As my sister tucks my 10 year old into bed for the fifteenth time, he tells her ‘I like the luxury life’. Himself and my niece have been in and out of bed like yo-yos, such is the excitement of being away together! Our 12 year old, who is a prolific reader, slopes off to his (single) room to enjoy the benefits of the dimmer lamp that he’s discovered. #1 son mutters something about ‘streaks’ and makes his way up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire. I won’t spoil the surprise for any future visitors to the Farmhouse but one of the staircases is particularly quirky;Read More →

So I knew when I started planning my 40th celebrations that I wanted to go big…I mean BIG! As someone who doesn’t get out all that often, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get this taped. This meant trying to come up with something that encompassed all of my favourite things and all of my favourite people. I started trawling the internet for inspiration as some kind of house party sounded like a good idea. This meant that everybody could enjoy themselves without having the worry of having to drive home and that hopefully we could weave some more activities (and Prosecco) into the weekend.Read More →

“Oh Lisa!”. My mum was mortified, shuffling quickly away from the display of artwork and casting my poor, totally oblivious, dad a sideways look. In doing so she’d probably drawn more attention to what was an innocent work of art by an eight year old than she’d intended. Below the carefully crafted picture was a description which read in my best joined-up ‘My mum’s name is Glen and she works in the bookies’. My mum was keeping up appearances long before Hyacinth Bucket came on the scene. My mum was a force of nature. She would talk to anyone and I mean anyone…years of workingRead More →

It’s official. This mum is escaping her official duties for the weekend and soon…wahey. The husband is kindly taking over the reins for the weekend whilst my big sister and I make merry in London town. It’s all part of my extended significant birthday celebrations and I can’t wait. The anticipation started in November when my sister asked me which weekends I’d be free around my birthday. Having provided a long list of available dates, I was already beginning to speculate about what we might get up to. By December, as a naturally impatient person, I was ready to be put out of my misery and I was not disappointedRead More →

So Valentines Day is well and truly upon us. Preparations have been painstakingly made, gifts carefully chosen and an evening of suave sophistication is what myself and my knight have to look forward to (smug grins all round). Rewind five hours to my most recent dash around Morrisons and attempts to find a suitably expressive card, one that encapsulates nearly 18 years of love, happy memories, occasional irritation and momentary simmering resentment. The crowd around the Valentines card section is four-deep, I kid you not. The 10 year old and I eventually manage to get to the front, having barged in front of a manRead More →

I remember it so well. The moment that we first met. It was May 2000. I was 22. I’d just moved to a new town, to start my nurse training, and was in the process of building up a new network of friendships. The internet was becoming more and more accessible to everyone and was a great way to ‘meet’, even virtually, new people, provided you had a dial-up connection. Forget your Instagram, your MSN and Facebook; Yahoo Chat and Yahoo Messenger were our weapons of choice. You made yourself stand out with your ironic username and the colour of your font. Friendships were quicklyRead More →

So at work today (in between working extremely hard) we were discussing letters. I may not be a ‘Hoarders from Hell’-level hoarder but I do have a bit of a tendency towards nostalgia and like to keep things that I consider to be of sentimental value. My husband may classify some of these items as ‘recycling’. Over the years, I have kept most of the letters that friends and family have sent to me, and tonight (whilst the husband works) I have dug them all out.  The first thing that struck me about my near record-breaking collection of letters was the power of them. WithinRead More →