I have felt a bit out of sorts for a few weeks. Always moody, my emotions have gone all over the place. I seem hyper-sensitive and this does not make for happy times particularly with Him Indoors.

I saw my GP about 2 weeks ago and he prescribed some anti-depressants and gave me details of counselling services. I sensed there was a whole new world waiting for me. That same day I became ill and it ruined my Half-Term break in Yorkshire. Eventually I ended up at hospital and the nurse looked so concerned and told me there was a real risk I was diabetic and that I should seek my own GP’s advice as a matter or urgency. To cut a long story short, a huge big reason to be cheerful today is that having had just about every blood test available to womankind, it appears I am physically fine. This also means I can start taking the anti-depressants as I did not want to take them until diabetes had been ruled out. It also means that I can reward a generous fate by finally sorting out my weight issues.

This week I also took time out to apply myself and to pursue a dream. I feel proud of myself and as ever bloggers showed themselves incredibly supportive. I am writing that novel at last and really committing to doing hundreds and thousands of words every day. My mum’s legacy can be more than a blog even if I end up self-publishing.

Today we went for a walk. I asked the children to look out for certain colours and numbers. We took photographs of our findings. They seemed to like this game. We went to the shop for some treats and got into a really amusing conversation about Frozen with the male shop assistant. I found myself bantering and giggling and it felt good.

I have moved forwards in making links with home education groups and we have plans to attend one next week. It will be good for the children and if I can overcome my shyness, it will be great for me too.

My son turns 14 at the weekend. I am looking forward to treating him. I am blessed with a sensitive, kind-hearted, intelligent and funny boy. He made me smile this week when his teacher told him “You have a very unique perspective on the world”. That’s my boy and I love him. There is a photo of me when I had given birth to him and my smile is so beautiful and you can see the happiness oozing out of me. Time for me to get back to that and if that means popping a pill and talking to a counsellor, so be it. Why do I always have to the strong one?

Why am I uncomfortable around poppies?

I went to the supermarket the other day. We had a quick snack at the café and as we walked in I notice a desk laid out with poppies and an elderly woman and gentleman looking after the stall. I hate walking on by.

Later as my husband dealt with the checkout, I went and looked at the community noticeboard which was behind the poppy stall. As relative newbies to the area, we are on the lookout for things to get involved in and events to attend.

The lady on the stall was staring at me. I felt uncomfortable. She obviously could not know why I was not buying or wearing a poppy. I had the option of telling her about how experience as an ex-service family. I know the Royal British Legion who get the income from the Poppy Appeal are guilty of mistreating some ex-service families including ours. I could tell her how they cast my husband aside after years of loyalty from him, how they knocked his self-esteem so that it took him months to find work, how we would not have managed without the help of a female friend and my brother who kept us afloat financially. I could tell her how we had to relocate hundreds of miles for a new job and that when we approached the Legion for help with costs they refused to give us a single penny.

I wondered if I could write it all down for her and then thought that was pretty absurd. So I said nothing and felt a mixture of anger and guilt.

This year I remembered all those who have served or are serving their country because the Legion cannot take that away from us. My maternal grandfather served in the Connaught Rangers and was injured at Gallipoli during World War One. My late father served in the Royal Navy during and after World War Two. The whole family maintained the silence today.

It hurts less this year now we are starting to get back on our feet.

I don’t think I will ever buy a poppy again or not whilst the money goes to the heartless Legion. And I pity their collectors who probably don’t know the whole story.

I do acknowledge that the Legion provides welfare assistance to some service families. I am just sad that they turned their backs on ours.

This post was supposed to be written on Halloween but ill health kept me away from creative blogging. Better late than never and if anything, the whole Striking Mums concept says it is OK to take a break when we need to and to forgive ourselves if things don’t go entirely to plan.

So do you fancy playing Trick or Treat for Mums with me?

Here are this week’s questions to inspire you. You can answer one of them, all of them or none at all. The trick of Striking Mums is that it is your very flexible linky friend. So let’s first consider tricks for mums.

trick

Tricks

1. How do you outwit people or circumstances who prevent you getting the life you want?

2. What clever parenting tricks do you pull off regularly?

3. What is your top time-saving trick?

4. What is your top housework trick?

5. Have you ever carried out a practical joke? How did it go?

6. If there was a trick of the light what would you like to see?

7. Have you ever been tricked and how did that feel?

8. If you designed your own coat or arms what colours, images and words would you include in it?

Actually that is quite a lot of questions so I will post about treats next week but this week, I will pick my favourite post that is linked up and a little mystery treat will sent to you.

I would love to have your comments and if you blog in any way about yourself and how you are taking steps tiny or otherwise to change your life, please link up below. I will comment on every post, promote them on my social networks and include links in a round-up post next week.

Please use the hashtag #strikingmums on social networks.

Please grab the rather attractive Striking Mums badge in the sidebar and display on your blog.

Most of all, please visit the other people linking up to lend them your support.

I have set up a Facebook group for Striking Mums – you don’t have to be a blogger to join this. You do have to be a mum.

I have also set up a Pinterest board for Striking Mums

Have a lovely week and I look forward to hearing about your mums and your tricks.

They say in life you should get the answers right. It is more of an issue when you get the questions wrong! So take two of questions and answers set by the marvellous Sonya.What was the first record you ever bought?

I loved Ken Dodd and the Diddy Men’s album and the Wombles too when I was little. My first pop star crush was Orinoco!

The first tape I bought was Bob Marley. I got it in London from Our Price I think for £4.99. My mum always said it was actually hers and had similar habits about any records I had by Simply Red or Tina Turner.

What is your favourite biscuit?

There is no greater pleasure in life than licking the creamy bit in a bourbon.

Who would you most like to go out on the lash with and why?

That’s a difficult question. As we never have a babysitter, it would be nice to go to a pub and let my hair down with Him Indoors. I would love to walk into a pub and see all my old college friends there. There are bloggers I would like to see outside blogging conference territory.

Who is your blog crush?

I can’t pick just one so am leaving this one.

When are you happiest?

I like to be by the sea. Ideally I would like to live by the sea and also spend my dying moments looking out to sea.

I love it when snuggling up with my children learning and/or debating ideas.

I like the simplest of tea parties to celebrate whatever occasion is happening or I can invent.

I am happy when baking – there is something spiritual about it.

I am always happy when looking around charity shops spying quirky items.

I have happy times every time I am at the theatre which happens far too rarely.

I am happiest when I feel loved or accepted as I am. That is one of the reasons I miss my Dad so much.

What is your favourite word?

Passionate

Do you have a secret talent?

I asked Him Indoors and he said quickly and very deeply that I have the ability to say the right thing at the right time. I find that lovely so will go with that.

What book would you recommend to me?

My first best-selling novel

Now to tag some lovely bloggers with the following questions …

1. What work pattern suits you best – stay at home parent, part-time employee, full-time employee, freelancing/own business? And why?

2. What do you have on your bedside cabinet?

3. What do you collect?

4. Name a fictional character that you think you are like? From soap operas, books or plays.

5. What is your top housework tip?

6. If I paid for you to go to the theatre, what would you see?

7. Do you have a signature dish? What is it?

8. If you wrote a book, what would it be about?

9. Name the treat you would buy with each of these prize amounts

£1

£100

£1000

10. What is the thing you have great faith in?

Tagging

@AutismMumma

@usthreebythesea

@CupcakeMumma11

@LakesSingleMum

@TheBeezleyBuzz

@Dragonflypoppy

@mamayoutalk

@KimberleyJTyler

@PNDandMe

@Lookng4BlueSky

The phenomenal woman and blogger Sonya has tagged me to answer some questions.

I have been poorly sick over Half Term so decided to take this tag to get my blogging mojo back a little.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I did used to enjoy dressing up as a nurse and injecting people.
Any ambitions to join the medical profession changed when I started watching Crown Court on the telly. At that point, I liked the idea of dressing up weirdly and mouthing off with everyone instructed to listen to me. A barrister was the life for me or so I thought and I intended to specialise in defending criminal cases overturning injustices.

At university, I obtained my law degree but got cynical that it all seemed to be about making rich people richer and powerful people even more powerful. That and the treatment of women by the legal system made me leave ideas of joining the legal profession behind.

I have made very few grown-up choices and my life shows that really so now I am hoping to become a published writer when I grow up. I would also like to work in a shop and have a fantasy of owning a floristry business.

How many children did you imagine you would have – and how many have you got?

I used to have a clear image of myself with three tall boys and a willowy girl. I ended up with two sons and a daughter called Willow. I keep expecting the other tall guy to turn up at some point to make sense of it all.

A palm reader also told me I would have 3 children.

Who or what inspired you to start blogging?

I think most people know this story. As I went slowly insane and miserable with the demands of parenting and the blight of post-natal depression, my Mum suggested that I should write even if I just kept a diary. She said this at about 4am on Boxing Day fuelled by Bell’s whisky. A few weeks later she told me she was terminally ill so for me blogging is the greatest gift she gave me and is in a way her legacy.

What’s your favourite blog post you’ve written?

It is impossible to pick one. My best in my view are those where I share openly and honesty, showing the warts off to good effect. I also like the ones where I analyse things and show that I do have quite a fierce brain still. I also love trying to remind people that we have so far to go in women getting a fair deal still.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being the first person from my school to ever get into Oxbridge.

Choosing the harder life option of charity work over the Law. I did make a difference to people along the way.

Putting myself back together after a relationship breakdown where I became aware that I too could be fooled and get things very wrong.

Keeping on keeping on through relocations, redundancies, infidelities, depression and isolation.

Reaching out to help others.

Surprising myself sometimes by walking on fire and travelling overseas on my own.

I am despite being fat and it seems quite possibly diabetic hoping the best is yet to come.

What is your biggest regret?

Allowing fear of rejection to hold me back way too much leading to me not taking risks in personal relationships and therefore ending up at 45 fundamentally friendless at least in the real world.

Not looking after myself physically or emotionally.

What makes you laugh?

Lots of things – word play, ancedotes, some comedians and I also have quite a ribald and black comedy all of my own. My children saying funny things and pulling funny faces.

What makes you angry?

How we are not on the streets saying it is wrong that so many women are battered in their own homes, attacked when they have the audacity to go out and generally treated like the proverbial.

In my home, I get angry that some power that be has decided it is my role to do most of the housework however rough I might be feeling and that I am too often silenced leading to me disappearing a little.

Do you ever break the rules and which ones do you break?

I break rules that Him Indoors sets because I think some of them make no sense and also that I should get a choice in things. Things like me having a blanket downstairs or a duvet if I am feeling in need of extra comfort.

I once submitted a funding bid when a boss said not to. Noticeably when the bid succeeded he accepted the money and the credit!

I question authority naturally so there will be more examples I am sure.

What are your top three books?

I don’t read as much as I would like.

The Hobbit has a special place in my heart always.

A book about New Zealand and a lighthouse by Keri Hulme called The Bone People because it was such a one-off and because I half-imagined the main character was myself and because it was a gift from someone special.

There are lots of others and I will go for gold and say the Bible as I find it times of crisis, it usually has something good to say.

It turns out I have done this all wrong and answered the wrong questions so I guess that goes to show that I break the rules often inadvertently.

I will now write a post based on the questions I was really asked.

Cuddle Fairy