Mothers Day

6831310F-60C0-47C3-8A29-D8E67D52197D  This is what Mother’s Day is all about.

Today my family and I spent the day just pottering around Salisbury, had a spot of lunch and had a bit of a drive back enjoying our Costa coffees and hot chocolates fo the boys.

There was no big elaborate show, just some lovely tulips and a thoughtful card.  There was no mad dash out for a sunday lunch to an overcrowded carvery, packed with families for this busy day of showing how much you care for your loved one.

It was just what I wanted, relaxing.  In our family this is hard to come by, three boys and my husband need to be kept entertained most of the time by doing things or at least having a plan of what we are doing.  There were a few grumbles when I said I was happy to go with no plan in mind and I enjoyed it, most of all I have come home feeling happy.

With all my health problems of late and the looming date for my hysterectomy on Thurday this week, I am a firm beliver in ‘Do more of what makes you happy’.

I have a million and two things I should be doing before Thursday but instead I have filled my time with things I also wanted to do.  My eldest sons 12th birthday, a hack out on my favorite horse and I have my hair appointment for highlights on Wednesday.

Obviously I will be doing the things inbetween that need to be done.  But I am making more time then I would normally have before to balance this with things that make me happy.

Tonight I will be making time for more writing, whilst enjoying a G & T and followed by a nice hot bubble bath to round off a lovely day.

Thank you to my lovely family for making this day as I wanted it to be.

I am 1 in 10, Endometriosis and me.

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My journey with endometriosis has been a long one. From the age of 10 my period started and from the very beginning they were extremely painful and heavy. My mother took me to a female doctor who told me to basically get used to it, practice getting used to the blood with red food dye and she also gave me some painkillers to take. I took one look at them and asked how on earth was I supposed to swallowing such a big pill? Her response was that I could break them up and put it in some ice cream.

As I was too young to go on the pill to help control the periods, I tried my best to get used to them. When they got so bad I was taking a week off school in bed. The days I did go to school I would end up with s big blood stain on my skirt and teased until I went to the medical room and beg the school nurse to ring my mother and let me go home.

On school trips I would take so many painkillers through the day I would end up being sick, one at my friend’s house after spaghetti bolognaise! Other times I could be in the middle of a shop and be brought to my knees with the pain.

When old enough I went on the pill, this helped with the bleeding and a little with the pain. The hormones had me turning into a walking time bomb, exploding frequently. My school work still suffered as did my family.

This went on for many years, then when the time came after I was married to come off whichever pill I had been trying, to start trying for a baby. This did not happen for the first year. So we sought doctors advice once again and we were sent to a gynaecologist for fertility tests.

The tests were all clear but with my period history they thought it could be endometriosis. I had a diagnostic laparoscopic surgery which confirmed I had it. The consultant thought it may have blocked my tubes which meant I couldn’t get pregnant.

So at the age of almost 26 years old, I had keyhole surgery to laser off any endometriosis they found and to push the dye through my tubes to show any blockages. Thankfully it all went well, nothing blocking them.

Whatever they had done had worked as I then fell pregnant 3 weeks after the procedure and went on to have my first son. He was followed very quickly by two more sons, 3 under the age of 4 years old.  Doctors say that having children can stop the disease from returning.

For a few years I managed any symptoms with either coil, contraception pill or by diet elimination. This worked until within a year I had gone from running 10k runs quite slowly but regularly, not being able to walk upstairs without getting out of breath.

When I went back to the doctors for a referral to see a gynaecologist once more, I knew my options would be limited. On the first visit he said the disease had come back, I had my children so it was time for a hysterectomy.

Just like that this insidious disease was once again giving me no options but surgery.

It had made me seriously anemic and has somehow twisted my womb and cervix around so I could not have my cervical screening test done. The gynaecologist planned to take it out anyway, so told me not to worry.

So here I am 39 years old with a date for surgery coming up in just over a weeks time. I am scared, relieved, optimistic and a hundred other emotions about undergoing such major surgery.

March is endometriosis awareness month and it would be fantastic to have a cure for this awful and life changing disease. But making people aware has to be one of the first steps as many people have not even heard of it, let alone understand how hard it is to live with it on a daily basis.

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International Women’s Day – A hope for my boys.

International Women’s Day was held on Friday 8th Mach 2019 is the focal point for women’s rights with their campaign #BalanceforBetter.

It seemed that every female celebrity was tweeting in support or posting with Instagram to promote gender equality for all women across the world.

Women’s International Day has been observed since the early 1900’s.  It was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations and before that it had been mostly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries.  This was following a national holiday held on the March 8th 1917 when women gained sufferage in Soviet Russia having been inspired by American socialists.  In present day in some countries it is still a public holiday, whilst in others it is a day of protests or celebrations and in others it is ignored completely.

So what a great idea, women supporting women.  Tweets and memes about women and empowerment.  It seems that I may have been hiding under a rock as I didn’t realise that this was such a big thing now.

When I was a teenager there were the Spice Girls with their radical “Girl Power” but actually this has been in the background, gathering a following around each country as it went.

“Sufferage”- “feminism”- ” girl power”, whatever you want to call it.  There will be no doubt that most people will be able to say they had a strong female role model or inspiration for their life.  But what about our boys?

As a mother of three boys who are all growing up really fast, I really hope that they look at me as a good female role model in their own lives.  I try really hard to make sure that I am there to back them up when they need it and to make sure they are told off when it is also needed.  I also hope they learn not to just give up and that in life you have to work for what you want, no one is just going to hand it to you.  To be kind, compassionate, but also not be taken for grated and pushed around.  To stand up for others when there is unfairness and inequality.

I hope that when my boys grow up to be men, that they will treat everybody with the same level of respect, whether man/women, colour, creed or religion.

If National Women’s Day has shown me anything, it’s that there still seems to be unfairness and inequality in the world or else this would not be just one day – it would be everyday.

I hope that empowering both young girls to be strong and young boys to be respectful,  they will help to accomplish this when they are adults.

 

 

 

 

 

1st Published Writing

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So the writing career is still in the very early stages.  I have dabbled so far with genres and have dabbled with also a couple of children’s stories.  Nothing has gotten past the editing stage and also the stage where you read the story to your children and don’t expect them to rip you apart like a seasoned editor of the worst kind! (but they do!!).

But I was secretly pleased when I wrote a small piece for my children’s school, which I thought would just be a blurb for their portfolio.  But it has been published on the schools website for all to see.

This was exciting enough and I revelled in the moment with my husband as I fantasized about being a published author of my many, many books.  This was soon to be dwarfed in comparison when one of the other parents actually stopped my in to tell me how much they enjoyed reading my piece and how well written it was in their opinion.

Pop the poppers and bring me balloons – I’m having a party in my head.

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Photo by Murilo Folgosi on Pexels.com

This is obviously small-scale.  But I am keeping account of these small moments to look back on when the bigger problems/criticisms come later down the road.  I will remember my first, it may not be big but I will be proud of it.

Also I am spurred on with my own manuscript in the afterglow.  But the best news is they have asked me to write another piece for them to use.

Baby steps lead to giant leaps.

 

The Hunting Party

 

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I saw on Instagram The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley mentioned.  I was instantly intrigued by this book as it was likened to, a modern-day Agatha Christie ‘Who done it” murder mystery.

Being a big fan of Agatha Christie and a little interested in what could actually happen on a “Hunting Party”, I downloaded onto my kindle app.  It didn’t disappoint and I finished it in a couple of sittings (I have 3 boys who always interrupt when I sit down).

The story is about a group of old college friends and a more recent addition of a girlfriend and a baby,  who meet up every year for new years eve to spend a few days reconnecting with their friendships.  This particular year seems to be a bit of strain to all the relationships within the group.  Made even harder by the remote location of the Lodge and the extreme weather cutting them off from the rest of humanity.

The writing style is modern, jumping from the point of view of each of the main characters and the different time scales during the few days over the new year.  The actual murder is made apparent from the first chapter, but unlike most until the end of the book we do not discover who has actually been murdered until the story reaches it pinnacle.

Along the way you get to know each of the main characters in a more in-depth way, each with glimpses of troubled pasts or even more troubling futures. The dramatic scenery and wilderness of the traditional country house murder, has its own modern twist that includes the staff who work there.

There are suitable twists to the story plot, some obvious and some a little more surprising.  I am one of those people with a murder mystery who like to guess ‘who done it’ as soon as I can, but this kept me from being able to accomplish this until the story unfolded at the end.  If you were to read this I suggest you don’t skip to the end to see who it was, but to just go with the flow of the how Lucy has written and enjoy the story as all the twists and turns are meant to unfold.

 

 

Snow Day Writing

I am glad to say that after a bit of a slow start to January, the writing is finally getting somewhere.  A friend I hadn’t seen for a while asked me how my book was going the other day, I felt a pang of guilt when I replied that it was going slowly due to other work commitments.  But thank goodness for that guilt, it spurred me into action.

As soon as I had emailed my work off, I celebrated in the local coffee-house with a large black Americano and my laptop.

Then as luck would have it, Friday was a snow day.  While the boys spent their pent-up energy sledging and pretending to snowboard on sledges, I spent my day clearing my head space.  This probably doesn’t sound as if I did very much but I found after getting back on the writing horse from the day before, my head had become a cluttered mess of ideas.  I needed this day of downtime it seems to sort through where I wanted the story to go.

In my planning stages I have completed a quick glance through for the overall plot, what main events will happen in each chapter, what the characters main traits will be and how they will have relationships with each other.  So at this point I thought, great that’s the main ‘bones’ of it, all I have to do now is add the general padding, et voila c’est fini!

What I had not considered was that due to the slow start through January I would be coming back to the writing from a different perspective.  Things will change, ideas will grow maybe into a different direction.

As a new writer, I have yet to discover what writing practices will work for me, so I am happy to try different thing and experiment to see which way will work best for me.

What I have learnt is that I will make sure not to leave such long break in between writing, I don’t think that will be very helpful to the story overall.  I think it is better to write as continuously as possible of else these breaks will show through as crack in the writing.  This would be smoothed over I ‘am sure when it comes to editing, but will the finished story ring a true likeness to the original story spark?  Or is the editing process going to be ruthless to the idea anyway?

All these musings are pointless, until I have actually finished the story to the end.

I am glad to say that I have at least reached the 10% mark now, with much hard work I’m sure, I will forge on and reach the elusive end and then I can finally understand the answer to some of my many questions.

Being a beginner

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To start a journey of even epic proportions you have to take the first step.

I have always tried to try to learn new skills or taken up new hobbies during my adult life, only a couple of years ago I taught myself how to knit and now my middle son has a very smart jumper to wear.  The pace at which technology moves and changes is enough to have most adults enlisting the help of the nearest 10 year old to help them with their iPhones settings, (while said 10 year olds are usually taking the Micky out of me not knowing what I’m doing!).

This new journey of writing has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am a complete beginner. But unlike all the other times before, I have felt this time telling a person that I am beginning to write is somehow more personal. To be judged on your writing ability is very hard to handle.

Each writer I think will agree with me, when you are writing a story of fiction, you are writing a part of yourself into your work. The characters, the scenery and the plot lines are all part of the writers vast pool of experience, with which they pull their ideas from.

So with that in mind, when you ask someone to read your piece of writing then you are asking for them to almost judge a part of you.

Sometimes it will be favourable sometimes not, but what really matters is that your happy with how it reads and feels when it is seen on paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Actual Writing Part

During the christmas break, admist the chaos of children and families, this was my favorite time and place to start my New Year writing.  In the heart of Exmoor, no phone or internet to distract me.  The fire roaring, the candles lit and a mug of fresh coffee made to help the creative flow get going.

 

Now that we are back from the holidays and routine is about to kick into hyper-drive once more, I will endevour to keep up the momentum as daily life will get in the way.

This is the point where bravery has to step in already, to say to those around; ‘No, I am writing.’

I read recently “Start writing, no matter what.  The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour.

Although having said that, I still have work to do and 3 kids to run around after. This is when making writing a part of your daily routine has to happen. Organisation and routine is the key. Now to put it into practice!

Happy New Year

This will be the official launch of my personal journey as a writer.

As many people do over new year they make a list of resolutions, to exercise more, spend less (although by joining a gym they actually spend more and give up exercising by the end of January).

This year I am just going to make a promise and not a resolution, I am going to be brave. This may not sound like an interesting promise to most people. You may look at me and think what does she need to be brave about.

That is the problem, sometimes in life you tick off all the boxes for what you think you should have achieved as a ‘grownup’. You stop pushing yourself to chase down your dreams as you have people depending on you to be there, to look after the kids, working and paying bills.

If you’re lucky you have someone you can depend on to help with these things, if you’re even luckier that someone will tell you to follow your dreams and even give you a shove to do so.

That is what this year will be about for me, I will be brave enough to start my dream of being a writer. I will be brave enough to put myself out there in the big wide world and share my thoughts with you all. I will be brave and face what this year has to come.

Maybe it will inspire others to be brave also. Who knows what the next year will bring but I will be brave enough to try at least.

Happy Christmas

Even though the official blog will launch in 2019, I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.

I hope you have a fun day filled with love and peace.

With 3 growing boys in the house mine probably won’t be so ‘peaceful’ but it will be a whirlwind of family, presents and food.

I am so excited for 2019. I have lots of ideas for writing and I will keep everyone updated with my new blog.