Tag Archives: children



It’s all change!  I have recently started a website www.nelliepompoms.co.uk and am   s l o w l y   but surely moving the blogs from here across to there.  Huge thanks to Gabriella Buckingham who designed my original logo and Sarah at Studio Spence who has put it all together for me, if you’re looking for a website then do get in touch with Sarah, she’s very clever (and patient!).

The website has been an idea of mine for ages.  Drawing on my many adventures and journeys, shopping experiences and personal recommendations I have brought everything together and popped it all in one place.  It’s where you will find food and drink suggestions, recent book reviews, the Instagram feed, Twitter timelineNellie Pom Poms Facebook status updates, blog and shopping inspiration from some very lovely people and businesses like Common Farm Flowers, Myddfai, Bowlovers, More-Hall, Bodlon, 2 Little Boys, Hunter Gatherer and more!

So, this blog post is short and sweet (much like myself!), but I do hope you will bookmark www.nelliepompoms.co.uk, sign up to the blog on the website and tell your friends.


It’s the little things


I’ve just had my 46th birthday.

IMG_5133My girls asked me ages ago what I want for my birthday and I said things like the dishwasher emptied and filled up, a nice cup of coffee first thing in the morning, a house full of happy people, daffodils and tulips.  They rolled their eyes and asked but what really did I want!  Just that, that was all!

IMG_5144On Monday throughout the day the house was full, the table groaned under the weight of Thai (green but actually red) curry and the house was full of spring flower filled jugs and vases.


At one stage I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen as some heavy duty wrapping was happening and when I was handed a long box I giggled and said After Eights, which prompted cries of how did you know?  I know the shape of an After Eight box like Big Welsh knows the shape of a chocolate orange.  It’s the little things!

So yes girls I might be the hardest person to buy for but I’m also the easiest person to please.

What’s on your easy to please list?  I’d love to know!

Cancer is such a nasty word, an evil disease and I hate it


I’ve got this friend, she’s called Clare, she’s an Aussie married to a Frenchman, I call her Madame Cholet. Our girls were at school together, we’ve spent summer holidays with them in Brittany and La Rochelle, we’ve done the Bordeaux city break and she stays here when she’s in the UK.  I also call her often as she’s moved to Bordeaux. She’s had breast cancer that spread to the hip and lung, she wore a wig and never lost her sense of humour.  One summer Laree woke up in the night and walked into the wardrobe, then screamed as she was lost.  Cholet ran in with her bed bonnet on – that stopped Laree crying!!  Sometimes we don’t speak for weeks but it doesn’t matter. For some reason it did matter to me last Sunday as I dreamt she had gone on the lash with a Twitter follower and they were sending selfies and cocktail texts.  Charming.

The next morning I had a message to call her after school run so I did.

The chat went like this:

N. Hey bonjour.

C. Hey there g’day

N. Phoning before 9, not had coffee

C. Oh darl

N. What’s the news?

C. Well I didn’t want you to hear in an email

N. Oh shit. What?

C. Well I wasn’t feeling too great during a class and …

N. Yes and what?

C. The cancer has spread to my brain

N. No. How bloody can it?

C. I know

N. So what now? Am I coming to Bordeaux soon?

C. That’d be lovely but I don’t know how I’ll be what with treatment and things

N. I can hold your hand

C. That’d be nice

N. With a glass in the other

C. That’d be nice

N. So what?

C. Well I don’t know when I’ll start radiotherapy and chemotherapy

N. Shall we do birthdays?

C. That’d be good.

N. What’s the oncologist say?

C.  Well the onco …

N.  Onco!!!

C.  Yeah well the onco says radiotherapy for 4 weeks

N.  Will you get a new wig?

C.  No I don’t think so, besides I have my one from last time and it suits me.

N.  Want me to shave my hair off?

C.  No blood way you’ll look bloody ridiculous

N.  Thanks!

C.  So what other news have you got?

N.  Oh nothing really, I’ll save it all for when I come and see you!

C.  I’ll look forward to that.

N.  Great well I will look at flights and when we know what’s what I will appear

C.  I really can’t wait.

N.  Neither can I.

C.  I’ve got to go now as the other phone is ringing

N.  OK phone me when you can.

C.  Will do, love you.

N.  Love you too.

Got off the phone, cried great big fat tears and then then phone rang again about 10 minutes later.

C.  Hello darl.

N.  Hey, what’s the news?

C.  Have you had coffee yet?

N.  No not yet what else are you going to tell me?

C.  Oh just that the car broke down.

N.  I’ll get a taxi!

Since then we have had lots of chats, I’m telling her stupid things about my day, she’s telling me snippets of her day.

I told the girls.  Loops nodded her head and said are you going to see her?  Mook burst out crying and said can we go and see her.  Laree asked if she was wearing a wig.

She’s begun radiotherapy this week.  I hate cancer so much.

Chasing tails & herding goats


The return to education was staggered this term with Loops starting college with odd hours, Mook & Laree going back on the Thursday and clubs not starting until the week after the first full week.

It’s taken some getting used to this academic year. I’ll be honest. There’s more planning, more work, more bags and more hanging around. Loops goes on the train and hangs around hopefully for a lift to the station, Mook had been constantly tired and Laree well quite frankly she never sits still so all in all I feel like I’m chasing my tail and herding goats.

When they were little I didn’t give much thought to how their schooldays would pan out and quite what impact it would all have on the day but now I think of nothing else! As I sat down earlier and glanced at the clock it was approaching midday, noon, 12 o’clock. That’s really not a long time, not really. Oh I can achieve great things in 3 hours but I can’t overrun. As I dropped off early that morning I thought great I’ve got an extra half an hour, in reality I probably wasted that extra half an hour by idling with my first cup of coffee.

Now all the clubs and tea invitations have started I can breathe a sigh of relief that on at least 2 days of the week my day is a bit longer and on those days I can plan my diary effectively. Less chasing tails and herding goats.

I didn’t count on Mook getting glandular fever though so I’m now at home nursing a taller than me child who wants to Cwtch up and recuperate with Mama. When she’s settled I can get on. Chasing my tail before the school day ends and I’m chasing goats. My tail. My goats.

Today but also forever


Well it’s here, GCSE results day. I’m feeling as nervous now as I was when the exams were happening but I’m also feeling brave and that’s what those who are awaiting the envelope should feel.

These results are the paper proof in the pudding for two years of work but what’s written on them isn’t the end. Regardless of the results there’s always opportunity and opportunity should be seized with both hands, an accepting mind and a brave heart. Crikey my results weren’t going to stop me being alive, living or making plans, I just had to think more about what I was going to do and at 16 I had no idea! I either wanted to be a vet or join the Police as a child. Well I never became a vet but I’ve had a fun and varied career.

Let’s go back to then …..

I’d spent the best part of the summer with my then boyfriend and his family in Estepona, together with said boyfriend and brother we’d gone to my grandparents in Bath for a few days and generally geared up to go back to 6th form at school. My results weren’t great and the Headmistress had offered 3 options – go down a year, stay for a term or leave. I took the middle option and returned to school and did retakes. Ok and then went to a crammer to retake the ones I’d inadvertently failed. I hated crammer and was pleased to leave. That summer I bumbled and flopped around before heading off to secretarial college where it clicked. I knew what I was doing.

I worked hard and played hard, I knuckled down and got my diploma before heading off into the commercial world where I stayed until I went on maternity leave.

Back to today ….

As I woke up with a pit in my stomach realising what day it was I also thought “I’m ok, I’m still here, I’m alive” and whilst the results weren’t what I actually needed at that time they were good enough for me. So for Loops and all of you getting your results “if they’re good enough for you then they’re good enough for me” and “que sera, sera”.

Good luck.


There’s words that make me wince, like paper cut. It’s because it does just that – the paper cuts, the paper cut smarts and it’s a shock. I think you know the wince look!

When I meet people for the first time and they ask how many children I have I can almost guarantee their “look” when I say I have 3 girls. Why do they look at me like that? You know the “look” I mean! The shock / horror / pitying look! Followed by the “poor you, wait until they’re teens”. Oh hahaha.

My eldest is already a teen, we’re well versed in teenagers, the middle one is going to be a teen tomorrow, which leaves us with 4 years until the youngest one becomes a teen, by which time my eldest will be 20 and therefore no longer a teen.

I don’t feel “poor me” because my children are growing up, I feel “poor” at times because they’re expensive to run but in actual fact I feel enriched by my 3. They are lovely, they drive me mad, they make me laugh, they hang around me just ‘hanging around’, they try and teach me about their music, they are amazed when I know the words of songs, they leave their stuff all over the place, they take over my dressing table, they hug me, they stamp their feet, they eat everything, they grow out of clothes and shoes in the blink of an eye, they help me cook – they don’t help me clear up.

Please don’t give me the look of pity because I’ve got 3 girls, instead congratulate them on being individuals who are gorgeous, interesting, sociable, humorous and inquisitive. Of course they’ve inherited all that from me!!

Why do people say daft things?