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New Decade

In exactly one month I begin a whole new decade of my existence. Yep, bye bye twenties. I wish I could say I was sad to be leaving them behind but in all honesty I’m really ready to start a fresh page.

My twenties were really hard. Illness and fairly gruelling rehabilitation seemed to eat up so much of it and obviously relationships haven’t quite gone as I had planned back when I was a fresh-faced twenty year old. But it gave me my son, and I’ve grown. Not grown-up, but grown, hmm, in? I am a different person after these ten years. A better one, stronger, more in touch with how I tick and with the world around me and why I’m on it.

It really feels like a new start, this. I’m excited. Excited to see what happens next and the people I’ll meet and what I’ll discover. I feel lighter, somehow, than I did ten years ago, even though I have much more on my shoulders.

The people at Journal10 offered me one of their ten year journals and I said yes. In it I have space to record a couple of lines every day, laid out day by day so I can see what I was doing every year on a particular day, all the way over decade. I think I will aim to record just one thing from every day. Something I noticed or did or read or something that was said to me. And then I can watch which way I grow and which way the wind blows me.

Thanks to Journal 10 for my new companion. It comes beautifully leather bound, with extra space for longer, continued entries and pages to mark down important dates and occasions. There’s pages to plan your dreams and mark your accomplishments each year and keep track of addresses and other important info. You can buy them via here.

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Knock Knock

My whole house smells of lilies today, and that’s because a knock on my door on Saturday morning bought me these. A huge thank you to the Flower Council of Holland who are giving away bouquets every day for 100 days and decided that I should receive some. Flowers make me a special kind of happy and waking up every morning to see a few more blooms opening has been an absolute joy. Thank you to lovely Jack at Cow PR for getting in touch and making my day.

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Me and the boy are starting to settle into a new winter routine. Busy mornings at pre-school for him, and study for me, and then home early afternoon to crash. Afternoons spent kicking leaves are becoming slightly less fun, more soggy than crunchy, aside from the odd bright day, with temperatures dropping and more rain and dark  coming quicker and gloomier.

But the truth is, although I’m missing more time outside, I’m loving our afternoons. Curtains get closed early and our sofa is now a permanent nest with cushions and blankets. Kai is usually content to play on whatever adventure he’s dreamed up that day, and I knit, or clean, or work a little and we chat our lovely secret, in-joke chat and make each other laugh and fend off the grumps with snacks and painting and other indoory things. There’s definitely a touch of hibernation-mode kicking in – even I’m going to bed earlier. There’s something about winter, inbuilt in us, that breeds sitting, and hunkering down, and, oh and stories. Yes. It is definitely a time for books, too.

The people from the new Tesco Magazine Kids’ Book Club got in touch lately to tell me about their new site and share news, specifically, of the Kids’ Book Club videos that they’re starting to preview. On them, a  host of famous celebs such as Alison Steadman, Caroline Quentin, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, read aloud some of the best new kids’ books, accompanied by the books’ gorgeous illustrations. The first videos are up now, with lots more planned, and cover the whole spectrum of toddler, pre-school and primary-aged children, from picture books, right up to chapter books for older kids. As well as videos and reviews, the site shares news of new books, exclusive author content and parents’ resources. Honestly, it’s brilliant. And I’m not usually quick to endorse things.

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Lego Duplo Disney Cars 2 Pitstop

Me and Kai are proud to be part of a handful of bloggers working in association with Lego Duplo as their ‘experts’. And between us, and thanks to our friends at Lego Duplo, we’re offering our readers a chance to win lots and lots of Lego Duplo, including some great Disney Cars sets, in time for Christmas. There’s 15 prize lots up for grabs, and all you have to do is send an email to, mentioning the name of my blog (Sleep is for the Weak) in the subject and providing your full name and postal address. The competition closes at the end of this week on November 6th, so get your entries in quick and you could win one of these extremely smashing prize bundles…

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You give him a bowl of giant, toddler-sized Hama beads and a dinosaur pegboard and while he does this…

Dinosaur Monkey & Heart My First Hama Beads Kit (Maxi) from

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There have been lots of new milestones to face since I became a single parent. The first time he was ill, the first time I was ill, the first time we were both ill together… (THAT was a fun one).

One I’ve been a bit nervous about facing was taking two year old Kai away somewhere on my own. I don’t have a car, so the whole getting there/what to pack/how to carry it issue was a bit daunting. But my confidence has grown exponentially over the last year, with Kai anyway – it’s had to, to be honest, so when Premier Inn kindly contacted me about sending us away for a couple of nights to review one of their hotels, I thought I’d take the plunge.

I have stayed in a few budget hotel chains and I have to say from the get-go, that Premier Inn is by far my favourite. It’s no more expensive than its competitors but you always seem to get a lot more bang for your buck, and our stay in the central Birmingham’s branch confirmed that.

Birmingham is only 40 minutes on the train from us and within walking distance of the train station, which made it a nice, doable first expedition, and with a trip to Cadbury World thrown in, we were looking forward to a bit of an adventure as Kai experienced his very first two night stay in a hotel.

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