A local fair for local people

A local fair for local people

A local fair for local people

One of my favourite pastimes is haemorrhaging money so my child can bounce on different equipment, so when we heard that our local fair was in town over the weekend, we hit up that mother faster than you can say “four minutes bouncing for £4”.

It started well; £7.50 entrance fee, and we lost my mother to the second hand stalls around the perimeter. We’ve started a concerted effort to help Noemi understand the value of money by giving her a set amount at events like this and letting her decide how she wants to spend it, but understanding that once it’s gone, it’s gone.

You have never seen a child become so frugal in such a short space of time, so tentatively, I think it’s working.

First stop: Spacehopper Hurdles

Yes, it was as cool as it looks. Noemi excelled herself against a couple of two year olds who couldn’t quite fit on the Spacehoppers properly, and won a rosette for her efforts.

There are some things that are quite commonplace at all local fairs in the UK – perhaps elsewhere, too:

  1. A rock band with a singer dressed like she’s going to fancy dress party as a medieval serving maid
  2. Five different types of bouncy castle, all with extortionate prices-per-minute and teeming with more than the recommended safe number of children.
  3. Groups of bored teens
  4. Rain, or the threat of rain
  5. A parent trying to console a screaming little shit child.

And there are things that never happen at local fairs, like leaving with change from a twenty pound note.

Noemi’s next bouncing apparatus was a castle/slide combo. By the way, it turns out it is really fucking hard to get Noemi in focus while bouncing, so these rather artsy shots will simply have to do.

Jon and I laughed for the full five minute bounce time at the name of the bouncy castle manufacturer. That name was fucking inspired!

Our next move was a bit of a mistake, because we decided to wait in a MAMMOTH FUCKING QUEUE so that Noemi could end up on one of those trampoline bungee thingies.

FORTY-FIVE MINUTES (and one tin of Thatcher’s cider – mine, I hasten to add) LATER, and she was launching herself into the air with the greatest of ease.

After spending her final 30p on a Sherbet Dip Dab (STILL A THING APPARENTLY!), we watched four impressive ladies showing us their Zumba skills on stage and headed home.

About that playdate…

About that playdate…

About that playdate…

The kids be CRAZY after school. New year, new term, new teacher. It’s all a touch overwhelming, really.

A weekday play date seemed just the tonic.

Or so we thought…

It started out well playing quietly with the train set. Us mums drank tea. Then it quickly degenerated.

“I’m making a Mummy Block!”, my friend and I heard from upstairs.

Oh dear… In case you aren’t clued up on what a “Mummy Block” is, just imagine a pile of ANYTHING  found easily to hand in a child’s bedroom blocking the door to stop grown-ups entering. Luckily, we arrived to a pile of ankle height Schleich animals, Not too taxing a blockade.

Then, I was brutally attacked by a crocodile.


But suddenly, the battle cry came, “LET’S THROW ALL OUR CLOTHES ON THE FLOOR!”

And within mere minutes, we watched dejectedly as three young children gleefully threw every conceivable item they could find on the floor. Pants, socks, t-shirts, handknitted cardies, fluorescent trousers – you name it, it came out.

Piles and piles and piles of it. It was actually quite impressive.

After a brief respite of a fish finger tea, us mums grabbed some bags and stuffed all the clothes into bags. Because, come on, it was 5.30pm and re-folding and tidying away reams of clothes was not going to happen that night. Added to that, we were surrounded by three children with that special glint in their eye – the glint that says “Welcome to Crazytown. Population :ME”.

Us mums were corralled into the lounge and screamed at for several minutes – not in the tantrum way, but in the “how-loud-can-we-scream-this-is-hilarious-hahaha-now-mum-has-a-headache” kind of way. I let the kids take pictures using my camera. Possibly a mistake, as I ended up with several shot of the ceiling, the arm of the sofa, some books, and three pictures of Noemi’s (clothed) arse. I was snapped myself, however, and here is that result…

A strong look, I think you’ll agree.

Things I found in my house today left randomly by my child

Things I found in my house today left randomly by my child

Things I found in my house today left randomly by my child

Now I’m 5 years into this parenting lark, I’ve become used to lots of stuff that I’d barely even thought of before I had a child; only ever knowing the names of people’s babies at parent-and-baby groups, human faeces – seeing, smelling and talking about it on a daily basis, tantrums, never being able to leave the house without shouting words like “toilet!” and “shoes!” at least seven times.

But unless you have one of those magical children who love tidiness and order, you’ll likely have experienced the phenomena I call “random children’s crap creep”.

My daughter has an innate talent of wandering into rooms, depositing her random possessions on available surfaces and then leaving. It’s like discrete fly tipping (only you can never throw away these items, because ARE YOU FUCKING MENTAL?!). If left unchecked, the crap creeps into other areas. Sometimes there are special crap collection zones where, in the space of a 24 hour period, unprecedented amounts of utter shite can pile up often causing anger (yours) or injury (also yours, fucking Lego and Schleich toys).

This post serves as a part-documentation, part-art-project on the random crap I found in my house today.

1// The Stinky Animals Are On My Fucking Bed Again

Noemi’s favourite bedtime foursome. They’re well-loved and infrequently-washed (hence “stinky”). Often there’s an individual animal that goes walkabout. Stinky Rabbit (the one far right), once disastrously got trapped under her mattress for a week. When I found her, I had to write a postcard saying she’d been to Spain.


2// Bracelet On Carpet

We’ll just ignore the state of our bedroom carpet here (threadbare. Moving on.). Noemi made this bracelet with a bead set she bought with some birthday vouchers. No idea why it’s on the floor in my room or how long it’s been there.


3// Floorasaurus

Another floor decoration. A Brachiasaurus. Great artwork. My bedroom floor is not the place to be displaying it, however.


4// Love Notes

Two felt hearts and a piece of paper that says only the words “daddy”. That’s it. Discarded artwork is a strong theme in our house, apparently.


5// Miscellaneous Nature

Kids love nature. They love it so much. I honestly wish shops could take acorns and dead daisies as currency because I’d be one rich bitch if that happened based on the state of my handbag. This fir cone is currently sitting on my kitchen worktop amongst a pile of paperwork and admin that I can’t be arsed to handle.


6// Whatever The Fuck This Is On My Bathroom Shelf

WHAT EVEN IS IT?! It looks like a tiny plastic hat in the style of Brian from East17. WHY?!


7// The Place That Everything Gets Left Because You Can’t Take It To School

I get it. Toys are exciting and you want to show your friends. But when the school have a clear “don’t bring in your own toys” policy (probably because this shit happens), I’m not going to let my child take her shit to school. So, everything gets left on the windowsill in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs. Currently it’s filled with: 1 x Fluttershy doll, 1 x annoying tweeting bird pet thing that records voices, 1 x Union flag, 1 x jam jar that at one point was being used as a pen pot on her desk (I am yet to find the pens that once resided inside it).

Ever-present reminders that YOU HAVE KIDS.

a saturday at tyntesfield (aka we bought national trust membership, and by christ we’re going to use the free parking)

a saturday at tyntesfield (aka we bought national trust membership, and by christ we’re going to use the free parking)

a saturday at tyntesfield (aka we bought national trust membership, and by christ we’re going to use the free parking)

Is there any more joy that the joy felt by riding on a swing?

Oh wait… Can anyone say FIREMAN’S POLE? (Sidenote: is it fireperson’s pole now..?)

Some Saturdays are designed for doing nothing in the middle of, but then spending the late afternoon tramping around a beautiful National Trust estate.

We’ve had my mum staying with us for the past month (long, convoluted story surrounding buying land and selling houses. Yawn.), so we also had to take her dog with us.

Unfortunately, we didn’t realise that we couldn’t take the dog into the main grounds, so our filthy, dog-walking selves were directed to the forest that bordered the estate. It was no bad thing, though – the rain in the day had suppressed the amount of people visiting, and we’d arrived a couple of hours before closing as the sun juuust started to break through the cracks in the clouds. It was quiet and quite magical.

We also got to play on the kids play trail, still quite a new feature at Tyntesfield. I went down the pole, and we took turns sitting on the two-person swing.

Sometimes, tramping through nature can give the soul that kick it’s been looking for.


Summer: From the first day of sun, til the last.

Summer: From the first day of sun, til the last.

Summer: From the first day of sun, til the last.

sports day

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

The first day I can remember it being gorgeously warm this year was also N’s first ever sports day. 27 degrees is frankly fucking gorgeous for me, but for 270 infant schoolers – not to mention the parents and teachers –  who aren’t quite as blessed with N’s Spanish skintone, 27 degrees is a touch on the warm side.

As it was infant school, the emphasis was on taking part and having a go – there were no winners and losers. Although – and not to be a Tigress about it – Noemi would have TOTALLY won the egg and spoon if it was based on never dropping the egg and on being  the slowest because of the carefulness (it wasn’t). Took her five minutes to complete the course.

In order to get my competitive fill, I entered the Mums Race. Let’s just say that I didn’t come last. There were clearly some mothers in full on running gear. I wore boyfriend jeans and was barefoot (my Toms weren’t really designed for this kind of activity).

But the SKIES that day. Divine.



N had her FIRST EVER SLEEPOVER this Summer. Did you know how really rather fucking scary it is to look after another child who isn’t your own? Not because they weren’t wonderful (she was), but because it feels like a real responsibility. I remember having a similar feeling the first time I ever drove a pregnant passenger.

It was so lovely, though. Yes, they chatted until 9.30pm. Yes, they jumped on the beds. Yes, they drank so much water they needed the loo several times before they fell asleep, but sleep they did. Until 6.15am, when I came in to find them crammed onto one tiny chair in the dark drawing notes to each other. Then they ate pain au chocolat, drank orange juice and watched My Little Pony.


holiday to tenerife

my nephew and sister-in-law

pool with a view at my in-laws place. Yes that’s a lilo shaped like a bottle of Becks.

My husband hails from Tenerife. This means cheap holidays, fun family time and daily sunshine are available to us at the drop of a hat (and the cost of flights) – how lucky are we?!

We spent 9 delicious days over there, and I’m surprised that Noemi didn’t expand to four times her size because she spent most of her time in the water. We discovered she can swim in the deep end without arm bands. This is both good and also pant-crappingly scary news as she’s still yet to build a swimming style. Mostly, she paddles around screaming for people, and it’s really unclear whether she’s drowning or if she just wants you to fix her goggles. (It’s normally the latter)



Our Summer was filled with friends, mostly small ones from the looks of the picture, but I certainly got to see some of mine at the same time.

Summer with kids is, of course, different to Summers without kids. Who takes six weeks off to spend double the amount of money on activities you don’t really want to do that are at twice the capacity?! Parents, that’s who!

And Summer with kids is completely different to Summer AS a kid. I remember endless sunshine, evenings at a local pub monkeying around in the play area with other kids, picking strawberries, hanging out with neighbours – everything was so carefree. Now as a parent, I’m frantically finding things to do  each day (often failing because everything also needs to be pre-booked or just costs a functioning kidney), just going to the park (again), counting the days until school starts again, trying to navigate everyone else’s holiday schedules so you can meet up and trying ever so hard not to be a shouty, arsehole dick of a parent when it doesn’t all go to plan (still working on it…).

Thank you, Summer, you delicious, long-but-short, sunny, rainy, breathtaking torment of a time period. Same time next year?