Wellbeing, poppies and a request from me #BAPs

By | November 15, 2018

We all have differing ways of coping with whatever life throws at us, don’t we? Little strategies that help, whether it be something that can be dipped in and out of, or a specific.

For D, it’s her Art, it always has been, I love how, with a few strokes of a pencil, her picture takes shape and (proud mum moment here), she has started an Art GCSE course at her SN school. Her drawings are always positive too, mostly with a nature slant and incredibly detailed, below is one she made whilst I was in for my April operation:

For me, it’s my crochet habit, I’ve mentioned before how the fact that you have to concentrate on the stitches and the gentle way that something really pretty can be created from a hook and a bit of yarn really relaxes me, takes me away from the thoughts buzzing around in my head .

It produces nice results too, apart from when D requests a slug!

The past few weeks have been taken up with making crochet Poppies and selling them in D’s SN school and our local Costa.

They were sold on behalf of a crochet group I attend, all proceeds go to the Poppy Appeal and my sales totalled £301.60, which I am absolutely delighted about, that my little hobby can help in some way.

The picture above is from one of the staff at D’s school, her horse proudly wearing his poppy on his bridle, wonderful!

Once I have all the “foot stuff” rectified, I’d love to try out Yoga or Pilates but at the moment I can average 3 hours sleep some nights (due to aforementioned “stuff”) so that will be another wellbeing tool to look forward to.

One consequence of the foot operations is that I haven’t been able to attend the first two BAPs events, which are the blogging awards specifically for the SEN community – there are quite a few of us around!

With blogging in general, I can never quite see where my blog fits in, yes I’m a parent blogger but with a difference, my instagram isn’t full of happy trips out because of anxieties and as D has a set list of foods she’ll eat, we don’t do foodie pictures either.

With the BAPs, I can see where I fit in, there is a “Wellbeing” category which would suit me fine!

The link is here and whilst I can’t promise cake, I would absolutely love a nomination before tomorrow evening please!

The form will ask for my URL, which is http://AutismMumma.com and my email address, autismmumma@aol.com.

I will admit that blogging has taken a bit of a back seat through my “foot stuff” but I think I’m getting there and as Howard Jones would say “Things can only get better!”

Thanks x

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PCOS, hopes for D and me #NaturesBestPCOS

By | November 15, 2018

When I was growing up, I guess because of a fractured childhood, all I wanted was to have my own family and a little house, somewhere I could feel secure and watch that family grow.

We had D’s Annual Review at school recently and she expressed the same wish, but added in the fact she wished to live close to the family home, it’s where she was born. Obviously with her autism and anxieties, there is a doubt as to whether that would actually happen but… who knows, certainly as her parents, Hubbie and I want to see her happy.

However, there is a shadow hanging over that request as it’s likely that she would have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS, which tends to run in families and can inhibit a woman’s ability to conceive.

Here’s some details from the NHS website of the symptoms:

“If you experience symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), they’ll usually become apparent in your late teens or early twenties.

Not all women with PCOS will have all of the symptoms, and each symptom can vary from mild to severe. Many women only experience menstrual problems and/or are unable to conceive.

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

Symptoms can obviously vary from woman to woman, with some experiencing many more than others. My overriding symptom, when trying to conceive C, was the irregular periods and I was diagnosed via a blood test.

Not what a newly married woman wants to hear!

I’m lucky, I had a live birth with the assistance of Clomifene, a fertility medication that stimulates the ovaries into producing eggs, I also overhauled my lifestyle and tried to get myself into the best possible pre-pregnancy shape I could. It worked, but for many woman, there is the prospect of further, invasive treatment which may or may not produce that longed-for baby.

Another option would be to look online for hints and recommendations, naturesbest.co.uk is one such site, with pages of suggestions for living with PCOS, dealing with the many symptoms that can manifest and how to improve your wellbeing whilst coming to terms with the unexpected.

As mentioned above, I was lucky that I received treatment and had my first child. My body seemed to receive a kick-start after C was born, my periods became regular and eight years later, after telling my new Hubbie that we may not be able to have a family,

T was born naturally and at home, followed by D, 18 months later!! Two very unexpected and extremely happy accidents!!

Not the most glamorous post birth picture but our family was completed and, as we’d moved into our new home six weeks previously, D’s (planned) home birth felt very right.

Nature’s Best asked me if I had any advice for women who suspected they might have PCOS or are living with the symptoms and mine would be:

“Ask your doctor for recommendations around diet, lifestyle and supplements and make sure you are taken seriously. PCOS was hereditary in my case so I shall have to discuss any implications with my daughter if ever she plans a family.

Join online groups and support forums where you can share your hopes and fears, knowing that someone else has the same condition can really help.”

Disclosed: this is a collaborative post

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Short Term Care Options – Guest Post

By | November 1, 2018

There are nearly always occasions when you will need short term care or some extra support for someone you care for.

Sometimes this may be because they require additional input for a short period of time (for example following a hospital stay or for holiday care); in other cases, your own well-being or that of other family members may mean that it’s not physically possible to provide the amount of care that you usually do.

In these circumstances, there are a number of options possible to ensure that the person you care for continues to receive the level of support they need, without putting undue strain on the rest of the family.

Read on to discover some of the home care options out there, along with some ideas on what may work best for you.

Residential care may be the best option:

Occasionally, a short-term stay at a residential facility may be best for the person you care about. Many local councils have respite care available in exceptional circumstances, or it is possible to obtain a place in a privately-owned unit.

Short-term residential care can be helpful where there are extensive needs which must be met or where you are unable to carry on caring for a few days.

The main issue with residential care (leaving aside the expense, which can be prohibitive), is that particularly for people who are neurodivergent, the change in routine, surroundings and other familiar things that comes with moving to a residential facility can be particularly difficult to deal with.

Care At Home:

There are a number of different options when it comes to home care including a sessional carer or a live-in carer.

A sessional, or part-time carer, comes in as and when required. In contrast, a live-in carer resides with the family on a full-time basis. Day or night, your live-in carer will be there.

Clearly for many people, being able to stay in their own home, in familiar surroundings and with people they love, is very important. Especially for people with mental health issues or those for whom change is an enormous challenge, having the comfort of a familiar individual who is there to help as and when needed can really make a difference.

Besides the obvious advantage of being able to stay at home, a home care service usually works out much cheaper than staying outside the home.

Adaptable, versatile home care could work for you:

When you opt for home care assistance, you can control exactly how things are done and what care is received.

The work done can be tailored to meet individual needs, allowing the client to do what they can themselves at the same time as having access to the support they want.

Home care is especially appealing for clients who may require some attention during the night, as the carer is there when needed.

If you want to enjoy cost-effective, professional care that’s customised to meet your needs, for many people a home carer is the best solution to their requirements.

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Being Quiet Is Okay, Isn’t It? 

By | October 23, 2018

I know I haven’t blogged much about school life for D and T recently but something said at D’s parents evening at her SN school last week has stuck with me.

Our girl is doing okay, more than okay at the moment, she’s started a GCSE course (we are so proud) in a subject which she enjoys (more of that in another post) and is coping – on the whole – with the challenges this new school year has brought.

D is kind and polite in school, she will happily say “Good Morning” as she goes in after our walk and has been described as a “role model” by her Head Teacher, which is wonderful! She is most definitely in the right setting for her.

Monday’s though, present a challenge as the curriculum has a “carousel”, which according to D means they go into different classes and it’s all a bit unexpected.  She doesn’t look forward to Mondays and my hand is always gripped soooooooo tight on the walk but it’s part of preparing her for beyond school, I guess.

Back to the parents evening, it was all going really well until we came to this point:

  

This was raised as an issue, as during “choosing time” (which means they can CHOOSE what they’d like to do), D prefers to read a book and not socialise.

They also said that they would like D not to read during “Choosing Time” but talk to her classmates.

Well, apart from the fact that D has chosen to read and enjoys reading, it calms her and I don’t feel anyone should be discouraged from reading, there is the very obvious point that why should she be forced to make conversation when she’s meant to be self-regulating?

What is wrong with being quiet? She’s not a “hello, I’m here!” person, nor am I but, she will sing on stage after gentle encouragement and preparation.  

Why be forced outside her comfort zone and  start a conversation  (and they didn’t have an answer for this) when it is very likely that any response to her questions would be “closed” answers? (her classmates are all SN too)

I know she has to be prepared for life beyond school but FGS  if she is in a period of “choosing time” and she chooses to spend that time reading and self-regulating, let her!! 

Today, being Tuesday, was crochet group for me.  I asked D if we could go and she answered politely whenever spoken to.  She was the lovely polite young teen that she is, when she wanted to, she choose to sit and read and that was fine by me. 

It meant that she could tolerate being in a library where there were quite a few crying children.  

It meant she tolerated the bus journey home with various smells that she very quickly picked up on, there was no way I was going to force her to start conversations if it meant she wasn’t comfortable.

So, just what is wrong with choosing to be quiet?  Wouldn’t life be boring and really quite exhausting if we were all extrovert?

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Me And My Inner Princess 

By | October 21, 2018

Have I ever mentioned how much I love going to Windsor?

We’re about half an hour away by train and, as the little two carriage shuttle train from Slough pulls in (runs every ten minutes) I always have a little surge of excitement as I see Windsor Castle come into view from the windows, there’s no escaping it, the town seems to be built around the castle after all!

  
I guess it’s my childhood inner Princess bursting out and after the two Royal weddings held there this year, I can imagine the town has been absolutely be-decked in bunting.

Windsor is very proud of its Royal connections, of course there is an element of souvenir shops, which hilariously sell waving Mr Bean figures right alongside those of our Queen and there are also a fair amount of tea cloths, commemorative crockery and slogan baseball caps.

The shops nearest to the Castle cater mostly for touristy bits and little tea shops but venture further down one of the many side streets and you’ll find the usual High Street chain stores, the difference being that there will invariably be a flag or bunting outside.

But back to my childhood Princess leanings for a moment, which have been topped up quite nicely by the two Royal Weddings this year, both managing to generate the pomp of such an occasion, but also at times, feeling very intimate with the joining of two people who are in love.

Because that’s what a wedding comes down to, isn’t it? The bride and groom/groom and groom/bride and bride. Two people pledging their love for each other will mean the same, however large or small the congregation or the venue is and of course, the majority don’t have the added pressure of dress analysis, tv cameras and a world-wide audience!

If we’re talking dresses by the way, I much preferred Eugenie’s, the classic lines suited her very well and the fact she celebrated her scoliosis scars as opposed to hiding them must have been a great boost to others affected by the condition.

  
(I did have one objection to both events though, in these budget-conscious times, that the bill for policing both events was huge and should have been met by the Royal Family and not tax payers, i doubt any of the Windsor roads on both carriage routes had any potholes in either!)

As the “big day” should be purely about the happy couple, the venue shouldn’t really make too much of a difference – unless you do have the pressures of the afore-mentioned worldwide tv audience (!) and the vows made will mean just as much said in a Bijou Weddings setting as those promised in a castle chapel!

We are very lucky in Berkshire and bordering Surrey and Hampshire to have many potential large and smaller venues for ceremonies, some offering a historical backdrop, others are more modern, all having great photo opportunities. 

Oh well, I’d better confine my Princess leanings towards these, quick and easy to make and a lot more durable!! 

  

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My Scheepjes Whirl Hexagon cardigan – tah dah!! @scheepjes

By | October 21, 2018

Occasionally my crochet and autism pages collide, they’re bound to as crochet helps my wellbeing so much, both from a parenting and a post foot operation complications viewpoint.

One particular pattern has been my go-to for cardigans made in chunky, super chunky, double knit yarns and now in a Scheepjes Whirl.

If you haven’t heard of Scheepjes Whirls before, they are 1000m of loveliness! Similar to 4ply but it’s the subtle colour-changing aspect that made these so, so wonderful to use.

Just look at these colours 😍

  
So, I thought I’d combine the Whirl with the Hexagon cardigan (pattern here) to see how I got on.  The Whirls I choose (one for each side) were Woolly Whirls in Sugar Sizzle.

I’m a tight crocheter apparently, so used a 3.5mm hook.  The beauty of this pattern is that the cardigan is made in two halves, working from the under arm out and you then simply sew the halves together along the back seam and the top seam, the pattern does the rest.  Also, the pattern can be made as large or small as you wish, just make sure you finish on the same row number! 

Each half of the cardigan took a week to make and here’s some progress pictures: 

A teeny mouse-sized start!  
Reaching that first proper colour change:  
 First side done with a tiny bit left over! 
When both sides were finished, it was button shopping time, I found these in John Lewis which complement the greens and purples in the Whirl beautifully:  
And the finished and blocked cardigan:

The front:  
The back, the vertical line down the middle is where the two sides meet:

  
And showing off those fab colour changes:

  
I have plans to make another one or two as they are so lovely as well as child-sized ones in DK to go into my crochet page’s shop.  The link to my page if anyone would like to visit and give me a like/follow, is a click here.

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Guest Post – Borderline Personality Disorder and Me

By | October 21, 2018

I’m very pleased to be hosting this guest post from Sarah and hope it helps to raise some awareness around Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD.

“BPD – Borderline Personality Disorder, also sometimes known as EUPD – Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.

I’m not sure which name I like better, borderline just makes me think they have no idea what’s going on while emotionally unstable makes me think I can’t control my emotions.. OK that’s true at times.

I was young when my brain started doing strange things, so young I don’t remember it being any other way.

I remember at a very young age laying in my bedroom crying as I thought my parents bought me something to make me think they wouldn’t get rid of me – HELLO ABANDONMENT ISSUES!

I remember in primary school thinking the others implanted things in my head so they could know what I was thinking. I remember running the bath taps, so I couldn’t be heard crying, while my brain wondered why am I me? Why this brain, why this body.

Looking back, I was dissociating.
However, I never told a soul. As those abandonment issues, well they made me think that if I told people they would leave me.

If the people who conceived me didn’t want me, the people who were meant to love you unconditionally, why would someone else? Especially when I was broken.

Of course, now I realise that love was there. That’s why I was put up for adoption. However, a child’s brain doesn’t understand that.

It wasn’t until my teens people realised something was awfully wrong with me.

We had moved, I’d lost that support system, the people at school to the mickey out of the way I spoke and dressed, instead of being a smiling welcoming force.

I lost myself even more, trying to fit in.

I remember a Scottish girl moving to our class, she was placed with the same group of people I was. People would giggle if I was off as she would ask where I was.

Looking back, she got the same treatment as I did, they giggled at the way she spoke, she retaliated telling them first to stop and later, giving them a slight kick under the table. In the end her Mum moved her schools.

Unlike me who kept it all inside, didn’t tell a soul and instead tried to reinvent myself, change my accent, no longer wear those clothes.

In year 9 things came to a head, I came down with the flu and tonsillitis a combination which lasted from October until the following Summer when I had a tonsillectomy. In this time, I was started on anti-depressants and had begun to self-harm.

However, I returned to school for the first part of year 10.

I have never coped with winter, it is my worst time of year and by the January I was frequently trying to take my own life.

An act that should have worked on more than one occasion, but by some miracle didn’t.

My original psychologist told my parents not to worry about these attempts, I was obviously getting better, or I wouldn’t bother trying to take my own life.

The hospitals psychologist felt different a third opinion was sought and I was placed in an adolescent mental health unit where I spent the next year.

I don’t think anyone ever worked out if it helped me, it perhaps saved me as I was unable to continue with attempts on my life. However, being around others who were having mental health issues made me worse in some ways.

It wasn’t until I was 18 I had my diagnosis confirmed to me. Perhaps as BPD is a one they don’t like making, it is controversial, and I don’t think doctors like dealing with it. Perhaps as it isn’t easy to treat.

There is no pill you can give someone to ease the symptoms. Though they can be given for co-existing issues, for me I take them for my depression and anxiety.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Mentalisation-Based Therapy (MBT) are the most commonly offered therapies for anyone suffering with BPD.

However, personally I’ve never found any type of therapy to work, bar art therapy where I could work out my feelings into a creative outlet. I don’t do talking.

I guess for me I’ve learnt to live with my BPD, yes have up days and down days. Yes, sometimes I feel like I’m well someone else, who is somewhere else.

However, I try and talk to myself and my partner, we talk it through, we distract, we survive.

I often think I will never stop some form of self-harm, I will always have some sort of destructive behaviour inside me and I will always fear loss and abandonment. 

My emotions have a mind of their own and if people around me are feeling negatively I often will too. 

Sometimes I zone off into my own place and feel as if the world is passing by without me. Yes, all those BPD factors are still there, better controlled, better understood, not quite as in your face, but still there.

But that’s just me now, BPD has in many ways shaped me into who I am, helped me in some ways become stronger, helped me look at life in different ways.

Of course, I wish I didn’t have to deal with it. But as a disorder I will live with for the rest of my life, I can only try and make it easier on myself and those I love.

And hopefully help those who fear those with BPD due to the media realise, we are human, we just want to be loved, but our emotions aren’t quite wired the way they should be, and we have a very prominent self-destruct button.

We are more likely to harm ourselves, than anyone else.

So please be our friend, laugh with us and hold us when we cry. We need support and understanding, not popping into a box.”

   

Author Bio: 

Sarah is the creator behind Life In A Breakdown, UK Bloggers and Simply Saving and one half of the duo behind UK Lifestyle Hub.  She suffers from a number of chronic health conditions and is often found cuddled up on the sofa with a movie and her pets. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram too!

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My Tips For A Thrifty Christmas 

By | October 20, 2018

Yep, we’re in October and we can’t ignore it, Christmas is coming! If your local shops arent be-decked out with decorations yet, they will be!

I must admit, I do love seeing all-things Christmas arrive in John Lewis, I always take D to see their Christmas department and always love how they sort their display shelves by theme, with a tree fully decorated at the end of each.

But, “the most wonderful time of the year” can be a worry if you’re on a budget, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on a thrifty Christmas:

  
1. Food: there is always the temptation to over-stock, I’m guilty of that. 

 The 25th December is one day out of many and whilst the shops will have many offers on biscuit tins, chocolate and selection boxes, don’t be swayed by the offers and only buy what you realistically envisage will be eaten or use some as teachers gifts (for example). 

 These items will also have a long “use by” date so you can always add one or two to the weekly shop, without making too much of a dent in the budget.

Consider items that can be frozen too and buy in advance, desserts, sausage rolls etc and tinned goods like custard, soup and – for Boxing Day and beyond – rice etc for those turkey leftovers! 

2. Wrapping paper and cards: Sometimes it helps not to be too organised with these, as in the week or so before Christmas, many retailers will reduce the prices of these. Alternatively stock up on them in the post-Christmas sales.

You could always  opt for wrapping paper that can be used for both Christmas and birthday presents and keep that supply stocked up all year round.

Labels don’t have to match the wrapping paper or even be “proper” labels, if you’ve kept any written cards from last year, cut out the picture, stick it onto the parcel, make a fold and use the plain area at the back for writing on.

Another alternative is brown parcel paper and get the children to draw a Christmas picture/use stickers and hand write the message, this latter option is more recycle-friendly too.

3. Presents: The main outlay and one which can cause most worry.

Many stores offer a “3 for 2” about this time, sometimes it can mean money-saving but check that the prices haven’t been artificially inflated for the offer (Argos have been found to do this) and that what you’re buying will actually be used/played with.

If you have a specific present in mind, keep an eye on local selling sites and online sites where you might find the brand new (or nearly new) item that someone has been craving.  

If such a item becomes available and you haven’t the funds at the time, see if you can temporarily borrow from a family member/friend or a short term lending site (for an example, click here) but if you go for the latter, be aware of the terms and conditions and aim to make repayment promptly.

Also, think about restricting presents within the immediate and wider family to the children only or bake gifts, for example star-shaped shortbread in a jar would look lovely and be well received or craft something, a portrait made by the children, or a knitted or crocheted item.

I made crochet mandalas for D’s teachers at the end of the summer term this year, which were very well received and they were no doubt a change from the norm.

  
4. Party outfits: if an invitation comes through or you like to dress up on Christmas Day, keep an eye out for offers, the closer the shops get to December 25th, the more desperate they’ll be to shift stock. 

Alternatively give an existing dress (for example) a new lease of life by altering (for example), the length or changing the buttons or adding a trim to it, everyone will think it’s a new outfit but and you can always save the money for…

5. The post-Christmas sale: many stores start their sales online on Christmas Day so, if there’s something in particular you wanted to buy and the recipient/you are happy to wait for a few days, then wait until you see it reduced.

Another option would be to give or request gift vouchers if there is something specific in mind and that way you’ll know that your hard-earned money will be spent on something that will be used.

Also, consider buying in the sales for next year, for example, clothes for children that they could grow into, toys or books. 

Above all, don’t panic! It’s one day out of many in the year and the majority of us will be making New Year’s resolutions come January 1st!! Another good reason not to have too many chocolates/biscuits/cakes still around!

*This is a collaborative post 

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My Foodie Experiences Of London

By | October 19, 2018

When I was a teen, London was the place to be.

I’d already decided that I was going to be a backing singer and marry my favourite pop star and we’d live in Kensington, we can dream, can’t we?

I’d get the coach to London every Saturday with my friend, I realise now that that could potentially sound a bit stalker-ish but it was the whole Kensington vibe that I loved (and still do). 

There were the markets full of wonderfully weird clothes, the shops that sold obscure items you couldn’t find anywhere else, the record shops where I’d spend my hard-earned money from an after school job (because it felt nicer to buy them from there and not the local Smiths) and the museums, not to forget the Spud-U-Like just up the road in Notting Hill where it seemed decadent to buy a baked potato.

So, a few years later, when an opportunity came up during an office relocation to work in London, I jumped at the chance! 

Of course, I saw London from a different side once I was a commuter, my day consisted of get up-catch a coach in the dark-try and snooze and hope there wouldn’t be delays-get to the office-work-catch a coach-get home in the dark-go to bed ….and repeat. I worked opposite the Tower of London which was a really stunning view from the office window.

The second opportunity brought with it rail commuting as the coach service had stopped. I’d pay a huuuuge amount in rail fares with no guarantee of a seat and my view from the window wouldn’t be scenic, just fast.  

Lunch would be a quick sandwich from a sandwich bar as I was invariably too disorganised/tired to bring something from home.

It wasn’t all bad though, if you’ve ever worked in a city, you’ll know that there comes a point in the evening when the atmosphere changes from one of hustle and bustle and the night life starts.

I had some fantastic dining experiences after hours during my two separate working spells in London, a couple that spring to mind are a meal in the Windows bar which had amazing views across the capital, coupled with fantastic cuisine, a piano bar very near to the Bank of England and an excellent Mexican restaurant where I first tried tequila!

  
The beauty of dining within the Square Mile as the City of London is also known by, is that there is a variety of worldwide cuisine experiences, literally on the doorstep as this online guide from squaremeal illustrates. 

Other memories from London dining were trying oysters (just yuck!) and my first encounter with Port after a Christmas meal (really nice at the time but I suffered the next day, big time!) 

I went to London for a bloggers event a couple of years ago and the little surge of excitement I felt as a teen, was still there when I got off the tube at High Street Kensington. 

Some things don’t change, do they?

*This is a collaborative post 

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How @circusstarr promotes inclusivity and positive body imagery 

By | October 16, 2018

If you’ve been a regular reader of my blogs, you’ll be aware that we look forward to the annual show that Circus Starr brings to town.

Circus Starr are a not-for-profit organisation, relying on local donations from the towns that they visit so that they can put on a fantastically, inclusive show for disabled and disadvantaged children in the local community.

It’s something that we always look forward to and this year’s visit was much anticipated as, due to those feet operations I keep having (not by choice!) we hadn’t been since November 2015.

So, we took our seats and as you can see, D was very excited!

  

It was absolutely lovely to be back, waiting for the performance to start, looking around and seeing masses of happy, excited faces, all feeling included.  Circus Starr have a Changing Places toilet this year, which is a great addition to their convoy.

Onto the performances and as ever, we were spellbound, transfixed as the artistes performed either high up in the podium on silks, on a trapeze or acrobatics on the floor, interjected as ever with clown performances, very slapstick but very funny.

I only took a couple of photos as I wanted to enjoy the acts:

  
  
The show ended all too soon with a signed sing-a-long to a version of “Reach For The Stars” and the lyrics matched perfectly the very positive atmosphere.

Another positive was the chat D and I had on the way home, I am all too aware that at 14 she is growing up and am grateful that she is comfy in her body.  We were talking about the athleticism of the performers and how much training they must do to enable them to perform their acts.

Then came a question “do you think my bottom is big?”

If we hadn’t just been at the performance, I may not have known what to answer, but drawing on what we’d seen, I could reply to D that whilst big (artificially enhanced) bottoms and BBL’s may be fashionable, the muscly, toned performers we’d just seen were a great example of being happy in their bodies and achieving what they did because they trained and ate well.  

So, because of the sports D does, our school walks and the fact she regulates herself by skipping in our garden, she was just right, which she accepted.

Which is how I’d like her to stay, happy in herself and not at all swayed by weekly gossip magazines or social media imagery.

Thanks to Circus Starr for a great evening, fingers crossed, we’ll see you next year! 

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