I am becoming more aware of changing my perspective.

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Looking back, a lot of my blogging was about challenging issues such as terminal illness, bereavement, redundancy, parenting issues and depression.

I tried to be open and honest for my own therapy and apparently people found that inspiring. I even got nominated for awards for being so miserable!

I have always said that when I wrote my first Grooving Mums post way back when it was more about trying to find out if I was mad or if there was anybody else who felt the way I did. I did not know that I was opening the floodgates and that actually I was not as mad or as different as I thought.

I hated myself for being fat and ugly.

I have taken charge of my weight and the truth that I now see that I have my own individual beauty.

I was isolated and had no close friends.

I now have many friends and in fact find it a challenge to keep up with them all. That is a big change and it is good to not only have online friends but people I get to see in the real world too.

I thought I would never work again.

I got that one wrong too! I just needed to reinvent myself career wise as many mums do as they try to juggle it all.

I thought it was my fault when my partner looked at dating sites.

I now realise that when someone is a twit, it is all about them. Nothing to do with me at all – I am an attractive, intelligent, feisty, witty, creative and caring woman. In fact if I joined a dating site I would probably be inundated with offers. My husband is a lovely man but just like me and probably you, he gets it badly wrong sometimes.

I thought getting into debt as a student and other financial issues would give me a poor credit history for life. I know about such matters so this was ridiculous of me. I looked at my credit file this week and got the great news that I am creditworthy.

I found housework overwhelming so the house was too often a tip.

These days I keep on top of things enough and if the house is a mess it usually means I have made the choice to focus on fundamentally more life-affirming stuff. My late Mum said her only regret in life was that she had done too much cleaning.

I asked for some particular assistance this week and not one person came forward. Years ago, a friend told me that I had a very good heart and I celebrate that. I would always do my utmost to help where I could and that makes me a very special soul.

Am I bigging myself up? Isn’t it about time?!

So yes I am changing my perspective and I think that is one big reason to be cheerful.

Boating in Norfolk gave us our happiest family break ever. We had never had a boating holiday before but we can’t wait to get back on board.

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We arrived at Potter Heigham to collect our boat with its glorious name Tranquil Light. There was a real community feel to the place with a good amount of nautical fashion on show. My youngest son and Him Indoors were dispatched to check us in. Louis arrived back at the car with a huge smile on his face telling us excitedly that the boat was gigantic.

Our boat was perfect for our family with 3 bedrooms all with their own loo facilities. Louis bagged himself the master bedroom straightaway and we went with that. There was a comfortable lounge area and a spacious and brilliantly equipped kitchen.

We all looked at the wheel nervously as Pete from Herbert Woods showed us all the facilities on the boat. I skimmed through the written folder of information and had a bit of an eek moment when it said all my children were capable of handling the boat.

Pete gave us clear instructions and a demonstration on how to handle the boat. Him Indoors took a little while to get used to it but my teenage son Luke took to it like a natural. He did most of the driving during the holiday.

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How can I possibly get over the magic of boating on the Norfolk Broads?

1. I loved having some proper relaxation. How often do we get that as busy mums? I slept deeply and sunbathed enjoying my time away from responsibilities, world news and the Internet.

2. It was great to see so much nature from the rustling reeds to the beautiful water lillies. The Broads are a haven for bird watchers and we saw lots of butterflies too.

3. The boat speed was between 4 and 6 miles per hour. Over the years, I find car journeys make me anxious with speeding drivers and so much business. I much prefer messing about on the river at a gentle pace.

4. This holiday brought out the best in my family. We worked together really well as a team taking on the various tasks of driving, navigating and mooring between us. Actually that is not quite true because I did very little and let the family take charge.

5. Although the boat did have a cooker, we chose not to cook and took had snacks on the boat, a takeaway and a pub meal.

6. We had great party times on the boat playing board games and cards. There was a television but we all seemed more minded to have good old-fashioned fun away from modern technology. When the boys don’t miss their video games, you know something special is happening.

7. My favourite town was Wroxham. Regular readers know I like to rummage in charity shops and I had a very pleasant hour or two in Wroxham buying games for the boat and some new to me clothes.

8. There are lots of amazing attractions near the Broads. However on this occasion we found the boating provided all the entertainment we needed. It is really good fun to wave at or chat with other boaters. Swans and ducks were regular companions as we sailed along. How lovely not to be chained to work or school schedules. Getting away from it all is such a joy.

We were not ready to leave. We all felt sad but also very excited to have discovered a new activity that suits all the family.

I highly recommend boating in Norfolk for a family holiday. You can choose the size of boat to suit your individual circumstances and you don’t need any previous boating experience. It is great for children to get them away from screens and to give them time to stop and stare at nature and windmills. They learn so much too from driving a boat to the importance of health and safety.

We will be back to Visit Norfolk soon.

Tranquil Light 2 sleeps 6 +2.

Shortbreaks – Low season £509, plus Fuel depot £125, Damage Waiver £45

High price £1100, plus Fuel depot £125, Damage Waiver £45

Seven night breaks are

£728 off peak, plus Fuel depot £125, Damage Waiver £45

£1575 high season, plus Fuel depot £125, Damage Waiver £45

Day boats are available Monday through to Sunday, between the hours of 8.30am and 6.30pm, starting from £17 per hour.

How to Book

Address: Bridge Road, Potter Heigham, Great Yarmouth, NR29 5JF

Tel: 0800 144 4472

Website: www.herbertwoods.co.uk

Twitter: @HerbertWoods

Facebook: Facebook.com/HerbertWoods

We were gifted a press trip to enable this review

My Random Musings
The Pramshed

Do you feel embarrassed when it comes to your intimate health? What if I said it was time to talk about our vaginas, bladders and other bits?

You see I pose that question and already feel a little anxious that you might ask me about mine. I blog in an open and honest way. Some would say I over-share. If I am honest, I know that there are areas I have wanted to blog about and then have not done so through embarrassment. Sometimes I get over that and blog it out anyway but sometimes I fear being judged and do not do so.

Are you concerned about itching, sweating and odour problems? Does the appearance of your vagina worry you? Shall we go into the taboo area of bladder control?

A new study by Vagisil reveals the shocking levels of embarrassment that exist amongst British women about something that’s so important.

I was surprised to learn nearly half (47%) of British women Vagisil spoke to felt embarrassed when the word ‘vagina’ came up in day-to-day conversation. And two in five (39%) women admitted to feeling embarrassed when other people mentioned the word ‘vagina’ to them. I think this is daft. My vagina is part of my body. It does really important stuff. Let’s celebrate that!

Worryingly, more than four in ten (42%) women said they would rather speak about anything else than discuss intimate health issues! It seems that a large percentage of women do not talk to friends and family about their issues and strikingly, nearly one third have never spoken to their GP about an intimate health issue. This means the problem can get worse with women not seeking help on time or at all. Why suffer in silence with painful or uncomfortable health conditions that are usually relatively minor and can clear up quickly with the right treatment?

It seems prudishness and the media have their parts to play in this situation. However, over time society and media portrayals of women’s health issues are changing and in some ways for the better.

Vagisil is on a mission to end the embarrassment that exists around intimate health, and do something about this issue.

From the 2,000 British women Vagisil surveyed, came the following words of encouragement:

• Take a deep breath and tackle it head on
• Acquire knowledge & wisdom
• Act confident & be brave
• Be aware that you are not alone
• Be open & honest
• Remember that doctors have seen it all before

Dr Adelaide Nardone, Gynaecologist & Women’s Health Expert, says “There are easy ways to maintain the health and natural pH of your vagina. Daily feminine hygiene is important – I’d recommend using a gentle wash, wearing cotton underwear, showering promptly after exercise or activities that cause you to perspire, and if you have a concern, try not to self-diagnose, go and see your GP. Remember there’s no need to be embarrassed, we’ve heard it all before!”

Vagisil daily care and treatment products are specially designed to help cleanse, protect and maintain the health of your intimate area. The Vagisil range includes washes, sprays, powders, creams and wipes.

Let’s #endembarrassment, talk about our intimate health and seek help when we need it.

I have received compensation for writing about this campaign

I can see clearly now on many fronts and this is making me cheerful. I have had a lovely couple of weeks.

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1. We had an amazing break in Norfolk boating with Herbert Woods. I will write a review soon. My pictures are on Instagram or some of them as I took so many! I am totally smitten with the place and want to hurry back. The family did the driving and for the first time in years, I laid back and enjoyed the ride with beautiful weather and the sleep I clearly needed so very much.

2. We also had a cheeky hotel night stay which was fun.

3. I am getting stronger and stronger in my feelings about home education. Nine months in the children are not suddenly without intelligence. They direct a lot of their own learning allowing their talents to emerge in a natural way. It has taken me a long time to deschool myself proabably inevitably after staying in education so long myself. I think I could probably sum up this year as my daughter becoming mentally well, my son finding the things he likes best most of which was not offered at all in school and me realising that maybe I am good enough to support their learning journeys after all.

4. Him Indoors arranged a little trip to Cambridge. My college was closed but a little chat with the porter soon solved that issue. Only my youngest seemed to feel about the place in a similar way to me. For me, this place is a sanctuary, home and magical. My husband says it is just a town (I did point out that if he was a Cambridge graduate, he would know it is actually a city!). My daughter pulled a face at the very idea of her ever attending. My other son just whinged keen to get back to his latest game no doubt. Nobody can spoil this place for me. Memories hit me with pleasure. Graduation Day was happening helping me to reflect on all I have achieved in 25 years and how life has changed too.

5. We are looking at a new house tomorrow – I am not sure anything will come of it but for now, I am very excited!

6. I am planning a new blog. I am really clear on what I want to do with it. It is going to be a team effort and lead to great things.

7. We have baked this week with the children learning important baking and life lessons like read the instructions (and sometimes ignore them) it is OK to be flexible with ingredients and it generally all works out in the end. We also realised we need to double up on amounts as Him Indoors is our biggest fan.

8. Tonight, I feel excited like I am on the cusp of many new and wonderful things. I can see clearly now. That is a very good reason to be cheerful.

I am obese. There is little point in running away from this fact. I feel it is time to start phase two of my weight loss journey. BritMums Live was a bit of a milestone for me and it was kind of people to say I was looking “svelte” “gorgeous” and “amazing” but there is a long way to go. I guess the next milestone can usefully be the BritMums Christmas party.

On a positive note, I am now only obese whereas when I started this journey, I was very obese. I look forward to being overweight first and then to hit that dizzy day when I am a healthy weight.

Today I am revisiting my own tips from the first part of my journey.

1. Make a real commitment to your healthy eating.

From November to April, I made such a great commitment. A break way messed up my meal planning and I have relaxed a little too much in the run up to July. It is time to commit again.

2. Find someone who has lost weight to inspire you.

I can inspire myself. I have lost a lot of weight. I can and will finish the journey.

3, Accept that you may well be on a long journey and visualize the amazing destination.

It is a long journey but I am about halfway there. I need to celebrate that and then look forward to seeing that destination in sharp focus.

4. Accept that you are already gorgeous inside and that the outside will soon reflect that too.

Huge thanks to those who gave such generous compliments online and at BritMums Live. You really gave me such a confidence boost. I am not used to perceiving myself as attractive but if I can see the beauty in others, I need to do that for me too.

5. Reach out for support.

Support is vital to me. I need that army of supporters spurring me on. I see the changes in my behaviour when my support system gets quieter. I can be proactive and ask for that support.

6. Don’t stress the blips

I did not reach my target weight for BritMums Live. So what? Today is another day and the future is bright.

7. Choose foods that you enjoy

I am going to do a big Internet shop and fill the basket with healthy foods that I enjoy.

8. Get real about the health risks you are taking

This one speaks for itself and I need to get a new blood check.

9. Get real about the size of the problem.

I still have a lot of stones to shift. I am obese. I must look that way too. I have work left to do.

10. Celebrate every baby step

I got into a dress that I bought about 3 years ago in the hope one day I would wear it to BritMums Live. It was labelled size 14. I am not claiming to be size 14 but I managed to wear that dress on the Saturday. That is a baby step in the right direction and this photo shows that very dress.

Caprice supermodel

I will listen to my Slimpod and keep doing what I am doing. It is working.