What is a healthy relationship even?

“Liz - go to your room!” What on earth does being banished to my room for being ‘naughty’ as a child have to do with my relationship with my wife? Oh, just about everything. I grew up in a household where expressing emotions wasn’t exactly encouraged. There were eruptions, no doubt, but then… silence. Disappointment, anger, and sadness were swept under the rug and in time, I learned to keep my feelings and needs to myself. On the other hand, my wife grew up in a family with a lot of shouting. When we first got together, and I started [...]

By |2024-06-25T12:36:35+01:0025 June 2024|

Are your emotional core needs being met?

Guten Morgen, ich möchte ein Bier. I wouldn’t go as far as proclaiming I’m bilingual. My level of German is badly conversational, if that, which explains why I’m wishing you a good morning and asking for a beer at 10 am sitting in my cute new flat in Macclesfield. (No, we haven’t moved back to the UK for good). My wife and I decided to move to Germany from London 8 years ago when we first became parents. It was the right decision for us back then and the stage of life we were in, and I love the tranquil [...]

By |2024-05-22T11:21:56+01:0022 May 2024|

I felt like crap and wanted to run away

I spend a LOT of time in my coaching practice supporting clients with processing difficult feelings. Guilt. Shame. Fear. Loneliness. Grief. The list goes on. Feelings that, more often than not, people try and run away from. Pretend they don’t exist. Bury their heads in the sand hoping they’ll disappear when they come back up for air. And guess what? I’m not immune to this either, as I recently discovered. Last month, Silja died. She was an Iceland pony that lived on our little farm here. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a deep connection with animals. [...]

By |2024-01-22T11:44:45+01:0022 January 2024|

Feeling low in January? This might help.

Well, it's that time of year again—the month where we’re either brimming with hope, resolutions, and energy. Or, we feel like crawling back into bed, getting lost in Netflix and seeking refuge from the demands of the world. I always find that January, with its peculiar dual nature, encourages a kind of tug-o-war between motivation, new promises and fresh starts and the quiet pull of introspection, hibernation and going slow. As the second week of January unfolds, I’m noticing that there is a part of me eager to engage with the world, set goals, and initiate change, while another part—quieter [...]

By |2024-01-10T12:06:20+01:0010 January 2024|

She died

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, you were bigger than the whole sky. She died. My Nan. The indomitable matriarch. The mother of my mother. The Yorkshire tea-drinking aficionado. The one I somehow thought would live forever. The bearer of such, deep and gentle, dignified and unwavering love for me, my sister and our children. And now she's gone. I've never felt such an absence, such a ground-shifting chasm before in my life. When my mum died, it was too shocking, too traumatic to comprehend, I barely felt anything. I just sleepwalked numbed and disassociated for so many years after. But this time, [...]

By |2023-03-26T14:09:36+01:0026 March 2023|

My Nanna’s House

My Nanna's house has been up for sale for a month or so now. She's lived in a care home since the end of last summer. It wasn't an easy decision, for her to move there, but there were just too many falls, too many frantic phone calls in the middle of the night, too much confusion, too much worry. She wasn't safe anymore. While her house is on the market, we've decided to live in it for a while: Me, my wife and my son. It felt important to be here, to prepare her home for the new people [...]

By |2023-01-26T19:54:52+01:0026 January 2023|

Seeing the goodness in the world

It was late Autumn last year when I found them. 2 kittens. They ran to me through a rusty, gaping hole of a barn door. A barn that was in the middle of nowhere, really. A barn that I passed each day on a 5 kilometre walk. They were so tiny. I didn't know what to do. I wondered whether to bundle them up right there and then in my coat and take them home. I inspected them closely. They seemed well-fed and their fur—despite the rain and cold—seemed to be soft and shiny. A sign that they were doing [...]

By |2020-04-14T13:07:14+01:0014 April 2020|

Are you doing ok?

I was doing ok, and then I realised that the next time I see my Nan's wrinkly old face and grey-blue eyes might not be for months and months from now, and I cried. This is grief. I wasn't doing ok, and then my kid told me that "Tomorrow, I'm just going to wear my undies all day, Mummy. Nothing else. And you're to call me Captain Underpants, ok?" I smiled and kissed the top of his sweaty little head. This is bone-deep love. I was doing ok, and then a woman standing close to me in the bread aisle [...]

By |2020-04-14T13:07:58+01:002 April 2020|

Self-isolating with Pokemons

We've been self-isolating for a week now. It already feels like a month. My son built an obstacle course in the garden yesterday and timed me as I navigated it. It was a terrible obstacle course, mainly because he's five and five year olds apparently build terrible obstacle courses. I ran around it anyway, catching a glimpse of his proud, beaming face as he watched me sit in a garden chair for 10 seconds, before sitting in another garden chair for 10 seconds, and then running around the tree 3 times before standing on a bucket on one leg, wobbling [...]

By |2020-04-14T13:09:34+01:0020 March 2020|

It took me five fucking minutes.

My son has a plastic turtle night light that he keeps on his bedside table. It projects an underwater effect onto the walls and ceiling of his bedroom and plays ocean sounds. He originally bought it for me for my birthday, but 5 minutes after I'd opened the box, he claimed it as his. 5 weeks ago, the batteries started to run out on the turtle. Sometimes the ocean sounds didn't play, or the underwater effect didn't project properly. Sometimes, the turtle didn't even switch on. "It needs a new battery", I told my son. "I'll have to go to [...]

By |2019-12-12T12:02:12+01:0012 December 2019|
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