Friday 31 August 2012

Barking Mad Baby Names

When our lovely daughter Amy was still “the Bump” we became obsessed with names - right down to scouring the credits at the end of every programme and film (“Audrey Thexton - that’s a bit different, would that work? Maybe not…”). 

It was such a responsibility to plump for the right one: we couldn’t choose something too cutesy because she might became Prime Minister one day (Angel Thexton, Prime Minister). It couldn’t be anything that would date (think ‘Ethel’, or ‘Mavis’). We weren’t the kind of people to do a Beckham or a Bowie (ie, calling her something utterly mad like ‘Trixie-Biscuit’). It couldn’t start with a “th” or a “ph” because with a surname like Thexton that would make everyone sound like they had a lisp (try saying Thelma Thexton and you’ll see what I mean!).

And then there was the other problem, the one that nobody likes to mention… the really, really popular names. The ones that are so popular that if you shout them out loud in the park the chances are 5 toddlers, a cat and 4 dogs will all look up at you. You know the ones I mean I’m sure… So what if we got a bit ironic and went in the opposite direction, and called her “Scamp”? Or “Patch” (bit too eczema-y?) Or what about “Lassie”?? No, perhaps not.

The problem is, everyone is giving their pets human names - even we’ve named our dog Freddy. And there’s a cute Jack Russell dog right here in Belton called Alan. The other day we walking Freddy when we met Pete, the greyhound. A friend of mine once had a Labrador called Dave…

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to Freddy we are all completely guilty of giving him human characteristics to match his human name. It isn’t just the Paris Hiltons of this world that are guilty of turning pets into baby substitutes (even when you actually do have a real, human baby!). I guess it’s just the inevitable side effect of the human need to nurture - especially anything that has big innocent eyes!

So how did we end up with the name “Amy”? A nice lady working in Boots struck up a conversation over my bump, and mentioned it was one of her favourites. Amy…. Amy Thexton…. I like it... I like it a lot…. middle name Rose…. and Amy means ‘beloved’ which is lovely… yes, perfect!

So how did you come up with a name for your child? Did you research the meaning of the name? Did you find it all as tricky as we did?! Leave a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear about your experience too!

Sarah x

Friday 24 August 2012

Sleeeeeeeeeep.......(and why its over-rated)

My husband is really good in bed… 
My husband is really good in bed... He is, honestly, you have to believe me - my husband is amazing in bed. Always has been, pretty much since we met 20 odd years ago. Oh, hang on, I think I might have given you the wrong impression here. I’m not talking about… you think I’m saying he’s “good in bed” don’t you? No, sorry, that wasn’t what I meant to be talking about at all!

No, what I mean is that he is very good at being in bed. He’s a master of the weekend lay-in, the “I can’t hear anything, I’m sleeping” position. Even on the hottest summer mornings, he can still cocoon himself like a caterpillar in the duvet with just his nose sticking out. Me? Well, I’m different. I lie there with an actual frown while I try to be asleep. I never used to be like that - not that many years ago (BC - before child and BP - before PhotoFairytales) I used to be able to lay about dozing in bed until lunchtime on a Sunday. I didn’t even have to be asleep, I could just loll about on a pure whim.

But I just can’t do it now… if I wake up, I have to get up. If I loll, I only end up laying there thinking “I could be answering emails/cleaning the oven/hoovering/getting a headstart on those orders instead of laying about here.” Relax. RELAX DAMN IT! No, it’s no good, got to get up. Then there’s the fact that we frankly need a new mattress - well a new bed really. I know if I lay there too long I’ll only end up with a stiff back or stiff neck or both.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ve actually changed as I’ve got older (just had a birthday by the way, so feeling a bit ageist!). Perhaps my body clock has turned me into an “early bird” rather than the “night owl” I used to think I was. Maybe 5.30am really is the “best part of the day”. Hhmmm. I just feel like a party pooper when I conk out after the EastEnders repeat every night!

No, I’m going to think positively - I can get up (even on weekends) before the rest of the world. I can spend that time catching up on things (even if I have to do it quietly). And I will try not to resent the fact that by the time my husband gets up on a Saturday I’ve been up so long I want my lunch.

It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, and I’m feeling…. well, a bit tired if I’m honest!

Sarah x

Friday 10 August 2012

House Porn...

Just browsing...
I think my obsession started at an early age. I’m pretty sure I was heavily influenced by my parents. And I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to overcome it if I’m honest...

You see, my name is Sarah and I’m addicted to - houses. Or to be more accurate, houses for sale.

I remember family holidays would often include a lot of time with my Mum & Dad’s noses pressed against estate agents windows: “look what you could buy here for the same price at home!”. If you type the letter “r” into my browser window the first thing to pop up is Rightmove. I shouldn’t do it, I don’t have the time to sit there and find out how many bedrooms you can get for X amount, or what the cheapest/most expensive house for sale is within a 3 mile radius of Belton. Or how much houses are in, oh I don’t know, Dorset. Or Edinburgh. We’re not even looking to move! (That’s a lie obviously, all hous-oholics are always wanting to move.)

I remember sitting huddled over the computer at my friends house one afternoon not so long ago, both of us snapping at the children to go away and play, while we scrolled through all the (minimum) four bedroom houses (including those SSTC) in Belton (area only)… Neither of us were planning to move - we were just fantasising.

My current fantasy is another bathroom. And a nice big drive. And maybe a bigger garden. An extra room would be nice (bedroom or conservatory, either would do). Oooh, and maybe a utility room… phwoar, now we’re talking!

When out in the car I don’t rubber neck accidents, it’s For Sale signs that do it for me. I can give meerkats a run for their money when it comes to scanning the horizon for a sale board. There’s a house up the road from us right now that’s for sale. It’s lovely - its even got a veranda. I’ve always wanted a house with a veranda. It’s on for about £380k though. We can't afford it. Not even if we give up eating. So why did I feel a distinct twinge of sadness last month when the For Sale sign changed to “Sold”?

Oh, but wait - joy! - the sale has fallen through, it’s on the market again! It’s a bit like hearing that Johnny Depp is single again…

Sarah x

Thursday 9 August 2012

Good Homes Magazine, crikey!!

Win your own personalised print in my competition!
It's rapidly turning into a very squealy week at PhotoFairytales Towers - not only is one of my Fantasy Portraits being featured on the new Keith Lemon series, but one of my prints is also appearing in the September issue of Good Homes Magazine (on sale now).


My "Ministry of Silly" prints were inspired by an afternoon listening to the budget on the radio, and there is a choice of 3 fun designs to choose from.

Because I'm so excited I've decided to run a competition to win one of my prints - just click on the image to the left for further details. The competition closes on October 1st 2012.

Good luck!

Sarah x

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Keith Lemon: Knight in Shining Armour!

Look what Keith Lemon has in his hall: bang tidy!
The new Keith Lemon series is now on TV - 'Lemon La Vida Loca' hit the screens last week - and just see what he has hanging by his front door!

Yes, PhotoFairytales is now officially "as seen on TV"!!

I was asked to create a portrait as a prop especially for the series, and they requested a reproduction of my Knight in Shining Armour design. A very exciting, slightly nerve-racking commission, I can tell you!

The new series is a spoof fly on the wall style reality show, following Keith and his girlfriend Rosie as they move into their new home together for the first time. Cameras follow the couple as Keith films his new 'Celebrity Juice' series, and upcoming film 'Keith Lemon: The Film'.

So, if you want to get hold of your own Knight in Shining Armour now you can - just grab a picture of your man and I'll do the rest! You can order at either or direct through PhotoFairytales.

The next episode of 'Lemon La Vida Loca' can be seen on Thursday, 9th August at 10pm on ITV2. Proper bang tidy!

Sarah x

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