The happiest place in the world…..

Hey all, not many blog posts at the moment due to being on holiday (I’m sure you have noticed all the Florida spam on my feed!) 

We are this week staying in a Disney hotel, which is an amazing experience, it’s also a very eye opening one and has had my mind whirring since the second we got here. 

I don’t know how many of you have been fortunate enough to visit a Disney in whatever country it may be. It’s a unique experience and absolutely magical for children. I was lucky enough to be bought here by my parents as a child and recall how amazing I found it. This time I’m here with my children and my parents.

The thing I keep thinking is how everything in the world of Disney is perfect. From the second you drive onto the large expanse of Florida land space there is no mess, everything is beautifully manicured, colourful and bright flowerbeds adorn outside spaces and the walk ways of the parks have no rubbish, no spilled drinks, no homeless people, no nasty smells or swearing. Just a world full of happy people wearing Mickey Mouse ears and enjoying themselves.

The thing is though there is literally an army of people who make Disney the magical place it is. Legions of workers who clean, cook, polish, smile, keep an eye on things, help people, scan tickets, serve food and drinks and literally make the magic happen.

So if Disney has a problem or an issue surely with their armies of dare I say hundreds of thousands of workers across the whole of the Disney corporation they can combat it and get a resolution quickly and soundly? Disney can’t give up, how could they? Well the answer is yes they can. 

As an adult the massive logistics of the place fascinates me, I have been reading a lot about how the place has evolved and the history that has made it what it is today. One of the things that massively interested me was when I read about two abandoned parts of the parks that have been left to the elements. One being a water park and the other a mini zoo area. I have no idea why they were closed, I would imagine progress and modernisation but it did make me think. 

Urban explorers have been banned from Disney forever for managing to venture onto the islands off the main lagoon you travel across to get to the Magic Kingdom because they published apocalyptic style pictures of what they found. Disney like most of us don’t like being seen on their less polished side.

I have been giving myself such a hard time this week about my poorly behaved children and questioning my abilities as a parent. I have been struggling with that feeling that I can’t undo my poor work and will end up with two boy versions of Veruca Salt (another Roald Dahl shout out).

But then I thought, if Disney are happy to keep some of the bits they are not so proud of and simply let them go, why can’t I? I can’t be a terrible mother surely, I provide for my children and they are happy and secure. Okay they can be terrors but we really do try. 

I don’t have an army of cast members to help me keep everything running, to smile and make it all look okay all of the time, to be behind me sweeping up as I go, some sort of device to transport me wherever I want to go whenever I want to go there and I don’t have a genie, a Tinkerbell or a fairy godmother. Do any of us though? 

It’s okay to leave the washing hanging out when you leave, if you haven’t quite had time to do the washing up, if you haven’t done your make up before the school run (you get my drift.)

If Disney can open every day knowing things aren’t quite the way they want it to be with their cast of thousands then I can hold me head high walking out of the door, unkempt, sweating, messy, cursing under my breath and needing a cider.

We are all human, we are all who we are and we can only do so much. 

Please don’t forget that. You are amazing, no matter how rubbish you think you are doing give yourself a break xx

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Whitstable Oyster Festival

Hey all, how are we? 

Just a quick one today as I’m meant to be holiday packing and house tidying, blogging is so much more fun! 

Who is heading to Whitstable for the Oyster Festival this weekend? We will miss it this year but was so exciting to see all the hustle and bustle in the town this morning as everyone was preparing for the busiest time of the year.

It’s a hot topic in my home town about the increased numbers of people who flock to the coast each summer to relax and enjoy all Whitstable has to offer. It’s hardly surprising that many people have chosen to stay and now call Whitstable home too. 

The festival is mainly based around the harbour and beach areas but the town itself takes on the festival. Window displays are themed for the oyster festival and awards given to those who create the best. Cafes, bars and local shops come to life and often you can’t move let alone find a table!

There are beautiful fireworks, activities for the children all day, music, food, drinks and usually lots of gorgeous sunshine.

Some of my favourite spots all year round are just as lovely during the festival. I would definitely recommend The Forge which is a wooden shack on the front between the Native Oyster Restaurant and the Lifeboat station. They serve oysters, fish and chips, all manner of locally caught fish, ice creams (to die for),  fresh donuts and all manner of lovely alcohol. The staff are friendly and a bit kooky but that’s what we love!

The Whitstable Harbour Village is also well worth a look, lots of little stalls full of crafts, food, drinks, photography and many other treasures. Such a nice place to have a walk around.

The Handsome Sam micro pub is along the other end of town but well worth a stop. It’s just after the railway bridge across Oxford Street. The owner is fab and they not only serve the usual micro pub drinks but also have a great range of wine and have a gorgeous prosecco for only £15!

Crabbing is an absolute must at the Oyster Festival and you must go to Georges Mini Market in the town for all the bits. Georges was where I spent my pocket money as a child and I love that my boys now do the same. They have a huge and eclectic range of souvenirs, hardware, toys, beach gear, you really must have a look! 

Food wise Alimo which is under the railway bridge is amazing, they serve Moroccan food mostly but it’s so yummy. There are also plenty of little cafes, my favourite being the Beach Cafe near to the bowling alley. 

The Offy too are fab, they are on the high street and charge reasonable prices so you can pop in for a bottle to drink on the beach without paying pub prices. There are some lovely pubs too but I love just sitting on the beach!

Have an amazing weekend whatever your plans hold xx

A right Whitstable birthday party

Hey all, hope you had a fantastic weekend in the sunshine!

My weekend as per usual was manic but I managed to spend it with lots of people I love so I couldn’t ask for more.

This post is dedicated to my Sunday and is all about children’s birthday parties.

A great friend of mine who I met through Nate and her daughter being in the same swimming lesson asked me a few weeks back to help her with her daughter Evie’s 6th birthday party. I of course said yes and was excited that it fell on a weekend when both Karl and I were off so we could go along as a family.

As they do the plans evolved and my friend text me enquiringly whether I thought it would be mad of her to have the party on the beach. They have a beach hut at the Tankerton end of Whitstable and could set up everything on the beach itself. It was ambitious (being responsible for a load of six year olds is hard at the best of times let alone surrounded by water) but I figured we could pull it off.

I was totally amazed by the organisation and the massive effort that went into it by my friend and her lovely hubby and I have to say it was one of the best parties I’ve been to in ages.

Being Whitstable residents our lives revolve around the beach, it plays a huge part in our children’s lives and we are so proud to call it home. One of my favourite things to do is let the boys scoot to school while I run behind and we go through the harbour and up across the beach. We see lots of other families on their way to school and it reminds me just how lucky we are to have such a gorgeous place to live.

So yesterday morning at ten we got to the beach. It was already packed, their was hardly anywhere to park and families were already all set up for their day of fun in the sun. 

We managed to find a beach that was free and began setting up, I could not believe the array of delights my friend had bought, we had the longest bunting I have ever seen, which we ran across some of the beach to almost cordon off where the party would be so the children wouldn’t wander off. There was a gazebo, banners, balloons, inflatable Dolphins, flamingos, seagulls and water rings. 

My friend came equipped with a staple gun, more scissors than I own, string, staples, knives, platters, jugs, buckets for cold drink storage, tables and blankets for a seating area.

There was a limbo game, pass the parcel, two large paintings of a boat and sea scene minus the sail which were attached to the groins (with the very handy staple gun) that became pin the sail on the boat, there were funny contraptions that blew up twenty water balloons at once with large tubs to store them in for the water fight planned for later. I was massively impressed with all the work she had done.

There were Hawaiian floral garlands, crazy sunglasses and more cold drinks than some of the shops had. 

Children and parents started to arrive and many parents stayed. It became a giant beach party with music (yes they even had a generator). The children swam, played and had an amazing time. They all sat on the blankets and ate their party food and no one wanted to go home.

We had a few very well deserved glasses of prosecco on the beach when everyone had gone home and Karl gave rides on his Kayak. All the while looking out over the gorgeous sea.

The party will have of course cost money, the effort that went into it as well as food, party games and drinks but far less than paying for a party at a play place or activity centre. There was no bad behaviour and all I saw were smiles. How amazing is that?

Such amazing parents doing a great job of showing their gorgeous daughter how special she is and using our home to do it. 

I hope you had a lovely weekend with amazing friends too xx

Organised chaos

Hey All,

Just a very quick one today as I’m about to leave for work (last day before five days off Yey!)

When most people think of chaos they feel uneasy, stressed and almost scared but I wonder how many of us actually have to live in genuine chaos on a daily basis and actually are quite used to it.

When I was shouting across the playground at Nate this morning as he was playing football and very nearly late (one in reception, one in year one is hard work) I thought about those mums who breeze past with well behaved children and what they must think of me screaming at my son on yet another morning with him not only not acknowledging me but quite obviously choosing to ignore me.

Chaos, that’s what they will think! I then came home for a quick sit down and breakfast, I didn’t have time this morning before the school run due to Leo and another morning issue where he would rather make a pond than wash. When I looked around my living room, it’s clean, tidy (the cleaner came yesterday) but still in utter chaos. There are bits and pieces, ornaments, cushions, magazines, flowers in vases, stars (you know how I love a star) and pictures all over the place. Every surface has some sort of electic art installation that I have lovingly placed over time. 

I realise not only does chaos define parts of my family life but also my interior design! It may look a bit cluttered and dare I say it all over the place but I tell you what, I know where everything is and I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Have you embraced he chaos in your life?

Sexism….. In 2016?! 

Happy new week to you all.

This post will be a bit out there as I am usually very light hearted but sadly this last week I have had to deal with sexism and I felt due to the emotions it has stirred up that a post would be a really good way to deal with them.

I am well aware that in 2016 sexism can still be an issue in countries all over the world, I’m not a idiot. However it’s something that doesn’t really factor into day to day life in my world.

I work in a male orientated job, that has never been an issue for me and I can honestly say that I have never seen it more than a couple of times and that was in individuals not the organisation.

Sometimes I wonder if sexism isn’t so much of an issue until children become involved, when you can do all the things male colleagues can do, work all the hours, change commitments at short notice and not have a pull from your home life affecting your decision making process. 

This definitely changed for me when I became a mum and went from being a full time worker with no issues in working back to back days, twenty hour days (you get the drift) to someone who had to work around childcare and my husbands hours. I have to on some days say that I can’t stay on because I have to be home for the boys and I can’t so readily change my working days at short notice because I don’t just have me to think about anymore. 

My enthusiasm and ability to do my job hasn’t changed whatsoever in fact being a mother I think has added to my life experience and makes me a better worker. There isn’t a parent in the world who doesn’t become more efficient having had children (I remember changing a nappy on one child while on the phone to my mum and using one leg to rock Leo’s baby swing to get him to sleep!). 

So why then are so many women left feeling that they aren’t so important? I have come across the attitudes suggesting that as a part time worker I’m not as efficient, I’m not part of the team as much as a full time worker and that I make it hard for people to take leave as I have more days off. This isn’t just from men I hasten to add but also from some female colleagues who are yet to have children (I liken them to me seven years ago but with a much worse attitude!)

The thing that makes me laugh is even though I am a part time worker I still feel like I miss more than I gain with the boys and have to rely on my parents to do much of the childcare as I simply can’t get there for drop off, pick up and dinner time every day, sometimes I don’t even manage bed time. 

I have always been a woman who believed that women should work, I’ve always wanted a career and strived very hard to get to where I am today. However I envy all the women who have the most important career in the world, being a mum and running a family. I’m only half good at that! 

This is why I love my Instagram and my blog, it’s something I can do around the boys and with them at times. How amazing would life be if that was my main career aside from being the Fisk household mummy? (Pie in the sky I hear you all saying! But a girl can dream.)

I take my hat off to everyone in this world man, woman who are out there everyday being a good parent, husband, wife, co-worker, stay at home parent or anything else and accept that life is so bloody hard so I guess my question is why make it harder for eachother? 

Whatever you are doing this week I hope it’s an amazing one and please never forget how important you are xx

Cake, tea, cows and sunburn

Hello you lovely people, how gorgeous has today been?

Being a Whitstable native I’m quite sure that the beaches from Seasalter to Tankerton were packed today and the town full of visitors and locals alike enjoying the little cafes and shops.

Today was a bit different than usual for me in that I had organised a little tea party at my house as a catch up with the girls I work with who also happen to be incredibly good friends.

I set up the table at the end of the garden overlooking the large fields as far as the eye can see. The fields currently contain large herds of cows, lots of little baby ones and it’s an absolute delight to watch them. There were cake stands with fondant fancies and cupcakes, Emma Bridgewater platters full of more cakey delights and some elderflower and rose cordial on ice with some fresh strawberries to go with lovely tea. I put out vases of lovely bright chrysanthemums and it reminded me a bit of the mad hatters tea party.

I’m very lucky to work with some amazing people and one of my best friends in the world who bought her beautiful little girl over to play with the boys. Another friend bought her puppy Bear and the boys absolutely loved learning to teach him how to sit.

It was warm but there was a nice breeze, three hours of chat, cake and tea later and we were still sat in the balmy sunshine watching the cows and chatting about all and sundry. 

In the afternoon after my friends had left the boys and I along with my mum went out for a power walk and a bike ride for the children. We biked along the Crab and Winkle way and back and then went and played football in my mums lively garden.

On the way home the boys convinced me to pass our house and keep going up towards the farm and along a track that leads from Whitstable to Canterbury. We went a little way along it and I was lucky enough to be able to get some gorgeous pictures of a beautiful Whitstable evening.

We are now sat on the sofa, I have sunburn (despite wearing factor 50), the boys are tired and there is a huge pile of washing up to do. What a lovely way to spend a Saturday though.

I hope yours has been as good as mine! I have of course not mentioned the moaning from the children throughout the day, I take it as standard now that you will know this occurs even if I don’t mention it! 

Xx

Is what I think about myself what other people will think about me? 

Yesterday I started writing a blog post about confidence and due to time literally flying by I didn’t get to finish it. Today I know how yesterday went and am finding it very interesting to reflect back on just how different and changeable our emotions can be from one day to the next.

I wrote about how worried I was to take the boys swimming on my own. It was hard work and I was so tired when we got home, not helped by the heat or the fact that Leo managed to have an accident in his swimming shorts! 

I am so lacking in self esteem at times that it blows my mind, I am so horrible to myself that I believe all the nasty things I tell myself about not being able to cope and how rubbish I am.

In the grand scheme of things should I be so concerned about how others see me or what they think of me? Surely as long as I am happy and the people I love are happy that’s all that should matter. I realise it’s what I think of me that I need to work on! 

As Steve Jobs once said, ‘don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your inner voice’, what a wise man.

So, here it is, Lucy bashing at it’s best, my unfinished blog post from yesterday.

Have a lovely weekend xx

Today for the first time in a good few weeks I am taking the boys to swimming on my own. Now that sounds as simple as making a cup of tea or putting your shoes on doesn’t it. Well I’m not so sure, as we know life with little ones is never predictable and their moods often affect how things go. 

For example on a good day there would be no moaning about getting changed after school to go to swimming, the boys would happily put their shoes on and go to the front door where they would wait for me to open it and walk nicely to the car, they would put their own seat belts on and when we got to the pool get changed quickly and without screaming or trying to fight eachother, do their lessons listening intently to their swimming teacher, have a quick but reasonable shower after and then dress quickly ready to get back into the car and go home for tea. 

On a bad day and being honest the most often occurring of moods they would refuse to get changed, refuse to wear shoes, refuse to get in the car, not want to get changed at the pool, demand money for the overpriced toy machines they have in the waiting area, lose their pants, shoes, shorts etc, ignore the swimming teacher and do their own thing (which with Leo is often going into another pool), refuse to get out of the shower and still be stood their twenty minutes after their lesson has finished and then not be able to dress properly because they had lost the earlier mentioned items. They would then argue about what they want for tea and I would feeling frazzled take them to the drive through for a happy meal like one of the worlds worst parents.

So I am sure you can understand why I am a tad nervous about this prospect on my own this evening as Karl is working. He is also working for the next four days so it’s mum only which is always interesting.

I realise a lot of this is due to my confidence, I’m so good at making myself feel rubbish by telling myself I am useless and that I can’t manage. I can of course manage, I have been doing so since the boys came along and karl has always been there sometimes and not there at others. None of this is new to me, apart from being ill so having extra help recently nothing will be out of the ordinary and yet still I’m sitting worrying about it! Will I manage, what must the other parents think of me, what will I do if Leo plays up,  does everyone realise how useless I am? 


Here is a picture of my new hair, this was the best bit about yesterday!