A rare night out for us, and Harley made the most of it too | Cheryl Gibbs

Since Harley was born we’ve actually only left her overnight twice – that’s not a lot in nearly a year and a half.So we were delighted when Matt’s mum offered to take Harley last Friday overnight so we could go out.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 5:00 pm
Matt and Cheryl Gibbs with Vinnie at Four London Road, July 2021

it was a bit of a gamble as to whether she’d settle there because she hadn’t seen her – or anyone – for a couple of weeks because of contracting Covid, but we gave it a go and I was delighted when I got a photo of Harley asleep in her travel cost while I was sipping my mojito at Four London Road (well, my trio of mojitos actually, but whose counting? They were mini ones, so don’t judge!)

We did a little pub-crawl, starting at the new café/bar Chandlers in Clanfield village which was really nice (I recommend the hummus as a nice little appetizer) before making our way to the Ship and Bell in Horndean and ending up at Four London Road where we stayed the rest of the night for drinks and food.

It seems to be our go to place for whenever we want a spoilt night out or it’s one of our birthdays.

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We ordered so much food that I think even the waiters might have been a bit surprised, but I always reason that so long as it gets eaten it’s worth it.

And I’m married to Matt, so there’s no fear of leftovers – he ate the lot, including two desserts, but again who’s counting?

Usually we are welcomed by the general manager, Elio, but on Friday his brother Vinnie was looking after us and after about an hour’s chat we covered every topic known to man. Elio might have some competition in the favourite stakes.

They’re brothers from Italy and they just have ‘it’ – I cant even put my finger on what ‘it’ is but they just have it.

They’re charming and witty and professional and just blooming lovely individuals, and as a dad to four Vinnie totally understood what kind of evening we wanted and had that emphatic look that only a parent who’s ‘been there and done that’ would understand.

It was a wonderful evening but I couldn’t believe it when Matt’s mum messaged me in the morning to say Harley didn’t wake until 8am, when it’s been 4am and 5am starts for us for weeks now.

Just our luck.

Out of the Covid frying pan and into the strep throat fire

A mere few days after getting over Covid-19 I immediately came down with suspected strep throat.

I suffer with problems with my mouth anyway having suffered oral lichen planus for years now so I’m used to throat pain, but this has been next level agony.

It felt like swallowing razor blades, and it hurt to gulp, to swallow and don’t even get me started on the pain of trying to actually eat something.

I have felt so rubbish that I honestly would have rather gone through childbirth again than have another day of the pain, that’s how bad it was – and still is.

Five days on it’s only marginally better.

I have no idea if it’s a result of being run down from Covid, but I cant wait to actually feel like ‘me’ again.

To sleep – perchance to dream – ay, there's the rub

Despite Harley getting up at 8am for Matt’s mum, we’re honestly at the end of our tether with these early wake ups.

She’s been getting up between 4am and 5am every day pretty much since April and while I understand that she’s still very young and it comes with the territory, I also know she’s habit waking.

We’ve got ourselves into this awful routine of going in and rubbing her back to get her back to sleep – which only helps at the time we’re doing it, so the moment we stop, she wakes up crying.

We’re now bringing in reinforcements and have enlisted the help of a sleep coach.

Let’s hope it works.

To be continued…