Colour Blast Dash

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Last weekend the boys and I headed off with the mother to Darley park in Derby ! We were dressed appropriately , running numbers attached , and had a spring in our step ! Me & my 3 darlings were about to take part in the Colour Blast Dash for The Laura Centre ( A facility to help bereaved children & young people) !! Now I don’t know about you but I envisaged us running the course together , getting covered in a rainbow of colour whilst the sun shone !! I do live in a little Juju bubble at times …. However … the reality was :

TORRENTIAL RAIN 

It rained and rained and rained … !! Spirits were not dampened  .. we were still very excited  as we threw packets of paint into the air during the Colour release party …

 

Colour Release party

Colour Release party

and then we ran ! The boys after only a few paces decided Mummy was far too slow so under strict instruction to stay together and listen to Bill at all times .. the 3 blue eyed boys ran off and joined the crowd surging through the park running through massive puddles and muddy banks … all the while waiting for the next colour blast station ! The pure glee on the boys faces was just about enough to make my heart burst with pride ! Yet still the rain fell .. harder now , faster now , relentless …. and the Colour blasters kept on blasting as we ran !

Approaching the last colour blast station I managed to lose my footing trying to run around a family and down I came .. crashed like a very unladylike sack of spuds !! I got up , laughed at myself and carried on …. I saw my Mum cheering me on at the sidelines .. and I ran ! I ran until I was virtually blinded by the rain at which point I thought I had better slow down and watch my footing ( which incidently I couldn’t do as my glasses were so wet !!)  I reached the finish line to whoops and waves from my 3 boys who all looked a little bedraggled … covered in a rainbow of orange , green , blue , pink and yellow paint ….  I’m guessing I didn’t look much better !!!  We had done it … I was so proud of my boys !

We had an awesome time despite the rain !!! Will we do it again …. YOU BETCHA !!!

Slightly worse for wear .. but happy !!! (and wet ...)

Slightly worse for wear .. but happy !!! (and wet …)

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Getting jammy as a #MorrisonsMum

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Some people thought I was  a jammy so and so when I was one of the few (hundred) chosen by BritMums to become a Morrisons Mum .. and to be honest I was pretty chuffed myself !! I hardly ever shop at Morrisons in Derby as it’s on the other side of town to me  so for convenience I tend to use other stores , so the prospect of having to go shopping at Morrisons was actually quite exciting !!! My friend tagged along too and we had a mini morning trip out to Morrisons ready for the bank holiday  🙂

I loved it as soon as I arrived … easy parking , plenty of trollies  , the fun of the revolving doors .. I was like a kid in a sweet shop !! Then to be greeted by piles and piles of the freshest vegetables and fruits .. now that was quite something !! Vegetables I had only read about in books were right there in front of me , purple peppers , white aubergines … it was like the vegetable world had gone a bit doolally whilst I’d been stuck in my shopping rut !! That was it , I was hooked …!!

Market street was a joy … fresh pastries , pizza’s , cooked chickens , cheesemonger , deli counter , butcher … I actually was in shoppers heaven !! However , the sensible Mum in me had gone to the trouble of making a list and so I thought I better honour my organisational skills and buy what was on the list …  I managed to buy everything I had on my list plus a few other naughty bits like black pudding , white pudding ( not had this in years and years and years .. . my cup of joy runneth over ….) , freshly baked sausage rolls , fresh donuts …  so I wasn’t that strict with my list !!

My shopping bill came to £86.49 … but I was fully expecting it to be so much more … my trolley was bursting at it’s iron grills … that amount of shopping would usually cost me well over £100 … So imagine the massive grin that spread across my face !! I was amazed!!! Great value , great produce and an enviable freshness that others should well take heed of ….

Now with it almost being summer and the picnic season lurking around the corner I decided to use some of my haul to make  some chutneys to bring out with a flourish as we tuck into our basket of fresh bread and cheese … so I made a caramelised red onion chutney & a tomato & chilli jam (The Firecracker) !! I made 4 jars of each … which meant that per jar the cost of each was : 80p 

Here are the recipes ….

Caramelised Red Onion Chutney

  • 8 red onions
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  1. Cut your onions and chilli into short, thin slices and put them into a pan with the bay leaves and oil. Cook gently over a low heat for about 20 minutes. The onion should be transparent ( Like hot dog onions 🙂 ! ) not burnt/crispy !!
  2. Once the onions are dark and sticky, add the sugar and the vinegars and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the chutney is thick and dark. remove the bay leaves.
  3. Pour the chutney into hot, sterilised jars and let it cool. Ideally, you should leave it for a month or more before you eat it, to mature in flavour. We love to have this on crackers & cheese !! Also amazing with cold meat and salad ! And of course with cheeses ….  Make double so you won’t be stressed at Christmas !!! ( Think fast … thinking ahead …) 

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Tomato & Chilli Jam – The Firecracker 

  • 2 red onions, finely chopped

  • 400g ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 400g ripe plum tomatoes, quartered

  • 3 large mild red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped

  • 5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger, grated

  • 1 star anise

  • 250ml white wine vinegar

  • 300g light brown sugar
  • 1.Sterilise the jars. Wash in very hot water or on the hot cycle of a dishwasher. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Place the jars upside down on a baking tray and dry in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • 2,Heat the red onion and chopped tomatoes in a large heavy-based saucepan over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
  • 3.Add the chillies, ginger, star anise, vinegar and sugar. Bring the mixture to the boil and let it boil(rolling boil) for about 15-20 minutes  or until very thick and you can draw a wooden spoon across the base of the pan so that it leaves a channel behind it that does not immediately fill with liquid.
  • 4.Then fill the sterilised jars with your jammy goodness . Eat this within 6 weeks of making it … particularly good with a good strong cheese and pickled onions !!!!! 

 

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 Both are now sat maturing in my fridge … Now we just need the rain to stop so we can get out there and enjoy the fruits of our labour ….. Thanks Morrisons !! We will definitely be heading back next payday … I think Morrisons has just become our new “good” habit  !!! Fabulous ….

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**I was provided with £80 worth of Morrisons vouchers . All views & opinions are my own.

I can write !! Yes I can …

I’ve always written … as a child I used to invent whole worlds and communities on paper …  these worlds were meticulously planned from inhabitants , clothes , the foods they ate, the songs they sang and the things they did … I would invent them , write them , draw them , then sit in the shed and daydream about being there and all the things I would do there ! Once I’d had my fill of that world .. I would invent another and the dream would regenerate itself .. just so !

As I got older I progressed onto poetry ,   I wrote poems about everything and anything … rhyming poems but mostly not , even managing to get a couple published in poetry collections ! I loved the idea of being a poet , the romanticism of poetry and prose .. As a Theatre & English Lit student I felt all at peace with the world when ensconced in a poetic moment .. my usual maudlin melancholy lifting as I was swept off into a world of words ….

Then life began to overtake me … University , work , children , husband , more children , house moves , shopping , budgeting , working , working ,working … I think I began to forget I had ever existed . I started to blog which was my way of putting a bit of me back into me … rediscovering life and lost loves … finding new things and being a new person , well not new , just a newer version of me … It’s so easy to hide behind a computer screen and talk ! But then I let that slide away into an abyss of suffocating proportions ! I forgot to blog , I forgot me .. again !! My confidence hit an all time low , I had convinced myself that no-one would be the slightest bit interested in me or indeed anything I had to say or share , any recipes I had to showcase or … well anything ! So I sank back into obscurity …my blog becoming a place to write and not actually say much . This made me sad … it had become a chore and I didn’t want to be ridiculed so I resorted in just posting and running as it were …

But just recently I have decided that actually , I enjoy writing , I always have … so why change ?? Who cares if people don’t read it , who cares if people ridicule it … this is my writing for me … and to be honest , yes , I would love everyone to love my writing as much as I do … so I won’t just post & run .. I will get my waffly old self back out there in the bloggersphere … and I will write that cookbook and that novel that’s inside me … ! The confidence is still a work in progress  and I’m sure I will still look at other peoples work and wish I could be as high profile , as good as , as confident and as self assured as they are .. I’m only human after all ! The difference is this time I know I am as good as them …just different .. in my own inimitable style !!

So , I’m building my confidence .. I’m Rediscovering Ju  … I’m writing because I enjoy it and I will continue to do this …  I will write that novel … I will write that book … and even if i’m the only blummin’ person in the world to read them ! So the faff what ….

 

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.


Why won’t they sleep ??

I’m scared … I’m really scared ! As much as I whinge and moan about doing EVERYTHING in this blasted house … the husband actually virtually always does bedtime with the boys .. mostly because he goes out to work so early and arrives home after their teatime so bedtime is their time .. but also because the boys actually lie down and go to sleep after the story ! Just like that !!

Sleepfrank

Tonight , after the story  , the husband immediately went out to the supermarket with the teen … so he could get the last bits he needs to pack and Bill because he saw a chance to schmooze down the PS4 aisle … ! The twins heard the telltale slam of the door … and all hell broke loose !! Shreiks and screams and peals of laughter … fighting and laughing .. laughing and fighting … pounding up & down the stairs … Excuses of scary stories  … too hot , too cold , can’t sleep … a few words of wisdom from me and they are tucked up back in bed .. until I step on the top stair … and all hell breaks loose again …. Big sigh .. deep breath … Mummy hollers … 4 big wide blue eyes staring at me as I rant & rave about going to blummin bed .. and stoppages of sweet privileges  … and maybe Mummy just wants 5 minutes peace …and then I tuck them up and again walk away …  and , yep you guessed it .. all hell breaks loose again .. albeit slightly quieter .. but I can still hear the giggles … those conspiratory giggles that always strike fear in my heart … but I walk away .. another big sigh and wait for Chris & Bill to come home …

You may be wondering why I’m scared ? Well Chris is escaping .. I mean heading off to partake in the Scumrun 2014 tomorrow morning … Leaving me home alone with the 3 boys for a week  … I may not survive this ordeal !! Please check in on me from time to time … I’m already trembling ….

So please help me … WHY WON’T THEY SLEEP ????

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