21 October 2009

All recipe-d out

It's a sad day when you realise your culinary creativity has run out.

After months of posting 15 or more recipes a month on Recipes for Millie, this month I'm down to two. I was all set to post a couple more this evening, only to realise that I'd made spinach and stilton quiches and baked eggs with chorizo and lentils a whole year ago. They're obviously an October thing.

Oh well. Back to the Ottolenghi book and some more copies of Olive for inspiration...

18 October 2009

Harlow Carr

We visited the RHS gardens at Harlow Carr for the first time yesterday, and they were absolutely gorgeous - huge swathes of trees with gold, yellow and orange leaves; beautiful red, feathery acers; and lovely swirling grasses.

So of course I took a picture of something made of metal:

What surprised me most was the fun you could have if you weren't that fussed about the plants. We had a go at the very good kids autumn I-Spy booklet, chasing down mushrooms, acorns and the Log Ness Monster, and spent a while tramping around the log maze.

It's got a lot in common with the rather more manicured Alnwick Garden - they're both places you can take kids to get them interested/excited about nature/plants/trees/the outdoors in general, in a way that doesn't ram it down their throats. Top marks.

Also scoring highly this weekend was Fountains Abbey's adventure playground, whose swing reduced all of us to feeling queasy within seconds.

14 October 2009


It's that old chestnut again - kids and tv. Like everything else, I suspect it's probably best in moderation. We attempt that - we watch telly in our house - but not a lot. And when we do, it tends to be a sociable activity - M watches it with her Dad or me (and occasionally on her own if I'm in the middle of making tea and there's no-one else in).

But after a long day at nursery, or swimming, or buzzing about in the park, why shouldn't she sit down for 20 minutes in front of something she likes and relax for a bit? We don't tend to watch much scheduled telly (the 5pm slot is usually terrible), so it's usually something from a DVD like Shaun the Sheep, the Muppets, Bagpuss or the Clangers. We've always done this since she was small - and she's shown no signs yet of demanding more and more and more telly.

And on Saturday it's sparkly shoes for everyone and tea in front of the telly for Strictly Come Dancing. (M's betting on James and Zoe, while I have a sneaking love of the pixies Chris and Ola).

05 October 2009

It's not even a proper word

There's a fascinating discussion over at Who's the Mummy, about the term "mumpreneurs". I have to say I agree with Sally Whittle - I can't stand it, and would run a mile rather than be labelled as such.

Don't get me started on the whole "Mummy blogger" debacle either.

01 October 2009

Pastures new

I'm leaving home. No, not *that* kind of leaving home - the other half will be relieved to know I've absolutely no intention of moving out - but I am going to be leaving for work again.

After nearly 5 years of being at home, I'm going to rent some desk space, and escape the corner of my bedroom that doubles as an office. Hopefully, there'll be fewer distractions (there's no way I can put the washing on, or empty the dishwasher), and some new folk to interact with (I'm taking a desk in a shared workspace).

I'm sure there's going to be some drawbacks (I can't exactly turn up in my pyjamas, for example) and the cat will no doubt take advantage of my absence and take up residence on my chair. But the other half will get some peace and quiet (if nothing else, the running battle with the cat over his office chair might stop) and hopefully I'll get a glimpse of the outside working world.

I'm rather looking forward to it.