Wednesday, 27 August 2014

That damned ugly black cloud

The great thing about doing a blog is you soon realise you’re not alone in how you feel, you’re treated and your views on  life. I really thought no one would read my blog but the feedback has been phenomenal. Sorry it’s a bit late this week but we had a little matter of an eight year old's birthday to celebrate and what a celebration it turned out to be.

This blog has taken me a while to write. Robin Williams’ untimely death was a great shock to the world. For me, it was a reminder of how lonely this world can be and that the ugly black cloud can cover even the most brightest of people and lives.

I’ve been there! On the brink of taking my own life! That admission will upset some people (or not!) but I have! More than once! What saved me? My children. So, why tell the world now? Why not? I have been too ashamed to admit it before now especially when I look at the reasons which all relate to nasty, ignorant, vicious and vindictive people I have had the misfortune of allowing in my life. I am also ashamed of how I have let people manipulate me.  I am NOT ashamed to admit it though. Life is incredibly hard and people can be very judgmental. Until now, I’ve let other people’s opinions, perceptions and ideals all influence my life and stunt my own personal growth. Thank goodness I didn’t act on those dark thought processes! 

The problem we have as a society is ignorance and fear. If life is not lived in a certain way, designed by media propaganda and a previous generation’s expectation of what life should be, we are not ‘normal’. I defy anyone to explain to me what is ‘normal’. My advice, for what it is truly worth, is live YOUR life YOUR way. Don’t fall into the trap, as I did, that you’ve failed because you are not in a ‘normal’ 2.4 children ‘family’, you don’t have a ‘normal’ job and you don’t live a ‘normal’ life.  Even when I turned to members of my own family for help, I was told to ‘just get on with it’ or ‘pull yourself together’. It’s very hard to get help when you don’t know what is wrong. You can’t put your finger on it. It took me ages to get out of the dark spiral and I found it’s much easier for people to ignore it than help you through it. The turning point for me was being diagnosed with Menieres. On really ill days, my then partner would say, “I like you like this because you’re vulnerable.” The thought of someone who is supposed to love you relishing the fact you are ill, repulses me but it made me realise how strong I must be.  This weekend has made me reflect on growing up, relationships and my life and I can honestly say, hand on heart, it has put so many ghosts to bed. I no longer care or are interested in other people’s opinions of my life. I’ve managed to bring myself back from the brink of self destruction, raise two damn fine children, set up my own business and have my DEBUT, yes my first EVER book published. 

We all have an individual responsibility to ensure we are kind, considerate and supportive. That’s why I am kind to people – not because I’m a sociopath. My motive in life is solely to be a supportive and proactive member of society and to ensure my children grow up to be the same. I support charities that mean a lot to me personally. 

Round 25 of Super League is dedicated to the State of Mind charity – it’s an incredibly innovative and proactive charity supporting mental health in the rugby league community. Please take time to support them.

Because of my past, I ensure my boys understand the importance of being able to talk openly about any subject. They know they can talk to me about anything and they do, literally anything! They know I won’t judge them and no matter how bad things get, I will always be there to support them through it. I've also taught them how to listen to understand not to listen just to reply. All too often people do the latter to dire consequences. Our close relationship is what I am most proud of.

Now I celebrate every achievement like it is our last. I embrace being a single mum and I support the boys 100%.

GCSE Results Day

The results day came and I don’t know who was more nervous – I do, me! Not because I didn’t have faith in Wes but because I know that the results are wrongly manipulated. Anyway, we arrived at school and he decided, quite rightly he wanted to go in with his friends. So Lucas and I sat, and we sat waiting for him to emerge. Other students came and went, and still we sat there. It was worse than waiting in the dentist’s! Finally, I sent him a text saying ‘you are killing me right now lol!’  He came sauntering across to the car with his usual poker face, something I have never mastered. Pleased as punch, he read through his results – 1 A, 6Bs, 2Cs, 2 Distinctions and 1 merit. I am so incredibly proud of him especially knowing that this is on the back of giving 100% to the scholarship. What is even more important, he has given himself a decent ‘leg up’ to the next level, A Levels. He can now take the ones of his choice – Chemistry, Maths, English & History. Hard work provides choices. You just have to sign up for it.

8th Birthday weekend

Last week was such a big week for us. I booked a long weekend away to Lucas’s favourite place in Southport – go karting, golf, table tennis, amusements and the beach. For my eight year old this is heaven!! I paced all my work out so I could have four days off, just concentrating on having fun and family time with the boys, especially after GCSE results day.

You really know you are doing well as a parent when your boys tell you they miss home when they are not there. I think this will resonate with many parents who set up their own business or follow their dreams, you do worry about your kids missing out. We are on a shoestring budget until the book sales and the business take off and I do worry that the boys are missing out on lots of things but they reassured me this weekend that they love the life they have. They enjoy the sports they are involved in and they love the pyjama days. I suppose I can stop worrying about them now and get on with being a successful writer and business woman – well, I won’t ever stop worrying.

Lucas has told me he had an amazing weekend and wants to go back again next year.He is also super excited he can have Mario on the back of his LFC shirt!!! Great signing and looking forward to seeing him play.

We came home Bank Holiday Monday to have his birthday party and what a party it was. My sister decided to do her Ice Bucket Challenge at the party much to the delight of the children especially Wes who took great delight in ensuring she was thoroughly soaked. The younger guests were disappointed I wouldn't let them do it. It was a fabulous day and more importantly Lucas hugged me and told me it was his best ever birthday and could be do it again Tuesday - both Wes and I need to recover first!!

Beyond the Past – Kindle Offer

Sod’s law, the weekend I decide to stop working and concentrate on some quality time with the boys, Amazon decide to place my book on a Kindle offer. I promised myself I wouldn’t work over the weekend away so I frantically set up some twitter and facebook statuses and it’s a good job I did. Southport does not have any O2 coverage!! Maybe someone was trying to tell me something haha.

So what does September bring?

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I don’t know what it is but to me it’s always the start of something new, perhaps as the schools go back, it allows me to take stock and plan for the rest of the year. This September seems very different to the last. Having the weekend away and spending time with the boys made me realise what is important and that certain things that have happened in the past have taught me very valuable lessons, particularly in how to treat my boys equally and fairly. So this September I am moving forward with such clarity and determination that I scare myself! Only joking but it’s exciting and I feel renewed and refreshed.

Book Launch and Signing


I am so grateful to Catherine at Sant Angelos in Wetherby and Jo Maltby at Wetherbyhour for their support for my book launch and book signing. I wouldn’t want to have held my first event anywhere other than my little piece of Italy in Wetherby.


In Beyond the Past, DCI Fisher and DS Davies are based at Wetherby Police Station. Thank you Wetherby for being such a lovely town. I hope you can all come and see me.




Beyond the Lies


I decided this month to put this on hold for a couple of weeks while I concentrate on promotion and marketing of Beyond the Past – there’s only so many hours in the day! However, once the boys are back at school work will continue with a new deadline date but I’m not telling you when, not yet.

Mr Fluffington and his Feathers.

Lucas is busy working on his children’s book and I have to say his imagination is fabulous and I am really enjoying working with him, even if he is bossy!

Sheffield Eagles Academy

Wes starts pre pre-season work for the Academy although to be fair he has worked over the summer to maintain his fitness and has been very strict with his diet although he did take a day off for Lucas’ birthday. He is a determined fellow and I will be there every step of the way supporting him.

A massive congratulations to Leeds Rhinos for the Challenge Cup win. Thoroughly deserved.

On reflection, we can always do things better. Don’t forget your past but use it to drive you into the future. I’m going to be working on some promotional work this week and getting ready for the return to a routine that is far from ‘normal’. Have a lovely week and GO GET THEM!

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US



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