Decamping and the aftermath

So tonight is our last night at Woodhill Park. I have to say I will be back, it’s such a wonderful family place and we have had a truly fantastic time. Now starts the process of decamping, dirty washing packed in a bag, clean clothes (yes we have a few items) in another. The children’s rucksack is packed and bedroom area looking the emptiest it has all week. Tomorrow the tables, pots and pans will be packed up all ready for the end of August.

The kids have had a great time, running free, no tv and lots of fresh air to blow those cobwebs away that form over a long half term at school. For them a week of no school does they world of good. The eldest read his new book within 3  days and then discovered old comics in an old book shop so started on those. The youngest has been working his way through ‘Alice through the looking glass’ and is enjoying it. Just disconnecting for a week from the constraints of a house works for us as a family.

Tonight we will end the week as we started … Yes a fish and chip supper, glasses of prosseco and lots of laughter in the chill of a summers evening (probably with blankets over our legs).

Pitter patter … I can hear the rain

Since Saturday we have had glorious weather for camping. Yesterday it rained at 6am briefly but the afternoon proved to be a warm and wonderful day fitting for a pub lunch and a few ginger beers followed by a stroll to the beach to look in the rock pools or rather, in the case of my youngest, an impromptu paddle resulting in a stroll home in pants! Today we strolled back to the beach, spent a few hours looking at rocks whilst the sun played some elaborate game of tag with the clouds before heading to the local tea room for lunch. Unfortunately they couldn’t seat all of us (2 families) so headed but to the same pub for more delicious food. If you ever happen to be in West Runton I can thoroughly recommend The Village Inn, the fish and chips was amazing, as was the crab and fries, beef rib and the children were full to the brim with their generous children’s meals.

Walking back we played race the black clouds and I’m happy to report we won with mere minutes to spare. Now, after a quick trip to the super market, we are sat listening to the soothing sounds of rain on our tent, having some quiet time and for me a Crabbies ginger beer whilst the smell of the roast chicken we will have for tea, fills our tent.

Happy Thursday 

Getting our camp on

Just over 3 years ago we purchase our first tent. Both of us have good jobs but with mortgages, bills, childcare etc there isn’t much left for expensive holidays. Let’s face it school holiday prices are stupidly high, some people spend all year saving for a break in the sun. So one year we came to the conclusion that we had to rethink holidays if we really wanted more than a short weekend break once a year. Tent, after much extensive research by husband, basic one grill cooker, air beds etc purchased and we headed off to Cromer for our first camping trip. We loved it. Having 2 hyperactive boys, the fresh air and freedom was fantastic. I was bought up on caravan holiday so trips to the showers and toilets weren’t a huge thing and the boys (including the oldest one aka hubby) all adjusted within minutes. And thus begun our camping journey.

Since then we have changed the tent to something a bit bigger, unfortunately as we forgot to air it last year it has some mound spots now which I can’t remove …. I’m trying to convince the hubby to change it now. We also purchased new self inflating mats. The Outwell 10cm dream catcher is amazing! This year I purchased,in the sale, a little coffee pot as I’m a coffee person and instant just doesn’t cut it for me.

 So I’m sat listening to the light rain showers with hot coffee. My boys are wide awake already and happily scoffing breakfast. The campsite is wonderful, the play area is amazing! There is no bar so it’s quiet. I’m feeling recharged! If you’ve never tried camping before just go for it.

Hose pipe fun and camping

So boiling hot today! My classroom was stuffy by midday, thankfully I had no teaching this afternoon so I got the rare treat of picking the children up from school on a Monday. 1 came outer school complete with jumper on! Anyway a quick trip to the barbers means they look smart and the thick mop of varying shades of blonde hair, that was beginning to resemble straw, was swiftly cut to short neat styles more appropriate for the warm days (yes it will now probably snow next week because of that comment!). 

Anyway it’s madness here preparing for the pooches to go and stay with their aunt at the weekend whilst we got camping. We love camping. I use the Royal we here as I believe we do all enjoy it. I love the amount of fresh air, the ease of sleeping under canvas instead of a stuffy house when it’s warm. I love sitting outside with a breakfast coffee and brioche. I adore seeing my children run free, the limited distractions (we purposefully pick site with limited wifi) but mostly I love just being together. Being in one room to sleep makes me feel so close to my children, when I wake I look over and see them, if one wants a cuddle we are within an arms reach. I love the slower pace we have when camping. As with many working mums I spend my mornings frantically preparing lunches for me and hubby, filling eldest child’s pack lunch box with everything accept sandwiches, that’s dads job, ensuring breakfast is eaten by the children and pooches, drinking 2 cups of coffee and eating my breakfast (either eggs or bacon as I don’t do cereal and milk), getting children partially before walking the pooches and then getting children to breakfast club and all before 7.45am. That doesn’t include the days were washing can go on the line instead of the tumble drier. Evenings are no less hectic. Pick children up anywhere from4.30 to 5.30pm depending on who’s going to get there first, getting tea sorted which usually involves 2 variations to suit all, trying and squeeze in homework, shower time, reading time (always with us) and eventually sleep time. My evening then involves a few hours of marking after that whilst hubby washes up and chills. So for me camping is getting away from the manic life we lead. I love my life but I need this shut down time to realigned myself and to ground me again and to reconnect to my children and husband.

So camping we go at the weekend and I am more than ready for it. Fingers crossed the weather is kind.

A little bit of Emma B

I have to admit I love having a special coffee cup and tea mug. Nothing makes me smile more first thing in the morning when waiting for the coffee machine (other than my grumpy children that is) than my favourite cup. And when I get home from a day of trying to enthuse children I love a green tea in one of my favourite mugs. Now these aren’t just any mugs and cups, they’re Emma Bridgewater ones. I adore her patterns. My love started years ago with a simple love heart tray. I love pink so this was me to a tee. Then I got the matching tins. Slowly it progressed to mugs. Not all in the same pattern but that’s the beauty of them, the colours seeminglessly blend from one pattern to another. Now I have pieces from 45 different patterns, generally mugs. When I eventually redo my kitchen a dresser will be a must I think! Until them happy Friday everyone. 

Prize for worse mummy goes to ….

Me! Yes it’s been a whole 8 days since my rather large mummy fail concerning my youngest and today my eldest has been on the receiving end. I write this whilst awaiting the fallout for said fail, but first I’ll explain last weeks fail.

Youngest is in an infant school, the school is fantastic, the staff are amazing and the children love the school. As my life isn’t busy enough I’m a governor there too and it was at last weeks meeting I realised my epic mummy fail. Schools across our city had move up days last week. The youngest was spending the whole week with his new teacher and we spoke everyday about how good his day had been. So sat at our meeting and the Head teacher mentions that the 3-5pm slots to go and see your new child’s new classroom and meet the teacher was successful. My brain is already in slow mo after a day at work and the extra marking I had taken on but the ball slowly begins to drop! The session I didn’t go to despite it being my afternoon off! Yes I completely forgot about it! Strike one! Youngest was OK about it but I’m sure he’s storing that for a later date.

Today I feel I surpassed that fail in child terms. Eldest has gone on a school trip which they were super excited about. Dutifully I got up at 5am and prepared an extra large packed lunch, sorted the rucksack, notebook and pen he wanted to take and even remembered the rain Mac just in case. I asked how much money he wanted (school said max of £10 he said £5), not a problem mummy will sort it. So off I went to walk the pooches (yes I walk them before we all leave at 7.40am as evening are crazy), get back load all into the car and off to breakfast club. I spend a fun filled day at school (we have special activities this week) even pop home to let pooches out as mil can’t today. Get to surprise youngest by picking him up from school to instead of after school club. Walking back to the car it dawns on me ….. Yes I didn’t give eldest the money! He’s gone on his trip thinking he has money and I forgot to give it to him! Now this, for a 9 yr old, will be the worse thing ever and prove I’m the worlds worse mummy ever!!!! (Yes new national curriculum the use of more than 1 eclaimation mark is more than warranted here by the way) So even though I know he would have bought a pencil, rubber and maybe a ruler all of which we have in abundance that is not going to matter to a disappointed 9 yr old. 

So I’m sat with my green tea contemplating going to bed before he arrives home! Wish me well people.


Welcome to my first post. I’ve thought long and hard about what to write but threw most of my ideas out. So with that in mind I’ve decided to start 9 years ago. Why? Well I have a new nephew now and it got me thinking about my children when they were babies. As a new mum there is so much pressure on you to do this and what. ‘Breast is best’, ‘don’t lie babies on their front’, ‘don’t cosleep’ etc etc. It’s a minefield. I remember being so flooded with information that I just didn’t know what was right or wrong! When I had my first I needed a transfusion, was weak, tired and struggling with breast feeding. Crunch point came when a health visitor told me to get up every 2 hours during the night to establish it …. I didn’t, so my eldest was bottle fed. My youngest was breast fed and it all went well. I look at them and frankly I can tell the difference. Don’t beat yourself up. If baby is happy, warm and loved that is the most important thing ever.

So I’m going to carry on now with examples of my early mummy fails.

Those first poos! Oh my goodness, nothing quite prepares you for them. Yes you are told about them but boy oh boy they are something else. My first mummy fail came changing eldest son nappy only for the first poo to make an appearance ….. Once the nappy was off, all over the hospital bed! We just sat there dumbfounded and yes we called the nurs to help! First mummy fail!

The postpartum period …. Erm yes no one really talks about it in much detail. Well let me tell you, weeing with stitches is not as painful as constipation, caused by the prescribed painkillers, with stitches. Ouch! But it’s all short term pain. Stitches generally heal fast, weeing with a jug of water eases it and quite frankly the mattress thickness maternity pads make excellent padding when sitting down. 

Boobs! If your breast feeding be aware that the slightest cry from your child, and possibly any baby within a miles radius, will have you leaking through breast pads and on top your lovely top. Yep, been there and done that …. In a cafe! Unfortunately I didn’t notice until I’d left and strolled down the town centre getting odds looks. Try folding your arms and pushing a parm …. Not easy! 

Baby vomit and milk become your new perfumes. I even turned up at work with, as I discovered mid morning when a kind student quietly told me, a milk stain on my lovely navy top! Part of me just wanted to point out I’d had 3 hours sleep that night, had stayed up til 12 marking as baby wouldn’t go to sleep, then got at 3 to a teething baby but realised this 14 year old was actually being kind. So always check the rear view before you go out.

Always take several outfits with you. Yes babies go through a ridiculous amount and if a nappy is going to leak or a baby is going to throw up there’s a massive chance it will happen when you’re out. My youngest’s nappy exploded at his christening, whilst sat on his grandmothers knee! She was wearing a lovely light colour at the time. It was not a pretty sight …. And I forgot a change of clothes for him! 

So here are just a few of my early mummy fails. Trust me there have even many more which I will share another time. For now I’ll sign off and enjoy a glass of gin and tonic whilst doing a little knitting …. Yes I am so rock and roll.