I’m home alone this week. Picture me in that classic Macauley Culkin pose of a scream while holding my face in my hands. But so far no-one has tried to break in and steal anything (although clearly just by typing that I will now be up half the night with nightmares!) and the only booby traps have been me falling over on yet more bloody conkers on the playroom floor. My husband works away a lot. He always has done, since before we had kids, in fact before he met me. Pre-kids it never bothered me at all – in fact my job meant that I was away a lot and working long hours. Since we have kids – although we are grateful for his salary and I appreciate how hard he works – the days/weeks/hours spent working away from home are frankly pretty hard on all of us. His job is feast or famine. Either he is away loads or he’s here working at home – which isn’t perfect with small children in the house either. So anyway, I will spare you the full CV of our lives but all you need to know for the purposes of this blog post is that he’s away this week. Not here. In London. I am here. So are the kids. So technically I am not home alone, but I am home without another person who doesn’t think that goolie bumps isn’t the best entertainment ever. (See this post for more details on goolie bumps)
*disclaimer to be inserted here – yes I am aware that there are many single mommas out there – these wonderful ladies don’t have a husband riding the London Express back on a Friday night bearing flowers (hopefully) and a willingness (hopefully) to deal with small people. Ladies, you rock. I have the utmost admiration. In fact I have a suspicion that you are actually super-women who have special powers. My hat is well and truly off to you.
We are trying to declutter at the moment and I am drowning in a quagmire of ebay auctions, packaging tape and charity shop collections. How on earth we have quite so much baby stuff is entirely beyond me. I think someone snuck it into the house and just put it straight into the loft. I don’t even remember using half of it. I was trying to demonstrate the double buggy in its pram/toddler setting to my friend who was buying it last week and I had no memory whatsoever of how to put it together. In fact my memories of the first year of Mitch’s life are very vague and fuzzy. That’s what having a husband who works away and a non-sleeping baby will do to you. Good job I took lots of photos otherwise I would strongly suspect that I was actually in a coma for 2 years. In many ways I suppose I was. A baby vomit stained, sleep deprived, walking zombie state. Anyway, I am sorting out baby stuff to get rid of and as fast as I can get stuff out of the loft the boys are greeting it like long lost friends and bemoaning that we can’t sell it as they neeeeeed it, it’s their faaaaaaavourite. Mitch, who is 4 next month, spent Sunday afternoon curled up on a baby bouncer – which he had positioned under a baby gym, drinking water from a baby bottle and saying ‘Ga Ga’ a lot.
It’s undoubtedly easier coping at home alone now they’re older. For a start, there’s chunks of time when they’re at school at the same time so I get chance to catch up on chores/sleep/exercise/feel vaguely human again. Last night after answering yet another dumb question from a prospective ebay buyer ‘err no it’s not PINK you can tell that from the PHOTO you utter DIMWIT, if you wanted a PINK one why have you spent an hour writing me questions and getting me to photograph it from 20 different angles. Whatever angle I take it from it’s still not going to turn it SODDING PINK you knob’ I was putting the offending article (a buggy if you’re interested. If you’d like to buy it £45 and it’s yours. It’s not pink) in the downstairs cupboard and trapped my hand in the door. Bloody hell it hurt. I took myself into the lounge and bit on a cushion, trying not to scream and/or be sick and my little Mitch came in. I sent him off to get me some tissues and after an examination a junior house officer would be proud of ‘mummy, it is making blood on your hand’ he wandered off to the kitchen. Then wandered off to the garden ‘Corey, Corey come and see mummy, she is making blood’ and Corey appeared to give his second opinion that yes indeed there was blood. Still no fecking tissue though. Then Mitch decided he needed a poo. And that I then inevitably had to go and wipe his arse with a bleeding hand. THAT scenario in a nutshell is why it’s crap when husband is away.
Obviously being woken up in the night AGAIN for hours on end was also less than great. Add to that my great idea of being Sober for October in aid of
my liver Macmillan and then the discovery that on the VERY FIRST NIGHT my husband had cheated and been to the pub in London and I think we can all guess what kind of fragile mental state I am in.
Another great thing about him being away is that we communicate largely through the medium of Social Media while he is AWOL. *hi Dan, hope you’re liking this post ‘insert emoji that is wife waving to husband in an endearingly sarcastic way’* he learns of our children’s trials and tribulations through instagram and we have semi-public facebook spats when I posted a link on facebook to this article about being a stay at home mum and how it benefits the whole family not just the one staying at home – I liked a bit in it where she says she bakes pies to prove she has value to society. I took that to a whole new level last week – I decided to host a Macmillan coffee morning and went into a baking overdrive that would have made Mary Berry’s perfectly coiffed head spin around and drop off. In one day I baked snickers brownies, flapjacks, 2 massive banana loaves, 2 different types of quiche, labelled pots of home made lemon curd and finished off with a Victoria sponge. Phew. Just typing it makes me feel tired. The event was great – my instagram friends and my school mum friends all muddled together nicely and we raised £120 for charity though. I briefly basqued in the glory of being the uber-baker and then collapsed into a sugar and flour stained slump.
The snickers brownies sent my lovely IG friends into a frenzy of peanutty chocolatey lust. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many likes on a photo so flipping quickly. A week later and I am still getting some slightly desperate requests for the recipe. Calm down dears. It’s just a brownie with some snickers on top. It is, in the manner of all things that are both sweet and slightly savoury, instantly addictive. Just warning you. In fact – I am entirely blaming you for the fact that I now really really want a brownie and am having to sit on my hands to stop myself from making another batch. I obviously mean that figuratively rather than literally otherwise how the hell could I type this?
1 snickers bar cut into very thin slices
peanut butter – I have never measured this – as you can tell from the above photo I just tend to put little spoonfuls on the top, about 15 that are 1/2 tsp each one? It’s up to you
100g chocolate chips
275g softened butter or margarine (I am a big Stork fan in cakes)
375g caster sugar
100g SR flour
75 g cocoa powder
pre heat oven to 160 c for fan ovens -and then line a baking tray, I use some of the silicone sheets to do this but you can use greaseproof paper or even foil.
As with all of my favourite recipes you just mix all the ingredients together and give them a good old stir/mix in the mixer. Pour into the lined baking tray and smooth over so it covers evenly, then decorate the top with slivers of snickers bar and dollops of peanut butter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Keep an eye on it as it might start to brown too much on top, if it’s looking like it’s going that way then cover loosely with foil for rest of cooking time. It should be crusty on the top but still a bit gooey underneath.
Leave to cool in the tin and then cut into squares.
Then stuff it in your face until you feel a bit sick. Right, if anyone needs me I’m off to Tesco to buy some more snickers to make another batch.