Thursday, 6 January 2011

'My so called blog' 2010

I mentioned before that I started a fake blog during the time that I was still unsure about whether I wanted to make a commitment to the blogging community. It makes sense now to add these entries as they offer some incite into my life during the year 2010. I'll warn you, they're not all pretty!

I realize now that 2010 was somewhat of a thrashing it out year, a time of angst and longing for more, a time of recognizing my children's changing needs and increasing independence, of re-evaluating and re-defining what is core to my daily life. It was also a time of determining what I need to nourish my life(outside of being a wife and mother)that reaches beyond day-to-day chores, that bite sized something extra that keeps you merrily humming and makes you generous enough to smile at strangers all day long, even when they don't smile back!

For me, 2011 is already proving to be about re-discovering my creative self, be that in expressing myself through words, in drawings, collage, sewing, painting, cooking, nurturing, speaking, singing, performing, storytelling ...... and taking a step back and recognizing myself once more.

Here are some glimpses of 2010!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Those who inspire

A number of weeks ago, during my two precious hours to myself whilst my ‘pocket rocket’ of a boy had his nap, I found myself on google and on facebook… well quite frankly …. stalking. Still being fairly new to the facebook game, it suddenly occurred to me that there were a few people that I was curious to seek out to find out what they were up to. So, whilst I was stalking, uh uh, I mean researching, I decided to look up the name of an old friend from College. We had met when we were 16 going on 17, that age where you believe yourselves to be invincible and where hopefully you haven’t yet been basted with enough synicism to believe otherwise.

I was immediately drawn to her. She was incredibly beautiful, the sort of person that is memorable and that definitely stands out from a crowd. I can’t remember the exact details of our meeting but I do remember that she approached me full of confidence and friendliness and I was instantly impressed with her belief in herself. She was also mixed-race like myself and this was an added bonus, the ‘mocha choca’ icing on the cake as it were(I was curious to compare notes).

She was petite in a way that made me think of Hollywood actresses of old(I stood at 5ft 10 and had constant neck ache from bending down to my smaller friends), she had an exotic and unusual name which she carried with pride and an accent that hinted at her french, trinidadian and english heritage. Better still, she was the first person I saw wearing a thong and certainly the first person I saw that had ‘waxed’ her bikini line and spoke of something called a ‘brazilian’! In spite of growing up with two older sisters who bestowed me with much relevant information about womanhood and all other things, I thought that this was fabulous!

During our second year at college we began to spend quite a lot of time together. We still had our designated ‘best friends’ that we hung out with most of the time but we would also meet up regularly. We shared in common, the experience of spending part of our childhood’s in a different country, hers in Trinidad and mine in Ghana and that was something that bonded us also. We would often share thoughts and memories of ‘home’ with a lovely comforting feeling that someone else truly understood what you were talking about and what you were pining for.

She had a great work ethic and I remember her always working evenings or at week-ends, either saving up for a trip back ‘home’ or to pay for driving lessons and eventually a car or some other tremendously useful, life affirming thing. I even remember her putting in a good word for me a couple of times to help get me some temporary work. In short, she was a great source of inspiration for me whilst still remaining very much my peer and friend.

So, the evening of my discovery in which I found her on facebook I sent her a message. This was not a brave move on my part, since I knew that there was no way that this great girl was going to disappoint however her life had turned out. Also, by that point in the evening I had enjoyed a glass or two of good wine… ok probably closer to a bottle(husband should drink quicker quite frankly!)and I was feeling both nostalgic and reflective. Isn’t it incredible that there are people that you encounter in your life, who you may not have had contact with in years who can still flick a switch in you for good or bad?

I was pleased that she added me as a friend and not long after came a reply to my message and yes, she was much the same person that I remembered even though 15 odd years had passed. She too had memories of our times together long ago and that this ‘friendship’ was mutual warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face. It is because of Zarouhi Fivel-Smith as I knew her then, that I am even writing this today. I am currently a follower of her blog and it is that which inspired me to leap out of the confines of the very personal diary that I have kept for years(albeit rather sparsely in the last 5 years since having children)into the world of blogging. Thank you Zazou that after all these years, in a very small way you are still in my life and still have the ability to inspire and impact on it!

Friday 6th August 2010

Second Class Citizen

Yesterday I answered our landline, this is impressive. I very rarely do this these days, partly because between facebook and mobiles there is little need and partly because over the years I have developed a phobia. Someone that I know who must remain nameless for obvious reasons, used to pester me so frequently with calls that I began to ‘screen’. My middle sister who has been a great source of information over the years, responsible for much of my education(regardless of how willing I was to learn!)came through once again suggesting ‘Why don’t you just screen?’. She merrily imparted this valuable life lesson and away I ran with it.

But yesterday I answered our landline, this was a mistake. It was a close friend of my husband’s on the other end of the phone. A nice guy, a good man, intelligent, well educated and rich in life experience and not the person I would expect to make me feel like a 1950’s housewife(in a bad way, not the fab shoes, dresses and pretty aprons way). It started innocently enough, ‘Is husband there?’I reply ‘No, he’s out at a gig tonight’, ‘What, AGAIN!! You need to start getting out as much as he does!'.

Now, let me explain the offence and the crime committed here. Since the birth of my first child 5 years ago the way in which husband and I socialise has changed. Pre-children we socialised mostly together, very rarely apart, other than on those occasions where you just happened to end up hanging out just with the girls/guys. However, once one then two children came along and lots of babysitting favours had already been used up with the few friends and family willing to give up their own time to sit in our tv-less house, lounging on our broken settee, it meant 'a change was going to come'. So, that meant one of us staying in with the children and the other one catching up with various friends in the pub or wherever. Done, no worry of babysitter or of paying babysitter or of being late for babysitter and better still, no having to get up with baby the next morning with hangover, as person who was at home lets the other person have a lie in! Genius!

Well, not genius enough for husband’s mate! Husband has already told me on a number of occasions about ‘Nice guy’s’ new little obsession that I have no life to call my own. Husband is nothing but greatly amused by this as he, as well as I, know that I have my fair share of nights out. I may not have the most exciting life but I like to think that I enjoy simple pleasures… mostly friends, wine and wasabi peas and a darn good chat finished off with a drink too far and a boogie(on a really good night!) So why the upset you may ask? It’s the pity. ‘Poor woman, not only does she look after those children full time but she has no job and therefore no identity and her 'old man' doesn't even let her out. She's got no social status or earning power or hobbies to occupy her other than cooking(well that’s all she’s ever in the middle of when she does finally answer the landline!).

Obviously, he said NONE of these things because 'Nice guy' really is a nice guy. That’s just the way I played it out in my head again and again and again, after I’d said good bye and put the phone down.

I admit that for those who have not had children and not breast fed, the time that is given over to nurturing offspring can seem immense. ‘Nice guy’ noticed early on that I wasn’t out much but husband was still going out regularly. I was happy for this to be the case, especially as we had decided early on that as much as we loved our new arrival, we still wanted to hold onto some form of our old identity, the pre baby us. But also I was feeding on demand and was happy to be doing so, at this stage of early motherhood I couldn’t even conceive of leaving my baby even if I’d had the option to go out. I was still giddy and in love, still in awe at what husband and I had managed to create and amazed at what my body was capable of. However, as time passed, I started to find my old self, my previous life and my social life returned… but an updated version of it.

At first, you might only be away for a couple of hours, enough time for a meal with friends, maybe even a glass of wine, constantly checking your phone, unsure if your evening is about to be cut short by hubbie’s plea of ‘Sorry, come home, hungry baby’. Then before you know it, you’re binge drinking with a twinkle in your eye, enjoying it all the more for the sacrifices over the long days, nights, months of feeding, nappy changing and utter joyful chaos that a newborn brings to your life.

I was upset because I do not like having to justify my lifestyle or my choices. Am I not whole anymore because I have been fulfilled with my role as full time mother for the last five years? Is this not enough? I guess it is more about me and my current unrest about my role and my indecision about my future… making a decision about when to return to work and what hours I should work and how it will impact on me, husband and first and second son. I have put off the decision the last few months for fear of having to think about the possibility of putting my first boy in after school club a couple of days a week. I have been worrying about my ability to focus and carryout the kind of work that was second nature to me five years ago. I am worried that I don’t know who I am post children even though I seemed to know up until a few months ago. Sure, there have been fleeting moments of crisis and even those have normally been attributed to hormones or sleep deprivation. I know deep down that ‘Nice guy’ meant no harm and was actually fighting my corner as it were, trying to make sure that I was getting my share of nights out, of ‘time out’ in every sense of the word. But it also made me realise that there are now quite a few people who only really know ‘us’, hubbie and I that is, as individuals and no longer as a couple…. and that kind of made me feel a bit sad.

I am aware that hubby's and my relationship has spent some time now on the shelf ... perhaps a little dusty and unread(you know like those favourite books that you love, love, love but just haven't had the time to dust off and get round to re-reading again, knowing that when you do it will take you to a really happy place!). The busyness of our days, weeks, week-ends and all our other commitments means very little ‘us’ time at the moment and I miss the old ’us’ inspite of the fact that times have changed. I miss the hand holding, notes left on a pillow, sneaking out to the Polish deli/French café for pastries and the papers for a Saturday lie-in. Trips out of the office on my lunch hour to buy something mentioned by husband in passing the previous day and seeing his lovely smile as I presented it the next day at dinner…. memories .... sigh!

So, I bit the bullet and asked big sis to babysit this Saturday coming so that hubby and I can be out ‘TOGETHER’ to celebrate our very special friend Missy's birthday. It will mean being out with a great group of friends, people that knew the old us and now also know the new us, no pity, no fuss.

Sunday 8th August 2010

All in a day’s work

I was woken up at 6.50am this morning by second son shouting ‘mama’ quite loudly. The rule of our house is that unless children are unwell or terrified of something, they must remain in their room until 7am. This can be tricky as second son has demonstrated some challenging sleep patterns or rather lack of pattern at different times since his birth two years ago.

I persevere and try and return to slumber for those last precious minutes but just then I remember that it is my turn to get up with the boys, it's hubby's lie-in today. I was just relaxing into it again when this time I hear a more desperate ‘maaammaaaaaa’. By this point I am pretty sure that second son has woken first son up…again(first son always used to sleep in until we woke up!)and so up I get.

Porridge and fruit for breakfast, followed by a request of ‘toast with chocolate spread pleeeease mummy’. Then I have to resist allowing the boys to either play on their console(an old playstation 1 that my 5year old hasn’t yet realised is extremely out of date!)or watch a dvd. I have to resist because yesterday I announced to hubby that the children have been watching too much tv and that I only want them to watch 30 minutes a day, like they ‘used’ to… back in the day. Hubby looks at me like I am being slightly dramatic and whilst clearly thinking ‘how will I finish my current project if they can’t watch toy story 2 for an hour and a half?’ and says ‘well there’s no harm in them watching a film’. (I make a mental note to prove that hubby has just made a mistake and that his plan will backfire, hubbie afterall is in my domain and interfering with my rules, my system).

Hubby is a teacher and therefore off for the summer holidays. This is lovely but it does mean that he is sharing my ‘work space’ for the summer. I am relieved when the boys occupy themselves playing with their vintage star wars figures that our good friend Ben generously donated last week. To be exact, he passed onto my boys his entire star wars figure collection from childhood. Some even came in Tupperware boxes, you know the sort of Tupperware/ice cream tubs that your mum kept for you to ‘keep things tidily’.

Next I get myself ready, I need to be at church for 9.15am as I am on crèche duty this week. I decide that rather than wait for hubbie to get up and drive us all there, reaching church at 9.40am when it starts at 9.30am and when I need to be there at 9.15am, I will instead leave alone at 9am and have 15minutes alone to walk in silence. Bliss!

Before that though I get the boys washed and dressed. I do this because I worry that if I don’t hubbie will wake late and then take the boys to the greasy spoon café down the road figuring that he’s too late for church. So, boys dressed, hubby roused and off I go. Lovely walk alone, thinking of absolutely nothing and not even registering ‘the green man’ as I cross the road or ‘truck, truck, TRUUCCCKKK’(second son does like to spot trucks)as they pass by.

Back from church, Sunday roast cooked and served. I hand hubby his and he gives me a smile and says ‘this is great’. As I walk back into the kitchen to fetch mine I hear him say to first son ‘Tell mummy how much you like the food, she’s worked very hard’. I experience a wierd sense of deja vous as I recall hearing my father saying similar things to my siblings and I. My boy does as he’s told and with it produces a smile and thumbs up that makes my heart ache!

After pudding, a play in the garden, whilst we wait for daddy to fix vintage push along toy that we rescued from a neighbours garden yesterday. Well, actually I spotted it and said to hubby ‘ooh I’d love to steal that’. Suddenly I heard a lovely gentleman in his late 50’s say ‘you are welcome to take it’(and yes I did blush at being caught talking about thievery). I still think his 28 year old daughter will be very displeased when she discovers what is missing from the loft! I must also thank that gentleman because he gave hubbie a project when he is experiencing the slight down that comes with having completed a big project. Hubbie is a person that always likes to have a project going. Today’s project is fixing the toy… we even had to go to Homebase straight after church for bolts and wood!

Then into the car and to the park. Long walk, pushing second son on Thomas tricycle. Then home, light supper, boys sorted out for bed. Bedtime routine including ritual song, tonight first son’s choice of You are my sunshine’ which I now have to sing in plural. Prayers, cuddles and exit. Then washing up, washing brought inside and folded, sitting room tidied(this was a lengthy process involving the sorting of lego, star wars characters, books, clothes(ramifications of leaving alone at 9am). I had intended to ignore domestic chores and write blog as soon as kids were in bed at 7.15pm, I started writing instead at 10pm. All in a day’s work!

Tuesday 10th August 2010

The Secret World of Grandma’s

Yesterday my mum, who lives fairly close by, came to visit her grandsons. Not long after she arrived, she asked first born son and grandson if he would like to go back home with her and stay the night. He simply beamed and whispered ‘yes’ under his breath, the way you do when you’re simply relieved that something has worked out. From the moment this arrangement was discussed and agreed I couldn’t help but notice first son’s impatience to get going. I could tell that all he wanted was ‘Grandma’ exclusively to himself. I know this because I can still clearly remember feeling exactly the same way about my mum’s mum, Grandma Peppermint.

I spent my formative years in Ghana(West Africa)away from my maternal grandmother Annie or ‘Nancy’ as everyone else knew her. When I returned to England aged ten I was keen to spend as much time as possible with Gran. I had also lost my father to cancer a few months after returning to this ‘strange’ country and Gran provided an amazing safe haven, an incredible secret world for me to climb into most week-ends if I so wanted.

I don’t think I started to visit regularly all by myself until I was about 12. I would set out straight after school had finished at 3.20pm and wait on lode lane for the no.57 or no.69 bus. I then had about about a ten minute walk to Gran's house from the bus stop, which I mostly ran because I just couldn’t wait to get there. Past 'Geoff' the butcher, the greengrocers and Panay’s(my school girl crush)mum’s flower shop. I’d reach the top of Wolverley Rd, rucksack banging up and down against my back and finally see no.21 and climb the four steps to reach her doorbell. Ringing it once, then twice and within seconds Gran’s head would appear out of the window at the side of the house, she’d look down at me with her lovely smile and say ‘hello darling, it’s marvellous to see you!’. On good day’s she would then walk down the flight of stairs to let me into the flat. As she got older she would open the window as before but would then throw down a set of keys for me to open the door myself and later, I would have my own key and let myself in at my leisure.

I admired every touch of detail in Grandma Peppermint’s home, from the smell of seasonal flowers as you walked up the stairs to the flat(I particularly remember the scent of sweet peas which she received freshly cut from Uncle Horace’s garden)to her antique hair brush and comb lined up on her dressing room table in her bedroom. I revelled in watching her dress for the day in the morning, watching as she applied her face powder, then her ‘rouge’ and finally her pink ‘Yardley’s’ lipstick that also smelt of roses(or what I called ‘my granny smell’). She had wonderful flesh coloured slips, petticoats, pantygirdles and corselettes to suit every climate and occasion and old fashioned, expensive leather shoes in a range of colours that she would buy from time to time from the same shop that would involve a lengthy trip to Knowle.

After she had got dressed, she would ask me to run downstairs and get the milk in that the milkman had left. I would bring it back up and she would reach for one of her pretty floral china cups(not a mug because ‘mugs are rather vulgar’)and I would watch as her wide thumb would press down on the silver foil top on the milk. She would then pour the cream from the top of the milk into her china cup and that would be used to make her first and only cup of coffee of the day. She had a special milk saucepan into which she would pour a quarter of the milk from the bottle into, she would warm this not quite letting it come to the boil and then this warmed milk would be added to the cream and a spoonful of instant coffee already in the cup. This would make Granny’s perfect cup of coffee. By the time I would take this through to her in the sitting room(it became my ritual to carry out this job for her)where she would be sat expectantly in her armchair, the perfect skin would have formed on the top of the cup. Gran loved nothing more than to take a sip and then somehow elegantly lap up that skin, the brown skin of the coffee cream against the Yardley pink of her lips… oh it takes me right back there!

Tuesday 24th August 2010

Summer Survival

I am surviving the summer holidays… just. Our home used to be a place of calm, no raised voices just the quiet echoes of a roleplaying child(my older boy)at times the distorted noises of toys running out of batteries or the nostalgic hustle and hums of ‘Captain Pugwash’or ‘Button Moon’playing on the dvd. puzzles and card games of ‘pairs’, long games of ‘pirates’ using Playmobil pirate characters - a keepsake from the older boy’s first birthday cake, a masterpiece by my dear friend and our very own 'domestic goddess' LG. Second son at these times would just fit into whatever the routine was of that particular day or week and even when he got past 12months and proved daily that he wasn’t the type to sit still and quietly and contemplatively look at books for hours like his big brother, well then there were outdoor clothes and wellies and hours of fun in the garden ... actually I won’t pretend, my children are rarely in full clothing, especially in the garden…

Alas, then came the introduction of ‘The console’ which I have previously mentioned plus the increase in male hormones distributed unevenly across my family. These two elements are having a dramatic and negative impact on my life which is why I am now(in the last full week of the summer holidays)merely surviving the holidays and no longer enjoying them. The moment that hubby breaks up from school for any holiday, the dynamic in our house shifts. My children like most, like routine and when their routine changes there is always a little kick-back. I say this of my children however, it is even more true of myself!

Whilst hubby relishes staying in bed whilst the children clammer and climb all over us, I am not terribly keen. Hubby enjoys a prolonged breakfast during the holidays and holiday breakfasts are normally continental(at these long breakfast sittings I'm the person cast aside along with the box of weetabix that I am holding)whilst all boys together eat and watch and enjoy chaos as one. Then comes the general 'pottering' around the house with me sitting on my hands desperately trying to relax .... and then finally I may convince one child that it is time to get dressed only to have the other child distracted by hubby, who then chooses this moment to introduce said child to his vinyl collection. Volume up and intricacies shared of where and when the particular vinyl was purchased and the significance it holds plus hubby then wanting to share nostalgic moments with me, at this point all I can say is 'Can you turn the music down please?'. To my horror, I suddenly realize(sorry mum)that I have morphed into my mother!!! But seriously, all I want to do is get out of the house and get on with the day whilst there's still some day light!

Husband and I have quite a 1950’s set up at present(my eldest sister keeps insisting that I stop calling it my ‘1950’s set up’)in that I am the stay at home mum and he is our hunter-gatherer who provides for the family. I therefore consider our home, my working domain and my office. Of course it is a place that is to be shared but it is also a place that I manage. Hubby and I are not one of those great modern couples(if indeed they do exist)that equally share domestic chores – No! I think my hubby knows where our washing machine is but he certainly has no idea where to put the detergent or how to operate it and as far as vacuuming, well he has vacuumed our car twice and we’ve had it a year! Actually, I at least have some hope in the vacuuming department because hubby recently purchased a ‘Henry’ and is very impressed with ‘Henry’s’ suction power and all round capability. My point though really is that on a normal day-to-day basis hubby and I have clearly defined roles and this works nicely for us but our roles and the boundaries of these roles become a little more unclear come holiday time.

I chose to give up my job in arts education to take on this new challenging role of mother 5 years ago and generally it has been sheer joy. My responsibilities and duties are like no other and they range hugely and shift daily, they include getting the children dressed(clothes selected and laid out the night before)and breakfasted. Walking first born son to school, ensuring all school admin is up to date ie dinner money is paid, consent forms for various trips etc signed, fancy dress costume or other dress code bought or at least washed and ready for action, school newsletter read with dates for parents evening and childrens performances noted (and dates stuck on fridge in large writing)meals prepared and presented that I know all my boys will enjoy, one that will nourish their bodies whilst giving them that cosy knowledge that the meal was made with love, parks walked and boots muddied along the way, playgroups visited(ok this is chat and biscuit time for me!)soft play places explored(it's never attractive to have one's derriere in the air, dragging oneself all over dirty floors, attempting to climb while holding onto dignity and very wriggly child!)house work, cleaning, tidying, cleaning tidying, cleaningtidying cleaningtidying ...

... I bored myself! You get the picture ....

One of my duties that I do actually relish comes under the category 'food and cooking'. They are a big thing in our house as we all love it so and also because we all believe it is important for body and mind to ingest the right things, even 5 year old first born son has a mantra of ‘I eat it and I like it and it’s good for my body’. When you have two young children, making a good meal in 30 minutes or under is imperative and at times gruelling. Hubby appreciates this and normally he walks through the door back from work as I am finishing cooking listening to the soundtrack of tears or laughter of our boys who interesting always fall apart at the moment ‘Daddeeee’ walks through the door. Anyway, all is takes is to hear hubby say 'babe what have you done, this is AMAZING!' and I smile a girlie smile and feel happy to have obliged! I then finish up in the kitchen while he spends precious time with the boys ... but hang on, it's not a work day it's the holidays ... so how come I'm STILL stuck in this kitchen!!!!!!!

Sometimes I just need to be alone, absolutely and completely alone ... this can be very hard to achieve when you are looking after small children. Hubby(thankfully!)recognizes my need, my despair and takes the boys out in the car alone(this is a miracle as he clings to my leg as much as my other boys)to give me an hour to myself. I open the patio doors to let the garden and the fresh air in, I sit on a step barefoot moving a little bit of grit back and forth under my toes, I hold a cold glass of pinot in one hand and Alain -Fournier's 'Le Grand Meaulnes' in the other .... and I listen and I wait .... and all I hear, is my own breath .... and so I take another minute and I breathe ...... and after that hour alone I feel like I am whole again! And then, when the door bell rings and I hear all three boys whispering at the door, I am suprised by the butterflies in my tummy and I realize that I have had TIME to miss them.

Wednesday 25th August 2010

Love is …. My first born son!

Love is …. sitting in the family’s favourite local café with my eldest son. Watching him reading out his lunch request from the menu and then ordering(when did he become so independent?). Minutes after our very civilised and grown up conversation about consoles and Lego Star Wars, he gets up from his seat, selects one of the café’s in-house annuals and comes and sits himself on my lap. We cuddle whilst waiting for our food and I thoroughly enjoy burying my nose into his beautiful curly hair, whilst reading a Spiderman annual aloud, our heads side by side.

Love is … precious time alone with my first born son!

Friday 27th August 2010

Bonus time with my boy!

It is nearly the end of the summer holidays and there is still time to watch Shrek 4 so first born son and I again head out for some quality time alone. This is important for me because once another child comes along, it is difficult to make one-to-one time with each child particularly once they have started at school because most of their time is spent there. Being alone together the other day was so precious that we decide to repeat the experience. We walk to the bus stop chatting along the way and looking out for mini-coopers(we're playing the spot the mini game).

The mini-game is a favourite past time at the moment thanks to my momentary madness of allowing the boys to watch 'The Italian Job'(the original Michael Cane version of course!). It all seemed a great idea and they we're thrilled with me for presenting them with something so cool but then in walked daddy, who had been out of the house and first born son delivered the classic line 'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!' to which I responded 'sometimes I wanna show them cool stuff too' as hubby smiled a 'you've told me off for this stuff' kind of a smile.

Anyway back to being with my boy .... once on the bus again I earn brownie points as I say that we CAN go and sit upstairs(luckily no fights or ganja being smoked on the No 50 today)and we pretend to be on a trip around the world the whole journey there with first born son telling me that he likes the panda bears in New Zealand the most-est(he's so cute!). We arrive in Birmingham city centre and I ask the boy what the plan is, to which he replies 'first cinema, then lunch, then I want to take you to the Ikon gallery to see the exhibition daddy showed me, then hot chocolate and cake, then home to daddy and Elliott'.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Saturday 9th October 2010

Passion & Purpose

Today I attended my first Women's Conference(organized by Riverside Church, the local church that I attend)and despite my initial uncertainty I have come away feeling inspired, refreshed and with a renewed sense of my identity, both spiritually and emotionally. I felt truely blessed to be in the company of so many women with rich and diverse life stories, with similar insecurities, worries, burdens and joys, but united in both our individualities and our differences.

We were exploring what things give our life purpose and those things that make life exciting and meaningful to us individually, the things that stir passion and drive within us. It was incredible to hear the guest speakers individual journeys unfold and to be honest it was a delight to not be on 'mama duty' for just one day. There was a collective sigh of relief breathed by many mama's today!

There was time built into the day to be reflective, to pray and be prayed for, to remember who you are, your strengths and weakness's, what you have to offer. It was a great starting point for me as I begin to ponder what's in store for my future. I always forget to start where it really matters and start with prayer .... it always does the trick!


  1. Wow! One huge, great blog! Not quite made it through yet - don't think Freya will let me right now. There's nothing wrong with being interested in folk - at least Facebook/blogs is what they've written about themselves. Stalking is something entirely different. Watch out for me in Asda!

  2. Ha ha or perhaps it is you that should watch out for me!!!

  3. I've just re-read this post Katy, and memories flooded back of when we met, of feeling a shared connection when meeting a kindred spirit! Let's have some wine and wasabi peas soon please!! xxx