Living Arrows

Living Arrows #60

We have done a lot this half term weekend. We’ve braved the crowds in central London three times, eaten a lot, watched way too much Dora the Explorer and have generally enjoyed each other’s company a lot. I’m also in bad need of a nap.

Living Arrows

THIS GIRL. We’ve had such a brilliant week together, she and I. Since Arthur was born and Betsy turned three, my stress levels have gone up and so has the quickness of my temper. Betsy has big emotions and I don’t always help her as well as I could when my default emotion these days seems to be irritated. I guess we’re both still finding our feet with each other after the arrival of Art. Anyway, things seemed to have clicked a bit more this week. We had our first trip out just her and I which probably helped, but even before that Boo has seemed a bit happier and I was calmer and actually felt like more of the gentle parent I want to be. I don’t know if that’s because Betsy didn’t go to nursery this week, or she’s had some kind of developmental growth, or it was because Dave was working 9-5 shifts, or the St John’s Wort kicked in or what, but things definitely felt better*.

Living Arrows

This poor face. Covered in snot (another cold!), bruises from quite a few falls and knocks and felt-tip pen from Betsy drawing on him. Still at least he’s been pretty cheerful about the whole thing. He also discovered his new favourite pastime this week which was gnawing on whole apples.

Living Arrows

Living Arrows

We also spotted our first ladybird of the spring this week (which seems too early?) on the pavement near the train station. We picked it up and Betsy very carefully held the card the bug was sitting on. He eventually crawled up into Boo’s coat sleeve and remained there until we got home and we popped it onto one of our planters outside the front door. When I asked her if we should give the ladybird a name she replied we should call him Arthur. Hope you enjoy your new home, Arthur!

Living Arrows

*I’ve just realised that I think I’ve made it sound like the times here are bad between me and Boo most of the time, but they’re not at all. But while the testing times are fewer than the good times, sometimes the testing times can overshadow the good. Do you know what I mean?

Project 365 2015 – Days 47 – 52

Busy week! Flipping good too. Everything is slightly blurred this week too, I wondering if there was something wrong with my camera until now when I just spotted a massive smudge on my lens. Heh. This is why I’ll never be a photographer.

Fondue night
047/365 Fondue (or should that be fundo) night. Because we party like it’s 1975.

048/365 Playing in the actually really brilliant play park in Victoria Gardens after watching the Parliamentary pancake race. Blurry as hell, but you can’t miss the joy on those faces.

Thames gazing
049/365 Gazing down at the Thames after seeing Charlie and Lola at the South Bank centre. Such a fantastic time was had, must write about this actually.

A chicken
050/365 A chicken at the animal area in a garden centre in Herts. We went along with Betsy’s friend George. The best thing about the animal centre? There is a pair of tortoises called Betsy and George.

Biking Buddies
051/365 Biking buddies. Betsy and Caspar in Trent Park.

Bath fun
052/365 Bathtime fun.

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Last weekend

Oh, I miss living near the sea sometimes. Okay, not just sometimes, ALL the time, the water calls to you, whispers to you. Once you’ve lived near it, it’ll constantly tug at your soul to make you come back and breathe the salty air while your hair gets whipped into a bird’s nest and you feel as free as the seagulls flying above you.

Weekend by the sea (more…)

Some photos of a pancake race

Every Shrove Tuesday, in the shadow of Victoria Tower, a pancake race takes place between MPs, Lords and members of the press in aid of the charity Rehab. I’ve seen it before a couple of years ago, and it’s a fun thing to watch if you happen to be in town. I took Betsy and Arthur along and while Art slept, Betsy really enjoyed the atmosphere and watching everyone run right past her.

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

There’s a real hustle and bustle with quite a lot of media about and while the atmosphere is jovial and friendly, you can’t but notice the competitiveness seeping through in the teams (I’m looking at you, Stephen Pound).

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

Our local MP Nick de Bois started the race along with the BBC’s Robbie Gibb. De Bois almost knocked a woman over and then dropped his pancake giving the media team a good head start, but the Parliament team soon caught up in the final leg between Davis Amess MP and Ben Wright, but not quite enough and the media team won the race for the first time in three years.

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

Parliamentary pancake race 2015

Hello Arthur – 8 months

Hello Arthur! You are eight months old! You are growing up so fast, slow down! You are at a really brilliant age at the moment. I remember it being this great when your sister was this age too. We are getting heaps and heaps of personality and smiles and cheeky grins and it’s just really very nice hanging out with you.

Arthur at 8 Months - Baking Betsy

You are still doing your zombie crawl and I’m not sure if you’ll ever crawl properly on all fours as you seen quite happy dragging yourself around on your belly. Plus you are cruising now. You are still a little wobbly moving around, but you are slow and steady and are getting good at lifting yourself up onto your feet. You need a little more practice at getting back down to the floor, but you’ll be a pro at that really soon.

You have been eating solid food for a while now but this has been the month you have really got it. You love to eat and like exploring new textures and flavours. Things you have eaten include:

Sweet potato fries
Roasted carrots and parsnips
Banana pancakes
Homemade pizza
Cat food
Googly eyes

Um, yeah, sorry about the last two items there. When I am in the kitchen and I have left you in the living room playing, I keep forgetting that you can crawl to me and you find that bowl of Ian’s dinner irresistible. It’s actually been the only bit of meat you’ve been interested in so far. Hmm. And we didn’t even know about the goggly eye until we found it staring up at us when changing your nappy. Note to self, must tidy more after Betsy’s crafting.


Bathtimes are a big part of your day, especially now you can sit in the bath unaided. You love to sit and splash and play with the pirate ship you were given for Christmas, although your most favourite thing at bathtime is to chew on is the bath thermometer. You also love to play with Ian’s water bowl when you can get to it and always seem so put out that I when I take it away from you (but much to the relief of Ian who gets most annoyed at you when you’re around his bowls), I’m looking forward to when it’s a bit warmer and we can play with some water outside, I think you’ll love it!

Arthur at 8 months.

Playtime with Betsy is getting better and better. There have been some really brilliant moments with the both of you playing together, although you still have a tendency to pull her hair and Boo doesn’t really like you chewing her toys, but she loves to pass you food to eat at dinner time and put cream on you when we’re getting you changed too. While there are moments when you annoy each other, you are generally both happy in each other’s company and long may that continue!

From, your Mama who loves you.

Arthur at 8 Months - Baking Betsy

Living Arrows #59

We’ve been out and about this week a lot. Seeing friends and new babies, picnics outside, soft play, a trip to the zoo and a lovely weekend down south with family (I think I’ll write about that separately as I’ve got some rather nice photos).


Betsy did ALL the climbing at Whipsnade, and we managed only to see the elephants and giraffes as a result, but it was a good day out never the less.


I’m sure I write it every week, but THIS GUY. So sweet, so smiley. Now more mobile is SO happy to start tackling more of the playground, even if his snowsuit prevents him from climbing up stairs (which makes him a Dalek?), spotting faces through portholes in the climbing frame is the best thing ever.

Living Arrows

Project 365 2015 Days 40-46

The photo a day project reaches day 40! I don’t know about you, but doing Project 365 makes the year fly by.

040/365 Just down the road from us is a block of flats with a patch of grass that is always teeming with crocus, you know spring is here when you see the grass turn purple.

041/365 Arthur making friends with George, who loved to push Art on the swings.

Spin me
042/365 Nanny and Granddad were too ill to look after Betsy today, so we set off to a (genuinely quite nice) soft play. It’s interesting to watch Betsy here as she’ll spend about ten minutes doing as much climbing as possible, then spend the rest of the time playing with Arthur in the baby pit.

043/365 One of the baby giraffes at Whipsnade.

Arthur and dog
044/365 Funny old day today, we were all at a bit of a loose end so we popped into Ikea to pick up some tat and eat meatballs (oh, the glamour!) and balance various toys on top of Arthur. He loved it really. Also, this is the only picture I took today, totally forgot about needing to take photos!

045/365 My nephew Asher’s first birthday party. Happy birthday, that lad!

Milford on Sea
046/365 A walk along the beach at Milford on Sea.

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Super lunch: Brussels sprout hash

Super lunch. The first in an occasional series of super quick blog posts with super quick lunches (or suppers, or whatever). I realise I could have been clever with this and called it Souper Lunch and make it all soup based, but alas, I didn’t. Sorry! I bet there’s someone out there who is doing just that though*. No proper recipes here, just a quick suggestion of ingredients and something tasty and healthy to eat in under ten minutes or so.

I’ve never really liked Brussels sprouts, at least when they’re cooked in more traditional ways. Then I came across a way to cook them that involved blitzing them with some parmesan and cream, popping them into a dish, adding more cheese and grilling them. Amazing. Since then, I’ve been trying sprouts in a variety of ways, namely in some kind of warm coleslaw type of thing (nicer than that sounds) and this is one of those dishes. First you dice some red onion and saute them until they’re soft and translucent. Add some garlic, thinly sliced sprouts and a grated carrot with some garam masala and saute for a few minutes.

Brussels Sprout hash

Add some water, a splash of cider vinegar and a knob of butter and cook until everything is soft.

Brussels Sprout hash

While that’s all cooking, poach an egg and place everything into a bowl with salt and pepper. Enjoy.

Brussels Sprout hash

*No, but there is a chain in the US called Souper Salads!

Living Arrows #58

What a funny week we’ve been having. Arthur has had this weird vomiting bug that has kept us in the house as he’ll throw up at really random times. It’s odd, because it would be 4, 6, sometimes 11 hours between bouts of throwing up and he’d be happy as Larry in between. It’s been over 48 hours since his last bout of sickness so hopefully we are over it. *fingers crossed*

We have also had Dave’s birthday last weekend, and hooray for that. We have nothing but good food, good drink and really bloody good company. Dave really does have some wonderful friends and we really need to see them more often!

Oh, and Arthur’s learnt to climb the stairs and Betsy navigated her way through a maze at Capel Manor Gardens. Good times all round (once we were out the house)!

Living Arrows

Living Arrows

Living Arrows

Project 365 2015 Days 32-39

032/365 Learning to climb stairs

033/365 A 55p bunch of flowers. Bargain! We were stuck indoors today and these brightened the day no end.

034/365 Snow! Another snap from our walk in Trent Park.

035/365 Still stuck indoors. But I made a good lunch to make up for it. More on this later this week.

036/365 Betsy and Seren clutching their flasks of hot chocolate in a very, very cold Capel Manor.

037/365 Stickers. One of those days where you’re so busy you forget to get the camera out and take any photos (see also the next two days). Super fun day though starting with Betsy putting her Charlie and Lola stickers everywhere, lunch with friends and a very long shop round the supermarket.

Birthday boy
038/365 Happy birthday, Dave!

039/365 Terrible photo, but the only one taken today. Dave’s birthday dinner. Dave thought our pub lunch was with us and his parents and brothers but I and another had invited his closest friends too. Surprise!

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