Yes I’m a Christian and Yes I’m Watching …

  [dropcap]G[/dropcap]rowing up, one of my favourite programmes on TV was Grange Hill. For anyone under the age of 30, Grange Hill was a drama series based in a North London secondary school, covering hard-hitting story lines such as drug abuse, homelessness, teenage pregnancy and rape. During my adolescent years, Grange Hill was the TV show of the moment; everyone was…

In Praise of Not Having a Best Friend

Last week we celebrated Best Friends Day. Well some people did. I can honestly say that before this year I’d never heard of such a celebration. But we seem to have a day/week for everything from gin to bicycles these days, so why not best friends? I would hazard a guess that this particular celebration originated in the US but…

How to Break Up With Your Phone {when you use …

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n case you haven’t guessed, I am a huge advocate of social media; it encourages connection, is a source of amusement and information, allows you to nurture friendships and can alleviate loneliness when needed. On a bad day however, I’ve noticed that social media (and my phone in general) can have some very negative side-effects: irritability, anxiety, stress, unhealthy comparison,…

Parenting a Child with Mental Illness

Warning: some readers may find the content of this post uncomfortable or triggering. My eldest daughter turns 18 tomorrow. That sentence needs a paragraph all of its own, partly because I do not feel old enough to have an adult child in the home (does any parent?) but mostly because there have been times over the last three years when…

On Being Intentional (without biting off more than we can …

Intentionality runs through my veins; I can be an incredibly focused/determined person and thankfully, my husband is the same (I’m not sure our relationship would survive otherwise!). In our early days as a couple, we would give each new year a title: ‘Project Wedding/House/Baby/New Business/Extension’. I’m aware that probably sounds a little sad to you but it worked for us…

When the Negative Voices Strike

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t 46½ I am officially feeling old. Of course I continue blithely scouring Top Shop for the latest fashion trends and watching Gilmore Girls on repeat, but we all know the truth: I’m much nearer 50 than 40 and the dreaded ‘M’ word is creeping ever closer. You’ve heard ad infinitum about my midlife crisis; more specifically, whether I’m ‘too old for…

Motherhood: A Thankless Task?

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] made some pastry the other day. I realise that’s not exactly a news-worthy headline but how to make good pastry (and a victoria sandwich for that matter) is something that my mum taught me from an early age. She saw it as part of her role as a mother, to pass down those skills. For that I will always…

Is Being Selfish Always Wrong?

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]uying a Red magazine before I go on holiday has become somewhat of a ritual over recent years. Ever since I cancelled my monthly subscription due to too many editions being left to gather dust, I have reserved it for treat time only. Just looking at that brightly coloured, glossy front page signals ‘down time’ for me. I now ensure…

Learning to Enjoy the Ride

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ave you ever thought that you don’t have much to offer the world? I know that I have. As a child and throughout my teenage years, I was always a little envious of people who had that one obvious talent – something they shone at. I think part of me longed for that kind of clarity, I would know what…