When life hands you over ripe bananas make banana bread!

When life hands you over ripe bananas make banana bread!

I love GBBO, my baking always takes off when it’s on and I remember how therapeutic it is, and how impatient I am!

I spotted bags of bananas reduced to 10p outside the local greengrocer so knocked up a quick banana and walnut bread. Joss was delighted to have ‘cakey’ for breakfast and we’re going to have ours later with custard for supper as it’s been one of those days. I had a shocking day today, I somehow fell off a chair at work – “I’m ok , I’m ok” (I wanted to die of embarrassment), Joss sustained her first fat lip and didn’t want me to go to work today, and I turned up at the local Uni library to sign up as a distance learner but forgot it is freshers week so made a wasted journey.

So this is the recipe for my restorative banana bread:

100g softened butter, plus a little smidge extra for greasing
140g caster sugar
1 egg
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 over ripe bananas mashed
60ml milk
85g chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 160C (fan) and grease a 2lb loaf tin with butter

Mix the butter, egg and sugar, then fold in your flour and baking powder

Add the bananas and walnuts

Mix well

Pour into the tin and bake for one hour or until skewer comes out clean. Enjoy! (or freeze half as we have, it will keep well for a good month)

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Small Steps…Amazing Achievements – roleplay

I’m amazed by how early small people pick up on role play and get their own funny little games going!

 

Joss is showing herself to be a very sociable little girl, everything is a phone at the moment and she has some very sweet little chats into a lego brick, my calculator and an old hairbrush…”lo? ello? whoist? hee hee, ello?”  She also has an empty giftbag that’s her little ‘handbag’ with an old bank card and keys, hours of fun!

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She’s also started showing real love and empathy with her little toys, including carrying her spider puppet in a dolly sling and cuddling her bears. This week she had a little game going of pretending dolly was crying, and shushing her and stroking her head, it made my heart melt!

Small Steps...Amazing Achievements - roleplay

 

Some new words this week too, I like writing them down to look back on!  This week or so we’ve had some rudeys, pump, bump and poo, some practical, keys, cu’umber, brush and card, and some fun, a sheep goes ‘maaaa’ and ‘donwantit’ which also serves to confuse mammy when she does want it, cue little tantrum!  And my faves, joining in with the last word in songs, dingle dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy….HAT! and twinkle twinkle little STAR!

Mammy B and the Scarf of Sheer Determination…AKA How to produce Crap Crafts

Mammy B and the Scarf of Sheer Determination...AKA How to produce Crap Crafts

Man, I know exactly where Joss gets that steely look and determined ‘NO’ from, it’s all me!

I decided to crochet her a scarf for winter forward thinking I pinned ideas to my hearts content, starting in August, you know, so it would stand a chance of being ready on time.

I now have three unfinished and very crappy scarves at my feet, the perfectionist in me said oh just try another pattern and you’ll get it right, the lazy get-it-finished quick me said keep going and it’ll all come together…it didn’t. I am not very good at crochet and I have spent quite a lot of money trying to realise my dream.

What I have achieved is something that fairly credibly passes itself as a scarf, in that it is soft and long, but beyond practicality it truly has no redeeming features!  And it’s orange, not the mustard yellow I hoped for, but orange.

I’m currently making some flowers to ‘Jazz It Up’ and I think here my crochet journey will end.

I am however clearly good at making gorgeous babies, not 100% my husband will agree that I’m so good at it we should do it again, but look what we made!

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*Sings* “Hello, hello, how are you?…” Mr Tumble, not now, please I’m having a crisis!

It’s 10pm, I’m reading about post-structuralist feminist theory and the theme tune from Mr Tumble’s Something Special randomly jumps into my head…”it’s good to see you, I say hello…”

ARGH! I think I might be going slowly mad!

Through a mix of determination, counselling and some hilarious failed attempts at mindfulness and meditation (what? you’re not supposed to just crash out asleep on the sofa listening to the CD, it doesn’t work like that, really!?) I had reached a point where most people I met might consider me to be relatively sane and in control of my OCD.  Just blogging about this I’m aware of the stigma, what if someone who doesn’t know this about me reads this?  A few years ago I’d have been mortified, last week I cheerfully told a lady at the swimming pool I had recovered from postnatal depression, didn’t die from embarrassment when Joss threw my knickers at another child and sang the loudest and tuneless of everyone in the group, it’s good for the soul, just putting yourself out there, I’m a while away from donning a ‘I have OCD’ badge but don’t mind so much being honest about my mental health, after all we all have mental health, whether sunny and delightful or occasionally we get a visit from The Black Dog.

So I was starting to feel a bit unhinged, a bit ‘uhoh it’s back’ and a bit anxious, which tends to make me feel hot and ill, nice!  I thought of Mr Chartwell, Rebecca Hunt’s brilliantly conceived of metaphor for Churchill’s depression, creeping Black Pat.  She captures the weightyness so well:

‘I understand that we share a wicked union, and I know the goblin bell which summons you comes from a tomb in my heart. And I will honour my principles, labouring against the shadows you herald. I don’t blench from my burden, but -‘ here he let out a deep breath, laying the glasses down gently – ‘it’s so demanding; it leaves me so very tired. It would be some small comfort to me if I could ask how long I must endure this visit. Please, when do you leave?’

“It’s hard to explain. With Churchill we know each other’s movements, so we have a routine, I guess. I like to be there when he wakes up in the morning. Sometimes I drape across his chest. That slows him down for a bit. And then I like to lie around in the corner of the room, crying out like I have terrible injuries. Sometimes I’ll burst out at him from behind some furniture and bark in his face. During meals I’ll squat near his plate and breathe over his food. I might lean on him too when he’s standing up, or hang off him in some way. I also make an effort to block out the sunlight whenever I can.”

I know why it’s back, trying to do too much and the old rusty brain thinking, hang on, can’t catch up, too many thoughts so it just grinds to a messy halt.  In short, I get a bit lazy, the fight to keep the lights on gets tiring.

A call to self-refer, the words relapse and  obsessive and I’m feeling like I have a safety net in place again.  Mammywoo blogged about the turning on of a light earlier this week, flickering through the dark, ironically I bought a S.A.D lamp later that afternoon fearing the return of winter, dark nights and the dark places we sometimes go to, my brain and I.

A few days on I feel a bit better again, Joss has enjoyed a bit of TV, the world didn’t come to an end because she watched a bit of ITNG whilst I took a few deep breaths, a bit of time with Daddy and the revelation that even if I feel really really shitty her grin stops me in my tracks is a relief, it’s really life enriching this new family life and having someone else depending on me is a huge relief, it’s easier to ask for help and easier to seek support when you have someone so dependent on you that you can’t go off the rails, however tempting.

So for today I feel OK, a good coffee, a spot of retail therapy and a grin from my man and girl are keeping me going.