Being The Outsider

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For as long as I can remember, I've always felt like an outsider in social situations. It started in senior school, when I suffered with the usual 'mean girls' friendship issues, and it's something that has followed me ever since. I've always had that worry that the people I'm with secretly don't like me, or are just humouring me in having me around. And once that fear takes hold, I can sense myself starting to distance myself from them, putting myself in the position of the outsider. I'll turn down invitations to go out, stand on the edge of a group, and stop instigating contact with people. All of which pushes you further and further away. It really is a ...

Cervical cancer awareness – my experience of LLETZ

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How long has it been since your last smear? Let's face it, it's definitely one of the less enjoyable parts of being a woman, but the reality is that 1 in 4 women do not bother to attend regular smear tests. This week is cervical cancer prevention week and I wanted to help raise awareness by detailing my experience of the LLETZ procedure after an abnormal smear test. I hope it both raises awareness of the reality that abnormal smears can be relatively common, but also that the treatment is very straightforward if there are problems detected.   My experience In 2013 I went for a regular smear test and received the letter back that no-one wants to get; that I had abnormal cells. ...

5 Happy Things #29

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Happy New Year! The Christmas break really felt like such a long one this year and it was so lovely to be able to spend so much time together as a family. John only went back to work on Thursday this week too, so it's been nice to just ease back into things. Although the bump back to solo parenting was a bit of a sharp reality check!   01. We decided to head out to the Devil's Punchbowl for a walk on the Bank Holiday as it was such a gorgeous day. Unfortunately the rest of the world had the same idea and we had to queue for about 30 minutes just to get into the car park! But it was well ...

5 Happy Things #28

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Hurrah for Christmas! It's definitely getting close now - there are more open windows on the advent calendar than closed and the presents are nearly all bought (don't mention the wrapping though!). I really love this time of year and could have filled this 5 Happy Things twice over, but here are my highlights from the last two weeks. It's been quite a creative week of baking and crafting now I look back!   01. I always love putting up the Christmas tree - it signals the start of Christmas for me. This was the first year that Max has been fascinated by it all too, desperately wanting to join in with hanging up all the decorations. I got some lovely photos of ...

5 Happy Things #27

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I really do love this time of year - Christmas just brings out the best in everything and it just feels like there's that touch of magic in the air. Although things are a bit of a struggle at the moment as I'm still feeling pretty ill, there's so much to enjoy about this time of year.   01. We visited Lapland UK which was everything I'd hoped it would be and more! You can read my full post on our visit, but suffice to say that I'd had some concerns about whether Max was a little bit young for it. But watching him embrace the experience was the most wonderful thing - he just completely 'got it'. He even loved meeting Father ...

5 Happy Things #26

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I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I posted a 5 Happy Things post - time flies! But that means there are lots of great things to choose from to go into this week's list.   01. We had a lovely week's break down in St Ives, Cornwall, principally to celebrate both my parents turning 60, but John, Max and I managed to sneak in a few days on our own too before everyone else got down. I always worry that a change of scenery will be difficult for Max but he's becoming much more adaptable as he gets older, and was very taken with the 'holiday house'. Of course his sleeping was a different matter and he definitely found it difficult ...

5 Happy Things #25

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It's been a bit of a rubbish couple of weeks over here lately - first Max was ill, then I was ill, then Max was ill again, while I was still ill - and I'm still not well now! I felt that this week would be scraping the barrel a bit to find 5 Happy Things, but after a bit of thought I did manage to come up with some!   01. I took Max for his second meningitis B jab at Boots last week and I have to admit that I was dreading it. We had to travel to a large Boots that we've never been to before, apart from meningitis jab 1, so I was convinced that he would recognise ...

5 Happy Things #24

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I feel like I've been saying this all week, but hasn't this weather been just fabulous? The perfect autumn sunshine just gives that lovely warm glow to everything, but there's enough of a chill in the air to warrant digging out your favourite winter scarf again and cosy up. My 5 Happy Things is a fortnightly list of the small things that have brought me a little bit of joy - a way of being grateful for what I have, and to capture those little moments that can pass us by.   01. We've had a couple of days lately where Max has been a bit grumpy and not wanted to go out anywhere. He's been a bit unsettled with moving rooms at ...

5 Happy Things #23

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The end of summer always puts me on a bit of a downer. I love autumn, but I have to admit that it takes a while every year for me to come round to accepting the fact the summer is truly over before I can start to embrace autumn. I'm really keen to do lots of lovely autumnal activities this year though - it really is such a lovely colourful season with so much to love about it, and we started off well with our trip last weekend.     01. We had a quiet morning on Sunday with no plans, and we ended up going to RHS Wisley. One of the things I love about Wisley is that it's so vast that ...

5 Happy Things #21

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I've come to realise that I'm very much a creature of summer - I'm made for hot days, paddling pools, ice creams and trips to the beach. It has such an impact on my mood and makes it so much easier to find the my 5 happy things!   01. On Tuesday Max and I went for a picnic with my Mum and Dad. We'd intended to head to Waddesdon Manor, but as we pulled up the driveway in the car it became apparent that it wasn't open on Tuesdays! So we about turned and headed to another National Trust instead, Claydon House. A bit more on the smaller scale than Waddesdon, but we had a lovely picnic and then my Dad ...