London 3 times and a bikini

Oh hello ? It’s been a while… 3 years to be exact.  Is anyone still here? I keep meaning to blog but life just happens, lots happens!  I’m not going to go over the last 3 years. It will take too long and the past is in the past.  Today is more important and those four words are how I’m trying to live my life now (this is where the bikini comes in, keep reading).

Today I’ve got tired feet, a headache and a huge smile.  Today I drank cider in a park at a festival with special people. Today I feel grateful that I’m not going to London next weekend, 3 weekends in a row have been enough – Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters and my son was in a show at Sadler’s Wells theatre last night.  Today I decided to blog again and today I bought a bikini.

Yep.  This bikini.

It may not fit and it’ll certainly show off my mummy tummy and squishy bits.  It’ll definitely show off the fact that my belly button isn’t central and that I’ve got one hip about 2 inches higher than the other and it will show off the fact that when I’m happy I eat! But when I find the confidence to wear it in the garden/at the beach I’ll know I’ve completely found the living for today attitude that I want to find.

? Ali



Wherever I lay my hat.

How many hats do you wear? How many jobs are you juggling? How many ‘you’s’ are there? Have you ever even stopped to think about who you are, what you do, why you do it and how you manage to keep all these different hats on at the same time?

I’ll start – In no particular order,  I’m a mum, girlfriend, friend, daughter, sister, aspiring small business owner and cat mummy.  Phew, I’m sure that your basic list will be the similar to, if not longer than this.  Then you could break each hat down into its individual parts, but I won’t…I’m already overwhelmed.

Today I dropped all my hats.  I woke up in my room surrounded by mess and untidiness.  Walked downstairs to more mess. And that was how my day began. Feeling overthrown by it all I had my coffee and gave my youngest her breakfast amidst the detritus of yesterday’s play in the living room.  I started thinking, how does everyone else do it? Are your lives really as perfect and easy as they appear to be on social media?  Do your kids really go to school with a homecooked packed lunch, brushed hair and a clean school jumper every day? Is your home perfectly clean and ready for visitors no matter what time of day it is? No, mine neither. You little liars 😉

Home life for me is made all the more complicated by having children from two relationships.  I’ve spent most of the day trying to coordinate when they are having their children so I can take the mummy hat off for a short time at least. I think I’ve managed it, but ugh, it took some feet stamping on my part!

We all try to be so many different versions of ourselves all at once.  It’s no wonder that people break occasionally. On top of being all these different people, we then compare ourselves to the ‘perfect ones’, read lifestyle blogs (!), pin everything on Pinterest and try to be this fictitious modern day version of Mary Poppins (she wore a cute hat…) that is unrealistic and mostly unattainable.

I’m often told to just be myself which is good advice for everyone, unless you’re a horrid person, then try to be a nicer one (that’s a direct quote from someone I know). So, do me a favour please? Just be you, take off all those hats and find the one with your name on – it suits you the most. You don’t have to be anything other than you, because if we were all the same how would we grow, change and make a difference in our world?

Remember, it really is OK to feel overwhelmed, sad, scared, and anxious – these feelings keep us grounded and allow us to recognise the happy, fun, silly times.

Tonight I’m going to wear my Ali hat with a smile while I cook tea, sing along to some loud music and maybe pour myself a large glass of wine.