Survival, syrup and school


Tea and Oreos (the peanut butter kind)

We’re just over a third of the way through September but already my mood seems to have lifted slightly from ‘I can’t cope with the world’ to more like ‘I can cope with today’. As I wrote last week, I’ve been feeling so tired lately that I lost a bit of perspective towards the end of the summer holidays. Now we seem to be getting back into a routine, something which is very welcome after the uncertainties and sadness of our year so far.

I’m enjoying having a bit of time to myself – I’m not back at work for a few more weeks yet – but there still doesn’t seem to be that much downtime going on. Some might say I’m purposefully filling my time to keep busy but to be honest I’ve always been a bit like that, an early riser who doesn’t like to sit still for too long. I love having time on my own, but never really seem to be able to take that time to just be. I always have to be doing something, be that writing, tidying the house, painting a table (yes I did actually just do that), reading, online shopping (ahem), I find it pretty hard to just switch off.

I’ve been meeting up with friends, trying to arrange lots of nice things to do like going for lunch and even daring to take the kids out for brunch on my own.

This in itself felt like a massive achievement, as after a few weeks (or months) of just feeling like I was a rubbish parent, a few weeks ago we had a peaceful Saturday morning out just mooching around and doing something fun. Sometimes we try to make big plans to entertain the kids and forget that the things they like best are the simple pleasures like walks in the sunshine or pancakes, bacon and maple syrup at a cafe.


It sounds straightforward, but it has just been so long since I’ve had the time or energy to take them out like that on a whim. With the help of a couple of comics, I managed to sit down and drink tea, eat poached eggs and find those few minutes of illusive breathing space.

I feel like I need time to adjust to life again, but having a few things to look forward to is helping. Later this month I’m going on my first ever spa day with friends, and later this week I’m heading to London for something very special, the Mad Blog Awards. I’ll be writing a post on this shortly but thanks so much once more to everyone who voted for me in the best writer category – I’m just a little bit excited!

I must admit it feels really strange to be thinking of feeling excited about anything after losing Rog, and I often have that guilt that I shouldn’t be feeling that way. I suppose I’m so used to having him around but not always in the house that it often feels a bit like he is still here.

I still constantly feel like I want to speak to him, something pops into my head and I want to share it with him, think I’ll call or text him and remember that I can’t. His phone still sits on his bedside table but it no longer rings. I don’t imagine I’ll ever get used to that, but maybe I will get used to talking to him out loud even though he isn’t there. I’m sure lots of people feel they do that with their partners anyway to be honest!

So September so far, for me, has been about the syrup on the pancakes and the slight relief of the school routine. And with that, I’m off to make my own pancakes, using this fab recipe from Rachel at The Ordinary Lovely, who after meeting for the first time this month is not just one of my fave bloggers but now a friend in ‘real life’.

x Julia


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  • Reply
    September 13, 2015 at 8:11 am

    It does look like a very good brunch, and yay for having the mental space and faith in the children to just go for it. I’m glad it was such a lovely time. And I know what you mean about being a naturally busy person; I’m one too and I could never understand the appeal of just sitting when you could be doing something too. My compromise is knitting or crochet; my hands are busy but my brain can be still.
    Carie recently posted…Five little wordsMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 13, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Pancakes and doing little trips out on a whim sounds lovely and long may it continue. Best of luck in the MADs, you write so well and deserve to be up there in the final and to be the winner. I hope you have the best time xx
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…The Last WeekendMy Profile

  • Reply
    Abigail Bryony
    September 13, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Lots of love to you, you lovely lady xx
    Abigail Bryony recently posted…GroClock ReviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 13, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Its lovely getting out and about of a weekend chick with your kiddies doing lots of fun things,I am so glad your feeling better each new day and best wishes for the Mads later this week you truely deserve getting an award Take Care x

  • Reply
    Mummy Tries
    September 13, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I have to say those pancakes are making my mouth water! Is there anything more divine than a good breakfast? Hope yours turned out super yum honey.

    So pleased to hear that you’re starting to feel a little less lethargic. Totally understand why you’d feel guilty about enjoying yourself, but I am sure that Rog will be rooting for you at the MADs – I know I will be too hon. Have a brilliant time, you so deserve a break. Love & hugs xxx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…Dispelling Some Common Parenting MythsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely
    September 13, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Oh Julia, I think a routine helps with everything. It orders the brain and helps with perspective. I’ll be cheering you on online for the MADs and then hopefully, you can fill me in on all the gossip the week after xx
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely recently posted…Meet Nancy Straughan and her stunning textilesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    September 14, 2015 at 9:09 am

    you deserve to feel excited about things, it must be such a mix of emotions and thoughts right now. Thinking of you, and glad to hear you are headed to a day spa, all us ladies need that now and then, enjoy!
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…Trusting my gut #Friday ReflectionsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Alan Easson
    September 14, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Julia, your blogs are so interesting and diverse. Thinking in the longer term maybe your talents could be better served
    in another career as a writer of books or in your capacity of a journalist become a social observer and advisor in a daily/weekly
    newspaper. In that field there are lots of people being paid for writing a lot of drivel and obviously have little experience of life.

    The ” Spa ” idea is exilarating but again in the longer term have you considered taking up running . In my time I had a very stressful job and I eventually found that the adrenanlin created in a run rendered me more serene and I slept a hell of a lot
    better. We will look after the children for an hour if you think its a good idea.

    I had a male colleague years ago whose wife was killed in a car crash leaving him with 2 children same ages as yours. He
    carried on, was hardly ever off work , and only sought help occasionally picking the kids up from school. We all thought he
    was a very strong person but your blog has now hit home that he must have been torn apart and suffering greatly even
    in denial. He moved further up north to another job and I lost contact. All in all a great pity!!!

    It is good that your blog will help others in a similar plight, if not now , possibly in the future. Your blog and the reaction to it
    will be the conduit to bouts of your well being. There can be no negatives to thinking about Rog and even talking to him.

    Just look back to the tone you had initially and the utter despair. Its now a more managed scenario interwoven with some
    highlights of each day not formely evident.

    In other words youre just a cutie!!! Carry on major!!. Much love Alan and Clarice xx
    Alan Easson recently posted…Survival, syrup and schoolMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 14, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Good luck at the MADS I really am behind you – you deserve it so much. Glad you’re feeling better, a routine is great for getting focused and keeping busy. Hope you ease back into work OK and it isn’t too difficult for you xx
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…Getting cosy by the fireMy Profile

  • Reply
    sally wheatman
    September 14, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Looking forward to hearing about your success at the blogging awards xx

  • Reply
    Alexandra @imeverymum
    September 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    What a lovely post, it looks like you had a great day in the end. Your journey is inspiring and I know you’re just trying to get on with life, but please know we are all routing for you and my prayers and thoughts are with you all xxx
    Alexandra @imeverymum recently posted…Save Syrias ChildrenMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kat | Beau Twins
    September 15, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Julia, what an emotional post. One minute I was smiling and the next a frog leaped into my throat. I am like you, I can’t unwind, relax and sit still. I have to be doing something. Although for the first time in years a couple of months back I watched back to back Game Of Thrones and did the same a week later with The Walking Dead! Was tres amazing. I wish I lived closer so I could come and see you – if you are ever up for me to come over please say and we can arrange something. I am so pleased you and Rachel have spent some time together too – how amazing. Big love you beautiful lady. xxxx

  • Reply
    Jess Paterson
    September 16, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Lovely post, Julia, nice to read that you felt up to taking the children out for an impromptu treat. It takes some guts to do that – I can hardly ever face doing that, and you have much more reason to feel lacking in energy. I’m glad you found some syrup-y pancakes to sweeten your day. Hope to meet you at the MADS – I’m going as Sarah Christies’s plus one. Good luck with the awards!
    Jess Paterson recently posted…Children’s Art: Chuck or Cherish?My Profile

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    September 21, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Julia I am glad life is settling into some sort of routine and it was wonderful spending time with you this weekend. You are an inspiration and it was good to see you smile x
    sarah christie recently posted…My Sunday Photo, Paris, EpcotMy Profile

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