Am I the only parent that can't believe how quickly this half term has come along?! I'm sure you've all been settling into your routines again after the lengthy summer holiday and now it's time to have that routine dashed so we can go back to wearing the occasional hat that requires us to become an entertainer, a taxi driver or a referee depending on how many you have and what ages they are. I can snigger slightly at myself here, with two of a similar age I actually fit into all three but sadly, in reverse order!
Here's another crap misconception. That it's egotistical to love yourself. I was accused of loving myself at school, far from the sad truth that I had a lot of healing to do before I was to understand what it meant to love myself. Now I realise it's something that people say to others when they are threatened by someone's confidence as it reminds them of what little acceptance they have for themselves... I see beauty all around me, in people, places, objects and actions. That's love and it's a very powerful thing!
Life has to be more than just being about what's absolutely necessary, we have a network around us which needs an element of input and equality in order to thrive. What is a life without wonderful friendships and relationships? All contributing to adding layers and enriching our experience along whatever direction we pursue, it can be a lonely path when selfishness prevails, even if it is only because you initially just wanted to cope and not let anyone down.
Oh how we love to judge! Is it not good to give our love some home truths in the form of some advice or most commonly some harsh criticisms? The majority of anything said from one partner to another would go in one ear and out the other, no matter how much sense it makes to you, it's not their perspective therefore 90% of it goes by the wayside.
It's so important for parents, especially single parents, to have a strong and reliable support network around them, you can go through months without 'needing a friend' but when you do it's so reassuring to know that those positive role models are there waiting in the wings to come and be wonderful influence on the boys.
Keeping the many facets of our lives going is a great and progressively more common achievement that we have little choice but to challenge ourselves with. However, if you are not paying attention to the areas of your life that matter the most then in the end the success is found to be hollow because we dropped the ball that matters the most...
I had the distinct privilege of being asked to be a best man recently and was absolutely touched that Justin thought of me in such high regard so I was determined to repay his faith by at least getting my first and arguably the most important job right, arranging the stag. How hard could it be to round up our closest buddies, decide where to go and how to do it and send JJ off in style?
As I recalled my earliest memories I was keen to impress on the group that I don't look back and see my time in foster care as a negative, my expression wasn't from feeling sorry for myself, I completely understand that in the absence of my biological father, my very young mother, too young to even consider a woman would want to get herself together after having me at the age of 15 and, in some respects I think it was very brave decision to take. I didn't say this in front of the room of kids but I'd prefer to be fostered than to have been aborted and to not have had the privilege of life in the first place!
I sat the boys down for one of these increasingly frequent 'Brazier planning meetings' and it was clear that choosing was the easy part. I placed recipe books in front of them and was really surprised by how interested they were in making dishes they had never had before as well as some of the old favourites.
n an R.E lesson the subject conveniently turned to the afterlife, and, without needing any cue, Freddy got up and spoke wonderfully in front of the whole class about Jade and most poignantly about how he sees her as a beautiful butterfly. Heart melting stuff and Ms H took the golden opportunity to elaborate and congratulate Freddy on such a brave show of emotion. Realising she was beneath the barrier, something wonderful happened between teacher and pupil and an understanding was made. This was confirmed when a Loom-band bracelet appeared anonymously on her desk with a note proclaiming her to be the best teacher in the world.
Something so harrowing happened today that I can't get it off my mind. I took the children to watch the Tour de France come tearing through the tiny country lanes in a neighbouring village and I ended up comforting a woman as she watched her husband slipping away before her very eyes. I just can't comprehend what she must be feeling right now.
If you are anything like me you would have grown up idolising your footballing hero's, my first was Kerry Dixon, then Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker. To have met any of those at a young age would have felt no less like meeting a God... The simple pleasure received from meeting someone you really look up to is something you don't actually ever forget.The Sports Connection Foundation asked me if I would accompany a young lad, Tomas Mayer, who has (DMD) Duchene Muscular Dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his short life. Having DMD means all his body and organs are basically shutting down.
How difficult it can be at times to spot your grief for mummy. While we quite rightly do not use it as an excuse for every minor indiscretion, it is at times so glaringly obvious that the very worst you can ever throw at me is undeniably a direct consequence of the turmoil you occasionally feel inside. Yet although I know and accept its origins, why do I always allow it to hit me so personally and so deeply?
Setting off on my third fundraising cycling trip for Norwood wasn't a hard choice. One year previously I had embarked into the unknown with a group of strangers to Sri Lanka and had come back a changed person. It was only natural that in my often hectic world full of responsibility I would want to immerse myself in another culture...