Pride Month – Is Every Month

Pride Month – Is Every Month

June marks Pride Month, and as much as I don’t believe in dedicated days and months to remember or celebrate something, LGBT issues are very close to my heart.
This month if only a handful of people learn something new about the hardships that the LGBTQ community has suffered over the years. I’m happy.

As a mum to a son who falls under the LGBTQ “banner”, I am always educating myself and those around me on the emotional impact it has on us as a family and my sons daily life.
I really wish that we as a society didn’t feel the need to attach labels to how people present themselves. It really shouldn’t matter what gender we present as, if any, what our sexual preferences are. We are all human beings with feelings who just want to go to school and learn, socialize, work hard at our day job, shop for groceries just like everybody else.
Believe it or not, this is not the case for so many still today!

 

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
On June 28th, 1969 there was a police raid on Stonewall Inn,  a gay bar in the Greenwich Village New York. A violent, multi-day rebellion after patrons of the bar resisted the discriminatory conditions they long endured. It is said that these riots began when a patron “threw the first brick” at a police officer in response to the unjust raid. June was chosen to mark Pride Month to remember those who stood up and fought for their right to love who they wanted to in 1969. Many Pride events are held in June although here in the UK many major cities choose July to hold Pride Month.

 

My family and I have attended several Pride events here in the UK and Copenhagen. Pride celebrates everyone, celebrates love and community. It’s the community that comes across the strongest. No judgment, no sideway looks . Just love and support. I’ve met so many people from all walks of life and ages at a Pride event. I always leave with tears rolling down my face, smiling from ear to ear, my heart full of PRIDE.
A day at Pride is full of all emotions.
I highly suggest everyone attend their local Pride event this year and see for yourself that the LGBTQ community is a wonderful, beautiful community.

Can you actually believe that over 72 countries in 2019 still criminalize gay marriage? We are blessed to live in the UK where my son can love and marry who he wishes, be the gender he chooses to be comfortable with. I am not ignorant to think that there are still many people that don’t feel the same, and these people need to be educated, talk to someone who falls under the LGBTQ+ banner. My son is an amazing person with a huge open heart, who understands that some people still need to be educated. I want to see all schools teach our children the history of the LGBTQ+ community, I want to see teachers and health professions be trained more on LGBTQ+ mental health.

 

1 in 2 transgender people will attempt suicide, this is a horrendous statistic that needs to be addressed. I am sure this was a statistic that was true of the gay community 20+ years ago, now it is the transgender community. I could write pages on this subject but for now, I will leave you with some great resources if you are touched by any of these issues or wish to understand more about the LGBTQ+ community. Please also feel free to contact me if you wish. One day I hope to write more openly about my journey as a mum to a son under this umbrella. When my son is ready for me to talk he will let me know.

Why not google when and where your nearest Pride celebrations are taking place? London Pride is this weekend 6/7 and Bristol Pride is 13/7. We will be flying our rainbow flags and wearing all the glitter we can find next weekend, celebrating our amazing, unique son.

Resources :

Stonewall Charity 

MindOut

Mermaids

Films :

Pose – BBC Iplayer Series

Pride – Movie

 

 

 

Visit Bath Tour

Visit Bath Tour

Abbey Hotel Bath

I had the great pleasure of being invited onto the Bath Makers trip hosted by Visit Bath a couple of weeks ago. We moved to Bath a couple of years ago and like anywhere you live after a time it becomes a habit and you don’t notice all the new places popping up around you. Bath is full of amazing independent shops and businesses, it was great to see Bath through new eyes now we have moved to Frome.

Day 1

Our first stop was to meet at the newly furnished Abbey Hotel for coffee where we would be staying for the night too. Abbey Hotel is a boutique luxury hotel in the heart of Bath, the perfect location to visit all the stunning attractions and shopping Bath has to offer. Only a stones throw away from Bath Abbey and The Roman Baths.

Lunchtime was upon us and Acorn Restaurant were our hosts for lunch. Acorn is an award-winning, innovative vegan food restaurant in the heart of Bath. I was very excited to eat here as it had been on my list for a while now to visit. Richard Buckley owner and head chef treated us to a sumptuous taster menu with a flight of wines. All the crockery used are sourced from local artists which I loved. Our first course came out on a local Frome artist plates Jenny Barton ! I absolutely loved our first course, a coffee infused cauliflower core served on a bed of hazelnut polenta. There was just a subtle hint of coffee which you would never imagine working, but Richard makes cauliflower taste pretty special! This was served with a white Riesling. Other delights were donkey carrots roasted in saffron with parsley powder, almonds with truffle oil. How Richard can get so much taste in a powder is a miracle! The interior is modern and light , with secret nooks for a more intimate dinner.

Acorn Restaurant Bath

With our tastebuds tickled and our bellies full it was time to move on too Bath Aqua Glass Centre to try our hand at glass blowing. A traditional glassblowing & stained glass studio located in Bath. Bath Aqua Glass is famous for its Cremation Ashes glass collection. They do workshops, hen parties, and birthday parties. I am going to take my teens to make baubles at Christmas for the tree.

Next stop was a browse around interiors store Graham and Green on Walcot Street, the artisan quarters in Bath. It has been lovingly transformed from a former 20th century bake house, restoring many of its original features to add character to this unique store. I was in interiors heaven browsing sheepskin seat pads, cushions galore, linen bedlinen and Ubiety candles.

Stroll down to Kingsmead Square and the best gelato in Somerset awaits us at Swoon. I have to admit I am a regular here. My favourite being the pistachio. The pistachios are sourced from Bronte in Sicily. All their gelato’s are churned on site! Pop in and sit at the back and you may be lucky enough to see the gelato being made in person.

Swoon Gelato Bath

After filling our boots on gelato we made our way across the road to Grace and Ted. A curated collection of pre-owned designer clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women. I have actually purchased a beautiful Coach bag from here when we first arrived in Bath. A great treasure trove of clothing. I had my eye on a Chanel evening dress …in my dreams!

Grace and Ted Bath

We then wandered onto Le Vignoble an independent wine lounge with over 250 different wines, champagnes and liqueurs from all over the world. I love the idea of wine tasting on tap, with samples from 80p what a great night out and Sommeliers to advise. We were greeted with a tapas platter containing French cheeses, saucisson, cured hams, olives, bread and dip. I had an all cheese platter with a lovely glass of Sancerre.

Le Vignoble Bath

After a rest back at The Abbey Hotel we then make our way to dinner at the newly opened Koffmanns and Mr White’s. Serving a mix of French and English classics. After a day of eating and drinking I was glad to start our meal with a light salad. I am a vegetarian, so my main dish was a mushroom polenta packed full of flavour. After dinner we were guests in the Art Bar. I absolutely love the concept here of a curated gallery of local artist constantly changing , and all available to purchase. The tables have art books and pencils for you to doodle in as well. Such a fun idea! The Art Bar serves bespoke cocktails of which we were treated with a specially made cocktail for our party.

Day 2

Breakfast was served in Koffmanns and Mr Whites. I enjoyed a delicious serving of poached eggs on gluten free bread and free flowing coffee.

Today we were off to VV Rouleaux for a ribbon flower head dress workshop. I am like a kid in a sweet shop when it comes to trimmings and buttons and such!  I was totally in my element here. At the back of the shop is an atelier where they hold workshops and make bespoke pieces. We were taught how to make flowers using wired ribbon and then attach to a headband. Very simple but so effective. By the end of the hour we were all channeling our inner Frida Khalo!

VV Rouleaux Bath

Lunch was at Beckford Bottle shop near the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Wow this restaurant is full of surprises. A huge wine shop greets you at one end of the shop, the restaurant at the other. Downstairs is the wine cellar and private dining room as well as a casual lounge are with open fire. As we sat down to our table, the food and wine just kept flowing. As a vegetarian I was not to be disappointed at the choice of plates on our table. Most memorable was the beetroot , balsamic vinegar with goats cheese and the marrow frittes and alioli. The tempur batter was so light and melted in the mouth.

Beckford Bottle Bath

My favourite bookstore in Bath is Toppings and Company. It was a pleasure to meet the staff and be given a tour of the shop all whilst sipping Earl Grey tea, which everyone will be welcomed with . Free tea and coffee and comfy chairs are part of the laid- back atmosphere here at Toppings. They hold regular book talks from local and International  artists, of which I have been to a couple and thoroughly enjoyed. The store itself is a sight to behold, beautiful wooden book shelves jammed packed with books, glass vases filled with fresh flowers await you.

Toppings and Company Bath

Next we visited The Good Day Cafe , and its name did not disappoint. The decor is pink, neon lights,  glass topped tables filled with succulents, modern pink velvet sofas all accessorised with cacti! An absolute Instagrammers dream lol. And the food and drinks was pretty photogenic too. I had a super beetroot latte and a slice of gluten free cake. I’ll definitely will be back here for my pink fix!

Good Day Cafe Bath

Our final independent shop was Chanii B, a designer shoe shop in Milsom Place. Chantal greeted us with her warm smile and champagne. Seriously what can be more fun than shopping for designer shoes and sipping on champagne! Chanii B Shoes and Accessories is a luxury shoe brand based in Bath, designed and created by internationally renowned designer Chantal Pilon.

Bath is such a beautiful city and we only touched the surface of the wonderful independent shops, cafes and restaurants that can be found here. If you are looking for a city break, book your self in for a couple of nights at The Abbey Hotel and start to explore the amazing diverse selection of places that Bath has to offer.

Thank you to Visit Bath for having me .

NB : This trip was gifted

You amy also like the following blog posts

Making a Fresh Start

Making a Fresh Start

Can you even believe it’s already April, school holidays next week and we are into the 2nd quarter of 2019! I have had the strangest of starts to 2019; from getting that nasty flu virus twice this year then viral meningitis , 3 weeks ago my son and I were in a car accident ( and still in recovery). I came out with a broken bone in my hand; not great as I am a photographer, bruised sternum and chest ligaments, and my son has concussion and whiplash. Pretty frightening experience for us both as my son watched me being taken by stretcher to the ambulance in a lot of chest pain. We are both extremely thankful to the amazing NHS emergency services and the wonderful people that stayed to look after us both.

Boy has that all messed up with my 2019 plans. Although I don’t make New Year Resolutions ( see my post here), I still have plans, aspirations and dreams for the upcoming year that I like to reflect on every quarter. This year it feels like every time I try and get that mojo flowing and put myself out there, I have had a knock back. It makes me question everything about myself, my business, am I good enough, it really has messed with my brain.

For someone who has clinical depression this has been a really trying time for me and my family. I am very fortunate to have good friends around me, one a life coach and one a wellbeing coach amongst them. Both have spoken to me and told me I have to slow down, listen to my body and take time out for myself, less time on social media. In fact both Gina and Natasha have said to delete the apps from my phone ! Pretty scary if I am to be honest lol , but nothing is going to happen if I step away for a week is there. I may loose a few followers, nothing major in the grand scheme of things.

The other advise they gave me is to take baby, mindful steps at a time. This advise is the greatest gift they both gave me, one I need to work on, not to pressure myself and not to make such big goals that the end seems nigh impossible. One of those baby steps is to get some fresh air everyday , no pressure to count steps, just fresh air that will clear my mind, be beneficial to my mental health, good for my heart, and Buddy benefits too!

So here goes my fresh start and hopefully a healthy one at least!

 

 

Why I don’t make New Year Resolutions

Why I don’t make New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year again, Big Ben has chimed in a New Year 2019 and gym memberships are being signed up, cookbooks for healthy eating are flying of the shelves, and I’ve already broken every NY resolution I have made and its only January 3rd !

So I’m not making any. And what a burden has been lifted of my shoulders already by just writing it down ! Oh the pressure to lose 4 stone by the end of the year, exercise every day for an hour, get up an hour early, write a journal, the list is endless. I’ve made resolutions like this for years and fail at the first hurdle. This year I have thought long and hard and I am NOT making a single resolution. Even the word “resolution” sends shivers up my spine! Instead looking at setting small achievable goals like, set my alarm clock 10 minutes earlier and building up time over a longer period. Loose 1lb a week, thats 52 lbs in a year! 4 stone is a terrifying amount of weight when you look at it like that. Write a journal once a week and build from there. This all becomes so much more achievable straight away. And who says you have to start them on January 1st anyways ??

Instead I am going to make small goals that when I look back in 12 months a larger goal will have been achieved. This starts with my word for 2019. This year I choose BRAVE. It just popped into my head and I kept coming back to this word BRAVE. I looked it up in the dictionary to understand fully what BRAVE would mean for me.

n : braveCourageous, dauntless, perhaps a little bit daring, a person who is brave faces dangerous or difficult situations with courage. … Both adjective and verb forms of the word share a common meaning — the sense of having courage or acting fearlessly.

It does not mean “being afraid and doing it anyway.” Nope. Brave means listening to the still small voice inside and DOING AS IT SAYS. Regardless of what the rest of the world is saying. Brave implies WISDOM.

I love everything BRAVE stands for, I am going to step out of my comfort zone. I am going to not let my fears hold me back. I am going to be a little bit daring!

Being brave will mean:

  • Taking my business to the next level and not holding back because of my age.
  • Taking control of my eating habits
  • Meeting new people and not worrying what they may think of me
  • Embracing turning 50 this year and not hold back because of a number
  • Contacting businesses/individuals I want to collaborate with, they can only say no in the end!
  • Stop comparing myself to others on social media and accept who I am and like me ( this is one of the toughest for me to be honest)
  • Stop listening to the voices in my head telling me I can’t, be brave and try it. Better to have tried than not tried at all

I cannot wait to see where my word takes me in 2019.

Do you make resolutions or do you choose a word for the year? Would love to hear your thoughts…

PS : Highly recommend listening to Christina Greve’s podcast on goal setting for some great tips

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Comparison Is the Thief of Joy” Theodore Roosevelt, argues that comparing your work, your life, or whatever else will only serve to make you unhappy.

 

Powerful quote don’t you think? And from my post on Instagram it seems most of us deal with comparing ourselves to others as some point in our life’s, others more often. Unfortunately I am one of those that spends a lot of time browsing the internet and social media feeds , comparing myself, my work , my lifestyle with others. What good does this do for me? None whats so ever!

Since childhood I have been told that I am not good enough, my grades could be better, not pretty enough, not slim enough , the list goes on , by family members and boyfriends since I can remember. It’s led me to never take compliments well, and on the flip side too seek recognition for anything I do, from cooking, to wearing a new top, to business ventures. I need to be told I am doing OK.

Motherhood comes around and we spend the next 5 years comparing our children to other children by how fast our baby walks and talks, reads on their own, does up their shoelaces. Deep down we know our children develop at different rates and they will get to their own milestones when they are good and ready. In a world of social media where every like counts its a pretty damaging place we can get ourselves into. Comparison is generally the fast track to unhappiness. It’s a recipe for misery. All it does is keeping you focused on what you don’t like about yourself and your life.

So how can we change this shift in our heads and remind ourselves we are all unique individuals with our own stories to tell, our own lives to live in our very own and special way.

Here are my 5 top tips to stop comparing yourself to others 

 

  • Do a social media detox. This sounds scary I know, but social media is the biggest problem in todays world when it comes to comparing ourselves with the unreal “instagram” world. We all do it, we all wish we were that person , living that life in those tiny squares. There are lost of apps out here that can help minimise your time spent on social media ; Freedom and In Moment are two worth having a look at.

 

  • Turn comparison into inspiration. Those images we see on social media, there is a back story to them and probably not so glamorous as the final image. We tend to focus on their success and not on the thousand of hours spent getting there. Be inspired by their hard work and let this motivate you to try harder at reaching your goal. My plan is to move to the South of France , part of achieving that goal is I must be able to speak French. I have weekly French lessons, taking me one step closer to achieving my goal. Looking at someone sitting in France living my life is not going to happen if I don’t do anything about it !

 

  • Look at your past . I bet you have achieved so much already. Be proud, write down a list of achievements you are proud of, big and small. You will most likely surprise yourself with your list. Pin it up somewhere prominent to remind you.

 

  • Meditation and exercise. Such a great way to spend quiet time with yourself , away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Empty your mind of all that negativity. Headspace is a great app that I highly recommend. My son uses it as well and has found meditation helps with his anxiety. Taking yourself outside for a walk in the fresh air, helps boost those endorphins and will, I assure you make you feel so much better.

 

  • Be grateful for what you have. Oprah said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Never a truer quote. Stop wasting valuable time putting yourself down and start improving your life and well being with positive people around you and positive thoughts.

 

I need this reminder as well and will definitely be listening to the headspace app again, and doing a social detox . The weather is perfect for a walk outside, wrap up warm and breathe in some fresh air and enjoy nature.

Would love to hear how you deal with negative comparison in the comments.

Anna x