Loving Abigail Brown’s birds

I was sent a link to Abigail Browns site today and was really excited to see her work in the Paul Smith store for London Fashion Week. Her beautifully made fabric birds look excellent in store, quintessentially english and very cute. I’m thinking of buying one!

Abigail Brown's birds in the Paul Smith store

Oh the joy of being back at work.

I know, I know, it sounds crazy but there is something quite comforting about getting back to the old routine. You know what day it is for a start, you stop eating constantly and you feel less lethargic and lazy. It’s only day 2 and I still have cotton wool for a brain but a client meeting tomorrow will sort that out I’m sure.

It’s good to be back and even better ….I’m already looking forward to the next holiday!

Feeling inadequate.

I  do like a good conference.  Today I attended the CIPR Northern Conference, largely in my capacity as Y&L Committee member but I was glad to go and help out as as I’ve found I can get a lot from a conference.  They can be very refreshing – hearing a different perspective on things, picking up some nuggets of wisdom and meeting new people.

And then there’s the speakers.  Today they were mixed but there were a few that stood out.  Heather McGregor was funny, direct and made me feel entirely inadequate.  I was stunned to hear how with three children, a high profile headhunting business, an FT column and regular writing work with the Guardian and Times has still found time to learn to fly (she flew herself to Yorkshire yesterday!), to shoot Grouse, and other countless interesting and exciting things.  I found myself sinking into my chair, feeling bad that I don’t update this blog enough, that I still haven’t found time to put those things I want to sell on Ebay and that I have a pile of ironing that is slowly turning into the Tower of Pisa.  And there she is learning to fly for God’s sake.

Yasmin Diamond, Head of Comms from the Home Office was a close second in the inadequancy stakes – a real high flier, yet down to earth and with a huge job.  She seemed to work about 18 hours a day!

One of the biggest surprises was Alastair Campbell.  He was interesting and engaging, particularly when talking about the inside track of government. But I didn’t expect him to be so charming, there was a confidence yes, but not the arrogance I assumed he’d portray.  I was loath to leave the Q&A session but nursary collection called.

I’m now following him on Twitter and I’ve subscribed to his bog.

And then after all that, after picking the children up, providing snacks, hugs and a bed-time story, gorgeous girl decided to spring a blinder on me.

Mummy -  where  do babies come from?

I’ll tell you about that one tomorrow :)

On the Heather/Yasmin quandry though I met a lovely lady today called Bridget Batty from  LimeTree Public Relations.  Over lunch I expressed my horror at my lack of achievement in the flying /shooting stakes.  She reminded me that Heather’s children are probably much older than mine.  I’ve checked it out and she’s right, they are.

So there’s hope for me yet, but for now I think the sky’s of Leeds are safe.

Exhausted!

Why oh why do I have children that insist on waking up so early.  God knows me and K like our sleep so why is it that we produce children that rise so early.  I thought Gorgeous Girl was bad enough but at least she would snuggle up in bed with us and lie quietly (until she started talking).  Thankfully she’s grown out of it now and school is tiring her out.  Admittedly she returns from school having turned into the she devil….’NO I WON’T DO THAT…YOU’RE  A NAUGHTY MUMMY….I DON’T WANT TO…ETC ETC’…but at least she rises at a reasonable time.

Now Handsome Boy is a different matter entirely.  Of course he’s still little (21 months just about) but it can be any time between 4.30 and 5.30 every morning.  He wakes crying for his milk, insists on going downstairs (usually by pointing and shreaking towards the bedroom door – as soon as he leaves his room he stops crying) and then usually moves onto playing the keyboard or some other noisy activity as soon as possible.

It makes life so difficult.  K and I do take it in turns to get up but even so it’s taking its toll.  The lack of sleep takes its toll mentally and physically.  It’s hard not to feel down and depressed when your tired, you can lose a sense of perspective on things and I’ve suffered from lots of colds too.  But we keep going and try to get as much sleep as we can and not to dwell too much on it.  What option do we have?

So at the moment.  We’re exhausted.

Sleep is our luxury.

A lie-in the ultimate treat.

An early night is most definately an early night.

Too busy to blog?

God it’s been a while since my last post….practically a month in fact.  I’ve thought of my ‘baby blog’ often but somehow put off posting, kept coming up with ideas which became another entry in my ‘to do’ list and really quickly it became a chore.  Honestly?  I think I’ve been worrying about what to write, whether people would find it interesting and how I might make get my blog noticed.  I’ve lost sight of why I originally wanted to write this blog.  For me!  To track the changes in my life, my feelings, the stuff I’m battling with, to leave some kind of diary for me and my kids.

That’s why I want to blog.

So my 16th September resolution.  Write for me – no matter how insignificant or small.  I’m not worrying about an audience, because at the moment I don’t have one.  If they come along then fine, if not… then that’s ok also.

Ham sandwiches and cancer?

If the World Cancer Research Fund is to be believed I’m killing my kids….Oh the shame!

When I first heard this golden nugget of parental advice on GMTV’s news hour my first reaction was ….for God’s sake!  What next?  Where will the food police stop?  I’m not an idiot, I raise my kids to understand that fruit and veg is good – we try to eat our 5 portions every day.  We don’t eat too much white bread and the salt shaker is rarely used.  But one thing we do enjoy -  maybe once a week or so  – is a ham sandwich.

So our regular sandwich (brown bun, ham, tomato and cucumber, with a small scraping of mayo) now should be seen as a treat – yeah right try telling that to my four year old daughter!  Where’s the crisps Mummy?

Don;t get me wrong I think dietary advice is a good thing.  My father had a very serious heart attack recently and it made all of us reassess our diets.  I started taking more notice of saturated fat (it’s surprising how high it can be in foods you wouldn’t associate as fatty) and my poor dad has given up pork pies, cheese and peanuts….his little ‘treats’.

But it’s how we present this advice that needs consideration.  Unless there’s no real substance to the advice, people can be unsure, as point out by the aptly named Salted Slug, and hysteria ensues.  I Googled to see what was being said about the ham sham, Jan Moir’s peice for the Daily Mail was, of course, scathing.  No shock there but what worryed me was the fact that doctors are reporting increased cases of a condition known as Ortorexia Nervosa – “Described as a fixation on righteous eating, it affects mostly well-educated, middle-class men and women over the age of 30.”

So, great – don’t feed your kids a ham sarny but it’s ok if you survive on bulgar wheat, apples and the odd prune.

I do think we need to watch what we eat and people should think about what they’re putting in their bodies.  But lets have some perspective on this otherwise, god forbid, we run the risk of a load of Gillian McKeiths running around – shrieking in panic at the site of a potato, bread bashing and howling at the horror of ham.

Temple Spa Beauty Products

I went to a Temple Spa party a few weeks ago and even though I don’t usually enjoy the ‘party plan’ scene I had a really nice time.  My good friend Laura had gone to lots of effort, making a high tea and putting candles everywhere and we all (about 8 of us) had a bit of a pamper.  It was nice to use the products and get advice on skincare routine, which when you have super hectic lifestyle like mine, isn’t always on the top of your list.  Anyway, I bought the ‘Good to Go’ cleanser and ‘Quench’ intensive facemask.  I used them last night for the first time and they were fab – K noticed my skin straightaway after I cleansed, he said it looked really clear.

‘Good to Go’ is for normal skin and is a foaming cleanser, with aloe, shea butter, carrot, cucumber & watercress.  It’s a lovely light foam which you apply to wet skin and massage in before rinsing.  It leaves your skin feeling really fresh and looks like it will be good value for money.  It retails at £15.00 for 170ml and you don’t need much to get good results.

Quench is a little more expensive at £20 for 65mls, but I’d say well worth the investment. It’s a rejuvenating face mask for dry or dull skin, with olive, avocado, red pepper, echinacea & vitamins and totally nourises and moisturises the skin.  I loved it because you can treat it as a mask and wipe it off or leave it on overnight for a really intensive boost to your face.  You only need use the equivalent of a small teaspoon for your face and neck and my skin felt amazing this morning.

Fully quenched and good to go – you can’t ask for more than that on a Tuesday morning.