It’s all too easy as a mum of small children to get stuck in a sartorial rut, especially when it comes to buying new clothes – let’s face it, anything you buy for your kids will not only be guaranteed to fit them better than anything you buy for yourself, but they will also look cuter and it will probably cost less, too. Having been a mum for over four years now, I’ve well and truly settled into my ‘uniform’ of scruffy jeans, t-shirts and baggy jumpers. They’re practical, hard-wearing and I’m not too gutted when I get noses or (as happened this morning) baked bean juice wiped on them.
There are certain places that evoke some deep-seated memories, aren’t there? If I drive down a certain road I’ll remember an old friend who lived there, if I go anywhere near the Midlands I remember bits of my university experience, and if I go to the shops near my parents’ I remember being a teenager, having a half-day at the end of the school term and hopping on the bus with my friends to go and saturate ourselves in White Musk body spray at the Body Shop and try on different outrageous shades of nail polish.
I was recently invited to The Perch, Oxford to try their new spring menu. Never having been before I was agog with curiosity as I had heard all good things. Based in Northwest Oxford it’s a handy location, sited near to Port Meadow and, thus, offering succour to parched walkers as well as the Rah lunchtime crowd. The drive there was an adventure of the unexpected. The Sat Nav lead me through the strange urban dreariness of the Oxford outskirts, past one or two business parks and industrial estates until I despaired of ever finding The Perch to be the rural idyll of pub-hood I’d heard it touted as. Almost as soon as this thought crossed my mind I turned left, went over a small bridge and found myself in the depths of the green and pleasant countryside in which Oxfordshire specialises.
I know many of you, like me, are faintly dreading the coming week and wonder “what can I do with the kids?” Well, Oxfordshire is a veritable smorgasbord of free, cheap and low cost entertainments, both indoors and outdoors. What with The C word (yes, I went there – Christmas) on the horizon, Halloween at the end of the week and fireworks night shortly thereafter there are all sorts of themed activities to do across the county. I’ve outlined a small selection for you below, a gateway if you would, with something to do each day, but most of the venues listed are holding more than one event and it would be worth looking through their sites. Google is also your friend if you’re looking for something in a specific town.
The Pinworks in Oxford, the craft school arm of fab haberdashery shop ‘Darn It & Stitch’ recently invited one of Live Oxfordshire’s representatives, Rosie, along to one of their courses so she could review it for us. Read on to find out what Rosie had to say about “Little Stitches: Sewing for your baby” which was aimed at beginners wanting to learn how to sew things for their little ones. The course ran over two afternoon sessions over two weeks in the workroom above the shop in central Oxford.
Oh goodness, the one gift-giving occasion where you can’t just throw flowers at the problem and hope it goes away (well, not unless your father and husband/partner are very different from mine, anyway) – what to do? I’ve been caught in this quandary myself and, in the desperate hunt to find something unusual or unique to give my dad and the father of my child (as the child in question has no finances or shopping skills, being only two), have hunted out a few great local businesses selling fabulous products – or experiences – that should appeal to most men. So if you’re looking for the perfect present to give for father’s day, look no further, we have a few suggestions…
Jewellery – Saxons of Oxford