Author: Grenglish

Zee’s Kitchen

Zee loves to watch cooking shows with me. Our current favourites are Masterchef and Great British Bake Off, however, occasionally we will also tune in to Come Dine With Me if we see that it is on. When he was a bit younger, Zee would concoct elaborate ‘dishes’ made out of Lego bricks, books, cars and Star Wars figures, which I would pretend to taste and then provide constructive feedback based on skill, taste, and presentation. Now that he is 8 years old, he actually expects to get in the kitchen and use real food. This is great if we are following a recipe and he is my sous chef, but one time we left him in charge and poor Auntie BB was served a dry satsuma and cheese sandwich with a dollop of yogurt on top! We were much luckier in Crete this summer when Zee went into the restaurant business with our very own Greek master chef, Yiayia.  He devised a menu based on the ingredients that Yiayia had in her fridge and the Special …

Camping

As much as I love the idea that we could be a family of campers, last weekend was the first time we have ever spent the night together in a tent. And, it wasn’t even our tent. And, the campsite was 10-minutes from our house. And, we were there for less than 24-hours. So, I am not sure if you could even call our one night sleeping in the great outdoors (in the middle of London) camping, but that’s how it was sold to us so we went with it. We borrowed a tent and various other bits of equipment from my Dad. We had blow-up beds, sleeping bags, a stove, pots and pans, water bottles, table and chairs, cool boxes and enough food for a week (in case the Tesco 5-minutes away was closed). By the time we had packed for every weather eventuality – wellies, raincoats, fleeces, flip-flops (forever the optimist!), hoodies and a couple of changes of clothes – the car was so full that we could not see out of the …

School Dinners vs Packed Lunch

After 4-years of having school dinners, Zee started this term with his first home packed lunch. A move I had resisted up until now for a few reasons: School lunches are free to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 I like the idea of him having a hot meal in the middle of the day I searched for packed lunch ideas on Pinterest and the results terrified me! I thought it would be a bit of a faff to prepare something varied, nutritional, creative (see above point) AND to his liking every single day However, he was adamant that he wanted to switch from school dinners to a packed lunch because: The queues for a school lunch are often quite long, which meant he missed out on valuable play time outside with his friends – children with a packed lunch can just sit down, eat and then go out to play Portion size – he was always ravenous when I picked him up at the end of the school day (I suspect he was …

Quiet time

Can you hear that? It’s been a while, so maybe it feels a bit unfamiliar at first, but there’s no mistaking the sweet, sweet sound of silence. Zee went back to school today and while a part of me is sad that our wonderful summer together has come to an end, for the most part I have quite enjoyed getting things done! Aside from discovering surplus Match Attax cards under every sofa, cushion, bed and kitchen cupboard, there is something quite satisfying about putting the house back together after 6-weeks of embracing the mess. And, by embracing, I really mean tolerating – I am a Virgo after all! I am also a big believer in the ‘watch while you work’ method and am happy to report that I have made excellent progress on condensing the TV planner. All the shows that I couldn’t watch with an 8-year old – or a judgmental 47-year old – in the room, have been viewed and cleared. However, even after watching 4 back-to-back episodes of Eastenders, I still feel …

Birthday shenanigans

Having a birthday that falls on the August Bank Holiday weekend is always guaranteed to be a pretty low-key affair. My friends are nearly almost on holiday and the office – when I used to work in one – was usually closed. My sister and my dad both work away from home and often at short notice, so can never make concrete plans. It’s not quite as miserable, but definitely up there with having a birthday on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day – nobody is ever really up for celebrating with you unless it’s a big one! Then I had Zee and he was born the day before my 36th birthday. It was the best birthday present I could ever ask for, however, my birthday has lived in the shadow of his ever since! Of course, I do not begrudge him this attention in any way at all, in fact, to make up for not planning his birthday more considerately at conception, I have insisted all the focus be on him ever since. We have …