The other day the hubster and I had a… let’s call it a disagreement, about the use of the term home.


It’s a fairly inoucuous term in itself. A small word, meaning “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household”.


The disagreement came about because I referred going to Plymouth as going ‘Home’. He was upset by this as, in his opinion, where we live now, leafy Surrey, is home. Plymouth isn’t and therefore should not be referred to as such. It makes technical sense I guess. It is factually correct. We do live here. We haven’t lived there since the late 90s. So, yes, in that way, Plymouth is not Home.

But this really bothered me. This black and white thinking. This ‘this is this, that isn’t’ mentality. What really was the issue here? I mean I’ve just always called wherever I feel comfortable home. Hell, I’ve called wherever I’m living or even staying at the time, Home. For as long as I can remember. So like, if I was to go on holiday (😂👏🏻) and we were to go out for the day, I wanted to ask if we should head back to the hotel, I’d refer to the hotel as Home. I just would. I wouldn’t mean anything by it.

I thought other people did this, but it turns out not. At least not my husband and it also explains why my mum was so angry at me for referring to university halls as Home, when I first moved to London.

To me it’s a word, a shorthand to communicate ‘the place you’re living’. It would seem I don’t place the same deep  meaning on the word that other people do. That other people do enough to be offended when I don’t.

But why don’t I? Well, I guess I’ve moved about a bit in my life. Not as much as some I guess, but thirteen different places to call Home feels like a lot to me and posssibly offers up some explaination as to why the word has somehow lost its deep meaning to me that it hasn’t to others.

Thinking about it I’ve also technically (if we want to get technical about this) been homeless three times in my life. I’ve never needed to sleep on the streets thank god, but I have, at three times in my life, fallen into the category that the charity Crisis call the Hidden Homeless. I don’t think I realised at the time(s), partly because I was with people I loved, but I look back now and understand. This coupled with moving around so much, is it a wonder I have lost the connection some people have with the term they hold so dear?

And while we’re on the subject, I also really struggle when people, and they do, ask me where I’m “from”. It’s a perfectly innocent question after all. And I’ve never lived in another country (unless you count moving to Wales as emigrating 😉). But I have moved around so much, from such a young age and with such regularity, that no one answer feels authentic anymore.

And it wasn’t until having Oscar that I realised how much this has impacted me and my sense of identity. My sense of belonging, my sense of home.

I remember everywhere I’ve lived in. I carry them with me, no matter how little I realised that until recently. The first two homes I had were in the same county and until we left that county when I was twelve, that is where I was ‘from’. Then part of my fractured family moved to the other end of the country and suddenly this place, where I knew no one and nothing was now my home. What had come before was packed away and I stopped referring to it. The new place was now called Home. And despite moving many times since, because the majority of my strong ties are still there, I guess I still do. Even though in truth it doesn’t feel like it is. Or perhaps even ever did.

So the question might be, what is going to change that? If buying a house and having a baby all in one place isn’t enough to give you a deeper sense of what Home means, isn’t enough to make you give up calling everything else Home, then what the hell is?

But in reality does that matter? In today’s global society do we have to pin our colours to one home, to one house, to one town, to one…. place, just for the neatness of explaining yourself to someone when they ask so where are you from? After all where you live and where you’re from are two completely different things for a lot of people these days. Why should the answer have to be neat?

Maybe it’d just be enough to have those who love you, know and accept that you are going to call many places Home. And that’s unlikely to change.

For now.


Slimming World Update – Week 54


What’s been happening this week people? Anything interesting?

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in paint, plaster and pieces of skirting board. The bedroom is finally plastered, painted and looking fab. We’ve still got to sort the floor and the wardrobes, but it’s already my new favourite room in the house. It’s so peaceful. And it’s mine. I didn’t realise how much it still felt like someone else’s home, until I walked into that room, freshly painted and felt ‘this is mine’. It was amazing! If you’re looking for a way to shake things up a bit in your life I highly recommend gutting and remodelling a room. I mean, it’s a pretty hardcore way of doing it, but it’s a really powerful way of bringing a freshness to your life.


I’m loving the green walls, the white woodwork and the wood of the original doors.

And I think that freshness rubbed off in my weight loss this week. It suddenly seemed so easy again, after being a bit of a slog for the past month or so. I ate some great meals and snacked on fruit. At no point did I feel deprived or unhappy or to be honest even that challenged. Suddenly I felt at peace with the process again. I can’t really explain it, but it was awesome. It was really useful to have that 2lb target in the forefront of my mind, particularly earlier in the week, and it made me realise I haven’t been setting such clear and realistic targets every week, which I used to. I think they really help me stay focussed. Well I assume they do, as last night I lost a whopping 6.5lb! Seriously. Yeah I know!! That has taken me back up to my 6 Stone and beyond. I’m not really sure how, but something just clicked again this week. I was so thrilled when I looked down at the scales. I was pretty sure I’d have a loss, but nothing could have prepared me for the biggest loss I’ve ever had in one week. So I have now lost 6 stone 4.5lb (88.5lb). It was a super night all round actually, because we also had a wonderful taster session, with some gorgeous delights and then found out our group is moving from our current location to the Shottermill Club. Closer to where I live. It literally couldn’t be any closer. Happy me.

As far as life as a loser goes, it’s been a mixed bag this week. I’ve noticed a couple of tiny but unexpected (although I have no idea why they’re unexpected!) downsides to losing large amounts of weight. In the past week I’ve noticed, that not only are my 35 years starting to show just that bit more prominently on my face (particularly round the corners of my mouth and across my forehead) but that I also, for the first time ever, have ‘bingo wings’! So the wrinkles, well yeah they were always going to catch up with me sooner or later. You can use all the cream in the world, but we’re ageing every day, there’s no getting away from that. I just never really saw them before, as I guess the fat under my skin was stretching them out! The bingo wings are a bit of a weird one really. You’d assume that I’ve always had flabby arms, but no. They were big, yes, but they were also fairly solid. Now they are suddenly much smaller, but not at all solid. One might even call them flappy. I only realised this week as I could feel them moving when I did. Such a peculiar sensation (to me). I assume some kind of toning exercises are in order, but which ones? Any tips? These aren’t really negatives, just things I hadn’t considered.

But then I’ve also had some wonderful things – which more than outweigh those above – happen this week. My buddy who lives in the states came to see us while she’s visiting. She hasn’t seen me in person since May 2013, just before I started SW and boy was she amazed by the difference. It’s really lovely when that happens. I also went out today, for the first time (that I consciously acknowledged anyway) wearing an entire outfit in a size 16. Jeans, t-shirt and even pants. I think I can properly say that’s the size I am now. And that feels tremendous. Five sizes down, who knows how many more?!

Yeah this one again. It's the last time I saw Lou. May 2013

Yeah this one again. It’s the last time I saw Lou. May 2013

Thursday with Lou. July 2014

Thursday with Lou. July 2014

So as setting targets is clearly a good thing for me, when Sara asked if I could get my 6.5 Stone award by next week I rather rashly said “yes”. Hmm, what have I let myself in for? So this weeks target is 2.5lb, taking me to 6.5 Stone before my holibobs the week after. Eeeek!

Have a great week people




A green by any other name…

We moved into our house in 2011, just after I found out I was pregnant (and I mean literally. We signed the contract on the Thursday and I found out the following Tuesday. That sort of ‘just’). Anyway. We’d bought the house with all sorts of grand schemes of how we’d like to decorate and things we’d like to do and within days every plan got put on hold, as all finances had to be focussed on baby stuff instead. We did get Oscar’s room painted (I just couldn’t live with the highlighter shade of fluorescent pink the previous owners had for their little girl) but that was pretty much it. We’ve lived here three years now and actually the fug of new baby is lifting and we’re starting to see (read: get bloody annoyed with) the bits around the house that really could do with, well, doing.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done a couple of odds and sods around the house. We have shelves in the kitchen where none used to be and a mantle piece fitted that everyone who visits comments on and loves. We even have a new deck recently built by Ben and some of our manliest friends in a weekend. But we haven’t done any real decorating and to be honest there is so much that could be done that it was hard to know where to start! Anyway a few months ago we decided the only room in the house that had been shown no love at all since we moved in was our bedroom, and actually of all the rooms in the house, this one needs some serious TLC. The plaster is old and I mean really old and has been patched, badly, over the 100 odd years the house has been standing. The carpet is OK, but not fantastic and the wardrobes, which have cleverly been built over the alcoves either side of the chimney breast, aren’t actually that pretty to look at and, in my opinion, far too dark a colour for the space. And by space I mean lack of space. I mean it’s not minuscule, but once you add our king size bed and our ‘bought on the hop in the absence of anything else 8 years ago’ Ikea drawers and bedside tables then it’s not great. So we’ve decided to gut the entire room and start again, hopefully making more of the space available.

Ugly wardrobes, patchy plaster work and Ikea furniture.

Ugly wardrobes, patchy plaster work and Ikea furniture. Its a mess alright.

Which was fine, until I realised I had to arrange it all. It’s a proper project to manage, with time pressures and all sorts. We knew we wanted to remove the inordinately large radiator for good (we don’t use the heating now we have the log burner) and add more power sockets to the room (I’m sorry but four is just not enough for any modern household). Getting that sorted by the respective tradespeople was easy. It was the co-ordinating the plasterer with the decorator I was having a problem with. Thank god I managed to find someone who does both and can co-ordinate himself! We’re also having the wardrobes ripped out (hooray) and rebuilt by our friend Richard and will include drawers, so the Ikea delights can go to the tip. I’m so excited to see it all come together that I almost don’t feel the fear of having to completely clear the room and deposit the stuff we remove around the rest of the house for as long as the refurb takes. Almost.

So anyway the only decision I’m having to make the moment is the colour of the walls and my god am I struggling. The trouble is I know what colour I want. I just can’t find it. The house is awash with colour charts and the walls have various tester patches, none of which are right. I had the same problem with my bridesmaid dresses. I want green. How hard can it be. Oh you’d be surprised.

Nope, none of them.

Nope, none of them.

Colour chart madam?

Colour chart madam?

While we’ve got the decorator on site, we’re also going to have the front door and outside windows stripped and painted. I can’t bloody wait. They’re an absolute disgrace and I’m sure having them done will stop us being the scruffy herberts of the street (we really are!). The windows will be white and the door a Farrow and Ball colour called Chappell Green. Lovely. Well that was easy enough to chose. So why can’t I find the bedroom colour?

In my mind, it’s going to look something like this. Green, with lots of white woodwork, only with a slightly darker floor – if I can ever find the paint I want!

Love it!

Love it!

Work starts next week.

Wish me luck!