Sunday, 26 October 2014


This blog comes with a warning …. These are my observations of life. I do not and will never prescribe to the notion that there is a right way of bringing up a child or a right way of living your life. I won’t judge or ridicule you for your choices. I have my principles and I have learned over the years that people can pretend to be one thing and clearly are something else. But that’s okay, they have to live with that. The biggest aspect of life is getting to grips with the fact that life experience makes us ALL DIFFERENT.  No one has the right to tell you how to live your life especially not an elected government or the media but they do every day!

We are all born the same, YES the same with no pre-conceived ideas of what is expected of us and what we can expect from life. This is the basic principle I apply to my parenting. Every child is a blank canvas. 

The Thatcher years had a profound effect on my life and the way I live my life now. I saw hard working folk lose their livelihoods, I saw whole communities torn apart, I saw police being used against communities and I saw the injustice of people being allowed to die by the very people that were there to protect and serve. I witnessed the media used by the State to instil fear into the heart of our communities. We have all seen the horrific sex abuse scandals now coming to light. FEAR is a form of control used by terrorists, oppressors and by governments and public figures who do not want an educated electorate who ask intelligent and probing questions, exactly what we have a duty to do in a democracy. If any of these acts by the State had occurred in other countries, the UK and UN would have stood against that State but why did we let it happen here?

History always repeats itself and it is happening all over again. FEAR is at the heart of control again but this time it is not the miners, the workers but terrorism, illegal immigrants, the benefits cheats and parents. They are our modern day scapegoats. The ones being blamed for the failings of our society but the real issues are never challenged. The ivory tower squatters look down with indignation.

Parents are blamed for poor attendance in schools, for youths hanging out outside shops, for the lack of results in examinations and let’s face it the list is endless. GUILT is another form of control. Let’s face it we are made to feel guilty from the moment we have children. We are told what we should be doing, how we should be doing but never why we should be doing it that way. The hypocrisy of it all it not wasted on me. For example, on one hand we are told we don’t spend enough ‘quality’ time with our children then school term time holidays are made illegal and we are fined even for hard working parents who work in professions where holidays can only be taken during school term time. CONTROL.

Once you start to question why, you open up a whole new world. Once you start to challenge what society expects of you, you start to learn that fear and guilt can be overcome through freedom of choice and knowledge. That is the crux of my parenting. I challenge my children to challenge me in a non-aggressive, constructive way. It helps them to understand the importance of making the right decisions, the reasoning behind those decisions and democracy. In addition, they help me grow. Just because I am an adult and their Mum, it doesn’t mean I make all the right decisions. I get it wrong and I admit that to them and apologise when I do. 

I believe all children are not immune from suffering neglect. Neglect is a strong word and usually associated with lack of money but for me the worst type of neglect is lack of time and even worse than that, replacing lack of time with material objects.  TIME is the most precious gift you can give a child. Time to listen, to play, to understand them and to educate them.  If you don’t invest time in bringing up your own children, then how do you expect them to understand morals, hard work, integrity, what is right and democracy? So next time your child asks you a question. Stop whatever you are doing and LISTEN, listen to understand not to reply. I speak to people who have lost their children and they tell me their biggest loss is not having more time with them. 

My priority is my children. I want them to grow up understanding what contribution they can make to society, not just for themselves. I want to TEACH them to be better human beings, to participate in the debate and not allow others to instil FEAR, GUILT and therefore CONTROL in their lives. It is extremely tough fighting against the tide but it is a fight I will continue until I have no breath left in my body because to me, it is important. I won’t say ‘yes’ if I disagree, I won’t accept if it is wrong and I won’t let others bully me into their ways but that does not make me arrogant or sociopath. It saddens me to see people too scared to have their own opinion.  I choose to make my own decisions – to live without control, to be free.

Children have to be allowed to be children yet we have to teach them how to survive in, let’s face it, a cruel world. The key to life is balance (which is pretty ironic for a Menieres sufferer). Don’t feel guilty about the choices you make but make your choices for the right reasons and take responsibility for your choices and their consequences.

This probably makes our home life sound like a permanent classroom but it is far from it. We talk, a lot but it is in the context of the life around us, particularly injustice because it happens to us on a regular basis. Adults behaving badly help me to reinforce our family values. However, injustice teaches us lessons and makes us strive harder to achieve our goals and I am so proud the boys have grasped that. If I had to sum us up in one word it would be resilient. People fail to understand this family has developed a resilience to turn adversity into positivity. We laugh, we cry, we kick, we scream but in the end we know who we want to be.

As adults we should lead by example and that includes every single one of us including, no especially, those who have been trusted with representing us in local and central government. I admit I have nothing but contempt for career politicians and people who abuse their public position for their own personal gain. It is my right to challenge them without fear of reprisal. Just think how many vulnerable people would have been saved from a life of torment if we had all challenged and not turned a blind eye! 

I believe political correctness was invented by people who wanted to hide the real issues of society. Issues like prejudice, bullying and radicalisation only exist because as a society we have not been allowed to discuss them – FEAR+GUILT=CONTROL. One sided views lead to radicalisation and prejudice, the very thing the media relies upon in this country. FREEDOM and KNOWLEDGE are only feared by those who want to control us through fear and guilt. Stand up, take charge and change lives. I am, and I am confident my children will too. All of you that sit there and say ‘I want to inspire,’ ‘I want to change the world’, ‘I want a better life’. Change ‘I want’ to ‘I can’ and then back it up with ACTION. I challenge you to do that TODAY. 

I know there will be lots of people that read this that have experienced the same 1980s that I did but then there will be others that vehemently disagree. That is okay. That is what democracy should be about. We should be able to have these conversations without fear of rebuke, without being made to feel guilty and without fear of being bullied. That is democracy and that is living the dream. 

I am very proud of my children and proud of myself for being a parent that will inspire my children to challenge and change the world.

I was hoping to announce I had finished the first draft of my second novel but the truth is I have been busy sorting out the house finances and looking after a poorly Lucas. In between that though I have been writing and the draft will be finished this week, definitely!!

I also have another idea for a novel, which I planned out this week and can’t wait to start this project too! Right now time is not my friend – haha. Anyone who watched Marco Pierre White (originally from a place about three miles from me) on Masterchef Australia will understand this.

Well I am off to do some more writing now and I am thankful for the extra hour today. I hope you all have a great week and MAKE THAT CHANGE!!!



The first three chapters of Beyond the Past are posted on my website to give you a taster 



Lots of love 

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