Category Archives: parenting

If Mother’s Day makes you miserable…

Mother’s Day for me is as much as a downer as Valentines Day , and that is saying something.



I don’t have a mum. She died almost 19 years ago. Before I was really a grown up , before I was a mum myself . I haven’t had a mum for a long time and I’m no longer grief stricken in that all encompassing , consuming way that fresh bereavement brings with it. I don’t have parents , that’s been part of my life for a very long time. I don’t weep everytime I think of it or flinch from talking about them.



Mother’s Day though that always feel like a bit of a stomach punch for me . It hits hard and it hurts and it lingers . I think it’s because it is everywhere. I have had emails everyday for about 3 weeks telling me to treat mum , buy her something special. TV ads are there too telling me to spoil my mum , get her a cute personalised card , take her out for dinner. Well you know what advertisers ? I’d love to. I’d be delighted to be able to take my mam out for dinner somewhere fancy , I never ever got to do that you see. I’d only just finished my A levels when my mum died . I wish with all my might that tomorrow we could do a lovely Sunday lunch , my mam and my children , my sister and hers . I wish we could have one of those days the advertisers are shoving down our throats. I wish I could spoil her – only present I can remember getting her was a pack of dusters when I was about 7 because she’d been saying she needed new ones ( I’d like to think that my gift giving skills have improved since then)



Mother’s Day without a mum sucks , I’ve seen a few other people mention they feel the same over the past week or so on social media . I suppose it’s just because we are bombarded with what we are missing . Highlights the hole in your life.




It’s not just the lack of a mum that gives me the Mothers Day angst.



I’m a single mum too , again I have been for a long while . There is no other adult here to give me a well done or make me feel special and that’s a bit of a niggle too. The kids will ( I hope ) have made cards and small girl’s daddy will have gotten a gift for them to give me and we’ll have a lovely tea and possibly a Mothers Day disco if we’re feeling that way inclined . It just all leaves me really flat and exhausted. A total fake of a day. That in itself makes me feel guilty , surely Mother’s Day should be spent dwelling on how bloody lucky I am to have these 4 amazing nutcases in my life. Instead I’ll be feigning happiness and joy that simply is stripped away from me on Mothers Day. I know that feeling this way stems from the toxic relationship I was in when I was first a mum and for the years after. Some of you may unfortunately know that big days and events that aren’t focussed on the perpetrator in those kind of relationships can be horrific. Kids birthdays , Christmasses well they were volatile enough but Mother’s Day ???Whole other level. You may be showered with expensive gifts in front of people to have them smashed to bits when you’re alone or you could be told that you’re too much of a shit mum to get a card on Mother’s Day . You don’t deserve it .

I think this is one of my few remaining hang ups left over from those times . Maybe I’d have conquered it with setting our own traditions and taking back Mothers Day like I have so much other stuff but the thing with it is I already feel like the wind has been taken out of my sails with not having a mum and I don’t really have the energy to fight THIS added problem that kills Mother’s Day stone dead for me .



I didn’t intend to make all this about me honestly. As I say often my blog is therapeutic and getting thoughts out of my head into words on a page really helps me understand myself and my thinking better. I don’t resent other people having the worlds best day I feel obliged to say . I love seeing the happy pics on social media of mums with their feet up , having breakfast in bed . I love to see amazing mums thanked and celebrated , they bloody deserve it ! Tell me stories of your mums and how they are absolute rocks ! I don’t scroll through social media cursing those celebrating the day I promise ( possibly DO do that on Valentine’s Day)





There are many of us though, for whom Mother’s Day is painful .

There are a multitude of reasons why .

It could be that you’re not a mum when that’s all you want in the world , that must be almost unbearably hard.

Maybe you’ve lost a child , that would be a traumatic thing to deal with on a day celebrating mothers. I can offer no words of comfort there because I’m almost sure there are none.

Maybe you have an ill child , are ill yourself , have an ill mum and are dealing with just try to get through a day.

Maybe Mother’s Day triggers poor mental health , I’ve certainly been feeling as though an anxiety flare up could be on the horizon.

Maybe you are in an abusive relationship. Forcedly estranged from your mum and other family , feeling so alone and trapped . Told what a terrible mother and person you are , that you’re pathetic and useless , that your kids would be better off in care than with you. To you women let me just say this , you are outstanding , you are doing an amazing job in intolerable circumstances and you deserve to be free. You are worthy of love and of kindness , you are worthy of being supported and empowered not kept down and silenced . When the day comes that you are able to leave , all these things will find their way to you because it’s no less than you deserve.


Maybe you don’t have your children with you this mother’s day for one reason or another and there is a painful void .



I don’t have the answers on how to make this day more tolerable , bloody hell I’m here writing a blog post that is basically one long whinge.



All I can offer is that Mother’s Day is just one day . That’s my mantra . Just one day . The next day will be better , less pressured . Surround yourself with people who lessen your pain if you at all possibly can. Fill your own little world with people who make you feel better , even if that just means spending time alone. Me ? I will be having a day with these awesome individuals that make me realise that even the shittiest days can be tolerated. I’ll also be tossing about on social media as per usual so if anyone wants to chat I’ll be around . Whether that’s because you are struggling or you just want a distraction and fancy chatting about trash tv I am your girl ( The seven year switch eh??….looks to be a cracker!! How about Richard from married at first sight??….sorry I digress…)


See you on the other side!!





My Facebook page is here


The teens have got this

Teenagers get a bad press. 

Have had since the dawn of time. 

Thugs , hooded louts who roam the streets terrorising us in their packs, off their faces on legal highs???

I don’t recognise those ones though . I’m the mum of 3 teenagers and I’m offended on their behalves by lazy stereotypes and negativity. Course there will be horrid teens ….but there are horrid people my age too but I don’t think I can be judged by their behaviours! I’m a single mum so pigeon holes rub me up the wrong way as it is but I certainly think our teenagers deserve much more credit.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a wave of teen activism which is way more familiar to me as the kind of teenagers I know . The bravery of young women speaking out against sexual harassment as part of the #metoo movement. Reclaim the Night here in Manchester hugely driven by the Student Union. These I can identify with as the work of teenagers rather than those anti social grunters , succumbing to rickets due to lack of daylight and screen addiction (though even I had to admit to being at least on nodding terms with those guys too on occasion!)

On the wake of yet another school shooting in the US we have seen a group of people rise. To take on the NRA and the gun entitled of America. A group of people so very passionate about protecting kids in school. A group not wanting to fight gun crime with more guns but less.

This group are not the parents of children fighting to keep them safe , not the grandparents saying enough is enough , too many children have gone to school never to come home. This group , being loud , being vocal , being heard are the kids themselves . The ones who have seen their friends gunned down ,who have been wounded themselves.

Emma Gonzalez has become the face of these people. An intelligent , articulate,passionate  young woman  . Watching her speech gave me hope ,it’s here if you missed it.

This woman is taking on a president who wants to arm teachers , she’s taking on a mindset that puts the right to own a gun over the right for people not to be shot. The movement “We call BS” is formed and these young people want to be heard.

They’re belittled of course , you can’t stop these shootings .You’ll never see gun control in the US , hush with the youthful optimism and just accept the status quo.

Thankfully they’re not listening .

Femi Oluwole is a UK activist , co founder of the ‘Our future , Our choice ‘ movement. An anti Brexit group passionate about the fact that young people voted heavily to remain , the thinking behind the campaign being that in the 20 , 30 years it’ll take to fully see Brexit , make our own laws ,secure trade deals that Brexit will no longer represent the will of the people.

I won’t get into the argument behind this or Brexit at all here . What does make me happy is young people sticking their head above the parapet and demanding to be listened to.

Teenagers are hushed often , told their views are invalid as they don’t know much. The young people in America standing up against the NRA have been mocked , have been accused of being actors in a bid to silence them . Femi Oluwole has been shouted down by middle aged presenters who are supposedly interviewing him. I just hear a big hush , a ‘sit down and shut up ‘ when young people articulate themselves.

The thing is though. You can’t silence young people in 2018. Our teenagers use social media like we do oxygen. They can mobilise an army of like minded individuals with one tweet. They can and they will make themselves heard and I for one want to listen. I want to hear their thoughts on their futures , I want passionate people involved in the shaping of our world. We , as older people , expect to be listened to simply because we’ve been on the planet longer. Though looking at it from a young person’s eyes we picked Trump , we voted Brexit based on a promise on a bus , we haven’t stood up and spoken out. No wonder they are frustrated.

I saw a tweet from Barack Obama in the wake of the Florida shooting which resonated with me 

Teens – we’ve got your backs .
You’ve got this.

My Facebook page is here

3 Little Buttons

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          Mummy in a Tutu

The Pramshed

Not Just the 3 of Us

The sweetest sixteen…

Once upon a time there was a baby. 

He was ever so beautiful , ever so cuddly and ever so hungry. His favourite hobbies were waking up every hour to be fed , cuddles , soft fleecy blankets ,being held and the occasional nap between meals. He had a big brother who loved to slobber all over him (kiss him he would say) and show him off like he was the crown jewels.The baby had little choice in this whole ‘brother’ thing bit he never seemed to mind too much .

The baby grew bigger , unsurprisingly given his milk intake and discovered food was a thing. It was a revelation !! It got better than milk!!! I mean porridge – whoever invented that bad boy was a genius according to our baby!

He carried on growing,much like the story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar only instead of becoming a beautiful butterfly he became the world’s cutest toddler ! Seriously I only have to think of his blonde hair and huge eyes and my womb starts having funny ideas. He was a bit clumsy and fell over his own feet a lot . His mummy just assumed that was genetic as she did too….turned out years and years of doctors and A and E trips and podiatrist appointments down the line he had a bend in a bone in his leg that noone picked up on and that’s why he fell. His mummy felt pretty bad about that but wondered if she could get in on some of this bent leg action to account for her clumsiness. 

Our world’s cutest toddler also struggled with his speech a bit. Again his mummy would insist to anyone who dare mention this that she could understand him as could his auntie and grandma so if you couldn’t that’s your problem. Much to mummy’s dismay a speech therapist fixed our hero and ‘doos’ became shoes and ‘nunny’ became dummy and mummy cursed that speech therapist as his mispronunciation was just adorable .

Pre schooler boy loved collecting. Really loved collecting. Wooden Thomas trains , Bob the Builder toys , Engie Benjy vehicles! What do you mean what’s Engie Benjy??It was kind of a Bob rival but voiced by Ant and Dec , it was pretty cool!! He’d spend hours racing these toys all separated into teams and leagues . He’d never grow out of liking a good league . 

Seriously I could just squish that little face !!!

He also loved setting ridiculous challenges for the adults in his life requesting green dummies and elephant shaped biscuits and other bizarre items. The grown ups in his life of course would take on these challenges because if you succeeded you’d be his hero!!

Through primary school at some point our boy discovered football . His elder brother had always been a sports nut but younger boy wasn’t keen. Until he was obsessed ….a character trait from his mum being he is either obsessed by something or has zero interest. We don’t really do in between. The boy breathes football. He has his precious Hull City and beloved Stockport County but it goes deeper than that. One night he and I sat and he was looking at obscure Greek football tables and results for hours .

He also became an author ! His Dusty Rusty series were a triumph! Well we all thought so anyway, I can still imagine they’ll be published one day!

The dreaded teen years came …. but they were …well great actually!!! When you’ve had 3 babies under 3 – teenagers who can feed themselves and toilet alone bring not a lot to fear really. 

He also bloody loves an evening with a rom com

So today that hungry ,cute,  cuddly baby is now – well a hungry, cute ,  cuddly 16 year old actually. An amazing young man who thinks a lot and questions a lot. Who is creative and thoughtful and kind and caring. Who would still wake to eat hourly if he could get away with it . Who does the best Garth Crooks impression and who is going to go on Pointless with me as his knowledge is pretty widespread and impressive. Whose personality I can see reflecting back at me like a mirror which is weird . …and frustrating as hell should we disagree and both dig our heels in as far as they can possibly go!!

Happy Birthday gorgeous one ! I’m so lucky to get to be the one you call mum , you’re a delight and I am so proud of the person you are . I can’t wait to watch you change the world in your own thoughtful , considered way . The universe is made infinitely better by having you in it!


After The Playground


Burnished Chaos


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Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman – a rant

Its been quite the week for female rants in our house . Quite a collaboration too , all 3 of us females here have each had a whinge about one thing or another .

Share you say ? Unburden yourselves ?

Dont mind if we do….

Earlier in the week teen girl came home with a touch of the outrage about her. This is nothing unusual but this time she had something pretty meaty to get her teeth into. 
An initiative in school had been launched to encourage more elder girls back into sport and exercise . Teen girl is the sporty type and was happy to have something new to try. However …this initiative Fit for Prom was a lunchtime fitness class for elder girls a brilliant idea with an awful name and message. Teen girl and her friends found the Fit for Prom message to be nothing more than a dangerous message that actually if you weren’t slender , toned and ‘fit’  then you shouldn’t really be going to prom. It gives me hope that this group of girls saw fit to take it up with the teacher.
Thankfully the girls PE teacher agreed with them wholeheartedly and said she felt uncomfortable with it too! Apparently this initiative was funded to allow school to put on these extra fitness class. They agreed to keep the funding ,drop the name and keep the class. Worryingly when researching Fit For Prom I found hundreds of articles on how to lose weight quick for Prom , how to tone up for your dress (all aimed at girls of course the boys just need to show up) 

I’m all for encouraging teen girls into sport but using the kind of body shaming that stops them participating in the first place is beneficial to no one.

So….we’ve dealt with this best we can. 

Then comes….lady Doritos….

*Sigh , tut, eye roll , bang head against wall*

If you missed it there was much talk of a new kind of dorito being launched , just for us ladies. Handbag size bags , they wouldn’t crunch loudly or leave ‘dorito dust’ on your hands . Us feminine ladies do not like crunchy crisps or licking our fingers don’t you know!!!

As you can imagine this went down a storm in our house. 

Me : Bloody patriarchy trying to literally silence us.

Teen Girl : Well I’ll just get crunchy ones and crunch triply loud.

Small girl : Licking your fingers is the BEST bit!!!

We don’t want lady Doritos here!

It transpired that these were not going to become a thing , everyone involved denied all knowledge and it was all a big misunderstanding (of course) I’ve read maybe it was a publicity stunt ,get us girls talking about Doritos. I’ll not be getting them again.

Sigh…..let’s see what this week brings in the way of female rants…

PS Dear Doritos,

If you really want to improve your product I’ve a few suggestions:

a) Make it so your razor sharp edges don’t dig right in your gums.

b) Add a slight curve to aid salsa dipping

c) Ditch the BBQ rib flavour

d) Don’t big yourself up with your noisy crunch. Wheat Crunchies blow you out of the water.

Thanks , a lady x

My Facebook page is here

DIY Daddy


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One Messy Mama


Show yourself the love this Valentine’s…

I admit I dislike Valentine’s Day. 

However I do really like the idea of love and romance ,of thoughtfulness and little gifts and letting other people know we’re quite fond of them! 

So rather than sit like the Grinch of Valentine’s I’m going to go for “If you can’t beat them join them” school of thought this year. Let’s hijack this celebration and use for a whole lot of self love.

Here’s a few ideas of Valentine’s treats you can spoil  yourself with.

Have half an hour with a book

Have someone else cook dinner
Be that a partner , children that are old enough or the lovely chef at the local takeaway.

Have a bath , in peace 

Take a magazine , soak in bubbles alone.

Watch an old favourite movie

Probably when the kids are in bed.

Get in touch with someone who makes you smile

Practice gratitude 

Make a list of things you are grateful for today.

Buy someone a little gift , just because.

Finding the perfect little gift for someone I care about is instant happiness for me!

Organise a night out with old friends

Buy yourself something you want not need

Even if it’s just an old copy of a favourite book from the charity shop.

Tell someone how fab you think they are 

I did this recently it’s here if you want inspiration!

I know for some of you with little kids some of these ideas will sound like the stuff of fantasy. “A bath in peace ?” Is this woman batshit crazy I hear you cry! I know. I empathise. I remember. 

You may have to tweak my suggestions a little! Bloody hell I may have to tweak my suggestions a little – a 3 teen household with also a 9yr old Lush addict and I’m banking on a long soak in the bath ? Maybe I am batshit crazy!

Do something nice for yourself this Valentine’s. If you’re loved up and happy then enjoy being spoilt by another grown up with likely better suggestions than mine – enjoy!!

If you’re the single type just think back to Valentine’s past and be grateful you don’t have to go through someone presenting you with the world’s most garish underwear (wrong size obvs ) and assuming this means their luck is in tonight ! 

Enjoy love week , I personally think Valentine’s should end at Primary school when the handmade cards and question marks do……although I could do a V day turnaround if handmade cards and question marks made a comeback!!! 

Take note Mr Perfect


My Facebook page is here

Burnished Chaos

Things I learned from my sickbed….

We’ve been ill for weeks small girl and I.

You’ve probably heard me whinging about it all over social media. 

We’ve had this flu like bug that’s been around and it has been grim. It’s a particularly yukky bug which wipes you out , makes you feel like crap and just when you think you’re getting better…zap! Back to square one…

Anyway during this fortnight of  coughing and snot and fevers and aches and pains I believe I actually have learnt a thing or two ,ever looking for the silver linings…

YouTube is a handy nurse

Yes small girl was bored not being in school and her favourite pastime of cooking and baking was out as let’s face it who wants to eat food prepared by Slimer?!

So YouTube came into its own. She was kept quiet watching her nutty videos and even more amazing I discovered some of her youtubers voices are really soothing. I mean most of them are crazily annoying but when we’ve slouched on the sofa under a duvet as she’s watching them one or two of their voices did have me dozing off!!!

Feeding a cold just makes it more hungry

What’s the phrase feed a cold and starve a fever?? Something like that anyway. Turns out when small girl is ill , no-one tells her appetite. She ate ….and ate….and ate. You know the children’s story The Very Hungry Caterpillar? That was small girl. 

I was forcing down soup and veg and super spicy curry to try and shift the cold,but it was a real effort. Small girl was behaving as though she was on Man V Food…. and she definitely emerged victorious!!

She has a great taste in books

We read together every night at bedtime but while ill we snuggled and read together some more. We’re almost finished The Person Controller by David Baddie. It is such a great book. We read Animalcolm not long back and really loved that too! So much I have got us tickets for the theatre show for her birthday (sssshhh don’t tell) She likes a funny book with great characters and an enthralling story and it seems I do too!

Eucalyptus is our bff

Olbas oil in the bath , Vicks on our feet ,oil on the radiator. Even our next door neighbours must be breathing better!

The elder 3 are very nearly great carers

They did try to look after us ,they really did. They were on hand with water and asking how we were and teen girl was basically small girl’s hot chocolate servant. 

I’d highly recommend the teens as a nursing staff……well….as long as you don’t mind folk taking the piss out of the fact your voice has gone missing , repeating your ‘I don’t get ill ‘ boast to you and that you can cope with people hushing your coughing  and referring to you not as mum but as Wheezy,from Toy Story then it’s all fun and games!!!

Being well rocks!!

Obvious one this but nothing like being wiped out for a few weeks to make you promise yourself you’ll be so grateful when you recover!! How I’ll eat superfoods to boost this immune system of mine , I’ll probably go for a run or two – healthy body always good right??
Let’s not kid ourselves though , the perfect end of illness treat is eating all the junk you had no desire for whilst sick and lying on the sofa watching crap TV. You’ve gotta conserve your energy after all!!

I’m just hoping we’re done with bugs,coughs and colds for a little while now!! January was not fun , let’s do better February please!

Burnished Chaos

Me, Being Mummy


An evening at HOME Manchester

Poor unfortunates who have read my blog a while will know I am a huge fan of the solo date . Also that a while back I resolved to spend my child free time in a more productive way than sitting in an empty house whining about how it wasn’t the same without the kids when they were with daddy/grandparents. Best resolution I ever made and I’ve had so much fun since – remember the Edinburgh epiphany?

Anyway,last week I went on one of my little nights out for one. I went to a brand new place – HOME Manchester and had such a great time I had to tell you all about it.

Before I start I will just say , I bought all tickets etc myself. I’m telling you about this merely to share the love and recommend somewhere fab….
I’ll also say ,as I do with books I am not a reviewer….if I love a show I’m generally too giddy about it to write a balanced piece ,I just want to share!! I’m sure you can Google for proper reviews though!

Despite being a theatre loving girl who has lived in Manchester for a decade somehow or other this venue has passed me by (not a clue how!)

I’d read about the PUSH festival going on at HOME and after looking on the website saw there was a huge choice of plays and theatre shows over the past couple weeks I was spoilt for choice of what to see. The best kind of conundrum I think!

I chose two plays that were on the same night. 

The first show I saw was Narcissist in the Mirror with Rosie Fleeshman. A one woman show that was so cleverly written and directed and so utterly up my street covering aspirations and dodgy dates , questionable relationships and so much relevant subject manner I couldn’t have chosen better. 

An articulate monologue capturing self examination Rosie had the audience in the palm of her hand throughout. There was much laughter and relatable appreciation alongside intimate,vulnerable emotion . It’s a shame I caught the last night as I’d have rounded up friends and come back to show them how good it was.  I don’t know when or if it’ll be performed again but the Twitter account is here if you fancy keeping your eye out.

I had an hour between shows then so headed to the restaurant bar for a glass of wine with my book. The staff were lovely and the surroundings really cosy. I didn’t eat as I’d shovelled a load of nachos down my neck pre theatre. Having perused the menu afterwards though I’ll definitely try pre theatre dinner next time.

The second show I saw was [insert slogan here] by YESYESNONO theatre. This was a whole different show and feel. Accompanied by video and music , a simple concept of thought provoking poetic monologues interspersed with audience participation was delivered. It was unexpectedly touching and a little raw. A fantastically immersive show that you leave pondering past  memories and people. 

So you see this was a fabulous solo date!! So much so I’ve already made plans for a second visit and having looked at the spring/summer calendar I can see HOME Manchester becoming a firm favourite.

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          Mummy in a Tutu



We’re all stories in the end….

Today would have been my dad’s birthday. I’ll probably talk about him more than usual to the kids today. Tell stories of when their auntie and I were little , re-tell some of his terrible jokes.

I wrote a post here a few years back now about how my parents are fairytale like to my children. This can be a lovely thing. Over years I guess and with each telling stories are embellished,not wholly accurate details are added and stories and tales we tell about my parents probably aren’t an absolute true reflection of events.

This picture here I remember that day ,my brother and his wife had brought us Easter eggs , the one in my hand was a buttons one and I remember my mam saying how we had too much chocolate and we had to just have a bit . I remember the feel of that bloody awful sofa and itchy cardigan.

I think that’s probably the comfort of time passing ,the pain of grief lessens and chatting about people no longer here keeps their memory alive and in our thoughts.

That said , sometimes even time can play little tricks on your mind. Last week I was at the shops and I noticed some Christmas stock in the sale. It was sets of kids crockery : a plate , bowl and mug that when you stacked up made up a snowman. I had a total nostalgia flashback of a similar set I had as a kid. An immediate thought flickered into my head “I’ll have to ask my mam about that” 

Where the hell did that come from??My mum died nearly 19 years ago!!!

Maybe that’s what the story telling does? Keeps them in mind to the point odd things like that happen.
Freaked me out a little bit I can tell you.

All these thoughts of the stories we tell got me thinking.

I wonder what my children will tell about me in years to come. To their partners,their children,their grandchildren??

What memories will they share of their childhood?
Scary thought!!

I can imagine one of them trying to cajole THEIR child into their uniform for school against a protest of whinges and telling them to think themselves lucky as once their mum took them to school on inset day!

Or cooking dinner for their family recounting the time I made pie but forgot to put greaseproof paper under the baking beads resulting in a baking bead encrusted pie base….yum!!

Will our board game Friday’s get a mention??

The fact I make the best chilli known to man?!

Which days out will be remembered?

Which bits of birthday and Christmas traditions we have now will be passed on to take place in their own homes 20 years from now?

The thing is , as modern parents, there is so much pressure to be #makingmemories of us #livingourbestlife full of #preciousfamilytime and being oh so permanently #blessed . I’ve a feeling though that all our contrived memory making won’t quite pan out (annoyingly) It’ll be the little details ,the almost missed moments that are remembered and taken to heart by the little ones . The disasters and blooper reels of our family lives that are reminisced and laughed about.

There are probably events and memories that my parents would have expected to be high up in things to tell the kids about that I never have.

I barely remember any specific presents I got for Christmas (bar my Big Yellow Teapot – that was awesome!)What I do remember though is that on Christmas Day we used to pile into our parents bed and drink tea before going downstairs to open presents , my dad taking fairy steps to drive us nuts with anticipation.

I’ve no huge memories of days out but I do remember the day we all walked all the way to Hornsea (and back) my sister and I whining and wailing all the way home – I tell that story a lot! 

I don’t remember my poor mam cooking tea day in day out so much as I do my dad’s Sunday Dinner , on the table for us when we got in from our grandma’s ,eating it with the rugby on the radio in the background. 

Really I guess when we’re no longer around all we are are the stories other people tell about us . To me that feels quite powerful. 

To quote The Doctor (anywhere I can shoehorn in a Doctor Who reference the better but it’s actually apt here) 

“We’re all stories in the end .

Let’s make it a good one eh?”

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The Pramshed

Not Just the 3 of Us

Rhyming with Wine


One Messy Mama


Mission Mindfulness


When 4 become 1…

You’re thinking of the Spice Girls now aren’t you?? ….yeah me too,  but this post is kid related not a 90s throwback. Although I might start giving them Spice-esque nicknames : Grumpy kid , Stroppy kid , gob almighty kid , perma-hungry kid ??Might catch on!! 

Anyway , I digress….(that’s going to be the title of my autobiography by the way)

When you have a whole tribe of kids and only 1 of you the all important one on one time can be tricky. Well when I say tricky , 1 into 4 simply does not go. It can be impossible.

Now the children are older it has become easier. I’m now able to do something with one child without everyone else wanting in! In fact these days they generally like being left alone to rot in front of a screen.

Recently there have been a few occasions though where indulging the individual children’s interests and passions has made me appreciate even more just how good it is to have those one on one times. 

My children all have very different interests. The one thing they have in common though is that when they love , they love hard. Much like their mother when they have a passion they are very enthusiastic about it!

This is how I found myself joining hundreds of people in a queue at 9 am in a Waterstones in Manchester. 

Eldest child has been into F1 since he could point and make zoomy noises on the TV whilst men in cars drove super fast (look I’m not the expert here!)

As with many things (Doctor Who , Hull City…) I got sucked in by my children’s enthusiasm and ended up being way more interested in it than I would have been. So I have found myself getting up at stupid o clock to watch races with him , I was happy to see Lewis Hamilton win the world title again and I do have a basic understanding of the rules (well except they seem to change every season!)

Anyway eager to please mum here saw Jenson Button was doing a book signing in Manchester so I told him about it. I’ve been to a few book events and signings here myself. Always very civilised affairs you buy your ticket, arrive 10 mins before the event and have a lovely time. 

This was different. I didn’t realise this was different until I had passed on the info and accepted his invitation to go with him (I’m a bit needy and they rarely want to hang out with me these days) 

This event though , involved queuing. 

Lots of queuing.

4 hours of queuing.

We were total amateurs though, the guy in front of us had travelled all the way from Northern Ireland and the man at the front of the queue had been camped outside all night! Our 15 min train ride and 4 HOURS OF QUEUING was pretty minor relatively speaking.

Despite the queuing. It really was a lovely thing to do together. I learnt a few things about my son that morning. Mainly that his F1 knowledge is almost encyclopaedic. Also though that he is a lovely ,polite , funny , chatty ,  young man (of course I knew this already but it’s quite a special insight into the kind of human he is and I just felt proud )

So the boy met one of his heroes , I know they say not to do that but Jenson was lovely and chatty and unrushed and just look at the boys face? He may be 17 but that is a look of joy … they’re rarer those moments as they get older , you’ve got to work harder for them. So what’s 4 hours between friends!!!

The Pramshed


Not Just the 3 of Us

Rhyming with Wine


Best FREE cold/rainy day attractions in Manchester…

Today’s #Blogtober17 prompt is Weather.

Part of the lazy side of me was going to rehash one of my old summer posts but re reading them it just made me a bit sad that we just didn’t seem to have much of a summer this year.

SO as it’s half term week and it’s a bit cold and rainy I thought instead I could tell you of our favourite places to go on Manchester of a rainy day and even better , they’re all free!!!

The National Football Museum

We’ve lived here almost a decade now and safe to say , in Manchester , as Hull City fans we’re in the minority!!! However as football fans we’re part of the gang!!! The National Football Museum is a football geeks dream! Youngest son would move in if he could. At 15 he has the most obscure knowledge of football facts ,I always say if they ever bring back Fantasy Football they’ve Statto’s replacement right there…anyway I digress as per. The football museum is great , the trophy cabinets are spectacular. Regardless what team you support you’ll find something of interest.This pic ,taken the first time we ever visited is the eldest listening to the radio commentary of THAT Dean Windass goal (the blurry hand of youngest son makes it look like he’s doing some rude hand gesture at the nutter behind him but I assure you this is not the case).

You can have a perfect time at the museum without any added extras but for an added charge you can also take part in some great interactive football games. This interests eldest girl as she has little interest in football history but does very much love beating her brothers at football.

Overall a great attraction for a football fan. My boys are taking their grandad for his first visit this week!!!

Imperial War Museum North

Just a short tram ride from Manchester City Centre itself .The Imperial War museum is up near Media City and the Lowry Theatre. The building itself is stunning .Once you get inside the interior is pretty breathtaking too.

The first time we all visited small girl was only about 6 and I was a bit worried it might all be a bit scary for her but I was wrong. The museum is so interactive the little ones can easily entertain themselves with displays and push buttons to their hearts content. In subsequent visits though, now everyone is that little bit older the highlight for us all has been The Big Picture Show element. Throughout the day films are shown on huge screens in a lovely big space in the museum. The lights go off and the most immersive film experience takes place ,complete with bangs and flashes (really little or easily worried children you may want to taketo a different part of the museum for this bit) and retold accounts of war experience are played alongside pictures giving a really in depth experience of what people went through. The theme of the film changes throughout the day too so you could see a couple of different ones.

Also…stop for a cuppa in the coffee shop for a gorgeous view of the Quays.

Heaton park

I know I know I said rainy /cold day activities. I’m not crazy I promise but this place is somewhere we have visited no matter what the weather!!

Another one a tram ride from Manchester city centre (plenty other public transport options and you can of course drive but small girl just loves the tram)

We started visiting here when small girl was a toddler . There’s a little farm , a boating lake and a great play park and she would pick Heaton Park as a place to go whenever she was given the option. Now as a 9 yr old , well there’s a little farm , a boating lake and a great play park so she still loves the place.

A great place to visit and go for a walk on a crisp day to blow away the cobwebs , and with a choice of places to go sit with a hot chocolate to warm up and nibble on a cake it covers all bases.

The Museum of Science and Industry

Last but by no means least.

Our absolute favourite place to visit in Manchester. The 17 yr old still loves it as much as the 9 year old!!

We love MOSI!!!

There’s just so much to see here . Some permanent features such as a whole building full of planes and cars and other vehicles  or a textile exhibition.

The Experiment! Department , well we’ve lost hours in there playing various games and doing puzzles. It’s so hands on and great for enquiring minds to soak up knowledge without even realising it.

The fab thing about MOSI is that you can have a different experience each time you go (and we have been A LOT) There are always new and changing exhibitions to run along side your old favourites!

It really comes into its own during school holidays where there’s so much for the kids to do. Shows to watch and take part in , craft activities and workshops.
Look what we did earlier this year? Learned about sewers and made slime?!

I know it looks as though small girl is channelling her inner Deirdre Barlow here but honestly she was having fun!!!

Also it’s currently Manchester Science Festival so no doubt there’ll be some extra special activities taking place . Click on the link in the title to have a look. I’m sure we’ll have paid a visit before half term is out.

So there’s our fave things to do in Manchester should it be raining…in Manchester? Surely not right? They won’t break the bank either!!
I’ve not been coerced or bribed (unfort) to include these places they genuinely are just our faves !

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