After a planes, trains and automobiles style journey to The Royal Albert Hall (because of course, it was the one and only night it decided to snow which meant the trains went up the spout) Me and the Mr arrived late, somewhat stressed and ready for a glass of wine. Which saw dry January go out of the window. Oh well, when needs must! As we settled into our seats I wasn’t too sure what to expect from Amaluna, my first Cirque Du Soleil show. The Mr had been to one in Vegas and described it to me as, ‘a bit like a posh circus’. So could I expect cannon firing and tight-rope walking? Well, not quite but essentially, a ‘posh circus’ is a good description of what Cirque Du Soleil is. But as I soon saw for myself, there is much more to it than this.
I don’t know about you but I feel like I’ve had a hectic few weeks despite not really doing anything. It’s this time of year I think, everything seems to come to a head at the end of twelve long months. We’ve had coughs, colds, teething, sleepless nights, fertility drugs side effects and slow realisations that I’m going to be thirty eight in less than two weeks (sobs). The kid has had permanent snot face since she started nursery in September (the joy of shared germs) And teething hit her hard a few weeks ago. This lead to a stint of interrupted sleep, traipsing the corridor back and forth in the small hours between her room and ours, running on mumbie mode (zombie mum). Everything then came to a head and I found myself weeping down the phone to my mum, wine in hand. To help me get out of this funk, I’ve tried where possible, a few simple things that help me relax.
Sadly in this day and age, the term ‘scam’ is all too current. There always seems to be a story on the news about someone falling foul to fraudsters. We hear about elderly or vulnerable people loosing life savings to door-to-door salesman, who convince them to hand over cash for work that never takes place. Quite frankly you just don’t think it will happen to you, and often when interviewed this is what people effected say, but it does happen. Some parents recently lost money when they tried to buy fake tickets online for a Paw Patrol show that never was. One mother tried to buy a Hatchimal toy for her daughter via a Facebook page when they sold out in store, only for the seller to take the money and go quiet. And this story worryingly tells of scammers who hijack Amazon sellers pages, and when buyers part with their money it goes into the fraudsters account. It’s all too easy to fall for a scam or a lie, no matter how big or small. My good pal Sam works at a company called Grant Thornton in their Fraud Division. She’s here to tell me more about how we can protect ourselves and our families against these crimes.
If you’re at a loss for something to do this weekend, then think about hopping on the tube and heading to The Ideal Home Show at Christmas to bag yourself some bargains and get you feeling that Christmas vibe! I was invited along to the show on Wednesday and at a loss for childcare took the kid along (the thought of this massively stressed me out) but the place blew her mind! The fake snow outside the venue complete with Father Christmas’s sleigh was enough to get her shrieking with excitement, and that’s before we’d even stepped inside.
Over the past ten years or so where I live, I’ve started to see a real change in the eateries that are on offer. Existing venues are having makeovers, Pubs are re-vamping for the better and there is an award winning restaurant right on my doorstep (sort of) There are also a plethora of coffee shops but stray away from the high street and you can find yourself a little piece of France right here in Surbiton. The French Tarte treats surbonites (a real word) to delicious freshly baked pastries, bread and coffee, our very own boulangerie. They do the most amazing chocolate brownie *drools*. They also host a supper club and do afternoon tea. It’s a bit of an all-rounder basically. Now when it comes to afternoon tea, I’d like to say that I’m a bit of a connoisseur. I’ve sampled a fair few in my time. There’s nothing quite like a load of savoury food followed by cake, washed down with a nice cup of tea or in my case, a glass of champagne. So would The French Tarte live up to my expectations?