Borneo Family Adventure – Here we come….

Borneo Family Adventure Orangutan

Oh No…they’re coming

In the space of just a couple of days I have ticked off TWO of my New Year ‘Hopes’.  Feeling pretty pleased with myself as I have finally booked our Borneo family adventure during the summer.

Now, I accept that spending your redundancy pay on a long haul adventurous family holiday might not seem sensible (ok, it’s not even remotely logical), but here’s my reasoning:

‘You’re a long time dead’

I once worked with a funny, witty Irish guy who used this phrase regularly.  Whenever he was faced with a difficult decision, he chose the more exciting, less practical option, always justifying it by saying:

‘Ah well…. you’re a long time dead’

Before his 30th birthday he died in a helicopter crash and left me this legacy.  Whenever I am faced with a fork in the road I choose the less logical, less sensible option in honour of Sean.

Half Empty Nest

Son 1 will soon be 17.  He has a driving licence.  He shaves.  He is a man.  Pretty soon he will have left this nest and I want us to have one more family adventure before he goes.

We have had some amazing family trips and as I now have more time on my hands I will have plenty of time to check the details of this one, and avoid being left at Heathrow like last year!

Being Five Years Old – Part One

Five Years Old CandleSon 3 is the magical age of 5, just on the verge of turning into a miniature person with his own preferences, ideas and friendships.

Being Five there is a simple rhythm to your life, your school days are all the same, no nasty exams or tests, you just turn up and see what has been laid on for the day.  You don’t need (and can’t use a watch), your days are punctuated by play times and lunch.  At the end of the day (well, 3.30pm), you have a play date or watch TV.  These rhythmic days roll up into school terms that ebb and flow with the seasons. Birthday parties, School fairs, Sports Day.  All come and go, year after year.  Being Five you will have forgotten what the last event was like, so all these events seem fresh and exciting when they come around.

Although I had my two older sons very close together, Son 3 didn’t pop along until more than 10 years later.  Being an older (and now unemployed!) Mum, and having such a large age gap, has made this age more enjoyable and yet more poignant for me.

Short of someone appearing on Dragon’s Den with a ‘Grow Your Own Baby’ kit, I know that Son 3 is my last child. After 30 years of potential motherhood it is over for me.  I can’t remember Continue Reading →

Who Needs Courses When There’s Networking?

multi coloured men and women networking culture

According to a number of research sources, 60- 70% of all jobs are not advertised and are found through networking or existing contacts.  I have discovered that I like meeting new people and over the last few months I have met many amazing and inspiring individuals.  For someone like me who has sat next to the same person 11 hours per day for the last 10 years, this new found pleasure has had the biggest impact on me.  You can call it networking, but that sounds very clinical.  As I have mentioned before, this is about getting to know people on a different level and sharing the journey. Continue Reading →

The Illusion of ‘Choice’..

Large planet, small planet
     This weekend the press produced yet another series of articles about women leaving it too late to have children.  Apparently the Chief Medical Officer is worried that women are postponing having children or choosing not to have any at all.  I feel qualified to comment as I had children at 31, 33 and 43.  I didn’t ‘choose’ when to have any of them, they arrived with very little input from me. I only know of two friends who formally announced that they were ‘trying’ and then got pregnant in less than a year.  ‘Choosing’ when to have children is an illusion – like choosing your preferred state school 4 years later.  Usually there is no choice as such, just a set of planets in erratic orbits suddenly synchronising and producing their very own Big Bang.
       In my Twenties I announced that I didn’t want children.. Continue Reading →

Back to School

       Today my 3 sons went back to school.  They all had very different Christmas breaks and all went back in very different moods.  It made me realise just how short childhood is these days.
       Son 3 is 5 years old and in Reception year at school.  I think that there is every chance that if you analysed it, being 5 is just about as good as it gets at Christmas.  He wholeheartedly, 100% KNOWS that Father Christmas is real, and more importantly, he KNOWS that Father Christmas lives at Bocketts Farm in the week before Christmas.  He has no doubts and always gets the thing he most wants for Christmas (this year’s random request was for a toy horse – simple!).  For him the last 3 weeks have been a constant stream of family visitors, special meals, chocolate treats, cinema visits and playdates.  As always the final day of the holidays is reserved for a visit to the Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.  His ‘dinosaur phase’ is now in its third year and doesn’t show any signs of fading. Continue Reading →

New Year Hopes Not-Resolutions

I have never broken
a New Year’s Resolution…fact.  Truth is I have never made any to break.  Rather than give up drinking
in January, I did once pledge to drink every day for the whole month.  Something that I achieved way too easily.  However, since I am currently at what can only be described as a turning point in my life, I am allowing myself a few very simple ‘hopes’ for my new life in 2014. Continue Reading →