Mum About Town

Emma is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger and online marketer. When she’s not writing, she gets down with her Smalls, bigs-it-up with Him and swans around London reporting for her blog.

A competitive marriage

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on Thursday, 24 April 2014
Last Monday we all woke with too much chocolate in our tummies. A family run to the top of Primrose Hill seemed like the only thing for it. So, on went the lycra and trainers, as the Smalls limbered up in the hall. Finally, He was ready and off we went.

You’ll be relieved to know that there was much sweat but no tears. However, there was a certain amount of healthy competition, as we huffed and puffed our way up and down that hill. And I say healthy in the most Royal way possible. Because it’s fun to see William and Kate race each other furiously round Auckland harbour and then again challenge each other last night as she beat him on the music decks.

Anyone who knows us well can confirm that He and I are a little competitive. We stopped playing tennis long ago (or at least scoring properly) and no holiday is complete without the four-lap sprint with one gloating winner.

William is right because ‘healthy competition’ is just what we all need to avoid taking life too seriously. Anyway, I’d rather be pipped to the post by Him than someone who might feel embarrassed to beat me.


You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

A lesson in marathons

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on Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Last Sunday, as I was looking on in awe and horror (in equal measure) at the London Marathon, my mind started to race. Is there a bigger message in this no-mean-feat other than just sweat and blisters?

As many as 40,000 people pounded the pavements of the capital to run, walk or hobble the 26.2 miles. Ranging from elite (Mo) athletes to the average fit-loving person to some pretty comical run runners, the entrants all seemed to have a point to make.

Aside from the crucial fundraising, it seems that a personal best time is the main driver. A challenge, a goal and (hopefully) an achievement drive the best of us on a daily basis. And this must be the main attraction. But does it justify the sheer pain that so many of those runners clearly experienced en route?

From what I can understand from questioning those with now aching muscles, all those signals sent from the body to the head scream: ‘PLEASE STOP’ and ‘THIS HURTS’ and ‘MY LEGS ARE KILLING ME’. But those on this running race mission hardly stop, absolutely overruling any body weaknesses. The gig certainly sounds tough.

The biggest tonic of all is the crowd. My sister-in-law, who ran the race (in admirable time), told me that the cheering of her name while showing admiration for her drive gave her the power she needed to finish the race.

And so my point this week isn’t really about running a race but more about how we introduce our children to idea of realistic challenges in their lives – therefore giving them the possibility of that glorious feeling of achievement and recognition. With our encouragement and some sheer determination, they should be made to feel that they can finish the course. Whatever that course is. And without even caring about winning.


You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

Insta-love NOT Insta-hate

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on Wednesday, 09 April 2014
I know I’m meant to hate Instagram. All those #perfect lives documented in each #perfect square. But I just can’t. Instead I. Love. It. The social picture-sharing website makes me laugh and admire in equal measure as it rolls out varying degrees of smugness, clever captions and artistic prowess. I suppose, for me, it’s like delving behind the scenes on a glossy magazine shoot or jumping into a food photographer’s kitchen… really, honestly not quite as offensive as many are making out.

So I’m here today to defend my sepia-tinted friend to those insta-haters:

1. You say you hate selfies. Well, my response would be to look at the extending arm needed to snap and you’ll start to find them pretty amusing.
2. You say it gives you food envy. But does it inspire you to cook something? Or even give you a sneak preview of what your long-anticipated dinner at Chiltern Firehouse might look like?
3. You say perfect children are nauseating. I say it’s a moment in time, relax.
4. You say they over-share. But their constant need to update doesn’t need to be connected to your constant need to observe. Control your insta-urge!
5. You say it makes you GREEN-EYED. Don’t be ridiculous. Their lives through 70s rose-tinted glasses, cropped to perfection and edited till bliss aren’t real.

My last piece of insta-advice is to choose carefully who you follow, enjoy the real artists out there and relish a pretty nosy insight into curiously documented lives. I certainly do.


You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

Mum in the Alps

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on Thursday, 03 April 2014
We met at a crowded party. A few of the crowd had had at least one too many and the DJ was doing his thing at full pelt. So, I must admit that much of our conversation (back in November 1996) is hazy. But I do remember that one of His first questions (before asking for my number) was: Do you ski?

And, today, as He and I covered some pretty serious ground in the Austrian alps, I wondered what would have been if I had answered negatively to his question. But, of course, I didn’t and for more reasons that this, I’m a keen downhiller.

Because skiing makes me feel FREE. For hours at a time I can forget about everything else. The Smalls, snaking down the blue runs, are someone else’s responsibility. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. And He and I could easily be the 20 somethings we once were.

Somehow I don’t feel like a mum or a wife or even anyone with a deadline. And this is one of the main reasons I would invest in the Smalls’ ski-skills. Just in case one day they too need to feel free.


You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.

Conscious uncoupling

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on Wednesday, 26 March 2014
‘It’s hard being married,’ she said.
‘Duh, really?’ I would have responded.

But in actual fact Gwyneth didn’t inform me personally of her recently announced ‘conscious uncoupling’ from her Brit singer-songwriter.

Yes – if you haven’t yet heard the news, Mr and Mrs Chris Martin, the slightly cheesy rock star and actress, have confessed that their marriage isn’t what it used to be. Oh and we’re all supposed to be vaguely surprised. Not shocked that the duo didn’t make it long term but that marriage is apparently hard work at times.

I mean who honestly wouldn’t agree? And how bad does it have to be to start carving up the net worth? I’m not a film star and He isn’t in a band but we work hard ALL the time at making our marriage work. Because ‘uncoupling’ isn’t really an option at all. Instead it is damn hard separation and grief for all involved, before any re-coupling is even contemplated. I’ve stood by and watched from the sidelines and divorce isn’t pretty.

So, even with £89m, some apparent consciousness and a heck of a lot of co-parenting praise, Paltrow will need more than her infamous cupping therapy or her Goop cleanse before she can commiserate to Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ in her bath tub.


You can read more musings from Emma at www.lifeofyablon.com.


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