Reading – January

At the end of last year, on a Facebook book group, Lisa asked what everyone’s favourite books were of the year. I could not for the life of me remember what I’d read. I don’t read as much as I’d like. Andy and I went away for one night last weekend, and one of the things I was most excited about was uninterrupted reading time.

This is so I remember at the end of this year, with somewhat arbitrary scoring, and my ever so insightful reviews:

MaddAddam – Margaret Atwood ****

Enjoyed this. Not as much as Oryx and Crake. Was very glad of the recap at the beginning. This should happen more often.

Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell **

I wasn’t in to this. But then, I’m not 14. It’s not really for me, although I really enjoyed Fangirl.

Yes Please – Amy Poehler ***

I’m just finishing this off. I’m not massively in to this either. Bit of a mish mash, lots about people I don’t know or really care about, although I would like to be friends with her. Would prefer to read Leslie Knope’s memoir.



Level Up!

As cliched as it is, one of my aims for the new year was to move more. To do this I know I need to keep trying new things, to keep me interested.

Which is how I find myself collapsed in a broken sweaty mess on the floor of a church hall in Penarth twice a week, spurred on by Harry Potter quotes and the thought of letting my team down.

L12 is a 12 week fitness course run by the lovely people of Level Up Fitness. I’m still not sure if I’m the only woman doing it who doesn’t play roller derby. I was pretty much terrified when I signed up, but I knew I needed a good kick up the bum. Ari has just learnt to say ‘heavy’ and I could do without that being pointed at me too often, thanks very much.

The course consists of two sessions a week, but the arse-kicking doesn’t end when the classes finish – there’s always a weekend challenge, good and bad bingo (tick when you dance or an hour/go for a run/eat pizza/eat cake etc) and a food diary to give in every week (the thought of someone looking at everything I eat is great motivation, as long as I can keep myself honest…!)

Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times when one only remembers to turn on the light.

I’ll let you know how motivated I’m feeling at the end of the 12 weeks!



Out and About 2

I watched a documentary called Project Wild Thing last week. It was about getting children outside more and reconnecting with nature. It argued that children are spending too much time in front of screens and not enough time playing out in the wild, and looked at what could be done about this. A laudable aim for sure, although I agree with Tim Gill that the film didn’t pay enough attention to the impact of traffic on access to outdoor spaces (and the fact that most of those we could get to without a car are mostly full of dog poo anyway. Cardiff has some beautiful green spaces but for how much longer?).

Mostly though, that it didn’t pay nearly enough attention to two factors: nature can be a faff, and children (and I say this with all the love and respect in the world) can be a pain in the bum.

We went for a walk in Fforest Fawr, the woodlands behind Castell Coch, just outside of Cardiff. It was a freezing day but the rain mostly held off. Inspired by the film and by the idea of MiniRegz reconnecting with nature, I decided not to take the buggy. Mistake! We slowly bimbled. Mostly backwards or off the path. It was far too cold for slow bimbling. I headed back to the car, leaving her with Eleanor and Mostyn (who was unfailingly polite and charming and HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION).

fforest fawr


After pulling the buggy out of the boot, having a quick chat with a woman walking her dog, I headed back up the path. And then realised I must have looked a bit daft taking my empty buggy for a walk. Still, taking the empty buggy for a walk can seem preferable to trying to get Ari into the buggy. When we did manage to fold her in there she didn’t really stop whinging the whole way round, except for when she was eating a banana. Still, nice to get out eh?

fforest fawr




Being a parent

A selection of things that have recently irritated me, possibly unreasonably, about being a parent.

Being referred to as a ‘mummy’ by anyone other than my daughter. ‘Mum’ is fine. Sian is even better.

The way every other mum at the swimming pool manages to dress their child without taking over half of the changing room with stuff, and without mad half-naked dashes to retrieve the already dressed toddler from legging it back into the pool.

The word ‘solids’ to refer to food. I think just because it makes me think of solid waste.

Having to go out of the way to pick non-holey, vaguely matching socks because of the amount of times I end up having to take my shoes off in public. See also, having to wear leggings instead of tights to avoid gusset-flashing while sitting cross-legged on the library floor.

Not being able to attempt any sort of floor-based exercise without MiniRegz deciding that I am not working hard enough, here have 25lb extra weight to work with. Plonk.

Whoever decided to put the electrical sockets at toddler eye height in the room where we hold breastfeeding group.

And so ends today’s rant. I am sure more will occur to me before too long.


This is what happens almost every time I get my camera out to take a photo of MiniRegz – “Oooh, shiny. Gimme gimme”.


This is us baking Spelt and Apple Star biscuits (from the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook). She was obviously not as focused on the task in hand as I thought. The stars lasted about an hour by the way. All twenty of them. She kept breaking off from whatever she was doing to leg it into the kitchen, point at the cake tin and shout ‘Babap!’. Babap = Star, obviously. We’ve only recently worked it out that this is probably because Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Baa Baa Black Sheep sound so similar.

Anyway, this picture is fuzzy and rubbish as a photo, but I love how proud she is of her ‘pirate crown’ that she made at Rhyme Time at the library. She ordered the librarian to sit down beside her and draw some un-pirate like trains and moons on her crown and then insisted on wearing it to the post office.