My weeks … the ones with happy family times.

Sometimes your planned week can change and offers you the most wonderful opportunity. The first week of this fortnight offered such a lovely surprise. On Saturday, I was planning on running and volunteering on a parkrun, doing a bit of housework, pottering and perhaps starting a little holiday packing. However I got a text on Friday afternoon to ask if my parents and uncle could pop down and spend the afternoon with us. What made this so special is my uncle lives abroad and was only in the UK for a short visit. I hadn’t seen him in more than 15 years and I was so excited to see him. When I was a little girl he lived with our family in London for a time and when we moved to Reading he was a frequent Sunday visitor for a roast dinner and catch up. My uncle was always so kind and fun and I only have lovely memories of him, following our meet up, he remains very much the same Uncle of my childhood.

Saturday was one of those perfect days you cherish and made me smile all week. I did manage my parkrun and got my 25 volunteering award and then ran down to town to collect the fresh ingredients for lunch. I kept it simple with the most delicious olive bread from our local indie bakery, a Greek salad, hummus and dips, local cheese and cold meats and fresh summer fruits. After weeks of rain, the weather was perfect and we ate outside. Not only did we have my parents and uncle, my daughter’s boyfriend also came and neighbours chatted over the wall. Following our relaxed lunch we walked along the beach and then stopped at the artisan ice cream shop, if you’re going to do the seaside you need to do it in style. The day was just so lovely to spend time with my family and catch up, it felt there was no time between our last meeting.

On the same day, our boys were away all day as they had tickets for the final home game of the football season against Man Utd, it was sad they missed the day but perhaps it gave us more opportunity to reminisce and chat. The boys had a brilliant day too and I’ve made a photo book of all the photos my son had taken with his team as they posed for photos and signed autographs as they went in.

Apart from work, my weeks were very much getting ready for our half term holiday to the Isle of Wight. A holiday means a holiday hair colour and cut, fancy nails , holiday playlist etc.. I also am a keen organiser and had many holiday lists so that we were all ready for our car packing deadline of Friday evening. We have a new car since our last holiday with a smaller boot but by replacing our suitcases with fabric holdalls, I think we can actually take more things in a smaller space!

We travelled over to the Isle of Wight on Saturday morning. It’s quite exciting going on the little ferry and then travelled across the island to our caravan park in Shanklin. The caravan is lovely and the campsite beautiful. So far we’ve only been here for just over 24 hours but have enjoyed an outdoor swim, a walk to the beach and had a lunch of fish and chips (and veggie options) on the seafront. We also have reservations for local attractions too during the week, which I’ll report back on next week. The weather is gorgeous and best of all predicted to remain so all week.

These last two weeks have just shown it’s family and community which can make you feel so good, the connection helps you be the best you. Life is always about appreciating and embracing the simple things in life.


My week … the one with sunny walks

I have really enjoyed the consecutive bank holiday weekends and the temporary return to a four day working week. This weekend has definitely felt short in comparison as you try to squeeze everything in, especially as its been a beautiful sunny weekend, a real contrast to the preceding two wet weekends.

Monday was a very wet and miserable day, but it suited our plans I drove our daughter to her boyfriend’s and then took our son to the cinema to see Guardians of the Galaxy 3. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the film, it was very watchable, with a great soundtrack and some very pertinent plotlines, animal testing, family etc.. It was also nice to spend some mum and son time together and of course there were cinema snacks too.

The working week was good and productive, so evenings were spent relaxing. We finished the Diplomat on Netflix and are now awaiting the next season to find out what really happened at the end. I’m not a tv person, I enjoy watching a few things but have been very happy reading and finishing my book, ‘Its not me, its you’ by Mhairi McFarlane. Chick lit is wrongly maligned as a genre, but I need light and witty and I love McFarlane’s work. We also watched the latest Ted Lasso and again this series is simply genius. Hannah Waddingham, Rebecca in Ted Lasso has been co presenting Eurovision this week and has been absolute class. I haven’t watched a lot of Eurovision but caught a little of the end of the two semi finals which were more enjoyable than expected.

We tried to pack lots into a sunny weekend, the weather has been so grey and wet this year, that a sunny day demands an outdoor adventure! On Saturday, I did some pre run volunteering and then parkran, before a quick shower and change to do a walk between two local villages, stopping halfway for lunch, fresh pasties at a local bakers. The route took us through a forest carpeted in bluebells, through a farm and fields and meadows, before arriving at the very picturesque village. I was amused by the village’s leftover Coronation decorations, there appears to have been a scarecrow competition and we came across a bedraggled Prince Harry complete with bottle of champagne.

Today we decided to make full use of the £2 bus fare and went over to the neighbouring seaside town again. However today, we got off the bus early and walked along the prom for a few miles into the town centre, it was a beautiful morning and a sunny beach is the perfect Sunday morning vista.

Next week’s plans are preparing for the upcoming holiday with nail and hair appointments , before packing the week after as we leave straightaway when we break up. I like this anticipation and planning, holidays are our special times together.

My week .. the one with a Coronation

May is proving to be a lovely month for bank holidays, two consecutive three day weekends. After our busy Saturday and Sunday last week, Monday was simply a lazy, pottering day at home, I sorted out a few cupboards, put away the winter scarves and hats to be replaced by sun hats and caps and did some fadmin (family admin) a lovely little day.

There was a bit of a family drama this week, but that has now been resolved in sort. I would love a quieter life but with two teenagers in the house, this may have to wait for a few more years. We did have our daughter’s parents evening this week, school is difficult for her, its just not the right environment and she struggles with her behaviour. However, the consultation wasn’t as bad as we were expecting and there is that hope that if she can settle down in Year 11 and focus she may get the grades needed for the college course she is interested in. As a teacher, I have had students who didn’t thrive in school and am confident that my daughter’s character, intelligence and wit will serve her well in adult life. At the parents evening we had lots of resources shared with us to help independent study, one of which was Duolingo. I couldn’t resist and have signed up. At present its French ( I have a honours degree in the language , so perhaps not the most taxing for me) and I may try a new language too.

This week has been all about the preparation for the Coronation. There are Union Jacks hanging from every lamp post in our town and neighbouring villages. The King Charles post box topper is near my daughter’s school and the crown (which is huge, as tall as me) is at our local station. I haven’t put up any bunting, as there are parts of the coronation I feel uncomfortable with, most notably, the cost, upwards of £100 million in a cost of living crisis. I feel there is more indifference to this celebration and a lot of people are considering if this is the beginning of the end of the monarchy. However, as a teacher, we have looked at the history, made crowns, learnt how to sing and sign the national anthem, dressed in red, white and blue, picnicked and thanks to excellent reports on Newsround have considered the monarchy’s role in modern British society. Tellingly one of my students asked why the money for the Coronation could not be spent on the nhs, our young are wise beyond their years.

Our Saturday parkrun had a Coronation theme, so I borrowed some of the crowns we made at school, draped my leopard print Union Jack scarf around me and did my pre run volunteer stint. The weather was awful, very, very wet so all the accessories were taken off so I could concentrate on battling the wind, rain and very muddy conditions on the run. However, post run, I ate one of the best ever fruit cakes I have tasted, with the perfect amount of marzipan and icing printed with the coronation symbol. We also stopped for a second breakfast in the parkrun café so despite being the wettest ever parkrun, it was one of the most memorable too. By the time we got home the Coronation was in full swing so I had it on tv, whilst we showered and warmed up. I was wowed by Penny Mordaunt’s outfit (that dress, the cloak, the head piece) and role in the ceremony, standing perfectly with a heavy sword for hours was mighty impressive. Tbh, it was the fashion which caught my attention rather than the solemnity of the ceremony.

As the children have plans for tomorrow, today, Sunday was our dedicated family day of the weekend. Thanks to the national £2 price cap on bus fares, we took the open top bus across the ferry to our big seaside town, where we had a ‘Spoons’ breakfast and had a lovely meander along the beach, played on the slot machines on the pier, walked through the gardens and returned back home. There was a really nice atmosphere at the seaside, I think everyone was enjoying the sunshine as again the forecast is awful tomorrow.

My week … looking for colour

If I were to describe April 2023 in one word it would be grey. There has been the odd day of sunshine but it has been unseasonably cool and cloudy and one has had to seek out the colour and warmth.

If you’re searching for warm and humanity this month, the place to find it is in Ted Lasso, each episode of the new series is wonderful. In this week’s episodes the themes of immigration and racism were at the heart of the storyline yet it still felt so uplifting and positive, its a comedy where you can go from one emotion to another in seconds. I listened to an interview with Jason Sudeikis, the lead character and producer, this week and it made me love the series that little bit more, what a brilliant cast and production team. Mr S and I have also been watching the series, Funny Woman, starring Gemma Arterton, its a lovely pastiche of 1960s London but also addresses the changing values of the time, well worth a watch.

This week it was time for my decennial task, renewing my passport. I changed it to my new name when I got married which was also the week of my 30th birthday so its an easy date to remember for the renewal. I chose to take and upload my own digital photograph, the online renewal is a great feature but I did need a few takes until the photo passed the quality test. I think I will feel rather sad when I get my new passport, it will be the new blue cover as a result of Brexit and I presume that the wording will have changed to His Majesty, sometimes its the little things which are reminders of the changing times.

Recently I have been listening to a few fashion podcasts with the focus on sustainable fashion. In February I ordered a skirt from Unfolded, an ethical company which makes clothes to order and it arrived this week. I am very happy with the skirt, the size, colour and pattern are perfect and I can’t wait to do a little twirl in it. I also wore a pair of wedge espadrilles today which I had picked up brand new in a charity shop a few weeks ago, I do like a mooch around a charity shop, a lot of times there is nothing suitable but sometimes there is a little gem which makes the browsing worthwhile.

Although its a bank holiday weekend, we didn’t really have any big plans, the boys had tickets for the football today and I wanted to do parkrun yesterday. However I did want to something special to mark the longer weekend. Usually this might have been a bit of parkrun tourism but as my top two tourist parkruns are in very busy holiday towns, I decided to give this idea a miss and ran and volunteered at our home parkrun. Instead, I chose to visit some gardens which has been on my to do list for years. These gardens came highly recommended but I had never found the time to visit, a Sunday at the end of April did seem like the perfect opportunity to see the colourful blossom and looms. The gardens were magnificent, I feel like I have discovered my little sanctuary and actually feel quite emotional about the visit. There were the formal Italian and Japanese gardens and then the more relaxed, rock and water, woodland and heather gardens, all were special in their own way. My daughter came with me and despite her indifference at the visit, she was enthralled and took some incredible photos, I really can’t wait to go back and revisit in a different season.

As we left the gardens, I stopped to let a car out of a side road and glanced at the post box to my side as the car drove off. To my excitement (and my daughter’s bemusement) the post box featured the really rare Edward 8th insignia, of which there were only 161 made, and the only one that has been missing from my #postboxbingo. #postboxbingo dates from the first lockdown and was a feature on my favourite podcast With Me Now. It helped give our walks a focus and fun in some strange and worrying times and I was so happy to finally complete it three years after the challenge began. I didn’t want to simply look up an address and go the the post box but find it spontaneously, I like that a doing a nice thing led to its discovery.

My week .. the one with the start of the Summer term.

As a teacher my life is pretty much planned around the school year and this week my favourite term of the school year began, with lots of outdoor adventures to be had. However, it doesn’t feel very summery yet, as the warmer, sunnier weather is very slow to arrive this year. Its been a pretty drizzly and grey week, at least my new water bottle has at least given me a spark of joy and a hint of summer.

Due to building works at my son’s school, he had an extra week’s holiday this week and Mr S and he took advantage of this and went to stay for a few days in Bristol with Grandad. Consequently it felt quite an odd week, no one really in a proper routine yet. I think it may feel like this for the coming weeks, my daughter has two days off next week and then we have the two consecutive bank holiday weekends. Its been ages since both of my children did the same full week at school due to Inset, building works and teacher strike days. I am thankful that Mr S is at home as I think the juggling of work and childcare would have been pretty impossible over the past few months.

With the boys away, the back to work week for the girls was quiet. In the evenings, my daughter and I have been watching the Marvellous Mrs Maisel, its the final series but the use of forward flashes allows us to know her full history. The costumes, witty dialogue and New York setting are all as perfect as in previous series. The wonderful Ted Lasso also continues its weekly drop, this week’s Amsterdam episode was excellent on so many different levels. I will feel bereft when these two series end.

There was a fitness theme to our weekend, which also featured the London marathon, such an inspirational watch every year. We started Saturday morning with a parkrun, the children and I volunteered on car park duties and then they cheered me on whilst I ran, as they couldn’t be persuaded to join me. Later in the day my daughter and I popped up to a parkrun social event, its always fun to see people out of the parkrun environment, mainly its the clothes, no running gear in sight! On Sunday the boys went off to football, so it was a girls trip to the gym, with the treat of a jacuzzi and sauna after the hard work.

Sunday also saw the test national emergency alert at 3pm, however it appears to have gone off early at 2.59pm and not all the phone networks were able to broadcast it. I’m not surprised about the mess, it kind of sums up the UK at present, more fine tuning required!

Its a quiet week again coming up but the excitement of a bank holiday weekend. When I worked in my former school, a residential setting, we always had to work on this coming bank holiday so I am delighted to finally enjoy it for the first time in 19 years! We have no firm plans soon, I would be very happy to just be pottering around at home.

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My week .. the one with the snow blossom

My photo this week is a simple example of how one can ‘gram’ your life. The blue skies belie the awful weather we endured most of the week, and the snow blossom in the title refers to the blossom furiously shaken from the trees by Storm Noa. We were very fortunate that the two days we had outdoor plans this week, Thursday and today, Saturday were beautiful sunny days.

In reading back last week’s post, I noticed that I hadn’t added photos of my table decorations and the bumper selection of Easter chocolate I had gathered for the Easter hunt, so I have added these as really who wants to see grey skies and pictures of sitting at a desk and doing admin?

The week started with a wet and dreary bank holiday Monday. I sorted some holiday insurance and then inspired by Mr S’ suggestion to move my bureau into our light and warm dining room, I rearranged the furniture in our lounge and dining room. Its a bit of a misnomer calling our dining room a dining room, as we no longer have a dining table in the room and it is more of a day room in which Mr S and I now have desks, a sofa and a television. It has a glass door onto our little courtyard and double aspect windows so is a lovely bright and warm room, rather like a snug. I am really pleased by the transformation and its made me more productive in the evening as I’ve sat at my desk and planned and organised rather than being on the sofa. Monday felt like a very productive use of a very wet day.

On Tuesday, Mr S took the children to Exeter to visit his sister and drop off our son who was going to stay for a couple of nights. This was arranged quite late and with two pre-booked appointments, I stayed at home. I can’t explain the joy of having a day to myself. I am always surrounded by people; at work, at home and even on my commute, I am accompanied by my daughter. I am so rarely alone that the simple pleasure of being on my own is blissful. I had a few hours to potter around, wash my car, take a few things to the dump (I know what a way to spend a day!) and then had a good old natter with my hairdresser and an appointment with my osteopath. I popped into town and had the good fortune to bump into two old friends and there were lengthy catch ups with both.

Wednesday was another wet and miserable day, so again it was a home day and in the afternoon, I drove our daughter’s boyfriend back home to the neighbouring town and my daughter and I popped into town for some bits and bobs, tshirts, underwear etc.. not an exciting shopping trip but essential.

Thursday was a real highlight with a return trip to Abbotsbury Sub tropical gardens. We were last here in October and had wanted to return to see the blossom in the spring. Its a convenient mid point for us and our sister in law to meet up and we had a lovely day out with both families. The weather was gorgeous and the blue skies so welcome. There were so many beautiful colours with all the blossom, an uplifting sight. I was so pleased to see my son too, it may have only been two days, but I missed him lots. He’s away with Mr S again next week as he has an extra week of holidays and they’re off on a boys trip to see Grandad. In the meantime I’m trying to make the most of our time together and I sense a mum and son day is needed soon.

Friday was again really wet, miserable and cold. In the morning, my son and I walked to the market, but there was little pleasure in such a wet and windy walk, many of the market traders hadn’t set up stalls due to the weather. In the afternoon, I had a meeting with two of my local councillors about my complaint on our son’s EHCP, they were really helpful and I do hope that the matter will get resolved. I finished the afternoon with a café trip with my friend for a much needed and overdue catch up.

This morning, I was so surprised to see my son up and dressed in his tracksuit and asking to come to parkrun. We’ve been trying to persuade him to come along for all the years in which his sister and I have been doing parkrun, and prior to today he has only done one parkrun in which he walked with Mr S. I don’t know what the motivation was today, possibly blue skies for the first time in ages, but I was delighted to have him come along and run. The two children went off and ran together, sharing ear buds and listening to their playlist of drum and base, whilst I pootled behind with my playlist of 70s and 80s tunes. I would love him to become a regular parkrunner and I hope today has inspired him. The rest of the day has been our usual potter down town and watching the footie results with another crucial win for the boys’ team. This evening I continued with my new weekly recipes and made a pea and asparagus tart which was delicious with a real spring flavour.

Its back to school next week for my daughter and I, although it will feel a little different with my son and husband being away for a few days. I’ve no real plans for the upcoming week, I would like to pop to the gym to try and do some of the cross training recommended by the osteopath, but its more about quietly easing into the new term. The summer term is my favourite of the year, especially this year with a bonus bank holiday.

My week … the Easter edition

After our little break in Portsmouth, this week has been home based with just the one day out. Since I now have a daily commute, I’m keen to not drive so much during the holidays, especially as we live in a very popular tourist area and there is so much more traffic. Our one day out this week was to take our son to a football camp and as it was an hour’s drive from home, my husband, daughter and I went to the nearby forestry commission park where we cycled, had a picnic and pottered around. It was a bit of a murky day, the worst of the week but it was good to be grounded by nature.

As the weather has improved over the week, we have done lots of local walks. It has seemed that spring is here, the blossoms are adding colour to the trees and the fields have been full of calves and lambs. We did our local parkrun on Saturday and it was stunning, we also had the amusement of running through the children’s Easter egg hunt.

I didn’t feel quite myself this week, its been a busy old time and I think I was simply exhausted by the last few months. I have taken great pleasure in simply pottering around at home over the past few days, having my nails done (I’m calling my multi coloured pastel nails the mini eggs look) an excellent eye brow wax by a new beautician at the salon ( I am definitely booking for her again) and numerous visits to coffee shops with friends and the children. I have also been preparing for Easter with my decorations around the house, collecting all the goodies for the Easter egg hunt and planning and making the Easter lunch. I take great pride in being a home maker and I like weeks like this. I’ve also got up to date with some family admin with some fantastic results, resolving several long standing issues and booking our holiday for the summer of 2024, a cruise around the Med! I am very excited by the holiday and it will be lovely to relax as a family after our daughter’s GCSEs that summer.

Next week is week two of the holidays, with more pottering and relaxing at home planned.

My week … the one with Ofsted

As a teacher, Ofsted is a part of our profession. I have worked in schools with all of the gradings and I strongly believe that a one word grading does not reflect the school. Ofsted is something that really hangs over schools, and stops genuine innovation in the Ofsted window as one needs time to implement and measure the impact of new projects. Having had Ofsted as a leader last March, this year I was part of it as a member of the teaching team in my new school. It was two very different experiences, it actually felt much more friendly, positive and collaborative last year, with professional conversations and the sharing of expertise. This inspection felt that it was being ‘done’ to us by the men in suits. It is never a good look to sit in a classroom and tap away at your laptop rather than engaging with our students. We are now waiting for the report but everyone seems positive so I hope that means it will be another four years until the next visit. Ofsted is an unnecessary stress and the system needs to change.

With Ofsted my week took a very work orientated focus and affected my wellbeing, the stress, lack of sleep and proper meals takes a few days to recover from. We have been away this weekend, but I do feel I would have enjoyed it better if I hadn’t been so tired and drained from Ofsted. Ofsted also took away some of the fun Easter activities of the last week, however I am really pleased how my class’s Easter decorations turned out and I have a few for my Easter tree.

On Saturday, my daughter and I decided on a little parkrun tourism as we try to do all the parkruns in our county. We didn’t have much planned, so it gave the day some structure and also we wanted to visit a local museum which I’ve been trying to visit for years. In bad timing, the museum was closed when we arrived because of a leaking roof so despite my best efforts, I’ve still not managed a visit. The parkrun was very simple an out and back course on an old train route. I like these when you get to see the fast runners returning, there were some Ghurka soldiers participating and their speed was breath taking. As it was April Fool’s day too, they warned us not to disturb the rare white hedgehogs on the course and beautifully hidden away were two white hedgehog models. To add to the ambiance, the marshal at the half way point was dressed up as a jester. Whilst we were parkrunning, the boys went to the football and were delighted that their team got a vital three points in the relegation battle.

The children have had a busy start to the holidays, they both had an Inset day on Friday, so Mr S took them to the big pool with slides and rides for the afternoon, both were out for most of Saturday and then on Sunday we went to Portsmouth for a couple of days. Tomorrow, Tuesday has been delegated as a lazy day.

We did have a lovely time in Portsmouth, on Sunday we used our Tesco vouchers to have a day at the Historic Dockyard to see all the old ships and submarines. It is a great day out and there is so much to see and do. We were all particularly taken by the new features at the Mary Rose exhibition, it is so fascinating to learn about the ship and the new interactive elements are brilliant. Our hotel was opposite the attraction and in the evening we walked over to Gun Wharf quay for a delicious Vietnamese meal and a potter around the dockside in warm sunshine (its been a wet and cool week) Today we returned to the shops at Gun Wharf quay a designer outlet village. The children had some Easter money and were very excited to go shopping in the big Nike and Adidas shops. Personally, I was delighted to find my favourite but now discontinued foundation at half price in one of the beauty shops, I also had a very pleasant mooch around L’Occitane and bought a few of my favourite products.

I am very much looking forward to our lazy day tomorrow although I do have a nails and waxing appointment and I also want to get our Easter decorations up. Wednesday is a another busy day so I’m hoping to get some balance into our holiday so we feel refreshed and relaxed but creative and fulfilled.

My week … the one with a night out.

Another week, another blogpost and each word written at present is a positive for me. I am writing this post on Sunday afternoon and I’m definitely feeling the missing hour from the clocks springing forward. Fortunately it is the last week of term next week, and with Friday being an Inset day, it feels shorter too. However, from experience, you always think Inset is going to be a more relaxed and easier day than it actually is. I’m at the nice part of the term now where I am filling my diary with lots of nice little things for the next two holiday weeks, my holidays are such a bonus of my working life.

This week, I had a lovely coincidence at work, where I was supporting some of the members of my class at a dodgeball tournament in which my son and his school were also competing. I got to see him and cheer on both schools, in the crunch match of my school against his, I supported everyone! My son’s team did very well although ironically our school’s only win came against his school. The key game was of course, teachers v students and my school got paired up with my son’s school, so the perfect opportunity to strike everyone. I was very competitive and may have ached a few days after. Most importantly, it was lots of fun and coupled with a couple of other activities I did this week in class, it made me reflect on my poor wellbeing in my old school in comparison to the fun and laughter which I am helping to create now.

On Friday night, I went out for dinner with some old friends, we used to work together, although since we have all left, it is now a genuine friendship rather than a professional connection. This group has helped us all to reflect and slowly recover from our previous toxic work environment, and these days our chats are about our lives and families and full of positivity. As we all come from different directions, we met enroute home from work at 5.30 and eventually left when the pub closed, that’s a very good night out. Sadly there was no lie in on Saturday morning as the taxi service was required! We dropped off our daughter for a date with her boyfriend in the big town and we took our son for a game of crazy golf and lunch out as its too far away to return home. As the children get older, weekend days are busier and we are driving many more miles.

This week, we have finished the Netflix series, Outer Banks, season three, which I found to be better then the previous two, it was more about character development than chases and shootings. I was excited to read that Mrs Maisel is back on in mid April, I don’t watch much television but do enjoy a good series such as Mrs Maisel or Ted Lasso. I also manged to read Carrie Soto is back, another excellent read from Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have seen that Daisy and the Six is a new series on Amazon, however I’m not sure how you could improve the book and think it may be best to keep the characters of my imagination rather than identify them through actors.

Its been a pretty grey and wet week and last Sunday afternoon, I took the time to do some financial admin, checking my pension, looking at accounts etc.. It has given me clarity on my retirement, I hope to retire at 60 and take some adventures with Mr S whilst we are still fit and able. Its still 10 years away but I’m at the age where I needed clarity and purpose. I’m also pretty chuffed at myself this week, for sorting out lots of little admin jobs, cancelling subscriptions, sorting a MOT etc.. I do like the feeling of being organised and efficient.

This week is busy with Easter at work, we’re creating some gorgeous craft items for a fayre and I’m sure there will be lots of chocolate. I also have another Meet the Author online event, this week its Libby Page, I was gifted her book ‘The Lido’ and have followed her since. Its a free event through my library membership and I’m excited to hear about her new book which is set in a vintage shop. I’m hoping for some spring sunshine to set the mood for starting our Easter holiday, which is beginning for us with a few days away in Portsmouth.

My week … the one with a reset

Sometimes life is about taking baby steps, and this week we have taken one day at a time. The teachers’ strike took some off the pressure off our daughter’s schooling, which is the catalyst for so much stress at present and today we have visited a local college as a potential placement for when she finishes Year 11. To see her get excited about a vocational course was a relief and perhaps will help her to focus on getting the grades she needs.

It has been a good week, Mr S’ sister and husband spent the day with us last Sunday and it was nice to relax and chat. As their children are now young adults, its good to get their perspective and experience. Little Man is going to stay with them for a couple of days in the Easter holiday which is a big achievement for him and I think at present, excitement is more prevalent than uncertainty. They are a lovely aunt and uncle and he will be spoilt rotten by them. We had parents evening for our son this week, he is doing so well in his special school and is working on some entry level qualifications, we couldn’t be prouder of him.

This week has seen my slow return to my running. Over the past few months, my knee injury has paused my running and family life has also led me to needing to be at home a lot. This week, I have managed three runs, one early morning and two evening runs, this really feels like progress and a few more weeks like this and I will feel like a runner again. Running is my stress relief and I’ve not been myself without it.

I’ve also been getting back into the routine of my podcasts. I really enjoy Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast and this week took her 5 senses quiz, to discover my neglected sense. It didn’t surprise me that it was touch, I’m not really a touchy feely person but it did make me consider the impact of the pandemic. The initial advice to avoid touching, the bubbles, social distancing etc.. means that it is a sense even more neglected in recent years.

One of my #23for23, is to cook a new recipe weekly and it is one I have completed every week so far. Today, Little Miss joined in making a Leek and Asparagus Savoury Galette. I thought a galette was a savoury pancake but this had a more flan like pastry. The course our daughter is interested in is Catering and Hospitality, so I’ve suggested doing a portfolio of recipes between now and her application so that the college can see her interest and skills. I feel there is something grounding and nurturing about preparing meals and I hope this is another strategy which may support her.

I did something very rare for me this week and stopped reading a book I was not enjoying. I realised I wasn’t reading which is another key activity for me and it was because I felt obliged to finish the book. Needless to say, I’ve read loads of my new book in just a few days, I need light reading at present and will save the heavier books for another time. I was also delighted to see the return of Ted Lasso this week, one episode a week, so it really gives the viewer the chance to savour each one rather than a binge watch. I love it and it is one of my favourite comedy series of recent years. I am going to enjoy each one and not dwell that it is the final series.

Next week I have a night out with friends, a much needed catch up for us all and hopefully more baby steps on the way to a more settled family life.