Friday, 23 September 2011


Music was my first love and it will be my last, music of the future and music of the past as John Miles would so aptly put it.

From an early age, music was a part of my life. From the accompaniment of a piano in my ballet lessons at the age of 5 to the contemporary dance routines I learnt for many dance festivals shared with my dance partner, Michelle Sparey. The one that sticks in my mind so vividly is standing on stage with Michelle dressed as a blue toothbrush whilst she was suitably dressed as a pink toothbrush.
The recent find on you tube of the Max Bygraves song brings back visions of Michelle and I dancing our wonderfully choreographed number on stage and getting our picture in the Gloucester Citizen (where I lived until the age of 13). Incidentally, Michelle Sparey is now working within the entertainment industry and has been frequenting the West End as a dancer. Needless to say she was the better performer out of the 2 of us. I was never destined for the bright lights. The fact that I had to wear stage makeup at such a young age is my reasoning for not wearing much make up as an adult!!
I digressed! Recently our household has become ever more musically influenced. JT has started guitar lessons and I happened upon a wonderful find in the local North Devon Hospice charity shop recently in the form of the Yamaha VSS-200. As a child, I learnt both the piano and the violin and was in a local children’s orchestra as well as a choir. I even sang with Richard Baker in Gloucester Cathedral with my school – ahhh happy memories. The song we sang was Music was my first love.
TJ and I have also been attending our local Music Train classes for over a year now with the lovely Mrs Ayres from TJ has so much rhythm inside him and very much enjoys the singing and playing of instruments in the sessions. There could well be another instrument making its way to our household soon in the form of a ukulele, as TJ wants to learn the guitar like his brother and gets most upset when he can hear JT and his teacher strumming away and he can’t join in! We shall see.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Since the WRN is no more, I joined the Bude RATs and have been back a couple of times since my return from our holiday. I have to say I was slightly lost after having not done anything other than a measly 3 mile run whilst in France and having no races to train for. I was feeling despondence rising and a need to either shape up or ship out. Shipping out was not really an option as running has been such a part of my life for the last 3 years that it would be alien not to exercise my body in one form or another. This is the beauty of being part of a large group such as the RATs, there is very little time to get complacent as there is always a new race on the horizon or a new opportunity to train in another discipline. RATs stands for runners and triathletes, therefore the group offer opportunities for cycling and swimming as well as their 2 training sessions of running a week.

Needless to say I felt I needed a different challenge and seeing that my swimming has been almost non existent since I was pregnant with TJ, when the swimming training sessions were offered at RATS for the Autumn, I jumped at the chance. Last night was my first taste of “training” in a swimming pool, it was absolutely amazing. Extremely well run, pushing me to identify areas that are in need of more than a bit of work (kicking action) and above all inclusive of everyone’s level. There were some amazing triathletes within the group, one being Mrs Day to Davis, who has been training for her first triathlon on 2nd October over the summer and is seeing fantastic results. The fact that I was able to train alongside those with a wealth of experience was great, felt sky high when I came home.  Shattered but very much looking forward to next week.
With my despondence given the big boot up the backside it needed, I am looking forward to the RATs Random Relay on 25th September and the Mouth to Mouth Sandymouth 10kish run on 15th October. Here’s to training again with a vengeance.
I will hear in October whether I have been accepted into the ballot for the Virgin London Marathon 2012, if I get in a whole new level of training will kick in, so watch this space!

Mr T has not been without focus either. Whilst holidaying near the Pyrenees, Mr T took opportunities to cycle some amazing Cols around the Biarritz area and whilst in Northern Spain he was chomping at the bit to get out on his bike at any given opportunity! Once home he is upping his training and looking at entering the Exmoor Beast 100 mile cycle ride in October as well as organising an epic cycle ride for his 40th year! If nothing else we will be high on fitness endorphins!   

Monday, 12 September 2011


I was slightly concerned about suffering from and lingering within the post holiday blues that set in once the grey skies had made an appearance last week. I need not have worried as I received my first copy of the Saturday Guardian for 5 weeks, I realised what I love about being home and what I enjoy about my life. My friends who are just around the corner or down the street, the familiarity of the faces and places I see each day, the lovely school which I see my boys enjoy and a lovely big queen size bed!!
Two articles this week really hit home. The first was detailing the Reading Promise that Alice Ozma and her father made to each other, I immediately ordered the book online and can’t wait to delve into it. Resumed our nightly reading with JT in earnest, The Scarecrow and His Servant by Philip Pullman was started last night!

The second article was on mothering and the way in which has not been very “fashionable” of late, the word parenting has replaced it in everyday use. Many articles and books show us how to “deal” with our children and control them, whereas Naomi Stadlen talks about understanding them and comforting them. I know I have been guilty of being torn in two by not knowing how I should bring my boys up, there is so much out there making mum’s feel guilty about their relationships with their children. I am guilty of listening to opinions from “experts” whose opinions are regarded as more important than a mother’s.
Over the years I have meandered around parenting forums on a website, reading books written by Baby “experts” and getting advice from friends and childcare workers. I think this is very much a first mother experience for me and found that when TJ arrived, I felt more “established” as a mother and much more confident in the way our family unit was making it’s merry way through life. The boys still give me many sleepless nights when I regularly have to understand the way they react to things and compensate for that in my relationships with them. All in all I feel like I can mother the boys confidently and try not to “control” them but enable them to explore the best way to deal with events and feelings they experience in life.  

All in all, it’s good to be home.


All I can say about our summer is that I want to do it all again. What a wonderful experience we have had this summer. Leopallooza music festival, cinema visits, time with friends and best of all 4 whole weeks of sun, sea, camping and family time.

Our 4 weeks travelling through France and Spain was an amazing treat for us as a family, partnering up with my sister’s family and seeing the boy’s and their cousins create some wonderful memories. Well all I can say is, we are doing it all again next year, for sure.