A Tribute to My Dad

‘If you don’t understand something, then tell me,’ Dad said. ‘Provided it’s genuine, there’s no such thing as a silly question.’

I was thirteen years old. Mum, my brothers, and I were at our first ‘lesson’. We sat in Dad’s living room with shiny GSCE Biology textbooks spread across our laps. His introduction to proceedings was carefully planned.

‘Nothing’s taught if nothing’s learnt.’

Up until then, it was always Continue reading

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A Tribute to My Mum

Our relationship with Mum cannot be defined by a single special moment. It’s constant ‘little things’ which add up to something bigger, as I reflected a few weeks ago.

I’d had a horrible Crossfit session. The workout itself was fine, but people’s shouts of encouragement and the loud music had driven me into mental overload. I ran out of the room a minute before the end.

When I arrived home, I was in tears, frustrated with the situation and my hypersensitive nature. Mum gave me a hug. She pointed into the kitchen, where Continue reading

And Thus Endeth 2017

At this time two years ago, I started my blog. I had been thinking about it for a while, waiting for the ‘right’ time, and it basically came down to just do it. I’m so glad I did!

I started off not having a clue what I would write about, but I optimistically aimed to post twice a week. It quickly changed to once a week. Pretty soon, I struggled to do even that and went for the whole of June without posting anything. Still, I finished 2016 with forty blog posts, covering a variety of subjects.

I started 2017 knowing it would be a busy year. I didn’t want to make any goals for my blog schedule that would inevitably lead to failure. Instead, I decided to only post every two weeks. If I had the time or inclination to write more than that, then I would post them anyway, or hold them back for another time.

I surprised myself Continue reading

People-watching at Paddington

Aunty and I sat in a café area at Paddington station, sipping deliciously-milky lattes, with our bags safely tucked under the table.

‘Do you love to watch people?’ she asked, peering over my shoulder. I knew I’d chosen the wrong side of the table.

It seems we have far more in common than a big nose. ‘Yes! It’s the best thing ever.’

‘Some extremely glam people here…’

I smoothed down my dress and flicked a stray lock of hair (well, one of them) behind my ear. ‘Love that about cities; such a mix.’

We were soon walking down Platform 10 and boarding the next train, with its almost deserted carriages and much bigger seats than the previous ones – they made me feel as if I’d shrunk in the wash!

As we passed Exeter, our eyes were drawn away from our books to the Continue reading

A Sense of Belonging

30.9.17

Aunty and I are on the train to London Euston. First Class; a first for me! We have already raided our goody bags and I’ve managed to consume the heavy brioche muffin (or whatever it was).

I have a slightly nervous stomach, or perhaps that’s because I’ve already written my journal on the rocking train, and I’m excited. It’s as if I’m heading home.

I wonder how I feel this way when I’ve never lived in Cornwall and probably never will; I haven’t even visited for sixteen years. Yet here I am, on my way to St Ives, home of the Continue reading

Two Plates

25.9.17

I suggested to Mum that we buy and prepare our own meals this week – just for a change.

‘Hasn’t there been enough change?’ she said.

‘Yeah…But I think it might be fun. I’ll still make the stir fry on Monday, if you want?’ I bargained. ‘And I’m going away on Saturday anyway.’

We’ve just got back from Waitrose and I’m preparing the stir fry and chatting to her about different kinds of therapeutic writing, while she puts her food away. I’m glad to see that she chose to treat herself.

I’ve put two plates on the worksurface, two sets of knives and forks on the table, and we’re about to sit down together.

Jonathan has been in university for two days. I didn’t know how I would feel, aside from big-sister pride, because this is new territory. As I flip the chicken in the wok, my thoughts become reflective…

I had wondered why I’d wanted us to prepare our food separately this week. And now I know: Continue reading

A Time to Reflect…or Not

Since 2014 I have written a daily journal. It has become a tradition for me to read back through the whole of the year at the end of December (often accompanied by a favourite-music playlist). I usually spend a significant amount of time reflecting on things I’ve done, ideas I’ve had, and lessons I’ve learnt. I consider how I feel about it now and what it means for the next year. Those few days feel like a break, a stopping point, in which I get out of my routine and often have to remind myself what day it is. I can reflect peacefully without concerning myself with the pressures of ‘normal’ life.

The problem is that the time of reflection can make me even more reclusive than usual. I find myself staying at home as much as possible, not seeing many people, and perhaps reflecting a little too much. I always choose to stay at home on New Year’s Eve, quietly watching a film, and try to ‘dispose’ of the Christmas chocolate. Although the quiet time is valuable and helpful in many ways, I can also start to feel a little lonely. Continue reading