My teenage son does not know what he wants to do and that’s OK. I don’t say that lightly and as  a mum I am concerned but I am starting to wonder if us mums don’t worry too much.

My son is 17 and left school last Summer. He was ill for a lot of the year and his results were not a true reflection of his intelligence at all. There were some great results particularly in mathematics and RS. He has mild dyslexia and I have always said he has dyspraxia so her finds writing tiresome and struggles with presentation skills.

When I had my son,  I sort of assumed he would be academic like myself. I did not  expect him to go to any particular university but I did think he would do GCSES, A-Levels and then a degree. It was the route I took so when it was obvious he was super-intelligent, that’s what I thought would happen. I went to Cambridge and studied Law so maybe that put some undue pressure on him without me even realising it.

I told him he could take a year off after leaving school to work out what he wants to do. This has done him the power of good. He has had time to stop and stare, to play and to relax. I think our schools put far too much pressure on young people these days and then we all throw up our hands in surprise when the country’s children end up with mental health issues.

Then there is the news from friends and family members that their children are doing so well spreading their wings and once again,  I think it must be me. I have cocked up and my children will be the victims. I  can feel envious and even start disliking heartfelt friends as they crow about their kids on social media.

Of course, it all nonsense! Why should my son know what he wants to do just because that would make my life a bit simpler? In many ways, it is great for me as it means he lives at home and I have his amazing company and a bit (a very bit!) of help around the house. If he is not yet ready to fly the nest, that’s OK. After all so many graduates end up coming home to roost in the end anyway unable to afford anywhere to live and saddled with heaps of debt.

Why do we do this thing right from birth that human beings who are individuals in their own right are expected to hit key milestones at specific times? It just leads so many people to think they are failures and that is a bad message for children and adults alike.

A college/university education guarantees nothing. I have never done particularly well once I decided to leave a legal career behind in a hope I could help poorer and more disadvantaged people. Perhaps some of those  people will remember me with affection though and perhaps I made a difference.

My younger brother got less than average results and ended up going to music college as a mature student. He has travelled the word as an opera singer and teacher. This all happened because my parents encouraged my brothers to do amateur dramatics and Ian Wallace happened to visit our Town Hall and hear my brother practising. He told him he had real talent and helped him find a way to give up his job on the local newspaper and to pursue a singing career.

My oldest brother left school with just an 0-Level in woodwork and ended up a merchandiser for Monsoon and a property developer to boot. This is probably because he met his partner.

So often it is not about the exams or the experience but more about who we happen to meet along the way. My Dad was inspired to become a sailor by a relative and walked out of school with no exams whatsoever so he could pursue that dream.

My mother left school with no exams and had the sense to leave factory work behind. Again, when a cook in the nurse’s home at the hospital became ill at Christmas, Mum was in the right place at the right time and took over.

Back to my son. He has suddenly started to show an active interest in discussing what he wants to do. He has no idea really but knows he does not want  to do office work or to work with animals. He would like to work with people. I think he would be amazing in any customer-facing role as he is friendly, kind and polite. He does not drink or do drugs. He has a strong belief in fairness and is proud to say he is a feminist whilst also keen to ensure that the recent focus on women’s rights does not lead to an abuse of men. He knows so much about history and politics and keeps saying he would like to make films.

We can worry so much as parents. What if he never makes any money at all? What if he never finds his way? Not that long ago, the worry was would he ever learn to stay dry and eventually we hit that infamous Nativity Play where he stood in the middle of the stage and showed everyone his “Big Boy Pants” with pride.

The reality if in a few years time, I will probably read this post and wonder why I was concerned at all. I took a different route. Maybe he takes after me. I have made my contribution to the world and so will her.

My teenage boy does not know what he wants to do and that’s OK.


Lucy At Home

Twin Mummy and Daddy
Me, Being Mummy

3 Little Buttons
The Pramshed
Hot Pink Wellingtons
Mum Muddling Through

Mummy in a Tutu

I need some ideas for redecorating the home we moved into a few months ago. It’s a gorgeous house but sadly the walls are death by magnolia. I hate magnolia with a passion. I have tried enhancing the walls with art and decorative plates but it is time for a proper project.

Redecorating can seem so challenging. In fact once I had a few drinks before painting my kitchen and it ended up a very dubious  shade of pink. I have no excuse as my Dad showed me how to paint properly. I used to love helping  him and remember spending evenings and weekends getting our new house ready when I was a teenager. He loved sharing his skills and stories and I was always ready to listen and learn.

My husband is not great at DIY at all. Of course, if you get the professionals in it can be a costly enterprise. The ideal is perhaps to have friends who just happen to have the skills you need. We are in a new area so don’t as yet.

Sometimes when redecorating I have gone down the wall sticker route. I remember surprising my step-daughter with a purple bedroom with stars and the like. I got in trouble as I put myself up a ladder when eight months pregnant to get the roof full of stars. I was alone in the house so it was very silly but I use the excuse that I was clearly nesting.

I should start with one room so perhaps will start on the third floor where my son hangs out. He is a cool kid so I think he would be very impressed with New York Wallpaper & Wall Murals | Wallsauce and this could set a great theme for the entire room with me adding American-themed bedding and  cushions. He will like it I am sure as his favourite T-shirt depicts New York.

Yes, that’s decided! I will just do one room at a time and see how I get on remembering not to have a tipple before I start!

Do you have plans to redecorate? Please leave a comment and let me know about your themes and colour schemes.

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I am in good position to offer top tips for moving house as I have done it quite a lot in my time. As in many things in my life, I have often learned the hard way when it comes to smooth house moves. So how would I do it next time?


Get the professionals in

The first house move I did as an adult on my own involved me putting glasses in a plastic storage box without a lid and with no newspaper. Fortunately my then boyfriend saw the error of my ways as I walked to the back of the friend’s van we were using. This caused an argument between us which I should have seen as an omen of things to come but that’s a whole other story for another time.

Professionals such as removal companies east London know what they are doing reducing the risk of accident or damage to your goods and to the property you are leaving or moving into.

Professionals are also great at having the tools you need for an effective move including strong boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, zip tie bags, labels and marker pens.

Start early when moving home

I have spent too many moving days surrounded by way too much stuff that I have deemed necessary to my life only to see it still boxed up in a bedroom or garage when I move again a couple of years later. Start early as soon as you know a move is on the cards by decluttering because the newsflash is that memories remain long after the stuff goes. If you must keep stuff, at least pack it early if you are not going to need it regularly.

Have things you will need in your new home immediately readily to hand

Get real! You will need a cuppa and you will probably want to indulge in a takeaway on your first night. Have a kettle and takeout menus close by. It’s a great idea to have such items in a brightly coloured or see through survival crate. You may want to add essentials such as loo rolls, paper towels, bin bags, cutlery and crockery (even if paper/plastic). For me the main thing is to be able to make a coffee or six so I always have mugs, coffee, milk and sugar.

Think about the other members of the family

If you have children, ensure you have entertainment for them as they can get bored, tired and cranky which does not make for a pleasant first night in your new home.

If you have pets, remember to have food and drink bowls at the ready and their usual food ready.

Let people know you are moving

This is one that is so easy to forget or overlook which can lead to problems almost immediately. Think in advance who needs to know that you have moved. I have sometimes worried family and friends by not letting them have my details immediately in the past. Your bank, doctor and dentist need to know you have moved. You may be involved with lots of companies and community groups who need your new address details. Make a list and do it early.

Moving home is known to be on of the most stressful life experiences but drawing on tips from someone who has learned to do it better over the years can help. New homes bring new adventures too so good luck!




Some men are just so hard to buy presents for, they may say that they already have everything that they want or that they simply cannot think of a gift that they would like. This makes it very hard for you to select a gift that you think will be appreciated and you do not want to waste money on a gift that they do not like or never use. So if you are looking for a bit of inspiration, then here are some ideas that he might like:



Team memorabilia/clothing

For sports fans that follow their favourite team either by going to matches or just watching them on the TV, they may like a piece of club memorabilia like a framed photo of the team or a retro shirt from the season when they won a trophy. Depending on your budget, you can even try to get an item of signed memorabilia from an auction, such as a shirt signed by the team or a photograph signed by a player. Alternatively, you could buy the latest club shirt for them.


For the more fashion aware males out there, a nice piece of jewellery such as a bracelet could be the perfect gift. You can reflect upon his style to decide whether he would prefer a leather style bracelet or a silver one. If you see here, there are loads of great men’s jewellery accessories to choose from if he is a guy that likes to look stylish.


Similarly, for the sharp dressers, a nice set of cufflinks can be a treasured gift, especially when you put a lot of thought into them. For example, you could get them engraved with a personal message or you could choose a particular style or theme that means a lot to him.Man


Tickets to a show/concert/event

Take a look at whether his favourite band or comedian is scheduled to perform sometime soon and see whether you can get hold of some tickets. You might even be able to coincide it with a nice weekend away if they are performing somewhere a bit further away.

If he is a sports fan then you could try and get him a ticket to watch his team play or if he enjoys sports in general you could even get tickets to an event like Glasgow European Championships for a sporting event that he likes.


If he a bit of a techie then maybe he will make good use of a new type of gadget. You could buy him a smartwatch, the latest smartphone, new laptop, a smart TV, or even a new games console if he is a keen gamer. Of course, a lot of these kinds of gifts do not come cheap so it will depend on what kind of budget you are thinking of spending.

You can get gadgets that are in a lower budget bracket such as a fitness watch like Moov Now or an Echo Dot. For those people who are constantly losing their keys or other important items, a Tile Mate could be both practical and a gentle reminder that he needs to be more organised! Another practical gift is a portable charger to prevent him from ever running out of phone battery.

Hopefully this will have given you a few ideas to mull over but if you are still completely stuck then just take out for a nice meal to his favourite restaurant (if he has one) and cap the night off with a few drinks.




Blogging positively with Best Boot Forward is the new and improved linky from myself and Chloe at Indigo Wilderness. We are both long-term bloggers and wanted to introduce a blogger with a positive focus that is super-easy to join in with. It is rules light as we know that life gets busy sometimes so we ask that you do what you can and join in when it suits you.

We are very nervous about it and whether it will be welcome so please do support us with ideally by linking up a positive post. Positive might mean celebrating something in your life from a great day out, a good meal or a parenting win. It might also mean that you are doing well in challenging times even if that just means for now keeping on keeping on. We aim to build a supportive and positive blogging community.

I will be linking up myself but for now my positives include sunshine, enjoying natural beauty and good friends.

As May is a time for fresh starts traditionally, I will leave you with this quote.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
― L.M. Montgomery

Linky guidelines

The linky runs from Wednesday until the following Tuesday to give you plenty of time to link up your positive blog posts.

You can add up to 3 posts per week.

You must add the Best Boot Forward badge to your blog post. You can grab the code for this from my sidebar.

Kate on thin ice

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