Today we took Charlie sledging. We drove up to the top of the hill overlooking Holmfirth, which is where I used to go as a child, and it was exactly as I remembered it. I used to go up with my Mum and Dad every time it snowed. The car park always used to be full of other kids and their parents all scrambling out of the car with winter woollies on and sledges in tow.

Today when we arrived, we were the only ones on the car park, and I wondered if times had changed and people don’t come sledging anymore. I was proven wrong when a few minutes later another car arrived and then another until the car park was full within an hour. 25 years later and everything was still the same.

It was so cold and windy that Charlie looked like a ripe tomato within seconds. The snow was so deep that it came above my wellies, but the sky was so blue, and the sun was shining that it somehow felt like a summer’s day. I felt like we were in another world.  Reality hit when half an hour later Jorgie wouldn’t stop wailing and Charlie wouldn’t get on the sledge as he’d rather just pull it around the field whilst every other kid was having a ball actually sledging.

He probably takes after me. I remembered when I was younger, and I sledged down the hill but picked up a bit too much speed and couldn’t stop. I went right over the edge of a steep slope and when I landed, I genuinely thought I had broken my back. I cried and screamed which resulted in mass panic from my mum and dad. So, whilst all the other kids were having fun, I was being carried up a hill on a sledge as a makeshift stretcher ready for my mum and dad to drive me to hospital.

When we got back to the car as they were about to lie me in the back I asked, “Have you got any chocolate biscuits?” At this point they realised my injury wasn’t so serious after all and actually they had probably sustained more injury to their own backs by carrying me back up the extremely steep slope. The moral of the story is probably not to go sledging at all but where’s the fun in that?

After sledging until my bum was numb and I couldn’t feel my toes we got back into the car to go for hot chocolate and cake in Holmfirth. My underwear and leggings were so wet with snow that they were stuck to me and I hadn’t brought a change of clothes. Charlie made me feel much better when he said, “Mummy are you going to die soon?” and then “Is the next activity ice skating?” I replied with “No Charlie hopefully not and no we are not. What do you think I am? Elsa from Frozen?”.

We arrived at a coffee shop to be told that the coffee machine wasn’t working so Kyle and I had a milkshake and Charlie had an ice cream. The perfect winter warmer when you have been sledging for two hours on a hill that could be a perfect home to polar bears.

Later on, I went to meet my best friend for food and to watch Mary Poppins Returns at the Cinema. The film was really nostalgic and actually was quite emotional to watch. It brought a tear to my eyes at times.  I loved Mary Poppins as a little girl, and this carried on the story from when I was young as the children were the next generation from the children in the first film. There were lots of references to the first film and it was special when Dick Van Dyke made an appearance.

Although it was brilliant, I couldn’t help thinking that it would never beat the original and that Julie Andrews would always be the best Mary Poppins. But is that because this was a film I loved as a child so it will always seem better? Will Charlie and Jorgie grow up to love this new version and if another is released in 54 years, they will think that nothing will beat this version? Will I go to the Cinema many years from now as an old lady with my grandchildren to watch the latest one?

By pure coincidence we had watched the Lion King last night with Charlie and he loved it. I can’t remember the last time I had watched it but I’m sure it was as a child myself and it is weird how you forget bits. So, all in all its been a weekend of nostalgia and remembering how it feels to be a child and how you see things from a different perspective. It does make you think about the circle of life so to speak and how quickly time passes. You should make the most of every moment.


Birthday celebration cake

I turned 34 last weekend and I had 4 days of celebrations planned. On Thursday I went to see the Arctic Monkeys with my work friend, Michelle. It was also the same day as Jorgie’s third lot of injections. Unfortunately, they were at 4pm, so straight after them, Kyle was dropping me off to meet Michelle. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car. Jorgie just cried non-stop after her injections and Charlie decided to join in “Mummy I don’t want you to go out. Can I come too? I need you to come home with me.” I replied “No Charlie. Although a difficult decision, Arctic Monkeys just pips the post over playing lego bricks, painting or playdough with you. It’s not like I have been waiting since May for this and really need a break.”

After going out for tea (a treat enough in itself for me) we headed to Manchester Arena. I have already returned to watch a gig since the 22nd May attacks happened, but it still feels sad when I go there after everything that went on. We had managed to get standing tickets and it was interesting watching the crowd around us. It only seems like five minutes ago that I was a drunken 22 year old (and thin) watching gigs week in week out here, with hardly any proper responsibilities. Now I am a married mother of two. Life moves too quickly.

I felt like one of the oldest in the crowd. Some of the younger girls wear such weird clothes yet manage to look like super models. If they wore bin bags they would probably still look cool. If I even attempted to wear some of their clothes, I’m pretty sure people would look at me like I was a stark raving lunatic or weirdo. After having 1 ½ pints of cider and blackcurrant (and feeling a bit giddy) and watching how amazing Arctic Monkeys were on their comeback tour, we retired home and I was in bed for 11.30pm. Rock and Roll.

On Friday I went to Slattery’s in Prestwich (a chocolate shop with a restaurant), with Kyle, my mum and the kids. For every drink you order you get a free chocolate. Four drinks down and Charlie was like a giddy excited puppy. He’d ‘claimed’ every chocolate as his own. It was easier to give them to him than to face the wrath of the tantrum we would encounter if we said no. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have given in, but this was a posh place and there was no way I was leaving without having a slice of chocolate fudge cake (yes this is probably why I haven’t lost my excess baby weight).

Charlie had chocolate all over his face and jumper when we finished and headed down to look at the shop. He wanted every item on view in the shop and I couldn’t keep track of his fingers as he tried to grab everything. I casually tried to hold his hand like I was in control, but he was like an escaped convict from the local prison, tearing around the shop like a mad man. We left shortly after that before we were asked to leave.


On Saturday it rained all day. I was woken at 6.45am when Charlie came in and jumped on the bed. Kyle had gone to work so I fed Jorgie whilst Charlie was watching TV. After a few minutes Charlie started to wretch and then puked up all over the duvet. Jorgie followed shortly after, all down my PJs. What a fun and entertaining start to a Saturday morning.

I was going out to Manchester with the girls on Saturday night, so we had a more chilled day, so I could have some time to get ready. I was going out at 7pm but Kyle wouldn’t be home from work until 6.30pm which meant I had to try and have a shower and get ready with the kids. If you ever have to attempt to do this, I have just two words. Don’t bother.

Jorgie fed and changed and Charlie on the bed watching TV and I tried to have a shower. They were like a tag team. Every time I got in Jorgie cried or Charlie needed a wee. I was in and out that many times that I forgot where I was up to. My hair was half washed, one leg was shaved, the opposite armpit shaved, one armpit and one leg not shaved, when I gave in and got out. Then came the make-up. Charlie very helpfully decided he was going to assist me by removing every item of make-up from my case and throwing it across the room. I looked like a clown by the time I’d finished. Jorgie burped and milk came up all over my shoulder resulting in a change of dress.

My friend Steph was staying at our house, so when she arrived we bundled the kids into the car and Kyle drove to drop us both off in town. A repeat of Thursday night followed with Charlie saying “Mummy please don’t go out. Your always out. You went out last night”.  I literally have about 1 night out every 3 months but if anyone overheard him you’d think I was never at home!


We met three more friends in town, Jane, Saira and Sonya and after some food and a couple of cocktails we went to a bar with live music. Much as I’d love to say we stayed out late, downed shots, drank copious amounts of gin and danced on tables, much to your disbelief, that did not happen. Steph (who has a young baby) and I spent the night convincing ourselves of why it would be a bad idea to do those things when you have the kids to look after the next day and we were home and in bed for midnight. Rent a crowd we are. Everyone would want us at a party.

Sunday was my actual birthday and I was glad of the decisions I made the previous night when Charlie walked into the kitchen and deposited five neat piles of vomit on the kitchen floor. Happy Birthday to me. Oh, how I did enjoy scrubbing that floor on Sunday morning on the day of my 34th birthday. I went shopping in Manchester in the afternoon where Jorgie was sick all down my top and I had to walk around town looking like that all afternoon. Winning.


My day ended with Charlie opening all my birthday presents and eating all my cake and chocolate whilst Jorgie screamed and the dog took great delight in humping my leg.

Birthday over and it was back to normality (if you can ever call it that). We popped in Tesco’s on Monday and Charlie had a free piece of fruit to eat walking round and picked a banana. After a few minutes he needed the toilet, so we walked in where he proceeded to throw the banana down the toilet and then cry for half an hour because I wouldn’t get it back for him. I’d like to apologise now if I am responsible for blocking the toilet system at the Tesco Droylsden Store.

So now I’m another year older but most definitely not wiser. There’s always next year……….


Last weekend we went on a big family holiday to Brixham. My Grandad died in March, so we decided to scatter his ashes in the place where he spent most of his family holidays. A lovely idea in principle, but with 22 in the group including 4 kids and 2 babies, the road to the seaside was never going to be smooth ride.

We woke up at 5am Friday morning. Kyle and I tip-toed around the house so as not to wake the kids up and managed to successfully put them in the car in their PJs. We would change them at the service station. Five minutes into the journey and they were awake but surprisingly well behaved and very excited.

I spent the majority of the first two hours un-doing my seatbelt to lean into the back and put Jorgie’s dummy back in. It was literally acting like a plug as she screamed every time it came out and stopped crying whenever it went back in. The rest of the time I was passing Charlie drinks, crisps, or biscuits or singing him songs and telling him stories. You can imagine mine and Kyle’s delight when we had to hear a mixture of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ on rotation and on repeat as we drove.

We arrived at the service station to meet my parents, brother and niece. Kyle had insisted that we needed a roof rack as we wouldn’t fit everything in. I asked him to get Jorgie’s pram out to be informed that it was in fact “inside the roof rack so you can’t get it out as it’s too much hard work tightening all the rack up again”. Ideal. A roof rack to hold all our stuff but you can’t actually have access to any of the stuff. Makes sense.

After breakfast and Charlie riding the escalator up and down 5 times, we set off again arriving at the caravan site just after lunch. The weather was gorgeous so an afternoon at the outside pool followed. Although it was warm and sunny the water was absolutely freezing, and I managed all of 5 minutes in the pool. Charlie just clung to Kyle like a monkey and it took the best part of an hour for us to persuade my niece Macy to come out. Bribery and chocolate were involved.


The caravan was a tight squeeze and 4 adults and 2 kids sharing the small shower (not all at the same time I might add) was hard work. Jorgie had the obligatory baby bath in the sink and after fish and chips we went to the family disco.

Those entertainment staff have some serious stamina and energy. I genuinely need to know what their secret is as they entertained 50 plus children for a good two hours. Charlie looked a bit scared and Macy just kept doing laps round and round the dance floor. After musical bumps and several trips to the amusements to play on the 2p machines, we retired to bed.

Sleeping in caravans is fun (or lack of). Charlie and Macy were sharing a room with two single beds opposite each other. Next ensued an unplanned game of musical bumps alternating between Charlie and Macy rolling over and falling out of bed into the gap between the two beds. Sometimes one of them would wake up and cry out, other times I would hear a thud and find them asleep in the gap and sometimes I would find both piled one on top of the other. Mix this up with toilet trips and frightened moments that “the child catcher was coming” and I guarantee I was awake more than I was asleep on Friday night.

Saturday morning was an early start whilst Charlie and Macy argued over the coco-pops in the miniature variety pack of cereals. A caravan holiday wouldn’t be the same without the smell of bacon in the morning to wake you up so after bacon butties we got ready to go out.

The entire family were meeting at Brixham Harbour at 11am to scatter my Grandad’s ashes. Although it was a sad occasion it was also nice that all the family were together as the last time had been the year before at my wedding.

We gathered by the jetty and each took it in turns to throw the ashes into the sea. All was going smoothly until the kids also wanted a turn. This resulted in questions such as “Why is Grandad Keith now dust?” and “Awww look Grandad Keith has turned into glitter”.  This followed by them throwing the ashes into a direct gust of wind which then blew them into the face of everyone standing behind. Great stuff. We now had Grandad Keith in our eyes, nose and mouth. I’m sure if my Grandad had been there he would have howled laughing.

The kids all had fishing nets so during the ashes being scattered they had also been trying to fish for crabs and fish. After getting the nets full of salty sea water and seaweed they then thought it would be fun to try and catch a person. All of us had a fishing net placed over our heads at least twice in the time we would stood there. Who needs nice smelling straight and tidy hair anyway!?


After a cake and cream tea lunch we drove to the beach to try and catch some crabs before a big family BBQ later on. I don’t know who was more scared when we lifted the rocks up to find the crabs, my brother or the kids. He absolutely shit himself when a big one came scuttling out onto the sand!

We took over the area surrounding my uncle’s caravan later that night. I don’t think the site knew what had hit it. The kids were running riot like a pack of wild dogs whilst we were gathered around 4 picnic benches we had “borrowed” from around the area. The food was great and we all had a good chat and catch up. The night couldn’t pass without incident and unfortunately Charlie tripped up and bashed his eye on the floor whilst tearing around. It could have been worse as earlier Kyle had let each kid individually hang from a tree by their arms whilst standing underneath them. Responsible parenting at its best.

Saturday night pretty much followed the same pattern as Friday except for Kyle coming back from the BBQ (I had been the responsible parent) dragging the cool box through the caravan and bashing every item of furniture as he went. This was at 1am. Perfect.

Sunday was our last day and we spent it at Paignton Beach building sandcastles and playing in the sea. Charlie had to be changed twice due to resembling a sand monster and I think my mum had more fun playing in the sand than any of the kids.


We had a meal at the local pub in the evening and some idiot (my brother) had the bright idea of buying the kids balls from a machine in the pub. This resulted in none of us being able to enjoy our meals as the kids threw the balls around the beer garden. There were balls getting lost, going over garden fences, hitting seagulls and landing on the table.

On Sunday night I slept much better although my mum didn’t due to my brother snoring so had to borrow a pair of pink fluffy unicorn ear muffs from Macy.

We set off home early on Monday morning and were packed and on the road before 9am. We even remembered Macy’s new baby doll which she had randomly named ‘Muffin’. It was only an hour later at the services that we realised we had left the Samsung Galaxy tablet in the caravan. Que a phone call and a £10 postage fee.

We held the record for the most possible stops on a journey home for the return journey.  We literally stopped at every single service station as the kids rotated needing a wee every half an hour. We arrived home at 5.30pm after picking Tia the dog up who had thoroughly enjoyed herself and seemed more miserable that we had bothered to come home as she wanted to stay. I think she secretly hates us. Tired and irritable we unpacked the car to Charlie crying “Awww I want to go again. I want to go back to the caravan”. All in all, it had been a funny weekend and I would definitely take the kids on a caravan holiday again as they loved it (I’ll just prepare for no sleep!).



Last week we went to Cheshire Oaks. I learned one thing from this trip. Don’t ever take a toddler if you actually want to do some shopping or purchase any items. I knew it was a bad idea in the first place, but it was raining, and we couldn’t think of anything else to do.

First hurdle is actually getting there when your child repeatedly says, “Mummy please don’t go on the motorway, go a different way” and “your going too fast, I don’t like it”, even though I was persistently hovering at the just under 60 miles an hour mark. I can see that long journeys are going to be a problem from now on.

After attempting to have a look round about 10 shops but giving up within the first five minutes of entering each one, we headed for lunch but not before spending 45 minutes on the park that McArthur Glen conveniently decided to build slap bang in the middle of the shopping centre. I enjoy travelling 40 miles for my child to go on a park as opposed to going to one 10 minutes away from our house. Superb.

There’s no better choice than Thornton’s Café to have lunch with an already hyperactive, chocolate obsessed, Schizophrenic two-year-old who immediately starts screaming for Freddo’s as soon as we enter the shop. You get a free chocolate with every hot drink purchased but before I could even take a second glance at it, it was in Charlie’s mouth. Unfortunately for him, it had nuts in, so he proceeded to spit it out all over his t-shirt and the table. I couldn’t help but do a secret laugh inside. That will teach the greedy little sod to think twice in future.

As my mum nipped to the toilet and I fed Jorgie a bottle, Charlie decided to go and rearrange the Thornton’s window display but for some reason the shop assistant didn’t like this, so we made a swift exit as another box of chocolates fell out of the window.

Miraculously, I managed to buy some items in Gap but only because I let Charlie play hide and seek in the clothing rails, although seeing a small child’s head pop out whilst looking at t-shirts did almost give some customers a heart attack.

When we got home, Charlie couldn’t wait to tell Kyle what a fantastic day he’d had whilst I limped in with my two pitiful hoodies from Gap. He then decided during tea that he didn’t like broccoli and decided to throw it all over the floor but not to worry as he changed his mind the next day and now he likes it again.

We also went to Daisy Nook Country Park last week and whilst walking Charlie began to dance from side to side before revealing that a poo was imminently going to come out. We just got his pants down in time to see his large turd rolling down the hill at speed. Winning.

On Thursday morning I dropped Charlie off at nursery. We are still having a few teething problems with his toilet training at nursery, so I decided I would take him to the nursery toilet to show him it was no scarier than the toilet at home. I left Jorgie in her car seat in the main nursery room but came out to her screaming as 10 excited little faces had surrounded her and were all talking and pointing at once.  I felt so sorry for her. It’s bad enough having one of the tiny terrors to deal with let alone 10 at once. Stuff of nightmares!

I went to Aerobics after I had dropped him off and the usual instructor was on holiday, so we had a very camp, jolly and enthusiastic replacement. I have never enjoyed exercise so much in my life as I shook my little tushi for all it’s worth to huge hits like the locomotion, macarena, the twist, Gangnam style and take on me. Hours of fun.

Charlie was tired when I picked him up from nursery. He didn’t like anyone or anything and I lost count of the number of times he threw himself down on the floor and wouldn’t get up. First, he wanted biscuits, then he wanted his favourite toy hippo, George, then he wanted picking up and then chocolate. I said no to all these things but instead of taking it out on me he decided to take it out on my poor mum. He kept coming out with more and more absurd things “I don’t like Nanna, Nanna can stay at home, Nanna can’t come to the play centre with us, Nanna can’t come to our house again and I don’t love Nanna”. This was until he finally shook off his mood and revealed that he didn’t mean all those things and in fact he was just joking. So funny. Not.

I ended the week meeting my work friends for lunch to celebrate a 60th but not before driving down a one-way street that I have known about for 30 years and then driving to my work car park instead of the restaurant we were meant to be meeting at. I love my kids but being with them 24/7 is seriously making me lose the plot. I might start calling myself Dizzy Lizzy. The official Dizzy Blonde.