Monday, 13 May 2013

Dear Angel of the North

Dear Angel,

My son, Thom cheers when we pass you by on the A1 because he knows that he and his little brother, Ry will soon be visiting his Geordie family: Nana Hazel with her hinnys and howays, Great Grandad Joe with his flat cap and pit-yacker chat and Grandad Linton, the only coal merchant left in North Tyneside. Thom also gets to play with his cousins and argue over City v the Toon. But most of all, he gets to be spoilt by his Grandma Christine: didn't you know, she lets him eat jelly for breakfast?

Occasionally, Grandad Ken is over from Dubai (another Geordie ex-pat) and this is a special treat: he always takes Thom to the park, on his shoulders too and Thom gets to see the whole of Newcastle from up there. 

Every time we pass you, Thom's Mammy says: "make a wish" and Thom closes his eyes really tight and wishes that Grandma Christine doesn't ever have to have pink hair again or lose her eyelashes and that Grandad Ken always stays as strong and brave as the Hulk.

Thom wishes that one day he will stay much longer in Newcastle, up North with the Geordies', listening to them calling him a bairn and saying stuff like gannin yem, stuffing his face with stottie and pease pudding, and curling his feet in the sand on Tynemouth beach.   

Please Angel, keep Thom's Geordie family safe, happy, but most of all healthy. Thom is relying on you.


The Kirtley-Pritchards xxx

Copyright: JoJo Kirtley Pritchard 

You are invited to write, tweet, email, record or film a letter addressed to the Angel of the North AND send it in to Dear Angel.  It will then be included in a new interactive artist book for the Festival of the North East by Newcastle based artist and writer, Stevie Ronnie.  

Sunday, 12 May 2013

I'm addicted to fancy dress and so is my son, thanks to Jokers' Masquerade

Ever since I can remember, I have been into fancy dress. My first ever fancy dress experience was winning a fancy dress competition as Miss Piggy: yes, Kermit's Miss Piggy....and looking back at the pics, fancy dress has come a long way since the 1980's. Gone are the days when your Mam (mine to be precise) just stuck a pink sponge on your nose, rosied your cheeks with her blusher and wrapped you in a feather boa, believe me.

Fancy dress is now, HUGE and Jokers' Masquerade fancy dress are without a doubt one the best companies out there; offering an amazing range of fancy dress outfits, all at affordable prices. Their website is accessible and ordering is easy with hundreds of outfits, wigs, masks and accessories to chose from, with a selection of children, toddler and teen outfits and a dedicated Halloween section. There's also a choice of five delivery services including next day and collection.

                                Why would you go anywhere else for fancy dress?

My favourite outfits include: the female Beetlejuice, the mini child deluxe Wonder Woman and the cute baby Zorro!

Long Thom Silver
My little boy, Thomas has the fancy dress bug too. In April, he was invited to a Pirate party and happily wore Jokers' Masquerade's Child Pirate Costume with pride.

We dubbed him Long Thom Silver and he looked fab sporting the black and white ensemble. The pirate accessories were all Thom's own, but the outfit came with a black, white and gold shirt, a pair of black and white striped trousers, black cover boots, a red head scarf and a black belt. He loved it!

A bargain at only £13.49 and it also gets the kid's seal of approval because he wore it in the soft play and afterwards it looked as good as new! This particular outfit comes in three different sizes from age three onwards.

With a massive range of Pirate outfits for children and adults, a wide variety of themed outfits and a wonderful choice, Jokers' Masquerade is your one stop shop for good quality fancy dress for all occasions!

Follow Jokers' Masquerade fancy dress on twitter @joke_co_uk

Like them on Facebook

Check out their very own blog for fancy dress inspiration.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Immortalised forever thanks to NYE Portraits

JoJo recommends.....

Another amazing business, I have come into contact with is Nye Portraits. Owned by Ashley Jayne Nye who specialises in bespoke family, baby and children art, Nye Portraits is a fab way of mashing up your favourite photo with Ashley's unique style. 

I am one of those parents who likes to take LOTS of photographs of their kids because I simply don't want to miss a moment of their lives and I love finding quirky ways to show them off.  Our house is full of photographs in unusual frames or on canvases.  So, when I came across Nye Portraits, I jumped at the chance of being immortalised forever in my very own piece of pop-art. 

Ashley is clearly very talented. Her artwork is stunning and her twist on the normal photograph is inspiring.  Ordering from her is also simple; you just chose your favourite picture, contact Ashley directly and she produces the artwork in magic time. 

Three months ago, I give birth to my second son, Ryan and this was one of the first photographs I ever took of us both together. (Hence me looking uber tired!) I remember watching the snow outside as we snuggled up on the sofa together and as he slept, I snapped me hugging his face off. (I love his lips!)

From this......

To this

I absolutely love what Ashley has done with my one of my first and favourite pictures of us both together. I particularly like the texture of the illustration and the black and white starred background is so ME! 

NYE Portraits currently has a special introductory offer, where you can buy one A4 sized print for only £50-normal price £89. Extra prints are £15 each for A4 size and £10 for A5. These amazing portraits would make exceptional gifts for Father's Day, birthdays, anniversaries and weddings and at an affordable price. 

Check out Ashley's website too. It's an ultra, quirky art-feast of loveliness with Ashley's own art tips and her very own portfolio. 

Disclaimer: I haven't been paid for this blog post....but Ashley kindly offered to create a free A5 sized portrait for me to give a fair and honest review. I wouldn't recommend anything that I don't like or agree with.  

Monday, 8 April 2013


Started with an Ohhhhh 6.30am start....when a baby cries. #Tired Mammy feeds baby and cuddles him back to sleep. Hubbie off work. He goes to get haircut. Sun is shining. #oneoff? Sneezing. A lot of snuffles...hayfever or cold? Shower, dress...can't fit into jeans yet...pissed off. Eating healthy. Feel motivated go to get into shape #losebabyfat Ring Mam. Chat nonsense. Begin Spring cleaning. Dust. More Sneezing. Have a dance to Girls just wanna have fun. Ryan laughs at me. #CrazyMam. Take a break. Have a fruit tea. Search on internet for purple and green party supplies. #Hulkbirthdayparty. Order said supplies. #excited. Watch five mins of Loose Women. #Urgh Shout at TV. Cringe at Denise Welch. Wish Tim Healy was on TV more than her. Thom and hubbie play football. Make them chicken wraps.  Eat healthy salad whilst dreaming of jeans-again. Ring Mam. Talk about our holiday to Center Parcs #middleclass? Back to Spring Awakening...I mean cleaning...must go to the theatre more...and write more. Another break. Find out Thatcher has died of a stroke. Feed baby....wait a minute? Ding Dong? Read twitter and facebook. Shout at computer screen. Try not to comment on small minded people's views. Doubly shout at computer screen. Walk away from computer. Try not to drink a bottle of champers. Text people about Maggie so we can bitch together and laugh at people who are "sad because she has a family" #getagrip Back to cleaning. Ring Mam. #Thirdtime Talk about Maggie/Ignorant peeps/what Grandad Tom would have said/state funeral/frugality/dinosaur coats. Back to computer. Giggle at some responses to Thatcher. Comment, read online Guardian, have a bit of a rant. Also-laugh at slow blogging and wonder why people think this is an actual concept? #howay Watch Home and Away. #TiVo Put kids in the bath. Read Room on the Broom. Thom in bed. Phew. Manchester Derby: is it alright to say Howay City? The real derby starts next week. #Mackems. Half way through second half...Hubbie says: So close this game could go either way #footballclichĂ© Tevez scores winner? Four minutes of #Fergietime but City Win.  Happy Husband. Thatcher Dead. Happy Wife. House Harmony.  #ATLAST

"Mrs Thatcher was a politician that believed what she thought, did what she said she was going to do and that gave her a certain integrity. However, she used that trust to make war on the working class. She taught us the meaning of class war through campaigns against the miners and the introduction of the Poll Tax. We are still dealing with the effects of that 'Neo-Con' economic experiment"  The great, Tony Benn

And an idea, stolen from my comrade, Ruthie...