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In which ever way possible, I hope all of those reading this have had a Christmas that held some fun, traditions, not too many family rows or sore heads but most of all, a cup flowing over with love!

Christmas: A time for goodwill to men and stress for most women!

Forgive me for the brevity of today's blog. In short, I am exhausted!
Last week I mentioned that I had two Christmas babies  Well, one had a milestone birthday this year - so cue the notch up on the stress meter scale, as I came up with the 'brilliant' plan of a surprise party.

Une Femme à Londres. Part II

Previously, I wrote of my visit to the Cheapside Hoard Exhibition, at the Museum of London. Having some knowledge of the area, I had realised that walking from the City to my original planned destination, Borough Market, was easily achieved via the walking bridge.

One thing I would encourage all London visitors to do, is to consider walking around London like this and save the public transport for the weary end of the day/back to home-base journey.

Festivities moving forward to the end of a year

It's a little stressful at this time of year, especially as I have two Christmas babies - er, I mean giants. I know most of you (and I don't think I'd be too far out of order to suggest the majority are female?) will be reaching the whistling stage on the pressure cooker-o-meter.

The Force of Nature

Last weekend we had a scheduled visit to the North Norfolk coast. When we arrived we were amongst a small crowd watching the force of the third tidal surge buffeting the sea defences and promenade of Cromer seafront. The waves were reaching in excess of nine metres high.

The Ideal of a Free Society

I was six years old the day that I first stepped onto South African soil. On a journey to the Far East, our ship had docked in Cape Town harbour. With hindsight, it was presumably to take on fuel and supplies but for me, it was so that I could go to the top of a very big hill that had had its top sliced off. I had never seen a mountain before, by the way.

There are three things that I have held onto from that day.

The first is that when you are on the top of Table Mountain, it’s not very flat at all. I would have broken bones if I had tried to run over it, which is what I wanted to do.

The second, when you look down into the bay, you can see the waves breaking on the shore. It doesn’t actually look like they’re moving, it is just one long line of froth. I stood there mesmerised; for ages. The third, makes me weep to this day.

The Cable Car broke down. We were stuck on the top of Table Mountain and our ship, which we could see below, was due to sail that evening. Without us.

With a movie-like script the cable car problem was fixed, in time for the women and children to descend first. Arriving tired and hungry on the quayside we were hurried along to board the ship and it was then, with the curiosity of a child and being a ‘good reader,' I saw the notice:

No Blacks Allowed

"Why Mummy, Why?" I can’t remember how my Mother answered that one. There couldn’t be an explanation to something that, even to a white middle class six year old English girl, was wrong, so very, very wrong.

Researching this blog I came across Mike Bennett. I think I have something in common with Mike Bennett and it’s not writing songs!

I would suggest that unless you see a notice like that, you cannot understand the lifelong gut wrenching vulgarity that it caused me. But that notice went on to shape the adult I became. I remain as abhorrent of injustice and prejudice as on that day, all those years ago.

Which is why, on Friday 5th December, as I went to bed, I shed a few tears for former Robben Island prisoner 46664 because without him, we would not have seen a photograph like this

I know little of the politics but I do know that Nelson Mandela was a human being who orchestrated some good, good things. May his cherished soul rest in the peace.

Thanks to Getty images and the Telegraph for the perficpics

The seed has grown into a newly designed blog page!

Although my paid work involves social media I am not able to utilise it for business in the same way as most companies can. This is simply because of the privacy and caution that’s required. But I wanted to know and develop more.

As I’ve previously mentioned Social Media’s uses really excite me.

Then I got an invitation to attend the Futureproof your Career Event at the British Library.

First of all - WHAT a venue Secondly, what a grown up singleton moment. I was time restraint free, with like-minded women, wasn’t the oldest there and quaffing fizzy stuff with canapés. I was back where I belonged!!

So, feeling singularly sophisticated, we trooped into the Auditorium and all 255 of us sat down, pinned our lug holes back and listened to Sasha Wilkins, owner of one of the Sunday Times top 100 blogs in the world. The cool and sophisticated co-founder of Moonfruit, Wendy Tan White (too C and S to accept my Linkedin reach out L) and Tarmara Herber-Percy co-founder of Mr and Mrs Smith (now they know some good places for sipping fizz!)

It was an inspiring and energising event. It made me realise that, like the Liberty London Girl 13 years before, I wanted a voice. And even if my voice wasn’t heard by the masses, it could be – at a convenient time, by the people who really need to know.

So, you see, my sign off for this blog is sometimes it’s easy to slip into our PJ’s/onesies and follow the cycle of our Mummy/Return to work Mother life. But I think if we don’t take a chance and reach outside our comfort zone – dropping our blinkers and do something that we think we may not like. We may not develop or be inspired or even eat the best olives that we’ve ever tasted!

And if I had not done all those things, there wouldn’t be a Return to Work Mother Blog. And likewise, if I hadn’t really liked a red skirt worn by Karen Goodbrand, I wouldn’t be ‘sat’ in the middle of my beautiful new blog design created with Jen at Magic Feather Designs. And I wouldn’t have you devoting some of your precious time to read it, either. So, thank you, all of you.

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