Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

I have been thinking about changing my blog name for a while now, but I hadn’t figured out the right domain to suit it.

You know, its because I am such an influencer/Instamum/world famous lifestyle blogger who has #madeit and because all my posts are #ad and sponsored, I needed a better fit.

Nah, as if!!!

I want to change the name because I am worried that people might accidentally Google their cockney ryhming slang wrong and find my silly little personal blog!

I have said it before, and its daft but true, but I like that I have a small readership and my stoopid thoughts are hidden in the deepest darkest depths of the internet! I always try to think of the most SEO un-friendly blog post titles and I have deleted some posts that seem to get Google hits! What a weirdo, eh?!

But there is always room for improvement, and its time to bury things even deeper in the murky internet!

My new blog name is….Drumroll please……

Hels Tells!

Yep, its a bit shit, but its the best that I could come up with. Hels Tales might have been better, but nah.

And no one really calls me Hels in real life, except for Rob and a few mates. Nevermind!

Its still going to be the same round here – a bit of vintage and retro, a bit of Pyrex, a bit of food, a bit of decorating, a bit of my personal thoughts and all the usual random life stuff. But sometimes with *all new added extra bonus* content – boring baby shit™! So if you want to keep following me I guess that you will have to check that your feed reader is still getting my posts etc. I hope you do continue to follow Hels Tells. If you don’t thats cool – I don’t blame you really, as I do drone on a bit!!

See you on the otherside! xox

*4.15pm Update* I accidentally published this post instead of saving it as a draft! The change will be done in the next week or so! Oop! I will be as professional as ever in my new rebranded blog!!!

Some Things That I Have Been Told To Do

People have a lot to say when you have a baby. Especially about feeding them. Just when you think that all the unasked for, over-opinionated well meaning advice about whether you should breastfeed, pump, combination feed, formula feed or do all of the above is behind you, you then have to start weaning your baby. And then the whole blooming saga starts all over again!

It turns out that people have strong feelings about how you should wean your baby. And then weaning is a right mine field! Do you do baby led weaning or purees? How much food do you give them? What should you give them? When should you feed them? And will my little darling be a picky little bastard, refuse to eat and make my life hell?

Anyway, this is not going to be a how to/advice type of baby weaning blog post. Nope, not from me. Dylan is 8.5 months old and has only been eating solids for about 2 months, so I still have my L plates on. And to be honest, I am not really sure what I am doing!

I just want to share what Rob’s and my parents fed us when we were babies and some of the weaning advice that we have been given. I hope that this is not too dull and that this post does not have the same effect on you as Dylan pictured below! But somethings we have been told made me chuckle, so I feel the need to share them here while my blogging mojo lasts!

ZZZZZzzzzzzz! Yep, this actually happened, the poor little mite fell asleep during lunch time! And yes, that is a cat hair on his highchair tray, oops!

So its all coming out of the woodwork now! What we have learnt is that my Mum used to feed me mashed up bread in a little marmite gravy (salt content alert!), lots of liver and then honey sandwiches (back in the days before they told you not to give it to babies under one years old) all the time, as I refused to eat anything else.

This is explains why I am such a bloody carb queen and I love my bread and stodge! But my Mum tried her best, as she did not know what else to give me and I was a nightmare fussy eater. Poor Mum!

Rob’s Mum has told us that when she needed a break, and Rob would not stop crying, that she used to put him in his pram and leave him in it at the bottom of the garden! But we mustn’t judge, this was the norm in the 70’s! Its just that Rob was born at the end of June, so the poor love must have been outside in the middle of winter! She also used to feed him mashed up baby rusks (which apparently have more sugar in them than a doughnut!) pretty much every meal.

This explains why Rob is such a biscuit monster!!! The man craves sugar 24/7 and cannot eat just one biscuit, he has to demolish the whole packet in one sitting! Another story that made us laugh was how when Rob was a toddler, he used to wake up in the night and come in his parents bedroom. So to stop him from coming in and waking them, they used to leave a plate of biscuits out in his room. Again, this kind of explains a lot really!

So yeah, you think that the parents would accept that times have changed and the official parenting advice is a lot different now. But no, not really! Here is what we have been adviced to do by family members when it comes to weaning Dylan –

Give him a chip.

He can have some fishfingers for tea.*

He should be eating what you eat.*

You don’t wanna do that baby led weaning malarky.*

Give him a rusk.

Give him more food and less milk.*

He should only be having three bottles a day.*

You’re horrible, you are feeding him gruel.*

So and so’s baby eats the same as what they have for dinner.*

You are forcing him to be a vegetarian.*

Ah well, they mean well at least! (Those marked with a star are my mother’s pearls of wisdom!)

TBH from what I can gather, like most things in life, with weaning there is no right or wrong way. All babies are different and you just have to do what works best for them. Some babies prefer the BLW approach and some like to have purees shovelled down their throats. Some parents make everything from scratch and some parents nearly bankrupt themselves buying Ella’s Kitchen squeezy sachets and pre-made snacks etc. You gotta do what you gotta do really. But whatever you do, it will always be wrong in the eyes of some people…. especially over opinionated granmothers!

Lately #21

I think I have my blogging mojo back again…. by back again I mean that I have the urge to share my mundane thoughts and life happenings in the form of bullet points! Whoop!

  • Hey Internet, thanks for listening to thoughts in my last post. Once again I have used my blog as a counselling session! And yes, before you ask, I have not got PND. I am fine, believe me. I have hit rock bottom before so I know all my signs and triggers. I can get out of bed and I am functioning fine right now. Its all good and I am happy etc, I just find where I currently live too quiet. People have much, much worse problems and its a minor blip in the bigger scheme of things. But it turns out that I prefer all the things that I wanted to get away from like busy traffic, crowds, crap crowded public transport, rude people and busy supermarkets and busy high street chain stores, to all the peace and quiet in the countryside. There really is no pleasing some people, eh!
  • Or rather, lets put it this way – the grass is greener on the other side, but I prefer the grass that has been shat on!
  • I have also decided that I am going to talk about baby stuff on here a bit more. Sorry! I know, I know – I said that I wouldn’t. But its kind of my life right now, so I might publish a post about weaning soon. Nope, I am not turning into a Mummy blogger, I just want to share my thoughts and (maybe) give someone a giggle with some of the “advice” that I have been given.
  • On the subject of baby D – he is doing great. He is 8.5 months old now and looks just like me. I thought that babies were supposed to look like their Dads because of the caveman thing or something? But yeah, the poor fella has my looks ATM and my Mums face and her Mums face! The only thing that he has in common with Rob is the same gender! Anyway, the other day I took him to the doc’s to have a look at a red rash on his neck, which I though was a dribble-teething rash. It turns out that poor Dylan has eczema. The same as Rob! Its why Rob always has a beard, because he has dry, itchy, red skin on his face. Rob was almost pleased that his son was taking after him for once! (Obviously he is not pleased that poor baby D has eczema, but you know what I mean!)
  • I have one of these and have joined the #aldipansbandwagon. Mother managed to pick me up the casserole dish in her local branch (as my local branch only had the baking tray which I was very good and left behind). Its nice to cook in, I still love my LeCreuset dishes best, but enamel is a close second to cast iron. Unfortunatley I nearly ruined it by burning some olive oil when I left it preheating and nipped outside to put something in the wheelie bin. Who knew that oil burnt? Only every fireman who put out far too many chip pan fires in the eighties and the rest of the world except me it seems! The pans are the perfect blend of overpriced vintage Cathrineholm and overpriced Orla Kiely kitchen pieces, AKA right up my street. Anyway, does anyone know how to remove brown oil burn stains?
  • In other news it seems that the cat is finally growing back the fur on her belly. I guess that she has stopped stressing about Dylan and overgrooming herself. Phew.
  • We grew some veg in growbags this year. Just some courgettes (a disaster we only got three from three plants!), tomatoes and peppers. I think that I am going to make some chutney with the pickings.Wish me luck!

  • And finally, who is watching the C4 version of the bake off? I am and I am getting into it. I miss Mary, although Prue is growing on me. Other than the adverts it still seems the same even without Mel and Sue. Change is a good thing really. I think that it needed a teeny-tiny-barely noticable-shake up otherwise it would have gone a bit stale eventually (crap baking pun alert!)

Back?

I have been wanting to share my current feelings about our move to Devon for a while now, but it has felt inappropriate to voice my stupid, minor, first world privilege problems when so many people in the world are displaced, live in war zones, have lost their homes or live in poor conditions in substandard housing. After reading this I don’t expect (or want) anyone to sympathise with me – TBH I expect that you will more likely want to punch me in the face!!!

The fact is that I am not loving where I live. In fact, I kind of hate it here.

Firstly I must point out that I am aware that I am extremely lucky. I have a lovely house, that is warm, spacious and secure in a nice part of a first world country. I am very, very fortunate. Very lucky and very fortunate.

But I am just not liking the quiet life in the countryside. I miss living in a town and I miss Kent. And I really miss having my family close by.

So yeah, I feel shitty about this. I wish that I didn’t feel this way, but I do. Sorry again.

Its tough because Rob loves it here, but I don’t. Its such a shame because we have wanted to move house for a long time and I had high hopes that I would be happy here and that this was the right area for me. But its not.

Its funny, because moving to a nice village in the countryside is supposed to be what you aspire to. A nuclear family in a nice house, in a nice middle class village, with good schools, a church hall with a toddler club and a nice cafe where all the yummy mummys can meet up to show off chat about how their little darlings are doing.

We have all that here. But its so safe and boring and so dull that it bores me to tears.

The pace of life here is too slow for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice here and we could be really happy and have a good, fun, wholesome, outdoorsy life for Dylan growing up. But its just not for me.

I miss our old estate (which I never thought I would!) And I hate saying this, but I miss the supermarkets and shops of our old town. Its not so much about the shopping, but more about having somewhere to walk to and employment oppotunities (minimum-wage-unskilled-retail-work-4-lyf-4-me!!)

I guess I could learn to drive to get out the village more and eventually find a crappy job to drive to, but I am not that keen on the surrounding towns and having a car would mean that I would not get any exersize and wellbeing warm fuzzies and be skint(er) etc.

We both wanted to move here and have the fresh start that we so desperately needed. We wanted to live in a better area, which we have achieved, but we had to move to the otherside of the country to do so!

I love the beaches and countryside and our house here in Devon but its not enough to keep me here.

The main things that I don’t like about living here are –

The isolation – it feels like we live at the end of the world here with no motorways and major rail connections.

The lack of diversity – Nuff said. In the village, its very white middle class here. Its not much better in the surrounding towns. I like people who are rough and ready from all walks of life and from different cultures and backgrounds. I do not want Dylan to grow up in a bubble.

The little differences – I miss the Kent accent and sence of humour. I miss seeing foxes go through the bins (there are weirdly none here in the countryside) and hearing areoplanes fly overhead and the hum of the motorway and the Eurostar link train in the distant background. Silly little things, I know, but things that I am used to.

My family – I miss them so bad. Its too long a journey traveling 7+ hours in the van to Kent and the Isle of Wight. I want to reduce this travel time by half and be able to catch a train on my own with D when he is older to visit them.

So yeah, I have made a bit of a major life choice mistake moving here (again, Rob loves it here but I do not). But nothing is a mistake if you learn from it. I feel daft because I really thought that this was what I wanted, but it turns out its not. I guess that you don’t know these things until you try them, eh!

So yeah, after lots of tears (from me) and heart to heart discussions, we have decided to move again in a year or two. Moving and relocating is hard. And I am dreading doing it again. But unfortunately I cannot make things work here, or rather, I do not want to make things work for me here. Rob understands this and is being brilliant, agreeing that we should move, so that we can find somewhere that works for all three of us. Even though we will probably need to borrow a shitload more money and extend the mortgage further so we will finally pay it off in our eighties or something! I have properly fucked up our #lifegoals of a quieter life and paying off the mortgage early now! Feel free to punch me in the face, I would!!!

The next house that we move to will be in a town or small city. It will be nearer to the Isle of Wight with good transport links to London and beyond. It will have a museum, budget supermarkets, lots of traffic, shops, a Nandos, a park and good schools. All the things that 16 months ago I thought that I could live without! We are still trying to figure out where that will be ATM. Will it be Exeter (I love it there but its still a bit too far away from the fam), Southampton, Bournemouth, somewhere on the Isle of Wight (my family are emotionally blackmailing me to join them there ATM, its hard because we could significantly reduce our mortgage and be near them etc, but I am not sure its the right place for D to grow up or for me) or back in Kent in our hometown of Maidstone again?