In general, I don´t have many helpful pearls of wisdom to share but i have discovered something that I feel the need to holler about, very loudly. Apologies if I am the only person on this planet who didn’t know this potentially lifesaving nugget of information.

Yesterday, I decided to cook sausages on the electric grilling machine which S is always raving about. The sausages were sizzling happily while two hungry children took it in turns to ask why lunch was taking 100 years. All of a sudden, there was a rocket type “WHOOOOOSH” actually more of a “WHOOOOMPH” as the whole grill-side of the kitchen became engulfed in rapidly growing flames. Panic stricken, I looked around for something to smother the fire with but all I could spy through my frightened eyes was a sock.


As tempting as it was to fight the rising flames with a tiny sock, I ran across the landing, (plus side of living in a flat) and in the style of a 999 reconstruction, hammered on the neighbour’s door , only to run back inside followed by my neighbour who valiantly stretched around the flames and unplugged the grill, then plonked a plate on top of the flames and yelled for um………….. SALT.


I flung it at him and he calmly doused the flaming sausages with the salt (I thought twice about writing flame-grilled) and put out the fire!  A quick google search confirms that yes indeed, salt is a fabulous weapon when faced with a grease fire (it also went on to say that you could put out a camp fire with wee, but to do it privately…)

I was in awe and wanted to hug my neighbour and the now empty salt pot. We were both a bit stunned and he broke the news to me that we wouldn’t be able to eat the sausages, which made me laugh a lot, relieved that the only casualties were the sausages and the grill, rather than the boys or the building.

How is it possible that they are still a bit pink?!

How is it possible that they are still a bit pink?!

Boy 1 and Boy 2, who had been watching in excited trepidation from a safe viewing point, whooped and cheered for our quick thinking superhero neighbour and of course the salt, before remembering that they were still ravenously hungry.

That afternoon, I spent a good fews hours trembling while one zillion “What ifs” zoomed round my mind. Luckily the boys had found the whole thing massively and weirdly exciting.  “We´re super brave, like Luke Skywalker” they exclaimed  tucking into their long awaited lunch of potatoes and chocolate snowmen.

The thing that was most terrifying was the speed of it, how in one split second everything could have changed. At bedtime, Boy 1 turned to me and said  “You need to be friends with Fireman Sam, he knows what to do.” I make a note to put Sam on speed dial and to stock up on salt then I kiss the boys goodnight, eternally grateful that somebody or something had most definitely been looking out for us all and vow never to cook sausages ever again.

Me, not doing a very good job of staying calm by Boy 1.

Me, not doing a very good job of staying calm, while the neighbour smoothly extinguishes the flames. @Otis.


And the walls came tumbling down

The other day a friend gave us a gingerbread house kit. Flattered that she obviously thought I was some kind of domestic Blue Peter presenter type goddess, we ripped open the box with gusto and washed our hands with wetwipes, ready for our first foray into self builds.

On discovering that all there was in the box was the biscuit and a diagram of a duchess potato bag, I phoned my cake making friend just to confirm that we stuck it together with mashed potato? No, apparently icing sugar, which we didn’t have. But we did have melted chocolate, which doesn’t do the same thing. Neighbour to the rescue and a ton of icing sugar is thrown(literally) into the mix, so it now resembles  “pooey toothpaste”

One helper down (“This is taking 100 years”), our journey to our very own  Hansel and Gretel paradise went like this….


After an infinity of snapped doors ( “so Father Christmas doesn’t get stuck in the chimney”) We got the roof on ! Get us! Grand Designs, here we come!


Then the roof caves in and all hopes of meeting Kevin himself are dashed. Until, we have a brainwave and we build a  guest wing complete with heating and lights.  Smug.

Unfortunately, our pride is somewhat quashed by screams of ” You didn´t listen to Fireman Sam, did you? ” followed by pointy fingers ” No fire in small houses! ”  he bellows, frantically blowing out the candles and tucking into the guest wing.