Archive | September 2013

New projects

Although they say spring is the time for new beginnings, it seems this year October is the month for new projects. My lovely mum has just started running The Grocer’s Cafe in Shevington, serving fab homemade food and drinks. (shameless plug there mum! Not looking for a free slice of cake honest!) I am so proud of her and I’m sure it will be a great success. I strongly advise you to pop in if you’re in the area. Her cakes are amazing!
I will be helping to decorate the cafe by producing some crochet fruit and vegetables from patterns I found on They look really effective but are quite simple to make.

I am also involved in another exciting new project in October. Our local church, St Oswalds will be running a Youth Cafe one evening a month for young people to gather, chat and just generally relax. At the moment there is nothing in the immediate area for young teenagers to do, so they usually hang around outside the premier store or in the park. It will be staffed completely by volunteers and we are very lucky that so many have come forward to give their time and energy.



Parenting in public

I was reading an article in a newspaper a couple of days ago in which the writer was explaining why she had sent her daughter to school even though she was technically too young and was struggling. Although I don’t agree with her choice, and personally would not do that, the main problem I had was when I read the author’s previous articles. This person has no objection to writing about every detail of her children’s lives, and does not seem to understand that once her children are at school, there are any number of people who will be only too glad to tell her children exactly what their mother has been saying about them. I realise this is her job, but there are ways of writing about family life which will not upset your children. I have seen many instances of parenting blogs where the tone is always positive and loving, even when describing behaviour issues.

I do mention my daughter in this blog, and on my other, but have the policy that I only write things that I would be happy for her to see at any time. I want her to be able to look back on this blog as a record of her childhood and our lives together. I wouldn’t like it if any of my family and friends wrote negative things about me online and don’t see why children should be any different. It is easier than ever to search online for people and therefore even more important to be careful about what appears on the Internet about you. For that reason she made me promise to show her any pictures I wanted to upload first so she can check the embarrassment factor!


I still can’t believe she agreed to that one!


Last week I mentioned to someone that I had let my 10 year old daughter bake some cakes and you would have thought from the reaction that I had let her go to a night club! “you mean she used the oven without you?” had to be my favourite comment. Turns out her cakes were just as good as mine. You should have seen their faces when I said I got her to make me a cup of coffee as well!


Rebecca is a very sensible girl and very mature for her age but the reaction got me thinking. Maybe I was wrong. As she has grown up, we have always brought her up to help in the house by doing age appropriate jobs to earn her pocket money. She can now, dust, clean make beds, cook a simple meal, vacuum, clean the bathroom, or put a load of washing on and she has no problem running or biking to the shops for something we have forgotten if she is asked. We don’t treat her as a servant but our parenting style is we all made the mess so we all clean it. I have never believed that children should be treated like pampered lords while their parents run themselves ragged after them.
When I was 10, I was in the brownies, and in those days, the badges included homemaker.
Part of the badge was to make a cup of tea, iron your own uniform, bake, and do various jobs around the house. Even now, brownies can work towards cooking and home skills badges, so maybe I am on the right track and not being an evil mother.
My ultimate goal as a parent is to prepare Rebecca for when she doesn’t live with us. This may seem horrible, and I hate the thought of her moving out, but I want her to be able to go to university or to her own home and not struggle with simple jobs or get into debt because she can’t manage money. When we go shopping I often ask her to compare two items to see which one offers the best value, or to work out if something is a “want” or a “need”. Any “wants” such as sweets or a small toy come out of her pocket money, but “needs” such as things for packed lunches or toiletries I buy.
I am always complimented on the fact that Rebecca is so confident and willing to help others and when that happens I start to believe I am on the right track after all.
In case you were wondering, these are the controversial cakes –


As I lie here trying to convince myself I really need to get up and go for a run, I look at the grey sky and think……really. I know I’ll feel better when I’ve got my gear on and am out there but it seems to be harder to motivate myself when the sky is grey and it’s drizzling. I’ve updated my running list for summer songs to try to keep the mood and maybe it’ll brighten up.

I started running in April and to be honest I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I started out walking a km in 20 mins and now do 3km in 30 mins. I may not be the fastest but I’m getting there. I feel so much healthier and ready to face the world!

Well, pep talk over, I’ve convinced myself. Off I go. See you in the funny papers 🏃🏃🏃

I did it! 5k in 49 minutes! And the experts are right! I do feel better and ready to face the day! Which will be busy! I’m off to meet my friend and her daughter in York and have coffee in one of the many nice cafes. We’ll probably go to the Spurriergate centre as that has a play area for toddlers and is pretty central.
A quick mooch round town before Back home for a bit of a tidy round then Rebecca is going to audition for the panto at the York Theatre Royal. She did it last year and loved it so was really eager to see if she could do it again. It was such a good experience for her and she enjoyed working with all the cast.