Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Almost a defining moment

Sometimes light bulbs 'ping' in my head at the strangest moments.

Yesterday morning, while DD was at nursery, I had presisely 90 minutes to tidy up, do my workout, go for a 30 minute run/walk, have a shower, slurp some cold coffee and get back to nursery to pick her up again without breaking the speed limit through the village. All was going well, I'd done parts one and two and was just opening the door to go for part three, the run/walk, when I realised there was already someone standing there. For a moment we looked at each other, me surprised that he was there and him suprised that I was. He had a parcel for next door, would I mind taking it? Of course not, but I'm in a bit of a hurry. All going well. Then he spoiled it.

'You're always in a rush, aren't you luv?' he said.

Now there are two parts to this rant. The first is that I don't like being called 'luv' by a man. Or 'hun'. Or 'Mrs'. Which is strange as I use all three of those when I'm talking to my friends. Yes, double standards are alive and well in this house. When a man uses them I feel somehow belittled, talked down to. It bugs the hell out of me. When a gal says it to me, it feels like a term of affection. Warm and fuzzy. Clearly decades of female oppression rest uncomfortably in my genes. (Which is ironic as I squeezed into my small jeans yesterday and they were uncomfortable too.)

Part two of this rant is about being in a rush. You see Mr delivery chappie was right. I AM always in a rush. A perpetual treadmill of rushing from one thing to the next. It drives OH fruit-loopy. 'You've got to slow down to speed up,' he says wisely. I can't hear him over the wind whistling in my ears as I blast past. I rush from this activity to that activity, from nap time to workout time, from quick blog post to speedy Tweet. I'm dipping my toe in more ponds than Kermit the frog. And I don't even have a job.

So that lightbulb I mentioned at the beginnning? This is where it 'pinged'. I need to slow down. I need to do less. I need to be strict with myself about what I do and when I do it. I need to not spend time Tweeting when I should be preparing to leave the house in 5 minutes, or reading just one more blog post when I should be running DD's bath. I know this.

It was almost a defining moment for me. Then the lightbulb 'popped', everything went dark in my head again and I was too busy running out the door for my run/walk to replace it. *Sigh*

Image: Idea go /

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Silent Sunday

Inspired by...

Silent Sunday

Join in #SilentSunday at Love All

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Reasons to be cheerful

Yeah, that's me (not)

1. The 'get fit for Britmums Live challenge' is here! What started out as a little idea brewing in the back of my mind has grown into a band of 14 mummy and daddy bloggers committing to get fitter, more toned and, frankly, smokin' HOT by June 22 by following the home workout programme. If you're interested in joining us and then leave me a comment or contact me on Facebook (facebook/bodfortea) or Twitter .

2. It's working... I've been following the programme for a few weeks now and I'm starting to actually notice a difference in my fitness levels and in how my clothes feel. The scales are reading the same so far but there is definitely some toning up going on. And OH has noticed too which can only be good :D

3. No more nappies! Following on from last week's post DD is now dry during the day and using the 'big girl toilet' at home too *fanfare*. It was done and dusted in just over a week thanks to Gina Ford's Potty Training In A Week. I'm SO proud of our little big girl I'm fit to burst. (But I just mopped the kitchen floor so I'm trying not to.)

4. Sunshine! There's nothing better than seeing that golden loveliness casting it's rays over the garden. Welcome Spring *waves*.

Have you got reasons to be smily this week? Pop 'em down and link up over at Mich's place - .

Image: photostock /

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The #BritMumsLive get fit challenge!

Welcome to the get fit for Brit Mums Live challenge!

Are you going to Brit Mums Live?
Would you like to be fitter, trimmer and more toned before you get there?
Is there a pair of jeans/skirt/dress/trousers that you WISH you could wear that day?
Can you spare 15-20 minutes per day, Monday to Friday?

If the answer to these three questions is YES then join us! By the time 22 June comes around we'll be fitter, trimmer, more toned and looking H.O.T.

You need NO special equipment for this challenge except a pair of trainers, something to wear to workout in plus your own determination, commitment and hard work. And it's free. FREE y'all! We will be following the daily programme of workouts. Why? Because they're short. Because they're easy to follow. Because they work.

If you've never worked out before PLEASE don't let that stop you joining in. There are three workout levels for each workout - beginner, intermediate and advanced. Choose whichever one works for you.

How it works
Every day I will post a link to the daily workout in our Private Facebook Group. Watch the video and learn the exercises for that day (I write them down in a book), ROCK THE WORKOUT, then keep a note of your scores and share them if you want to. Each week we'll do a fit test to see how we're progressing. It will help if you follow a (fairly) healthy eating plan at the same time. And that's it.

Join us!
There are already eight eighteen mummy bloggers and others signed up for the challenge! To sign up all you need to do is leave me a comment below with your twitter ID and your Facebook ID and I will add you to the Private Facebook group. This is where I will be posting a link to the daily workout, where we can share our results and support each other along the way. Then use the Twitter hashtag #BritMumsgetfit to brag about how HOT you're getting :D


Note: This challenge is not sponsored by or held in conjunction with Brit Mums, it's just a bunch of like minded peeps trying to rock their bods into the best shape they can before 22 June.

Image credit: Lisa of

Curly locks - top 5 hair products for squiggly hair

I have curly hair. No wait, scratch that. I have very curly hair. No, hold on. I have very curly, unruly, frizzy, can't-do-a-thing-with-it hair. There, that's better. Or worse. Either way, it's the truth. (Look there's a picture on the left to prove it.)

Over the years I have gelled it, plaited it, blow-dryed it, straightened it, added extensions to it and tonged it. You name it, I've probably done it. Finally, when DD came along and every spare moment was spent trying to get some shut eye, I threw in the rather damp towel and left it au natural.

Now, I should clarify that last statement. Anyone who knows me knows that 'au natural' does not mean sans products anymore than the 'no make up look' means no make up. In fact, it generally means the opposite. So here, for any other curly heads out there *waves*, is my current top 5 curly hair taming products.

1. Frizz Ease Hair Serum Original - this is one of the best selling hair products in the world apparently. For the amount of this stuff I've bought over the years I should have shares in the company. It is a base product to tame frizz and encourage natural curl, rather a styling product, but it works. The important thing with this silicon serum is to put it on soaking wet hair. Not towel-dried, not even patted a bit. Put it on in the shower when you've rinsed off your conditioner, comb it through and you're done.

2. Tigi Foxy Curls Contour Cream - fab styling cream that goes on after Frizz Ease hair serum to encourage curl and provide medium hold. Comb through, scrunch a bit then leave to dry or use a hair dryer with a defuser. Can leave hair a bit crunchie if left to dry naturally but a few scrunches gets rid of that and hold still remains.

3. Frizz Ease Secret Agent Perfecting Creme - despite it's rather silly name this stuff is a miracle in a tube. It's like a drink for thirsty, parched hair. I use it on dry hair to tames frizz and add definition to my curls. The creme is light without being sticky or tacky so you can use it during the day if the frizzies appear.

4. L'Oreal Kids Pear Tangle Tamer - DD has inherited my curls (but waaaaay cuter when you're two and a half) and has incredible bed head in the morning so I spray this on, comb through and when it dries her curls are defined with no frizz. My hair is more frizzy than hers but I use it as a day 2 spray to encourage the curl back before applying Frizz Ease Secret Agent to tame the frizzies.

5. Wide toothed comb - ok this isn't strictly a product but it's an essential for curly hair. I do not own a brush. I do not comb my hair when it's dry. It gets one comb through with a wide toothed comb when it's wet and then it has to wait until the next wash. And when I say wide? I mean wiiiiiiide. I'm currently using this one from Tesco. Cheap and effective.

Do you have curly hair? What are your go-to products to get the curls you crave?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

White Step interview & discount offer

Before we went on holiday to Walt Disney World *still sniffs sadly at being back* we trialled the from White Step. I was so impressed with these bath toys that I wanted to find out more about the company and ask a few sneaky questions myself (not that I'm nosey or anything). So I did. And now I like them even more. I particularly like their zero tolerance policy for nasty chemicals in baby products. Why doesn't every company have one of these?

Here, for your delectation is my brief interview with Audrey, White Step's founder and Mum of three. And do pop over to White Step if you have a mo, their products are fab.

Audrey, what led you to start White Step?
I started Whitestep after my 3rd child 4 years ago. Always on the look out for useful products that look good, I decided to import some of my findings to the UK. Whitestep was born…!!

What makes White Step different from other websites selling products for children?
There are a lot of websites out there that sell interesting and innovatives products for babies, but Whitestep will only feature the products we distribute, so we know the brands inside out and totally believe in them.

How important is it to you that the products sold by Whitestep are free of nasty chemicals?
We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to babies. All products should be free of harmful chemicals. This is the first thing we will check when speaking to a new supplier.

What are your top five can't-do-without products for Mums with toddlers?
Definitely a cool pushchair that folds easily. Feeding bottles that don’t leak, a trendy changing bag, a bath that is not too bulky and some exciting toys to keep him busy and inspired.

I've got a particular fetish about changing bags, are you planning to introduce any to your range? 
Simply Good has some very exciting changing bags and we are introducing them with our next shipment in a couple of months. They look good, but are also very well made for a perfect organisation.

If you could go back and re-live your time as a Mum with toddlers, what, if anything would you do differently?
I would definitely spend a bit more time playing with them with interesting toys. Nowadays any toy that is not electronic can look boring. In my opinion, we should come back to more creativity when it comes to playing with toddlers.

Big thanks to Audrey. Fancy trying a set of Flexibath™ Toys with your little ones? Readers of Bod for tea can receive a 15% discount from any products on the White Step website. Just enter the code - BOD15 - at the checkout to receive your discount.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was sent some bath toys to review and the chance to offer my readers a discount. I like the ethos behind White Step so I decided to find out more about them and share that info with you lovely lot.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The flip side

The grey blue sea matched the sky perfectly. Seagulls soared in front of her, dancing their freedom on the breeze. The sun peered briefly from behind a cloud and she wondered whether little Ava would need the cardigan she'd lain out for her earlier. Then, placing the pages in her hand gently on the grass, a small soft smile spread across her face. The fight was over. This morning promised a whole new beginning for everyone. See you on the flip side, she thought. She took a deep breath, tasted the salty sea air one last time and stepped off.

This week's prompt is 'the flip side'. You can read the other entries in the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups at Julia's Place.

Image: worradmu /

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 18 February 2012

That was the week that was

It's 6.40am on a Saturday morning, the inky sky is just starting to temper itself with the faintest hint of morning and the birds are either happy about this or having one almighty barny in the trees behind the house. As is often the case at the weekend I ruminate on the week that was and the week that is to be. I stare at the wall for a while and notice that yesterdays pasta and tomato sauce is stippled across it in tiny dots. I consider getting up to wipe it. I tap out this little post instead.

Monday was day one of commando potty training, I was jetlagged and extremely grateful to my three guest bloggers for babysitting my corner of the blogosphere for a week. If you missed their wonderful posts you can read them here: , , . I seem to remember that there was lots of coffee involved on this day.

Tuesday Heather at Stay At Home Mum Loving It wrote a fab which anyone considering going should head over and read. It's a great summary of must dos. I'm planning a tips post on travelling with a toddler soon too. 

On Wednesday Him up North explained the ebbs and flows of blogging in Listen to your Blogorhythms which made perfect sense and there was a very interesting post on Kommein about badmouthing brands in social media which is well worth the read. I heard on the Twittervine that Mich from is speaking at Brit Mums Live 2012 and remembered that I'd finally booked my ticket. (I may have squealed a bit.) I saw that m has had her baby, a beautiful little girl, and my heart swelled.

On Thursday I wrote  (which was, funnily enough, about last night, the clue being in the title) and guest posted a little ditty called over at A Party of Seven. Seasider in the City hosted Reasons to be Cheerful. I always try to to keep me mindful of the positive things that happen around here. Or I make them up. Either way I'm more cheerful.

Then Friday reared it's pretty little head and Dear the Queen made me chuckle into my coffee. He's a funny one that Stay at Home Dad and Proud.

What did you get up to this week on t'internet? Any posts of note that you'd like to share?

Image: David Castillo Dominici /

Friday, 17 February 2012

Reasons to be cheerful

#1. Going potty. Potty training has actually gone rather well this week I think. DD's out of nappies when she's up and about and now telling me when she needs to 'go' rather than just 'going'. Vast improvement. Next step is getting her to go and sit on the potty herself. All things in good time. If you're thinking about starting to train yourself (errr.. not yourself of course *blush*) then I'd recommend Gina Ford's Potty Training in a Week method. Big gains in a short amount of time if you can be in one place for a week with few visitors. I'd also recommend patience. And 1001 Troubleshooter Ultra carpet cleaner.

#2. I'm going to Brit Mums Live!!! Only going to be there on the Saturday so that OH can look after DD but I'm still just a little bit over excited. Can't wait to meet the lovely bloggers I've been chatting to over the last year! Are you going? Let me know and I'll add you to my dance card.

#3. Spring? Shhh.... as I said to this morning. We need to whisper so that it doesn't hear us and run away, but it was definitely lighter this morning when I struggled out of bed to inject myself with caffeine, so there's the smallest chance that Spring might actually be on the way. *Squeals quietly*

#4. Twitter twotter. I'm a bit hit and miss with Twitter, I can't give it my full attention so I often miss the conversations. But this week I've had some fab chats with lovely peeps. Thanks everyone who's responded to my 140 character prattles, you rock like Brighton.

What have you go to be Cheerful about this week? Seasider in the City is hosting Reasons to be Cheerful for Mich this week so pop over and join in.

Image: nuttakit /

Thursday, 16 February 2012

I'm somewhere else today

While we were at Disneyworld last week Sarah over at A Party Of Seven was one of three bloggers who very generously babysat Bod for tea and penned a guest post for me. If you missed Sarah's perspective on returning to work with five children  I'd thoroughly recommend you click through now and enjoy it.

It was the very least I could do to reciprocate. So you can read my guest post 'Lost' over at A Party of Seven today *beams*.

Image credit:

About last night

The dishwasher vomits out its Finish tablet and I listen to it swishing into full flow for a few moments before I realise that the yelling, crying, 'La La'* and gentle sobbing from upstairs has finally stopped. I wonder whether she's exhausted herself or just given up. My shoulders relax.

I hate leaving her to cry. It's a last resort. But when a regular as clockwork 7pm bedtime becomes a two and a half hour marathon of delay tactics and me ping-ponging up and down the stairs the only option is to use actions that explain the words she can't take in - I love you but I'm not coming back upstairs this time. Go to sleep.

It's out of character, this night time dance. DD's usually such a good sleeper. Twelve hours at least. But wait, before you scoff, it wasn't always like this. She didn't really sleep much at all for the first six months. OH and I wore a groove in the floor and lost our voices from singing 'Row your boat' over and over and over again. In the end sheer lack of sleep was seriously affecting our sanity so we held our breaths (and held hands) and left her to cry it out. After the first few truly awful, upsetting, painful nights listening with our ears pressed at the door, she got it. It was like she'd been waiting for this moment.

'Oh, ok, so you're not coming back in no matter how much I yell? I may as well go to sleep then. Yawn...zzzz'

She was like a new baby. And after months of little or no sleep we were like new parents. Sanity was restored. We remembered how to smile.

So why has the sleep thief reappeared now? DD's not obviously scared of anything, or sick, or too hot, or too cold, or too anything. Is it this week's commando training? And by 'commando' I mean sans nappy? It's certainly true that with potty training a la Gina Ford in full swing my new little big girl is delicately balanced between clinging limpet-like to my hip and wanting nothing to do with me. Things are going well so far, I think. There are lots of ticks in the right boxes and thankfully we chose a forgiving carpet colour for the 'other' boxes. It's too soon to blow any sort of trumpet and I'm not ordering the balloon release until at least next week, but I'm still so proud of my little miss. She's growing up. But perhaps more than learning where and when to 'go', that's the really hard part for her? Perhaps that's the part that's making her refuse to enter the land of nod.

Tonight as I pad upstairs trying (and failing) to avoid the creaking floor boards as usual, I don't have the answers. I'm just drawn back to those early months, tasting my guilt as I listen at the door, hearing the gentle snorting snores and wishing my darling daughter a peaceful sleep full of magical dreams.

(* DD is convinced we're all Teletubbies. She's cast herself as Po, I'm La La, OH is Tinkywinky and various soft toys play the part of Dipsy according to their availability. It's a veritable pantomime over here.)

Image: Boaz Yiftach /

Friday, 10 February 2012

Guest post: SAHD and proud - Stuff

Today is our last full day at Disney and the one we've scheduled for retail therapy. After full five days of characters and cast it's likely we'll be ready for it. And besides, it's good for the economy to spend some dollars. I know, I'm generous like that. But before I attempt to browse the rails with one hand and turn the pages of a Thomas the Tank Engine book with the other to keep DD amused, let me introduce the author of today's guest post. Or rather, I'll let him introduce himself.

I'm not a writer, not a journalist. Simply a Stay-At Home Dad (SAHD) to two amazing children under 3. I tweet and blog about things that go on during the day and night.


We have lots of stuff. Nice stuff, most of it. Apart from THAT. That's just shit. And thankfully we bought a big house to accommodate this stuff. But the time has come to consider getting rid of some of this stuff. Mainly stuff that we bought for the babies because, simply, they aren't babies any more.

We’ve got rid of lots of baby clothes. A friend of a friend works, for some of the year, in a clinic in South Africa where he meets mums, kids and babies who have HIV. We've boxed up lots of old baby clothes and given them to him so he can take them to the clinic and people can directly benefit from them. It’s not altruism; I'm convinced there is no such thing. We get a warm glow from doing such a thing and someone else benefits from stuff we no longer have use for. It’s a win win.

But that’s the tip of the iceberg. We have lots of baby toys the kids no longer play with, pushchairs they’ve grown out of or will soon grow out of. Some of them have a considerable resale value. Soon will come the time when we will have to consider getting rid of the Bugaboo Bee, which we bought when T was born. This delightful yellow piece of engineering and design. This pushchair means a lot to me. I've walked it for miles, with first T in and then K, were either were unable to sleep. Walked them for morning naps, afternoon naps, trips shopping, trips out at 1 in the morning when they wouldn't sleep at night. Its silly innit, but this thing means a lot to me. But Dr B is insisting it goes soon.

In the olden days, when it all used to be trees round here, people used to keep their first pram or pushchair, and pass them on. Or, in an idyllic little world, make go-carts out of them. Or is this just in ITV comedy dramas. Or comics.

I’m on a freecycle list. Regularly people offer things they want shot of, but often people ask for things. Cheeky bastards. One bloke asked for a ‘big house with swimming pool, gym and lots of money.’ Another asked for ‘a big boat.’ But recently a woman asked for a Moses basket and stand. She explained in her email that she was due to give birth in a week or so and they were skint. We have one. We don’t use it any more. In fact, we haven’t used it for about 9 months and my daughter hated it and never slept in it. I mentioned the email to Dr B and she said ‘No. I want to keep it.’ Why? ‘Because it means a lot to me.’ I see.

I guess bit of me, doesn’t actually want to get rid of any of it. But then what will happen? When the inevitable next house moves comes, does all this stuff go in the removal lorry as well? In truth, some of it is stuff that merely reminds one of a time you can never get back. When they were babies. Every item has a story, a memory. Of my children. The most amazing things to ever enter this world. And I want to show them these things when they’re older and say ‘Look. This is what you used to dribble on, and I used to change your arse on this.’ What will they say ‘Yeah. Cheers Dad, but this is my 25th birthday meal, and I’m embarrassed you brought a bib and a change mat with you.’

I’m being silly. I am aren't I? I know this. But, deep down I don’t want to get rid of anything. But, if a family who can’t afford something we have can make use of something, which will probably never see the light of day again, then, that’s good isn’t it? And, eventually, we all have to let some things go.

There are some things I will never get rid of and I’ll go f**king mental if they do go if my back is turned. Some soft toys and the babies first sleep suit. The outfit we brought them home from the hospital in. I’m sure, although they’re washed and laundered, if I hold them to my nose I can still smell my baby son, and my beautiful baby girl.

What would you not get rid of? Ever. In a million lifetimes.


SAHD blogs over at Stay At Home Dad and Proud and you can (and should) follow him on Twitter as .

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Guest post: You will call me if he needs me though?

According to our itinerary, if it's Wednesday it must be Sea World. There is a show here where a famous killer whale jumps into the air and splashes down in front of the visitors, soaking the first two rows. As I see it we have two options. #1 - sit at the back of the show and watch everyone else getting soaked. #2 - sit in the first two rows, put our video camera in a plastic bag and point it at DD. While I mull over which one we'll go for I'll let the fabulous author of today's guest post introduce herself - Sarah aka .

I'm a worker-bee. Wife, mama to 5 kids, yes they are all mine, yes I know how it happened & we do have a TV! ;) Part time NICU nurse, I do love my job but don't always like the NHS a whole lot. I am a photographer and observer of life. Some days I feel like I know what I'm doing and others I wonder who left me in charge of all these kids! I love cake. Id like to be on large aeroplane flying somewhere hot or cold just not grey.

You can find Sarah on Twitter . And please do check out her blog at


"You will call me if he needs me though?" - a working mums perspective.

I’ve been thinking a lot about work recently. I work in the NHS and you would have to live under a stone if you hadn’t heard about all the changes in the NHS recently. So things have changed for me professionally quite a bit and it got me thinking about the crazy juggling act we do as a family to allow me to get to work and actually why we do it.

I have 5 children and have had maternity leave and returned to work after all of them. It wasn’t always an easy decision to return to work but for me, in the most part, I needed to financially. I work shifts and so juggling conventional childcare has always been a struggle. There are not many childminders or nurseries that will take your child from 7am -7pm and lets face it would you want them to? My husband and I don’t have family living near by and so that never was an option either.

I think when I was pregnant with my first child I made one of those wonderfully niave statements that people without children make: ’Yes I will be returning to work and the baby will go to childcare and everyone will be happy’ Then of course I spent 16 blissful weeks with my son, getting to know him and being an indulgent full time mama to him. Suddenly the idea of sending him to childcare so that someone else could look after him sort of freaked me out a bit. How would someone else know what he liked? What made
him smile? What foods he liked? All those little things that I had spent hours getting to know. Would he be okay if he got upset, would they know what to do? It went on and on.

My first couple of weeks back to work were a bit fraught. Not just because I returned to work in an fast moving highly pressurised intensive care unit having a newly acquired mummy brain but also because I had to learn a vital lesson. The lesson that someone else looking after my child wasn’t going to turn him into a child I didn’t know, which I actually think was something I was frightened of.

There is a bit of a hippy ish saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and in these days of family being far-flung and widespread it is harder to achieve the sort of community that, that statement talks about. Years ago the complete extended family would be part of the raising of all the children in a family, these days they are lucky if they get a weekend with their extended families. But it is possible to find that community and have
pseudo ‘members’ of our extended family and for us the childminder we used until my son went to school was part of our family and a lovely influence on my children’s lives!

We are a generation of women raised to believe we can have it all and actually in reality that isn’t possible (shhh..dont tell). Yes you can try to have it all but the fact is you are probably going to die trying and a ‘stressed out of her tiny mind’ mama is going to be no fun for the kids right? Those working mothers amongst us have all had those sort of days when the pressure of trying to do EVERYTHING just about drills us neatly into the floor.

Its those times that we can reach out to others without feeling like we are failures for doing so, whether they are just friends or paid individuals and achieve some much needed support. Your kids will learn about community, get excited about seeing other people in their wider influence and learn about and be part of the world around them.


Monday, 6 February 2012

Guest post: Sarah the Suburbanite goes back to words.

Right about now I should be fast asleep in our little cabin at Disneyworld. What's more likely is that DD is up and about with jetlag and the OH and I are holding our eyelids up with matchsticks. I'll be unable to string a coherent sentence together for sure, so it's with great pleasure and a whole lot of gratitude that I hand over to Sarah from  for the first of three guest posts while I'm away. 

Sarah lives and teaches in Norfolk with her son, (the AC) her other half, (J) 7 snakes and 2 cats. Her life has been complicated, ranging from fabulously contented to utterly miserable at times, but the death of her fiancé, Rich, in July 2009, gave her a bucket of perspective, and she looks at life a little differently now, because itwillallbefine (and, as she puts it, the other options are stupid!)

I volunteered to blog for Bodfortea, and then had a fit of "I have nothing to write about" and then several fits of "I could write about this, or that, or the other." I nearly ranted about parents blaming teachers for county and national policy, but that would have been badly behaved, although cathartic.

So I went back to basics. Back to words.

Words have always played a big part in my life. I can't remember not being able to read, or not being able to retreat to a world not my own, or not being able to find support somewhere in the printed text.

Obviously I now use a digital text, but I thought I would shamelessly take advantage of the guest blogger spot that I volunteered for, and inflict upon the blogging world some of my favourite quotes.

Sometimes, I want support. After my partner died, there were a couple of quotes that I leant on, lived on, and could be found written all the way through me.

Two were biblical - "I can do all things through He who strengthens me." Phil.4:13 and "He upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he turns upside down." Psalm 146:9. (I took much comfort in the latter when we were badly treated by Rich's family.)

One was the lovely Oscar Wilde. "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." When Rich was Read In to the Book of Remembrance in the RAF chapel, we saw this on Oscar Wilde's statue on the way back. It tells me to keep going, to look up and onwards and aim high.

The one that always gave me a wry smile, was " I know that God will never give me more than I can handle - I just wish he didn't trust me quite so much." Mother Teresa. How often I feel like that lady (I never would claim to be as good as her though!). This one is where I turn to when work is stacking up, when the child was coughing through the night with croup and I was teaching the next day, when I could only find one shoe and no socks!

Winnie the Pooh sticks with me through time as well. "Promise me you'll always remember. You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.". This is the one I tell my class children when they are stuck, when their homelife is hard, when the playground isn't fair, when they feel like they can't do whatever it is. That one and "God made you, and He doesn't make mistakes."

Forever though, I reach to the end of a book that I read to my son on the night that Rich died. It is a childrens book called "No matter what" by Debi Gilori. "Look at the stars – how they shine and glow, but some of those stars died a long time ago. Still they shine in the evening skies. Love, like starlight, never dies”.

Words like these have healed my hurts, calmed my anger, soothed my soul, and blessed my mind. I've shared them when I can. I've leant on them, and now I'm wrapping them as a present and giving them to Bodfortea to pass on to you.



Sarah blogs at and you can  follow her on Twitter as .

Friday, 3 February 2012

24 little reasons to be cheerful

This week's reasons to be cheerful have a theme. I don't expect you'll be able to guess what it is though.

1. 24 little hours. That's all there is until we heave ourselves out of bed at an ungodly hour, tiptoe around the house trying not to wake DD up while simultaneously sitting on our cases to close them, wake and placate DD two whole hours before she usually wakes up and pile into the car to drive in the freezing darkness to the airport. And none of these things matter. Because in 24 little hours we will be on our way to DISNEY.

2. Finally everything I've ordered to make DD's first trip to Disney as magical as possible has arrived with one day to spare. This is going to be a goody bag of epic proportions. And while I'm sure she'll ignore every item and head straight for the in-seat tv to watch cartoons at least I'll have the satisfaction of knowing I've kept the economy going for the next few months.

3. Three fabulous bloggers - , and - have offered to guest post over here at Bod for tea while I'm away. I'm honoured and delighted to have them blogsit and knowing that there are beautiful words being crafted for me makes me very cheerful indeed. Please be super kind to them and comment lots.

And so it is with a *wave* and a smile that I bid you all farewell for a week. Have a super time in non-Disney land. Oh and the next time you see me I will probably still be wearing my Mickey Mouse ears. Please snigger quietly.

Pop your own reasons to be cheerful down and link up over .

Image: digitalart /

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Ten minutes... again

There's something about the habit of Morning Pages that slows my thoughts. That slows me down. I can only write so fast, so my mind has to temper itself, to apply the brakes, stay in first gear for a while instead of speeding off into the distance and leaving me in its wake. I enjoy coming to the page so much that I don't know why I don't do it more often. Discipline, or lack of I suppose. It's too easy to buzz-up online. To check email, read posts, twat about on Twitter and generally waste a precious hour. But that way frustration lies. How much more satisfying it is to connect with my creative centre, even for , to knock on the heartstone of my mind and see what emerges. Drivel, nuggets, gold, slurry; it's all gris to the mill and almost always cathartic if I stay for long enough. Time passes peacefully and yet I'm still charged up, inspired by my own dedication, however fleeting, buoyed up and determined to keep the fire burning. Promises are whispered. Promises that are usually broken the very next day. But that spark, that energy, has enough food to keep flickering in the void until next time.

Image: Againstar /
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