Perception is everything.

Yesterday, I was watching ‘trash’ America TV drama….

I love it. Pure escapism!

Plus it fuels my vision for life… Dreaming is allowed…. And one needs inspiration for that sometimes…


My drama of choice is ‘Peak Practice’… I’ve always loved a good medical drama – ER, Greys… but I think this is my favourite. I love the characters and I use bits of them to fuel what I would love in my life…


I would love a calm Sam, a soppy Coop and moody Pete… especially in my work place! What a support group… and Sam’s muscles!… you know they would come to your rescue if you were stuck!


And the fashion… and the girls…

I would love some of Charlotte’s Badass… her no nonsense, ‘I don’t give a cr*p’, bravery.. Violet’s compassion, Addi’s wardrobe, jewelry and fashion sense… and while Nai’s amazing cleavage wouldn’t look right on me, her toned arms sure are something I am working towards…


But it was one scene that grabbed my attention. Violet, a medical therapist has had her medical license revoked. (Brief storyline – baby got cut out of her by a pschyopath, she nearly died, she went AWOL, she wrote a book about the experience, became a top seller… psychopath sees it as crossing the line of client / patient confidentiality… bye-bye medical license).


As a consequence of not being able to work or see patients, she tries to embrace motherhood with her son (who survived). In doing so, she meets up with other ‘Mom’s’ who don’t work professionally and look after their toddlers. The stage is set with 3 beautifully groomed ladies, designer dresses, with frills and jewels, drinking wine while their children play happily on mats… and the discussion is pure gossip – about other women, children and their husbands, who they all totally hate and dismiss.


This made me feel uncomfortable…


It was totally stereotypical…


For anyone who has been a toddler of a 2 year old, particular a boy – there is no wearing heels as you have to run to catch them, constantly… they are always doing something they shouldn’t – climbing, running in to a road…falling over. You can’t wear jewelry – long necklaces anyway – they get yanked. Designer clothes… well I can tell you, most of the time, I was in jeans and James’ polo shirt as I was constantly having food smeared all over me. And wine! Hell yes… but not till they were in bed!


It made me feel uncomfortable, because it wasn’t a true representation of reality.


It made me feel uncomfortable, because that is exactly what I thought Mum’s who didn’t work did! Ladies who lunched…


Until, I chose to become a Mum who didn’t ‘work’.


(Tangent and off topic but at least a Mum who decided that working in a job for someone else wasn’t going to ‘work’ for my family and instead found multiple ways to provide personal satisfaction, stimulation and income by working for myself.. alongside putting in the hard graft unpaid work as a mother).


The scene came back to me this morning as after dropping off the boys at school, I did meet with a couple of other Mum’s who have made similar choices as I have. I have blogged about our discussions previously – particularly about the ‘to work, not to work’ debate.


And today’s topics were broad and varied. Yes, there is always discussion about our children. Rather than moan and complain, we share strategies and tactics about how we can help them overcome challenges – night terrors was one topic, nightmares or ‘bad thought’s was another, playground bullying and how to help our children overcome it, based on our experiences too.


We also discussed music and art. We discussed talent in those fields… who we admired, who got it right and who got it wrong.


We discussed detox – who was doing it, who was not and who had succumbed!


We drank green tea and coffees and while we looked smart, we were booted and scarved and totally practical for professional Mum’s.


It was a power hour of stimulation… not of idle gossip and people bashing. Refreshing.


Maybe it is different in America, in California?


But then my perception was the same as the producers… until I lived it. Maybe there-in lies the lesson. Our worlds are our perceptions of what we choose to believe..


I chose to believe that that was what life was life if you didn’t have a ‘job’. So I never left my job… I was safe and comfortable thinking the grass wasn’t greener. I kept telling myself I wasn’t a risk taker.


I was happy thinking there was no alternative.

I was happy telling myself that the alternative wasn’t for me.

Until I decided to change.

Perception is everything.

The alternative is for me. I made it that way.






Tonight my gratitude has a tinge of smugness…


Is that a bad thing?


To be so grateful that you feel smug? To feel smug is feeling almost offensive satisfaction for your situation, does it not?


Well that is how I feel…


Grateful and smug…


Today, I got to kiss my boys good morning and have breakfast with them both… I got to see Willy make his own toast for the first time…   I love the firsts…


Today I got to read with both my boys and hear how well they are progressing at school…


Today I got to stand in front of a classroom and inspire children to think for themselves.. understand the world and their impact on it and the impact of the world on them.


Today I got to spend time with a wonderful ‘old’ friend and wax lyrical about how lucky we both were! How grateful we were to have this time with our children … to have the time to grab a nice coffee and share our gratitudes, and swop stories…


Today I got to exercise… to feel fit and healthy… even though I can feel a tickle and a sniffle coming on … (I am healthy.  I am healthy!  I am full of health!)


Today I got to pick up my youngest and have quality time with him, make him feel special with one on one time… and wave to him in the pool and watch him proudly swimming like a frog…


Today I got to eat supper with my children, cuddle them on the sofa under blankets and kiss their soft cheeks and hair… and hear the words ‘I love you, Mama’ as I tuck them under their duvets…


Today I got to treat two friends to a facial and a makeover .. and if I do say so myself, my work was good! And I am proud of myself…


Today I got to do the 2 things I always wanted to do – be a Mummy… not only in just the physical sense of the act of becoming a parent and giving birth, but actively taking an interest in my offspring’s wellbeing, safety, security and providing a loving environment myself…   and secondly to stand in front of a school class and provide an inspiring environment for children to learn.


Today I got to do the 2 things I always wanted to do AND see friends, have fun and keep healthy!


Today I am full of smug gratitude… Today I am the cat that got the cream! I could even be Bagpuss!

the cat that got the cream



…and finally the tears…

….and finally the tears…

Today started well. A lovely beautiful autumnal morning, beautiful light streaming through the house..

The boys perfectly behaved, both did their homework before they left for school, no tears or tantrums and just jolly little faces.

I was really looking forward to walking the dog along the river, to listening to the peace and quiet, the gentle trickling of the river and perhaps a chapter of my book.

But within 5 minutes, I had been shouted at by 2 dog owners. So I have turned round and am now shaking on my sofa…

Maybe this was the situation I needed to get the pent up anger and frustration out? But where is the anger directed? At the dog? At James? At his parents? At life? At the universe? Life has recently sent me a lot of change, a lot of upset, weirdness, emotion and I have been treading water to stay afloat, stay positive, keeping my head above water so I can see the positives and the horizon to swim for… this small trivial scenario seems to have been a great big hand that has pushed me under the water.

As I sit in my sunlit snug, I can feel the cold tears on my cheeks and it feels good to cry.


And while the darkness of the murky water and sadness shrouds me, I can see bubbles and the light above me…

Time to head up and breathe…

Time to tread water, because my lists and plans await me… they are my strong strokes towards the shore, dry land… safety. I hope there is a large mojito waiting for me!

And there’s my smile….

All good.

The dog is sorted. No longer my responsibility. #Ididntwantadog (

Right – where’s my list!

tears strong

Self Doubt and the unknown whisperer…

self belief - ali

Self doubt seems to be a recurring theme today…

I woke up with a sense of it…

It was the topic of the audio I downloaded and listened to today from a business coach…

It was the highlight of the chapter in my book today…

I am trying to make sense of it. Why today do I have this feeling? Why is everything pointing at learning and understanding it?

I am trying to make sense of it. Am I doubting myself as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a business owner, a friend, a person, an individual?

I am trying to make sense of it.

I am using all the tricks up my sleeve to get rid of it. For each doubting thought that enters my mind, I bat it back with an ace… Snow White standing up to Dobby…

It’s noisy in my head today…

Doubting Doris whispers in my right ear: so you think you are a bad mother: you think you spend more time with Tom than you do Willy? That’s why he had a melt down last week…

Someone whispers in my left: look at your beautiful boys, they are happy, healthy, well fed, amazing feedback from school. Tom had a meltdown too… It’s half term – they are both tired.

You are a good, patient and very loving mother.

Doubting Doris whispers in my right ear: so you think you have abandoned your Mum, leaving your Dad to fend for himself, looking for someone to look after him?

Someone whispers back: you did everything you could to get both your Mum and Dad safe… it’s good that Mum has been sectioned again today – another move would be another disruption… it’s good that your Dad can get on with his life! Let him!

You are a loyal, caring daughter.

Doubting Doris whispers in my ear: James is going to paris on Friday, choosing to go there rather than come to Cornwall with us… I haven’t been myself, I am sad and boring, he doesn’t want to be with me, the chaos, my family… not surprised he wants the luxury and sophistication of Paris!

Someone whispers back: that’s ridiculous! Utterly absurd. He lives in luxury and sophistication all week and is desperate every weekend to come home and have family time! This is business and an exciting opportunity…

You are a fantastically supportive, loving wife.

Doubting Doris whispers in my ear: why on earth did you think you could build a business from scratch? You know nothing about sales, marketing, skincare or health…

Someone whispers back: you have washed all your life, learnt about health through experience, you have coached teams to success for over 15 years, learnt new skills, become brilliant at them. There is nothing you can’t achieve once you are decided…

You are a success.  You have a thriving business.

Doubting Doris whispers in my ear: go back to work… go back to work… it’s what you know!

Someone whispers back:  The past is there to teach you and the future is there for the taking! Work didn’t work… for you or the family. Use your intuition… you can make this work! Change is evolution… it is a good thing. Embrace it!

You are brave.  You are strong enough to take the road less travelled.

Doubting Doris whispers in my ear: you are just a glorified taxi driver, gym bunny, professional coffee date goer…. That person you used to take pity on as you dashed in to throw your kids in to nursery and school…

Someone whispers back: you are so much more! Your children love having you around, you are a healthier happier version of you! You are doing all the things you have ever wanted – teach in schools, teach people to be healthy and happy, with your children when they need you, there for your parents, there for Mr OCD to proof read, QA check, brainstorm and be a sounding board…

You are living a life of abundance, richness and full of good things… you are lucky to have such a life!

Doubting Doris whispers in my ear: your blog is repetitive, boring, not helpful..

Someone whispers back: it’s helping you… out of your head and on to paper… What about all the positive comments you have received? How what you say resonates with others, how it has helped the them… look at the numbers of how many people read it! And anyway… who cares!? This was for you…

You are a writer.  You are a creative writer.  You are inspiring others.

Who is this someone who is fighting my corner? Giving me a pep talk… holding me up… ?

Could it be? It couldn’t be Self Belief could it?

Where are the brakes?

Where are the brakes?

10pm and the sudden realisation that the day has gone and I almost missed a day of blogging!

Where did the day go?

Where are the weeks going?

Did someone say it was half term this Friday?! I thought I had another week! Eek!!!

Time is just racing by… I am hurtling along in a roller coaster, flying round and round…. Never really slowing as I go through the start gates… or are they the end gates?

Any one else feel like that?

Tom is nearly 8, Willy already 6… if the time continues to speed up like it is currently, accelerating every year to go past faster… will we soon enter Warp Speed? Will I wake up one morning, the boys taller than Daddy, leaving home to go to Uni, live in London?

Tonight I will hold them closer, snuffle their faces for longer, linger longer to hug them while they sleep…

Soon they will have left the house and the noise and the clutter, the grassy boots flung by the door, the left up toilet seats, clothes in heaps, discarded book bags, laughter and giggles, the occasional thud, little elephant feet running along the landing and long, heart felt cuddles, hot cheeks against mine… will all be but a distant memory… and there will be quiet.

And how I will miss them.

Where are the brakes? Can you slow the hours? The minutes?

I am going to take one… and live in the moment and appreciate the delicious, delightful chaos that is my life.


Let there be calm…

It was my intention this morning to write later tonight… after double date night. A little experiment to see what would happen when I had had a few too many drinks! Would I be able to blog?! Type? What would come out?!!!

However, the house is calm. All is quiet. Only the sounds of the dog licking her legs after her walk and swim in the river.

I am calm.


I am worried why I feel calm? Shouldn’t I be feeling something else? It feels strange to feel this calm…. I haven’t worn this feeling for a while.

I slept last night. An amazing sleep. Nearly 11 hours. Mr OCD turned into Mr Wonderful… I didn’t really hear him get up… And as I wake up at nearly 10am, I find a cold cup of tea on my bedside table; he had obviously come up and given it to me without me waking hours ago.

The boys are fed, chilled and happy.

I offer to take the boys to football, but Mr W wants to take them… so I have another hour or so of peace. Time to myself… I run. It’s a misty, quiet day and it feels good to get out and raise my heart rate – something I hadn’t been able to do for a few days.

I return to find that Mr W is washing my car! With the help of little Willy on the power spray, Mr W teaches him how to go round the alloys to make sure each bit is perfectly clean (he is still Mr OCD!)…

The boys practice rugby throws and catches (we will win the World Cup when the Mortimer brothers play for England – Tom has already stated that he wants to be the England captain)… while Mr W (with his OCD hat on) clears out the garage and sweeps the yard and I get immense satisfaction from moving my summer wardrobe to the spare room and bring out my favourite autumnal clothes. There is something exciting about doing this exercise! It feels like I get a whole new set of clothes but yet somehow there is comfort in that I know they fit, know they don’t itch… it’s like greeting old friends.

It is quiet now, peaceful; the dog has stopped licking, there is the gentle hum of the fridge and the tapping of my fingers…

Mr W has taken the boys for a swim…. It is inflatable time at the pool.

The cynic in me is questioning why Mr W today? What does he want? The rugby is over… so it can’t be because he wants to go out for beers with the boys?

But the calmness is just so lovely, Snow White is bundling Dobby off and out of the house. I am too calm for that noisy sort of self chatter.

I’ll just let it be that he is Mr W today for no other reason than just that he is….

(And the tipsy blog will have to happen another day!)

The secrets of getting stuff done…


If there is any day or any night, that I wish I hadn’t given myself this daily blog challenge for a year… it’s today. I am sure it won’t be the last…. But it is the first.

Weird week…   and I am clearly unsettled as I haven’t really slept for two nights. You know those nights when you lie on your back and you think you are awake.. until something really does wake you up? I have had two of those.

I usually sleep like a dead person. I have been woken up by James before… his panic stricken face, right in my face, nose nearly to nose… as he shakes me violent… ‘Ali! Are you alive?’… well I nearly die from the shock.. but yes – I wake up and say ‘I am alive, but moments from a heart attack!’ ….. I don’t move when I sleep. I know that because while James isn’t here in the week, I wake up in the same position as I fall asleep in, the covers not moved… his side of the bed still made perfectly, throw cushions in tact. If I lie in my favourite position, on my back, hands on my chest… I can see why he would think I am dead. We were clearly made for each other – I sleep like the dead. Only a dead person could sleep through his snoring. The house shakes! Literally…

So yes… today is the day that I really feel like not writing…   However, I am not that kind of person. I don’t like to let myself down.

And it kind of ties in with a question I have had from a few people recently… ‘how do you fit it all in?’.

There really is no secret. I don’t possess magic or a magic wand.

It’s called commitment.

Simply that.

Oh and a few friends called, planning, prioritizing and delegation.

My tools are my lists; they are on note pad (I have 2 usually on the go) and multiple in my iphone list app.

I learnt this through a methodology we applied and had fantastic success with when developing code for the Asda Direct website – an agile methodology. And you work to the principle of the ‘Minimal Viable Product’.   Basically get the minimum done as quickly as you need in the time you need it to be done… work with that until you know you need to add more to it, to improve it. If what you have done isn’t working, you can scrap it without being too hard on yourself for having spent too much time or money on it.

So you have you lists (in agile terms – your backlog of tasks). You then prioritise these tasks, putting the one that will give you your biggest bang for your buck at the top. This could be the job you want to do least, but you know you need to get it done. It is also called ‘eating the frog’ (great book – Brian Tracy). Once you have done it, you free up so much headspace, rather than worrying all day about not getting it done. Everything else after that feels easy! Effortless! And you can check off item by item… and that feels amazing! What a great day!

Then you delegate.

I delegate to myself first and choose the top 6 or so things that need to get done and I plan them through my day – around daily commitments (ie. Kids drop off, eating (need fuel!), kids bed time, pick up, appointments, gym/ spin, walking the dog etc).

I then scan through the list to see who I can ask for help. I am a big believer in asking for help.. especially, if someone is better at something than me – for example, gardening – I am seriously brown fingered and kill everything.

Anything else isn’t a priority, it can stay on the backlog until it becomes a priority or I have lots of time. Like my accounts. Which I am a) rubbish at b) bored by doing c) the more James tells me to do it, the more I dig my heels in… he would be better at doing them than me anyway!

So nearly 20 years of learning in consulting, technology, project management, professional career, now continues to pay off… and I didn’t realize that until now.

In fact, I can’t believe I have just written a blog about agile methodology…   but at least I blogged.

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you would do, long after the mood you said it in has left you. (Unknown)

Commitment is the glue which bonds you to your goals. (Jill Koenig)

Commitment leads to action;   Action brings your dreams closer. (Marcia Wieder).

Commitment: there is but one degree of commitment: total (Arnie Sherr).

Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality (Abraham Lincoln).

And my favourite:

Commitment is an act, not a word (Jean-Paul Sartre).


Just a girl in a pink jumper and the fish necklace…?


I am on the train going home… another Grand Central. This time it is packed! It’s the grand exodus from London to the North…   I wonder if there is anyone else playing the ‘Who are they game?’… I wonder what they would say about me?

Would they guess the truth? Could they guess based on the clues…?

Would they guess a Mum of 2, wife of 1 big Yorkshire lad?

Possibly by the rings on my fingers, (and the bells on my toes!) and the screen saver on my phone…

Would they guess a business owner, passionate about health, wellness?

Possibly by the litre of water, box of almonds and Arbonne literature I am brushing up on in front of me…

Would they guess a coach of other business owners, mentor in schools?

Possibly by the Mosaic book, notes I am scribbling…

Would they guess a daughter, emotional after a fleeting visit to the mental hospital to see her Mum with Alzheimer’s? Emotional from the recognition that the Alzheimer’s, the medication or both is slowing her Mum to a state that she now needs help walking, now only babbles for communication; emotional after not being recognized as the eldest daughter of two; emotional that the holding of her hand wasn’t reciprocated, that she sat on the sofa with her back towards her; emotional at saying goodbye and the sudden multiple, featherlite kisses and clinging cuddle; emotional from looking back and seeing her Mum’s face pressed the window pane…..

Possibly, if they look in to her eyes deep enough…

Would they guess a daughter relieved that the mental hospital wasn’t like the one in Jack Nicholson’s ‘one flew over the cookoo’s nest’; relieved that the nurses are kind, caring, the salt of the earth; relieved that the lump is nothing to worry about; relieved that she is clean, washed and is safe.

Possibly… but that’s a tricky one…

Would they guess a daughter who was shocked at her Dad’s big black eye and droopy blood filled eye bag? A daughter initially shocked, but then delighted to hear that her Dad wants to travel the world, carry on the trips and adventures, find a companion and live again? A daughter who just wants her Dad to live the rest of his life having fun, being a Granddad and doing whatever the hell he likes! A daughter who believes that her Dad is a hero for spending over 8 years caring and living the only life he could while looking after his wife with Alzheimer’s….

Possibly… but I doubt it!

Would they guess a friend who has had a lovely day catching up with friends – fresh juices and future plans; a cheeky bottle of sauvignon on Putney wharf…

Possibly? … and now I am paranoid, is the smell of booze from me?! Or is it the man opposite?!

Would they guess a wife still smiling at the recollection of a dinner ‘a deux’, burgers and beers, snoozing on the sofa in the flat of many memories?

Possibly … as the corners of my mouth turn up as I think of this..

Would they guess a Mummy excited to get home to give her two blond babies death by kisses?

Possibly … my mouth turns up even more!

Or would they just see a girl, a woman… with short brown hair in a pink jumper and fish on the end of her necklace?

How am I?


Following my update a few days ago, many lovely caring friends have been in touch to ask how I am…

This has surprised me in a couple of ways…

Firstly, how many people actually are reading my blog! I actually cannot tell who or how many read it unless they ‘like’ or ‘follow’… I am secretly thrilled at how many people are enjoying it and at the same time, secretly totally freaked out by how many people now know my deepest darkest thoughts! This started as a way for me to get through the sandwich years – both looking after multiple generations but also the transition I am going through from being a solid, successful corporate career person, to professional mum, entrepreneur, coach and mentor… wifely PA! It seems that what I write resonates with a few…

Secondly… I had to ask myself the question ‘how am I’ in order to actually reply to the many questions … some people I have ignored. Which is very rude. But I wasn’t sure how to answer at the time…

So How am I?

I have gone through a list of multiple emotions that I think many expect the response to be:

Sad. Sure. But not overwhelmingly…

Worried. Sure.. but there is nothing I can do about any outcome or the situation…

Emotional. Of course.. but again, not overwhelming.

Helpless… Yes. But only in terms of being able to help my Mum, but again, no point in dwelling on that because the people who can help her are all around her.

So if not the expected answers…

How am I?

As I received another message from a friend today, I was on the treadmill… and the acute feeling I had all of a sudden was gratitude. I felt my shoulders relax and my feet beneath me swing effortlessly as I turned up the pace.


I am hugely grateful that I can go down and spend time with my Mum and Dad tomorrow. I am hugely grateful for my credit card to pay for train tickets, money in the bank, for friends who are helping me out with looking after both the boys while I am away and ferrying them to and from school and feeding them.

I am hugely grateful that my Mum is in a hospital that still cares enough to do tests to find out what’s going on in her body, her brain and to find the medication that will make her life a little easier. I am hugely grateful that my Dad is still fit and healthy enough to be there to support her.

I am hugely grateful that my sister was there with my Dad when they got the scary report. I am so lucky to have a sister who is so methodical, calm, knowledgeable.

I am hugely grateful that I found a lifeline. For when I connect the dots back in my life… nothing has happened for no reason, in fact, every experience has served a purpose in the journey of my life to date.

I found a lifeline just over two years ago, that brought into my life all the ‘tools’ I needed to get through this period of difficulty, as well as a time last year when it felt like my life had unhinged itself from reality.

I am grateful for the mentors, the coaches, the leaders I have learnt from who have shared their knowledge and experiences and especially the book recommendations on how to grow yourself and therefore myself in to a better, more mindful, calmer, spiritual, abundant and grateful person; someone who can overcome obstacles, tangible, mental or otherwise.

I am grateful for the professionals who have taught me about nutrition, health and the importance of feeding the body and the soul to live out a life of longevity.

I am grateful for the many friends I have in my life that provide a support network – whether it be to have coffee and cake in the coffee shops around York (except we all drink herbal tea and eat seed bars.. honest guv!); friends in whatsapp groups who remind me that ‘Mental Gardening’ is the positive change that will improve the lives of so many; colleagues I work with who encourage and inspire me to continually step out of my comfort zone and grow and learn; honest and close friends who know when it has been time to give me a kick up the backside and get on with my life! I think one even said ‘it’s time to strap on a pair and walk like John Wayne’!!! I am grateful for all friends for whatever part they play – a drink, a laugh, a moan…

I am so grateful that our current weekend family life has taught me that I can let go of my career, the titles, the pay cheques and the biggest wrench of all – my ego. I am grateful that this experience has made me brave enough to start new things, have the courage to learn to mentor and teach, to bare my soul through blogging…

I am grateful that I am now able to connect the dots back and see that everything in the past has happened for a reason, even if it felt like a tragedy, a disaster at the time. Each experience has a part to play in the adventure of life… and it always ends up working out for the best, even if just a lesson to learn.

This is just another life experience and sadly one we will go through with 4 parents, or 4 grandparents to the boys. And there in itself is another gratitude – I am so grateful that our sons have been so lucky to enjoy and benefit from the company and love of 4 amazing people.

As I drive to school, feeling this sense of gratitude, of happiness as I go to pick up the smiliest boy in the world, I am called by a friend of mine’s mother who needs to pay me some money! I haven’t seen her since my school days and we have a lovely catch up. She asks about my children, what my husband does, where I live and finally asks why her daughter owes me money? I explain that I had a wake up call 2 years ago and wanted to spend more time with my family, so I had left a team and career I loved and started a new business in health and wellness and that her daughter had wanted some of my nutritional products, to ensure she gets the right nutrients when she is racing around after everyone else! I explained how this business enabled me to still see my children, but still have a sense of purpose and a challenge.

Her response still gives me goose bumps… and tears in my eyes; ‘Ali! Ten thousand cheers for you! Keep it up! You are doing absolutely the right thing by using your intuition and your initiative… looking after your children yourself is the best job you can do! And if you find something else that fits with it, that is brilliant. Keep it up.’

The tears are in my eyes are of happiness because I know that if my Mum knew what I was doing, those would be her words; she would have been my biggest customer and my biggest champion.

So how am I?

Grateful and happy!

Sunday Medicine

Sundays to me have always been a little bit about tradition… Family. Walks. Sunday Roasts. Peeling potatoes. The Archers in my childhood, more recently Downton…

Today was the perfect medicine and I found my off switch.

There is nothing lovelier that being brought a cup of tea in bed on a Sunday morning, the curtains opened gently so the sunshine streams in. And as I watch Downton this evening, I wonder how lovely it must have been to have had that every day…. I must have been Lady Mary in another life!

There is nothing lovelier than gathering soft cushions and pillows all around you to have a peaceful 30 minutes of reading a good book, with the gentle noise of 3 boys having breakfast together and I leave them to it for this is the only day a week they get to have a ‘man breakfast’ together…

There is nothing lovelier than pulling on your favourite winter jogging pants, slipping on your trusty trainers and letting popping tunes fill your head as you pound the pavements… There is nothing lovelier than jogging in the autumn – watching your breath whisper in the cool as you sigh at the beautiful countryside in the clear autumn sun, reds, oranges, yellows still mixing with the greens….

There is nothing lovelier than coming home to little boys wanting to throw rugby balls, tennis balls and run around the garden with you.

There is nothing lovelier than an impulse decision to go for lunch and a walk… 2 minute hot steamy showers, grabbing coats and scarves and pocket snacks as we fly out the door…

There is nothing lovelier than the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, rolling lawns, random enormous sculptures made to seem insignificant in the giant spaces, but beautiful, impressive against the blue, blue skies of the North today.


There is nothing lovelier than seeing your boys race and run, twist and turn, scrap and laugh, clamber and roll… sweaty noses, dirty knees, fishing for pocket treats, asking for ice creams.

There is nothing lovelier than family potato peeling, table laying, Grandparent teasing, clean plates, full bellies… there is nothing lovelier than the first roast ham of the season, nothing lovelier than comfort food.

There is nothing lovelier than hearing the boys read, how well they are doing, hearing how Tom helps his brother recognize words….nothing lovelier than 3 in a bed around one good book.

There is nothing lovelier than a full pot of tea, Sunday TV… and while I am a little melancholy the big man had to leave unexpectedly early, there is nothing lovelier than the realization, I am seeing him on Tuesday, just the 2 of us, our favourite London pub, bottle of red… nothing lovelier.

There is nothing lovelier than going to bed on a Sunday and waking up to brand new week…