Happy Birthday To Us

On 19th May 2006,  12 days overdue, The Kid came very slowly into the world.

Giving Birth

I realise now this was intended to prepare us for the fact that we would spend much of the next 10 years waiting.

I also realise that the next 10 years will involve a lot more waiting.

Probably late at night.  Outside.

There were questions about parentage when traits of Charles Kennedy were spotted.

Charles Kennedy

We wondered if she would ever stop laughing.

Picture 1433

She hasn’t and has the most infectious laugh.

She is also showing traits of having my sense of humour which can only be a good thing.

We also wondered if she would every stop crying.

Baby Crying

The 10th Battalion of the South Woodford Mums Baby Group (Est. 2006) wondered too.

Along with both sides of the family tree.

We wondered if she would ever stop eating.

Child Eating

Not for long though, turns out she’s the fussiest kid on the planet.  Chicken curry will always haunt the locals.

However, she is truly loyal to her Cornish and East London background and eats Pie ‘n’ Mash and Cornish Pasties in equal measure.

We did wonder if she would ever stop hitting people when she was two though.  “Excuse me is that your daughter?” was a popular question at playgroups and parent and baby gatherings.  Child that hits

I was that parent.  The Kid was that child.

Hard to imagine as you wouldn’t say boo to a goose now.

And I also feel that an apology is due to all those thinking that the many potholes around the country were a result of the British weather.  You were wrong.  It’s because of the amount of times that the ground has opened up to swallow me.

The Kid from a very young age has had an uncanny knack of saying precisely what she thinks at precisely the wrong moment.

All those things that everyone thinks but doesn’t say.  Nice one.  Absolutely no filter whatsobloodyever.

So fed up with apologising and giving you the ‘stare’,  I now just pretend that I have gone into a coma.

I feel very smug having transitioned into the guise of being an ‘uncool mum’ and I know that I will not have to try very hard to return some of these embarrassing moments.

Dad with new baby

You have a wonderful dad in Iron Man.  You have always been a daddy’s girl and the fact that I have always been the one that had to sit on my own or behind – think nothing of it.  I have always been more than happy to be the crowd.  Never feel bad about that.

Particularly when you’ve got your grubby little hands in my make up bag.

Know also, that the mirror in the bedroom is yours.  It is perfectly fine to stand in front of me when I am getting ready.  I do not need to see what I look like from the neck down.

And don’t be so generous with your perfume when I am behind you.  You have a fabulous taste but the Superdrug So……….In Love range, So ……..  doesn’t work with mummy hormones.

We wondered if there would be a brother or a sister.  There hasn’t and any attempts to change that now would probably put me on the front page of The Sun.  Some things are best left (see embarrassing parents).

And of course we will always be wondering.

Because despite having done 10 years, the parenting lark does not get any easier.

Having said that I don’t think me and Iron Man have done too badly.

We have met and made the most beautiful and lasting friendships.

Although, as you rightly point out, we wouldn’t have all these friends if it wasn’t for you!

I guess you think we sat in before you came along!!

Out Out

Whether they are your friends or ours, they have all been bloody troopers through thick and thin.  There are some people that you just cannot shake off and we all love every single one of them.

And parenting has caused us to question our sanity in later years.

Quite frankly, we’ve been rubbish at it.  Still are.

But we’re oh so glad we got to have a go as we really have got so many amazing memories.

We’ve also done some of the craziest things.

It’s amazing you are still here really!

Don’t take that the wrong way though.

There is no need for you to be still here once you are an adult.

We know that you have designs on a place at Elderly Acres for us.

And that you have been eyeing up the Bluebird Residential Care van.

All I can say is that there is no need.  Keep the inheritance for best.

A caravan on the drive of your family home will suffice.

You can then sleep very soundly knowing that we will always be waiting outside.

Cheers to all 3 of us!!

Just The 3 Of Us






Here we ‘Sloe’ Again                      

Man carrying ladder

You wouldn’t be blamed for looking at this picture and thinking that Iron Man had got a job working for Torpoint Council or a window cleaning round on a bungalow estate.

You would be quite wrong though.

What you are seeing here is a prize winner in search of his next batch of sloes in his home village of Crafthole, Cornwall.

Last year saw the first production of his Sloe Gin which was to be entered into the Annual Village Flower Show competition for the much coveted prize of ‘Winner’.

Sloes were picked from a place called Wacker Quay in South East Cornwall.  Over the course of several months they were lovingly transformed into a very delicious Sloe Gin.

Wacker Quay

There has been much vying amongst us and the in-laws for prizes in this highly esteemed show and this year the gloves were well and truly off.

Iron Man’s first ever production of Sloe Gin scooped the prize of 3rd place fighting off at least two many other contenders in Category 74 – Best Alcoholic/Non-Alcoholic Drink.

His Sloe Gin was declared to be well balanced with good presentation, clarity and colour.

Bottle of Sloe Gin

This year the triumph of hope will give way to experience as Iron Man takes up the mantle again to produce a drink, not only to rival but, to exceed the excellence of the previous bouquet.

And so we set off.  This time we went armed with step ladders and a walking stick loaned from the family home.  The Kid decided she would sit this one out.

Experience has taught us that the sloes that are unpicked are generally high up and in places that are difficult to reach.   Last year saw me whacked in the face several times with a branch every time Iron Man let it go without warning.

Forewarned is forearmed as far as I am concerned and the walking stick was to enable us to lower the branches to enable easy access.  We see this as progress if we are to take next years competition seriously.

The fact that the stick also had a name and address on would also help speed up my rescue should I be knocked out with a branch whilst standing on the ladder.

This year he was hoping for a new area from which to pick the sloes but we were a little late in the season and whilst we managed to find a couple, they were in the main poor quality.


So back to Wacker we went where once again the sloes were growing abundantly.  We set to work and filled our bags, boots and my hair.

Picking Sloes

Once again, I was gainfully employed as the trusty assistant whilst Iron Man showed his expertise in the area by using words like ‘plucking!’? instead of picking.  What a show-off!!

The aim was to get more this time around and I think we achieved this.

Bag of Sloes

And so for the preparation.

A gentle rinse so as not to remove the ‘bloom’.


All of the sloes need to be pierced several times which is quite laborious.

They are then placed into a large container where they will do their thing over the course of the next few months.  A layer of sloes a layer of sugar until they are all in.

Sloes and sugar

The cap of the bottle is released every couple of days which lets off a big hiss as part of the fermentation process.

And then we wait.  A little taste every so often adds to the fun.  Chefs perks and all that!

Next August will see the second entry of the Wacker Sloe Gin proudly placed among all the other wonderful entries in the hope for the ultimate prize.

Will he do it?  Will he beat his own personal best?

Will the journey from London to Cornwall bear fruit?

Of course, the fun is in the participation and we have had some real laughs along the way.

Have you had a similar prize winning speciality?