It was Virginia Wolf who said that a woman must have a room of her own if she is to write fiction.  Virginia’s statement was a Feminist one, mine, to be honest, is more practical.  I have found that I need my own personal space, a room of my own so to speak, to truly relax and to indulge in a bit of blog writing. I have been quiet on the blog front recently.  This wasn’t an intentional blogging holiday,…

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I have a confession to make –  I probably could have avoided separating from my ex.  There you go, I’ve said it.  There was more I could have done, there was more effort I could have made to keep our relationship ticking over and our marriage together.  Here are some tips to look after your husband. I don’t regret separation for a second.  My ex has a wonderful way of validating my decision to leave him every single time we meet,…

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There are times when single parenting is really tough.  Sometimes co-parenting is really tough.  Don’t get me wrong, some single parents would do anything for the other parent to be involved in their child’s upbringing, for an evening off every once in a while, to have an uninterrupted night’s sleep a couple of nights a week.  This is how to cope without your child through co-parenting milestones. No one ever said that co-parenting was going to be easy, but this…

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Motherhood changed me. I am not the first mother to have said that. But motherhood changed me in ways that I could never have predicted. As a mother, I am now acutely conscious of the world that Cygnet is growing up in. I worry about climate change and the environment. I worry about nuclear war. I worry, but my worrying will not help anyone or anything. I now feel I have a personal responsibility to make the world a better…

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I have small breasts.  My chest is never going to get me a free drink, or out of a parking ticket.   Men talk to my face, because, let’s be honest, there’s little point them looking anywhere else.  As Nora Ephron once wrote in her 1972 essay “A Few Words About Breasts”  “If I had them, I would have been a completely different person”.  If I had breasts, I’d be less concerned about the wrinkles appearing on my face, the…

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I have been trying to get my head around the Charlie Gard case.  I have been trying not to criticise, because I haven’t been through what Connie Yates and Chris Gard have been through.  I don’t know, I can’t know, how I would feel, and as a result how I would react, were I in Connie Yates and Chris Gard’s shoes. For anyone who has been living under a stone without any contact with the international news or social media…

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Since I gave up dating, there have been few weekend evenings when I have been without my son and without a plan.  Often I am so exhausted after a week of work and single parenting that all I really feel like doing is opening a bottle of wine, finding some romance film from a decade ago and sinking into the sofa. Evenings spent like this always make me feel guilty.  Most mothers dream of being able to go out one…

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I always imagined that I’d have a girl.   I’d bring her up to be strong-willed and independent.  I’d bring her up to question everything and to stand up for what she believes in.  I bring her up to never accept second best. I’d dress her in dresses, but not pink ones.  She’d love drawing and painting.  Having a boy wasn’t really something that I ever thought would happen. I didn’t find out whether I was having a boy or a girl…

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I never really kept a diary when I was growing up.  I always used to have a notebook on the go but, looking back through them now, there is only the occasional diary entry.  There is a diary entry about how I felt when I kissed a girl in a nightclub as a student in France (tingly, excited and a little bit scared).  There is also an entry about how I felt bullied by my ex’s sister nearly a decade…

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The ancient Greeks had a working definition of “in your prime” which was around 43 years of age.  I am in my late thirties.  The idea of being on an upward trajectory over the next few years as I head towards middle age and my prime is really appealing. Unfortunately, biology and society tell me that I reached my prime was I was about 25.  At 25, I was super-fertile. My breasts were pert. My face was plump. My stomach…

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