The Donkey comes to stay

Aside

My name is Victoria and I’m a Bugaboo addict. There, said it. I bloody love my Cameleon and must admit when my sister-in-law,who writes Rocknroller Baby paraded her sparkly, deliciously designed Donkey around it stirred a kind of broodiness not even a freshly washed new-born could induce.

A little drastic you may think and yes I agree but come on, give any of their pushchairs ago and I dare you to look back. This week I managed to prize the Donkey out of her, very tight, grasp, and took him on a little holiday to Norfolk. Le Donk, dear folk normally resides in edgy East London where Rocknroller Baby takes him out and about to sample city life.

He’s had it easy – I wanted to see what he did in the country, along tiny country roads, among the dirt tracks of East Anglia. I would just like to point that I am fully aware that creating a persona for the Donkey is a little strange but, hell, he deserves it!

On a serious note I’ve always loved my Cameleon and you just can’t beat it for comfort and suspension. It’s so easy to put together and is robust without being bulky. Arthur’s dad also loves the fact you can do things with the wheels and it turns into a beach buggy! Never have I felt more smug than pulling my Bugaboo effortlessly across a sandy beach while others struggled to make it. Survival of the fittest.

Le Donk’s first outing was to the Castle in Norwich and he faired so well weaving in and out of narrow streets and across cobbles. He made it down Elm Hill (a tiny but beautiful street famed for it’s cobbles) and Arthur managed to stay asleep. He came to the Library with us and did some more sight-seeing, including our stunning Cathedral. We used the pushchair seat with the shopping basket on the side. With only a very quick demo from my brother I managed to put The Donkey together quickly and easily.

Le Donk takes in the culture outside Norwich Castle

Like my Cameleon, the steering was fab and so easy and despite the seat being slightly smaller Arthur was so comfortable he feel asleep within minutes. As everyone knows, storage on a buggy is so important and those clever Bugaboo babes have created a double buggy with plenty of room for shopping, It also has the same great suspension I’ve come to expect.

A little light reading before hitting the cobbles

Generally Le Donk is just fab. Not only does it look great but it handles so well and the clever design means you never feel like you’re pushing some great big double buggy – a real triumph of design meeting practicality.It’s the ultimate time-saving buggy. No faffing around putting it together, no worrying about bumpy terrain and plenty of room for shopping.

Le Donk didn’t even flinch in the face of narrow streets and cobbles

Now, just the simple task of giving him back – I can do it. But saying that, if I do have another baby…..

Top tips:

This week I threw of the middle class shackles of quaint gentrified seaside towns and found myself in Great Yarmouth. A great big, loud, extremely garish and totally fabulous seaside town. There are rides, arcades,colours that are usually saved for chemically induced hallucinations. Arthur loved it! He was totally entertained by the whole experience with rides on the snails and teacups and I have vowed to make a return visit very soon.

Sometimes it’s good to ring the changes and go somewhere or do something you wouldn’t normally do. I felt like a big kid again and it really made my week.

Andrew Barton saved my life and other slightly tall tales from a lost weekend

I’m pleased to say I survived the Bank Holiday weekend thank you. It all started when Mr J told me he would be away for the whole weekend – no problems I thought, I’ll arrange exciting, social and totally toddler friendly things to fill our days. In the evenings we’ll create collages of our days out and I’ll make those photo books you see on the ads.

My best laid plans fell like a house of cards (please excuse my over enthusiastic use of literary references – it’s been tough) and through various illnesses, hospital encounters and several people who simply couldn’t be bothered, I found my self staring down the barrell of three whole days of me, Arthur and. well, not a lot else.

I’m pleased to say we made it through and my boy and I had a lovely time eventually. There were a few interesting moments such as when we went to the library and Arthur walked round with a book screaming “f*ck f*ck f*ck!” I think I managed to persuade the other parents that he was in fact saying “truck, truck, truck!”. Which, I might add, he genuinely was! There was also the time I forgot to change his nappy and after growing to the size of a balloon it kind of burst while we were having tea and cake in the city. When I picked him up he’d left a nice damp patch on the chair. Mortified and a little shame-faced that I’d forgotten we hot-footed it to the park to dry off.

So Sunday eventually turned into Monday and I handed him over to his daddy just before I lost consciousness and started talking in Russian. I needed to recoup and recharge and so I took myself off to the bathroom, locked the door and spent the next two hours relaxing. Anyone who has toddlers knows this is in fact a massive lie and instead I grabbed half an hour and made the most of it.

First stop was my hair, after three days without washing it it had grown to the size of a small bush. I’ve been sent some Andrew Barton Colour Protect shampoo and conditioner and on the back it says it’s aimed at busy women juggling life. So it’s a short-cut to great hair – just up my street. It really was fab! It was gentle but I didn’t need much to make a really satisfying lather. I’ve recently had my hair coloured and I’m always keen to make it last longer and cut down on the cost and this fits the bill perfectly.  The products use a lot of natural plant extracts and smelt delicious. They felt like a real treat and left my hair feeling soft and full of body.

Great hair for busy women

Great hair for busy women

I even got a chance to paint my nails with George at Asda’s new Molten Metal range of quick dry polishes. Now usually I am rubbish with my nails and hate painting them because it takes so long to dry.  Now I really wouldn’t praise a product unless I liked it and this I absolutely love!I used Spaceman, a lovely silver grey with the right amount of shine. I swear my nails were dry after about 30 seconds and not just that tacky dry but proper dry. They come in loads of colours and at just £2.75 each I’ll be stocking up to add a little sparkle to my life.

Fab nails for a fab price

Sometimes there’s no room for shortcuts and time savers – some things take time and I’m very happy to talk about something here today that means my search for that 25th hour can just wait. Saying Goodbye is an amazing charity set-up to help parents deal with the loss of a child, whether during pregnancy, birth or in infancy. The Saying Goodbye Services were set-up by Andy and Zoe Clark-Coats, who’ve suffered the loss of five babies.

“We hope the services will help thousands of other people who also feel a need to acknowledge their babies, and to recognise their wonderful lives, however short they were.” If you have a moment please take a look at their site and spread the word about the memorial services they are holding in cathedrals up and down the country.

Top tips

Now this is a real cheat and I found it by accident but if you use those sheets in your tumble dryer – don’t throw them away! They are brilliant dusters for those of us who really can’t bothered! Just use them on all your surfaces and they pick up the dust straight away and there’s no need to spray polish either – fab!

Someone said to me last week: ” When you’re saying yes to someone make sure you’re not saying no to yourself.” Made me think.