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I spent Sunday battling the rain and wind on the motorway as my 4 year old daughter was performing in a ballet show in the Sands Centre Carlisle. She was a star – literally. She had a star costume with a little hole for her head to poke out and of course I found her to be the most endearing little star to ever twinkle in the sky.  My daughter was excited to be on stage, see her friends and did not show one ounce of stage fright, which left me rather in awe. However what she was most excited...

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I recently got lucky enough to have a treatment in a spa. I arrived - the pan pipes were playing in the background, the lady behind the desk spoke in hushed tones, placed a hand behind my back and guided me like a child into the changing area. I could feel myself starting to relax already until I saw the minuscule disposable thong I was ‘invited’ to wear – I don’t think I’ve worn anything that size since my early twenties. Lying naked (I refuse to call those thongs clothing) on the slab can be quite a vulnerable experience –...

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Part of me would like the stereotypical Father's Day. Lets call it 'Fathers Day, the dream'. Wake up in my own time and in a leisurely fashion. Tea, a few slices of sourdough toast and marmalade, all served in bed with The Times newspaper. Where are the children? Silly question. They are downstairs playing quietly with Claire.   With three children 'Father's Day, the reality' is very different. Very. Last year Claire was heavily pregnant and we spent most of the day travelling to Carlisle to see our middle child dance (3-4 hour round trip for 2 minutes on stage...)....

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#arthritis, #eczema, #psoriasis, livingwitheczema -

I have been a sufferer of eczema all my life. I had it terribly as a child and then again for years as a teenager. I tried every cure out there and it only disappeared when I moved abroad -no idea why but I suggest the NHS consider putting that cure on prescription. I thought I was clear of it. However I have had a major re-occurrence and this time it has even spread to my face. Before this latest outbreak I remembered the eczema only vaguely and just as an irritation – it wasn’t so bad surely? But oh...

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“Oi fat old lady!” – No, not some troll heckling me but my six year old son shouting and giggling uncontrollably in the playground. I was really shocked by the rude, albeit somewhat accurate, greeting. Out of the mouths of babes and all that.... I am holding on to the fact that at least he said ‘lady’. Of course, with the indulgence of the mother/son relationship I forgave, probably too quickly, putting it down to boundary pushing and the sometimes incomprehensible boy humour. Being a mother is a strange dichotomy - we are 100% needed but yet completely taken for...

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