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



To resist… or to not resist…That is the question!

It’s definition word time.


To resist … or to not resist.  That is the question!


To resist is ‘to withstand, strive against or oppose’.


I love exercise – all forms of it. I tried Yoga once, but it hurt, it made me feel stupid, I wasn’t good at it, I don’t bend, I can’t reach my toes, I can literally do a side bend for one inch…


So I resisted it…   For a long time.


Funny how we resist the things we need the most?

Amazing how the universe provides the things we need the most at the time we need it.   One of the parents at Tom’s school has recently opened her own Hot Yoga practice right next door to the school and it had a fabulous article in the York Press yesterday.

It was a sign. It was a sign for me to sign up.

I did.

I still can’t bend…. And I had to use a block, several sometimes…

But I didn’t feel stupid. I felt good.

Why have I resisted this for so long?! I needed the warmth for my stiff muscles. I needed the breathing to release the tension. I needed the headspace to let my thoughts drift away…

It was brilliant and I will be going back.  (


I also discussed resisting people either in a work or social capacity with a friend over lunch. People who you feel uncomfortable with in their presence. I commented that it could be that they do, or say, things that aren’t in line with your own values… so they don’t feel like they fit with your life…   And as values change over time, perhaps that’s why some friends are transient.


She made the interesting point that we resist some people because on some subconscious level, they reflect something inside us that we don’t like about ourselves or didn’t like about ourselves in the past. So we resist the person or the situation as it makes us uncomfortable as it magnifies what we don’t like about ourselves…


Carl Jung says ‘ What you resist, persists’…


And I believe that. The more you resist something, the more you want it! A bit like chocolate when on a diet or wine on a detox!


The more you push something away, the more you think about it, the more energy you give to it…   and therefore the more focus you give it.


So to release the pressure that comes with resisting, you have to let it go. It’s a bit like my stiff muscles in my yogic poses! The more I resisted the pose, the more I found I couldn’t move… and yet when I breathed, relaxed and let it go… the resistance left and I felt at peace…


Looking back, I resisted the grief for the loss of my Mum and the sad situation we find her in, I fought it… tried to push on through. The more I pushed the anguish down, the more I fed the pain…

What you resist persists

When I recognised it and met it face on, I was able let the pain out, I felt release. I felt calm.


To Resist.


Far better to step in, face the resistance and release…



Brain Fog

Brain Fog.

I nearly forgot to pick up Tom today.

I can’t believe I am writing that.

I nearly forgot to pick up Tom today.

I thought I was picking up Willy…

Was it just forgetfulness?

Was it just distraction, involved in doing something else?

Was it just confusion with car share changes?

Was it just confusion with Willy’s new clubs?

Was it just lack of realization of the time?

Was it due to sleep deprivation?

Was it due to brain fog?

Typically, the night before, I like to look through my diary for the following day and mentally review it to make sure it all works, fits in.. and find some time to find my 10 minutes, my breathing space, my admin…. For there is always admin when running a house and 2 children. By doing so, I cement the plan for the next day and I know what follows what, so I can be prepared, make sure I take everything I need for the day… know what to wear when I wake up.

I did that last night…

So what went wrong today?

Today I have momentary envy for my old single life with only me to look after, feed, exercise, clothe and satisfy. I know that if I had even one hour, or even half an hour of my old life, I would be lonely, unsatisfied…   but it was much simpler! I have to admit that!

It is quite nice to daydream of a full, uninterrupted night sleep – with no poorly children, or snoring husbands… but back in my single days, I was interrupted by the bus, the aeroplanes, the on-call phone by my bed…

It is quite nice to daydream of a single list of jobs to do just for me, or work…but back in my single days, it was all about me and there is so much more to be gained by doing more for others…

It is quite nice to daydream of a tidy room, tidy house or messy if I wanted it!… but back in my single days, I wasn’t really that tidy! And I like the homely chaos… (even if Mr OCD doesn’t)… it reminds me of all the people I have in my life..

It is quite nice to daydream of long lie-ins or hangover slobbing on the sofa… but back in my single days, my hangovers could last all day… whereas now, I have to get up, I have to eat, I have to go to rugby / football / make breakfast and those distractions help me shift my focus from my thumping head, lurching stomach..

So where am I going with this?

I have no idea.

I have brain fog.

Brain fog

Leftover risotto…

I am shocked to find myself ravenously gobbling (yes gobbling) up the boys’ leftover creamy, cheesy leftover risotto…

Even more shocked to find that I am ravenously gobbling up the boys’ leftover risotto from the pan… AND with the spoon!

I stop gobbling for a few minutes and change the spoon for a fork.

I continue gobbling.

Somehow having a fork makes it ok…

To eat from a pan…?

Or to eat leftovers?

To eat creamy carbs on a week night when I haven’t exercised?…

I am not sure…

So why I am shocked? I bet many people eat kids leftovers. I bet quite a few eat from a pan… saves washing up right?

It’s not something I would do.

The eating off a spoon – terribly uncouth.

The eating from a pan – even more so!

The eating kids leftovers – in my opinion and experience, a slippery slope of adding in extra unrequired calories a day which can lead to the middle aged middle.

These are behaviours, I wouldn’t usually allow myself to do.

My personal standards today have clearly slipped!

So that begs the question, why is that? What happened today to make me resort to eating leftover boy’s tea off a spoon from the pan?

Looking at the facts of what needed to happen today:

Tom needed to be ready to leave at 7.20am to get to school on time for 8am.

Willy and I both needed to be at the same school for 9.15am.

Willy needed picking up from the school at 2.15pm.

Tom needed picking up from the same school at 4.45pm.

2 drop offs / 2 pick ups and the rest of the day was mine to do what I wanted.

That sounds boringly easy. Simple. And definitely not ‘eating leftovers with a spoon from a pan’- like…

Or at least what I would have thought – pre-kids, suited and booted, off on the corporate ladder warpath, ignorant to life as a mum…

For adding in to the simple recipe of 4 drop off and pick ups – add in the additional factors:

The school is a 40 minute each way commute.

You could argue that I could have made one trip both ways, hung out near the school for a few hours.

However, while Tom gets dressed, makes and eats his breakfast, does his ablutions independently and without any fuss… Willy does not.

Willy likes to take his time, having breakfast in his pyjamas (he hates to get his school clothes with one spot of a meal on them, let alone any spillage of water – Mr OCD in miniature).

Willy likes 3 rounds of toast, made for him with just the right amount of butter.

Any rushing Willy or deferring him from his routine, ends up meaning disaster. He would not be ready for 7.20 am.

The return journey… I could have picked up Willy at 2.15 and hung about around school for Tom.   But Tom was on an away rugby fixture and 4.45pm pick up is likely to mean 5.15pm. And in my professional Mum’s opinion 3 hours is too long to hang around in coffee shops… or go shopping with a 6 year old (chaos or massive expenditure)…. And going home to drop Willy off and back again would be just a waste of time and petrol…

So the simple recipe of today has been logistically tricky… not only in terms of cost effectiveness, timeliness but also the added important factor of keeping 2 small boys fed, watered and most importantly happy – ensuring both of them get the same level of love and attention as each other…. (I am still conscious of Willy’s melt down only a few weeks ago because I spend too much time with Tom…albeit on school runs, but he doesn’t understand that).

Add in to the simple recipe, the ingredients that are required to keep my life plans and my business moving in the direction that I want it.

Add in to the simple recipe, the ingredients that are required to keep my health and sanity in tact.

Add in to the simple recipe, the necessary ingredients that are required to keep the household functioning, the endless list of ‘jobs’ that come with being a home owner, a wife, a friend… HMRC to ring, the garage to ring and pay a bill, anniversary present to buy, etc etc etc…

I had thought that leaving my corporate job would leave me to have a more balanced life for my children, my relationships and me….

When I imagined this balanced life – the image of an old fashioned scale came into my mind… and rather than being heavily tipped over to the corporate, career side with my family, friendships and me left wanting more, swaying precariously high up… the scale would be even, equal, perfectly level, calm, immobile…

I realize now that that is an image that is something unachievable. There is no such thing as perfect. There is no such thing as perfect balance. Trying to achieve that is setting a standard far too high, impossible! And as such just another reason to beat myself up for not achieving something…

This image and realization then triggers another memory… a clip or a talk that I stumbled across once.. A guest on Oprah, once said exactly that. Work / life balance is just another reason, another weapon for women to beat themselves up for not getting it right.

I love what she says afterwards… Embrace the beautiful mess that you are.. that we all are.

So today I embrace being a beautiful mess…. Driving the same route multiple times, catching quick coffees with friends to fill the time between road trips, scribbling business plans on note pads, phone calls from the car… a beautiful mess of a Mum with boys on my knee at tea time, boys on my lap on the sofa… coaxing little ones to bed with promises of treats… patiently watching Willy flap and cry for 10 minutes in a particularly bad night terror as I have my cup of herbal sleep tea… protecting him from sharp corners, walls and tables…

It is therefore rather fitting that my supper was a beautiful mess too… a beautiful mess in the bottom of the pan that tasted so good… off a spoon.

beautiful mess

The little jeweled box

The little box..

While on holiday with my Dad and sister in Cornwall over half term we had many discussions about Mum and how we felt…   My Dad is by far the best at coping, dealing, managing with the sadness, loss, change… Maybe it is because he has had longer to come to terms with the demise of my Mum’s brain, her personality, her… having lived with it daily for many years…

One evening, I asked him how he managed to stay so positive and focused on the future, without feeling guilty or letting the grief overwhelm him as it was me. What could I do,  so that I could focus on getting my life back on track and being the best version of myself, to being the best mother to my boys, the caring wife, the brave, fearless and professional business owner… so that I could get back to being myself, my positive self, the optimist, happy, full of vitality and spirit.

He talked about a box.

He puts ‘Mum’ in a box.

And every now and then, he will allow himself to open the box… either when he is visiting her, or in quiet moments at home.

He will open the box and think of her – and smile at happy memories.

He will open the box and think of her – and allow sadness in.

He will close the box of Annie. And open the box of the life of John, Dad and Grandad and fill it. Fill it with adventures, of ice creams, silliness and cricket, rugby or tennis… making new friends and having fun.

This is a technique I started to apply on hearing about it. For Mum has been floating around my head like a ghost and interrupting everything in the life of Ali.

I am getting better. I tried to put Mum in box. At first the box was too small. Too plain. She wouldn’t go in. So typical of her. She never did want someone wanted her to do, if she didn’t want to do it first.

So I have covered it in diamonds and pearls. Her favourites.

And filled it with chocolates – Swiss. It had to be. She only ever ate Lindt. Anything else was inferior.

And filled it with kittens – Siamese kittens. Soft, silky and squeaky. Her babies.

She is going in more frequently now… a little less stubborn. And she is staying in her box more too.

I am finding I have control of the box, rather than her having control of my mind.

I can go to the box at any time and open the lid to check to see if she is ok. Sometimes, she is sleeping. Sometimes, she just looks up and smiles while playing with the kittens and waves to let me know she is ok.

Sometimes she invites me in for a chocolate. The sweetness of her treats, softens the bitterness of the memories.

Sometimes, I stay a while and let the memories float across my mind. The first time she picked me up from boarding school… I couldn’t see her in the crowd… only Dad with his wonky walk in the distance… but before I could get to him, being swept up in her arms and smothered with kisses, love and the smell of her Fendi perfume.   The time she first held Tom… pride and love oozing from every part of her. The same memory tinged with sadness as I know she would be so proud of Tom now.. and Willy.

Sometimes, the painful memories creep in and I have to close the lid… The last time she came to Yorkshire and Tom flying out of the classroom door and in to Grandad’s arms… Mum not knowing who they were… and the realization that this would be the last time she saw them and the boys had her in their lives. And always the haunting memory of her face against the window pain, rattling at the door, trying to follow us out of the mental hospital.

I softly close the lid of the jeweled box and let her get back to her kittens and chocolates.

I softly close the lid of the jeweled box of Mum and go back to my life and know that I can visit whenever I want to, need to and would like to…


The tale of two Karens

A tale of two Karen’s…

To help me turn my ‘unhappy’ list into a happy one… I needed to enlist the help of 2 Karen’s… Both I consider good friends and both excellent in their chosen paths.

Karen… According to the Internet, the name ‘Karen’ is a Greek name and means ‘Pure’.

And both these wonderful ladies, friends are experts in purity and purifying others. 

My date this morning was with the first KAren who purifies with her hands… We refer to my sessions as her time in the boxing ring as she pummels and kneads, before smoothing and softening .. Releasing the stress, sadness, guilt, anger, releasing the tension, releasing the toxins stored in my muscles… My muscles tired from carrying my burdens, often self imposed through my thoughts, my feelings…. 

And so while KAren is a magician with her hands, my date with the second KAren is like the scene in Harry Potter, where Dumbledore uses his wand to pull the memories from his mind and put them in the Pensieve. Like Dumbledore, Karen is a wizard, but she is a wizardess of the mind… She draws out what needs to be said… And holds it for me to see and make sense of it. We analyse the words together and go deeper in to the feelings and emotions attached…. We cleanse my mind of the bad thoughts, bad feelings… We put Dobby the house elf and my saboteur to rest … For the time being anyway! 


I get homework from both…. Karen with the magic hands tells me to drink lots of water to continue to flush out the toxins.  Karen with the magic words advises me to continue to let the words and expressions out… To flush out the thoughts and feelings through self expression – whether through the written word, drawing or anything creative.

So it has been a day of personal purification… And I learnt that self-care, self-cleansing, self-awareness is absolutely required and should be done guilt free…

…the guilt that I usually feel for taking time for myself has diminished (still there a little… but a lot less).  I have appreciated that this afternoon, I was a far calmer, far more relaxed and had the ability to give more attention to Tom as he wanted to take me for lunch (he wanted to pay… but needed my wallet!)… had more patience to sit and watch the boys and their friend rag round the park for well over an hour (I usually get itchy feet after 40 minutes!), get on the swings with them and see who could swing the highest or until we were sick!    So the time I spent on myself this morning, paid back and gave others joy… and my boys went to be happy …. and dirty – grubby knees can be washed in the morning! ..

So a day of asking for help… and of personal purification I recommend it.

I strongly recommend it….



And if you need help…. Here are my Karens…

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!)