Thank goodness for that. This is a very short and very self-indulgent post, to document (mainly for myself) the fact that I’m finally out of that blinking fracture boot! I’m now in very loosely laced trainers which, in fact, are almost as clumpy as the boot but I’m rather pleased nonetheless. The metamorphosis continues. 🎉🍾🥂
Don’t you just love the school run! Is there anything that could possibly improve that little treat we get twice a day? It requires the planning skills of an entire Olympic committee at 8am and sometimes the honed negotiation skills of…well, anybody but the current British government. Everybody knows that for school running in the UK you’ll need, at the very least; a decent waterproof coat, some suitable footwear and your best wits about you…right? Well, after thirty five days as a participant of the school run whilst modelling a fetching peep toe fracture boot on my broken left foot, I have some observations to share.
1) You will probably be wearing odd socks: Even before you leave the house the weirdness begins. It’s March in the UK, you’re wearing a peeptoe boot for the school run, you’re going to want socks of some description. You’ll likely be all too aware that the toes on your bad foot are on display so you’ll want a decent looking sock on that foot…a sock that casually makes it look like every sock you own is a good sock. You’ll maybe, like me, favour a comfy black sock to blend in with the boot. The other socky consideration is that, with a broken foot to shield, you probably won’t want any tight hosiery, no socks that are hard to pull on. To solve this I’ve been stealing my other half’s black socks and wearing them on my injured left foot…he doesn’t know this – yet! So, you may wonder, why does that mean you have to wear odd socks? Well, I can’t wear his massive sock on the good leg, the one that’s not hidden by my knee high boot. It’d bunch up inside my trainer or poke up out of the back…nope, odd socks it is. To be fair, our house is overrun with odd socks anyway 😄
2) You’re gonna have to do some walking/hobbling: Unless you live quite nearby, have nowhere to dash off to afterwards or are one of those ‘I’ll-just-park-on-the-zig-zags-despite-receiving-58-parking-tickets-a-day’ types then the chances are you’ll have to park a bit away from the school and walk/hobble. At our massive school in its densely populated area this means a five minute walk through busy streets. That’s fine by me, I like the exercise, well I do when both of my feet are in working order. It’s a bit different with a broken foot though, especially in the beginning. You’ll be slow, you’ll get tired and you’ll feel like everybody’s staring at you. The only thing to do is style it out, just summon up your best grit and determination, plaster on a smile and hobble past all of the many obstacles (Paperboy style) to those gates! You’ll feel a real sense of achievement when you’ve dropped your cherub off safely at their class…then you’ll remember, you have to walk back to the car again – on your own. “Oh fiddlesticks” you’ll say.
3) Zig Zag parkers will doubly annoy you: This is especially true when, tired and sweaty on the last leg of your epic journey, you overhear one of them complaining that the grass verge he’d just torn up with his 4×4 was “very slippy”. “Something should be done about it” he raged, because it was dangerous for his daughter whilst hopping out of the car a metre away from the school. Seriously, this charmer was parked illegally on the zig zags right outside the gates, putting kids lives at risk, but he had the brass neck to complain about slippy grass! Meanwhile, broken footed parents like me were hobbling cross terrain. I had an urge to use my boot as a mallet, but I resisted.
4) There’ll be lots of tutting behind you: It ain’t the easiest thing hobbling along on these boots when one heel is as high as a Ziggy Stardust platform and your other sole is at least a good two inches lower. You’ll be bobbing up and down as you walk, like a defective jack in the box at the pace of a reluctant toddler. People behind you won’t necessarily make allowances for your lack of speed. Who am I trying to kid, people behind you will be tutting, sighing and generally diving into busy roads for a chance to overtake you on the pavement. You know what it’s like on the school run at the best of times. Parents dashing along like Linford Christie (showing my age there) so that they can deposit their child and then breakneck it to the office or back home to watch Jeremy Kyle. They have no time for slowcoaches, they care not for healing metatarsals (metatarsi?)…if you are shoulderbarged into a hedge with your broken foot it’s just collateral damage to them.
5) You’ll be scared of really small kids: For similar reasons to the above, you will become disproportionately afraid of small kids. Have you ever noticed how hard Year One kids play? They hurtle themselves around like cannon balls stopping only a millimetre short of brick walls or other humans. Their games of tag are conducted at a velocity similar to a NASCAR race. You will end up in their path, you will cower when they head your way and you may even decide to cling to the perimeter of a building for safety.
6) You probably won’t be joining in with #schoolrunstyle #whatiworetoday: To be brutally honest, no matter what you team your orthopaedic looking boot with, you’re probably not going to be matching the yummy mummies in the style stakes. To be fair, there are some ladies who I’m certain must get ready the night before and just sleep very still all night ready to spring up and leave at 8am the next day. Some mums put Dolly Parton to shame in the all out glamour stakes. You know how sometimes those mums make you feel dowdy on a good day? Multiply that by ten when you’re wearing your boot. Factor in that you’ll have to choose outfits based on what you can actually, practically wear with a knee high, strap on boot – as well as the fact that you’ll have to wear a shoe on the other foot that at least tries to balance out the height differential. This means that the likelihood of you driving to a nearby meadow, after you’ve dropped off kiddo, to take some artful shots of today’s outfit for Instagram is slim. Oh well, I can delete that google search for local cornfields now.
7) Weather: You will spend an unhealthy amount of time harassing Alexa for weather forecasts. Sometimes you won’t like her reply so you’ll go off and check bbc weather in the hope that their outlook is more favourable. The main reason for this desire for fair weather is that you’re going to be knocking around outside, in the British winter, in a peeptoe fracture boot which gets soaked through in the rain. Depending upon how you sustained your broken foot you may also have developed a justified fear of falling on your bum. This means you’ll be obsessively checking those weather reports every time your nan makes murmurings of there being ‘snow in the air’. The last thing you’d want to attempt is the school run in the snow or ice in a big boot!
8) Puddles: This ties in with the point above about weather. During the walk to and from school you will find yourself behaving like Peppa Pig in reverse, aka dodging muddy puddles. This will require you to build up your snappy dodging, wide striding and one legged leaping in a fracture boot abilities. You obviously want to avoid ‘soggy toe’ at all costs. Remember, you will be doing all of this whilst attempting to keep your kid(s) from wading through said puddles in their best light-up Clark’s, avoiding splash back from other people’s more loosely tethered kids and hoping the 92 bus doesn’t give you a shower with the murky water from the gutter next to you.
9) Dog poo: Now, I know this revelation might shock you, but people don’t always clean up after their dogs, even near to schools. It’s disgusting, pick it up people, or don’t have a dog! I stepped in some dog poo…with my fracture boot (of course)…and had to spend a lovely bit of my day cleaning it off *gag*. Like puddles, dog poo is something that I now spend a lot of time trying to hop over during the school run in my big boot. Oh the joys.
10) Hooray for the weekend: You’ll feel really rather happy when the weekend rolls around…it’s a funny old thing that isn’t it!
In truth though, I don’t really mind any of the above. The sun is shining outside and I’ve only got one more week left before my foot is healed and I can take off my boot for good! In fact, I felt so positively chirpy that I decided to wear this for today’s school run! 😎
Disclaimer: the above post is obviously just a bit of light hearted fun. I do know there are lots of people who have worse problems than this every day getting about. Total respect to anybody with mobility issues.
If you follow her on Instagram, or if you keep up with celebrity news in general, you can’t fail to have been dazzled yesterday by Jennifer Lopez’s humongous, emerald cut engagement ring. As impressive as it was though, as I scrolled through her page, I was dazzled by something else – this woman does not age! I vividly remember her in that green Versace dress back in 2000, almost two decades ago for goodness sake! Honestly, J.Lo will be fifty years old this year and she has the body and skin of somebody twenty years younger. Ok, I know she probably has the benefit of the best beauticians, dieticians, stylists and products that money can buy…but credit where it’s due, she looks fantastic.
I’ve been thinking about my skin lately. Like most people my age I’d very much like to improve it. I’m not hugely worried about inevitable lines and wrinkles and I doubt I’ll ever be competing with J.Lo, but I would love to recapture a bit of a younger, healthy glow. I was looking at photos of pregnant me from 2013 the other day and my skin looked pretty good. I took it for granted then, of course I did, but in hindsight my complexion wasn’t too bad. I know that old lady time has marched on a bit since then but even so, I wouldn’t mind trying to roll back the years skin-wise.
Being a mum has taken a toll on my face. In the early days (you know that hurricane period that hits you just after you have your first kid…and you wonder why you ever classed anything you’d ever done before as hard 😆) any pretence of a skincare routine completely went out of the window. Facial wipes were my go-to and I’m not too proud to admit that more than once or twice I even used a baby wipe instead when I’d run out! There was no such luxury as toner and moisturiser was whatever I could grab on offer at Tesco. To be honest I couldn’t have cared less about my skin, I was just a new mum trying to make it through each day without nodding off in my dinner. My baby girl was looking great though and of course, typical mum, I was using the best organic cream I could afford on her. After those early years of mummyhood I guess I just got stuck in a rut of putting myself last and so didn’t buy myself any decent skincare products. Guess what, that’s just changed – yay!
Not too long ago, I was speaking to a friend of mine who is an Independent Consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies. If you’ve never come across Neal’s Yard before, they are a British company that create and sell natural, organic health and beauty products across the globe. I loved the sound of their skincare products and I like supporting friends in business, so decided to try some of the lovely goodies for myself.
I figured that any self-respecting MetamorphoMum would definitely have a skincare routine so I decided to start by trying those three basic steps cleanse, tone and moisturise. I’ve been using a Frankincense Refining Cleanser, a Rehydrating Rose Toner and a Rose & Mallow Moisturiser from Neal’s Yard each day. Do you know something, I have seen a difference and I’m really rather pleased! I’ve also been using a White Tea Toning Eye Gel which I find so cooling and firming and it feels like a little treat every time I pat it on. I love the smell of the products with their natural ingredients and find them calming and relaxing.
I’m a convert to the blue bottles now! I found I genuinely liked Neal’s Yard products so much that I’ve even gone and signed up as an Independent Consultant myself, just like my friend. You see, NYR sell really nice mother and baby products and I thought it would be great to be able to offer them to my baby yoga customers, the plus side is that I can also order things for me and my family at a discounted rate…win, win!
Now that I’m making time to try and improve my skin again, I’m going to keep up this new regimen but I’d also love to try some new things too. Stuff I’ve read about but never considered trying for myself. I’ve been reading up about some of the vast array of skin treatments available in Liverpool, honestly we have soooo many salons and spas! I wonder what I should try next. As I type this I’m watching the ever ebullient Rosemary Shrager on ‘The Real Marigold on Tour’ giving a ‘Vampire Facelift’ a whirl…fair play to her, I don’t think I’d have the nerve for that myself, but I wouldn’t mind trying some sort of peel or maybe a spot of dermaplaning.
Any recommendations for treatments folks? Also, If anybody has any tips on reducing enlarged pores let me know in the comments, I bet J.Lo doesn’t have to deal with those suckers!
Food glorious food! As part of my MetamorphoMum transformation I’m going to have to start thinking about diet, aren’t I. This is the last year of my thirties, I can put it off no longer. To be fair, I’m a firm believer that what we eat affects the way we feel, how much energy we have and how we function generally. Unfortunately, me being a firm believer of something doesn’t always mean that I pay any attention to myself. I eat too much sugar (in chocolate form mainly), I snack at my desk far too often and I don’t eat nearly enough fruit & veg. This ensures I stay podgier than a baby yoga teacher should be and often with the energy of a failing sloth. Sound familiar?
Recently I’d been hearing good things about a new independent business working from a small shop in South Liverpool. As well as organic fruit and vegetables, Root 22 sells spices, grains, nuts, seeds and fresh juices. They also deliver fresh fruit and veg boxes to houses across Merseyside at no extra cost and offer a discounted subscription service. Like I said, I don’t eat enough fruit and veg, perhaps a shop like this could be a way to improve my diet…also my mum’s just said I could have her spare spiralizer. Spiral food – I’m sold!
So last week, being as the (not yet quite spring) sun was shining like a good’un and making me feel chirpy, I decided to head over to Root 22 to grab some lovely fresh produce. L was excited to go and dressed herself in bright spring clothes, accessorised with bejewelled sunglasses and a monogrammed mini tote bag. Honestly, that girl likes to dress to impress at all times…the slogan on her sweatshirt is very apt – ‘Sparkle wherever you go!’ I need to take lessons from her.
At the store, Gary the owner couldn’t have been more helpful. We chose some beautifully fresh produce including some carrots which were straight from the ground, a bright yellow courgette, some vibrant green broccoli, a bunch of bananas and a sweet, rosy apple. The experience of visiting the store was great for L. She got to see the vivid colours, smell the smells and even feel the fruit and veg minus plastic wrapping. She watched intently as Gary weighed our items and then she squeezed them into her tote bag (or ‘toad’ bag as she kept mistakenly calling it). I think it’s nice for kids to have a chance to see stuff like this. To understand where our food comes from and what it looks like in its natural form.
Our visit to Root 22, seeing all of that colourful goodness, really inspired me to think about the meals I cook at home. I don’t really eat a lot of meat to be honest, not for any real reason, ideology or belief – I guess I’m just not a big meat eater. The idea of flexitarianism appeals to me though, both for reasons of health and also in reducing my carbon footprint. Right now I definitely don’t get the best out of natural ingredients like vegetables, pulses and beans etc. (beans, corn and coleslaw from KFC count though, right? 😆). Luckily this blog is all about fresh starts! I just ordered myself a new cookbook that might help give me a kick up the bottom to start eating more healthily and include more fresh and plant based ingredients. The book is called ‘The Reducetarian Cookbook: 125+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Omnivores, Vegans, and Everyone In-Between’. I’ll try some recipes out and let you know how they go on this blog.
Maybe, if I like the recipes, I’ll be able to call myself a flexitarian tricenarian! Well, until I hit forty next year and become a flexitarian quadragenarian 😱 – Is there a name for one of those who eats mainly spiralized foods?
I very rarely visit beauty salons, I guess I’ve sort of thought of them as places other people go and not me. As we’ve established, I haven’t always prioritised my own appearance since becoming a mum and I suppose, in turn, that can create a bit of a vicious cycle of feeling a little nervous and not quite glamorous enough to visit them. I’ve also been guilty of viewing treatments as things we get done before big events and not just as part of a general beauty regimen…prime example, a pre-holiday wax and tan. The thing is though, I’m MetamorphoMum now *dons fluttery cape*, so things are different…plus, it was my birthday this week so I decided to take the plunge and book in somewhere for a little treat.
Being somewhat out of the beauty loop, I canvassed my more groomed looking friends on Facebook as to which venue they thought I should select. They sagely suggested I try a place in South Liverpool called Lifestyle Collective. I have to admit, I was mostly intrigued by the name at first. I liked the feelings of togetherness and collaboration that it conjured up in my mind…also, ‘collectives’ are all the rage at the moment if the recent happenings on the UK political scene are anything to go by 😆. Yep, Lifestyle Collective – I liked the sound of it…and so it was that I booked an appointment for the morning of my 39th birthday. Then when the day came, off I popped to Allerton Road for a luxury manicure and an eyebrow shape!
Lifestyle Collective is a beautiful, light and welcoming nail spa with a contemporary, almost Scandinavian feel. The exceptionally comfortable armchairs used for treatments certainly have more than a touch of hygge about them. The spa offers a wide range of treatments for nails as well as various waxing options and eye treatments. In addition to this, there’s a huge table for customers to enjoy offerings from the cafe menu. I know from a friend that the venue also hosts workshops and events as well as catering for private groups of friends who fancy a pamper evening, together (there’s that word again).
My treatments at Lifestyle Collective were fantastic, I’d recommend them – I especially loved the manicure. The sun was shining outside so I chose a lovely, fresh green colour as a nod to spring. The manicure I’d opted for included a luxurious hand massage which was so relaxing, especially as I sat back in those comfortable cushioned, chairs (with the weight off my broken foot), sunlight filtering in at the windows, soft music in the background. I could almost start to feel like a new woman…a woman who visits beauty salons when she doesn’t even have a wedding to attend!
As fantastic as all of the above was, it was another kind of magic that happened at Lifestyle Collective that morning that really made me feel refreshed and re-energised. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it was a wee bit revelatory. Let me try to explain.
In the comfy chair next to mine, also having her nails done, was a lady I’d never met. She was having a chat with the technician who was performing her manicure and I gathered she’d visited before. After a little bit, being the nosey beggar I am, I joined in their conversation. I can’t remember how it started, I think we were talking about her grandkids or something like that. It was what happened over the course of the next hour that really gave me a spring in my step – that was, we talked. It sounds like nothing when I type it here but I mean we really talked. We talked about politics, people-power, family, work, business, kids, dogs, yoga, education, attachment theory in child development (a subject about which her expertise and experience was fascinating) and plenty more. We were interested in the same things and we even discovered that we’d worked for the same local borough at one time. I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from our interaction and I felt that we’d made a genuine human connection.
This fellow customer and I talked even after our treatments were complete and the lovely staff allowed us to continue. There was no rush from them, they understood. You see, Lifestyle Collective aims (and succeeds in my opinion) to be more than just a nail spa – it’s a place for customers to relax, unwind and spend quality time with friends, whilst enjoying excellent treatments over locally sourced cake and drinks. It’s a place to connect and feel connected. No wonder they use the word ‘collective’ in their name. This concept, of a beauty salon as a place of social interaction, closeness and human connection, had honestly never occurred to me before. I’d literally never even considered it as one of the benefits, focusing rather on how the treatments themselves made me feel. This unexpected conversation with a stranger altered my perspective. I get it now. I’ve realised that people visit places like Lifestyle Collective for more than just a manicure, a bikini wax or an eyebrow tint…it’s about the whole experience and a big part of that is the quality time spent bonding with others in a calming environment.
I’m all in – I’ve booked to go back next week!
Disclaimer: I have no evidence that the lady from this post didn’t go home to her husband and say “My goodness, I was trying to have a relaxing manicure this morning at my usual place and some girl in there wouldn’t shut up!” 😆🙈
So, you may have noticed that I’m slightly late with this post of mine…and, you don’t need to be Poirot to detect from the picture above that I’ve had a little mishap 🙈 This was not the type of knee high boot I had in mind this winter, but I guess busy mums with fifth metatarsal fractures have to work with what they’ve got! Besides, it’s all about the peep toe now anyway, as I’ll explain shortly.
I bet you’re wondering how I ended up in this fetching foot apparel aren’t you? (who said ‘No’?! 😆) I wish I could tell you I injured myself whilst gliding down the Alps in Verbier or that I toppled from a horse on the Appalachian Trail….anything more glamorous than the truth, that I stumbled off the kerb in front of my house whilst unloading baby yoga equipment from the car. How do you even fall off a ‘towering’ six inch kerb whilst sober?! I don’t know – but somehow I managed it and found myself on the ground, specifically in the road, unable to get up. A nearby builder spotted me in my beetle-like position and dashed over to help. Unfortunately for me that help didn’t extend to actually assisting me back on to my feet, rather he regaled me of various building injuries he’d had through the years whilst I was still on the deck. Interesting but ultimately ineffective 😁. Luckily for me a neighbour came to my rescue and hauled me up out of the road before any cars came along and added to my troubles.
So, as mentioned, I have a fracture to my fifth metatarsal. You may, or may not, remember way back in 2002 David Beckham had a similar injury which threatened his World Cup eligibility. The one where the nation was trying to will his bone back together by closing their eyes and touching pictures of his foot on the front of newspapers. I won’t be missing any important World Cup type events but I will be wearing my snazzy fracture boot (whilst trying to be a self-employed mum to a five year old) for a good few weeks yet. Not ideal footwear for a person who’s trying her darnedest to ‘metamorphosise’ into somebody a bit more, dare I say, stylish…or at least a bit less of a style disaster. Not the ticket at all…well, that’s what I thought, but apparently I was wrong.
Yes…on this occasion, for once in my mummy life, I’m actually ahead of the game in the fashion stakes. I’m currently rocking (literally) the latest trend, a version of a thing that’s going to be huge for autumn/winter 2019 – the peep toe boot! Who do we have to thank for this I hear you ask. Well, coincidentally, it’s none other than style icon, and Mr Metatarsal’s wife herself, Victoria Beckham! VB’s collection during London Fashion Week (which came to an end only yesterday) was full of her new line of peep toe sock boots, in various materials, patterns and hues.
Admittedly Victoria’s peep toe boots are sleek and attractive with towering heels – they certainly have less of the orthopaedic-velcro/hospital look that mine has. In truth, I very much doubt she was inspired by David’s fracture-recovery footwear from seventeen years ago. Definitely not in fact. Another thing I can guarantee is that her toenails were painted infinitely more precisely and beautifully than mine in preparation for the peep toe. Compare and contrast our photos. My own tootsies had a speedy slick of gold polish messily daubed over them on the way out of the door to A&E (talk about keeping up appearances 🙈). It’s ok though…I’m still claiming this boot as a fashion win for me – because really, any positive you can find when your broken foot is stalling your MetamorphoMum journey has to be a plus, right?!
Thanks for helping with my positive mindset Beckhams!
On a serious note, thank you to my lovely friends and family for supporting me this week. Thank you lovely baby yoga mums and venues for being understanding about me delaying our next term. Thank you darling L for picking up your little toys from the floor for mummy. xxx
Is your home an explosion of LOL dolls and gaudy plastic LOL paraphernalia like mine? If you have a young child of the female variety, or perhaps a niece, cousin or granddaughter, you’ll probably have come across this phenomenon. They’ve been a craze for ages now, perhaps not to 80’s Cabbage Patch levels of insanity, but not far off. L absolutely LOVES them…my purse does not share her enthusiasm.
The dolls (pronounced L. O. L. by the way, lest a five year old take the piss out of you for calling them lol dolls) come in a variety of series, the latest being the ‘Makeover Series’ #Hairgoals (perhaps I could get some style tips!) and come as a hidden surprise inside packaging. This means that you never know which one your sixteen quid 😱 will get you until it’s been ripped open. If your little darling gets one they’ve already had before, your role is to force a smile and try to convince them (over the sound of their racking sobs and your plummeting bank balance) that they now own twins, or triplets, or quadruplets…etc etc etc.
The dolls are brightly coloured or glittery and have sassy names to appeal to little girls, like ‘Queen Bee’, ‘Daring Diva’ and the elusive ‘Punk Boi’. I got to thinking, I wonder what would my LOL name be…? I’d like to imagine it would be something cool like ‘Glamstronaut’, ‘Funky QT’ or the intelligent ‘P.H.D.B.B’ (actual doll names), but it wouldn’t – I rather suspect it’d be something more like “Windolene BB’, ‘Pyjamas on at six o’clock Queen’ or ‘Outgrown Roots Babe’ 😆
Anyway, the reason I’m giving this ‘masterclass’ on kids toys is because, believe it or not, they gave me a bit of an idea towards my quest for self-improvement and wellbeing. You see, the LOL dolls in the MetamorphoMum household have their own café that they visit with friends daily. I like to think of it as a quirky, independent establishment that sells green smoothies and accepts Colu. L insists it’s a Costa. Whilst observing the social interactions of these brightly coloured pieces of plastic in their local independent coffee shop/Costa branch it occurred to me, they’re living their best life – I want me some of that! I immediately messaged a friend and arranged a catch-up over coffee.
I’ve always known that spending time with friends is great for the soul and especially if there’s food and drink involved. The Mental Health Foundation states that friendships are crucial in protecting mental health. I don’t see my friends often enough though. Like all mums, we lead busy lives full of school runs, work, household chores, family, afterschool activities and all the usual stuff. Sometimes I can be a bit introverted and sometimes I’m just skint from being mugged for LOL dolls. Often, days turn into weeks and weeks into months before we can manage to coordinate our diaries just to have a brew together. My friends are great though so I think it’s important that the first step on my MetamorphoMum journey includes them. I’m going to make a resolution to spend more time with them, in quirky independent coffee shops over green smoothies or in Costa’s over a hot chocolate, I don’t honestly mind where!
After my LOL cafe inspired revelation, my friend and I spent a wonderful afternoon together (in a Costa 😆) chatting about our kids, laughing about anything and everything and even discussing wellbeing, get us! I confided in her about this blog and she immediately (before even having laid eyes on it) became my biggest cheerleader. Meeting up with my lovely, kind, funny friend over coffee was a brilliant tonic and gave me a spring in my step for the rest of the day. Feeling connected helps us to realise that we are not alone, we can face anything that this life chucks at us – bring it on universe!
In conclusion, it really is so great having people you can just be yourself around. I don’t feel like I have to be ‘Glamstronaut’ or ‘P.H.D.B.B.’ around my friends, they love me as ‘Windolene Queen’ or MetamorphoMum or whatever frazzled version of me I am that day.
💜 Thanks for reading this. If you’re one of my irl friends…love ya!
This morning, on the school run, I got chatting to a nan who was dropping off her grandson. She seems like a nice lady, we’ve chatted before briefly, but today I walked away from our convo with a lovely feeling. The reason for this warm glow was the sobriquet that she afforded me throughout our tête-à-tête. She called me – ‘Queen’ 👑
Now, I’m certainly not of royal descent as far as I know (but then who’d have guessed about Danny Dyer), I’m not a superstar of drag à la RuPaul and I couldn’t sing Bohemian Rhapsody to save my life…but this schoolyard nan greeted and addressed me as ‘Queen’. “How odd” you might think, if you’re not from round these parts. However, if you’re from Liverpool like me this probably won’t sound so unusual. ‘Queen’ is an old Scouse term of endearment used to show affection. An older lady might call you Queen or a husband might call his wife Queen, in the same way somebody else might call you ‘sweetheart’ or ‘love’. Now, I haven’t heard this term used for absolutely ages, it’s not very common parlance these days and it seems to be dying out with the older generation. But it’s such a lovely, warm, down to earth expression, full of friendliness – it somehow reminds me of a simpler and kinder time gone by. Brilliant!
When I arrived home post school run, still bearing a regal glow, I caught an interview on CNN (random tv choice I know. The current soap opera of US politics is addictive – but that’s another story 😁). The guest was a lady called Emily Nash, Royal Correspondent for Hello magazine. Emily was discussing a new campaign launched by her magazine, called #HelloToKindness. The campaign is intended to promote kindness and change the way that people communicate online. It was inspired by the recent wave of abusive comments directed toward Duchesses Meghan and Kate, as described by sources from Kensington Palace. The campaign also wants to promote kindness in everyday life and is being supported by various celebrities and personalities. As well as kindness to others, the movement also endorses the ideas of self-care, compassion and kindness to ourselves. Very important skills, because in order to be kind to others it’s important to be kind to ourselves…and conversely, being kind to others is also a way of being kind to ourselves – it makes us feel happier. Like a big positive cycle.
I do always try to be as kind as I can to others and I teach my daughter and the children in my classes the same virtue. In my house you’ll find, amongst other stuff; kindness stones, children’s books about kindness, kindness elves and a big squishy heart cushion I use to teach self-compassion. I must admit though, like lots of other mums out there, I’m not always as kind as I could be to myself. I don’t take time for me, I’m pretty self-critical and I definitely neglect my health and wellbeing at times.
As you know, my plan with this blog is to try and change…I’ll definitely be introducing more self-care (now where did I put that ladyshave? 😆) and self-compassion. I’ve pledged that I’m going to be kinder to myself and I really hope that other mums might decide to join me along the way. In my next post I’ll share with you the very first step on my MetamorphoMum journey to change and we’ll probably have a bit of a laugh about my efforts. I can definitely say that in general I’ll be joining in with the principles of #HelloToKindness too, I think the campaign can only be a good thing in these times of division and intolerance.
I have to say though, I can’t help thinking we’re half way there already in Liverpool…I mean, where else would you be called a Queen by a virtual stranger before 9am on a cold January morning?! 👸 #LiverpoolQueensOfKindness
As the ancient philosopher Lao Tzu (cheers Wikipedia) wrote: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. ‘Well, if I’m going to be making such a momentous journey, I’ll require footwear that fits the bill’ I thought.
So I bought myself some snazzy, spring-themed, floral socks. Yeah, I know most people would’ve opted for killer shoes…but in my defence I spend lots of time in stockinged feet for work and I’m skint.
I wore my new spring socks to teach baby yoga today. It snowed outside. The socks, however, did their job and made me feel cheery. It’s the small things isn’t it!