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Showing posts from 2015

Care for Care Leavers... at Christmas

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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.  

Help care leavers celebrate Christmas in style
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 f…

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 thi…

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

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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…

Publishing elsewhere....

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Silly post... I realise some of my blogs are massive, so I'm going to start posting shorter tit-bits! 
So here I am in last weekend's Guardian Saturday magazine, seems nobody noticed at all, admittedly was only in the 'Letters' section... 

All true... except the ice-cream man didn't use the word 'sodding', in actuality it was the F word!  
xx Emma-Lou

All things Brazilian, Bem Brazil #CelebWatch

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More invitations to attend posho events, Stephanie Ledigo asked me along to the relaunch of Bem Brasil in Altrincham.   I was more and more looking forward to going along to this one as every time I mentioned it to anyone they'd exclaim "I've been to the one in Manchester, the food is amazing".  It seems that every single person I know has been except me, hold on have they all been going without me, why haven't they invited me, did they have a party there and miss me out, I'm probably just being paranoid... don't my friends like me...
So I did toy with wheeling Mr. C out, it's right up his street, all that meat on skewers... but after our anniversary break to Harrogate we used up our babysitters. My pal Ruth was happy to go along with me, and we don't see enough of each other. 

From start to finish the whole evening was so well laid on.  Bem Brasil lends itself to bigger groups, it's such a social way of eating.  You pitch up, have some drinks a…

Eating out with Kids, who knew it could be a nice experience... TC Cafe Rouge

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Mr. C abandoned us to Blackpool on a stag do' last weekend, so I was left to fend for myself against the two children (tbh I didn't fancy my chances).  So it was timely that an opportunity came about for the three of us to eat out on Saturday afternoon; we were asked by Cafe Rouge to check out their new children's menu.  
Mr. C and I quite often when we're out and about in town will head to Cafe Rouge for their lovely late afternoon lunch menu.  We've always rated the service and menu, but I'm not sure why it's never struck us to take the children.  Probably as they jump up and down for Frankie and Benny's. 
So we headed to the busy busy Trafford Centre for 2pm on a rainy Saturday afternoon. From the moment we arrived the staff made such a lovely fuss of the children, not in your face, but I suppose just treating them like people.  The menu was given to the children and the first thing to impress me was how it was presented, the items listed in French fir…

On Knowsley Safari with Pops and Co.

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I'm getting a fair few opportunities these days from my little blog, and I'm pretty excited for most of them!  However when Knowsley Safari came calling (well emailed, they didn't knock on or that), I was really chuffed and it was timely too, because we were going anyway!  But thank you for thinking of me, appreciate that.  

We've already been this year, we went in May half-term, when we piled in the car, picked up Pops, and drove round the park, screaming with laughter (those bloody baboons), mouths open in awe of the lions, and were just simply impressed with how close you can get to the animals. 




What's great about Knowsley is that once the drive is done, you can park up and head to the other attractions, which are almost a surprise as, when you're heading to the park, you're geared up and talking about the animals, because they clearly are the stars of the show.  They have some rides that aren't so expensive, Willow bless him did his usual "I don…

Family Holiday dum dum dum Abroad v UK Cottage

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So we've just booked our week away! 
A cottage in Devon, we've been to Devon a few times with the kids now.  Bideford has been great, but we've decided to head further south this time, well that should be we're braving a longer car journey with Willow!  So we've booked a little place called Brixham; by account "The English Riviera".  All seems very twee, the cottage of a good standard, has a telly and wifi. 
We'll have a lovely time, does it feel like a holiday if you don't get on a plane? Mmmmmm it certainly has a different feel to it, as carefrees with no children Mr. C and I had a fair few holidays and city breaks, you know jetting off (well to Bruges, Zante and Amsterdam).  We did favour the Greek islands, all very relaxing, sunny, beachy, exotic, non-british, you know abroad..... 
We have been up up and away with the children, Crete, Lanzarote and Menorca. They were very nice, a good break, but somewhat stressful.  Why is that?  Comparing and co…

I love parks...

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So, School holiday's coming up, I do have to work some of it, and have a holiday to South Devon booked towards the end of August. But there's still a lot of days left to fill, I haven't got pots of money to spend on days out.... I will spend up in Drayton Manor and the like I'm sure (perhaps having to re-mortgage the house...). However I am lucky that my impoverished children like a trip out that costs nil: museums, libraries, art galleries, a little ride on the bus (although bus fare is nearly as expensive as air travel in Manchester). 
Where we live in Manchester, we're lucky to have brilliant park action going.  On Instagram, I've been charting my park activities, not a single person is interested mind, but I'll share on here my park summer tour to date. 




There will be more in the series of #parklife... follow me on Instagram @emmaloucul80

xx Emma-Lou 

Bucket List

I was chatting to pal just back from Glastonbury; she was full of it, really buzzing from her first festival experience, she's  not dead old or that, but she said it was on her sort of bucket list, got me thinking.... What's my bucket list, so I'm 35... by the time I'm 55:

1.  I'd like to see an Ashes test match in Australia. 

2.  Tour through Europe, take a few weeks from work, fly into France, then train it across the continent, stopping and staying as the mood took me (this is a pipe dream, there's no way I'd ever not have a hotel pre-booked... my biggest fear.... I'd end up in one of those.... *breathe*... hostels.... shudder). 

3. Learn to play an instrument of some sort, I've toyed with the acoustic guitar, but I'd have to shorten down my nails.... I just couldn't do it! 

4.  Learn to swim properly, I currently can manage 60 seconds of breast stroke; but I don't look great, I look like I'm drowning. 

5.  Finish my OU English Literat…

Father's Day at our house (week late no breafast in bed)

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I was asked by Roberts Bakery to throw a little surprise Father's Day Breakfast in bed for Mr. C.  On Father's Day, the kids usually make a little card for Mikey.  We don't usually get him a gift, although last year in Tesco on the Monday after, I picked up a gimmicky pint glass 'Dapper Dad', it was reduced to about 50p, so he got that!

He says he's not bothered, I'm bothered about Mother's Day, I like the fuss, and now Lizzy is older, she drags her poor old Dad round the Trafford Centre looking for the perfect gift.  The days of homemade necklaces are behind me... but how fetching they looked! So last week on Father's Day weekend, we had chance to off our kids on the Saturday night, sod Father's Day morning, off the kids went to stay over with Nana and Granddad. This week, I tried to get up earlier than Mr. C, but he was out running before I could get the toaster on! 

So here we are all of us having breakfast come brunch, as usual for convenien…

Blissful Sunday Morning... (no kids allowed)

We're quite lucky in terms of having evening babysitters; mostly because we'd leave them with pretty much anybody... We use a company that send round babysitters who are qualified in child-centred occupations.  I prefer to use this service, yes we have to pay, but it's not ridiculously pricey, they don't need too much notice and you don't have to clean your house ready for them coming. 

Now, where we're really lucky is, the grandparents have the kids overnight... and that is without being dramatic, blissful.  It's not so much being able to get out in the evening (although we always get out and do something nice); it's the next morning.  There is nothing better than waking up under you own bidding... having a Sunday feel like Sunday.  

So this morning, I come down, it's not like we want to sleep all morning... it was a respectable 9:30, Mr C on hearing me up and about made me coffee, there he is looking all relaxed actually reading the Sunday paper....…

Booze and Emma-Lou

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How much do you drink?  It's a tricky question?  How honest are people in their reply.  People have me pegged as drinking a lot, mostly as I do show off a bit on FB! From time to time I take stock and look at my intake. I don't think I drink too much; well not enough to worry about, I tend not to binge drink (people will be spitting their coffee out with this statement... but I'll come back to it). So, in a normal week, I'll do my shopping, mental list, bread, milk, cat food, red wine... I do buy one bottle of red wine every week on my weekly shop.  I tend not to drink Monday and Tuesday (not sure why these days are left out, but I try and head to bed earlier on these nights as per my new year resolution).  So Weds/Thurs/Friday that bottle of red wine, will be one or two small glasses after tea, when I'm settling down.  To be honest I'm a bit weak when it comes to red wine, even one small glass has me giddy, I certainly wouldn't be able to drive I don't…

Thursday drinks out.... Revolution Wilmslow

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So out and about again, on the back of my little here blog!  This time to Revolution in Wilmslow.  I'd been in touch with their events organiser, Nicola and she'd invited me for a meal and cocktails.  As if I need inviting twice!  
So of course, mid-week I took Priya, one of these days I will take faithful old Mr. C on one of my blogging outings, but it seems a shame to pay a babysitter, when Priya is equally as faithful and keen! 
I have been to Revolution quite a bit, well the one in town on Oxford Road, I work at the University so it's a staple party venue, and we've used their function room upstairs loads.  Always, well organised, with light food and drinks vouchers.  Nicola mentioned Oxford Road was the first in the branch of Revolution bars. 
So a couple of Thursday's ago.  I bobbed over to Wilmslow, Revolution.  Wilmslow itself is proper smart, driving through the village; it's bar upon bar of flash looking places.  Parking was easy enough at the back (or f…

Girls night in with Macmillian

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The things I do for charity.... 

Last night a mate invited me round for a girls night in party round at hers.  Ah she'd obviously gone to a lot of trouble, with lovely food and wine a plenty.  She'd sent off from Macmillian, for lovely green table wear, and lovely green three tiered cake stands.
One of the girls had organised party games, very silly really, us with sticky bits of paper stuck to our foreheads, I was Audrey Hepburn... (who knew she was Belgian). Prior to the party she'd emailed round asking us for three interesting facts, this ended up a riot, guessing which fact belonged to who.  From this I gleaned I have very interesting friends: 
One of us streaked at a cricket match One of us got dry-humped by a prolific indie-band super star (unless it was all in her imagination ----clue----)One of is a descendent of a nobel prize winner One of us is a div and wore clear framed glasses to a job interview without realising one of the lens had come out (yes that was me)
We h…

The start of a beautiful relationship and the demise of another... Hungry House & BB

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When I was at Blog On a few weeks ago, I picked up a little voucher from Hungry House, the takeaway ordering website.  To be honest, ordering the takeaway falls under Mr C's remit, and he usually uses JustEat.  Anyhow, we had a lovely meal (think it was Thai the first time), and Hungry House got in touch and asked me did I want another voucher and would I like to do a little review.  Now, who'd turn down takeaway food?  My little here blog is moving forward and I'm to do reviews it seems... Fancy one day I might get a luxury cruise... 
My 27th birthday fell on the Saturday of the last bank holiday weekend, so we'd been out for slap up meal in town. We wouldn't usually have a takeaway on a Sunday, but with it being an extended weekend and we'd been gearing up to this particular night... our final episode of Breaking Bad.  I can't tell you how much I've loved having Walt and co in my life for the last 12 months, it's with a sad heart we finished the se…