Mother’s Day 2019

I think I’ve written before that Mother’s Day is a strange day of mixed emotions in our house. Mr S’ mum died when he was young so its a day he hasn’t celebrated for many, many years. For me it’s one of those days when I think of our little boy who died in my pregnancy and I also pause to think of the children’s birth mother. However it’s also a day which I wish to enjoy surrounded by my little family.

Today was a busy day, Mr S was working until 2pm and I had promised the children a trip to Laserquest. Normally, Lazerquest is really busy on the Sunday’s children club but the combination of the clocks springing forward and Mother’s Day meant there were only 6 children there instead of the usual 30, so the children had a brilliant time and got more games than normal. We had a picnic in the town gardens and then it was time to come home and do the Sunday jobs. There will always be Sunday ironing to be done and dinner and packed lunches to be made, even on Mother’s Day.

As we had an early start, I didn’t get my cards or presents until we got home. It took a fair while for the children to remember it was Mother’s Day this morning, the lost hour was definitely affecting us all. I’m afraid I have to specify if there’s anything I would really like, as present buying is not one of Mr S’ strengths. I had hoped to get Michelle Obama’s autobiography for Christmas so I decided to make it an explicit wish this Mother’s Day writing a note for Little Miss to help Mr S. I was delighted to receive it and can’t wait to read it, she’s a mum I can aspire to. I also got a beautiful flower arrangement. Yesterday afternoon Little Miss went to our neighbour who had bought all the flowers and materials and taught my daughter how to make it for me, such a wonderful and kind gesture. I loved my handmade weaved card from Little Man and the verse inside Little Miss’ made me laugh!

I know how difficult today can be for many and I thought I would just end with this beautiful quote on social media today.

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Little Loves ~ March 2019

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On paper, March should be quiet, we have no family birthdays or special events it’s an ordinary month.  However, this month seems to have been full of little activities that made for a busy time, many school based, Science week, World Book day, Red Nose Day all requiring a little something to be done.

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After a quiet start to the year, I’m in the groove with my reading again, having read four books this month. My favourites were This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Phillips and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  Busy’s book is such a strong read, it’s so much more than a Hollywood memoir, it’s about teenage life, trying to get a job and being a mum and wife.  It’s not glossy and gossipy but honest, real and at times quite horrifying  but a fantastic read.  I’ve also started to read some YA novels as Little Miss begins to read them.  I thought Eleanor and Park was a really suitable read, great characters and a solid ending.  It’s wrong to label it a teen romance, it covers domestic abuse, racism and self worth but in an age appropriate way.

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Its been a quiet month for television, I love Derry Girls and have also started to watch Gilmore Girls after reading so many fabulous reviews, obviously I am many years behind on this series!  I went to the cinema to see The Lego Movie 2 with Little Man, I quite liked it and did prefer it to the original.  A big treat of Red Nose Day was the 25 year reunion of the film, Four weddings and a funeral.  I loved this film when it came out and think I ended up seeing it 3 times at the cinema with different people.  The mini movie was great and brought it all up to date.

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It’s not quite been Spring yet and we’ve been caught in that funny inbetween time where layers  are key.  I bought this new tunic from White Stuff this month which fits the bill perfectly.  I like a strong print and its been easy to wear.

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This year for World Book day, the children did not dress up as their favourite characters but were asked to make a favourite book character from a potato!  This was actually quite a fun, creative activity and I was pleased with our results, Where’s Wally and The Boy in the Dress.  There was a display at the primary school of all the potatoes and there were some very impressive models.

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I’ve  also made an Eco-brick this month by filling a bottle with single use plastic that can’t be recycled.  It’s a great project that we’re developing at school which I’ve brought home too.  The density of plastic is high, it’s 220g for a 500ml bottle but it’s great way to be more eco friendly.  We’re planning on building some players with our finished bricks.

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One of my #19for2019 was to create themed playlists for special occasions.  This month was St Patrick’s day so with some Celtic heritage I made a playlist of some of my favourite Irish musicians.  It surprised me how much of my music taste from the 90s was Celtic inspired, in addition to the Irish songs, I loved Scottish bands such as Deacon Blue and Hue and Cry.  I’ve enjoyed making and listening to this list.

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Whilst busy there were some real highlights in March, a lunch out with my parents, Mother’s Day and some nice, simple family times, including a bit of a train spotting of the Flying Scotsman and a fun workshop at our local library.

I’m now looking forward to April, an 18 day school holiday, Easter, a family get together for my Father in Law’s birthday and much more.

#nourish

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This is my monthly post on the little ways I have nourished my mind, body and soul over the past month.  My nourish day was a day of simple pleasures this month, just a hairdressers appointment and a visit to a new café with a friend, activities which made me content and relaxed.  This month Spring has been blossoming and many of my nourish moments embrace the new season.

  1.  Light mornings for early morning running. My running in the winter is limited and fairly relaxed but now with the lighter mornings, I’m back to three mornings a week and a training plan.
  2.  Lighter afternoons.  Tonight the children played in the garden until 6.30pm, I love a lazy after school spent in the garden and it keeps my house tidier too 🙂
  3. Lunch out with my parents.  My parents came down to visit on a school day, so I got to have lunch with them, its rare for only the three of us to go out together.  It was a delicious meal and lovely to have the opportunity to just spend time with my parents.
  4. Spring vegetables.  I like to eat seasonally and after the casseroles and soups of winter its been a time to start to enjoy lighter meals and salads, full of bright colours.
  5. Smoothies.  We have a new health café in town and I’m currently working my way through their smoothie menu, all freshly made to order and delicious.
  6. Health Niggles.  I finally went to the doctor about a little health niggle which was becoming more worrying.  I had a thorough check up and have some medication to help with a plan of action for the future too. I feel much more reassured.
  7. Books.  Until this month, my reading this year had been unusually slow and I hadn’t really found a great book.  However this month, the titles I’ve read have been brilliant and I’ve often been cuddled up with a book in the evenings.

Itchy feet …

It’s funny how sometimes you have different conversations with friends and family which take you back to a certain time of your life.  Last week, my friend and I were talking about our travels in our 20s, the freedom and adventures we had.  I then got my travel diary and photos out from my year in France to see what I could remember and recommend to my parents whom are currently in Bordeaux.

This photo epitomises my life at 20, I was working and living in France as part of my degree and spent every weekend travelling, it really was a year of care free fun.   I worked as an assistant and had a free apartment on the school site so my wage allowed me the freedom to travel.  My other friends from uni were also in France so I visited them in places such as Strasbourg, Tours and Bordeaux during school breaks and then on weekends the foreign language assistants in our small town would travel together.  The three of us would share a cheap hotel room, buying food from a supermarket and the obligatory bottle of Malibu for a pre night out aperitif.  Although we were on a student budget, I’m  mighty impressed when I look back in my book, we were away nearly every weekend, there’s pictures of us sipping champagne in Epernay, sitting in the parks of Dijon or just relaxing in a bar, but the best memories are of Paris.  We went there often, staying in a cheap hotel, 10f each sharing a triple room and exploring the city by day and night.  We did all the tourist spots and more off beat attractions, like the Père Lachaise cemetery to see the graves of the famous dead, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf among others.  We embraced the culture, getting the cheap seats for high brow theatre (one friend was studying French lit) and visiting many art galleries.  It was a very special time and I think we recognised and embraced that it was our time to enjoy our age and freedoms before we started careers and an adult life.  I am so pleased that we did what we did, the memories have lasted a lifetime and that year helped give me the confidence and focus to be who I wanted to be.

I have travelled lots all over the world since my year in France but never lived abroad again.  However, as I start to plan for the future I think there’s more travelling in me still to be done, I would love to do a teacher exchange when my children are grown up, I reckon I could just squeeze it in before I retire.  Travel does broaden the mind and offer new opportunities and whilst I don’t need to relive the days of my youth, I’m keen to have the buzz of travelling and living abroad again. 

Happy Sparkles

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My little attempt at a yellow/ orange themed collage.

I love that there are pops of colour everywhere as Spring starts to shine through the final days of winter.  I enjoy the promise of this season and feel a bit like Dorothy as she leaves Kansas and arrives in the Land of Oz, life goes from black and white to technicolour. The longer days are arriving and for me this is the return of my early morning runs, this is my time and whilst I struggle to get out of bed the satisfaction and mindset motivate me to throw off the covers.  There’s a lot more colour at home too, my new orange teapot is the one of the best presents I’ve received, the style and colour are perfect and just seeing it makes me smile.  I’ve also treated myself to a new Filofax, the colour and design were irresistible and in my defence, I use it all the time, my life is in my Filofax, if it’s not written in it, then it’s not happening! Spring is my favourite season for cut flowers whether it’s a simple bunch of daffodils or my favourite floral treat, a bunch of tulips and there is always a fresh bunch in the kitchen (the tulips in the picture are on day 6 so a little past their prime but still giving me pleasure). I’m also enjoying reading different types of magazines, I’ve gone from the glossies to more thoughtful, creative publications.  I fell in love with the front cover of the Oh Comely magazine, oranges and yellows are my couleurs de jour.  There’s lots to embrace in the Spring and there is a little skip in my step with the longer, milder days and the blossoming of a new season.

To everything there is a season …

This passage has helped to guide me in difficult times and to appreciate and celebrate the good times and respect and understand the harder days.   In the last few weeks, I have through my circle of family and friends rejoiced at the most joyous news and been saddened by devastating news.  These are not my stories to share but I’ve cried both happy and sad tears and have reread this passage to give comfort and hope.

At present, our life is in a bit of a transition and we are having to make decisions in a period of uncertainty.  We can’t plan fully as each stage is dependent on a previous step, for someone like me who craves order and security its hard and I’m seriously out of my comfort zone.  However we can’t hide away and are trying to plan for the best outcome for all of our little family.  The reason for the changes is our son’s secondary education, we are seriously needing to consider more specialist schools to meet his needs but living in a small seaside town in a large rural county means that the schools we are looking at are a considerable distance from our home.  However, neither of us feel that it is fair to expect Little Man to travel more than an hour each way for school and are trying to come to a compromise which suits the whole family.  There is no easy solution but we are considering moving inland to a small market town, 30 minutes away which would facilitate the journey.  However, it means giving up our seaside idyll, a life we love and planned for our family, the beach as our playground and being part of a wonderful community.  Its a hard decision.  We are also subject to our son being given place at the school we think is right for him, we know that on average there are 14 applications for each place and having visited a number of other special schools this feels like our only option, it is the best fit.  The change would have less effect on our daughter, catchment areas for the secondary schools are big here and a move would not affect her place at the secondary school she will start in September.

There is so much to consider and it is a situation which cannot be resolved quickly, our timescale is a minimum of about 18 months.  It seems overwhelming and is dominating so much of our thoughts, trying to do the best for everyone.  I need to remember that as in the passage from Ecclesiastes that this time will pass, this is our time to plant the seeds for a safe, happy future for all of us, all that matters is that we are together, secure and loved, no matter where we are.

 

 

 

#nourish

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As this week has seen the last Thursday in February, it was my ‘nourish’ day.  I decided at the start of the year, I would set aside one day a month, a day for me, to nourish my body, mind or spirit.  Of course, life happens and this Thursday, I really needed to go to the local market town for a recall on my car, not ideal for a nourish day.  However, I realised that Neal’s Yard Remedies, a shop I always pop into for a little browse, has therapy rooms so I booked a massage for the morning.  It was utter bliss and so what I needed, after every massage I have I think I should do this more often and I really must, I felt so good, relaxed and recharged.  I also popped into a couple of favourite shops whilst in the town and got a tunic in White Stuff I had on my wish list with a 20% discount.  I love the design and pattern and can’t wait to wear it.

Other nourishing moments this week were

  1. Being a blood donor.  It was my blood donation session this week, a little bit of discomfort is well worth the satisfaction of giving to our NHS in my little way.
  2. A new teapot.  I fell in love with the design and colour of this Stump teapot when I had tea in a small indie café a few months ago.  It was top of my Christmas list, but despite lots of searching by me and my parents who were buying it for me, it was out of stock.  It is now in stock again and I finally have my Christmas present, I’m so pleased I waited, it is perfect.  I also went to a loose tea emporium whilst in the market town so have a few varieties of tea to brew.
  3. Flowers.  My work partner and I returned to work on Monday to be given bouquets of beautiful flowers by our colleagues as a little thank you for all we do in the department.  Our priority is always the wellbeing of our staff and students so it was a delightful surprise to be treated ourselves.  Our office had a lovely smell this week and they’ve lasted so well that I’ve brought mine home for the weekend, I’m going to eek every last moment of joy from them.

I’ve been looking through my blog and I realise that the #nourish posts are keeping me from writing other posts on my list.  I’m still sticking with Nourish as my word of the year and theme, but going forward will only do a monthly round up.