Memory strike

I was so excited to visit, to return back to the place that held so many happy memories.

It was a place Livvy had loved, a place that had made her smile.

Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary, a little piece of loveliness on the coastline of Lincolnshire.

I had been so looking forward to out visit, so excited to show the boys what I had shown my girls years before.

They loved the sanctuary from the cheesy chips to the cheeky meekats the boys and Brodie had a lovely afternoon. We wandered around hiding from the rain showers just enjoying meeting the wide variety of animals and just spending quality time together as a family.

We all had a favourite, Brodie loved the meerkats, the boys enjoyed the peacocks and the rabbits. I think Alan loved the goat that got himself stuck on his stall regularly, for me it must be the sea turtles bopping their sweet little heads.

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Of course we all loved the seals, we got to watch the keeper feed these beautiful creatures, some that live at the sanctuary, others being cared for before being returned to the wild. This is part of my love for this sanctuary thousands of injured sea creatures returned back to the sea after being tended and cared for at the sanctuary. The core desire is not to have animals to showcase but to have animals returned back to their natural homes. It is a truly lovely place.

The seals were their normal gorgeous selfs, bobbing their heads in anticipation of more fish, here, this way please their eyes seem to call, just one more please.

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The afternoon was beautiful the kids were having a lovely time when for me memories struck. 

I could hear my heart beating in my chest, my head felt it was going to explode but right there in that moment i swore I could have turned around to see Livvy there. To see her clapping in joy at the seals, trying her hardest to escape her chair to join them in the water. I could hear her screams as we left to go home, her massive temper tantrum because we couldn’t take a seal home with us. I felt as if i looked on the floor I would see the toy seal she had slung in disgust because I tried to placate her with a pretend one, she wouldn’t have any of it.  Her face red with temper,  yet still the coy smile at the young boy at the counter even in the midst of her rage she was flirting. It felt so real as if I could almost reach out and touch her.

But I couldn’t, it wasn’t real my mind was being unfair, so close, almost, just out of reach.

My goodnesses I cried, for that spilt second my heart had been whole again, I could see my beautiful girl, I could hear her voice even if it was her temper and rage.

Yet as suddenly as the memory came it left and my heart was missing again.

Even now eight years into this journey of grief my heart aches, no matter how far you walk along this pathway the pain walks with you.

My friend said that maybe it was Livvy’s gift, her reminding me that she is always close. I like that, to know as we showed the sanctuary to her brothers she walked beside them. I often wonder what she would make of the boys that have joined our family since she has passed. I know she would have loved causing mischief with them, I know she would have loved caring for the little one.

I just didn’t expect that yesterday, I knew visiting may be bittersweet but I was so excited to share a memory with the boys, for them to get to see these beautiful creatures up close, to make their own memories. But I honestly didn’t expect the pain, for the past to feel so present. Grief is like the waves of the ocean, sometimes I can ride them gently but other times the waves they swell and I feel that I may drown.

I know I should be grateful for the memories and I am, I really am but sometimes the pain feels like its too much, like my heart may explode.

I know I was so lucky to have this beautiful, vibrant daughter, even if I only got to keep her for nine and a half years. I am so blessed that i get to call this beautiful angel my girl, my baby, my daughter. But right I feel just like those seals as they wait in anticipation for more fish,

just one more day, just one more memory, just one more, please.




Holiday nightmare 

Yesterday was a day that was a mixture of joy and sadness, of chaos and calm. 

Yesterday was supposed to be the start of a wonderful few days of family quality holiday time in Skegness.

We woke all excited,I’m sure the big boy was ready to explode as he was so looking forward to his holiday. We woke, packed the car and trailer, you don’t travel light with children with complex needs and off we went. Four hours later we arrived at the caravan we were meant to be staying in to find it already occupied. A family situated and enjoying their own holiday.

Now as you can imagine we were gutted, the holiday had been a gift to us from a charity and somehow there had been a mixup and now we were over a 150 miles from home with two complex children and one annoying teenager and we were now officially holiday homeless. 

To say I felt sick was an understatement, the boys were getting distressed, hungry and tired and generally fed up after being in the car for 4 hours. Alan my husband was tired from driving and myself let’s just say there was a few tears.

The children had been so excited especially my big boy he had been constantly signing caravan for the last few days, he couldn’t grasp why we were waiting outside a caravan and not going in, to be honest nor could I.

I’m not going to name the charity here as that wouldn’t be fair as it was a genuine mistake and they were genuinely upset. They do amazing things for families with disabled children and I don’t want this cock up to take from that but yesterday I was at my wits end. The idea of having to tell my children that we had to return home without a holiday was so upsetting, I could barely breathe for the sadness.

I took to Twitter and Facebook to share our plight in hope that someone could help, had some ideas etc. We had been calling local caravan parks to see if anyone had any availability but as it was the first week of the school holidays everywhere was booked solid. 

A few friends searched the Internet for me trying to find us somewhere to stay and we had just given up and was preparing to tell the children, “sorry we have to go home” when my friend messaged me that 45 minutes down from where we were a Park Resorts had limited availability.

One phone call later we were on our way.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to friends for searching the web for me, just reaching out to support us when to be honest I was close to falling apart. 

We are now curled up in a lovely caravan on the Sunny Dale site of park resorts and it’s wonderful .

Yes it’s going to be a little different than we planned the holiday to be. For example we hadn’t saved the money for the caravan as we didn’t think we had to after having a midweek break gifted but we are here and whilst we are a few hundred pounds lighter we are determined to make the most of the next few days. The boys are happy and besides having no phone signal Brodie is happy as well. 

The caravan here at Park Resorts is beautiful, our welcome to the site was lovely. So far so good, we are excited to have a few wonderful days just making memories and spending quality time together as a family.

Right now I’m just trying to breathe again, I cannot say yesterday was the worse day of my life, because as you know after losing a child the worst day will always be then, but yesterday was truly horrible. I’m still emotional thinking about it. Yet right now I have three children counting on me to make this holiday fun and special, so that’s what I’m going to do. 

We are now on an amazing site ( thank you Park Resorts and it a lovely caravan. We are also so excited to visit the local seal sanctuary and explore what else this beautiful area has to offer.

Holidays don’t always need you to spend lots of money they just need a little inspiration and a lot of laughter. 

So here’s to making some memories. 

Let the bullies show themselves up. 

So politeness, a term being used a lot especially in the discussions within politics right now, along with the #kinderpolitics hashtag a misnomer if ever there was one.

What is politeness and does it differ for everyone or different situations?

“Politeness is the practical application of good manners or etiquette. It is a culturally defined phenomenon, and therefore what is considered polite in one culture can sometimes be quite rude or simply eccentric in another cultural context.” Wikipedia 

So reading the above definition politeness can be different in different cultures? 

So should my question really be “is there a different definition of politeness when it comes to the world of politics?”

I guess I’m asking because I’m tired of reading so much hate. Regardless of where you stand on the current political debate, do you not realise that when you start being abusive or attacking people’s character the real debate is lost. 

To quote the gorgeous Casey from Chicago Fire ” once you step into the gutter part of you will always stay there”.

Whilst you are dragging people’s name into the mud the vulnerable are being led to slaughter. 

I have never know such calculating hate being used as such false propaganda. So many lies, so many media stories just full of bias and fabrication. It’s just not what and who I believe should be representing the British public representing all people. 

So politeness, the application of good manners or etiquette. I think this is universal in the sense you should never try and destroy another person. Never berate someone just because you don’t agree and never treat someone as if they are inferior to you. 
As I have said many times before the world would be a boring place if we all agreed. Yet right now respect does need to return to society as a hold. A reset on respect. 

Over the next months the political field here in the UK is going to be busy. We have a new coronated prime minister and a labour leadership to face. The media is going to be full of spin spin and more spin. Let’s just remember politeness costs nothing and being respectful will always show the bullies up for who they are.

I will leave you with the words of John Lennon which I think are rather apt for this current political climate. 

How dare I be emotional?

Guess what?

Sometimes in life people are not going to agree with you, shocker right.

They may think you are wrong or even at times out of your mind, but hey ho thats life and that’s what makes this world an interesting place.

There is a big difference though between expressing your difference of opinion and being arrogant and damn rude.

The crazy thing is when I ask for a little respect I get accused of being emotional.

What the heck!

You know those pesky little things called emotions, they have the cheek to raise their heads now and again just to cause trouble.  I’m beginning to think that these things which allow us to experience the world in technicolor are becoming unacceptable in today’s society.

When being called “emotional” as an insult or when people expect you to pretend you are ok when you are not.

Our emotions are incredible things and I for one will not apologise for having them.


Emotions allow me to laugh until my stomach hurts, to feel joy and happiness.

When my heart is broken and sadness overwhelms, crying is a freedom that allows my soul to breathe.

They allow me love and to feel safe.

To experience the highs and lows of life.

Acknowledging our emotions isn’t always easy, sometimes it is human nature to want to protect ourselves from pain. Still something I have learned the hard way is that hiding doesn’t work, somehow our hearts have to be and our emotions have to be free.

Emotions can be so powerful, they can inspire, encourage and cause direct action and I will not be made to feel guilty or pathetic for having them.

So I’m putting it out there right now, to you all.

 A call to action, no more trying to be someone you are not.

Stop pretending you are ok when you aren’t.

Stop allowing anyone to make you feel ashamed of your emotions

As for myself, I can choose who is in my life and who isn’t and if people do not respect me well they can move along. I’ve learned the hard way that life is to precious to ever let anyone make you feel worthless.

I am open for healthy debate but if you don’t like the way I am or just don’t want to show me respect, then simply delete my name from your page, book etc and have a wonderful life.

I won’t apologise for standing up for respect and kindness and I will never apologise for being emotional.

Emotions are awesome.



I’m not a thug #imnothug

On Tuesday I was following along on Twitter the information coming out regarding the Labour NEC meeting and awaiting the decision they were going to make. I can honestly say that at this point in time I felt truly sick, I was desperately worried for the future of the Labour party if the NEC voted to keep Jeremy Corbyn off the ballot. Yes, I admire Jeremy greatly but for me this was a decision that was based on democracy and the reading of the rules not on popularity. Anyhow waiting for this decision I came across a tweet from MP Ben Bradshaw

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This actually really offended me, I am a proud member of the Labour Party and a proud member of Momentum, what I am not and never have been is a thug. How dare an elected official call anyone this let alone members of his own party.

Firstly I know it was in relation to the brick attack at Angela Eagles office which I state right away was an abhorrent act and should not have happened. No MP, no person should every have to live in fear for their personal safety. But where is the evidence that it was a member of Momentum that committed the attack? I’m not going to speculate who it could be because I refuse to paint all people with the same brush but Angela’s voting record has made her a target from many divisions not just Momentum, though again I will reiterate here that how you vote should not make you a target for abuse especially in what is supposed to be a democratic country.

Secondly how blooming dare he?

Who gave him the right or the evidence to label a group of passionate activists a group of thugs. Just because right now Momentum are backing the leader of the party against his wishes does not and never will make them thugs.

I was so appalled by this that my first thought was to tweet Ben Bradshaw and call him out but I then realised that may be his game. Let the so called thugs attack me and make my case for me. Secondly I am not aggressive in anyway, well unless you mess with my children but hey I’m a mama bear that’s normal.

So I decided to encourage members of Momentum to tweet using the hashtag #imnothug letting Ben Bradshaw know who we are and what we stand for.


I was shocked at the response, from my first tweet being retweeted numerous times to the wonderful tweets from momentum members. I got to connect with some incredible people all who stand for fairness, equality and democracy. Of course there were a few people who decided to mock or tear us down but I’m glad to say they were lost in the crowds of positive tweets.

I know that right now emotions are high within the Labour party and I completely understand this, but I agree with Jeremy Corbyn totally when he says that we all need to treat each other with dignity and respect and like JC I condemn any violence or threats from any side of the debate.


Still I refuse to sit quietly whilst an MP calls me a thug, so if I will be writing to the Labour party on this subject and keeping an active present online encouraging others to use the hashtag #imnothug and just let Ben Bradshaw know what kind of lovely, caring people he has just verbally abused.

So feel to join in with me, use the hashtag or retweet the tweets but most of all stand with me in making sure our campaigning is done with dignity and respect.

Living fully, dying empty 

“Talking about death makes me sad, I just don’t want to think about it” a statement made to me the other day. A friend had heard some awful news and was not sure how to handle it. She then turned to me to ask me my opinion only to see my face and the realisation of what she had said hit her. I knew death more than I wanted, it had visited me breaking my heart into pieces then left like a thief in the night.

I had no words for my friend so I just hugged her, you see I don’t want to think about death either, it sucks and I totally understand her desire to hide from life’s reality. 

“I’m sorry she said, but it’s just not time, I’m not ready for them to be gone”. How true are these words, it certainly wasn’t Livvy’s time and I’m still not ready for her to be gone. 

Then my friend turned to me and said, “I didn’t tell him how much I loved him”.  

How my heart broke for her right then and there. Like so many people she thought she had forever and now she is left with words unsaid and hugs not given. Now in this situation I know very well her loved one knew how much she loved whilst she may struggle with the words all that she did for him was love in action. He knew and to be fair they have never been the family to open their hearts but these words that are still on her tongue will stay with her a lifetime.

Nobody wants to talk about death, it’s the ultimate no go there conversation. We celebrate life and all its milestones, new births, birthdays, anniversaries and so much more. Yet I think death needs to be thought about more, talked about more.

Now I’m not going to suggest we sit there mopping around about the fact that one day we die but I am going to challenge you with a question.

“If you were to die tomorrow, would you have said all you wished to say”.

I often talk about dying empty, leaving everything right here in this world behind me. I want to live this life so open that no one ever has to wonder how I felt about them. 

I didn’t start off this way, I used to be introverted and guarded but having a daughter diagnosed with a devastating condition and the promise of tomorrow being stolen it changed my core being. 

It actually liberated me.

Liberated you, what in the world is this woman talking about? 

Well let me tell you. 

When a doctor sits you down and tells you that you don’t have forever, your whole perspective on life changes. You stop planning for the milestones and start enjoying the moments. 

It’s a wake up call that this life is to be lived. 

We don’t get do over’s we need to love deeply, have our hearts open widely and let laughter be the music of our soul.

It’s scary, it’s vulnerable but it’s real.

It’s living life fully and making sure we die empty. 

Be true 

Transparency how I love this word, yes I may have mentioned this before but I just cannot help it, it actually may be one of my favourite words. I celebrate that what you see is what you get and I want that for me, I want that to be me. 

For a long time I have felt like I was living life at 60% hiding away for so long, hiding from my emotions being embarrassed by my empathetic nature. I am now finally embracing my transparency and loving life a hell of a lot more.

Does this get me into trouble ? At times maybe , but being open and honest matters, it’s allowing my soul the freedom that it sorely needs. 

I don’t want people in my life to not to know what I think of them, how much I love, cherish and admire them. I don’t want to wish for second chances or to cry over missed opportunities. I want to die empty with nothing held back. 

I often think of Livvy and her transparency, anyone who was with Livvy knew exactly how she was feeling, happy or sad. If Livvy loved you she made sure you knew it. Her eyes, her smile surrounding you in the warmth of true love. The flip side being if she wasn’t keen she also let you know that too. The looks that little madam could give you well, it’s lucky some didn’t turn into stone. I will never forget one doctor turning to the nurses after prodding her with needles for way to long and saying “I don’t think she likes me” the nurses burst into laughter because Livvy had made her opinion clear I mean from turning her back to him to refusing to look up when he was near. She was totally transparent and I loved her for it. 

It’s this need for openness and truth that is leaving me struggling right now. When the country seems to be changing in front of my eyes. People I have known or thought I knew having opinions that seriously shock me. Statements of pure hate coming from those I though were about love. 

Yes I can accept that the country is scared  the right wing propaganda is blaming immigrants for everything. Hey I burnt my toast this morning, blooming immigrants,  but this blame game isn’t one of truth.

People are falling for the lies, the blatant misdirection of the corrupt. Blame these people whilst we screw you over as you look the other way.

Yet we aren’t all gullible, at times I think we know we are being sold a pile of horse poo but it’s easier to blame that it is to fight. To stand up against the hate and say enough. 

It’s the hiding in shadows that is tearing at my heart right now. When the people in power are playing egotistical games with the vulnerable. When winning points is more important than saving lives. 

I’m craving for transparency, for the curtains to fall away and the whole stage to be seen. 

It’s time for a change. 

This world needs transparency and it also needs accountability, another rather wonderful word. 

People need to be accountable for their actions, their words, their decisions, their votes. 

Imagine a world where you had to be accountable for every decision you made.

For every word your spoke.

For every action you took or didn’t take.

I truly think the world would be a different place. 

A place where people thought before they spoke. 

Deliberated before they acted.

This world would be a kinder place.

We would have a more loving world. 

And a hell of a lot more happiness and laughter. 

Live life full, live life transparent and live life true.