Tuesday, April 15, 2014


As you can see I have been on blog hiatus. I just haven't had anything much to say. Not in a bad way. Just in a bit of a blank brain kinda way.

Life has trucked on in a jolly, Smithy, summery way. Climate change is certainly working for us on the island, I can't remember such a long summer.

Today I started a writing a course. Its a scary step. From spending the money, to committing the time and doing the work just scares the shit out of me and it is the sort of thing I have previously found very easy to duck out of. I want it bad, but there are so, so many other things to do, priorities, etcetera, etcetera. This time the luthier looked at me and said quietly and firmly, as only the luthier can, "You should do this."  So even though my knees do knock and my collies wobble, I am supported and not ducking out. 

Do you find that? That its far easier to do jobs and commit to everyone else, than it is to commit to yourself? Doing things for the kids, or the luthier, or school, or whatever, certainly sits more easily in my chest than time and effort that is 'just for me'. Madness. I know that is madness, but it is true.  And in an effort to break the habit and move forward a little, I have started a writing course. 
"If you love it, do it", thats the sage advice I freely hand out, often unsolicited, to my kids and my friends. The time has come to take my own advice. 

Writing for me is vulnerability, an exposure. While the act is always preceded by excitement, high expectations and lusty anticipation, often the reality, in my eyes, has a rather disappointing, withered result - much like a flasher in a raincoat under a lamppost in the park.

My first post to the course forum just went up for feedback. Let's hope they are gentle with me. 

Monday, January 27, 2014


 Happy New Year! 

I hope your 2014 has started full of sweetness, love and optimism. 

This has been the laziest holiday on record chez Smith. It's been all pjs till lunchtime, reading and watching movies.

Well, not entirely. The kids have been swimming lots and my two little 'sinkers' are finally getting fishy with it. In typical, slightly perverse style, Sach can suddenly swim 25 metres, but only backstroke. Whatever works for you, little man! 

Little Soph has had a growth spurt extraordinaire, Josh is weeks away from his first teen birthday and the luthier has been working, working, working. 

As for me, well, I've been baking. I have become a little obsessed with 'The Great British Bake Off'. It may be getting a little out of hand. I found myself at a party describing the joy of watching a baker with expert technique knead dough and my raptures were met with a sea of blank faces.  Its hard to believe not everyone appreciates the dark art of baking quite as much as me. 

I have, in particular, taken a shine to yeast baking - donuts and cinnamon scrolls and Chelsea buns so far and I think proper bread is next. There is something so therapeutic about kneading dough, watching it prove, then pulling the golden brown, sweet delights from the oven.

In these, the laziest holidays on record, it makes me feel like I've achieved something.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Taking Care

Taking care isn't easy, is it? Of yourself, I mean, taking care of yourself isn't easy. There are a million different demands - real ones like 'Muuuuuum, I needs my breakfast.' or perceived societal ones 'Be smart, fit and fabulously sociable at all times' and then all the basic demands of daily life, you all know what I'm talking about. And Anxiety,my constant, tireless task master, just makes the job seem impossible.  

So where does the taking care of yourself start? This week. I've had quite a few people tell me that I need to take care of myself, so I am taking their advice.

I've accepted help from friends.

I've been to a counsellor who shared a superb piece of advice: to walk every day and while you walk, to fully engage your five senses - can you see ants on the path, birds in the trees? What can you smell? What does the air feel like on your skin, the earth under your feet? What sounds reach your ears? What can you taste in the air?  This technique brings you out of your mind and into your body and lifts your spirit. It gives rest to your thinking brain.

I had a massage with hot stones - this had the same effect.

I went to see the movie 'About Time' with my wonderful luthier. I am a huge fan of Richard Curtis's writing and films and this gorgeous, insightful story did not let me down. In fact, it could've been written just for me, so perfect was its message for my life, right at this moment.

Pay attention, breathe it all in, see, smell, hear, touch and taste it and love every second of it, of this life we have, of this precious time we are given. Use your five senses to be in this moment. This one. Not that one tomorrow, or that shit one yesterday, or the dreamed up one that has never happened and possibly never will. 

This one.

This one where I am lying on the deck with Kevin, barefoot in the sunshine, listening to the kids squabble on the trampoline. 

I am working hard to quit my taskmaster and taking care of myself seems to do the trick.

I am here and I am enough.