A week of avoiding rain showers, Arthur’s first trip to Whipsnade (he slept through it all while Betsy looked for the giraffes and tigers) and a walk around Trent Park picking blackberries and climbing trees.
Betsy is very, very good at demanding a banana to eat, having two bites, getting bored with the rest of the fruit and discarding it somewhere. I’m very, very good and leaving bananas in the fruit bowl until they turn black and then chucking them out. All very wasteful. Something must be done about this. They didn’t travel thousands of miles by boat just to be put into the green wheelie bin, no sir. If you are going to buy something that has been picked by someone who’s working a ten-hour shift for very little money, then it should be respected. So here are five things that we can use the humble* banana for. All are super simple too, so no excuses now, Ms Wastefulpants.
1. Banana lollipops.
Nick a few coffee stirrers next time you grab a brew or cut up some straws and stick in chunks of banana, dip into chocolate, add some sprinkles and freeze.
2. Banana and sultana loaf
Have a bunch of bananas that needs using up? Make this cake. It’s super yummy and a great afternoon tea cake (I’ve also been known to have it for breakfast too. What? It’s got fruit in there – it’s healthy!). Recipe HERE.
3. Banana milkshake
Bananas freeze really well as is, so if you see any lying around just chuck them into the freezer. For a super quick and creamy milkshake, blitz some frozen bananas and a splash of whole milk in a blender until frothy and smooth.
4. Banana pancake
It’s a bit of a staple in this household. Recipe HERE.
5. And finally, don’t forget the rinds! They’re a really good food for roses, so bury the peel around your roses and see the benefits. They are utterly brilliant in your compost heap too.
I know this is only the tip of the banana iceberg – what do you do with yours?
*Just a thought, 50 years ago the banana wouldn’t have been seen as humble would it? It would have been terribly exotic. But they’re sold by the millions these days and are a day-to-day fruit. Interesting.
Very quick post, but I just had to share. This summer’s pretty hot isn’t it? Would you like a nice cool drink to start your day off properly? I’ve just started making myself an iced coffee in the mornings and my god, it is the flipping BEST. It takes a bit of forward planning, but is so worth the effort. The recipe came from the Pioneer Woman and I’ll leave her to give you the detailed instructions, but basically you put a whole pack of ground coffee in a container and pour over two litres of water and leave in the fridge overnight. Next morning drain through a coffee filter and keep the liquid in a jug in the fridge. It’ll keep for ten days like that. I pour half a glass of coffee over ice, top up with whole milk and add a couple of teaspoons of condensed milk. Oh yeah, you heard me, condensed freaking milk. It’s not the healthiest, but it’s the most decadent way to start the day.
I love this dude so much. We’ve had a week that’s been so much fun for both of us, it’s been pretty perfect. We’ve had dinner at Pizza Express, a trip to Trent Park and went to a local festival, and although Arthur has been with us, these trips out have been about the Boo and me and we’ve had some much needed bonding time.
Hello Arthur! You are two months old, hooray! This is the first in a few letters I’ll write to you, ideally you’ll get one a month to follow your development, but your sister is lucky to get one every six months so we’ll see. Anyway, welcome to the world! You were born at 8.24pm, on the 26th of May in the study of our home in a birthing pool. From the second you were born, you have been a very chilled out boy. You didn’t need to cry when you emerged, you took deep, regular breaths, had a look around the room and all was well with the world. Oh, by the way, just in case I don’t ever get round to writing a birth story, there were two songs that happened to be playing during the birth that will always be associated with you (the playlist by the way, was the one I had made for your sister’s first birthday party which got put on by your dad after I had decided that the birthing music I had downloaded “was a bit shit” halfway through the labour. One of the most vivid memories of the day, that). I don’t remember this at the time as I had more important things to concentrate on, but as your head emerged The Ronettes’ Be My Baby played and The Peddlers’ On A Clear day was playing when you were born. I think this is pretty cool, no doubt in future years you’ll think differently.
It’s funny how time flows with a baby. You are only two months old, but it feels like you have been with us for much, much longer. As I look up from this laptop over to your dad watching TV with you in his arms it’s a scene that seems so familiar and old almost. I suppose with parenthood you very much live in the now, the future full of possibilities and the present so busy, so intense that you don’t have time to linger too much over the past. Your sister is the same; Betsy is very much a chatty, energetic intense toddler and it’s difficult to believe sometimes that she was once a tiny little baby. Betsy by the way totally adores you. She will try and pick you up and cuddle you at every opportunity. If you cry, she lets me know about it and tells me to give you milk and will shake toys at you. I hope she continues to keep an eye out for you as you grow.
I hope you like your name, Arthur Tor. I think it’s safe to say that Arthur was one of very, very few male names that your dad and I could agree on. We both like that it’s the name of a mythical king and I like you are the namesake of Arthur Dent, the main character in one of my most favourite books. Also, Arthur Fonzarelli. Tor is a bit different, decided only the night before we had to register your name, but we like it. It’s a derivative of Thor, continuing the giving our children names of Norse gods theme (Betsy is Freyja).
Now you are two months, you are no longer in that very newborn scrunched up pose, although when you lie down you still tend to keep your hands to the side of your head and your legs in the froggy position. You smile a lot, mostly at Betsy and you still have the startle reflex which means we have to be quite careful when you sleep as you’re woken up pretty easily.
You sleep quite a lot at night which is a flipping godsend! I manage to get a solid four hours of sleep a night and for that I am eternally grateful. You’ve been able to roll onto your side since day one and is your preferred sleeping position.
You have the deepest, darkest blue eyes I have ever seen. They are almost navy with a ring of lighter blue around the pupil. I wonder if they’ll stay like that or slowly change to a different colour? You also seem very long. When you were born your feet seemed to be very big and your fingers look like that of a violinist’s. I think you are going to be pretty tall and it seems you have also inherited your father’s big head.
We are so very happy to have you with us, Arthur. You have made this family complete and we are so looking forward to seeing you grow.
From, your mama who loves you.
The one downside to nursing Arthur is that it’s quite difficult to keep Betsy entertained at the same time. Mindful that there is only so much Charlie and Lola and Peppa Pig that we can watch, I put together a little bag of activities that Betsy and I can do together while I was feeding. A fun bag while using fun bags so to speak.
In theory, these things are only too be used while I’m nursing to keep their specialness (we’ll see how long that lasts), so we have a notebook for drawing, a colouring in book, crayons, a Peppa Pig magazine and book, a pair of scissors (child safe ones, obviously, Betsy’s been mad keen on these, cutting up random pieces of paper, a copy of The Snail and the Whale and a pack of balloons. If these things don’t keep Betsy happy and entertained I don’t know what will!*
*Actually I do, the Duplo games on my phone. Brilliant entertainment.
It’s not very often that we pop into the centre of London these days. Even when I was working, there wouldn’t be time to linger after work as I’d have to rush back to Enfield to pick Betsy up from nursery. So it felt like a huge treat when last Sunday we all took a trip down to the Southbank along with Sian and her family.
Betsy was super excited about the day. Travelling on trains is one of her most favourite things to do and she hadn’t been on one since before Arthur was born, plus she was with Seren (who in Boo’s own words is her best friend – Sian! Totes forgot to tell you that the other day) and there was the promise of some dancing too.
We started off getting some food from the market behind the Royal Festival Hall and ate it under the shade of a tree in Jubilee Gardens. I had the most amazing duck confit burger from The Frenchie.
Inside London Wonderground next to Jubilee Gardens is a plethora of bars (including a moving carousel bar) and food joints but most importantly the Spiegeltent where a whole host of cabaret, burlesque, comedy and more is performed over the summer. This was the main reason we came into London – to have a jolly good dance at Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco.
We came here twice last year and we had so much fun we knew we had to come along again. The music set this year was pretty much the same as before, but if it aint broke, don’t fix it, as they say. So we prowled around like cats while listening to The Cure, did the conga to Harry Belefonte, roared like dinosaurs, slept and hopped like bunnies and danced and danced. You know when something is good when the parents are clearly having as much of a good time as the kids and the forty-five minutes of disco went all too quickly and I think Betsy and Seren could have gone on for much longer given the opportunity. We’re already looking forward to going next year when Arthur and Imogen can join in with the fun too!
Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall is at London Wonderground on the 10th and 24th August and the 7th September and also up at the Edinburgh Fringe. Disclaimer: We were given these tickets for free for the purpose of this review, but all views are my own.