Six books that changed the way I think 

I met a friend for lunch the other day. Within five minutes of sitting down she was recommending a book I ‘really must read’ (Grayson Perry’s The Descent of Man, if you’re interested). I LOVE the feeling you get when you discover a book that’s SO good you can’t keep it to yourself, when it resonates SO strongly you know it will stay with you forever and influence your behaviour from thereon. I have another friend who I *suspect* rigged a Secret Santa draw in order to put Alexandra Schulman’s Inside Vogue on my lap for this very reason. No complaints here, more than happy to plead ignorant. Similarly, it drives my sister that bit further up the wall every time I see her and *still* haven’t read Sophia Amoruso’s #Girlboss (sorry B, I’m coming to it, promise). But it got me thinking, particularly as I’ve seen two blogs in the past fortnight with glowing reviews for Daisy Buchanan’s How To Be A Grown Up (another for said list): if I was to pick five books that have had the biggest influence on me since reading, what would they be? Continue reading Six books that changed the way I think 

“Children shouldn’t be punished for not fitting stereotypes, they should feel proud to be who they are. That’s the message I want to get across.”

img_1659-1 Case File No.4: Cheryl Rickman.

File under: #campaigner #storyteller #childrensbooks #sociology

You don’t need to be a parent to feel irked by the way kids’ toys and clothes are marketed: pink and frilly for girls, blue and rugged for boys. Some kids like it that way — and that’s fine — but, fed up with having to shop in the ‘boys’ aisle’ for her dinosaur loving [now] eight-year-old daughter B*, Winchester mum Cheryl Rickman, 42, resorted to creating a range of gender-neutral garments and selling them on her website www.ClimbingTreesKids.com. Continue reading “Children shouldn’t be punished for not fitting stereotypes, they should feel proud to be who they are. That’s the message I want to get across.”

Something’s been needling me…

Part of the reason for starting this blog was to stop putting stuff off. I was going to ‘be more present’, more productive and stop looking for excuses not to do things. It’s having the desired effect because last week, after 17 years of thinking about it, I finally got inked. No one can accuse me of rushing in. Continue reading Something’s been needling me…

“I wanted to create something positive out of the darkness”

img_1659 Case File No.1: Syreeta Challinger 

File under #resilience #graft #compassion #startup #luxurygoods

In 2014, Syreeta Challinger, then 32, had a demanding fashion industry job in Hong Kong, an equally ambitious boyfriend and a vibrant social life. But when partner Rob suffered a life-threatening brain haemorrhage and stroke while they were on holiday in Sydney, her world fell off its axis. Putting her career on hold, Syreeta moved back to England with him to become his full time carer. They now live with Rob’s parents in Lincolnshire. According to Becky Gilmour, a close friend who has known Syreeta since university, she has been the driving force behind Rob’s ongoing recovery. “She’s such a beautiful, strong woman,” says Becky, who nominated her for this page. “Even saying that gives me goosebumps. Not only does she exemplify the most extraordinary human compassion, she’s incredibly driven. On top of her daily duties, she’s developed an aspirational lifestyle brand making luxury accessories. Although she manages it, they both contribute creatively and already have a range of scented candles in shops. What she’s achieved is amazing; she absolutely can and she does! But she’s too modest to sing and dance about it.” Continue reading “I wanted to create something positive out of the darkness”

Calling all inspirational females!

Sometimes when you’re losing momentum it helps to be inspired by the doings of others. As such, I’m introducing a new  regular section to this blog that focuses on one woman at a time who epitomises the phrase She Can & She Does. Eventually these women will make up a series of Case Files, which we’ll all be able to refer back to when we’re in need of a pep.  Continue reading Calling all inspirational females!

12 things I most definitely won’t forget about our family trip to Thailand

I’ve never been fond of the expression ‘making memories’, I’m more a ‘living in the moment’ kind of girl. Just as well really, because I have a tendency to forget. Not just people’s names or where I put the remote control, I mean big chunks of my life. Monumental events like my graduation, places we went on our honeymoon. My daughter’s first words. They drift into a blurry black hole, never to be recalled, or only recalled when I get strong sensory prompts. I blame my reckless twenties. Burning the candle at both ends, I downed more booze and partied with enough abandon to give Lindsay Lohan a run for her money, so I can’t help but pin it on all the fun I had. There’s zero proof to this theory, but that’s by-the-by because my memory’s crap whatever the cause, and if I don’t write things down or take photographs it might as well have never happened. Continue reading 12 things I most definitely won’t forget about our family trip to Thailand