I’ve Never

It’s Friday(Saturday/Thursday) night so let’s put on a comfy cardie and get down to it!!!

Wahoo! LaydeeZ and gentz, grab a drink and let’s plaaaaay ‘I’ve Never…’

For those who’ve ‘never’, let me explain. The rules are simple. I say ‘I’ve never’ and if you have then you derrrrink.

Down it! Down it!

Let the gaaaames begin!

I’ve never…given my kids Calpol and sent them to school hoping they make it ’til 3pm

‘It’s only a minor fever. You’ll be fine. Now get your shoes on’

I’ve never…told my child soft play isn’t open at weekends

‘I don’t know why, sweetie, but that’s what the website says’

I’ve never…lied to the school about being too busy to help out with school trips

‘Oh I so wish I could but…’

I’ve never…had a grab bag of onion rings and a bottle Pinot and called it supper

Can’t face cooking. Haven’t done a food shop in a fortnight.

I’ve never…sent my children to school with unbrushed teeth/nits/dirty uniform/unmatching socks

Every day, pal.

I’ve never…threatened to cancel Christmas/a holiday/the tooth fairy/ a birthday party

‘And I mean it this time!’

I’ve never…put Trolls on at 10am

Close the curtains: call it a ‘cinema’.

I’ve never…bugger. I’m out of gin.

IWD: a survival guide

International Women’s Day is bloody ace. It’s a reminder to pay thanks and gratitude to the sisterhood that has your back all year. It’s a moment to celebrate women who’ve previously been ignored. And it’s a cracking good chance to reflect on a year’s progress. And what a year!

But there’s always a few who can’t understand it. Here’s the usual responses and how to counter them

What about International Men’s Day? How can you talk about equality when you get a day and we don’t?

You do. It’s in November.

I’m all for gender equality but it has to work both ways

That’s what gender equality means. To use synonyms, ‘all people are equal’. Gender=men and women and all genders. Equal=the same. You can’t be ‘more equal’.

Some feminists take it too far

Can you give me an example? Oh the suffragettes?! What a great 100-year old example. Men do dreadful things for power* and 100 years ago women did dreadful things (mostly to themselves) for equality. But yeah. Sure. Any more recent ones?

*96% of killings are by men and most of the 4% by women are in self-defence.

Women make a fuss about the small stuff- it’s ridiculous

Emojis matter. Blue liquid in sanitary towel ads matters. Language on birthday cards matters. Slogans on tshirts matter. We HAVE to sweat the small stuff because it signals that we will not tolerate the big stuff.

How can you be a feminist and…?

Wear lipstick? Work part-time? Use the word ‘wife’? I can be a feminist and do the heck I like- that’s the point. As Caitlin Moran says: ‘feminism isn’t a set of rules, it’s a set of tools’. And women AND men can use them.

Women have equality now

Privilege is saying something’s not a problem because it doesn’t affect you.

You’re a white, middle class, privileged woman.

Good point. I am. And I have a voice and a platform and I want to use this privilege to educate and reform. Intersectional feminism is about knowing the feminism and inequality and priorities vary depending on background and experience. But don’t silence my voice, just include another. Don’t ask ‘why should I listen to you?’ But listen and then hear someone else’s voice and experience too.

Sister. Mum. Me. White Middle Class women doing their best.

11 Stages of a Snow Day

Hope: the night before

Obsessive checking of the weather. Constant chat on WhatsApp. Mentally listing all the things you can ‘get on with’ if you have a day at home. Relentless running to the window to check the weather.

Agonising Optimism

It’s 6.15am. There’s a disappointingly inconclusive layer of snow. The Schools Closure website shows no schools closed. Refresh obsessively. You just need one hero head teacher to take the plunge and they’ll fall like dominoes. C’mon!

Pyjama Roulette

Stay in bed. Stay in bed. Stay in bed. Wait for text from school. Stay in bed. Shove wellies over pjs to de-ice the car. Refresh page. Check work emails. Text colleagues.


‘Surely they won’t make us go in when there’s MASSES/dusting of snow on the roads?’ Fake news of car pile-ups surface on WhatsApp. It’s irresponsible! This is the stage at which you may well reluctantly start putting your bra on.

Unencumbered Joy

School’s closed! Wild dancing. Disbelief. Euphoria. Delight.

Boden Moments

Everyone’s in bobble hats and laughing like goons and the world is white and quiet and full of play.

Fall Out

You’ve stayed out too long. Gloves are lost. Snow’s gone down collars and up sleeves. You bundle everyone in.

Steaming gloves and boots in puddles

TV marathon

Kids watch crap whilst you look at everyone’s snow pics on social media.

Round Two

You’re ready to go out again. Gloves are warm and damp from three hours on the radiator. You feret in the downstairs cupboard for old coats and miscellaneous gloves.

Alex has had his wellies parcel-taped to his trousers to stop the snow falling in. He’s wearing slipper socks for gloves. As am I.

Early to Bed

Hot chocolate. Hot water bottles. Bed.

Dreaming of just one more snow day…

18 Signs Your Children are Middle Class

They own a Microscooter

They’ve moaned about ‘bits’ in their orange juice.

They’ve danced to The Archers theme tune

Their bedroom walls are painted in tasteful greys.

They’ve been bought school shoes from John Lewis.

They’ve read Arthur Ransome and/or Enid Blyton

They have porridge for breakfast.

Both sets of grandparents have an Aga.

They call it supper.

They have a museum pass/ National Trust membership.

They know the meaning of any of the following: bifold doors, Waitrose, organic, butter dish, Nutribullet, underfloor heating, sushi.

They’ve asked whether they should make a Christmas card for the cleaners.

They’ve had their noses blown on cotton handkerchiefs.

When they grow up they want to be an architect or a doctor.

They have parents who’ve moved somewhere ‘for the schools’

They have a mild air of entitlement.

You go for bike rides at the weekend

You all own wetsuits

The Mummalo: to be read to the tune of the gruffalo

A mum has a plan for a nice day out.

The mum tells the toddler and he begins to shout.

‘Where are we goin’ to, mum?’ the toddler groans

‘Can I take the ipad and play games?’ he moans.

‘That’s frightfully ungrateful, son, so no.

We’re off to have fun up the big Tesco’


On goes the mum, determined to be happy.

She packs a day bag with wipes, snacks and nappy.

‘Can you put your shoes on, dear?’ Mum asks politely

‘I hate my shoes and I hate you: can we see daddy?’

‘That’s frightfully hurtful, son, so no

We’re going to be late- come on, let’s go!’


On goes the mum with the kid under arm

He’s not got any shoes but it won’t do any harm

‘I WANT MY SHOES ON MUM’ the kid begins to cry

forfuckssake’ mum mutters ‘Why me? WHY?’

‘What does ‘fuck’ mean, mama?’ the kid asks curiously

‘It’s a male duck’ improvises mum spuriously.


On goes the mumwagon, down the A11

The kid is quiet and radio four is on: heaven

‘You’re being a good boy’ mum says proudly

‘FUCKFUCKFUCK’ the toddler parrots loudly.

‘That’s a little bit rude’ says mum, playing cool

‘Sorry mama’ toddler says, not meaning it at all.


On goes the chitchat and  requests for a snack

Mum is trying to park while passing raisins  back

‘I want Quavers not these’ says child, making faces

‘Never mind’ says mum cursing people in parent spaces

‘We should shoot these kid-free tossers if you ask me’

‘Mummy’ says toddler ‘I really need a weeeeeee’


On goes the trolley through the fruit and veg aisle

The kid’s writhing wildly but mum wears a smile

‘Oh, is he hungry?’ says some helpful old lady

‘No. He’s a dickhead. And sure, hungry, maybe’

The little old lady recoils away in fear

Mum wipes her nose and blots away a tear.


On goes the food shop: up and down to aisle nine

Where mummy is rabidly stocking up on wine.

‘It’s sav blanc’ says mum ‘why Oyster Bay hello’

In goes the case and off they go.

On through Tesco to the checkouts they stroll

Maureen’s on the tills ‘Well, pumpkin, Hello!’


On go the snacks and the bribe magazine

On to the convey belt for all to be seen.

‘Well, aren’t you a lucky boy, my duck?’

‘Did you know a boy one is called a ‘fuck’?’

‘Ha ha’ says Maureen but really she’s glaring

‘Ha ha’ says mum, way beyond caring.


On goes the day and it’s only half past ten

And toddler is refusing to get in his seat again

‘In you go, sweetie’ through gritted teeth, mum coos

‘Nooooooooooooo’ says the toddler and smacks her in the boobs


‘Good’ says the toddler ‘it’s stupid  anyway’


On goes the day and mum unpacks the food

She puts away the wine and the wine looks good.







Not all Heroes Wear Capes: some wear golden catsuits

Scummy Mummies: The Playhouse – 31st Jan

It was 8.30 on a school night and I was wiping tears from my face as a life-sized Iggle Piggle acted out a dogging scene in front of me. Add a masturbating Makka Pakka and I thought I was going to pop a gusset (something that actually happened onstage during an energetic pelvic floor lesson).

And no, I wasn’t at some kind of neonatal sex fest, I was front row at a Scummy Mummies gig. I have been a hardcore fan of their podcast for a long time. I download and listen to it on my way to work or whilst I work out (I once dropped a barbell on my head whilst listening their game of ‘Kent or C**t’ [example: ‘Thong’]). When I heard they were coming to Norwich, I was beside myself.

Who’s more giddy: me or the wallpaper?

The marvellous Emma of We Got This Sometimes has brought the Insta-clan to Norwich and this  brainy beauty has managed to put us (nor)folk on the map and tickets to her fabliss events are selling like hot cakes.

I wrote about a previous hoot-fest with Hurrah for Gin (find it here) and had an almost spiritual time fangirling other bloggers and Instars at the Busting the Supermum Myth event a few weeks ago and the Scummy Mummies was my next night out of joy to look forward to and it didn’t disappoint.

Trio of winners

I had read their book on a kid-free long weekend in Amsterdam and had finished it before the flight had even landed. The woman in 15F asked me if she could have my copy seeing as it was so funny. Couldn’t work out if she was being snidey but I gave it to her anyway.

Bought myself another copy just to get is signed. #keen

So, let me take you back to Iggle Piggle and his red spaff rag which was my personal highlight with stiff competition from 69 Zoo Lane and the Greenwich Men Time who ‘put the MEN in feminist’ a joke a now realise doesn’t translate on page… Anyway, the gig was a proper knees up with lots of opportunity for the (mostly) women in the room to admit how much we love a kid’s party buffet and eating cold fishfingers.

For me, though, it was a celebration of female friendship. I was lucky enough to be checking tickets as people came in and it was a joy to see groups of women in easy company laughing and joking and bustling in with their cups of wine and anecdotes of scumminess.


Helen and Ellie, the two Scummy Mummies on stage, were another great example of what women can achieve when they enable and encourage each other. Their effortless toing and froing, their spontaneous reactions to a Helen’s admissions she’d never…well…never you mind and the way they look at each other on stage: it reminded me of one of those memes ‘Marry someone who looks at you how Ellie looks at Helen when she’s dancing in beige pants’. Beautiful.

So clear your calendars, book the in-laws to babysit and check out We Got This Sometimes on facebook for upcoming events. See you there, Scummers!


Has anyone ever looked happier than me here?!


That Sinking Feeling at Gravity

Full disclosure: I reviewed this place with a stonking hangover. You know how, as a parent, you get to go out once every 18 months and then you put on a nice outfit and lipstick and burn money on getting taxis and fancy cocktails? You know how you think 1am is the right time to prove you’re still young and you can still throw shapes on the dancefloor? That was what had followed seven hours previous to a visit to Gravity. 


The children -my six year old and his friend- were rabid with excitement. The husband was off to nurse his hangover at the football. I thought he could go to the pub (hair/dog) and I could keep the kids busy at Gravity whilst I lay down and weep quietly in a corner somewhere. Ha de bloody HA!

Have you ever been there? If so, why didn’t you warn me?! You should’ve put a gentle hand on my shoulder whilst I was mid-tequila shot and said ‘Babs, get home, go to bed, and then take the kids to the cinema tomorrow instead- that way you can nap’.

Anyway, a lovely friend picks us up and we all traipse off to Riverside. I’m enjoying the fresh air. Our kids are running together and being no bother. I’ve high hopes. We get to Gravity (right near Odeon- in Norwich- should’ve made a sharp turn there but I was still none-the-wiser) and there are a gabillion stairs to climb and I can’t face the lift but hup hup hurrgh we go. Make it to the top and I’m in through the doors.


That’s literally what I said. Out loud. Extremely loudly. But no one heard because it was like smacking in to a (bright orange) wall of pumping music and screaming kids and booming safety messages. Then there’s some complicated system of checking in and paying and something to do with socks: it’s like a bad day at a Ryanair. 
Next our two boys had to go and stand and listen to some safety message. They were hopping from foot to foot, clutching each other in excitement, desperate to get going. The tone of the safety briefing was in stark contrast as it displayed sombre warnings and graphic diagrams of necks breaking. Yeesh.

I crawled on to a stall and tried to block out the noise and rage I felt at the price of the drinks and state of the toilets. Needless to say, I was not great company.

‘You’ll get used to it. Soon you’ll not even notice the noise’ my chirpy friend commented. And she was right. Unbelievably, my addled brain filtered out the noise after a while. I felt capable enough to go and watch my child on the trampolines. He was beaming. He was jumping up and down- a huge grin on his face just jumping around. He was slick with sweat and happiness. It was lovely to see.

Sweaty. Wild. Loving it.

I even managed to muster enough energy to have a poke about the place. It is impressive in its size. There was a climbing wall, a bar (bleurgh), and Pizza Hut delivers there. I went back to watch my kid and his friend boing about. They looked so delightfully joyful and like they might sleep well that night (he did) so that’s another two things in its favour.

I know it’s not a fair trial to review somewhere when you’re hungover and tired and annoyed with your children for waking you up three hours after you’d gone to bed but the amount of sheer joy that my son got out of his trip there, the fact that he looked so beamingly happy pogoing around with unselfconscious enthusiasm was, in the end, quite a tonic.

I’m not going to lie: even sober, I don’t think this would’ve been my favourite place. But, as a parent, you have to do literally thousands of things that your kids love and you don’t (watching Paw Patrol, making spag bol eight times a week, going to soft play centres, rating farts out of ten, buying Yollies etc) so it’s not for me to say ‘don’t go to Gravity’ but it is for me to say ‘send the grandparents with the kids to Gravity’ whilst you stay at home and drink flat Coke and lounge about in pyjamas like you did once upon a twenties.