#bookclub

We recently had a mums night out to the cinema, mums being my ‘school mum friends’,  we had a lovely meal beforehand, most people were on time, and everyone stayed awake! Winning.

We watched ‘Bad Moms’, a predictably cheesy, American comedy, which we could all relate to. Yes we booked late, which then meant that yes-we were sat so close we could see every pore on the stars’ perfectly made up faces but it didn’t really matter.

It was more about the night out than the film to be honest. I recently drove Poppy back & forth to an evening concert at school, 7.30pm & 9.30pm-it was dark on both journeys, I felt like an elderly person pootling along dazzled by the headlights & being extra cautious-that’s how often I ‘don’t’ get out, I’d forgotten how to drive in the dark?!!

We laughed until we cried & my friend Sarah let me share her scarf as a blanket (does anyone else find cinemas freezing?!) The laughing may in part have been down to me confusing a ‘simulator’ with a ‘stimulator’. Oops.

Before the film, a trailer came on for the new movie ‘girl on the train’, it looked brilliant & we all commented that we’d love to see it, or at least read the book?! (Let’s face it once November is here we won’t get out again until Feb half term at the earliest?!).

And so the bookclub was born.

I forced the other girls into my whatsapp group with the tag line ‘read a book a month, meet once a month to discuss book (read that as eat cheese, drink wine, gossip)…whaddya think?!’ & So, some of us have downloaded the book, some of us have bought a paper copy & some have stolen it from their mother.

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This isn’t just about broadening our horizons this ‘book club’ lark. It’s about having a great(intellectual sounding) excuse to get together once a month with the ‘school mums’, some of whom we only manage to snatch twenty seconds with once a week because, Lucie has gone back to work, or Wills started swimming lessons & we have to be the first out of the playground, or Annie has face planted the play on pirate ship in the playground interrupting our train of thought!

This gang of ‘school mums’ they’re not the snooty ‘look how amazing Teddys family school project turned out, we did it on the plane back from the south of France’ they’re not the ‘she can’t sit with us, she isn’t wearing a trendy scarf’. They’re the ones you can ring at 3.15pm(School pick up time) to say ‘ I fell asleep on the sofa with the baby on the boob & a family size bar of Galaxy, can you bring my son home ‘ Which they’ll not only do, but they’ll take him to the ice cream parlour on the way home to give you a bit of time to yourself. They’re the ones who’ll give you a cheery ‘hello!’ every morning even though they’re exhausted from being up all night with the baby or from marking books until 11pm, or they just got off a night shift delivering babies! There’s no bitchiness, no judging if you haven’t hoovered, no comment if you haven’t brushed your hair this week.

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So I guess what I want to say is maybe your ‘vibe’ really does attract your ‘tribe’. I’m loving this new adventure we’re on, a common goal to reach, loving spending  20 minutes a day doing something completely for myself & ‘escaping’ real life. Something I don’t feel I’ve done a whole lot of since Annie came along.

We’ve even got a Christmas meal night out booked with at least half the mums in the class coming along!

Its pretty cool socialising with this little gang…..

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Oh, & the books alright too.

Lots of love Kirsty xxx

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Autumn

The Farmers Wife

Every year, i’m amazed how quickly the seasons change.

It seems that, no sooner are the summer holidays over, the leaves are falling from the trees, blackberries are ready to be gathered, conkers litter the bridal paths & i’m counting down the days until i need to light the log burner(no central heating!).

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Is it because our lives are so busy that there is such a seamless flow from the heat of the August sun, to buying stocking fillers in october? I feel like having kids makes time go faster, always looking ahead to the next half term, school trip, disco, cake sale, footie tournament, theres always something you need to be thinking about, planning for-of ahead of time, pushing us to cram more into each passing week/month/year.

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I love my instagram account for the ability to look back at little moments I captured along with the buzz of family life, the things you take for granted, or which are quickly forgotten. This week, just picking the pears from the tree in the garden has marked the middle of October, as has the start of my autumn wardrobe in the form of my new mustard jumper, & leather boots, but that’s not particularly note worthy-just an exciting mummy treat!).

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This month the farming calendar is as busy as ever, with Spring crops being drilled(planted)-
I’ll wave a sad farewell to the pigs outside my kitchen window who’ll shortly be moved on to another part of the farm in favour of a field of wheat.
Mr P is spending some very long days fodder beet (which are kind of like turnips)harvesting, then there’s lots of muck spreading to be done.
With a few Saturday ploughing matches thrown in, and of course the shoot season will get well under way!!

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October will no doubt feature pumpkins & ghosts, sweet & savory pies, & the return of manicures in classic plum hues(soft cashmere grey if i get my way!)

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Since i’ve realised that November will see a certain little girl turn one whole year old & my body hasn’t yet returned to its temple like shape(obviously i’m joking) i’m also aiming for October to see us all being a little healthier, longer walks, & more careful meal planning. nothing too drastic, just a few tweaks (low fat rice pudding instead of full fat!).
I’m dusting off the slow cooker & testing out this recipe for slimming world ‘ hearty beef stew’ this week, just don’t tell Mr P its ‘healthy’ will you?….

Ingredients:

low calorie cooking spray
700g lean casserole steak, visible fat removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 onions, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 turnips, peeled and roughly chopped
600ml boiling beef stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
method

Preheat the oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C/Gas 3.
Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the meat and fry until browned on all sides.
Transfer the meat to an ovenproof casserole dish along with the garlic, onions, carrots, turnips and stock. Season to taste and add the dried herbs. Cover tightly and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
Serve hot with your favourite vegetables.

Enjoy…

Love Kirsty xxx