Sunday, 26 June 2016

On being afraid...

I've really struggled to come up with a post for this blog this week as my thoughts are so totally occupied wth the EU Referendum. Today (as I write this) is Thursday so I've voted but don't currently know the outcome. Like so many, I'm afraid of what it will be and the dramatic effect it may have upon me and my family's lives if the result is leave. By the time you're reading this, we'll know (I really dislike uncertainty - has to be the biggest cause of anxiety).

Rather than going on about this, or trying to come up with something cheerful to write about when I really can't, I thought I'd just share a little hand lettering I did earlier in the week - mainly to cheer myself up. Feeling positive about the legacy of the murdered MP Jo Cox and hoping people take her words to their hearts - and extending this beyond the EU to everyone in the world which seems to be such a scary place at the moment.

So remember this folks, and try to be kind to one another...

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Mornings... and Happy Fathers Day!

As you read this (if it's still Sunday morning), I am probably on my third coffee. This is a mistake and I know it but yesterday was Blogtacular (so a very busy, exciting day with a very early start) and today is Father's Day (so a very busy, exciting day for the little man, with a very early start). I'm lucky that Mr M is a morning person - which I most definitely am not... Most of the time I don't have to get up like this, but today I do and last week was mega busy. As I type this I'm fairly certain I'm struggling to function on Sunday morning.

Naively, when the little man was a baby, I thought I might become a morning person... Parents have to get used to never having enough sleep (and in my case the quality is never good - even if I get a lie in, he's making a racket downstairs, and I wake at the tiniest sound in the night, and struggle to get back to sleep), but no. If anything I find mornings even harder now than I used to. 

I should probably give up wine and start going to bed at 9pm every night, but that's not very sociable (or realistic), and anyway on the rare occasions I do do this, I don't wake any more refreshed - it's still as if I'm being pulled kicking and screaming from the womb...

Cool morning showers don't work, 2 coffees kind of do - number 3 wakes me up but makes me feel really weird (and wired) for the whole day, and affects my sleep that night (even if they were all before lunch). 

Not sure what the answer is. On mornings like this it's not as if I can do some yoga or go for a run - make the most of the time - as I have the little man with me. So, as you read this (on Sunday morning), I'm probably flicking through twitter and instagram while absentmindedly watching Paw Patrol or Horrible Histories. I won't be doing anything useful - just feeling exhausted and miserable. 

I'll also be trying to persuade him not to make too much noise and wake Daddy up on Father's Day. This is tricky as he's prone to tantrums and the cafe (where he will want to go) won't be open yet as it's Sunday. We'll probably have a card or present to get ready for Daddy, but that won't take 5 minutes and I expect he'll be grumpy about doing that anyway...

Right. Let's see if I'll be in bed by 9pm tonight... And once the whole house is up I'm sure we'll have a lovely day.

Happy Father's Day to all the fab Daddy's everywhere - especially those who usually do these painful mornings! 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Summer Throat...

At the end of May/beginning of June last year I developed a really bad sore throat - searingly bad. Initially I assumed it was a cold as I was a bit sneezy and had a headache too, but after a couple of days they'd gone and so had my voice.

I had about a week with pretty much no voice at all - which is really tricky with a young child about - having to speak to him constantly, repeating everything (and shout down the street after him when he ran away/shot off in the wrong direction) caused me to strain my throat further and it just got worse. When the voice came back I sounded like Joan Rivers after a string of smoky nights out and every word hurt. This lasted for 6 weeks - really taking the edge of Blogtacular and several other events, as well as leaving me feeling quite ill and drained. Doctor said it was laryngitis and I just had to take plenty of fluids, paracetamol and rest my voice (hilarious)!

So eventually it went and my voice recovered fully (although there were times where I really thought it wouldn't), but as I type this, at pretty much exactly the same time as last year - give or take a week - it seems to be back. Obviously this makes me want to cry - I'm running a workshop next week, I have Blogtacular again - I really don't want everything to be spoilt for two years in a row....

But, as I sit here consuming as many fluids as possible, I'm wondering if this might just be hayfever again - it's exactly the same time and exactly the same sore throat (so the Piriton is out even if I'm not convinced it's working). I'm certain if it is it's not caused by the lovely flowers above (from my garden) - my main bout of hayfever is usually in May and that's passed - I think that's caused by one particular type of tree pollen and once it's done it's done. So now I feel I need to try and work this one out too. 

I came across this rather fab and useful pollen calendar from Zirtek, which makes me think that the May tree thing might be Birch (as it's pretty much always over by June). but now, in South London, I'm assuming it's grass as nothing else around here is in it's "peak period of pollen release".  But maybe not, it might be something else. I've had all sorts of newfound allergies since the little man came along (thanks for that - I was always very happy with my allergy free status). 

The site also helpfully tells me that today the pollen count for the South East is very high, which may go some way to explaining why it's struck this morning. Needless to say I need to save my voice for next week, so I won't be picking up the phone to anyone today, and if the postman calls he'll be getting a smile and a nod rather than a "thank you", as I need to save my voice for a small boy who expects me to repeat every single thing I say 10 times... 

I put an anguished call out for hayfever relief tips on Instagram and received some brilliant ones - Antihistamines (yep) and nasal sprays, local honey - apparently it has to be local, showering in the evening before bed and changing bedding (especially pillows covers), not drying bedding outside as it picks up the pollen, dusting with damp dusters and keeping windows closed. 

Any other tips to add folks? 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Shoreditch, Hoxton and an unexpected garden...

Last Sunday we popped up into town as I wanted to take the boys to see the Geffrye Museum (which I'd only been to to have a stall at Crafty Fox Market, so I hadn't visited properly either).

The Geffrye is the Museum of the Home, and it charts the history of middle class homes with fab room sets and displays. Mr M loved it, the little man loved the room sets and I thought it was pretty wonderful too. So that was all good, but then we stepped out into the garden...

The museum's herb and cottage garden is just one of the most beautiful I've seen - really fragrant (the roses are just amazing) and in such a brilliant spot - sandwiched between the museum itself and Hoxton Overground station. The museum is amazing but the garden is worth a visit on it's own too. Almost (but not quite) making up for my failure to go to the Chelsea Flower Show!

Here's one of my favourite room sets (with a bowl identical to one of mine on the table - it's by Catherine Holm).

And more from the garden...

We took the opportunity to walk back down to Shoreditch and called in at Arnold Circus on the way. Arnold Circus was the first ever social housing, built in 1900 - I saw a brilliant programme about it on TV a few years ago and really wanted to take a look.

Followed by some general colour spotting fun in Shoreditch itself before collapsing onto the train to come home. 

Find out more about the Geffrye Museum on their website.