Moving Forward

I haven’t been here for a while.

A hell of a lot can happen in a year. I now have a business and I am once again a single mum, in the full sense of the phrase. My son and I had a lovely summer, both celebrated our birthdays and had our best Christmas yet. And the New Year truly was a new start. But that’s sort of superficial stuff. I have learned and grown and discovered a bit more of myself, and so has he. I realised through the break down of my relationship last year that it takes more strength to give up than keep trying, and that giving up doesn’t mean you are weak, it shows courage. The best thing in my life will always be watching my boy grow.

It’s been a struggle lately, it still is a little, but I’m in a good place now. Heart-breaking as it all was, and really for my boy more than myself – how confusing such a change is for a small child – I focussed well on the positives. There are many of them. J and I have a close relationship and many days full of fun together. It’s hard, it always will be, but it’s hard in the best way. Because he is wonderful.

Life truly has been a bumpy ride for me, and so often I felt that everything which happened to me was so far out of my control, but now I have discovered within me a fierce love for life. I suppose it was there all along, I just needed to find it. And my acceptance for the way that things are, my ability to go with the flow, only improves with time. Big, terrible, awful events can happen in life, but we all have the power to make our moments amazing.

I spent almost a year working to set up a business and the day on which it finally came together, I felt relief. It’s damn hard work but the fear of failure is now overshadowed by excitement. Nothing is certain, that’s for sure, and it can still all go terribly wrong in a moment but I have realised that to be self employed, I must embrace this, and so I do. The satisfaction I get from what I do is fantastic, and the reason I decided to do it all in the first place.

Isn’t life beautiful? And isn’t being a parent really the best of it, in the end? Onwards, always.

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Beside the seaside

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside,

Oh I do like to be beside the sea,

Oh I do like to stroll along the prom, prom, prom, Where the brass band plays tiddlyompompom.


So just let me be beside the seaside

I’ll be beside myself with glee

And theres lots of girls beside, I should like to be beside, Beside the seaside,

Beside the sea.

Hum this tune once and it will be in your head for days. I started singing it the next day, too, but was scolded by my son because its a beach song and we weren’t at the beach. So we made up a garden song to the same tune, which has the lyrics “oh I do like to do a little dance, dance, dance, as I water all of the plants, plants, plants…”

Loving this sunshine!

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Hello this is for you

My five year old comes out of school with interesting things some days.

“Whats this?”
“Its a note”
“Who’s it for?”
“We put it in an envelope with pennies in and tie it to a balloon with a paper aeroplane and let it go and whoever finds it can have it.”
“It would have to be a special helium balloon, we dont have one of those.”
“Lets get one from Asda’s.”
“OK but its a very long walk, it will take us an hour”
“Lets go!”

So we did, and a rather fun walk it turned out to be. If you find a pink “its a girl” balloon with a “Hello this is for you” note attached to it in your garden, its from us. You’re welcome.

P.S The pennies were too heavy. So was the envelope. And the paper aeroplane, which was sad. We let it go from the back door. It blew over the house and we rushed around to the front door to see it but it had already disappeared. I hope it went somewhere exciting.

I’m off somewhere exciting, too. Belgium for four days with my sister. J is having a 3 night sleepover at his Granny’s house. He couldn’t be more thrilled. I will be back with photos and stories.

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A Date with the City

A few days ago, I took the train through the tunnel to run a couple of errands in Liverpool. When I was finished, I went to take the train back home again, but as I was on my way to the station, I decided on a change of plan. At home there waited for me a long list of to-dos and here I was in the city where there are so many more fun things to do. So instead, I made the most of it and spent the whole afternoon there, by myself.

I went into a restaurant and asked for a table for one. I read the Metro whilst I waited for my food to arrive. It felt strange, the couples and groups dining around me whilst I sat there on my own. But it was also so very relaxing, just me and my thoughts and my plate of (delicious!) food.

I walked to the Liverpool Museum next. Since it opened not long ago, I had only visited once, on this weekend. But then, it was understandably very crowded and I had a child with me, which didn’t leave much opportunity for the leisurely wandering which I like to do in museums. Now by myself, I could walk around at my own leisure, stopping a while at something I found particularly interesting, no-one to answer to about what I wanted to see next. I looked at the skulls of cavemen, trains, photographs and football shirts and then came to the exhibit I was most excited about being here for, Liverpool Doors:

A collection of doors donated from Liverpool buildings, painted and inscribed by artists and poets, mainly Roger McGough.

Some made me feel sad;

Some made me think, and smile;

And some made me laugh out loud (sorry elderly lady in the blue skirt standing behind me)

I bought myself a little something from the gift shop, a book of retro recipes, complete with pictures of women cooking up dinner for their families in high heels, pretty dresses and pearls, whilst their husbands and children sat at the dinner table, Daddy no doubt regaling his family with a funny tale of what happened at the office that day and little Nancy telling her parents about the skipping game she and Susan played at lunchtime. Very Mad Men, no?

Albert Dock (photo)

Clutching my new purchase, I set off for the Albert dock where I bought myself a bag of flavoured fudge from the wonderful sweet shop there and walked around the dock whilst eating it. I fancied myself as Carrie Bradshaw in Season 5 of Sex and the City (she becomes single and decides to take herself on a date with New York City, going to movies and museums alone). Only of course, my shoe collection is significantly smaller and my home much less trendy.

It began to rain and I was grateful I was dressed for the weather, unlike Carrie with her little heels and short skirt blowing up around her waist. As I headed home, I saw two small children, wellie clad, jumping in the puddles outside the White Star Line building and I remembered what was waiting for me at home, across the water. I was glad to be me and not Carrie. You can take your designer shoe collection and trendy zip code, it can’t compete with my little boy.

And so I headed home from my afternoon Date With The City, with a lighter heart and a bigger smile. Thank you Liverpool, for a lovely afternoon. We should definately do it again sometime.

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Silent Sunday

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Yummy Sticky Ribs

A few days ago, J and I were reading a Roald Dahl book when we found a recipe for sticky ribs and decided that we very much must try it out. So yesterday, that’s what we did and it was so delicious I thought I would share it with you. We found this recipe in the Roald Dahl Treasury but I believe it is originally from Revolting Recipes. Revolting, however, it most certainly isn’t.

For a family of four you will need about 700g pork ribs. Lay them in a roasting tin.

Firstly (and this is the fun bit), mix together 1tbsp each of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, mustard, honey and tomato ketchup. Then, finely chop half an onion and add that in too. Now, spread this lovely mixture all over the ribs. After this, I left them in the fridge for an hour before cooking, although the recipe didn’t specify this.

Then, bake them in a 220c oven for about an hour and a half, turning and basting 3 times during cooking. I made up another lot of the marinade without the onion and spread it on gradually during the cooking time for more flavour. The ribs will get very sticky and start looking quite burnt, but don’t worry, this is how they are supposed to be, lovely crunchy stickiness, yum! After cooking this is what you will have:

Serve on a plate in the middle of the table with a bowl of sweetcorn (or corn cobs, mmm!) and a tray of potato wedges.I do love those middle of the table help yourself meals.

I love, love, love trying out new recipes, cooking something else than a meal I’ve made many times before, not knowing what its going to taste like until there it is on my plate. It was such fun making this too, and it was enjoyed by everyone. I think I can call that a complete success!

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Giant Sea Odyssey – Liverpool

This is what we did all of last weekend. The crowds were a little scary, it seemed everyone for miles around had migrated to the city centre to watch the spectacle. And rightly so; it was brilliant, breathtaking. Read the story here and see more pictures here.

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Silent Sunday

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Sunshine and good life

(Pimm’s for us and lemonade for him. Sweet.)

I feel as if Ive been waiting for these past few days for months. We have had the most glorious weekend and its set to continue for much of this week. I am always at my happiest when the sun is shining, and my busiest too. And I love, love, love spending time outdoors. It’s been bliss.

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Climbing Higher

We’ve barely been to the park all winter until this week. He’s learned to climb while I haven’t been watching. Higher and higher he went, more and more daring his stunts, testing the apparatus, using it in ways it wasn’t built to be used. Fearless while I sat quaking, wanting to rush forwards and stand beneath should he fall. I let him explore. Watched him test his limits, which are too far for me to want to think about but I found that he does know when its too to high or too difficult and he will stop on his own when it gets too dangerous. He knows how far is too far. Its how they learn after all. About trust, strength, danger, defeat and a whole lot of other stuff in between.

I remember three years ago, a similar view. Watching a chubby little nappy clad bottom as he struggled up every step like it was a small mountain. My, how he has come along (two at a time, in leaps and bounds) but he still climbs with the same determination. His mountains are much higher these days and they’re only going to get higher that’s for sure. Who knows, perhaps one day they will be mountains.

As I watched him, I thought of all the little, day to day things which I worry about him and I wondered whether I really need to. Look at him! Boisterous, confident and full of energy, just look at him go! And just as I was turning this thought around my mind, he came over to request “little pushes on the kid swings”, and that’s what its all about at the moment. He’s discovering his independence and I’m taking a big step back into the background but every now and then I take a little step forwards again for him. And yes, I will continue to worry about those little things. That’s what mothers are there for isn’t it? To take care of the little worries for him so he can put all of his energy into climbing a little bit higher.

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