Friday 25 April 2014

Inspired and normality:: Days15 - 29

Well I'm definitely feeling more Spring-like...I've shaken off my boots but not yet embraced bare feet. It's still cool enough for me to wear my black opaque tights to work (I have no idea what I'll wear when it's too hot) but I've been busy. Preparing for teaching. Preparing a book chapter. Cooking. Eating. Trying to appreciate the small things that make the everyday stand out. There's a certain rhythm to these 101 days posts. I'm still finding new things to enjoy but my family; my garden and food play a huge part in these.

Day 15
There's nothing better than a good sing song on the way to nursery and with the schools being off there's less people travelling to work and the journey takes less time. We walk from the car park singing 'Heads, shoulders knees and toes' with LittleR now joining in and pointing to her head and toes.

The delicious first (and second, third) bite of a hazelnut croissant!!


A trip to Temple Newsam Home Farm. We saw some piglets born that morning! Little R learnt to ‘Moo’

Day 17
Whilst the ABO works, the girls and I take a trip into Leeds for afternoon tea at Browns. Town on a Saturday afternoon is not a place I’d normally go with two small children, this was to celebrate my good friend leaving work to start maternity leave. We have a private room, which is lucky as LittleR is teething and not happy in or out of the buggy, with food or not and just wants to perfect her tablecloth pulling technique. Fortunately BigR spends the time playing with the table decorations and eating her body weight in cake (a girl after my own heart). We cause havoc, strike fear into a pregnant woman’s heart, eat cake and leave!

Day 18
As the weather is so lovely we take a trip once again to Harlow Carr. There’s always something new to see in the gardens and something to buy in the book shop. I am restrained and BigR receives Little Miss Chatterbox and the Frog Prince.
In the afternoon we all play football in the garden. It’s lovely!

Day 19
Birdsong. At the hospital I’m attached to there’s a huge amount of birdsong. I’m amazed that in such an urban environment I can hear such beautiful birdsong. I’m constantly trying to decipher the different sounds and use the RSPB site as a guide.

Day 20
After a very productive meal planning exercise from the ABO and myself…we have a large number of children’s frozen meals. Curry, macaroni cheese, fishcakes. I take a great deal of satisfaction seeing them all lined up in the kitchen like this!!

Day 21
Today we found out that BigR has got a place at our local (we live opposite) and oversubscribed school. She’s very excited that at playtime she’ll be able to see if we’re in or out!! I’m not sure how I feel now her place is confirmed. I think September will be a time of adjustments as we won’t have the flexibility we’ve had for the last 5 years. But it does mean we’ll get to spend time with LittleR only which will also be good.

Day 22
I have a child free morning and spend it dashing to the supermarket and Ikea and tidying. I come away with a magazine, some fancy frilly daffodils and only 2 items from Ikea not on my list.  This is a miracle. Things seem to plop into my yellow bag in there.I've bought some fabric to make BigR (and potentially LittleR and eventually me) a skirt. I'm going to use the tutorial Jennifer found.
My parents arrive from Essex with a huge bag full of chocolate eggs and bunnies. They’ve bought up the Lindt section of their local supermarket. Not that I’m complaining really!
They take BigR for a sleepover and we find we have more time at their usual bedtime which is usually filled with ‘I need a wee/drink/covers sorting/book/itchy foot scratched’ so we fill it instead with a glass of wine and a recording of Masterchef.

Day 23
Today (more than any other day) I remember my brother. It’s been two years since he died. I cannot believe where the time has gone.
To ‘celebrate’ being one child down for a time and to cheer me up we have a burger in town. It is delicious!!!! I decline my usual milkshake and got for chips instead. Good choice.

LittleR is so excited to see BigR again when my parents drop her off. She is cheering and stamps her feet. I love to see their relationship developing. It’s not long until the shouting starts again though as BigR is a bit too heavy handed!

Day 24
LittleR is a musical genius and has worked out how to play the harmonica. She plays it and dances in front of MTV!!

Day 25
We spend Easter day quite quietly at the park for an early morning walk, in the garden and then in front of the TV with various football matches after a lovely roast chicken dinner. I am too busy and stressed to take photos (putting one small child in bed whilst timing veg and Yorkshire puddings!) but relax afterwards. I even carve out some time to read!

Day 26
Whilst the ABO works, I dash to the supermarket before my friend arrives. We take the girls to have their feet measured and only one needs shoes. The Big one doesn’t make a fuss and enjoys a babyccino as a reward. Phew! My biggest one loves shoes. Whilst LittleR sleeps, I make pizza dough, pizza tomato sauce and our lunches.

In the afternoon we head to the local garden centre where I buy a blueberry plant and some ericaceous compost under CJ’s instruction. There are a few flowers on the plant so maybe we’ll get a couple of blueberries later. I’m prepared to wait until next year for a harvest. I’ve quite a few plans for the garden this year (which I will blog about eventually) and we suddenly had an idea…of perhaps growing our fruit and veg in the front garden. Food for thought so to speak….

Day 27
After an early start and some tantrums (from the Big one) there is exemplary behaviour so we go for a pizza at our local Pizza Express. The wait as usual here is long but BigR loves the colouring and the stickers and hat you get on arrival. I love that I don’t have to cook this one!

Day 28
The University reopens and our post Easter routine starts again. After work, I wander the house returning items to their rightful places and creating collections of things to move up or down stairs. I find umpteen clips to go back to the hair gubbins box. Very satisfying.

Day 29

As I drive to work…to my role in another city. I spy a photo opportunity. This imposing building is Lister Mill it was once the largest silk mill in the world and is now flats as part of a regeneration project in Bradford.

We have a midweek meal of pork chops. We’re trying to use up freezer items before they become too burnt/forgotten. The ABO makes mash potato in the day. I cheat and use Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puddings (hey don’t judge me I’m not a Yorkshire lass!) but it’s delicious even if I say so myself. 


  1. I love the little meals all ready to go! I used to do this when I was working full time and my eldest was little. I don't seem to be so organised now. A fascinating insight into your day to day life. It all sounds wonderfully normal/chaotic. My favourite kind of blog post.
    Leanne xx

  2. I so enjoy reading posts like this, full of the minutiae of daily life. Good for you making all those frozen meals, it will make life a lot easier when it's time to feed the little girls.

  3. I very much like this post, such a great way to get to know you better. I am eyeing your Kitchenaid behind the little bowls with "ready" meals. How organised you are! I so miss academia, writing a book chapter, spending time with students. Oh well. It is very exiting to have BigR starting school, and just across the road. Both our schools are 5 min walk away, it is great. I found it quite an adjustment when Sam started school because nursery is so much more flexible than schools but somehow it always works out. I'll be interested to hear about your garden. I am a bit more exited about gardening (so very many inspiring blogs!) and I am eager to learn from others. Have a great weekend. Cxx

  4. Oh yes, I'd love a KitchenAid too - I've been known to wander past the rainbow of them in Selfridges sighing and stroking them longingly...
    You've been eating some lovely things: burgers, pizza, Yorkshire pud... I admire your restraint by choosing between chips and milkshake as opposed to having both!
    And as for the shoes... We bought Joe a new pair last week. How can something so small be so expensive? The shoes weren't cheap either ;)
    Sarah x

  5. Goodness you are busy, but I like the way you look for the happy in each day. I love how high food and meals feature on your list too! Good news on Big R getting the school place, I bet that's a relief. x