|The journey's more fun with friends|
Picture credit: Harriet Bell
Tuesday, 11 February 2020
This one is about friendship. The long-lasting kind. I've just got back from a reunion weekend with my university besties and I'm still basking in the after-glow. We drank too much champagne/wine/gin, ate too much chocolate/cake/canapés and contended with Storm Ciara, but my goodness it was worth it!
So often we take our friendships for granted, particularly during the decades of parenthood and middle age. Even the early narratives of our lives are spun around meeting a romantic partner, or having a child... and yet in the background, friendships run deep like a rich seam.
Tuesday, 3 September 2019
As I watched my son lope off to catch his school bus this morning, I shed a tear. It was a discreet tear alone in the car - a quiet acknowledgement that my boy is growing up and that the summer is over. No one saw; I didn't embarrass him.
On our way to the bus stop, we had overtaken a nervous first year, walking alongside his mum. A whole year has passed since my son set off for his first day at senior school, his face set and his shoulders hunched.
|One eye on the past and one on the future...|
Wednesday, 5 June 2019
|Gratuitous picture of dogs...|
"He's a cheerful chap," I remarked jovially. The sun was out and the birds were tweeting so I was feeling friendly, despite the early hour.
Tuesday, 14 May 2019
When the sun comes out at this time of year, I want to lie outside and soak up rays like a solar battery. This year, I got an early charge when we flew to Lanzarote for a week's stay over the Easter holidays.
We took a family suite at the hotel Princesa Yaiza in the Playa Blanca resort. The hotel was vast and we were tucked away in a distant wing (the family zone) but there was lots to keep us entertained. As well as three swimming pools and numerous restaurants in the hotel complex, there was the 'Kikoland' sports facility, where we got addicted to paddle tennis (a cross between tennis and squash). We could also walk to a pretty (if busy) beach nearby.
|One of Yaiza's many pools|
Tuesday, 9 April 2019
This time last week I dropped off my 15-year old daughter at school for her French exchange trip. In the dark, lamp-lit morning (4:30am), seeing her onto the school coach felt like a surreal experience. In a haze of orange street-light, I was sending off into the unknown, to stay with a family I'd never met before. Instinctively, I didn't want to let her go, even though my head was telling me this was a good opportunity for her.
On the quiet drive home, I gave myself a stern pep talk. As a good parent, I needed to allow my daughter her independence and the freedom to try out new experiences.
|My daughter at ease with her new independence!|
Monday, 25 March 2019
The word march was a misnomer. It was more of a gentle stroll on a mild spring day. A great tide of humanity rolling through the famous streets of London - Park Lane, Piccadilly, Whitehall; everyone chanting and waving placards. This was the People's March, a historic protest against Brexit, with hundreds of thousands voicing their call for a second public vote.
I woke up on Saturday morning undecided as to whether I should go. (We're currently planning a house renovation with an endless 'to do' list.) But then I watched a clip of Anna Soubry on Channel 4 News talking about the death threats she's received for speaking her mind on Brexit - vile letters posted to her home address. Soubry's closing words were: "Get on that march and show them we've had enough."
|A constant stream of protesters|