September is about to land on us and I’m totally ready. I’m ready for sweat to stop dripping from under my boobs, my hair to not frizz at the mere thought of exiting a building, and yes, for the kids to be back at school. Guys, it’s jeans, boots and cozy sweater weather very, very, soon. I can barely contain myself.

Our summer’s been busy and boring, happy and hard, lazy and loquacious.

Okay, I confess, I just looked up what loquacious means because it’s such a fun word and I just had to use it. For those of you like me, who are vocabularily challenged, it means “tending to talk a great deal, talkative.”

So yes, our summer was loquacious. How about yours?

I’ve decided to hook up with Emily P Freeman and friends and share what I learned this summer. As Emily says, What We Learned is a place where “we pause to reflect on the past season before we move ahead into the future.” I like that. I need a pause before I storm into September breaking the land speed record. Maybe you do too.

Here are some of the things I learned this summer in the order they fell out of my brain.

1. Megan Markle is in Suits.

I know we are the LAST people on the planet to figure this out but we started watching the series with absolutely no idea she was in it. Then we saw her and shrieked “OMG it’s the Duchess of Sussex!!” and as we’ve gotten to know her character, Rachel Zane, we feel like we’ve become lifelong friends with the Duchess. Don’t ask about the steamy scenes in the filing room or her bedroom. It’s all too much for us. She’s a Duchess for goodness sake!!!

2. Don’t wear white when there’s a chance of rain. 

How many times have a told my kids this? Did I heed my own advice? Nope. Did my white shorts get soaked through for all of NYC to see I was wearing my Christmas undies? You betcha. I thought we were meant to live and learn – maybe not in my case.

3. Sometimes you’ve got to be prepared to poop in the woods.

When your son, who’s about to return to college for his junior year, asks if you want to do an overnight hike you can’t let the fear of needing to poop behind a tree stop you. If you’re new around here let me explain – since having rectal cancer (yup, you read that right, rectal cancer) my digestion has a mind of its own. It’s temperamental and unpredictable but I couldn’t let that stop me spending time with my man-boy. So I went. And my fears came true. Twice. No make that three times. But you know what? I survived. And more importantly, his memories are of munching trail mix on the mountaintop as the sun went down, not waiting for mum to emerge from the undergrowth.

4. I value my notebook more than my phone.

It might look like a regular Moleskin with a pen attached but really it’s my second brain (now that the first one is starting to wither). Last month our house was broken into and my bag was stolen this book was the one thing I feared losing most. It has my notes, ideas, dreams, quotes, and inspirations, in it (not my grocery and to-do lists) and thankfully it was on my desk. I can replace a phone but not these seeds of creativity.


5. My November self will need a holiday. 

Come November Al and I will need to get away. We’ll be tired, ratty, and need of a break before Christmas winds into gear. We’ll need to jump of the treadmill of life and reconnect to each other, reminding ourselves we actually like one another. We took a break last October and it was the best, so we’re planning one for November. I can’t wait.

6. We are all creative. 

I used to think I wasn’t creative. Creative people wear cool clothes and can draw, paint, dance or sing. They can create. They can take something or lots of somethings and make something else, something beautiful, clever or funny that no one’s thought of before. Yet we are all creative. Whether at work as we figure out a way to solve our latest computer freeze up, at school as we write essays from a fresh perspective, or in the kitchen throwing together leftovers to make a gourmet meal. Let’s not use labels. I’d labeled my self not creative and never thought to create. What a shame if we all did that.

7. We are all different and it’s a beautiful thing.

A truth from Piglet: “The things that make me different are the things that make me” that we must let be squashed by the rubbish we believe when our world falls apart. I wrote about that here.

8. I cry at the weirdest, most unexpected things.

I’ve known this a while but it hit me again when I dropped kiddo #2 off at college and didn’t need a Kleenex. I’ve decided I’m not a bad mum/person and neither are you if you’re not a crier. I wrote about it here on Instagram

9. To write is to risk.

Writer Denise Hughes said this and I knew she was right when I hit send on my manuscript. Boy it was hard. What if you didn’t like it? Will people think differently about me? Risky.

10. It’s good to remind ourselves of our crazy years.

It’s been a long time since I dressed up in fishnets to dance the Rocky Horror TimeWarp at Baker Street cinema but it felt so good to belt it out with my Sophie as I took her to college. It’s just a jump to the left and then a step to the right. Put your hands on your hips and bend your knees in time …

What did you learn this summer? What were your highs and lows? I’d love to hear.

If you’d like to read what other people learned this summer Emily hosts a link up where others like me share there thoughts. You can find it here.


If it’s been a rough summer I’m so sorry.

I’m all about meeting you when life’s not fair and helping you live life to the full no matter what junk gets thrown your way. So, I’ve made you this gift – 10 Promises for When Life’s Hard. I’ll send it to you along with other helpful tips, encouragements and a whole lot of reality when you sign up to get my emails.

I know your inbox is a crazy place already so I promise I won’t spam you. No junk just, the good stuff to help you thrive, not just survive.


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