#Nourish

In choosing my theme for the year, nourish, I wanted something which would embrace mind, body and spirit.  Each week will have different elements, this week there is a social theme, which has nourished my spirit and heart.

  1.  Cocktails and a cosy pub ….

This week, I’ve enjoyed two nights out (and one on a school night too!). On Saturday I was at a cocktail party, I don’t drink but was so impressed by the mocktails put on for us, not only delicious but beautifully presented.  It was a lovely party, a great disco soundtrack, fantastic company and a wonderful excuse to dress up and sparkle.  Tuesday night was more intimate with just three of us out, but we got to sit in front of the fire in the pub on big leather sofas and catch up.  I really enjoy the company of these two women and feel inspired and relaxed with them.

2.  The little things ..

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On Friday we had Storm Eric and it really was wild.  By the school run time, the rain was of biblical proportions and even though it’s the one night of the week when Little Miss walks home alone, I couldn’t let her do that so drove to school to pick her up. I remember the feeling when I was little and would look out of the classroom window and see my mum’s or my friend’s dad’s car and the relief and excitement of getting home quickly.  Sometimes nourishing someone is about making people realise that they are the centre of our lives and we will show our love in whatever way we can.

3.  The calm after the storm

Apart from storm Eric it’s been a pretty yucky week weather wise.  However on Thursday (my day off) and today we’ve had some gorgeous blue sky winter days.  We had a family day out on the bikes today and the crocuses, daffodils and snowdrops were all in bloom. They’ve shown the glimmer of the spring to come and have raised spirits with the anticipation of the new season.

4.  A space (room) of one’s own

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My bureau is my place in the house, it contains my  diary, writing books, lots of stationery and everything that I might need.  I added a couple of cacti this week for decoration. and replaced my used winter candle with a new spring aroma,  lime, basil and mandarin.  It’s these little things that nourish my soul.

 

 

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Tommy Week 1

So our favourite little elf has returned for his fifth year and is as charming and magical as ever. Here are the photos of week 1 of his 2018 adventures.

Poppies

Remembrance day is always a well respected event in our town but this year, being the century of the armistice something beautiful is happening.  Everywhere you look there are poppies, made by all members of the community.  Outside the Girl Guides hut is a display of poppies made from red bottles and buttons, a church has a huge cross of poppies displayed outside, whilst another church has 99 ceramic poppies in their gardens.  Members of the community have been invited to tie a ribbon to the large poppy on the pier made from chicken wire and wood, the effect is spectacular.  In addition, local businesses and shops have taken one of the 99 local men killed in World War 1 and are displaying posters with their name, rank and age in their windows, many have created a window display with added details from their personal research which only adds to the care and respect we have for ‘our’ soldiers. One restaurant has hung 99 poppies in their window, it is a haunting but superb display.  There are many events organised in the next few days to commemorate the end of World War 1 but I think the use of the poppy in so many creative ways is a fitting tribute.

Fireworks and Sparkles

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My only picture from tonight, as sometimes you just need to watch life in real time and not behind a camera.

Tonight we have been to the Scouts’ firework evening, a blazing fire and camp songs followed by fireworks, in the deepest, dark countryside. I really love the multi sensory delights of Bonfire night. The warmth and cosiness of new hats, gloves and scarves, the crackle and dancing flames of a fire, the smell of hot dogs and soup before the main attraction of the sparkling, colourful fireworks all on a crisp, clear, dark night. This is my favourite autumn night’s entertainment.

#blogtober18 : Day 11 : Kick Ass Girls #internationaldayofthegirl

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There are so many ways in which I could take this post, misogyny appears a big theme in women’s lives these days.  I’ve quietly been a feminist since my teens, we genuinely believed at that time that whilst we were highlighting inequalities, things were improving.  Fast forward 30 years and I actually think we were in a stronger position in the fight for equal rights, opportunities in 1988 than we are now.  .

I refuse to make this a negative post, because there are some amazing women out there taking on the fight, every day.  I could use this post to show my admiration to some of my favourite brilliant kick ass women but their stories are well known.  Instead I want to thank women who fight back with grace, style and determination every day, who see prejudice and question it, who act on equality, who challenge and are being the change they want to see.  Through social media I see you and I am so thankful and hope that I too can do what you do.

This post isn’t about women doing big things, its about all of us doing little things to advance women’s rights and to promote a fairer and kinder society.

 

 

 

This was the summer …

Whilst its another day of bright sunshine, I think its nearly time to say good bye to the summer of 2018, the summer of sunshine, heatwaves, flip flops, sunglasses and so many happy memories.

This was the summer when

  1. We stopped needing to check the weather forecast, it was hot and sunny every day and we planned outdoor events weeks in advance knowing it would be ok.
  2. Sports day took place on its allocated day, unlike last year’s 3 attempts.
  3. The grass wasn’t lush and green but yellow and straw like, running took on unusual hazards such as minding the cracks in the dry ground.
  4. Every item in the summer wardrobe was worn, for months no long sleeves were needed.
  5. The school summer uniform was revised to simply an open topped shirt and shorts, no ties.
  6. Everything happened on the beach, Brownies, Beavers, school lessons.
  7. Ice cream became a temporary food group, even better if it was a fruity flavour, thus surely counting as one of your five a day!
  8. We decorated our house with a St George’s cross, wore England tops and even painted patriotic nails to cheer on the football team. England made us all proud at the World cup with their young, talented and eager team.  The cricket team played brilliantly too.
  9. Mum created the costumes for her little cat and dog in the school play, Little Miss shone on stage remembering all her lines and Little Man enjoyed singing.
  10. Mum, Grandma and Granfer enjoyed an alfresco lunch on a roof top with a stunning view to sea.
  11. The dance show rocked the town and sold out for 5 performances.
  12. Dabbing and flossing were key moves of the summer.
  13. Baby shark and 3 Lions were the ear worm songs of the season.
  14. We went to a festival in a field and listened to some amazing local talent.
  15. Mum learnt to kayak.
  16. We ate salad and vegetables grown in our garden by Mr S and his gardening squad.
  17. We screamed and shrieked on the rides at Paultons Park and Crealy.
  18. We splashed and squealed our way down lots of water slides at the water park.
  19. We rock and rolled at roller discos.
  20. Little Miss and Little Man went on adventures on school and Beaver camps.
  21. We swam at a retro inspired lido.
  22. Mum got a spa treat at Butlins and found the snow in a heatwave.
  23. We trained, played, watched and scored cricket.
  24. The girls sang and danced in their seats at Mamma Mia 2
  25. We celebrated lots of birthdays and anniversaries.
  26. Little Miss finally reached ear piercing age!
  27. Little Man and Little Miss learnt to drive Junior Segways and do the High ropes at Butlins, making a summer of thrills and spills.
  28. We loved exploring Cornwall, playing on the beach, walking through the dunes, swimming outdoors and enjoying ice cream sundaes and chip shop chips.
  29. Our hair became blonder, faces more freckled and our bodies a little browner

Summer 2018 you absolutely rocked!  

At what age?

When I was young, my friends and I liked to look up the ages we could certain things, the rites of passage which would lead to adulthood. Life seemed a bit freer and relaxed in the 80s, we were always out playing in the neighbourhood and would come back when we were hungry or thirsty. As my secondary school was a fair distance away, just weeks after my 11th birthday I was on a 2 bus journey to school changing buses in a busy town centre. It wasn’t a big deal and I felt able to deal with it. However times have changed and we are thinking more about at what age we’ll allow our children to do certain things.

Yesterday my daughter had her ears pierced. She is so delighted and happy as she has been desperate to have them done for years and we agreed that she could when she was ten. I don’t know why we chose ten, looking back on old photos I think I might have had mine done a little earlier, I suppose we chose an age where we hoped she would have the responsibility and care to look after herself.

As parents we are finding ourselves more and more questioning our decisions on what we allow our daughter to do, it’s a very fine line between allowing her some independence and knowing what is appropriate for her age. Last week on holiday, we allowed Little Miss to go to the mini market on site for any little bits we needed, she loved it and we were reassured as it was a car free 5 minute walk. However, I still wouldn’t let her walk to town to potter around, yet when we’re off shopping tomorrow, I will allow her to browse the girls clothes whilst I pick up a few pieces with her younger brother on the same floor.

In the final two years of our children’s primary school, the pupils are allowed to walk to and from school independently with parental permission. Whilst we have given permission, the reality is that because we walk her little brother to and from school it’s likely that we would have her in view for the journey as it’s basically one street she has to walk with a lollipop lady at the only road crossing. Little Miss also really likes the social aspect of the walk as we tend to walk with a few local families and she would miss this aspect on her own. However I would like her to have a bit of practice as she will need to walk to the local secondary school.

For Little Miss the biggie is the the age she can have a mobile phone. I think that since about Year 3, she has had peers who have had mobiles at school, this is a real big bug bear of mine, I don’t feel children need them and do not have the skills or maturity to use them properly. Some of her friends have Instagram accounts under false dates of birth, full internet access etc.. The stories I have heard at safeguarding conferences (I’m a DSL at work) only strengthen my beliefs that primary children should not have a phone. However I am also conscious that Little Miss wants to belong, feel like her peers. At present we have a compromise, where by she has my old iPhone without a SIM card at home. I control the Internet access and it is only me who downloads anything onto the phone, it is password protected at all other times, although it’s a password she is always trying to guess. She uses the phone for songs on a Spotify list we make together and a few games for car journeys etc.. It is a compromise and she is still desperate for a SIM card, she asked Santa for one last year but thankfully he was a very helpful Santa who read my cues well! Mr S and I both agree that Little Miss can have a mobile when she starts secondary school, but again there are problems here too, I would prefer her to have a simple call and text phone but there is that pressure to have a more modern version, eg camera and internet. Again with my attendance at safeguarding conferences I am only too aware of YPSI ( new term for sexting; peak age 13) and online bullying and the long term effects on a child. We have a year to make a decision.

Over the next few years I’m sure there will be more difficult questions over the age my daughter can do things. We then have our son to consider too. Our daughter is bright and savvy yet our son has some learning difficulties but is very close in age, how do we agree on an age for her and not have the same rule for him? It’s all so difficult to be fair, safe and consistent. I guess as parents we’ll analyse each situation and try to follow our instincts. Sometimes it’s not about an age but a feeling and confidence in your child to be sensible and appropriate in different situations.