It’s our anniversary!

Today I have had a reminder from WordPress that this is our anniversary! One year of writing our blog! Well, what a year that was! Simon and I setting ourselves up in Peterborough, Simon settling into the routine ofimage the Arrowsmith programme whilst I settled into life as an expat mum. How lucky we were with the amazing group of people we found ourselves amongst, both students and parents and the wonderful, wonderful Arrowsmith staff. We couldn’t have found a more inclusive and caring community and so it continues this year, with lovely mums looking out for Simon, inviting him out for dinner and fun times whilst I am flitting around the globe, celebrating Michael’s birthday in Italy, going to a beautiful wedding in Malta and now in London with some of my family having a lovely time!

The best thing about Simon surprising Michael with his unexpected arrival in Italy was Michael’s shock and delight in having him there, but that was closely followed by the number of positive comments about Simon from our friends who hadn’t seen him for a whole. His increased confidence and chattiness, joining in with big group discussions and having his say was noticed by many. It was so lovely to hear our friends seeing the changes wrought by the hard work he has put into  Arrowsmith, doing the cognitive improvement exercises day in and day out, making the neuroplastic changes in his brain over the last year. It was very heartening for Simon as he can see those changes too, knowing that he can now be comfortable and confident in situations that would previously have been daunting for him. The wonders of the changes due to Simon undertaking the Arrowsmith programme continue to unfold! What will this year bring?

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London calling! Goodbye Malta!

Heading to London now, having had a wonderful time in Malta, chasing childhood memories with my sister as we spent so many holidays there, catching up with friends, making new friends and going to a wonderful wedding, filled with so much love and joy, in a fairy tale setting. The sun has been shining, the food fabulous, lots of laughter, happy days indeed!

Meanwhile, Simon made his way back to Peteborough and is settling iimagento the programme again and a different life to that of last year. I think having his first Friday night without his regular Friday night and no Mum there to go out for dinner with or to do something, anything instead of Friday night was quite lonely. I am sure that he will be better organised and organise something to fill the void next Friday.

Off to our flight soon!

What a week that was!

There were so many wonderful moments during our week celebrating Michael’s birthday but the best for me was seeing Michael’s face as Russell made an announcement saying that whilst Michael thought he knew how many people were present he had forgotten one person! At that point Simon came running up the stairs and flung himself onto Michael, givinimageg him a big hug! The look on Michael’s face was priceless, he had had no idea that we had been scheming this surprise for some time! It was such a surprise for nearly everyone at the party that no one recorded the moment but I don’t think anyone who was there will forget it! Tears all round!

So then we partied on! Gathering on the terrace, having long lazy days in the sun, chatting and catching up with friends old and new, the catch cry for most people being “it is so good to see you agin! Last time I saw you was here at Conca del Sogno 2/3/4  or however many years ago!” We mingled, swam, sun baked and enjoyed the long days followed by long dinners, more chatting, laughing and catching up! I felt extremely blessed to have all of our beautiful children with us, who are clearly not children but gorgeous young people with us and some of their good friends too, as well as Victor as well as Vicky and Richard who were mad enough to come for a really short time and to bring Simon with them! And friends from Australia, the UK and Ireland, you all made it such an amazing time! The backdrop of the stunning Amalfi Coast is so special too and as for the food!! Tomatoes to die for! Back to the gym soon! But in the meantime, we will continue to enjoy the Mediterranean. We are in Malta now, conjuring up memories from my past as we spent many summers here. Our reason to be here though is a wedding, you know you are getting old when the children of your friends are getting married!

Not an exciting day!

Simon says he didn’t do anything exciting today! Same old, same old! Then again, repetition and perfect practice of the Arrowsmith cognitive exercises is what grows neurons, so most days will not be exciting days! Walking helps cement the growth of those neurons so we have been doing a lot of walking! The lovely Trent Univerisyt nature reserve was our walk yesterday evening and tonight we are at the Silver Bean Cafe again, enjoying the evening sun before we walk back for dinner.

Another couple of day and I will be heading for the Amalfi Coast to meet Michael, Emma, Lara ,family and friends for a big celebration, much to Simons chagrin! image

“Make glorious, amazing mistakes.”

For you Lara, thought you’d like to see Neil Gaiman’s speech! He is so worth watching!

The Daily Post

In Neil Gaiman’s now famous 2012 commencement speech at the University of the Arts, he offers some excellent advice to free us from perfectionism, imploring us to simply create — to make art — no matter what. What’s wonderful about this advice is that it applies to any creative endeavour, regardless of whether your art form is writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, or découpage:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good…

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Peterborough weekend

No Friday night this weekend, Jonathan, very excitingly, has moved to Ottawa to go to university. I think I may have mentioned that before! So, what to do with ourselves on a Friday night now? Simon and I decided to go out to dinner at the Ashburnham Ale House, good choice although Simon discovered that side ribs are not the same as a rack of ribs! Oh imagewell, they tasted good – he, the would be vegetarian, except when it comes to ribs! Just as we left our outside table an amazing storm started, perfect timing on our part!

Saturday saw us at the Farmers Market once again, tempted by the great atmosphere and the wonderful produce. Yet again the fridge is overflowing as is the fruit bowl!  Simon spent the afternoon putting up his photos on his bedroom wall, making it very much his space and we are shortly going to print out many more from over the summer/winter. It is lucky he has plenty of wall space! I went out, to the Buckhorn Quilt Show, there were so many beautiful quilts, traditional and contemporary, colourful and bland, it was inspiring, but no, I am not going to take up quilting! Maybe one day….

Then we went onto the Buckhorn Art Gallery on the Lake. The sheer number and styles of paintings was amazing, as well as the sculptures, pottery and amazing tables made from extraordinary pieces of wood or roots. The paintings by Tim Packer of sun shining through birch trees caught my eye, and they do shipping!

Catching up on the internet and having a delicious breakfast at the Silver Bean Cafe, a really nice way to start our Sunday, in the sun! Simon has a lot of chores for the rest of the day but I have a big walk in mind, hopefully we can come to a compromise!

Another riddle from a fellow blogger and we can’t work out the answer, all help, except from Richard, accepted!

Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it, you die. What is it?