Poppies and birthdays – The Ordinary Moments

Sisters and Flo

Sisters and Flo

It was my sister Katie’s birthday last week and we marked it by having a day out in Liverpool with my little girl, the only one of our children young enough still not to be at school.

So much has happened since I wrote about her birthday last year and I was reminded of this by Facebook, which likes to bring out the photos and memories we posted on the same day in recent years. And so it was that I was shown a photo of Rog and I with wide smiles at her 40th birthday party, looking so happy and carefree. I actually remember feeling so lucky then that his health was improving, and we’d managed to get dressed up, go out together and sink a few cocktails (well only me on that front, those margaritas were so good!)

Who would have known then that a year later he would be gone? It doesn’t even bear thinking about now. It’s at times like these that indulging in some of the ordinary moments seems like the only way to carry on, and this seems even more poignant in light of what happened in Paris last Friday night. Ever since I have felt so sad, worried and anxious, knowing that this is the kind of world we have brought our children into and the kind of threats that we face. Perhaps the only way to deal with it is by focusing on all that’s good in our own lives – the innocence of our children, the simple pleasures in life, those day to day moments of joy.

I’ve written about these before, when Rog was able to come home from the hospice for the first time. What happened to our family has changed me, how can it not when you see the love of your life, the father of your kids, pass away? There’s a strange strength that comes with thinking the worst has already happened. Then something like this occurs, and you know there’s plenty more evil in the world to go round.

Rog and Jules 2014

Last week, we went to see the Weeping Window installation of poppies at St George’s Hall, and I found that quite an emotional sight even before all this happened to be honest. When we arrived there was quite a crowd gathered but a stillness and contemplation which I found really moving. That stillness didn’t last long with Florence around though, who absolutely loved seeing the poppies and tried many times to climb over the sandbags to reach them. You only have to look at her face in these photos to see how much fun she had. Pretty infectious when you’re around that all the time, she truly is my little tonic, my little doll and I’m so grateful that I have her here. She was so pleased to have her Auntie Katie with us too, and demanded she pushed her in the buggy (which I managed to persuade her into) as we walked through the city.

We had a real girlie outing including splashing out on some new make up after a little surprise makeover in Marks and Spencer’s. We’d only popped in quickly but ended up staying for ages perusing the make-up brands and having a really nice time trying out some of the products from Pixi by Petra. Their counter is pretty new in there and well worth a visit. The products are really nice and I’m loving the sheer cheek gel and lip colours. So was Flo, as you can see on the photos!

Me, Flo and the poppies

We then went to one of my favourite lunch venues in Liverpool, Leaf on Bold Street, for some of my favourite tea – Lavender Grey – and a fab lunch, complete with birthday chocolate brownies.

It was such a lovely day, and one which I hope we can repeat soon. PS, I’ve added the photo of Rog and I from last year, just because I love it so much.

x Julia

Flo makeover with Pixi

Katie collage

Previous Story
Next Story

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    November 18, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Lovely pictures Julia of you with your precious daughter and sister at Liverpool…I seen they were having the poppy display at St Georges hall in the Liverpool echo but havent had the chance to go and see it..And a beautiful picture of you and Roger how well he looked on that picture Bless him Take Care Julia x

  • Reply
    Beth Twinderelmo
    November 18, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I can see why you love the picture so much – giving the Cheshire Cat a run for his money! Such a fabulous shot of you both xx
    Looks like Flo really enjoyed her girly day out too. The poppies look just gorgeous xxx
    Beth Twinderelmo recently posted…I Don’t Want To Talk To My Kids About TerrorismMy Profile

  • Reply
    November 18, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Every day I try to be more be mindful of the ordinary. Reading your blog posts which capture snapshots of such a difficult time make me see how important this is more so than ever. You can start to see extraordinary sparkle and simple joy in those moments. I agree the events in Paris (a city dear to us both) really bring this home too.
    This was a very sparkly day for me. I loved every minute from stepping off the train and seeing my niece and her twinkly smiley eyes waving behind that window with you.
    The photo of you and Rog is particularly sparkly, and I still can’t believe the time that followed. I was so thrilled he was there that night and I always really appreciated how he wanted to come even though he was still not feeling 100%.
    Here’s to more ordinary days….and teaching Flo how to be mindful and inquisitive about the ordinary just like her Daddy….as well as that gold eyeshadow is primarily reserved for the eyes rather than the top lip. She wore it with style though.

    I can also say I’m a lavender tea convert. Let’s do it again soon. Love you xxxx

  • Reply
    Lizzie Woodman
    November 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Wise and lovely words. I too have been feeling very anxious and scared since the weekend, and agree that focusing on the simple joys in life is the way forward. 🙂
    Lizzie Woodman recently posted…Three things I’m loving this week…My Profile

  • Reply
    Hayley Smith @hayleyfromhome
    November 18, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I love the sound of your girls day, making the most of these little moments is definitley important. For all of us but especially for you. Lovely photos of you girls together and such a beautiful one of you and Rog from last year, I’m glad you shared it! Xxx
    p.s. I must go to Leaf, I keep hearing how good it is but still haven’t made it in!
    Hayley Smith @hayleyfromhome recently posted…My Days With TwinsMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 23, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Do it! Lavender tea and massive brownies! 🙂 x

      • Reply
        November 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm

        …and amazing salads.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Sounds like a lovely girly day out, happy times. X

  • Reply
    claire barnard
    November 18, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Oh gosh, Florence looks so adorable having her make up done x what a lovely day ☺

  • Reply
    Fast face fixes with Green People - Rainbeaubelle
    February 10, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    […] Pixi. I bought this after my sister and I ended up having mini-makeovers at the Pixi counter on a day out last year. I’ve always worn powder blush before but love how this makes your skin […]

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge

    Read previous post:
    Paperchase reindeer
    Five under £5 for November

    This is the third of my Five under £5 posts, and I have to say I've become quite addicted to...