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. 💜💙

Joy – Will Young

Oh what a difference three years can make. Breakfast on the morning of 2nd April 2016 was served on the balcony of our hotel room looking out towards Tower Bridge where we would tie the knot a few hours later. Breakfast time this morning was mostly spent trying to convince a truculent little toddler that the Malties in the bowl came out of the same box as those he had consumed dry three minutes previously and that if he wanted Maltie flavour milk at the end he would have to leave the sodding Malties in the bowl. Fortunately the Weetabix Wonder kept her own counsel and only piped up when finished and felt that she deserved a banana as a reward for her silence.

Breakfast has been slightly later than usual the last couple of mornings I don’t really want to jinx it but it would appear that our little munchkins have not yet put their body clocks forward and so Daddy Simon and I have enjoyed a slightly longer than usual lie in. Had I known that this was going to be the case I wouldn’t have planned to leave the house as early as I had and when I quickly glance at one of the clocks it’s 0745 and everyone is still in their PJ’s. I pull out a couple of outfits for the kids and delegate dressing duties to Daddy Simon. ( I do sometimes let him pick out their outfits but it does generally have to be a day that we’re not going out and not expecting guests. There was a rabbit patterned outfit fiasco a few months back that three out of four of us are still recovering from.)I get myself dressed and prepare a bag for the morning ahead. I’ve got time for a bit of toast and another coffee. We’re meeting a friend for a bit of shopping so I can afford to indulge myself knowing the I’ll have a bit of cover for the kids and I might actually get a wee in peace if required later in the morning.

I can also afford to fund this shopping trip due to a £140 lottery win in the middle of last week. This means that I have been able to get Daddy Simon an anniversary present,was able to treat myself to a pair of new trainers and still have enough to treat the kiddies to a couple of bits and pieces from somewhere that doesn’t also sell milk.

I got Daddy Simon’s present sorted – good old Amazon – and whilst I was there had a look at a pair of trainer to replace to one’s that are starting to wear out. I liked the old ones so much I had a grey pair and a blue pair but decide to go a bit wild this time and try a different style. A sort of hybrid of trainer and casual shoe. Let’s face it – I’m not buying them to run in! I might have also picked up another couple of bits and bobs to put in my online shopping basket just to make my trip worthwhile and all that and then push on over to the checkout. Ooo-er. That’s a bit more than I thought it would be. I blame Postman Pat’s overinflated salary and hope that my lottery winnings are a bit more substantial next week and press ‘Pay Now’.

Daddy Simon appears to have forgotten that our Anniversary is imminent. I watched him rip into a card that had arrived in the post last week that I had put aside to be opened on the day – but I say nothing ( for a change).He later admits that it had slipped his mind and enquires as to whether we’ll be giving presents a miss this year. Senor Smug here admits that he’s already sorted a little something out which sends him into a bit of a tailspin which is quite entertaining when one is two gins down and counting. He’s asked for a couple of suggestions as to what I might like and we move on.

It’s only the following day when I’m going through my emails that I realise that my new trainers are going to arrive before his present. In fact it’s unlikely that it will be here much before the 3rd.I dial down the pomposity and confess and we all have a right good laugh while I work out a way to sneak a fresh pair of sneakers into the house.

A big box arrives on Monday afternoon. I know that it’s not for Daddy Simon and wonder if I’d ordered a pair of clown shoes in error. Nope it’s just a normal sized pair in a box twice as big as it needs to be. I confess to my own indulgence and explain that the ones were pretty worn and only fit for the garden .He’s good- he didn’t mention the other 4 pairs that are lined up at the door, so we both admire the new pair and I carefully find a space for them on the shoe rack at the door.

I decided to wear them today. I do really like them. They’re a good fit – really comfy and fit just like … well an old shoe really. Oh hang on.Now I know why I like them so much. I’ve already got a pair in an identical colour scheme and a very similar style – pretty much a boot version of what I’ve just bought. I have a wee think about sending them back careful not to stand on any of the mud as I put the kids in the car but not sufficiently careful that I don’t scuff them on a protruding slab. Guess that’s the decision made then.

I’m hoping that my luck will turn when we get into town to get the kids stuff. I’ve got a rough idea what I need to get and a fair amount of resolve about sticking to it but my lovely friend makes me park at the Debenhams end of the shopping Mall.Before I know it I’m at the checkout with two frocks, a pair of tartan leggings and a multicoloured check shirt that were on sale so it must be fate AND a bargain – but knowing that there is also flap all that is going to go with any of it and I’m going to have to rethink my list and just shoplift in Primani.

We pop into Clark’s on our way past – I’m still smarting from my duplicate Dockers drama so I only linger briefly at the sale rail in the men’s department. Calder is the same size as he was a few weeks back. Alexandra has popped up half a size but due to her higher instep will need to go a further half size ” for her to be comfortable.” But it won’t be here and it won’t be today.

We do get a relaxing coffee and cake while we’re out. I get to visit the men’s room rather than a baby change facility and return to the table to find Calder telling the waitress that “Daddy wee-wee” and so we pack up and get out before Alexandra starts harping on about her shoes being too small for her.

A quick zip round Tesco turns out to be not that quick because when we get back to the car I’m surprised to see that it’s 1220 already – we’ll be home just in time for lunch at 1300. I was completely unaware that Gloria had the ability to change her own clock without our prompting so it’s actually 1320 and therefore a very speedy drive home. I consider the McDonalds drive through – but given my track record on spending already this week I turn into our road and convince Alexandra and Calder how tasty last nights leftovers will be this (very late) lunchtime.

So to wrap it up…

“Joy” was the track that Simon and I chose to walk down the aisle to together three years ago.( it was only the chorus that we had played – it wasn’t a particularly long aisle.)

“Joy” is what I continue to feel every time I look at our wee family and the fantastic man that made it all possible.❤️

Here’s to many,many,many more.

“Pointless,Love – he never reads an instruction manual!”


On top of the world! Well …on top of Tower Bridge anyway.

When You’re Good To Mama – Queen Latifah -Chicago Soundtrack.

Just always be good to your Mama – that’s all.

It’s Mother’s Day in the UK and show-tune Sunday in the Berney-Edwards household.Daddy Simon has given me the day off.It’s been a busy week so wasn’t planning on doing much anyway. Have had a lazy morning – nap in the afternoon and now Daddy Simon is prepping dinner while Alexandra,Calder and I all watch ‘In The Night Garden’. I’m not sure that there’s any educational benefit that can be taken from it but if it calms them down a bit before bedtime then it’s good for me – though Iggle Piggle’s reluctance to settle down every night needs addressing.

Had a day tackling the back garden last Sunday. That time of year where the grass needs it’s first cut of the season and there were some brambles creeping out of the bushes that needed chopping back before the children got in amongst them. As always I got a bit carried away and ended up giving the whole hedge a ‘short back and sides’.Pushkin not entirely impressed as this was one of his garden hideaways – would rather take his chances with the thorns in the brambles than 20 little fur grabbing fingers and thumbs.

Once the heavy machinery is put away Daddy Simon releases our little wild animals out into the garden with me and goes off for his shower. It’s only when I see the giant crack in the bathroom window I realise that perhaps we need to revisit our thoughts on windows coverings at the back of the house. I need to remember to discuss this with Daddy Simon. Or perhaps he’ll read it here first.

The early part of the week sees us out at a family farm with a friend on Monday, a soft play date on Tuesday morning followed by a spot of housework in preparation for an overnight guest on Tuesday,my fabulous ‘ straight stunt wife’ from my days in the glamorous world of film extra work. Alexandra and Calder get to stay up a bit later and are fortunately in good form for our lovely guest. We give Twins Club a miss on Wednesday – two tired little widgets are starting to flag a bit and I’ve got a shed to build and would rather do so while we’re still enjoying a bit of good weather. Daddy Simon takes over Daddy Day Care duties and lets me get on with it. It’s not the first one I’ve put together so it’s a fairly straightforward task. All done by gin o’clock bar the felt covering on the roof but my interest levels have dropped and so decide to finish off the next day. Not surprisingly I’ve a ‘bit of a bad back’ the following day so I don’t get around to finishing it off until Friday. It’s now all done and the Keter storage unit under the kitchen window is now home to numerous outdoor toys that the children have ignored in favour of four plastic sticks….All garden paraphernalia has been rehomed in new shed at bottom of garden well out of reach of the fun loving criminals. Now that it’s up I can see that the shed has a kind of ‘Titanic’ tilt to it that’s going to make it so much easier to put anything on wheels away but I am beginning to wish that I’d reinforced the back wall a bit more.

The clocks went forward an hour here today so we lost an hour of sleep. The fact that this is intended to herald in the arrival of spring does not make up for the fact that I lost an hour of sleep. We had intended going to bed earlier than usual last night but got stuck in a ‘ let’s watch this while we finish off this glass’ and ‘ this is funny – do you fancy a top up?’ cycle that went on until eleven/twelve/one depending on which clock you looked at so I’m glad that we agreed on a lazy day about the house with the little ones.

They went down easier than I was expecting given that it was still light outside – hoping that it will be light again when they decide to get up.

Daddy Simon is just about to serve up dinner and open a bottle of red so I’ll sign off for now.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fabulous,fantastic Mums out there!

Me and my lovely Mum – many years ago. She passed away almost twenty four years ago – but still think of her every single day❤️

Early morning selfies with our little Princess.

Calder loses interest as it becomes clear that Alexandra is in a photo-bombing kind of mood…

Little Lies – Fleetwood Mac

I managed to get slightly longer lie in this morning. Yesterday Alexandra was up at around 5 and wouldn’t settle so Daddy Simon brought her into our room – oh deep joy. She wouldn’t settle here either. Daddy Simon optimistically got back under the covers and tried to get her to cuddle in but she was having none of it and proceeded to climb and jump all over us both before getting herself down off the bed and going in search of something a bit more entertaining than her daddies. Fortunately there is very little in our room that is within her reach but its fair to say that what was lying about was brought to the back to the bed for us to have a very close look at. I did think about getting up and taking her downstairs but I was really warm and toasty.At least up here she was dividing her attention between the two of us .” That’s lovely, Sweetpea.” I’d tell her as she bashed me over the head with what might have been an alarm clock.” Now go and show Daddy Simon.” She would then toddle off around to the other side of the bed. I’d get a dig in the ribs and there would be a fair bit of grumbling from under the covers but I’d get a few minutes of peace before she’d be back with something else. Calder stirred at about 630 and so we all got up and headed downstairs to start our day.We were of course highly entertained when the early bird fell asleep in her lunch later in the day – and of course we caught it on camera for posterity. This morning it was Daddy Simon’s alarm that woke me at a slightly later time. He’d got up and gone for his shower before it went off – but he forgot to switch his alarm off – so it woke me twice as I had only snoozed it the first time I threw it across the room.
Despite having an office white board, a kitchen white board AND a family calendar Daddy Simon and I had managed to double book ourselves on 0900 appointments in different places. We had discovered this earlier in the week and had agreed a compromise. Whoever took the car took the children. I was off to the Doctors for my ‘Over 40’s’ health check and Daddy Simon was off to the job centre. We agreed that the kiddies were less likely to catch something contagious at the doctors so I won the car and Daddy Simon set off to catch the bus looking better dressed than I suspect most of the staff at the Job Centre. I’m not a fan of this smart/casual approach to workwear – what was wrong with a collar and tie…. oh I can feel a rant coming on so I’ll close it down and come back to it at a later date.
I had been for my blood test the previous week so today was just a case of reviewing the results with the practice nurse. We were all ready a bit earlier than I had expected for a change so I thought I would see what it was like to arrive somewhere early for a change. Gloria had been carefully reversed into the drive ready to catapult out into ‘the school run’ mum’s this morning but disappointingly we were too early for that show and would have to seek entertainment elsewhere. I parked up at Waitrose as was considering doing a bit of shopping there but a lack of twin trolleys made me move the car to the pay car park and get the little ‘uns into the their buggy. I was actually miles too early so decided to take the longer way round to the surgery to see if I came across any playgroups in the area for future reference.Well of course I got lost and of course I was late and out of breath when I burst into the waiting room at the doctors – how much exercise did I say that I took when I filled the form in???

Kiddies are starting to get a bit antsy so I start to drip feed them dried apricots whilst I catch my breath again.I’m taken fairly quickly so it’s too late to get a calculator out to work out how many units of alcohol I have to lie about in order that I fall within appropriate guidelines and I don’t have my reading glasses on so I can’t work out what the ‘10’ beside the picture of the wine bottle actually signifies – litres in a week? .

She starts to go through results and I will the children to start acting up a bit. Cholesterol is a bit high but my ‘bad’ cholesterol is very low. What the chocolate covered donut does that mean???? She gives me a traffic light coloured leaflet and a booklet that “will explain it all…” So she has no idea either.

There’s a possibility I have an underactive thyroid- can we just not say it’s a bit laid back and move on? Apparently it’s more common in women than men.Cheers love.What is wrong with these children- why are they being so quiet. Have a punch up so I can make my excuses and leave.Calder is having a right good look around and Alexandra is looking like butter ( that I can no longer have) wouldn’t melt in her unusually quiet mouth.

I stopped smoking 11years ago.Yay! Un point!

Diet isn’t bad – lots of fresh fruit and veg. Mainly home cooked – you know- tilts head towards children. Oh come on – could you not just fill a nappy or give us one of your toxic trumps,Calder,so we can get out of here.Maybe half a point.

Exercise – “ fair bit of walking,pushing the buggy and running about after these two.” Still no lifeline thrown from the two cherubic children.Maybe half a point.

“How much alcohol in a week?”

PANTS!!!

“Oh erm….well mainly at weekends- what’s that a bottle between mumble mumble mumble and that probably about it. The odd gin …..” I swear that’s a smirk on Alexandra’s smug little face. Should I ask if they can get a booster injection of some kind – they must be due something by now.

Now Nurse Ratched wants take my weight and height.I tell her but she’s got me rumbled as the local Hans Christian Andersen by now and wants to take her own measurements.I have to take my shoes off to get my height taken and I’ve got pockets emptied, belt and jacket off before I go near the scales. Ok not a bad BMI – “ You don’t look overweight” she says…

The good news is that I’m only running a 3% chance of contracting heart disease in the next ten years the bad news is that she wants me to see the doc about my woman’s problem and gives me two months to reduce my cholesterol. She is incredibly impressed at how well behaved Alexandra and Calder have been and the treacherous little gits bid her a cheerful “Bye-bye” as we leave.

We head back to the car and then over to Tesco – again. Frick and Frack are now in the mood for a bit of a ding-dong with one another – more of an audience you see.

I’ve forgotten to bring the shopping list but I find that multicoloured bit of paper that I had filed carefully in my back pocket. The stuff in the red column looks as though it could be closest to what was on my on list so I’ll go with that today. We’ll start at the ‘Krispy Kreme’ counter…

Pushkin loves nap time!

“Does my belly look big in this?”
“Who put the lights out?”