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a new kind of mini-break

April 22, 2016

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Write. Before you drive away and forget it all — the goats with their alien eyes and wizard-like beards, the three shy sheep and two blind pigs, the hens, the ducks in the pond, the rooster named John, which you assume was named after John Wayne for the way he walks legs wide apart, a broad swaggering gait, to stop his spurs from cutting into his shanks.

Write while the sun is still shining, while your croissant with the homemade jam is toasting on the wood stove, while your campfire coffee is still hot, while Wren is busy crawling in the tall grasses.

Write before you romanticise it all. While the idea of goats roaming around your shepherd’s hut is romantic, the reality isn’t so nice when you are desperately trying to get your baby to sleep and it’s nearly 9pm and they are scratching their horns on the underside of the hut and the dog is barking at the sunset and all you want to do is sip your cider under the stars — all I want is to drink a bottle of cider by the fire and eat a freaking sausage off a fork, is that too much to ask? — because you refuse to believe that you can’t simply do things the way you used to before you had a baby.

Write, quickly, while you have a few minutes to spare because time is fleeting.

You foolishly thought you would have so much time — to finish that Virginia Woolf book and write a couple of blog posts and organise all your photos and shoot an entire roll of film and make a few videos for Instagram. Oh! How idealistic. In your magical musings of life in a shepherd’s hut, you hadn’t factored in the child, who clearly had her own agenda. Those two hours at night when you had planned to do all those lovely things? Vanished. Quickly eaten up by a hyperactive and over-tired kid who refused to go to sleep. And when she finally did fall asleep, you followed suit, exhausted from having all three been tucked into a twin bed the previous night, top and tail “sleeping”, plugging any air gaps with the duvet because the fire died down around midnight and the wind kept blowing through the cracks in the window sills.

You both used to love that shit. You still do. At least, you still desperately want to. But your bones aren’t those of a 20-year-old anymore and your hips need a bit more cushioning than they used to and all those small comforts are compromised when you have a little break dancer kicking your face in the night.

You can see, in that moment, how easy it would be to just stay at home all the time rather than packing what feels like the entire contents of your house into one car for a mini-break, which, by the way, is a misnomer when you have kids.

No, you certainly don’t do it because it’s easy or relaxing. You do it for something else now. You do it because if you don’t, you risk becoming lazy. You do it to share new experiences with her. You do it to watch her pet the goat in this weird state of fear and fascination, a quick yank of the ear that surprises both her and the poor goat. You do it so that she will, hopefully, grow up to appreciate nature and be adventurous too. You lead by example. You do it precisely because you are forty, dammit. And because you don’t want to be an old parent (on the inside, at least). And because if you are curious and open enough, she can be your doorway to wonder.

You do it even though there are no guarantees. No matter your best efforts she may still end up wearing the princess dress, begging for a Barbie, frightened of bugs, completely uninterested in mountains and rivers or anything to do with the out-of-doors. But you do it anyways because you believe that if you sow the seeds and fertilize them enough, she’ll make her way back there someday, even if only as an adult with fond memories and a willingness to do the same for her own children. You do it because if you wrap her in a fleece blanket and head into the sunset, the pink, the orange and the purple will swirl and dance around in her head and when she is older, watching the sun go down, wherever she is in the world, she’ll get a warm feeling inside and she won’t be able to pinpoint what it is but it will be love. And you keep doing this. You keep leading the way until she’s ready to forge her own path.

And the same goes for you. You’ll learn to pack less and MacGyver more — nothing like your period starting unexpectedly on a long walk in the middle of nowhere to transform a nappy into an emergency pad. You’ll learn that you can’t be rigid on holiday, you have to show a modicum of flexibility. And it’s not the end of the world if she eats cheese toasties made with cheap white bread or if she goes to bed hours after her bedtime. Sometimes you need to relinquish control. It gets easier each time you set off on a new adventure and harder the less you do it, like most things in life.

And in the end, it’s worth it just to catch a glimpse of the look on her face when she sees all the animals from her bedtime stories come to life. She now has a whole new set of experiences under her belt: she watched her dad build a fire, ate dinner with a massive pig grunting at her feet, heard ocean waves for the very first time, felt the salty air on her skin, tasted citrusy sorrel hearts, sat in a patch of bluebells, saw tadpoles swimming in a puddle, devoured her first pudding — Apple Charlotte — patted a dog named Red, heard cows moo, walked Cheddar Gorge. All those things in life that we take for granted are things that turn her eyes to the size of two-pound coins, inciting squeals of delight. Everything is SO AMAZING when you are nine months old.

We are heading home today a bit more tired than when we first arrived. But it’s the good kind of tired. It’s the kind of tired that comes from full days spent outside, camping, slow living — long walks, drowsy mornings, cold cheeks, warm hearts, little sleep, lots of tea. The smell of campfire still clings to our sweaters and our heads are filled with just enough romantic notions to plan the next mini-break.

 

must you really chew that loudly?

April 7, 2016

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You guys, I am writing this blog post in the worst possible conditions. The woman sat next to me is doused in perfume — I think maybe she was suspended over one of those dunk tanks at the fun fair except that the tank was filled with Exclamation! and the ball hit its target one too many times — and she’s tapping away on her Mac with her fake fingernails like a bloody triceratops. These are two of my least favourite things, things that make me want to hulk out.

Now, before you start to unfriend me on Facebook, let it be known that I don’t hate perfume. I hate bad perfume* and too much of it — less is definitely more in the world of fragrances. I’m always amazed at how people can walk around in a corrosive, eye-burning cumulus cloud of perfume, completely unaware that folk are dropping like flies all around them.

*Side note: cheap perfume reminds me of my days as a flea market sales assistant, when I was 16 and worked for a dirty old man who had a little stall in a massive warehouse and I had to get up at the butt crack of dawn every Saturday to make a few bucks. He sold generic Shalimar (the smell of Shalimar, to this day, makes me vomit in my mouth) and cheap plastic toys that made all sorts of annoying sounds and porn on VHS, which meant that I technically sold porn but I directed customers to him for payment so that made it okay (imagine the days when you had to rewind or fast forward porn to the good bits?… who has that kind of time?). The grilled cheese sandwiches at the canteen were good though and the hot chocolate kept my fingers warm. I make it sound more glamorous than it was. But that’s a story for another time.

Anyways… in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m one of those hypersensitive people. Sensitive to noise, sensitive to smells, sensitive to too much of anything. It’s very uncool, I know. However, I read somewhere that hypersensitive creatures are often highly creative so maybe it’s ok. I’ve always known this about myself but it became even more apparent when my sister, who is also averse to certain noises, visited us last week. The number of times our husbands exchanged knowing looks, shaking theirs heads as if to say “I feel your pain, bro”.

The truth is, I hate being so easily irritated by sounds. The noise is amplified in my brain to such a level that I can’t ignore it. “Sorry, you were saying?”, spoons clinking. “Yes, the situation in Syria is heartbreaking.” Who the fuck keeps banging their spoon? Is there a one-man band in here?

So, to make light of it – don’t they say you should put an arachnophobe in a room full of spiders? – a cathartic post about sounds that annoy me. I loathe the following noises with the single-minded devotion that Trump haters hate on Trump (with bloody good reason). You’ll notice a trend here: masticating, or any mouth noises in general, sets my hair on fire.

  1. Hearing people’s music through their headphones. You’d think I’d prefer to hear Kanye West somewhat muted and muffled through a big set of cans but the truth is, I don’t want to hear Kanye at all. I would not like to hear him here or there. I would not like to hear him anywhere.
  2. The crunch of crisps (chips in America). I don’t care if it’s Lay’s or Doritos or if they’re hand cooked in organic olive oil. They all sound the same to me. Crunch, crunch, crunch. And no, eating one crisp at a time doesn’t make the pain go away. You are only irritating me for longer. I’m not saying that all crisps should be banned. I’m just saying they should come with a warning label: eat at your own risk around people with misophonia.
  3. Chewing anything while talking on the phone. You might as well pull out a megaphone then hit me over the head with a hammer for good measure.
  4. When someone is talking and they obviously need to clear their throat and all their words reach my ears through a layer of phlegm like static on the radio. And don’t even get me started on loogie hocking.
  5. My husband’s Star Wars ring tones – Chewbacca for text messages, Darth Vader for incoming phone calls, R2-D2 for new emails. It’s like we’re living on the fucking Death Star over here. (I love you, baby)
  6. People who talk during movies at the cinema are probably the same people who fart on airplanes**. No respect. Hell hath no fury.
  7. When Wren has a spectacularly shit day and whines incessantly. I love my child more than anything else on this planet but her all-day-whining is the aural equivalent of a mosquito buzzing in my ear.
  8. Noisy next-door neighbours. Last year we lived in a first floor flat, which is like being the cheese in a noise sandwich. That doesn’t even make sense. But you get the idea.  Downstairs lived three children who clearly had lead feet and jumped, every single morning at 7am without fail, from one end of the house to the other (back and forth, and back and forth). And upstairs lived a couple who wore their shoes (clogs, I’m convinced) at all hours of the day. And I’ll never forget the neighbour who blasted Unbreak my Heart by Toni Braxton 32 times in a row one Sunday morning in 1997. She’s now buried in the back yard of that apartment complex.
  9. Really piercing laughs. I love laughing. I believe laughing is God’s gift to mortals. But the kind of laugh that makes you jump out your seat, a machine-gun burst, an explosive howl that leaves your ears ringing? Not my super favourite thing.
  10. Spoons clanking against bowls, forks scraping on plates.
  11. Loud electronica – the kind of music that escalates until it hits the highest frequency on the sound spectrum – when I’m eating. Eating is not a sport. I don’t need to get pumped up to eat, nor do I want to.
  12. Open-mouthed gum chewing. Are you a camel? No. So why are you chewing your gum in a figure-8 pattern?
  13. Slurping. Makes me want to yank my cochlea out with a fork, like a mussel from its shell.
  14. Loud motorcycle mufflers… that wake my kid up from her nap. RAGE.
  15. People talking loudly on their mobile phones on public transport. I don’t need to hear your halfalogue. “Ok, but like, what did she even mean? No, but like, did you tell her what I said because it’s, like, super important? Can you hear me? Can you hear me now? OMG! Shut up! She did not say that?” If I wanted to listen to a bunch of dim-witted valley girls, I’d watch Gossip Girls.

If I sound annoyed it’s because I am. I’m so sorry you guys. This woman’s loud tapping is making me feel the opposite of zen. My coffee tastes of her perfume. I literally want to high-five her in the face. I was aiming for funny but I think maybe I’ve only given you the urge to punch something. So to soften the blow, here are some sounds that I love, sounds that make my ears feel like they are being wrapped in a big bear hug.

Thunderstorms, spring peepers, crickets, cicadas, red-winged black birds (all of these remind me of Canada on a hot summer’s day), steel drums, ocean waves, crackling fires, the styrofoam-like crunch of snow underfoot, church bells, coffee brewing in the morning, toast popping, Joe’s heartbeat, rain drops on my bedroom window (especially in the middle of the night when I’m cozy under the duvet and there are many hours to go before dawn), seagulls, foghorns, whale songs, the scratch of old vinyl, the sing-song of a Jamaican accent, overhearing kids talking (just now on the tube: “nobody wants to hear your diarrhea songs, Jesse”), Morgan Freeman’s voice, symphony orchestras, the warbling song of the wren, leaves rustling in the wind, train whistles, the shutter on my Pentax K1000, synthesizers, lawn mowers strangely (reminds me of being a kid), Tibetan chanting, silence (does silence have a sound?), brass bands, the sound of om at the end of a really good yoga session, music, music, and music. And Wren’s giggle, which is just about the most heart-warming sound I have ever heard. I’ll never need earplugs for that… unless it turns into one of those annoying explosive laughs.

**Full disclosure: I’ve totally farted on an airplane, maybe even more than once. I didn’t mean to, you guys. Cabin pressure is a bitch.

dear wren (9 mo)

March 28, 2016

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Dear Wren,

On Sunday you turned nine months old, which means that you’ve been living out here in this big wide world for as long as you were floating around in inner space, give or take a few days. In only nine months, you’ve gone from being a little dumpling with a bald head and acne that rivalled most pimple-faced teens to a proper girl who crawls and stands and giggles and claps and waves and makes genuine sounds rather than gurgles and babbles.

I can’t believe how much you’ve grown in the past 275 days:

 

You started crawling on Valentine’s day and have since travelled Olympic distances on all fours. Nothing stops you from getting to where you want to go. You are like one of those wind-up toys; as soon as we set you down, you are off like a torpedo. And now that you are also standing, gripping your little fingers on anything that remotely resembles a ledge (or a chunk of my arm) to hoist yourself up, nothing is safe anymore. When you are quiet, I know something’s up. “Wren? What’s in your mouth?” The excited look you get on your face when you’ve found something you know you’re not supposed to eat — eggshells, a piece of plastic, dust bunnies, used tissues, a snarl of my hair, paper, a bay leaf, hard leftover chunks of whatever you threw on the floor at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Anything your minuscule fingers can get a hold of in the cracks between the floor boards, things my 40-year-old eyes can hardly see from 5 foot 7 above. You turn your head towards me with twinkling eyes and a smile full of mischief, your little gums chewing away like a baseball player on a chunk of gum. I practically need the jaws of life to pry your mouth open. The other day, I plucked a pencil sharpener from your mouth and was forced to concede that it is most definitely time to start baby proofing the house.

Your nickname these days is jitterbug. You are by far the squirmiest baby I’ve ever met. I thought maybe all babies were this “busy” and chalked it up to curiosity. But I’ve been hanging out with other babies lately, babies your age, babies a couple of months older (and supposedly more mature) than you and it turns out that not all babies have ants in their pants. I’m afraid to say that you are the most mental one of them all. You will not. sit. still! How can one person move so much? If I could harvest the kinetic energy you spend in one day, I’d have enough power to heat our entire house for a week. Your dad and I are a little worried that you might be hyperactive but you’ve been like this since day one so it seems it’s just part of your colourful character. You popped out at 3am, wide-eyed, completely alert and ready to see what this whole “being alive” business was all about. You were practically doing crunches when you were 10 days old, constantly craning your neck to get a better look at things. This weekend, on the train, you crawled up to complete strangers, tugged at their pant legs and said ba-ba-ba (or dadada or mamama or nanana or lalala or any combination of those syllables), which I assume meant “Ready to be entertained now! ” It’s exhausting chasing after the Tazmanian Devil all day but I can’t wait to see what you do with all this energy and your innate sense of adventure.

Your two bottom teeth have sprouted this month. This has completely changed your face and makes you look even more cheeky, if possible. You’ve already left your little rodent marks on the edge of the counter and every time you sip water, we can hear your tiny teeth clinking against the glass. You chew on EVERYTHING but your favourite is the iPhone cable. Not the one we gave you for that express purpose, but the one we use on a daily basis. The one that now prompts an error message on my phone when I plug it in because iPhone cables are not meant to be chewed on by baby shark teeth.

We started feeding you solids in January and you devour pretty much anything we give you. But bread, bread is by far your favourite. You are just like your father who, at the young age of two, declared to his mother “I only hungry for dread”. Sigh. You have an equal love for pasta. I’ve now learned to cut your penne in half otherwise you just swallow it whole like a boa constrictor. By the time we are done with breakfast, lunch and dinner, you look like you’ve spread peanut butter on toast with your face and the floor is a Jackson Pollock painting — a broad stroke of sweet potato, splashes of yoghurt, a touch of avocado. It’s a messy affair but I rather enjoy this phase, you and I eating our favourite breakfast together in the morning, toast with almond butter and banana.

Last week, we took you to the Lake District with your aunt Michelle and uncle Michael, where you summited your first mountain in a bright green Osprey carrier (your little mini penthouse as grand-ma calls it), like a maharaja on the back of an elephant. You were such a trooper for the first few hours until suddenly you let us know in no uncertain terms that you’d had quite enough. You were SO disgruntled, we thought maybe you desperately needed a nappy change so there we were, like a Formula One crew at a pit stop, precisely timed, perfectly choreographed, changing your nappy on the edge of a cliff, a mere mile from the summit of Red Pike, your wails traveling on the howling winds, royally pissed off because: wet lady bits exposed to arctic winds. I can’t blame you. Nobody likes cold bits. Never has a nappy been changed so quickly in the history of nappy changing, after which you urgently lunged for my boob and immediately quieted down. Turns out you were starving. Total parenting fail (we’ve had a few of those in the past nine months, your recent roll off the bed at 5am being one of them – oops).

After your feed, we marched straight back into the howling gale. (Sidenote: we found out the next day that Storm Katie was in the area, brewing something fierce and she was just getting started the day we hiked up that mountain; the following night she battered England with gusts of wind up to 106 mph.) I could sense your disappointment by that point. I think perhaps you were even doubting your choice in parents. Dad huffing up a steep incline, straining under your weight, uncle Michael desperately trying to distract you, aunt Michelle bounding ahead like a gazelle so that all I could see were flashes of her bright pink rain coat as she frantically searched for the trail that would lead us towards the back of the mountain, where we would be sheltered from Katie’s fury. And me walking ahead because I felt helpless and didn’t know what to do to make things better except walk faster. As we summited, the wind picked up 20 notches, at which point you fell asleep (you fell asleep as we summited… we have much to teach you, little one) and as soon as we got to the top, your dad started to descend without so much as a glance at the magnificent view for fear that the wind would pick him up by your palace, like a parachute, and fling you both off the mountain. I’m not going to lie to you, it was pretty harrowing.

But I’m so proud of you. We really did push you to the limit and you were a tough cookie. Do I think perhaps we took it a bit too far and were slightly optimistic and maybe unrealistic for your very first hike (10km, elevation of 2,476 feet)? There was a moment, up near the summit in that split second when my face was being blown off when I thought maybe this isn’t such a good idea, but you’re half British (your dad hiked that mountain in a t-shirt like a boss) and half Canadian, the land of harsh winters, so we figure you’ve got badass in your genes. Another experience under your belt, a bit more character built. You never cease to amaze me, Wren. Your blue eyes watering in the wind, taking in the world, a gallon of snot leaking from your button nose and you still managed to end the hike with a smile on your face.

There is so much I want to remember about these past nine months, which have been pure magic. Your knee dimples, your double chin, the favourite pages of your favourite books — that’s not my monkey, its tongue is too fuzzy — the sounds you make to put yourself to sleep, the way your fingers wrap around mine like tendrils when you’re nursing, how your arms are always outstretched to each side, wrists twirling, like a Bollywood dancer.

Daddy always says you’re good value and I agree. We certainly got a bang for our buck with you, kiddo. It’s such an amazing journey to grow with you. I recently read that motherhood changes you at a cellular level. Every day you teach me patience, the art of letting go, the importance of staying curious. You are my little Buddha (except with crazy fluffy hair) and I’m so grateful you chose me to be your mom.

Love,
Mama

how the nra got me writing again

March 20, 2016

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Remember that scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby helps to carry a watermelon? And Johnny asks his cousin, “Hey cous, what’s she doing here?” and his cousin says “She’s with me” and Baby is all “I carried a watermelon… I carried a watermelon.” Here, let me refresh your memory.

I always thought that she meant “Dude, I only carried a watermelon, get over yourself.” But as I write this post (and I had to re-watch the scene, just to be sure), I think she meant “OMG! Johnny is so hot and I just totally embarrassed myself. I carried a watermelon? What was I thinking? Now he’ll never want to have sex with me.” Little does Baby know that some rumpy pumpy awaits her in the not-too-distant future.

Had she meant the watermelon comment the way I thought she meant it all these years, it would have been totally relevant to this story. It is now not.

All I did was innocently invite a couple girlfriends around for lunch. I cleaned the house and prepared a pitcher of water with slices of lemon and cooked roasted sweet potato soup made with homemade veggie broth. Yes, you can buy vegetable broth. Yes, you can even go a step easier and bouillon cube the shit out a soup but I went that extra mile, because I believed they were worth the effort.

We talked about everything. I really opened up, you know, in an effort to get down to the source of my fear of committing to a creative life. I had so many excuses. I deflected every suggestion, each little bit of advice, every ounce of encouragement, all the praise in the world with a fresh excuse. And then, over tea and mandarin muffins, the million dollar question. What if I said you have to write a blog post a week or donate $5 to the National Rifle Association. BAM!

All I did was carry a metaphorical watermelon and before I knew it, I’d been bullied into writing a weekly blog post. Never one to shy away from a challenge, in fact, generally needing one in order to get anything done, I took the bait. Maybe that’s what friends are for, maybe they are there to push you when you’re not strong enough to do it on your own. Maybe the bitches deserved the homemade vegetable broth after all.

That was last week. And since then, I’ve done what I normally do in preparation for a task. I did everything else except write a blog post, leaving that very task until now, mere hours to midnight on my first week’s deadline. I did a spring cleaning of thousands and thousands of photos, repaired the rain cover on my daughter’s pram, vacuumed between the cracks in the floorboards, organised my pantry, made a list of all the bands I’ve ever seen and sewed the buttons back on the duvet cover (is there anything more annoying than having a duvet poke out of its cover? – this was a very important and long-overdue task, friends, and I really don’t think I could have written a single word knowing that my duvet was up there, waiting to taunt me tonight).

Everything. but. the. task.

Part of the reason for this blatant procrastination is that the most exciting thing that happens to me these days is when Wren takes a morning poo before I’ve had a chance to change her nappy, meaning that I only have to change her nappy once, not twice (the second time usually being about 5-10 minutes after I’ve changed her first nappy… what can I say, the kid likes to poo in fresh nappies). Exhilarating stuff, but not necessarily blog worthy.

And the other reason that springs to mind is, when all the procrastinating is done, whenever will I find the time to write?

This morning, the answer arrived in my inbox, via the 3191 newsletter where Mav shared this thought:

“Is all of the downtime we used to have taken up by our smart phones? Do we grab them every time we have a pause in our day? Is the constant checking in with things like Facebook and Instagram (fun checking in but needless checking in nonetheless) making us feel like our day is more full?

Maybe try this: When you go to grab your phone in a free moment just don’t do it. Stop yourself.

I stopped myself from picking up my phone in down moments the other day and I did it 13 times! It sort of blew my mind. 13 instances at 4–5 minutes each … that’s about an hour! What did I do with those minutes before I had a smart phone?”

Maybe that’s where I find the time. Maybe I don’t need to check my emails and Instagram several times a day. Or maybe I don’t have to watch an episode of Gogglebox and Happy Valley in one sitting. Maybe the housecleaning can wait. Maybe I can pick up a book or a pen or sit in silence for a few minutes instead. Maybe I can write in 5 minute chunks. Maybe it doesn’t matter if what I write is solid gold or shit, so long as I write.

So there, no excuses. A blog post a week for the unforeseeable future… unless the duvet buttons pop off again.

 

for mom

November 30, 2015

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This last post is dedicated to my mom, who is the bravest person I know.

On Friday, she started chemotherapy for a mass on her spleen; she’d been in remission for eight years. You’d think she’d be pissed off at the world, the universe, all the Gods, the next-door neighbour, the postman, everything and everyone. You’d think she’d be depressed and feeling sorry for herself (I know I would). But she wasn’t angry and she wasn’t sad. Instead, she went in there like a boss, prepared with a bag of yarn for crocheting and a Sudoku book, some lunch and little snacks as if she were going on a trip abroad and needed something to occupy her time on the plane.

And even though she had several bad reactions to the serum and her first treatment lasted 9 hours, even though the yarn and Sudoku book never made it out of the bag, even though her lunch went untouched and she was in complete agony all night, my sisters and I received this little ray of sunshine in our inboxes on Sunday morning:

“This morning I got dressed nice and warm and fed my little birds. They were pretty happy. And then I went for a marvelous walk out back and up the hill. Not the  hill to the house but the one to the right which leads to the fields. Oh it was so wonderful to be out in the fresh dry air. I wandered around the field noting all the new growth from whenever it was I last walked up there and it always gives me such hope to see that life really does find a way.'”

When I became a mother, I realised just how many sacrifices my own mom had to make over the years for my sisters and I. There isn’t a mother’s day card on the planet that fully encompasses the selflessness, the unconditional love, the lengths mothers will go to keep their children safe and happy, even if that means blowing sunshine out of their arses while having chemotherapy, just so that their kids don’t have to worry.

Thank you, mom, for inspiring me to be a better mother (and person) every day. I only hope I can be as strong a role model for Wren someday. 

Also, here’s to kicking that cancer’s ass!

***

Well, that’s it folks. I survived 30 days (minus 2? 3? posts) of blogging.

And now, it’s time to switch gears, slow down, catch up on some sleep, decorate the Christmas tree, bake a pumpkin pie, light a fire, read my brother-in-law’s manuscript, turn the damned computer off. I might be back in December, I might not. But one thing is for certain, I won’t wait for another Nablopomo to roll around before putting pen to paper again. No matter how challenging it was, it still felt great to write again and reconnect with long-lost friends.

So grateful to Xanthe, Andrea, Karen, Pen and Elizabeth for lighting a fire under my ass this past month. I couldn’t have done it without them. And thanks to each and every one of you for stopping by and commenting. Really means the world to me.

sundays are made for

November 29, 2015

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Sundays are made for endless cups of tea and hours spent lounging on the sofa with a good book. Or, at the very least, hiding in the nearest French bakery for a few hours while your husband looks after the baby.

I’ve been so busy writing for Nablopomo that I’ve hardly read any of my fellow bloggers’ posts — the very friends that inspired me to take part in the first place. Shame on me.

So today, in those stolen hours, I finally caught up and am here to share some of my favourites posts. These five awe-inspiring women had me feeling all the emotions.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. See you tomorrow for the last Nablopomo post. Well done, ladies, for making it this far!

 

 

 

are we there yet?

November 27, 2015

I feel like we’ve been stuck in the car for 15 hours and we’ve driven hundreds of miles and there are empty coffee cups rolling around in the footwell and dirty sandwich wrappers on the passenger seat and we’ve heard the same hit on the radio at least a dozen times and we are stuck in traffic again and we will NEVER make it to the Kingdom of Far Far Away. That’s what Nablopomo feels like today. 28 days down, two to go.

*This post was written on my phone while nursing Wren from the back seat of a car parked at  Heathrow’s departures because it was the only bloody place we could find to stop and feed her after she had a monumental meltdown on the highway, which only happened because we got a freaking puncture in the countryside and were stuck driving 50 miles an hour on the spare tyre, pushing us waaaaay past her bedtime. Oh! The joys of parenthood.

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