Remember that time you were depressed. That time you were skint. The day you really struggled with your child, what about the day when you really really hoped that things would work out, but actually they didn’t. On that day, that really rough day, imagine that you had all the stress of moving. The boxes, the paperwork, the money! (Aww heck, lets try not to remember the money). The hoping, dreaming of something better, a new start. On that day, in that time of your life, is this what you would like to have been presented with, when you walk into your new property, with your small child

Yep, that’s right, it’s bird excrement, all over the wall. Lets go over that one again. Its faeces. All over your wall of your new property.

Now, if you want to read the full situation of of Clara from I Want My Mummy (and I highly recommend that you do) its all over at Mamasaurus’s blog. It’s well written and from the heart. There’s obviously more pictures than this, none of them make the place look like Kirsty and Phil are going to pop up any time soon.

My point is that actually, no one should be expected to live in a place that’s full of faeces. And I write this as someone who when I bought my property had the estate agent refuse to come in because the stench of urine was so strong, that was my choice though, and there’s a lot of difference between me making that choice and Clara having it forced upon her. So here’s what you can do.

Got 30 seconds? Share this story through twitter and facebook, who knows, maybe your BFF is Chief Executive of the council…(doesn’t have to be this blog, I’m not precious!)

Got 1 min? Tweet @NorwichCC and let them know (politely) what you think

Got 2 mins? There are 2 MPs in Norwich, Chloe Smith and Simon Wright  both look nice, send them an email or tweet.  There’s nothing like a bit of pressure from the wider community.

Got 3 mins? Contact Norwich Council using the Freedom of Information Act and ask them to explain themselves. I did training on how councils must respond to this this very week (don’t ask, but also who knew it would come in helpful!) All you have to do is give a name, an address(email is fine) and a sensible question and as long as its something they can answer with about 18 hours of research they have to answer it within 20 days. So, I’ve filled out the email us form here and asked “what are the standards a council property must meet in order for it to be deemed habitable by Norwich City Council. I would also like to know if the council has a budget for making properties habitable and if so how much this is and how much the council spent on this in the most recent financial year for which you have accounts.” I’m sure you can think of something else that would help.

Got 20 mins? Blog about it yourself. The more the merrier and the wider the pressure to change things for everyone.

I appreciate that council budgets are more than stretched these days. I appreciate that Clara’s council has given her a (small) amount of money to improve her property. I appreciate that many of us have lived in properties that are far from perfect. I also think it is not at all acceptable to place a family who are down on their luck in a property which has faeces in it and I believe that every council has a duty of care to ensure that vulnerable families are not placed in properties which could make them ill. If you feel the same please help, even if it’s just for one minute.

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So, this was the situation at Casa Crafts on Sea last Friday.

Me: I’m making a sausage casserole for dinner

Beloved husband: Argh! Stop making me eat food that you’re really just making for the kids! It’s Friday! I don’t want a casserole I want a kebab!

Me: Oh.

Admittedly my response was less polite than ‘oh’, but you get the idea. View Post

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And so after the umm… not huge success of Cod and Courgette it was time to pick myself back up and crack on with another of the recipes that lovely people have sent me. Having explained that a) my son is a fussy eater b) I am not a huge fan of making anything more complicated than toast if I I am likely to have a toddler whacking my ankles with a toy phone, I’ve got to admit that I’m still kind of waiting for the point when someone sends me the recipe for a cheese sandwich? It’s not going to happen is it?

What did happen is that Karen from 365 Pearls of Wisdom sent me the recipe for Daddy’s Tastetastic Chicken Tikka. Fantastic title eh? That had to be kept, although really Karen, curry??

So the night before I made the curry, I was a bit worried that it would be a bit wussy, what with being something that (allegedly) my toddler would eat, but it was lovely! Hurrah! Win for me and John! Here’s the recipe from Karen.

Daddy’s Tastetastic Chicken Tikka (serves a family of 3-4)

3 Medium size Chicken Breasts
6-8 small mushrooms
2/3 cup of frozen peas
1/2 onion
1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
Small pot of natural yogurt
3tsp Tikka spices – add more for desired taste
2tsp Almond oil
1packet of Brown Basmati microwave rice

Chop onion and mushrooms into smallish cubes (depending on what your LO’s like), chop chicken breasts into small strips. Add almond oil to a deep frying pan, heat and add onion, mushrooms and chicken, stir ingredients until browned. Add to pan chopped tomatoes, yogurt and tikka spices, stir and coat chicken, mushrooms and onion and leave to simmer for 20 mins on a low heat. Add peas and stir, then simmer for another 5 mins. Microwave rice pack for 1-2 mins as per instructions, serve with Chicken Tikka from pan and some naan bread and enjoy! We use microwave rice because it’s quick and easy and the rice always taste good, neither of us are great at cooking rice in a pan and normally end up with underdone sticky rice!

I didn’t use microwave rice because, umm, I don’t have a microwave but it was ok anyway. Phew!

So the next day I reheated the curry, made some more rice and popped Jacob in his high chair with something a bit like anticipation. In fairness, when I’d started weaning Jacob I used to puree curry quite a bit and beef and chickpea was one of his favourites, but like many a parent after one or two refusals I lost heart at trying and instead started my slow creep towards not much variation mealtimes.

And here’s the evidence or Karen’s brilliance!

Whoop! But then normal mealtime refusal crept in and after a few more handfuls the meal was over. However there is a part two to this story and at this point may I remind all readers that I am no supermummy, nope, definitely not here thanks! A bit later Jacob settled down in front of In the Night Garden and while I topped myself back up with caffeine I nonchalantly offered him a bit more curry. He ate it all. ATE IT ALL!!!! Of course this does mean, by reasoning, that perhaps I should now offer all meals in front of cbeebies but in the meantime I’m too busy basking in the happy glow of getting my son to eat some proper food again. Sausage casserole next, keep your fingers crossed!

Karen is quite obviously a good sort and a sensible woman, go check out her blog at 365 Pearls of Wisdom.

If you have a child that eats the food you make then please email it to me! I’m over at craftsonsea@gmail.com

Want to know what started this all off? Read my blog here on Feed my child and help Save the Children

And finally, pop your email address in here and I’ll let you know as soon as the ebook is ready so you can buy a copy and help Save the Children!

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