These two crazy cats are my mum and dad. They live life (irritatingly) well. They are both retired now and at this very moment they are enjoying the first snow of the season in Switzerland. They ended their careers at the top of their games- mum was the vice-principle of one of the country's leading colleges and my dad was CEO of a big social landlord. And they brought up three great kids to boot! They never seem to let anything get in their way. On the one hand, they are a hard act to follow, on the other, they taught me to seize opportunities and to give it a go. I hope I'll be bombing down the slopes well into my 60s too! They are certainly responsible for giving me the confidence to give motherhood a try. Thank you!Xx
I was, I think, a very privileged child. I must have been about 6 the first time I went skiing. The thing was, I hated it. It was scary and uncomfortable. And, probably because I was so tense, kind of painful. My whingeing and whining used to drive my dad crazy. He and my mum had worked really, really hard to give me and my brothers such an incredible experience and there I was ruining it with my attitude. Dad used to get cross which only made me more miserable.
I used to dread those holidays. Then, one year, I guess I was about 9 or 10 something clicked and decided just to let myself go. I was really frightened, but I repeated to myself in my head "you can do it, you can do it, you can do, do, do it". I flew down the slope. It was incredible. I've loved skiing ever since.
Now, more than two decades on, I still occasionally find myself repeating those words to myself whenever I'm doing something that frightens me. It's not the most eloquent mantra, but it does the job!
It was this confidence that made me think, "yeah, I can have baby!". So this is the next bit to look at in my exploration of what it was to become a mum.xx
Here's my skull. For reasons modern medicine has not yet explained, as an adolescent my face grew badly. My bottom jaw too much, my top jaw not enough. It made it impossible for me to properly bite and chew my food. It made speech difficult. In time it would have taken a severe toll on my digestive system. But I am ashamed to say that thing that bothered me most as a teenage girl was that I looked funny.
In an other place and at another time, that would have been that. I would have stayed that way. But the NHS and a team of highly skilled surgeons came to the rescue. There are now six metal plates and 26 screws in my face. You can see them in blue on the scan.
I can now bite an apple and a sandwich and corn on the cob. Such simple things 17 years later they still give me disproportionate pleasure. I can talk properly. And I don't feel ugly anymore.
Just think of the human endeavour needed to fix my face. And then the tax payer footed the bill. I am so grateful.
God bless the NHS!
Day 11 - Reindeer
Bucky let the group know that they needed more people for the play and few of the boys got into the play and they are playing Santa’s reindeer. Hopefully the play goes well.
D: Well I got to say that these costumes are pretty cute
Pup: It’s like when we went caroling D!! I’m even wearin the antlers and the red nose!
Hulk: This is a weird interpretation but okay, guess bein Donner won’t be bad?
Bucky: This costume isn’t as cute as the girls but I can make it work.
Every teenage girl has insecurities about their looks and boys (and/or girls) and romance. Mine were made worse because my jaws grew badly to the extent that I needed major surgery. I was, in my mind, so ugly that the national health service were willing to pay to put it right. Forget boys and girly nights in experimenting with hair and make up. I focused instead on my studies and getting into University... Where I met my husband. I treasured him all the more because the odds of ever meeting a boy had seemed so slim for so long.... So in a funny way my greatest insecurities led me along my path to motherhood. Funny that. 🙏Xx
Another illustration for the story I’m writing for my son. This sweet chickadee tells Prickle of the kind elf named Cameron who takes care of the trees and shares his home with a squirrel. 😊🌲
I put this on the same page as the drawing of Prickle- you can see in the second photo. 🍄✨
Gosh, this was over a decade ago now. I feel old. And what a decade it's been! In the years since we moved house, changed jobs (many times) and, above all had a beautiful baby boy.
Regular followers will know that I'm in the midst of an exploration of what it was to become a mother. I know every mother's path is different and marriage isn't always on that route. But my story just isn't complete without looking at what it was to become a wife. So this is the next bit of the story I'm going to look at.
Our wedding day was beautiful and joyous by equal measure. We were surrounded by people we love, in a very special place, celebrating the joy of coming together, of family, of commitment. In the years since, the vows we made that day have been tested and have withstood whatever life threw at them.
I read somewhere that human beings are the only animal to give birth to young so vulnerable that they have to be held in arms. It makes it impossible for the parent of a young child to live independently. It took me a while to adjust to this fact and I was blessed to become a mother with Alex by my side.
This one's really soppy isn't it!!
I have been forgetting someone in this story of becoming a mother and he's pretty crucial to the tale: my husband, Alex. We were pretty young when we met, just 18, and after initially bad first impressions (I thought he was a bit of a twit), we became great friends.
It wasn't many months before I knew that this was the man I was going to spend my life with. I was as sure as I am that the Sun will rise in the morning.
Alex, on the other hand, was less confident. But, unfortunately for him, I can be as stubborn and tenacious as they come. Embarrassingly so. I had absolute faith that we would be together.
My persistence paid off and a few years later I got to marry my best friend. And a man, I knew, above all, would have me and my future children crying with laughter on a daily basis.
I know there are many routes to motherhood and husbands may or may not feature on those paths. But, for me, Alex is as much a part of the tale as I am. I can tell my story without him.
What about you? Have you ever been so certain that something was meant to be that you have chased it to the ends of the Earth? I would love to hear your stories. 🙏💮
This little sketch is an attempt the overwhelming physical desire I had to have a baby. It was an incredibly powerful force and outweighed any rational concerns I had. In a way, having a child, even with my wonderful loving husband was a completely irrational thing to do, but it didn't matter to me one bit...
Sometimes I’m in a rut, pondering over what to paint, squeezing out the faint recesses of creativity ... And sometimes I have the idea stark in my mind, but staring at that blank page, knowing that the image in my mind is already far superior than the image I will construct on paper is far too disheartening. But then there are days that I sketch out an idea on paper, without any plans or previous preoccupations, and it’s the most wonderful feeling when the outcome has meaning ... and of course, aesthetic appeal. 😊