I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

Puppy Love



We are expecting! A puppy! In less than two weeks. I am beside myself. The baby, I mean puppy, was born six weeks ago and is part of a record-breaking litter. The amazing mummy dog, Annie, gave birth to a staggering FIFTEEN puppies and all are healthy and thriving. They quickly became a media sensation and have been all over the national press. The best thing is that they are local so we were able to meet the baby puppy for the first time last week. Having had my heart set on a chocolate pup to match my canine nephew, Pudding, I had to alter my expectations when we learned that the only brown girl had been chosen already. It wasn’t dissimilar to the feelings we had at a gender scan for our second daughter. There was split second disappointment that she wasn’t a boy followed by unbounded joy and euphoria that she was a healthy baby. (And also secret delight that we would save a fortune in baby clothes).

We had two puppies to choose from which seemed inconceivable – how do you pick one impossibly cute thing over another? They were both sleeping initially, nestling in the arms of their owner, like little black velvet bean bags. One woke up before her sister and was handed to me for a cuddle. She nibbled and wriggled and snuggled and we knew we’d found our Crumble. I felt a surge of something I hadn’t experienced since my littlest was bundled up and thrust upon me on that operating table two and half years ago. It was love at first sniff of her tiny, furry head. And that’s exactly how if felt when I held the puppy.



The countdown is on and we are doing our best to prepare the children for the new arrival. Hopefully they are old enough to understand that Crumble isn’t a toy and mustn’t be hauled around or prodded or fed Jaffa cakes. Likewise, I’ll have to be careful not to show favouritism to our fur-baby and will try to treat them all equally. I’m prepared for a few nights of disturbed sleep as Crumble gets used to being away from her mummy but will try to be firm and not pander to her pleading whimpers. My track record at this isn’t great though and we still have a nearly three year old who doesn’t sleep through and a four and a half year old who won’t go to bed. Sometimes I feel like I’m failing all over the place.

We have been using the puppy as an emotional blackmail tool to try and change behaviour for a few weeks now and have successfully manipulated the youngest into doing ‘number twos’ in the toilet (it’s been a messy summer…) as well as coaxing her back into the bath after a three month sabbatical following the development of an irrational fear of being sucked down the plug hole. Over the next two weeks the bribery stakes will be upped and we’ll attempt to crack the nighttime situation – no sleep, no puppy will be our mantra and hopefully they are still young enough not to smell the bullshit. There is NO WAY we are not getting that puppy.

Eleven more (broken) sleeps!


Desperate Housewife

I’ve been feeling pretty pleased with myself lately as I finally seem to be getting the hang of living in a castle, hundreds of miles from the nearest Primark, with two despot ‘tweenagers’ and a workaholic husband. There is a happy rhythm to our lives at the moment and we seem to be bumbling along quite nicely. It helps that the schools are off so there isn’t the usual frantic last minute rush in the morning, hunting for shoes, stuffed sheep and random items for show and tell – pine cones, shells, dental floss etc. This is despite the day generally starting at 6am so by the time we’re running 10 minutes late for the nursery run, I’ve been up for over three hours.
My time management has definitely improved and I seem to be most productive in the early hours, when sane people with considerate children are still tucked up in bed. On a good day, by 9am, I have often ironed a load of bed linen, made a pot of soup, completed a 20 minute fitness dvd and made a few cushion covers.

You can never have enough.

You can never have enough.

My latest fad is soft furnishings, ever since a talented friend showed me how to work the ancient sewing machine my MiL left behind. There is a ready supply of material all over this house which is begging to be upcycled so It’s a cheap hobby at the moment and I can furnish the holiday cottages with my finished creations, once I’ve filled up the castle.

I’ve also rediscovered crochet recently after a long break due to bad associations. I made a ripple blanket for a family baby whilst watching the box set of Breaking Bad and the whole experience left me traumatised. I loved making the blanket but that overrated, soulless series left me cold and unable to pick up a hook for months. Thank God for Homeland 3 which arrived via a friend last week and which we are binge watching at a rate of three episodes a night. I’ve made 16 granny squares (another cushion, there is still space on the Chesterfield) and am half-way through a hat.

'Nuff said.

Nuff said.

If I was ever worried about morphing into a ghastly Martha Stewart/Bree Van Der Kamp hybrid, there are plenty of days when things don’t go according plan. This week alone I have unwittingly flashed the stonemason from the bedroom, pranged my MiL’s car in Tesco car park and served coffee to an important client of Niall’s in the “I’m a twat” mug.