Wednesday, 30 November 2011

'Mummy' and Mulled Wine

Ok, so it was more like 'mamama', but hearing that sound from Penny made me beam with pride!  At least she can say the sound, even if she was referring to a full nappy or her lunch.

Spent most of the morning sorting the bedroom and spare room out, a bit more energy today as P slept through.  Maybe her snottiness is subsiding.

Celebrated by having a relaxing afternoon in the Ritzy with a glass of mulled wine.  Had a quick Skype with mum and dad, handed the reindeer outfit over to Jo, Phil and Hermione who need it for a fancy dress party, and then back home for an evening of more sorting.

At last, after a month of disruption, the house is livable again.  There are various piles:
- Rubbish
- Recycling
- Charity Shop
- Long term storage
- 'Dare', Charlie's card game which we have now put up on EBay in case any will sell in the pre-Xmas rush.
- Stuff to sort (candles, plates to put back on the wall, etc)

But all in all, the house is lovely again, and much improved by the new floors and kitchen.  Feeling proud and happy to live here.

Norris popped round in the evening for a chat and a Penny cuddle, really good to see her. Especially in anticipation of a weekend with a lovely dinner and her houseparty.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Carpet Day #2

Got the bed out of the room on waking, Charlie did a good job of getting me up, considering I had been up twice in the night with P.

Felt exhausted all day. The milk courier came to pick up my final 2L of breastmilk for St Thomas' Hospital, yay!  And the carpet guys arrived at about 5:30, so I only managed to get a bit of stuff back in the room before Charlie came back and I had to go to Bikram.

Yawned all the way through the class, but full of beans afterwards.  Strange how that always seems to happen.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Carpet Day #1

The carpet men came nice and early, and managed to cope ok with the wardrobe.  I am v pleased with the carpet, seemingly hard wearing but also woolly and soft underfoot.

So then started the next process of getting all the stuff from our bedroom into the spare room and the lounge, to ensure that room would be clear for tomorrow's fitting.  Phew!

Escaped to Kaye's for the afternoon, very different climbing up her hill in Nov rather than the burning sun of the summer.  Another nice chatty afternoon, amusingly enriched by Kaye's rediscovery of 'Gold Bars', a treat from my childhood. They taste the same!  Good to see Jo and Hermione back from SA happy and well, H is on the verge of crawling.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Warm Cosy Sunday

A long chatty breakfast of smoked salmon bagels, yum!

Went for a short walk along Happy Valley, good to get some fresh air and to show Penny the cows.

Spoke to David and Justina on Skype, they seem v well and happy!  Great to have the open fire roaring away, it is on my 'must have' list for when we get a house.

Fed Penny on the way home, fortunately she was in a jolly mood while we played Scrabble.

We did try, slightly tiredly, to get the big wardrobe out of the spare room on our return, but to no avail.  Oh well, the carpet men will just have to cope!

Saturday, 26 November 2011


Headed on down to Brighton for a Thanksgiving weekend.  Having spent Friday evening clearing the spare room, in preparation for carpets on Monday, and what with me feeling coldy and coughing, it was best that we didn't rush down on Friday night.

Lovely to see everybody, Theresa, Demetris, Erika and Dan. Then we were joined by Guy, Sarah, Sadie and Ruby.  The girls have grown up so much, Sadie is now at secondary school!  They were lovely as always, happily making conversation, and having fun with Penny covering her in wrapping paper!  P was on good form, and was quite taken with Eugene (who also joined us for a big turkey dinner with Alexis).

Carried on the annual tradition or writing what we are thankful for and what our wishes are on leaves, which we put on the thanksgiving tree.  Just lovely to be so looked after, especially with a nice glass of wine.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Sign of the Times

Seen in the alleyway near our house, just off Brixton Road.  Interesting to read and ponder, especially during the Occupy era ... who and what occupies your mind?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Back to London, Birthdays and Bed

A relaxing morning, Miranda, P and I were joined at the Cross for brunch by her neighbour Ed and his little boy Jack.  Jack was v sleepy, but then managed to munch his way through my leftover sausages ... very efficient!

Then a little wander in Birmingham for P and I before we got on a much less busy train back to London.  P was still a bit squawky though, I think maybe it is due to the heating in the train which they now have on full blast since it is so cold outside.

Another little reunion with Charlie, who had come back Sat night, then to Kirsten's to celebrate her birthday.  A lovely evening with tea and cake, chatting with K, Norris, Charlie and being amused by Penny.

Andrew popped round later to have some curry and to see Penny, and Charlie and I were late to bed as always ... will will need to be more disciplined when we are both working and are permanently knackered!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Birmingham Wanderings

A slow morning, let Charlie have a lie-in.  Then we all went into Birmingham, though impossible to shop due to the Christmas rush already having begun,  and the German Christmas market was crawling too, so impossible to even see what was on most stalls.  So we snuck off to the less busy Starbucks on Colmore Row to have our first Gingerbread Latte of the year, and then decided to go back to Moseley for a late lunch.

Had some delicious soup in front of the fire, again at the Fighting Cocks, then back to Miranda's for a relaxing evening eating pasta, watching silly tv (i.e. Strictly Come Ballroom) and chatting.  Am so excited that Miranda is having a baby, she is doing v well in her pregnancy being chilled out and looking v glowy.

Friday, 18 November 2011

A Good Pub is Hard to Find

After we left Ruth's, P and I spent the afternoon in the Fighting Cocks in Moseley.  Perhaps it is the lack of good homely pubs in London, but it really was lovely ... music at the right volume, not too busy, open fire, mulled wine ... ahhhhhh!

So got a bit of writing done, and then met Miranda and Nigel at theirs after work.  Spent a fun evening with them, Jess, Gareth, and Charlie (who was only up in Brum for one night) having a take away curry and wine, and generally chatting about all sorts of nonsense, including rude cupcakes.

Penny was very good, didn't want to leave the party to go to bed, but was very jolly and amenable so we were happy for her to join us and get to know our Brum friends better.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hard Travel

Popped in to the Health Visitor this morning, Penny is now a stonking 18 lbs!

Then did some beautifully planned packing and getting out of the house, only to find trains delayed and cancelled on reaching Euston.

Eventually got on a v busy train to New Street, no mean feat with pushchair, suitcase and nappy bag.  And Penny decided to swing from being delightful to screaming her most shrieky offputting scream.

So bundled through the crowds waiting on the platform, pleased to see Ruth and to get to her house to spend an evening chatting and chilling out.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A Day with Granny

Met Mum at Kings Cross, then popped back over the river to meet Andrew for lunch on the Southbank.  Made our way to Browns on Shad Thames for indulgent Shepherds Pie before Andrew had to get back to work.  We found ourselves in John Lewis, perusing the lovely clothes and toys on the kiddy floor, before going back to Brixton.

After Mum went home, Charlie, Andrew and Alex got together at ours before going to the Smashing Pumpkins concert at the Brixton Academy.  And I made some good progress trimming and sorting my making things shelves.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Managed to heave myself out of bed and to London Bridge for Bikram.  Even better, though a little off balance (perhaps the tawny port from last night?)

Got back to arrive at the door simultaneously with Ryan, who was due to come round for tea and cake.  Great to catch up with him, as it had been a while, and he was v sweet with Penny ... letting her grab his beard and making funny faces.

Andrew also popped round, and we had a quick game of 3D Worms which Charlie won on a technicality.

Spent the evening relaxing together and playing Scrabble with my wonderful Fishy on his iPod ... bliss!

A great weekend seeing friends and family, plus a little relaxing at the end.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A Dinner Party

Pootled through the street market at Brixton before heading to Alex's with armfuls of board games to celebrate his birthday.  Spent the afternoon watching the Road/Rail/Boat trip videos on his flashy widescreen tv ... was quite nostalgic, and strange to see ourselves so much younger (the road trip was 2008).

Played Ingenious and Catan when joined by Andrew, then when Kate, Greg, Norris and Liam arrived, we started on dinner.  A yummy bready amuse bouche, followed by an enchilada style starter. Then a LONG break for a game of Ticket to Ride Europe which Greg won.  Then chicken with a stilton sauce, followed by my cheesecake which went down well

Was a lovely evening, but clearly we were having too much fun as Penny did not want to leave the excitement to fall asleep.  So she was fidgity and a bit grimbly, but did eventually go off ... and everybody was very tolerant of her.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Excursion and Dinner

After a week of being in the house a lot, I think Penny was relieved that we spent the whole afternoon out and about with Alex and Andrew celebrating Alex's birthday.  After a cup of tea at La Cave near London Bridge, we went for lunch at an Italian restaurant near South Kensington before going to the Unsung Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things exhibition at the Science Museum.

It was a small but well put together exhibition, looking at velcro, clothes pegs, paperclips, fasteners and similar.  We all got hypnotised by the video showing a paperclip bending machine.

Then we left Alex and Andrew to their evening of beer and karaoke, only to host dinner at our flat.  Host, but not cook, as Theresa kindly brought round a beef casserole to treat myself, Charlie, Erika and Dan.  Demetris joined us too, and successfully fed Penny her dinner.  A lovely cosy evening in.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Bikram part 3

Stayed in all day for our new mattress, which arrived and am v pleased with, and Charlie's video camera ... which did not arrive.  Decided not to worry, as we could always pick it up with the 'sorry you weren't in' card.

Bikram went even more smoothly, though did feel a little short of oxygen in the room towards the end.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A Kiwi Visitor

Quickly met with Matty at Victoria as he was passing through London from Leeds to back home in Chich, good to see him so chipper!

Lovely to be joined at dinner by Kiwi Laura, who kindly brought wine (good wine, as always) and a delicious chocolate dessert.  Great that she has moved south of the river, and good to catch up in general.  Andrew joined us for a quick slice of chocolate roulade too.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Date Night

Had a cosy afternoon of tea and cake with Erika, before Charlie and I left her to babysit, and headed to the Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington for dinner.  Accompanied by live jazz piano and vocals, the food was splendid.  I chose steak tartare, and managed most of it before it became too rich.

Great to have time with Fish just chatting and having fun, and nice to hang out with Dan and Erika a little on our return home.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Bikram take 2

Charlie had a flexiday today, but before he bustled off to the Ritzy to write and try to grab 'we need to talk about Kevin', he was v helpful in dashing round the house with me doing jobs.

Baked a lemon drizzle cake for the NCT ladies who were round at mine for the afternoon ... was v yummy tasting, though low on the attractiveness scale.

Had a nice afternoon with them, drinking tea, eating cake, and discussing our various return to work plans/predicaments.

Then rushed off a chorizo and chickpea stew for our dinner while feeding Penny as I needed to dash off to Bikram again.  As it is at London Bridge, it takes a little while to get there and back.

Penny also seems to be teething again, the pink cheeks and painful wails seem to be coming back.  She had some teething gel and Calpol this evening for the first time in ages.

Bikram was much better.  I think as yesterday's class was so late, and I and many others were waiting in the hot room, 2.5 hours was too long to be in such a hot room for the first time.  That and the lack of food was my downfall.  But today felt tired but energised.  The teacher seemed to be much more aware of the class dynamic and interactive, plus I knew more what to expect from the poses.

Hope it keeps getting better, though now hard to sleep as full of beans :)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Mr Bikram's torture class

A v lazy morning, as Fish was up earlyish for a D&D day, so let him do Penny's morning routine.  Eventually got up, said hi to everybody and had a lazy afternoon before heading off for my first Bikram yoga class.

And what an experience!  Overheating your entire body whilst straining into various yoga poses, all while feeling thirsty and slightly starved of oxygen.

My mistake, I believe, was not eating enough during the day.  So on arriving home shattered, I inhaled 2 slices of pizza, and spent the rest of the evening trying to watch Downton Abbey between dashing to the bathroom to feel/be sick and blubbing to Charlie about how ill and headachy I felt.

Consigned myself to bed at 10.30 ... what self-inflicted suffering!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Mattress and Fireworks

A day of chilling out and doing jobs.  Bought a nice new mattress which will be delivered on Thurs, just need to sort out getting rid of the old one.

Then to Brockwell Park for fireworks.  We seemed to have residents of half the boroughs in London there, the park was so full.  But it was a splendid display, even if you couldn't quite hear the music properly.  Penny had her ear protectors on and was clearly bemused by the whole thing.  Was funny when she decided she was ready for her night time breastfeed in the middle of the show, but kept being distracted by the sparkly sky.

Then met with Liam and Noz in the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill, along with their friends Julia and Kerry.  P was being extra delightful, and we went home at 10ish.

Friday, 4 November 2011

A Week

A good week, a chance to catch up on things as not too much in the diary.

- Lounge floor all finished ... yay, love it :)
- Made a crochet 'brain slug' from Futurama, some good pics with Penny and was fun to make.
- Watched 'The Idea of March' at the Big Scream, v good film.
- Went for a swim at Peckham Pulse ... P went underwater and I let go, she did v well.
- Got some writing done, need to keep it up.
- Wriggle and Rhyme at Brixton Library, and the usual NCT meet up at Jo's ... lots of fun.

Now hoping for a relaxing weekend, and will be starting Bikram Yoga too ... eeeeep!