Out, Ofsted

I’m truly saddened to hear about Ruth Perry.  For any non-UK readers, Ruth was a long standing Headteacher of an ‘Outstanding’ primary school, who committed suicide due to the pressure and unfair practises of Ofsted, the government’s equivalent of the Witch Finder General.. Think along the lines of – they make a judgement before they arrive and look for evidence to fit, ignoring everything else. Her outstanding school was moved to inadequate over one area and elements that could easily remedied. I can only imagine that, realising that despite giving everything to her work, that judgement made her feel she had nothing left to give. It’s an absolute travesty.

I wish I could say I am shocked about a passionate and dedicated teacher committing suicide because of the pressures of the UK education system, but I’m not. I’m surprised that more teachers haven’t reached that level of despair and hopelessness.

I’ve been a teacher for 20 years. I’ve been a leader for 6 of them. I’ve seen the frenzy, panic, and stress caused by Ofsted. I’ve lived through the unfairness and the hopelessness and the disbelief of the unjust practices of our so called ‘majesty’s inspectorate’.

I will say it right now: schools should not be inspected they should be supported. Yes, highly trained experts should visit schools and offer support. They should celebrate the hard work and dedication of the staff who choose this ill-paid, stressful job and guide them to improvements from their vast knowledge of working with other, similar schools. That’s it. That’s what they should do.

But it’s not.

First of all, there’s the political side to this. Each new government wants to prove how terrible the previous one was, and how wonderful they are. So what do they do? They criticise the education system, raise the bar to standards which terrify children and stress teachers (and then blame teachers when that ridiculous bar can’t be reached).

And let’s be honest here, they want schools to fail. They want them to fail so they can be bought off by the highest bidder – the academies. The academies who are paying their CEOs and directors far above what local authority headteachers etc are paid. In the meantime, academy staff are bullied to leave -so the academy can replace with a cheaper version- and SEN support is reduced to minimal. ‘If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t happen’.

So what that means, if the child doesn’t have a legal document called an ‘Educational Health Care Plan’ then the academy won’t offer support. But this is the problem. One, the NHS is also in crisis, which means that are countless children with special education needs waiting four years for an assessment. Two, even with a diagnosis, cash strapped local authorities deny EHCPs to over half of applicants because they can’t afford them. So what you are left with, is undiagnosed children with no support and diagnosed children with limited support. So these children struggle in school, cause disruption and chaos due to the lack of support and unmet needs…and who gets the blame? Yep, teachers.

Of course, even local authority school are struggling financially. Energy costs, food costs etc…and little government support to help. So, they pile the work on the existing staff, mainly because they can’t afford to pay them properly and now, because teachers are leaving in herds.

The workload and expectations are ridiculous. You are expected to work above and beyond. Read that again. You are expected to work above and beyond. Staff who simply do their job – like most other jobs in this world – are looked down upon.

And that’s not only in the remits of a teacher. No, we are expected to deal with all the social and economic issues too. Schools aren’t just about learning. We support families and children through crisis. We donate food and clothing. We offer counselling and health care.

And you know what, most teachers want to support their children. Most teachers are willing to give extra to help the children in their care. But this is what I want you to realise. Ofsted don’t care about that. Academies don’t care about that.

Are teachers paid well? Comparing to some other careers, yes. Compared to what is expected of them, the demand of the job, the stress- absolutely not. I’d love to know how much money is owed to teachers in one month, from all the resources, gifts and donations they fund out their own pocket. But it’s OK, that’s simultaneously expected and ignored.

Ofsted come in for two days and make a judgment on a school. They don’t truly see anything worthwhile. They see a snapshot. Think about that: two days out of three years and that is the judgement on the school. They don’t offer help and guidance. They bully and cause stress. They are cold, unfeeling and immovable. Probably because the judgement was made before they walked through the door.

An Ofsted visit should feel like the local wise man/woman coming. We should feel respect for their wisdom and gratitude for their kindness. We should want to impress them with all that we are doing, and feel relief that we will be supported and guided through the things we are struggling with. Schools should be desperate for ofsted to visit, just for that support alone.

But no. Instead, overworked and stressed education workers are treated with contempt and scrutiny. They are being made to feel that their best isn’t good enough. They are being made to feel that every extra hour they give, going above and beyond what they are paid to do, isn’t good enough. They’re being made to feel that every hoop they are jumping through, still isn’t good enough.

And it isn’t. Because if schools were actually allowed to use the combined professionalism of the staff within, then schools would improve.

If they made decisions based on the needs of the children, not outside pressures and Ofsted threats, they would improve.

If they were well funded and staffed, and staff worked their just hours and no more, things would improve.

If exam pressures disappeared, children would be children and enjoy learning again. And things would improve.

So, as an experienced teacher and parent, let me make this clear. The Government’s handling of education is INADEQUATE. Ofsted are INADEQUATE. And whilst they fail to recognise this, more teachers will leave the profession, less graduates will sign up for the punishment of this career and sadly, more teachers will suffer at the hands of the stress pushed on them. More teachers will take their own life.

To Ruth’s family, I am so sorry for this tragic loss. I’m sure the words of the many parents and children who mourn her are a true testament to the work she did.



I’m calm – relatively. It’s morning and despite being a Saturday, I woke quite early. I have a fluffy throw around me, have stoked up the fire and made a coffee, and have some lone time to journal.

This morning I woke to thoughts of redecorating, house maintenance and house work. Literally, these were the thoughts that went through my mind.

I’ve let many, many things slide in the past 5 years and although I knew it – and worried about it – I also know I was an expert at ignoring it. I’ve realised recently, like a dawning awareness, just how much my house has grown tired and unloved.

And it is unloved. It holds far too many memories, far too many feelings of guilt. Fear even.

There are times when I’ve made a beautiful garden. There are times I’ve redecorated and redesigned. But they were in a different lifetime, with a different me. I look back on them, shrouded in the mists of memory, and they are like looking at a version of myself that no longer exists.

I’ve been told, so many times, that this house is ‘too much for me’. Whilst a part of me remains indignant, the proof is before me. Repairs remain unfixed, rooms undecorated, garden overgrown. Inside, some rooms are cluttered, carpets need replacing.

When Dad died, I had the finances to do the work but not the will. I didn’t want anything to change, even the leaking tap. Then, feeling alone, I was fearful of getting work done. There have been many times when I have employed someone, only for the work to be shoddy and overpriced. And, with my new found low-esteem and lack of confidence, I’ve not attempted to do anything myself either.

That last point isn’t quite true. For the last eighteen months, I have slowly started to undo the knots of chaos, caused by my depression. (The fact that I’m even calling it depression is a step forward, I think). I’ve refused to give up. I’ve tidied and organised.

It’s an on going battle though. Now I’m working full time again, I have less time and energy to do it. With everything that happened with my children, even daily chores have slipped this last two weeks. This is why I woke to thoughts of housework this morning.

Just over a year ago, I made the decision to return to full time work. I made a plan. With my salary returned to a decent level, I planned how I would renovate my house step by step. I planned how I would get control of my finances and finally cut the apron strings with my ex-husband. I planned how I would prepare for Wildcard to come to me.

A lot has happened since then. I started and left the job. My son’s mental health declined and my daughter’s physical health with it. My finances nosedived again – I have now spent the money I have saved for Wildcard’s move to the UK, just to survive. The world has descended into financial crisis with rising costs for food and fuel and electric. My dreams of Wildcard coming have faded.

This week, the deputy Headteacher at my new school has thanked me for all I’ve done and told me that she will do all she can to keep me there. There’s no guarantee of a job of course, my contract is a maternity cover and they would need to make a new job for me. There’s also no guarantee that it would pay what I deserve.

I have mixed feelings about it. I am happy there. It is convenient, being local, and the hours are good. I’m working with SEN children which I am passionate about. I’m even enjoying the extra work they are giving me, as they are aware of my background and strengths.

But… I don’t know if I want to be sucked back into that world. There are issues with the place, as documented by the high turnover of staff. They won’t be able to offer me a role back to what I am capable of, even if they wanted to. I could apply for other jobs, more appropriate to my experience and earn good money again. A stab of fear tuns through me at the thought. Whilst I’m happy, I know that’s not what I want for the rest of my life. I know that I still yearn to use this old house and land for some good. I know that I want to be my own boss and to do something that I am passionate about.

How can I start something when I have nothing?

I can’t believe that after nearly two years, I’m still in limbo land. I sometimes wonder if some of my desperation for Wildcard is linked to having a sense of purpose, a direction, a partner. When I dreamed of him coming here, I had a focus. I pictured us working on the house together, building a life together.

Maybe part of what I’ve been feeling this year, is recognition that I can’t put that pressure on him (even if he doesn’t know why). This is my life, my career, my house, my responsibility. Whether he comes, or not, those facts won’t change.

We could talk about my terror that he’s going to decide to come and my house isn’t ready but it would be pointless because I don’t think it will happen. And that’s it, isn’t it? I no longer am confident he will come.

I needed to get my head out of cloud 9. All my hopes and dreams were wrapped up in him. Now, I’m sitting in a rundown house and realising that whilst I dreamed, the outside world continued to age and decay.

Unfortunately, whilst this post has helped me admit some home-truths, it hasn’t yet yielded any of the answers I need. I can only hope that with the clarity that’s dawning, answers – a path – are on their way.


I’ve had a tumultuous time since I last posted.

I spent some more time in my new school and loved it. I also braved a day on supply in a primary school. I don’t know why I was so nervous about it – and avoided it – but I loved my day there. It’s given my confidence that if the work in the special school is not for me, I would be happy working in a primary. It’s also confirmed, again, that I want to start my business. The work situation has settled for now and I am finished for Christmas. In the end, I’ve earned reasonable money the last two months so the pressure is off a little.

I’ve become increasingly aware of how much the end if my leadership career still affects me and my confidence. I thought I was over it but it’s clear I’m not.

The situation with my son continues. We’ve had dramas, periods of calm and full blown anxiety at times. Most of the time, our anxieties have proved to be only that of which I am very grateful. Unfortunately, some immature actions have alerted agencies and us as his parents to his vulnerability to be influenced by others. His SEN makes him both naive and impulsive and his weaker social skills are also not helping. Support is in place now and I’m, finally, beginning to feel we’ve bolted the horse in the stable (rather than when it’s already left, if you know that saying). I can’t pretend I’m not worried but there is some comfort.

My son’s key worker has been a real support and is actually an ex-teacher herself. He has become a real ally. We’ve had some frank conversations about what has happened to both of us and the state of the education system here. She’s given me faith but also insight that I’m not over what happened. I’ve been put forward for more counselling and I’ve accepted. I think it will be good for me and help to release the poison of the past.

Things will Wildcard have been good lately and it’s only 8 days until I fly out to him for my sixth visit. Similarly, there’s been a few events and realisations of late which are helping me to understand him and our situation a little clearer.

My Facebook friend – the one married to a man from Wildcard’s country – continues to be a real friend and source of comfort and understanding. We talk a few times a week and her situation and place within the online community has helped me understand to a greater level, how challenging a marriage of different cultures is – regardless of how much love you have. I think anyone in an LDR of this kind acknowledges the differences but is blinded by their love and wish for a union to really see how hard it can be. My friend, five years into closing the distance, is still learning and experiencing the challenges of different cultures.

Conversely, the World Cup had also highlighted a few things which have led to meaningful conversations with Wildcard. His relationship with his parents and his loyalty and dedication to them, is not just that of a son but also an integral part of his culture and religion. Being the last son there, the eldest son, he feels this responsibility keenly. And, being the eldest and in thar position of responsibility myself once, how can I not understand that?

We’ve had one moment of tension recently, when he mentioned how his brother and his then girlfriend (now wife) had travelled and resided together. This is forbidden in his religion and is something that Wildcard would never do. Unfortunately, my face portrayed my….well, jealousy of this time they’d had alone together. I love Wildcard’s parents, I really do but of course I would like to experience time with Wildcard alone where he is not on edge. Ironically, of course, even if he agreed to it, he would be more anxious than when his parents are there. Wildcard saw my jealous contemplations, questioned me as usual and became frustrated at what I said.

I’ve no doubt that at this current time, he’s doing the best he can. I love him for exactly who he is – I love that he has integrity and is a good man. I’d never want to change him, just for some alone time. I explained that to him and he later told me I had done nothing wrong. The moment passed and has been forgotten. But again, it’s highlighted the type of man he is and why things are as they are.

So, all in all, as the year comes to an end, I’m feeling some peace going into Christmas. I’ve a very busy week ahead of me before I travel but I’m looking forward to happy festivities with my family and then spending a week with the man I love.


It’s 11.30pm and I am wide awake.

It may have something to do with the delicious coffee I made myself at 4pm. The one I knew I shouldn’t have, but as I’d only had one terrible decaf instant that morning- and now had a packet of fresh ground – it was allowed.

I’ve been ill all week. All week. I was also ill last week. By the weekend, I felt better. By Tuesday, I was not. I’ve been exhausted all week and just wanted a rest. Me time.

But no. That doesn’t happen much when you’re a mum. And even more so when each one of your children are also ill. Yep, all three.

I started my week with a three day trial at a special school. I was excited about this as ots something I’ve never done and I’m passionate about, having been around my SEN family members.

Nothing about the place shocked me, really. It was how I expected on the whole. I thought, being so excited, that I would either be massively disappointed and hate it or fall in love with the place.

Instead, for the first two days, I felt…meh. Not a lot. By the end of Tuesday, keeping in mind I was feeling ill, I was actually quite frustrated with myself. If this wasn’t intriguing me, what would? Maybe it genuinely is time to leave teaching.

The problem is…problems are… I like teaching. I just don’t like schools. I like helping children. I enjoy being creative. I just don’t like schools. I’ve looked for other jobs and whilst I often have many of the skills they look for, but because they’re not specifically from that industry, I think I don’t have a chance.

My last day was Wednesday. I had a good day. Maybe because I was more settled there – maybe because the children recognised me a bit more, either way I enjoyed it. One little boy came up and hugged me. Another did work when he doesn’t usually. I liked it. But at the end of the day, I walked out no clearer to what was happening. No one spoke to me.

Thursday I was back in my tutoring. The children had missed me. I felt appreciated. I like this job. I love it, in fact. I attended an important meeting for one of the children ans received some really lovely feedback about my work with him. I was also called by the agency to be told I was the favourite for the job at the special school. They had interviews the next day, Friday, and in the interest of fairness had invited me in on Monday for an interview too. OK, I thought. Gives me the weekend to think.

Except, I got a call Friday afternoon offering me the job without the interview. There was someone in 2nd if I rejected it, but they wanted me. There was talk about future responsibilities and permanent positions. There was also talk of a three month trial on daily supply rates – normal in this country- but actually higher than normal for me. Just less than I would be on in a permanent position. I froze, unsure, and asked for time to think. I think I shocked the agency

There was no one to call to discuss. (Woah, that’s just really hit home). I thought, hard.

I’d liked the school overall. It was fantastic experience and would look good on my already good CV. They have a forest school which I’m interested in. It’s local, better pay and provided all is well, it’s a year’s contract with promise of a permanent position. And the three month trial? Well, they’ve given me an escape hatch if I need one.

But…it’s a school. And they’re all the same. And I love my tutoring. And I don’t want to let my tutees down. And I could make good money there.

Except…there is no security, at all. I’ve made it clear how I feel to the recruitment manager and whilst he’s thrown compliments my way, has done nothing to keep me. At any point I could be out of contract. The travel isn’t subsidised, neither are all the resources I have to provide.

And so, in the end, I’ve accepted the job.

Maybe I’m stupid. Maybe I really have had it with schools. But I have to try, again. I need this stability for so many reasons.

I’d like to be able to go food shopping without feeling terrified. I’d like to fix things in my house…

I’d like to financially be ready if Wildcard ever decides to take the next steps. I need to make myself financially independent from my ex.

The experience is fantastic for my CV and for my business idea.

Maybe I will regret this. Maybe it will be the best thing for me. But I’ve made a decision and now need to stick to it.



I am sat in the most beautiful azure blue bath, sparkling with gold glitter, feeling like a beautiful mermaid.

My daughter bought me a relaxation bathing kit for my birthday in April. Since we don’t have the fire on until winter, I’ve waited until now for hot bath water.

The bath bomb was blue and the top looked like golden crystals:

I’m not a bath bomb fan per se – I’ve heard stories that they’re not always great for your skin – but this was a beautiful and expensive gift that I’ve waited to use. The bath looks and smells beautiful and I feel like I’m in a tropical lagoon.

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. As a child (teen), long before we worried about the price of electricity, I would have long showers pretending I was in a waterfall or tropical pool. I could construct a whole narrative.

I also used to play outdoors alone, imagining myself in magical worlds or giving myself superpowers. On my pony, I would imagine we were winding our way through narrow cobbled streets on a quest, not exercising in a grassy paddock.

I love being imaginative and creative. At the moment, I’m starting on the decorations for my step sister’s wedding cake. I craft, sew, paint and draw.

One of the many things I loved about being a teacher was planning exciting lessons. Having to complete pupil voice each year, it was pleasing to note that my schemes of work were often the most popular.

It’s what I miss about teaching. Now, lesson plans are standardised. Everyone teaches the same. And, I get it. Shared schemes save workload and support new/inexperienced/ supply teachers. I introduced shared schemes as a Head of Department. But, I rarely enforced them. We had common assessment points. We had set assessment objectives. But I allowed the creativity of the teacher and the necessity to adapt learning for the climate of an individual classroom to dictate how those assessment objectives were taught. Today, many schools feel like examination conveyor belts. Pupils and teachers are bored. I was bored.

Being a tutor means I can plan bespoke, individual lessons to allow these vulnerable and disengaged children to enjoy learning again and feel successful. I love it. I love this job. But the pay and conditions are poor. I’m not compensated for printing and buying resources, or the many miles I travel between houses. There’s no security.

Following my dabble with Mindvalley’s Lifebook earlier this week, I found a few additional resources online to help. I can’t afford the $500 price tag. So, I’ve got to do it myself and I’ve found maybe 1/2 of the tools to help me.

One area of consideration is career. I’ve realised, and probably known deep down for a long time, I no longer care about my career. I have no ego. I’m proud of my successes and sad about its demise but I don’t care anymore about titles and power and notches on my career belt. What I love, is helping children and being creative.

And that, in a nutshell, is what my long desired business is about.

For now, again, it is parked. I can’t afford it at the moment and my focus needs to be on making enough funds to survive, my son and my own mental health.

Today was horrendous. My anxiety had hit tsunami proportions. I was actually shaking – something I’ve not done for 5 years. Tomorrow I have a meeting in my son’s school – the school that ended my career – and I have to face going in there again and try to be strong and fight for what my son needs.

Thank you to my recent reader for liking ‘glamorous’, a post of mine from last month. I always read the post if it’s been liked and not recent. It’s amazing how coincidentally, my own words are pertinent. This was exactly that.

Wish me luck tomorrow.


Why don’t we do the things we want to do?

I ponder this question frequently. Or rather, I want to ponder it, but my Fort Knox brain shutters come down as it knows this is something triggering. I try to ponder it.

There are many things I want to do and I don’t do them.

If we have an idea of what would make us happy though, why don’t we do it?

I’ve dabbled in enough self help and personal development mini sessions to know a lot of this is to do with fear, failure and our brains protecting us. It also has a lot to do with confidence, self esteem and self preservation.

I know I’m not happy. I’ve not been truly happy for a long time. I also know that knowing I am unhappy makes me more unhappy with myself.

From everything I’ve learnt this past few years, I know that taking action has a big part to play in the journey to getting out of this.

And I have been. (Cue self celebration). I have been taking small actions recently. I’ve not given up or given in. This is real progress when you consider how I coped 18 months ago, and four years ago. My road to recovery this time has been shorter. I’m still on it of course, but I’ve started on the road quicker.

Take today, for instance. Yesterday I was moody and unsettled. This morning I’ve been in my head, so much so that I have a headache. But I’ve done two things today. One, I completed a Mind Valley Life Book questionnaire (which links to a course I can’t afford, but the report is very helpful) and I am currently sat in my garden, in the rain, periodically throwing a ball to my dog.

And why is this progress, I hear you ask? Because by completing the questionnaire, I’m trying. I’m fighting. I’m taking action. I’m refusing to dwell in the bog of my unhappiness. I’m trying to uncover all behind my brain’s Fort Knox so I can get the hell out of there.

And, by taking my dog out in the rain, I feel better. Yes, I’m wet and cold. But….I felt bad about not taking him out and now I have. And I proved that a little discomfort actually isn’t so bad when it is for the greater good. My dog is perfectly happy:

My issue, of course, is that I’m not sure where I’m heading. I’m still lost. Floundering, floating, directionless. I’ve an idea where I want to go. But I’m not sure. Scared. Terrified.

I have a lot to be happy and grateful about. I am blessed in many, many ways. This also makes me unhappy because I feel bad for feeling unhappy when I shouldn’t be.

I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know if it is a midlife crisis. My Dad dying. Unhappiness in my marriage that I stuck at for far, far too long. Covid. A Long Distance Relationship that exhilarates and frustrates me. Inherent mental health issues. Burn out. Potential neurodivergence. The collapse of the UK’s education systems and society. War. All of the above. Just me. I don’t know.

I guess it doesn’t matter but its in my nature to search for answers and source to the problem so I can solve the problem.

I love my life and hate my life.

I want someone to help me find answers but I also want to find them myself.

I want structure and I want flexibility.

I want to be a good mother and I want time to be me.

I want to lead but I want to be a team.

I want time alone but don’t want to be on my own.

I want to fill my time doing what I love but I want to learn new things.

I want to fill my time doing what I love but still be productive and efficient.

I want to fill my time doing things I love but don’t actually do any of them.

Why don’t I do the things I love, if I love them so much..?

What is it…?

I’m 42.

Is this a mid life crisis? Is this what it feels like? I’ve had a successful life in Western terms: University education, promising career of promotions, married, children, mortgage, own car. Admittedly, no savings. No drugs, crime or deviance in my life.

So why, please tell me, do I feel like I’m at that godforsaken crossroads AGAIN? The one where I have absolutely no idea which path to take.

And…what’s worse…I have no one to ask.

Yes, yes…I know…it’s my decision to make. My life, my decision.

But a rather alarming thought hit me before, as I was stewing in the unfortunate circumstances surrounding me. I genuinely have no one to ask. No father. My mother is, sadly, no longer the person I would go to for advice though I love her dearly. My younger sisters are struggling in their own lives. I have no grandparents. And…well…

Wildcard. Maybe my sister was right all those months ago when we argued. Maybe he and I don’t talk about anything deep and meaningful. I don’t tell him everything. I try. I give him the headlines, hoping he will understand. I’m not sure he does. And he rarely comments. Sometimes I ask him for an opinion and he won’t give me one. He says he doesn’t really understand or he doesn’t know. Not in all situations, granted. But in enough for it now to worry me.

But, what is it?? These are my problems and I have to deal with them? Or he’s my partner so we’re in this together? Hypothetically, of course.

Does he care when I’m upset or stressed? 100%. Does he try to cheer me up? Absolutely. Does he give me answers or suggestions? Occasionally. Am I trying to talk this situation positive? Yep.

My career is a stalled car. Quite a fancy one. I’m currently trying to decide whether to strip it for parts, fix it, dump it or upcycle it. I. Just. Don’t. Know.

What is it at the moment? Please reach out and let me know what you think of this….everyone around me seems to be struggling. My ex is off sick with stress. My youngest sister is at rock bottom. My other sister is struggling financially and feels something is missing in her life. My mum and partner are about to be made homeless. My eldest son was suicidal and has just been excluded from school. My daughter is as lost as me…barely finished studying, failed to get into Uni whilst also claiming she didn’t want to, walked out of an apprenticeship over poor conditions and pay, has no direction and is currently constantly ill and unemployed.

Is this a midlife crisis? Or is this just a really unfortunate set of circumstances? Is this Covid? The UK recession? The cost of living?

If this had happened 4 years ago, would I have had the strength and confidence to help them, like I used to? Should I be thinking about this…or again, are these their problems to solve? Do I carry their weight on my shoulders unhelpfully for all involved?

What is it? I’ve no one else to ask.

Anniversaries and celebrations


I’m once again sat in my little wilderness, having a moment to think and journal.

I’ve worked this morning. Slowly but surely, my tutoring is picking up. After some issues with references (bitter referees rather than my wrong doing), I accepted more tutoring hours for now. When I get a full week I should be able to tick over financially whilst I consider my longer term goals.

It’s a beautiful day. And a good mood day for once.

Life continues its ups and downs. I’m still convinced I’ve done the right thing, but the right thing has led to a rather rocky path. I will get there though…just not sure where there is….can you relate?

This last week I celebrated three years with Wildcard. It was bittersweet really: I’m so happy to be with him but sad I’m not with him. So are the joys of a long distance relationship. It hit home a little more at the weekend when my mum came to visit. She’s funny with him – laughing and joking – and I love it. But I wondered, morose, if they will ever meet. Will he ever get here? Will he ever propose?

Mum and I were discussing her step daughter’s wedding cake which I will be making in a fortnight. We all talked the wedding and dresses and flowers…and again, I wondered if it will ever be my turn.

Yes…I know I’ve been married. But this is different. I feel different. It’s sad to say that, to admit that…but I want everyone to see and share in my absolute happiness and love for this man. That’s a very different to last time. And again, I don’t think it will happen. Not how I want.

It left me feeling very anxious and vulnerable all weekend. To be fair to him, he called me multiple times when my mum was there – so much that my family joked about it whilst my heart swelled. I want him there, so much. So much.

I have seven weeks to go before I am with him. Yesterday someone read a post from my fourth trip with him and, as always, I read it to remind myself of what happened.

Oh goodness…! I relived him coming into my room at 5am, neither of us able to sleep as it was my first night there. I felt the hugs and the warmth and the intimacy and my heart ached to be near him again.

His mother passed her driving test this week and I’m praying this will give him the confidence to finally make the decision to commit – I know how much worry for his parents is a factor in his hesitancy. It’s so easy for me then to daydream that he will propose on my next visit. But.. I’ve been there before, and expectation leads to disappointment. It will happen when – if – it’s right. I know he loves me, I really do. I just need to be patient.

In other news, following a little trip of her own, my sister has been reinspired by our business ideas. She’s considering moving in with me for a year or so to help me financially and to prepare for the business and also to help her save to hopefully buy her own place. Watch this space.

Frozen heart

Hey there,

I know I’ve been quiet again. From nothing to daily posts…and then I go again.

The day after my last post, reality hit. I started writing a new post.. mainly along the lines of ‘what have I done?’. Repeatedly.

It didn’t help that a colleague messaged me to tell me big changes had happened at my (now) old school. Should I have just waited?

No, I shouldn’t. I can’t deny my financial worries haven’t plagued me all week because they have.


The same day I got a call to say I had been cleared to work. Wednesday I met the young man and I started tutoring him Friday. I also told the company I wasn’t happy with the pay, and they’ve raised it and extra £5 an hour.

Thursday I went for an interview at another agency. It’s local, I like the manager, and he’s said he can find me work and – more than that – he’ll find me exactly the right place.

Friday afternoon I got a call from a third agency. They’ve said pretty much the same thing – they have contacts, they can find me work. They mentioned a job that I can start immediately, subject to checks etc. It will be until July.

So…all in all…I know, financially I’m in for a rough ride in the next few months. But I will get there.

As usual, I’m undecided in which route to take. I’m not planning on making a decision for a day or too.

I can’t…I just can’t get my business idea out of my head. I’ve talked about this..or a simple version of this… for 8 years or so. It won’t come out of my head.

And yet…I’m not really doing anything about it. Yes, I’m thinking a lot. I’ve done some planning. I’ve made a few small steps, unfortunately which haven’t got me even to the starting block never mind off it. But in my heart, this is what I should do.

My head.. well my head tells me to tale the financially secure version. The version which helps everyone but…freezes my heart.

Resilience is relative

Just so you know, I hate that word. With an absolute soul shuddering passion. 
It's a word some people use to dismiss other's feelings and make them feel weak and unworthy. It tells them that they should be stronger, not show their emotions. It hints that you're being perceived as lesser, broken.
I really don't know if this is just British culture - stiff upper lip, you know what I am talking about - this idea that we should all be built with some innate iron strength to cope when life really is the pits.
Resilience is relative though, isn't it?
Someone losing their job with a bank full of savings and a spouse on a decent income is different to a single parent losing their job up to their eyes in debt. And yet, both will feel the strain in their own way, relative to their situation. Therefore, telling someone to be 'resilient' really annoys me. You, on your high horse...you have no idea how that person feels it's not your life, your context, its theirs. Just because you can cope in those set of circumstances but in your context, doesn't mean they can. 
Show them love. Show them care and empathy. Give them a little strength to find their own path to survival. Don't tell them to be resilient.

I saw my cousin last night (his wife is who I’d taken the pot rose to a few days ago).  He told me I was brave for what I had done in leaving my career. “Or stupid,” I replied.

“No.” He said. “You’d have been stupid to carry on, feeling like that.”


It’s another beautiful autumnal day. Golden leaves are falling now. I’m sat outside in a short sleeved t shirt and whilst I’m not warm, I’m liking the slight chill to the breeze that’s rustling the leaves.

My mind was full of Amy last night. I didn’t know her well – knew her little son more who played with my son and niece and nephew – but knew her enough to say hello and stop and chat. I looked at her Facebook page and saw pictures of her happy little family and the gratitude she had for them.

Thinking about that little family’s loss now, things get put in perspective.

So what if I actually shampooed my carpet, only for it to go smelly, leading me to cover it in bicarb (Internet hack) which won’t vacuum up so I now have a cow patterned carpet?

So what if I left a job that left me soul broken? So what if I don’t have spare cash anymore? I have my life and my kids and my family and my Wildcard.

There’s so many clichés to say here….life is short, you only live once, you could die tomorrow.

Clichés are almost as bad as the word ‘resilience’. They are poignant and important but deemed irrelevant by over or improper use.

I’ve had a very lucky life, compared to some.   I’ve had a difficult life compared to others.

What I do know is I’ve spent a large part of it unhappy when I didn’t need to. Either because my head was stuck in the negative or I failed to change my life when I should have. No more.

Life is short but…

Life is beautiful. Life is Love.

If you let it be.