When I was younger, my sisters and I literally devoted the horoscope pages on our favourite magazines. It was the one feature we always flipped straight to as soon as the latest issue of Just 17 or LookIn was released- and to say we held those snippets in the highest of regards is putting it lightly! We then spent the next week trying our best to make our horoscopes work for us- the stars told us x,y,z would happen this week and guess what? It came true! We were particularly interested in the love element of our weekly horoscopes, seeing as career and life were just that little bit out of reach for us. It was love we were really interested in. And throughout this lengthy obsession with horoscopes, I admit to being secretly proud of my straddling a couple of signs. In some magazines I would be Scorpio, and in others Sagittarius. I felt this made me more mysterious than my sisters, and the greedy side of me loved to interpret two readings each week, gathering the bits I liked from each to contrast my own predictions for the week ahead. Looking back, I know that these weekly horoscopes have always been a bit of fun, but I’m actually still really fascinated by it all.
Over the years I’ve tended to regard myself as a Scorpio and have really only thought of myself in this way if asked. Weekly horoscopes are a thing of a past, and something I haven’t really considered in such a long time. Recently, Furniture At Work (home of amazing office desks) asked me to consider how my star sign has affected my progress at work, and how being a Scorpio has impacted me during my career. Since I never out much importance on the ‘career’ section of my horoscope as a teenager, I decided to do some digging to see what traits the average Scorpio has when it comes to success in the workplace. The results were quite surprising! Here are my top reasons reasons why my star sign motivates me to succeed. (more…)
As a child I experienced sun burn more than once on holiday, and I can still remember how painful it was. Looking back, I’m slightly horrified that it even happened; if one of my own kids were to catch the sun in such a way I’d be devastated! These days, education surrounding sun protection and the dangers of being exposed to UV rays (for all ages, not just children) is so much more sophisticated than it used to be, and there are so many more options around for parents too. That said, there are still some alarming figures when it comes to sun damage and skin cancer in the UK. This is why kids need to know about sun safety.
According to Boots Soltan, England has the world’s fastest growing melanoma rates. It’s now the UK’s most common cancer for 15-35 year olds, rising by a staggering 345% in the last 30 years! Knowing that there are proven links between cases of childhood sun exposure and skin cancer, I feel more strongly than ever that we need to reinforce sun safety messaging from an early age. Yes, it’s a pain each year when the sun appears to get that text from school to say we MUST bring hats and suncream to school, but what’s the alternative? Sun burn? Heat stroke? Worse? This summer Boots Soltan are working hard with schools to carry on driving home the message that children need to be protected in the sunshine. Even in the UK with ‘poor summers’ we’re exposed to UV rays, which are responsible for 86% melanoma cases in the UK- and it’s our duty to make sure our kids understand not only how to stay safe, but why it’s so important to do so. (more…)
Christmas has been a funny time of year for me for the last few years. I’ve learnt to accept now that the festive season is very bitter sweet in many ways. I love the lights, the music and the excitement. I truly do. But the fact will always remain that Christmas is a huge trigger for me. My son was born amidst the seasonal jollities and the horror of it all will forever be punctuated by Christmas songs, wrapping paper and cheesy cracker jokes. That’s just the way it is, and I have mechanisms in place to deal with it all. One of these ‘survival strategies’ has been to go away for the Christmas break. Just our little family, with all the presents and the trimmings. It’s become a hugely cathartic Christmas tradition and a real opportunity for us all to escape real life for a while. This year we were lucky enough to have a magical Christmas break with Forest Holidays and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Ok, so it’s early but believe me we start to think around this time of year about where we’re going to spend the festive season- and lots of places book up early, so if you’re planning to escape in the same way get booking now! Here are just three reasons why a Christmas break with Forest Holidays might be just what you need this year… (more…)
Years ago, as a child, I read the amazing poem Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith and the words have stayed with me since. It’s so powerful, and has the ability (as all great written works do) to stop you in your tracks and contemplate the world, the people in it and your own position as a tiny fleck of something. To know that nobody can hear you and yet you still keep making a sound. You still cling to that desperate need to be heard, to be saved. To signal so desperately for help help HELP but to be misunderstood instead. To have people smile, nod, wave back to you. Nobody has the time. Nobody wants to get involved. Nobody wants to save you. To prefer to believe excuses instead of accepting that you stood by and did nothing. Nothing. Wow. It’s little wonder this poem haunted me for so many years, and probably always will.
And it’s been pertinent for me, because for a long time after my son was born I was that man in the water. I was the one trying desperately, in the only ways I knew how, to attract attention and to make people understand. I was the one who was still moaning, long after they’d turned their backs and walked away. I was the one waving madly in their faces like a loon, while they simply waved back with a smile. I’m sure we’ve all been that man before.
I’m not saying I’m ‘cured’ or that I am 100% a new person, but I do feel I’ve changed my perspective. That’s the only way I know how to put it! I haven’t moved on because I’m not sure I ever can, nor that I ever really want to now. But I HAVE changed my perspective, in that now I am not downing, but waving. (more…)