The Intern

Yes, that’s right, I bagged myself an internship! And not just any internship; a fabulous two week stint with the most marvellous editorial crew a girl could hope for, the word wizards @ Mr and Mrs Smith.

As I begin the countdown of my final week (I settled into the mix last Monday), I am a bit torn by the bitter-sweetness of it all. I’ve enjoyed my time there immensely – perhaps too much –¬†as evidenced by my loose lipped pub-night professing after two glasses of Pinot Grigio with a mere three days in the office under my belt. I’ve turned my hand to boutique hotel room descriptions, social media research and destination guides that stir an immense sense of wanderlust.

I’m gonna miss these folks. The open workspaces, the free-flow of tea just the way I like it, and the pretty amazing feeling of being a part of a team again.

ūüôā

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Lost, not found

I feel lifeless. ¬†Just one blog post in June so far. ¬†I’m finally not ill anymore but it seems as though I’ve been zapped of all my creative juice. ¬†I haven’t crocheted, crafted, or stitched in days and it is a lonely and confusing feeling. ¬†I am happiest when I am making and when I come up against a creative block, I feel lost.

I want to run away sometimes. Hide from life. I would love nothing more than to have more space. Space to create, to stash my fabrics and papers and yarns and hooks. ¬†Space for my children to play, to stash their own treasures, to stop the cascade of toys that is currently overtaking my bedroom and living room and kitchen…

I have an oppressive feeling of being trapped. Of not being able to dig my way of this tangle of a mess I call my life right now.  Each time I feel I am moving forward, creating a plan of how to do great things, I feel knocked back.

I. HAVE. TO. GET. OUT. OF. HERE.

My kids are constantly fighting, screaming, jumping, pinching, whining. ¬†Running amok like caged animals worked into a frenzy by their imprisonment. ¬†I’m tired of being referee. And I’m tired of yelling. And tidying. And cleaning up mammoth messes. I have a collection of cleaning sprays and scrubbing cloths at the ready to tackle the endless finger smudges on walls and pen scrawls on the furniture.

I am a single mom. In every sense of that word. I single-handedly take on the job of mother and father, judge and jury. I am the “fun” parent yet also the one who has to mete out punishments. ¬†I do school runs, parent-teacher meetings, grocery shops, doctor and dentist appointments, ballet classes, homework help, baths, bedtime stories, kisses, cuddles… ¬†I don’t remember the last time I managed to eat breakfast before rushing out the door to get Emilie to school.

I’m not complaining, I guess I am venting. ¬†My kids are what keep me going. But I’ve almost completely lost my sense of self through my devotion to them. ¬†My name is Liam’s mum/Emilie’s mum/Zoie’s mum.

Who am I really?

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Five Minute Friday – View

Here we go, here we go, here we go now!

It’s a cold, wet Friday here in not-so-sunny London.

Today’s Five Minute Friday topic is: VIEW

Here’s what I had to say:

The view from where I am sitting is bleak.¬† Fat grey clouds punctuate a¬†gauzy¬†skyline. Haze and blur as far as the eye can see.¬† The rain is periodic. It comes in sprinkles and scatters, splashes and splatters.¬† The wind whips the soggy leaves around my drenched garden and I think, thank you mother nature for this practical joke ‚Äď surely this can‚Äôt be summer.¬† Such a view.¬† What a view.¬† Perhaps I should change my point of view?¬† The ground is nourished, my thirsty tulips sip each drop of water that the clouds release.¬† Bursts of fresh new green abound. Soon the view will blossom and bloom thanks to this momentary gloom.

Annnd, I’m done. ¬†Trying to see the positive side of 8 degree (Celsius) weather and incessant, drizzly rain. ¬†The last line rhyming was unintentional. ūüôā

Happy Friday! Hope the weather where you are is much more cheery!

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Five Minute Friday – Song

Shhhh…. it’s Saturday, but I won’t tell if you won’t.

My Five Minute Friday is a little delayed but better late than never I always say!

This week’s topic is: SONG

So without further ado:

I‚Äôve always wished that I could sing. And by sing I mean having a half decent singing voice, not the crackly strained alto I currently possess.¬† I bravely took up choir in high school, secretly jealous of the sopranos with notes like tinkling bells, while I slouched in the back row and croaked along like a timid toad.¬† But honestly I‚Äôm not that bad. I think.¬† I held out hope that my kids would be blessed with better pipes than I was. Until recently that hope was high ‚Äď and then I caught my daughters‚Äô rendition of Incy Wincy Spider.¬† Clearly the inability to carry a tune runs in the family. As I type this I can hear my mother churn out a song in the kitchen. It is being butchered. Something mournful and reminiscent of ancient Sunday services in the parish church. Scary yet somehow soothing in its familiarity.¬† Sing, song, sung.

True story.  And I made myself chuckle!

Happy Friday, er Saturday!

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Blog makeover and Thrifty Tuesday

Howdy! If you’re reading this, you are seeing my brand new blog theme! ¬†I love the subtle handmade look — the notched ends of the pages bar reminds me of ribbon and the dividing lines on the sidebar are perfect pinked edges! I also added a new header combining my love for craft, photography, and writing. ¬†Yes, that’s my handwriting (hehe) and it is an excerpt from my¬†favourite¬†poem, “The Walrus and The Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll.

What do you think of the new look?

T1Today is Thrifty Tuesday. Which simply means I’ll be showing you my weekly haul from local charity and thrift stores. ¬†I scooped the vintage thread spools, wooden buttons, and ribbon rosettes all for 50p. ¬†Absolute bargain and great craft room decor!

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This is my absolute¬†favourite¬†find of the week — old postcards. From all over the world. ¬†At 10p each I grabbed 19 of those with the most interesting ¬†photos, handwriting, and subject matter. ¬†The oldest is dated 1939. ¬†With a few strips of washi tape I created a collage out ¬†of some of the nicest ones above my mantle. Each time I glance at them I get a wonderful sense of¬†nostalgia¬†and feel a bit¬†privileged¬†to have a sneak peak into the personal correspondence of people I’ll never meet.

PC3I also love trying to decipher the handwriting. ¬†My former job as an archivist comes in handy for this — I used to spend hours poring over historical documents and updating databases! ¬†This one was easy to read:

Thank you so much for the photo, we think it splendid Mr. Wright is a very good amateur; you are on the mantlepiece of our new dining room…

Lovely.

canAnd my final thrifty item is actually something I made rather than bought. ¬†A soup tin, some patterned tissue paper, and a few dabs of watered down pva glue created this sweet little holder for my crochet hooks (or pencils, or scissors, or paintbrushes…). It was simple, took 5¬†minutes¬†to make and cost me nothing at all. ¬†My kind of crafting!

Have you scooped any thrifty finds lately? Send me a link below!

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Five Minute Friday – Brave

Today I am participating in a freewriting exercise called “Five Minute Friday”. ¬†You can read all about it here on Lisa Jo-Baker’s site.

The challenge is to freewrite on a topic for just 5 minutes Рno more, no less.  You cannot edit, backtrack, or change what you have written. This is pretty much the whole point of freewriting, you see.

This week’s topic is: BRAVE

Here is what I wrote:

I have a little boy. He stole my heart. From the moment I laid eyes on that tiny bundle, snuggled myself against that soft, warm cheek, I was in love. Unconditionally and inextricably.¬† My boy is the embodiment of brave. Poked and prodded from just a few weeks old. Many nights spent on hospital wards. Endless lists of medications, supplements, tests, trials, and all that comes with being ‚Äúspecial‚ÄĚ.¬† Because he is special, in every possible definition of the word.¬† He never lets his challenges hold him back.¬† He is bursting with energy and love and kindness.¬† He minds his manners yet can also be loud, rambunctious or downright over-the-top.¬† He does silly things like hug random strangers and slightly embarrassing things like lick the shopping cart handle.¬† I once filled up with tears when he threw a tantrum in public until I realised that it was me who wasn‚Äôt coping, not him.¬† I needed to be brave. Like him.¬† He has taught me about myself in ways I could never imagine and I am eternally grateful that I can call him my son.

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And that’s it. ¬†When I looked up at the screen and re-read what I wrote, I felt a tinge of pride. ¬†Not bad at all.

I found it therapeutic¬†and enjoyed the challenge of not being allowed to alter the words that flowed freely from my heart. I am notorious for editing, perhaps to a fault. ¬†I find myself tweaking things that I wrote back in high school — now some 15 years in the past. ¬†This was a wonderful exercise in restraint and I welcome it.

Freewriting is something I have come across in the many creative writing and literature classes I have taken throughout both my degrees.  But this is the first time I have used the technique as a blog post.  And I rather like it.

I think I will try to keep up with “Five Minute Fridays” — it’s always good to step out of your comfort zone.

Have you ever tried freewriting?  What do you think of when you see the word BRAVE?

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(credit goes to Lauren @ The Thinking Closet for inspiring me through her own “Five Minute Friday” post today!)

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Love Lane

The morning school run rarely differs from day to day: speedwalk 15 mins down the hill near our house and slowly trudge back up the hill which is a 25 min foot-dragging debacle.

Yesterday, however,  once I had safely seen Emilie (and poor Tarquin) off through the school gates, I decided to take a different route home. A shortcut.

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An old footpath that meandered behind mansion houses and bordered on a meadow of docile horses.

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As I began my walk down the muddy lane, the thought did cross my mind that I was the perfect target for a crazed early morning axe murderer hiding in the damp bushes. I started to look more closely at my surroundings out of mild paranoia and as I did I saw some lovely things…

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The path eventually led me to graveled road called Love Lane. A fitting name for the sentiment I felt while strolling along and observing the beauty of nature.