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Cheaper than therapy

We’re Racing For Life…Jog on Cancer

Hi again All!

I hope this post finds you well and happy? I am- very happy in fact, I have received an email from the wonderful people at Aqua Pura who read my blog about last years Race for Life and wondered if I’d like to be a Race for Life Champion. You know me, usually I’d shun the lime light but, when offered a bottle of water, a free tee-shirt and a £50 donation to our Just Giving Page I caved in.

We love the Race for Life and this year, Aqua Pura are supporting the thousands of women that are getting involved to give cancer the heave-ho. They sent me a big old goodie box which, sadly, arrived on the Monday following the race but- we all need to hydrate don’t we so it hasn’t been wasted. photo (52)


Hands up if you’re doing a Race for Life this year.
Hands up if you’re doing it for somebody specific.
Someone you loved and lost,
Someone you love that is fighting or
someone you love that has fought and won.

This weekend, all the birds in my brood got  together to complete the Birkenhead Park Race for Life in order to give humongous thanks for the successful cancer treatment of the oldest and youngest of us.

Have you any idea how tough it is to get 8 females looking the same way at the same time?! Impossible!

Have you any idea how tough it is to get 8 females looking the same way at the same time?! Impossible!


Now, the race for life isn’t a massive physical challenge, it’s not a triathlon or a marathon or even a 10km but it is something that anyone can do. It is achievable for almost everyone (with a vagina!)
It allows families to do something together. To show solidarity and to be a part of something amazing and emotional.
I am so pleased to discover that the funds raised go towards research for all the 200 types of cancer. They all need beating as much as each other.

Cancer is utterly indiscriminate isn’t it. An absolute blight on people’s lives. It changes people physically, mentally and emotionally.
It thieves futures, it prevents people becoming parents and it is an all round horrid, horrid disease which needs to be understood and stamped out as soon as possible.

This isn’t news though.

What I suppose could be classed as news though is the relationships it helps form, the barriers it breaks down and the close bonds that are forged as a result.

That’s what I am focusing on this weekend.
Last year, my baby cousin Bex was diagnosed with breast cancer.
On Valentines day.
Now, I know there’s no ‘good’ day for news like this but really? When you’re 25, totally beautiful inside and out and looking forward to a night out with your boyfriend, Valentines day is a bit of a bummer don’t you think?

The news of Beckys cancer rocked the family, much like my mums did a few years before. She was a baby, just back from travelling and embarking on her teacher training.
She underwent surgery, lost her hair to chemo (and totally rocked a number 1 btw) and astounded me with her attitude and spirit throughout.
During this period, something unexpected happened; The group of cousins- spread across the globe started sharing Facebook messages more frequently.

We started texting and calling each other.

We started to be a bit more open about saying that we loved each other.

Without Becky’s cancer, I am pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened. Not for any reason, just life. Everyday life keeping people busy.
I am pretty sure that we wouldn’t all have got together this weekend, had a meal for 12 including Aunties, cousins, partners, husbands and kids.
We wouldn’t have laughed and drank and cried and hugged.
We’d always have been family but we would have been slightly less close.

Without the big C, we wouldn’t know each other so well and my cousins would very likely be a little less involved in the lives of my babies so, weirdly, I’d like to say Thank you cancer.
Thank you for helping my family develop closer, stronger bonds. Thank you for reminding us not to take anyone or anything for granted, to show that we care for people whilst they are here.

So, thanks for that cancer but enough now. Job done, you can DO ONE.

We’ve got memories to make and you’re not invited.

This wasn't quite the plan!!

This wasn’t quite the plan!!

Family- even if you not here this weekend please accept this blog post as evidence that I love you all. I would like to see more of you all and you are precious to me.
Friends, ditto.

Happy Weekend Everyone.

Love each other.





PS- If you want to sling some pennies our way it would be very welcome…

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Mummy Guilt.

I’m sorry to be a bit of a one topic pony at the moment what with all this talk of coding and YRS and everything but, I can only write about what is going on for me or for us as a family without sounding like a sort of contrived sort of weirdo and, frankly at the moment it is mainly work.

This is THE busiest time of year for Young Rewired State. We are all getting ready for the Festival of Code and, because I am Project Manager for the iDEA Awards as well it is definitely a full on month all things considered.
A perfect time then for my big little to begin feeling super sensitive about me leaving her.
What with the golf and the lurgy and the long hours and life in general, I’ve felt that she’s been a little bit sad recently. Lacking a little bit of her usual vim, vigour and general va va voom.
I asked her why this was, I wasn’t quite prepared for the response…

It makes me sad when you go to work.

Oh my good lord. A dagger to my heart.
On the plus side, pretty articulate for a 2 year old! You win some, you lose some hey.

Wow, so this is it. This is what people meant by mummy guilt. Holy Cow, it feels pretty dreadful.

Imagine, if you will looking at the cutest trembling lip in the world and knowing you caused that. T’riffic. I am sure most of you don’t need to imagine but please tell me it doesn’t last forever?!

Well, since I am not going to be giving up my job any time soon I need to think of a way around this.
A way to tell my babies that, whilst I adore them, work is a way of life for most mummies and daddies.
It is a way to make sure they can have the food that they like and the clothes that they need and the home that they live in and play in and cause untold havoc in!
It is also a way to prove that when I leave I will always come back and coincidentally I will be absolutely thrilled to see them and we will treasure each other’s company more because absence really does make the heart grow fonder, I tell myself!

In the wee small hours of the morning when the big little woke up and cried for me we talked about work and I allowed my foolish brain to think that she’d got it. So it was even more devastating the following morning when I told her it was a work day for mummy.
They both cried when I dropped them off at nursery and guess what, so did I.
The lovely ladies from nursery called me to see how I was. Big fat tears streamed down my face all the way home, not a good look. For goodness sake woman, hold it together hey!!
A good cry, a cuppa and a hug from my Muma and I felt much better, you’re never too old for that are you.

So, to ease these stormy waters, I am trying to do two things.

1) Make a chart so we can all see who is doing what and why. This is a great idea in theory but, because it’s the holidays everything is all over the shop. No baby groups, no toddler groups- our routine is out the window, down the street and round the bend. Roll on September I say!!
I am doing a chart a week at the moment but if it helps I am all for it.

2) If it’s a non work day, it’s a non work day.
Leave your laptop or tablet or mobile or whatever alone. Give your time to your babies and do something, anything, Together.
Do not try to do a gazzillion things at once; focusing on the most important people in your life is the priority here (whilst you make a game out of the washing and the food shop!)

It seems to be working as I asked her what tomorrow is on the way home from nursery today and she shouted at the top of her voice

It’s a Mummy Day!!!

It feels nice to be wanted. 🙂


I guess, in the words of Mr Williams, you’ve got to get high so you can taste the lows.

Have you got any tips for the whole work/babies balance…I could use some more suggestions to keep up my sleeve…

Happy almost weekend people. We’re off to see The Giants tomorrow despite the fact I have no idea what they’re all about and Liverpool will probably be rammed!


Have a good one and, if you’re doing the Race for Life on Sunday in Birkenhead keep your eyes peeled for me and mine. It’s a family affair so we’ll be pretty hard to miss.

Loads of love,



PS- if you’re suffering from Mummy Guilt, enter my Lollibop competition to win a fab family day out at the kids festival.

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In Which Computers remind me that people are Awesome

It has been over a week since my last post, I can’t remember the last time that happened but I quite literally have not had a minute to sit down and untangle all of the various threads of my life that have been knotting together leaving an ever present gnawing in my tummy of you need to do this…you haven’t finished that, what about your babies, you’re letting them down blah blah etc etc.

It is finally beginning to look as though there is a little chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Obviously it may well be a train careering towards me but for now, I will think positive;

  • The golf is over (Well done Rory)
  • We had a brilliant weekend in Harrogate with our friends and their beautiful boys
  • We have moved back into our own house (and I have nearly finished the washing!!)
  • Trunks is home safe and well (Thank Goodness) and
  • The iDEAS Week Project which I have been working on is happening, ready or not, from Monday. Bring it on!!

The last two in that list have only been made possible thanks to Social Media- AMAZING!!

Somehow these days almost everything comes back to technology, social media and the crazy world that so many of us don’t really ‘get’, the stuff that goes on behind the code

Last week I started my journey into unpicking the whole coding thing- I know, I know, I work for Young Rewired State, I need to know this stuff. I am constantly in awe of the stuff that the young people create using code and technology and can not wait to attend my very first Festival of Code next weekend where kids as young as 8 will clamber on to a stage to show the 1000 or so other attendees what they’ve made and why.

Anyway, I digress, last week I headed down to Somerset House for an intensive day learning about code with Freeformers. It was unbelievable. I actually understood it and, as soon as the Festival is over I will be teaching myself some more, if you start seeing some cool stuff on the blog, you’ll know where it started!

But, tech is useless without people. Last week, Emma shouted on twitter that iDEAS Liverpool needed some support- the responses came in their droves;

“Have you thought of this person”

“I’m free”

“Let me see if so and so is available”

“I’ll come and bring loads of champagne and cakes” *

We now have speakers and mentors and all sorts, incidentally, there is always room for more so if you are Liverpool based, love a bit of geek in your life and want to support young coders, let me know).

When I ambled through West Kirby and Hoylake soaking up the sun and atmosphere of The Open, Trunks made a run for it after a thorough search of the buggy, car, mums house etc and 3 disturbed nights and forlorn requests for ‘Tunks’, Facebook came up trumps (excuse the pun!) and I collected our elephant from Aldi West Kirby on Monday- Hooray!!!

#elephantattheopen #findmytrunks


And that’s how life is these days isn’t it- the friends and communities we build and develop on-line become as precious and important as our ‘real life’ friends, and, I guess, this rambling long post is just a round about way of saying a massive THANK YOU.

Thanks to social media, thanks to everyone that shared our posts, retweeted our requests and generally helped to make me a little more sane and a little girl very, very happy.


Lots of love,



* This is sadly a tweet I have not yet received…

PS- If you want to know more about Young Rewired state or The Festival of Code or any of this stuff I keep going on about- check out our website here or hit me with any questions- we’re international ya know!

PPS- I am linking this post with Vicky at Brilliant Blog Posts…using code to do this too- where does it end!!

Brilliant blog posts on


Name that Tune and crack the Alzheimer’s code…

Alright; Me again! How are you?!

Have I mentioned that we have foolishly rented our house out for the golf open at Hoylake?! URGH. Idiots.
Whilst I am loving the updates on Tom Cruise ambling the aisles of the local Morrisons and rumours of Harry Haircut Stiles, Daniel Craig et Al swarming into Wonderful Wirral, for us, family Leary, the whole thing has, frankly been a humongous pain in the neck. Lesson well and truly learned.

Having said that, one of the nice things about the whole sorry incident is that we have decamped to my mums for the week and the girls are getting to spend loads of time with their grandma and we have found some of the books my sister and I used to read as children.
One is all about how the body works which is amazing.
When you think about what an incredible machine the body actually is, it is pretty mind-blowing really isn’t it.


I have mentioned before about pictures, sounds and smells being able to instantly transport you back to a different time and place and, coincidentally the other day when I was away with my geek chic job, I received an email about how a DJ and scientist have developed a game to try to figure out why that is.
How come we remember all the words to Wigfields Saturday night (as well as the über cool dance moves).
Why is it that the opening bars to Some Might Say or Sit Down (the big littles current fave!) are indelibly etched on our brains.
What is it about music that means I know the exact order of all the songs on an album if I can hear played in full but, couldn’t name one if I just words read out ala Ken Bruce and Pop Master?


Well, I don’t know but, fear not, soon we might and, by learning more about the parts of a song that ‘hook’ us in, scientists might come closer to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. How awesome is that? Basically, a computer game, created from code, is helping us to discover more about how the brain works and, how we can stop or slow down the fading of the brain which is so very sad.

KAPOW- how’s about that for proving that coding is important, relevant and potentially life changing.

If you’re old and remember ‘Name that Tune’ which, FYI is returning to our screens soon (discovered whilst searching for the above picture! How serendipitous!) you should get the jist.
If you are young and don’t remember ‘Name that Tune’, it’s not complex- you’ll get the jist!


The game for all has four ways to play – including asking users to select the tune they find the catchiest, to singing along and trying to stay in time.
Users can play as many times as they like to improve on their scores, and share results with their friends on social media. So much more useful than stupid candy crush!
It can be played on the go or at home – with friends or on your own.

#Hookedonmusic was created by computational musicologist Dr John Ashley Burgoyne (yep, that’s a thing) and his team at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht, with the support of citizen science expert and Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, Erinma Ochu.
These super smart scientists hope that the results from #HookedOnMusic will aid future research into Alzheimer’s disease. This game aims to help scientists predict the catchiest musical fragments and devise ways to trigger memories and provide therapeutic benefits.
It makes me want to shout “Science B*tch” like a certain Mr Pinkman. Oh, how different things could have been if he and Mr White had used their powers for good hey?!

Always time for a gratuitous photo of Aaron Paul!!

DJ/journalist Dave Haslam was at the launch and is totally behind the game; “It’s great to be involved with such an innovative project. Everyone knows when they’ve heard something catchy or which resonate with them in some way, and stays with them, but to try and uncover the science behind this is pretty exciting. And if the results from thousands of people playing the game lead to the scientists discovering how music can help people with serious memory loss then that would be fantastic.”

The more participants the better the results will be – and the more scientists will be able to learn about musical memory.
The more they learn, the more they will know. And, the more they know the bigger the potential differences they can make. Awesome.

Dr Burgoyne comments: “Catchy music is about so much more than summer hits. It’s really about what kinds of music we remember – and what kinds we don’t! With #HookedOnMusic, we’re trying to measure how much faster a ‘hook’ can come back to you compared to the rest of a song and what there is in the music that can explain the difference.”

#HookedOnMusic can be played by logging online to and, if you do happen to thing stuff like this is ridiculously brilliant check out @McrScifest or @voiceofmosi for more of the same.
So, if you have a potentially painful car journey approaching, or want to legitimately wile away the hours playing computer games, you need #HookedOnMusic in your life!!
Wasting time improving people’s quality of life. What could be better?! I’d be playing it now if the blimmin’ wifi worked…1 step forwards and 3 steps back hey!




PS- It is this sort of thing that the young people coming to The Festival of Code this year and taking part in the iDEAS Projects that I keep banging on about develop. If you know any young people that are into computers, send them our way and they can get involved in an an amazing community.

PPS- We have just left Runcorn and, as I turned around to see who the excessively loud Essex boy was talking about horse racing and Chelsea FC (if you’re talking loudly at least have the common decency to drop in some tips) I spied a lady using her IPad so rechecked the wifi and, turns out the reason I’ve been without technology for the whole journey is because I didn’t tick ‘agree to the terms & conditions’ box. URGH. Idiot.

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What do you get when you put 45 Women in a Bar…

Thank Crunchie it’s Friday!!!

Good morning my dears. Today, I would like to be lounging around in bed sipping tea, glancing at Homes Under the Hammer and, around 10.30 padding down to the kitchen to make some breakfast and assess what to do with the rest of the day.

I can confirm right now that this is not how the day is panning out.

The girls are chatting next door (obviously the next door room- not actual next door, that would be weird) and, today and for the remainder of the weekend I will be rushing about like a blue bottomed fly trying to make our house presentable for The Golf Open because, in our infinite wisdom Mr L and I decided that it would be no big deal for us to basically pack up the entire contents of our home, take down two cots, put up one double bed, empty all our wardrobes and get trigger happy with the dusters and bleach whilst looking after two kids, working and trying to cram in everything else besides.
Good decision team Leary…

Packing whilst children play around you is all well and good until you nearly stow them in the loft, sandwiched between the Winter clothes in a vacuum packed bag. Seeing their little faces squashed against the plastic window as you lift the bag into the loft does not win a parent of the year award- chill out, I’ve embellished for comedic effect.

Amongst all of this, I decided last night would be a perfect opportunity to host my first Non Networking Event- no, it doesn’t have a better title than that- all suggestions welcome.

The idea was borne out of speaking to so many brilliant women at baby groups, on the nursery run and hearing so many of them say the same things;

I need to go back to work but I can’t do the same hours.
I don’t want to go back to work but I need to earn and I’m not sure what to do.
I want to do X but I’m not sure where to start.

The plan was to give local women the opportunity to chat about their businesses whatever stage they were at. To offer advice, support and suggestions and basically encourage them to believe that, if they want to make a change, they can. With wine!

So, last night, around 45 women got together in Ottos, Heswall, shared their ideas, swapped business cards and info and generally made the acquaintance of other women in the same boat as them.
Turns out, it is a pretty massive boat!

There was PR and HR and beauty and juicy and cookies and crafties and pamper and practical and everything else in between.
There were experienced business brains and tiny seeds of ideas and everyone mixed and talked and learned something from everyone else. It was a really positive evening. 🙂 Thank you all so much for coming.

Reading through the feedback forms this morning I am absolutely chuffed at the comments. I think my favourite has to be;
Interesting, Informative and Inspiring.
You’re right- I thought so too!

Right then, once I’ve got the kids out the loft, emptied the house, made up the beds, bleached the bathroom and taken the broom out of my bum, I’ll crack on with the next one hey… Who’s in?!

Happy Friday Everyone.

Loads of Love,







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#Likeagirl ? Damn Right I am.

This brilliant video is currently doing the rounds on YouTube, Facebook, twitter, popular Muma blogs (!) and everywhere else at the moment. Check it out if you haven’t already. I love it.

Obviously, the aim is to address the phrase “like a girl”, we’ve all heard it; you know,
You throw like a girl
You hit like a girl
You run like a girl.

It’s in the same vein as
“you’re so gay” or
“you’re such a spaz”.

Basically, they’re not shorthand for “you’re awesome!”
It’s shorthand for you’re a little bit rubbish.
You’re substandard, you are nowhere near as good as a boy.

Oh shut up.

I am so so, so so bored of this.
I have written about this very subject previously on this very blog. Here infact.

I don’t want to be a cheerleader for women. I don’t want to feel the need.

I simply want everyone to be considered on the same level.

But to do this I do worry that we going to need to have job interviews in a sort of weird Blind Date kind of way, with Stephen Hawking type voice synthesisers and those blow up sumo suits so that everyone has the same chance of getting the job they want, going to the uni they want, being selected for the teams they want?!
I’d rather just get a nice two piece, go in there, be the best candidate and get the job on my merits thanks.

The phrase “like a girl” suggests that blokes do everything better.

Absolute, Really Annoying, Rubbish

Are we suggesting that all blokes are better than all women at all things?!

I really hope not because I have plenty of examples of blokes doing things really badly, or doing really stupid things or just being slightly less good at something than a girl.

Remember this for example?!

Remember this for example?!

But that’s not even the thing.

I don’t want it to be about which sex is better at what.
I want people, I want my children, to be able be who they are, do what they fancy and not feel like they need to fit into a box.

So, for my babies especially, here’s my guidance for life and, guess what- if you were called Josh or Jack or Henry or Michael; the advice would be exactly the same (except for the last part!)

Give it a go- what’s the worst that could happen.

Don’t be afraid to fail- it’s just finding a way that didn’t work before you find a way that does.

Be kind- you have no idea what others have been through.

Be honest- it’ll help you sleep at night.

Be friendly- because; why wouldn’t you?!

Do something that makes you happy- life’s too short not to.

Oh, and if you ever hear someone say that you do something like a girl: be proud.

To me, being a girl means being pretty flipping marvellous, Look…

Run like a girl:

I'll give it a try.

I’ll give it a try.

Face bullies like a girl:

I hope I'd have the strength of character

I hope I’d have the strength of character

Hit like a girl:

Nichola Adams, GB boxer

I wish I could!

Care like a girl:

Mother Teresa

An absolute inspiration.

Kick like a girl:

Arsenal ladies team

I don’t have the coordination.

Make money like a girl:

JK Rowling

One day…one day…

Swim like a girl:

Rebecca Addlington

Your Auntie is nearly as good!

Forgive like a girl:

Totally humbled by this amazing lady.

Totally humbled by this amazing lady.

Not too shabby for the fairer sex hey?!




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Thinktastic musings on life, work and babies. With a bit of drinking and occasional falling over included – sometimes together but not always. The opinions depicted in this blog are sadly all my very own.

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