Monday, 30 January 2012


Last week I stood at the foot of Mount Motherhood and felt completely overwhelmed. Actually, it wasn’t just Mount Motherhood making me feel that way, it was Mount Everything.   I am an optimist at heart, but last week, I was struggling to see how I was going to scale the peaks that lay in front of me.  I felt like the only thing I could sacrifice was the stuff in my own backpack. ( I’m not talking about the cake either.)

A week later and things have turned around slightly. The wrecking ball that was due to hit the back of our house in the spring has now been rescheduled to summer.  Relieved? Indeed I am.  So today, I’ve had time to sit down, have a nice cup of English breakfast tea (still tastes good in the afternoon) a rather large slab of maderia cake and take a little time out with my blog.  Some lovely people commented last week that we all need something for ourselves; a little bit of ‘me’ time, even if it is only snatched in a few moments here and there.  Too true.  Tea, cake, the blog; they’re simple pleasures, but to me, they mean a lot.  In fact, last week, when I reflected on not having the time to spend on my blog, I realised how much it really does mean to me. In some ways, it’s been a sanity saver, a personal space where I can go and think about things, a place where I entertain wonderful visitors, and pop over to their virtual homes for a cuppa too.  Since I started my blog six months ago, I really do feel like I have rediscovered a little bit of the old me. I’ve also remembered how to touch type, and seem at last to be remembering some of the basic principles of English grammar ( which let’s face it, will be useful once the little man starts school.) But apart from all these highly important things,  my blog has helped me to start getting my old groove back.  So forsaking it, at a time when I’m busy and overstretched maybe isn’t the answer. It is my steady pendulum in an otherwise chaotic, busy world.

There’s also a fabulous group of blogging women that I love to join up with as often as I can; ‘The Groovy Mums" at Kate on Thin Ice.  So, very late to the party this last week, I’m ducking in at the last moment to share my answers to last week’s challenges. I honestly don’t know how Kate manages to think up all the challenges week after week, but I do enjoy thinking about them, and seeing how others respond too.   Anyway, here are my answers to Kate’s challenges for last week.

1. Body -  This week there is a campaign about eating a healthy breakfast for 5 days.  Give it a go and tell us how it goes.

The first thing I do in the morning is boil the kettle. I am zombie like until I’ve had a cup of hot tea.  For breakfast I usually have toast with marmalade or occasionally, instant porridge made with water. One thing I’d quite like to change is the amount of bread I eat. Often I have toast for breakfast and then a sandwich for lunch, some days I feel that all I eat is bread. Porridge or fruit for breakfast more often would be a good way of cutting out some evil carbs.

2. Mind – It is Chinese New Year and I have just opened my fortune cookie. What I want you to think/blog about is: if you had a guarantee that the fortune in your cookie would come true in the next 12 months what would you want it to say?

“ You’re going to have another baby”

I know that’s a lot to ask from a little fortune cookie, but there you go.  

3. Spirit – Sticking with the Chinese New Year, which animal are you? If you don’t know look it up for fun. Does the description of the animal you are ring true? Which animal would you like to be and why?

I’m the year of the Rabbit: "Rabbits in the Chinese zodiac are considered friendly, artistic, compassionate and thorough. Watch out for laziness, self-indulgence and moodiness in Rabbits as well."

I think the positive attributes of rabbit describe me quite well. Although I would say I’m friendly in a reserved kind of way, if that makes any sense. (Rather than a gung ho, back slapping way.)  I don’t think I could ever describe myself as lazy or moody, but self – indulgent…I am wondering whether my pursuit of 'the simple pleasures' may sometimes just be an excuse for this!

4. Blogging – Have you heard the wonderful and rather exciting news?  What do you mean "Yes, I have as Kate just won’t going on about it!” I am now a member Britmums team with a great initiative that will make a real difference too.
Read all about it at:
Your blogging challenge this week is to join Britmums if you have not done so and tne join the Charity Connections – blogging it forward group on there.

I am a member of Britmums. I think the 'blogging it forward' initiative is great and I am going to think more about how I can participate in this.

5. Special Days – My challenge to you is to make one day in this week really special.  How you do that is up to you. Will it be a day out? Some one on one time with your partner? You decide.

I had a lovely evening out last week with my husband. We went to dinner at a superb local restaurant.   I had pheasant and red wine ravioli to start, followed by daub of beef bourguignon and then sticky toffee apple pudding for dessert …delicious!  We rarely book a babysitter and have a proper night out so it was a real treat.  We had lots of stuff to talk about and it was one of those evenings where neither of us were tired or stressed and the wine and conversation flowed freely. I really enjoyed myself.

6. The big question: Have you lost that loving feeling? This could mean for yourself, partner, child, job, whatever. Reflect on what it means to you.

I’m thankful that I feel lots of love for my partner and my son. (Although I’m only human and that doesn’t mean sometimes they both make me want to tear my hair out.)  Sometimes I do think I have lost some of the va va voom along the way for things I used to value. Home cooking is one. I used to spend hours reading my recipe books and planning meals, now they just sit on the kitchen shelf, untouched.   I do still make home cooked meals, but I have lost my desire to learn to make new ones, so I do tend to turn out the same old stuff.   Maybe it’s just the busyness of life – I am not superwoman and maybe I’ve just accepted that.  I’m sure at some point, I may feel the love for trying out some new recipes again, maybe when I don’t have a small helper in the kitchen….

So, that's my answers to this weeks challenges. If you'd like to take part yourself or join in then make your way here.


  1. Your dinner out with your husband sounds delicious - nom, nom, nom. I'm glad you are finding some time for yourself - hopefully somewhere in among that you will find time to dust off those cookbooks too!

    Thank you for all your support during my 30 posts, 30 days challenge - it is greatly appreciated


    1. No problem. It was a pleasure reading them !

  2. Ohhh your meal out does sound perfect and very enjoyable - which is something we all need! I am the same as you & although I cook everynight it is the tried & tested meals time & again. Perhaps we should do a fortnightly blog hop where we gave to trial a new recipe?

    1. Fortnightly would probably be a challenge for me but I reckon I could manage one a month?

  3. I wish I could touch type - very convenient! And I love Medeira cake! So glad to see you have managed to carve out some much needed you time to write and eat cake! Its hard when you feel so overwhelmned isn't it? You just dont know where to start or what to finish! Glad that feeling has passed for you. Your night out with your husband sounded delicious. In chinese astrology I am a dog! Pug dog!

    1. Can't believe you're a dog. Maybe at the heart of it all there is an explanation for your love of the Pug! I thought of you the other day when I passed a gift shop with a window display full of toy pug dogs!

  4. It must have been a very big deal to you to feel that you had to give up writing, to have used the word "reprieve". I hope it's not temporary and you can continue to write your blog, or whatever else takes your fancy. I am a Monkey in Chinese astrology, an Earth Monkey at that! Polly x

  5. Yes, reprieve is rather a heavy word isn't it...shows how blackened I felt by the whole matter really. Monkey sounds fun - I think I'd quite like to be a monkey.

  6. Oh, it's so hard when you feel you have to consider leaving things out of your backpack (very glad to hear that you're keeping the cake, though).

    Not wishing to be sexist in any real way, but I've often wondered if it's a particularly female trait to think about what we can sacrifice to keep things going. I'm really glad you're keeping your writing going, as selfishly I really enjoy it, and think that you're very good at it.

    As for the wrecking ball - thank heavens it's delayed until the summer. Just don't set it at your writing, when it arrives!