Friday, 1 April 2016

Cocktail Connoisseur these days.... Be At One Manchester

Last week, I was invited along to a trendy new cocktail bar, of course being a girl about town trendsetter, this is right up my street #obvs. 

Be At One is in a good location in Manchester Town Centre, just off St. Anne's Square, near Barton Arcade.  On arrival, you sort of head down and round a fancy stairwell, to a meet and greet desk manned by gorgeous looking, friendly girls.   Now to be honest, I've never been a massive fan for cocktails, I like, wine, water, coffee and the occasional red stripe when I'm feeling indie.  So when I do join in, I tend not to look at menu's and go for Long Island Iced Tea.  

But my work mate, Coxy, who more than anybody I know needed a good drink last week, who bless was having a mare at work, she is more experimental than me and wasn't having any of my disinterest in cocktails.  We had quite a few I won't lie (I of course blame her, I hardly drink, practically tee total)....  

Ahh work buds... ever so slightly squiffy
How pleased with ourselves do we look? 

Why why why have I never in all my puff experienced a Pornstar Martini... this is the best cocktail in the world, ever. In fact I joked on FB that I'd never drink anything else, even replacing it with my 10:30 brew! 

Be At One looks the part, it's smart, nicely done out.  The music was ace, some newer mixes of some old school 80s tunes. Anywhere that plays a-ha gets my attendance.  The bar was busy, I like that, and cocktails aren't easy to make, if you're making them well, but the staff handled it without fuss, and chatted to you while you waited, I actually liked standing watching them mix up the cocktails, I was watching carefully to see if I could nail a Pornstar Matini later at home myself (you know a little nightcap!), but buggar I didn't have any passion fruit liqueur in!   The staff milling round were dead nice too, asking how we enjoyed drinks as they took glasses away.  

For a work do, a couple of cocktails with you beau after a nice meal, girls night out, I'd defo recommend Be At One, it really does have a nice vibe. 

xx Emma-Lou

Thursday, 3 March 2016

I love World Book Day....

Anything that that gets children enthusiastic about books and reading should be encouraged in Schools.  Dressing up for World Book Day is a brilliant initiative.  Some years are better than others... here's our attempt this year!  

Suffragette Girl 

As inspired by this heroine (good work Jacqueline Wilson) 

Willow a little more obvious... 

Uncanny a real likeness! 

I know, I'm a dressing up genius. 

xx Emma-Lou 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Call on me... I know first aid

Another feather to my bow it seems... qualified first aider at work! 

I can't say I was looking forward to the training, but it was a. a day out of the office and b. you got a lunch voucher and biscuits (win win). 

I have done first aid training before and I can remember hanging round feeling awkward doing chest compressions on a dummy and not getting a lot out of it.   In fact I wonder if during a real casualty would I have remembered CPR at all! 

Anyhow, yesterday was different, training in twenty years has come on heaps and bounds.  The University trainer, with a medical nursing background delivered the training in a really interesting way.  Instead of just detailing the practicalities of what to do... she came from a biology science angle, so we understood the function of why we're doing particular things. For example, when you're unconscious but still breathing, the real danger is your muscles relax and your tongue being a muscle can cause airway obstruction.... hence the need to lift the chin and clear airway. 

She was ace... and is going to give me a certificate... 

Three handsome blondes, all anti-bac'd and ready to smooch

We watched some videos of everyday first aid, not first aid in a work first aider capacity.  Situations that can come about in everyday life, and with a little knowledge all of us can assist in small ways to help somebody in medical distress. The British Red Cross, have an app, 'Everyday First Aid', take a look, here is one from yesterday, which struck a little nerve with me.  What do when someone is having a seizure: 

How lovely was the chap helping the young lad, and he didn't do a great deal.    He was simply calm, reassuring and knowledgeable about what to do... and thank goodness, I was terribly worried about that lad! 

I've taken half-hour out my life and watched all the videos: I'm a good person to know... I'm going to get myself a cape.... 

xx Emma-Lou 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Returned and not too busy at all (no moaning here)


It's me, it's been so long since I blog blogged I forgot what font I use. 

I won't go on about how busy I've been, because when I hear people moan on about being busy, I think "Bore off... nobody is busier than me... and I'm dead busy and I'm perfect and manage to squeeze it all in... if you really wanted to like, you'd make the time to do the things that you're moaning you're far too busy for" (long winded but I think I get my own point... a bit).

But I have been busy.  If I had my life over, I'd have my babies in June and July, January and February babies are just too inconvenient... also in my other life, I'd manage said babies expectations that a party every year is excessive.  In between all this, Mr. C, who rarely likes a fuss turned forty and I made him celebrate with a big party.  I know, how can I be old enough to have a husband so old.  

Anyhow, I'm back.... and happy and calm lately... so will have a think of some amazing blog posts....  watch this space.... 

xx Emma-Lou 

This is me looking calm, in actuality... two mins late, Willow heard a funny joke and laughed so hard... he wee'd on me... the calm lasted a record two minutes... true story ask BF Priya 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Care for Care Leavers... at Christmas

Not woe is me, I don't usually go on about this part of my life.  When you reach the grand old age of 35, you become removed from your teenage self, and you look back on yourself as someone else?  Or perhaps I've come a long way from myself....?

Anyhow, this struck a chord with me, Lemn Sissay is our new ambassador (or such like) at Uni.  He highlighted on our staff pages his festive drive for helping out care leavers.  

Made me think of that time in my life, not quite 17, not long out of care, starting up in a little damp flat off Smithdown Road, with no-where to go for Christmas (I prob did have places to go, but I was proud and who wants sympathy with your sprouts?).  

I worked the late 2-8 shift at good old Wavertree Nursing Home.  But last minute got invited to the Salvation Army for my dinner, I'd just become reacquainted with me ma and she got me in!   So I had a turkey dinner with the waifs and strays of Liverpool's finest homeless, lost and lonely.  And you know what I was grateful to be included.  I went off to work that afternoon (for time and half I remember) feeling Christmassy and festive. 

Mum and Me at Sallie Army Christmas 97

I've got no time, I already volunteer with kids in care (in a different forum), I've got a young family I couldn't abandon on Christmas day (nor would I want to).  But I'll give this some thought, in the least I'll buy a few extra decent gifts to wrap up so these young kids have a present worth having.  Because that's what these care leavers are, 17, 18, 19 still so bloody young, facing the world of adulthood alone... it's dead sad. 

xx Emma-Lou

Thursday, 29 October 2015

WomanFlu Emma-Lou Stylee

That time of year again!   Bugs and colds and snot and head-colds and awfulness... I can't abide it... 

I've been poorly this week (do send your prayers and thoughts), no more than a cold I'd say, but good grief I've moaned about it... I can't stand it, if I just accepted the fact that I was ill and took myself off for a couple of early nights, I'm sure I'd shift it, but I just can't (I'm scared of missing out on owt). 

It's Mr C I feel sorry for most, as he fares the worst from my winter ailments.  Last night in bed, I cried that I was sick of being ill, that I felt like a leper, and was lonely (come on I've only been grounded a day or two), yes a touch dramatic.  In our early courtship we used to write little love letters to each other, mailing them over the distance Liverpool to Manchester.  After a month or two of going out, I fell ill and I filled two pages back to back of finest writing paper simply moaning about being sick. So I use this as a disclaimer, he knew I was somewhat dramatic when it comes to coughs and things. 

Bless him, Mr. C once got quinsy, look it up... nobody since Victorian times gets quinsy and it can be fatal.  Yeah he got this quinsy and I was so preoccupied with my own scratchy throat I didn't give him an ounce of sympathy or care (I did feel a bit guilty when I realised he was actually near death). 

I'm sure I'll be fine, I'm sure I'll make the weekend???? I'm back on The Sudafeds, I've joked about this before, but if I was ever found in suspicious circumstances dead of a mystery overdose... I've told those near to me to pretend I'd OD'd on something more exciting, like hardcore party drugs rather than decongestants!  

Sniffle, sniffle 

xx Emma-Lou x

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Not being a part-time mum (bee in bonnet) x

So the summer holidays as a working mum nearly finished me off.  I'm lucky I work in the public sector as flexi time comes into play and there is a general support for working mums (and dads).  

A few times over the summer I did consider ringing social services and putting them in a home!  Nah just kidding, I did mull over applying for a term time contract but have ruled this out.  It sounds a nice idea, and financially it isn't such a drop from my usual salary over a year... but I reckon it'd make for being really busy before the leave and really busy on my return.  I like work too, reckon I'd lose touch of things with a nearly seven week break, I'm a real use it or lose it girl... once after the Christmas holidays I forgot how to cut and paste!   

The real reason though is.... I don't want to spend so much time with my kids... they'd drive me mad. I'm a good mum, I keep them well stimulated, I give over a lot of my time, I sit and colour, drag them back to base on those rubbish zip wire swings, I indulge their silly made up games, and genuinely I enjoy the time we have together. BUT I would less so if I didn't work.  I'm not a bad person for wanting to work to get away from them, am I?  Staying at home with them simply doesn't appeal, especially now they're both at full-time school. 
Taking them out on the cheap, swimming and library

As a working woman (admittedly I'm not setting the world a blaze with my outstanding career or that) I think it's good for my daughter to see, that you can do it all, manage a work/life balance (although if I'm being honest the standard of housekeeping is poor).  When I say work/life  balance... I mean moaning about both in equal measures.  

To make it clear though, I work part-time (30 hours a week) but I still qualify as being a FULL-TIME mum, somebody doesn't step in and job share that role when I'm at work, I still do EVERYTHING that fills the brief of parent. 

xx Emma-Lou

Just to note, Mr C (also works full time in the building private sector) and it's a combined effort that we juggle/manage it all (in a fashion).