When meeting up take sensible precautions. Meet in a public place and let others know where you are going. You can also meet mums on your local site here.

*Moving to Saffron Walden, Essex , in August - does anyone live nearby?*

(547 Posts)
SaffyCat Mon 31-Jul-06 23:05:25

I am moving from Surrey to Saffron Walden in mid-August with my husband, 7yr old son and 1yr old daughter. We don't know anyone in the area yet and I would love to meet other local mums (am happy to drive a few miles) and also to find out about toddler groups/recomended family activities.

bluebear Mon 31-Jul-06 23:20:37

Saffron Walden is on my list of potential places to move to (we are looking to move as dh is thinking of taking a job in Cambridge).
I'm also interested in hearing about any family activities in the area, so I'll lurk if you don't mind!
I spent a bit of my youth in SW but can only really remember horse-riding and reading in the sunshine, oh, and some sort of strange maze made out of paving stones on the common.

SaffyCat Tue 01-Aug-06 22:05:43

Anyone from/near Saffron Walden?

bluebear Wed 02-Aug-06 18:05:31

bumping for the early evening crowd

SaffyCat Wed 02-Aug-06 21:01:56

hi BlueBear, thanks for your reply. We are moving also because of dh's job, fortunately I will still be able to get to mine in London 2 days a week (just!). We fell in love with SW, It looks like a great place to live with lots going on, but not too big and crowded. How likely is your move?

Caribbeanqueen Wed 02-Aug-06 21:14:00

Don't live there - about 20 minutes away - but go there quite often. I can't tell you anything about the toddler groups, schools etc., but it is a really nice place, quite quiet and there seems to be plenty to do, especially in summer - lots of fairs etc.

Hopefully someone who knows more will be along soon.

bluebear Wed 02-Aug-06 22:34:18

Hi SaffyCat - dh is going through a long interview process with a firm just North of Cambridge - we did an initial look at house prices etc, before he went to his first interview and thought it might be worthwhile.
SInce then we have visited Cambridge but only really liked about 3 roads (too fussy I know) and so we are now looking at other places too...SW came up as a favorite as I spent time there as a child..I've been looking for house on rightmove.co.uk but haven't seen much in the town..just in surrounding villages.
I also work in London (33 hours a week but with some flexibility thank goodness) so need to be not too far away from a Station.

Are you moving to SW town and using Audley End station?

SaffyCat Wed 02-Aug-06 22:51:56

Hi BB, we are moving to SW town and I'll be using Audley End. It does seem to be a fast link to London, but will reserve judgement till I start the commute including the drive to the station and tubes. We were also avid watchers of Rightmove and found v. few properties for sale in SW. We have a theory that it's such a pleasant place to live in that people don't move away! We were very lucky to have found a house we liked quickly. Dh has been doing a weekly commute to new company for 4 months now - I'm so looking forward to sharing the parenting again after moving.

SaffyCat Wed 02-Aug-06 22:53:30

Hi also to CQ. Thanks for replying, so whereabouts are you? Have you lived in the area for long?

Lilymaid Wed 09-Aug-06 14:51:31

I live near SW - but my children are teenagers and I don't know about the toddler groups etc. I think there are activities at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre and there seems to be an active NCT. As regards Audley End, I'm afraid that the commute to London is tedious (I do it daily in term time) taking at least 1 hour. There are frequent delays due to overhead lines, cars running into level crossings - you name it we have had it! Audley End station car park is very busy. Oh, and the trains are old and not air conditioned so the commute home is appalling in the summer.
After all that, SW is a very nice town and there are good primary schools/secondary schools.

bluebear Sun 13-Aug-06 19:08:23

Well, we visited SW today, and loved it - so if dh still wants this new job we are looking at moving there.

I did notice a dance school on one of the main roads, it advertised a mother/toddler session.

twoboysmom Mon 04-Sep-06 13:40:34

I've lived in Bishops Stortford for a year now (having moved from the States) but I understand Saffron Walden is quite near my modest markettown home. I have a nearly 7 year old boy and a rising five year old boy. How's the kids shopping in Cambridge?

Dior Mon 04-Sep-06 13:47:30

Message withdrawn

USAUKMum Mon 04-Sep-06 14:17:41

Hi I live in Bishops Stortford too twoboysmom (also an American -- though her for 11 yrs now!). BS is about 20min away from SW -- I love SW. The train from Audley End is one of the fast trains -- something about a clause in from olden times to do with the Audley End house there That a train has to stop. From Stortford it takes about 45 min into Liverpool St. Think it is about 15 min longer from SW. I don't know about toddler groups, but there is a great swimming school in Newport called the Potteries. Both my DD(5) and DS (2) go there. Would be happy to meet up sometime.
DH works in Fulborn, so we are considering moving up that direction in a few years when DD is due for secondary school.

twoboysmom Mon 04-Sep-06 22:35:20

I've met two american moms since moving here. One's just moved to Italy...poor woman I imagine the buses make it to SW from B/S. Oh, I must plug the Bishops Stortford Museum over in the new Rhodes Art Complex. We just finished our summer programmes of workshops which had African Drumming, WWII experience, SummerArts and Craft. The fall/winter schedule will have Kite making, Halloween, winter story telling, and holiday decoration workshops for children 7+ and there will be drop in arts and crafts on Saturdays (closed Sunday). Call and ask for details: 01279651746. We're still settling the schedule for the fall, but get on the mailing list and a flyer can be sent out to you. It's a short walk from the train station and free parking on site for visitors. Disclosure: I do work for the museum and know it to be an underused resource for the surrounding community, especially parents and children. So contact us.

Delyth Tue 12-Sep-06 12:29:34

I moved to Saffron Walden in August my kids are older (11,13), but I would be very happy to meet up for a coffee ?

beckymacca Sat 23-Sep-06 17:49:24

Hi we moved here about a year ago from London. It's a great place to be with lots of toddler groups. Jelly Beans is a Monday morning group at Gold Street Chapel, Parent Centre is held at the church with Drop-in sessions on a Tues and Thursday Morning, NCT Tots and Tiddlers on a Thursday. There is so much to do and plenty of people that have recently made the move.

exLondon Fri 29-Sep-06 13:54:59

Hello, We are, hopefully, moving to Saffron Walden in December. I have two girls and wondered if anyone knows if there are swimming and ballet classes, or anything esle on locally for them? Thanks.

mouseman Fri 29-Sep-06 14:02:05

Hello, i live in Saffron Walden and have a baby and a child in school. It is a great place to be. The local NCT is by far the easiest way to meet people and find out whats going on. There are lots of groups, toddlers, swimming, french, dance sports etc. Swimming lesons are a nightmare - get on the waiting list now!! Would be v. happy to meet for a coffee if you need showing around!

Lilymaid Fri 29-Sep-06 14:08:14

I had aproblems with getting on waiting list for swimming lessons for DS2 when he was 6. After six months, I enquired again and found that he had risen to page 11 on the waiting list!
If this is still a problem at the Lord Butler leisure centre, you could try Sawston where there is a small (less attractive) pool but where I managed to get lessons for DS2 without so much difficulty.

laurasmiles Thu 05-Oct-06 12:29:06

I was pleased to have come across this thread, as I'm moving to Saffron Waldon from London hopefully shortly before Christmas. I have a twnty month old boy and a six week old daughter so will be looking for new friends for me and them and places to visit and things to do. It's nice to find some friendly posts from people in the area and I look forward to posting and possibly meeting up with some of you when I move later this year...?

2boysmacca Thu 05-Oct-06 16:37:38

Make your first port of call NCT group, held Thursdays at the Bell Nursery. 10am

Bluebear Thu 26-Oct-06 19:40:38

I'm bumping this thread again - We are set on moving to Saffron Walden in the new year and I was wondering whether those of you who are already local could give me the low-down on the schools (they all look very good from their Ofsted reports).

Bluebear Mon 30-Oct-06 20:25:46

Another bump!

2boysmacca Tue 31-Oct-06 16:10:15

They are all pretty good. RA Butler seems to be the 'favourite' but their catchment area is getting smaller and smaller. Katherine Semar also has an excellent reputation for the infant school

Bluebear Tue 31-Oct-06 18:23:34

Thank you 2boysmacca - was wondering about how much competition there is for places (moving from London where catchment for our local school is down to 3 short roads now!), as one of the houses we are looking at is outside of the town...Have also looked at Friends since it appears to be the only school with a nursery/pre-school...not sure I really want to go down that route though. Are there any pre-schools (except the church one) that you know of?
We liked the sound of R A Butler (children are nursery/infant age) as K semar is open plan and my son has hearing impairment so is not happy in noisy environments.
Would be very grateful of any local knowledge!

2boysmacca Tue 31-Oct-06 19:28:20

Yes, Shire Hill nursery. It has wonderful reports and a waiting list as long as your arm. My eldest has just started there this term and is loving it. There is also Bell nursery and Golden Acre, both are good, so I have heard. Where in SW are you looking to move?
Came from London myself, moved here with the knowledge that we'd be in RA Butler catchment, only to find they'd changed it 6 months before. Arghh!!!
Guess it depends on age he is. This year SW had a low birth year so people got first choice as to schools. However my sons nursery year was over subscribed so people were turned away.

Bluebear Tue 31-Oct-06 19:55:50

Eldest is in year 1 at the moment - little one has just turned 3 and in this area is in a 3 mornings only pre-school, due to start nursery pre-school september 07. It's frustrating that after lots of hassle getting a school place for my son and then finding matching pre-school place for my daughter and thinking I'm all sorted until secondary school - dh has taken a job near cambridge and we need to move.
We are putting our house in London on the market in early January (getting some last minute decorating and things done first), and so have not been looking very hard in SW - seen one house in the town near the schools and dh is looking at one this week which is out of town but nearer to the station (I'll still need to commute back to London but thankfully at off peak hours most of the time).
I'm guessing my daughter is too young for the pre-schools you've mentioned but I might have a chance of a place for next September maybe (crosses fingers)..thanks for the info, I tried the council website and ofsted but couldn't find anything!
Am also stressing about childcare, at the moment we have a nanny who we share with another family (since my children are at school/pre-school for quite a number of hours and I am back from work by 3pm most days) - can't afford a full-time qualified nanny and couldn't find any childminders on the list that do school pick-ups - ho hum!

How long have you lived in SW? We fell in love with it on first visit (had originally been looking nearer cambridge) Are there areas to avoid (it all looked lovely to me!)? Any where you particularly recommend? There don't seem to be many houses on the market but I was wondering whether they are selling before they get put onto the websites.

2boysmacca Wed 01-Nov-06 07:59:18

We've been here just over a year. I love it, especially after SE London. If you're looking near the station, I take it you mean Audley End, in which case Wendens Ambo is in the catchment for RAB - strange but true!
Your youngest isn't too young, Shire Hill take them from 2.5
It's not a great commute into London, One Rail is not very reliable but if you're based in the city I guess it's not too bad. If you rely on other connections it's tedious.

Caribbeanqueen Wed 01-Nov-06 08:20:44

Hi bluebear, I remember you were looking at Cambridge - what made you prefer SW? Will you definitely be going with that choice?

Bluebear Wed 01-Nov-06 18:36:55

Thanks - yes I mean Audley end - good to know it's in RAB catchment!
I know that the train line isn't great, but the Cambrige-Kings X line has had loads of problems this year too...and at least I work odd hours (I'll be leaving v early and coming back v early most days).

Caribbeanqueen - we had a couple of days looking around central cambridge and villages north of cambridge and we didn't feel 'at home' there. I was brought up in Essex and spent time in SW as a child and had good memories of it, so we had a little visit one weekend and we loved it - it's the 'right size' for us - not as big as cambridge and not as tiny as the villages. And being only 30mins away from my family helps as well!

SaffyCat Wed 15-Nov-06 11:46:54

Hi All , Shortly after I started this thread in August my computer decided it didn't like this website and wouldn't let me log on! It has now changed it's mind and it's great to see that there are a number of Mumnetters in and around Saffron Walden. We (dh, ds7 and dd19m) moved to SW in mid-August and are really enjoying it. Somehow people here seem so much more friendly than in South London, there is a great sense of community and lots going on when you know where to look. We have started to make links with people but would love to meet more. Would anyone like to meet up for coffee/to play with little people in the park/other?

Also to Blue Bear - I had similar concerns about finding childminders who could look after my little one and collect my son from school. This problem was solved through using the R A Butler late play club for my son and finding an exellent childminding couple in SW who I would recommend strongly if you are interested.

laurasmiles Mon 20-Nov-06 14:48:37

I've found this thread very useful too. We are selling our flat London and moving to Saffron Walden. The paperwork has been a bit slow so it may we're likely to move in january as opposed to before Christmas. If you do manage to get a little group going or some offers to meet up for coffee do let us know how it goes! I'd love to join you all when we finally arrive. Thanks
laura plus son 22 months and daughter 13 weeks.

2boysmacca Mon 20-Nov-06 17:49:06

I know how that feels, it took us 5+ months to complete on our place!


Just joined the site so hi. we have recently moved to Wendens Ambo (2 miles Saffron Walden) - we moved here in September from Loughton and absolutely love it. We have one boy aged 3.5 and I am pregnant again - (another boy, due in March)

School and nursery choice are proving difficult for us - our little one cureently attends Crocus and we ahve an au pair to drop off and collect but he does not like it there - anyone know any other good nurseries?

2boysmacca Fri 01-Dec-06 13:05:07

what about the one in Wendons Ambo?

Bluebear Sun 17-Dec-06 22:03:37

EnglishSpringer - Hi, we have had an offer accepted on a house in Wendens Ambo so hopefully we will be neighbours sometime in 2007!
There is a pre-school/nursery in W A but it's moving to Arkesden for a short while whilst the village hall is being refurbished - it sounds good, but I haven't been able to get in touch with anyone on the only phone number I have. It only covers half days though - do you need one that covers a full day?
I have a 5 year old ds and a 3 yr old dd - and am stressing about schools for ds and nurseries for dd and whether to continue with a nanny or get an au pair etc. And in the meantime trying to sell our London house.

Bluebear Sun 17-Dec-06 22:06:35

Saffycat - did you have any problems getting your ds into RAB? I rang to enquire about the application process and was told very definitely 'You won't get a place here - we're full and nobody's moving'. Ds is Year 1, and I would be a lot happier if I thought he had a small chance of getting into the catchment school.

SaffyCat Mon 15-Jan-07 21:08:22

Hi Blue Bear, sorry for long LONG delay in replying - this feels like the first chance I've had to draw breath since Chrismas! I was offered the only available year 3 place for my DS at RAB. It does seem to be the most popular school in SW. I did also look at Katherine Semar and although the buildings look a bit tired, I was very impressed with the headteacher and everything that I saw going on. There was a good working atmosphere about the place - oh, just re-read messages and perhaps it might not suit your son. It did not strike me as a noisy environment though, maybe it would be worth a visit. How is the move going? Have you managed to find a buyer for your London house?

Bluebear Wed 17-Jan-07 18:27:38

Hi, How are you enjoying life since your move? Hope you had a good Christmas in your new home.

Our London house goes on the market in 3 weeks ( We still have to finish a few DIY jobs first )..so far the owners of the house we are buying in W A are sticking with us so fingers crossed for a move in a few months.
I'm hoping for a long time between exchange and completion so I can put my application into RAB and hope that someone in year 1 moves away! We were told the only school spaces in S W are in the C of E school, and we are not C of E, so we have been toying with the idea of putting the children into Friends, as it has spaces and seems...well...friendly , would probably try and move them back into state school if RAB gets a place for ds, and hopefully dd will get offered a place at RAB by the usual application process.
Yes, we were worried about the 'open-plan' ness of Katherine Semar - doesn't work well for a child with hearing impairment, and he is soo shy that I would be so much happier if I thought he could go to school with the neighbour's children.
I guess I'll just be a big bundle of worry until we move and the school/childcare issues just sort themselves out

long time no speak - been very busy planning for new baby, builders in, looking for schools etc.

Does anyone know of any groups that i could attend with the new baby (it is due in 6 weeks) looking to meet mums in the area as i am new and don't know anyone yet. Any advice would be appreciated.

2boysmacca Thu 01-Feb-07 20:36:52

Hi Englishspringer. I think I've said this before but your best bet would be tots and tiddlers at the Bell Nursery in SW. It starts at 10 (or maybe 10.15) every Thursday. They are pretty friendly in there and they'll help you out with other groups.

Millarkie Tue 13-Feb-07 14:18:29

Hello, Nice to see lots of people from Saffron Walden. We are moving to Wendens Ambo in April (hopefully).
Englishspringer, can't recommend any baby groups yet, but you're welcome to come round for a cup of tea when we have moved in. I have a 3 year old too. Can I ask how quickly you recruited your au pair? I think I might need one, but I haven't employed one before and I'm not sure how easy it is in a 'rural' area. Thanks.

sophus Thu 15-Feb-07 20:13:16

hi all
I live in SW, first baby due sept. Would love to get to know people generally in the area - especially in anticipation of being stuck at home on maternity leave....For those of you not yet moved here can offer some general info (although not much child centric stuff yet obv).

Millarkie Tue 20-Feb-07 16:56:29

Hi, Sophus, and congratulations!
I think we'll have to arrange a mumsnet meet-up in SW later on in the year!


Thanks for the advice about the Bell - however, it is closing down. i contacted the NCT and they have given me big long list.
Very excited that other mums are mvoing into the village - we seem to be the only parents and children in the park - there seems to be a lot of older people - would be great to have another little boy for my little man to play with.

The au pair - she is fantastic and has been with us for 8 months, she is our 4th one and there are 4 other famalies in the village who have an au pair as well. we have used cambridge aupairs and also a website called aupairworld.net - thsi has proved to be our best resource as you can vet the candidates yourself etc. and don't just get an agency dumping anyone onto you. Our aupair goes out with abut 10 other aupairs who live in and around Saffron Walden - she is very sociaable and studies in London 3 days a week. she does drop off at nursery and pick ups.

let em know when you are close to moving and we can arrange that ted - our house is having major rennovation work at the moment so it is a building site - hoping it will be finished by the end of MAy in time for the summer!

Millarkie Wed 21-Feb-07 20:31:42

Hi EnglishSpringer - I'm very glad to hear that there are a few au pairs in the village. I've looked at aupairworld and also greataupair. but haven't contacted any so far as I am still pretty nervous about it. I need someone I can trust with the kids for a few hours at a time since I work so not sure if au pair will be 'sensible' enough?. I have found a nursery nurse who is looking for part-time work though so I'm going to interview her next time we go up to S W.
I know what you mean about living in a building site - we have spent 4 years renovating our current house - just got it perfect and dh accepts a job in Cambridge and we have to move We are buying a house on R Lane. The current owner is very chatty and has been insisting that there are other children in the village for my 2 to play with and has even said that she will introduce us to the neighbours!
We have some building work to do to the new house too - but hopefully will be able to pause for breath before arranging it.
Did you look into the W A pre-school? I have the contact details somewhere if you want them.
We haven't exchanged contracts yet but I'm hoping to move about Easter time - and then I'll put the kettle on for the SW mumsnetters hee hee.
Oh and my 3yr old is a girl but a real tomboy!

Sophus - A non-babycentric question for you! Is it really hard to get on the train from Audley end to LPS? The people I work with have been teasing me and saying I won't be able to get on a train, let alone get a seat because they are all overcrowded. I'm aiming at getting a train before 7am, surely it's not really that bad <hopeful emoticon>

USAUKMum Thu 22-Feb-07 08:26:04

Milarkie -- Don't live in SW but in Bishops Stortford (down the train line) and I used to get the train before 7am and got a seat . The good thinig about Audley End is that you get trains there that start in Cambridge, then only stop is AE before continuing south to Liverpool St. But trains are crowded and service not as good since one took over.

stump Thu 22-Feb-07 08:56:32

Hi everyone

Sorry for butting in on the conversation. I'm pregnant with my first baby - due May 18th so not too long to go now. I've lived in Newport for almost 3 years but don't really know anyone in the area. Would love to be in touch with new mums or those who are expecting. I used to work at the Bell school and know about it closing - does anyone know if the toddlers and tiddlers group will be relocating? Or are there any new born baby groups in the area. Would love to know about them if there are!

claire xx

Millarkie Thu 22-Feb-07 15:42:30

USAUKMum - thanks I will try to ignore my sniggering colleagues then.

Stump - you're not butting in - room for everyone! I'll put another scoop of tea in the pot for you .
Has anyone looked on netmums.co.uk to see if there is info on tots and babes sessions on there - it's pretty good for more 'local' info.

2boysmacca Thu 22-Feb-07 20:38:53

Sorry, I;m still lurking. Yes! Tots and tiddlers are moving back to it's original base in town, at the United Reformed Church. It moved to Bell's just over a year ago whilst essential work at the church was carried out.

Give the Parent Centre a go at St Mary's church on, Tuesday - Friday 10.15 to 11.45. Tuesday and Thursdays are drop-in sessions, the others are pre-booked. This is aimed at 18months + (and younder siblings). Lots of arts and crafts, and a coffee and a chat.

I tried Netmums before I moved here, 18 months ago and I have to say there is more info in this thread than I ever got from the site.

You'll love it here

Hi Milarkie - R Lane is lovely, we live about 5 mins walk from there - i commute to LPS every day - i get the 6.34 and always get a seat - i have sometimes got the 7.04 and 7.34 adn there is never a problem with seats - it is mainly in the evening that you have a problem on the 5 - 6 trains - i always get on the Stansted Express and get off at Bishops Stortford and wait for 10 mins for the train behind - a bit of a pain but you always get a seat, there is air con - great for the summer.

I just got some information through from the NCT about lunch groups, under 1's open house, teddies toy library, tiddlers and tots, buffy bus.

Our aupair stays home with our little boy 3 days a week - she is fantastic and G asked to stay with her rather than go to nursery - she is just like a nanny and does everything - she plans his day, has a routine which she sticks to and although she had never been an aupair beofre she had worked with children in France - we have always spent about 4 months looking, emailing, police checking, referencing etc. prior to employing someone - i also have an American friend who has an aupair for her 3 year old little girl and has even left her for the weekend with teh aupair - personally i think it depends on how you treat them - if you treat them as a member of the family and as you would want your child to be treated if they did something similar then you get loads back.

Hi Claire - (stump)i am going on Matleave in 2 weeks and my baby is due on 8th Apr so would love to meet up - especially since you are only about 1 mile away - we haven't been here long and i don't know anyone with new babies so would be great - let's talk some more and we could arrange a tea or something.

Millarkie Thu 22-Feb-07 21:53:47

Hi ESpringer - very happy to hear about the trains. I'm hoping to get to LPS to get the just-before-5 train on some days (I should be working 3 full days and 2 mornings only hopefully), but I hadn't thought about the Stansted express - great idea!

Wow - 4 months of research to get an au pair! We have a shared nanny at the moment, she looks after both our children and a friend's since mine are in school/pre-school for much of the time, but she can't move with us I've found a nursery nurse who is looking for part-time work who we want to interview, but otherwise we're stuck between paying for a full-time nanny for 20-odd hours per week of childcare and a lot of finger-twiddling, or taking the leap to an au pair.

nearlythree Thu 22-Feb-07 22:16:46

stump - when you have your baby your hv will give you details of the under-ones club at SW Hospital. It's run by one of the nursery nurses and has talks on subjects like baby massage, weaning etc., followed by coffee. The nursery nurses will also come and teach baby massage in your home so make sure you ask your hv about that one! The hvs are all really good btw.

The baby and toddler group in Sampford is nice but that might be a bit of a schlepp from Newport.

mouseman Thu 22-Feb-07 22:38:12

Hi, I have just dropped back in - so many in and around SW!!
The beat place to start really is the NCT - for all you new mums, there is a nearly new sale on 10th March in Great Chesterford, just outside SW which is a fantastic place to buy toys, clothes equipment etc PLUS most of the NCT members are around! Would be happy to meet up for coffee if ones arranged.

Hi Milarkie

We interviewed a four nannies before deciding to go with nursery and an au pair - we lived closer to London before and the nanny we had was so much better than anyone we interviewed - hence why we decided to go for no nanny, complete au pair - we used to have both because of our hours but now Pauline is fantastic and she is better than any nanny we have had - i don't want her to go back to France.

We are still looking for childcare for the new little one due in a few weeks - i plan on going back to work in January and the only nursery for under 2.5's is crocus and i am not impressed - we considered a nanny but we would still need an aupair and all the nannies we looked at couldn't give me a good answer on what they would do with their day.

I tell you, having children is a logistical nightmare - the only good thing is that the lady next door to us said that she would look after our little one - she doesn't have any qualifications but has a boy of 16 and a little girl of 10 - she is a fantastic mum and is very bubbly, friendly and organised - going to talk with her about time/options. I wish i could trust my husband to sort all of this out but we'd probably end up with a webcam because they could look after himself!

Our eldest starts school in September - he is so excited and i'm pleased i'll be on Mat leave to take him drop him off - i can't believe how quickly it has gone. i only have 2 more weeks left at work and then i'm 'off for the summer'.the building work finishes in Mid-May and i only have 5 more weeks of sleeping in the living room until i can move into my new room. so much is happening so fast.

oh yeah, with regards to the village - very friendly and there is a great little park - they even have a shed full fo toys which is just left open for all to play with and nobody takes anything. At christmas one lady had an open house and everyone went and ate mince pies and drank mulled wine - when you go out for a walk everyone says hello and stops to chat.

stump Fri 23-Feb-07 13:41:48


Thanks to everyone who gave info in reply to my post. Am really looking forward to getting to know everyone more.

Nearlythree - it is good to hear about the under ones group and also that the HVs are really nice. I've been impressed by the community midwives so far.

Englishspringer - would love to meet up once you start your maternity leave - maybe we could meet for a cup of tea in SW, or elsewhere if you prefer? Whereabouts do you live? I bet you can't wait to finish work - I have to admit I'm really enjoying being at home.

Is anyone planning on going to the NCT nearly new sale in Great Chesterford? I haven't been to one before but since I haven't bought anything yet for this baby (except a few babygrows) I think I should!! I think in my mind May still seems so long away and so I'm not organised at all! Although yesterday I did finally start thinking about my list of things to take to hospital and my birth plan. Any tips would be much appreciated!

love claire xx

Hi Claire,

Good to hear that you are expecting as well - I am going to the NCT sale on Saturday - I ahve been very organised this time round and bought everything so just going to get a few plastic toys and something for my 4 year old.

May will come around so quickly - i take it you are not working and are at home - if so you are lucky, i kind of wished that i had given up work a few weeks ago but i want more time afterwards.

I am so looking forward to giving up work - have spent the last 3 days in the Rosie being monitored, the baby is small and i have excess fluid - i guess the only good thing is that i got to see him - WOW so fascinating and he looks like a real person!

I live in Wendens Ambo (Audley End)- would love to meet up for a coffee when i go on Mat leave - i frequent Kim's Coffee House (my husband says i should have shares in the place).

stump Fri 23-Feb-07 16:15:50

Hi englishspringer

We'll definitely have to meet up once you finish then Kim's coffee house sounds good have never actually been there - and also perhaps will see you at the nct sale am interested to see what kind of stuff they have there...

Sorry to hear you've had a trip to the rosie can't be much fun but like you say at least you got to see the baby - I take it from you saying him that you know its a boy? We've resisted temptation to find out so far although I think my husband is starting to wish he knew!

Yes I'm at home which secretly am loving!!Had plenty of time to decorate the nursery etc. Do you work in London? The commute must be tough now?


Yep definately know i am having a boy - we found out last time because i was studying my for my Masters and it was chaos and this time we said we wouldn't but G our 3 year old was anxious about being pushed out so we found out to help him accept it.

I have been to an NCT sale before - you can get some great stuff but it is a mad rush, you have to queue up before hand and then it is a big bundle and barge - no civilisation and politeness - every man and woman for themselves - last time we bought plastic toys that you could steralise, a blackboard and a train. I am organised this time round so am only going to be nosy, don't really have anything in mind.

I do commute to London everyday, i used to teach but went back to the city 3 years ago - my work have been really good, i start at 7.30am and finish at 4 which is lovely because i always get in for 6 and can do bath and bedtime for G. after today i have 6 more days left in the office - i will miss everyone but am actually looking forward to spending the summer at home, we have a massive back garden and we have just ordered a large climbing frame thing for G's birthday in March and am just looking forward to being in and around the village and town. We moved here at the end of 2006 and we left all our friends etc. behind and because of the hours i work i never get to meet anyone and can't wait to have a coffee and a chat and just be a mum again.

2boysmacca Fri 23-Feb-07 20:52:33

I used to go to Kim's coffee house a lot when I first moved in but be warned, the guy is a bit of a mmmm, how shall I put it, he doesn't like children and has been known to throw people out!

Am always happy to meet for a coffee, but I am a Starbucks girl through and through. Have a 1 year old (1st birthday party tomorrow) and a 3 year old.

nearlythree Fri 23-Feb-07 22:18:20

Dd1 and I are ladies who lunch in Gluttons - it's v. child-friendly and does yummy food.

Don't have any direct experience as I'm a SAHM but I know a lot of people use Barn Babies nursey for little ones and the Barn for older ones - it's in Thaxted. Also the new Montessori on the Thaxted to Sampford Road is proving massively popular - it's on a farm and they are getting some animals.

SusieHughsie Sun 25-Feb-07 22:09:33

Hi all,

We are due to move to near Saffron Walden in May, it's reassuring to know that there are many other mums looking to meet new friends. Makes the thought of leaving my friends and family behind a little less daunting!

Millarkie Sun 25-Feb-07 22:39:58

Hi Susie - how many, how old are your kids? and are you moving far?
Our buying/selling of houses seems to be going along quite smoothly so far (touching wood), so we may be able to move even sooner.

SusieHughsie Mon 26-Feb-07 09:36:02

Hi Millarkie,

I have a little girl, who is nearly five and a boy who has just turned two. We are moving from East London to a village called Ickleton which is about 5 miles from SW.

I'm glad to hear that your move is going smoothly, are you looking forward to it? It's a good time to move as we'll have the summer to settle in and get acquainted with the area.

Would love to meet up when we're all settled in.

nearlythree Mon 26-Feb-07 10:20:30

It's a lovely place for families - relatively safe - has one of the lowest postcodes for insurance in the country. I still marvel that something like a car windscreen getting broken by vandals can make the local paper! Nice shops, things to do - Saffron Walden Museum has lots of special activity days for children.

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 11:12:56

There'll also be lot of fetes on the common in the summer. Also if you movers are here by Easter there is an Easter Egg Hunt run by the NCT. I have a feeling it's being held at the miniature railway again but don't quote me on that. Watch out for the flyers around town.

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 15:26:53

Hi Susie - My 2 are a little older than yours at 5 (boy) and 3(girl). I feeling up and down about the move, although the posts on here (thank you 2boysM and nearly3) make me feel quite optimistic it is a big wrench to move from this part of London - I've been here for 10 years and made so many friends, sorted out lovely schools and playgroups for the kids, and redecorated the house, and just as I thought I could relax, we need to relocate for dh's job.
I rang some schools today to ask to visit. RAB were short on telephone manners, but K Semar were lovely, am visiting them both soon, but only 1 has a space for ds.
And I have 3 nannys on my shortlist for interview so now I have to work out where would be a good place to meet with them since I can't ask them to travel to London and we don't have a base in Essex yet. Maybe a child-friendly cafe or on the common?

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 15:55:39

I wish my dh could relocate. He's still working in Chiswick!!

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 18:27:38

Really! That's 5 mins away from me! Our dh's must be driving past each other on their commutes in the opposite directions
Does your dh travel everyday or stay down here? Mine stays in a B and B a couple of nights a week so he doesn't have the long drive every day - but I find it sooo hard to sleep when he's not at home so I am desperate for us all to be under one roof again - with a slightly inconvenient commute for both of us instead

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 19:05:04

No he gets the train every day. There are occasions he stays with his folks in SW London but not often. It's really getting him down. The commute into London is not bad but then he has another hour once he reaches Tottenham Hale

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 19:13:35

Wow! That's a heck of a distance to go. We looked at the trains for dh - but he works a country bus ride away from the nearest station so it would be a good 2.5 - 3 hours each way Driving (off peak mainly) takes him about 1.5 hours but is tiring and expensive.

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 19:47:37

Dh has to get the bus to Audley End. No buses after 7.30 so it's a £5.00 taxi ride back to SW. Season ticket £4000. Yikes!!!!

I can't remember who said they were moving to Ickleton but there is a playgroup there in one of the halls, (opposite Costcutter) it's called Froglets I think (my mind has turned to mush and I haven't been for about 10 months). Mondays at 10.00

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 20:48:21

The thought of waiting at a bus stop in the cold in the morning (or having to scrape ice off a car) spurred my decision to buy a house that's walking distance (ish) of the station!
Is your dh looking for a more local job then? or is there nothing similar outside London?
I'm hanging on hoping that a Cambridge job will come up for me, but it will probably take a few years because I'm in a very specialised field.

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 20:58:50

He keeps looking but nothing comes up that pays the same sort of money. He's always had a long commute because we used to live in SE London and he worked out in Osterley so it was about 1.30 commute. Thing is now if the trains aren't screwed it's the tube.

What do you do?

SusieHughsie Mon 26-Feb-07 21:11:20

Hi 2boysmacca,

Thanks for the information re:froglets in Ickleton, will definitely pay it a visit.

Hope your little one's 1st birthday went well.

SusieHughsie Mon 26-Feb-07 21:18:12

Hi Millarkie,

What is with school secretaries and doctors receptionists? I had a similar experience when calling a school for my daughter, nearly gave her a piece of my mind and then remembered that we really would like my daughter to get a place there.

Regarding a child friendly cafe, Gluttons in SW is really nice and no one seemed to be too upset when Noah protested about sitting in a high chair and Amelia knocking over her milkshake twice.

Feeling anxious about our move too, but know that it's for the right reasons. Not looking forward to packing and unpacking though!

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 21:26:07

We now have a very large Starbucks

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 22:08:03

2boysmacca- when we first visited SW it was a Sunday and it looked sooo dead compared to our London 'burb. We were desperate to feed the kids and wandered about and ended up in a friendly cafe. Fed the kids but still had dh whinging that he would only move somewhere if there was a 'proper coffee shop', came out of cafe, turned round corner.....saw Starbucks!..decided we could move there after all
Oh, and I could tell you what I do but you would fall asleep at the keyboard it's soo boring - it's healthcare related, very specialised and there is a tiny unit at Addenbrooke's so I have a hope of eventually getting a position there.

2boysmacca Tue 27-Feb-07 06:19:02

Starbucks has only been open a week. You saw Costas

Agree, it is dead on Sunday and something that is very hard to get used to but now I quite like it

sophus Tue 27-Feb-07 16:02:41

Don't go to Starbucks! Support the independent cafes and shops in SW - they deserve it far more than some horrible american chain.
Rant over - can't wait to meet you all. I don't commute as am lucky enough to work in cambridge but used to and never had a problem apart from the usual commuting gripes.
Just had my 13 wk scan so feel a bit more official now. I will be looking for a nanny share once i actually get round to having the small thing. So am watching these discussions keenly.

Millarkie Tue 27-Feb-07 16:31:58

Hey Sophus - I share my nanny at the moment and have been looking (in vain ) for someone to share a new one with after we move, so let me know if you want any info on nanny employment etc
At the moment I am interviewing for an 'afternoons only during termtime/ full time in holidays' nanny since I can't justify having a full-time nanny when my children are out of the house a lot of the day and I work part-time.
2boysmacca - hmm..must have been costa then

2boysmacca Tue 27-Feb-07 16:49:41

sophus, normally I would agree with you but child friendly and good coffee don't blend well. Kim's, well they ain't friendly, Gluttons has to have the worst coffe in SW (but good for meals) Cafe cou cou is by far the best but have you tried to get a buggy let alone a double one in there? Duffy Moons is good and we often go there but Starbucks, has everything you need for a quick coffee with 2 kids

nearlythree Tue 27-Feb-07 20:24:43

Totally agree with Sophus, Starbucks is a bloody disaster. Carphone Warehouse have just turned up too. Soon SW will be just another homogenised High St of chain stores, unless we support the independents now. I'd rather drink s**t coffee in Gluttons than give a penny to a grabby expolitative company like Sbucks.

(now you know why I never go on meet-ups! )

2boysmacca Tue 27-Feb-07 20:56:12

Get it off your chest love! It's these relocating Londoners that want to change us

I do support local business honest, always buy from the butcher, always queing for 30mins for my veg on a Saturday, but there are some things you cannot change, the desire for a Starbucks coffee I'd be in Cafe Cou cou every day for their hot chocolate if only i could get my buggy in and use a highchair

2boysmacca Tue 27-Feb-07 21:00:48

Cooeee, anyonea round?

ds1 got his finger trapped in the fire door handle today at nursery. He was sobbing when I picked him up. We had to go shopping and he was so upset, "I want to go home mummy" He soon recovered after half a bag of buttons . I did feel guilty when ds2 was looking longingly at his brother This is only Finn's 2nd bag of buttons to date - his 1st bag was last Easter and me and dh ate them cos I felt he was too young

2boysmacca Tue 27-Feb-07 21:02:46

Whoops! Wrong post. 1 glass of wine and I'm all over the place

Millarkie Tue 27-Feb-07 21:12:58

Aaah poor lad <relocating Londoner crawls back in>. Both my mum and MIL were not impressed when I reminded them at ds's first easter that he had not and would not be tasting any chocolate eggs - he got a toy bunny and a book instead IIRC. He's now 5 and my mum still got him a fluffy toy instead of chocolate this year, whilst my personal battle to keep him away from the stuff was lost years ago
For what it's worth <appeasing emoticon here> we use our local independent coffee shop here - it's just that on that particular day it seemed like everything was shut and dh had had a particularly poor cup of coffee. He is a serious caffeine addict.
We love the fact that SW hasn't become a 'cloned high street' and promise to support the independents (but not the butchers because dh and kids are veggies )

luciemule Tue 27-Feb-07 21:22:15

hi saffycat - i bet your 7 year old ds would love the Duxford Air Museum (sits next to the M11 south of Cambridge) - it's a great day out and also the zoo at Colchester is, IMO, the best zoo I've been zoo and we'll be buying annual tickets once we move to suffolk in the summer.

nearlythree Tue 27-Feb-07 21:44:17

I'm from Romford!

SusieHughsie Tue 27-Feb-07 21:46:11

Chocolate makes everything seem better, that and wine!

nearlythree Tue 27-Feb-07 21:47:53

Coming back to the everything closing on a Sunday thing, yes, most shops shut (except Tesco ) but there are loads of things to do. There's Mole Hall Wildlife Park, Wimploe Hall Farm, Hatfield Forest, Audley End House, AE Railway, the toy museum and castle at Stansted, Hedingham Castle, SW museum...

SusieHughsie Tue 27-Feb-07 21:49:01

Hi Nearlythree,

I'm from Newbury Park, just down the road from you! We are moving up to SW in May.

nearlythree Tue 27-Feb-07 21:50:18

I've been in a village nr. SW for 9 yrs now. I love it but we might be relocating to the West Country.

nearlythree Tue 27-Feb-07 21:51:46

Btw there are loads of ex-Londoners around here - the bloke over the road from us grew up in the next road to dh!

SusieHughsie Tue 27-Feb-07 21:56:25

Small world! Why the move to the West Country?

nearlythree Tue 27-Feb-07 22:04:21

I love it there even more than SW and dh is about to set up his own business that could be located anywhere. As he no longer needs to commute this might be the ideal time to go, before dd1 esp. gets too settled at school. Plus we've had a horrible year and think a fresh start may do us some good. But we haven't decided, we both have ill dads who are still in the Romford area and have to consider them too.

Millarkie Tue 27-Feb-07 22:20:48

Nearlythree (or anyone else) - what's Mole Hall like? We're looking for somewhere not-too-stressful to meet up with 1 or 2 potential nannies - ideally somewhere we can have a cup of tea and chat, and also where the children will be amused, ideally outside rather than a noisy indoor place. Would Mole Hall be any good? Failing that, does anyone know of anywhere else? - a local pub with a children's play area would do.

nearlythree Tue 27-Feb-07 22:27:49

Mole Hall is lovely but doesn't have the best of coffee shops. However, if it's not too wet/cold it has a fantastic play area which will keep the dcs amused for ages whilst you sit and chat on the picnic benches nearby.

Millarkie Tue 27-Feb-07 22:33:37

Thanks nearlythree - Mole Hall it is then

Hi all,

Been off the chat for a couple of days - little one had to go to A & E, had to move out of teh house for a couple fo nights due to the builders and their lovely opps we forgot to tell you you'd have no heating and water!

Only 5 working days left until i go on Mat leave - can't wait. going to The Roise this afternoon for a last scan to check for C section dates. i swear i live at that hospital.

I would be intersted in a nanny share if anyone else needs one. I am looking for one from January 2008 (full time )G is going to school in september so during the day it will just be the baby until he gets home) - we are getting another au pair as well as we are both not home by 6pm. Both work in London.

About the last bus thing - i have never understood that, we have 3 people who pay us £15 a week to park their car on our driveway - we are about a 1 minute walk from the station so good for them and good for us.

i'm going to ratn as well - was born in London, work in London, went ot boarding school in London, work for an American Bank but DO NOT do Starbucks - they are like Tesco and before we know it they will have taken over, pushed all local business out, exploited their staff and suppliers - i love the scones in Cou Cou, can't stand Gluttons, over priced, pre-cooked food, rude staff and a man who hates children (he drinks in our local pub)

2boysmacca Wed 28-Feb-07 13:17:18

(whispers) I also shop in Tesco's

valentina Wed 28-Feb-07 13:21:09

Trouble with Mole Hall is that all your potential nannies will have to pay to get in and meet you!

Millarkie Wed 28-Feb-07 18:29:04

Valentina - We are going to meet nanny at car and pay her entry - lot cheaper than hiring a room to interview in and the kids will be a lot happier.

I'm an Essex girl BTW, not a Londoner born and bred, I'm from Braintree, but escaped long long ago

Englishspringer -you've had a heck of a week! You sound calm through it all though.

Just got back from the Rosie - i had my scan and saw the doctor and was in and out within an hour - crikey what is happening on the NHS.

I have my date 4th April - they wanted 29th March but is my Wedding Anni and just couldn't have the birthday then - a mummy has to have her own day right??

this week has been a little hectic but i always say what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

Can't beleive how many more people are on this chat now - i didn't realise there were so many mums in and around SW - when i was looking for a nanny share for G i couldn't find anyone, now it seems that there are lots of people wanting nany shares.

if anyone needs any abbysitting then we ahve a fantastic aupair who only charges £4 per hour.

Ickleton is lovely, we looked a house there before we bought in Wendens Ambo but the station won it for us!

SusieHughsie Wed 28-Feb-07 21:56:39

Glad your scan went well, completely understand that you dont want to share your wedding anniversary with your little one's birthday. I share mine with my daughter and it means we can never have our own celebration!

4th April, not too long to go - how exciting!

stump Thu 01-Mar-07 08:03:05

Hi everyone

Haven't had chance to post for a few days as have been visiting my little niece (4 weeks old today!) Makes me so excited about meeting my baby in May!

englishspringer - wow you have had a hectic week - not long though til maternity leave now! Glad your scan went ok and you got your date sorted.

I too love cafe cou cou hot chocolate - being buggy and baby free at the moment it suits me fine - realising I will have to find another venue after may!! Worked out I have 11 weeks left tomorrow so am going to have to start shopping.....any excuse!

By the way for those of you who support the independent shops which butcher do you use? I go to a brilliant butcher in Thaxted but it is a bit of a trek - worth it though and on friday there is a market there with a lovely fish stand too.....

Hope everyone is well.



I am glad to know about the butcher's in thaxted - currently we buy our meat from a butcher's in Loughton where we used to live - it is called Bosworth's and i've jsut learnt that they now own a restaurant in Finchingfield.

I am off tomorrow for a midwife thingy so i will pop to thaxted for a look - is the butcher open every day?

My mum is not too impressed that i have asked for him to be delivered later rather than earlier - she is anxious for another grandchild - most people want their babies out but i am happy for him to be inside me as long as necessary so that i can have a bit more peace and a few extra nights sleep.

My little boy has named the baby Henry and i don't like the name at all - been trying to convince him that other names are great but he is having none of it -i know i'm going to end up with a Henry.

has anyone been to Whispnade? we are thinking of going on Sunday for G's 4th birthday.

2boysmacca Thu 01-Mar-07 10:31:47

Grayson & Start on George Street. They are so friendly in there and very helpful.

stump Thu 01-Mar-07 12:57:56


Good to know about Grayson
& Start on George Street for those times I can't make the trip to Thaxted.

Englishspringer - the butcher is open every day except sunday i think... There are two butchers in Thaxted the one I like is Green's Family butchers - as you drive into thaxted from saffron walden you go down the hill (main street) and you'll see all the market stalls. The butchers is at the bottom of the hill on the right hand side....I've never been to the other one which is at the top of the hill but I'm not sure about the look of it.

Might see you there as I'm making my regular visit...


so i went ot the butchers on Friday and got some good meat - thansk for that.

also had another trip to A & E - i did say i lived in that place - it turns out that they gave George the wrong antibiotics and they were making him puke for England.

We went to Whipsnade Zoo yesterday - if you haven't been i wouldn't advise going, we were really disappointed -

anyway hope all had a good weekend despite the weather - i am on the countdown until Friday - i am off tomorrow and then in only have Wed, thurs and Fri left. Yippee - i just hope the baby doesn't come early so i can get some ME time!

2boysmacca Mon 05-Mar-07 11:20:06

We've had a weekend full of toddler tantrums. Even ds2 has started having them and he's only a couple fo weeks over 1!

Luckily we never had the Toddler Tantrums - however, we ahve just started getting the i'm not doing that and NO you can't make me, as well as when it is bedtime - i'm hungry, i'm thirsty etc. and then i phoned him from work this morning and last night he had a dream about a Wolf eating him so he told me that if I let him watch more Dora The Explorer or DVD's then he would dream about the DVD's which wouldn't give him bad dreams! HA - i tell you when there is two of them, they are going to run circles around me. At least G is going to school in September - i might need a break by then!

stump Mon 05-Mar-07 16:35:32

....glad you got some nice meat at the butchers on friday....i never went in the end as was feeling absolutely exhausted.

Sounds like i've got the terrible twos to look forward to! Seems like a long way off but am sure time will fly by!

englishspringer - sorry you had yet another trip to A&E but glad all is well in the end. Bet you cannot wait to start your maternity leave now!!!!

SusieHughsie Mon 05-Mar-07 20:43:37

DH was the only one having tantrums this weekend, cant really blame him though - his credit card was cloned and then recieved tax bill from Inland Revenue all at a time where we are watching every penny because of the move.

On a more positive note,we went to view two possible schools for DD who is 4.5, Great Chesterford and Duxford - they were both very impressive in different ways and we just have to decide which one would be best for her. I'm really having trouble making the decision!

Hi Susie

I used to teach prior to becoming a trader in teh City and when i was studying at Cambridge worked in 5 schools in and around Saffron walden - one of them was Katherine Semar, one Henham & Ugley, One RAB, One Duxford and one Great Chestford. As a parent you see what the school wants you to see and OFSTED reports are not good to go by as a school gets a lot of warning and beleive me my school that i worked in for 2 years (i won't say which oen in case i offend some mums in SW) manipulated the system as do a lot of schools - results cahnged, marking altered, children's workbooks redone, children coached to do certain things, lessons re-planned and things done that would never be done if OFSTED weren't coming in.

However, the 3 schools which during my time there were outstanding were Thaxted, Henham & Ugley and Great Chesterford - all of these schools have excellent heads and a small staff turnover.

Hope this helps!

Stump - can't wait for my Mat Leave - G was 4 today - oh my goodness where has that time gone! starting to get scared about the new baby, i can't actually remember how i got George to sleep, how i fed him etc. they say it comes back but i'm not so sure!

Millarkie Tue 06-Mar-07 21:14:14

Oh EnglishSpringer - now you're stressing me We are being shown around RAB and K Semar this Friday - could you give me a hint? TBH ds will either end up at K Semar or in an independent school but want to see RAB just in case a space comes up.


I worked with at KS - the junior side not the infant side but here it si a fantastic school - we didn't look because it was out of our catchment (hence why G is going to independent school).

However, there is a girl Kelly Pattison (i think she got married a few weeks ago so may have a different surname) - anyway i worked with her for two years in the school i taught in - I was year 3 teacher and she was a year 1 & 2 teacher. She is absolutely fantastic and raves about the school - they draw from the less wealthy areas of SW so have trouble being considered as good as RAB or the other schools - however, you know my opinion on OFSTED and league tables and to be honest KS is a very good school.

I think you need to ask - what their gifted and talented policy is, what their behaviour poilcy is, marking policy - lots of schools rave about their sticker systems, Golden time (children can choose what fun activity they do on a Friday) but it very rarely exists to the extent they say it does - ask to look at a sample of books - you can see teacher's comments and see if the school really does follow through with positive marking, free time, how they reward children, staff turnover rates, support in the classroom, do teachers get to take their breaks and if so who covers your child's class in this time, do they have an open door policy, whose work is on the walls - i think this is very important - i have been to see a lot of schools (i specialised in special needs - both ends of the spectrum) and have seen lots of display boards - i have seen beautiful ones which if you look closer are made up entirely of the Learning support assistant and teacher's work with the odd child's contribution. However, the best schools always have the childrne's work and a selection of 'good and bad' examples - you cannot compare two children so although some work may appear a little scruffy, untidy or not finished - are you judging by what your capable of or what the child is capable of - all children love to ahve their work on display and i believe that if schools value thier pupils then they will endeavour to display all types.

Make sure it is not too quiet - children do not learn through sitting down and doing a worksheet, they learn through talking, acting, playing etc.

I know i have rattled on but please DO NOT be fooled by what you see - remember that the school and all the staff know you are coming, your name will be on the white board in the staff room, the staff will have been briefed about the time you are coming, the school will also have dictated what times you are permitted to come and look.

Hope this helps

laurasmiles Wed 07-Mar-07 10:19:53

So glad I found this thread! It's been great hearing all your comments and like a pp said, just knowing that there are so many friendly people and new poeple too. We should be complete on the house in SW next week (only six months after putting in the offer!!), but won't move up for a couple more weeks. The first sale of our flat fell through, but at least that give dp a chance to get into the SW house and do a bit of work on it. It needs a complete overhaul!!
really looking foreward to the move from London (will try not to bring too may changes with me!! :-)
Looing forward to meeting some of you too.
Laura x plus ds 25months and dd 6 onths.

You will love it here - there is lots to do and it is really lovely because you are close to London, big towns but not if that makes sense. We lived in SW when we first got married for 2 years - we just came upon it and fell in love with it - then we moved back to Loughton and then got sick of Loughton and moved to Wendens Ambo (right by audley End station) about 6 months ago - us like you are having major rennovation work - it has been going on since November and is not due to finish until May - they are now putting the new bathrooms in etc. the roof has gone on and i can see light at the end of the tunnel - i'm trying not to see the dust, the dirt, the horrible builders, the rubbish project manager and hoping that the baby doesn't come early - we are sleeping in the living room, the au pair and our 4 year old are up stairs and to say it is chaos is an understatement!

Anyway hope the exchange goes well - will definately have to arrange for all who want to to meet up locally.

Lilymaid Wed 07-Mar-07 10:58:46

Susiehughsie re school choices. When we looked around (this was 10 years ago) Duxford was dire (almost in special measures) and Great Chesterford was excellent. I believe Great Chesterford still is.
However, if your child goes to Great Chesterford the secondary school would then be Saffron Walden County High (a very good school with 6th form) whereas from Duxford you would normally go on to Sawston Village College (OK but not as good as SWCH and there is selection at 16 for the Cambridge sixth form colleges). Even though your child may only be in infants you are effectively choosing their sixth forms when you decide which side of the county line you will go for!

stump Wed 07-Mar-07 11:23:30

I;'d definitely be up for a meet up its really nice to know that there are lots of mums in the area - maybe once people get settled in their houses. Its good to be able to chat though and start to get to know each other.

Thankfully I have a few years before I'll need to think about schools - although one friend recently told me that you need to start thinking about it almost as soon as they are born.....Scary stuff!!!

englishspringer - enjoy your last few days at work if you can and look forward to making the most of your maternity leave!! You think you're worried about remembering how to feed/bath etc.....I'm totally scared about the whole thing just hoping maternal instinct kicks in when my little one arrives!!! not long now - I'll be 30 weeks on Friday.

mouseman Wed 07-Mar-07 11:31:56

My dd is at Great Chesterford School and we have been very happy with it. I have no real experience of Duxford school but I do have friends in nearby villages who have pushed and pushed for our school rather than Duxford. Most have got in!!

USAUKMum Wed 07-Mar-07 12:03:30

Hi all , its been a while since I've been here and so many more have joined the thread !

I'm sorry I can't contribute to the school portion as we live down in Bishops Stortford. But just wanted to put a couple of fun things that we enjoy doing.

1. Linton Zoo -- we went there went DS was small (I think he was only 6 wks old) and DD was 3.5 and she loved it. It is good for a morning, but not big enough for all day. Now DS is 2.5, we'll be going back again.

2. Shepreth Wildlife Park -- this one is really good for after visits to the Rosie we went a number times when pg with DS as we had lots of appts. DD loved it and they were doing a lot of improvements too.
and finally the reason why we haven't been to 1 & 2 lots in the last year:

3. Wimpole Farm (and and House). Need I say they love it. They have a great farm and a fab adventure playground for older children (from about 4, I'd say -- unless like DS who climbed up our slide at 6 mths ). They have a play area for smaller ones as well near the cafe. We often take a picnic. Spring they have the lambs and they have activities too. In Oct we went to "Meet the Butler". We joined the NT because of it (and Hatfield Forest, which is also v. good)

Goodluck to all you pg ladies !


Completely agree about Wimpole - we go every Sunday morning - we take the dogs and take it in turns to go to the farm - we take picnics too but also have lunch in the restaurant - quite pricey but the food is lovely.

We went to Linton Zoo in feb - not many animals out but still good.

Haven't ventured to Hatfield forest yet but heard good things. We tend to take the bike to Wimpole as the path there is great and safe.

We drove a little further afield at the weekend and went to Whipsnade - really didn't like it but am a big far of Woburn.

USAUKMum Wed 07-Mar-07 12:51:26

We go to Hatfield quite a lot as it is only 15 min drive from our house. They've built a new walkway that runs from one of the roads through the forest, past the lake then around the lake to the coffee shop. The DC love it. DS loves the cows, so we usually end up walking around trying to find them. We often get there before the main gate is up and thus on cars on the road (but there are lots of bumps and people go really slow on it). You can park by the Lake (where the coffee shop is) and do the trail from the opposite end.

Shepreth isn't up to Woburn standards, but a nice little place for a sunny afternoon / morning. My DC loved Woburn.

Can also recommend The Potteries in Newport which is a private swim school. My DD has been there since 1 and loves it. DS started at around 1 as well, but they start them from 9 mths.

Millarkie Wed 07-Mar-07 18:34:57

Laurasmiles - Hi, nice to meet you

Englishspringer - Thanks for all your tips re: schools. KS is out of our 'catchment' too - but they have spaces and are happy to take ds. We have been looking at independent schools too but the ones with space don't want to take dd into nursery full-time which would mean school fees plus a nanny salary so we are looking at KS first.
Hope you're enjoying your countdown to April 4th

I'm driving up to SW tomorrow night and will be staring at strangers with buggies on Friday trying to work out if they're a mumsnetter

SusieHughsie Thu 08-Mar-07 14:48:57

Thanks to all who replied to my message re my dilemna in choosing between schools. It was a great help!

USAUKMUM - Re The Potteries Swim School, do you have any contact details for them, really interested in enrolling my DD and DS.

USAUKMum Thu 08-Mar-07 14:53:31

The Potteries number is 01799 541591 I believe they aren't listed anymore as they are popular. Don't know what the waiting list is like at the mo. But Mother & Baby are the easiest to get into, next the Over 3 class, finally after school places are the hardest. But once you get one child in, preference is given to siblings.

2boysmacca Thu 08-Mar-07 16:19:15

about a 12 month waiting list!

USAUKMum Fri 09-Mar-07 11:54:45

I checked this morning when I took DS to his swim class (only one more term of going in the pool myself!!!!!) and the waiting list is currently closed, but they are going to be accepting new students after 2 July.

Yippee i've finished work - my mum and dad had DS last night my DH left for work at 6.30 and i thought i'd get a lie in - no chance. However, i have mopped all the floors, cleaned the bathrooms, hoovered and dusted, stripped the beds and am on a mission, the cleaner only came on Thursday but just felft compelled. I might take up a part time cleaning job whilst i'm on mat leave :0

i rang the potteries about swimming and they say that there is no chance of No 1 DS getting in but that we can register DS2 when he is born.

It's my little boy's birthday party tomorrow - we have 24 children coming to a play barn (it's in Epping)- today i have to collect the cake, get the helium balloons etc. was going to go to the NCT sale but probably going to give it a miss as i have to walk the dogs as well.

Millarkie - what did you think of the schools?

nearlythree Sat 10-Mar-07 08:12:22

I am lucky in that dd1 is in the best school in the area, people fight like mad to get in here but only 14 places in Reception - we just happen to be in catchment. RAB has a reputation for being too pushy with tinies. I have a friend whose dd is in KS and I think she likes it but the class sizes are getting large.

SWCH sucks and I would rather live on gruel and pay independent school fees than send my dcs there - esp. at 6th form level, where they throw out any student with grades less than B at AS level to keep up their league table position, regardless of how hard that person has worked. Also has no grip on the bullying which is rife in the school.

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 16:51:24

We've just got home.
Hmm..Englishspringer - sounds like 'nesting' - that baby's not trying to come early is it? (But if you want a cleaning job I can offer you one )

Interesting about SWCH nearlythree - sounds like a lot of the grammar schools I grew up near!

Well, we looked around 2 schools - 1 had all the children in years R to 2 sitting at tables with worksheets. R were copying over handwriting examples. 1 were copying letters and 2 were writing beneath examples...I have to say, that it seemed like a SAT factory compared to the (very good) school that ds goes to at the moment. There were no incorrectly spelt words on the displays (ds has learnt to try to spell a word by thinking about the sounds so his work is full of 'interesting' spelling). Ds behaved himself very well, was quiet and polite and sat down when we saw the library and read a book, but at the end he said he didn't like the school, neither did dh, and I have my reservations.
The second one had invited ds to spend the afternoon there - the methods of learning were similar to those which ds is used to, there were less 'singing and dancing' resources but more evidence of children working things out for themselves. Ds stayed and loved it (although since it was Fri pm he had golden time and gymnastics so what's not to love )
However, our fav. at the moment is a small and probably not very popular independant school. It's undersubscribed so I guess it's got a poor local reputation (or it may be that the local state schools are so good, people don't use independents but the other one we saw was full up).

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 17:02:37

Oh, and Mole Hall was closed due to flooding so we met up with one potential nanny at Wimpole instead - kids loved the farm, but they were too shy to talk to the nanny
Second nanny has just found out she's expecting another baby so doesn't want to change job right now.
Oh and we drove round and sat outside our 'new' house to listen to the M11 - dh is developing a minor obsession about how close it is.

ES - Whereabouts is the playing field in WA? I think I saw some play equipment up by ( I think ) the village hall. We 're coming up again next Sat to 'measure for curtains' etc so am thinking of walking the kids round there to burn some energy off.

2boysmacca Sat 10-Mar-07 18:20:47

Good to hear your day went well. If you're heading to SW take a look at Bridge End Gardens. The gardens are lovely to run around and also there is a lovely park there too, (behind the gardens).

Would you dare name schools? Which did you like, which didn't you? Which Independant?

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 18:32:23

2boysmacca - I didn't want to upset any SW mums by naming the schools (but I have previously mentioned which 2 state schools we were visiting so it's pretty obvious I guess) - S'only our humble opinion guv'nor.

The independent is Friends, which is a Quaker founded school. Dh's family are not member of any organised faith but are vegatarian pacifist (hippy ) types and the ethos of the school really fits our family beliefs. It's also very quiet with small class sizes and since ds has hearing problems (if you scroll down this thread you'll see I changed my chat name recently - I'm BB). he has problems hearing if the background noise is high, and also problems concentrating and is very very shy. We think the small class size and the 'family' feel of the school will raise his confidence.
We had previously been told that dd would not be able to stay in the school nursery past 3.20pm but this has turned out to be erroneous and the school have said that they will accept her into late stay twice a week so we wouldn't have to have a nanny termtime - we think (am doing frenzied calculations involving train timetables).
So if any of the locals want to tell me why Friends has places whilst t'other (forgotten it's name) has a waiting list I'm listening

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 18:34:22

Oh and thanks for the Bridge end gardens tip - my list of places to go just keeps getting longer!

2boysmacca Sat 10-Mar-07 18:49:21

Ah yes! Friends is just a few yards down the road from us. We looked into sending ds there but the fees are rather high for us. No idea why it's undersubscribed, I hear a lot of good things about it. However, I do know that us locals are up in arms that they are selling off land to developers to build a huge amount of housing and flats

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 19:03:44

Yes, we read about the sell-off on their website - it's a big shame.
Seems like a lovely area of town, I am of you. Didn't see any houses for sale about there when we were looking.
(Compared to a nanny's salary the fees seem reasonable - it's the long term cost that's making dh shake )

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 19:08:37

Oh and we even found time for a coffee in Cafe cou cou

Didn't see Gluttons anywhere, did walk past the new Starbucks though.

nearlythree Sat 10-Mar-07 20:19:04

Dd1's school is so small and so good we don't need to consider independent atm, but Friends is our choice for secondary school if we haven't relocated. It did have a bad academic record until recently but has new staff inc. the former head of RAB I believe.

The fees have shot up since we've been here though and that, the land sell-off and a high percentage of students from abroad suggests they aren't very good at managing their finances.

Gluttons is at the back of Boots. Solely for Children is there also - the best childrens' shoe shop, they are wonderful at measuring feet and tell you if your dcs aren't ready for shoes or have plenty of growth in their old ones.

2boysmacca Sat 10-Mar-07 20:40:45

Ditto Solely for children. Also love the little jewellels there, he's very helpful and friendly for any works undertaken.

Coffee in coucou....Nooooo hot chocolate

We like it up this end of town, but would prefer to be nearer. If I won the lottery I would be living on West Road

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 20:41:01

Thanks Nearlythree - sounds promising. We did realise that their academic level was v. poor for an independant but tbh that's not a priority for us. A happy confident ds is our goal.
As for financial managment - at a guess, the type of work that they want to carry out is usually funded by rich alumni, so if they are short of those it's no wonder that things have got a bit run-down. The fees are less than those of the other indie in town ( and more than half the cost of even un-popular indies in our area of London - my London friends are amazed!) I was reading an article t'other day about how private school fees have increased out of all proportion in the last few years.

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 20:48:03

I'm talking myself into this aren't I

2boysmacca Sat 10-Mar-07 20:49:48

The move or the schools

nearlythree Sat 10-Mar-07 20:57:01

Millarkie, I agree, SWCH has a much better academic reputation but Friends is supposed to have more concern for the child as an individual, not an exam statistic.

But, did hear Friends had a big drugs problem a few years' ago...

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 21:26:28

S'alright - once we pay the school fees our kids won't have enough money to buy drugs

Already talked into the move BTW, am now talking myself into working almost solely to pay school fees rather than working almost solely to pay a nanny Difference is that, if I decided to become a SAHM (really can't see this happening but..) childcare can be changed easier than a school...And in 2 or 3 years time was hoping to down-grade nanny to au pair and have money for holidays again...but I want ds to be a happy chap.

nearlythree Sat 10-Mar-07 22:16:43

Millarkie, is ds reception or yr 1?

Millarkie Sat 10-Mar-07 22:22:41

Yr 1

nearlythree Sun 11-Mar-07 08:44:54

I know there's a space at dd1's school in Reception but not sure about Yr 1. I know you haven't expressed an interest but it's a good school - about 20 mins from SW.

Millarkie Sun 11-Mar-07 08:53:35

I probably just don't know it exists - I searched for our catchment school (RAB) and rang the LEA when they didn't have a place and they offered one at KS. I've seen StM and TM in town, and heard about Grt C'ford (my friend who lives in Braintree rang me to rave about the lovely mums she's met from Grt C'ford school ) - I know nothing about other village schools. I am an ignoramus

Could you email me on bluebeartwobears at yahoo dot co dot uk with the school name and I'll give them a ring! Thank you.

nearlythree Sun 11-Mar-07 09:19:48

Okay, will do, some bloke called Steve will be appearing to mail you but it's me - I use an old addy of dh's!

sophus Sun 11-Mar-07 15:33:59

hi all
just checking in really, as haven't posted since my anti starbucks rant! interesting talk of schools - all early for us as it will be years before it starts school.
just wanted to stay in touch really and say let me know if you arrange a meet up.

Lilymaid Sun 11-Mar-07 15:42:49

Quite a few children in SW go to independent prep schools in Cambridge (St Faiths, St John's King's, Perse etc) and there is a coach service in mornings. Probably better for the older child as it makes the day very long (the coach leaves the Common at around 7.30 am.


Sounds like i've missed a good old chat whilst i've been away.

with regards to schools from a teacher's persepctive, i think Friends is good and we considered sendign DS there, however, he is very accademic and opted for Dame B's - we only opted out of State because all of the schools we looked at could not provide facilites that he needs - it is a nightmare being a parent of a gifted and talented child and hope no2 is 'normal.

Frienda has excellent pastoral care good facilities and i went for a job interview there when i first qualified so have seen behind the scenes.

The park is right by Duck Street - it has football posts, climbing frames and a shed full of plastic toys, a sand pit etc. My DS goes there every day with the au pair and loves it - i walk the Wendens Ambo loop everyday with the dogs so they run across the field as well.

With regards to the M11 - you can only hear it when the wind blows in a certain direction and in the summer all the trees and stuff are out so they block the noise. We are lucky because where we are in the village we can't hear any noise, however twice a day (6.30 to 7.30 & 5.30 to 7) we get the cars from the station for a 5 mins period when the train comes in but unless you ahve your windows open you can't hear it.

So much for my not buying anything at the NCT sale - i bought loads.

I truly hope that it is not nesting we are currently living in the living room, double bed, DS bed, wardrobe you name it - the builders are knocking through upstairs and are not finishing until April upstairs - then when they've finished upstairs they start downstairs - can cope with that bit with a new baby but not right now- i had an urge to clean the cars yesterday - i haven't ever cleaned a car in my life - absolutely wrecked after doing it but very satisfying. I am having amjor Braxton Hicks pains and he feels like he is going to fall out of me he is so low - my ribs have re-appeared as he has dropped - i am looking for at least 2 more weeks peace and quiet.

Millarkie Sun 11-Mar-07 19:54:56

Thanks ES!

but...How was the Birthday Party???

My ds is not G+T, he is above-average at school at the moment but has major confidence issues so his teacher thinks that he is not performing up to his capabilities..hence our search for a supportive atmosphere rather than 'stretching'.

We drove past a house that appeared to have no roof so I was hoping that it wasn't yours When dd was born we had the downstairs of our house stripped out, no kitchen, sofa cushions on floor with tv/toys in a bedroom, no carpets, plaster off walls, had to fill kettle from utility room sink and walk back to plug it into corner of building site, so completely know what you are going through. The midwives that visited weren't shocked by the state but were shocked by me saying that it would be another 6 months before we would have a proper kitchen again.
Ta for info on M11 - dh is worried about re-sale value but I have pointed out that it is still quieter than most of the roads that we looked at in SW. He's just noticed that there's a house for sale on West Rd so he's wobbling right now .
Will search out the field this weekend - we'll be the short round woman with the children with unfeasible names

The party was good - we had it in Epping which is close to where we used to live and invited all his friends from the nursery he goes to in Loughton. we are going to have a Saffron Walden party in the summer when we can go out in the garden - there is a place called Jump in Great Chishill that has a big back garden with climbing frames, trampolines etc and you can hire it.

We had another party this afternoon - very strange - they had food before the party and it was sit down and watch the man party - the children were filled up with cake etc adn hitting him, jumping up, shouting out - i always think it is best to fill them with sugar at the end at least then they go home and you don't have to deal with it.

There is never a re-sale problem in WA - very sought after area - anyway most of the villages etc. are sandwiched between the railway and M11.

I don't even want to think about the midwife coming round here - it is seriously a nightmare - in fact when we agreed they could start in Dec i didn't really think about the baby - joy oh joy.

Our house does have a roof - they put it on last week - however, it also has scaffolding all around it, patched up windows, skips on the drivway and two great big builders signs out the front - can i just say I HATE BUILDERS!

Millarkie Sun 11-Mar-07 21:20:25

I can feel the sugar frenzy from here

Dh mainly worried because the house we are buying was on the market for a few months before we offered (although, supposedly someone else had offered in the same week) and he is used to the London market -we sold our house to the first viewer, and our last place was sold within 2 hours of us signing the estate agent contract.
I've told him your info and he's cheered up now

You may hate builders but I can tell you something (slightly) worse - dh got rid of our builders v early on in the renovations because they weren't 'precise' enough, and then he re-plumbed, re-wired, fitted the kitchen and utility, put in a new doorway, all in weekends, so I've been looking after the children sole parent for the last few years.
Now we are trying to sell the place the only problem we have is with the work which the builder did - all dh's stuff has proper authority clearance /safety checks/certificate..blooming builder has changed a couple of windows and hasn't ensured that they are building control compliant or FENSAed .
I've just had a nasty shock - looked down this thread and saw that i first posted on it last July!..can't believe it's been so long and we still aren't there.

stump Mon 12-Mar-07 09:21:27

ES - sounds like you;ve had a v hectic but fun weekend with G's birthday!! And congratulations on starting your maternity leave!! Enjoy!! Hope you have a few good weeks of rest - although sounds like you're a bit like me and don't know the meaning of the word!

My weekend basically involved spending lots of time with my 5 week old niece - getting in lots of practice before my baby arrives. Its so nice getting in a bit of practice.

Me and my husband are off to France this weekend - my parents live over there and we want a final break just the two of us before we are taken over by parenthood. It probably won;t be as relaxing a break as we'd like as we're actually going to be househunting for a holiday home over there. Its quite exciting and just hope we see something we like as we won't have many other opportunities for a while!

Anyway hope everyone's well.

2boysmacca Mon 12-Mar-07 10:07:48

EnglsihSpringer, I know what you mean about talented and gifted, but ds1 is talented, gifted and good looking. I mean, what are the chances of that

2boysmacca - glad that someone else has a child that is G+T - i tell you it is a nightmare - he attends a special pre-school on a Friday in London and is on a programme with Dr. Robert Winston - it is so hard to entertain him and he is just like a little adult - he has been reading and writing for over a year, has an IQ of over 150 and DH and I just want him to be a normal little boy - we have never pushed him but he just started asking and questioning from such an early age - we would read books to him and he would say what does that say mummy and what does that begin with and then he would say rhyming words and talk about things that little children just shouldn't know - we tried to ignore it and just focus on having fun reading and not worrying about words and things but then we were advised to seek professional help etc.

We then took him out of nursery full time and got him a French au pair so that he could learn another language - the funny thing is they speak French all day yet he won't speak a word of it to anyone else. Anwyay i could rant on for ages about how hard it is but i won't i'll save it for a coffee.

Just one thing - which school does he go to that can accomodate his needs? we asked everyone and none of them could do it. I used to teach so i did think about giving up work and doing it at home, i already tutor 3 children.

Milarkie - i feel for you with the building work - we are having a nightmare with our builders they are just so rude and ooohhh..... we have had some extra plans drawn up for a lounge extension which we were thinking about doing as well - the trouble is the plans have not been passed yet because of the amount of work we have already done yet the builders have taken it upon their own back to start building it and assumed that they could go ahead with it. We told the man who is managing the project for us that firstly we don't have planning permission and secondly we haven't actually told them that their quote is OK - to be honest they are ripping us off on this extra work and they just think that because they are on sit ethat we will agree to that price!

Stump - very jealous that you are going to France - we go there every year on holiday - we have just come back from the Val D'Isere (well end of Jan - i obviously can't ski anymore) went to Eurodisney a fair old few times last year (we somehow ended up with annual passes so felt obliged to use them) - we then went to one of our favourite spots The Vendee - this year we are have decided that we will give France a break (first time in 7 years) and are heading to Italy and Florida instead - i kinda think that i am going to miss all that good cheese, red wine and markets.

Oh i so need a holiday - especially just an adult one.

ahundredtimes Mon 12-Mar-07 22:29:35

englishspringer - are you sure about Dame B's for your G&T - he does sound super G&T. There are bright children there, but you should know that lots of them go off to Cambridge schools at Yr3 because parents don't think they're getting enough. Lovely school though - we used to go there - and very open-armed and properly non-selective, quite a special place but NOT a particularly, exclusively academic school imo. Though, jolly nice for it!


Thanks for the advice - the trouble is we only moved into the area a few months ago old little man wasn't registered anywhere but Dame B's so we are kind of stuck.

Hoping he will get a scholarship somewhere at 7!

ahundredtimes Mon 12-Mar-07 22:44:30

And it's really not a bad place to be stuck either! Some very good teachers and a lovely atmosphere - really engaging and happy children too. Also depends what you want for him doesn't it? We'd have stayed there - but we moved area - because it would have done its best by all three of mine, but I can see that my DS1 (also frighteningly G&T) is happier now at a more academic, selective school. I did go and look at the Perse when he was in Yr 1(and behaving badly, which is not something Dame B's children do as a rule!) and thought I'd rather he stayed where he was! Too grim and dour for me.
Am sure he'll have a good time. Is he going to nursery there? The nursery teacher is absolutely fab, and got my DS1 immediately and did masses of wonderful things with him. Quite my favourite teacher of all time.

laurasmiles Wed 14-Mar-07 12:05:22

Daft question alert!!
Is there a map of the catchment areas for the local schools anywhere? And do any of them have nursery classes? Sorry for being lazy and asking all of you instead of doing my homework! (blush)
As my children are just two and six months, awful decisions like which shool to send them off to, seem too far away. (yes, I can feel the (hmm) faces )
I'm not a fan of any school personally, I wish they could run about in the fields idylically all day and still come out well rounded.lol.

Definitely feel for those families blessed with G&T children. At least their needs are becoming more recognised.

Good luck to all those with the builders in - I live with one and they're not all bad (wink).


2boysmacca Wed 14-Mar-07 15:03:04

Which part of town have you moved to? It's hard to even get the schools to give you the catchment areas!

Millarkie Wed 14-Mar-07 19:21:35

I didn't find a map when I was looking for school info - I think I found some information on the Essex LEA website - had to click on each school individually and look though.
upmystreet.com has a search by postcode bit, where you can get a list of local schools and how far away they are (but your catchment school might not be your closest - ours isn't).

ES _ can I be cheeky and ask if you used an architect and if so were they any good? - We're going to need one once we move so would welcome recommendations

laurasmiles Thu 15-Mar-07 09:09:08

I haven't moved yet - six month's in the waiting! But we should be there in the next month (she lives in hope!).
We'll be moving to the bizarrely American sounding P. Valley part of Debden Road. :-)

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 10:28:35

v near me!

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 10:32:39

As for schools, you're in the catchment for KS. If you'd have moved 2 years ago you'd have been RAB!

laurasmiles Thu 15-Mar-07 10:49:31

2boysmacca - thanks for that info. Not a huge choice then, heh? Glad to know I've got a friendly neighbour nearby! Would be great to meet up with you and many more on here very soon. How do you find the walk into town??

Millarkie - UPmystreet was very interesting although the neighbourhood profile was a bit wierd! i don't think any of us on here fit in. lol

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 10:52:43

Walk into town not a problem, walk back up from town....well I hope you have good leg muscles!!! I'm intrigued, now who have you bought through (not a problem if you want to remain anonymous).

Millarkie Thu 15-Mar-07 10:53:38

There's a catholic school and a CofE school in town too, if you are a churchgoer.

I hadn't looked at the profile - does it say that we should be elderly and retired? I'm off to look.

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 10:55:22

I think if I remember correctly we are educated to a low standard

Millarkie Thu 15-Mar-07 10:56:28

Hmm..profile for W A is 'Often, many of the people who live in this sort of postcode will be wealthy mature professionals living in large houses'. I'm not liking the 'mature' bit, and I feel a bit like a poor interloper.

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 10:57:59

Millarkie Thu 15-Mar-07 10:58:19

Just looked up the town centre and yup, it says we should be OLD people. With all these London relocators they are going to have to update that

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 10:59:45

But we are old. have you seen how young policeman look these days

Millarkie Thu 15-Mar-07 11:08:40

My estate agent looks like he's only just out of nappies! I see him all spruced up in his suit and think 'Aah, your mum must think you look gorgeous.'

Hi Milarkie

We did use an Architect and he is supposedly managing the project for us - would not recommend him though - Kenneth Mark Practice and the builders we are using have a good standard of work A Cox & Son but would not use them again.

I hate builders

Millarkie Thu 15-Mar-07 15:51:34

Thanks ES - but you seem a bit ambiguous about your feelings for builders

I've just had our estate agent on the phone, claiming that our buyer's solicitors are claiming that there is no planning permission for our loft conversion and kitchen extension (both of which are years old and were here when we bought the house) <head banging against wall> so we might be stuck here a bit longer

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 16:16:37

A friend of ours is an architect. I will speak to him and see if he is happy for his name to be posted on this forum, although i don't see why not.

Never get an architect to project manage. Their idea of managing is very different from ours. I sacked our last one in London

Millarkie Thu 15-Mar-07 16:31:17

2boysmacca - if you don't want to post the name my email is bluebeartwobears at yahoo dot co dot uk.
I'd really appreciate a recommendation. We were thinking it would be good to get a professional to draw up the plans but (especially after our last project manager - grrr) we would run the work ourselves.
It's just converting the loft space and maybe jiggling the bedrooms round a bit I think.

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 16:39:37

Will do. I don't have his work contacts but I shall be seeing him tomorrow so look out for a mail from me.

Millarkie Thu 15-Mar-07 16:41:39

Many thanks, 2boys...
Going to have to stop typing as I'm crossing my fingers and toes that the estate agents have got it wrong and our move is going ok

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 17:11:12

In the final hour of our flat sale (well, the week we were due to exchange) it was found that the works we had had done had not been written into the lease. The leaseholder fortunately was good about it but we had to pay his solicitor monies to amend the lease. £2000 and 3 months later it was done!!!!

laurasmiles Thu 15-Mar-07 18:15:11

we are having major lease hassles with our flat and look like we will be paying two mortgages for a while, gggrrr...

If the architect is happy to post his details and comes recommended we would be interested too.

2boysmacca Thu 15-Mar-07 18:36:28

The sooner leases are phased out, the better

2boysmacca Fri 16-Mar-07 12:57:03

Architect company is
Anglia Design Associates
01603 666576

They are a family business with offices in London and Norwich but the guy lives here in SW. He has done work for a couple of freinds.

2boysmacca Fri 16-Mar-07 13:51:58

Forgot to say, his name is Nathan.

Millarkie Fri 16-Mar-07 15:41:02

Thank you 2boysmacca.

And estate agent has now sorted out the supposed lack of planning permission, so we are back on track again and will be haunting WA tomorrow morning, and probably searching for yet another tea shop (ok I admit it, I can't drink coffee, something went wrong with my tastebuds when I was pg and it makes me sick now) in SW tomorrow lunchtime.

Does anyone know of any good builders!

we are seriously thinking of gettign rid of ours - they are so slap dash and lazy! we are half way through our project and we are still all camping out in the living room - just been told it will be another 4 weeks before DS can move into his room and another 5 until we can move into ours! the baby is being delivered in less than 3 weeks!

Milarkie - if you see a tent in the playground in WA it's us!

2boysmacca Fri 16-Mar-07 17:07:39

Millarkie. If it's a nice day, try Kims as the kids can play in Jubilee Gardens while you have a herbal tea! Otherwise, we'll see in in Starbucks .

Millarkie Fri 16-Mar-07 20:30:40

ES - Laurasmiles knows a good builder! We have a great 6 berth tent we could lend you - no, honestly, it's hell when your house is full of strange people and dust and dirt and it seems like it will never end (and irritating people keep saying 'it'll be worth it in the end'). If we had moved already I'd be offering you our spare rooms.

2boysmacca - forgive my ignorance, but whereabouts is Kims? (It's a small town but I tend to miss all the landmarks )

2boysmacca Fri 16-Mar-07 21:08:48

George street. Come out of Waitrose and it's on your left (by the pedestrian crossing). Jubilee Gardens are behind the Waitrose Car Park. Bloke in there is not very child friendly but if it's nice you can sit outside and the kids just love the public gardens.

Best sandwich in town is definitely coucou but it is so small, not great with the kids. No. 5 is pretty nice, next to Barclays on Market Square but I've only had a coffee on their "terrace".

2boysmacca Sat 17-Mar-07 20:03:00

Millarkie. How was the schlepp to SW? Are you fed up of the journey yet? Have you been given an exchange/completion date yet?

Millarkie Sat 17-Mar-07 20:48:11

Hi 2boysmacca - we sprinted up and back today (well, less than 2 hours in each direction and I got white knuckles from hanging on whilst dh drove my car (6-seater people mover) and kept forgetting it wasn't his (sporty saab).
Loved the house even more today - this was only my second viewing (but dh's third) and we hadn't seen inside it since last November. The rooms seem to have got bigger and we measured wall space and fantastically all our big furniture fits. The children felt at home from the moment we got there (helped by our lovely vendors who let them play with the grandkid's toys and the bouncy dog) and we can't wait to move.
We didn't hang around in SW though since I have a stinking cold and was feeling dizzy and shakey (prob the effects of dh's driving ).
We are crossing our fingers and hoping for exchange within the next couple of weeks and move date at end of April...having said that, we got back to yet another letter asking for ridiculous information from the buyer's solicitor - grrr.

Are you having a good weekend 2boys? Weather's great isn't it.

2boysmacca Sat 17-Mar-07 21:06:49

Not bad. Been suffering from a cold and stuffed sinuses for over 2 weeks now. Dh has been puting up an activity play tower in the garden for last few days. Finally ds has been able to get on it today so I can now see the numerous hours standing next to him, and holding my breath as ds2 attempts to climb up it too!!

My inlaws live in SW London and I can't tell you how much I hate that journey. I can never work out whether it's best to go M11 and travel through London or M25.

Millarkie Sun 18-Mar-07 08:40:44

We went up via North circular, A1, A505 and came back M11,M25,A1, north circ. No difference between the two time-wise. Cross country is prettier, but children have started to get travel sick (dd vomited all over the back of the car when we went up last week, and now ds 'thinks' he might get sick) so we thought the motorways might cut down the vomit risk. It's not fun whichever way we drive.

Hope you feel better soon. <cough, splutter>

2boysmacca Mon 19-Mar-07 13:55:06

I loathe the north circular too!

where is everyone???? i've been away to my mum's for a few days and come back and no one has posted anything - thought there would be loads to read!!

No sign of the baby yet - strange to think that 2 weeks today i know he will be here.

Millarkie Wed 21-Mar-07 21:55:55

Hi ES - have you had a good time at your mums?

I'm a little nervous - the children are having their assessment at F's school on Monday and so I am now worrying that they won't be accepted due to being dodgy londoners
I'm driving them up at some unearthly hour of the morning and they have to stay at the school for the day so I will have a few hours to wander aimlessly around SW and mope and miss them Dh says I should drive up to his work and meet up for lunch but I can't imagine going that far away just in case the children need me somehow (oh gawd this is like leaving them at nursery for the first time, can't believe how emotional I'm getting over it!).
We still haven't exchanged contracts and I sooo want to move or at least have a definite date to move.

laurasmiles Thu 22-Mar-07 09:07:34

Woo-hoo! We finally exchanged and are due to complete next Friday! Well, it's only taken SEVEN months! Milkarkie - I know how agonising the wait can be and hope it all picks up a pace and you're settled soon.
I'm wishing you lots of luck for your children's assessment. I really hope they like the school and everyone is happy.
Yes, I know a good builder but like all good onews - he's busy. Not sure what he'll be doing when we move. I think a few months of commuting will make him look for work closer to home but he'll need to get new colleagues and contacts to do that.
Here's to finally joining SW clan!

laurasmiles Thu 22-Mar-07 09:11:30

Sorry ES I also meant to add that I'm thinking of you as you wait for your new baby. I bet you're desperate for baby to come. I know I was so bad tempered at the end of my pregnancy but at that time it was sweltering hot and I was absolutely enormous!
My ds lives his baby sister now though and all the hard work is worth it. Good luck!

Millarkie Thu 22-Mar-07 09:40:04

Congratulations Laura! I'm off work, sorting stuff out and packing boxes (supposedly) for the next few days, but we are having one tiny delay after another, and now dh has rung to say that he will be in the USA for a week in May, so am now trying to fit the house move in before he goes but not too soon as I can't take that much time off work - argh.
My brother and brother-in-law are builders, but bruv builds skyscrapers in London.

SusieHughsie Thu 22-Mar-07 10:27:06

Hi all,

Oooh, it's cold out there! Just as well I've got lots of clearing cupboards to get on with. Have already sorted out 4 bags of old clothes to give to charity but I'm sure there's more to follow.

Glad to hear that everyone is well, we are still aiming for a completion date of 25th May but who knows.

ES - Have you decided on any names for DS2?

laurasmiles Thu 22-Mar-07 11:25:10

Millarkie - hugely impressed the the packing. I'm a last-minute merchant unfortunately. :-)

2boysmacca Thu 22-Mar-07 18:42:27

For those of you in the area over Easter, don't forget the NCT Audley End miniature rail Easter egg hunt. 3rd April, tickets are in advance £2.50 child £3.50 adult.

Good news on the exchange front LauraSmiles. Will you move in straight away or over a period of weeks? Our place was an absolute sh** hole when we moved in. In fact when I collected the keys and saw the place it was only the 2nd time we'd seen it and I cried it was so bad. I shudder remembering seeing a flea on ds foot. Yuk yuk yuk.

laurasmiles Fri 23-Mar-07 17:56:35

No, we'll stay in our flat for a while - despite being desparate to move . Dp will go up and do some basic DIY to start us off and we'll probably move in mid-April. At least we have a chance to move in gradually and introduce our ds to the idea of sleeping somewhere new.
The place just needs a complete overhaul (70's colours and decor) and then we'll need to look at room layout and extending at the back......and oh...lots of other money-eating things!
Other people's dirt always seems worse than your own in my opinion - although a flee encounter is a bit gruesome!! They are little tikes to get rid of. My Stepdad had them once in his house brought in by the cats. They seem to like certain people rather than others (just like mosquitos I suppose). My stepdd hadn't noticed them but when we visited they sucked the life out of my then dp! He was not impressed.

2boysmacca Fri 23-Mar-07 18:40:33

Sounds sensible. We did the same!

Why the move from ? to here?


Glad everyone's move is going well.

haven't got any specific names yet - my DS likes Henry and i like James. However, i was engaged to a guy called James before i married my DH ao it is a no go.

Just had some news from our builders - we have refused to pay them for the work that they have not completed properly and they have issued us with a letter stating that in 7 days time they will pull off site and will charge us 5% if we don't pay up. Trouble is, if we pay for work that is not completed, we will end up out of pocket, they will leave anyway and we will have to pay for someone else to come in. Has anyone else had a builder pull out on them?

2boysmacca Fri 23-Mar-07 21:21:43

Who are you using?

laurasmiles Sat 24-Mar-07 12:25:32

Well I could just tell you that we are moving from Walthamstow to SW and that would probably be enough of an explanation as to why! [smiles]
However, we like London and this area is on the steep rise, but we need grass and a better quality of life for our little ones. We were looking for a house we could do up and sell on and eventually found this one and then dp fell for the town. We made a decision that either one of us would be home with the children whilst they were preschool, but one salary doesn't cut it for us, so we have to subsidise our budget this way!
I had all of my late adolescence in Little Hadham and have relatives in Bishop's Stortford and the commute to my dp's family in Southgate, London is still do-able.
Bit nervous about the change of pace to country living, but wanting to embrace it wholeheartedly!! Mainly, I just can't wait for the space - we are so cooped up in my little flat.

2boysmacca Sat 24-Mar-07 12:56:20

I'm sure you'll love it. I spent 15 years in SE London before we moved here for much the same reasons as you. Complete change of lifestyle for us too, as I gave up work to look after the boys. However where we were in London I had nowhere to walk to unless I wanted to walk along the Old Kent Road into Deptford or Peckham! I had to rely on the car to get me anywhere (although we did have a beautiful park less than a 2 min walk away) Now there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not trundling into town for something, even if it is an Americain coffee Dh was born and bred in SW London and he was adamant that he wouldn't live in a village, it had to be a town of some sort.

It's strange talking to your neighbours, something we never did in London

Off to ds1 nursery later to the Easter Fayre. Now that is something I find quite bizzarre, the amount of fayres and fetes there are over the course of the year.

Good Luck with your move

laurasmiles Sat 24-Mar-07 13:09:21

You sound like a girl after my own heart! The fayres and fetes thing is quite quaint and I could quite get into that side of life. Well the cake stalls anyway. lol.
Have fun - I hope the rain stays away.

2boysmacca Sat 24-Mar-07 13:14:33

Cakes! I can make them, but not ones you could actually sell

Absolutely piddling it down here!


We are using Cox & son - picked them because they are meant to have a good reputation etc. but hey this is our 5th building project and the builders are all the same!

Still raining here - my DH has a major hangover he has been being sick since 6 am this morning and is still being so - he hardly ever drinks more than 5 pints on a Friday but decided last night (we go to The Bell on a Friday) to consume 9 pints - he then came home and painted the nursery and put the cot together - absolutely hilarious but today he is paying for his antics and i am hoembound as we attempted to go into SW but he was just sick. I cna't drive anymore as i don't fit behind the wheel.

Can't believe that i have 11 days to go until my baby will be here - still trying to get my head around the name Henry -

mouseman Sat 24-Mar-07 18:35:55

Hi Laura, I have neen watching this thread (not posted for a while though) and saw that your DH is from Southgate. I was from that neck of the woods, and went to school in Southgate, before we moved up here!

laurasmiles Sat 24-Mar-07 19:56:40

Hi Mouseman - there's a coincidence! He's a mere whipper-snapper compared to me - just 29yrs. (I'm decidely older!). He went to school in Arnos Grove though, but has lived in Southgate since he was 7yrs.You don't miss the old place then?

mouseman Sat 24-Mar-07 22:00:19

Not in the least, we go back frequently to see friends and family but I have a sinking feeling that gets worse the nearer we get!! Much happier out here.

laurasmiles Mon 26-Mar-07 16:15:38

ES - Awful news about your builders, I hope you can find a solution soon. But if some of the work isn't up to standard then they should be doing it again and you only pay when you are happy with it.
Isn't it funny what a few drinks will do? How was the paint job on the cot??
My sister and her partner have just had a little boy and he's three weeks old and they are STILL debating names! Henry is a sweet name - very traditional!
Any braxton-hicks yet??

Mouseman - Hmm, I can see why you wouldn't yearn for Southgate. I like North London but have never fallen for Southgate.


A few drinks i don't call 5 pints of guiness in 1.5 hrs and then 7 pints of Becks in another hour a few drinks - the funny thing was i actually slept most of the day as my paretns had DS - they then arrived at 5pm to take us all out to dinner my DH was delighted with this - i was grinning like a cheshire cat - we all had some lovely red wine and a great meal - he was wrecked, had to look after DS while we all chatted and then enjoyed his Coke - all i can say is 'i told you so'

Lots of Braxton Hicks - well i think they are - last time my waters broke at 37 weeks and i didn't have a single contraction until that happened i then went to The Roise and had my C section within 4 hours as i knew i was having one. So i think they are - maybe someone can confirm - they started last night are like really bad period pains right down in my pubic bone, major back ache and my breasts have grown and my all my bodily fluids have got thicker and whiter - some of these pains are really painful and i have to close ym eyes and take lots of deep breaths while they last.

2boysmacca Mon 26-Mar-07 19:29:44

they aren't BH love!

well what are they then - please don't tell me they are labour pains - how do you know if you are in labour - can these pains not go on for days ebfore the baby comes?

The thing is i am having another C-section and don't really want to go into labour before the 4th - don't want to ring the hospital and say oh i've got pains they will think i'm some mad woman

2boysmacca Mon 26-Mar-07 19:46:58

The bad news is yes, they sound like labour pains. the good news is, you are not neccesarily in active labour. I had these in both my pregnancies, started at 37 weeks with 1st and 35 weeks with 2nd. With the first I kept going to the hospital, be hooked up the machine, told I was in labour and then have an internal only to be told I was not dialting so wasn't in active labour. Both boys were born t 40 weeks. I would go and get yourself checked out though.

I will give the midwife a call tomorrow and see what they say - i am so not ready, the nursery has paint on the walls and a cot in it but i have not packed my bag and all the baby things are either at my parents in London or bagged up in the garage due to builders dust.

Will keep you all posted.

2boysmacca Tue 27-Mar-07 07:08:04

Millarkie how did it go?

SusieHughsie Tue 27-Mar-07 08:42:00

Sounds like baby Henry is not keen on waiting to the 4th. Hope you managed to get some sleep.

Millarkie Tue 27-Mar-07 14:03:34

Hi all, my internet connection went AWOL
ES - does sound like labour pains - but if it makes you less worried - I managed to have painful labour pains for 2 weeks before dd was eventually born..was on and out of hospital, on monitor etc.
Kids loved the school (OK so ds loved it because they get given a cookie with their break time fruit) and they have been offered places so that's one worry over (hopefully).
House move seems to be stuck in some mud, estate agents are meant to be hassling solicitors but so far, everyone wants to move but no contracts signed still
I drove round SW a lot on Monday - I got lost repeatedly, and at one point ended up in Wimbish . I accidentally found the leisure centre so that was a bonus. And I had a secret assignation with a handsome man in Kim's (alright then..dh drove down from work to have lunch with me )
Can't wait to move.

Have you got anywhere with your builders ES? Or you mainly concentrating on keeping that baby in

Millarkie Wed 28-Mar-07 18:41:47

Hullloooooo.....EnglishSpringer? Where arrrrrree yooooooou?
(and Hi to everyone else too)

2boysmacca Wed 28-Mar-07 18:44:01

My money is on 'in the Rosie'

Millarkie Wed 28-Mar-07 20:20:36

have been in the Rosie - spent two days there - definately in labour but until my waters break they don't want to operate - contractions are huge on that machine but because they are not regular they want to wait - this baby has not been growing properly and was 4 weeks behind growth earlier on so they want to keep him inside as long as possible. I discharged myself at 7pm this evening - so boring in that place and if they get any worse then i'll have to go in. My mum has my DS so that is OK.

Builders have agreed to fix the wrongs and we have agreed to pay them their next installment - hipefully we should have a bedroom by the end of the week - still no bathrooms going in until next week though so showers at the gym daily and friends is still on - luckily we have a downstairs loo - the funny thing is, when all this building work started in Dec we offered to move out and were told that we wouldn't be disrupted and that they could work around us - ha!

Millarkie Wed 28-Mar-07 22:53:52

Welcome back ES (and bump), and congratulations on moving things along with the builders!

We have had word from the solicitor that he expects that we shall exchange contracts next week and so should (fingers crossed) be moving in in the first week of May, I'm bouncing between ecstatic and petrified..mainly because dh's trip to the US coincides with his mum's holiday (she is our normal back up childcarer), and my boss's hol (so I can't easily take time off work myself) so now I am phoning round long lost relatives to try to talk them into a week's holiday in our new house in return for taking the kids to school for me...all I need is someone from 6.30am to 8am and I am looking at having to hire an emergency nanny for the week <arghh>

laurasmiles Thu 29-Mar-07 10:45:12

ES - here's hoping all goes well. It sounds like you could be very close to meeting your baby. very excited for you!! And glad to hear too that the build is back on. At the end of the day I guess all that really matters now is getting it done come hell or high water. They would have had to have hearts of steel to leave you so close to delivering withough finishing the job.

Milarkie - Crikey, it sounds as if you're going to be more than busy! But it's great that the move will finally be here for you. It's so nice to know there are other new mums in the neighbourhood.

I've been having lots of stressful and odd dreams surrounding the house move and this week seems to be dragging its heels. Should complete tomorrow though and come and pick up the keys on Saturday; stopping for lunch in our new home town. Eeek!

2boysmacca Thu 29-Mar-07 11:52:10

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

laurasmiles Thu 29-Mar-07 14:12:56

Ooh I know what I meant to ask those of you who are already residents: any recommendations for good GP's?? That's one of the main things I will sorely miss, we have an excellent one here and I trust him implicitly (actually, that's a slight exaggeration - I don't trust any doctor that much!).

2boysmacca Thu 29-Mar-07 15:41:58

You are in the right area for Borough Lane Surgery. They are really fantastic there.

2boysmacca Thu 29-Mar-07 16:15:50

When you come on Saturday pop into the Informaion Centre which is next to the Town Hall. They have a book with all the businesses in the town and a little map. It has been invaluable to us.

Millarkie Thu 29-Mar-07 16:18:11

Good luck for tomorrow laura!

(And good luck for Englishspringer and brood)

mouseman Thu 29-Mar-07 18:05:05

There are 3 surgeries in town and I think that they are all pretty good. You must get the Saffron Walden Directory that macca mentioned and also a new one out is Salad Days which lists all kid things in the area - clubs, groups, schools, activities etc and is invaluable.Good luck all with babies and house moves.

SusieHughsie Thu 29-Mar-07 21:01:19

Hope it all runs smoothly for you Laura.

Our completion date has now been moved forward from end of May to April, so hopefully will be joining you sooner than we thought. Millarkie - hope you've managed to find someone to help you out.

ES - glad you've come to a compromise with your builders, hope they keep up their side of the bargain. How are the contractions?

Millarkie Thu 29-Mar-07 21:57:01

Hi Susiehughsie - So hopefully we'll be moving at about the same time! Have you packed anything yet? I was meant to be packing over the last few days but didn't get any done.
My sister has (very unexpectedly) offered to help me out with the school run for that week so my panic is over (although I'm still looking for an alternative since dsis will have to leave her house at 5.30am to get to mine in time).
Dh and I are sooo wanting to move now - he is fed up with the driving/staying away from the family and I am fed up with being a single parent for most of the week so we have a plan to harass the solicitors from Monday am onwards

Wow - you go away for a few days and everyone is now moving - very happy for you all. I remember our move that was meant to be a chain free house that turned into a very long chain when our sellers decided to join this house in with another one that their son was buying, didn't let anyone know but then the cahin nearly collapsed. i hate moving house and you know what is worse than packing - unpacking!

Thanks for all your messages about the bump - the contractions are so painful but because my waters haven't gone and i'm only 2cm they won't do the C-section - no doctors, apparently there are 11 junior doctors all out on interviews for jobs so the registrars and senior docs are having to do some work so they are short staffed - Horaah for the NHS and their meticulous planning! quiet glad really though, it gives the builders time to finish at least one of the bathrooms - i even think that we may be able to move back upstairs this weekend!

Milarkie - Glad to here that you will be here sooner rather than later - if i wasn't haven't a C-section then i wouldn't hesitate to offer to look after your brood - i used to teach so am used to lots of children and my DS would love the company - anyway when you are settle din etc. you will have to come over and the kids can play etc.

R.E. doctors - we use Gold Street, really good and friendly but have also heard good reports about Borrough Lane.

2boysmacca Fri 30-Mar-07 14:19:17

Laura, has it all gone to plan?

laurasmiles Sat 31-Mar-07 13:18:29

Thank you - yes! We picked up the keys yesterday and took the babes up to inspect it all.
Ds seemed hihgly excited and thrilled to have some grass!.....and DP got donw one one knee in the kitchen.
A lovely day.

Up again today, just for the fun of it really...and to show off the hometown to a few relatives. Thank you for the recommendations, will follow them all up!

Laura x

2boysmacca Sat 31-Mar-07 21:05:52

Oooooo Congratulations. I take it you said yes?

Glad to hear you're finally one step nearer to moving. Did the rellys like it? I hope you didn't take them to the Crocus for a celebratory drink

SusieHughsie Sun 01-Apr-07 07:54:59

Oh, how wonderful Laura - congratulations and glad the move went well. Really pleased for you.

Millarkie - havent packed a thing, it's been a really a busy couple of weeks so hoping to start this week. Glad your sister has stepped in and offered to help.

Hope you're all having a good weekend.

Congrats on the move - at least you will be in for the summer.

Going to town today for my last day of freedom - planning on taking DS to the park and library last time he doesn't have to share me - going in to The Roise tomorrow and having baby on Wed am - will be in until week-end so look forward to coming back to some interesting chat.

SusieHughsie Mon 02-Apr-07 09:20:57

Will be thinking of you ES and look forward to hearing all about DS2. Good luck x

2boysmacca Wed 04-Apr-07 20:19:09

How's the work going Laura?

Millarkie Sat 07-Apr-07 16:48:33

How is everyone? Packed any boxes? Had any babies?

We still haven't exchanged on our house but I'm still trying to stick to original move day so we are meant to be packing up the non-essentials over this weekend. Haven't done any so far (but then I had to work yesterday and we had various commitments today). Can't wait to have a proper garden to throw the children into whilst it's sunny - got a little square of lawn/patio here which has been destroyed by the children and the cats.

ES - when you get back on here I need your advice on au pairs again - talk me into it - go on!


Just to say had my little boy - Henry James at 11.14 on 4th - he is so tiny 6lbs 1oz my other son was 7lbs 1oz so massive difference. Remembering it all and feeling like a milk machine again. All went well and came out on Friday morning - just 48 hours in the place -everything still aches etc. but would rather be at home.

Will email more in the week as i'm off to bed!

2boysmacca Sun 08-Apr-07 21:03:47


Millarkie Sun 08-Apr-07 21:20:55

Congratulations! Can't wait to meet the little man (and you!)

2boysmacca Sun 08-Apr-07 21:23:47

What's your completion date then Millarkie? We're in your neck of the woods at the mo. Staying at the in-laws in SW london for easter. Just been out for a Wagamamas. yummy yum!

Millarkie Sun 08-Apr-07 21:41:55

Still no date
Have spent today clearing out our loft spaces and packing it all up. Spare room is now half full of packed boxes..even the kids toys and books. And I have a massive pile of baby equipment/toys that I have to try to get rid of before the move (or I'll need a stall at the next NCT sale in SW!)
I've requested that even if we exchange later than we expected, that we still move at the same time (end of the month), but haven't heard what the rest of the chain think about that (s'only the people buying ours, and the people we're buying from).
Ho hum...
We are on another nanny scouting mission tomorrow - but this time we are meeting a trainee teacher who is looking for summer holiday nanny work. Meeting up at Bishops Stortford though, so prob won't make it up to stare longingly at the new house
I'm of wagamama's...used to go lots in the days before kids..I work about 10mins away from the original one.

SusieHughsie Mon 09-Apr-07 10:42:16

Congratulations, ES and welcome to the world Baby Henry!

Still havent started on the packing yet but watch this space as I plan to clear out the cupboard under the stairs and Who knows who or what I'll find. I think I'm in denial that the move is actually going to happen at the end of April so I'm not doing anything fast!

Hope you all had a good easter and like me have kindly helped the children eat some of their Easter Eggs. Diet starts today or tomorrow!

2boysmacca Tue 10-Apr-07 21:07:26

Millarkie. The chilli chicken ramen was fantastic but boy did I regret it yesterday

Tis very quiet on here lately.

Millarkie Tue 10-Apr-07 21:14:19

<drool drool>

I wrote a long post on here yesterday, then the laptop lost the network and the post disappeared..
The latest reason for us not having a move date is that the people in our chain have not agreed a move date - now you would think that, with only 3 households to worry about, that could be solved in a couple of phone calls but oh no!..solicitor says - hopefully we'll have an agreement by the end of the week ...grrrrr.
On a brighter note, holiday nanny lady was lovely, and kids liked her, so we are going to offer her a job. And the contents of the loft are packed, and we've started on packing dh's office <scarey man> and the kid's spare toys. And I'm trying to get some reasonable quotes for the removals, but so far quoted 3k .. and £560 - am looking for somewhere in between, not an obvious cowboy but not wrapping dustsheets spun from golden silk around my sofa etc.

2boysmacca Tue 10-Apr-07 21:21:05

Have you ried the SW based company Pretlove?

We used Pickfords and they were dreadful. They dropped our bed and smashed the frame, lost a shelf from the tv cabinet, damaged 2 Heals wardrobes, smashed a standing lamp, dropped the dining room table, so it stood on 3 legs rather than 4, dragged the cream sofas so there was brown scuffing along both the sofas.... the list is endless. Had a huge insurance claim.....

SusieHughsie Tue 10-Apr-07 21:59:35

We've had three removal quotes all at around £800 incl VAT, have decided to go with the company that has been referred by a friend.

Where are you moving from? Can pass you details for the company we are going to use but we are based in East London.

Millarkie Tue 10-Apr-07 22:15:06

We have Pretlove coming to quote next week - but they seemed a lot more realistic when dh spoke to them.

2boysmacca - OMG at Pickfords! We had a small rip on our sofa from our last move but that was all - feeling very lucky now.

Susie - we're the other side of London to you, but thanks for the offer. I had a chap to quote from a local company today, but not hopeful about that one since he gave me a long spiel about how great their insurance scheme was, and lots of stories about 'cowboy removal firms'. Dh said Pretloves sounded very sensible on the phone and they estimated £1200 (although they are coming to look at our junk next week). I am because dh wanted me to get firms from the S Walden area to quote and I told him he was daft cos no one would want to travel all this way - he was right though.

laurasmiles Wed 11-Apr-07 13:05:03

Hopeing this post is going to work. I've been having trouble getting my posts up for some reason. haven't really fallen off the map.

Wanted to say a huge warm welcome to baby Henry and congratulations to all the family ES. Wishing you a speedy recovery and I hope you have lots of help and support around.

Glad to hear that people's moves are gearing up. Speaking of denial about moving: I've exchanged; completed; started decorating, and STILL haven't packed! . Still down in London but hoping to move at the weekend. The house will be stripped of all the old wallpaper by then, which is a start at least.

Slightly traumatised today as ds has just had a fall and one of his beautiful front teeth has been pushed up into his gum. He looks like a right little tearaway now -
He's sleeping it off now but I'm taking him to the dentist this afternoon to make sure he's going to be okay. Poor little man got a horrible shock and so did I.

Ditto about Wagamama's though - I used to go a lot to the original one, then went travelling and came back to find it was a chain - great stuff. I love the Kare Lomen. I've recently bought their cookbook although I have to admit to only drooling over the pictures as I haven't actually cooked anything yet.

2boysmacca Wed 11-Apr-07 21:14:50

Ouch How is he? Is his nerve still intact? I have every sympathy for him, did the very same myself.

laurasmiles Thu 12-Apr-07 10:01:18

Not sure - they warned me that it's highly likely that the tooth will die and that the permanent tooth will be damaged when it begins to grow. We can barely see the tooth at the moment so I'm guessing that it's pretty badly damaged.
It's horrible watching them go through these things isn't it? As he's my eldest and only two I'm only just beginning to enter the realms of "childhood accidents and mishaps" - not fun.
I feel very shallow but I keep thinking about his gappy smile for the next few years!

2boysmacca Thu 12-Apr-07 12:11:25

I would be the same.

Ds has a largish scar across his face where he fell in WH Smiths. and a very faint one under his chin where he slipped in the bath. I fear ds2 will have more as he is a little daredevil

mouseman Thu 12-Apr-07 18:17:22

Hi - many, many congratulations on Henry's safe arrival. Just a small warning - I know many people who have used pretloves and they always seem to be fine, but when we moved, we used them and we had several breakages and damaged items and it is a real hassle claiming back money. Good luck!

Millarkie Thu 12-Apr-07 23:36:37

Oh no Laura! How is he now?

Hmm..mouseman. Thanks for the warning! It really does feel like it depends who you get on the day with these firms..getting so many good and bad reviews from friends/colleagues, of the same firms. I've got to the point where I'm looking round the house and thinking ' well at least it's all cheap stuff, won't be too heartbroken if it's dropped' - apart from my new fridge/freezer that is

It turns out my solicitor's assistant has only been reading my purchase file and not the sale one - have been contacted by estate agent today to ask why 5 things have not been sorted out and also told that the buyer hadn't given the deposit money to their solicitor so no exchange possible before at least next Thursday..and people want to move by Thursday after. Dh not happy about the 7 day between exchange and completion - especially since we haven't decided on a removal firm yet...but hey ho..it's either then, early the following week, or we'll have to put things on hold until the end of May. Love this house-buying malarky.


thanks for all your messages of congrats - just remembering what it was like again.

regarding moving - we have moved house 7 times in 5 years and used pretloves twice - both times they quoted us after looking at all our stuff and then sent another bill through saying the front door opened the wrong way and tried to charge us double - they also damaged a lot of stuff.

we have used a company called McKellar & sons several times and they were fantastic - no extra charges for waiting time, turned up at 7.30am and stayed until 7/8pm.

mouseman Fri 13-Apr-07 14:51:59

TBH Milarkie, the new fridge would be OK as it is new and easily replaced - we had antique furniture broken, stained glass window smashed , and door gouged in the house we were leaving!!!! and lamp, picture etc broken. Not things that are easliy quoted for a replacement. I know someone who as always sworn by a company nearby - I'll try to find out the name for you.

Millarkie Fri 13-Apr-07 23:50:26

ES - my mind is boggling now at the idea of a front door which opens the wrong way! I've googled the movers you've mentioned and will try to fit in another quote.
Mouseman - Thankfullly we have nothing of any value, I've mentally gone round the house 'dropping' the furniture etc and not been truely upset by any loss (as long as my laptop stays with me ) and I am resigned to the potential loss of fridge - it doesn't really fit the new kitchen anyway.

We really don't believe the estimated exchange date and due to dh being in the US for a chunk of May, we think we may have to push completion until the week before half term as long as our buyers don't get too upset at that. Dh got soo miserable today he was threatening to get a job in London so we wouldn't have to move! - but I've set my heart on the big garden etc..so I've jollied him along for now.

How's Henry ES? I don't envy you the 'shapeless days, sleepless nights' bit..Did you get your bedroom back in time?

And when are the other Saffron Walden babies due (there's at least one more isn't there?) <Millarkie repeats to herself..I'm not broody, I'm not broody>

Millarkie Sat 14-Apr-07 19:15:29

Are you all out in the sunshine?

Today I am mainly trying to flog all my babygear rather than pack it and bought an interview suit because I have an interview in Cambridge! <although I think the job is actually earmarked for someone else, but nice to have a look round I guess>

2boysmacca Sat 14-Apr-07 21:43:39

What a gorgeous day! I'm up in the Midlands with my folks and we've only just come inside (it's actually bloody freezing out there now). Ds2 has been very poorly the past few days and I had to take him to the Emergency Dr's yesterday. he has a chest infection and ear infection with a temperature of 40. He was given antibiotics and an inhaler. He's been much better today and I am hoping for more than 3 hours sleep tonight.

It's my Nan's 90th Birthday party tomorrow so we'll be pretty busy here with hundreds of wrinklies in the house

I'm all familied out and looking forward to some weekends back at home.....

Millarkie Sun 15-Apr-07 17:10:48

Oh your poor boy (and poor you for disrupted sleep!).
Hope you're all feeling better and you've had a great party - weather's good at least! My littl'uns have been having a waterpistol fight in the garden whilst dh packs the content of the shed.
Oh, and we've had our first reasonable quote for removals (another London firm).
Now just got to decide if we go all out for moving on the 26th or if we ask to move it by almost a month...don't want to scare the buyers off, but for many reasons it would make sense for us.

2boysmacca Mon 16-Apr-07 21:19:19

Is this going to be our Summer, or is the best yet to come??

Millarkie Mon 16-Apr-07 22:02:13

Don't say that! Surely the best is still to come
I'm looking forward to dips in our yet-to-be-purchased big paddling pool.

2boysmacca Mon 16-Apr-07 22:06:46

So all you people that need lots of DIY doing on their new houses, I'd like to offer out dh for a small fee. I have asked him to tighten some screws in a boot box I bought, unpacked, and assembled. It took me about 30 mins. He has just spent the past hour, f'ing and blinding, taken it apart, put it back together (with my assistance) and I have just caught him hammering, yes hammering a nail in with an empty wine bottle!!!!!?????? That wasn't working, so he started to use the screwdriver, only mildly safer . Come on, roll up, any takers?????


Millarkie Mon 16-Apr-07 23:21:09

LOL. Have you got him insured??

My dh is threatening to take the microwave apart and do something to the motor - I'm worried that he will He is famous for 'fixing things' in this house..always manages it (got my laptop working again by giving it major surgery) but I'm not so sure it's worth the bad language etc.

I've rung estate agent, and have letter to give to solicitor asking (nicely) if we could delay house move to the 21st May...fingers crossed - just can't get my head around moving a few days after exchange - too stressful.

2boysmacca Tue 17-Apr-07 10:51:49

Laura, how's your little boy?

glad all the moving and packing is going OK - i don't envy anyone moving, we did it 7 times in 5 years and i vowed i would never move again.

Really enjoying being on mat leave and absolutley loving being a mum, i didn't really enjoy DS1 as i was so worried and studying for my masters at the time but this time totalyl different - still trying to cope with a jealous 4 year old though - the problem is because we moved here only a little while ago he doesn't have anyone to play with and is lonely - he does go to nursery but doesn't have any friends that he can have over to play - hoepfully when he goes to scholl things will change i just feel guilty that i don't know anyone locally with any children!

Laura - sorry to hear about your little boy - i tell you if anyone told you how complicated/worrying children are, no one would ever have any!

2boysmacca Fri 20-Apr-07 21:12:39

Come and play with us

Seriously, I'm often in town so if you fancy a quick spin on the roundabout although ds can be a little shy at times, but then totally the opposite at other times

DS would love that - we have moved house so many times in the last few years and as parents you think you are doing the best for them but then you suddenly realise that all of your moving has left him without stability and friends!

let's make a playdate

2boysmacca Sat 21-Apr-07 14:08:24

He is at nursery Tuesdays pm and Thursdays am and we are at the Parent Centre on Friday mornings. Any other day would be good. If it's morning, around 10 is good so I can get ds2 home for a nap, and if it's pm after 3.30. Any of this tie in with you?

Millarkie Sat 21-Apr-07 19:30:09

Hi. Our move is now scheduled for the 21st May <phew> - but as soon as we do move ES we'll get the children playing together. My ds and dd will be friendless as well - and ds's class will be so small he won't have much interaction at school either.
Ds learnt to ride his bike without stabilisers today - hurrah! He's been capable for ages but just refused to try - now to get dd to take the plunge too

Now I better get back to putting babystuff on ebay!

2boysmacca Sat 21-Apr-07 20:02:45

I've given up and put on freecycle!

Millarkie Sat 21-Apr-07 20:10:45

I've freecycled loads of bits too! Funny what people will take - I put on a bag of playtex system baby bottles which I thought no one would want, and 7 disposable nappies (unused )that I found under the bed..both picked up! But then we have a lot of more sensible stuff that no one seems to want!

The ebay stuff is worth perserving with, I think - I got £50 for a buggy today, and I have a hipseat, grobag, and a ring sling to go. Oh, and a kitchen sink dh bought one and then we decided we wanted a double and he forgot to take the first one back.

2boysmacca Sat 21-Apr-07 20:22:11

Just sold my hipseat on mumsnet! Trying to get rid of laods of stuff too, we have zero storage with the loft conversion. So far all our crap is in the ensuite!

Can you believe I got burnt today! W have still have lots to do on this place and the garden is getting a makeover (drive being done in 3 weeks, hurrah!). I didn't hink I needed cream on but I guess I did.

Lloyds bank in town has been burnt down! I'm a little concerned as to how Im going to bank given that I need to bank at least once a week


Millarkie Sat 21-Apr-07 21:49:17

Oooh re: bank - accident or disgruntled customer?

Since my last post dd has poohed all over the floor while running to the loo - twice, so obviously has some sort of tummy upset, and ds's arms suddenly came up in an itchy bumpy rash . It got better with imediate piriton, but have no idea what caused it (bit concerned because he had an anaphlactic type episode a while back, ended with a dash to A and E with a barely breathing ds, but he's been tested for all types of common allergens and found negative so we've stopped worrying - still have the anti-histamines and epipens though).
The babies who play here during the week had upset tums this week so was expecting dd to get it (and probably the rest of us). Hope I get it either before or after the interview on Monday

I put ads for my stuff on mumsnet last week but no takers - probably because I am allergic to post offices . I sold a karrimor infant backpack thing on ebay - the one before went for 80 plus postage, mine went for 20 because it was pick up only

Is your loft conversion in the process of being built? How is it going?

2boysmacca Sat 21-Apr-07 21:52:28

Nah it was here when we bought the place. The ensuite is blocked off and used as storage as it needs a condemded sticker over it. It is disgusting!

I haven't been on here all night, honest. I was just checking my maila nd thought I'd lok in

2boysmacca Sat 21-Apr-07 21:53:45

to the tummy bug. We've so far managed to avoid it. Fingers crossed.

Good luck for your interview


RE playdate - could we do a Tuesday morning?

Can't believe the bank - we were in Prezzo on Fri pm and saw the fire engines go out but didn't know it had burnt down until in town sat am!

2boysmacca Sun 22-Apr-07 17:48:01

Sounds good to me. Just name the week and we'll be there.


can you guys do tomorrow at all?

We are going to Centerparcs next week - just to get away from the building work -got a really good deal and figured i'd spend more going out locally to get away from the builders!

SusieHughsie Mon 23-Apr-07 10:28:22

Fingers crossed, our move date will be 25th May and my DD and DS will be very keen on meeting some new friends at any future playdates.

Hope your little ones tummy bugs have cleared up.

2boysmacca Mon 23-Apr-07 12:04:59

ES, yes I could do but it is forecast rain now! I'll CAT you with my mobile in case rain stops play!

I've just watched the weather and it looks dreadful - i tried to go to the park today but we got there and then had to come straight back - DS was sobbing his heart out.

can we do Friday PM - it is meant to be nice then.

does anyone know anything about babies not sleeping during the day? Henry does not sleep - i have tried everything even resorted to going out in the car and he just stays awake. He sleeps all night (save for waking up to eat twice) but poor George is losing out on quality time.

2boysmacca Mon 23-Apr-07 20:03:13

Both of mine never slept during the day. Ds never ever slept during the day but ds2 started around 12 weeks and is still great now.

Friday would be good.

2boysmacca Mon 23-Apr-07 20:16:43

Obviously that was no help to you whatsoever

SusieHughsie Mon 23-Apr-07 23:20:04

Aaaargh! our boiler has died and we just been told it's going to cost us around £500 to give us hot water again.

We are due to move in a month and could really do without this! Just needed to share this with you and DH has stopped listening to me huffing and puffing about it.

ES - Sorry, both mine had the opposite problem slept all day but not at night.

Millarkie - Hope your interview went well.

oh at least he is normal - you read all this stuff about babies should slepp for 20hrs a day!

Friday it is then what time is good for you? i'll be wearing a red carnation

2boysmacca Tue 24-Apr-07 13:11:02

After 3 is good for us.

great can we say 3.30 - i'll be the lady with the new born baby!

all - thanks for the hint about swimming at the potteries - DS1 is starting there this week

Millarkie Thu 26-Apr-07 16:44:09

We still haven't exchanged contracts

Glad to hear that this 'meet-up' thread is living up to it's name at last

2boysmacca Thu 26-Apr-07 16:50:06

unless we don't like the look of each other and walk straight past

Millarkie Thu 26-Apr-07 18:45:53

Ha ha

but at the same time .......

2boysmacca Thu 26-Apr-07 20:23:45

2boysmacca Fri 27-Apr-07 18:54:09

Es Apologies fro my sons behaviour this afternoon. I think he's finally run out of steam and raspberries for the evening. I did ask why he didn't play with George and he said 'because he has shorter hair than me' kids logic for you!

Mine our now tucked up in bed, and a glass of red wine has been poured and is sitting waiting at the sofa. Just need dh home now so I can eat.

Have a good weekend.

kids reasoning is hilarious - George did have long hair - really lovely and curly and the kids at nursery kept calling him a girl - my DH then got it shaved off a number 1 & 2 - i was livid!

it was lovely to eventually meet someone from the town next week i am going to attempt to go to the meet at the church on a Thursday - 10.15 right?

i went to see a friend in Canary Wharf for lunch yesterday - ooh i miss adult company.

going to pack for Centerparcs later - i tell you withe the builders being here, i might not come back - maybe i could just empty villa watch and let myself in - do you think anyone would notice?

Millarkie Sun 29-Apr-07 12:10:24

The only meet-up I've been to was in a big park. Lots of other mums and children...and ds spent the whole time on the opposite side of the park, with me chasing after him..barely spoke to anyone!
Well, today we have packed books, and are meant to packing the good china this pm, then we've run out of things that aren't used every day. Dh woke up in a 'let's just pull out of the sale and start again' mood , but hopefully he'll cheer up once the coffee kicks in.
Oh and I looked on the rightmove website and am now slightly in love with a house on Peasland Rd, trying to keep faithful to our WA destination though...must stop looking at property websites!

notjustanumber Thu 03-May-07 08:36:57

I am also hijacking this thread, sorry!
I am a new mum in Saffron Walden and wondered if anyone could recommend good parent/baby groups to go to. As I worked full time before, I suddenly find myself with no-one to talk to...

mouseman Thu 03-May-07 17:23:26

Hi NJAN, are you actually in town as most people seem to go to Tiddlers and Tots at Shire Hill. A good one out of town is Froglets in Ickleton. How old is your little one?

2boysmacca Thu 03-May-07 17:29:30

T&T is at the Bell Nursery. If you head for shire hill you'll just find an industrial estate

mouseman Thu 03-May-07 17:30:53

sorry - thinking of teddies toy library - its the end of a very long day!!

notjustanumber Thu 03-May-07 19:33:16

He is 4 months, brillant but tiring...
I will have to look up the Tots and Tiddlers and make it over.
Its always a bit scary going to something like that for the first time, especially when being a mum is also such a new experience !

mouseman Fri 04-May-07 11:09:49

It is hard but you will find others in a similar boat - did you do any ante natal classes and meet people who will have babies the same age?

so just got the school news - we live in Wendesn Ambo and the school is gauranteed as RAB - all the children in the village go there - my DS has just been given Elsenham, what is with that!

USAUKMum Tue 08-May-07 14:33:17

At swimming (Potteries) last week (quite a few SW mums there) they were discussing school places. The Catholic school apparently had only 8 spaces for "new" families, all others taken up by siblings, and a similar situation at RAB.

Though they knew a number of people who had gone private, but still put in for a place that got RAB. So go down as continuing interest in the school and you will probably get in once everyone returns letters, and places shuffle around. They can change quite a bit during the initial shuffle.

Good luck

i just can't believe how it works - i don't believe that all 90 places are taken up - we are classified as living in south road - right next to the school!

Millarkie Wed 09-May-07 18:20:46

OMG! They must have had 90 siblings! We are putting our kids into F's but we were thinking that we could apply for a RAB place for dd for 2008 entry, and then we could decide whether or not to move them at that point. - .

Millarkie Wed 09-May-07 18:36:00

Was Elsenham your second choice? Or was it a complete surprise?

third choice - we looked at friends and dame b's and we have places there but to be honest i want 4 kids and the thought of paying four lots of school fees for the next however many years plus aupair costs etc. fills me with dread.

elsenham is a very good school - i taught there on my teacher training a few years ago but we only put it down to fill the gap as all the other children in the village go to the RAB.

I have just spoken to someone though and they have told me they have 5 children, 4 in Great Chesterford and the 5th has just been refused!

2boysmacca Thu 10-May-07 11:04:21

I wonder if you'll still be keen on 4 children in say 6 months time

Millarkie Thu 10-May-07 16:19:35

I would keep calm and keep fingers crossed ES - when we applied for ds to go to our local primary school he was 5th on the waiting list and we were given a place at our 3rd choice school...by september he was offered a place at our 2nd choice school (due to people having done multiple applications for church, state and private schools). He started school there, and then was offered a place in December at our local (outstanding) primary - but we decided that we prefered the school he was at (and we had spent all term getting his special needs provision sorted) so we kept him there.
Have you rung RAB and asked them where you are on the waiting list?

Have to say that our main reason for sticking at 2 children is the school fees/childcare costs. If we switch them back into the state system when dd is old enough we won't know what's hit us!

Millarkie Thu 10-May-07 18:04:57

Blimey, dh just rang and said that our solicitor has finally stopped arguing with our sellers solicitor and they say we should exchange tomorrow (we have been on the verge of exchange, and of a nervous breakdown for the last few weeks). We intend to move on Tues 22nd. Really hoping that this isn't another false summit, dh flies off to San Francisco tomorrow and he doesn't trust me to arrange removals etc by myself .

2boysmacca Thu 10-May-07 18:43:57

Good luck tomorrow.

I'm off out to a pliates class. Really can't be ar*ed!

Millarkie Thu 10-May-07 19:43:22

Have fun

2boysmacca Thu 10-May-07 21:02:21

It might have been fun had I not done an hour of torture at the gym earlier on today!

Ok need some advice - my little one sleeps all night no problems but i can't get him to ba wake during the day. He is 5 weeks old now and i want to start to get him into a routine and i cannot wake him up for love nor money - how do i wake him up - i have tried undressing, topping and tailing etc. he stirs wakes up and then falls right back to sleep - HELP

2boysmacca Thu 10-May-07 21:13:12

Erm if he sleeps during the day, and sleeps fine at night.....why are you wanting to change? Remember they still need to sleep around 18-20 hours a day.

2boysmacca Thu 10-May-07 21:15:18

Btw Ds2 has just recently stopped his morning sleep (he is 14 months old) He used to wake around 5.30, go back to bed at 8am, wake at 10, go back doen at 12.30, wake about 3.00 and then go back down at 6.30.

He now wakes at 4.30 sleeps from about 11.30 'til 3.30 then bed by 6.30. Give or take 15/30 mins each sleep.

2boysmacca Thu 10-May-07 21:18:00

I won't post anymore, honest.....but just wondering how Center Parcs was?

Millarkie Thu 10-May-07 22:48:13

Not envying you the early wake up! - but been there, done that with both of my 2 (another reason for stopping at 2)

ES - I found it easier to work on getting into a routine myself and hope baby would eventually fit in to it.- ie. take child 1 out after breakfast for couple of hours, home for lunch, quiet time after lunch (to encourage napping), then a run around in pm before tea...I found maternity leave really hard though (mind you, ds had sleep apnea and woke every couple of hours, and dd managed to wake in the hours inbetween).
I'm sure at 5 weeks I was spending all evening bfeeding and most of the day feeling miserable - I'm sure you're doing better than that!

oh thanks for the advice - i just feel like everyone else i talk to has babies who wake up at 7, feed, go back to sleep at 8.30 sleep for an hour wake up, feed, have a little play do teh two hour lunch nap thing - you get my meaning and my little man sleeps all night but i tell you i start the bedtime routine at 5pm and he is still feeding now - i breast feed him for an hour and a half and then he drinks 4oz/120mls of formula. oh i don't know

anyway Centerparcs was so fab - i love it there and wish i could go more often - G loved the pool, the bikes etc. and we didn't spend that much as we cooked in due to the baby. i did a lot of sitting on the sofa feeding, sitting in the park feeding, sitting on the poolside feeding - you get the picture.

well G has started a pre-school today - the Wendens Ambo one (well it is in Arksden) he loved it and has now made a few friends.

Millarkie Fri 11-May-07 22:13:34

Hope George enjoys pre-school. Have you still got your fab au pair? And how's the building work?

Millarkie Sat 12-May-07 13:09:43

Just a thought ES - are the local authority going to pay for transport for G to get to school and back? I know that when we looked into schools for ds we were told that since there were no spaces at RAB the LEA would pay for a taxi to take him to a school with a place, since the other children have a bus from the village to RAB.

well no apparently not and also at Elsenham he can't start full time until after Christmas - yikes what am i going to do?

Do you think that that rule is fixed - you know do you think that he can go in September?

aupair has gone - missing her loads! but she had to go back to France for her studies.

2boysmacca Sun 13-May-07 19:38:59

that's the same with all the schools here. The younger ones only do part time for the first term.

Millarkie Sun 13-May-07 23:41:36

OMG Part-time for a term, and I thought ds's school was bad enough with 3 weeks run-up rather than the usual 2 for this area - how the heck do families with 2 working parents cope?
<Millarkie strikes off plan to move kids back to state school next year and sighs at thought of bank balance >

Shame about the au pair. We are going to try to do without until the summer hols and see how dire it is. If we ever move that is!

Really hoping that we exchange tomorrow, otherwise dh wants to move the completion date daily which is going to be confusing and awful. And I can't believe that my first post on this thread was last July!

USAUKMum Mon 14-May-07 16:58:13

Most Essex schools have only the one intake. So the younger children do half day until Jan. Here in Stortford we are Herts and have 2 intakes, so the younger ones don't start until Jan. So my DS starts nursery this coming Jan and full time in Jan 2009. (which sounds far away, but probably will feel like it is around the corner).

But if you work full time you need someone to do pick up and watch kids until you get home anyway, so they just get them a couple hours earlier. Only really a pain when you have one in school already.

Millarkie Mon 14-May-07 17:31:48

In our area there is only one intake - in september, and most schools do 2 weeks half days only (half the year do mornings and the other half afternoons) and then straight into full days.

The term of half days is impossible if, like me, you work school hours so you can pick your kids up yourself. Would have to find a childminder just for that term (which would never have worked with ds, at least we only have more sociable dd to worry about). Doesn't surprise me though - we are expecting to put dd into school nursery for 5 full (school length) days, and although the school offers this when I rang to check the woman was aghast that I would leave a 'baby' (almost 4 year old) so long in school.

I spoke with the head teacher today and said that i want him to go full time in September and that we have organised child care around the fulltime and that i am working and we cna't pick him up at 12 every day for a term - she said she will speak to the governors and come back to me on Friday!

I am going to be paying for DS2 to go to nursery full time and now i need to pay for someone to pick DS1 up and look after him - he has been ready to go to school full time for ages, he has been reading and writing for about a year and needs school - aaarrrgghh

oh yeah can anyone tell me how to get my smiley faces working again?


Millarkie Mon 14-May-07 20:32:20

To get the smilies to work - take out the nose '-'

I can recommend a local nanny who is happy to work part-time if necessary if that might be cheaper than nursery for ds2 and after-school care for ds1.
At least the school are looking into it for you.

We didn't exchange contracts again today - supposedly, by the time my solicitor got out of a meeting and rang the others, one of the others had gone home early It has to happen tomorrow morning or we can't get a moving van booked in time. Dh was up at 3am US time (um..11ish here I think) to ring people and pester them (didn't trust me to do it, although I had tried today)..so we are all knackered but in different time zones.

2boysmacca Mon 14-May-07 20:37:28

OMG. Are you actually going to pay the solicitors?

Millarkie Mon 14-May-07 20:49:36

If we weren't so damn near exchange we would be off to use another firm (my best friend is a conveyancer but thought that she was too far away to use - as it is she has been giving us great advice by telephone and can't believe the way we have been treated by our solicitor)
It should have been so simple today - pick up phones, ring other 2 solicitors, say 'exchange contracts' - ring a delighted millarkie....instead we had - 'solicitor is in a meeting all morning, will ring this pm' then 'solicitor is seeing a client', then 'solicitor is on the phone' then 'solicitor tried to ring buyer's solicitor but she goes home at 3pm on Mondays'

Actually we 've had one major delay caused by the seller's solicitor doing something daft, about a month added on by buyer's solicitor being over-anxious and demanding, and this past week by our solicitor being too jobsworthy (I think) and too busy to answer the phone...so the blame is evenly spread along the chain.

Can't believe this might be ds's last week at this school and we can't even tell him to say goodbye to his friends yet (and don't have time to organise a party). Last day of current nannyshare tomorrow, and last day of current nanny on Thursday..and no replacement on the horizon in London so we have to move!

ES - if you get a RAB place over the next couple of months you're going to have to go through the whole 'ask the guv'nors' thing again aren't you - you poor thing, must be v. stressful.


Millarkie Tue 15-May-07 16:03:36

Yippee, we have finally exchanged - but solicitors secretary isn't sure of completion date . She thinks 23rd but we had asked for 22nd. Estate agents think it's 22nd. Solicitor's secretary said she'd look into it - then rang me back to tell me to ring and ask tomorrow! I have to book the removals van and I'm not sure what date to aim for ....ARGHHH

Now, going to distract myself by looking at pictures of climbing frames with ds, as buying one for the new garden is our top priority (according to ds)

2boysmacca Tue 15-May-07 16:47:06

We just bought one from Hanchett Toys. Take a look at their website. It's only about a 15 min drive from us

Millarkie Tue 15-May-07 17:33:40

Did you get a wooden one or metal? I am tempted towards the traditional TP type - mainly because I know people that have neglected them for 10 years and they are still going strong..would worry about having to look after a wood one.

Ds wants one with a 'den with doors' and a curly slide..haven't seen anything matching that yet, but having fun looking..am looking at the site you recommended now. Thanks

2boysmacca Tue 15-May-07 18:36:32

We went for the wooden playtower

Millarkie Tue 15-May-07 19:02:21

Do Hanchetts have any frames on display? I might have to take ds along and discuss the finer points with him ;o Last year I told him we were moving so we could have a house with room for a climbing frame (oh, and so Daddy could live with us again) and it's certainly stuck in his head
Our new garden is quite slopey ( I think ) so might have to sort out the space for it first.

2boysmacca Tue 15-May-07 19:37:30

Yes, it's a small display but basically most of what is on the website.

we just bought one - we looked for ages - there is a place in great Chishill that does them, they have a display and get this you can hire out their garden for parties.

Anyway, we went for the TP one - we wanted wooden but DS1 wanted metal as it had more on it - we got metal

The builders have left site :0

Millarkie Fri 18-May-07 17:40:40

Have they left site because they've finished (well, they think they have) or just gone, ES?
Joking aside, hope your house is all sorted and you can get on with enjoying it.

I must be strange because I kinda like the look of the metal climbing frames (although perversely enough, I like wooden ones in public parks). We have to get a basketball hoop put somewhere (thanks to ds's Sportacus obsession) so I'm thinking metal frame with a hoop attached at one end. We already have a high slide...hmmm..choices choices.

Have had the day off work today as (ex) nanny had her last day as leave. Glad I did because I have been racing round buying presents for kids teachers, writing change of addresses and arranging mail forwarding.
Think I have to start sorting and packing the rest of the kids toys now . They are off to grandparents this weekend and won't see them again until they are delivered to the new house. Can't believe that I'll be in SW (albeit with no internet access ) in 4 days time!

Oh, and is there a place that re-heels shoes in SW? Wanted to get my fav. boots done today and forgot to take them with me!

2boysmacca Fri 18-May-07 17:46:52

It may not be London, but we do have shoe heelers I use the one in lock stock and barrel. They are friendly and get the job done quickly.

I'm off to Clerkenwell tomorrow to a hen day. But typically ds2 has come down with hand foot and mouth so not sure if I'll make it now

2boysmacca Fri 18-May-07 17:49:48

Dh had his last day at work today, no more 2 hour commutes for us too....yay

Millarkie Fri 18-May-07 18:18:18

about hand, foot and mouth - the mouth ulcers get soo painful for them - ds has had about every childhood illness going (chicken pox 3 times according to GP), but HFandM was the most painful.

So, has your dh found something nearer at last, or just given up :O My dh is recruiting at his place but I'm not terribly clear on what exactly he does there

2boysmacca Fri 18-May-07 18:38:03

Yes, he's found something nearer, Victoria well, it's better than Chiswick !

builders have left site because they think they are finshed - DH has been going round like a hawk for the snag list - it is now 7 A4 pages long and he is obsessed with reading it out to me again and again - i mean flipping heck i am the one who has been living in it for the last two months while he has been swanning off to work, does he think i haven't noticed it?

when you eventually get here and are all settled, we will all have to meet up - hopefully George will talk to your two Twoboysmacca and your little one might like his hair as it has grown since alst time

2boysmacca Fri 18-May-07 21:08:17

tallulahh Sat 19-May-07 13:11:35

I've just come across this thread and the comments about Gt Chesterford make me quite cross. I'm a single full-time working mother and can't get my 9 year old son into Gt Chesterford School, even though I live there. I am having to send him to a school described as 'dire'. He's G & T and I'm not worried about his educational progress, but he has been denied the opportunity to make friends locally. Transport will cost Essex County Council about £5k a year. The situation has arisen because parents, able to ferry their children about, have abandoned their local school to come to Great Chesterford.

have you just moved to the area?

tallulahh Sat 19-May-07 13:30:22

Recently. I applied for a place in March.

Millarkie Sat 19-May-07 20:18:03

I tried to post on here twice yesterday and it didn't work so try try trying again.

Yes, Tallulah, the school admissions system is so frustrating if you move into an area with a popular school when the children are school age (and as EnglishSpringer has just found out, even if you live in catchment before they start school). We also will not get a place at our catchment school, nearest school with a space is not suitable for our son due to medical reasons, luckily we can afford to put him into a private school for now..but understand your frustration.

2boys - well I guess that Victoria is a little closer than Chiswick

ES - oh my gosh, sounds like a heck of a snagging list. Good luck with getting the builders back to do it (hope you witheld the final cheque)

I'm up to my neck in boxes and some of them are even packed . Kids and cats get picked up by Granny tomorrow then it's just dh, me, and a large roll of brown parcel tape

And now I'm getting worried about putting dd into the school nursery for 5 full days (she currently does 3 half-days at pre-school)..it seemed reasonable at the time but it feels like we either have to compromise on ds's schooling, or dd's care. My latest mantra is 'it's just for 5 weeks then it's school hols'.

2 days to go and I'll be local hee hee

SusieHughsie Sun 20-May-07 08:40:12

Glad to hear progress is being made by all, moving, building work and new jobs. Hope it all goes well.

We were due to exchange two weeks ago but the buyer of our house decided to tie in a sale of one of his other properties at the last minute, which is going to delay everything by at least two weeks. We have had to rearrange removal company, which has cost us extra money and our oven has decided to stop working and we've just cancelled our service agreement.

As we had planned to move next weekend, so much of the packing has been done but it means we are surrounded by boxes, feel like getting in one myself and labelling it fragile!

Okay, rant over - I'm going to stop moaning now.

Millarkie Sun 20-May-07 10:04:23

Oh no Susie! We ended up with a month of 'being on the verge of exchange' and it was so stressful I could barely remember to breathe at some points I also threatened to get into a box and hide!
What's up with your oven? Does it seem terminal? (Is it built-in so you are leaving it behind? <hopeful emoticon>). When we moved into this house the oven/hob was taken and dh spent 6 weeks 'looking into things' before we finally got a new one. We survived, just, with a microwave and a kettle..although I have no idea how we managed it.
Well, I better get back to trying to round up kids and cats.

oh my goodness everyone sounds like i was a few months ago - i tell you i do not miss that whole moving thing, you know what though the unpacking is worse than the packing at least before you had a place for it

our patio man is starting next week and the garden is being landscaped at the same time - i am so looking forward to being able to go outside without falling down a hole or bumping inot a builder drinking tea

well - good luck with the moves, packing etc.

2boysmacca Sun 20-May-07 21:12:18

Good luck with the move Millarkie.

We were so full of excitement when we moved here. I opened the front door and cried, it was the dirtiest, smelliest place I had ever seen, and the kitchen....well it had a sink and 2 long shelves filling the back wall and that was it. The utility room when we opened it, wasn't a utility room, it was a bathroom that had been stripped out, well the bath had beeen taken out and that's about it. It was disgusting. I think we must have viewed it with our eyes closed

Hopefully there will be no surprises for you and you'll love it the minute you walk in.

I'm just feeling soooo cheeerful today

Millarkie Mon 21-May-07 16:09:15

Well thanks for cheering me up 2boys We had only been in this house for 3 days when dh decided that he hated it and it was my fault for 'choosing' it, so I know not to get too optimistic this time.

We've survived the first lot of removals. All furniture and stuff except tv and bed have gone off in a couple of lorrys. And we get a further lorry tomorrow for the last of the bits and the bed. Only 1 slight disaster so far...the removal men packed dh's and my overnight bags, right at the front of the lorry so by the time we realised that they had been packed it was too late to get them out again. Dh and I have just been up to the shops and bought clothes etc to wear tomorrow!

Am now cleaning up this house (and I guess I will spend tomorrow cleaning the new house ). Hopefully it won't have shrunk since we last saw it..although I'm expecting it to be a bit of a mess.

Lose the internet tomorrow

2boysmacca Mon 21-May-07 17:28:53

Good grief woman, how much stuff have you got. 2 lorry's full already?

Millarkie Mon 21-May-07 17:55:12

I knooooooow . I don't know where it all came from [shock}. I think it all belongs to dh and the kids.
I would like to say that they were small lorries - but they weren't .

According to dh there were 18 boxes of books (including several boxes of science fiction that have been in storage since we moved the last time) and 15 boxes of kid's toys (but in my defence, I have toys to suit from birth to 5 still because of my nanny having a young baby - they will be 'recycled' once we move).

hope the move went OK - don't envy you that one and i still remember it well - we still have boxes that are not unpacked.

thansk for all the advice on the baby, i have no routine in the day and he justs fits in with me - sleeps when he is tired, feeds when he is hungry but i tell you he is fab at night - goes down sat 6.30/7, we wake him at 10.30, he wakes up at 3 to 4 and then i wake him at 7. this will proably all go up the creek when we go on holiday in a couple of weeks.

Oh yeah - DS1 loves his new pre-school, still no news on the school front we are seriously considering Friends or Dame B's poor forever

tallulahh Sat 26-May-07 16:16:15

Millarkie, I've just got back to this thread. The situation is a bit more than 'frustrating'. It is currently being investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman and has been drawn to Essex County Council's attention, therefore I won't go into detail here. I don't have the option of 'going private', although if I did I probably would. I would still feel outraged at the situation in Uttlesford, as I passionately believe EVERY child has the right to a good education within the state system. Muddle-headed policies of parental preference only benefit a few. Rant over (but not really begun).

laurasmiles Sun 27-May-07 14:17:27

hello! we are here, we are Finally all connected and I'm back surgin the board. Looks like I've got lots to catch up on and have missed a couple of meet-ups. I hope you all had good times. I must read your posts in more detail so I can catch up on your individual news. Hope you are all well, I've missed you! Not having the internet is becoming like not having chocolate - not an option

As for us, we have have the house back to bare stripped walls and and manky carpet; living out of boxes as there isn't enogh storage furniture and we are generally not fit for visitors: but we don't care. We love it!! It just feels right - saffron walden and the house.

Haven't been very sociable yet though and have yet to make it to any mother and toddlers groups. Did make our first trip to suss out a nursery for ds. Visited Saffron Walden Nursery School who can offer us a place for Sept start (yikes!!). First impressions were good and then I went home and thought it through and started planting seeds of doubt - something I'm a Past-Master at!

Reading over your notes about school placement issues it looks like I've got a whole heap of worry to look forward to. Somehow the responsibilty looms larger the older they get.

Nice to be back. x

2boysmacca Sun 27-May-07 19:18:56

What are your worries about SW nursery, might be able to offer you peace of mind?

laurasmiles Sun 27-May-07 21:11:31

Does your son go? It's nothing substantial really. It's just that I got scooped away by the Manager whom I really clicked with, but didn't get time to see much interaction between the staff in the classroom and the children. Each time we walked through the classrooms there seemed to be emphasis on the whole group sitting down and paying attention to something. (it was nice and calm though). I didn't see any of the staff get down to the children's level and I didn't get a great feeling of friendliness and fun. The headteacher answered all my questions spot-on, but theory is often different from practice.

But I am a nitpicker!! I just want him to go somewhere that will allow him freedom and room to grow at his own pace in a relaxed atmosphere - he is only two years four months afterall. Maybe I should keep him at home until he's three in Jan. Or four. Overprotective mummy alert!

How are you doing anyways? Enjoying the rainy Bank Holiday???

2boysmacca Sun 27-May-07 21:23:29

Yes, he's been there nearly a year. He absolutely loves it. Remember he'll be in red class to start off with, where the emphasis is fun (if you looked in blue and green they do more learning). The staff really are very friendly and they do have an excellent rapport with the kids. They are only sat down for snacks and then just after outdoor play when they come in and wait for parents/guardians. If you're concerned just take another look around, they won't mind. You'll get a home visit in a few weeks and then you'll probably get more of a feel.

Crap weather but at least our drive isn't flooded, we've jsut had the thing resurfaced after 2 years of being swamped each tiem it rained.

I'm planning on doing a run in the morning but this weatehr doesn't seem to be stopping so if you see a mad woman running down PV first thing tomorrow ....

we looked around the nursery school and were impressed with it but they didn't have any space for DS1.

weather is sooooo bad

glad the move went OK and enjoy unpacking

let's hope the weather gets better tomorrow

2boysmacca Wed 30-May-07 13:03:13

No joy on this weather hey!

oh my goodness, it is so bad - having rows with DS1 as he wants to go on hi sclimbing frame everyday and he obviously can't - i sent him out there in the rain today because i was sick of the moaning - he came in adn complained because it was wet, slippy and cold

2boysmacca Wed 30-May-07 20:07:21

This weather is so bad for the kids. Both of mine are at an age where they need to run around outside. I took them to coconuts as a compromise but it was hell being half term!

Millarkie Wed 30-May-07 21:29:25

Hi, We're in the new house..but no broadband as yet .
And also in manky carpet and box land but no regrets so far.
We were meant to go camping over the bank holiday but one of our cats went AWOL so we stayed at home, so glad we did after that evil weather!
And I"m back to work tomorrow Had our 'school holiday' nanny over this pm to show her where everything is and let the children settle with her. She's looking after them for the next couple of days but they seem to get on ok and I've left zillions of craft type things to do in case the weather continues.

I still haven't tried the hot choc at Cou Cou - I'm just not ready to go back to work <sulk>

SusieHughsie Thu 31-May-07 09:51:40

Hooray, we're moving tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll bring some sunshine with us. Had better go, as there is still so much left to do.
Will be in touch soon x

laurasmiles Fri 01-Jun-07 11:39:50

Thanks for feedback on Nursery, it helps settle my doubts.
Very impressed with the run! I couldn't run to the end of the drive!! (I have a very short drive by the way).

Fingers crossed for your move Susie and thanks for bringing the sunshine - it's my birthday!

Glad you're in Milarkie, I know just how you feel although I don't go back to work until the middle of June.

English Springer - how's your baby boy doing? And how are you finding it with two?

L x

Millarkie Sun 03-Jun-07 18:59:56

Hey ES - was it you in the marquee today? I spoke to a chap with a baby called Henry. Was sitting at same table with dopey 3 yr old dd sucking her thumb..when she wasn't trying to run up and down behind the speakers.
If none of this makes sense then it obviously wasn't you
If it was then 'Hi' - had to run off as soon as speeches over as dd was starving.


was my DH - i am telling him now that he spoke to you - i obviously wasn't around or completely oblivious - i was wearing a blue top and cream trousers - very small person. my DS1 was outside i think palying with yours with the stomping thingy that jumps in the air

will defiantely have to meet up - especially since i didn't have a pen to write down all of those dates

Laura - DS2 is doing well - he is now 8lbs 8oz and i have all but given up breastfeeding - shock! i know i am terrible etc. etc. but he wasn't gaining any weight and had to go see a paedeatrician because fo low gain etc. they assessed my milk lots of it but not much hind milk, all fore milk so i was expressing to see how much i got - 6oz of water before any good milk came in and by then he was too full up! ha everyone bleats on about breast is best - well obviously not always. please tell me i'm not a terrible mother.

DS1 is definately going to Dame B's although going to look around Friends on Wednesday - cannot get to Elsenham -

oohh - got a new aupair coming on June 23rd - a male aupair - has anyone had a male one before?

Millarkie Tue 05-Jun-07 17:12:30

How strange to think we were a few yards away from each other (but not surprising I guess). My ds and dh weren't there - had to go back to London, so it was just me and dd who was pretending to swim along the dance floor most of the time . I guess I'm no taller than you - and was probably in some shade of brown top (usually am :-) )
Shame on the breastfeeding (since once you're through the painful weeks it is so much less hassle than bottles) but glad you aren't beating yourself up about it.. H looks gorgeous by the way - I didn't work out which one G was, lots of little people racing around.
My kids have been at Friends for 2 days and they absolutely love it! Although it's not 'academic' by reputation, because the class size is so small (7 in ds's class) there is lots of individual attention/targets etc so I guess it would suit a g+t child as much as it suits my non g+t ones!
I haven't had a male au pair (only female nannys) but think it's a great idea, especially if you have sporty boys. Is he from aupair world? I'm going to have to start thinking about advertising for mother's help or au pair from Sept but for the next few weeks have the luxury of being family-only, and the stress of worrying about delayed trains

2boysmacca Tue 05-Jun-07 18:00:37

ES are you going back to work soon? It only seems like 5 mins you started your mat leave .


2boys - oh am not going back to work until November - was going before but going to Florida in october and they won't let me have the time off so i though bugger it i won't go back and they can get a temp for longer - ha that will teach them

Milarkie - i think i know who you were - you were sitting behind my DH i was infront of him and there was a lady next to me in the black dress with the boy who kept shouting i need a wee and whose little girl kept running over the dance floor. Will have to meet in the park or maybe the pub so we know who is who etc.

I have an aupair coming in September from Canada and am not going back to work until November so i will only be needing her for about 10 hours per week - if you need her to drop off or pick up then i know she would do it for a little extra pcoket money - our last au pair did it for another family and they paid her about £30 a week for dropping off and collecting etc.

Millarkie Wed 06-Jun-07 19:16:39

Yes! that was me!

I'm trying to talk dh into a trip to the pub for Sunday lunch - it sounds like most of the village hangs out there

Must have a big meet up soon too..any ideas Saffron Walden (and surrounding villages) mumsnetters?

ES - We would be v interested in employing your au pair for a few hours if the times we need someone don't clash with your needs (would save us having to recruit ourselves - yippee)
Think I'm burning the tea - oops

we go to the pub on Friday evenings - lst friday i had seabass and risotto so lovely and they do an excellent choclate cake adn cream thingy

i looked around friends today, saw your son Kyle is it? his class is tiny.

we have looked at both dame B's and Friends now and are discussing options tonight. Friends is £2000 per annum cheaper and includes before adn after school care whereas Dame B's doesn't. i liked friends but i don't know, something was missing and they seem very religious

2boysmacca Wed 06-Jun-07 20:52:35

Every Friday? I am and you have a tiny little one too!

Coconuts could be a good place. Indoor softplay, kids secure.... or, dare I say it, STARBUCKS

Millarkie Wed 06-Jun-07 21:01:37

We went to the pub last friday (taking advantage of having lovely nanny around to babysit) but quite late as we ate at Prezzo first. Nanny is back from University in a week or so and is available for babysitting so I guess we'll be able to escape the house again then.
Yup, my boy is Keir (amazed you could tell which one of the 6 boys he was - was he screaming 'I want to go back to my ollllllddd schooooool'? I haven't noticed any obvious religion at Friends..but I'm more sensitive to CofE being forced down the kids throats than 'Quakerism' (I think only about 15% of the kids are Quaker) - Of all religions, we are happiest with Quakerism and Buddism so wasn't a problem for us. Didn't realise it was so much cheaper than Dame B's - I did a price comparison using the fees given on their websites last year and I made Dame B's a couple of hundred more expensive (plus after school club, which, at the moment, is saving us nanny/au pair costs). I think there is a lack of 'competitiveness' about friends, but it isn't reflected in the quality of the teaching - K was going to an extremely good state school in London but he is doing more in one day at F's than he got through in a week at his old school. And as I've said before, he needs a supportive environment.
Good luck on making your decision - I know just how hard it is! And I have to decide what to do about dd in 18 months

Millarkie Wed 06-Jun-07 21:03:37

2boys - if we make it Starbucks it will just be you and me

Whereabouts is Coconuts? Sounds like a good idea. I'm tied to Tues or Thurs after school and weekends though.

laurasmiles Wed 06-Jun-07 23:23:40

Anything gets my vote! Strong coffee in the day is always good though as I'm so exhausted at the moment with my nine month old still wakuing several times a night and feeding! Too tired to actually tackle the habit if you know what I mean! Ooops i can hear her stirring as I type. Dp away in Ireland for 10 days so I'm flying solo.... should be getting sleep in, rather than surfing but didn't want to miss out on expressing an interest in the catch up.

Dp and I haven't been out on our own since before dd was born. We tried to on friday as it was my birthday but left the house too late and got lost and then knew we wouldn't get to the event in time - came home an hour later thoroughly cheesed off with everything. Came home and both children were up and causing mayhem for my aunt! A nanny sounds like a lovely idea

2boysmacca Thu 07-Jun-07 08:51:18

laura, we are practically neighbours, so if you need to get out of the house.... I have a red P&T and ds is usally singing at the top of his voice, so you'll see/hear us coming!

OK so i have to admit it that since taking up breast feeding and now needing pushchair space i have frequented starbucks

oh my school thing just got worse - i got a letter this morning telling me that there is a place at RAB - how can they do this to parents - so i now have a look round book at Elsenham on 26th June, a look round booked at Newport, i have also accpeted Dame B's (can i get out of this prior to September?) and i liked Friends as well.

I keep thinking how much more we could do with the extra money though - sounds really selfish but we could take him skiing every year, he could have days out, trips etc.

OH HOW DO YOU DECIDE????????????

Millarkie Thu 07-Jun-07 17:42:56

I saw a mum with a red p+t today - but 2 walking size children and one in buggy, so not you 2boys? (I always look at people with p+t's because i got mine 3 and a bit years ago and was the only person in my area with one..used to get loads of comments..now they are everywhere but I can't get over seeing other people pushing them <sad but not >

OH ES - I thought you might get a waiting list offer from RAB - I have to say that I would accept that one and try to dump Dame B's - no point in paying for private when you have a perfectly good catchment school offer and a school bus to take G/deliver him home! RAB have an after-school club too. Did you give deposit/sign contract for Dame B's? Our contract with Fs says that we need to give a term's notice or lose a term's fees but still cheaper than paying out for years and years I guess. We will have the same decision in 12 months time, whether to put dd into RAB and then try to move ds across (and have real disposable income at last) or to keep paying for the gentle encouragement at Fs.

laura - the waking up every couple of hours for months on end is so draining isn't it! I didn't get a full night's sleep for over 4 years and kept meeting mums whose babies slept through from 6 weeks . My first thread on mumsnet was asking 'Am I the only Zombie Mum?' (must be 6 years ago now). Lots of sympathy to you - hope you get some good sleep soon.

2boysmacca Thu 07-Jun-07 18:32:52

Wasn't me, I've been away at my parents for a few days, only got back a couple of hours ago! I bet the woman you saw had black hair didn't she?

Millarkie Thu 07-Jun-07 21:21:55

Umm..not sure. I was driving past, looked at 1) the buggy (oooh look a p+t..I love my p+t) and then 2) the children (ooh cute children..oooh 3 cute children) - didn't get round to looking at mum's hair - hee hee.
If you see a ugly turquiose mini-people mover in the Debden road area then it's going to be me! Give me a wave

I survived the school pick-up again today, and had a whole sentence spoken to me by another mum (despite me being a scruffy, windswept, pink cheeked, non-make up wearing, stresspot - with v badly fitting rolled up jeans and old T shirt (and I wore that to work too - having a bit of a laundry problem). So I'm on a high now. Might even try to say hello to one of them next time

Do you locals buy clothes in SW? Any recommendations for clothes shops for a non-designer, non-standard shaped woman? I've walked past a few 'boutiques' but don't want to enter anything too ummm...fancy ;} At the moment I am the only jeans wearer boarding the train..it makes me larf.

can i just ask what is a P +T - i have no idea

i don't normally buy for me locally but i went into that new shop Gun Hill yesterday and bought a few things - the ladies in there are really helpful and very friendly

Bishop Stortford has got some clothes shops but i am afrain i am an M & S girl and i shop at a little shop in loughton - i am such a short arse that i can't buy from amny shops

i know i know about the school thing - we have entered into a contract and have to pay a year (my mum has agreed to pay the first one) the problem for me is that i trained to be a teacher before i became a trader and i am obsessed with schools and the 'perfect' teaching etc. etc. i look at it from a different angle than my husband who is non teaching and become obsessed ove rthe slightest little things.

today i spent the best part of 4 hours on the internet looking at SATS results, OFSTED inspections etc. Dame B's only achieve slightly more than Elsenham where he has been given but both Dame B's and Elsenham achieve a lot higher than RAB - oh my God it is taking over my life, why can't i just let go and accept that he will be part of a large class

2boysmacca Fri 08-Jun-07 08:37:02


Mayhem and shop at top of High Street, can't remember what it's called, up by Woolworth's is nice for clothing.

Millarkie Fri 08-Jun-07 10:44:25

P+t is Phil and Teds buggy (either E3 or the new Sport)- the double 3 wheeler where the littl'un sits on an add-on seat under the main seat. They are fab.

Thanks for the recommendations - will try to have a look round this weekend.

ES - Blimey a whole year commitment - we only have 1 term's at Fs. You only need to read down this thread to see how obsessed I got with schools when moving here..I'm trying to keep in mind that it's my child I care about rather than the whole school's results. The trauma of seeing your 'baby' go off to school is bad enough, let alone the worry over whether it's the right school for them. You have my sympathy.

laurasmiles Sat 09-Jun-07 20:39:00

For some reason I seem to keeep messing up my postings and finding that they are not making it to the page. aaarrgggh!

Twoboys - would be good to meet up, I'm free Monday to Wednesday next week - if any one else is....?

You can remind me of all the merits of the P & T that I saw vehemntly rejected when I had my second child, in favour of a huge double buggy. Now somehow the decision seems somewhat flawed! . It hardly ever makes it out of the garage as I usually carry daughter in a sling and take a single buggy.

2boysmacca Sat 09-Jun-07 21:15:16

but if you'd have been living here when you decided there'd have been no contest, the pavements are so bloomin' narrow, there is no way I'd have coped with a side by side! I even have to zig zag across the road to get the P&T down!

Millarkie Sun 10-Jun-07 17:59:22

I'm available after school time on tues - anyone up for a coffee (Laura? 2boys? ES?) Will have hyper 5 yr old ds and 3.5yr old dd along.

Laura - I'm going to sell my (beloved) P+T so let me know if you would be interested

2boysmacca Sun 10-Jun-07 20:27:18

Sorry, I can't make it. We are usually out after nursery on a Tuesday. Mornings are def better for us.

Millarkie Sun 10-Jun-07 21:14:44

I work all mornings (and most afternoons). Ho hum..I shall continue to stare at mums with red P+t's then ;)

2boysmacca Sun 10-Jun-07 21:17:43

You'll def see me during the school run on Thursday am. I usually get caught up in the Friends traffic, trying to zig zag my way across the road , looking stressed and probably telling ds not to keep singing at the top of his vocie!

can't do tues as we are off to Italy tomorrow - it always seems like such a good idea to book a holday and then when it comes around and you have to pack etc. i always think i cna't be bothered and can see why people take their caravans to suffolk

would love to do coffee when i return we get back 20th so let me know if anyone is meeting.

we had to buy a new pushcahir today - had to rush up to John Lewis at 3pm as the tyre on my pushchair had blown out and we are leaving the house at 5am - no time to buy a new one. DH tried to fix the puncutre but there wasn't one it just kept deflating.

anyway we got a end of line M&P lying flat thingy that is so light that i have decied to ditch my other one when we return and use this one. They weren't going to let em take it away but i told them that my current one had been stolen, i had baby in arms and turned on the water works to let them give me the display one

laurasmiles Mon 11-Jun-07 10:23:53

Shame we can't find a time to suit everyone - any other suggestions...?

Twoboys - What time is good for you on Tuesday...? I could meet you at the common for the children to have a quick play, or a coffee..?

Milarkie - I could meet you for a quick coffee after school? What time is that exactly? (I have a nine month old and a twenty-eight months old so nothing is leisurely anymore!!)

2boysmacca Mon 11-Jun-07 11:41:39

Laura Tuesdays and Thursdays are generally bad for me. Tuesday mornings I hit the gym, then in the afternoon ds has nursery. I usually meet friends after that for an hour before dinner. Thursdays ds is at nursery in the morning and I hit the gym in the afternoon.

I'd strongly recommend you check out the Parent centre tomorrow or Thursday morning before term ends. You can make a few acquaintances before the long summer holidays begin, you'll also find out about a lot of the activities over the hols. There is a Teddy toy Library fete coming up very soon but I can't remember when.....

laurasmiles Mon 11-Jun-07 16:23:39

Okee-Dokee. I'm back to work next week so it's my dp who has the Summer ahead of him (lucky bugger!)

2boysmacca Mon 11-Jun-07 21:27:19

Are you looking forward to it? What do you do? FT or PT?

I sometimes wish I could go back to work <sigh>

laurasmiles Mon 11-Jun-07 22:10:41

I'll be doing a three month full-time stint, just so I don't have to pay back my maternity leave. Then I'll be resigning to be a full-time start at home mummy (eek!!).

I'm an Early Years Development Manager for a council. They know of my intentions to quit so I'm going back to do some project work rather than manage my team again, so I'm quite looking forward to it on one hand. But it's a lot of upheaval and I feel a bit lost at the momment: neither fully opart of the working world or established here at home. I think I'll be able to throw myself at SW ciommunity life etc. once this period is over.

I know what you mean about work. I really have always enjoyed my work and am still toying with doing an MA while I'm off. But another part of me is looking foreward to the freedom for a couple of years. I guess it would be good to keep an open mind. They mentioned maybe offering me bits of consultancy work if I was interested..so we'll see.

You sound as if you have a pretty full life without work ("work" in the conventional snese of course!!) This is often the most gruelling/challenging job I've done trying to live up to standards as mother.

Where did you work beforehand? Are you planning to go back when the children go to school or are you plannning more family??

2boysmacca Wed 13-Jun-07 13:02:52

Sounds good!

Me, I used to work in equities as a Business Development Manager (although most people would associate it with Product Management). I loved it. I loved everything about it but I can't see me going back to the city and doing those hours. We made a decision that one of us would quit work and put our careeers on hold, and as I was the main earner it was going to be dh. I didn't envisage how much I'd fall in love with my babies and so we decided to change lifestyles a little and dh continued to work and I gave up. I miss the mental stimulation, the adult company and the everyday challenges associated with work. I hate having no identity. People see me as a mum, and rarely believe you were anything other than that before you had kids. But, I do enjoy being at home and a mum, and it's not at all lonely here as it was in London. The daily challenges of a 15 month and 3.5 year old keep me very busy!

Millarkie Fri 15-Jun-07 18:31:08

Sorry Laura - didn't see your offer of meeting for coffee until too late (dh 'stole' the internet to sort out car insurance).
Good luck with your return to work. I went back because I couldn't hack the pressure as a stay at home mum (although I've always worked some sort of part-time hours since having a family)..so i take my hat off to both of you

laurasmiles Fri 15-Jun-07 19:17:24

Milarkie - no problem. I'm sure that we will all manage a get together at some point in the future. Either that or we shall iadvertently come across one another - Saffron Walden just isn't big enough to hide in I guess!!
I wonder if I too will be wanting to keep my foot in the working world once I get back to it. I'm doing a lot of preparatory reading at the moment and it's whetting my appetite somewhat. Although on hot days like these, there's no competition really is there? I wouldn't put me down for any mother of the year awards though!! . My friends who work full-time seem to do a much better job!

i'm back form Italy and have read the bits about stay at home mums, i take my hat off to you both, i am going back to work because it is easier than staying at home - i remember when i left for mat leave and all the office said i would be off for the summer - ha!

oh yeah and i am never going on holiday again (well at least not out of the country) what a nightmare, i won't bore you all with my whinging but i will mention that dreadful airline not the orange one the other Irish one - 15 hour delay need i say any more

Millarkie Wed 20-Jun-07 21:31:13

Hey! I have broadband again
Sorry to hear about your flight delay ES. We still haven't decided on where to go this year, let alone booked it (kind of typical of me and dh though). And I still haven't arranged any sort of party for ds's birthday <eek>. Can anyone recommend any party locations - I was originally thinking of using our house, but we still haven't sorted out the garden toys and I would have to hover so am now looking for a venue that isn't all booked up. Anyone been to a party at the leisure centre?

2boysmacca Wed 20-Jun-07 21:44:57

Yes! Both were for 1st birthdays
Have the pool to yourselves for an hour then, into the hall for softplay.

Coconuts do parties, here also Cheeky monkeys in Fulbourn.

No holidays here this year

mickey2 Wed 20-Jun-07 23:10:30

Hello Millarkie

Re: party venues

There's a place in Great Chishill - its actually an outdoor toy display/shop but they do kids parties too - been to one there myself which was a great success and we ended up buying a trampoline AND a climbing frame... (at least the kids will be occupied this summer!) Take a look at the website: www.jumpoutdoortoys.co.uk

can recommend the outdoor place - we bought a climbing frame from them and DS1 had his party there - great place.

no holidays sounds great to me - seriously two buggies, two car seats, milk powder, clothes, toys, suitcases, 90 degrees and a Ryanair flight NEVER AGAIN - Cornwall it is for me

mickey2 Fri 22-Jun-07 21:49:02

The Bloke there is quite cute too

SusieHughsie Fri 22-Jun-07 23:09:01

Pleased to say that our move went well and at last our internet access has been sorted. DD started her new school on Monday and is enjoying making new friends, DS is quite confused as to where his house has gone and I have had enough of this unpacking lark.

Glad to hear your all well. Would love to meet up, whenever or wherever.

mickey2 Fri 29-Jun-07 22:03:28

is anyone still using this thread?

SusieHughsie Sat 30-Jun-07 20:49:54

Does anyone know of any good Indian restaurants in the area?

Millarkie Sat 30-Jun-07 20:59:22

Hi Susie - glad your move went well. Dh and I have been searching for a decent indian resturant but not found one yet Had a foul sag paneer in one on the high street. The folks that used to own our house recommended one in Newport but we haven't tried it yet. At one point dh suggested taking the train to Birmingham to get a proper balti - am hoping that we will not need to take such drastic action

Mickey - it's not a particularly fast moving thread but it's been going for almost a year now. I check it every now and then. Have you been local for long? Are you in SW or one of the villages?

SusieHughsie Sun 01-Jul-07 07:58:26

Thanks Millarkie, will try it and let you know.

2boysmacca Sun 01-Jul-07 08:44:24

The Mogul, ids bar far the best!

Millarkie Sun 01-Jul-07 10:36:09

Oh heck - I think it was the Mogul that we tried Stale poppodums and a sag paneer which was liked creamed spinach, very very bland.
I better learn to cook and fast

Susie - please report back on the Newport one (if you go) - or I will if we get there first

2boysmacca Sun 01-Jul-07 12:29:10

I'm surprised. We've not had a bad one there before, always really fresh and tasty. IF you weren't impressed with that, don't go to others in town!

Millarkie Sun 01-Jul-07 13:48:57

Can I check that it's the same one - It's on the high street ..bit of a lobby area with stairs down and then tables in rooms beyond?
Maybe they just don't do veggie that well - we chose it because the others we saw had very poor choice of veggie dishes.
Oh 'eck - I'll have to buy a pestle and mortar now

2boysmacca Sun 01-Jul-07 16:04:25

I've not actually been inside, dh always goes in for takeaway. It's next to the post office/Londis type place.

mouseman Sun 01-Jul-07 16:45:57

We have now had two unpleasant meals from the mogul. Have heard that Nemonthron is good - the one at the bottom of Gold Street. I have also heard that the Newport one once had to be closed for H&S reasons.

Millarkie Sun 01-Jul-07 16:48:02

EEK at newport closure rumours.

Um..I'll check that it was Mogul we went to and if it was..we'll try the Gold Street one next. Thanks Mouseman.

mouseman Sun 01-Jul-07 16:49:45

Now we nearly always buy the pre-pack ones from Waitrose - you know what you are going to get!!
The chinese from Oriental Cottage/Garden (forgotten the name!) in wonderful though.

Millarkie Sun 01-Jul-07 16:54:48

Yeah, we did the Waitrose veggie curry selection a couple of weeks ago. We don't often eat out due to lack of babysitting but Mogul visit was a special trip to give new nanny time to bond with kids (She starts work for us on Friday..hoorah)
Do miss yummy take-aways though

the one in newport is great, it is pricy though compared to the rest.

glad everybody is now in their houses and settled.

i got to the gym this week, first time in a year - i tell you it nearly killed me!

2boysmacca Mon 02-Jul-07 08:35:14

If a gym session doesn't hurt, it ain't worth going

Was ds in the the other room from you ES?

i went again today - i don't ever remember ebing this unfit - i am doing pump on Thurs evening - i am so going to be a size 8 again

DS wasn't in the other room, he was at pre-school - just got news today that he has a place at RAB - yippee i won't be poor forever, although don't know what i am going to do about childcare after school and holidays.

2boysmacca Mon 02-Jul-07 20:12:05

They are just so lovely in the creche aren't they?

Millarkie Tue 03-Jul-07 16:39:30

Hmm...Gym...Yes, I think I can remember what that is .

Congrats on the school place ES - so he's starting there in Sept? They have an afterschool club, does that go late enough for you? Otherwise, welcome to the school holiday childcare hell . I'm already freaking out about autumn half-term (at least summer is covered) and still haven't got dh to yeah or nay the au pair idea. I'm hoping MIL will come to the rescue for school hols.

they are so great in the gym - although DS2 is always alseep when he goes there and they just want a cuddle!

the whole holiday thing was the thing that swung us - just couldn't do 19 weeks a year!

you know that we have an au pair so if you are ever stuck and also i'm home until November - you know we should meet up sot aht our kids know each other and stuff in case anything like that happens.

Millarkie Tue 03-Jul-07 22:21:18

Yup - we should meet up - ds would love to meet a 'local' boy (his friends from school are scattered all over the place). My kids are so of the children on the RAB school bus! Although they love their school they have asked to move to the school with the bus <bangs head>
I was a bit at the mega-long school hols - we've found a lovely student who is doing a teaching degree to look after them for the summer but no guarentees that she'll be available for any other hols..MIL has just told dh that she'll 'probably' be able to have them at half term (she generally steals them one at a time in the school hols, so I never get both of them to myself anyway - persuading her to take them both at the same time was the hard bit). We have just bought a year planner so we can mark up exactly who has to take time off when so I can work out what cover we need - oh and have looked at the cis website and found that there are some localish (newport and sw) childminders who say they provide holiday cover.
Also know of a part-time nanny and a full-time nanny looking for perm. positions if that's an option for you now (it's not for us), and of a nanny who has 2 children who is looking for a job (She's very qualified but I didn't think 4 children under 6 including 2 hearing impaired ones would be a good idea!)
You do similar hours to me don't you? Early to school kicking out time? We'll probably get stuck in the same broken down trains

Millarkie Wed 04-Jul-07 21:12:15

ES - Are you likely to be in the pub Friday night? We are thinking of popping in (if babysitter is available and if my cold gets better).
I'll be the short, dark haired one who obviously does not go to the gym

hi Milarkie

will be in the pub on friday - we normally get there about 7ish- we will take the kids in the pushchair this Friday as my mum can't have them - we were in last night as well - so much better now there is no smoke.

yes, unfortunately i do work long hours on the 6.04 train out and the 7ish one back

you know that ther are holiday clubs in S/W Ace Kids in on 01799520356 from 4- 14 year olds and runs from 8am until 6pm up at Katherine Semar and barn kids in thaxted from 4- 14 01371831262 - most are around £100 a week

Millarkie Thu 05-Jul-07 10:47:41

What a co-incidence - I only found out about ace kids play scheme last night and was going to post on here to see if you knew about it!
There's also Barracudas in Bishops Stortford - which is further I know, but I can get slightly discounted rates there via work.
We have filled our wall planner with 'who is looking after kids when' and seem to be OK for this year except for finding someone to help me out when dh is in the USA for a week in September - so I would be v. interested in 'borrowing' your au pair if they would like some extra cash.
We are still thinking about getting our own au pair but having had a house full of nannies and other people's kids for so long it is so nice to be able to relax in our own clutter That reminds me, I have to tidy up tonight as holiday nanny starts tomorrow.

Millarkie Thu 05-Jul-07 21:11:19

No babysitter tomorrow so no pub.

ES - did you get your male au pair in the end?

yes we got him, really good for the boys.

you know if you need any help then i am here in the village - not going back to work unitl then so more than happy to help.

lots of people in the village look after other people's children - DS1 goes to the pre-school and other mums pick him up and then keep him for the afternoon and then i do it for them - just let me know if you need me

shame about the pub - some other time

Millarkie Fri 06-Jul-07 18:24:10

thanks for the offer ES. I am that you have met some other village mums - I knew we would lose out on that by not putting dd into the pre-school though.
We must make plans to meet up - just so difficult with the weather being so dodgy!
Have re-booked babysitter for next friday so hopefully we be in the pub then

Millarkie Sun 22-Jul-07 18:50:30

Wanted to say thanks to 2boysmacca - we have bought our climbing frame (and ordered a trampoline) from Hanchett toys.
We've had friends with kids visit for this weekend and last, and the climbing frame was a big hit.

2boysmacca Sun 29-Jul-07 21:15:06

ClareL Tue 07-Aug-07 21:13:04

I know it's a long way off but we are thinking of moving to SF next Summer (2008). We are planning on renting to start off with as we currently live in south essex (near QE2 bridge) and moving to SW Essex is a massive step for us. I have 2 children DD (7) and DS (3). As I have absolutely no idea what part of SF I'll be living in I have no idea about applying for school places. I need to apply for my DS to start school in Sept 2008 and will apply to my local school as I can't see me being able to apply to any school in SF. We will move in the summer hols next year but having to apply for school places so much in advance (October 2007) makes it a problem. Our local area the schools are massively over subscribed. There are not enough schools to cater for the amount of children that live here - does this happen in SF. My DD will be going into Year 4 in 2008 and I know she will prob stand more of a chance of a school place than my DS - but I need them to be in the same school. Has anybody come across this problem.

Millarkie Fri 10-Aug-07 22:37:06

Hi Clare - Do you mean SW (Walden) or some other bit of Essex?

You're right in thinking that you can't apply for school places until you're living in the area, which is a real pain especially when you have a child due to start reception!

I found that there was a lot of competition for places in the more popular schools..but most of the schools around us are much higher ranked than the London schools we were used to so even an unpopular school would have been an improvement.
I rang Essex LEA to ask their advice and they were able to find a school with spaces so it's worth giving them a ring to discuss things (and they will send you a school application form).
Lots of luck to you (I was driven over the QE bridge weds evening and I was petrified )

ClareL Sun 12-Aug-07 13:37:30

I must of been cracking up when I typed that message!! Definitely Saffron Walden. We have driven all over Essex looking at areas that we like. Definitely settled on NW Essex and will prob be Saffron Walden. The school thing scares the life out of me - at the moment I have a 2.5 minute walk to school and back. It's bad enough having to take my DD out of school and start a new one but as we are going to rent somewhere first rather than commit to buying the moving house will be something that happens really quickly and we don't want to take DD out of school - leave her at present school til end of term. I've looked at all the schools websites and they all seem really good to good - I'd be quite happy with any of them. I was just wondering how competitive it was for places - especially reception places.

Millarkie Sun 12-Aug-07 14:01:21

Hi Clare - well if you read this (long ) thread you will see that I recently moved here - I ended up putting my son into a private school (but not because the state school he was offered a place in was 'poor' but because he is hearing impaired and that school was open plan with lots of kids in one area) - my daughter will be starting reception in sept 2008 so we will be applying this autumn.
It does seem to me that there is a lot of competition, but that the range of school 'quality' is not as great as it is in London. We were able to visit some schools - our 'catchment school' - which had no place for ds, and also the school which had a place but was not strictly speaking our area - however, the catchments are pretty strange and they were both about the same distance from our house.
Are you thinking of renting in SW itself, or one of the villages? We are in a village which doesn't have a village school so there is a school bus to the catchment school - and the LEA said that they would pay for a taxi to take ds to the non-catchment school - so no worries getting to school and back!
(It's a lovely area by the way - we have no regrets about the move)

ClareL Sun 12-Aug-07 19:25:18

I have read thru the thread a couple of times but there is so much info that it's hard to go back and find a reference to the part you're interested in. We are going to rent in SW if there is something available. We are not in a position to be able to pay for education - as have DD (7) at school and my DS is due to start school in Sept 2008 too. I know from my area that school places are few and far between. Lots of people never got their catchment school even if they had siblings there already. I have to apply for my DS's school place between Oct 07-Jan 08 but will have to apply for local school and not a school in SW. That is my biggest worry as all school places will of been allocated by the time we move (prob end Jul 08). I hate having to think this far ahead. The thought of moving is petrifying - without having the worry about trying to get 2 children into the same school.
Good to hear that the council were willing to pay for taxis - even though it isn't the right solution for you.

SusieHughsie Mon 20-Aug-07 22:56:25

MIL is coming to visit us tomorrow, had originally planned to go for a picnic but as the weather forecast is predicting rain, rain and more rain I need a plan B.

Any suggestions? DD and DS are both under 5, so attention span is not great.

Hope everyone is well, those who were moving have settled in well and those with bumps/newborns are enjoying your little ones. Cant believe Summer holidays are nearly over.

ClareL - you may be lucky, we just moved here a couple of weeks before the end of term and were able to get a school place for our DD. Unfortunately, there's no way of telling. Good luck with it all.

ClareL Tue 21-Aug-07 16:08:38

Thanks for the reply. I like the sound of all of the schools apart from one that isn't as good as the other 3. I am not one for having to send my children to the best school etc. as long as they get a good education (rather than full on pressure etc). I am just worried that I will need 2 places.

SusieHughes - did you get a reception place?

Millarkie Tue 21-Aug-07 19:56:03

Susiehughsie - it's so hard with the wet weather isn't it! I'm off work this week and was looking forward to lots of days out with the kids. so far we have had a shopping trip to Freeport (the kids were not impressed ) and I've thought that we might try Coconuts - but it's probably packed due to the weather. Can't think of anything else that's under cover!
We've booked tickets for Thomas the Tank engine at Chappel railway on Friday so I hope it cheers up soon.

Clare- Sorry you're having so much stress.

2boysmacca Fri 24-Aug-07 19:34:27

Oh I was there today Millarkie. What did you think?

oh this weather is so bad - running out of things to do with the boys.

Glad school is only 2 weeks away and that i have now sewed on all the name tags - what a chore.

hope everyone is well and enjoying their new houses etc.

Milarkie - Haven't seen you in the pub recently!

Millarkie Sat 01-Sep-07 09:27:27

We're just back from holiday

Thomas the Tank was great (we have been there to see him before and we have been to other railway's Thomas days - Chappel is much better than the others). My kids are young enough to be mostly excited looking at the trains and waiting for a ride - once they are on they don't care how short the ride is.

And haven't been to the pub cos we haven't been around ES! Kids are back at school on Wednesday (and no..I haven't done name tags yet <eek>) so I have Mon and Tues at home with them. Am hoping for good weather so we can get some use out of the garden.

Millarkie Mon 03-Sep-07 20:27:44

A mysterious message for ES 'Dh isn't in either team but we'll be there this weekend. See you there!'

laurasmiles Fri 14-Dec-07 18:40:21

Just thought I would post on here as it's fast apporaching Chrsitmas and wish anyone who still looks in, a very merry Christmas. We are really enjoying living here in saffron Walden and although we have yet to make many friends, everyone is very friendly - if you know what I mean. Hope everyone else is settling in too!! Bye for now, Laura

SusieHughsie Mon 31-Dec-07 20:32:33

Happy New Year everyone, have had to cancel our plans this evening as DD has tonsilitis (again). Never mind, glass of wine and Jools Holland will do.

Hope 2008 is full of love, laughter and sunshine for all of you x

ClareL Tue 01-Jan-08 22:28:34

I posted on here a little while ago as I will be moving to SW in a few months with DD (8) and DS (4). We were originally going to try and hold off putting our house up for sale so that DD can start new school in Sept 08 but have decided to do it early now and have estate agents coming on Sat to value our house. My DS is currently in a school nursery and I was wondering if anybody had any knowledge of getting their children into nurseries. I have read previously that I think they are few and far between but will be happy to drive out a few miles - just so that he can go. He really desperately needs the stimulation. It's such a hard decision to take but we thought waiting to sell our house could then maybe mean we don't move before they both are due to start school in Sept!!! I've only ever moved locally before - so find it all a bit scary!!

SusieHughsie Tue 08-Jan-08 23:08:53

Hi ClareL, we started the whole moving process this time last year which meant that we moved to SW in June and DD started her new school at the end of the Summer term. It worked out really well as we had the Summer to make friends and then going back to school in September wasnt so daunting. Regarding Nurseries, my DS attends the local preschool for 3 mornings a week and we were really lucky to get a place for him as spaces are limited. I am not sure of the situation regarding private nurseries, maybe worth just calling them and putting his name down now. Moving is scary, but I almost think the thought of it is worse and it'll all be worth it in the end. If I can help in anyway, please let me know x

Millarkie Wed 09-Jan-08 18:23:15

Hi Clare - Do you need a nursery for childcare (8am t0 6pm) or more of a preschool type? My dd goes to the nursery attached to a private school (so it's more expensive than a pre-school but cheaper than a day nursery) - where there are generally plenty of spaces. We also have a preschool in our village (Wendens Ambo near Audley end train station) which I've heard great reports about but not sure about spaces there.
Do you think you'll move to SW or to a village nearby?

ClareL Wed 09-Jan-08 18:25:15

Thanks for your advice. I think my DD (8) might end up having to do a similar thing re starting school at end of summer term. But will be really hard for my DS (4) to go back to a short week. He attend the local school nursery at the moment and loves it. I only want him to go to a similar type of environment (not private). As it might end up being so close to the end of the year then I might just have to keep him at home for the end of term/school holidays. He will really miss the stimulation of nursery though. Then my next worry will be applying for a reception place for him later than I should and hoping I get them into the same school. There is no good time to move - it will be in the lap of the gods!!! grin

ClareL Wed 09-Jan-08 18:34:07

Millarkie - definitely SW town. We are planning on renting for 6 months or so. We have been looking on the Estate Agents websites and not much seems to come onto the market - plus because of having over an hours drive it's hard to view properties with kids and school/nursery runs etc... I am now really excited. The Estate Agent came and took some photos of our house today so it's now official.

Millarkie Wed 09-Jan-08 22:43:17

Yes there's very little on the market right now isn't there. Hopefully once everyone is over Christmas and New Year and the new HIPS thing has settled down there'll be a bit more choice.
This time last year we were just putting our London house on the market and were trying to travel up and down to view houses and schools - nightmare! Had visits to 3 schools in a single day (poor ds, very confusing for him), luckily fell in love with the second house we saw (battered old thing but it felt like home)). I totally missed one school out of our research which would have probably been perfect for ds (and saved us a fortune in school fees) but now he's settled in new school it's hard to contemplate moving him again.
Have you rung around the schools yet to see which ones might have spaces? They aren't all oversubscribed and they are mainly very good/excellent. I'm not an expert in Pre-schools (can't think of any except my dd's and the village one) but I'm sure someone else will be along shortly. I think I got a list from the netmums.co.uk site but not sure if it has all of them on it.
Good luck and keep calm - it will all work out in the end!

And Happy New Year to all the other SW Mums and families

ClareL Thu 10-Jan-08 09:31:30

I did ring round a couple of months ago when we were first talking about it. I only rang 2 being RAB and KS. RAB couldn't take a year 3 child at the time but KS could. KS is a very similar school to the one my DD attends at the moment (open plan). We were looking on their website a couple of weeks ago and it could of been her current school we were looking at. I would prob go for KS (if spaces available) as I think I'd have more chance of getting both of them into the same school. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the whole thing ends up fitting into place... I don't want my 2 to end up in different schools...

Millarkie Thu 10-Jan-08 16:36:18

We were offered KS for a year 1 place when we moved here so I guess it's not unusual for them to have spaces so that looks promising for you.

ClareL Thu 10-Jan-08 18:08:25

Can you just make an appointment to visit the schools or does it have to be a specific open evening? Did you wait until you were close to completing to visit the schools?

Millarkie Thu 10-Jan-08 21:54:51

The schools do have open days -not sure what time of year though. We went to an open day for the school they are in now (it just happened to be on the saturday we were over here anyway). The state schools we rang and arranged appointments. RAB gave us a 10 minute look-around and a lecture on how in-demand they are, but KS offered ds a half-day session and let us look around. We've looked round Newport school since moving here, they were very helpful and friendly (2 miles out of Saffron Walden, have afterschool club and a sort-of preschool (just opened I think)). We looked round the schools before we had even exchanged contracts. Not allowed to apply for a place until you have exchanged contracts which would have been a nightmare for us since we had such a short gap between exchange and completion..think you will probably have to show a rental agreement since you will be renting rather than buying.

ClareL Fri 11-Jan-08 09:58:24

Thanks for the info.

On ringing RAB I got a very similar impression, KS I liked the sound of plus similar to DD current environment. I will wait until we have an offer on our house and then prob ring around again and get a feel for places etc... I would prefer a school in town rather than having to drive - but will obviously take whatever I can. I currently only have about a 4 minute walk to school!! So any school run longer than that is going to be a bit of a shock to my system.

ehamilto Fri 11-Jan-08 10:42:05

Hi Clare,
Our family moved to SW area in July after spending 13 years abroad. I know what it's like having to find your feet in a new area, although for me it wasn't totally a leap into the unknown as I was brought up round here and went to school in BS. It's somewhere I wanted to come back to - partly because of the proximity of family and partly because I think it's a great place to live.
We visited 10 schools over two days(!) before we moved because we didn't know where we were going to end up renting. Finding a house to rent for a family proved more difficult that we thought - there was very little on offer when we were looking. The relocation co. advised us to find the school we liked first, check on likely availability of places, and then the house. However, as mentioned by Malarky, you do need a rental contract/exchange on a house before a school will officially give you a place - bit of a catch 22 situation... In this area you're really spoilt for choice for Primary schools though (although was not smitten by the primary in Newport). We ended up renting in a village near SW, and have just put an offer in on a house nearby. DS is seven and goes to a small village school - we have to go by car, but you do get used to the school run. He is settling in fine, although still a bit 'the new boy'. dd is nearly three and attends playgroup in Clavering, which is v. good. Have also found an excellent childminder - Essex CC children's information service provided me with a list of those in our postcode area. They have a website: http://www.childcarelink.gov.uk/whitebox/childcaresearch.asp
where you can search for playgroups and childcare.
Only problem now is finding myself some work to fit in around school times! hmm

SusieHughsie Fri 11-Jan-08 16:13:37

I have a spare copy of the local parents information booklet(Salad Days) which is published each term, gives details of Primary Schools, Pre-Schools and out of school activities which you might find useful. If you email me your address, I'm happy to post this to you.

ClareL Fri 11-Jan-08 18:34:43

emamilto - I was hoping to rent in SW town and then find out which schools had places and then drive to the nearest school I could get my DD into. Then hopefully, depending on when we move, try to get DS into a pre school but if close to summer hols will just have to keep my fingers crossed that I can get him into the same school as DD. I will make a note of the childcare link you mentioned and will look at that when I am more aware of our position.

susiehughsie - I haven't paid for the facility to contact direct. Would love to see the booklet - so if you don't mind I will register later on tonight and email you my address. Thank you.

The more information the better!!!grin

laurasmiles Fri 11-Jan-08 19:53:02

Hi everyone, glad to hear that you are all keeping well. Clare, we moved up in Mrach of lasy year and I found a lot of useful information from this thread. It's amazing to think that that's all in the past and here we are finally in SW. My children are nearly three and sixteen months. The oldest goes to Saffron Walden Nursery School, which is a preschool. It was recommended to me on here and after visiting it I put his name down. he loves it there and I'm very happy with it. They get filled up very quickly but you can always ring and reserve a place.

ClareL Fri 11-Jan-08 20:34:20

Yes, it's definitely nice to pick peoples brains that have moved into the area. This sort of information is priceless...

When we have an offer on our house I will ring the schools and pre schools and try to visit them all on the same day... Just need an offer now....

grin grin

ClareL Sun 20-Jan-08 10:19:49

Another question for everybody. Do many of your commute to Liverpool Street from Audley End, or do your husbands commute? We came up to SW for a visit yesterday and had another drive around town to/from station etc. Checked out a few bus stops for bus timetables as only my husband will be commuting and he doesn't really want to pay to park at Audley End Station. I read on previous thread that trains can be really packed..how do you/they find it? He will be travelling about 7/7.30ish - would appreciate any info.

laurasmiles Mon 21-Jan-08 17:58:08

We don't commute so I can't answer all your questions except to say that I have been travelling into baker street recently once a week for a course. I usually get the 7.40am train and never have a problem gteting a seat - which makes any commute more bearable I suppose.

ClareL Mon 21-Jan-08 18:48:36

My dh only has a 35 min commute to Fenchurch St at the moment and he can't stand up for that long. He would probably get a train around that time - so that gives gives me a insight to commuting.

SusieHughsie Wed 23-Jan-08 22:51:52

Just checked with DH who commutes to LS everyday, says there is usually no problem getting a seat on these trains from Audley End. Hope that helps.

ClareL Thu 24-Jan-08 09:55:44

That's good