The Reluctant Hostess

As a child I’d cry if anyone came to the house, and not just strangers; I remember sitting at the top of the stairs at Bromley Cres. crying my eyes out because my Grandparents whom I loved, had come to visit. The cheek of it!

Fortunately, I am no longer shy in my every day life. I enjoy meeting new people and I am confident in one-to-one situations.  I’ve got several close best friends, including some that go as far back as school days; and I have a phone book full of mums whom I see pretty much every week. Cram them all in to my flat for a sober, toddler birthday party and I am sick with nerves.

I love to have guests, but I’m not much of an inviter, self-consciousness creeps in and overwhelms my good intentions.

Growing up, I don’t recall ever having a birthday party although I attended many. I always assumed it was because of the expense (5 kids, 5 birthday parties) but now I have realised it is just too stressful. When I was 11 and in my first year of secondary school, myself and my two younger siblings begged to have a party, and eventually we wore our folks down and convinced them in to agreeing to letting us have a Christmas Party. One condition. I had to share it with my little brother. Easy.

He invited his entire class and I invited a select number of my own classmates. I was too embarrassed to invite boys, so I invited girls only, including some of the “cool” girls. I was painfully shy and hitting puberty- can’t imagine why I thought this would be a great idea. The “cool” girls obviously didn’t attend (No boys – duh!) and that was it for me.

I was picked on and bullied after this for not being “cool”. Do you remember when you were at school and there was always the one kid in the class that really smelt? Or, everyone said really smelt, and you went along with it just grateful that you weren’t the smelly kid? Well, I was the smelly kid. Or at least, I was the kid everyone called the smelly kid. I think it was because (despite the fact I was showering 2-3 times a day in attempts to just not be the smelly kid) once in PE I didn’t use deodorant (for fucks sake, how many 11 year old’s use deodorant?). Anyway I am digressing, these days I try to avoid hosting.

For my sons birthday I teamed up with a lovely, sociable mum (whom also had a birthday tot), my wing woman, (safety in numbers and all that) and planned an outdoor party in the park (neutral ground). I don’t know what I was thinking to be honest, I am a rubbish hostess. Hosting is most definitely not my forte. Anyway, of course my leading lady got sick and the rains came, oh and Sainsbury’s didn’t deliver my grocery’s due to a “technical error”…I needed a Plan B. Let’s have the party here in my home! You know, the one where I avoid hosting coffee mornings or playdates at?  Great idea stupid ass. Rarely does anyone get an invite to my flat, I dislike it so much. We are fortunate enough to live in a very affluent area with pretty river views and lovely neighbours. However, I live above a pub in an old flat. On the upside, the windows and ceilings are high and magnificent, and the flat is spacious and light, and the downside? the kitchen looks like it belongs in a 1980’s youth hostel, and the bathroom grows more mould than Alexander Flemming. Hardly yummy mummy territory.

I want to invite, I really do. I know how loved I feel when I’m invited. I watch friends do it with ease and grace and admire them for their ability to fold people into their lives. I can’t concentrate once the anxiety sets in. The promise of forced interaction in the name of good parenting instills a panic.  What if no one shows up?, or worse, what if they do? Oh god, what if they notice my washing drying in the bedroom, or that my bathroom towels don’t match?

Sweat trickles down my back and my lips are dry. I am talking. I am not sure what about, I am talking non stop. I am acutely aware of the awkwardness I’m desperately trying to hide. I can’t tell if my guests are startled by my deliberate effervescence or if they think I am witty and charming (I did make them wear moustaches!) I am 20% having an ok time, and 80% racking my brain for something to say and wondering when they can all go home? I am at my most uncomfortable as I do my best to ensure everyone is having a nice time.  My surface level housekeeping, eclectic furniture, fear of saying the wrong thing, and decidedly awkward inability to offer anyone a drink, stops me, if I even have a minute to think about being a hostess.

I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband with a level head. Mr Intrepid works in hospitality which we all know is technically hosting for a living. He is charming and he is witty and despite the fact that this party is for a 2 year old, his emergency trip to Waitrose brings us booze. Hurrah.

Oh and there were cakes!

Cupcakes & photo both by Passionfruit Bakery

Happy 2 year old? Tick #ParentingWin

Parents plied with booze mid afternoon with no offer of an alternative, whilst being ordered to wear moustaches?

#Hostingwin? – jury’s still out on that one!
Lindsay X

Number NinetySeven, Tapas Heaven

I would never usually write about somewhere this close to my home, but in this case, I can’t not. Living in Suburbia has taken its toll. I’m no longer down with the kids, and although Surbiton is rich in delicious, independent cafes, it’s also rich in big branded restaurants, (everything you expect from a family friendly ‘burb). I’m not a fan of the big brand and I have been struggling to find anywhere to call my local. Surbiton is designed for families and whereas I do really appreciate this, (I’m a proud owner of one little monster), how fucking amazing is it to go somewhere that’s just that bit too cool for the kids? I’m not a Pizza Express kind of girl, and it’s great that Surbiton finally has a fresh alternative for us Suburbitons, fighting the stereotype. 



Tapa literally means ‘cover’ or ‘lid’. In the beginning there were olives, almonds fried in oil and sprinkled with salt, and chunks of bread served with an olive oil dip. These are the original tapas. Simple foods, requiring little or no preparation. As the tradition evolved, tapas became more of a gastronomic event, with each new venue developing their own specialties. 


Tapas, is based on simple recipes and the imaginative use of seasonal vegetables and local ingredients. The concept of tapas is to share. It is essentially a style of eating rather than a method of cooking. 


Tapas (or one tapa) can be whatever you want. It is very popular in Spanish culture, the Spanish traditionally don’t drink without eating something, and originally these small snacks were given free as an accompaniment to a bought drink. Tapas can also be dinner with friends too. That’s the beauty of it. You can order as little or as much as you want.  It can be kept simple or be made more complicated. It can be a small snack  taken with a drink or two at lunchtime, an appetiser in the early evening before the main meal, or even as nibbles with a post-dinner cocktail. Whichever way you prefer it, I prefer mine best served with a gin cocktail amongst great company and a lovely atmosphere. Let me introduce you to this little beauty, Number NinetySeven



Tapas at N.97 is hearty and unpretentious. The ingredients are fresh, flavours are robust and the presentation is simple. In it’s own words “innovation and buzz of the city meets the openness and warmth of the country”. N.97 is a breath of fresh air and just what my corner of Suburbia needed. Oh yeah, and did I mention it has a Gin bar? It’s hip, sleek and perfectly cutting edge. My kinda cool.

http://www.no-97.co.uk

97 Maple Road, Surbiton KT6 4AW

Open Tuesday-Sunday

Follow them on Instagram @numberninetyseven

Follow them on Twitter @no_ninetyseven

Find them on Facebook @numberninetysevensurbiton

Lindsay X

All pics were taken by me at Number NinetySeven and are of genuine dishes.

Zero Fucks Given

I’m not trying to be one of those cool sweary blogger mums, but my reality is I’m just a swearer. All the effing time. I can’t help it. I use it for enthusiasm and humour and just plain habit. I don’t think about it enough, to always rein it in.

I swear in front of my son. I try not too, especially now he’s talking and absorbing every little thing like a sponge, but sometimes a perfectly timed F-bomb just slips right out.

I have stopped worrying about it. I think that actually, it’s ok. Swearing has its place; it’s always my honest, and emotional reaction. It’s instinct. When I love something – coffee, art, a cool bar,  – I fucking love it. I am celebrating my joy in life, with words, and to be honest, fuck happens to be one of my favourites.

I want my son to see me as a real, honest and straight talking person, with real life feelings, and to see how I react and cope with normal daily life. I am trying to replace the shits with the sugars and the fucks with the fluffs but what’s the point, when 10 minutes later I stub my toe and an array of unstoppable, colourful words just pop right out?

I don’t want to tip-toe around touchy subjects. You will not find rose-tainted, sugar coated explanations here. I want to teach my son to be passionate about life.  I couldn’t care less if you think I am a bitch (I’m not!) or if you think I am a ‘bit of a dick’ for speaking out against discrimination, bullying or life’s unfairness. I will not be apologetic for standing up for my son, my friends or myself. I am not violent nor am I a hater, but anyone who fucks with my loved ones will be torn to pieces with my sharp tongue and explosive vocabulary. I use swear words to express my emotions, whether that be happy or sad, angry or fluffing elated . I swear my way through life’s tricky situations and well, at the end of the day, Fuck is just a word.

A word in itself, any word, isn’t harmful unless it is used in a harmful way. Harm is determined by how the word is used. If you’re using expletives to verbally and emotionally attack, then of course this is harmful. However, if you spill your Tea and your first reaction is to blurt out ‘oh, bugger’ then that my friends is just reality.

I am teaching my son to express himself in cathartic and productive ways. I do not want him to be worried about being judged by everyone around him, and I want him to be tolerant, empathetic and non-judgemental in return. I want him to know that when someone does judge him, and makes him feel anything less than brilliant, that fuck off is a completely acceptable response.

I don’t for a minute wish for you to think that I tolerate or condone this kind of language. I don’t want my son to swear, (and I will do what I can to discourage it), but I also don’t feel like I have to censor myself. He will grow up responsible and educated enough to appreciate that there are some things kids can do, and there are some things only adults can do. If I censor all of this, how can I expect him to work it out?

Language is a powerful tool. Being a parent has taught me that there is as much menace in “get down from there, now” then there is in any profanity I use when I stub my toe, and that “you fucking idiot” has the same attacking undertones as “you idiot“. Context is everything. So, when BV falls over and lets rip with a “dammit, mummy” (true story!) I will stifle a giggle and give zero fucks whatsoever….

https://poetrying.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/fuck-kim-addonizio/

Lindsay x

OMG the duck is freakin’

I remember when street food in London meant a ’99 for less than a quid or a greasy hot dog from Billy Bunters.


Spitalfields Market has become an area where many people pay top bucks for lunch, and the market is responding with much more choice. The Billy Bunter’s of yesterday, have been replaced by passion and talent, serving cuisines from all over the world. Working from vans, converted buses, caravans and yes, even an old train!

The ingredients are of a higher calibre and the dishes are undeniably healthier. Trendy street food has inevitably, become well, even more trendy.

Street food begun in communities where businesses with minimal start up and running costs thrived selling cheap, hot food to people on low incomes. Starting as regeneration, it’s ironic now that hip, street food is generally only available to those that don’t need much change from a tenner.

I’m spoilt for choice, come lunch time. In all the years I’ve worked around here, Spitalfields has never smelt so good! It’s time to write about Duck.

Founders  (Ed and Vernon), have spent years working with some of the best duck farms in the UK and have developed the best duck recipes, and cooking techniques. The result is The Duck Truck.


Rotisserie cooked, hand shredded crispy aromatic duck, with freshly shredded cucumber and spring onion, sweet hoisin sauce, and wrapped in a warm tortilla wrap or served as a salad. Tasty as Fuck, Duck

It sits there, stationary, all iridescent
Reflecting London, incandescent
The queue is long and time moves slow.
One crispy duck wrap, fresh to go
OMG the duck is freakin’
I queue again (my resolve is weakenin’)
Just one more, crispy duck wrap
The Original, the Best, and it’s on the map!

Try them out. They’re pretty tasty!

www.theducktruck.co.uk

Find them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheDuckTruck1

and follow them on Twitter: @TheDuckTruck1

and Instagram: @TheDuckTruck

6 Lamb Street E1 6EA – Open 7 days a week

 

Lindsay x

Happy Wife, Happy Life

This week, Mr Intrepid and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. 2 Years since we said ‘I do’, 732 days since I married my best friend.

The day has brought back happy memories of the most beautiful day we ever had together. Friends, Family, Art, Cake, Love, Skulls, Pineapples, Cacti, Tweed, Street Art, Bow, Yellow, Rockabilly, Pimms, London, Mexican, Tequila, Cake, Blue, Flip Flops, Dancing, Buttons, Rain, Sun, Red bus, Shoreditch, Oasis, Day of the Dead, Face paint, More cake…

I won’t blog about our wedding as I literally have no words to describe how amazing it was (cliché but true), but you can read about it here, and here on two of my favourite blogs: http://www.todreamofdresses.com and http://www.rocknrollbride.com

                img_1738

 

In these 2 years we have been married, I have learnt a few things. Marriage brings out who you truly are, and often it is not pretty or smooth. It is transitional. Together we are growing, improving and striving.  We are a team (Woohoo Go Team Lamb!). We have changed as individuals. For a start, we have become parents. We have added a whole new dimension to our 2. We are now 3.

No amount of preparation can make you ready for parenthood, nor can any amount of assumption predict how your spouse will actually be, during those stormy days (trust me, the days are not always calm). However Mr Intrepid, my love, has remained my constant. He is my rock. We support one another, and we trust one another. He keeps me grounded and he keeps me high, and we tackle all stormy moments head on, together.  He is my witness, and I , his.  This is why Marriage exists.  Life is not all about the individual, it’s not about me, it is about someone else too. It is about us together.  I am a happy wife with a happy life.

Together, we pay the bills, take care of our son, fight battles, make decisions and laugh and laugh and laugh. We adore and endure each other, and life is sweeter.

Lindsay x

 All photo credits are by talented photographer Sassy from Assassynation
http://www.assassynation.co.uk

 

 

.

Toddler Wanderlust (Part deux)…scrap the toddler essentials and just pack wine

As it turned out, my previous post’s packing list proved to be totally useless. You can tell I am total beginner at this mum thing.

  1. Distraction toys. Unnecessary mostly. BV was happy with an IPad and slept on both flights. I bet I’d need them if I didn’t take them so for now I’m keeping them as an essential. ✅
  2. Sunscreen obvs. ✅ pop up tent? Pff considering we only made the beach in the evening this was a big fat no. ❎
  3. Baby carrier. Yes! #holidaywin ✅
  4. Beach shoes. Did you even read my Santorini with a toddler post?  #holidayfail ❎
  5. Baby powder. For Fucks Sake ❎

For our next trip i’ll start a fresh as clearly I brought more crap then was deemed necessary. However, I did bring one item that turned out to be the absolute shizzle.

img_1509

 THIS!

Corksicle Canteen Keeps drinks cold for up to 25 hours or hot for 12 hours. This really is the best thing since sliced bread. Totally revolutionary and worth every penny of the £20 note I handed over. In fact I’m off to buy a few more..

 

Lindsay x

 

 

Santorini with a toddler

As Santorini is our first proper overseas family holiday (we did go to France for a long weekend last year whilst BV was still dinky) we booked the trip with Thomson, primarily to keep logistics simple (free hotel transfers) and the expenses low (Santorini is notorious for being costly).  This is my first (and last) ever package deal. I’m a lover not a hater, and I am not here to write a shoddy review. However I must stress if you do wish to book with Thomson then please do your research and read customer reviews on line beforehand.

After waking the rest of Fam-A-Lamb at 2.45am to catch the 6am flight, you can only imagine how horrendous the first day on Santorini was. Let me elaborate. The hour sat on the runway waiting for plane to take off was a bit tricky, but nothing RaRa the lion and an IPad couldn’t fix. The flight was an easy snooze fest for all of us (we were in a cab by 3am). However the shit really hits the fan when we check into our hotel…30+ degrees, tired, hungry screaming child who just wants to run into traffic and across the beach. Something I have to mention. Black Volcanic Sand, we packed beach shoes as knew it would be hot but something that no one bothered to report anywhere…it’s too fucking hot even for shoes. It’s like walking the path to fiery hell. So, 30+ degrees, no beach, no pool (as no shade) and on an Island which isn’t usually frequented by holidaying tots left us literally weeping and googling flights back home again! Day 1 #holidayfail

However it did get much better with day 2.
Turns out all BV needed to chill out and have fun was steps (of course!) and ice cream. Which was great as that’s something Santorini has an abundance of…

Read on for Fam-A-Lamb’s Santorini highlights:
Continue reading “Santorini with a toddler”