THE MOTHERHOOD

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Motherhood has always fascinated me.

From the mums who have managed to carry something that heavy inside them for nine months, enduring chubby feet, flatulence and raging hormones, to those women who invite children in need from around the country and across the world, into their homes and love them as their own: I honestly don’t know how you do it.

I’m lucky to have one of those amazing mums you hear about in storybooks. A woman so small, yet so powerful and strong, I am sure she defies some sort of scientific theory. Not only a pillar of strength and hope to me, but this little lady treats everyone who comes into her life with as much care and attention as she gives me and my brother. So much so, I’m convinced she’s Mother Nature herself, disguised as a pocket rocket with great hair and a penchant for Paolo Nutini.

When we were little, donning dungarees and a flamboyant hair tie (it was the 80s), mum used to pound the pavements of London; me in a pram and Alex by her side, wanting us to see and do everything possible, undeterred by the dangers of the big city. As I’ve grown older, she has become the sort of mum I call on an almost daily basis, to ask for sensible advice about boys, my career and everything in-between, but who also convinces me to buy the white studded leather jacket I’ve been eyeing up in Zara that everyone else told me to avoid.

With a wicked sense of humour, a big heart and an ability to never put herself first, ever, she really is one of a kind.

Although I sometimes worry I won’t be up to the job, having such an amazing mum has made me so excited for the day I have a child of my own. I’m always so intrigued as to what that time will feel like, so this Mother’s Day, rather than hear messages of gratitude and love from sons and daughters, I asked a few of the mums I know to share what they’ve learnt on their journey so far, and in true superhero style, between nappy changing, school runs and the rest, they managed to come back to me within 24 hours in time for Mother’s Day.

Tap the images below to find out what these absolute mega babes have learnt from their experience of motherhood, so far…

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If you’re lucky enough to have your mum around to celebrate for another year, then make sure you say thank you in any way you can, even if this means a phone call from across the country or a quick cup of tea in the garden. Trust me, she’ll appreciate it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonder women out there. You really are amazing.

THE HAPPINESS

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I’ve decided to put together 20 (very simple) ways to give yourself a little lift when things aren’t quite going your way.

If you know of any others, do let me know.

Here goes:

  1. Finish that book left to rot on your bedside table.
  2. Take a bubble bath and soak until the water gets cold.
  3. Buy a really good cup of coffee, no matter the cost.
  4. Invite a colleague to actually take a lunch break and sit down to eat together (not at your desk!).
  5. Buy gelato, find a bench and sit for a while.
  6. Spring clean.
  7. Take unwanted goods to a charity shop.
  8. Throw a couple of quid into a homeless person’s hat.
  9. Light some candles and read a magazine.
  10. Sit under a duvet on the sofa – ain’t nothin’ more indulgent than that.
  11. Turn your phone off.
  12. Start a new series on Netflix.
  13. Go to bed an hour earlier than usual.
  14. Get Jiggy Widdit.
  15. Go to the cinema and splash out on popcorn and a drink.
  16. Facetime a friend.
  17. Delete Facebook from your phone, or if you’re feeling really brave, delete it altogether.
  18. Drink prosecco during the day.
  19. Apply for that job you want.
  20. And a failsafe, final suggestion: move your goddamn body in any way you can.

THE WESTMINSTER ATTACK

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“Our strength as a city is our ability to stand together.” – A/Dep Cmsr Mark Rowley

It was another one of those sobering moments today, wasn’t it?

Where we were reminded that we aren’t actually 100% safe when going about our daily lives.

Truth is, we like to ignore it, don’t we? As we sip on our morning coffee or worry about figures at work, we pretend war isn’t raging around the world and kid ourselves into thinking terror isn’t a permanent threat to our nation and, although I’m not sure what else we should do but plod on as usual, ignoring it all doesn’t sit quite right with me, either.

As I watch the news, glued to my TV screen for no doubt the rest of the evening, filled with a mixture of emotions, I will endeavour to react to the events of today with care, and encourage you to do the same. Although not always easy, I think it best to fight assaults such as these with love and peace as opposed to anger or violence.

I have decided to take away from today a sense of pride in the people of my city and their reaction to the events, an admiration for London’s emergency services, and a warmth from knowing these attackers are in the minority, and we, the good, are in the majority. My thoughts also turn to those in war-torn locations around the world who see the events of this afternoon on a daily basis. It’s a scary thought that this could be someone’s normality, but that’s a post for another day, I think.

For now, my thoughts are with London and the victims of today’s attack.

Stay safe, sweet city. With love, all the way from the west country.