As my daughter’s pregnancy progressed, there seemed to be an expectation that I would organise a baby shower for her. After all, I was good at organising things like this.

I’d never organised a baby shower before though. Only ever been to one before. So my first question was –

What exactly is a baby shower?

Traditionally, a baby shower is only held for the first child. Phew!

And it’s usually organised by the child’s grandmother. Yup, that’s me!

A baby shower is a way to celebrate the expected birth of a child by presenting gifts to the expectant mother at a party.


Choose a venue. Invite family and friends. They bring gifts. Sorted.

In fact, the term ‘shower’ refers to showering the pregnant woman with gifts. This tradition became popular after WWII to serve the economic function of providing the mother-to-be with the goods needed for the baby’s arrival.

We actually chose a theme. We created a library for the baby by each bringing a favourite book, either from our own childhood or one we’d enjoyed reading to our own children. Everyone seemed to love doing this – it made them remember all those books they hadn’t read in years. We chose ‘Six Dinner Sid’ and ‘The Bear Under The Stairs’. My friend made a pair of book ends with cross-stitch decoration. My new grandchild already has a library of over 50 books and she isn’t even born yet!

So how did I go about organising this baby shower?

  1. Keep it simple

I chose a venue close to home – a local cafe, Watergate Cafe, renowned for its fab baking, which catered for us. We ordered matching baby shower decorations and games from Party Delights. 

2. A couple of games

We played ‘Guess the baby food’ – which met with mixed reactions, especially when I got muddled up and fed a chicken meal to vegetarians. I was mortified!!

We also had a game of ‘Pin the dummy on the baby’.

During the event, we passed round a ball of string and some scissors and everyone guessed the current circumference of the baby bump. Most of us over-estimated by a long way – ‘How fat do you think I am?’

3. A couple of activities

There was a decorated box  – decorated with unicorns, obviously! – in which to put advice and best wishes for the new parents which is not to be opened until the baby is born,

We also had a sheet where everyone could guess the date, time, weight and length of the bay on arrival. That’s one we won’t know the winner of for a few weeks hopefully!


4. Lots of time to chat over a cup of tea

Family and friends had come together from quite a distance. Many hadn’t seen each other in quite a while. They didn’t want me organising too much. They wanted time to socialise.

5. Creating a library for the baby

I mentioned it before but that was a great idea. Those books will accompany the baby on the first few years of her life. If she develops a passion for books like her grandma, I’ll be happy.

So that was my first baby shower to organise. I’m so glad it went well. With five kids of my own, I have a feeling it may not be my last!


Last night, there were moments in time when I was fifteen again: not wishing I was fifteen again or remembering when I was fifteen, but actually fifteen again. So where was I? At the Get Down Rolladisco Newcastle! Before the event, I’d been unsure. I wasn’t certain I would remember how to skate again. But I guess it’s like riding a bike. After five minutes of tentative venturing out on the floor, I found my feet. The hired skates were better than any hired skates I remembered – they ran smoothly with no glitches – and the floor was pretty even too.

My friend Barbara went through the same process through the course of the evening, if her Facebook post is anything to go by!

Ok so I couldn’t manage roller boots when I was younger but a roller disco sounded like a great idea…. at first I could barely stand, my first pint 🍺 put me on my arse (literally) second pint 🍻 and I was getting my groove on – but definitely not chancing a third 😜
Fab night as always ladies 💗

I loved it. Absolutely loved it. That incredible feeling of sliding and gliding with minimal effort, the breeze blowing past my cheeks, my arms swaying naturally to the rhythm of my skating. There were people all around me – friends there too somewhere, but I felt all alone, in a bubble of happiness. I felt confident too. Able to dodge my way around less confident skaters. At one point, one lad bumped into me and nearly went down. He flashed me a smile as I firmly held his arm to keep him upright and moving.

It was one of those moments where you are transported out of the now into the then. It was such a cool venue – check out the Boiler Shop in Newcastle when you get the chance. The music helped too, as well as the lighting, the vibe, the outfits other people were wearing. I got completely caught up in admiring some of the costumes and planning what I would wear the next time. We were all there to have a good time, all together, regardless of age. It wasn’t all about ‘getting mortal’ as Geordie nights out are depicted in the media. Here, people were playing Giant Jenga and Connect Four and Draughts, eating retro sweets and stone-baked pizza and getting sprinkled with glitter.

If I had caught a glimpse of a reflection of myself, I don’t think I would have recognised it as me. When I put on those skates, I became that younger version of me – the one with the boyfriend who picked her up in his MG sports car and drove her to the skating rink in Felixstowe and taught her how to skate backwards. Skating was one thing I was pretty good at back then (even though my violin teacher forbid it because she was worried for my wrists!).

Here in Newcastle, I completely forgot that that young lad who I’d stopped falling over would be seeing me as I am now, not as I was back in the day. I couldn’t let myself dwell on what I might have looked like to others. If I had focused on that, I would not have stepped foot onto the rink in the first place. People my age don’t go to Rolladiscos. What was I thinking of? I should have been concerned about getting an injury or waking up stiff the next morning.

Sod that! If that’s what growing up is about, then count me out!

I guess I have my friends to thank for getting me there. We’re getting into a good groove of finding fun stuff to do and having the confidence to show up and give it a go. Without each other, no way would any of us have the nerve. By believing in each other, we are built up in our own self-belief.

This is a precious thing, something I never take for granted: to have a group of friends who know me and still like me; who allow me to look a fool and love me for it; who would defend my right to do whatever I wanted, regardless of my age.

I hope we’ll still be going along to the Rolladisco in ten years time. We plan to age disgracefully. Actually I hate that word ‘Disgracefully’. It makes it sound like something to be ashamed of. We will not be ashamed or embarrassed or held back by what anyone else may think.

As long as Joanne keep finding fun things on her Facebook feed for us to do, we will show up.

So who’s coming to the next Rolladisco on 2 December?