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Showing posts from November, 2011


I am currently standing on a 26th floor balcony looking out over an awe-inspiring view of Dubai, stretching far across the Gulf. I feel tiny.

As I stand here drinking in the sight of the sea, the sky and the Burj Al Arab, I'm listening to one of the most poignant and bittersweetly beautiful songs I've ever heard, from an album I purchased back in May but had forgotten about until very recently. This song seems to encapsulate my life right now, which is fortuitous since I find myself completely unable to express it in my own words - or at least, do it any form of justice without resorting to cliches and half-baked truths.

Sometimes a song captures a moment, a feeling or an 'inner shift' more thoroughly than words ever can.


(And just in case you're wondering after digesting the lyrics, my own personal leap is entirely metaphorical, not literal...) :-)

My so-called perfect life

Somebody told me recently that they don't read my blog any more because they're sick of me going on about my 'so-called perfect life'. This upset me because my life is pretty far from being perfect right now - it could be a lot worse but it could also be a lot better - and I hate to think that I've inadvertently put such a gloss on things that I've gone too far in the other direction. This is a personal blog but it's not a confessional and although I try to operate from a base of emotional honesty, not all the events in my life are stories that are entirely mine to tell. I choose to share parts of myself on this blog but I am fully aware that is my choice and mine alone - it's not right to inflict this same exposure on others who prefer not to poke their heads over the parapet. So I don't. Unless I have direct permission from someone else, I only write about myself, my perceptions, learnings and observations. Admittedly, I do write about my kids but…

Fun is...

Picking the kids up from school and deciding to go home via the beach. Just because.Racing across the sand and jumping into the waves with a child holding on to each hand, both laughing and shrieking with excitement, is well worth two soggy school uniforms and a slightly damp dress. Joy!

Mommy rage

I am fed up. Probably in part because I have a cold for the first time in months, probably because I've been burning the candle at both ends and so am tired (I don't do tired very well, find it both boring and frustrating) and also probably because my children are beautiful piglets with a rapidly diminishing respect for my desire to keep a half-attractive home.I am not naturally tidy and I am not naturally organized, but I have devised numerous strategies over the years to keep a lid on the ever-bubbling chaos and I work damned hard at it. An attractive environment is incredibly important to me and I like to know where things are - anything else is annoying and wastes time at crucial moments (usually when I'm just about to leave the house - I also hate to be late...anal, moi? Maybe a little.) Hence my rage this morning.Here is my new domestic manifesto:- anything left on the floor for more than two days, unless it's an item meant to be on the floor like a rug, will be …

Baby books, too much red wine and The National

I was interviewed a couple of weeks ago by a very nice journalist called Patricia for the UAE newspaper The National. I'd almost forgotten about it until it came out today. I do recall, however, that she called me quite late one night when I'd already got stuck into a rather pleasant glass or two of French red, so I was somewhat garrulous. Thankfully the kind woman edited my words vigorously... probably a very good thing as I remember being quite forceful with some of my opinions and occasionally using unprintable language. Naughty. 
Anyway, I digress. 
The article is about a new book, The Parent Manifesto by psychologist Jodie Benveniste ( I have absolutely no idea if it's any good or not since I haven't read it (these days I avoid baby books like the plague) so don't blame me if you rush out to buy it and it turns out to be absolutely pants, but from what Patricia told me about it sounded a million times better than the usual parent-flav…

Game play

I've been devouring books at a rate of knots as part of my psychology course. Some of them are irritatingly dull, some are tough to get through but ultimately rewarding after a bout of perseverance, and some are simply illuminating.

I have just finished one text which belongs to the latter category - so interesting that I read it in one sitting last night (the evidence is in my baggy eyes this morning). The author is Eric Berne, a Canadian-born psychiatrist who ended up practicing in California, my own emotional home. Berne developed the new and, at the time, revolutionary theory of Transactional Analysis. The book, 'Games People Play' was published in 1964 and is, to my mind, still entirely relevant to modern life; I guess basic human nature evolves at a tortoise pace.

I won't go into any detail - I don't want to spoil it for you should you choose to read the book - but I heartily recommend it. Even if you're not especially interested in psychology it will c…

Word of the day

syn·chro·nic·i·ty(sngkr-ns-t, sn-)·chro·nic·i·ties1. The state or fact of being synchronous or simultaneous; synchronism. 2. Coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related, conceived in Jungian theory as an explanatory principle on the same order as causality.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. synchronicity[ˌsɪnkrəˈnɪsɪtɪ]n (Psychology) an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated [coined by Carl Jung from synchronic + -ity] Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Moments of Joy

A few months ago someone told me I needed to open myself to experiencing joy.

At the time, feeling joyful was the last thing on my mind. All I could see were what appeared to be insurmountable problems and I operated on a plateau of fear. I either lived in the past or projected into the future, neither of which gave me much hope of ever feeling joyous again. It looked pretty dark even when I was in direct sunlight. I'd dug myself into a hole and I couldn't comprehend how I was going to navigate my way out.

Now I can finally see more clearly and indeed, there are moments of joy to be found everywhere you care to look. They don't have to be momentous; the best moments are often fleeting and, on the surface at least, insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

The smell of my baby's skin; the feel of the sun warm on my back as I sit on the beach looking out over the waves; an unexpected email from a much-loved friend; a beautiful smile from a stranger; my favorite song …

The perils of living with a dyslexic

My eldest daughter is dyslexic. This is not all Firstborn is - she is also funny, kind, full of life, inquisitive, independent, sociable, confident and emotionally sensitive - but the qualities and difficulties that come as part of the dyslexic parcel certainly make life more interesting. And often quite amusing.One symptom that comes with being dyslexic - and looms large at her age of nine years old as she has not yet managed to fit coping strategies to this part of her life - is not having much of a concept of time, which often leads to chronic disorganization. Whilst I've put strategies into place for her in an attempt to make life less chaotic (we have lists and timetables plastered all over to house), it doesn't always work.Firstborn came home from school this week all fired up about a charity bake sale she was involved in at school. Except that she neglected to tell me until the last moment that I was expected to make fairy cakes for it, and that she simply had to take …

Why being 38 kind of sucks

- It sounds really grown-up which, frankly, is a little inhibiting
- It's possible that I'm now too old to wear a mini skirt
- Listening to house music at this age is a little sad, regardless of the fact that I am a fully paid-up member of the original dance-yer-ass-off generation
- Dancing until the small hours in sweaty clubs is still lots of fun but I'm now surrounded by people who are almost young enough for me to have given birth to (if I'd been a teenage mother). My work life also suddenly seems to be populated by people who have no experience of a world without SMS and the Internet. How did this happen?
- As soon as these people under the age of twenty-five learn how old I am they stop acting normally, tone down any colourful language and start saying things to try to make me feel better, like: "Really? I wouldn't have guessed you're that old!" Er, thanks a lot, pipsqueaks
- I'm probably more than halfway through my life and I still don't ha…

Stroller Mishaps and Small Pickpockets

Stumbled upon this little gem ... a mom arrested for forgetting to pay for her sandwich when checking out at the grocery store. What mom hasn't had her darling creatures throw a few little goodies in her basket at the grocery? Who among us haven't found a lone banana or small item in the stroller seat after a push through for milk? And who hasn't had a moment of blankness in their pregnancy? Empathy was not the code word in this story.