Traditions and Christmas lights

When I was a child we always looked forward to that day when mum would collect us from school and say those wonderful words “we are going to see the Christmas lights today”

My older sister and I would become so excited, it was a whole event.  We’d have a quick snack and off we’d go to catch the bus to the west end.

My mum was a lady that always sat downstairs on the bus which meant I had to sit downstairs to, but this was the only time of the year that mum would venture upstairs, this made the whole experience even better for me, not so much for my sister she was allowed to go upstairs all the time.

It’s really odd thinking back because those were the days of the old route masters when the driver was just that and a conductor would walk up and down the bus with his/her metal ticket machine held around the neck with a multi coloured and often striped strap. They’d wear a smart jacket, trouser, white shirt, tie and black hat/ flat cap kind of in the vein of the police hats today. Also in those days you could smoke upstairs on the bus another reason my mum hated it up there.

We’d talk, tell jokes, laugh, it was so much fun considering it was just a bus ride into town, and normally we’d be crying mummy are we there yet? Mummy I need a wee! You know the usual, but on this occasion we where model children no complains from us.

Then the moment would arrive we’d be at the top of  Whitehall with the bus turning near Admiralty arch (the entrance to the mall) circling Trafalgar square and there we’d see our first glimpse of the festive season the Norwegian Christmas tree towering high over the square almost rivalling the various status.

After the excitement of the Christmas tree the anticipation of the lights would become unbearable, at which point of course there would always be a traffic jam! But when you’d see the illuminated adverts of Piccadilly Circus we’d know in one short second the bus would turn and we’d get our first view of that years Christmas lights.

They never disappointed, always beautiful, always breath taking, always oooh and ahhh worthy.  We’d stay on the bus all the way down Regent Street and then Oxford Street taking in every inch of the illuminations.

After viewing the light we’d go over to Selfridge’s department store or Hamley’s toy shop to visit father Christmases Grotto where mum would treat us each to a toy or a bubble bath set or something special and girlie.

It was one of those magical traditions that I’m sure had my mother and sister been alive today we’d still do it, ok maybe not the visit to Santa’s grotto but the lights for sure and I’d like to think maybe a bit a Christmas shopping would be thrown in too.

Anyhow I decided that this year would be the year I’d take khai to see the lights, well he’s seen them every year but this year would be an event, the start of our tradition, together.

We started by walking around parliament, portcullis house and viewing the London eye from Westminster bridge.

Then we jumped onto another bus down to Regents and Oxford street to view the lights “look Khai”, I smiled “look at the beautiful lights” “ it’s a star mummy” he said back to me with a smile.

 

We got off the bus at Oxford street the plan to walk back to Hamley’s so a certain someone could get a small toy, turning onto Regents street I said “look khai isn’t it amazing, Arthur Christmas you know that film “, Khai’s response “mummy, I want to go home” “what” I said “I want to go home mummy” and so we did that was the end of our west end lights event, so home we went.

It seems that Khai is still as yet a little too young to appreciate the gloriousness or the lights however I hope that maybe next year the magic of the lights will cast their spell on my little one has they did me all those years ago.

But if for some reason they don’t we always have the lights that can be found a few doors down on our street, which for some reason to Khai are the best thing since sliced bread. He runs down our road every evening after school to see this house and its lights he screams wow, and yeah and tells me how beautiful the lights are and informs me of all the colours and shapes he can see.

Looks like the west end has nothing on our street!

Halloween

You know its pretty odd writing that because growing up Halloween was a pretty none eventful day, there were no parties, no trick or treat, nothing.

Thinking back the most we got to do was play apple dunking: Oh and maybe eat a toffee apple which was more often reserved for Guy Fawkes night (5th of November), we all watched American TV when we were kids and wished we celebrated Halloween.

The odd school would have a disco to raise some extra money: it would be something like 20p entrance and 10p for a cup of orange squash; here and there a child would knock your door demanding sweets and sometimes money. So yep we just didn’t know how to do Halloween.

I also remember one year hearing that if you look up into the sky and were very lucky you may see a witch fly by on her broom stick so me and my poor dad sat outside on our balcony for hours that evening, mum brought us a cup of hot chocolate every now and then until the sky turned black needless to say we never saw the witch.

Nowadays however this is all changing and its so weird I was listening to a radio programme this morning and people are crying out for there to be a ban on trick or treating this year because some people are still scared as a result of the riots a few months ago.

I don’t see the harm in it; I think its great fun for the kids and adults alike.  Khai will not be trick or treating or participating in any Halloween events this year just because there are no events in our area, however as he gets older I’m sure he will.

So to those of you that are celebrating halloween today have fun and Happy Halloween!

 

100 Facts about me, myself and Khai

This is my 100th post, so in order to celebrate this fact I have decided to write 100 facts about me, myself and Khai!

  1. The love of my life is a four years old boy named Khai.
  1. I have type II diabetes since the age of seventeen (which is very strange for someone that young).
  1. I am right handed.
  1. I am crazy for nail varnish, always have been always will be.
  1. I had more then twenty pet rabbits at one time when I was a kid.
  1. khai hates wearing trousers at home and is at bliss walking around in his underpants, in fact I once had a problem with getting him to keep his trousers on when we went out , I remember the first day of nursery he asked me if he could take his trousers off now lol
  1. I am allergic to apples and pears; in fact I am allergic to most fruit in that sort of seeded family-ish area.
  1. If I was born a boy my parents were going to name me Randal (thank God I was born a girl that’s all I’m saying!).
  1. I was a brownie guide but never a girl guide.
  1. I can roll my tongue.
  1. My star sign is Aries.
  1. Khai’s star sign is Leo.
  1. I believe in karma.
  1. The first records I ever brought was Dirty Diana by Michael Jackson from Woolworths.
  1. The first record that was ever brought for me was push it by salt and pepper.
  1. Khai was born on a Friday.
  1.  I love most of the you tube beauty guru’s.
  1. I had many nicknames growing up one of them was Bugsy.
  1. I’m an avid picture-taker- er.
  1. I don’t know how to drive nor have I ever taken any lessons.
  1. I can’t swim.
  1. I used to be a tour guide.
  1. I’m an eastenders addict.
  1. I still sometimes get afraid of the dark (if you laugh I will kill you).
  1. Since having my son I cry at any and everything.
  1. I love that I get to go to the cinema to see films like Cars 2 and Megamind because I have a child.
  1. I hate the smell of cheap perfumes with a passion.
  1. One of my favourite artists is Eva Hesse, I was heavily influenced by her work when I was doing my degree, I love her latex and fibreglass work, soft sculpture is one of my favourite things on earth.
  1. I was born on a Saturday.
  1. Some more of my favourite sculptural artist are Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgois, Doris Salcedo, Rachel Witheread, Monia Hatoum ok I need to stop listing artist now because I feel like I could go on forever.
  1. I always procrastinate.
  1. I brought ice ice baby by vanilla ice when I was a kid, yep I did that.
  1. Autumn is my favourite season and one of my top five names for khai had he been a girl.
  1. I love going for walks but since my son is no longer in a pushchair this has become all but impossible.
  1. I was completely in love with Adam Ant and shaking Stevens when I was little.
  1. I am kind of getting sick of facebook but I still go on it all the time.
  1. My family and close family friends all call me Melanie since the day I was born; in fact lots of them don’t even know my real name is Stephanie lol. It’s a Jamaican thing your nickname is often a full on first name.
  1. My god mother always called me Melsy Bubbles bun bun and I hated it.
  1. I mostly order a Grande cappuccino at starbucks (and a babycino of course).
  1. I am a qualified manicurist, nail technician and nail artist.
  1. I really, really, really hated school.
  1. My favourite colour is blue although it changes for time to time and is closely followed by pink that is bright bright pink not that pastel stuff no way.
  1. My dad called me Melsy Bugsy boo until I was in my twenties.
  1. I believe in God.
  1.  I’m now thinking about maybe calling Khai, Khaisy Bugsy boo. On second thoughts maybe not.
  1. I would like to move to another country.
  1. I call khai pudding and puds for short.
  1. I lived at home way longer then I should have done.
  1. I would love to get my Masters degree one day.
  1. I can hold a tune.
  1. I don’t like or eat pork.
  1. I would secretly love to be a book binder.
  1. I tend to be more of a ‘thinker’ and not so much a ‘doer’ although this is something I’m working on.
  1. I used to smoke (a lot).
  1. I broke my wrist when I was six or maybe seven.
  1. I sleep on the left side of the bed.
  1. I need to lose some weight.
  1. I have never lived outside of London.
  1. I am 5 feet 5 i/2 inches and yes the half inch matters (ask any man).
  1. I frequently suffer from insomnia.
  1.  I would love to travel the world.
  1. My son is a fussy eater and would gladly eat jacket potatoes or chips everyday of his life.
  1. I wasn’t a spice girl fan, didn’t know what all the fuss was about myself, I saw them perform over in Clapham common park in the early years, I liked a few of their songs but yeah, just didn’t get it. And there was a girl group called shampoo who came out a year before the spice girls and they invented the term “GIRL POWER” as well you know ms Geri Halliwell!
  1. I really enjoy life drawing.
  1.  I have read every Jackie Collins novel written, don’t judge me, they are my guilty pleasure secret
  1. I had an imaginary friend called Susie when I was little, she looked a lot like Thelma for Scooby doo.
  1. I hate snakes, spiders, worms.
  1. I had really bad depression for many years.
  1. I always order the same sandwich at subway (turkey, salad).
  1. This year I find that I’m smiling a lot at everyone, some smile back; some give me crazy looks, and others give dirty looks as if to say what you looking at.
  1. I love dove roll on deodorant, they are the best.
  1. I save all my fashion magazines and keep them in a tall pile in my bedroom.
  1. One of my favourite films of all time is cat on a hot tin roof with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.
  1. Oh and anything with Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman holiday, Sabrina fair to name a few.
  1. I have a mouse in my house, and I am not impressed.
  1. I played very bad violin when I was a kid.
  1. I have a pretty good memory.
  1. We are having a school reunion next year and I don’t know if I want to go.
  1. Khai is car obsessed with and has well over a hundred maybe two hundred of them.
  1. I’ve never have nor will I watch downton abbey, it just doesn’t interest me.
  1.  I’ve got a crush on someone (I feel like a 12 year old writing that, but its true, and he is hoooooooooot).
  1. I want to start my own company in children’s paintings/illustrations and interior decor.
  1. My favourite alcoholic drink is brandy (who am I kidding so is vodka, rum, whiskey, um actually not so much whiskey but I do like a JD and coke every now and then), and I do love a glass of merlot.(I sound like a complete and utter alcoholic now really I don’t drink that often maybe once a month if that of then).
  1. I struggle to walk in high heels anything past 2 inches I don’t even remember how to walk properly.
  1. I love to shop; most times I don’t even care what for.
  1. Mostly I prefer to be barefoot.
  1. I over analyzing absolutely everything.
  1. I have two Piercings in each ear.
  1. My Favourite flower is an orchid.
  1. I’m just not a big fan of Beyoncé, she’s got a nice voice, she’s pretty, seems like a nice person and all that but if she comes on the TV 99% of the time I turn it over, it really bugs me coz I want to like her but I just don’t.
  1. I mostly wear jeans on a daily basis.
  1. I love, love, love films by Pedro Almodóvar, (All about my mother is my favorite).
  1. Google is my favourite search engine.
  1. Khai has two middle names, one is my father’s middle name and the other was given to khai by his father.
  1. I have one, middle name that is.
  1. I need a new black handbag, I love handbags I have a lot (you know how it goes a girl can never have enough), not sure if I love them more then shoes but its close, it’s very close.
  1. Apart from my son and my dad I have about two other family members in theUK; they are all in the USA and Jamaica.
  1.  I have dyslexia, this however doesn’t mean that I can’t read or write or spell for me it just means it takes me a little longer and the end result is likely to be far from perfect.
  1. I got my flu jab last week and I now have the flu it’s more like a very bad cold but I am not really well at all.
  1. I can’t believe it you’ve made it to the end wow thanks for hanging on in there; anyway so here it is the 100th fact about me, myself and khai…… I love my blog and every single person that stops by to say hello.

“Depression is to me as daffodils were to Wordsworth”

 

Lately I’ve been suffering a little from depression, the kind when you don’t even realise you have it.  This is something I’ve battled with for so many years now.

I find this time of year particularly hard due to the changes of season, when it gets dark early I begin to get depressed.  Which is so odd because if anyone asks me what is your favourite season I always answer autumn. And it is such a beautiful time. But there’s something about the day being over so early that saddens me. 

It makes me think of the things I’ve yet to achieve, how I’m not near where I want to be in my life, don’t get me wrong I think I have a nice life, a happy one, a good one but when I get depressed the bad finds a way to outweigh the good. Not to mention the loneliness and how it starts to feel so unbearable. It’s odd because the rest of the year I can say hand on heart I am happy (well mostly).

Even in my depression I can still see elements of happiness, my son brings me so much joy, my family, friends, I know the wonderful things the world has to offer but some how everything gets a little clouded over.

But what is really odd about me is that as much as I suffer from depression naturally I am an optimist I really do believe that everything will work out in the end, which I’m sure sounds like a very odd thing to say given what I’ve written above and probably somewhat naïve . then i found this qoute which summed up everything.

 “In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus

It’s not just me feeling this way though, ok not everyone is suffering from depression but plenty are suffering from the winter blues.  When I speak to my single friends they all say the same thing every year we all do “I’m lonely”, “I’d like a partner”, being single some how feels harder this time of year, no man to snuggle up to, no special someone to make you feel good, no Mr. right to hold your hand and lend you some support.

The married ones cry of the year being almost over, where as the time gone, another year soon to end, you know what doesn’t help is Christmas cards in the shops in September, what is the matter with these people for goodness sake! Anyway I digress

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that winter affects our moods at least the beginning of winter does for most people anyway.

If you’re like me it’s time to stock up on the winter essentials although mine are mostly herbal

Winter essentials list

 chocolate

Ginseng – check

chocolate

Ginkgo biloba -check

Lots of Khai cuddles – check, check and check

chocolate

Good books – check

Hot chocolate or cocoa- check

Vitamin b complex -check

chocolate

Daylight light bulbs – check

just a little chocolate – check

links on depression:http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm

                                         http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Depression/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

Title qoute by Philip Larkin

A letter to Khai

  

Today my sweet baby little boy you turn four years old. I can’t quite believe it. I struggle to understand how the years have gone by with such haste, to watch you grow, explore, and learn in this time has been an honour for me. And my life was blessed the day you arrived in it. 

   

You are the most amazing person I have ever met. You are close to fearless in many ways, we have all done it but being witness to your growth has been phenomenal to me.

 

When I think back to the day of your birth, the first moment we had together alone with no distractions, when we lay on the bed you snuggled up close, my new baby boy in my arms.  We took a moment to just look at each other, that semi puzzled look on your face as if to say “do I know you, you look familiar, its you that women who I’ve been hearing everyday over the past months”.

Or

 

That Saturday afternoon whilst watching Harry Potter on TV you sat red cheeked and began to cry, I tried to work out what could be the matter and then I saw a tiny little white speck on your right front lower gum it was your first tooth coming through.

 

You have given me so many wonderful memory’s in these four beautiful years, I look forward to the many more that will come with the many changes this year like reception class you will be going off to your first day of school and so will begin your journey of more independence.

 

You are the joy of my life, and I love you more then I could ever express.

Happy 4th Birthday my darling boy Khai x

Love Mummy x

Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy. *

Khai is turning four shortly and i was thinking of maybe getting him a pet perhaps a fish, possibly an hamster, but I thought first I’d try giving him his own little plant to water and look after to see how his caring and nurturing side sat.

And it’s been going really well

Meet khai’s little money plant which he named CharlieLola (you guessed it; the plant is named after Charlie and Lola the charming but fictional brother and sister).

  

He waters it twice a week with his little parrot watering can

  

Then last week he went to an oasis garden with his nursery group and brought home this

 

A small collage of leaves, the idea was to find different coloured things

And he also brought this home too

 

It’s a sunflower plant 

Who Khai named Mouth (I don’t know why) he loves to water’s and talks to them

  

*Terri Guillemets

A love story/ life story

Growing up we all hear those stories of the old couple who met while young, fell in love and spent a lifetime together then sadly one dies and the other follows shortly after.

Well that was the love story/life story of my uncle L and aunty E they both meet whilst in their twenties, fell in love and married shortly thereafter. They spent the sixties living here in London, him designing parts for plane, and her dressing the hair of the many West Indian women who where a long way from home she provided them with a familiar scene and ambience in this new strange country which they now called home.

In fact it was in that very same location, a little hairdressers attached to their home where my parents met, my father had just arrived in the country and was living in the house with he’s brother and sister in-law and my mother had arrived not much earlier herself and had frequented the hairdressers. Years pasted and they decided to move over to America where they lived a life happily together, had adventures, travelled, and most importantly loved. That was their story.

Last year aunty E died after a battle with illness. My uncle who was a very strong man you know the kind that never showed emotion, (I have many memories of giving him big bear hugs and him standing there almost in shock not knowing what to do but trying he’s best to cuddle me back) but when he lost he’s beloved wife he lost a huge part of himself he told me once that he didn’t know what to do without her, how to be without her and then began to sob. That was one of the last conversations I had with him, sadly he died last Friday 4th march and I am shocked that I will never again see him; it saddens me so very much to think that their lives have been lived, the story told and they are no more.

Where did the time go!

It’s been months and i’ve really missed this blog (the reason????) i have no pc\ internet access at home for a while now apparently the whole wire connection needs redoing and will cost around 300 pounds and i’ve got to tell you right now that doesn’t feel like a major piorty for me (and with a spoonful of lazyness put into the mix)  i’ve just not put up a new post, but here i am better late than never right!? right now i am at an internet cafe which i must admit feels odd and just a little too public but i guess i should just get over myself and just do this post.

wow so where to start so much as happened since my last post, lets see Khai turned 3 it was a lovely fun day along with a friend of mine we went to see toy story 3 at the cinema and he had a sweet little birthday cake shaped like a caterpiller lots and lots of pressies, he had a great day!

he is now attending nuresry 3 times a week and becoming a preety independent little man, making friend and talking a lot more it’s so great to see. 

lets see what else umm we went on hoilday to france and italy for the summer that was crazy fun more about that in my next post , oh and i started a new college course and had to quit it all in the same month

but i’m about to run out of time and need to pick up my son so thats it for now new post and real cacth up coming very soon. promise x

take care guys catch up real soon x

Steph