Our feast of the leftovers is not for tonight, rather an actual ‘THING’ I am planning on offering friends tomorrow night. If you have read my blog, you will know that our fairly regular endorsement of Chips’n’Choices is a fun thing we do with the children at the end of the week, but with them all eating a main meal at school nowadays (I’m cooking for them less), this event is becoming more and more infrequent.

I thought that it would be fun for their three children too! Only problem was that I looked in the fridge this morning and alas, all we had was some cold broccoli pesto pasta and a little chilli con carne! Drat – that wouldn’t do. So, I had to get cooking, just in order to actually have some leftovers. Okay, garlic mushrooms (Victoria is a Vegetarian), a root vegetable terrine and a chicken curry were cooked, plus a pasty, some chicken dippers and some nut loaf were all summoned from the freezer! Gosh – we will be eating well of the not so left over leftovers tomorrow night!

More on the weekend as it finds us!

Writing a Diary Can Be Hard at Times

Accounting for things has its own cost, doesn’t it? Remembering moments isn’t always easy. Thirteen months ago, when I started this diary, I begged a question! ‘It is all about the small things – isn’t it?’

Well, accounting and remembering the small things is all I have to offer really. And sometimes it can hurt a little. I am feeling just a little bit sad today!

From the very beginning, I knew that honesty itself had its very own price. Anyhow, onwards and upwards.

Tara Cuts Her Own Hair Once More

With Deep Regret I update you on the ongoing saga of ‘Midnight Haircuts’! Our beautiful Tara has secretly continued to work on her fringe! Those long locks that caressed her adoring cheeks are now a thing of the past. We have to accept that what is done – is done.

At dinner time yesterday evening the penny just dropped and I asked out loud ‘Tara, what have you done to your hair, you promised me that you would leave hair cutting to the professionals’? She told me that she had not touched it and then proceeded to cry. My heart broke for her. I think the pictures say it all really.

I bit my lip and took the kitchen scissors out of the draw and evened up the very badly cut fringe. I know that we will look back at moments like this and smile. But for now, it is a wry smile and a saddened heart.

Back To School Tomorrow

Okay, so I gave Calo my hoodie for extra warmth today! He’s not been well. A temperature of 41 degrees we were told on Tuesday at school. The truth of this diary entry is that out of all of the children, I never knew where I stood with our youngest child Caleb! He and I have always had our distance. With Caleb and Aaliyah, as toddlers, I was generally the ‘bad cop’ when it came to any scenario in those early years, Daddy (and a certain, unscrupulous nanny), always did ‘lappies’ to an unimaginable scale. John just did them because he loved our little ones and only got to spend time with them at the weekend – but as for that specific nanny, whose name I will not mention, she considered that whatever I had to say or contribute, she always went with the 180 degrees opposed! Until that point I hadn’t considered the idea of her ‘passive aggressive nature! And to this day, I have thankfully never since had to live with such insult! So, let’s move on as I have to state that, as the younger twins are coming to a certain, enlightened age – ‘no more obligatory lappies’!!! Well – only lappies that are natural loving moments in time!

As a result of our earlier nanny, Caleb and I have not always seen eye to eye. His vexing has completely upset me on occasion. But our friendship has grown strong. Today we have had the most amazing time together.

The last words on this subject would have to be that when Caleb screamed at me, ‘no – not Dadda, I want Daddy’ at the sports day at preschool, some two years ago (his very first coherent words). I kept that upset and memory close to my heart. That dratted nanny had seemingly turned my own son against me, purely as I considered that ‘the little ones’ had to be weened off of “lappies’ at that time. It’s not easy being a parent to five young children. We need a support network, not a vindictive and inconsiderate regard!

Midweek Meltdown

Thor has only just gone back upstairs in order to get dressed for school. On the other hand, two minutes later, Aaliyah has just come down fully dressed, Tara and Amritsar at her heels.

The morning started as most do. I was up at daybreak and Sindy arrived, went up and rallied them, then down they came. I had emptied the dishwasher and laid the dishes and cups etc. A normal enough morning, that is until they ascended and sat around the table. Everyone that is Barr Thor! He was shouty and screamy from the start. He finally joined them.

As I write this, I am still subject to his screams and whining. He is at present in the dining hall shouting loudly, still in his Jim Jams.

Caleb is besides the television chilling. He came home from school yesterday morning with a temperature feeling unwell. There is a lot of it going around at the moment!

Okay, back to Thor and his meltdown! He refused to eat his cornflakes at the kitchen table as everyone else tucked in. And when he did start to eat, Tara and Aaliyah were on their second bowl. Caleb ate a little but asked to leave the table as he is still unwell – a pyjama day for him at home. Amritsar did as she dose, just the single bowl and Thor munched away slowly.

Everyone had left the table, leaving Thor sat alone. The dogs had eaten the remnants of what had been left, though Thor likes completely empty his plate or bowl at all mealtimes. At this point the girls were all dressed for school. ‘Up you go’ I prompted Thor, ‘I want my second bowl’ he screamed back at me, ‘I want my second bowl’ again, in a more enraged pitch. It gets a bit repetitive from there.

He refused to go upstairs and just sat at the bottom screaming. Then when he finally went up he still refused to dress. 8am now and he has only just dressed with Sindy’s help. All except Caleb, about to leave for school, Thor – a smile and a wave bye bye, looks like butter wouldn’t melt… An update later perhaps.

A Good Afternoon

Tonight’s picture of me is completely unrelated to what I have to say as I’m just mumbling out loud really. And as I have no related photos of those mumbles – hear I am!

At this time, I cannot think as to what we had for dinner last night! But I remember a ‘Full English’ for brunch yesterday and potato and watercress soup with a cheese sandwich at lunchtime today!!! Humph – does last night really matter?

Well I’m working on a Roast Chicken Dinner for tonight at any rate. Yes, you remember my history with loving, but yet hating the family roast on a Sunday. But to be fair, the little ones are a far cry from this time one year ago!

Just doused the steamed carrots and the broccoli in icy cold water and drained the boiled potatoes, awaiting their place in the oven alongside the chicken. I guess a lot of you are in the same boat at the moment, as to say? Vaughan Williams in the background (thank you Alexa).

Tara watching a movie on her own, the others seem to have attention spans of newts. I might have mentioned that before! She has been coughing a lot this weekend, she’s now doused up on Calpol. Daddy is hauled up on the sofa with his iPad. The little ones are on the top floor playing, or maybe just making a big mess. Caleb has just joined me asking if I can turn the hall light on as he wants a pee! Amritsar also running past stating that she needs the toilet! She always does that. Funny, I think I used to do that as well – like up until the age of sixteen. It’s just one of those things, isn’t it?

Daddy is now scrunching paper to make a fire in the living room and Caleb is screaming that he can’t go pee pee on the potty! I don’t mention the potty too often! But it’s a constant cycle of refills and bum wiping! The three little ones have been brilliant as a matter of fact. No mishaps in months. Aaliyah is definitely ready for no nappy – dry night training. I think I’ll have a word with Sindy our nanny tomorrow on that score!

Aaliyah and Thor have rejoined the goings on in the living room and from what I can hear, Thor is trying to help daddy ‘Thor, you’ll fall in’ I just heard. Don’t worry, it’s not lit as yet. Clair de lune is now playing. Aaah, its moments like this I have come to regard… the fire is now cracking and I think I should get cracking too! Those roasties don’t make themselves, do they?

Apple Jelly


1kg Apples (quartered)

1kg Sugar

100ml Apple Juice

100ml Lemon Juice


Quarter your apples and place in a thick bottomed pan, stalks, pips and all. Add the apple and lemon juice and stir. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. The contents should cook down over the next 15 minutes. Use the pan lid to retain heat and leave a few minutes then go back and mix every now and again.

Once the contents are soft, use a hand held blender and completely liquidise to a thick liquid. You are ready to get Jammin’.

Now, here we have a bit of a quandary! I could go ‘old school’ and place my pulp in my muslin bag and start pummelling like crazy and 2 hours later, just give up and throw the remaining pulp that hasn’t released its juice and go tend to my blisters!!!

Or I could get a sieve and spend 10 minutes passing the pulp through the sieve, removing the stalks, pips and skin! You decide which option you would like to go with.

Given my experience of juicing apples, I took the second option. The jelly will have a slight pith to it, but the results are fairly indistinguishable either way! Well worth it.

Clean your pan and begin to heat your apple pulp. Add the sugar and stir. Once dissolved, heat to a rolling boil and stir occasionally. You could skim the top to remove any scum, but most of this scum is in fact small bubbles. I would leave the skimming to the end.

This jelly will only take 10 minutes to reach jelling point – it’s so full of pectin, you can’t imagine. So, 10 minutes in you’re there. Stir occasionally of course. You will find the jam falling from your wooden spoon in a lumpy looking way. It wants to gel. Do a final skim and you’re there!

Having sterilised your 6 jam jars in the dishwasher, use your jam funnel and ladle to fill to the 7mm – 10mm below the lid, seal tightly and sterilise the jars in your water bath with the pan lid placed on firmly.

Note: you need to see the liquid looking a bit lumpy on the Jam funnel or base of the pan.

A Second Offering For The Tooth Fairy

Saturday morning and Tara is a whole pound better off. Late last night, the second incisor popped out. Shouts from the top floor lead to daddy being given the extruded tooth and Tara has a shiny new one pound coin in her breakfast place. Looks like her big tooth is pushing upwards fast.

Post waffles and syrup, they are now playing hard. As much laughter as screams, so they’re fine.

Thor is obsessing about sellotape once more. The recycle bag has been pillaged of its mass of cardboard yet again!

Off to conclude my experiment on the perfect apple jelly, hopefully without the need for muslin to extrude the juice! Who wants to do something like pass juice through a Muslim bag when it takes absolutely ages. I’m all for working out a few thrifty short cuts.

Thank You Dear Ash (a poem)

It’s alway such fun

And when the night is done

I remember you, a very special one

So, thank you dear Ash

When you went home to crash

The night gone in a flash

Here’s to you dear friend

Though it came to an end

What a great bash

I thank you dear Ash

We thought about Sarah

Back in the day a real terror

She couldn’t come, she had flue

Boo hoo, boo hoo

Sending hugs to Sarah

Ash and me too

A Sleepless Night

Well, the title says it all really, doesn’t it? It all started after the children’s bedtime. Our nanny Sindy had gone home for the day and John had arrived home at his usual time. The lamb curry was heating through on the Aga and samosas were in the deep fat fryer. There were some screams from upstairs and then silence. I finished off heating the rice in the microwave and retrieved the samosas! At that point there were shouts from both Tara and Amritsar as they entered, firstly the kitchen and then on to the living room where they jumped on daddy’s lap. They were chat, chat, chat, clearly with no plans to return upstairs. I brought in the two fragrant dishes of curry and sat at the table. We negotiated a bit and finally the girls returned to their room. Once dinner had been enjoyed, the girls came back downstairs, this time with Caleb in tow. It took some time to broker their second return upstairs as all Caleb wanted was to sit on daddy’s lap. Finally they all went up to bed. The time was now 10pm.

A while later all five came downstairs. I kept reminding them that it was a school night, but they just didn’t listen. Daddy was slightly beginning to loose his rag, as was I come 11pm. They all finally ascended the stairs.

We ourselves went up to bed at midnight.

It was 2am and in our slumber, we were jolted awake with the not so famous five invading our bedroom. 10 minutes later I got up stating that ‘enough is enough’ and went downstairs and hauled up with Remus and Gracie…

It was 4.45am when Amritsar flung the living room door open!

I didn’t really see any decent sleep last night. Getting them ready for school was a nightmare in the absence of Sindy every second Thursday morning. Thor was a complete menace – I even had to call Mrs Snodgrass at one point. But they got to school on time.

I am presently sat on a train, visiting A friend in Bristol for the night!

Maybe an update on that tomorrow as I will have plenty of time on the return train to mull things over.

This is Andi Webb nodding off, sorry signing off…

A Few Random Things

Yesterday saw our first major frost of the season, here in ‘The Shires’. Autumn has certainly wielded its grip. With Christmas but five weeks away, the summer and All of that wonderful sunshine both seem a million miles away now.

This morning has seen me dead heading the hydrangea on the terrace and our two rather overgrown wisteria have had a major pruning and tidy up. The removal of the remaining foliage strikes a very Wintery feel to the vista.

Aaliyah is still enjoying her gymnastics classes on a Monday, plus Tara also scored the only goal at her football class. She seems to be their most prolific scorer – well done Tara. Both Amritsar and Tara go to tennis lessons on a Tuesday. Which is great as our neighbours have a tennis court. Our two boys Thor and Caleb have not as yet shown interest in after school activities, but I think that they will be ready to make the right choices next year! That should be interesting!

Excluding the garden, what have I been up to? Cooking mostly I guess. Well, that and making home made chocolates and pastilles to give away at Dadda’s Jam stall on 1st December at the little ones old preschool Christmas fair. Big School is not holding one this year. Problems with the PTFA I think. No one was really available to set up a grotto and manage the event this year. It seems a real shame.

Okay, a lamb curry with rice and mutter (pea curry) on the menu for tonight, served with homemade samosas. I’m quite looking forward to that. Hmmmh – I do miss cooking a big meal for the children, but with them all enjoying a main meal at lunchtimes at school, barr the weekends and holidays, it’s sadly a thing of the past!

I think that I will look into making a couple more podcasts this afternoon. Any feedback on that score would be greatly appreciated. Well, thats all for now!

A Failed Experiment

If something doesn’t work out, like an experiment, is it truly a failure?

On the Jammin’ front, this week, I thought that I would try something new! Now, you know that pectin from apples is at the heart and the purity of ‘Dadda’s Jam’, so I thought that I would see how much pectin was in ‘pressed apple juice’! Worth investigating I thought! Pectin is one of those things that is really quite difficult to quantify. Well, this was my experiment, simple but rewarding in information. One litre of pressed, cloudy apple juice, store purchased, lemon juice and one kilogram of sugar. I also had 300 grams of apple pulp to add if things didn’t work out!

I have kind of worked out that as much moisture should be removed from fruit pulp as possible, or if this is not possible, the ratio of apple pulp should be higher in order to produce a well set jam! I hope that this makes sense? I also stated earlier that experiments are key to moving forward in the art of preserves. Old fashioned jam making insisted on long cooking times, producing in my mind, over cooked, Jammy tasting results. Twenty minutes is a perfectly safe cooking time to produce fresh tasting results. Also, do remember that lemon juice is key in all jam making. It supplies extra pectin for your Jams even though it is a liquid ingredient.

Okay the experiment! I boiled the litre of juice with the kilo of sugar and 50ml of lemon juice for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming the top every now and then for foam and any impurities. The cloudy colour of the juice becomes a golden amber. The outcome was a lovely tasting apple syrup, disappointing maybe, so my plan b was to add the 300 grams of apple pulp. I cooked for a further fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally and finally I strained the liquid, removing the pulp for use in another aspiration, fruit pastilles. The apple jelly showed some sign of gelling, but I was still in two minds, so I poured it into a stainless steel bowl and refrigerated it overnight. The next day I noted that there was a very soft set. My experiment had been a failure. And failure is fine – it’s the learning curve on the way to finding perfection, isn’t it?

Due to the fact that I am out of jam jars, this experiment is now in a freezer bag and sat in the freezer. Part two of this story to follow soon.

Too Early to Possibly Comment

8.30am and I’m exhausted. The rabble descended the stairs from the top floor in the relative darkness that was 5.30am. Daddy joined them on the downward journey to the ground floor – screams could be heard. The dogs, once released from a closed living room door, bolted up the stairs in order to prowl around the bed and rouse me to the fully awake mode, before trying their luck and pouncing up to join me on the bed. I shoo’d them off (is shoo’d a real word?) and I tried to sleep once again, knowing that the task was highly unlikely. The hounds tried their luck once again, I gave in and just lay there. I could make out the children chanting at daddy ‘porridge, porridge, porridge’. I knew my slumber was at an end…

In the semi light I tried to clothe myself. The dogs were milling around my feet as they do, making it impossible to pick up my socks, trousers and tee shirt. I pushed them away, they were back within a moment, though I had managed to pluck my trousers and a sock from the floor. This continued for another few minutes until I managed to dress whilst wriggling about on the bed. I then made the bed, struggled to the bathroom and cleaned my teeth, washed my face etc.

I got to the stairs, the dogs beside. Down a few steps and Remus rushes between my legs. Another few steps and he rushes through again! It’s a game we sometimes play. But at this early hour! ‘Porridge, porridge, porridge’ could still be heard below. The kitchen, a complete mess, the living room, a complete mess’ – welcome to my morning…

Twenty minutes later after having ‘tidied up’ with little, if no help, I began to make the porridge, in amongst the shouts and activities of the children. Daddy was calmly relaxing on the sofa with his iPad. Emails or candy crush I was wondering, completely oblivious to the marauding crew around him.

Goldilocks would have glutton’d this morning. What was a very large pan, filled to the brim with porridge was soon emptied, alongside the final jar of Dadda’s home grown, homemade, raspberry jam (seeded). We had to break into a blackberry cider jam in order to wash down the last of the porridge. Don’t worry, no alcohol, but made with a reduction of cider vinegar. Great sounding name, but not enough cider flavouring! I will have to work on the ingredients in order to perfect the harmony of flavours.

Well, that’s all for now. Just heading for the Nespresso machine.

Another One for the Tooth Fairy

What with the children participating in the BBC’s Children in Need yesterday at school, we had a little surprise of our own on the ‘wobbly tooth’ front! Tara’s last visit from the tooth fairy was on her birthday in March. It makes me smile when I see a child with both top front teeth out. Let’s hope the big tooth will grow through quickly.

Still trying to salvage my underperforming PC. I am now a writer without Microsoft Word. I guess that I should wait for Christmas and the new Apple Air book to buy compatible software for that, oh dear… doesn’t help my for the next few weeks though.

At present the girls are at yet another birthday party and the little ones are playing nicely. After last nights showdown – they are really trying to be good! It does show me that Thor and Aaliyah have a conscience at least. Just listening to their play, they have come on so much since starting at Big School. Their terrible twos and three’s were relentless. Onwards and upwards I hope!

Out of Breath

Thor and Aaliyah have just been marched up to bed – their screaming has been constant since 4.45pm when we finished dinnertime. I am seldom left feeling this angry. Both of them have behaved unreasonably bad. Their screams have left my head thumping. Amritsar and Sindy are at the local village hall attending ‘Rainbows’, the precursor to brownies and the girl guides. I have just asked Tara and Caleb to tell Thor to stop shouting. Aaliyah seems to have accepted her fate and is quiet in her room. Just knowing that our nanny would be gone for an hour and a half primed Thor and his extra massive tantrum. Enough is enough – the weekend has barely begun. And I am starting to feel physically sick. An update on behavioural issues tomorrow perhaps. That’s all for now (I hope).

The PC, the Podcast and Me

Well, Dadda might just get Jammin’ later on today. I have some perfectly ripe Quinces that Ocado delivered yesterday. But in the meantime I have set myself a task. Thank you to one lovely reader for opening my eyes to yet another possible project! Podcasting was mentioned and it seems that there is a little app at the App Store that makes light work of putting together a podcast.

Okay, I recently completed my new book ‘Thirteen Moons More’ on both ebook and paperback, available through your Amazon account, simply by searching for ‘Thirteen Moons More’. And I got to thinking of perhaps turning that into a podcast, chapter by chapter! It does cover twelve months of my blog ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’. But then I got to thinking that the book is indeed an edited version of the raw material. Maybe a good start would be to go back twelve months and sync my podcast with what was going on then, using the ‘raw material’! How does that sound? Any comments would be very much appreciated!

On a separate matter, my Lenovo PC upstairs has constantly given me one headache after another (this last 2 years), what with internet signal, booting up – the bloody thing needs booting out! Anyhow, I had to do a reset yesterday afternoon as the media player stopped playing media – not much good if I can’t play a Video on it, is it? Well the reboot has left me with just the meagre array of programs that came with the dratted thing. No Microsoft Office or any graphics programs whatsoever! I’m completely buggered within the bigger picture that is ‘My digital life’! Do I spend a day or two setting right this PC nightmare or hold on to Christmas when, according to a certain little elf, I might just be getting a brand new Air book! More decisions, decisions, decisions…

Anyhow, I’ll let you know later in the day as to how things pan out. The PC, the podcast and me! Oh Dear…

Decisions Decisions Decisions

Given that we are almost at the end of this week, I realised that I’ve not really talked about the family for a few days. I did have some news from the clinic in Thailand about the 6 remaining embryos in their cryo-tank. They want me to make a rather large payment in order to keep them and to be honest, I’ve really soul searched! There was incredible anguish and strife connected to their creation and to simply have them destroyed at this point! Well, it’s not an easy decision to make is it? My decision has to be made around the fact that we are not planning on extending – but it makes you think! Hey, I’m getting all broody. To find another lady willing to be our surrogate is a bit of a tall order at this time I guess. Especially someone who is resident here in the U.K. I’ll give it until next week to make the final decision on the future of our remaining embryos.

So, today’s photos should be (the most recent) of our not so famous five. Not a stainless steel container filled with liquid hydrogen and little vile’s of possibility. OMG, What is Caleb doing inside the provisions cupboard?

Transcend Your Day

Dadda’s Jams are on the way. And that is just what I did this morning! How does ‘Peach Amaretti Jam’ sound to you?


1kg Peaches

1kg Sugar

150g Apple Pulp

50ml Lemon Juice

50ml Monin Amaretto (Almond) Syrup

Now, before I give you a method, I am going to give you a few pointers. We have moved out of peach season and I don’t want you to go out and buy peaches if they are ridiculously expensive. I purchased a lot over the summer when they were 50p for 6, then I skinned and pitted them, before freezing in bags. This then got me to thinking! Would tinned peaches work for this jam? So I decided to make 2 separate batches of the same jam, but the second time I substituted the frozen pulp with the same amount of drained, tinned peaches. And guess what? The jam made using tinned peaches tasted pretty much the same, concluding that tinned peaches are just fine. I used a value brand and the batch made with tinned peaches cost £2.10 for 6 x 318ml jars. The frozen pulp batch had a much more reddish hue. I think I preferred this one, but that was purely down to the colouring. The taste of the jams were too similar to call.

The next point I would like to make is the almond syrup. Have you ever had an almond (or flavoured) latte at your favourite coffee shop? Tastes sublime, but there are a whole plethora of flavoured syrups on offer for your sacred coffee indulgences. Monin is a French brand who supply chains like Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Cafe Italia etc. These syrups are easily purchased online at a relatively small cost. Just google ‘Monin syrup’ or purchase directly through your Amazon app. Okay, you could substitute the syrup with Amaretto liquor if you just happened to have a bottle left over from last Christmas in the booze cupboard. Righty ho! let’s get Jammin’ then.


Place your peach pulp in a heavy based pan and slowly bring up to a boil. Use a potato masher to even out the texture. It needs to be fairly liquid but retain plenty of small chunks. If you were using tinned peaches be sure to even out the lumps. Once simmering add your apple pulp and stir. Remember you won’t taste the apple flavour, this ingredient is purely being used for its pectin content. Add the lemon juice (also high in pectin) and stir. After 5 minutes, if you are happy with your texture, add the sugar. Your pulp will begin to look a lot more translucent. This was the case with both the fresh / frozen pulp and that from the tinned. The tinned seemed a little more liquid so I used the masher a bit more to really break down the segments. Bring to that ‘rolling boil’ stirring occasionally. Remember, the pith will want to collect on the base of the pan. You don’t want that as with the heat of the sugar, it might just burn. Boil for a maximum of 20 minutes. A longer cooking time will alter the flavour of your jam, making it taste – well, too Jammy! Skim every now and then. Use a metal spoon for the skimming and keep the wooden one for stirring, please keeping the pith from settling at the bottom. Towards the end of your 20 minutes you will notice a more velvety texture, a sheen to the jam that is a lot more like a thickened syrup – more like a gel. Your jam is almost ready! Add your almond (Amaretto) syrup and mix well. Take off the boil and skim any remaining foam.

If you invested in that jam funnel, use a ladle (both sterilised with your jam jars in the dishwasher) and ladle away, leaving a good several millimetres space from the lid. Close your lids firmly using a tea towel to hold the hot jars. Immerse your jars in your makeshift sterilising bath and boil or steam for at least 20 minutes.

Please note that with more information and the recipes that I compile, I will be considering my own images and presentation a lot more, but just for now my basic pictures and stock images will have to do! I hope you are ready for a flavour sensation…

Monday Night was Curry Night

Food, glorious food. And so it continues! I often make a curry on a Monday night. With fore-preparation it can be such a simple event. That chest freezer isn’t full by accident. Used properly, a freezer really does make an easy job of making certain foods. The rice was previously cooked to perfection and then frozen, as was the raw marinated chicken thigh, yellow lentil dal, mutter (pea curry) and gravy (Dadda’s homemade curry sauce). The dry popadoms were microwaved for 30 seconds (turned half way through) and the same can be said for the rice, mutter and dal – all heated in microwaveable bowls. The raw chicken was cooked on the hob and the sauce added and heated thoroughly.

The children love mutter, but last night they enjoyed Dadda’s homemade chicken and pork Terrine sandwich’s with mayonnaise. Aaliyah on the other hand was at gymnastics class so she ate in the car on the way home.

Our nanny Sindy hadn’t been gone long before the screams and shouts from the top floor wafted down. I ventured up to find them all stood around Caleb in the shower room, poo all over the toilet, his nappy that was down at his ankles and both buttocks and all the way down the rear of his legs. Oh dear I exclaimed. In fairness he was trying to clean off the poo that was caked over the toilet seat with a baby wipe – how it got there, I have no idea…

Well, I helped him clean up! And gave him credit for his attempts. Just 12 months ago, things would have acted out a whole lot different. He has come on a huge amount in this time. The chaos is still there on occasion, but for the main, he is now so much more thoughtful of what he does.

Thor continued to shout down for some time, ‘Dadda – I have something to tell you’ is his usual summons’s – but after some negotiations with me at the foot of the stairs (shouting up), all settled and Daddy and Dadda enjoyed our dinner together.

Planning to get Jammin’ tomorrow. So more from me then.