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Cheaper than therapy

Happy Birthday Dad.


Somewhere, in some weird and wonderful parallel universe today I should be sitting in a delightful beer garden somewhere family all, watching my dad blow out the candles on his 70th birthday cake. Actually; we may have opted for Royal Ascot where we could dress up and lord it up on Ladies Day all paid for by him of course because…that’s what dads do isn’t it- they look after their brood….That’s my understanding of a father.

Instead, my mum and my sister and I will raise a glass to the man we miss and each of us will wonder what life would have looked like if things had been different. But that’s not what life is- you can’t pick and choose it all; we’ve all seen Back to the Future*


And; whilst this is and always will be very sad, we have had over 30 years to grow around our grief. To manage its ebbs and flows and to smile at the few memories and imaginings of memories that we have stored away for safe keeping and; whilst that will never be enough, whilst I will always, always wish we had been gifted with more time it also IS enough.

It is enough because I know that I was loved and, in that respect I guess, a dead dad is better than a bad dad.

I appreciate that sounds hard and unfeeling but it might be true… I have seen the damage done by not knowing- the young people I used to work with had so many questions and were often so desperate to know more about their past and their parents that it was destroying their future. A file provided by a professional with as much blacked out as there is to read isn’t the same; your family is part of the fabric of who you are.

My mum and our friends and extended family give me that. They have furnished my sister and I with memories and the security of knowing that our daddy loved us and, had the choice been his to make, he would have been here today. I know what songs he loved (Brothers in Arms as todays ‘Blast of absolute class’ brought me to tears; someone else recalling early 80’s car journeys with their dad singing along to Dire Straits). I recall watching him get ready for work much as my girls do with Mr L today. I remember going to his office, I remember he made me feel safe and happy and loved. I never saw him fail, I never saw him frail, I never saw him fade into a shadow of the man he was. How lucky is that? To have that knowledge and to have people reaffirming it when I question or stumble or worry or forget is a massive deal and, without that I would have been a very different person.


So; whilst I can, and do, wish that our dad was still with us, his absence allowed me to create a picture perfect person because, when we die, we can never disappoint, we can never fail. We can only be remembered. Death, particularly when the person is young or it is unexpected creates romanticised ideals that are impossible to live up to. Over time the rawness of grief softens, the memories become more technicolour and, in my experience become mixed with happy dreams of imaginings of things that maybe never were. Those left behind are simply imperfect humans that have to pick up the pieces, do their best and keep on keeping on;  That’s the tougher gig by far.

And so; here we are, our unit of three that has swelled to a 9 doing our best to make memories for the next generation.

family photo yellow dresses

He lived, he loved and was loved and the legacy he leaves means I know what a good dad is and every day I get to see Mr L making my girls feel just as safe and secure and as loved as I ever was. To get that lucky twice is something special wouldn’t you say and that, for me, has to be enough.


one of a few precious pics which is why making memories is so important to me. 



Happy birthday daddy.

You are loved and remembered every day.

Tiny Tears. x

PS: Since you’re here- I’ve got a favour to ask… give someone you love a call today and tell them. There’s never a bad time to tell someone how glad you are to have them in your life.

*If you haven’t seen Back to the Future- please do!








Lullaby’s, Life and Licking the Bowl. #Lovethelittlethings

Hey lovelies, I hope you’ve had a lovely week- Half way through the Summer holidays hey- this year is whizzing by. This time next month it will be my birthday weekend WOO HOO!! Not totally sure why I seem to be excited about the aging process but it is a privilege denied to many so I will smile and be grateful for the wrinkles!

Anyway, I have had a serious break from my favorite Friday posts- Love the Little things but this week I am back with a bang, check out what we’ve been up to this week.

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Amazon is Swallowing us.

It seems impossible to write this post without coming across as some sort of Puritan, holier than thou, Ebenezer Scrooge type character but, as I sit here watching the BBC Panorama special on Amazon- The truth behind the click I feel like I need to give the whole flipping nation a shake and scream


Everything is getting out of hand.
People are confusing
‘more’ with ‘better’,
‘stuff’ with ‘achievement’ and
‘presents’ with ‘love’

It seems to go like this…
Because we need more stuff to prove who we are, who we love and how much we’ve achieved, we need to work more to afford it all.
Sooo, we need to shop remotely because we’re soooo busy.
Oh, and because we’re soooo busy we feel guilty that we ain’t giving the attention to the people we love and so we buy them a token to show that we are thinking of them. Continue ad nauseum.


It is insane.
It is round the bend and it isn’t sustainable.

I know this isn’t easy.
I love lovely stuff! I wrote a blog on what I’d like for Christmas for goodness sake, but we need to draw the line somewhere (preferably right under my list!)

No, seriously, Someone has to make the first move and I know that it is hard to be the one to say something so, if you want, you can blame it on me. I have broad shoulders- no joke, I really do.

Ok- here goes…
I love my children and I love my family and friends.
I can’t prove this with stuff but I can try to show them all what thy mean to me with thoughts and deeds and actions.
I am majorly aware how blurgh this sounds btw. I am sounding do gooderish. Hideous.

Anywho, This year the girls are getting four small gifts based on the idea that there is:

Something they need
Something they want
Something they can read and
Something they can wear.
All of these are coming out of the money I made at the NCT nearly new sale.

My family are getting homemade gifts (if you are reading this family you’d better be practising your best WOW I LOVE IT smiles!)
and my friends are getting a warm cuddle and a glass of wine if they come over (no joke girls- that’s your lot. 🙂 PLEASE don’t embarrass me by getting us stuff).

I am sending a handful of Christmas cards (which gives me the old Royal Mail guilts) but I am spending the rest of my card budget supporting the Liverpool Pyjama Party and Rucksack Project because there are people that really, really do need stuff, as well as love and care this Christmas.

So, what do you reckon to stepping away from the Internet, scaling down the gift giving madness and, where ever possible supporting your local, independent shops.
You never know, we might even like things better this way.


Loads of love.



Thursdays Child

This time last week I wrote a post on the differences between my life as a mummy and the lives that some care leaving parents live. You can have a read of it here if you like.

Today, I wanted to tell you about the transition between being a child in care and becoming a ‘care leaver’.
Just a heads up; this isn’t a light-hearted, humorous post on the trials and tribulations of a middle class mum (I’m not sure that anyone really knows or cares what class they are these days but you get my drift) it is my experience of the care system in our country today.
How children end up in care is often just a tiny aspect of their story- if they are lucky they will find themselves in stable foster care and with the support of a social worker will thrive. At 18 (or 16 in some Local Authorities), they will become a care leaver and they will work with a Personal Advisor instead of a social worker and that is where my role began…
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A life less ordinary

My last blog post, inspired by a linky from another blogger Katie at Mummy, Daddy, Me. has really got me thinking back to my old job.

I was a Personal Advisor to Care Leavers, many of whom were parents themselves. All of whom were aged 16-24.
I can not shake the feeling that an ‘ordinary moment’ for me would be something that many of them could hardly dream of, let alone achieve and that makes me feel a whole myriad of emotions.
  • Sadness that anyone of the young people I worked with as well as countless others I didn’t, face such a struggle.
  • Gratitude that my little family and I are so lucky.
  • Concern over why the system that cares for and supports children, young people and families really isn’t doing a good enough job and
  • Uncertainty about what I can do to help now I am no longer a part of that system.


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