Monday 27 September 2010


Fineways / Daddos
I went along to Plumstead High Street yesterday to get some groceries. Haven't been for a few weeks and certainly not on a Sunday for a long time. I normally go to Superfruits but have been recently put off by their cash only and no breaking the ginger policies. I mean the only way to tell if ginger is fresh is to snap a bit off. 

Anyway. Back to the High Street. It was around 11am. The streets were really clean, there were a few people about but not the usual mob. My first stop was Fineways. The last time I went in there for spices a lot of the stuff was near it's best before date. This time around, everything was fresher, had end dates well into 2012 and best of all they had nearly everything I wanted. Also as I was without tot, the tiny aisles weren't an issue. Normally I have to park her somewhere and then die of shame as she panic and starts shouting out for me as she can't see me.The last time we were in Fineways she kept saying very loudly and very often that the shops we were visiting were very smelly.
I popped into Daddos too and was surprised at how big it is now. Again very clean. Their spices were a bit more expensive than Fineways but I got the bonus of looking at their yummy sweet counter (I abstained...the lo-chol regime is in full swing).
I still think the veg in both stores is a bit old so usually give it a miss however, Fineway's ginger was fresh and has now been grated and put in the freezer ready for the next ginger enhanced recipe.
On the way home I popped into Tesco and just had to laugh at their little aisle of Indian groceries. Typical big store trying to compete (and crush) the little guy. 

Last weekend we ordered a take out from Dilkush. When I first moved here this was the takeout of choice but it went downhill and we gave it up. It must be under new management and has a spanking new hygiene award too. We ordered via the Just Eat website which was simplicity itself. My vegetable jalfrezi and saag paneer were delicious. and hubby enjoyed his lamb karai. The rice was cooked exactly as I like it (a bit sticky and not all hard, separate grains). The naan and paratha could have pulled out my remaining teeth so we left those. I guess the issue with ordering it online is that you can't state any preferences regarding the heat of your dishes but I'm not complaining as the food was great. One note though: Allow plenty of time as the order took over an hour to arrive. Not an issue for us as we ordered bang on 5pm.
Whilst it would be great to have a Waitrose and upmarket restaurants or some such near the high street, these last few encounters have left me pleasantly surprised and full of hope for the high street.

Thursday 23 September 2010


I think I was mumsy long before I actually became a mum. I have always opted for the comfortable look ...apart from a rather memorable Opticians Ball at uni where I went to buy a dress and came home with a tiger print number in lycra which tied up at the back with gold ribbons. I didn't wear that dress to the Ball. The one I did wear got some attention from a rather older but dishy optician but was a bit more of a sober colour.
Anyhoo I digress. I like comfy as it's easier. I can do glam but it's just such a faff.
I went all mumsy today and had my long hair cut into a bob at Macs Hair in the Slade (so mumsy I couldn't even bother to go to a town salon).
I love my new hair.
My tot has yet to notice what is different. Hubby said the back was like Louise Brookes .... oooooh the rather sexy silent film star (that's me talking, not him).
So maybe not so mumsy after all. Now I just have to find my flapper dress.

Saturday 18 September 2010

No compare

Please don’t compare my child to yours

Don’t turn us into milestone whores

Don’t tell me what mine should do

When she should sleep, eat and poo.

It’s great to hear how proud you are

Of your own special little star

But children grow in their own way

Getting stronger every single day

Each child is so wonderfully unique

Yet they all learn to eat, pee and to speak

Safe and secure in the love we give

They all will work out how best to live

So stop your incessant drone

And just leave us the fuck alone

P.S. I'm not a poet, and yes, I know it.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Software for toddlers

Tot started at nursery last week and one of the most exciting things for her is the huge electronic whiteboard that shows what she is doing on the computer. I'm surprised they managed to prise her free of this to let other tots have a go as she's a computer hog!
Obviously she wants the same at home but there is no way we are getting a e-whiteboard. So instead, I've been hunting for some [free] software for her to play with.
So far I've come across the following which are great fun.
Tuxpaint: Windows Paint is too complex for my tot so I downloaded this. However, even it may have a few too many tools for her right now but as she grows she'll want to use more.
Tonematrix: I love the audio game for myself. It's simple, won't teach her any music but lets her have fun.

I'm going to have to enable the browser's child security soon but for now, she's not allowed to play on her own so we are safe.

Monday 13 September 2010


Have you caught the cute tv show called Telly Tales where kids act out a story which is often familiar to adults. I enjoy watching the children with their hilarious acting, tell the story.
I've always been a fan of storytelling in the tradition of Jackanory. With a few props, the listener is encouraged to use their imagination to build the world within which the story is being told.

So it's with interest that I came across this site about groups based in Blackheath and Eltham:

They are holding 3 storytelling masterclasses at the Eltham centre this month on 21st Sept, 19th October and 23rd November. I'm going to try one. At £2 a session, it's not a lot to risk and who knows, I may get some advice on how to spin a yarn.

St Mary's Community Centre, 180 Eltham High Street, SE9 1BJ
Time: 8 - 10pm
Cost: £2 per session

5th Nov: Diwali / Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember the 5th of November. Well this year it's going to be hard to forget as it will be doubly loud. This year 5th Nov marks the most important day in the Hindu calendar, Diwali, which is the Festival of Lights celebrated with fireworks. And the same day as Guy Fawkes Day.

I've been trying to find out when the Blackheath Fireworks will be this year. Does anyone have any info?

Friday 10 September 2010


I was introduced to a new term yesterday: Upcycling.
Of course, I was quite clueless and just thought is was a fancy name for recycling. But I was ever so wrong as it turns out recycling and upcycling are not quite the same thing.

Recycling : take waste materials and make a new, often lesser quality, product.
I like the idea of recycling as waste is abhorrent to me. However, in practice, I sometimes wonder if my meagre/miserly efforts to save the planet are like p****ing in the wind when you consider the waste of other, larger, populations (land of milk and honey anyone?)
Upcycling: The practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value" From the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.

Hmmmm, surely the latter applies to anything where a raw material is made it into something better? And for example, the use of waste to create art is not new. However, I think with upcyling we are talking about taking something created and redesigning it into a new, more valuable, object of use. It's not a new concept as poorer nations have had to do this out of necessity and just think of Cuba stuck with the products from the 50s.
I'll watch the upcycling movement here with interest [and the proper amount of cynicism].
If you want to look at it in designer-y, abfab, practice then pop over to Inhabitat.
I'd be interested in any other sites people can point me to or indeed, of hearing of your experiences of upcycling.

Thursday 9 September 2010

12th Sept: Jumble Sale at the Pelton Arms

Update: A percentage of the proceeds from this Jumble Sale are going to the Greenwich & Bexley Cottage Hospice so a good cause.

P.S. Charity sale aside...a jumble sale in a pub on what should be a nice sunny day is a good enough reason to go in my books.

Double take

Did anyone catch the double rainbows last night. The first seem to land on Greenslade school but as I drove a bit more, it seemed to be more in Abbey Wood.
I'm sure people have better pictures but these are all my meagre phone camera could capture.

Wednesday 8 September 2010


I bumped into my neighbour yesterday who was out of sorts...the problem was Autumn - yet for all the reasons she didn't like it, I love it.
I adore the changing colours in all the trees and plants, the crisp sunny days where you can wear a light woollen coat and boots without being bundled up like the Stay Puft man as you would in winter. It's an absolutely amazing, fun, invigorating time of year.
This morning, we were back shopping in Eltham. After a rather dour walk around the high street, I was happy to walk back to our car and pass lots of shrubs with different coloured berries; blues, reds and whites.
Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera but back at home snapped these shots. The pine cone is from a beautiful fir tree in Wesley Close, Eltham (it's a windfall cone, I didn't steal it honest gov).
The berries are from a shrub I'm growing. The birds aren't keen on the berries but maybe if we have another harsh winter, and there is nothing else around, they will be happy to nibble on the purple delights.

Monday 6 September 2010

Taking the waters

We were away last week staying on the borders of Devon and Cornwall. The idea was to be central so we could reach more things. The reality was that we drove A LOT. Along long windy country lanes, which were lined with full grown trees, often very slowly behind farm equipment, ...sounds idyllic but after half an hour of driving I just got bored and wanted to see Dartmoor and the other lovely countryside. Luckily, we managed to make it to the great beaches at Bude, the pretty town of Looe and the Eden project. On returning to London I noticed (partly through a tummy bug I picked up giving me heightened sense of smell) that the water in London tastes and smells pretty strong. I've been told by relatives from Scotland but just put it down to their peculiarities...but you know what they are right. It's very strong. I hope there are no wee beasties swimming about in it as, for now, I've had enough bugs in my tummy.

P.S. Parent moment: my tot who also has the dodgy tummy keeps wants to see the bugs in her poo. Tried to explain they are so tiny you can't see them but that's a concept lost on a 3 year old. If you can't see it, it ain't there.

Sunday 5 September 2010

The Coronet Eltham

I nearly drove off the roundabout going past the Coronet in Eltham. The hoardings shows a cinema. Does anyone have any info on this. It would be fantastic to have a cinema so close to Plumstead, esp an arthouse one (as opposed to the characterless odeon place in Charlton).