Things I want to remember

There’s so much I want to say, I don’t know where to start. I want to tell you about how good it felt to spend a week away with my family. How we tumbled along together as we always do. How my relationship with Noah just gets deeper and deeper, and how I soaked in every cuddle with him, every spontaneous kiss, every sneaky bottom squeeze. How I now know all the words to Frozen’s Let It Go. How much Noah loved Meggie the dog. How we caught ants in the garden and let them run up our arms. How I fell over in the bluebell wood, and how Noah wanted to save me. I want to tell you about how we met a man in the street with four owls on his arms and how I ended up with two of them on my head. Stroking an owl is exactly as magical as you imagine it will be. Unsurprisingly, we drew quite a crowd

bluebell wood
And even though the days were full, I want to tell you how I still went to bed pondering my work in this world, how I’m feeling pulled in new directions and how books and teachers are finding me. I want to tell you about how I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this, despite the excitement and enthusiasm, despite knowing it’s the right path. I want to tell you how I’m meditating every morning, and how much this new practice is supporting me, and how amazed I am by how naturally it’s unfolded. How my heart has opened wider and wider, and I’m learning the real meaning of surrender and compassion. And how none of it is easy and yet it’s all so very timely. And I really want to tell you how awful and amazing it is to be back home and how much I want to break out of my comfortable grooves and find more owls to stand on my head.

owl |
beach boysus_2014biketrainride

Wish you were here

No links this week because I’ve been hanging out in this amazing place called the Offline World. There’s so much stuff happening beyond my computer screen — who knew! ;-) x


On aching and love

The frozen table |
When I talk to anyone about my nephew I know my eyes sparkle. I imagine I sound like a teenage girl mooning over her pop star crush — he’s SO funny! He’s SO clever! Ohmygoodness, he did this thing the other day that was SO hilarious! <Insert dreamy sigh> He’s just amazing….. And he is really is. I can provide documented evidence of how Noah is possibly a MENSA-level genius and already displaying the comedic ability of a young Ben Stiller. And that’s before we get to the fact that he’s the Cutest Kid in the Universe.

I know I am biased when it comes to my nephew. I know that all of us who love little ones are biased — it’s part of the deal. We see the magic in them through the lens of our unconditional love. I have moments when I look at Noah and have actual physical aching in my chest. Having the privilege of watching him growing up — and, even better, being an active part of his world — is the greatest gift I have ever been given. It’s been the absolute making of me — I can’t really remember my life before him. It all feels so grey in comparison (okay, so biased aunties also tend to be a bit melodramatic).

Whenever I am with Noah I am 100% present. We play, we dress up, I wipe his bum, we jump on the bed. I do my best to help his mum out and try to be the most hands-on auntie I can be. I’m too busy dealing with my exploding heart to think about my own stuff. But when I get home, back to my quiet life in the city, I feel it hard. Mostly it’s me missing Noah, but woven through is a little ache that’s been growing lately. Knowing this great love I have for my nephew, who feels like a part of me in the way my sister does, I wonder what it would be like to have a child of my own. Created with love and born from my body. To be a mama, with all the sleepless selfless responsibility that involves.

While no one has actually said this to my face, I know there is this crazy idea out in the world that unless you have children of your own you don’t really know what selfless love is. Or maybe it’s unless you’re a mother you don’t know what real love is. Or is it that women who choose not to have children are selfish? Whatever it is, it makes me feel like shit and it’s patently untrue, as any auntie, uncle, grandparent, godparent and carer can attest. I didn’t do the feeds in the middle of the night and I know I don’t carry the responsibility that my sister and brother-in-law do (though I carry the worry with them 100%), but I love Noah as if he were my own child. It feels bigger than just “family” — I feel like I am his second mummy. I don’t know how else to explain it.

I’m at this very delicate point in my life where I have to face the fact that my fertility is declining and the likelihood of me having a family of my own is becoming remote. This was brought home to me last week as I sat in the office of the doctor who’ll be surgically removing my fibroids. He mentioned my age three times in our 20-minute appointment. It was unpleasantly sobering.

I honestly don’t know what the next few years will bring for me romantically or reproductively. There is still the possibility of my own child, and yes I know adoption is an option — the sperm donor route, however, is not for me — and perhaps my future beloved will have children of his own I will grow to love. But just as I wish to find the best most brilliant uncle for Noah, I still hope to make a cousin for him. And typing that makes my eyes prickle with tears, so I know that is the absolute truth.

I don’t have a neat ending for this post. It is what it is. This is my life, my right now, and just as I know circumstances can change in the (missing) beat of a heart, I also trust that this is the path I am supposed to be walking. It’s not comfortable but it is real.


Noah turned four earlier this month and asked for a Frozen party, so we all pulled together and made it happen. It was MEGA.

And bowling for the first time the day before:


Things I want to remember

Beads |


I try not to spoil him but I know I do. I spoil him with love, with my attention, with presents, yes, with presents, too. I can’t help it. I am just so honoured to be a part of his life. I feel so incredibly lucky to know him and be the recipient of his kisses and cuddles. I love cosying up on the sofa with him and scooping his little body into my lap and burying my nose in his hair. My love for this small human is tactile and deeply felt. I still get butterflies on the way to see him; I mope around the house the day I get home. It’s hard not seeing him every day, but when I’m there I am THERE, completely present, totally his.




The first morning I had to send an important email to a friend, so I perched on the bed with my laptop typing as quickly as I could. Noah wandered in and stood beside me, watching intently. “When I’m older I can write on the computer like you,” he said. “Yes you can,” I said, pressing send and closing the screen. An hour or so later my sister and I went looking for Noah only to find him sat on the bed with my laptop open, typing an “email”. I swear my heart exploded into a million pieces right there.

Watching him play with two of his little friends I understand how he is a particularly active child, shall we say. Always on the move. Always talking. Always peforming (my sister and I have vowed never to tell him to stop showing off.) He is a live wire, a shooting star, our very own Billy Elliot. He loves his princesses — Jasmine is his current favourite, though Ariel and Belle are close behind. Panda is his favourite soft toy, a furry friend he sleeps with each night, keeping him safe. He LOVES dressing up — Auntie Susie may have bought him a Merida dress at the weekend :) Our boy loves being a boy and he loves doing “girl” things, too — it’s all glorious fun to him and he inspires me to own who I am because he models it so well. Our little guru wearing sparkly leggings, pinging a bow and arrow around the room.


Teddy comes home with us


On Saturday I treated him to a teddy bear that’s as tall as him, and I said: “If you ever miss me and you feel sad then you can cuddle teddy and he will help you feel better until I come back.” I say these things and I never know if they register, his nearly-four-year-old attention flying from shiny object to TV screen to iPad to his princesses. But my sister told me he came home from nursery the day I left and declared he was missing me and hugged teddy. I nearly cried. I always make her tell me the things he says about me when I’m not there, my heartache-y auntie need to know he still loves me. And he does… he does :)

And good god, I love him so.


teddy bear