What film characters inspire you?

They say you should never ask a question that you cannot answer honestly yourself. The film that springs to my mind is Erin Brockovich played by Julie Roberts (who I used to think I had a look of until I did a celeb lookalike thing and it came up with Minnie Driver. I know. I sometimes think ridiculously big and why not?


So why do I rate Erin?

Well with a background in Law, that side of the film made me watch the film. When I intended to be a barrister or solicitor I always wanted to be one who would fight miscarriages of justice.

Erin has a mouth on her and I do like it when women speak up.

She has the guts to ask for a job and sometimes it is so true that if you ask, you receive. The problem is most of us don’t operate like that most of the time and then wonder why we are disappointed with things.

Erin is a risk-taker and that side of her appeals to me.

She has passion and I know that passion has the power to persuade.

She is cynical enough to question things – also a good trait in my view particularly when dealing with authorities.

It all comes right for her in the end – happy days!

So what film characters inspire you?

This is my question for you this week and as usual if you want to blog about the question or about any way that you are changing your life proactively, please do link up and I will promote your post via social media.

Mums are very good at inspiring each other and we need to commit more time to that as it moves mountains.

Julie or Minnie? Minnie or Julia?


My son says both are wrong and this one has a look of me.


When my dear Dad saw my boudoir pictures (the tamer ones) he said I looked like a real film star.


So tell me which film character inspires you and if you like which one you think you look like.

Today is a cheerful day.


1. I got a lie-in as Him Indoors is on late shift today so he could do family stuff until I decided to bid farewell to the duvet.

2. I managed to feed the children altogether at breakfast time. This very rarely happens due to their differing tastes and their unwillingness to eat together sometimes. My youngest son is of the view that the other two children’s eating styles are disgusting.

3. I fixed a technology issue that was proving troublesome.

4. I contributed some ideas to some special people.

5. I had email contact with a very lovely friend and we always have a giggle too.

6. I feel on top of things.

7. I have enjoyed cuddles with cats.

8. I have had a walk in the sunshine.

9. I have seen the nurse who says my blood pressure is superb and that my weight loss is amazing. That made an already cheerful day even better.

10. I sat in the garden and had a drink whilst my son enjoyed a snack.

11. Quite by accident we met a fellow home educator and joined the Wildlife Trusts.

12. Him Indoors won’t be back until later which means I will get an evening in charge of the remote control and doing my own thing.

13. I feel confident, sassy, chatty and positive about the present and the future.

Now that makes for a very cheerful day.

Is your child upset about Zayn leaving One Direction? Our new agony aunt Molly Coddle has some words of advice for you.


There is no doubt fans feel a real sense of loss.

What can you say to your child if they are devastated by the One Direction News?

1. Zayn leaving One Direction as a voluntary act. This is what he either wants or needs.

“I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight,” he said in a statement posted on the band’s Facebook page.

If you really care about the band members, wish him well as he continues to his next chapter.

2. The band is staying together. One Direction might now to be Four-fifths direction but the band will play on.

3. It is a sign of strength to express feelings. Crying is an OK thing to do.

4. Seeking support is also a great thing to do in life. Encourage your child to reach out for your support and that of peers.

5. It will be a very lucky parent who has not experienced a loss of some sort in their lives. Empathise with your child and show them that you do understand.

6. Zayn leaving One Direction has led to negative things happening as people respond to the news including encouragement of self-harm. Make sure you are clued up on this and remain vigilant. Don’t be afraid to have a discussion about such issues. The MIND charity has helpful information about self-harm.

7. Encourage your child to find a balance between being online and getting out in the fresh air or doing other things. It could so easily become obsessive to sit taking part in the outpouring of grief online so a good balance now is even more important than usual.

8. Ask your child directly what would make them feel better and how you can help.

9. Ask your child what might happen next? Solo careers, changes of direction (no pun intended)) reunions in time – the world really has not ended. Gently remind them that there was a life before One Direction. Zayn leaving One Direction may in time be shown to be the best thing for himself, the band and others.

10. If the grieving behaviour continues or you have concerns, teach your child the right way to live life by reaching out for the support that is available for your parenting and for their mental health.

When Culture Club split up for the first time, I was a teenager. It was very upsetting and especially as Boy George was clearly not well or engaging in the best behaviours. Decades later Boy George is still alive and the Culture Club dramas continue. Life really does go on.

My next upset was when Freddie Mercury died. I can still cry about this all these years later and that is OK. I celebrate his life and music. I share it with my children. I try to incorporate some of his wisdom into my own life in a very small way.

As for my daughter, she is happy about the One Direction news as she has never liked the group. She has never being one to follow the crowd and I guess in that she is like Zayn although I have no intention of sharing that analogy with her.

How do you help your child cope in situations like this?

There is lots to smile about this week. I am positively full of happy thoughts.


1. After a disappointing Mothering Sunday, the family went into overdrive to make it up to me so there were flowers, cards, treats and new clothes.

2. I can now see a real difference on the weight loss front and so can other people. I am on track to look reasonable by the end of June and positively wonderful by December.

3. My son has tidied his room even under the bed!

4. My daughter says she is happy because she is full of random awesomeness!

5. Him Indoors has had a pay rise – the only one in his team to do so.

6. I have tried assertiveness with good effect.

7. I have new and very funky purple microwave.

8. We had such giggles as we all tried to stand in our odd socks in a box to mark World Downs Syndrome Day.

9. I had a charity shop raid coming out with good books and a very “mutton dressed as lamb” biker jacket with stud detailing.

10. Home education seemed to turn another positive corner with my son enjoying a literacy exercise.

11. There was an Eclipse and the world has not ended which is great because I am starting to love this life business.

What are your happy thoughts today?

Did you enjoy the Eclipse 2015?


It got me thinking about the life experiences of mums.

There are times in our lives when the individual spirit and qualities we hold are obscured a little. Sometimes, life throws something at us that makes the skies dark for a while. We can feel cold and hopeless. It can be a quick rush into blackness.

There is light even on the days when it is not quite visible to us.

It can be dangerous to force ourselves to look at that light. However, we can take baby steps towards it making little changes every day. I set up Striking Mum to help myself and other mums to toddle in the direction of a brighter future.

Most days we have a choice. We can think everything is a bad omen and our best times are over. It would do us far more good to face the future with excitement.

Does an Eclipse mean the light is being eaten and the end is nigh?

Or should we face it with butterflies of the right type proactively seeking out what might come next?

Sometimes stuff just happens and we can give it too much meaning. King Henry died in 1133AD. Was it the Eclipse that caused it or was his time just up?

So this week’s questions are …

1. How have you changed since the last total eclipse of the sun in August 1999?

2. Has anything obscured your light? What was it and how did it get that power over you?

3. Are you going through dark days now? What can help you move forwards? Who can help?

4. Where do you want your life to look like in 2026 when the next Eclipse heads our way? What can you do today to help you move towards that?

In case you were wondering, it is not the end. If you take control and seek support, it may well be your best beginning.

Please link up any post that shows you are taking baby or huge steps to change your life or have a go at the questions above. Roll up if you see yourself as one of the Striking Mums – all mums welcome!