My Sunday Photo

Cherry Blossom

Our street is lined with cherry trees.  This means that for 2 weeks every year in April it is transformed into a dreamy, blossom-filled avenue that makes my heart sing with the beauty of it all.  Like a bride on her wedding day, the street becomes radiant, the trees laden with delicate papery blossom, striking against an azure April sky.  A small natural wonder in an otherwise unremarkable, suburban area.

I always think someone should hold a wedding party here. Or at least we should throw a street party to celebrate the coming of the blossom, like the Japanese.

I could’ve attached so many other photos of our lovely, lazy Easter holiday week, such as my kids painting blown eggs to look like Mr Bump, or making crazy sandwiches filled with giant pretzels, ham and tomato paste (my 7yr old son!), but it had to be this one for its sheer beauty.  I’ll include those in a Easter holiday montage at end of next week when we’re back from our short break in Norfolk.

Have a lovely second week of Easter holidays….

If you like what I write, would you mind voting?

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On Saturday 12 April at midnight, voting closes for a set of awards that recognises excellence in parent blogging.  These prestigious awards are organised by BritMums, the parent blogger network that I’m a part of.  I’ll actually be at the award ceremony as its all part of the annual shindig that is BritMums Live conference in June this year. Continue reading

Things I Discovered – March

Things I Discovered.Badge2Well hello there everyone.  Those of you who follow me regularly will spot I’m a tad late with this one…..Let’s just say that the one overriding, big, fat Thing I Discovered this month is the realisation that I am not a super-human.  You know, someone who can run a Quiz Night, perform in her first gospel concert with the oh-so-amazing London Community Gospel Choir, start work on her first piece of paid editorial and writing work (YES!!!), attend a Mayor’s Ball with fellow St Alban Bloggers, come down with flu, AND write a Things I Discovered post!!!  (Yikes, did i really do all that?!) So you can guess what fell off the Shelf of Achievable Aims this month….and I’m seriously in need of the Easter holidays. Continue reading

I’m not a boring mummy – thank God for that!

Younger Son's Mother's Day sentiment - maybe more Hindi Goddess than Beautiful rainbow?!

Younger Son’s Mother’s Day sentiment – maybe more Hindi Goddess than Beautiful rainbow?!

Forget the breakfast in bed, or the sumptuous yet simple Sunday lunch eaten alfresco in the shadow of the stately Hatfield House. Forget the flowers (which my husband did forget, er hum), the Guinness cake for pud, the happy aura of calm with no squabbling, or even the home made cards.  If there’s one thing that topped a really lovely Mother’s Day for me yesterday, it was what the kids said that they liked about me.

We were just finishing our fab, unfussy but really delicious roast (which we never normally eat when out, so you can tell how good this had to be) at The Coach House eatery, sun beating down on my face, and I suddenly thought I’d ask the kids what they liked about me.

Let’s be clear, this wasn’t a narcissistic attempt to have my ego boosted (I’m not that naive). No, it was prompted by the hilariously cute ‘card’ my son gave me, made at school, excerpt above, which was his description of me and what he liked. Quite a revelation to me that my favourite TV programme was on Meditation (I do meditate but not often enough and I certainly don’t remember when i watched a programme on it!). Outnumbered or W1A yes.  And my favourite food was ‘Casorol’ (I make a lot of those in the winter, it has to be said – something to do with having two meals cooked in one fell swoop…).

I’m also aware that British families are classic for rarely speaking out positive or encouraging words to one another.  We’re brilliant at saying what we don’t like, but to say what we do? Well, its a bit uncomfortable and, lets face it, un-British (hushed voice).  But aren’t words of encouragement deeply important in boosting our morale and strengthening love? You bet they are.   I love hugs and crikey, if anyone makes me a cup of tea without being asked I’m all smiles for at least half an hour ;-) but when the ones you love speak out what they like about you, it’s so powerful.  All the more so if Words are one of your Love Language (if you haven’t read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman get it! Essential reading for anyone in any relationship, in my book).

But I digress, as usual.

“Your cuddles. Mummy’s really affectionate,” starts the husband.  ”And thoughtful”

“And your art” says older girl, who we share a love of all things pencils, paper and paint.  Starting to feel a bit embarrassed at the compliments now….

“And you’re not boring!” chirps up younger boy, never taking his eyes off his remote control car which he had started to manoeuvre through my chair leg.

“Oh, yes, Mummy’s anything but boring!” says the husband, with a broad grin on his face.

“Really?” I said, a massive grin stretching out over my face.  What relief.

“Yes, you’re quite silly sometimes.  Apart from when you’re doing the “Do this, do that, hurry up, hurry there” thing” says girl and boy, mocking my high shrill, We’re-going-to-be-late-for-school-again voice.

I know, I hate that being the Umpire of their Day side of motherhood…..

Thank goodness! I exclaimed (more in my head than out loud)

“Am I quite embarrassing then?” I ask my almost 10 yr old, knowing what the answer is.  ”Yes she says, draping her arms around my neck.”  This time she said it without that tortuous look or whine-tinged voice that she’ll use when she’s right bang in the middle of experiencing that Mum’s Embarrassing Me moment.

“Oh good.  I must be doing something right, then” I quipped.

For those of you who know me well, you’ll be laughing at the idea of me being boring.  I have been known to have many Miranda-type moments in life.  But if truth be told, over recent years I was wondering if the sheer responsibility of parenting, the ticking off of lists in my head and the relentless be here, go there aspect of life had drummed this out of me and I was, God forbid, a boring mum.

I mean, when did I last do something really dizzy like leave a fairy cake on the roof of my car and drive miles only to find it still then when i got home? Or break out into dancing in front of strangers at a party (actually, that was just this weekend, and one of the guests turned out to be Britain’s next Ambassador to Eygpt….).

“You’re also very fussy,”added Older Girl, with a wry grin. Thanks for that one.  Kids don’t half know how to tell you how it is……

For those of you who know about Blog Awards, or care about them, or think I’m a half decent writer, would you be ever so kind as to vote for me in the BritMums Blog Awards? They’re closing on 12 April, and I’d love a vote. I don’t pretend to expect to win but it’d be great to be shortlisted.  Thank you!

  NOMINATE ME BiB 2014 WRITER

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