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I'm mid thirties, two smallish children, one delightful husband, one car and one mortgage kinda lady. We left the big smoke some time ago and live in one of the most charming places in England.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Two weeks

without blogging. I feel I've let you down!But we have no internet still in parts of the UK.

Where do I start..maybe at the end, by recounting a conversation with a friend who we'd shared some of Easter with in Norfolk. We have post holiday blues, not because we spent loads of money and went on a luxury holiday, not because we went somewhere where service was impeccable, none of the above...it was because we had great weather. Isn't that what we rely on in the UK for a good holiday at home?

Norfolk ia a beautiful county, much like my native middle England but more rural. I delight in telling overworked husband to stop the car every mile or so, as someone has a homemade sign selling eggs, jam, potatoes and an honesty box. Consquence of this is a fridge with below par homemade jams and not much else.

So the sun was out and we went to the beach, munckins in swimsuits and it was APRIL. Eldest munckin had her birthday, which we celebrated with friends at one of the best places for families we have ever been to; Bewilderwood http://www.bewilderwood.co.uk/ If you even dip a toe in East Anglia and have kids in the car go straight there, only stop to buy jam or eggs from the side of the road.

We followed this with two days on the beach, admittedly in Southwold ( those familiar with the area will notice I've jumped to Suffolk) but what a great place. It is Middle england by the sea, typically I spent half my time day dreaming about the second home we'd never be able to afford here. Does everyone else do this?

Then a race back before the crowds to middle England, in time to see the Bluebells, hence changed photo. I do love Easter, please can we have it with a big wodge of sunshine every year.

But now we are in full swing for Street Party prep. So far 12 emails today from neighbours regarding preparations. Stay tuned because these will be fun.

Oh and before I forget a lovely lady from  a London PR company sent me some very hot Sharwoods curry sauce to try, I have no idea why, but I'm no fool and not going to turn down something that answers the question 'what shall we have for dinner?' Anyway this stuff was so hot my nose ran and I couldn't feel my lips, overworked husband suffering the same, declared it very good. So if you like your currys hot Sharwoods are bringing out a a suace off the scale. From memory some money goes to Help the Heros as well when you buy it.

So whether it's the sun or the sauce, it was a hot Easter.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Holiday Camps

are great! I was a little hesitant at first, we'd never done them before. I have amazing in -laws who like to book in half terms with munckins for themselves. I know I'm very lucky and so are the munckins, who have this great bond with their grandparents. Anyway this Easter the in-laws were over committed, in the way the over 60's are - charity commitments, reunions, the opera in Paris?!? Anyway so we tried a camp called Kings Camp run at a local private school, as a working Mum it was the only option.

The first morning I was almost teary as I left eldest munckin, in a sports hall, filled with strangers. Other parents I'd spoken to before had said 'great great great - oh she's doing it by herself, oh.' So I was a little nervous. Fortunately when you are nearly 6, you don't have such worries, until after the event.

Canvassing opinion in the playground, pre the start of the week, was not the best preparation. Other parents whose off spring had attended the same camp last year said; Mothers of boys -  ' it was great loads of activities, Bob/Fred/George etc really enjoyed it, of course he was with his friend.'
Mother of girls - 'It was a bit much, a lot of running around, of course she was with her friend.'

So Monday morning, 0915 we are sitting in the car park of the local private school. It was like the first day of term...for me. Eldest didn't appreciate what the fuss was about on my side. How many times do you have to go through a lunch box!

Six and half hours later and eldest had been swimming, played cricket, parachute games and done some craft. Perfect day, much more exciting than being at home with Mummy. The format was more or less repeated on day 2 and we are still very enthusiastic.

I guess sometimes as parents we rely too much on others and their experiences, when sometimes we just have to do something and try it because it works for us. So if you are worried about holiday camps or already organised enough to be thinking about summer camps, I'd recommend Kings Camp if it operates in your area. But don't be guided by me, as you ultimately have to do what you have to do. I bet it usually works out though, doesn't it?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Ballet

The munckins are girls, I don't know if I've mentioned that before. So this means living in Middle England and being Middle Income, they do ballet. Eldest muckin has been at one ballet class or another, since the age of three and youngest started about a year ago. It has been clear from day one, that I have not bred two junior Darcey Bussell types. Unlike eldest munckins best friend, who at the age of five, is being sponsored to do ballet as her skills, have been recognised by whoever recognises these things. I've never seen her dance, except to ABBA in her living room, but seriously can you recognise ballet skills in a five year old?

It reminds me when I was younger, my parents put me into every class imaginable to find my 'thing.' Nothing, nada, but what it does mean, is I have a very basic skill level in a variety of things; horse riding, iceskating, gymnastics, ballet, tap, roller skating, piano, lace making, knitting, swimming, tennis, cross country running...I was signed up to more clubs for more hours than I was in school.  Ultimately I think the biggest skill that came through, was the ability to small talk with anyone, anytime!

Anyway, I found myself sitting through 1 hour 45mins (both classes) worth of parent watching ballet classes for munckins yesterday and maybe it was cute once... but I'm over it. Don't get me wrong I smiled, took too many pictures, video clips (mainly to show over worked husband who still has a novelty "isn't it sweet approach' to these performances). But the music has been the same for the last three years, maybe they are slightly more coordinated, but ultimately they do the same stuff.

Maybe I should take the tip from my parents and move them on to something else, any suggestions?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

It is all in the name...

Middle England.

Post the UK general election, the national BBC news had a piece on the views of the population on the David-Nick 'love-in'. One minute later and my television, was showing my local High Street to,... 'Get the views on the coalition from Middle England.' The camera panned around and I was struck by how many St. George's flags were flying. I'd never noticed them, but they were everywhere; the church, the town hall, retail outlets, restaurants,houses... I presumed at the time, they were all a political statement. Middle England has been Tory since the war.  However nearly twelve months on and the whole town is still a flutter with St. George's flags. It is just proud Middle England doing it's thing? Or is there an undercurrent of an ism...nationalism. Is the St. George's flag good or bad en mass?

So I've mentioned the 'polished turd' before; the house we bought that barely came with walls, the design, the planning permission, the building project...the 'polished turd' is how overworked husband describes the eventual result. Anyway, a friend of mine who also lives in Middle England was commenting on how they had looked round a property close to the 'polished turd'. But they were put off by the huge St. George's flag in someones garden in the council estate opposite, on the makeshift flag pole. Thinking the area less desirable because of this.

An awkward pause on her part, a canny smile on mine, she then went on to explain that although obviously near my 'polished turd', it was completely different, as being 2 doors away from the property she had looked at, 'polished turd' would be less compromised, obviously. I'm sure you can imagine the delight I took, in telling her, that I saw this St. George's flag as a continuation of a trend noted on most public buildings in the town, as well as some highly desirable residential properties. I concluded that to buy without a view of a St. Georges flag, goes against everything the town stands by. In fact I was merely swopping the view I currently have of the St. George's flag atop the Norman church, for this one. Added to that, eldest munckins birthday is St. George's day, so we might go and buy our own flag in celebration.

We both had to chuckle, but you can guess who laughed hardest and longest!