I'm childfree-by-choice, but as my life fills with young female friends, I find myself thinking about what I want to pass on to them - in a wise-woman way. If I'd had a daughter when I was thirty, she would be eighteen now. So these are the things I'd like to say to her, and weirdly, lots of them are things my mother said to me...
I thought it fitting that there's no time like the present to knuckle down and join the writers out there writing to their former selves. Not in a 'Clare, Clare, can you hear me?' way, but a reflective, reactive, and 'actually, you can learn a lot in 11 years' revelation that only comes with historical hindsight, and I hope is something others can relate to.
Yes, you did read the title correctly - Arnold Schwarzenegger! The sixty-seven year old former bodybuilding champion, turned actor, turned politician, turned movie star again may not be everyone's first choice role model. Most prefer to attempt a bad impersonation of him, quoting one of his many famous one-liners.
It's important to take frequent breaks during your revision session. The brain is a muscle (not factually correct) that gets tired like any other muscles (do hearts get tired?). In order for a break to be effective, you must fully remove yourself from your working mindset. Dig a hole in the garden or annoy your sister a bit. Just keep the line between work and play clearly defined.
Every day, six young people aged 16-24 receive the shocking news that they have cancer. Treatment usually starts immediately, can last for up to three years, and disrupts every area of their lives. Of course, this can include relationships and sex. And yet at such a formative time the issues that arise are not often openly discussed. Until now.
In the past couple of years I have been to Berlin twice for hen do's, Amsterdam once, and stayed in London a couple of times. It's got to the point where my friends joke that I must be "attending another hen" if I can't make something. So, for my readers (hi mum), I figured I would do my hen planning advice.
Throughout these journeys I have developed my own travel style. I know what I like and what I don't. I know the best ways to get what I want out of a trip. However, my attitude is very different compared to the way I approached travel ten years ago. So, how interesting would it be to go back in time and give my younger self some travel advice?