Category: post

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What’s in a name?

Lying on my desk is an item that is completely out of pace with the modern digital age – my address book. It is the same one I have had since I was a teenager. The spine is broken and the paper has come off the front cover, showing the thick cardboard underneath. Written on […]

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Inventing traditions

The Christmas season is full of traditions, and they were particularly strong in my childhood home. Every evening during Advent, we read part of ‘A Christmas Carol’, timing it to finish on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve itself, we ate traditional Finnish food – roast ham, swede, carrot and potato ‘boxes’, and rice pudding. We […]

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The most wonderful time of the year

In the past, I did always think that Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year – and to pile on the clichés, I also wished it could be Christmas every day. Not surprising, really, given how magical Christmas was at my house when I was a child. Candle arches lighting up the windows, […]

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Creative freedom

This was my Easter egg competition entry, age 8. Next to this photo in my album, it says, ‘My Easter rabbit-egg – made by me’. I didn’t write those words – and I didn’t make the ‘Easter rabbit-egg’. It was my mother’s idea, and she was also responsible for most of the execution. I did […]

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When am I enough?

In the 1993 film ‘Cool Runnings’, a group of underdogs is striving hard to win a gold medal at bobsledding. On the evening before the crucial Olympic run, the team driver asks their coach why he once cheated, even though he already had two gold medals. The coach replies, “A gold medal is a wonderful […]

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My house divided

Having grown up in the mainland UK, where the broad barrier of the sea separated us from other countries, land borders have always held a special fascination for me. The idea of being able to stand with one foot in one country, and the other in a completely different one, still seems incredible to me. […]

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In pursuit of my passion

In their first years at school, each of my daughters had a friendship book, in which their friends could stick a photo and answer questions about themselves. I loved the answers to the question, ‘What do you want to be when you are older?’. They varied from the hilariously mundane, ‘4, and after that 5’, […]

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Balancing the energy books

For many years, being tired was just part of my life. I woke up tired, felt tired all day long, and by 9:30pm I was grateful to fall into bed. I was tired in the week, tired at weekends, tired during the holidays. But that was normal, wasn’t it? I was a working mother of […]

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How to be a good detective

It’s a frequently recurring storyline in detective tales. A crime has been committed, and evidence has been found that appears to point in the direction of one of the characters, Mr J. Detective A – the ‘bad’ detective – sees the evidence and immediately concludes Mr J is guilty, arrests him and throws him into […]

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A midlife crisis? But I hate sports cars!

I finished my first course of coaching full of energy and enthusiasm, and confidence in my ability to change myself for the better. Less than a year later, it was Christmas. A popular song was the tongue-in-cheek anti-Christmas hit ‘Ik wil alleen maar huilen’ (All I want to do is cry) by Stippenlift. Coincidental, because […]