So they say when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.

I have so many reasons to be cheerful this week and they appear in no particular order.


1. My husband and children collected me from BritMums Live. They were a bit late and I chatted to a Brewery member of staff who was having a cigarette break. Not like the old Kate at all. Interesting.

2. We called at a lovely country pub and the magic of the weekend continued. My 8 year old son get into conversation with one of the other customers who was clearly fascinated by him. “You have a very intelligent son” he told me. I thanked him in New Kate Style. Another customer chatted to us about Yorkshire. Then an elderly man whose birthday it was gave his birthday balloons to the children. It reminded us of an evening long ago when my toddler son held court with an archaeologist and held his own even though the guy was off the scale intelligence wise. Special evenings with that little bit of fairy dust about them.

3. I told a man he smelled nice. A stranger at that. New Kate style. Apparently it was Beckham. No not the bloke, the aftershave.

4. On Sunday we had a wonderful family day out at Portchester Castle. The childrne loved playing tour guide with their audio tapes giving them all the vital information. My husband and son climbed right to the top of the castle apparently with my 8 year old racing ahead whilst his poor Dad huffed and puffed. We treated to the children to a ride on horse and bow and arrow. They have had a year of having very little so I am trying to make it up to them now.

5. On Monday, my husband took the day off. We are of the view that the Monday after BritMums Live should be a Bank Holiday for all involved and their families. We had breakfast in a lovely town near us. I had Eggs Benedict for the very first time. Another virginity lost way too late. We had a wander round the shops and I finally changed my address with the bank. Then we went and packed a picnic up, collected the children and had a feast in the park. Happy days.

6. The children have enjoyed after-school club all week as I caught up with various things.

7. I have not cooked all week thanks to my husband. I am getting as bad as my late Mum who used to take Wimbledon fortnight off every year downing tools and doing nothing in terms of shopping, cooking or cleaning.

8. My teenager thanked me for some T-shirts I had bought him. More vitally he said he liked them which is great to hear as for a few years he has had zero interest in clothing.

9. My daughter continues to enjoy doing arts and crafts helped by a lovely package from Baker Ross

10. I am planning a little trip to France with my brother. My challenge is to find my passport!

11. I had magical moments at BritMums Live. Even my worst bits were amusing in their own way. I learned a lot and will be posting about that soon along with my lovely moments from the Saturday.

When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you so get smiling!

    When I think about blogging I think it’s a kinda magic!

    Many bloggers are heading to BritMums Live at the weekend. There will be useful sessions on clever ways to attract and keep readers.

    There is little doubt there is a science of blogging.

    Howvever, let’s not forget the magical parts of the journey. Here are some of mine and I bet you recognise some of them yourself.

    1. The people in my in offline world who did not really get me and then read my blog and wanted to be friends or worked out I was quite not they thought I was.

    2. How when facing a crisis, the right person turns up with exactly the right advice or support.

    3. The buzz when I met a blogger for the first time and felt like I was part of something after years of isolation.

    4. Attending a blogger conference and just happening to be stood next to a person who would become a heartfelt friend.

    5. How I got involved in working for BritMums. This happened in a very unpredictable way.

    6. How when I need help with tech or design issues, a miracle worker turns up just in the nick of time

    7. How when I set up Groovy Mums, it hit a nerve with the very people who needed it most.

    8. How my husband realised I had a life of my own beyond the house and family and learned to love that idea.

    9. How my Dad’s memoirs could via the blog reach a wider audience

    10. How I have no idea where the journey will take me next and how that excites me rather than terrifies me. That shows that blogging has changed me.

    So yes I think you can do all the bells and whistles stuff to good effect. However, the magic that the universe just delivers excites me even more.


    What magic has blogging worked in your life?

    What are my reasons to be cheerful this week? Am I walking on sunshine?

    1. Nearly two months after moving, I have the upstairs of our new home sorted. Everything is unpacked and put away sensibly. I do need a bedside cabinet for my teen’s room and another chest of drawers for ours but we are pretty much there.

    2. My teen son got the most amazing report from his new school. He is in the top sets for everything apart from German which is fair enough seeing as he has never done it before. He is keen to pursue German so we are going to have to see how we can find him some extra help with that as we did not study German ourselves. Particular comments were made about his great talent for mathematics, science, ICT and his fabulous questioning and challenging contributions to class discussions. Very importantly, he is making new friends too. The new school is far better than his last one and they are looking into his issues with handwriting (I have been trying to get this nailed for almost 10 years).

    3. I am really enjoying my 8 year old’s son company at the moment. I had missed a television programme I wanted to see and he was able to tell me all about it in such great detail. He loves word play as I do so we connect on that level. He brings me flowers from the garden most days. Today he told me the best thing about my dress for BritMums Live was me! This boy has serious charisma and I am sure will move mountains as he grows up. He got a special award from school for good work in science this week.

    4. My daughter is growing up fast and I sense my little girl is becoming a young lady and a feisty one at that. It cheers me up that as she breaks away from the apron strings she still loves to snuggle up with me.

    5. The children are enjoying their outdoor swimming pool at school and miraculously, I am remembering to send them with the right kit. On the way home, we often stop at the park and they get great exercise and I can catch up with the newspaper or a book.

    6. We had a fantastic weekend in the sunshine celebrating D Day on Southsea Common.

    7. The World Cup has started, My fella hates football but I like an event so we are having a pizza party for the game tonight.

    8. I am enjoying writing my Dad’s memoirs – give them a go – they are a great read.

    9. It is BritMums Live next weekend – time to reflect on a bit of a challenging year and to see amazing women all in one venue. Hoping to dine with some lovely ladies too. I am hoping it cools down a bit or that the Brewery has amazing air conditioning.

    10. I have a new smartphone because Him Indoors decided I am so worth it.

    That’s all folks. See some of you very soon!

    I am going to BritMums Live. It will be my third time so I guess I am hoping it is lucky for me. I am joining in the linky where delegates get to know each other in advance.

    Name: Kate – as well as my own blog, I handle social media and charities stuff for BritMums

    Blog: Kate on Thin Ice

    Twitter ID: @kateonthinice

    Height: 5ft 5 ish

    Hair: Went from blonde to ginger to brown to grey. Will be dyed something reasonably spectacular or at least enough to weed out the roots before BritMums Live.

    Eyes: Brown and I will be wearing glasses as I am incredibly short-sighted.

    Is this your first blogging conference?

    No, it will be my 3rd and should be my 4th but I bottled it the first time I wanted to go.

    Are you attending both days?

    It is to be hoped so as there is a rumour going round that I am looking after one of the rooms.

    What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2014?

    Seeing blogger friends and eating with some of them on the Friday night. It is always refreshing to speak to a grown-up and I do love a good conversation once I overcome that shyness of mine.

    Having a giggle and learning a lot.

    What are you wearing?

    Something at least 3 sizes bigger than what I will be wearing at BritMums Live 2015. Anything that hides/masks the gigantic tummy. Flats because I still fail to understand why women put themselves and their feet through the pain of high heels.

    What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2014?

    I will enjoy having a bit of time away from family responsibilities after a challenging year. I want to get to know one person in particular and a few generally a lot better. I want to giggle and to learn. I want to be inspired so that I can take my blogging and my life forwards in huge leaps in the next 12 months. Well, let’s think big – why not?

    Do you have any tips to pass on to others who may not have been before?

    My first tip would be do not talk yourself out of going however nervous you are. In 4 years, I have gone from bottling the whole thing to making a new best friend to speaking at the event to working at the event. That does not mean I won’t be quaking in advance of the event – it just means life is short so sometimes you have to challenge yourself.

    If you are feeling shy, dig deep and act as if you are not or even better tell someone you are because either they will be an extrovert who wants to help you or an introvert who gets it. Either way, you win and it is so much better than returning home thinking you wish you had spoken to people.

    Do not think you are the only one who walks round the block before going in, who hides in the loos or who thinks everyone else is glam and knows what they are doing.

    If you need a breather or just to chill, there is a great Courtyard area at the venue.

    Be generous in sharing what you know as well as being open to learning from others.

    Do talk to brands. If you don’t, you may well miss out on something that is just right for you. They are at the event because they want to speak to bloggers.

    Overall, try to think in advance about what you want from the event and then set about creating it. That might mean spending time working out which workshops will be most helpful to you, approaching a celebrity or challenging yourself to stand up and ask a question. Make it YOUR BritMums Live.

    See you there!

    What are my happy thoughts this week?

    1. We had a fantastic weekend. We got the back garden sorted with lawn mowed and new hanging space for laundry sorted. We were pleased to pick up new glasses for all the children ready for the Back to School. We bought rugs and runners for the house. We also squeezed in charity shopping and a long walk in the countryside.

    2. My teen son continues to bring me little treats. He also comes on the days that he finishes school early to the junior school to join me and the other two children on return school run. He really is a very lovely boy once he has woken up properly which seems to take longer every day.

    3. My daughter has come to her senses and got rid of her first boyfriend. I was horrified when I was told she was “going out” with somebody. I will probably be shot down in flames but is my firm belief that girls lose focus on their own hopes and dreams when they get caught up in all the boys stuff.

    4. My youngest son continues to take everything in his stride. He is one of those children who is good at everything and the one I worry about least.

    5. My husband is clearly enjoying the children. He reads to them most nights. I catch him swinging arms with them and just generally showing extra affection. I think the separation period really woke him up to the pleasures of family life.

    6. I am enjoying blogging more and loving starting the day by posting my Dad’s memoirs. I am learning so much about him as a young man as well as such detail on the war.

    7. I have asked my husband to take some time off work so we can have some couple time and he happily agreed.

    8. I am back to healthy eating most of the time and linking up with Wobbles Wednesday again to help with my motivation.

    9. I am refusing to give up on my ideas about volunteering so am applying for a new opportunity every day until somebody has the courtesy to reply.

    10. I had a lovely day yesterday when 3 people asked for my company at BritMums Live. I hate inflicting myself on people so it was great to know some folks would actually like to spend time with me.

    11. Hold the front page! I actually got into conversation with a mum at the school gates yesterday.

    I think I have worked out that a good weekend really does help set me up for a more positive week.