Thursday, 17 April 2014

How does your garden grow?

There's a beautiful show of orange and red wall flowers this year, like the most spectacular crimson sun set.  

In the jungle at the bottom of the garden I found an old's made a rather cute planter for some of our primulas.

It feels like every day there are things just waiting to burst open; peonies and bluebells are soon going to be scattering colour around the garden.

And it's the best time of year for our acers:

And when the sun is shining, it's time to make daisy chains.  Simple pleasures.

Linking up to How does your garden grow? over at the fantabulous Mammasaurus blog.

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Monday, 7 April 2014

Would you like to go to BritMums?

Last year I went to BritMums.  I wasn’t expecting to.  

I was too shy I had decided, too nervous, and I’d be too anxious to get into London, let alone walk into a building with hundreds of people I didn’t know.  I dithered and doubted for so long, that eventually the tickets had sold out and I breathed a huge sigh of relief as the decision was made for me.

But then I started to notice my twitter feed fill with excitable tweets about meeting up, which workshops to go to, where to head for drinks after the event...and I started to feel sad.  Why had I let my anxieties get the better of me (once again)?  I wanted to be a part of this after all.  

So I hid away and watched the tweets from afar, silently promising myself that I would just build up my courage and go next year.

Then something happened.  I read a tweet from Kate Davies-Holmes that she was giving a ticket away...she believed so strongly in the power of bringing a group of women together and enjoyed the trip the previous year so much that she had purchased an extra ticket - the golden ticket - to give away.  She wasn’t looking for the funniest comment, or saddest story, or the most eloquent reasoning, she just wanted an email to say why you might like the ticket.

I read her post then ignored it for several days, weeks even.  I forced myself not to think about it - BritMums had made the decision for me by selling out, remember?  But a tiny voice in the back of my mind kept whispering to me, urging me to give it a go.  “You still wouldn’t be making the decision,” it told me, “Kate will, and she won’t chose you anyway, you’ve nothing to lose.”

So a day before the deadline I took my laptop upstairs and wrote an email to Kate.  From the heart. 

I didn’t hit send straight away.  Yes, I dithered once more.  But in a moment of courage (or stupidity I reasoned at the time), I finally sent it.

Then I went about life, never expecting to hear more from it, other than a polite ‘no’.

The day of the announcement came, and I noticed tweets to and from Kate about people’s  emails and how they had not been successful.  It was odd, I thought, to not have had mine.  I then had a message from Kate to say it was down to me, and another lady, and that she needed more time to think it through.

Imagine my surpirse when a few hours later, I had a tweet from Kate telling me to check my email. She had chosen me.

BritMums was wonderful.  Not because of the free ticket, but because it was full of vibrant people who seemed to share a passion.  I met and made friends with online people in real life.  Not least Kate herself, who has been a source of great strength to me ever since and who I am now proud to call my friend.

Part of my email to Kate was a promise to ‘pay it forward’ - to offer next year someone the opportunity that she had given to me.  

And here it is...

We have an extra ticket to BritMums and would like to give it away to someone who otherwise wouldn’t be able to go, for whatever reason (might even be lack of self belief like me).

Just send us an email telling us why you would like the ticket and between Kate and I, we will decide upon a person to gift the ticket to.  This is not a competition, but a gift, and as such our decision will be final.

If you would like to throw your hat into the ring, so to speak, please leave your email address in the comment box below and I will send you an email with our contact details.  

We need to have your entry by the end of this month, i.e midnight on Wednesday 30th April.  We will then peruse the emails, argue a bit over who should be successful and then amicably decide upon a winner.  

We shall announce the worthy golden ticket winner on Friday 16th May 2014.

Good luck, and we really look forward to reading your entries.

Elizabeth xx

Thursday, 3 April 2014

She's learning to read

She's learning to read. She sounds out letters and sounds, her lips making exaggerated movements as she whispers them to herself slowly over and over.

"Rrrrrrrrr......oooooooooooo......muh muh muh muh," she gasps, "room! I can read room, Mummy."

Her attention turns back to the shiny magazine she grips tight in her small hands.  Her eyes sparkle as she links the letters and sounds together to make the next word.

"Buh buh buh....oi oi oi oi oi....yuh yuh yuh yuh....sssssss, boys!! O and y are special friends, Mummy, you know?"

Special friends, letters that join together to make other sounds, letters that are different, more somehow, together.  She will underline them when she writes them down, just to emphasise this fact.

And I watch her as the minutes whirl by, captivated by her, seeing her mind work quickly in her voyage of literary discovery.  Today it was the English Heritage magazine, another day it might be Grandma's Prima, such is her thirst for words.

Next week, she takes her new found talent to the stage, as she reads in the Easter Service in front of the whole school and all the mummies and daddies.

My clever, bright girl, I can't wait to watch you shine.

Mummy and Roh; special friends, that bit 'more' when together, for life.

Secrets of the