Friday, 30 September 2011

Hot Hot Hot!

Met up with the ladies and babies at the Lido cafe where, although Jo had to leave early, we had a pleasant lunch.  Both pool and cafe were full with happy Lambethians enjoying the heat.

Turns out P does not have a tummy infection, but she is still not right, so back to the docs next week.

Felt tired and grumpy by the evening, so good to have a cosy evening in with Fish watching Willy Wonka and playing Scrabble.

Matty arrived at 9:30, good to see him, staying with us to go to a footie match on Sat.

Penny would not go to bed, no matter what we did, so I took the decision to bring her to bed with us to make sure we both got some sleep.  Hope her dislike for her cot doesn't last!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Bright Sunshiney Day

Another tiring night, so tried to grab some extra sleep this morning.

P had a long nap after lunch, so used the time to get some little jobs done.  Then thought we would go out in the sunshine for a bit.  Found some great dresses at Barnardos, and stopped for a drink in Morleys.

Made a roast belly of pork for dinner ... was delicious!  And had a relaxing bath as it was Charlie's evening with Penny.  Yet again, she was not keen to go to bed, even after a good few pages of the Jungle Book.  Maybe because she is ill still, but hoping it does not continue ...

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Walking through Greenest London

Waited around in the morning for the gas man to come and replace our meter, pretty painless.  Then met with Jo and Hermione to catch a bus to Crystal Palace to meet Kaye and Betsy for a walk around the Green Chain Route.

As it was so hot, we stopped lots to feed and change babies, and to chat.  Through Crystal Palace Park, Sydenham, and eventually we made it to the Horniman where we caught the cafe just before it closed.

A 'Feast' and a cup of tea later, we waited for the P4 to get back to Brixton.  A good dose of exercise and fresh air!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Brightness in Brighton

A bit bustly first thing, packing for the day and sorting out Penny's poop sample, but eventually got to Victoria and on the train to Brighton to spend the day with Yaya Theresa and Demetris.

Wandered by the sea for a while with T, visiting the playpark (bit advanced for Penny at this stage).  Then drove through the fog to the house for a lovely salmon lunch, and an afternoon of chatting, Penny cuddles and T kindly gave me a back massage as I was achy.

Got back home at 9.30, tired and happy.  Charlie was watching Das Boot, which he paused to give Penny a bath.  Then yet again she was hard to put to bed, and was up in the night 3 times ... can't wait till her tummy is better!

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Many Shades of Poop

Yes, it is true.  When you become a new parent, the colour of your beloved child's poop is a world of fascination ... and worry.  P has been pooping a lot, and in noxious green shades, for a good few days now. And the only docs appointment before Friday was this afternoon.

So our plans for the day changed.  Brighton was delayed till tomorrow, and I had a bit of a chance to do some tidying up and sorting out after a busy long weekend.

Also managed to make various fruit and veg purees (peach, carrot, apple) for the freezer in preparation for the upcoming weaning planned, but this may now be delayed depending on P's tum.

Doc was not too worried, as she gave him her biggest beaming smile and I explained that she has been very well in herself.  In fact, she even started to sit up unsupported today.

So, her poop will be tested so, if she is not better by Friday, they will at least know what it is so they can treat it effectively.  Fingers crossed she will get better of her own accord, will be better for her immune system.  You can do it, little one!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Brixton Treasure Hunt

Up 3 times in the night with Penny, as expected, so took the opportunity to have a bit of extra rest in the morning before meeting at the Hive for the Treasure Hunt.

Kirsten, Penny and I were the first to be briefed and to get going.  P was good as gold as we wandered round Brixton Village, Brockwell Park, the Lido and Max Roach Park deciphering the clues.

We went round pretty quickly, and it even took us about 4.5 hours!  So we were pleased to get back to the Hive and deliver our answers to the panel.

Was good to catch up with Mr and Mrs Turi, who had come along for the occassion.

P won a prize for the photo of her touching water from a drinking fountain (one of the bonus challenges), so I selected a Brixton Windmill badge for her.

After the prizes, P and I went home for a relaxing evening in with Downton Abbey.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Back to the Big Smoke

As Penny still out of sorts, and the night was cold as expected, I had a v interrupted night but felt in good spirits when we packed up the tent in the morning, including wiping off the armies of slugs.

Stopped at Membury services for breakfast, then again at Heston for a quick rest and a cup of tea.  Then back to London with gusto.  Charlie kindly looked after Penny while I caught up on sleep, then Alex, Andrew and Sarah came round for an evening of pizza and boardgames.  They played a couple of games of Blockus, then we proceeded to lose at Pandemic another couple of times.

In fact, C and Alex are still up trying to win at it now.  I think C is keen to keep playing till they win, but I reckon Alex will be less keen since he has to get home.

Matthew has also arrived for the treasure hunt tomorrow, good to see him.

P still not quite right, and did not want to settle down to sleep.  Hope she is not up all night!

Friday, 23 September 2011

A Brilliant Celebration!

You know when you go to a wedding that feels just so right everybody is grinning and just feeling really good?  Well, we had one of those today as the lovely Fi Evans married Andrew and became Mrs Ashcroft.  We picked up Norris and Liam in the morning to drive to Gloucestershire, and set up our tents in the field at the back of the beautiful barn that was the setting for much laughter, excellent food, dancing and fun.

Fi looked so beautiful and so happy ... speeches were concise, touching and original ... dinner was delicious, and the hog roast was a handy bonus!

Good also to see Mat, Gemma, Kirsty, Ruth etc.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Change of Plan

P still not well, so cancelled the afternoon's swimming appointment and had an extended lunch catching up with Kirsten, who is now back from her summer in the US.

Went to the Hive when Charlie got back from work, as Thurs is my 'evening off'.  Got a little writing done, then joined by Andrew for some dinner and a catch up.  Then back home for a quick game of Ticket to Ride - Europe (TTRE) before bed.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Meet by the Nelson Mandela Statue

Got through lots of overdue jobs this morning, in the house and in Brixton, before going to Waterloo to meet Emma H, Marianne, Rachel and their respective offspring (all babies roughly the same age as Penny).  Had a lovely lunch at Pain Quotidien.  Really good to catch up with them and introduce the babies to each other, so they could grin and reach out to each other.

Spent the evening making a seat cover for Penny's pram, looking pretty good so far.

Poor P had 4 poops today, don't think she is in the best of digestive health ... am wondering what I could have eaten?!  Such a responsibility ...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

BalHAM, south of ClapHAM

Went to  check out a potential venue for Penny's naming ceremony over lunch, then joined Erika at her flat for soup and a chat.  Then we wondered towards Clapham Junction, and pootled around the great Fara charity shop and random antique shops of Northcote Road.  Lots of lovely stuff, all quite expensive! Managed to get myself a fab petticoat, now I just need the 50's rockabilly dress to go with it ...

Was given the evening off looking after the baby (Tues and Thurs evenings are now diarised as Emmy time), so had a relaxing bath while Ch took P round to Kirsten's for a game of Ticket to Ride -Europe with Andrew, then I went to see the Inbetweeners film.

Verdict?  Puerile, funny (laugh out loud funny at times), touching, and above all made me overjoyed not to be a teenager.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Fish are Friends

Spent the afternoon at the Horniman Museum with Claire, Sophie, Dave, Leo and Syd (and of course Penny).  Am now the proud owner of an annual pass for their aquarium.  We let the babies stare at the fishes, crabs, seahorses and jellyfish, and then went for a cup of tea.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Addicted to Tickets and Global Pandemics

Another 7 and a half hour run from Penny, along with an extra hour or so in bed ... brill!

Met Alex and Andrew for swimming and, while Daddy, Kirsten, James C and Greg started their D&D over lunch, I picked Penny up so A, A and I could play Ticket to Ride-Europe in the Hive ... addicted!

A very close game, with me scoring 119, Alex on 121 and Andrew won with only 124 ... argggh!  Very close, and good that Alex did not lose, though I am concerned that Andrew is too good.

Hung out at home chatting to Ruth, who is in London for a conference.  Then we joined A and A for a spag bol dinner plus 3 games of 'Pandemic'.

Put it this way ... we only played the third game to make sure we won after losing and wiping out 6 bn people in the first two games ... but we lost the third game too!  Curses, v frustrating! 

Saturday, 17 September 2011


FINALLY ... Penny slept 8 hours in a row last night, please let this be a return to her old form!

So, on getting up at 8am, and with Penny and Charlie in bed asleep with me, did I get more sleep?  Noooo ... that would be too sensible.  So instead I watched QI, and a very interesting documentary about Pink Floyd.

Met with Alex at the Hive for lunch, and to introduce him to Ticket to Ride-Europe.  After 3 games, 2 a the Hive and 1 at our place, I won 2 (yay!) and Charlie won the last game by a huge margin.

Then I made the spiced plum and apple crumble, the dessert for our dinner at the Keats.  Sam A and Theresa were also both there, so we had a lovely evening of Penny cuddles, chatting and red wine in Battersea.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Return to the Metropolis

A smooth journey to Peterborough after a lovely few days with Granny and Grandad.  In London in 50 mins, then home by midday.  Great!  Did some house pottering, with washing and other bits and pieces before Daddy came home from work.  So lovely for us both to see him, absence really does make the heart grow even fonder.

A surprise visit from Anthony, who was in Brixton watching 'Beirut' at the Academy.  Good to see him and to introduce him to Penny.  Then Norris popped round quickly, I think some Penny time was needed!

And then I proceeded to beat Charlie twice at Ticket to Ride-Europe ... yay!  Although I enjoy the game, even if I lose, it is good to know that I CAN win.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

More visitors

Grandad took Penny for a little walk this morning while I had my shower, all in time for a massive roast chicken lunch as Aunty Pauline and Uncle Bob were coming round to meet the baby.

They seemed very well, good to also hear about Linda and Elaine, and we had a pleasant afternoon of tea and chatting while Pauline cuddled the baby, who was once again in a good mood.

After they left, we spent some time playing with Penny and trying to convince her to roll over.  And then, over dinner, we looked at some of Mum's newly organised photos.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

To Grantham

After a relaxing morning, and a v relaxing bath for me while Penny had some Granny cuddles, we got caught in horrible traffic while going to see Aunty Lena and Aunty Lynn in Grantham.

Lovely to see them both, and their excitable little dog Rusty calmed down eventually.  Quite amusing to see baby meet dog and dog meet baby for the first time (for both of them).

P was v jolly, lovely to see her gazing adoringly at Aunty Lena.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

To Spalding

As I got up a couple of times for Penny in the night, decided to spent the free morning resting and catching up on sleep before packing and heading to Kings Cross.  Snuck onto the First Capital Connect train, as the East Coast line was cancelled (probably due to the high winds).

Met at Peterborough by Granny and Grandad, who kindly gave us a lift home, and we spent the evening having a lovely salmon dinner and trying to amuse the baby, who was a little out of sorts.  Also met Mum's friend Val, who seemed entranced by Penny ... good that she wasn't too grumpy!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Carrot Cake

Made a delicious carrot cake, to Delia Smith's recipe, for the NCT ladies who came round to ours in the afternoon.  Lovely also to be joined by Charlie on his flexiday, which allowed me a little freedom to shop for food and chat.  His rehearsal for the board game evening he is running at the Ritzy went well, and he and Andrew came back for mushroom risotto and another game of Ticket to Ride-Europe ... a little addictive maybe?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Run for your Train Ticket!

Decided to go for a run today, what a good decision!  Set off to the fabulously motivational rhythms of Paul Simon's 'The Obvious Child' and went probably a little short of 5km.

Felt a bit wheezy and restricted of breath early on, but pretty sure it was due to my setting off so quickly as I had such a jolly soundtrack.  So I slowed to a better pace on entering Brockwell Park.  Also managed to run into my Exec Director Harriet in the park, good to see her and do the briefest of catch ups (I think I was grateful to get my breath back!).

And, because I saw the same carboot sale I had been to a few weeks ago, Charlie and I decided to pick up a couple of cheese muffins from Brixton Farmers Market and go for a walk there with P.  Alas, it had finished by the time we got there, but we recompensed by going to Alex's new place, have a cup of tea, and to say hello to Malcolm and Margaret.

Back home to do a little writing, and to have a couple of fun games of Ticket to Ride-Europe with Andrew in the evening, as it was our birthday present to him.  Was very enjoyable, but probably not where I will shine ...

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Day of Games

Due to the bad weather warnings, which now seem to be unfounded, we abandoned our camping plans and invited everybody round to ours for a day of games.  I made basil and plain focaccia, along with some chocolate brownies, which all turned out very well!

So, after lunch with James & Claire F, Nick and Becky B and eventually James C, we got down to some board games.  Joyously, I managed to beat everybody at Dixit and, more unexpectedly, at Ingenious too.

The boys then embarked on an epic 3 hour game of Lord of the Rings Risk while we chatted and played with Penny.

After some take away pizza, Charlie introduced James and James to Pucket, while Claire expertly lulled Penny to sleep.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Power of Making

After a fairly grumpy day yesterday, woke up to a much better day today.  Penny slept for 7 hours in a row, getting back to her old good form, and we had a good Health Visitor session.  She is now 15lb 12oz, so no wonder it is getting harder to play aeroplanes with her!

Then we went on to The Power of Making exhibition at the V&A.

A free exhibition, it is a compelling and diverse presentation by people with a lot of imagination and expertise demonstrating the value of being unique.  I read once that being unique is our best gift to society, and I believe it too (especially being unique in a positive way, please).

From handmade wooden bicycles, to wooden textiles, to the above alphabet carved into pencil graphite (my favourite), it showed a variety of techniques and results.  And, as well as championing handmade items, it also mixed in the benefits of technology ... from the homemade cardboard surfboard templates to the laser cut address christmas card snowflake (another favourite).

There is a great Guardian gallery of some highlights here.

Highly recommended, well done V&A and the Crafts Council!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Balham - Gateway to the South

Had a lovely afternoon with Erika in Balham, with a long chatty lunch followed by some charity shop browsing. She seems, as I am, very impressed by the Fara shops. Good quality, suitable pricing, plus they have great kids shops, so I got a few bits and pieces forPenny.

Back home to try out my version of the Hive’s Pork chop, creamy apple sauce and courgettes, which went pretty well.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Back to Normal

Bustled around the sorting office, the post office, Brixton and home in the morning, getting jobs done, before going to Sonia’s to meetwith the NCT ladies in the afternoon. Good to see them all, and fun to see the babies interacting ever more(including a toe sucking incident!).

Then left a bit later than intended to meet Charlie at London Bridge to go to Robin’s birthday dinner in Oxted. Was SO busy at London Bridge, the swarm ofcommuters didn’t seem to be able to compute a pushchair, so we took it assteadily as we could.

We managed to squeeze onto the last carriage of the train byfolding up the pushchair, and a kind soul did give Charlie and Penny his seat.

Lovely to see everybody, especially Claire who was over fromTasmania and Geoff & Jacqui fromFrance.

Went home quite late as v tired, compounded by Penny wakingup at 4:30am at the moment.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sorting Out

Properly finished unpacking, sorting out the nursery and doing the final kitchen bits and pieces.  Alex kindly cooked curry for us, and Norris and Liam, who it was great to catch up with … they seemed on v good form after Green Man and a holiday in Pembrokeshire.

Saturday, 3 September 2011


Went straight to Munich airport on getting up.  Penny was grizzly on the flight, but not much we could do about it.  Such a shame that the flight protocol is for her to face forwards, otherwise I could feed her to sort out the pressure in her ears.

Slightly odd getting back to the house, two weeks is a long holiday.

Lots of washing on, and made a good start on getting the kitchen back to normal as all the contents were still in the lounge after the refit.

Alex and Jason came round for mushroom lasagne, they and Matty and Andrew had taken later flights back from Munich.  Alex was also staying with us for a few days as he is between houses.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Munich, Noch Einmal!

Up early to pack and clear out the cabin.  Then took the train to Munich.  On arriving in the rain, I realised I was sleepy, so slept for a couple of hours while the others went exploring.

Joined them for a evening of food, beer and ‘The Hat Game’ in the Hofbrauhaus beer garden.  Penny, Matty and I went back to the hotel early, Charlie came back at midnight, and the others went out for a bit longer, seeking beer and karaoke.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Crazy Golf in Crazy Garmisch

Decide not to join the others for a morning walk, and sospent the day resting, then going to play crazy golf with Alex, Andrew, Jasonand Charlie. Alex won, but Jason and Ihad the lowest stroke count … yay!

Had a lovely dinner, with a bottle of fizz to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary ... :)