Serenity Now!

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A while ago Jen at Suburban Mum tagged me with my first meme – to reveal the contents of my handbag. And since it came with this lovely award/badge thing, how could I refuse?

Serenity’s got a brand new bag!

Oh yes I have! So I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and write this post as I transfer my junk from my old bag to the new one. Before we start I must explain that this is my work bag, and so is, in theory at least, full of my stuff and not baby stuff.

First up, the usual: my house/car keys. Usually to be found right at the bottom, under tons of other stuff (especially if it’s raining).

Contents of my bag!

My purse, overstuffed not with tenners (sadly) but with pennies and receipts and coupons.

My trusty iPod, scratched and battered, but completely responsible for rekindling my love affair with music, which had hit a bit of a rough patch. It’s four years old now and I’m waiting for it to conk out so I can justify the expense of a shiny new one.

My mobile phone, also slightly less than cutting edge. Could do with a new one of those too. Seems to be a theme emerging here…

My work ID pass, needed to get through practically every door in the building these days. Why anyone would want to get in if they didn’t have to, I don’t know.

My notebook. Mmmm, Moleskine… The idea is that carrying a gorgeous notebook around with me will encourage me to write down ideas, which in turn will encourage me to write more when I get home. That’s the idea. The reality is that my notebook contains two shopping lists and one snippet of an idea that I scribbled down on the train last week. Oh well, it’s a start!

What else? My hairbrush, ponytail bands and lip balm. Half a pack of tissues. These were on special offer at Boots for something silly like eight packets for 50p. I soon discovered why – they’re impregnated with albas oil. A great idea you’d think but actually, walking around with one in your pocket makes you smell of poorly old lady. Which is not quite what I’m aiming for.

Crayons – part of every mum’s essential child entertainment kit I’m sure. These particular ones are from Pizza Hut I think.

A very small blue sock. So that’s where it went.

The little Scottie dog Radley tag that fell off my old bag several months ago.

Assorted pens and pencils.

A train timetable, because I have to go to London two or three times a week for work.

Breast pads. My little one’s 14 months now and we’re down to first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, but these are a legacy of the not-so-long-ago days when I couldn’t be sure they weren’t going to go off all by themselves for no apparent reason.

And that’s it, apart from a couple of rather disgusting-looking tissues, an old shopping list, and a bit of an old sweet wrapper. (I haven’t bothered to photograph these!). Not everything will make it into the new bag; my standards are hereby raised and I will keep the new bag tidy so I always have the things I need and can find them easily. Yeah right!

So that’s it; that’s my bag. The other part of this challenge is that I have to award the Sunshine Award, and the rules are:

  • Put the logo on your sidebar, or within a post
  • Pass the award onto 12 bloggers
  • Link the nominees within your post
  • Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
  • Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

So I’m nominating:


Nappy Valley Housewife

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Kooky Boutique

Smitten By Britain

Sticky Fingers

Where’s Your Other Sock Gone?

Incey Wincey Mummy

Mummy Musings

The Yummy Mummy Chronicles

Rock N Roll Baby World

Elle On The Go

If you’ve already done it, I apologise. If you haven’t, enjoy!


Spring is here at last! I know this for two reasons. First, the daffodils have finally come out and introduced a splash of colour to my hitherto dull and grey two-mile walk to work. Second, the clocks “sprang” forward last weekend, adding a welcome half hour to the time our boys – and therefore I – spent in bed on Sunday morning.

Recent sleet and snow aside, Spring is my absolute favourite time of year. Winter’s fine until Christmas; bundling up the kids in hats and scarves to go out to play, defrosting them with hot chocolate and snuggling under a blanket in front of the TV is lovely… for a couple of weeks. But by February, when it feels like it’s been damp and freezing for months and there’s still no sign of Spring whatsoever, having to dress a reluctant baby in a snowsuit every time you open the back door (never mind having to take it off again – even though he’s asleep – the minute you get back inside so he doesn’t overheat) it loses its appeal somewhat.

Autumn has a bittersweet feel, a kind of cool melancholy, especially on those lovely crisp mornings with a clear blue sky and just a hint of a chill in the air. On one hand the turning leaves are beautiful (before they hit the ground and you find yourself ankle-deep in brown mush, obviously) and the smell is so evocative of the happy hours I spent playing in the garden as a child, playing football, climbing trees, mashing up over-ripe apples into the best (ie most revolting) mud pies ever (no, I was never a girly girl!). On the other hand, you know that summer’s over, and soon it’s going to be dark when you get up in the morning, and grim and grey and cold, and you’ll be shutting the curtains and battening down the hatches for the day by 4.30.

But Spring! Ah, the scent of hyacinths on a gloomy March morning is enough to lift my spirits and give me hope that one day – and soon! – we’ll see the sunshine again and it will be warm enough to venture outside without eight layers of clothing. You see, in theory, June is my favourite month. Or July, or August. I’m a summer girl; always have been. I adore the feeling of warm sunshine on my skin, the smell of flowers and fresh cut grass, the joyful sound of birds and the lazy drone of insects, the long, long days and balmy evenings and spending all day outdoors…

But only in theory, because with monotonous regularity June, July and August pass by in a haze of drizzle, hastily rearranged sports days and indoor “barbecues”. Inevitably, the long-awaited heatwave takes place on a Tuesday and Wednesday in June, when you’re at work and the kids are still in school, and next door’s cat is the only one who gets to lie in your garden and enjoy the sunshine. You seethe with resentment at having to wear your coat to work in August. In a fit of optimism you take a daytrip to the seaside, where slate skies meet inky seas, making amusement arcades and cafes far more appealing to the kids than that lovely coastal walk you’d planned. You stoically spend the day on the beach in coats and wellies, fashion a makeshift windbreak with the pushchair and try to convince whining kids that wet sand makes better sandcastles anyway, before you finally admit defeat and retreat to the hideous sprawling “fun” pub in the hope that Charlie Chalks and an overpriced plate of microwaved scampie and chips will save the day.

That’s why I love the Spring. In Spring you get little hints of what might be in store. Tiny leaves on the trees and hedges, blossom, flowers, that first day that’s warmer than expected, and you end up carrying your coat home. In the depths of winter you might dream about it, but in from here it’s so close I can almost taste it: that perfect summer, not yet started, but just around the corner.

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