How The Royal Wedding Has Re-Ignited My Community Spirit

The royal wedding at the weekend was a marvellous day, not just for Harry and Meghan, but for our family, friends and neighbours. More than that, it really felt like the wedding was a cause for celebration by the whole country. In the week leading up to the big day, everyone was talking about what they were doing and how they would be celebrating.

It felt momentous too because I realised whilst watching the ceremony on television, that there would not be another royal wedding in this country for quite some time. Prince George, Charlotte or Louis won’t be getting married for at least another 20 or 30 years. And unless you count Princess Beatrice or Eugenie (and let’s face it, their weddings will never be quite a big or as eventful), then that’s a long time to wait.  And so I tried to get my two girls to watch as much of the wedding as they could, because, it was such a historical moment!

Street Party

After the wedding, we started preparations for our street party!  We are lucky in that we live in a small cul-de-sac and so we put bunting up across the road and got the barbeques ready.

We had our first street party two years ago to celebrate the Queen’s 90th and then decided to have another one last year because we all enjoyed it so much. This year it grew in size dramatically and we invited most of our neighbours on the adjoining road. It was fantastic when almost everyone turned up!

 

People are so busy with their everyday lives that we tend to neglect the very people who physically live closest to us. A short while ago, I learnt that my 80 year old neighbour had fallen and broken her arm. I was mortified that despite living so close to her, we didn’t know anything about it until over a week after it had happened. The street party was a good chance to re-connect with those people who we don’t see very often and in some instances be introduced to those neighbours that we’d never even met.

Maybe it was the glorious sunshine, maybe it was the free-flowing bottles of Pimm’s and Prosecco, maybe it was the men bonding over sizzling BBQs and football in the background or the fact that the kids were entertaining themselves whizzing up and down our street whilst us Mums all chatted, or perhaps all of this combined made a very enjoyable afternoon talking, catching up and bonding with people who we wouldn’t normally spend so much time with.

As someone fast approaching her mid-forties, it brought back happy memories for me of street parties and celebrations with my neighbours from my childhood. Not just in honour of Charles and Diana’s wedding or Andrew and Fergie’s wedding, but plenty of other occasions: fireworks, Christmas and just a Saturday afternoon get together. Our girls have loved all of the street parties and I’d like to think that they will be good memories for when they’re older.

I’m sure the street party is now a tradition that we will continue with our neighbours every summer, and despite not seeing many of them very often, I like to think that for one afternoon a year we might all come together and catch up. But in between times I’m going to make more of an effort to spend some time checking in with my closest neighbours and keeping the community spirit burning bright!

 

7 Reasons To Join a Book Club

I’ve recently joined a book club. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while but never really got round to, so when a teacher at my daughters’ old pre-school invited me along to join her book club, I decided to give it a go.

The first meeting was a bit odd as I was the new girl; I felt a bit out of my comfort zone, but everyone was very friendly and made me feel welcome. I’ve had two meetings now and I’ve really enjoyed them. Here’s 7 good reasons to join a book club:

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7 Reasons to Love The Sunshine

It’s been a long winter and feels like it’s taken forever for the sun to break through and start warming us all up, but finally today, there was sunshine!  Not only that, but it was bloomin’ hot (not that I’m about to start complaining). It seems that we’ve somehow bypassed spring completely and moved straight on to summer. It was hot enough to wear a t.shirt, skirt AND flipflops this afternoon to do the school run.

There’s something about sunshine that makes everything feel better. People start shedding their clothes and smiling more! Most of you will know that I’m a big fan of summer rather than winter, but whatever your favourite season, you can’t deny that you’ve got to love the sunshine!

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Book Review for January and February 2018

My resolution to read more this year has got off to a good start and I’ve already read five books in two months which is pretty good going for me! Part of this is down to me watching less T.V. in the evenings and part is because I read a fair bit on my recent girlie holiday!

So, here’s what I’ve read so far along with a review and score out of 10:

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15 Fascinating Facts about February and Why it Brings Hope

Hurrah! February is almost upon us and although technically, it’s still classed as winter, I can’t help but feel hopeful.

Hopeful because the never ending month that is January, is almost banished for another year.

Hopeful because after having after having a quiet month since an extravagant and costly Christmas, we can now start LIVING again.

Hopeful because this week I have noticed snowdrops in bloom. I’ve seen daffodils and crocuses raising their heads and the Camellia in my garden is starting to flower.

Hopeful because, if it’s not my imagination, the evenings seem to be getting a fraction lighter. Instead of the gloom descending at 4pm it now seems more like 4.30 or even 4.45 and every little bit helps!

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Why I Love A Shiny Brand New Year. 2018 Goals Vs 2017

It seems inevitable to write a blog post about New Year’s Resolutions, but it feels good to put some goals out there and also to look back at how things went last year.

Whilst January is completely depressing with long evenings, cold weather and everyone skint and promising “never to drink again”, there is something I love about a New Year. There’s the promise of hope; a blank page just full of possibility. Perhaps this WILL be the year that we conquer the world and make our millions. Failing that, perhaps this year we will lose weight / get fit / fulfil our dreams to achieve something. I get a bit excited that perhaps this year it will be the year that SOMETHING will happen.

Granted, I’m never sure at what stage that excitement wears off and the drudgery kicks in. Maybe it only lasts a week or two, but whilst I’m feeling upbeat and positive it seems like a good time to look back on what I wanted to do last year and think of things I’d like to achieve in 2018.

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When The Inn Keeper Needed The Toilet And Other Highlights From The Nativity

We’ve had two nativities to watch in the past week. Our eldest was a narrator and our youngest had her first school nativity as an angel.  I don’t know what it is about watching your child in a nativity that is so emotional; my husband and I were both tearing up. Is it pride at how well they’re doing? Amazement at their confidence? Wonder at how much they’ve grown?

I wrote about the 7 Things to Love about a Nativity a couple of years ago when my eldest daughter first started school. It’s true, who doesn’t love a nativity? It definitely gets you in the festive spirit and it’s also an emotional rollercoaster: feeling proud and emotional too.

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Things to Love and Hate about Winter

The past three days has seen the UK experience heavy snow fall and below zero temperatures.  Anyone would have thought that it had never snowed before with all the attention it has been getting. The kids loved it. I enjoyed watching the kids and the snow from the inside.

I’m not a fan of this extreme weather or indeed this time of year. I’m much more of a summer girl who likes the sunshine, warmth and long evenings. But in a bid not to be a grumpy kill joy, here’s some of the things I do like about this time of year.

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Feeling S.A.D?

I thought my tiredness might have been down to a particularly heavy weekend with friends on both a Friday and Saturday night (I can’t do two nights in a row anymore). But days later, I’m still struggling with tiredness. I can’t get up in the morning and feel the need to go to bed about nine o’clock at night. I’m drinking even more than my usual eight cups of tea in a day in a bid to try and stay awake. By the time I’ve picked the kids up from school at three o’clock I feel like I could get under the covers for a nap.

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