Sunday, 22 June 2014

The world's fussiest 4 year old vs foreign food

What happens when you take a very fussy eater on holiday? Aside from a stress related migraine, of course.

Well, as we've just got back from a fortnight in Fuertaventura, I've got a fair idea. Our holiday was on a half board basis, in the hope that there would be sufficient buffet food that Squeaky would eat at tea time, and because I love the entertainment value of the coffee, juice and toast machines in the morning. Honestly, it's like watching a Krypton Factor challenge some days.

Breakfast was the easy part. Nowhere can go far wrong with toast and jam. And lunches were a fairly relaxed affair of cheese sandwiches, crisps, yogurt and ice cream.  Dinner time is where the fun begins.

We've never been to Fuertaventura before, though we have been to Tenerife. I was surprised how much more Spanish it was than my previous Canaries experience, in terms of the people, the atmosphere, and especially the food.  Our hotel's buffet served up some glorious paella, fiduea, Canary potatoes, fish in mojo sauce, all of which made me very happy indeed.  However, for Squeaky, the children's section held such wonders as burgers (yucky), potato wedges (yucky), chicken nuggets (yucky unless renamed Space Shapes), pasta (only acceptable if white, not tricolour), and chips.

She basically spent the fortnight eating plain pasta, plain rice, chips and ice cream, helped along by a couple of hot dogs out and about.  I'm so frustrated, I'd love to be able to take her to other places, but I'm worried she'll eat even less. What would happen when faced with a plate of Greek salad and moussaka I dread to think.

The biggest success we had was convincing her that spaghetti was in fact pasta, and good fun. Otherwise that day she wouldn't have eaten anything. No dinner, no ice cream.  We've got serious work to do, so wish me luck. For now we're concentrating on school dinner foods ahead of September, but I really need some proper variety so that next year's holiday is a relaxing one, rather than a battle of wits at the dining table.

Saturday, 21 June 2014


I'm sitting at the back of the room, at Britmums Live, with a lump in my throat roughly the size of the millennium dome (ok, the O2), holding back the tears because there are people who deserve them more than I. People who know exactly how this reading feels.

And then I think. I have these stories too. I guess we all do. Good, bad, emotional. If we didn't we wouldn't be human, the scars that break us make us.  I wonder whether I should share my stories, I already have to some extent, but I have things that I'm not sure I can share, not sure I can write in a way that would make any sort of sense. And a little worry that should I manage to, and in an alternative universe where I was high enough profile of a blogger to be asked to read it, whether is could share those stories aloud.

Could I? I honestly think not.  So for those who have stood up and laid bare their souls, reduced us to tears, shared their lives with us, I have nothing but respect, admiration, and love.  Thank you all.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


We're on our jollies right now, hence the quiet from me, as I'm relying on free WiFi and large coffees.

However, I had to share this photo because it shows a massive step forwards for Squeaky.  Until now she's demanded to go to mini disco and similar efforts, but when it starts, she's refused to join in and clung to my leg like a limped. This year, though, she's right there, front and centre, joining in and wanting to run the whole thing.

Happy mummy!

Monday, 9 June 2014

The puzzle of tv

I really don't understand my brain sometimes. I've got a fair old collection of movies on dvd. Less than I had a few years ago, when we had a big Music Magpie purge, but still a big pile of films I can't exist without owning, so I can watch them whenever the mood takes me. Mostly from the mid 1980's, but let's not mention that part.

Why is it then, that I never seem to bother watching them on dvd, yet whenever I find one of them on "actual telly", I absolutely, positively HAVE to watch that film right there and then? I might not have even thought about it in months, but if I find one, flicking through the channels to avoid Casualty, everything else has to stop until the end of the credits. And woe betide the channel that cuts the best bit of the credits out. (E4, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, I mean you)

Rarely watched.
I'm sure I can't be the only person who does this. In fact, Squeaky is no better. Despite having a Peppa Pig dvd collection to rival Nick Jr themselves, she never wants to watch the dvds, but will fixate for hours (or days when Nick2 becomes the Peppa channel) in front of episodes on the telly with adverts in between.  It must run in my side of the family, Daddy watches dvds all the time, especially of things last shown in 1972. *sigh*

Thursday, 5 June 2014


I changed my car a couple of weeks ago. I simply couldn't handle a leaky old Clio that grew mushrooms in the footwell (seriously) and needed repairs every other week any longer. And considering how much it cost me to keep going at the start of the year, my bank manager wasn't best pleased either.

So now, rather than an elderly blue Clio, I'm driving around in a much cleaner (for now at least), Citroen in "Shark Grey". I sought a bit of help from the internet in order to name the car, but unfortunately all the sensible, and less sensible, names suggested by my friends have been overruled by Squeaky, who has decided in her infinite wisdom that my car should be named "Mr Grey". And greeted at the top of her voice at every opportunity.
Mr Grey, apparently

I can feel the disapproving looks on the back of my neck from complete strangers, and I haven't even read those blooming books, nor do I plan to. They don't realise that if I'd bought a red car, it'd be Mr Red, a blue car would've been Mr Blue, and a white car would've been filthy.  Instead I have a car named after an S&M fan, and am mortified every time I park outside school.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014


I'm sorry, but it's true. Farts are funny. Fact. I'm told this all the time by Squeaky, though being 4, she doesn't have the most refined sense of humour yet.  One day though.

It got me thinking, mind. Farts are generally funny, at least to break the ice if nothing else. Farts in a maths lesson, hilarious. Farts in a Pilates class, expected. Farts during a smear test, cringeworthy. It's something about the level of vulnerability, as well as the proximity of someone else's face to your stinking nethers.

So, come on, admit it, where's the worst place you've let rip? (For full disclosure, I was mentally writing this post while getting a bikini wax and holding in a mammoth trump.)

I'm heading to #BritmumsLive

A huge apology to those who were hoping to avoid me, but it's not gonna happen, as in a couple of weeks I'll be jumping on a train to the bright lights of That London for my second appearance at BritmumsLive!  I'm bunking up with my partner in assorted crimes, Claire from  in, I can't even remember where, but it's pretty close to The Brewery, and we have sworn a solemn promise not to eat any strange pizza toppings this year, no matter how tempting they may sound.

I hate writing these kind of posts, because I never know what to say, but here's a few things that might help you get to know me.

  • If I don't answer you it's not because I hate you, it's because I'm deaf & probably can't hear you.
  • I like wine, gin, vodka, coffee and diet coke. Not all at the same time.
  • If it sits still on a plate, or in a glass, I will at least consider trying to consume it.
  • Gin is the answer to many of life's questions.
  • I will be wearing flat shoes, no matter what a personal stylist might say.
  • I am not going to apologise for having a suntan, but I'm spending the preceding two weeks on holiday, so will be shattered.
  • My hair is currently messy, blonde-ish and wavy. However, a month ago it was neon pink, so there is no way of knowing what the next two weeks will hold.
  • Last year I managed to win both an iPad and a coffee machine, wonder what this year will hold?
So, what else should I say? I don't have a sponsor, my weekend is entirely my own.  I'll be the one looking a bit confused, trying to win stuff and eat cakes.  If you spot me, say hello, or hand me gin.  Gin in a tin.

How my hair might not look.

Buried Alive!

Squeaky is, err, shall we say assertive. She likes to manage, direct, instruct, and generally tell everyone else what to do.  If there's fun to be had, she's definitely the one making the decisions.

With this in mind, we made the most of the recent sunshine & headed to the beach for some good, old-fashioned family fun.  Sandcastles were built, as long as they met with her planning restrictions. Ice cream was eaten, Sun cream was liberally applied to all exposed surfaces, water was consumed in a way rarely seen in the UK. And we did as we were told.

First, Miss Squeaky demanded a hole to sit in.  Then the hole was extended to fit legs. And then she insisted on being buried in it.  How could I say no? Do you know, I even helped her get out afterwards, though I don't think her shorts will ever recover. Two trips through the washing machine and they still look like she had an embarrassing accident in them.