End of term assessment: 12 things I learned during my daughter’s first year at school

School’s out for the summer! Reports have been read, sports day is over and one final rummage around the lost property box has been done. B has made it through Reception and, by default, so have I. I hadn’t expected her starting school to be such an education for both of us but, hey, there’s lots to get to grips with being the parent of a primary starter. Here are 12 things I’ve been enlightened to over the last 12 months… Continue reading End of term assessment: 12 things I learned during my daughter’s first year at school

Are you a girl or a woman? And does it matter?

Earlier this week I was challenged for using the word ‘girl’ to refer to a female pedestrian who was clearly over the age of 18. It was something to do with giving directions – won’t bore you with the details – but I referenced this person, whom I’d put in her early twenties, as an indication of distance. Continue reading Are you a girl or a woman? And does it matter?

How do you solve a problem like the election?

A couple of weeks ago, I got approached to write something for a politics website – an opinion piece, if you will. But not very in the spirit of She Can & She Does, I declined. I’m not the authority on politics, I told myself, there are tons of people better informed than me; what if I say something WRONG? What if I don’t know enough to make a valid point and end up looking STUPID? Continue reading How do you solve a problem like the election?

“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!