Baby Art With a 7 Week Old

For Father’s Day I really wanted to make a card that Corrina had a part in creating, but 7 week olds don’t have that much co-ordination. I thought about doing hand painting, but to be honest wasn’t in the mood for the mess, so here’s what we created!


What you need

Paper- needs to be quite thick (I used Bristol Board)

A candle

Coloured Ink or Paint (I used this calligraphy ink)

How to do it

You need to hold the paper near your babies feet whilst holding the candle in your hand. I sat Corrina in our Stokke Newborn Chair and held the paper underneath her feet, but I think you could do it with baby lying on the floor. Your baby needs to be in a “kicky” mood as well!

Hold the candle very loosely and just let baby kick it! Keep moving the candle around the paper to get a good coverage. Hold it up to the light to see where the candle has left a mark and where there are blank sections.


Then, brush either watery paint or ink and water over the page.

Finally, you can cut it up and mount it onto a card with glue or double sided tape.



The 10 most useful things for when you get home from the maternity ward

Here’s a list of the things I found most useful to have once I got home from the hospital after having Corrina…


BBHugMe Pillow

I had this pillow from about 14 weeks pregnant. I also got SPD from about week 26, so this really helped with my hips in the night. When you come home from the hospital this is a great feeding pillow, either round your waist (you can tie the two ends) or just folded over for back support. (It comes with a carry bag, so you could take it to hospital too). It is expensive, but I love it and think it is worth every penny. It’s developed by some Norwegian Chiropractors and recommended by midwives. I got mine from Scandiborn (such a lovely shop) here


Piles cushion

Recommendation from a friend and it was AMAZING and really needed. With all the visitors, I just shoved it under a blanket on the sofa and sat on it. I would never have thought of needing this, but it was a great tip, so just paying it forward!


Hot and Cool Packs

Add them to the piles cushion. Sweet relief.

Also useful as a heat pack for milk flow.

I got the KoolPak ones from Amazon.



I knew nothing about the winding situation, and I have been blessed with a windy baby (not sure when it becomes “colicky”, so I’m sticking with “windy”). They can’t have Gripe Water until they are past the 4 week mark, so this stuff did help with burping, a bit. Just to get you through to the Gripe Water mark!


Big Muslins

Again, a gift from a friend, but brilliant for swaddling, especially if you have a baby in the heat! The midwives in the hospital said nothing about swaddling, and she kept waking herself up with her own arms. I have the GroSnug from The Gro Company, but she needed something a bit tighter, so these have been great for swaddling!


Container for the evening “move”

Every evening we had to move all the “stuff” up stairs (pump, bottles, Infacol, swaddles). I started using a cardboard box, but something like this is handy to put together the evening packing


Stokke Newborn Seat

I LOVE this. I actually wondered whether I would use it, but it has been so handy. It attaches to the Tripp Trapp chair, and Corrina LOVES it. We have suspended a toy on the arm for her, which she now plays with. It’s a great seat to have them in the kitchen with you, rather than in the lounge in their pram/rocker/Moses basket and it puts them at table height alongside everyone else. Also, if you do have a bit of a windy baby, this keeps them in a slightly more upright position. The Tripp Trapp then converts for them to sit in. I got mine on eBay, but you can buy it here on the Stokke site.


Baby Wrap

It’s so nice to have them close to you when they’re teeny and a wrap means you can do that without not being able to use your hands. I got this lovely soft, striped one from Solly Baby Wrap.


Nipple Shields

I didn’t even know such a thing EXISTED! If I have another one, I am taking these with me to the hospital. Corrina couldn’t latch until about 10 days ago (yeah, 10 days ago. Not 10 days old! The Health Visitor said that some babies just can’t to start with!), and I felt like an enormous failure in the hospital (and the midwives on the ward were HORRIBLE about it!). The second she had these, she was fine!


Breast Pump

If you do have any issues with latching, or you just want to pump to allow someone else to feed your baby, pumps are amazing. However, I learned that there is real variation. I pump a LOT. When you read the backs of the pumps in Mothercare, most of them are for “occasional” use. So I had a Tommee Tippee pump and it was awful! Slow, loud and a single pump. So I hired a Medela pump from Medela. It’s hospital grade and it has made a huge difference: quiet (good for early morning), fast, powerful and a double pump (halves the time). Obviously, you won’t know if you need this, but I didn’t know you could hire a breast pump- so if you need or want one, you can!


Making Baby Building Blocks


Whilst Corrina is still too little to play with toys, I’ve been building up a toy box of handmade toys for her and here’s how I made her building blocks. This was one of those projects that I thought would be quick, but it does take a while. However, doing it this way means you get way more bricks than you do from other companies, and you can decide what to put on them. Just settle down with a good box set or in the sunshine, because it takes a good few hours!

I started by creating a Pinterest board full of blocks to get some ideas of what to put on them. You can find my board here

What you need

Blocks. You could just cut them yourself, or I got mine from eBay from Metacon Ltd for £14.99


Sticky Back Plastic (buy it in A4 sheets with the matt backing paper)

Paint. I bought the Dulux sample pots in Mint Macaroon, Rock Salt, Natural Slate and Black

How to do it

If you buy sticky back plastic already in A4 sizes, you can put them in a home printer and print the templates on the back. For the letters I used the font Bebas Neue, and for the shapes I just googled images of bunnies, stars, arrows etc. Sometimes you get a better image if you type “Star icon”. For the letters, you will need to make more of the more common letters.

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In Powerpoint I set up a grid with the 50mmx50mm squares and populated the grid with the images, letters and numbers I wanted. For 25 cubes you will need to fill 150 squares.

For the letters you will need to fill in the grid with the letters you want, then save the whole thing as an image and then flip it: you need the letters back to front as you’re making a template. They’ll be the right way round on the building block! (To do this, highlight the whole table, copy it, right click and “Paste Special” as a picture. Then use the Picture Format menu to “flip horizontal”.)

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Print your sticky back plastic sheets so the printer prints onto the paper backing. (Make sure your printer is printing at 100%, as the grid is the same size as the blocks, so they need to match!) Once printed, start cutting them out. There are two ways you can cut out: you can either make a template (e.g. cut the letter out and leave the square of sticky back plastic around it) or you can cut the letter, stick it on the block and paint over it. I used scissors, but I imagine using a craft knife and cutting mat would give a better finish.


The “R” on the left is the template, and on the right is sticking the letter on and painting over it

Stick all your letters, numbers and shapes on, and then paint the blocks. Don’t wait for the paint to dry too much before you peel off the sticky back plastic, as it sometimes takes the paint with it!

I also varnished mine with a clear polyurethane varnish, but honestly I wouldn’t bother if I did it again: it was a sticky mess and it’s actually left a bit of tinge on the paint!

Whole project comes to about £23, which is a lot cheaper than the “10 blocks for £35” you see online and on Instagram! You can pick your colours and images and you get 25 blocks, but it is pretty time consuming!


Pretty Nursery

With the arrival of Corrina, our spare room has undergone a makeover (the only room in the house we hadn’t touched!) so here’s a quick summary of the nursery

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The cot is the Stokke Sleepi  and the chair is an IKEA Poang. The cover on the chair is a chunky blanket I knitted using this enormous wool from Wool Couture (it’s called “Extreme Yarn”). The rug is from Scandiborn.

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The Bookshelf

Using IKEA picture shelves, we’ve created a little library as you walk in. A really good place for book inspiration is Smallprint Books

There’s a few Bob Dylan references on here, as Corrina’s name comes from the song “Corrina, Corrina” on “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” album. My dad’s record version of the album is on the shelf, along side the book “Forever Young” and “Man Gave Names To All The Animals”

One of my favourite books on the shelf is “All The Things I Wish For You, Corrina”, from Papier. It costs £18, but if you’ve got a name that is never going to have a standard collection of personalised items, it’s worth it. And the illustrations are beautiful (go to the link and you can get a preview of what the book looks like)

Finally, I love the retro Winnie-The-Pooh books from the sixties. These were my dad’s, and I had them as a kid- I just love the front covers!

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The Artwork

There are three large pictures on the wall (and two little ones by the chest of drawers you can see in the pictures above). They are:

  1. “I never read. I just look at pictures”, from the Moderna Museet in Sweden
  2. “Let’s Play Sleeping Lions from Seb and Charlie Design (this print is also available on Etsy and it gives money to either NSCPCC or WWF)
  3. Tiger print from Hus & Hem (they don’t seem to have it anymore, but there’s a similar one on their site here)

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Other Decorations

The Corrina garland was made by me whilst watching the first season of Poldark

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The elephant mobile is from a company called Petit Collage in San Francisco and the lion is from Toft UK but I bought the book “Edward’s Menagerie” on Amazon and made him!

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The bed sheet is made from fabric from Higgs and Higgs and it’s really easy- just draw around the mattress, add 5cm and iron a hem. Stitch it and then thread elastic through it.

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The wooden Safari Jumble is also from Petit Collage here and a beautiful Steiff bear, a gift from my dad.

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The nightlight is from A Little Lovely Company with a beautiful Emma Bridgewater mug (a gift from a lovely, lovely friend)

Finally, the lion cushion is from Ella & The Roo and they also have ones that you can buy, cut out and sew yourself

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Welcome to the world!

She’s here!

Corrina Karen Lake born 25th April 2017 weighing 8lbs 8oz

She was 11 days late, and has been here for 17 days now and we’re in love

Pictures below- all taken using my Fujifilm X-A2 and edited using the VSCO app

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Sri Lanka

It’s always a bit sad when a great holiday ends, but very rarely do I get a real feeling of sadness at leaving somewhere. Not like I feel now, sitting in Bandaranaike airport in Sri Lanka. After one week, I have fallen in love with this humid, tropical island. It’s a combination of things: a holiday at just the right time, a bit of investment in myself (both in terms of treatment and in terms of intellectual broadening) but also this place. This place. It’s just (and I know I overuse this word), amazing.

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Sri Lankans are very proud of their island. Every person we met would ask “is this your first time to Sri Lanka?”. The man who drove us from Bandaranaike down to Kogalla (a journey that takes nearly three hours), proudly introduced us to the island with three memorable facts

  1. 95 of all women get to go to school for free in Sri Lanka. He missed the “percent” off, but I am assuming that 95% of all women get to go to school for free. Including their uniforms being paid for. Healthcare is also free.
  2. Four major religions live side by side in Sri Lanka: Buddhism, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. This is displayed along the roadside, with the shrine “stops” next to each other. The Buddhist ones looked the best, complete with neon lights (in my opinion)
  3. He explained that Colombo was divided into districts: District 1, District 2 (yes, he counted them out, no this is not The Hunger Games). When we got to District 8 whilst driving, he pointed out the very large prison, then quickly added “but it’s very empty, very empty…”

So, they’re incredibly proud of Sri Lanka it seems. They are also very happy. I know what the cynics of you will say (yes, tourism is one of the industries in Sri Lanka), but every interaction I had with people was kind, happy and friendly. You are greeted with a bow, with your hands together and the words “Ayubowan” or “Namaste” and plenty of smiles. They seem genuinely happy to receive visitors, but also happy generally. It’s hard to believe that until 2009, this was a country in civil war, and that in 2004 it was a country hit by the tsunami.

Anyway, I know this all sounds a bit panama hats, cricket and cake. So I will stop with all of this, but know that it reflects more about my own lack of understanding and appreciation of this amazing country than anything else.

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We stayed in Kogalla, which is on the South West coast of the island, in a beautiful hotel called “The Fortress”. It takes a LONG time to get here, (and perhaps part of my sadness about leaving stems from the trek it takes to get back), and we arrived at 5am. I slept through a lot of the car journey, but I have just experienced it going the other way. Overtaking is the norm, regardless of whether there is an upcoming corner. Tuk Tuks are everywhere, beautifully decorated, but are also to be overtaken. Motorcycles, many without headlights- overtake them too. Pedestrian crossings- they have them, but they are largely ignored. People walking on the side of the road in the dark cause a fright. And dogs. Dogs everywhere, just running in and out of the road. It’s an adventure. The only thing that makes it slightly more manageable for a Brit, is that they drive on the left.

So we get to our hotel, it’s 5am and it’s already (or still) hot. Like 23 degrees at night, steam up your glasses, hot and humid. The room is beautiful, looking out onto the Indian Ocean and I lay there the first night just listening to the ocean. Just perfect.

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The hotel is on a long stretch of beach called Koggala Beach, and it has one of the longest beaches in Sri Lanka. It was significantly affected by the tsunami, and the waters reached 30ft high, and it’s situated on the edge of a lagoon. (A lagoon! Anyone else think of Neverland in Peter Pan?) However, there is no sign of that now. Earlier in the year, you can go whale watching, but the seas become rough in April. You can walk along the beach (it is hard work though!) but you have to stay near the water. Firstly, because there is a lot of stuff that gets washed up, and secondly because the sand is so, so hot!

If you turn right out of the front of the hotel, you can walk along the coast the other way and see the fisherman on sticks. In fact, a whole coach of Japanese tourists offloaded to see them. I took a couple of photos, but then I think the guy was asking me for money…

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The food was delicious. As much as local people kept telling us it was “very expensive” in our hotel, it was about $15 a person for dinner. There are other hotels along the beach (going North) and there is a small café by the stilt fisherman. The hotel had a variety of Indian and Sri Lankan dishes, all of which were delicious. At times we knew full well that the meat in the dish was not the meat we had ordered…not a problem for us, but maybe for others. I had the most amazing lime pickle (hot, sour and the limes were still firm) and the naans were delicious. A proper tandoori oven, not packed into a foil envelope like you get when you order Indian food at home.


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It’s big and, most of the time, it’s empty. Meaning you can just swim peaceful lengths without any hassle. There were a few kids, but they seem to keep away from the main pool (I wonder if they were told to do so?) There are little chipmunks that run around the pool, as well as some pretty bold birds, but all in all, it’s incredibly peaceful. Drinks are delivered to you: Mango Lassi, smoothies and beautiful Ceylon Tea with a “kick”. I managed to read five books whilst there, and it was so easy to just while away the time. Be warned though, the sea breeze is deceptive, so you definitely need sunscreen!


I had a few treatments in the spa. On the first day, I had a long facial (90 minutes) and my skin felt (and looked) amazing. And then I let myself get caught in the sun. So I had a mini facial on the last day, just to try and repair some of the tanning! I also had a Balinese massage- the first time I had ever had a full body massage- and that was an…intimate…experience. I also had a manicure, which was meticulously done- except for the polish- which crinkled up on my left hand. So I am sat here with super soft skin, relaxed muscles and crinkly nail varnish.


Just beautiful. A HUGE bed, a little lounging area which can look over the sea, and the most beautiful bathroom. Not as big as my favourite ever (The London, West Hollywood), but getting close. Every evening they would light incense oil under the sinks with candles and it would make the whole place smell amazing. We stayed in an ocean room with a balcony as well. The rooms are equipped with all the modern stuff you may need (TV, Bose Sound System, iPod) but we just didn’t need it really!

So, in summary: beautiful island, beautiful people, beautiful hotel. It can’t really do anything except make you feel a little bit more beautiful yourself, which is never a bad thing.

Lean In

I know it’s not a new book, but I just hadn’t read it. And now I have. And I can’t stop thinking about it. And talking about it (sorry to anyone who has heard me quote from it or exclaim “It’s really short! Read it! It will change everything!”).

‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg is the book I am talking about and the massive realisation I have made is this: gender inequality still exists. It is happening everyday and the shocking part is this: it has been happening to me and, it is so normalised, I just didn’t know. Shocking, right?

Well, not that shocking. I was very lucky: I was raised in a limitless environment. Everything was within our reach and control. I was raised by two parents who hadn’t been to university. I didn’t spend any of my education in paid for, private schools. When I completed my application forms for university and then my grants and fees, I was classed as an “access student”, meaning I was- by Oxford University’s definition- at a disadvantage. In my mind, there was no longer such a thing as class, because we could all be socially mobile. (Okay, let’s remember, I was a 17-year-old idealist). I remember asking my mum, when I was still in primary school “what class are we?” and my mum telling me that it just wasn’t something that was spoken about. She was socially mobile: raised in a council flat near Watford with no phone or TV, she went on to own her own home. Social mobility in action. Affirming, to my 17-year-old self, that there was no longer such a thing as class.

I was wrong. I was so, so wrong. I spent three pretty miserable years at Oxford University struggling to accept that the world as I thought it was- as I had been raised- wasn’t quite right. I was catapulted into a sea of class. Where the first question people asked you was whether you went to private or state school. Where there is a disproportionate number of privately educated students. Where, ‘coincidentally’, the state school students were all housed in the same block: the most rundown block, with the worst facilities and the smallest rooms. And I attended what was considered an “Access” college. When I tried to fight it through student democracy (suggesting tiered rents or term based room rotations), it was fought against. By the…ahem, “ruling class”. Yep, class most definitely still exists.

So, I’ve accepted that the world (or Britain at least), is still run by a ruling class. Okay, experienced that first hand, got over it, worked hard and built a career. However, recently I have been struggling at work with a couple of managers that I just can’t seem to click with. Hence the reason I brought a couple of business style books (which I usually avoid like the plague) for my holiday. ‘Lean In’ was one of them. And just like I had been in denial about class, I had also been in denial about gender inequality. I was always made to feel like it didn’t matter whether I was male or female: if I worked hard, it would be ok.

Three things happened that made me start to thing about this:

  1. I was invited to dinner with my mum’s friend who is the headmistress of a school. In attendance at the dinner was, strangely, a teacher from school (who insisted that we call him by his first name, but it just felt funny). At the dinner he told a story: one that either had been kept from me, or I had just completely forgotten. This teacher had coached the basketball team. My younger sister is a talented basketball player- one that played for the England team and the Cambridge University team. As a teenager though, she played with a boy’s team. The teacher told me a story about how he had gone to “bat” to keep Vicky in the team, after another team’s coach complained about her presence. This isn’t a million years ago- this is 2000 at the earliest- and there were grown men complaining about a (very good) girl on a team? Thank goodness there were teachers like this one to defend her presence on the team
  2. I listened to Barack Obama talking about gender equality in one of those “Trump versus Obama” films. Now, I love Barack Obama anyway. Loved him before I lived in America and I think they should increase the two term limitation on the US Presidency for this man. In this video, Barack Obama said:

“The idea that my daughters wouldn’t have the same opportunities as somebody’s sons. Well, that’s unacceptable. That’s not acceptable”

“We all have to be louder than the voices that are telling our girls they’re not good enough. That they’ve got to look a certain way, or they’ve got to act a certain way”

And my favourite

“Playing like a girl means you’re a badass” (this one is my favourite. I love that man.)

  1. I got a new manager. I’m not going to write too much about it on here, but it has certainly posed some challenges.

If you’re reading this and you don’t know me, know this: I am not some kind of strident bra-burner (there is a reason I haven’t used the word “feminist”). And the reason I am not, is probably because I just hadn’t connected that there was a problem. In my mind, if you worked hard and were good at your job, good things would happen. However, of course that’s not the case. How foolish of me. There is a reason why there are few female role models at work, and (as much as I hate to think about this one) a pay gap. Gender inequality is still very much a real thing.

So, just as I was wrong about class, I was wrong about gender. My idealism was merely a mask for something that is fundamentally part of the world we live in.

The book is 175 pages long, so I’m not going to tell you page by page what happens: you can read it in a few hours. Up until page 40 I was in agreement, but I wasn’t emphatic. Then I read this:

“When a woman excels at her job, both male and female co-workers will remark that he may be accomplishing a lot but is “not as well liked by her peers”. She is probably also “too aggressive”, “not a team player”, “a bit political”, “can’t be trusted” or “difficult”. At least, those are all things that has been said about me and almost every senior woman I know”

And there it was. In black and white. The comforting words I had been looking for. For nearly a year, I have been struggling with this shit. Now, before I write the next bit- please don’t misunderstand me- I know that we all have room to improve: whether it is technical skills or style or anything, there is room for improvement. However, this “feedback” has been given to me in such a way that it felt like it was inherent in myself. Like it was unfixable. Like I should just pack up and go. And, whilst I probably am a bit aggressive, or difficult, these certainly aren’t terms you would throw at a man for behaving like that. In addition, I struggled with some parts of it because they were just new news to me: I have always loved being part of a team at work and have tried hard to be a team player. Hearing this from my latest boss was such a shock, that I asked other peers from previous roles whether this was true. Was it just something I wasn’t getting? I also asked members of my current team- had I just misread… well, everything?

But this clicked for me. Of course there is stuff that I can improve upon, but this character assassination is not about generic attributes: they are about a woman exhibiting normal male attributes, and getting criticism for it. And, to quote my favourite president- “that’s not acceptable”.

The penny dropped. I could read every book under the sun about how to change myself and of course, there is relevance in that. However, what I need to contribute to changing is the status quo. Because, if I hadn’t clicked that this was happening to me, then sure a hell there is a whole load of guys out there not realising when they’re doing it.

I cannot recommend this book enough for women- and men- in the corporate environment. I have picked out just one part of it- but there is so much packed into the 175 pages, and much of it is how women can help ourselves: sit at the table, make your partner a real partner and a lot of great discussion on the “having it all” debate. Invest in it (it’s £6.29 on Amazon and totally worth it).

Oh- and the whole “Are you my mentor?” thing- I emphatically agree with. Some things just don’t need that defining.

Sheryl. Thank you. I am a feminist. And yes, I had avoided that term for all the reasons you outline in the book.


Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day, and yesterday- for the first time I can remember- I read an article about what Mother’s Day is like, without a mum. Such a rare publication on a weekend like this. There was a line in the piece:

“as I continue to grow into the happy, fulfilled, ambitious and – I hope – kind person my mum always knew I would become, as she herself was, I feel the raw cruelty that she is not here to enjoy it sits with me, inside me, everyday.
It resonates. It resonates because it made me consider everything my mum has missed, and everything we have missed of her. So, in “celebration” of this day- a day that my mum did NOT celebrate (I’m sure you loved the hand crafted cards really, Mum!)-here’s my reflection. Yeah, it’s kind of self indulgent, but it’s my blog and I don’t care.
However, if you too are being bombarded with bullshit advertising about “show Mum you care” (ummm…do it everyday people, you don’t have to wait for a Sunday in March) and a newsfeed stream of overt declarations, maybe you’ll find some comfort in this.
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For all the people who have to endure this day without your mum and for those who lost their mums far too young- I feel for you. It’s shit.


I miss you. I can’t even tell you how many times I have reached an obstacle or a hurdle in my life, and wanted to pick the phone up and ask for your help. The number of times I have wanted to celebrate or commiserate something with you is too many to count. There is a moment-a fleeting second-where I forget that it’s not possible. Then there is the horrible feeling, when the fleeting second passes, and my heart sinks, knowing I can never share anything with you again. In eight years, so much has happened and this feeling doesn’t diminish: weddings, emigrating, buying houses (decorating houses!), jobs, travelling, crises and jubilations. I know it breaks both of our hearts that we haven’t been able to share it.

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I often wonder whether we would have ended up being friends as adults, once I surpassed all my teenage angst (okay- I never fully surpassed it, I still act like the brat that delayed the school run by weaving intricate braids into my hair every morning). We never knew each other as adults. I thought I was an adult, because such difficult things had been thrust upon us at a young age, but on reflection, I wasn’t. I was a teenage kid who just had to deal with a lot of shit. And, in turn, I thought you were an adult which, of course you were. However, as I edge closer to the age you were when you left us, and I realise that I could be over half way through, that sense of “but I’m nowhere near done” dawns on me. This must have been how you felt: too young to go. I’m sorry I never acknowledged this. You were too young. I just never comprehended how young. Now I understand why so many people commented on your dignity.

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So would we have ended up as friends? We never knew each other as adults. When I go shopping and see women lunching with their mothers, I think “would we have done that?”. Would we have got to a place where we could shop without you screwing your face up at the clothes I choose? Or grabbing a glass of wine and talking about life? I guess we’ll never know, Mum but I like to think that our similarities would eventually have converged (rather than causing so many battles).


You always used to say that I allowed myself to be used by others. That I was too trusting of people. That I liked the wrong people. I still hear your words. I acknowledge them. I still fail to act upon them, and I always feel you’d give me “the face” for that. I guess the difference now is, your words have stayed with me. I acknowledge them, rather than screaming with hot tears and denying it. Very few of my friends now, knew you. Which is sad. (but there have been drunken nights at bars where I have talked about you!) I am sure you would judge them- that’s what Mums do- but know that I heard you, and I’m wary of it. You knew me. You knew me better than I knew myself. Perhaps that is mother’s intuition, or perhaps that was just your skill. I don’t know. But those words resonate.

I can’t write anymore, because I am bordering (or over the border) of self indulgent. And, as the t-shirt you bought me from Topshop when I was 12 or 13 proclaimed: I am a drama queen.

Mum, I love you forever. I miss you forever. And forever is a long time.




Hilton Molino Stucky on the island of Guidecca. It’s a converted flour mill and it runs a boat to San Marco so you can go back and forth with the main part of the city. There is also a Vaporetto stop right outside it, so you can get the boat from the airport directly to the hotel. It has a few restaurants and a Nutella bar (only open in the summer though!). It also has the only rooftop bar in Venice- which is open all year round-with views up the Grand Canal.

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Food and Drink

When researching Venice and food, I got a lot of negative reviews about the quality of food. There aren’t really any go-to restaurants, and of the five trips I have made to Italy, this was probably the least “wow” in terms of food, but it’s still ok. Gelato anywhere is good, and in a dark alleyway (there are several in Venice) I stumbled upon SuSo, where I had a combination of Chocolate, Creme de Queso, Tiramisu and Opera. In one of the squares there was an amazing stall selling candied nuts and pastries- the amazing cannoli picture came from there. An obligatory stop (apparently) on a trip to Venice is Harry’s Bar, the home of peach bellinis and (temporarily) Ernest Hemmingway. On top of this there was pizza, pasta and risotto all peppered with the best coffee.

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What I Expected from Venice

Some of these are just the stereotypical shots you expect to see from Venice. It’s standard stuff- but I’m still happy with some of the shots I took, so I’m putting them below!

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What I Wasn’t Expecting

Visiting in February was meant to be a way of mitigating the crowds of tourists in Venice. What I didn’t account for was the Carnival. Entering Piazza San Marco it was full of people wearing masks and costumes, and confetti everywhere. It was amazing to be walking down the street and just see these beautiful costumes (totally beats crappy Halloween costumes from ASDA…)

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