I find change hard. I like familiarity and routine. I like tradition and rituals. These are the things that help me to orient myself in the world. To make sense of life's unpredictable moments.But if we know one thing we know change is the only constant. The only thing we can be sure will follow us.Sometimes life changes and we have no choice but to accept it even though it is devastating; we experience tragedy and have to learn to live with it.We lose a loved one, a friend moves away, we are ill, our job role changes, we experience...

Recently I asked my email list* what they were struggling with.I don't have all the answers but I want to know my readers better and write about the things that are on their hearts.I was overwhelmed by the response and felt so privileged that so many took the time to share their stories with me.There were a few themes that emerged, common threads between the responses. So often we think the things that make us feel ashamed or scared separate us from everyone else, when actually it is these struggles that unite us. If only we knew how like each other...

When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what matters. There are so many things you would never think to tell anyone.  And I believe they may be the things that mean most to you...

I love Christmas. I love a reason to celebrate, to eat good food and make a fuss. I love the full sensory experience, the smells and the decorations, lighting the candles and listening to the music.I am no scrooge.However, over the years Christmas has become a  bit much.I have made it a bit much.I am an all or nothing kind of person. I am not very good at self-control and moderation, and Christmas has always been a time to revel in this side of my personality.I want to do ALL of it.I want to have special meals with all my different groups of...

We have been in Anglesey for about 8 weeks now. It has been fantastic.As I write this I am outside sat at the table under the parasol. If I look up I can see the mountains of Snowdonia in the distance and the patchwork of fields, with the occasional house or farm dotted in between. The swallows that have nested in the outhouse where we keep the broken garden furniture and an impressive collection of cobwebs swoop in and out, dancing above me. All I can hear is birdsong, my fingers tapping on the the keys and a distant radio...

This isn't really a new blog post.It started as a letter to those who have subscribed to this blog, who I email most weeks.But after writing it and sending it to them I thought I would share it here too.It has been such a strange day. A day of conflicting emotions. A day where our nation has poured out sorrow and grief and anger...

There was a time in my marriage when, in amongst the normal and the good, a space had started to open up.  A distance was widening between us.My plan was to ignore it. If I busied myself with the day to day I assumed (I hoped) we would one day naturally regain our previous ease, our relaxed intimacy.While I waited, I held Matt at arms length.To protect my heart, I hid how I was feeling.Matt tried to talk to me about how things were, but I refused to acknowledge it. I had neither the time nor energy nor courage to...

Last week I took the kids to the park with a friend. Two adults, six children and a dog. Pretty ordinary.I arrived a little early. The kids raced ahead of me to the swings and I walked through the damp leaves following them up the path.Rewind thirteen months and I remember making this same journey. It was just before Christmas and we were desperate to find something to do on a grey day, some way to get the kids out of the house, even if just for an hour. We were tired at the end of the long term and...

In so many ways 2016 was a good year for me. Which flies in the face of every single round up of the year I watched on television over Christmas.I would probably go as far as to say it was my favourite year of my life so far.(I know!)I felt I really got into my groove and lived with greater vulnerability and confidence, which for me is a winning combination.I started last year by making the decision to begin to take anti-depressants again. I have written about this extensively here. It was a tricky multi-faceted decision not prompted by any one...

I have thought a lot recently about how to enable my kids to move from the 'infant' part of their childhood into their teenage years. How to begin to prepare them for greater independence. How to teach them to think and act for themselves and make good choices that reflect their values.I have thought a lot about where those values could come from and how it might be possible to instil values that will serve them well, that will give them a happy and peace-filled life.I think this may be impossible.I cannot guarantee they will immediately pick up healthy values, I...