Category Archives: Little Lady

I want to ride my bicycle

Finally the little lady has got to grips with her ‘new’ bicycle (she has had it a year and a quarter). If you listen very closely you can hear her saying ‘I can do it Mummy!’. It’s been so long since she last wanted to ride her bicycle (and to be fair, it hasn’t really been the weather for it) that it is time to raise the seat!



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Happy Birthday Grandpa

These days I don’t need much excuse to don the apron, roll my sleeves up and get the baking gear out of the cupboard and last week to celebrate my Dad’s (Grandpa’s) birthday, provided the perfect excuse. Over the last few years, the children’s birthdays have given me ample opportunity to practice making Victoria sponge and Madeira cakes and I for one was ready to consume something different. Inspired by a Facebook photograph of a cake that my friend made for her husband’s birthday recently and my father’s love of chocolate, ok my love of chocolate, I decided that a chocolate sponge cake was in order. My mother reminded me that this was not in fact my first chocolate sponge cake offering. As a child, I had spent several hours throwing together a chocolate sponge cake in celebration of one of her birthdays. A recipe at the age of 8 or 9 was obviously considered a hindrance to the creative process. The fact that I refused to touch even a morsel of the finished article, speaks volumes about the success of that experiment. Anyway, this was Ava’s first chocolate sponge cake and definitely the first time that three generations of the Collins girls have baked together (for those of you who know my mother, you’ll know how rare this is!).

I have faithfully followed Delia Smith’s sponge cake recipe for some time now and naturally expected another Delia special, with a chocolate twist but when my Google search resulted in a chocolicious offering by none other than Mary Berry, of Great British Bake Off fame, I knew I was onto a winner, so here is the finished result:

Chocolate Sponge Cake Grandma & Ava

Later this month it is Grandma’s birthday and I’m reliably informed her favourite cake is a coffee walnut cake. That definitely would be a first for me. Does anyone have a recipe that they care to share?

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First time sledging for the little man…and doesn’t he look happy!


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There’s no fun like snow fun

If you’re a child that is. Personally, wet, cold, hands and feet do nothing for me but the lit up faces of my two happy little munchkins more than made up for it. This was Benjamin’s first time in the snow, as he was too young last time it snowed all those months ago.

Now for a little more snow so that we can actually a build a decent snowman. Our lacklustre attempt was destroyed by the little lady who apparently felt that kicking the snowman was preferable to showing our dismal efforts to her Daddy (photo below of their effort last February to show what I’m up against!).

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The question that all mothers dread

‘Where do babies come from?’ Except it was worse than that. My 4 year old, prompted by the fact that we had just driven past the hospital where she knows her little brother was born, asked ‘how do babies get in your tummy?’. No opportunity to talk about storks here. So I took a deep breath and debated whether to say, ask your father later but decided I, as her mother, should just take the plunge. A 4 year old does not require graphic detail and I felt pretty good about my explanation of a ‘special’ cuddle. I’ll save discussion around planting seeds for another day.

Just when I thought I was safe, she followed up with, ‘how do babies get out of your tummy?’. Eek, make that double eek! Since she exited through the sun roof and the little brother through the natural route, ably assisted by a pair of forceps, I felt that I couldn’t just offer one route and chose to go for through the cervix (she didn’t ask where that was) or through your tummy using a knife, to which she said ‘you must need a sharp knife for that.’ Thankfully we arrived at Hobbycraft before any further enquiries could be made. I think I may have some reading up to do before our next car journey and a mental note to self not to go past the hospital enroute to anywhere, unless there is an emergency that requires the services of the hospital.

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