Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner – Baby Power Ballads 

Last Friday we had the time of our lives(!! couldn’t resist) at Baby Power Ballads.

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Image from Gateshead Library

I’m not so sure I would’ve ventured to something like this on my own (which in hindsight is a trifle sad as I would’ve missed out on what was an epic afternoon out).
One of the mammy friends who I met at Pregnancy Yoga (which was awesome – shout out to Lush Tums) invited me along and how could I refuse? An hour of introducing Ella Bells to power ballads while I unleash my ‘voice of an angel’.  Perfect!

Tickets were £4 with a £1.07 booking fee and I booked mine online through a link on the Facebook page. I intended to print the ticket off but got caught up in all the mental checklist of things to do to get a baby out of the house that I forgot. This dawned on me as I drove towards the Tyne Bridge with a whingeing Ella in tow (drive time was meant to equal nap time – but no. I blame myself, I put her car cover down so I could see her in the mirror. She took this as an invitation to fight for my attention instead. Not ideal when fighting Friday afternoon traffic).

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Image from Gateshead Library

 

The event was held at Gateshead’s Central Library in their Caedmon Hall and ran by a company called Chalk.

Chalk are Jen, Jilly, Roxy and their mini Chalkers who are the inspiration behind the family focused organisation based in the North East.

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Image from Gateshead Library

The Baby Power Ballads was part of their Cineplay Festival held 19th-21st August across Newcastle and Gateshead.

 

Gateshead Central Library had plenty of parking but it did fill up quick. Luckily there is on street parking and a smaller car park just opposite. There is a lift from the ground floor to the first floor but it’s only big enough for one buggy at a time. This wasn’t a problem for me, I seem to think lugging a car seat around is an Olympic sport at the moment – which I’m sorely regretting!

Never the less, I needn’t have worried about my ticket, a lovely lady from the Chalk group greeted me at the door of the Caedmon Hall with ‘The List’. Flashbacks to numerous-not-getting-into-VIP-areas-in-clubs ensued. But have no fear – my name was well and truly on this list. Hurrah!

By this point Ella was on top form, flashing her biggest smile with no trace of the whingey

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Image from Gateshead Library

tired baba from the car journey. We got settled in the middle of the floor, where there were musical instruments laid out on a circle of rugs and cushions in front of a projector screen.

 

Songbooks with lyrics were handed out – I think I squealed in delight. One of the members from Chalk sat with us and played the guitar, leading the tune-fest that included  (I’ve had) The Time of My Life, I Will Always Love You, Dolly Parton’s  9-5, Here’s To You Mrs Robinson and – wait for it – Bohemian Rhapsody! That was hilarious introducing that one to Ella.

Even more exciting was that the films the songs belonged to were projected onto the screen!  The atmosphere was incredibly jovial; babies happily playing with instruments while the mammies pelted out the songs – like we used to with a hairbrush in front of a mirror (or was that just me?) It seems that by having a child, you loose your inhibitions somewhere along the way.

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Ella loved it and powered through for forty-five minutes of sitting on my knee doing what she does best – people watch. I saw the signs that an imminent hunger cry was threatening to escape and quickly shoved a bottle in her mouth – to which she promptly passed out just before the end of the event. She lasted longer than my friend’s little boy – he slept through the whole thing! Way too cool for school that kid.

Once it ended, we were encouraged by the Chalk team to sit around for a bit and not rush off, which was nice. Especially as Ella had done what she rarely does and fallen asleep on me – I didn’t want to move. But it was short-lived and as soon as she was awake, out the car seat came and along with it the suggestions of what to do next.

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Image from Gateshead Library

 

So us mammies did what we did best – sought out the nearest coffee and cake establishment, which fortunately happened to be downstairs in the library. It just took a while to get there as the mammies got in the lift one-by-one hurrah hurrah. Gotta love a coffee and a chocolate brownie after a baby event.

This is why I need to run.

Which I did yesterday. I’ll tell you about it sometime.

Thanks Chalk for a fab afternoon.

Love Missuswolf xxx

Cruising the Coast to Crusoe’s 

 

Another Saturday morning and another Wilford adventure in search of a local haunt to stuff our faces.

I was originally booked onto two exercise classes at Xercise4less (trying to escape for a couple of hours me-time and leave the baba with the hubby, see how he likes it. Payback for when he sods off to football on a Sunday morning) but when I woke up, that flipping mam guilt voice told me we ought to do something as a family.

So, sounding like I was doing him a favour, I suggested I skip the classes and we all go out for breakfast (again!) I know, I know – I had an opportunity to escape and I didn’t take it. I’m sure I’ll regret it when he’s off to yet another NUFC match (eye roll).

Surprisingly, we arrived at a decision really quickly (which doesn’t happen often in our household – especially over what to eat and where).Turns out hubby wanted to visit The Royal Quays outlet in North Shields to have a look in the Nike store for some football boots. I struggled to think of somewhere near there to go so when he suggested we go to Crusoe’s in Tynemouth en route, I agreed. Wow.

Crusoe’s is on the beach overlooking the sand and the sea down from The img_0353Grand Hotel (where we had our wedding reception nearly nine years ago. Crikey it’s our ten year wedding anniversary next year eeek! I want to go back to Vegas to celebrate – minus a child in tow. He doesn’t. I’ve got a year to work on him plus I’m open to babysitting offers – please apply within).
Before I go any further – I know I’m not the most maternal of folk but I do want to add a ‘P.S I love my child’ in here. Despite the underlying moan tone I have on this blog toward little people – it is all in jest and I do have a heart.

I’ve cried twice this weekend; once (well numerous times actually) at the story, picture and video of five-year old Omran Daqneesh injured in the airstrike at Aleppo. I’m sure I’m amongst millions of parents who hugged their children a little bit tighter that night. His little dazed face and lack of tears are harrowing at how he accepts this as a way of a life; no emotion other than the sheepish look when he wipes his bloody hand on the chair after touching his little injured head. Totally and utterly heart breaking.

The other time was at a heart wrenching story that I came across on Instagram yesterday morning that I just can’t get out of my head.

Michelle and Andy Cottle experienced the stillbirth of their daughter, Orla, back in May. They’re cycling from Vancouver to the Mexican border in San Diego to raise funds for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity (SANDS). I can’t begin to imagine the pain they are going through but the strength they’re showing is incredible and inspiring. They’re website is called Dear Orla and you can read more about it and follow their journey here. They both do a brave video (which you can also view on the website – have plenty of tissues handy!!) where they tell their story #CyclingForOrla. You can also donate here.

It puts everything in perspective and is all the more reason to spend time together as a family. I know I am lucky and I am thankful for what I’ve got.

Back to Saturday morning and after cruising along the coast from Blyth, we parked opposite Tynemouth Park again and walked img_0386down. We imagepassed an early morning running club – a brutal reminder that I’d ditched my own morning of exercise in favour of food. Ooops. Oh well, I’m trying out a buggy running club today so I’m hoping that redeems me. Should be interesting!

We both had bacon sarnies; I had my usual filter coffee and he had his usual diet coke. So predictable. I spied a gingerbread latte on the menu and made a mental note to return nearer Christmas for this festive tipple ummmm.

I’ve been to Crusoe’s once before and it was every bit as beautiful as Iimage remember; cosy and welcoming with it’s wooden furniture and twinkly lights giving it an almost festive feel. This was heightened by the slight autumnal chill on Saturday morning; grey skies and drizzle meant cardies had been replaced with coats. Otherwise we would have opted for outdoor dining.

 

Of course, nosy parker Ella couldn’t resist snapping up a perfect people-watching opportunity so out of her pram she came, perched on the table, catching the eye of a young couple across the room. I’m bias but she has such an infectious smile and she was bestowing it upon anyone who would take notice.

After breakfast, we walked back to the car and headed off to Royal Quays. Hubby didn’t get his football boots but I got myself some running trainers.

 

Yep, you read right running trainers.

But that experience is a whole blog post in itself.

As is the trip to Jesmond Dene we did afterwards.

So keep toot for those.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

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