The Mythical Maze awaits us!

School’s nearly out for the summer….

How did that happen? Our daughter’s first year at school has rushed by in a flurry of frenzied school runs, giggles and tears at the school gates in all weathers, Christmas nativity, Christmas activity, chicks in the classroom, a hairdresser, pilot and anaesthetist in the classroom, shared assemblies, new friends and a wonderful new gift: our daughter now has the ability TO READ!

I must admit that I’m approaching the school holidays with surprising trepidation. But I do have a plan! I hear from a very trustworthy source that this summer The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge is the thing to get involved in during the hols:

https://britainsnextbestseller.co.uk/index.php/writingstudio/detail_writing_studio/45

We’re going to give it a go! We’ve been to the library to collect our Reading Challenge Mythical Maze Pack and we’re all set.

photo 2

Our daughter: my reading buddy, is also going to become my blogging buddy for a few weeks… we’re going to review the books we read (and no doubt some of the adventures we have along the way too) via my blog. Our posts may be a bit sporadic: of course we have a lot of other stuff to fit in too including our family hol but we do promise to share the books we choose, why we chose them and our thoughts on the story and the pictures. Maybe you might read them as well and let us know what you think!

 

Thank you again for visiting – please let us know you’re there by leaving a comment!

Polly x

My own children’s book ‘Worm, Slug, Maggot & Leech and their Troublesome Transformation’ is available to pre-order via:

https://britainsnextbestseller.co.uk/index.php/book/index/WormSlugMaggotandLeech

To find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge the link is:

http://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

Squeaky Hello to the Cyber World – an honest Guest Blog by Heidi

I’m extremely proud to be posting my sister in law’s first foray into the world of blogging below. I am also incredibly proud of her for writing what is a very honest and open account of her battles with anxiety and depression. Thank you Heidi…. x

IMG_4309 - Version 2Squeaky hello to the cyber world. Squeaky bottom too, sharing thoughts with people who don’t know me hmmm here goes..

Who am I? Good question, if anyone finds out let me know ASAP…

Who am I not? Ah, now that I can answer in abundance.
Firstly I’m not who I want to be. At the ripe old age of 40, I find myself somewhat ravaged with depression & anxiety. What’s that? Disbelief? Not Heidi, she’d do anything for anyone. Not Heidi, always got a smile & some daft comment ready to spill from her mouth, followed by a chuckle.

The person most surprised at all this is, well… Me! After some heavy-duty incidents, I finally admitted to myself that I am unwell.

So, revelations out of the way.

What next?

That’s the tricky part, everything is next. Why am I like this? Why now? What’s my future whilst I’m scrutinising my past? Most importantly though is getting through each day. That may seem like an easy thing to do & it quite rightly is, first off.. Always remember my medication. The fear of how I will be without a bit of Prozac in the morning is indescribable (so, I won’t try).

Mornings are always a bit of Russian roulette. Will I manage to get my kids fed & watered & out to school on time? The answer is yes.. Every single day.
Where does the Russian roulette come into it, you rambling fool? Ah, time to introduce, anxiety.

Worry is overwhelming, debilitating & quite frankly a pain in the arse. I can logically tell myself that all will be well & calm. Feeling it is different. Virtually every thought I have is followed by a crisis of confidence, doubt & bewilderment. I wholeheartedly support people moving outside of their comfort zone, trying new things & expanding their horizons. At the moment for me that can mean getting from A to B in my car. I applaud myself for small achievements, that a few years ago would have been second nature.

Right then Heidi, fairly gloomy outlook? Well yes & no. The ‘no’ being the positive that I’m gaining from this period of my life, I have an underlying excitement that, *whispers quietly* everything is going to be alright?! As support networks go, I’ve always been a martyr to the cause. Coping on my own & pushing help away. There really isn’t anything more thrilling than learning (especially at 40, did I mention my age?).

Oh the amount I am learning at the moment, is worth all the heartache & despair to get to this point. Mostly, I’ve realised what a great network of family & friends I have. I’ve always known that they are great, but at moments of crisis they have proven it & what a relief it is for me to finally accept love & care.

Of course, situations that I find myself in now could well have been avoided. How? By having self-esteem. It’s been absent from my life for a very long time & I’m far from flowing with it now, but am most certainly headed in the right direction.

Nothing can then express my delight, when a few years ago my sister-in-law asked me to look at a book she had written & illustrated. I remember reading it with, pride, wonder & awe. The most fabulous children’s story with a strong message to love, like & appreciate who you are. 8-year-old Heidi was yearning for a book like this.

Enough gushing, thank you for reading.. I do hope you got this far.

Heidi x

You can follow Heidi on Twitter: @heedeeeee

Polly’s children’s book ‘Worm, Slug, Maggot & Leech and their Troublesome Transformation’ has a theme around self-esteem and diversity. It is due for release on 12th September and can be pre-ordered via:

https://britainsnextbestseller.co.uk/index.php/book/index/WormSlugMaggotandLeech

The List Lover

Hi. I’m Polly and I’m a listoholic.

Clean-Mama-50-percent

Ok that may be a tad extreme but it’s fair to say I am a lover of lists:

  • To do list
  • Shopping list
  • Bucket List
  • What to take on holiday list
  • Daughter’s birthday party attendee list

Would you look at that, I’ve even written a list of my lists. But there is a limit to my list obsession and that is the lists of things that ‘they’ say we should do before we die, before we’re 20, 30, 40, before we have children, before our children are 3,4,5,6, before we retire, the things to do in retirement…and they range from the bluest seas to swim in, the top 10 ways to use your pee to improve your life, the books we should read, the movies we should watch, the foods we should or shouldn’t eat today, this week, this year…

These lists stir a strange rebellion in me because:

a) I enjoy creating my own lists

b) I can’t help but wonder if there is actually anyone in the world that feels compelled to live his or her lives according to these lists – that worries me! But most importantly:

c) If an item is on a list written by somebody else for us to achieve, does it becomes less of an enjoyment, a natural act, a spontaneous event – does it suddenly morph into more of a chore? Another pressure, a reminder that we’re not living our lives to the max, another reason to feel guilty for what we’re not achieving: 20 things to do with your child on the school run, 50 literacy activities to do with your child in reception year, 101 ways to cherish your spouse….

The National Trust has produced a list of 50 things your child should do before they’re 11 3/4. ‘The coolest outdoor things to do’ has left me feeling a little exasperated. I was gob-smacked to find: ‘climb a tree’, ‘play in the snow’, ‘pick blackberries’, ‘make a daisy chain’… Really?? Do children REALLY need a tick-box to prompt them to be young and free and fun… to be children?? Is this a list that stirs feelings of guilt in fellow parents? Does it leave them incensed? Am I alone in this list torment?! Torn between agitation and guilt? Am I overthinking THE LIST?

This week another list popped up on my Facebook newsfeed prompting another exasperated sigh: ‘100 ways to be kind to your child’. A trusted friend had shared it so, intrigued, I opened up the link and began to read. Well, this particular list had quite an effect on me. It was like watching a rerun of some of the most magical and joyful day to day and easily forgotten snippets of times spent with my children so far – singing silly songs with them in the car, asking about their favourite part of the day, folding laundry together, exploring together, sharing favourite colours, explaining that sometimes I struggle too but that’s ok, teaching them that three hand squeezes (or three winks / blinks) means I love them (in case I can’t ever tell them), playing I spy and board games, reading outside…. It made me view the National Trust list in a new light – how lucky I am to have spent my childhood rolling down hills, building dens, playing in the snow, collecting conkers, and how much fun it is – and is going to be – to continue sharing those experiences with my own children. It’s also prompted me to start a new list which is definitely going to satisfy my list addiction. It’s called:

Amazing things we’ve already done.

Or perhaps I should just get over it and stick to the good old-fashioned photo album! What do you think? I’d love to hear about your list encounters….

Thank you again for reading. If you’ve enjoyed this and haven’t already ordered my children’s book, you can do so via:

https://britainsnextbestseller.co.uk/index.php/book/index/WormSlugMaggotandLeech

Polly x