Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Woman Down!

Man down! man down!

This exclamation is normally accompanied by a flurry of activity as places are filled and the fallen soldier is recovered to be carried off and repaired.

Not quite the same when the man down is a single mum and that single mum is me!

Bloomin tonsillitis has taken me out at the knees. I am currently managing a 10 : 180 minute activity to nap ratio.

Trouble is I can't really truly just crumble. I still have parenting to do. And there is nothing scarier to a 6 year old than the person who looks after her becoming voiceless and energy less.

Half way through getting her ready for school yesterday her mother suddenly had to lie down on the tiled kitchen floor because brushing her hair was too much.

Don't get me wrong I got her to school, looking how she should.

Now I have rallied the troops. Swallowed my pride (about all I can swallow) and asked for help.

A play date and tea after school, someone else to do the school run.... I am lucky, lucky to have people who love me enough to be there. I just have to remember to ask and let them.

I have put some washing on, now if only I could get the washing machine to empty itself...

Sorry time for my nap now.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Mental Health

I struggle with deppression. Every now and then it sneaks up behind me and slowly sufficates me. The anxiety is paralysing and overwhelm, well that's overwhelming.

It takes all I have to work and parent, chores go undone, words go unsaid. At this time I can't ask for help, I can barely speak. Don't ask me questions even if they are 'how can I help?' I won't know.

Yes my life is good and yes I am strong, but at this time neither matters, I just want to give up as it is all too hard.

I cling to 'this too will pass' knowing it to be true even if I don't feel it.

At this time it's not conversation I need; messages of unconditional love are great, just doing things without expecting me to choose helps.

I may not say it at the time but knowing you are truly there, no strings attached is bloomin marvellous.

Take time to ask what helps people you know struggle. Ask when they feel good, be prepared for the times they cannot tell you.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Bring Your Baggage, Let's Unpack

I guess when you are a single mum, or indeed possibly anyone over 40 dating becomes more complicated. 

In fact if someone doesn’t have any baggage or damage that in itself would imply something wrong!  

Not that any of this helps in the moment.  

I’ve not been a serial dater, I can take a while to warm to a person (why generally my relationships start with people I already know (yes twitter 
seems to count these days – odd though it may seem))  but in fact when I do fall, I have a tendency to with all my heart, even when my head says wait.

The thing is, we all want to feel important, special and loveable.   But, it is only recently that I have really grasped the idea that what is important isn’t details on a page, circumstances or even viability. 

What is important is how someone makes you feel. 

I need to know I matter, I want to be loved, I need reminding, often. Yes, I am high maintenance, if high maintenance means saying ‘I Love you’ or ‘I’m thinking of you’ or taking me places and sharing life with me. I am capable of managing life, but I still want someone to take care of me every now and then.  

The thing is these are the things I do for someone when I love them, and I have realised that it’s not that I do them in order for it to be returned, but I do it because this is what love is to me.

There is a security in knowing you are loved and wanted that nothing in this world can replace.

This post has been prompted by a discussion with the lovely @Iamwitwitwoo and her blog post here: 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Tentative toe in the water

So, I'm back.

Yes I know I have said it before but this time I really mean it.

I miss this blog. Yes, I have twitter and to some extent that has provided entertainment and contact. But, I miss blogging. I miss writing.

Not really sure why I stopped. I think so much was going on that I could barely get my head around it let alone get it across in words. Like many people going through a depressive phase, there are times when words are just too hard.

For me my jaw clamps shut, my phone goes unanswered and I spend as much time as I can in the fetal position, desperate, yet unable to ask for a hug.

Am I in a better place now?

I think so. I'm always desperate for a strong hand to hold but who isn't.

So, a quick recap:

Poppet is now 6 and almost ¾
We left our beloved Twickenham and now live on our beloved island instead
We have been here nearly two years yet still miss all we loved in Twickers
I am still a single mum
I am, at present a full-time working mum too
This move has not been easy and on many occasions I wanted to give up. I'm here so I didn't

Thursday, 6 March 2014

We aren't there anymore

I popped over here to look for something in particular.

Like looking for any missing thing in a big space I got distracted along the way. I read a bit. I looked at pictures and I thought: I miss this.

I keep saying I'll return and maybe it's time to.

The thing is we are somewhere else now, is it all too much to explain? Or should I just carry on as if nothing has happened?

Monday, 5 November 2012

Pfffft *blows off the dust*

Pfffft *blows off the dust*

Ah, there you are, I can see you now.

As Isobel starts school next week I realised how much I have missed the little hidden hole of musings.

I've had no-one to tell about little girl's fascination with Holby and how that has meant I have had to explain about heart transplants mean taking a heart from some one who no longer needs it - 'because they are dead mummy?' - and giving to someone whose heart is broken. I'm dreading the requests I will now get when she breaks up with her first love.

Little wants me to scoot her to school. By that I mean get my substantial bottom and uncoordinated feet onto a scooter myself. Not sure what is saddest: the request or tha fact that I am considering it.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day Mummy

I may not be there to make you breakfast in bed (I made Little Girl breakfast in bed today), but I am thinking of you.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Hello, remember me?

Hello Blog,


You may not remember me, but I am the Surprise Mum in your title.


I am the mum that loved you, that loved expressing myself on your ever waiting pages.  I used you to celebrate the triumphs of motherhood, to dispel myths and more than occasionally to weep into.


Where have I been lately?  The answer is no where.  You became a ‘should’ a source of shame if I looked at stats and yet another stick to beat myself with.  So, I stopped sharing my daily joys with you.  Silly, right?


So what have you missed?


Me tweeting things like this:


Zoe (@Surprisedzoe)
19/01/2012 08:15
I was banished from little girls boudoir this morning. Her style is all her own



Morning conversations with my nearly four year old – oh yes she is nearly four now, how time flies.  Morning conversations that go something like this:


LG (little girl): Mummy, is the Isle of Wight on the same planet as Twickenham? (be careful I can hear what you are thinking!)




LG: Mummy is it summer now Christmas has gone?


The fact the little girl seems to have become somewhat used to breakfast in bed, my bed.  Yep I love her enough to allow both crumbs and jam.


Me signing up to internet dating that failing miserably to answer any messages I get sent.  My prince will come, but probably not riding on an email.


Am I back blogging again?  Honest answer I don’t know.  This blog was once a joy and a massive source of pride and opportunity but I’m not sure where I am with it at the mo.  I have so many things I need to be writing, not just blog posts, that I never seem to write anything.  I may have even stopped writing blogposts in my head.


Anyway, we shall see.  Time will tell.  Time is a great healer …..


So watch this space.



PS.  We haven’t got the cat yet but little girl seems convinced we are getting a ‘hungry cat’.


PPS. No loft conversion appeared in my stocking




Thursday, 5 January 2012

The UN has nothing on me

Oh my have the chats in my house got a hell of a lot more interesting since little girl turned 3 and 3/4.

There was the 'you are quite old mummy so someone will marry you' chat.

The conversation comparing a friend to big Karina at nursery and the use of the F word - Fat. I think I came out quite well in this conversation because, apparently, I'm not fat I'm 'just short like me mummy'.

Then there was the inevitable 'why do Charlotte's mummy and daddy live in the same house?'

Oh boy, I knew it was coming one day and I found it quite amusing that it had come that way round especially as all her friends are from 'normal' families.
My answer was that 'we are special but most children have Mummy and Daddy in the same house'. It seemed to satisfy her. So far, bullets easily dodged.

If I tell you that I could have done with full body armour for the next one I suspect you'll be able to guess what it was about.

Oh yes, two months shy of little girls fourth birthday it has started to get more tricky:

'mummy, do you have a baby in your tummy?'

Um, no darling I just had a big lunch...

'Can we go to the shops and buy a baby to put in your tummy?'

'It doesn't quite work like that. You have to make a baby (wtf was I thinking here?!)'

'Why did Erica decide to make a baby to put in her tummy?'

' Ummm Can WE make a baby mummy? Please mummy. We could call it Oliver. Not the same as Erica's Oliver but one of our very own.'

'Well, you need a mummy and a daddy in the same house to make a baby. ( not strictly true I know but .... Heeeelllllpppp)'

' Well mummy. Next time daddy comes to visit you two could make a baby. That idea mummy? That's a good plan isn't it mummy? I'm a clever clogs aren't I mummy? So can we?'

'Maybe we'll get cat darling'

Saturday, 24 December 2011

He's coming to town

Dear Father Christmas,

I have checked NORAD and I know you are on your way. I just wanted to let you know that I have been a VERY VERY good girl this year. Now I know this probably puts me on the Nice List, but I can't help feeling that in a grass-is-always-greener kind of way, that those on the Naughty List are probably having a lot more fun.

I hope Rudolph does his stuff for you tonight and hopefully I'll find someone with his nose so bright to help me find my way next year.

Lots of Christmas kisses

Me x

Ps. Given the size of my daughter's Christmas presents this year I do hope you are putting a loft conversion in my stocking this year. Cheers.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, 12 December 2011

All I Want for Christmas is my Sanity

I'm feeling slightly guilty.

This was meant to be a Mental Health Carnival in the style of the lovely Carol over at Dance Without Sleeping, but I can't help feel I have let her down by not promoting hard enough and by not getting many contributions.

In fact hers is the only one, not including my introductory post.  Carol's is a great post, read it here, her Christmas Crazy is something I am indeed overly familiar with.

Like Carol I too put pressure on myself and underlying depression feeds the guilt I expressed in the opening of this post; it's all magnified by the pressure I think my of us put ourselves under to be the perfect.... (you fill in the blank). And, yes and, it enables the wonderful delights of depression to Dance like Sugar Plums in our heads.

I'm pretty sure Carol wouldn't hold this against me, but I had such high hopes...

Anyway, while I'm typing this I'm not wrapping the presents I should be wrapping and my inner Elfzilla is yelling at me to write cards.

Personally I want to tell my inner ugly sister Griselda to go f'ck herself but would that really be in the spirit of Christmas?
8: Ugly Sisters (Cinderella)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

I'm a celebrity

This evening during the FINAL bedtime cuddle, little girl was telling me about her nursery play. A play in which she is an Elf (remember this, it is important in a few sentences time).

We discussed that Mummy was going one day and Daddy another. We sang 'Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star'.

The Little girl told me what she has to say in the play. Yes, a speaking part no less.

Proud mummy bubbled up and infused 'my little star! You are a STAR.'

My enthusiasm was met with a

'No, mummy. I'm an ELF.'

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Picture of Festive Mental Health - an invitation

This time last year I should have merrily been skipping towards the festive season on the arm of a new beau. It was a time for celebration and falling in love.

Well, it should have been.

Instead I lost the plot. Maybe not entirely, but as close as I would ever like to come: mind-numbingly, stare-at-the-wall-for-hours close.

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t festive. As the festivities mounted the worse I got. I was crying to my new beau, weeping on my boss in the office until I could no longer go to work (I am freelance this is not a good thing, not a good thing at all). My mum wanted to come and rescue me before the men in white coats came and carried me away.

I was functioning as a mother, just.

Yes, I was still suffering from depression. Yes, communication had broken down with little girl’s daddy to the point of his not being able to look at me let alone hold a civil conversation. And, yes a well meaning, but misguided GP (who I had only just met) then changed my prescription for anti-depressants to something newer that made me wobble further and gain weight, causing self-esteem to plummet further and the plot to slip further and further from my grasp.

I was starting a new relationship but the ground beneath me was crumbling. I was too scared of losing myself to allow myself just to be, so I pushed him away.

And then… oh yes there is more… in true festive spirit I unleashed my Elfzilla and decided to make a variety of presents for everyone. The dress I wanted to make for my Mummy became a great big rod to beat myself with, a lovely idea but when it was no longer being made with love I just had to admit that I couldn’t do it.

I actually believe it was this lovely (not) festive spirit that almost broke me. No not the dress or the myriad of other things I’d wanted to make. But rather, the expectations I placed upon myself to be a perfect Christmas fairy.

Now I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

Is this a time of year when you find yourself distracted by all that twinkles and shines or is there a Christmas elf determined to sit on your party hat?

Let’s get it all off our chests early so we can enjoy Christmas with as much sanity, joy and tinsel as possible. Join me here for the All I want for Christmas is my Sanity Carnival, inspired by and in cahoots with the lovely Carol's Mental Health Carnival, here on 12th December. Please send all post links to me by Friday 9th.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A little mouse with clogs on

My little girl is far too clever for my good. Actually, she is a 'clever clogs', if I just refer to her as clever I am instantly corrected:

'No, mummy. I'm not clever I am clever clogs'

Nope, this isn't a Peppa pig affectation, it's my fault, it's what I normally call her. And, she beams with pride.

Little also beams when you call her pretty.

A pretty clever clogs what more can a mother be afraid of!

So, this morning, as I dressed her, I popped a t-shirt over her head and then I reached for a dress...

'Mummy, no!' she shrieked.

'you can't do that, it's nonsense mummy. Nonsense, absolute nonsense.'

You know how I persuaded her to layer the t-shirt under the dress?

I didn't.

She grabbed pink rights and said

'snap mummy. These match. This works'

I was so taken aback I forgot to put her knickers on.

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Monday, 14 November 2011

All adrift on a sea of...


It has to be said that in surprised terraces we have not been having a good November.


The house has been filled with the glorious sound of coughed up lungs and midnight vomiting.


Sleep has become a precious commodity and tempers are definitely fraying at the edges, well and the middle…


But, I am thankful that, as yet, we have not been stranded in the dark by a sea of sick. 


You see an odd childhood memory has come back to me lately (although I’m not always sure how reliable these are).  When I was young we lived in a two and a half bedroom terraced house where both gas and electricity were on a meter – I think it was 10ps for electricity and Gas 50ps. Our stairs went through the middle of the house two a small square landing at the top, Mummy’s bedroom was on one side and there was a small passage to my room.  Oh, and the bathroom was downstairs through the kitchen.


One delightful night, I was feeling poorly and I made it to my edge of the square landing where I promptly deposited the contents of my tummy.


The electricity has run out and my mum was stranded on the other side.


I don’t remember how she made it down the stairs or indeed anything that happened next. 


And I actually have no idea why I am telling you this story.





Sunday, 6 November 2011

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Just for a moment

Every now and then I get a glimpse of the mother I thought I'd be, of the romantic notions I built up around having a daughter.

Today, just for an hour I lived up to my own expectations.

This morning I took little girl to the theatre.

Richmond Theatre has always been a favourite destination of mine, they was a time I went there more often than I did to the cinema. ( remember Miss B?) It's a beautiful theatre.

We went with two of our bestest friends, Genevieve and Erica May. And, as I said. for an hour I smiled because this is how I always wanted it to be.

Oh yes, the production of The Hungry Caterpillar was amazing, but I almost wish they hadn't shown us all the tricks they used at the end.

One of the best things was 'it's a no shush production' a bit like panto!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Alls well that ends well

Well our mini sleepover ended with little guest coughing and vomiting on her father as he picked her up to take her home.

Guess I'm not the host I thought I was either.

Where's the wine...

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I am sitting here in my pjs surrounded by Duplo and tv characters.

Snow white is on the telly and two little girls are having a pretend phone conversation about bed time.

All is well accept I have run out of tonic to go with my gin.

Oh dear, I really am not the mum I thought I'd be.

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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Gallery - T is for


Something I really need to do!

I would love to be a tidy person, mess drives me mad but not enough to tidy, obviously.

This post is my entry for the infamous Tara's weekly gallery.

Click here to see lots more entries!

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Tuesday, 1 November 2011


I can't grow a moustache and, as much I would love to, there is no way I could manage the novel in a month. Maybe next year... The latter that is, I hope it will be a long time before the first is a possibility.

There is a thing I loved in my life, something I let become tarnished, that I didn't pay enough attention to nor notice that the love was slipping away.

I want to rekindle that love.

Re-ignite the fire.

I hearby dedicate November to my blog.

What are you going to dedicate November to!

Sent from my iPad

Monday, 24 October 2011

I'm sure there is a word for it.

Little girls grasp of language never ceases to amaze me.

Having been told the night before that Sue was coming to visit on Friday afternoon it was the first thing on her mind.

And I mean first thing. At 6:10 in the morning I was greeted with the now immortal words:

'Sue-sue is a bit like wee-wee, isn't it mummy?'

A somewhat sleepy me was instantly confused. Was this another wee -poo joke?

'mummy, Sue. Sue is like Wee. Wee'

Ah I see. Yes that is similar.

'yes mummy, except wee-wee doesn't wear sunglasses'.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Saturday, 8 October 2011

From me on a great day

My dearest darlingest Zoƫ

We have known each other for a very long time now, longer than perhaps we care to admit, I just wanted to take this opportunity to write you a little note.

It is now 20 years since you left home, left the island to spend a year in Oz before traipsing off to uni.

Your life is amazing and I want to point out that that is down to you and your energy. I know you feel that you are only interesting because you know such interesting people but have you ever thought that maybe they find you interesting too? Yes, yes dismiss me if you like but you have actually managed to write the words, so hold onto that thought! Life hasn’t always been easy but that’s ok. It’s all this experience that has made you who you are and allows you to see the things you see and feel all the things that you do. Yep, it’s all this that really makes you see the magic. You have felt great love and also great loss, but would the loss have been so great without the love?

You have beautiful friends and family who are only too happy to love and support you when you let them, when you don’t allow your anxiety to keep you prisoner. As you move into this new phase of life where you are finding the work that makes your heart sing, you are open to all the love that is around and yes maybe even are ready for Mr Right. ‘You gotta have a dream…’ Who knows if your dream of moving home but working in London will come true? Who knows when you will find your champion?

Enjoy the journey because you are beginning to become the person you would like your daughter to be: someone who dreams, lives without fear but secure in the knowledge that you are loved.

And maybe, just maybe you’ll be able to grow into the mother you’d like to be too.

Lots of love and happy birthday

Me xx

Ps. Now you have treated yourself to new undies you have bolstered your support no end, do not undervalue this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Songs to Live your Life by

I was fortunate to be tagged by the lovely Jo for this Meme and it really had me a little stumped until I had a couple of hours alone in my car with my ipod on shuffle.

now these aren't necessarily the songs that mean the most to me - songs can be so emotive.

No, these are songs with a message I love for what they say.

Firstly I was raised in a house surrounded by music and Neil was a favourite, and not just because my first ever valentine's rose came with the message "I'll always bring you flowers"

Next up, well it's an oldie brought to me by me, that does actually have a lot of memories attached.

Because you 'can't catch love with a net or a gun' (something I need to remember next time I want to hold onto a man so tight my knuckles turn white), a bit of James.

And don't we all want to be someone others feel like this about. Groove Armada - My Friend. Luckily I have many of these.

Finally as the mother of a daughter I also have to have Beautiful, twee but hey.

I wanted to add Three Little Birds; a bit of Madonna and so many more that Jo already stole!....

I'm going to tag a Non-mummy blogger because I am intrigued.

Go Gray

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Ah fatty bum bum

This evening little girl was discussing the fact that poo and wee come from her bottom (high brow stuff I know).

I pointed out that wee comes from the front and poo from her back bottom ( too much toilet for you? well, I'm sorry)

'no mummy I don't have TWO bottoms!'

'I'm not a bottom-bottom'

Well, it made me laugh.

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Saturday, 3 September 2011

The clouds gathered though

So camping was fab except....

My eye swelling up to elephant man proportions

Little Girl and her easily wound up epic dramas

My tonsils swelling to the point where at 2am I would happily have had a headectomy

The moments when 2 little girls decide that they won't share and can't agree on playing

Or the time when Little Girl's Daddy and I fell out about parenting.

But, you what?

I still love camping.

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Sunny Camping

Last weekend we went camping in our Campervan. (sung as if Peppa Pig)

I love camping. Well, I love camping now we have Clementine.

We went with our usual camping crew and this time Little Girl's daddy came too. This time I not only booked the site (Ashurst) but also picked our pitch; a daunting task for a camping novice to carry out on behalf of her camping Gurus.

We did good though: a pitch with the mahoosive campsite behind us and the wood unspoilt in front of us.

What's not love when these are the smiles once the tent was up?

Or this is the view from by your bed in the morning?

Or these are the games the girls can play, naming logs as Pirate ships and Dragons,

And the ponies approve of your car.

Oh and the nearby pub provides an opportunity to watch little girl and her daddy enjoy each other.

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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A roll in the hay it's not.

It's August people.

It's midday.

And I am in bed in pjs and fluffy socks.

The doctor thinks I'm run down, basing this on the fact that I have tonsillitis, an eye infection and inflamed sinuses (or something like that - I'd stopped listening by then).

With three 'ituses I'm not in bed alone.

It's not, however, the most fun I have ever had in the sack.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 22 August 2011

Getting down with the Angels

On Sunday I discovered that there is an Archangel of Housekeeping! Well, ok that isn't exactly Sariel's purpose but it's within her remit. So, in an attempt to make my kitchen cleaning a little more magical I asked for her help.

OMG, it worked. I am rubbish at housework, I lose interest easily, especially when poorly like I was on Sunday. But, this Sunday I persevered.

I even moved a radio that had been in situ for years.

The joy of this came this morning when Little Girl and I took time to boogie in the kitchen to the sounds of radio 2 this morning.

There were no:




We had a blissful morning, finding time for scrambled egg and salmon before we left.

And I managed to catch an earlier train than I had been lately.

I tell you I'll be getting down with the angels more often.

Ok, so maybe you think this all a little we-woo but hey wouldn't it make the world a little more magical if you just believed for a minute?

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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

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Sunday, 14 August 2011

It's a truth universally acknowledged

That finding a roof in your bed does not help the guilt and self-loathing that accompanies a hangover.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

She's leaving home

This evening Little girl told me she was going to live at Bob's.

Who's Bob? Her father.

What crime had I committed to drive my daughter away?

I wouldn't let her whale go into the tunnel.

Mean mummy! I hear you say....

We were in the bath.

The tunnel was...

well I'll leave that to your imagination

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