Thirty Seven.

In a few days, another birthday will roll around. The thirty seventh one, to be precise. 37 – how did that happen?

I’ve been thinking recently that maybe I should have a bucket list of things I want to do or “achieve” before I turn 40. “40” is a big number, and only a moment ago it seemed like a very long way away – yet here it comes, hurtling towards me like a boulder down a hill. So maybe a bucket list would make me feel more in control of the situation, less like life is happening on its own terms.Read More »

Favourite Things for March

Some weeks are just longer than others, aren’t they? I’ve had one of those this week. One of the ones where you start seeing red by 3pm and you’re clock watching by 4. Where more than two consecutive hours of sleep eluded me on several nights and the wine fridge was opened more often than I’m proud of.

But next week is a new month, so I plan to press the reset button and – as I say to my daughter – adjust my attitude. In the mean time, here are a few of my favourite things for March…Read More »

Something for the weekend – Eatin, Runnin, Readin… etc

Happy weekend! In our house we’re looking forward to our last weekend at home for a while (more on that later), so we’ll be doing all of our usual favourite things.

Eatin…

On Friday nights we always go out to our local pizza restaurant with a group of friends and neighbours. To me it’s a wonderful way to put a fullstop on the week and welcome in the weekend with it’s different rhythm – otherwise (especially with small kids) we were finding our weekend nights tended to look exactly like our week nights – and weeks and months were slipping away from us. So now a family night out to ring the weekend in is our ritual.Read More »

A Happy New Year

Champagne, fireworks, hugs and kisses, and the ushering in of a brand new year. The celebration of the exchange of the old for the new, an acknowledgment that everything can be made fresh again.

This is new year.

May 2017 be for you and the people you love a year of positivity. A year of challenges instead of obstacles, when bumps in the road mean we’re feeling the ride more fully.

May it be a year of commitments kept. Of surrounding ourselves with people we can depend on and being that person for them in return.

May it be a year of kindness. To our children, our spouses, our family and friends, our acquaintances, to the stranger in the street – and to ourselves as well. Let’s listen more, understand more, empathise more, and judge less.

May this be a year of loving ourselves more. Loving ourselves enough to take responsibility for the changes we want to make in our lives.

May it be a year we use our bodies more. Live in them more, be more inspired by what they can do and how amazing they really are. Let’s put good things into them and ask good things out of them – because nothing is more important than our health and the health of the people we love.

May this be a year of more sunrises – of realising how much more we can get done in our day if we commit to starting it just an hour earlier.

May it be a year of gratitude. Of looking at the glass as not just half full but running over, and understanding that the more we focus on what we have, the more room we leave for even better things to come.

May this be a year of good books and good TV, of keeping up with what’s going on in the world and using technology no more than is productive.

May 2017 be a year of vision. Vision of what we want for ourselves in every area of our lives, and of how we will get there. Let’s write it down and use it as a road map. Let’s plan it out and know where we’re going – because, unfortunately, hope is not a plan and distractions are everywhere.

May it be a year of friendship – old friends, good friends, new friends. We never know who’s out there waiting to come into our lives.

May it be a year of good food and good conversation, and these two things in combination with one another as often as possible. But let’s listen more than we talk, let’s ask questions instead of telling stories – and watch and see how much more we learn about the people who matter to us.

May it be a year where we accept that many of these things will not occur at the same time as one another and that imperfection really is one of life’s only true certainties. It’s in the grey areas that the magic happens and the surprises reveal themselves. Let’s forgive ourselves more, laugh at ourselves more.

In 2017 I wish you love and health and sunshine and sweet kisses and uncontrollable laughter and perfect cups of tea and every good thing you wish for yourself.

Let’s make this a very, very happy new year!

Love, Catherine

Autumn, you beautiful thing

My favourite season is here. And I’m missing it.

I know that, hailing from paradise, I really don’t have grounds to complain, but in the decade I’ve been living in the Northern Hemisphere this has been my favourite time of year – and now that I’m staring down the barrel of hurricane season as opposed to the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, I find I’m really missing it.

There’s just something about Autumn. The light falls differently and everything is golden. The air smells cleaner, the leaves decorate the pavements, and I always feel a calm settle on my soul: the world is no longer waiting for something to happen. In Autumn I always feel as though I’ve arrived at wherever I was rushing to be, and I’m sitting back and soaking it all in. I just love it.Read More »

Links I’m Loving Lately…

When I started this blog a few months ago I had to wade through all the usual hang-ups that aspiring writers are afflicted with – the nagging fear that I don’t actually have anything interesting to say; that almost four years of being a stay-at-home mum had turned my brain to mush; that writing about my life and experiences as though they were noteworthy or interesting would make me look like a total megalomaniac; that putting myself out there would be an embarrassing failure… But I wanted to start writing again so with a bit of effort (and a stern talking-to from myself), I pushed aside these feelings and dived in head first – and it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Since pressing “Publish” on my first post, the biggest surprise this blog has given me (and its loveliest gift) has been the engagement and sense of community I’ve experienced with readers and other bloggers. I started it as a personal experiment – encouraged by a friend and properly convinced when I read a sweet article on how blogging makes you a better person  (on The Champagne Supernova – now one of my favourite blogs), but it has become a part of my life I wouldn’t want to be without and I think it may have saved my sanity a bit this year.Read More »

School of Oprah

Oprah lesson 5When I was a teenager, The Oprah Show was on TV every day at 6pm. For my mum and I, it was our special time. Homework done and dance classes finished, we would always, always watch together – on the couch with a cup of tea or at the kitchen table while dinner bubbled away on the stove. It was more than just a TV show – it was our daily meditation, the full stop at the end of our day, one of the many things we shared in quiet companionship.

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Thank goodness for The Girls

A welcome beep of my iPhone, a What’s App message from half way around the world. A girlfriend sending a joke, telling me about her day, asking me about mine. A ream of (desperately solicited at 3am) advice on what to do about my 8 month old (who has mysteriously stopped sleeping through the night), an inspirational news story from the Rio Olympics, a photo, a microwave recipe for chocolate cake, five little words that make everything better: “It’s going to be fine.”

Thank goodness for The Girls.

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Afternoon tea in London Town

I have a confession: no matter where I am in the world, however lovely the location, a little piece of my heart always longs for England. The place of green and pleasant land – and the afternoon tea.

Tea makes everything better. In my world this is fact. And tea accompanied by finger sandwiches and baked goods is, in my opinion, a thing of true beauty. It’s been a few years since I’ve lived in London, but when I did I made it my business to enjoy the ritual of a traditional afternoon tea at a beautiful hotel as often as reasonably possible. And every time I go back to my favourite city in the world, an afternoon tea is a priority. Oh England – thank you for understanding that a love for tea is a real thing.

Here are a few of my favourite afternoon teas of all time.Read More »