coram’s Fields on Friday, Dave and I are off to see The Book of Mormon on Saturday (so, very, very excited) and there’s a few other trips planned too. Busy, busy!
Day one of Me-Made-May 13 and I get my stuff together. I have ordered my pattern and fabric from the amazingly named Sew Over It, a shop based in Clapham that looks brilliant and needs a visit soon. I wanted something that is easy to put together but should also be something that I would want to wear. This circle skirt is perfect. It looks vintage and I can wear it everywhere.
This adorable yellow rose fabric is so summery, I can’t wait to sew this all together. Is it not going to be the most perfect picnic skirt?
While I am waiting for my goodies to arrive in the post, I’ll be getting my sewing machine out and trying to remember how the blooming thing works.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve dusted off my sewing machine and made something – we’re talking years here, last thing I did was a course at the Make Lounge and that was two years ago. It was a great course, but I had just found out I was pregnant and like everything else around that time, impetus and drive left me as I was gripped by morning sickness. But I’m starting to get the itch to create something again. A mixture of having the machine inside the house instead of hidden in the garage and the plans of having my own desk for various crafty tinkering has made me want to use it more and the terrible news in Bangladesh has reminded me that I should me more conscientious in my clothing choices.
Oh, and watching The Great British Sewing Bee has helped too.
With that, I have signed up for Me Made May. Here I have pledged that I will make one garment of clothing and wear it out and in public. It’s a fairly simple challenge (a lot of people have pledged that they will wear something they have created every day for the month which is terribly impressive), but it’s enough for this relative beginner in an already packed May.
Exactly what I’ll be sewing will be shown in a post tomorrow, so stay tuned!