By Alison April 16, 2008 14 Comments 4 Min Read


I am hiding in my bedroom while two child shaped monsters systematically trash my house. Every so often one or the other runs into my bedroom and clips a  laundry peg to my fuchsia pink toe then run’s out shouting “Don’t be cheeky Mrs Moustache!  (General consensus seems to be that I have got a moustache. My Dad told me over lunch on Sunday but I’m trying not to dwell on it.)

It is a beautiful day. I’ve been into the back garden/yard/postage stamp and started my annual horticultural spring clean, which mostly involved calling said Father to get him to come and take away rusty toddler bikes, pulling out dead beetroot and avoiding looking my neighbour in the eye. But it is a start and a start is a good as a hiccup. And now after a spiky hot chamomile shower (Run it boiling hot, then before you get in sprinkle a few drops of your chosen aromatherapy oil onto the base of the shower, switch it off, wait a few minutes,then switch it back on and get in) I am here, buried in a pile of paisley pillows with a blush coloured glass of dandelion tea, talking to you. A long overdue chat methinks…

I disappear don’t I? Lately I am finding it more and more difficult to be a women, and a mother and a housekeeper and a sister and a friend and a blogger and a daughter. A person with ambition. With needs. With hope and a mortgage. Somebody’s child. An adult in my own right. The constant terrible quandary of trying to be both. A writer. A reader. Someone capable of honouring her body and her dreams. Someone willing to set herself aside for other people, her relationships and her son…

If it is difficult to be all things to all people, it is almost impossible to juggle our own expectations of who we ought to be without feeling as though we are dropping balls all over the place. Leaving things unsaid. Undone. Annoying the neighbours by singing too loudly and forgetting to bring in the wheelie bin. Actually walking around it without seeing it and this week forgetting to put the recycling out at all (May God and the green police forgive me). Watching things fall apart as we stitch a life up. Sewing up one pocket and seeing a bit of who you used to be, who people have come to expect you are, leaking out of the other. Buying shoes instead of soap powder and spending blissful mornings in bed when we should be up and about, chasing our future instead of living in the delicious, cosy moment. Doing a happy dance as I send my babba to his Daddy’s for a sleepover so I can go out and then spending the rest of the evening feeling a teeny tiny bit evil for liking the woman I am when I am not obliged to play Mommy. The woman I become in high heels. She who casts off her pinny and dances on chairs. Worrying constantly about what other people think and in the same breath, truly not giving a damn.Worrying about occasionally feeling like I’m eighteen again when I’m (As Helen likes to remind me) in the mid to late thirties bracket. Pouting too much. Because I can. (Even though I shouldn’t and someone has to pinch me to remind me to stop). Feeling guilty. (Terrible word: guilt). Feeling compromised. (Terrible word: compromised). Feeling obliged.(Terrible word: obliged). And in a strange turn of events, feeling excited (Great word: excited) about feeling guilty, and obliged, and compromised and doing bugger all about it, even if, as a woman,  these are the emotions we often allow ourselves to be defined by. Feeling a peculiar sense of freedom and ever so slightly (Lets not get carried away here!) revelling in it…

Today I’m excited about David Essex’s new look. (A vintage crush!). About the crisp new edition of Vogue, still wrapped in it’s plastic envelope downstairs, waiting to be savoured in front of The Apprentice tonight. About melting my moustache off (Don’t tell anyone will you? Especially not my Dad. He rather likes having a hirsute daughter) and the sense of promise that is light nights as we drift into Summer. About planting broad beans and eating them later in the season mashed onto thick toast with fresh mint and mozzarella. About feeling slightly dazzled by someone I really like. About restoring order to my living room and banishing teeny little super heroes to bed. About the two parcels waiting to be collected from the postal depot. About the weekend coming and the one after that. About a silver top I’m dreaming about. About a new brand of cucumber scented washing up liquid that makes me swoon. About changing my perfume and trying on a whole new person.

Well about everything really….

That’s a good thing right?


  1. Barbara says:

    I love it and especially the 30 something part, I am happy for you that you are enjoying that and I really don't know you. I would feel as bad for you as I do for myself if you couldn't enjoy the later thirties. Go dance on those chairs and click those high heels and get all smelly with perfume. You lucky duck

  2. Jacqui G says:

    I love your meanderings! And Spring is slowly taking over Georgia – tucking little sprigs of lime green into the garden when I’m not looking, so that I can happen upon them later – and I relish this constant, gentle buzz of excitement that comes with the shift of seasons. It’s time for new things, new goals, new me!

  3. Katherine says:

    Do it all–it all sounds wonderful!

  4. Karla says:

    Oh indeed it’s a good thing. I’m now 37 and am loving myself, my stretch-marked 2-baby-producing body and my life in ways I never thought possible! I hope you will discover the same things. Just be you – take the time you need to be who you are at any given moment. If that means giving up blogging momentarily, so be it! You must do what works for you.

  5. Anita says:

    I turned 41 this year, and I am more at home in my own skin than ever, and finally living a life that feels like my own… And they tell me it only gets better! 🙂
    Great post!

  6. Sasha says:

    I properly laughed out loud about the ‘Mrs Moustache’ jibes, and having this sensitive news being broken to you by your Dad over Sunday dinner! (and obviously in earshot of your babba!!!). So typical of my family too – but would we have it any other way? Probably not…
    I turned 35 this year, and you voice what goes on in my head most of the time perfectly. I have noticed that some days I feel more of a silly teenager who wants to sulk and rebel more than I ever did when I was 16 – weird huh?! It doesn’t help that my daughter is herself knocking on teenage-hood’s door….. my poor husband with two of us to contend with! Except I’m NOT a teenager any more am I…oh yeah…
    Who knew we had to grow out of this, and into our ‘grown up’ selves TWICE??!!
    I say wear that perfume, try on a few versions of yourself until you find one you really like spending time with – just because, now we really are officially grown ups – we can!

  7. mimi x x says:

    Phew! Oh for one moment I was worried that you were announcing the end of Brocante Home! But what a lovely post, once I got over that! I love the coming-of-broad-beans feeling of summer. Perhaps we are all like chicks hatching out, having to break out of our shells in order to grow?

  8. I came across your blog recently while surfing the net and liking what I saw, I subscribed. Today I received my first emailed blog from you and it came as I was in flurry of work emails, my phone was ringing off the hook, and I had sticky tabs stuck to my forehead reminding me to call the printer about a new quote for brochures and my mobile phone had started a vibrating dance on my desk while I ignored it. As the email came in my box, I thought “I’ll take just a glance,” which translates into, “If it’s interesting, I’ll read it later.” A glance turned into a minute and before I knew it was tapping down the stairs for a cup of tea. I returned settling back into my desk chair full fledged reading your blog, smiling over the Ikea ad in the next one, and simply enjoying the “time out” moment. The whimsy of your words caught me, as buried in your text I saw a myself.
    The Antiques Diva (TM)

  9. Polly says:

    Yep, that pretty well says it! We try to be all the things we want ourselves to be and what other people want us to be, and then feel guilty over what we are not, exhausted of being who we aren’t and excited about what there’s still hope for. And somehow God accepts us as we are. =) Blessings… Polly

  10. Gill says:

    Wonderful post, I wish I could write as eloquently as you do. Seems to go with the territory, those feelings of guilt we women have, but at 46 I’ve noticed the guilt rears it’s head less and less, eventually you start being just you again. Lovely post.

  11. Oh yes! A very good thing to be excited about things once again. Broad beans mashed onto thick toast with fresh mint and mozzarella? Sounds so exotic to me…

  12. Jacquie Kernick says:

    I'm going to enjoy catching up on the days I've missed your musings.
    Not to upset you….but these things you write about today…being all things to all people, indulging yourself, guilt, changes, choices…well it doesn't go away!
    I'm approaching my 60th birthday this autumn and I'm feeling just the same…kind of enjoying the discoveries though. Be yourself and revel in it…that's my motto!
    Love the blog. xxx

  13. Jacquie Kernick says:

    I'm going to enjoy catching up on the days I've missed your musings.
    Not to upset you….but these things you write about today…being all things to all people, indulging yourself, guilt, changes, choices…well it doesn't go away!
    I'm approaching my 60th birthday this autumn and I'm feeling just the same…kind of enjoying the discoveries though. Be yourself and revel in it…that's my motto!
    Love the blog. xxx

  14. Suzanne says:

    How would I get through the week without having the opportunity to escape into the insight of your blog, Brocante? It is always such a ‘breath of fresh air’ to take those precious moments from the chaos of obligation and compromise (your right, they are nasty, nasty words) and know that someone else (who can say it a whole lot better than me) has already discovered my daily thoughts and turned them into something with humility, understanding and wisdom! Thank you and keep writing…it keeps the rest of us going : )

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