Category Archives: Ponderances

Dear Beano

Dear Birthday Beano,

I am decoupaging my father in laws old trunk into a toy box for the girls covered in your fabulous comic. I bought random selection of 17 on eBay from 1981 1982 and 1983. They arrived in the post today, to my complete surprise there was one from the exact day I was born!!! Given you were only produced once a week on a Thursday, then the odds of me getting a Beano out of the 17 I received from the exact date of my birth were slim (I had no idea I was born on a Thursday or the Beano was issued on a Thursday) and to get this treat on today of all days made a very hard day (first anniversary of my fathers death) a special day. I don’t really believe in ghosts but I’m comforted by pretending it’s a sign from Dad.

Thankyou Birthday Beano. You shall occupy pride of place on my daughters’ new toy box.

Love LadyMinnieTheMinxCurd

20130131-193135.jpg (for security reasons not actual birthday Beano)


Dear Bereaved

Dear Bereaved,

They say bereavement is a journey, one that never really ends but has easier paths and harder paths. I’d say since my dad died I stuck my roller skates on, load my backpack up with more and more stuff to keep me busy and preoccupied from grief and got my head down and tried and skate through it as fast as I can.

Except I wasn’t looking where I was going. I’ve crashed into a wall, and fallen flat on my arse, the contents of my backpack are strewn around me. I’ve realised that although it was the only strategy I felt I could adopt at the time (I had a three week old baby she took priority, then she got easier, so I took more & more on at work to keep me busy and distracted) it was not a sustainable strategy.

So I’m stopping to rest for a while and I’m taking some time to sort through my backpack, getting rid of some of the items causing the most weight and stress, working out what’s most important, before picking myself up to continue with this journey. It’s scary because I am no quitter and some of the things in the back pack being got rid of will cause difficult consequences for other people and I really really hate letting people down.

Actually admitting I’ve crashed into a wall is quite embarrassing for me too, I’m usually the perfect superskater, I don’t ever stumble or fall, I just carry on, but heck on the otherside of the wall is a giant drop. So I’m glad I’m stopping now and sorting it out with a bruised bum and pride rather than carry on hurtling on and ending up with a broken neck/brain.

Think I might stroll the next part of my bereavement journey. Allow myself to cry that I can’t see my dad over Christmas, that he can’t see or celebrate Omble’s first birthday (he never met her) or Oddlers 3rd Birthday which falls exactly a week after the anniversary of his death. I need to get through all these milestones properly, carefully and finally allow myself to grieve. Properly, with the help of my family, friends and a bereavement counsellor, not by ignoring distracting and hurtling on.

So where are you in your bereavement journey and how are you choosing to journey?

Lots of love


Dear Gut

Dear Gut,
Just a quick thank you for making things make sense. I have been offered a job, but it was one I wasn’t 100% sure about and you were saying “noooo”. Then they changed the offer to make it much more attractive but still you were saying “hmmmm really not sure, probably nooo” and then following extensive conversations with my nearest and dearest and my bosses for other projects, I hit upon a genius solution. Instantly you were soothed and if they accept my genius idea then I am off back to proper work not freelance work anymore. I’m pretty excited about my solution and hope it is accepted, it probably will be as, without meaning to sounding like the big headed fool I really am, they are desperate for me to work for them. Me and my gut are arrogantlyace after all.
So dear gut please keep on helping me make the right decisions. I reckon you are pretty good at it.
Lots of love

Dear Procrastination

Dear Procrastination,

Today I am supposed to be working my socks off preparing for a big days work next week. Instead I thought I would write to you so I started this letter, but then I got distracted by FeedTheHead (for which I blame @prettylpeculiar).

So basically there is no hope for me is there?




Dear Rethink Siblings Network

Dear Rethink Siblings Network,

I have to be honest I never really thought I needed support for my brothers schizophrenia.  I have just sort of bumbled through it for the last 11 years. Then my dad died and I realised how much my parents had protected me from the realities of his condition and now I need to face up to the possibility one day I will be his carer.

I went along last night to a Rethink Siblings Support Group, and initially  I just wanted to find out what local mental health support services were like, as the plan is my mum and brother are ultimately going to move to live near me (they are three hours away), I didn’t plan on doing anything else. To be honest I didn’t really want to go as I personally didn’t think it was really necessary for me.

Completely unexpectedly what I actually found from the group was the support and understanding I had been lacking for the last 12 years.  It was so good to finally be able to talk about it with people who truly understood and weren’t just offering platitudes. Of the 11 people there 10 had schizophrenic siblings, some further along in the process than me, others just starting out and it was brilliant to be able to share our experiences as siblings, something I had never been able to do before.  I did get quite weepy but that is also good, probably a long time coming.

I’m now really excited to be part of this group. I think it will offer me much needed support and I hope I can offer support to others.  I think I only properly realised last night that my brother, the one from my childhood, isn’t ever coming back, but it is about accepting, loving and supporting my new brother however hard that is sometimes.

So thank you so much for realising that siblings need support and putting things in place to support us. I have invited an online friend to join the group too and I thought I would write this post to advertise that sibling support exists and just how crucial it is, even when, like me, you might not think it is!


Your latest member,


P.S  Currently I am pondering how to blog about my brothers condition without causing any detriment to him. As it stands I had to hide the only previous letter I wrote about it, but this letter was too important not to write and I will work it out somehow. Siblings voices are important too.  Possibly anonymous posts or negotiating with him when he is well enough to understand what/why I need to write about it.

Dear Body Image of 5 Year Old Me.

Dear Body Image of 5 year old me,

So I already wrote to my 15 year old body image, but since the news broke that many 5 year olds have poor body image it made me reflect on my own body image aged 5.

As a birthday present my grandma had bought me two new swimming costumes, a royal blue one with florescent trim and a red and white striped bikini pretty similar to this one but with red frills and pants instead of shorts.

I was totally in love with both my new swimming costumes but I especially loved my bikini, it felt so grown up to have an actual bikini. I knew my mum didn’t approve, she didn’t think little girls should wear bikini’s, but the top was a crop top rather than a bra like one. I was five I didn’t have breasts I needed to hide, but now I am a mum myself I understand more about her reservations about girls and bikini’s.

Anyhow I wore it swimming for the first time and my overriding memory of that day was being embarrassed about having my stomach on show.  I thought I was too fat to wear a bikini, and I kept trying to cover my stomach up.

I was ONLY FIVE YEARS OLD and somehow I had already been warped into thinking my tummy should be flat and I must be skinny.  Where the hell did I get that idea from!? Remembering that makes me so sad.  I was a normal healthy 5 year old girl. I wasn’t skinny but I definitely wasn’t fat or overweight, I just had a normal child’s tummy.  It worries me how I must have received these messages that girls must be slim from such an early age.

I suspect partly it was my family and my relationship with my mum and her own relationship with her weight and food, partly my peers- at that time my best friend was Becky- she was slim and beautiful and everyone always commented on her looks.  I don’t think it can have been the media too much- I wasn’t allowed to watch that much telly and my mum never really had women’s magazines, but maybe it was also the billboards, the adverts, thin obsessed society that seeped into my consciousness and invaded my self esteem?

Whatever it was, I never want my girls to feel how I felt that day at the swimming pool (I don’t think I ever wore that swimming costume again), but I feel powerless to stop them feeling like that. What can I do as a mum to make them confident in their own bodies?  I hope my own reasonably happy in own skin body image will help (it took a lot of work and I didn’t get there until I was in my twenties), for example I never ever diet, and I am not particularly obsessed with my weight (although I am aware I eat too much cake at the minute and when I stop breastfeeding I may need to reign it in a bit) as I do think mothers own body image has a massive impact on how daughters perceive their own body image.

On the other hand I worry about Oddler’s diet- she has always been in the 99.9th centile and she eats a lot.  At the minute we try not to worry too much about it, we encourage fruit and veg but are not too fussed if she doesn’t eat them, I really don’t want to get into food being a battleground as it was with my own parents.  Also as my diet isn’t optimum so I can’t really force stuff on my kids that I tend to avoid if I can (I really need to work on that whole role modelling lark!).  We do encourage activity and as she grows up she is a normal healthy two year old on the big side but not overweight for her age. She is exactly like me and I can see she is going to have my build and I can see already the differences in her sister- her baby sister is always going to be a skinny one (like her dad) and I wonder how this will be for them both growing up, especially in the teenage years. I think we just keep doing what we are doing on that front and hope for the best.

One thing important for me to do for their body image is to curb my critical tongue, I inherited it from my mother and I can often come out with a negative instead of a positive.  I know the effect it had on me growing up and I don’t want to have the same effect on my girls. I’m hoping my own experiences will help me not make the same mistakes my parents did, but I also know I am likely to make other mistakes  (plus Philip Larkin had a point), and ultimately I do know my parents love(d*) me and wanted what was best for me, just as I do for my girls.

So dear 5year old body image- the memory of you makes me so sad- as does my 15 year old body image, however ultimately I am cheered that as a 30 year old woman I am pretty happy in my own skin. I am never going to be a skinny minnie, I am never going to have a flat stomach and I’m always going to have my childbearing hips and proportionate build, but that’s okay because I am happy and healthy (could be healthier admittedly) exactly how I am.  So now I just need to work on my girls being at the point I am now without going through the same body image blips I did! Is that even possible?

Raising girls with good self esteem- it’s a minefield innit! Help!

Lots of Love


*P.S Love(d) because my Dad died recently but I know he loved me, I know my alive Mum still loves me.  I have no idea of the correct grammar in such cases!

Dear Strange Baby

Dear Strange Baby,

Who are you? Who do you belong too? Where are you? Who’s house is that? Why is my dad holding you? He was normally a bit scared of holding babies since he dropped me on my head as one- explains a lot! Why does he have a photo of him holding you?
We’d love to know. You intrigue us.
Love LadyProbablyDefinitelyHopefullyNotYourHalfSisterCurd