All posts filed under: Life

Deep sea diving at Camp Bestival

The boys have made a countdown calendar to Camp Bestival next week.  Excitement levels are close to Christmas in our house. They have been listening to Madness and Brian Wilson, practising their skate tricks for the extreme ramp and generally brimming with energy about the weekend. The look on his face when the eldest (7) found out that Andy Torbet is hosting two talks in the Discovery tent at the festival was a picture. Andy is an underwater explorer, deep and cave diver, skydiver, climber and outdoorsman.  He presents programmes on the BBC, Discovery and History Channel, is an author and film-maker and if that wasn’t enough he is also the voice of Action Man.   My eldest has wanted to learn to dive since he was about 3, each year he visits the local dive shop to check whether PADI have brought the age down for learning (you have to be 8) and on his birthday next year he will have his first lesson.  He is obsessed with nature and has a particular interest …

How to be a more mindful Mama

I bought my first iPhone the day before my eldest was born, six years ago.  I loved the fact that I could take photos of my newborn the following day and thousands more over the next few years. The phone became my companion, during those dark long evenings breastfeeding and being up at night with the baby (and then babies).  I would text and email my fellow baby friends to compare notes on sleep deprivation. Slowly, slowly, the phone became more prominent in my life. I used Facebook, I’d search on Google for things wherever I was, rather than waiting until later to find out the answer.  The phone has become my navigation system, my camera, my personal shopping portal and my daily news provider. In my career as a social media manager, I couldn’t do my job without it, BUT… how much have I missed over the last six years? Those moments, I’ve been reading a text, laughing about a funny photo. Were the boys smiling up at me? “Mummy, watch this.” “In a …

How to find work that works.

The last time, I entered the stunning reception area of M&C Saatchi was nearly twenty years ago. I was being interviewed for my first position in advertising and was shaking like a leaf. The interview went well but I didn’t get the job and soon after landed my dream role at DDB London as an account manager. Advertising has to be one of the most fun industries for a twenty something in London. We had large expense accounts, weekly client entertainment was the norm, which involved meetings (long lunches) in some of the best restaurants across London and team building trips to Rome and Paris (dreamy). We also worked very hard, often when pitching for new business working through the night and then delivering the pitch the following morning. I thrived off the pace at which we worked. Occasionally, I would look around the agency and wonder where all the women went as they got older; there were very few over the age of forty, whereas the mix of men and women in their twenties when I …

4 Tips for the best park days with kids

I love getting outdoors with the boys.  To be honest, it’s not even a choice as they need to be outside come rain or shine. Over the last six years we have explored many parks around the country; from motorway service stations (M40 Beaconsfield has an amazing outdoor play area with woodlands) to National Trust properties, often with no play equipment but heaps and heaps of space to run free.  Here is a round-up of some tips for things to take with you to make days out relaxed and stress free. Take a change of clothes Chances are the kids will be having loads of fun in the park. Most parks with big enough trees have rope swings, which can mean mucky jumps and time spent landing in the muddy ground. Ditto kids finding puddles (which they obviously can’t walk past without a major splash), mud and roly poly hills (such a simple but fun game, try it again as an adult; it’s just as much fun as when you were a child). Going to the …

3 top tips for new landlords

I have been doing more and more writing for companies (which I love).  Recently, I was asked to contribute to a booklet for landlords, sharing my experiences.  I’ve rented out my teeny tiny flat for the last 12 years and here are my top tips for new landlords (or those considering becoming a landlord) whilst retaining your sanity. To make it simple I have used some real life (almost unbelievable) examples of my tenants problems over the years.

Becoming a social media manager

Six months ago, an email dropped into my shiny new Gmail account. The sender was Kath from Digital Mums, welcoming me to the course and sending instructions to join a Google Hangout (similar to Skype) that week with the other new course members.  I nearly had a panic attack, I got that Sunday feeling, I had self doubt, I couldn’t study now, nearly 18 years after my degree, what was I thinking signing up for a course with three young kids at home?

The waiting game

I found a lump in my breast.  A small one but it was new.  A trip to the doctors back in April was reassuring.  “Come back if it grows” he said.  It grew, and it grew quite abit.  This took me back to the GP in August.  Then a referral to the breast clinic for a mammogram and ultrasound.

Learning how to relax again….

5 years, 3 children, 3 house moves, last parent gone, 2 weddings (same husband), 1 honeymoon, 1 new job and 1 new course.  The last five years have been pretty full on. I went to a wedding in August, the sun was shining, the children were at home with a babysitter.  I sat on a picnic rug drinking prosecco surrounded by some of my very best friends smiling and laughing.  The next day when I woke up I realised that it was the first day in a very long time that I had been so happy.  Now, I am not saying that I hadn’t been happy before this but it was the first time in ages that I had no big worries.