Monthly Archives: March 2014

39 weeks 1 day pregnant

39 + 1 week

OK. I’m all stretched out now – my skin feels like its about to burst ala aliens style. Time to come out baby. Today – I am 39 weeks 1 day pregnant and I have bounced on that silly ball for an hour, eaten a really hot sandwich and I have just had a hot curry for dinner (plus extra bird’s eye chilli of course). I have also been drinking raspberry leaf tea like its going out of fashion tomorrow. Nothing yet.  I’m beginning to very much doubt these old wives tales. I also took the dogs for a walk around the dock. Nada. Nothing. No water breaking, no dramatic dash to the hospital. No cursing the ward down about how much pain I am in. Not yet anyway. 🙂

hot curry anyone?

hot curry anyone?

Today we also went to BnQ to get a shitload of gardening stuff – the weather has been so gloriously (and uncharacteristically for March) sunny that we (the other half) decided it was time to get his hands dirty and do some gardening. So while he dug, cut, power-sawed his way though the garden, I sat on that silly ball, bouncing up and down like an idiot.

Tomorrow is Sunday and apparently its a great day to give birth – for one, the parking is free at the hospital and also I have nothing planned in my diary.  So there you have it. Ive decided tomorrow is d-day. Are you listening in there baby?

P/S: Tomorrow I am going to be walking up and down the stairs like a crab – sideways that is. According to the midwife, that’s meant to help kick-start labour? Who would have thought?!?! 🙂 I secretly think these old wives tales were made up to make us look like fools – I mean, walking sideways like a crab? Surely not? Oh well, I’ll give it a try. And yes, I’m willing to look like a fool, if anything it’ll get a laugh out of the other half!



39 weeks pregnant

39 weeks

39 weeks

Right. Full Term. I never thought I would get here, but here I am. That’s right. Me. Miss I-can’t-do-it-it’s-killing-me.  I’m 39 weeks pregnant TODAY. Are you listening in there baby? The oven is done. Fully cooked. All systems GO. Come out come out where ever you are (well in my belly).  These last few days have been seriously god-damn hard (and I’m not being ungrateful).  I hardly sleep, my left leg is numb from sleeping only on my left (apparently this helps blood flow??!) I can’t turn by myself, getting up is like moving a boulder and walking up and down the stairs is making me consider getting a chair lift for the house (part of me also thinks this could be fun for the doggies. No – pregnancy its not fun but then again, no one said it was.


My bag is almost packed – I probably should get that sorted soon. I mean, just how many nappies do you need on that first day?! Boob cream – yea or nay? Massage oil? Bendy straws? No one knows. Reading the previous experiences of mums around the world just confuses me even more. Tell you what I definitely packed though – a small bottle of champagne. After 9 months of having a teaspoon here and a tablespoon there of some form of booze (mulled wine does not count)  – I am ready for a proper flute of lovely bubbly.  Oh yes. Show me the bubbles! 🙂

Champagne to toast the baby! And for mummy of course!

Champagne to toast the baby! And for mummy of course!

So here I am at 39 weeks. 39 weeks and ready to fire this baby out. We met a midwife at the birthing suite yesterday and she gave the most funniest, most entertaining little speech about contractions and labour – the only point where I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry was when she told me it was more than likely I would go over – like most people do. I could have decked her – but I didn’t – the thought of all the energy I would need getting up and mustering up some arm muscle made me feel really tired.  She was great though and if anything, very entertaining (and informative).  Hot curry, pineapple, bouncing on a ball, sitting down leaning forward and long walks so far have not worked, and believe me, Ive tried the LOT. Nothing. Nada. No baby, Yet.

So. just what am I going to do today? Well. The clothes have now piled up so someone needs to fold them. Then there is the bouncing on the ball. Stupid ball. I hate it – Its such an odd thing to do bouncing on it, I can’t imagine what my neighbours might think if they saw me (though I don’t know why they would be looking through my windows) Then I suppose I will have to finish up packing and put the bag in the car – urghh, more steps to climb down from to get to the car. Making me feel tired already.

Actually, I need to buy some drawers for our bathroom as my make-up addiction has (surprise surprise) spiraled out of control and gained a life of it’s own. So I guess an afternoon spent on eBay and Amazon is in order. What’s really annoying is a few years ago we found the perfect one on eBay and paid about 200 pounds for it – only to later find out the idiots selling it were rogues and just did away with our money and never delivered the drawers. And silly me didn’t pay with a credit card so I couldn’t claim the money back.  Yes – I am quite silly (sometimes) (most of the time).

Ok, I have to run off now (not literally of course – I can’t run anymore, nor walk, just waddle).  Speak soon.



Tea at Claridge’s

Seeing as how soon it won’t just be the two of us, we decided that we would treat ourselves to a fancy tea at Claridge’s. Now, we have been to a few others for tea, The Ritz and The Landmark and were not as impressed and so decided to come back here. Something about the Tiffany coloured cups maybe? No – of course not! (I’m not that shallow!!). The impressive 24-tea menu and a delicious selection of sandwiches, clotted cream and scones and pastries makes for a mouth-watering afternoon of indulgence – and indulge we certainly did! Here are some pictures I sneakily took while we were there.


  • Daylesford organic chicken,lemon & tarragon on granary bread
  • Dorrington ham, celeriac rémoulade & tomato chutney on onion bread
  • Severn & Wye smoked salmon, brown shrimp butter & rock samphire on rye bread
  • Burford brown egg mayonnaise & watercress on white bread
  • Cucumber, crème fraîche & rocket on white bread

The three teas I tried were:

Emperor’s Breakfast

This rare Chinese variety, crafted by masters, produces produces an astonishingly sweet black tea.  It is made from very young, tender spring leaves and golden buds that have been kept while during a painstaking harvesting process.  Ir is remarkably smooth with flavours of rich toffee and chocolate.  This was my second favourite tea – its a strong black tea with incredible smoothness and has a lovely after-taste.

White Silver Tip

The most prized of all white teas (and the personal favourite of the Claridge’s esteemed tea connoisseur) this is made entirely of tender, spring buds, picked for only twenty days of the year from the mountains of Fujian in far eastern China.  These precious leaves contain the highest levels of antioxidants, the lowest caffeine and the most beautifully delicate flavour of any teas. remarkably soft, clean and sweet with an aroma of freshly cut grass. This was my  least favourite and I don’t know if there were not enough leaves to fully bring the flavour of the tea out, or if it was meant to taste unremarkably tasteless – I remember saying to the better half ‘this tea tastes of hot water!’ 🙁

Malawi Antler

Rather than being made form the leaves of the tea bush, the unspeakably rare tea is made only from the velvety stems of its finely plucked spring shoots.  These ‘antlers’ wonderfully express the earth of Malawi.  In the same way that a wine has its terroir, a combination of factors give this single estate tea its unique flavours.  Only a few kilos of Malawi Antler can be produced each year.  This tea is soft and sweet with right lychee and apricot flavours. The Malawi Antler is one of the world’s most sought after teas.  Consequently, Claridge’s is one of just two places in the world where you will find this gorgeous tea served.  My favourite tea of the evening, a sweet after taste engulfs you as you drink this tea and it is bursting with flavour – no need to add sugar!


Yummy scones and very naughty cakes!


  • Chocolate gâteau, Mariages frères crème brûlée
  • Raspberry macaroon on a delicate cream base
  • Pear & walnut éclair, vanilla cream
  • Apricot & caraway cake


Scones (two plain and two with raisins)  – freshly baked everyday in Claridge’s kitchens, served with Cornish clotted cream and Marco Polo gelée.

How much?

Traditional Afternoon Tea costs £50 , if you add a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut, NV it costs £61. With a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé it goes up to £74.  Yes, I hear you. HOW MUCH FOR SANDWICHES AND CAKE? It was a treat – its not like we’re there every weekend (probably couldn’t get a table anyway – took 3 months to get this booking!!)  It is a lovely experience though and one that comes highly recommended.

Click here if you would like to make a booking for afternoon tea too.

Toodles for now!


Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Happy Shrove Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Tuesday! What is Shrove Tuesday all about anyway? Beats me really, all I know is people have to eat pancakes on this day. After some digging, this is what Uncle Wiki told me;

Shrove Tuesday (also known as Shrovetide Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday and Pancake Day) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday, a moveable feast, is determined by Easter.

The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “confess”.[1] Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics, who make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.  Being the last day before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, Shrove Tuesday is also commonly known as “Pancake Day” or “Pancake Tuesday” due to the tradition of eating pancakes on the day.’

Read more on Shrove Tuesday here.

On this special occasion, we decided to make our favourite pancakes – Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Maple Syrup Butter – heart attack, here we come!! Its SUPER DUPER easy to make, and bonus if you are an apple fan!

What you need:

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  • 200 grams Self-Raising flour
  • 100 grams Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 200 ml milk (we used whole milk)
  • 1 tsp butter

For the Maple Syrup Butter  (tastes so good but oh so bad for your heart!)

  • 85 grams butter
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup

Here’s how you do it:

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Mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.

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Make a well in the center.

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Beat the egg and milk together.

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Pour the egg and milk mixture into the well.

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Using a wooden spoon or a spatula and gently incorporate the dry ingredients into the liquid until well combined.

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Then stir in the grated apple.

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Mix the whole lot together until well combined.

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Heat the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a low heat until melted and bubbling. Ass tablespoons of pancake mix to form 9 inch circles (or if you like, this is the GIANT pancake the better half made for himself) Cook each pancake for about 1 minute until it starts to bubble lightly on the top and looks set, the flip it over and cook on the other side for about 30 seconds or until cooked through.

To make the Maple Syrup Butter

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This is what you basically need – two easy ingredients to lead you to a very naughty (but very tasty) syrup to go with your pancakes!

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Melt the butter with 3 tablespoons of maple syrup[p into a saucepan over a low heat and stir until combined.

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Serve warm with your pancakes.

Here are the pictures of our pancakes;

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This is the other half’s giant pancake. He’s a little mad – have I mentioned?

Here’s his other pancake – he named it the ‘squancake’.

the 'squancake'

the ‘squancake’

And here are MY dainty pancakes.

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Happy pancake eating!