Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Moving On

This is going to be a tricky week for me. My youngest daughter is moving on and I have to try and not burst into tears whenever someone says the "g" word. For the record I am quite possibly the world's biggest sop, especially when it comes to the children, and holding back the tears is not exactly something I excel at. Usually in public. Maybe that's why I keep being followed by life coaches and hypnotists on Twitter.

Anyway back in 2008 I wrote an article for Link Magazine after my eldest daughter started going to Endcliffe Playgroup. It's a gem of a little setting where I discovered I could leave her for a few hours a week to gain a bit of independence while I focused on my baby and had a bit of a break. I wish I could find the article, but I know that essentially I wrote about her beginning to grow up and me having to get used to the idea. Now of course I understand that it was the first step in a very long process of letting go that seems to go along with having children.

I know, I know. It's a cliche to say "how time flies" but now it seems to be 2012 and I really have no clue where on earth the time went.  When Tilly was little people said the time from birth until they start school is gone in a moment. There have been many times when I found that extremely hard to believe (particularly when they wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat, threw their faces to the floor in full scale tantrum in car parks that kind of thing). But regardless of all that it's here. The last week of my youngest being a preschooler.

I know now that her starting school in September will be hellish for me. Hopefully not so for her. And hopefully I'll hold it together until I get out of the classroom. But before we reach the next bit of letting go we have to get through this week.

And this week includes me and Phoebe saying goodbye to the very playgroup that helped me out in 2008. She goes to another setting too, and don't get me wrong it's been lovely, but Endcliffe is different. They are a charity and do what they do because they love it, it's as simple as that. They are small and welcoming and have made it possible for me to actually be a part of her preschool learning as a mum, occasional helper and even committee member, whilst still giving her and me some time to ourselves and independence.

I know the staff extremely well and I trust them. I have watched them help so many children with differing needs, and have enjoyed being there as a customer and now as a friend. Phoebe will undoubtedly miss playgroup, and particularly the close friends she has made there. But of course it's time to open the doors for some more little ones and for Phoebe to go through some bigger ones (usually manned by the Headteacher).

I'll give the staff cards and gifts to say thank you, and donate something too for the new children to have fun with. But my final gesture is to ask you to help me spread the word about this place.

You can find playgroup in Endcliffe Methodist Church Hall on Ecclesall Road on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9-11.30. It costs £7.25 a session, runs in term time, takes vouchers and all that jazz. And we have a regular toddler group on a Friday morning too from 9.15.

Please email endcliffeplaygroup@talktalk.net to arrange a free visit or call Gina on 0114 2670630. Or try Facebook or Twitter or all those usual means of contact.

So if you live in Sheffield and have a little one who is aged two to four (or turning 2 soon) try it out for free in September. If you know someone who is talking about their little one taking a step to independence please tell them about us. If you don't know anyone with kids heck just send this blog out into the ether anyway what harm can it do?

Thank you. Now I'm going to try not to think about change too much for a minute or two, and go and eat biscuits instead.

Friday, 6 July 2012


Well it's been a while. To be honest I got a bit distracted by something else I've been doing (I've been writing for this), but I'm coming to terms with multiple blog personas so I'm back.

And with what more worthy a topic than...eyebrows. Well you can't just come back with a big life changing topic after several months off can you?

So I had my eyebrows tweezed this morning. To some of you this is perhaps not noteworthy. Maybe you have tweezed/waxed your eyebrows for years. Maybe you don't care about the perfect arch and have never even considered it. Maybe you are a man and don't even know what I'm on about. Or maybe like me you have secretly wondered if you did it whether it would turn you into a siren.

Well I'm here to report that having perfect eyebrows does not make you look slimmer. I know it was an unlikely outcome but you can but hope.

So how did I make the momentous leap? I was trying to have a haircut which I hadn't remembered to book. They couldn't fit me in at the hairdressers so I wandered hopelessly down Abbeydale Road in the pouring rain and randomly decided to take the leap. I know, why eyebrows? Why not a leg wax, a new shade of paint or a tattoo? (Abbeydale Road has a lot to offer on a rainy Friday morning you know). Well they didn't have much time, I have very little cash and I'm a wimp.

I suggested the use of wax. The beautician sucked air through her teeth. Well probably not but it's a lovely image isn't it? Anyway she suggested tweezers. I don't need to go into much detail sufficed to say she pulled out lots of hairs that were frankly invisible to the human eye. The first eye didn't hurt much, the second one was agony. Again I'm exaggerating for effect but it's creative licence.

Afterwards she showed me the results. And then put some make up on to cover up the red bit of skin that "had undergone trauma". I hope it doesn't need counselling.

I came home and after several hours asked the girls if my eyebrows looked different. They looked at me for a prolonged period then said "no". I don't blame them. I can't see any difference either. It was a pretty pointless exercise being ginger and all.

I will be back to the salon. Because the beautician was actually lovely and I deserve a treat every now and again. But maybe next time it'll be something with a more noticeable outcome, or at the very least less pain. And I still need a flipping haircut...