The strength of women is something that has struck me particularly recently. I have met new women and heard stories that make me realise how silly it is to refer to women as the weaker sex. I am feeling my own strength these days in a way I never have before so perhaps I am more open to seeing the strength in others. Perhaps the universe is sending special messengers to show me the way.

When it is wrong leave

To the woman who told me how she was unhappy in her marriage so she left with her young children. This meant leaving security and living in a caravan for two years as she could not afford rent on a flat. The husband did not pay maintenance. She took what work she could get. She went on to find her true love and is running a successful business whilst grieving for her lost love who died recently.

Insist on what you want

Another woman in in a relatively new relationship. She has never married and is in her late thirties with two young children. She told me how a man has to respect her to get her. She is not going to take bad behaviour because she is looking for the real deal of marriage with a real connection and fidelity. I admire her for expressing this in the articulate way she did and I hope her Prince is just around the corner.

There is life after loss

I met an elderly lady who was visiting her two adult children. She was beautiful and stylish. She had lost her husband but giggled with me how she goes dancing every Sunday because her life is not over. We should listen to our older people more often as they have so much wisdom to impart.

It’s good to support others

We have a woman in difficulties locally. She is gong to lose her mum soon and you can see she feels she is staring into a very scary abyss. She is not necessarily taking  the most sensible steps to deal with this but we all find our own way to navigate challenging times. What I celebrate is how women are rallying around to keep an eye on her, to try and inject a giggle here and there, to hug and to offer what advice they can.

This is quite a reflective and self-indulgent post but I felt it was important to write it. I do hope it helps somebody out there because these strong women are helping me in very different ways and more than they will ever know.

Lessons For Women And Girls From Strong Women


6 Components to Insert in a Homeschool Writing Curriculum for High School Students

As a parent, homeschooling your children is a huge responsibility to take on. At the end of the day, homeschooling parents are a huge part of what determines their child’s educational success in the future. Learning how to write properly is a skill that is necessary through every stage in life, so it is essential for children to have a good base for it; especially teenagers during high school. This list will provide you with a few components that would be useful to include in a homeschool writing curriculum for high school students.

1. Literature and Reading

Even though reading literary works may not necessarily mean writing as such, reading is a great way to engage students in the world of words. By reading the work of others, students will be able to get to expand their knowledge on different writing styles; something that can be rather useful for when they write papers themselves. Furthermore, the more students read, the more vocabulary they will acquire, hereby improving their chances of producing incredible writing papers from scratch.

Of course, many writing exercises may arise from reading literature or even watching award-winning movies. For example, critical reviews or film/book analyses are always a good idea for students to write.

2. Grammar

For many students, learning grammar during their high school years must seem tedious and boring. However, for an essay to be proficient, it is essential to have impeccable grammar and vocabulary. For a high school student, it will not be necessary to spend many hours going through grammar workbooks; but it would be a smart move to at least complete some exercises from time to time to make sure that none of the grammar learned in previous years has been forgotten.

3. Creativity

It’s no secret that as students get older, they become more impatient and desperate to find freedom and their own place in the world. Brainstorming and even playing games are some of the many ways students can learn to embrace their creativity and reflect it in their writing.

One way of incorporating creativity into writing is to reflect and debate upon relevant topics today. After an oral discussion, it is a good idea to write a report or an argumentative essay on what was spoken about. Not only will students become more involved and interested in issues around today, but they will be able to write upon them in a professional and mature way.

4. Standardized Testing Mock Exams

For students soon to be graduating from high school and on their way to university, it is very important for them to take the necessary measures to prepare for this life-changing test. There are several workbooks and guidebooks that are specific in what SAT, A-Level or IB examiners are looking for in these exams. There are many available printable essay mock writing questions online that you can download and use to train for these difficult exams.

5. Daily Reflection

In order to stay in the habit of writing, it may be a good idea to encourage the keeping of a journal or a reflective diary in which students can write their thoughts, ideas and simply reflect on whatever it is they did that day, what they learnt, what they liked or didn’t like about the lesson, what they think they need to improve on, etc. In fact, you can also take this opportunity to reflect on your skills as a homeschooling teacher and how they affect your children. When reading these number of entries, you’ll be able to know and detect if there is anything that your child is struggling with and needs extra help.

6. Reunions or Class With Other High School Students

Homeschooled students can sometimes be intimidated by the rest of children in their area going to school with other people. Gathering with other homeschooled students from time to time might encourage them to feel more confident in their studies. Concerning writing, having reunions with other students for writing assignments or exercises can be a good strategy for both socializing, and encouraging each other to do better in their writing. For example, the children can exchange papers and give each other feedback. Sometimes, getting feedback from other students their age can actually work better than teacher parents.

All of the components above have been stated with the intention of providing you with the best possible advice in constructing an appropriate writing curriculum for your child. As it has been said at the start, writing is one of the most important skills one must acquire in order to have a chance at entering higher levels of education and universities. All of these points have been added considering that a homeschooled child may feel isolated or underprepared compared to other kids that attend school. In fact, they have been designed to make your child feel comfortable and at the same level as others their age.


Most of modern society’s constituents live in a metropolitan, urban, or suburban area. People routinely choose to live in or near these places because job opportunities are typically plentiful, salaries and wages are almost always higher than in rural areas, and there are far more sources of entertainment than in less-populated areas.

Estimates show that some four-fifths of all United States citizens live in such urban areas.

Sometimes, people feel forced to move to or near big cities because of employment opportunities. Not wanting to move somewhere and going through with that move is a common cause of anxiety. The anxiety that big-city living causes can be remedied by seeking mental health treatment in person or through the Internet via service providers like Talkspace. Here are three major reasons why living in a big city often results in mental health issues – particularly anxiety.

Sounds never seem to stop or slow down

Even if you don’t move to the city that never sleeps – New York City – sounds are more plentiful in larger areas. Many people report feeling like they can’t get a break from the constant sounds, making them worry. While light-proof curtains and noise-cancelling earphones can improve symptoms of anxiety, seeking mental health treatment is a better option.

Living near big cities is linked to mental illness

People who live in neighborhoods that experience more industrial activity – things like traffic filled with eighteen-wheelers and skylines with plumes of smoke – are inherently more likely to suffer from mental health issues. Industrial activity is always greater in big cities than in rural areas.

Stress goes through the roof

Noise is intrinsically linked to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Mental health treatment is a far better idea than buying effective headphones.

What do you think about products, services, and businesses with positive reviews?

Statistics indicate that most modern consumers look to the World Wide Web in search of reviews of products and services they plan on buying, as well as reviews of businesses – not just the particular products or services consumers are interested in. Seeing what other people think of businesses, products, and services is helpful because their experiences are likely to be similar to your own experience with them.

Talkspace reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The web-based mental health services provider is considered so helpful because it does things like offering free live video sessions with therapists to people who’ve recently matched with providers of their choosing. Further, Talkspace reviews are so great because people don’t have to wait very long to get in touch with mental health service providers.

The company is also considerably civic-minded. Take, for example, how Talkspace gave away 500 free months’ worth of therapy to victims of sexual assault last year. The giveaway came shortly after allegations made by some 80 women against film and entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein were broken to news media outlets.


Anxiety Big Cities And Who Can Help

With a milestone birthday coming up soon and my plans to look at my DNA profile, I decided to revisit my adoption files. I got these many years ago so there were no shocks for me but it is odd how you react differently to the information as you go through your own life and times. Today I am going to talk about my birth father who I would actually love to track down although I don’t really know where to start.

My father was called John and he was born in 1947 in Wexford in Ireland. He was 5 feet and 10 inches with brown eyes and a fair skin. His father was a farmer but John came over to London and lived in Forest Gate E7. He worked in the building trade. My adoptive mum told me he was a plasterer.  She would emphasize that this was very skilled job and I should respect him for that. It appears my father came from a large family with 4 brothers and 5 sisters. He was Roman Catholic. For many years I thought he was Protestant and that it was religious difference that had led to the difficulty in him and my mother staying together. I think this came from my adoptive mum trying to second guess why they could not be together as she had the impression from the nuns that they had loved one another. The adoption papers confirm they had known each other for 2 and a half years and already had a baby the year before who was also adopted apparently in Ireland.

It is clear that my birth parents considered marriage. My mother was quite a bit older than my natural father in her late twenties whilst he was just 20 at the time of my birth. It seems my maternal grandparents disapproved of them marrying due to my natural father’s lack of security. Inevitably, that angers me a bit.

There is reference in the adoption papers to my father’s jealous nature and occasional violence against my birth mother. I think it is hard to make a judgement on this as it is clear that by the time my mother was being interviewed, she was keen to distance herself from him and also to prevent him from saying no to the adoption.

What is lovely for me to know is that John wanted to keep me. That is so clear from both the adoption file and the actual letters written by my birth mother at the time that are included in the files. He came to see me in the hospital. This means so very much to someone who has struggled to feel good enough in life.

In the aftermath of my birth, social workers attempted to find him without success to establish his views before releasing me for adoption at all.

Whatever the calibre of the man, it breaks my heart a little that a man who at the very young age of 20 was prepared to take me on, marry my mother and get a flat for them may be somewhere wondering where I am and what happened to me. I would of course love to find him and suspect he probably went back to Ireland at some point. I have no wish to disrupt a new family or to upset him but maybe I would upset him more by not trying to find him.

It strikes me in wider terms how often we assume the father is of less importance than the mother. We think men can be unfeeling in such circumstances. I am heartened that is seems very clear that my birth father did love me even if it is quite possible that he only saw me on one occasion

Adopted adults can have support in tracking down birth relatives via the NORCAP register.
So dear reader, should I try and track him down before it is too late?





Cuddle Fairy

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Twin Mummy and Daddy

Confessions of a New Mummy

Run Jump Scrap

It can be tricky at times to work out the best places to take the kids in the UK. The combination of distance and cost always needs to be assessed, especially if you’re taking a full car-load of excited children. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to spend a fortune, and it’s not all about theme parks and waiting in long lines either. Ideally, the best places to take your kids are those destinations that will entertain them, and if you can squeeze in a little learning as well, then that’s just the icing on the cake. If you’re struggling to find somewhere to take the kids that tick all of the boxes, then these top four options might be your best bet.

The Science Museum, London

If you have any up-and-coming scientists in your family, then you’re definitely going to want to take them to the Science Museum. Perfect for those inquisitive and curious minds, the Science Museum has a wide range of interactive experiences, as well as movies shown in the IMAX theatre. With everything from robots to rocket ships, the budding scientists will be sure to find some inspiration and wonder after just a few hours. Perfect for kids of all ages!

Warner Bros Studio Tour, London

For Harry Potter fans, nothing is going to beat a day at the Warner Bros Studio Tour. This one is a bit of a no-brainer, especially as the tour gives you the chance to board the Hogwarts Express and even step into the Great Hall where the characters enjoyed so many experiences. There are behind the scenes exhibitions which will reveal some of the secrets to the magic, as well as a full range of iconic costumes and props that were used in the films themselves. There are public transport links to the tour, but many people find that it’s quicker, cheaper, and easier to simply rent a car for the day and drive straight there; click here to find out more. You’ll have to judge your children’s enthusiasm for this one, because if they’re not fans of the series, then they’re not going to enjoy it as much.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Edinburgh

If you’re close to Edinburgh, then you certainly need to take the time to visit the Camera Obscura. With six floors of special effects, puzzles, interactive games and much more, this is one of the UK’s oldest attractions, and it’s still going strong today. Finish the day with a trip to the top of the tower to check out the Camera Obscura itself, where your children can stand inside a live projection of Edinburgh, and pretend to squish people with their fingers! It might not be the ideal venue for older teenagers, but for younger teens and even toddlers, the smoke and mirrors and magic will keep them spellbound.

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

If you are close to Antrim, Northern Ireland, then you’re going to want to take the kids to see the Giant’s Causeway at some point. This is the perfect destination for those parents hoping to introduce a little magic and mystery into their children’s lives. The UNESCO-listed formation of rocks are enough to spark the imaginations of any child, and you’ll be able to see the awe on their faces when they spot the Causeway for the first time. Spend the day scrambling over rocks, and you’ll also exhaust them too!

There’s plenty to do with your children that doesn’t mean bland, sterile theme parks. Use your time with them to spark some creativity and curiosity, and you’ll all gain much more from the experience than you ever would standing in line for the latest rollercoaster.

Best Family Days Out In UK

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