And Where the hell have you been?

Erm. Hello?


Yeah, I've not been around for a while I know.

We're all ok though, nothing serious has befallen any of us.

A rare photo of the three of us!
And Munchkin is not a munchkin anymore, she's more of a gremlin now. I'll stick to calling her Munchkin though just for purposes of continuity.

Speaking of continuity, the keen-eyed among you may be noticed that the blog name has changed a little. More of that another time. Maybe.

"So where have you been and what have you been doing" is roughly what I think you might be wondering. Well, gather round and let me tell you a story...

I dropped out of uni. Mostly because it was hard work whilst being a new parent and also I had a few health problems, so it was best all round if I just stopped. Which I did.

Then it was decided that Emz would leave her job so she could get her PhD finished because they were an awful employer and she was working an average of 60 hours a week.

We then had the issue of how we were going to live with me not at uni or working and Emz not working.  Luckily Emz parents stepped in and allowed us to live with them whilst the PhD was finished. I, meanwhile, had to get a job.

So I returned to the life of being a delivery driver, a job that paid just enough for us to move out of the in-laws and into our own (rented) house. For 6 months. After which it was decided that we'd move back to the in-laws' house.

Not the house we moved into.
And so it went, living in one room - Munchkin, of course, had her own bedroom - until the PhD was completed. Then the job hunting started. Emz job hunting was, in my opinion, harder than doing the actual PhD. The problem was that now she had a PhD she had automatically stopped being eligible for most everyday jobs but because she had just got her PhD and didn't have any experience she wasn't eligible for most 'PhD' jobs. The standard catch 22 situation. None of which is to mention the many many job applications she sent where the companies just didn't bother getting back to her!

Eventually, Emz was offered an interview for a fixed term contract which she excelled in and was offered the position, which was 2 hours away. She moved out. The situation had turned into Munchkin and myself living with the in-laws on our own during the week whilst Emz was living near work and we all missed each other madly.

A weekend visiting Mummy!
The fixed term contract was extended and extended. Without boasting too much, my wife is amazingly good at what she does and this was being recognised and in combination of me being told I was no longer needed in my job we decided it was time for us all to live together again. So we moved into a small end of terrace place in the town we now live.

It was wonderful all being back together again. Munchkin started at the local school and made friends easily and Emz was being given responsibility that indicated an even longer contract at work. I was a stay-at-home-dad again but money was short. So I signed on.

I may rant about the signing on and job search processes in future blogs but for now I will say it is not a nice situation to be in.

Whilst looking for work I was volunteering at a local animal rescue (which for someone with an odd fear of lots of animals was probably not the best idea) as it fitted in with Munchkins school hours and kept me busy.

Me and some animals.
Emz was eventually given a permanent position at work and this was the catalyst for us deciding to stay in the town we were living in and the start of the househunting. We spent a few weeks looking at properties before both falling in love with the one we eventually bought.

Which brings us up to date. Mostly.

Man, what a long catch up. Sorry I've not been about. I'll try harder, honest.

No really, I will.

I'm going to try and blog at least once a week and I've also got a few other projects going on which will be shared here if I feel they would fit.



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Dark Chocolate Cornflake Cakes

Today was Emz' birthday and we threw her a kids birthday party because we're cool and do things like that. As part of her present I made her some chocolate cornflake cakes and I thought I'd share the recipe here (but I cannot for the life of me remember where I got it, it's been stored away in the back of my brain for a long time though!).

Makes lots.

Ingredients:
200g dark chocolate
100g butter
8 tablespoons golden syrup
140g cornflakes
mini marshmallows

Method:
Melt everything except the cornflakes and marshmallows in a pan on a very very low heat.
Throw in the cornflakes and mix well.
Using a 1/2 cup measure, make small shaped piles of the mix on a buttered buttered baking sheet.



Place a mini marshmallow atop each cornflake cake.
Put in the fridge to set.
Enjoy with either a cup of coffee or a pint (or half pint) of Guinness (this I haven't actually tried but I know that eating chocolate whilst drinking Guinness is very very tasty).



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