This Easter Holidays, top of my list of things to do with my boys was to introduce them to all (or at least a few) of the wonders that London has to offer. I was sixteen when I first went to London and I still remember all the excitement of that day out now. Whether it’s for a mini-break or a grand day out, London has so much to offer.   Getting there Even though driving to London would take us in the region of three hours, we’re really close to the East Coast mainline and can be at Kings Cross within 90 minutes soRead More →

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 was 1982. Two time travellers lay in their beds, pressing the buttons on their velvet upholstered headboards, imagining that it was the year 2000 and we were flying around in our rockets. Back then I don’t think my sister and I could even begin to imagine where technology would take us. A decade on and I had my very first regular babysitting job. Every Friday and Saturday night, I would have uninterrupted access to unlimited games of Tetris on my next door neighbour’s Super Nintendo Entertainment System (or SNES as it was known). I became good at it, incredibly good at it, so goodRead 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 →

I love to shop. If shopping were a sport, I’d be in the category of ‘Elite Athlete’ such is my commitment to it. As a poor student, living in the wonderful city of Sheffield, I became the first known sufferer of the ailment known as ‘Shopper’s foot’ (yes – a 13-hour shopping marathon at Meadowhall will do that to a person). When my boys came along, one of the most exciting aspects of preparing for their arrival (aside from them doing the in utero conga late into the night) was the shopping. I remember being 8 months’ pregnant with #1 son and lovingly ironing everyRead More →

After all my talk of nobody sending letters anymore, I’ve received a letter. It’s addressed to me personally and it’s an invitation. No need to RSVP here…I just need to pick up the phone and arrange an appointment for my smear test. This week, it’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. Recent statistics suggest that number of women attending for their smear test has been steadily dropping since 2012, with one in four women not attending for their routine smear. In the 25 – 29 years age bracket, this drops to one in three women. Smear tests prevent 75% of cervical cancers from developing, which is really quiteRead 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 →