Posted in Children, Christmas, memories, parenting

Oh go then, it is Christmas…

Hello lovely people.

How are we all doing?

Who’s still in the ‘time twixt Christmas and New Year’ haze?

Let’s check:

🔶 Do you know what day it is? (Erm, well Christmas was on a Tuesday and that was a few days ago-ish, so it’s definitely…….a day ending with y.)

🔶 When is your next bin collection? (Hmm, normal day is Tuesday….. we worked out a minute ago that Christmas was Tuesday so no noisy bin folk… so probably…..hang on what day is it today anyway… I don’t know where the dangly bit of card with the Very Important Reorganised Dates on is. Let’s just keep on an eye on next door, they’ll know…)

🔶What did you have for breakfast today? (Was it standard, run of the mill, everyday, socially acceptable breakfast fare? Or…..not? For example; yesterday I enjoyed Baileys Roulade for breakfast and I’m not even sorry.)

🔶Have you answered any questions with the words “oh go on then, it is Christmas”? (Shall we open another packet of Brie?/ Can we stay in pyjamas all day?/ Drink?/Another drink?)

🔶Are you regularly refereeing Selection Box Ownership battles? (That’s my Fudge bar, he’s had two Crunchies now, she’s eaten my Oreo bar – er nope she hasn’t, it underwent quality control -)

🔶Are you still discovering gourmet worthy ways of serving cold turkey? (We’ve had ‘cold meats and cheeses’, turkey soup, turkey carbonara, Christmas dinner pasta bake, turkey rolls…..)

I think we can safely say that we are all suffering from ‘holiday season hangover’.

So. Christmas at The Circus was fairly standard. We recently got a new oven so it didn’t take 27.6 hours to cook the turkey (and for anyone who remembers the soap opera worthy goings on of last year, you’ll be pleased to know that no wildlife pretested the poultry this time)

Noodle decided to be my sous chef for the Christmas cooking, especially with the very important pigs in blankets. However, he discovered upon opening the bacon that it had been packaged in Suffolk so therefore must be posh. So it transpired that our meaty side dish was to become ‘porkers in ponchos’.

Pickle had the double delight again of her Christmas Day birthday. She was over the moon to receive the only two things that she craved in life; a violin and a microphone.

It sounded so idyllic, ah she wants a violin, how sweet, we shall of course purchase one with haste. Oh how wrong we were.

The Noise. I cannot begin to describe the sound that a five year old can make with a violin.

But this is me so I will, of course, try: imagine a hybrid animal somewhere between a mouse and a hyena (I’ll give you a minute). Then imagine that this creature is forced to walk barefoot on Lego whilst simultaneously having its teeth pulled out with pinking shears. Then. And only then. Will you be any where close to the melodic harmonies that are produced. You live and learn.

All due respect to CircusHusband who remembered my desire for a pyrography kit, and further respect for an afternoon of lone parenting while I sat with three of my fingers submerged in cold water after my first go. In case anyone has ever wondered; human fingers are not designed to withstand the heat required to burn wood (who says these blog posts aren’t educational?!)

The finished article.

So, all in all. Not a bad Christmas period I suppose. I have to be honest, I struggle with Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love the lead up; the music, the lights, the present buying. It’s just the day itself, it always feels a touch anticlimactic, and rushed and chaotic (yes I know, I have control issues which don’t help). But we made it through, and Boxing Day was much easier to digest (it may or may not have had something to do with the discovery of chocolate orange Baileys) so all was well.

The 28th of December is the anniversary of losing my Mum which, even after many years, always clouds my Christmas somewhat. This year we spent it quietly at home and played some of her favourite songs on the Echo (we now have three in the house, if you have never used them as walkie talkies then you haven’t lived). It wasn’t sad, but acts as a reminder to tell people you love them while you can, and to show appreciation to those in your life who deserve it. Everyday is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

A few more limbo days now until we hit the excitement of New Year. What will 2019 bring? In The Circus we are hoping for health and happiness; for CircusHusband’s new career path to continue expanding, for my writing to hit the wider audience (I know, god help everyone), and for lots of laughs.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas in whichever way you choose to spend it.

Welcome to my world.


Posted in Children, Christmas, parenting, Random musings

Practically Perfect isn’t always Perfectly Practical.

Well hello.

So, first blog post of the new year and it comes with a resolution to make creating new posts a more regular occurrence so if there are things you would and wouldn’t want to  read about in 2018 please leave feedback.

We had the ‘back to school’ rigmarole last week. Always fun after 3 weeks holiday. It baffles and amazes me how it is possible to lose one shoe/one plimsoll/one trainer/ between taking them off and requiring them again.

Inevitably followed by the words “well that’s where I left them, someone must have moved them”,

Yep those pesky fairies have a lot to answer for.

Then, of course, there’s the ‘new term bag packing’ which this time I fortunately didn’t leave until the morning of return. Why fortunately? Well, because otherwise I wouldn’t have found the Christmas card Noodle had lovingly created for us yet forgot to deliver, and I wouldn’t have found the homework he was so adamant he didn’t have.

Back to school seems to indicate the end of the Christmas season. The time to put a more sensible head on. The time to swap pyjamas for some semblance of daywear. The time to not wake up in a cold sweat at 2am because you haven’t moved the god damn elf. The time to actually check that it’s at least the afternoon when someone offers you a drink. The time to start drinking said drinks out of proper, civilised receptacles (and this is brought to you by the person who spent Christmas and new year drinking from either a disco ball with a straw hole or a hollowed out chocolate reindeer). The time to eat something with actual nutritional value.
And it’s on that last note that I decided just this morning that the Christmas season is definitely over thanks to a conversation with Pickle.

“Mummy I’ll cook for you in my kitchen, what would like for breakfast?”
“Oh I don’t know, what would you recommend?”
She stopped what she was doing. Turned to look at me. Cast her eyes up and down and declared:
“Maybe just lettuce………………………………”

Ok. Resuming normality followed by a Slimming World reunion it is then.

During the aftermath it’s easy to look back over the season and dwell

on things you wish you’d done slightly differently; different food you could have cooked, different presents you could have bought, the pile of cards you should have posted (just me?) I think this may be the first year that I am not partaking in the value of hindsight and that alone means this Christmas was an unrivalled success.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this and you may be surprised to learn that I am rubbish at Christmas.

Complete rubbish.

I lost my mum three days after Christmas a few years ago and try as you might, it’s not easy to disassociate the two things (although I obviously try for the Monkeys). It means I try to overcompensate to the point of striving for perfection, an idealism that will never be reached and therefore becomes a disappointment. I take on everything and overthink everything until the fun becomes a chore and it’s a slow road to burnout. Someone said to me recently, that I am far too bothered by what other people’s impressions of me are. To a point this is true, but sometimes the opinions you hold of yourself are ultimately the most damaging.

I came up with my own personal catchphrase related to this


But. Proudly I can say this year was different. This year was more fun than chore. Each element was enjoyable and there wasn’t the inevitable anticlimax. I think what I have learned is that there is no ideal. You do what works for you. And you don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. You surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are, not with those who constantly expect more than you can comfortably give.

It is what it is and that’s all it needs to be.

So. Christmas has been and gone and New Year is but a distant memory, so let’s conclude these ramblings with some of the funnier festive goings-on in The Circus.

  • The turkey that was left to defrost was scavenged and mauled by a wild yeti (or possibly a local nosy cat – the jury’s still out).
  • The replacement turkey took nigh on the entire twelve days of Christmas to cook.
  • This resulted in the infamous words “I’ll just whack the temperature up for a bit”
  • This resulted in the infamous words “Erm, why exactly is the oven on fire?” (thank god it’s not long til Mother’s Day as the new black hue of my oven gloves really doesn’t complement my kitchen)
  • The baby seemed to have rather deepseated issues with the Christmas tree. The poor thing was subjected to light saber attacks, somewhat vigorous shaking, and my beautifully co-ordinated tree decorations wouldn’t look out of place in an earthquake reconstruction.

So. That’s it really. We survived Christmas. Everyone was mostly unscathed.  I use the word ‘was’ as the day before yesterday saw us holding Noodle’s first ever proper birthday party. He was extremely lucky and received many wonderful gifts and some money. Money that I irresponsibly said he could spend on things of his choosing……

A Nerf Gun…..and SpongeBob Squarepants Walkie Talkies

So normality is finally restored, just as long as you avoid the SAS secret missions corp which lie in wait with foam bullets while sending and receiving undecodable messages through a bright yellow talking sponge of course.

Welcome to my world.

Posted in parenting

From the mouths of babes.

So. We’re nearing the end of August and nearing the end of the summer holidays. A 6 week break from normal routine with four small children presents it’s own individual challenges and is a rollercoaster of a time.

It also allows time for more random conversations and ridiculous debates and as an end-of-holiday treat I thought I’d share with you lucky, lucky people some of the more bizarre things to have graced my ears these last few weeks. I suggest you abandon all sense of understanding and expectation of logic right here before reading on!

I was making a cup of coffee the other day and was hounded by Pickle for some milk. I absentmindedly poured some of the almond milk I was using into a cup for her and thought no more of it. A few hours later she asked for a drink “but none of mummy’s special yucky milk, I’ll have normal moo-cow milk please”.  Discerning tastes that one.

Noodle was discussing ages with his friend, they proudly told me how old they’d be after each of their next few birthdays. After a while I commented that they’d soon be as old as me. They glanced at each other and Noodle pipes up “No, it’s still a lot more years til we’ll be 1000” his friend joins in with “and we don’t want to be 1000, do we?” to which Noodle replies “nope, cos that’s when you start shrinking” These holidays have obviously aged me more than I’d realised……shrinking, however, I could definitely get on board with!

I was looking at an animal picture book with Pickle and she pointed at a butterfly, “look Mummy,an owl” “lovely, but it’s a butterfly” “it’s an owl” “no honey it’s definitely a butterfly” there was a long pause followed by………..”actually Mummy it’s an owl pretending to be a butterfly”. OK. You win.

One evening last week Froo baked some buns. It was getting quite late so Daddy was left in charge of removing them from the oven once they were cooked……Daddy remembered approximately 90 minutes later. They were somewhat past the ediblee stage, so the next morning (once I’d ensured that no blame rested on my shoulders) I suggested that they be broken up and put on the bird table for the birds. A little while later I find Pickle covered in black crumbs. “You were supposed to give those to the birds” I say. She wanders over to the window and finishes the conversation with “no birdies out there, I looked. I eat it for the birdies. I do good sharing. Yay. Well done me” In a month of Sundays I couldn’t have come up with an appropriate response for that!

The last few days Noodle has planning his birthday (slightly premature as it’s not until next year) he’s already uninvited me to his party numerous times. This is more than a little worrying as I don’t remember actually being invited to this non existent party in the first place. Then he moved onto his birthday presents…..these may need some fine tuning as they currently involve me stealing him a real life bin lorry.

That last one fits in nicely with Pickle starting to understand the concept of Christmas and Father Christmas, the jolly soul who is apparently bringing her: 2 dollies, a purple horse in a purple stable and a new pet lemon.

It’s been a brain stretching few weeks to say the least but each day has been fun and with each day the monkeys have grown into slightly older, slightly more independent and slightly odder children and despite the madness I will miss them like crazy in a couple of weeks.


Welcome to my world, Rx







e stage