Monday, 1 September 2014


Three weeks, three festivals. This time, we spent a day at the brilliant and FREE Bunkfest up the road in Wallingford, drawn by the headliners 3 Daft Monkeys. I might be a bit obsessed with this band having seen them just two weeks ago, but in my defence, just check them out on youtube and see if you can stop yourself dancing!
We pitched up at the free ‘park and ride’. Bit confused as there was no actual car park as such, but having parked, the FREE bus arrived immediately and deposited us by the high street in Wallingford.

As I had the map up the wrong way, we had a nice jaunt down to the River Thames and then back up to Kinecroft which was buzzing; full of stalls, people and noise.
Having got there late in the day, we bought a reusable pint glass each (nice to see measures to protect the environment in place) and started on the cider. The McBaby spent a happy hour indeed on the silent disco dance floor which was full of children buzzing on candy floss and sugar, waving a plethora of toy swords and guns around and throwing balls hard at each other. I removed him for his own safety and after a couple of goes on the carousel,a strategic avoidance of the balloon stalls and a visit to the very posh toilets, we went to see Mr Alexander, the magician. He’d done his magic shows for the day, but was in the throes on putting on a cinematic show – amazing.

Then Blair Dunlop, followed by a sweaty, vibrant set by 3 Daft Monkeys who wowed the crowd. For a small festival, I was astounded by the quality of the filming, and not quite so thrilled to see what I look like when I’m dancing projected onto a massive screen.

So in summary, a great festival with the feel of a village fete and just amazing that it’s free – although donations are welcome here:
The people of Wallingford should be very proud of their event, although perhaps a rethink on arming their kids might be in order - smiley face!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Chilli con carne

As I wipe down the kitchen walls and clean up the chilli, along with a good dab of paint too, I wonder how it came to this. I'm on my hands and knees cleaning up what looks like a murder scene while MrM is upstairs with a screaming toddler.

Just minutes ago, this chilli was on a plate and we were all happily eating it and chatting.

Then, the McBaby turned around to lick the back of his chair. I told him to sit nicely and eat his dinner and POW! the plate was suddenly thrown at the wall.

It's the worst in a series of tantrums today. Is there an end to the terrible twos?

Monday, 25 August 2014

"Everyone just pretend to be normal"

Sometimes members of my family will gently remind me that I'm, shall we say, a bit eccentric. I can't disagree with this but I was hoping that the McBaby wouldn't inherit this trait. And then we'll go away for a weekend and I'll watch him and think; Hmm. He most definitely is not normal. For example, in the last few days:

1. We were at a party and we thought we'd show the McBaby how to play badminton since there were three rackets and two shuttlecocks. He licked a badminton racket and then hit the two shuttlecocks into the woods, never to be seen again.

2. I'd been asked to help someone get their baby to sleep, so I walked him round and round in circles until he dropped off. And when he did, the McBaby woke him up by making an elephant noise in his face. As you do.

3. Proving that it's not just me, MrM and I were on the dancefloor and he suddenly produced a can of cider from nowhere. "Who gave you that"? I asked. "Sarah and Duck" he replied, actually meaning Chris and Lisa. Of course.

4. I was watching an old episode of Bullseye on Challenge a bit too intently. I then realised that I'd managed to teach the McBaby to shout "GAMBLE" at the TV (and back in time to the 80s).

5. It's not just us. I saw the NcNephew at the weekend and the only bit of conversation I got from him was a brilliant one-liner. For a three-year-old. Apparently my head looks like a bottom.

6. With little time to read, I like to have an audiobook in the car for my commute to work. I'll have to rethink this and perhaps the type of stories to listen to after opening the window and the man reading the story shouting "Bitch!" repeatedly at some poor woman waiting to cross the road.

Is your family "normal"?


Thursday, 21 August 2014

A real head-scratcher

The inevitable happened yesterday. I spent the day helping with a house move and spent the day scratching my increasingly itchy scalp. I thought this was just a result of the dust rising from moving furniture so didn’t think anything of it until I returned home to find MrM watching TV with a beer in his hand.

Asking about his day, he told me about work, about picking up the McBaby from nursery and at number 4 on the running order, “Oh one of the ladies at nursery thought she saw a nit on McBaby’s head”. Sip of beer.

I stared at him. “And what have you done about it?” I shrieked.
“Well, I didn’t think it was that bad.”

I huffed, ranted and waved my arms around. “You enjoy your beer; I’ll go and get some special shampoo.”

MrM reluctantly agreed to go and get the special comb and the shampoo so that I could scratch my head. About two hours later, we were all back and treating ourselves with the shampoo and a nit comb. We hated this proportionately in decreasing order of age.
We’re all in the clear today, hugely embarrassed and eager to get haircuts. So, if you’ve seen me in the last couple of weeks, it might be worth getting someone to check your hair. Hangs head (and hair) in shame….

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Wonderful World, Beautiful Days – Joe Blogs about the weekend

The parents took me to a field in Devon again. It must be that time of year where we load up the campervan, set off singing Levellers songs loudly, arrive in a field, mummy starts drinking cider and daddy puts up the tent.

Despite the large quantity of cider drunk (or owing to it?), we had a brilliant weekend – I spent most of it running from one muddy puddle to another, splashing around and shrieking. I also got to go on the Ferris Wheel, on the big helter skelter and the chairoplanes. I also spent hours and hours hitting plastic bottles with sticks. Mummy has generously called this “drumming”.

On the Friday before the Levellers acoustic set, my mummy congratulated daddy on buying a new tent. She said that she liked this tent because every time she opened it, someone famous walked past. The first time she opened it, Seth Lakeman walked past. The second time, it was John Robb, then the third time, my friend Elsie appeared. She’s two as well but nowhere near as naughty as me. Unlike me, she didn’t shout into all of the bins, heckle any bands or spend half a day making a den underneath an A-board for “moustaches and coffee”.

But as well as being great for me – there’s also lots for adults to do too. Mummy and Daddy hauled me in to watch lots of fabulous - and hugely eclectic - bands. Unfortunately this meant watching the pair of them dancing like muppets to a line-up that included Jimmy Cliff, Seth Lakeman, 3 Daft Monkeys and the Levellers (twice!), needless to say. I particularly liked Dreadzone, even though I have seen them before, and danced so madly that lots of people asked mummy if they could take my picture.

They also planned to watch acts like Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, but I thought that would be a good time to have a tantrum, meaning that it was a two-man job to put me to bed.

The next day, we decided to get some t-shirts although me and mummy were a bit surprised that daddy bought three that were exactly the same, making us look like the substitutes for the next Holland international game. At least in my bright orange t-shirt I was highly visible, making it much easier for mummy to chase me when I kept running away.

None of us wanted to leave on Monday morning and this time it was my mummy who was the one that kept disappearing. We drove home waving goodbye to the lovely field, already looking forward to next year’s event.

The same place two years ago

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


A while ago, I sadly acknowledged that the McBaby should rightly be called the McToddler. A few months on and I'm thinking that he's already turning into the McTeenager.

Helping himself to fruit and other snacks from the kitchen, switching on his favourite programmes himself on the iPad and TV and kicking back and relaxing on the sofa, I can see a glimpse of the teenage years, but the thing that has been driving me mad is his new habit learned from somewhere - hopefully not me.





Monday, 4 August 2014

Feng shui

As you may know, the McBaby does not do what he is told. For example, when I asked him to stop calling his daddy by the inappropriate nickname by which I've been calling him for 10 years, he shouted it more loudly with glee.

Same with bedtime. So MrM decided to see if we could get a bit of feng shui on our side. Perhaps the ever-inquisitive McBaby wouldn't stay in his bed, because he can't see what's going on from his bed. How about moving the room around to put the bed nearer to the door, facilitating a view of the landing.

Well, no sooner had I rearranged the bed and remade it than he pushed me out of the way, shouting "my bed!" and actually got in and laughed. Hopefully the Chinese are onto something!