time flies when you're being a mum




21 Oct, 2020

3 years ago today I woke with the most brutal hangover. I had had SO much fun the night before with some lovely friends (@debs @Laura @jo) but in my wisdom had drunk a whole bottle of tequila. To myself. It was my drink of the moment because it was “low calorie”…not at THAT quantity!


I had no idea when I woke up that I was about to embark on a t-total lifestyle. I was sick of feeling like shit, having THAT conversation in my head about when to drink, how much, who with, etc. So I decided I’d give it a whirl.

I’d read an article called Are You Afraid to Quit Drinking and it had been percolating around my brain. I desperately didn’t want to drink and yet stopping felt like the hardest thing in the world… 
My friends would reject me, I’d be boring and never go out…what do people who don’t drink DO anyway?

But I had to try. Over the course of the week I read This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, I slept a lot and the song “I feel free” went around my head as I slowly started to see the light. I AM free.

I missed my first 2 soberversaries, busy being preggers or looking after a small child, so this is the first year I’ve acknowledged it.

It’s not all been a walk in the park – it took a good 18 months to not feel self-conscious. And new scenarios (being single for example) often make me question the choice but generally I don’t think about booze. 

I do things like go to bed on time, and get up early so I can write. I have written a WHOLE kids book (40k words). And kids I don’t know have actually read it and told me THEY LIKE IT!!!!! I would never have done that if I was still drinking. I’m also really into yoga and connect with people properly (rather than assessing their party-going potential and then ditching if I don’t think it’s good enough…)

So this year I wanted to give myself a wee high five because it has been the hardest and best thing I have ever done for myself.

Lots of you have messaged me about drinking in the past, so I want you to know that I’m here if you want to talk. Whether you stop or not, I’m happy to talk about it!

Cheers!! (mine’s a fizzy water, thanks!)

3 years sober

January Reading list


03 Jan, 2020

I’ve got out of the habit of reading so this year I want to be more consistent and keep track with a reading list.

With my current interests, the things I’m going to be reading are focused on either writing, children’s literature, research related to the book I’m writing (Frog Boy) or general get your act together books… here’s the 4 books I’d like to read this month.


  1. Plain Words – this was recommended to me years ago, when I told a local book shop owner (Helen from Forum in Corbridge) that I was interested in writing. I’ve finally cracked it open and it’s looking… a little complicated! I always had a fear of writing and English in general, the same way some people have a Maths fear, because I didn’t do so well at GCSE. I think I might end up being ok at it once I’ve learnt the rules properly. So, it’s time to dispel a few old beliefs and getting learning.
  2. Mr Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, by Lawrence Weschler – this was listed as one of the best nonfiction books of the last 25 years (as per this list) and I happened to have bought it 2 years ago because there is a cabinet of curiosities in Frog Boy, so I thought it would be fun for research purposes to finally read it.
  3. The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch, by Tom Fletcher – admittedly I’ve been reading this with Reuben over Christmas because we loved the first one. Still, I want to finish it and it’s good research!
  4. Drop the Ball, by Tiffany Dufu – this was from an Austin Kleon book list that tickled my fancy because it used the words ‘florist at work and life’ but now I’ve studied it more it seems to be about equality at home, which I feel like I already have. Still I’m sure there will be a few nuggets.

Weekly wins


24 Feb, 2019

At the end of a week or beginning of a new week, I like to look back through my photos to remind myself what we were up to. Here are a few highlights from last week.

1. Time with Mike

Mike and I had a date lunch this week at one our favourite local pubs. It’s a lot easier than sorting babysitters but means we still get some quality time together. Nancy even slept for a bit of it – until a dog lost it for seemingly no reason and woke her up!


2. Reuben won his first trophy


Reuben is really getting into football so he has spent 4 days of his halfterm at a lovely little football club in our nearest ‘big’ village. At the end of the 4 days they give the kids certificates and a few trophies. Reuben loves a medal of any kind so he was positively thrilled to be awarded the best improver trophy.

3. We went to Wallington

On Friday it was a balmy 13 degrees, which North of the Wall as we are, it basically felt like summer. Naturally we did not wear coats.

So we went with everyone else in the North East to the National Trust’s Wallington Hall. Despite the cafe being the busiest I’ve ever seen it, we had a lovely day playing in the parks and riding around the long woodland trails.



4. We had dinner with friends

Nothing out of the ordinary there…except it really is for us. We’ve barely done anything in the evening since Nancy was born so I invited us over to Jeannie’s house (Jeannie was my birth partner, along with Mike, and we had a disco in her campervan while I waited for my induction to start working). I didn’t actually take any photos while we were there but Jeannie did send me this photo before hand. A teaser if you will.



She filled each pineapple with all the fruits that you would find in a Fruit Twist Fanta…see my birth story for the reason why! Dinner was delicious, the company was great and it was so nice do something with other grownups for a change!