Monday, 28 May 2012

Wild and free

Yes, run wild run free little ones - forget reality. 

My Mum and Dad used to regale us with tales of their childhoods - days off with friends romping through the countryside and riding horses over Dartmoor parent free - doesn't it sound just wonderful?  Slightly swallows and amazons?  It sounds wild and free and what every child dreams of.  But we don't let our children do those things these days certainly not without us as partial chaperons.  The wild isn't as accessible to our little ones, nor safe if un-supervised to a certain extent.  Society has so much to do with it and so does the population explosion where countryside is vanishing silently under concrete and mortar.

But every once in a while magic happens.

Magic happened this weekend and I have goose bumps just remembering.  Mother nature blessed the occasion and the most glorious day unfolded in celebration of our most treasured friend.  Three clans gathered under clear-but-for-one-white-fluffy-cloud denim skies and mostly messed about on the river, romped, skipped and giggled through meadows of buttercups and clover and picnicked on the most heavenly spread imaginable. 

The children tasted wilderness and freedom, they tasted independent fun, they tasted friendship and a coming together of energies.  And an announcement that 'this is the happiest day of my life' did just drift over to our grown up ears on the rivers reviving breeze.  Timeless, yes.  Perfect, yes.  One of life's most treasureable and memorable, undoubtedly!

See, see here ...

older ones reassured the younger more nervous ones despite only just having met ... I think my heart might have missed a beat ...

 anyone for tea?

Has grass ever seemed so bouncy, so soft, so lush that rugs were abandoned in favour of the cool green carpet already there?

Peaking at their moments of freedom across the meadow through the zoom lense, what pure joy.  So Little House on the Prairie watching them run then fall into the soft long green meadow.

mama moments

The boy who was so nervous when we set off, by the end was a natural helmsman and fully ordained into boat life.

 There really aren't many words to describe the bubble of perfection that was Saturday, watching the little ones spirits at play and most importantly treating this lady like a queen.  Hearts and souls were deeply nourished, memories etched so deep, one of those inaudible booms of energy rippled through the universe and a whole lotta love flowed over each of our cups.

Blessings and happy birthday friend X X X

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mama Image

Raw food.  That is what I'm mostly eating at the moment.  For a handful of reasons really.

On a physiological level I have been feeling way too stodgy like my diet included too much bread and sweetness and it was beginning to effect my mood negatively.

I've been feeling the need to try and regain my focus on wholesome vegetarian culinary and alchemical inventions and in so doing re-find my love of cooking which got lost somewhere in the midst of motherhood and having to churn out meals everyone will eat every night out of duty rather than love.

Sheepishly, also, self image.  That whole area bugs me, as in, why am I constantly comparing my more voluptuous mama figure with the to-die-for washboard stomach one I had before I got pregnant?  Shouldn't I be over that by now?

I am not over weight - and a quick google search (however reliable that is!) put me in the 'normal' bracket for my height and age.  It is the changing of the relationship between my body mind and soul,  in that I've consciously known my body for the majority of the 30 years I've inhabited it and for most of that I've only ever known what it felt like to be a bean pole.  As a young adult, I ate healthily and heartily and I never had to stop and think about carbs or fats or whatever, it was as if I had hollow legs and could eat exactly what I wanted - virtuous and the not so virtuous. 

In my transition between maiden and mother I went from one androgynous extreme to the other most round ripe and sacred.  I loved my pregnant body.  Having both kids in quick succession didn't give me too much time to think about getting back into pre-pregnancy shape but now that dust has settled - finally as Gaia turns three and life is more manageable I look sky-clad into the mirror and notice the differences accentuated.

Where once I saw an androgynous beanpole I now gaze upon stretchmarks, hips, thighs and a bigger derriere.  I'm pear shaped, which is as much to do with now having a child bearing body as it is to do with retaining weight or fat.  But try as I might I struggle to move away from the former image of my self.  I would love to embrace my new found pear shape and curves and stop hankering after what is no longer.

I think part of embracing the new me is feeling ok about what I consume.  A month ago I did a week long juice detox.  Nothing but juices and herbal teas.  That is extreme but it drew a line under my gobbling of anything in sight.  After that I couldn't face all those breads and cheeses and home baked treats (and believe me the homebaked treats were the hardest thing to say no to!)  And so I've continued in that vein by making my diet a raw food only diet.  I feel 100 times better for ex-changing those heavy carbs and fats for fresh juices and salads.  I feel much cleaner inside, I have more energy and I am not constantly giving myself shit for eating crap.  A diet of fruit juices and salads isn't making me hungry as my nutritional needs are being met and it has been exciting to research, re-find and experiment with new recipes.  I have found my love of cooking again!

I think this is a relatively healthy outlook to maintain and the whole family benefit too from a more conscious cook.  Even if they don't fancy rabbit food most nights they can see me enjoying it whilst they tuck into food I've actually enjoyed preparing not begrudged as duty.  There have even been indignant shouts of 'I want some salad!'

When I started this post I asked myself why I wanted to write it and questioned my motives .  But if this blog is to be my capsule of thoughts and journeying through motherhood then this is absolutely part of it.  And I don't think I am alone, it is an essential part of  every woman's transition from maiden to mother to shift shape some and accept it at some point.  It is a rite of passage to leave behind the girlish looks and fill the mother-image.  Crucially I do not want to betray any lack of confidence or dis-ease with my self to my children. I want them to see someone who embraces all aspects of healthy living and who simultaneously embraces and is happy in natures body beautiful.

So those skinny jeans are still sittin' on the top shelf and actually there are several different sizes of skinny jeans now - the don't be daft! the maybe one day when the kids have left home and you've time to become a fitness freak and the currently still hopeful pile. 

So here's hoping, or not.



Friday, 18 May 2012

Whole lotta happy

There's a whole lotta happy in my heart this morning.

A post night shift high isn't hard to conjure up when biking home  these are the views soaking into my mind eyes ...

Nor when the children let me have 20 minutes meditating time in the warmest, most rejuvenating mint and cucumber bath without trying to kill each other, not even once!

Washed, refreshed and dressed in summer threads I come down to a room full of nag champa instantly transporting me back ten years, add to the mix an equally vintage album - this time Thievery Corporation: Mirror Conspiracy and I'm smiling from the inside out!

Joining me on  my happy wave the kiddiwinks whispered sweet nothings in each others ears

I just caught these almost inaudible whisperings - Zander to Gaia: 'I love you with all my heart and every bit of my soul' Choke!

An  hour of games and many cups of rooibos firmed up the tone of the day, then off to town we went to prepare for daddy's birthday tomorrow.  As ever, facing that most perennial of problems ... what to buy menfolk for their birthdays without being samey and predictable!

And just to prove I can still rock the house with two itchy poppets and night shift head some moments of bliss from their week of rest and re cooperation...

Chicken pox has in fact turned out to be the most convenient of illnesses because they haven't lost their spirits.  The insatiable itching has been cured by the miracle of oat and chickweed baths - mother nature I bow to you once more and the what-to-do-with-their-spirits-still-high ... well mother nature sorted that too didn't she.  A little sunshine and a break in the persistent rain meant we tramped down the tow path through meadows and climbed fallen trees, frolicked in the woods, had a fire in the back garden and visited a little local farm.

Happy friday!

Love and stuff x x x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


So he's five.  My little bundle of warmth and joy has been earthside five whole years.  Considering I'd spent about five years imagining life with kids, to find ourselves five years into our journey with Zander already, is a little crazy.

I love him.

Celebrations commenced with close family on Saturday; as if I needed an excuse to start the birthday baking early!  Always loving their company and saving a space of course for our dear Grannie who passed away a year ago that day.

 I just love the way synapses fire in little minds ... Zander could hardly wait to go to bed on Saturday night, deducing and announcing that the sooner he went to sleep the sooner his birthday would arrive ... can't fault his logic really can you!

I spent every minute of the 48 hours leading up to his birth-hour and every minute of the 48 hours following thinking about what I'd have been doing at that moment five years ago - the good the bad and yes the ugly!  Twas lovely though to let my mind wander back as I decked the house out, wrapped presents and baked some more.

Like a blackbird he lay humming melodious ditties to himself in bed at 5 am on birthday morn but given as how I don't regard anything before 6 as technically morning he waited a while before jumping into bed with us for cuddles and gifts.

His face beamed like the sun itself in the light seeping through our technicolour curtains as he tore through paper to the things he'd hoped he might receive. He's a true little boy now, with boy interests; It's nice to fulfil daydreams and wish shaped holes - mainly star wars shaped holes but other classics like Uno and Mancala pleased him too. And he remembers all the rules he was taught recently on holiday and stupidly I dared to question him by calling my mum to confirm them before we played! Whilst the firsts become less obvious perhaps at this age he is leaping forward once again, he can now follow the instructions for Lego builds with minimal input from us - a relief and a joy and this latest development brings a completely new dimension to the way he can play with these things, half the fun is in the building.

The weather lottery was on my mind most of the week and though a frisky breeze blew we were blessed and the sun shone for his party, those sun dances work every time!  Five five year olds picnicked and chased each other round the garden but I've mused on whether next time we should separate the party from the actual birthday, I think it would have been nice to relax, play and drink the moment in a little more just as a family.  Still learning.

The battle of wills between little boys is challenging at times but I think they had fun.

I started writing this with the need to stop time for a while, ignore school and keep the celebration in timeless motion right here. This being his first year at school is the first year he's not been at home with me almost everyday, I felt a yearning, a missing out, a little rushed and dissapointed. But fate plays funny tricks sometimes and grants wishes in an odd sort of way - chicken pox has struck so I have two itchy spotty poppets keeping me company this week and that is a whole other challenge!

As for my own journey and musings on motherhood I realise I'm still learning and just how much there is to learn still. I remember how short our time is and how I must fill it with as much sunshine as I can. Always with more patience, always with more acceptance. I remember I must not be complacent about this time and I must try harder still to always be present. It's finding the time to remember all this that's hard sometimes.

He's keen to move swiftly on to six now! But me, I'm going to savour the year of five like I would a rich and heavenly chocolate desert!

There have been some fabulous noteworthy quotes this week:

Gaia: 'Oh look Mummy you've buggered all everything up' she said as the pyrex jug I knocked off the work top smashed spectacularly.

Zander: 'Now I am five I can reach the top draw!' on what it means to be a year older.

Gaia: 'Look at the state of me' on catching a glimpse of the pox on her belly which now looks like a map of the night sky.

And this one's a corker ...

On wishing his parents didn't use hippyisms like 'man' on the end of each sentence ...

Mama '... well first thing tomorow you can open all your presents from the family, man'

Zander 'Who's the family-man mummy?'

Happy birthday little man, I love you to the end of fifty thousand rainbows.

Blessings x

Friday, 11 May 2012

Really nearly five!

So much to do and not nearly enough time with all the birthdays approaching amongst night shifts and catching up on missed sleep.  And paradoxically I don't feel like doing anything I need to.  But now I have my last night shift for this week out of the way with relief I've stepped into crazy-birthday-mama-mode.  I like this mode much better.  Scurrying hither and thither gathering in supplies and making final preparations.  I packed Zander off to school today with 30 fairy cakes to share with his class mates and have just knocked up another batch for the close family gathering we are having tomorrow.  I enjoy the hype as much as they do I think, after all it is his birthday but it's also the anniversary of my birth-day and I firmly believe a mama should celebrate and be celebrated too, it was no mean feat bringing him into this world!

Both Cliff and I are slightly full of sighs ....  not wanting time to have romped by quite as quickly as it has.  How can he be five already?

I have tried to ground myself in simple joys this week as I have felt a bit one step forwards and two steps back with the whole mindful way of life thing.  

Simple things like chocolate monsters .... 

and a new camera to take pictures with. It's red, I like!

Just wanderin' and sittin' and listenin' to the birds in the woods with my girl ...

 A new washing machine, much needed.

The sweet enchanting melody's of Lou Rhodes.

Getting greasy whilst reattaching kiddy seats to my bike.  I do love getting greasy and dirty!

Feeling the air on my face as I use peddle power for the first time in three months ...and gratitude to Cliff for hitting the relevant bits of the frame hard with a hammer to fix it.

The first glimpse of Glastonbury Tor as my sister and I turned onto tiny Somerset lanes last weekend.  Tis as exciting and as much of a competition for me as 'first one to see the sea' by the coast.

Post night shift rituals ... hunkering down on the sofa under blankets to watch pokemon with the kiddiwinks, Cliff cooking beans on toast for our tea and sleeping, yes sleeping, in my bed.

Bircher museli .... only healthy if eaten in moderation I think!

Juicing... and revisiting the belief 'my body is a temple' ... they go hand in hand actually.  Last time I consciously believed this was when I was pregnant with lady G.  I accidentally did a week long juice detox last week a veritable inside spring clean!  I gained more presence in my bodymind and elevation in my energy levels so I've decided to set aside a day for juice detoxing every week and maintain a healthier attitude to food - more raw foods, less stodgy goodness.  Healthy body healthy mind don't they say?

So, it is five years to the day since I started feeling my first contractions, five years to the day since Cliff took me bowling to cure cabin fever, five years to the day that I didn't sleep a wink due to the wildlife in the loft and five years to the day since we were just the two of us!

Love and blessings X X X

Thursday, 3 May 2012


This time of year as my babies complete another circle earthside I fondly reminisce.  I reminisce those precious pregnancy days ... the secret of new life stowed away in my belly, my temple. Of how by the time my due date arrived my skin was so tight and itchy and how I would have to roll off the sofa as standing up from sitting was just plain awkward.

I think about how excited yet terrified I was when Zander was due - my first child, such a pivotal moment, what a responsibility to have taken on.  What was birth actually going to feel like?   What would he look like and at that point I didn't even know he was a he!  Then I think about the birth, what was lovely - my sisters peaceful presence, the lavendar oil gently burning, watching Cool Runnings.  I think about the final hour and a half that was not so lovely, how I wish the not so lovely bits could have been different but I remind myself gently that inexperience is nothing to cuss myself over.  And how that hour and a half window of my life has permanently inspired me and shaped the path I aspire to take.  I think about all the time I spent gazing and drinking in the scent of angels.  I look through his baby photo's and think how long ago yet only yesterday it seems.  How it is all going way too quickly.  Could he ever have been this small?

I think about the kind of mama I am and the kind of mama I wanted to be ... how reality isn't always the manifestation of our daydreams but how there's still time to fill those shoes.  I think about how it isn't as easy as it looked from an observers perspective but how I can't even begin to imagine life without them now ... jeez it must have been quiet and tidy!
I can't believe he's nearly completed his first year at school and to think how far he's come in this last year.  He reads, he writes, he's expanded his vocabulary and awareness.  He came home yesterday telling me 'Edith says I'm her boyfriend' and apparently Edith announced this proudly on leaving the class room too.  Well Edith is lovely and though I'm certain they aren't really aware what girlfriends and boyfriends are they can hang out, that's cool with me.  In any case I had the same little 'boyfriend' all the way through primary school, I think it's cute.

So the countdown is on, officially, because we made a countdown calendar yesterday and every morning he eagerly crosses another square off.

I've been foraging through the city's charity shops and found some fabulous gifts for his birthday, all in really good condition, all I am certain he will love, all for no more than £1 each!  I have picked up two Starwars jigsaws, a star wars mug, a new deck of Uno cards and my favourite buy is a Mancala board - minus glass nuggets and a lick of varnish which I can easily sort before the big day.  And I am holding my breath to see if my ebay bid for the Lego minotaurus game pays off.

Normally may hails sunshine and outdoor celebrations but I can't be sure what our weather will be doing in two weeks time after an april of deluge.  I like picnic parties the best because I don't have to cater for everyone - everyone can contribute, I have heaps more space than at home and I don't have to tidy up after everyone either.  So everything crossed and sundances danced ... please let the 12th and 13th be beautifully warm and bright!

Blessings, musings and love X