About Me

 

SO IF I’M NOT A NOTTING HILL MUM, WHO AM I?


Model exits shop

Actually I confess, I am a Notting Hill mum; in that I do live in Notting Hill and, six years after the birth of my first child, I have finally acknowledged that when teachers and nurses address someone standing very, very, close to me as “mum” – they mean  me!

AND WHO AM I NOT?

But if you say you live in Notting Hill people make certain assumptions. So when I say I am “Not a Notting Hill Mum”, I suppose I mean I don’t drive a four by four, I have never pushed a bugaboo, and my daughter doesn’t wear a straw boater as part of her uniform.

Model Westbourne Grove

 I do not sit on Westbourne Grove after drop off, sipping a skinny latte and fiddling with my iphone, while chatting to a girlfriend, before popping in to Emma Hope, or Dinny Hall or Lulu Guinness, and then heading off to the gym. It’s not that I don’t like Westbourne Grove, or lattes, or iphones – as long as you don’t want to receive a phone call in a poor reception area, like my flat which is apparently on the wrong side of the hill. ( I admit I’m not keen on exercise – particularly the hamster-on-a-wheel variety.) But the combination of these habits, particularly when the impeccably-dressed proponents are accompanied by several Phil and Teds blocking the pavement, makes other people, like my normally easy-going friend Katy, feel a strong sense of antipathy towards them. ( Note to those who have never explored the option of double buggies – Phil and Teds are double-decker pushchairs, where the baby is slung a few inches above the ground, while their older sibling sits above. 
They are very popular in West London and Australia. Go to Holland Park to see the full range of colours.)

EVERY DAY LIFE

Admittedly Katy had an unfortunate experience on her way to grab a coffee-to-go…to work. A buggy (she doesn’t have kids so couldn’t name the exact model) was rammed into her ankle as she tried to dodge round a few mums, chatting on the pavement. It was 9.15am. Prime-time for post drop-off catch-up. What was she thinking?

Yum yum Home pageShe claimed they didn’t even notice, despite her yelps. “These bloody yummy mummies. They expect you to walk in the road while they blockade the pavement and if you ever make it past them and inside a coffee shop, they’ve already bagged all the sofas so they can text or chat away oblivious, while their little darlings trash the place.” I couldn’t help feeling a little under attack. “I understand your pain,” I told her. “But I have been known to sit in a café with a friend myself,” ( I remember the last time – it was just before Easter) “and my children have not always behaved well. But if I reprimanded them every time they raised their voices, I would never get to the end of my sentence. So sometimes, after I’ve told them not to play Hide and Seek under that nice lady’s chair six or seven times, I forget, and they crawl back underneath. That doesn’t make me a self-obsessed person who thinks everyone should find my kids adorable, does it?” I reassured myself that in those kind of situations I hardly ever smile indulgently and take a quick photo of them on my phone to email to daddy. “Oh I don’t mean you,” she said crossly, “ You’re not a Notting Hill Yummy Mummy.” Which I think she meant kindly, although if Yummy means still vaguely attractive to the opposite sex, then I can’t help feeling a little disappointed that even my close friends think I’m past pulling. 

Realistically though, I suppose “Not being a Notting Hill Mum” really just means, I amChampagne chiller Home page not loaded and I live somewhere where a lot of people, (though far from the majority) are. Having been born to parents who couldn’t give me a trust fund, I stupidly failed to foresee the importance of studying economics or getting an MBA or turning my hand to anything where I might get a whacking great bonus or even just a decent salary. Instead I focussed on the arts. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Then I forgot to marry a banker or anyone who could afford to fund my habit. It’s my own fault, but I comfort myself with the idea that the world would be a poorer place without my boxes of news reports, unpublished sonnets, loft stacked with watercolours and half-written novel.

SO WHO IS THIS BLOG FOR?

I’m writing this for mums, and dads, everywhere – not just in West London. I pledge to keep ranting to a minimum and share any tips that I’ve picked up in my years of being a mother, which has left me with a six year old daughter and four year old son – Amelie and Alexander ( not their names but I liked the alliteration!) When I find places that really do welcome children, rather than just claiming to in Time Out, you will be the first to know. There may be a Notting Hill/ West London bias, as I spend most of my time here. But I hope this will be useful to visitors, as well as residents. And of course we do leave the area occasionally and I will always be on the look-out for good ( and bad ) experiences to share. I know I am far from alone in “Not being a Notting Hill Mum” – so I hope my thoughts will be helpful to those who stumble upon my blog whether looking for parental support – or even the Blue Door. Actually one of my first posts (It’s not blue, it’s black) includes directions to the doorway where Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts met the paparazzi, as it is still one of the questions I am most often asked when walking around the neighbourhood. There’s even a map!

26 Responses to About Me

  1. Jas says:

    empathy from another not a notting hill mum. enthusiasm noted though I suspect we are few and far between. perhaps we need our own coat of arms to rival that of bugaboo’s?

  2. Helen says:

    Hi NANNHM, I have redirected over from Brit Mums after your recent comments about too much spam. Gosh but Notting Hill sounds just like where I live, and I always feel slightly inadequate that I’m not wearing the right stuff or pushing the right buggy! I look forward to reading your blog and gaining more inspiration for my own (very new!) online ramblings!

  3. Thanks Helen – always great to have feedback from fellow bloggers! And I’m sure that Notting Hill is not unique in its number of “yummy mummies”. I think my post
    ” Beyond Yummy – Mummies on Another Planet” would make you laugh! Very good luck with your blog – I’ll take a look x

  4. I have really enjoyied reading your well written article. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!

  5. Monica says:

    i’m your new follower and will continue to read your blog as i love learn about moms in other countries. though i have never been in london, hope to visit it one day. don’t worry i wont email you for advice LOL!! hope you visit us as well. i dont blog about mommy stuff but still love to read about moms as i can relate.. take care.. monica

  6. Good to have met you. I am also not a ‘yummy mummy’ as you know, and all power to us! Keep writing. Maybe even tweet…?

  7. Allergic to 4x4's says:

    This made me laugh so much. I love your writing. I live in greater London and you still get the same folk in the burbs of south London. I look forward to reading more posts. I found you after looking for images of ‘The Big Dip’ on Clapham Common, a happy lead :0)

  8. Pippa Cleary says:

    Hi!
    My name is Pippa and I run Pippa’s Poppets Music & Movement Classes for babies & children. Laura at London-Baby recommended your blog to me as I am now expanding from just Pimlico into Chelsea and Knightsbridge. I am a composer working in the world of musical theatre so I am really passionate about music. I’ve written all the songs and teaching curriculum for Pippa’s Poppets so I feel it has a unique, personal feel. See http://www.pippaspoppets.co.uk to hear some songs!

    I know you must be beset with PR but if you are at all free I’d like to invite you to one of my classes on the second week of term which I’m turning into a bit of a party to attract as many new mums as possible. The classes are FREE with cake and prosseco!
    Tuesday 20th September at 9.45am – St Columba’s Church, Pont Street, Knightsbridge
    Thursday 22nd September at 9.45am – Chelsea Theatre, Kings Road, Chelsea

    I’m finding it quite tough getting word around so any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to hearing from you. Please email info@pippaspoppets.co.uk
    Thanks

  9. I’m another Mum (well, mommy…we’re from the US) living in the area and I am very much not a Yummy Mummy. Do love the area though! Also in the arts (I’m a writer) with a little guy (3 1/2). Nice to see I’m not alone! This is our first Halloween here (found you via search for Halloween advice around Notting Hill). Hope to run into you sometime!

  10. Hi there, just discovered your blog – I too am not a yummy mummy but I live in a yummy mummy area… I do however have a bugaboo (sorry!) and rather like it… hope I can still be part of the not yummy mummy crew! x

  11. HonestMum says:

    That is my favourite flower stall in the whole of London and the turquise tiled wall is simply one of the most stunning backdrops to shoot against (I know from filming in NH).

  12. Re: RSS icon:

    This is my RSS code in a right-hand side widget:

    Replace the first URL with your feed address and replace the second url with the location of the icon image (when you import an image to WordPress, you have the option of seeing what the URL is – copy and paste it from there).

    Let me know if it’s not clear :)

  13. Matt says:

    Hello,

    I was recently browsing through your blog (http://www.notanottinghillmum.co.uk/) and I thought it was wonderful: it’s very creative, imaginative, and oozes quality.

    My name is Matt and I work for a professional canvas printing company called Photo-Canvas. I thought I would contact you because I believe that you and your readers would like our personalised canvas prints. We think that a custom canvas print is a lovely baby gift that can be displayed on the walls of the kitchen, dining room, living room or bedroom. It can be personalised with your very own baby photos.

    It would be great if you could do a review on one of our canvases. We make all our products by hand and with super fast delivery, and we can make one for you in a few days too.

    Please have a look at what we have to offer: http://www.photo-canvas.com.

    Thank you very much for taking time to read this email,

    I look forward to your response,

    Matt

  14. Hi Notting Hill Mum,

    I like your blog, and I can relate to much you discuss in your blog as I myself live in Notting Hill. I wanted to ask you if you could spread the word about us or even co-work wit us at Scandinavian Fitness. I am a former Olympic Athlete who has moved on to Personal Training. So today I help mums like yourself and the public of London to stay Fit and Health. We operate around Notting Hill and surrounding areas, and offer many fun services such as: Boxing, Weight based circuits, Barefoot running coaching, Mum focused programs, and much much more.
    We train Outdoors, from your Home or in a Studio.

    I also run a fun Bootcamp in Holland Park to music called Turn It UP: http://www.tunritupbootcamp.com

    I already today work with Kensington Mums where I teach a Bootcamp for them in Holland Park on Saturday’s and also offer discounted Personal Training. It’s very popular.

    I would be very interested to discuss this further with you over a coffee if you have some time? I am happy to offer you a free training session as well.

    Please do get in touch,

    Kind regards,

    Linda Hedenstrom

    http://www.scandinavianfitness.com

  15. Pingback: Saturday night in – or cocktails at Beaufort House? | notanottinghillmum

  16. Jo Sharff says:

    Hi NottingHillMum!

    I hope you’re well. I like your blog very much.

    I wanted to see whether you might be able to help me.

    I’m in the middle of putting a business plan together and want to set up a brand new and unique concept in North West London. It will be a multi-functional arts and cultural space for adults and a social enterprise for kids and teenagers who want to learn about creative industries and food.

    I’m doing the market research and was hoping you might put something on your blog for me? Please do let me know if that would be ok.

    The copy would read:

    Creative space dedicated to the arts, learning and culture comes to Kensal Rise. Interested?

    For adults: culinary and cocktail pop-ups, master-classes, lectures, music and more
    For children: vegetable patches, food education, art and performance workshops

    Is this something you would like in North West London?

    I’m doing some market research – I’d love to hear your thoughts
    Please email Jo on josharff@gmail.com

    Thank you so so much!!

    warm regards,

    Jo

  17. Hi there,

    I hope you are well and are having a good week.

    I’m contacting you from Search News Media, a content agency based in Windsor.

    We came across your site and we really like it and in fact we work with a number of clients that would be a great match with the content and style of your site. We’re more than happy for you to provide us with a title you think will match your audience or we can send you a few ideas to choose from and either you or we can produce the content.

    Happy to discuss ways we can make this all happen and any ideas you may have, and hope we can work together moving forward.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Thanks,

    Ginnie Richards

  18. Pingback: Nominated for Very Inspiring Blogger Award | Mummy Gorgeous

  19. Hi NANHM and fellow readers,

    My name is Rachel Manley. I am an artist, a Notting Hill mum and I run Art Talks London which offers mums and dads the opportunity to explore art in London with others who share this interest. It is not a classic tour. It is a group of talks designed to get you engaged in art and, in particular, art in London. While no previous knowledge of art is necessary, we always appreciate those who bring their special knowledge in the arts to our discussions.

    Unlike other tours or classes of this genre, I do not lecture. Instead, there is active discussion by participants from the start. As your guide, I will fill in the blanks with key information about each piece as we go. We will visit key museums, galleries, historical sites and public art sites throughout London. We will focus intensely on a particular piece (or maybe 2) and delve deeply into specific topics as they relate to what we are viewing.

    Our goal is not to see everything. Our goal is to indulge! We will indulge our senses. We will indulge our minds. We will build on our knowledge of the art world and expand our appreciation for the arts here in London.

    The group meets on Thursdays during term time (yes, I do design it to be while the kids are at school. So, no need for a babysitter!) and we meet at a different location each time. Reservations are a must.

    There are currently 2 groups:

    1) ART EXPLORATION : A relaxed class structured around key themes in art. No previous art knowledge is necessary but English is required.

    2) LEARN ENGLISH THROUGH ART (ESL/EFL): A conversation class designed to help non-native English speakers improve their language skills through engaging discussions about art.

    You can join at any time but you must reserve your place in advance. Our groups are limited to 8-10 people max.

    For more info, please visit: http://www.ArtTalksLondon.com

    I would love for you to join us.

    Sincerely,

    Rachel Manley

  20. jenny says:

    hi there – could you pls email me your email address as i have a event i would love to invite you to x

  21. Hi Not a Notting Hill Mum,

    I am new to the blogosphere and just happened to fall onto your blog. I am starting my own blog, ‘www.nottinghillyummymummy.com’ which chronicles the life of notting hill yummy mummies, giving insight into the absurd, sometimes ridiculous and sometimes inspiring lives of Notting Hill residents and yummy mummies. Our blogs are quite similar, but I hope to shed some light on the true lives of yummy mummies, the good, the bad and the crazy. I don’t take myself too seriously and just want to have fun with it, but if you have any advice, thoughts please let me know! my email nottinghillyummymummy.com
    Thanks x

  22. Hi there,

    I am emailing from LEYF (The London Early Years Foundation), we are a charity and social enterprise that run 36 nurseries across London – including one in Notting Hill!

    I’ve just come across your blog and it looks great. I was wondering if you’d be interested in us putting together some content for you, obviously we’d like to feature the nursery somewhere but very open to suggestions on how this is most appropriate to your audience (a review of the nursery? A news story about something fun they’ve been up to in the community? Details of a local event they are participating in, to go in your ‘What’s on’ section?).

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Have a lovely weekend,
    Hayley

  23. Holly says:

    Hi Not A Notting Hill Mum & other like-minded mummies (and daddies!)

    We wanted to let you know about our super funky, fun and not at all twee(!) street dance classes for kids in Notting Hill…. PS we LOVE this blog.

    Why not sign your child up for a FREE TRIAL this Saturday at our award-winning Kids Street Dance Classes at Lansdowne Crescent?

    Funky Moves offer a cool, current dance experience for boys and girls from 4-12 years old, through our unique street dance style. The children learn choreography to all the latest and greatest funky chart hits taught by our incredible professional teachers, who are energetic, super fun and friendly. When they are not dancing in the latest Calvin Harris video or grooving on the X Factor stage, our Funky Movers are helping your kids develop their strength, stamina, balance and co-ordination as well as team participation, discipline, focus and memory skills!

    Unlike other existing kids dance companies, here at Funky Moves we love to celebrate individuality and creativity! Whilst we work towards an end of term performance with impressive routines and formations, we also demonstrate how each child is growing in confidence independently with freestyle, dance games and their own choreography.
    Dulwich Classes
    12 week course Saturday 10th September – Saturday 10th December 2016
    (No classes on 22nd and 29th October 2016 due to half term)
    Day/time: Saturdays
    9.30 – 10.20 4-6 years
    10.30 – 11.30 7-12 years
    Style: Funky Street Dance
    Location: St John’s Church, Landsdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, W11 2NN

    To book, please call 07810 431 101 or email info@funkymovesdance.com

    Your little ones feel safe and inspired to make new friends and share their appreciation for dance with boys and girls of all ages, and as they grow and learn together, so does Funky Moves. We never stop developing, training and listening to your feedback to keep Funky Moves the coolest place to be week after week.
    When the Pokémon have all been found and your little ones have ‘Let go’ of Frozen, rest assured, Funky Moves will still be the current craze keeping the kids smiling at Funky Moves Notting Hill.

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