Happy New Year – ABBA.

Well it’s an obvious one but it’s a good one. Released back in 1980, lead singer Agnetha    (on this track), poignantly ponders –

“It’s the end of a decade
In another ten years time
Who can say what we’ll find
What lies waiting down the line
In the end of eighty-nine”

So. Crumbs! Where did that thirty nine years go then, eh Agnetha???

2020 will be a bit of a significant year for me for a number of reasons but we’ll cover that as we go along.

I did have plans to make a list of resolutions along the lines of this whole ‘New Year – new me’ crap but to be honest as a parent of toddlers, I go to bed  every night resolving to be a better person the next day. Sometimes I am. Sometimes I’m not. Roll with the punches folks.

I left off just before we dived headfirst into the Christmas festivities.

Alexandra and Calder awoke at pretty much their usual time of sevenish and were probably more excited about the fact that we were all at Nana and Grampy’s than they were about the Christmas stockings that were hanging up at the end of each of their cots. (This will probably be the longest lie that we’ll get on Christmas Day for many, many years now.) Each had their individual approach to unpacking their stockings – Calder favoured the ” Lets just get it all out on the bed at once so I can put the stocking on my head” whilst Alexandra was more of a “I want each bit of tat unwrapped for closer inspection so I can then chuck it over my shoulder disdainfully and get to the sweeties.” kind of girl.

Daddy Simon went off to make sure that Father Christmas had actually been whilst I remained in bed managing the little one’s expectations by rattling off quite an extensive list of reasons why the ‘Big Man’ might have failed to show this year. Neither seemed particularly phased at the catalogue of crimes committed in the past twelve months and Calder continued his quest to end the Smarties’ incarceration by chewing the cardboard end of the tube whilst Alexandra demonstrated how easily she could get into the chocolate coins. This did of course mean that my first words to my lovely Mother-in-law on Christmas morning were – “Merry Christmas Mummy Edwards – Errr ….the stains on the bedding are from the kids chocolate … honestly!!!”

Now of course Father Christmas had been – there were a huge pile of presents under the tree which Alexandra and Calder made a beeline for. However, no-one had had breakfast and so they were told to leave things be for the time being and Christmas miracle of Christmas miracles they actually DID!!!

By the time we did get around to some present opening they were too busy tearing around on a favourite trike and badgering the dogs and so had to be corralled into the pre-arranged space for present opening.

Needless to say they got far too much – but each gift brought as much excitement as the next and by the time we were done and the wrapping cleared away the ‘Go-Jetters’ were getting on famously with a couple of Teletubbies and Thomas and (a couple of) his friends. They would of course all come to blows later over whose turn it was on the ‘keyboard with microphone and stool’ combo – but what’s Christmas without a bit of a rumble.

We all enjoyed a fantastic Christmas lunch and managed to tone down excitement levels to a point where Alexandra and Calder seemed happy to take their usual nap much to the relief of both Daddies – who had been counting down the minutes to nap time since about twenty five past seven that morning.

Once back in their cots both proceeded to have a ‘let’s jump up and down and squeal’ competition whilst Daddy Simon and I lay on the bed and took it in turns to softly admonish our mischievous little imps in words that I’d rather not commit to type. Calder surrendered to sleep first and then I think that Daddy Simon and I must have become accustomed to the not-so soothing sounds of the demented, life sized jack-in-the-box in the corner and drifted off.

Calder was then the first to stir after a reasonable amount of time – Alexandra showing the same reticence about waking up as she did about going to sleep. The saying goes that Karma’s a bitch – but it wasn’t Karma that was a cranky little cow for the rest of Christmas Day.

We spent the rest of the day opening more presents,chocolates and bottles of alcohol than any of us needed – but thoroughly enjoyed nonetheless.

The upside to Madam Mim’s refusal to tow the line on Christmas Day was the fact she was so tired that we all got a long lie in on Boxing Day – in fact I was the first one to stir ( almost practically unheard of) at five past eight! I managed to sneak to the bathroom without waking anyone else in the room but as I was creeping back to bed, optimistically looking forward to snuggling back down for a bit longer – I heard a cheerful little ” Hallo Daddy Graeme!” from Calder’s cot that made my heart simultaneously sink and sing.

Oh well – it was good while it lasted!!!

When I married the best husband in the world ( best – not faultless!) I also married into the best family in the world. ( Ditto) I feel incredibly honoured that they have all taken me into their hearts and made me feel one of their own from very early on in our relationship.

Boxing Day is ( immediate ) family get together day.(Extended family are equally fantastic!) Immediate family currently consists of nine adults,eight kids and four dogs all under one roof. Of course it’s not a quiet day – but who doesn’t love the sound of laughter. Mummy Edwards put on a buffet lunch that would have fed the cast of extras on ‘Ben Hur’ and … actually scratch that. I’ve worked as an ‘extra’ and the majority of them feed like locusts so let’s not use that comparison. There was plenty of food to go around more than once or twice ( three times depending on the family member) and then even more in the evening. Our glasses were kept sufficiently topped up throughout the day and so I was more than ready to escort the kids to their cot for their afternoon nap – or not – I don’t care I’m having one – at half past three Proseccos and a large glass of that Rose that we didn’t finish last night.

Boxing Day presents were swapped amongst the kids but the best part was watching them all playing happily together.

It was with heavy hearts, full stomachs and a couple of protesting toddlers that we set off home – after lunch obvs- the following day.

Pushkin was collected from his holiday home – sounds better than cattery – and Tesco delivered sufficient supplies to see us through the no-man’s land period of time between Christmas and New Year.

What did we do in that time?

Bog all!!!

Had a bit of much needed down time. Continued our quest to consume more empty calories than the day before. Drew up a rota of whose turn it was to change the batteries in a seemingly endless number of toys that were thrust into our laps.Saying that we had a couple of walks out makes us sound good – up to you if you believe that or not.Leisurely Lunch out with friends is probably an easier one to believe.

The ‘keyboard with microphone and stool’ combo has probably seen more tantrums in its short time with us than any of Elton’s have.

The ‘ Casdon 485 Electronic Backseat Driver’ x 2 was a mistake x 2 and is just another reason for me to take the car to a high crime area and leave it unlocked.

Daddy Simon and I have been randomly stabbed in soft tissue areas with bits of plastic masquerading as bits of a Doctor’s kit and the play screwdrivers in the toy toolkit have been used to jemmy open the fridge door.

We must have spent all our energies enjoying our third Christmas together as a family that we had none left for the New Year celebration as our household was in darkness and all its occupants far away in the land of nod when 2019 handed over to 2020.

So what does 2020 hold in store for us all?

Who can say – but I’d say its all about what we make of it lovely people – make it a good one!

Aw ra best!!!

“So they said that it was from Father Christmas but I distinctly remember Cranky Pants haggling a discount at Tesco because the box was bashed – I know this because I bashed it.”

” Is she not doing a starter this year then?”

The start of a great day!

Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens.

Manic innit!!!

Why do we do this to ourselves?

It falls on the same day every year. Retailers remind us of it’s impending approach earlier and earlier every blinking year and yet here we are (most of us) running about like headless turkeys!

We’re very fortunate in that the big day will be spent with our lovely in-laws and so I will only be assisting (possibly) and not having to co-ordinate the big meal. To this point the only dalliance with festive food has been the annual – ‘Who makes the best mince pie’ tasting session that Daddy Simon and I indulge in every December. I know that you can get them much earlier in the year but I can generally pack in a year’s consumption in the thirty one days that make up December.

I did consider making some myself but only got as far as buying a jar of mincemeat – well maybe a wee bit further – possibly a couple of (dozen) spoonfuls out of the jar whilst I was pondering if the Marks and Spencer’s pies were actually worth the extra expenditure given that the Cashier in the nearby Co-op is, quite frankly, a stroppy and judgemental cow.

I did start the Christmas shopping ages ago.(mid November!) I popped odds and ends in the trolley whilst out and about with the kids and took advantage of the Black Friday Sales then lost interest until the beginning of December. A gin fuelled online splurge left the spare room looking like the Amazon delivery truck had ram raided the front of the house and to make matters worse I’d been chucking random items of clothing that I didn’t fancy ironing and toys that I had confiscated on the grounds of bad behaviour or that were just plain annoying me into the Thomas the Tank Engine train wreck of a room.

So we took a deep breath and cracked open the (second or third) bottle of Baileys that we were ‘saving for Christmas’ ( sooo close) on Saturday,had a quick sort through and had everything wrapped and labelled by about 2130.

I can’t guarantee the accuracy of the labelling system so if someone gets a wrinkled striped shirt – I’d quite like that back – ironed preferably but whoever gets the sodding toy electric guitars is welcome to keep them.

Now of course Christmas should be all about the children and unsurprisingly our wee Christmas puddings have once again surprised me.

I really thought that it would be next year that they would have a grasp on what was all going on – but their curious little minds have been working overtime and I’ve been interrogated about Christmas Trees, Nativity Scenes,Father Christmas, what are presents, can I have a present and why do I still not have a present?

The festive trip on the Bluebell Railway with them was magical – both Daddies breathing a huge sigh of relief when Alexandra did not howl the place down when she met Father Christmas as she did last year. Both gracefully accepted gifts from him as he passed through the train and wasted no time in ripping through the wrapping to make sure that Daddy Simon was getting his money’s worth.

Each one of their regular programmes has had a Christmas special that they’ve been glued to and they’ve loved pointing out Christmas lights and trees when we’ve been out and about and have possibly offended more that one or two elderly gents in red jumpers and almost definitely the woman in the red hat at Tesco last week.

Heigh ho!

Time has once again run away from me and so I’m going to sign off and go and spend a bit of quality (street) time with Alexandra and Calder before they go down (and hopefully stay down!) for the night.

I truly hope that you all have a fantastically festive time over the next few days and will finish as I started –

Merry Christmas Everyone!!! XXX

One of the many reasons that I no longer run a sporty little hatchback – and yes it IS a case of Prosecco – thank you for asking!!!

Man Down – Rihanna.

This is what it has come to. The only time I get a chance to blog is when I’m sick.

We’ve all been passing some sort of bug or other back and forth for a number of weeks now and it seems to have landed squarely on my chest and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere fast. This is probably the last quietish weekend that we’re going to get for a while and so desperate measure are called for – I’ve stayed in bed…

I have Daddy Simon’s blessing/insistence on this so I’m trying not to feel guilty about it. It’s not yet 1100 o’clock and I’ve had 3 coffees,a shortbread biscuit, a day old pain au chocolat and about half a bottle of ‘non-drowsy Covonia’ so it would be fair to say that the caffeine/sugar/medication combo has me buzzing like a bumble bee.

I’m trying not to think of the carnage that will no doubt be unfolding downstairs in my absence and have removed my hearing aids in order that the soundtrack is marginally muffled.

So where to start – it’s been ages…

Firstly it took some time to relocate the WordPress tile on my phone because the little beggars are able to delete and reshuffle the apps on an unattended and unlocked iPhone – and when I say I unattended I mean pickpocketed.

Our little cherubs are now almost two and a half. I’ve stopped counting their age in months now – the maths are too time consuming for my feeble mind to be able to switch from counting down the minutes until they next go to sleep to working out to working out exactly how old they are. So I just round up.

This means that we’ve survived approximately six months of the ‘terrible twos’.The optimist in me says that means we’ve only got six months left to go while the realist in me rolls about the floor laughing at the optimist and wondering when he last took a reality check.Any broody sentiment that I may have had over the last year or so has been well and truly thrown across the room and thoroughly stamped into the ground with an accompanying “WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”

Once they’ve gone to bed in the evening and the gin has started to kick in I can identify that it must be an incredibly frustrating time for little ones.They have started being able to do lots of things for themselves and can now mostly express what they want and like but still don’t have the understanding of why they can’t always get what they want.(Any parent that is looking to return to the work place after spending time with their children should always remember to add ‘Hostage negotiating skills’ to their CV’s.)So I’ll usually have another gin and resolve to be more patient and understanding the following day.

Most days the ‘patience and understanding’ that I’ve channeled the previous evening has beggared off before the breakfast dishes have been cleared away because I’ve forgotten that getting the wrong coloured cereal bowl can crush the soul of the tiny human being that is STILL brandishing the fffffliippin’ toy fire engine that he has been told to put down sixty seven times before his life’s happiness was cruelly destroyed by the same blue bowl that he’s been rejecting the contents of since he discovered that there was more than one type of cereal.

Madam doesn’t usually start to kick off until she’s finished eating her Malties and helped herself to some of Daddy Simon’s whilst not so silently judging her brother’s outburst and calculating how she might be able to outdo it later in the day.

Day to day life needs to strike the right balance between routine and different things to keep their little minds engaged and burn off some of their endless,endless energies.We’re still incredibly lucky in that for the most part they both sleep well. I’m very well aware that they won’t be partaking of an afternoon nap for that much longer and so I’m doing all I can to nurture/preserve/eke out this two hours oasis of sanity in my day. At this point they’ll ask to go ‘sleepy bye-byes’ and I’m more than happy to oblige. They still settle down for the night pretty well at half past seven and will usually go through until six thirtyish or so. Of course I’m touching wood as I type with crossed fingers that this continues long after nap time is a distant but happy memory.

So we have Tiny Tunes and Twins Club as organised activities in the week. Usually a trip to a supermarket for a top up shop and maybe a couple of walks out weather permitting – sometimes I even get to catch up with other ( not-so) grown ups.

The majority of the weekly shop is done online and delivered early enough in the day in order that Mr/Ms Tesco shouldn’t have to negotiate the fleet of enormous off roaders that the school run scummy mummies have littered the street with. There’s still a handful of them that like to park their saggy butts on the garden wall and flick their soggy butts on the ground around before climbing back into their bullybuses and roaring off at a rate of knots ( USUALLY WHILE BLANTANTLY ON A MOBILE PHONE!) to what I can only hope is a very long overdue hair appointment.

The school are fully aware of the issues and I’m pretty sure that there are many,many more schools out there that are in a similar predicament. Equally, I’m aware that SUV’s and off roaders have their benefits and I can’t ever rule out having one ourselves. Many of our friends and family drive them but I would imagine that they would do so more considerately than the aforementioned self-centred morons that continue to frost my cookies on an almost daily basis.

End of rant. Thanks for sticking with it.

So.Yeah. Weekly shop. Delivered to house. Ok – since my last blog Tesco and Sainsbury’s have decided to do a bit more for the planet (Yay!) and have done away with the plastic bags for both home deliveries and Click and Collect.In the run up to this mahoosive step forward in reducing global warming we ( the customer) were assured that the delivery drivers would be happy to bring our shopping in and help us unpack.But they’re not. They’re unhappy at how much longer it’s taking them to get round a run now and there has been a significant difference in delivery times and their working day. From a personal point of view it’s not ideal to have someone trekking through the house dodging the little rugrats that have completely lost interest in Bing’s latest banal adventure in favour of cross examining the unfortunate individual that drew the short straw at the depot that morning.

Alexandra favours an indirect approach –

” Who’s that?”

“What’s his name?”

“Why is he in my house?”

Calder is a bit more hands on and has a tendency to sample the goods as they’re being unloaded – not necessarily stopping to remove the peel from bananas or satsumas nor the plastic wrapper on tomatoes and mushrooms. He doesn’t need to know the whys and wherefores of the stranger in the kitchen he’s just so happy that he can tell some one – ” I done a poop in my nappy.” – without the fear of being swept up off his feet and being turned upside down.

So where we’re at is –

Supermarket shop is unloaded at front door – item by item into the hallway whilst Shouty and Loud rattle the baby gate at the living room door and protest about the unfairness of their temporary incarceration.

The delivery person seems fairly appreciative of the fact that I’m pretty swift at the whole unpacking and piling up behind the front door and I’m just grateful that it’s not always the same poor sod that get saddled with delivering to us,so I can trot out the same old look of surprise at there being wine in this week’s delivery.

Of course at this time of year the central heating that usually blasts off the previous night’s chill is now shooting out the door towards that ever growing hole in the ozone layer … but I’m sure that the bean counters know what they’re doing…

Flipping ‘eck!

Can you believe that it’s now almost seven o’clock so I need to wrap this up and publish before it spills over into Sunday and I need to come up with an appropriate Sunday Showtune title.

Now I’ve not spent all day on this .I ventured downstairs at lunchtime for cuppa and a bacon buttie and was pleasantly surprised at the fact that I could see a clear path through to the big table. Alexandra and Calder did seem to have genuinely missed my presence because they were so attentive,both insisting on sitting on my knee whilst I enjoyed my bacon sandw…… oh hang on ….. little bleeders!!!!!!

I’ve had a bit of a nap and a long hot shower so I now feel much better than I have all week.

Daddy Simon and I pitched in together for the teatime mediations – and I felt sufficiently well enough to join him in a Gin and Tonic – extra lime for me – vitamin C and all that.

Kids are now in bed, take away ordered and we’re just deciding what to watch.

Who knows when I’ll get back here again-not too long I hope- but in the short term there is always little snapshots of our adventures over on Facebook -you don’t even have to request me as a friend – it’s simply Twinningatparenthood.

X

Over The Wall – Original Broadway Cast of ‘Kiss of the Spiderwoman’

It’s currently the Saturday morning four weeks on from when I cheated death on the kiddies roundabout at the local swing park. It’s unlikely that I’ll get to publish this today so I’ll have to think of a Sunday Showtune title and hope that I can get it out there before I need to prep the veg for the roast dinner tomorrow.

Nap time has been brought forward by a few hours today because we’ve been invited to a barbecue next door in order that we can get to know the neighbours on the other side a bit better. Daddy Simon is taking advantage of the fact that the babes are slumbering and is snoring his head off next to me in bed. I’m only here because it looks like North Korean missile testing ground downstairs but that’s the price I pay for getting a slightly longer lie in at the weekend. I could go down and tidy up a bit but it’s highly likely there’s breakfast debris under the array of toy cars, stuffed animals and empty stain remover containers that seem to be the favourite play item at the moment.( Needless to say there are plenty of them.) and I can’t trust myself not to started hoovering and waking the whole house up.

I’m not sure what to expect this afternoon. It’s not really barbecuing weather which means that there may be quite a bit of time in a house where we don’t really know the people ( who don’t currently have kids) with two incredibly nosey toddlers. I’m not sure that we’d fare much better if the sun was shining and we could all be outdoors. We’ve got a bit of a restricted view of their back garden from the bedroom window but we can see a glass fronted fish pond and a number of different garden ornaments and implements that are just begging be investigated and/or climbed upon.

Since we’ve not socialised before I can’t be sure what the policy on alcohol consumption will be.If they’ve heard our recycling bin being emptied- sounds like a six car pile up at the back of the bin lorry every other Monday morning- they’ll be more than aware that we enjoy a glass or two of a weekend.

My offer to bring anything was politely declined but I think that we’ll take in a bottle of Prosecco and see how we go with that. We can always pop back for more if it’s looking like it’s going to be that sort of afternoon. Unfortunately we’ve scoffed the emergency box of chocolates that I keep at the back of the cupboard weeks ago and didn’t bother replacing because invariably the replacement would befall the same fate. So unless Rip Van Winkle zips down to Tesco before we go, it’ll just be a bottle of Lidl’s finest and a couple of freshly recharged kiddie winks that we’ll be taking in. I thought about baking a cake yesterday but my train of thought was rudely derailed when I had to separate the fifty third wrestling match of the day.

Maybe I should have dozed. I’m quite sleepy now. I could get up and have my shower now but I’m not sure what I’m going to wear. My under active thyroid has slowed my metabolism. My broken foot has restricted whatever exercise I was able to squeeze into a day and my lack of will power has me doing regular audits of the biscuit jar every other time I hobble through the kitchen. So my thirty two inch waist trousers are all hanging in the wardrobe sniggering and the 34 inch waist ones are all in a box in the loft saying to one another ” We did say we wouldn’t be up here for long!”

Pants! (That fit!) Really need to get up and on with it. Maybe if I have a cold shower I’ll shrink a bit.

I’ve found a pair of 32 jeans with a stretch waist. I’m sure that the ‘stretch’ gave up the good fight a while back but an untucked shirt sufficiently masks the war that it waged. Daddy Simon has covered lunch duties – Alexandra can obviously sense that we’re heading out as she’s just picked at a bowl of pasta that she would normally have ploughed through which means that she’ll be troughing at any nibbles that will be within reach later. Daddy Simon goes off to get himself ready and I get the kids dressed.

Calder is getting very independent these days – wants to do everything for himself which means everything takes about nine times as long to do as would normally. I get him into his shirt and shorts before he demands ” Calder do!” so it’s he’s only got to put on his socks and shoes PROVIDING he doesn’t take his shirt and shorts off and starts from scratch. Alexandra has had a pre lunch nappy change so I can keep an eye on Calder and dress Alexandra whilst she’s glued to the TV. It’s a bit like trying to get a pretty frock on a bag of potatoes but she’s sufficiently distracted that she’s not arguing over what I’ve decided to dress her in. We had a full on meltdown last Saturday over a lemon and white dress with pears patterned around the skirt. She was adamant that the pears were upside down and very insistent that they be repositioned. Of course they weren’t but when she was holding her skirt up in front of her – no idea why – they did if course look upside down to her. It took some time and a couple of distractionary techniques in order that we could get on with the day – but it did amuse her Daddies! She’s all done without complaint but that’s only because she’s still engrossed in Topsy and Tim’s Saturday crisis – it’s the same one that they had on Tuesday and twice on Thursday.Calder has now got his socks on inside out and his shoes on the wrong feet so I need to find a way to rectify that without him thinking that it’s time to get undressed and have him stripping down to his nappy again. Daddy Simon appears freshly showered, dressed and ready to go, which means that the Berney- Edwards are very unusually ready to roll a full thirty minutes before departure time. But Alexandra wants to go NOW! A full on kicking the ‘baby gate in’ tantrum!! It’s got to hurt – she’s only wearing her daft wee canvas shoes. I’m conflicted about which life lesson to lecture her on here. I’m leaning more towards the one that her tantrum is hurting her more than it is me and decide to leave the ‘if you were wearing the Clark’s shoes that cost a pigging fortune that wouldn’t hurt’ for another occasion.

Daddy Simon to the rescue – he’s downloaded the CBeebies Summer Social so the tantrum subsides but will no doubt re-ignite when we have to peel her away from her favourite tv characters live(ish) in concert in about 23 minutes.

I do hope that they’ll be doing drinks on arrival next door.

It’s Sunday now and I think that it’s fair to say that yesterday went swimmingly well.The weather was much kinder that we were expecting and enabled us to sit and eat outside. Our hosts were fantastic and had invited the couple on the other side of them so we were able to spend some time getting to know them too. Alexandra and Calder did us proud and were content to explore the immediate area, play with the toys that we had taken and generally charm the pants off the grown ups in the company. Oh – the fizz flowed freely and I find that always helps in these situations.

Crisps and nibbles were on a low level table dangerously within view of the little munchalots but they didn’t even attempt to help themselves until given permission to do so. Of course they made it perfectly clear they were aware of the presence of the savouries by circling the table drooling like a pair of rabid Rottweilers and once they were given the go ahead there were keen to sample all on offer – including the dips. There was a great selection of barbecued foods and salads and the kids were happy to graze from our plates thus they were able to try most things without there being loads of waste. Chocolate Pots were served for dessert and this also served to remind me why I usually wear shorts around the little people.

We wound the evening up around sevenish exchanging pleasantries and promises to host at ours in the near future and toddled off up the drive and then back down our own.

Daddy Simon got the kiddies ready for bed whilst I cleared a path through the sea of discarded toys to sort out bedtime milk and a couple of light refreshments for Daddies!!!

Bedtime went without hiccup and I had no dinner prep to do so I topped up our glasses and we got ready to binge watch our latest boxset addiction – we managed a poxy two episodes before it became apparent that our own ‘sleepy bye-bye time’ wasn’t far off.

Today has been a very lazy one. We’ve just enjoyed the company of the kids,eaten well and been able to recharge our batteries in preparation for the week ahead.

I’ve been even been able to wriggle out of making a roast dinner in favour of a take away curry but before I sign off I have a confession to make…

When we came in last night I took a bit of a notion for a bacon roll. Fortunately there was no bacon in the fridge and I was able to convince myself that I could hold off until lunch time tomorrow and enjoy a bacon and egg roll. So I got the few rashers of bacon that had been roaming around the freezer for the past few months out to defrost overnight and retired to the sofa to spend the rest of the evening pondering whether the eggs should be fried or scrambled and fretting as to whether there would be sufficient butter although in all likelihood I would smother the bacon in tomato sauce anyway….. Unless – there was always the brie that I could melt over the crisply grilled bacon… I think a few characters were bloodily annihilated in our programme but I didn’t care – I could practically hear that bacon sizzling as they gasped their last breaths.

Daddy Simon announced that he would sort out the lunch today and my second mistake was to let him do so.

You see it wasn’t the bacon that I had set free from the icy hinterland. It was in fact a couple of ( tenderised – therefore very thin!) pork loin steaks.I had to eat a huge slice of humble pie because Daddy Simon has made this error on two occasions in the past and I have rolled the story of him enjoying a pork chop sandwich as a breakfast on numerous occasions…

Well smug doesn’t begin to cover it. He practically danced around the kitchen as he fried up the treacherous pig assuring me that a pork roll was more delicious than I could ever imagine.I could only concentrate my energies into overseeing Alexandra and Calder polish off their fish fingers and sink my Sunday Bloody Mary silently.

Karma can be a right sow sometimes!

Sunday Chillin’

Workers on their break.

Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder.

When Mr ‘One Hit Wonder’ Wilder penned the words to his 1983 tune he had obviously never fallen victim to the unseen perils of a children’s roundabout.

Two weeks ago my well planned Friday morning started to unravel in the queue at the local Lidl. It took so long to get served that by the time we got out of the store the milk had gone out of date and we had missed the start of our Tiny Tunes class. I’m never really that keen on rocking into these things late and since it’s pay as you go there was no financial penalty in our non attendance so I decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and drop into a swing park on the way home – with the kids of course!

This was quite a brave move – two of them, one of me – but it was a fenced in one and it was very quiet – couple of smug looking mums on a picnic blanket in the corner and their errant charges hatching an escape plan out of sight behind the trees in another.

Alexandra, Calder and I all had fun on the climbing fort and slide. Both were happy to be on the swings at the same time and when one started to lose interest I was able to coax the other to the same attraction that their sibling was headed for. Unfortunately that attraction was the roundabout – not the Magic Roundabout – the ‘Spinning Wheel of Death’ roundabout.

Whilst I was lecturing the children on how we should wait until we had completely stopped before attempting a dismount I stumbled off the side. Not a full on prat fall or anything.Just a wee ‘ Whoops’ over onto the side of my right foot – oucha – but regained my balance if not dignity- and continued the safety briefing to my now disinterested audience.

I decided to quit whilst I was almost ahead and bribed the troops back to the car with the promise of a chocolate mini roll and some juice. I had a bit of a limp but I also had a couple of apparently sugar starved kiddiewinks straining the leads on their cute little backpacks dictating the pace. Whilst they clambered back up into the car and eventually their car seats – I popped their backpacks into the boot but not before I removed the promised chocolate rolls and juice cartons.They’d been carting them around themselves all morning- but I saw no need for them to know that.

Unusually I was able to hear some of the Ken Bruce show on the drive home as neither of my back seat passengers were interested in a game of ‘look at the digger/bus/local loony ‘and the chomping and slurping noises weren’t particularly intrusive.

We got home and parked up in a couple of overplayed tracks (Sorry Ken- I know that it’s the producers that come up with the play lists but the patter still amuses me!)and I reached round to unbuckle the little cherubs’ seatbelts and -oh my Cadbury’s cream eggs it’s chocolate carnage back there! I scramble to get out and round to open the passenger side back door. They rolled out of the car like a pair of Oompa Loompas that had survived an explosion in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and were swiftly frogmarched through the hall to my dulcet tones bellowing “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING! NOTHING AT ALL! Hands in the air! NO! NOT YOUR HAIR CALDER AND NOT ALEXANDRA’S HAIR EITHER!!!!

I was screeching by the time we had covered the short distance to the kitchen but swiftly got to work wiping hand, faces, hair and backs of knees( HOW? WHY?) and then chased them out into the garden. Lunch time was rapidly approaching and I’d be having to wipe them down again soon enough so what harm would a a bit of garden muck do. I went to retrieve our bags from the car and inspect the crime scene in the back seat area. I’d seen worse – ‘Tuna sandwichgate” had been a far messier and much more smelly incident. Gloria was well overdue a wash and vac and this had merely served to push her up to the top of a seemingly never ending ‘to do’ list. Why was my foot still sore?

Lunch was quickly prepared and served and by making my own lunch look less appealing than the kids’ it was quickly consumed with very little fuss or complaint. Alexandra had the audacity to ask for a chocolate roll and I was still still laughing hard in her face as she miserably picked her way through the bowl of blueberries that was thrust in front of her.

They retired to the lounge to get their lunchtime fix of ‘ Yakka Dee’ allowing me to clear up the lunch dishes and a number of discarded blueberries and before I knew it nap time was upon us. Oh who am I trying to kid! I’m on a countdown to nap time from the moment they start picking their soggy cornflakes out of their breakfast bowls – especially on a Friday!

Now I must be doing something right because they will sleep soundly for a good two and a half hours most afternoons and this does enable me to get on with a few chores that I can’t do when they’re up and about. We’ve already established that Gloria was in need of attention and the car care kit was much closer to hand than the lawn mower.

I had the time to be thorough – so I was probably subconsciously avoiding something else – possibly my throbbing foot – and so I took the car seats out and shuddered in unison with the vacuum cleaner – poor wee Miele was going to need her stomach pumped after this one! Fortunately she’s a trooper and came with an assortment of accessories that could tackle the assortment of debris that Alexandra and Calder have managed to randomly distribute about every single nook and cranny within the back seat area.The front of the car is marginally better – there is some evidence of Daddy Simon having been there recently but once again it’s the boot space proves to need the least attention. I retired Miele to the sanctity of her darkened cupboard to recover and briefly thought about keeping her company before I realised that it was almost school’s out time. I probably had enough time to get the car soaped down before getting the hose out to give her a thorough rinse down. If any of the loitering school run mums happened to get in the way of a jet of water that may have been directly aimed at them it wouldn’t have been a completely unenjoyable chore. To my dismay it was only a repeat offender fagging it out the drivers side of her filthy Ford Focus that I was able to mildly inconvenience. She closed her door over pretty quickly when she saw the hose and only lowered the window every now and again to flick ash out. Spoilsport!

I tidied all away and nosed a clean and reasonably fresh – ok Febreezed – Gloria back into her habitual hideaway. I’d managed to get myself fairly soaked through to the skin during my last task so while the kettle boiled I had a quick rifle through the pile of clothes waiting to be ironed for a dry T-shirt and shorts to pull on. My trainers and socks were equally sodden so this seemed an opportune time to have a bit of a closer look at the foot that had been demanding my attention for the last few hours despite the couple of ibuprofen that should have worked their way down there by now.

At first I thought that the dye in my dark green socks had run. Then I noticed that right foot was a different shape to my non stained left foot. Let’s just have a bit of a poke ( said the actress to the bishop)

OH MY HOLY MOLEY,GOODNESS GRACIOUS,BLESSED STARS!!!

“What have I done? Why am I still poking it! Stop it! Don’t touch the bruising – no DON’T touch the bruis….. IDIOT!!!! You knew that would hurt more!!!!!”

I decided just to hobble over to the kettle make a coffee and hobble back and then make an informed decision on what I was going to do from there. Obviously I was going to take a pic and distribute it to a couple of friends for advice/sympathy first after all we’re not in the third world are we? Responses were fairly swift – some offered sound advice others made me realise that my friendship circle was in need of a bit of a cull.

Alexandra and Calder had started to stir so I pulled up my big boy pants and got on with attending to their teatime demands patiently awaiting Daddy Simon’s return from work.

Someone had already planted the seed that something may be broken and not just sprained and so may need looking at sooner rather than later. It didn’t take long after Daddy Simon arrived home for us to exchange pleasantries –

” How was your day?”

” Well … it was a fairly product…..”

” Lovely! Well look at this! I think it might be broken,so I think that I need to go to A&E – Can you put the kids to bed and I’ll get back ASAP – I’ll just get an Uber up there – could you organise that please – I’ve not done that yet – Ow – oh it won’t go back in the shoe – I’ll just wear flip flops – is that my Uber – I think it’s my Uber – I’ll just wait outside- night night kiddie winks – see you in the morning- OWWWWWWWWWCH!”

We’re only a four minute drive (£5 in an Uber) from East Surrey Hospital – I googled it before we moved here – genuinely expecting that it would be Calder’s antics that would have us here first. Mr Uber ignored my request to be dropped off at A&E and I have to limp through the main entrance in search of medical assistance. A couple of paramedics wheel a bruised and bloodied cyclist past – so I limp a bit faster and follow them down the corridor – I realise that I can’t keep up and stop a staff member heading in the opposite direction. She’s very helpful and escorts me to the minor injury – “Are you sure – it’s really sore..” – and I’m all checked in and waiting to be seen before I have to clarify our double barrel surname more than twice.

I didn’t expect to be seen quite as quickly on a Friday evening – but I suppose I’m still a bit too early for pub related injuries so I don’t have to wait too long before I have to explain to a bemused looking Richard the events of earlier in the day. Without judgment he dispatched me down to the X-ray department where I sit with a couple of teenagers who are comparing football injuries. Fortunately I’m seen before I’m expected to share my tale of woe with them. I barely had time to sit back down in the waiting area and work out where the nearest coffee machine might be when Richard beckons for me to join him in order that he can share what we’ve probably all guessed.

Broken bone in right foot – 5th Metatarsal to be specific – common enough injury apparently. Should heal in about 6 weeks. The comedy line of the day –

” Just make sure that you keep it elevated- lots of rest.”

Oh how I laughed as I took out my phone and glanced at the screen saver of our two tiny tornadoes before calling Daddy Simon to share the good news!

Fun morning out before it went wrong!!!

Hello Again – Neil Diamond – The Jazz Singer Soundtrack.

Well it’s been a while – almost three months – so I’ll try to cram as much as I can remember into this Sunday Showtune catch up edition.

Yesterday was a glorious sunny July and was spent splashing about in the paddling pool (Kiddies) and barbecuing and drinking long pink gins (Daddies). Today is wet and miserable – but this hasn’t stopped the children throwing themselves at the patio doors like a pair of irritatingly hyperactive lemmings in a bid to get out and relive yesterday’s fun all over again.There is this nagging temptation to slide the glass open when they’re not looking and award a medal to the one that faceplants the furthest down the garden.Maybe later.Right now I’m thanking my lucky stars that we’re not all in the local hospital having our stomachs pumped. Daddy Simon expressed his concern over the amount of mildew that he found in the paddling pool when draining it last night – not that there was much left to drain after Alexandra and Calder had splashed around in and imbibed upon the grass, mould and probably wee flavoured contents. I still have my concerns over how well the barbecue grill was cleaned given how long it has sat unused but would imagine that the carcinogenic coating that the burgers were given probably saw off any salmonella and/or E. coli type bug. We’re tough cookies us Berney-Edwards’s you know. Besides Daddy Simon is currently nursing the mother of all blisters whilst googling life threatening side effects while I hum the theme tune to ‘Holby City’….

Daddy Simon has returned to the workplace. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. I mean I like a good laugh as much as the next person but the giggles were starting to get a bit thin on the ground five and a half months into redundancy. Don’t get me wrong – I love Daddy Simon dearly and we have a fantastic relationship but there a number of reasons that the relationship works.

One of those reasons is that Daddy Simon goes out to do something that he enjoys and that is sufficiently well paid to keep us all warm,fed,clothed and,of course, sufficiently stocked up with Gin.

Secondly, it was always agreed that I was going to be ‘ stay at home Daddy ‘. I know that I tease Daddy Simon about his need to plan and project manage everything but I have my control issues too and I don’t like anyone – even my dearly beloved – getting in the way and quite literally muddying the waters…

I’m going to have to sign off for now. I stopped for dinner and then Daddy Simon put on ‘The Greatest Showman’ …. I thought that it wouldn’t appeal – but it does so will continue the catch up at nap time tomorrow. X

“I heard that he’s back at the blogging malarkey so don’t get too excited about anything that can’t be microwaved.”

I Can’t Stand The Rain – Tina Turner.

It’s a wet, yucky Tuesday morning here in Surrey. The rain that has threateningly lingered in the background of my weather app over the last few day has finally come to pass all over us.I’m not happy. We had plans for an outdoor play date with friends and I’ll have to cancel. It’s probably for the best. No one in the house is 100% so a day indoors won’t do us any harm.My sanity has long since departed and I know that we’re well stocked up on gin should the inmates get sufficiently on my last frayed and frazzled nerve. Nothing says ‘ don’t even think about asking me to go out today’ more than appearing downstairs after the early morning shower in a pair of ratty old gym shorts and a T-shirt. They’re clean and fresh but well worn and are never likely to see the inside of a gym again. A bit like me.

Aside from our now postponed morning out there is not much else on Kitchen White Board for today. I could actually get the ironing finished today – but let’s not hold our breath.The shopping is due for delivery earlier than usual because the school run Mums are all on their Easter break. I feel that I’m incredibly considerate on this one. I don’t normally schedule a delivery to arrive here until at least 0930 in order that the poor sod driving the van is not subjected to the abuse he’s likely to get from Anita Getmarootsdone and her gang for merely doing his job. Also I feel that it would be unfair on the neighbours to knowingly add a further vehicle to the cartoon cavalcade that we witness every morning. So a big gold star and a tick VG for me on that one.

We’re no longer with Sainsbury’s for our home deliveries. Last couple of shops have had out of date perishables, a jar of chutney that seemed to have been used in the last instore free-for-all/tasting experience and a couple of substitutions that made me wonder what the packer picks to put in their car if the required grade is not available to them ” No unleaded? Ok.Just put 10 litres of sugar free Tango in it then.” 

So I’m now seeing how well Ocado can serve the Berney-Edwards household. One of their flyers fell out of one of the many monthly magazines that I bring into the house and never get round to reading which entitled me to 30% off the first shop and a free smart pass for a year. The Sainsburys’ smart pass was due to be renewed so I didn’t bother renewing, jumped trolleys and popped a celebratory bottle of fizz in my virtual cart. I did a bit of a trial shop – enough to take me up to the required spend – claimed my 30% discount AND a free gift.(We LOVE free gifts in this house!) Two days later goods were all delivered as per order by a very pleasant man who offered to take the bags through to the kitchen despite the fact that he had already clocked Frick and Frack howling and chewing at the baby gate in the background. I thanked him, declined his kind offer and chose to ignore his sigh of relief. Our little cherubs went back to heckling Mr Tumble ,clearly disappointed that I had deprived them of fresh blood and lovely Keith( They even tell you the name of your driver!) sped off down the avenue in his apple liveried van.
Now credit where its due and all that. Fresh produce was all clearly marked, in date and very tasty. Bags are all packed accordingly for fridge/freezer/cupboards and can be recycled and recredited to account if returned to the driver on the next visit. A further money off coupon popped up in my inbox a few days later along with confirmation that my smartpass doesn’t expire until March 2020 (My smartass mouth will go on for much longer than that.) My initial concern that it would be a bit pricier has been mollified slightly having been assured that they have a Tesco price match promise so we’ll see how we get on with the next 4 couponified shops.

As soon as dear Justin starts his ‘Hello. Hello’ theme song there is a flurry of activity. The two munchkins take up their favourite spots on the sofa and I get the iron on to heat up and get the board out as quickly and quietly as possible. They seem fairly content to talk me through the show while I power through a pile of T-shirts. Calder is always the one to watch. Incredibly low attention span – no idea where he gets it from whatsoever.. Fortunately he turns his attention to the Lego bricks that are spilling out of a storage stool and I manage to finish off and get the hot iron put out of reach in time to see that they’re try to make the legs of the ironing board “see-saw”. Morons.

I’m still standing my ground on the whole drinks in cups front and so they sit at their own wee table and have their morning milk and biscuits while I start to sort out food for the day. The fresh delivery has all been put away and I’ve put aside what I need to make our dinner tonight. They both beggared about with their food yesterday so I’m hoping that they’ll both be hungry enough for the broccoli and cheese pasta that I put together. It’s not looking promising – they’ve got a whole crumble up the biscuit and tip some milk over the mess thing going on and so Daddy Killjoy takes table away,wipes hands and both amble off jabbering to one another.

Their healthy sounding lunch has only come about because I wanted to finish off a small amount of pasta that was never going to pass as an adult sized portion and there was some left over broccoli and some cream cheese in the fridge that needed using up. They’ve had something similar before so I remain optimistic.

I get a bit ahead and prep the main part of our dinner and then get some time to play with the Lego while Alexandra and Calder have a flick through the recipe book and audit the Ocado receipt.

Lunch is an unmitigated disaster. Alexandra insists on having me feed her and chews so slowly that I can almost see mould starting to form on her plate. Calder has eschewed his fork in favour of hand picking through the broccoli in search of the pasta at the bottom of the bowl.Both lose complete interest during my “There is nothing in there that you don’t like!” rant and so I go with the if they were hungry they would eat it philosophy and clear it away while I start a game of “Can anyone guess what’s for dinner?” with them.

Daddy Simon arrives on site for some lunch and a handover for afternoon duties so of course they circle around the big table wailing as though they haven’t had food in weeks.

I head off to put ironing away and get in with a bit of admin and maybe even some writing,leaving him to it.

Daddy Simon is off out tomorrow afternoon and evening so I’m on duty all day. It’s highly likely that my low cholesterol diet will have taken a severe donut bashing before 0930 and that I’ll be reading the label on a wine bottle as a bedtime story. At least there’s a bit of sunshine forecast.

“… and that is why I think that Justin might be Mr Tumble too.”

One year ago – how quickly they grow. 💜💙