Monthly Archives: June 2018

To my amazing niece , 13 things as you turn 13

Dear C ,

Auntie Kelly is probably THE wisest person you know. Everyone knows that. Ok ….so sometimes I put odd shoes on or wear a dress inside out .

Ok , ok , I am certainly not the wisest person you know . Definitely not. Probably wouldn’t make the top 100 BUT I do know a thing or two (probably just the 2) about being a teenager and a woman. So can I just go ahead and give unasked for advice??That ok?? Good.

So here we have 13 pieces of advice as you turn 13.

1) No matter what your siblings say ,you weren’t adopted .

Trust me . I saw you being born.

It was such a lovely thing to share with you all and sorry I turned green and refused when asked if I wanted to cut the cord. I’d seen things that day and actually I’m pretty sure you owe me for a bit of therapy.

B saying you’re not one of the family. Your mum and uncle Paul have told me this soooo often it’s only that you’re so like me I feel I am part of that family!! Siblings are sooooo annoying.BUT…

2)One day your siblings may be your best friends

Your mum and I haven’t always gotten along. To tell you the truth she was a bit of a pain in the neck (don’t tell her I said that she’ll wedgie me !)

One day though it all just clicked and you know that these days your mum is my fave adult on the entire planet!!

SO heed no.3…

3) Your mum may annoy you but she’s your biggest fan.

There may be times your mum drives you absolutely nuts . Know this though , she has your back , always . Noone will ever defend or protect you like she will and she loves you so fiercely that really if you have her on your side no one else is needed.


4) You are incredibly lucky to have so many fabulous female role models

C . You are soooo lucky to be surrounded by so many strong women. Your gran , your other aunties , your mum. Use them to the fullest. If ever you have a problem you have so many people you can go to. So don’t ever sit and worry about anything in silence. We’ve all probably got our uses , so use us !! If it’s matters of the heart though I do have to confess I’m definitely not the expert there. Mum or aunties probably do a better job of that than me . I’m great on books or politics or Russian history though????

5) Please don’t be too eager to fit in

You’ve probably noticed we like being a little bit different in this family!!! I mean just look around at who you live with!!!

It’s so tempting to try and fit in. Sometimes it’ll probably work for you . We’ve all altered ourselves in one way or another to fit to the mould someone wants us to take. If ever it feels wrong though , if ever you get the bad feeling in your gut then stick with you . Do what you know is important to you and your morals.

6) Embrace the red

Call it Auburn , call it strawberry blonde ,call it ginger . Our hair rocks !!!

7) Accept that you’re just a bit like me

We struggle with getting our clothes on the right way around. We daydream a bit . You know what though we’re awesome . Some may say our head in the clouds personality is utterly frustrating but I prefer to think we’re actually just deep thinkers and the world could do with a few more of them.

8) Beware the birthday

Your mum and I go on about how odd , weird things always happen on your birthday. Unfortunately we’re kind of old these days and have forgotten many of them.

One we can’t forget though was the floods !! Hull actually flooded ,it was scary and devastating for so many people in Hull that day .

Disappointingly for you though it meant noone could get to you to bring you birthday presents!!

9) Beware social media

I’m as guilty of this as anyone but always know when people’s lives and people themselves look perfect it’s not real life. Social media allows us to filter our whole entire life but don’t let it make you ever feel inadequate because it’s simply not real.

10) Do lots of what you love

If you ask your mum she’ll tell you how I spend half my life at the theatre on my own being a bit sad. The thing is though C I really really love spending time at the theatre alone and the thought of not doing what makes me happy just because other people mind think it strange makes no sense to me. If you find something you love doing , do lots of it . Make yourself as happy as is possible!!

11) Don’t waste too much time on boys who don’t deserve you

As I said previously , I’m no love expert. There are others way better qualified here , so all I’ll say is this. You are an amazing , strong willed , moral , beautiful girl. Try to spend time only with people who make you feel that way.

12) Form your own opinions

Again social media can be a hindrance here as it’s easy to read something and just take it as the truth. If you have strong opinions (and given you’re part of our family I’m pretty sure you will) on anything then do your research. You have the whole of the internet at your fingertips you can find out anything. Research your stuff , find the facts . Know that you can have a debate with someone who holds different views to you but you don’t HAVE to change their mind and you don’t have to change yours. Sometimes it’s great just to listen to someone elses views , sometimes you can learn things that way.

13) Auntie Kelly is super lucky

Fancy getting the best niece in all of the world?? How lucky does that make me ? I also got a couple of awesome nephews too , but I only have the one niece and I was there when you were born and we are pretty similar ( even if ggggrrr you are just like your Auntie Kelly is rarely said as a compliment!!) so we have a special bond I think. I can say you are the best niece ever and not offend anyone. I can’t say that about the boys.

So there are my words of wisdom.

I hope you can find even just a couple of them.useful.

Have the best birthday yet , I love you lots

Auntie Kelly xxx


Dating after abuse – a word of advice

As I always and will always say ,I can only tell my story of recovery after domestic abuse . I can only give my opinion and talk about what helps me . Every woman is different but I think if writing this blog has taught me nothing else it’s that we do share similar thoughts and worries.

Dating someone who has been through domestic abuse is not for the faint hearted . Whether the abuse be emotional or physical or both scars will be left. It likely won’t be an easy journey but it’ll be worth it . I thought maybe I could help a little with some hints and advice on how to date a woman who has previously been abused.

Don’t take it personally if she doesn’t believe your word

She shrugs off compliments and disagrees with kind words you say about her ?

The thing is she’s been told for a very long time that no one else would ever want her. That she is ugly , that she is fat and stupid and pathetic. She’s likely been told this daily , incessantly.

You tell her that she’s beautiful and wonderful company and funny and you mean it but the thing is HE told her all those things once. At the beginning love bombing her with charming words and grand gestures and then he took it all back and it destroyed her and she doesn’t want to give anyone the power to do that again. So she’ll take your compliments with a pinch of salt . Don’t let that deter you though. Keep the compliments coming . Of all the important things when it comes to dating someone who has been abused consistency is key.

Respect Boundaries

For me personally this is massive.

Even if it’s a tiny , seemingly daft ,thing like not turning up at her house unannounced or not wanting to sleep over at yours. Whatever boundaries she has she has put there for her own safe keeping . She needs to see that you care enough to understand. Walls are built high and sturdy but when she sees you do respect them and that you don’t push her to do more than she is capable of she’ll lower those walls and let you in .

Patience really is a virtue

Current crush waited 2 years for a first date. This is extreme – that’s me all over but he did it . The thing is I needed him to prove he was consistent. Consistently kind , and patient .Consistent with his words and backed up by his actions.

I’m not suggesting anyone should have to run the kind of gauntlet that is dating me but for me I need slow . I need slower than snails pace . I need gentle teeny tiny babysteps ahead of big stomping giant strides. This does indeed take a patient person.

You have to be patient in other areas too. Sex might be a problem. It might be a huge trigger for trauma . Emotional intimacy may take time .

Patience is necessary because it’s not just you she has to learn to trust but her own judge of character.

There’ll be wobbles and steps backwards.

If you’re going to get involved with a woman after abuse you need to be in for the long haul really and not easily scared away . We are strong , brave , powerful women but that little crack in our spirit has the potential to rip us apart at any given moment.

Triggers we might not even know ourselves have the potential to shake us . A certain phrase you may say , a certain place you may visit might provoke an unusual reaction but given space she’ll likely explain herself because she wants you to know that she’s really quite fond of you and this is not about the two of you but just her battling old demons .

Just be there to hold her hand and stand with her.

I don’t want this to be a negative post .

Yes there are obstacles to overcome but I think they’re probably worth it.

I’m a resilient , independent woman and I absolutely do not need a man to validate my existence or to protect me and certainly not to save me . So if I’m really keen to spend time with you it’s because I really want to not because I just need someone.

I think there are a fair few of us out there !!! Hidden gems who sparkle in the right company! There’s certainly no negatives in that!!!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy



That time again…

It’s around about the anniversary of when I left the abusive relationship.

Usually I use this date to reflect on all the massive obstacles we’ve overcome. How far we’ve travelled as a family and me personally.

This year though , for some reason I was stuck in what I hadn’t done . I’d not gone back to university , I’d not found the perfect home , I’m not settled in a love of my life relationship , I’ve not done any of the things that the me trapped in that misery had promised herself she would do.

I know why. Absolutely. The me trapped in an abusive relationship ,almost laughably, was a bit naive . She thought when she left and shut the door behind her it would all be over . Done.

She didn’t realise how hard freedom might be . How tiring battling with your own brain ,programmed by someone else would be . How exhausting feeling you have to prove your truth to the world would be. How determined and pig headed and brave I’d have to be just to get to the point where I was healed enough to have that brain reprogrammed to think as me , not the me he told me to be .

So yes I’ve been a bit hard on myself.

So I’m going to be a bit self indulgent if that’s ok and just think of what I have achieved since leaving all those , so many years ago now .

I’ve raised good people

My 2 sons have now both left school. In the dark days when they were little and we were stuck inside I taught them to read before they started school. I was criticised of course for “boot camping” them but they bloody loved it . They’re both intelligent lads ,but more than that they are good people. Obviously mum bias comes into play here , but other people compliment their manners and how they behave towards other people . I personally – mum bias in full throttle find them great company , witty and fun.

I had to have played my part in that.

I’ve kept on keeping on.

It’s hard ,life after abuse. You pick up so many habits that are seemingly impossible to break. You are questioned and you are tested and goodness me you come so scarily close to giving up (If you are currently in an abusive relationship please don’t let the fact it’s hard afterward put you off leaving. Shit , nothing is ever going to be as hard as what you’re living now – it’s hard but so worth the work and you’re a warrior I know you can come out the other side)

You do come close to giving up. For one reason or another that thought crosses your mind. Then you realise that freedom is worth it and you put your head down and you fight another day , and as days go by the days become less of a fight and more of a life.

I’ve helped other women

I think I have , I hope I have .

I get messages from women who have read this blog and that goes right back to when it was an anonymous little blog that barely anyone looked at. The one by far and away the most common is women saying that I’ve helped them realise it’s not just them. Abuse is isolating. It’s often still after leaving shrouded in shame. Women identifying with my ramblings and it helping them feel less isolated and alone well that’s just the best use of my time.

They’re the big things but there are little things too:

We have disco and karaoke nights at home and we can be as loud as we like.

We have celebrated the kids birthdays absolutely without repercussions from a jealous man upset the attention isn’t on them.

I’ve slept in a bed with a man and I never thought that could happen.

I have close friendships and have lowered my personal barriers .

I wear what I like , sounds silly but you can’t imagine how huge that is.

I write this blog.

I can nap.

I can read.

I can go to the cinema or theatre or out for dinner whenever I like.

I can go to sleep when I want.

I can be affectionate and hug and hold hands with a man.

I can sing round the house .

I can watch the trashiest TV shows imaginable .

Though I can also watch Question Time without getting shit for thinking I’m clever when I’m a “thick, stupid bitch” ……bloody hell watching QT is no sign of intelligence…

I can make small talk with strangers .

I can holiday alone…oh and compared with ‘holidaying’ with him it’s absolute paradise !!!

We have taken back Christmas!!!

I have learnt how easy it is to fall back into toxic relationships.

Also though I’ve learned how to cut out toxic people , be that friends or family or anyone who doesn’t make a positive impact in my life.

I don’t think I’m fat.

I don’t think I’m ugly.

I don’t think I’m stupid.

I embrace my flaws , I’d not be me if I weren’t a bit dozy and absent minded.

I can express my opinion.

So that’s actually a pretty big list and I’m sure there are many more . Freedom can be a tough journey ,but after surviving what you have tough isn’t so scary .

Many years ago. A Doc Martin boot in the face was a final straw . It wasn’t an unusual act. It wasn’t rare . My reaction was though. For that I am just so grateful and relieved and yes the journey was (and some days still can be ) tough. So bloody worth it though!!!

I’m going to celebrate with a solo date to the theatre ,dressed how I like whilst making small talk to strangers !!

Well done me

Mission Mindfulness

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

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Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Being a single mum on Father’s Day

This may be a bit of a whiney post I’m afraid,but I am certain I am not the only person to feel this way so it may resonate.

When you don’t have a dad of your own , Father’s Day is always going to leave a bit of a bad taste in the mouth anyway . It’s been a long time and I’m not going to be weeping in a corner but it is an in your face reminder of what I don’t have .

The tricky bit I find though , as a single mum is the kids are all away this weekend spending time with their fathers. I’m not going to put a spanner in the works there and the kids being away is nothing new . The elder 3 go to their grandparents regularly and small girl’s dad and I have shared residence so she has always split her time between the pair of us . It’s her , and our normal.

This weekend though they’re all away and it’s just me home alone.

A few years ago an empty house used to really get to me . I’d get all upset and whingy and miss them but just sit in pining and moaning and comfort eating. One day I decided this was ridiculous and I was wasting the child free time I longed for when there are 4 kids all needing me at once here! Since then I’ve started filling my child free time with nice things . Cinema , theatre , dinner just something to distract me and that I’ll enjoy whilst they’re not here.

So I’m over that horrid feeling that some of you will be all too familiar with where your house doesn’t feel right because there are no people in it . Or I am most of the time. I’m actually already sulking about a weekend home alone and it’s not even here yet!!

If I look inwardly a bit it doesn’t take much to pin point what I’m in a grump about. Small girl is very lucky and has a daddy who is very hands on who she absolutely adores and who love her back just as much. I hope she has a great weekend with him.

Elder 3 though , well I’m a bit resentful. I’m resentful at a celebration of fatherhood that I don’t think he deserves . That’s where this all doesn’t sit right with me . I’m happy for the kids that they get to have a dad they can visit for Father’s Day as this hasn’t always been the case but I guess I’m also just a bit wobbly and uneasy about it.

Let’s not make this post a total downer though.

I’m sure some of you are in similar positions with the kids at their fathers or that you’re home alone so let’s turn this around and think of nice ways I/we could spend the weekend.

Take yourself on one of my much hyped solo dates !! Go see a movie you want to see , go eat a Sunday roast in a nice restaurant whatever you fancy.

Go for a walk , fresh air is always good for the head I think , nice long walk alone with your thoughts can soothe the soul a little. If you tire yourself out you can come home and nap! Treat yourself.

Make yourself a little sofa picnic , get under a blanket and Netflix the day away.

I think I’m going to do the last option. I haven’t seen The Good Place yet so I might try that….unless you guys have any recommendations for me . Something I can binge on all weekend???

It’s just one weekend, this house will be full of chaos and noise soon enough as it should be .

Have a good weekend everyone and for those homes with a super daddy in …don’t forget the breakfast in bed *


*Disclaimer : Don’t mean to be passive aggressive but if you didn’t get breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day , feel no obligation for the breakfast in bed thing!!!

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Mission Mindfulness

Tell me a story….

To me , one of the most attractive qualities another person can have is the ability to tell a good story. It’s a skill that not everyone possesses , but it draws me to a person.

I’m an avid reader. I fell in love with books at a very young age . Getting my first library card at about 3 or 4 is a really vivid memory . Progressing from picture books and moving onto books with a real story I discovered Enid Blyton . Whether it was the famous 5 (though I did used to sometimes get a bit scared of the smuggler types and not read in bed) or The Wishing Chair or the Faraway Tree these fabulous stories leapt out at me from the page . I put in many requests to go to boarding school on the back of Malory Towers . I got swept up in the magic of a story and have been seeking them out ever since.

Now as I grown up I get so much satisfaction from a good book.

Feeling down ? Cheer myself up with a book!

Feeling anxious? Calm down with a book!

Feeling happy ? Yay celebrate with a book

You get where I’m going here? To have that skill , to be able to create characters , made up characters, that strangers will take to their hearts must be an amazing thing. To be able to ,via the written word, make people feel. To laugh or cry or empathise is like magic. I’m very very grateful to all the talented writers who gift is with these stories.

So yes stories are my vice . I seek them out at any opportunity . Books are a portal.Authors as storyteller’s are magicians .

People though , who you can sit with and verbally tell you a story. They are golden. You know when you’re just chatting away to a person and they start to tell you about something that happened when they were young or dates they’ve been on or school stories and they just enthrall you. They are my people. The ones who’ll say “oh sorry am I going on ?Am I talking about myself too much” no no you are not ,I love listening to your stories.

Round friends and family and potential beaus I think it’s part of my all or nothing personality. I don’t have many people. I don’t have loads and loads of friends . I haven’t dated much in all the years I was single . I just have a pretty small inner circle . I don’t love often but when I do I love hard. I want your stories because they help me know you . I probably come across kind of bunny boilery at times because I do ask a lot of questions , but yeah in all honesty if you’re close to me I’m going to need to see your actual soul I’m sorry!!!

I luckily have some great storyteller’s in my life .

My siblings tell hilarious stories. These are often tweaked to enhance comedy value I’m sure but they are very very funny people (don’t tell them I’d said that)

The kids obviously abundant with stories , they might not always be talking about anything you have any interested in but they do it with such enthusiasm you find yourself drawn in .

You may remember ‘tells a good story ‘ made The Boyfriend List …my current crush definitely ticks this box !(and most of the others as it goes but I’ll not start with the slushing!)

The girls night in is always a great place for the story swap too . Story swapping I think is definitely a female bonding thing.

The thing is , everyone has fascinating stories to tell . Everyone. We’ve all had the conversations with pensioners on the bus , with the work colleague , with the person sat in the Doctor’s waiting room. Complete strangers can blow your mind with their life anecdotes. Those you are really close to can surprise you with a little nugget that you didn’t know about them. I guess that’s why I love blogging so much too. Yes I can tell my story (I’m not great at the verbal anecdote ,I get too flustered) but more importantly I get to read other people’s stories,get a glimpse into other people’s lives . Maybe I’m just nosy?!!

I read a book not long back. The Break by the amazingly beautiful and talented Marian Keyes and in it she mentions a woman going to a reading club where you go get all snuggled with cushions and blankets and someone reads out loud to you. This to me sounds heavenly . I think I need to start this group. I absolutely love being read to I find it the most calming relaxing thing ever .

Storytellers of the world I adore you , keep telling your tales they make the world go round.
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3 Little Buttons

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Burnished Chaos
Mission Mindfulness

A plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel

There is on the horizon hurtling towards us as breakneck speed , the World Cup.

Now we’re a football loving family here . As Hull City fans living in Manchester this doesn’t always bode well for us but we like a big football event. There’s not much more of a big event than the World Cup (well except that time Hull City got to the FA Final *weeps*)

One member of this family however is NOT a football fan. In fact safe to say she actively dislikes it. Small girl is not one to watch a football match . At the other end of the scale we have teen boy the younger . The lad is OBSESSED.Eats , drinks , breathes the game . I always say should they remake Fantasy Football he could replace Statto. He bloody loves obscure football statistics and random matches in the Danish league !!

So it appears we may have a problem. Teen boy the younger is going to watch most every match there is. Small girl will whine about this and make his life a misery, thoroughly spoiling his football watching. Our lad concocts ” a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel” – thanks Blackadder!!

He’s a real sweetie pie is teen boy the younger .You’d not think he was evil plotter and super manipulator .Seems when the beautiful game is at stake desperate times do indeed call for desperate measures.

His plan is basically to whip up a World Cup frenzy so crazed that our 10 year old heroine of the piece cannot resist getting involved.

The plan works 4 fold.

Firstly there is the production of a World Cup Wall Chart.

Our boys knows his audience here. There is nothing small girl loves more than being able to get out her coloured pens at put them to work.

I have to concede , it is a very pretty wall chart.

She’s not so much biting but he has her interest. She’s asking which countries are good? He involves me with her in a game of who can guess the top 20 countries in the FIFA rankings.

He then pulls the second part of his fiendish plan. (I have mentioned he studies psychology at GCSE right?)

He devises a family sweepstake.

Of course you rarely see the words corruption and football in the same sentence and I am not going to use the term match fixing ….but here’s her draw for the sweepstake (prize a huge bar of chocolate)

Seen that bottom 3???I got bloody England!

Ok now she’s in …the coloured pens are back and and we all receive a personalised timetable with dates and times ‘our ‘ teams are playing!

Like a master of timing he begins bigging up mum’s football snacks.

Football snacks have been a thing in this house a very long time.

It’s basically nachos , chicken wings and pizza accompanied by the usual crisps, nuts and sweets. Sometimes I’ll sling in a few wedges ,bit of garlic bread, bit of salad ,corn on the cob.

Anyway the kids love it , make a real big deal out of it.

By now small girl is pretty much in. She’s there ready to be reeled in , she’s even chatting excitedly about it. The boy has done a good job here.

So he pulls his finest move .

Step 4. World Cup themed dinners!

He’d run this plan by me the day before and as we’re all a bit daft in this house I LOVED the idea.

The plan being choose a country playing that day and make a traditional dish from that country.

If you’ve read much of this blog you’ll know small girl is a cooking enthusiast. She is a mini Masterchef. Cookery programmes are her thing. Recipe books are her oxygen!!

The thought of doing research , finding recipes and then cooking them is the most exciting thing she’s ever heard. Stroganoff is researched for the opening day!!

Now this post was going to be a tale of how scarily manipulative teen boy the younger is and how I was going to sell him to the circus before our house turned into a weird cult .

However, what it actually has been is a really lovely bonding experience between them. They’ve spent hours together working on wall charts and the like , she’s a touch of hero worship at his vast knowledge of all things football . They’re hanging out together now playing a computer game , completely unrelated to football !!

I was her age when I first watched my first World Cup . Italia 90 anyone ?I fell for football during that. Maybe she’ll decide she does like football too . Maybe she’ll decide it’s not worth her time and she’d rather be off creating arty masterpieces and that’s fine.

I think this sibling relationship has certainly benefitted from making pretty wall charts though!

DIY Daddy

Mother of Teenagers


Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Burnished Chaos

Happy Birthday Mam. I should probably fill you in on some things…

My mum died almost 19 years ago.

Before I was a mum. Before I was really an adult. Before I had responsibilities.

A LOT has happened since .

Today would be her birthday.

Mam….let me get you up to speed??

Happy Birthday Mam to start!!!

I hate that we never got to spoil you and make a fuss of you when you were here . Couple of teenagers aren’t mega rich though so I think probably the best pressie you ever got from me was a bag of pegs (in my defence I had over heard her saying she needed new ones… I’ve always been a thoughtful gift giver!) although the card Lou drew you that year of you all saggy boobed and wrinkled was hilarious!!

I’d like to think had you been here today we could have done a little bit better than that on the birthday front.

So ,lots to fill you in on. You have grandchildren! 7 of them at that . You’d have been absolutely in love and besotted with every last one. My eldest is obsessed with snooker , you could have sat and watched it together for hours eh? Though he did like Stephen Hendry but I’m sure you could have educated him about why Jimmy White was the best!

Teen boy the younger is one of those creative types ?? He’d written a whole series of story books before he’d even finished reception class. Think you would have gotten along given your creative talents . Yes I’m talking about the scrunchies you made us in a rainbow of colours with matching hair grips and the frills in different colours you’d sew round our socks !!He was also the worlds cutest most cuddly baby , you’d have never put him down!!

Teen girl ,well let’s say she’s 90% her aunties genes . I know !!! You’d have found her funny probably though in the same way when Lou was being a pain in the arse you could barely tell her off for laughing sometimes! She’s a total music head too , always introducing me to new songs . You two could have swapped music. She really loves Ed Sheeran and I know you would never had heard of him but I think you would have really liked him too.

Small girl . Well She’s the danciest , pranciest girl in the world (remind you of anyone . I know I annoyed everyone with my dancing constantly but she doesn’t ,she’s way too sweet!) Amazing cook too!! Maybe she could have shown you a few baking moves. I’m going to confess to you now ,but your butterfly buns that you baked us once they have put Lou and I off butterfly buns and me off any kind of cake really… FOREVER!!!! Sorry!!!

Eldest nephew would have had you in stitches ,his comic timing and witty comebacks are a joy to witness , even if you are on the receiving end ,which you likely would have been !!

The one and only niece you’d have loved to death she’s sweet and lovely and kind and I think that’s why people say she takes after me (hush I AM lovely and kind!). I’m sure it’s not the doziness and inability to dress herself!! I think you and C would have spent a lot of time together actually.

Youngest nephew -total loon . The funniest kid to ever walk the planet but my goodness he’s on a whole other one. He would have had you wetting yourself laughing I guarantee!!

So that’s the family news.

What else has happened in the world?

Oh actually I think you’re probably best left blissfully ignorant on that one. The world’s a bit of a mess right now and this country is heading towards shit creek without a paddle.

We still haven’t won a big football tournament , we still haven’t won Eurovision again …

Oooo Dirty Den came back from the dead on EastEnders , you’d have been astounded and so did Kathy Beale !!

I have become the person who cries at TV shows that I used to laugh at you for doing !

You just missed out on Social Media. I think most people would class that as a good thing but I think you’d have particularly have loved Facebook. Getting back in touch with all your old friends and keeping up with family. Yes. You’d definitely have like Facebook.

Oh…HUGE news and you’ll not have been expecting THIS in a million years . My sister and I are now the best of friends . We love each other and get along to the point of codependency these days. Honestly I’m not joking I promise. I know when you first found out how ill you were the first thing you said to me was “what will you and Lou do if I die ? You hate each other!” Well we don’t , I don’t think we ever did really we were just very different as teens. She’s my fave adult in the entire universe these days and I couldn’t have carried on after losing you without her.

So , I think that’s it , all caught up. What a rollercoaster of almost 19 years it’s been.

Just one last thing (to quote Columbo your fave ) I get it now . I hadn’t had babies before you died. When I had the eldest though I was astounded and really truly awestruck by one thing. I had this little person and I loved him so much and it occurred to me and broke my heart at the same time. THIS feeling here , that I would kill for him that I would die for him that he is the centre of my world. Well that’s how you felt about us . It sounds silly that that shocked me but it did . One day years before you’d have looked at baby me and Lou after and felt those exact same feelings. It still kind of blows my mind now.

Thank you.

I love you and I miss you and I wish you were here but we’re doing ok you know ?

Happy Birthday


Musings Of A Tired Mummy
3 Little Buttons

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Burnished Chaos
Mission Mindfulness

Could we start again please?….

Really I should squeeze more musical related titles into my blog posts , just realised how happy it makes me (Could We Start Again Please – Jesus Christ Superstar!)

Aaannnyyway …2018 so far has just felt a bit flat. I had lots of grand plans that haven’t quite come off in one way or another . My to do list has remained frustratingly unchecked and my motivation seemed to have been missing in action somewhere.

So I’ve been being pretty hard on myself about all the things I’ve not yet done. I’m partly blaming the self loathy , mental health wobble I spoke about here for that as I’m not someone usually to fixate on this kind of thing. So in a bid to launch a much more positive state of mind I am ditching the to do list , I am restarting the year again and I am writing a new list of things I have to look forward to this year instead. I think that’s much more me!!!

So things to look forward to in 2018 :

The end of GCSEs

For a year anyway until teen girl does hers next year. I dont know if others parenting exam children feel the same but something just makes me feel really unsettled seeing how much pressure these kids are put under. Teen boy the younger seems to be taking it all on his stride but these exams seem so intense . There was a period he was in school for 13 days straight what with revision sessions of a weekend. I really appreciate the teachers putting the time in to help but I’ll be glad to see that pressure lifted of him for the summer.

A seaside holiday

It’s hard to find even a few days together these days what with the teens social lives , but we’re off to the beach for a few days in August. It’s one I spent lots of childhood time at so nostalgia reigns supreme and small girl has never been so her siblings are excited to take her particularly as there is somewhere to visit penguins near by , her fave thing!!

Glorious first born turns 18

Now obviously this makes me ridiculously old. However I couldn’t be more proud of this lad and the man he’s grown into and for him to have multiple celebrations all about him will be really great !!

Edinburgh festival

I know , I know …she’s going on about Edinburgh again. After having such a great and enriching time last year I am just so looking forward to going again. Even though this time I am.not going it alone (there is A MAN!!!) I am already excited and eagerly awaiting my programme being delivered this week!

Lots of theatre visits

The boys and I have a few stand up shows to go to before the year is out. The girls and I are going to see Matilda when it comes to Manchester and I really can’t wait for that.

I’ve some plays on my radar in some of the smaller Manc theatres and then in December , my birthday month, Wicked my fave musical comes back to Manchester!!!

That’s a lot of lovely things to look forward to don’t you think. Not to mention way less pressure than a to do list!!! I think happy , excited lists are definitely the way to go!!

Mission Mindfulness

Tale of Mummyhood

Cup of Toast

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

The Mummy Bubble
After The Playground

Pay attention to the red flags!!

For someone who had therapy for years and is quite in tune with her moods and anxiety triggers you would think by now I’d be able to spot a mental health wobble from a mile off. Spot it creeping forward in the distance and be able to get out my weapons and strike it down in its prime? Most of the time I can do that too. When I’m paying attention , when I’m concentrating. It seems though that when I take my eye off the ball I don’t sense it creeping up until it’s there on top of me suffocating me.

Last week I woke during the night which is unusual for me anyway but as I lay in the dark all that was passing through my mind was bleak. Dark thoughts that are really out of character for me . I pushed them out of my mind to sleep and when I woke up the next day I felt the biggest sense of relief. Like the weight of the world had lifted. Then I realised how awful I’ve been feeling the past couple of months. You know when you don’t realise how down you’ve been until you’re feeling better??

The thing is the signs were there . My ‘Kelly you’re not quite yourself ‘ red flags had all shown themselves in bright vivid colour only I’d not paid attention to them , thinking I could just plough through and really the self aware part of me that does exists knows this isn’t possible.

Red flag number one – I’ve lost weight unintentionally

I know this sounds like living the dream , couple pounds off just in time for summer-brilliant. People have commented have I lost weight and I’ve been saying not on purpose because I haven’t. Only when I’ve gotten to thinking I realised I’ve not been eating,not properly. I’ve been feeding the kids thinking I’ll eat later then not. When I’m suffering from low mood my appetite disappears. Now as someone who classes eating as a hobby and a favourite thing to do in the whole world this should have alerted me.

Red flag number two – lack of enthusiasm

I’m someone who gets an idea in her head , no matter how nuts and runs with it. I’m forever hatching plans and plotting futures. Only I haven’t been. I haven’t been doing much at all actually. I’ve not blogged in ages and my blog does bring my joy and satisfaction but no part of me could get motivated to write recently. There are theatre shows coming up that have my name written all over them but I’ve not planned to see them . I’ve lots of summer holiday plans with and without the kids that I should be enjoying making plans for but haven’t. As someone who can get giddy over the tiniest thing this again should have alerted me to the fact all is not well in the head of Kelly.

Red flag number three

This one isn’t just a red flag. It’s a whole army of people dressed in neon with a red flag each performing show tunes so attention grabbing it is.

The absolute absence of energy.

There’s a certain kind of tiredness like no other that washes over me during a down period. Totally knocks me off my feet. Sleep becomes the holy grail that’s all I need and want . Even in the absence of all the little pointers I’ve now come to realise were present (touch of self loathing with a side of numbness anyone?!!) The tiredness alone should have had me triggering emergency crazy alert protocol and bringing out my best weapons in the fight against the dark.

I’m not saying noticing all the signs would have made a huge difference. I always say my mental health on the whole is pretty predictable and often even when I am hyper vigilant there’s little to do but ride it out. However because my mental health IS predictable I do know what actions I can take to ease it slightly. To make the down periods bearable and make the ride back to full health comfy as possible.

So after a rough couple of months I’m feeling a bit battle scarred but so much better and I have certainly learnt to not ignore the warning signs in future. Especially when they are so glaringly obvious! I think because I’m generally better these days and that the blips are few and far between I’ve become a bit cocky thinking I can just power through when actually I just need to take care when things are rough.

You live and learn so they say !!

Onwards and upwards!!