Happy Glampers

The long summer holidays have finally come to an end, the children are back at school and nursery, I have finished my second reflexology diploma, and I am now slowly making my way through toys and summer debris to make our house feel like a home again, rather than a playgroup.

Life has been pretty chaotic over the summer and the season has flown by in a series of incredible highs and lows that have been difficult to keep up with. However, my focus is returning and life moves on.

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Help! I’ve got a job..

Next week, I start my new job.

For the first time in 7 years I will be ‘going out to work’ every week day.

I’ll be in an office environment. There will be people in the same room as me who are professionals at being grown up and I will not have any children to hide behind.

Now, a key piece of information I should give you at this point is this:

Before I had my own children I worked for many years as a private Nanny. So the last 7 years have been a bit of a ‘busman’s holiday’ but with a stronger emotional pull and much less sleep. Therefore my step back in to the working world (and by that I mean, one that involves actual pay slips) is utterly terrifying for three reasons.

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End of an Era

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I’ve just got back from dropping both of my children off at school. Yes both. For today is the day that our youngest child begins the mammoth journey that is primary school. I’ll be honest, I’m trying to muster some emotions around the whole thing. Do I feel sad that she is now enveloped in to the school system? Sad that she’s ‘not a baby anymore’? Sad that I no longer have a baby/toddler/pre-schooler? Sad that our lives have changed just a little bit?

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If you go down to the woods today…

I first met Meg Lamoon about 2 years ago, at a party. We were dressed as pirates. It was a pirate party. That bit isn’t relevant of course but I do like to set the scene.. We got chatting and she told me she was training to be a Forest School Leader.

“Sorry. A what?” I might have said (In a pirate voice, obvs)

I’d never heard of Forest School.

Meg explained “It might sound like a new fangled ‘trend’ but it was actually developed in 1993 and it is based on Scandinavian early years practice which is predominantly, out door, child-led, play-led learning.

Forest school refers to a ‘philosophy’ as opposed to a specific physical space and it’s principles are centred around children being able to explore nature, take risks appropriate to the environment, and make their own choices.”

To be honest I’d had half a barrel of rum at this point so I was really none the wiser due to being a bit squiffy.

The conversation then moved on to other subjects (which are best not repeated here) and after all the guests had gone home and even the party host himself had shlepped off to bed, Meg and I were still larking about, fighting each other with foam swords and doing impressions of Orville. It was a beautiful moment.

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We are the champions, my friend

I have just returned from a summer holiday day out to a local wildlife park. In my mind a “quick run around and a picnic” with my three little darlings would be the ideal way to pass a few hours. No TV, no iPad, no arguments – just wholesome fun!

On arrival however, reality smacked me in the face, like a hot, dusty, screaming kipper. The car park was jam packed with oversized cars (mine included), which made parking a real joy. There were queues to get in, queues to get out, crowds of people in front of every enclosure trying to spot the hidden animals, and many, many hot, tired children demanding ice creams and a trip to the gift shop.

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There I was feeling a bit glum, knowing my chances to publish anything on the blog over the holidays were extremely slim given the full on-ness of keeping the children alive and entertained every single day for six weeks.

Then one rainy day the girls had the idea of making a ‘cookery show’ which we could film and show Daddy when he returned from work. In that moment I knew this had blog potential and instantly whipped out the guitar. If Katie from CBeebies ‘I can cook’ sings about hand washing , so will we goddammit. 10 minutes of jang-jangling (sorry Jenny next-door) 3 terrible chords and a quick raid of the dressing up box and we were ready to perform our very own hand wash song.

I set the camera up and let it roll whilst we attempted to make cheesy scones.

It was pretty shambolic if I’m honest and certainly not the slick, professional show that my eldest had imagined. (She was mortified when she saw I had included the ‘accident with the cheese grater’ in the final cut.)

My husband was impressed but felt that, since I had called it ‘Baking Bad’, we needed the  actual Breaking Bad theme tune at the end. A quick Youtube search and another raid of the dressing up box was all it took. Out came the youngest’s ukulele, which Hubby promptly learnt the tune on, using a kaleidoscope as a slide – obvs, a saucepan, a maraca and an old box. The result? Something very bashy , yet strangely recognisable.

So, here it is, our first ever episode of ‘Baking Bad’…

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Baking Bad

That’s not Father Christmas, That’s my Granddad!

On Tuesday 2nd August a bright light went out in my world. My grandfather, Peter Wrathall, died after a long and brave battle with prostate cancer. I hate cancer.

Peter was a phenomenal man, who achieved a great many things in his life and he was thus many things to many people. He was a son, brother, uncle, loving husband and father to three boys, father-in-law, dear friend, an outstanding educator and to some people he was “Mr Wrathall” – Headteacher and co-founder of St Faiths at Ash independent school. But to me, he was simply “granddad” and he never tried to be anything else.

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