Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Greenbelt release- is there another way?

Last night I started writing some notes in advance of this evenings constituency meetings relating to the potential release of greenbelt land on the Wirral. Notes very quickly turned into a sort of rant, the bulk of which is here so, before you read on I must make you aware of some caveats to this massive monologue…

  • I absolutely appreciate that I am not an expert. I am not a planner and I don’t have any experience in this area (aside from occasional conversations with Mr L and a human geography degree & PGCE from 102 years ago)
  • I understand completely that I am probably not aware of all of the finer detail of the various plans that the council, developers and other stakeholders have.
    I understand basic market rules, I know about supply and demand and the fact that things are only worth what someone is or isn’t prepared to pay
    I know that we are an island; I understand we have a finite amount of space and, as our population grows we need more (and different types) of housing which means that it is inevitable that some greenfield space will be lost over time.
  • I know that there are many, many examples of fantastic and sympathetic new developments, built on greenbelt land which have allowed new communities to develop and ones which were under threat thrive again.
  • I am nervous of posting this. I don’t want to be seen as obstructive or difficult or naïve and childish quietly wishing for the impossible. My current contract is working within the Birkenhead BID and I genuinely can see really positive change happening in the area and I want to continue to be a part of that.

BUT I also know this;

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What is art anyway (and can anyone appreciate it?) #Aurora

A few months ago I received an email from the lovely people at FACT Liverpool asking me whether I’d like to be a part of an advisory group to help discuss and develop ideas to engage a broader audience as they move forwards. I was thrilled to be asked of course but, as I composed my reply I felt it necessary to fess up to the fact (excuse the pun) that I am absolutely hopeless at art and in fact, Art in its most traditional form is something that in the past I have been a little intimidated by.

I’ve always felt that my brain doesn’t really ‘get it’. As if the artist is trying to express something way beyond my comprehension and, as a result I’ve probably tried too hard to understand it instead of just seeing what I see and enjoying it from my own perspective. Second guessing people isn’t fun at the best of times and second guessing an unmade bed or a cow in formaldehyde wasn’t really a priority for me in the early noughties so it’s fair to say that I’ve sort of shied away from it a bit and haven’t got much knowledge of the traditional art world at all. I’ve never spent a huge amount of time in galleries. Libraries yes; Mr L and I spent hours in the ‘main branch’ of New York Central Library many years ago- and I could happily reside in Liverpool library with its poetry and glass domes. May be I just naturally focused my attention on the stuff that I understood more readily. The Peoples Palace in Glasgow for example held my attention for the best part of a day and I see something new and absorbing every time we go to the Liverpool museum. But, traditional picture on wall writing in a box underneath galleries haven’t often been on the must visit list. As I grow older though, I really would like the time to amble around a gallery and ponder the why’s and the wherefores of the pictures before me but, with two young children there isn’t a huge amount of time for that at the moment!

Anyway, back to FACT. Fact actually stands for Foundation for art and creative technology and they are the UK’s leading media arts centre offering a unique programme of exhibitions, film and participant-led art projects. Based in the town centre of Liverpool FACT is just one of the many organisations in the area that helps keep Liverpool at the absolute top of its game in respect of the quality and variety of exhibitions and artists of all disaplines it attracts. There is always something to see. This evening that something was the preview event for FACT’s latest installation; AURORA; an “epic immersive experience” based within the bowels of the old Toxteth Reservoir and I was invited along.

Honestly, I very, very nearly didn’t go. It was cold, pouring with rain, I didn’t know anyone else that would be there and a large part of me had that old nigle… you won’t get it and everyone else will be proper arty types that know what they’re taking about… gulp.

In the end, I went along mainly because I had asked my mum to babysit and I didn’t want to mess her around but I am so very glad I did;

It reminded me of the beauty of people power.

This installation is a collaboration between artists from the UK, India and Indonisia. It has been 2 years in the making! It’s involved schools from across Toxteth as well as the wider community. There has been multiple sponsors and funding applications to bring the artists vision to reality. The people on the doors, giving out tickets and wrist bands and holding the torches are FACT volunteers. Absolutely everyone involved is so proud of what they’ve achieved together and it really felt like a community effort as we gathered in the church hall for out briefing this evening.

It consumed me

For 40 minutes I was removed from the chaos and mundanity of modern life. To begin with I was still that anxious non artist trying to second guess what the real artists wanted me to think or see or feel at particular points but, the longer I stood, the less that mattered to me. I was just totally absorbed by the lighting and the hauntingly stirring music; it filled my ears and reverberated in my bone and when it was over I felt like I wanted to cry!

It was just for me.

I am so pleased I was able to attend and experience it completely by going alone. I didn’t hear anyone else’s take on it. I didn’t have to articulate what I thought of it and I didn’t have to rush or linger. I was there viewing it in my own time on my own terms.

As we exited the experience we were handed postcards asking

“what did the installation mean to you?”

At the time I couldn’t find a way to articulately express my thoughts so here they are a few hours late.

Water is life. It is constant but it is ever changing. It has the power to soothe and to scare. To calm and to kill. It will outlast us all and it is beautiful.

Thank you FACT. Thank you to the artists; Invisible Flock, thank you to everyone that played a part in getting this art installation to completion. I found it mood altering, mind opening, utterly absorbing and completely consuming. In short, brilliant.

Thanks for reminding me that art comes in various forms and it is for all. Thanks for bringing it to a new space and a new audience. I can’t wait for the next meeting (if you’ll have me back?!)

The installation is open between 21st Sept and 7th October and is well worth a visit. Book online and take your wellies…unless you want to get wet feet! Find out more online at the FACT website and, if you do go, don’t forget to tell me what you think!

Until next time!

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It’s a tough job…no seriously, it is!

Those of you that have followed my blog or follow me on social media will likely know by now that I often go about things in fits and starts. I have always been the same and, it is something that I have to work quite hard to manage; food wise I can be feast or famine and it a similar story with exercise and writing. I love writing, I love running, I love yoga and every single time I do any of them I wonder why I don’t (or haven’t til now) done a little bit of all of them daily! They all make me feel like the best me and I like that me most!

Anyway… Last week, when I launched my book, Time for Bed Baby, (which as an aside you can buy here now- totally shameless plug 🙂 ) my lovely friend Karen came along to support and reminded me just how much I enjoy writing and encouraged me to just do it! It is both amazing and infuriating to think that multi award winning blogger of Mini Travellers fame asked me for my tips when starting her blog. Amazing that someone as smart and savvy as Karen even felt the need to ask little old me and infuriating to think of how my blog might have grown had I just been a. little. bit. more. consistant… AAARRRGGGHHH!! Anywho; That is where consistency, hard work, general loveliness and talent get you.

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In truth, I haven’t always felt like I’ve had anything of value or importance to say and, since I am neither a clothes horse or a beauty babe reviews on either of those topics were a non starter (in my humble opinion!) but, in my new role as BDM for The Wirral Visitor Economy Network I am finding that I do have a go to topic when I am lacking any first hand ‘Muma Leary type news! so, here’s today’s outing…

As I type I am soaking in the view from Thurstaston country park having popped in to see three brilliant new businesses spitting distance from  our house- WINNING!

First up,Just Baked @ Church Farm.

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On 13th June lovely David and Aidrienne took over the café at Church Farm. They have brightened it up, changed the menu and it is looking great. I chatted to Aidrienne as she made scones that my Grandma would have been jealous of!  In less than a month they have turned a 2* trip advisor rating to a 5. It is clean and bright and well worth a visit especially as they welcome dogs- HOORAY!

Excitingly, Church Farm are now leasing small units to local businesses so expect more exciting changes there soon. You can find out more by following them on Facebook  as well as Instagram and Twitter.

Next up is The White Owl; I considered a disguise for this one- last time I was here my girls were particularly feral and knocked over a coffee and a juice in quick succession; not the chilled out yummy mummy vibe I was going for! I needn’t have worried, I was met by Zara the manager who was warm and friendly and keen to tell me about their live music Saturdays and other regular events such as Globe Boppers which can be found at the Owl each Wednesday. Free parking, fab coffee (when it’s not lashed on the floor!) and a glorious view which I soaked up in solitude.

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So far, it’s sounding  like a tough day hey! I KNOW- Don’t get me started on the smug; I can not even articulate how lucky I am feeling  today! I adore living on the Wirral. LOVE. IT. Partly this is down to the fact that I have got a core of immense friends and family but it’s also down to the feel of the place, the views and the mix of coast and countryside as well as the towns and businesses. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather raise my girls.  Soznotsoz.

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we’re close to the sea! whoop!

Today I was lucky enough to meet the awesome new owner of GJ’s coffee shop, Fliss. Straight away it was obvious that she shares the same #WonderfulWirral vibe and is full of exciting plans for GJ’s over the coming weeks and months. Fliss took over less than 3 months ago and has already put her stamp on the popular spot- the jukebox will be back in working order very soon and the café will be opening earlier on a Sunday as of September to coincide with the launch of Junior Park run- perfect!

Foodwise you’ve got it all covered. Full on breakfasts with very generous portions, light as a feather meringues from Nova in Heswall, Fudge from Irby and some incredible looking vegan cakes from Cakehole in Liverpool.  Dogs are welcome indoors and out and they have their very own biscuits, ice cream as well as a ‘Star Barks’ water stop outside. Check out their page on Facebook and Insta and show Fliss and her team some love.

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If the insane quality of my writing has enticed you to want to pop to our #ParadisePeninsula for a break you can find out more about what to do, where to stay and all that jazz on the Visit Wirral website. See you soon!

Much Love,

Muma.

XxxX

 

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30 years on. Lessons I’ve learnt about grief.

I wanted to write something articulate and beautifully moving to mark the 30th anniversary of my dad’s death but, it just isn’t coming to me.

The verses are disjointed and fractured and just don’t fit properly together. They’re ok-some bits are really good (yes- that is the sound of me blowing my own trumpet!) but it’s not the way I imagined it would…a bit like life really.

The truth is you can’t always make something so sad sound romantic and poetic.

Sometimes things just are what they are and all you can do is survive and remake a different life from the wreckage of what was left behind.

I am 37 still mourn the life we could have had. I see Adam with our girls and my heart swells and breaks in equal measure. I want to have more of my own memories with my daddy, as a fsmily of 4. I want my children to have a grandpa and my mum to have a mate.

But- if we had that, maybe we wouldn’t have this- our super tight, absolutely unbreakable three muscateer mentality. And yet, knowing how amazingly fortunate I am doesn’t undo how cheated I feel. Such is life.

I love my life. I love the fact that I know absolutely unequivocally how loved I was and am by my family. I love my daughter’s and my husband and my friends and I share my opinions and emotions with anyone who shows a passing interest. That is who I am.

I am who I am because of the experiences I have had- we all are. I’m nothing special!

Was this the path I would have chosen- no way.

Do I wish my daddy was here? Daily.

Am I making the best life I can with the hand I was dealt? Damn right.

Our loss is no one else’s lesson.

There’s no way of forcing people to truly appreciate their lives and their loves through someone else’s unrelated experience;

It’s the grief equivalent of saying finish your dinner, other people are starving. It doesn’t work!

But…what if you could learn a weeny lesson…what if you could really truly imagine that today was your last day… would you walk a little slower, squeeze a little tighter, linger a little longer, laugh a little louder and love a little harder?

Course you would! I’d recommend it.

(PS- here is the verse…work in progress!)

30 years ago today,
My darling daddy passed away.
He went without fanfare or fuss,
And broke the hearts of all of us.

He left 2 girls without a dad.
And even now it makes me sad.
He left our mum without a mate
This was just our hand of fate.

I miss the things I never had.
I miss just being with my dad.
I missed him walk me down the aisle.
He missed cuddles with his new grandchild.

He missed growing old with my mum.
They thought the best was yet to come.
We miss him every single day.
We wish it hadn’t been this way.

I would have grown up anyway
But in a very different way.
And so it is and will always be.
The death of him is what makes me me.

With lots of love.

Muma. X

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End of an era (or…are you ready Red Class!)

So, this is it…this is the moment we have all been working towards- 2 bona fide children in actual school. Not nursery (with the awesome 52 weeks a year provision!). Not pre-school (with the option to bring your cuddlies and skip the odd day) but actual, get fined if you bunk off, big school.

I appreciate that, having been through this whole rigmarole just a year ago I should be double hard and ready to toss the baby into the class with barely a backwards glance but- having actually cried in a coffee shop today I can sense that it’s not going to be quite that simple. 😂

I have spent most of my days over the last 4 years and 9 months with my littlie and I am not quite ready for this part of our lives to be over. Admittedly when she was 2 1/2 she was a bloody nightmare for much of the time but- we weathered that particular storm and now she is my shadow, my constant companion and I am going to miss her like crazy!

So- some words of advice that I wrote for her naming day are getting a second airing tonight- for 2 reasons;

1) they are still true

2) my creative juices are exhausted!

Advice for Life.

Good grief!
What advice people can give.
Going round telling others how they think they should live.

So Hannah, these snippets were written just for you.
Take them or leave them, it’s all up to you.

Be kind.
Be polite.
Try to sleep through the night.
If you think something’s wrong try putting it right.

Dream big dreams Han,
as big as you dare,
For if you should stumble we’ll always be there.

Work hard at school.
Never, ever be cruel.
But don’t be afraid of bending some rules.

If you see someone struggle,
Don’t walk on by,
Give a hand, give a smile
Please don’t be shy.

Don’t try to conform,
Just be yourself.
You are at least the equal of anyone else.

Don’t think life is easy,
Sometimes it is tough.
But that’s no excuse to treat others rough.

Don’t get confused by money or fame,
At the end of your life all you have is your name.
My sweetheart, you are bound to make some mistakes.
No worries, that happens to all of life’s greats.

Life is for living,
You get just one go.
So live it my darling and never let go.

Right-thats that! Let’s get out the big girl pants and help our super second into the next phase…

Good Luck Hannah- you’re going to be amazing.

Muma.

XxxX

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And then poof- just like that, it was gone

I can’t believe that this is it!

After all of the build up and anticipation we have come to the end of our first proper School Summer Holidays- where did they even go? At the risk of becoming a total cliche mum I feel like they flew by in a whirl of picnics, park trips and Peter Pan Party Prep!

I am sad that I stopped regularly blogging but there never seems to be enough hours in the day for me to fit it all in- perhaps now you will both be in school it might be different…. I know others do- plus much more but there it is- no one but no one is doing it all- whatever it looks like.

Every so often though, I want to write to you, my beautiful babies no more babes, just so one day you can look back in a teenage tantrum and catch a glimpse of how special you are and how loved you have always been…

3 people in the last two days have commented that ‘I bet you can’t wait until they’re back at school?!’

Maybe I look knackered (axe the maybe) maybe it’s just a conversation piece, maybe I am thinking on it too long but do you know what?

I can wait.

I honestly really can (and not only because I haven’t got my finger out of my ass for long enough to finish your school bags and name tags and PE Kits). It is because I love you.

I love being around you.

I love hearing your little conversations with each other, I love having chilled out breakfast times and PJ days and doing almost anything with you. You two amazing little humans- and your daddy rock my world. You always have.

I’m not saying you’re perfect or that I am either; let’s not pretend there haven’t been tears and tests and tantrums.

I’m not saying that this whole six weeks has been an unadulterated dream- there have been plenty of challenges- recall the dark day I swiped all of your craft clutter into a binbag because seriously why does glitter have to go EVERYWHERE and why in God’s name do I have to repeat myself 17 times in order for 1 pen to be picked up and yet you can hear me rustle a packet of buttons from the bottom of the bloody garden.

But, those memories are already distant specks in comparison to me watching you swim 5 metres on your own and sharing the sea with you whilst we body boarded in Cornwall.

Visiting Polperro and climbing to the highest possible beer garden!

Careering down the slide at the Crocky Trail with your cousin and friends.

The day our picnic blew away.

Reading just one more chapter of The Far Away Tree.

Reciting all the words to SING!

Our day in Bristol with Daddy when you paddled in your pants.

The bus tour of Liverpool.

Chester Zoo.

Your on going musical education in the shape of The Beatles and Deacon Blue as well as breakfast discos with Uptown Funk and Happy!

The fabulous family party

The photoshoot on the hill.

All of these and a million more.

Every day has given us time to be together, to do something and nothing and it has been a privilege and I know that not having to juggle too much work has made this possible and I am so fortunate and grateful to be in that position.

So, when you pull on your shiny new shoes and button up your cardigans and skip off for your first day back and, for you Hannah- your first day of big school, know this- I would have done this Summer with you a hundred times over.

Someone else said to me yesterday that you are wonderful girls and I should be extremely proud. I am. Now and always.

Daddy and I will love you until the seas run dry and my loves, that will never happen.

Muma.

XxxX

Image credit to the amaxing Frith Photography.

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Supporting our Sporting Sisters… (or why physical activity is so important for us girls)

Over the last couple of months, probably since I ran my first race of the year, The Wirral Way half marathon on 8th January, I have been thinking more about what sport means to me…by sport- I principally mean running, yoga and the odd few lengths whilst the kids are swimming.

At school I wasn’t a natural sports woman- my hand eye coordination is aabsolutely awful and I was forever trapped between the option of pitting everything into swinging my rounders bat and hitting fresh air anyway or ‘styling it out’ and barely raising my wrist before slinking off to ‘sit off’ with the cool girls.

No- my early experience of team sport taught me that I prefer the stuff where I can only embarrass myself as opposed to letting a whole team down. The memories of missing an all important and ‘easy’ catch in netball, numerous air shots in tennis and totally spooning it in front of a wide open goal still make my cheeks flush almost 3 decades on and yet running with friends, a serious session of hot yoga or a silent swim are things that I absolutely LOVE and make my cheeks flush in a totally different amd all together more welcome way.

As a child mum used to run in the mornings before our dad left for work (obviously after he died this was off the agenda) but she played badminton every Friday which meant Film nights for my sister and our two bessies, Sarah-Jane and Rachel. At almost 74 she still plays at least twice a week and regularly goes walking with a group; Being active was normal in our house. Our dad played squash and went windsurfing every Sunday and we were forever being ferried to swimming and gyming and the rest of it. Gymnastics was my absolute favourite thing and going on a Friday with H it is all I can manage not to get up on the beam or crack out a cartwheel- it felt like magic  and I wasn’t even that good!

I know that this isn’t the experience for everyone and, since running the London marathon in April, I am realising just how many women feel that exercise is an unreachable goal… When I crossed the finish line at London this year I had 131 messages! 131- WOW. Lots of congratulations from men and women but many more from women- mainly mum’s, saying that they could not imagine being able to run 10km, let alone a marathon. Many went on to say that they can’t remember the last time they did anything more physical than running after a scooting toddler (and I am not for a second saying that’s not physical but it’s not a 100% reliable or safe form of exercise is it!)

I have written before about how, when I was at one of my lowest points- signed off work and living back at home with my mum- we swam. Every single day, come rain or shine we got up (or to put it more accurately, my mum got me up), we drove to the pool and both swam. Slowly, slowly; stroke by stroke, I got better. Don’t get me wrong- I was also speaking to a counsellor and taking medication but, I know categorically that the swimming helped significantly- me and my mum. The incredible documentary Mind over Marathon and the strength of the Heads Together campaign is making it more and more normal to talk about mental health and, a part of the discussion is happily focusing on the part physical health and being active play on being mentally well. If exercise wasn’t a part of my life, I know that I would be in a very different place and not a good one.

Now, as a mum of 2 wonderful daughters I want to be at my best for them. Exercise keeps my head out of the shed and they see that it is something that I do. Something that I prioritise and make time for. I love taking them swimming and gyming and now B is trying her hand at tennis (thanks to the free LTA initiative) and is already better than me but, the main thing is they enjoy it and, I hope that in laying these foundations early they will foster a love of sport or, at the very least not fake period pains every PE class…

It is important for me that our girls grow up knowing that they have access to any job any sport, any hobby that they want to pursue. That there isn’t such a thing as a boy’s game and yet sadly, at the moment that simply isn’t the case. At the school sports day this week I was absolutely gobsmacked when the father’s race was longer by a good 10 metres than the mum’s race. WHAT?! Why?! Women run the same distance as men in athletics meets, the kids all ran the same distance in their races- what message does that send out? Mum’s can’t go as far? aren’t as fast? Aren’t as strong? I totally do not get it. I am going to pluck up the courage to be the pain in the ass parent that asks those questions…

and, on that note-

Today, whilst having a long over due hair cut I was reading “Eat Sweat Play by @Anna_Kessel . Initially I was photographing paragraphs that resonated with me but I pretty quickly realised that could amount to around 70% of the book. It is amazing and horrifying in equal measure. Nodding enthusiastically whilst getting a new do isn’t recommend and crying in a packed hair salon ain’t the best either but it is an brilliant and really important book which highlights how women are still marginalised in sport- ok to be the pit girls and the ones giving out the teddies at the Tour de France but not good enough for the big roles…. I would urge you to read it. It goes through a whole host of life experiences- pregnancy and being a mum are just two that can mean we as women drop sport and, once we’ve ‘thrown in the towel’ what will prompt us to pick it up again? Pressure about the way we look or a positive desire to feel fit and strong?

Wow- that turned into a bit of a rant- apologies for the ramble, there you have it- another blog post…perhaps I am getting my mojo back. 😊

I would love to hear your experience of sport and exercise and any book recommendations are always welcome.

Lots of love,

Muma.

XxxX

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Love beats Hate.

It’s been a long time since I last felt the urge to log on and blog but today, today I felt that, in order for me to try and make some sense of the indefensible, in order to show my respects and to mark this god awful day I should write.

My darling, darling girls,

I hope that this morning you didn’t notice that the radio was on super softly so you couldn’t hear the words ‘murder’, ‘suicide bomber’, ‘terror attack’, ’22 confirmed dead, some of them children’.

I hope you didn’t spot how wet my eyes were and how reluctant I was to let you go when I dropped you off at school.

I am so grateful that you were so wrapped up in your Lego cards you didn’t pick up on me almost choking when I said that I will love you until the seas run dry.

I am relieved that there was the distraction of sunshine and ballet and playing outside at Grandma’s rendering TV redundant but, I am also so, so deeply sad that tonight and for every night to come there are other families that are not as lucky as us. Families that are broken, lives shattered. Parents that will never breathe in the scent of their children again. I can not get my head around that at all.

Terrorism isn’t something new, there have always been and, will always be some cruel and dangerous people in the world. Last night, terrorism came (again to Manchester) and, I am sad to say, I don’t think this is the last we will see of this in your life times.

I can not profess to know the motives of the man who detonated a bomb after a pop concert last night or the person who drove a car into a crowded street but, I do know their minds are not wired the same way as ours. Their minds work on the idea that they can frighten people into doing or being what they want us to be. By committing these horrible, vicious attacks they hope to frighten us into living half lives, into shuffling about avoiding other people’s eyes. Not smiling at the sunshine and stopping to smell the roses.

As a mummy, it is my job to protect you and care for you as best I can and, I have never, ever felt more grateful to be able to have the time to be around as much as I am to do that. As a mummy though, it is also my job to be honest with you and so, with a heavy heart I must tell you both this.

Daddy and I can not protect you against this. I want nothing more on this earth than to wrap you up in cotton wool, stop all the clocks and stay in doors together forever; kind of like Branch from Trolls in his underground bunker but, drinking your own sweat is existing, not living.

Living my loves is about experiencing all that this beautiful, painful, screwed up world has to offer. It is about love and friendship and music and reading and travelling and tasting and EVERYTHING.

To attempt to live life avoiding danger or avoiding risk is to miss the point entirely.

So, instead, I will lead by example. I intend to redouble my efforts to show you all the wonders that this glorious planet has to offer. I want to remind you that, generally, life IS good and that love will always win over hate.

When we are frightened, we aren’t alone, and, just like Ella’s mummy says- “We must simply have courage and be kind.”

It isn’t simple. It is sometimes hard, it is brave and it can be scary but without that, without love, kindness and courage, what have we got?

Love and compassion, conversation and compromise, friendship and community are the most important tools that we have for overcoming fear. Manchester is full of all of these qualities. Our country is full of all of these qualities. The world, the world my darling is full of these amazing qualities and eventually they will prevail.

Muma.

XxxX

 

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For my baby…now your no longer a baby. (Or Happy Birthday Bethan #5!)

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To my darling Girl.

This time 5 whole years ago I was laid up in Slough hospital bed feeling much as I do now. Tired, emotional and a little anxious about what the future held.

Over the last half decade I have had the honour and pleasure of being your Muma. I have been your first port of call for everything you’ve needed and it has been so very precious.

Daddy and I are so proud of the loving, clever, sensitive, gym loving, map reading, funny little artist you are becoming. You make me beam when I see you with your baby cousin or your sister.
Your concern for others is so gentle and genuine and it is a beautiful thing. Don’t ever lose that.
Your desire to become a doctor is growing by the day it seems and I love to read the body book with you and learn new things along side you.
I love your confidence with animals and your willingness to try new foods. You are sometimes so quiet and thoughtful seeming so nervous and unsure and then KAZAM- you hit me with something so grown up.

Today you loved your gym party and it was awesome to see you surrounded by your friends and family having a ball. You played and shared and enjoyed showing everyone what to do without being a show off; no mean feat!

Big school is looming large on the horizon and with that comes big changes for Leary Life.
I will miss our Fridays together with your sister. I will miss chatting together over lunch watching I can Cook and I will miss your quiet little ways around the house.

But- there is so much for you to look forward to. So many new friends to make and things to do and learn.
You are ready for school. You don’t need me to tell you what to do but, because I am your Muma it is sort of in the job description so here goes:
Do your best, be kind, be confident and most of all, BE YOU.
I’ll be here waiting to hear all about it!

You are perfect and you are loved more than words can say.

Always.

Muma.

XxxxxxxX

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The times they are a changing…

Hi, long time no see and all that- apologies for the radio silence but I’ve been pretty busy.

Anyway, here we are, September, my favourite month of the year by far…usually.
This time around however it seems to have both crept up on me and been hanging over my head for months.
A new school year, a new season, another birthday both for me and my big little- there is much to celebrate and look forward to but somehow, I just don’t feel quite ready.

The holidays have been jam packed with weekends away, fun times with friends and the usual blend of chaos and ‘high spirits’ (by which I mean totally ignoring my reasonable requests and doing whatever the hell they like) but somewhere inside me I’ve had a niggle…I’ve felt a bit discombobulated.

On Monday our baby girl, my angel, turns 5. Tomorrow she’s having a fantabulous cookies and milk gym party. Soon, she’ll be at school full time and our life together will never be quite the same again.
I’ll still have the brilliance that is my baby baby at home with me on a Friday but she too is beginning at pre-school and, if I’m to prevent them turning into ‘those weird kids’ I need to accept that I can no longer refer to them as babies (no matter how I think it helps explain away the new mum muffin top).

My heart is hurting. Big time. I want to bottle the smell of their hair, the sound of them sleeping and the warmth of their after sleep skin. I can’t. You can’t hold back time and frankly, you’re a fool for trying but seriously, who hasn’t.

So, rather than stay here wollowing in the bath (lovely image for you all there!) today I’m going to pull on my big girl knickers, sew on the name tags, sort out the school shoes and finish our packing because, before I have to face full on reality, we have a week in Greece to enjoy. No phones (well, not too much) no school and no one to stop me holding on to my babies for a tiny bit longer.

I hope you are holding on and letting go more successfully than me….send tips if you are!

Strength and Love

Muma. X

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