I said No!

The woman who was told she couldn’t have kids saw her third born run into school today! *happy tears*

I can’t take credit for overcoming endometriosis and defying the odds of my prognosis.

But what I can take credit for is my rejection of that fate. Oh the process hurt, it ached every time someone said they were pregnant and I had to be happy for them as a little piece of me died inside. But I WANTED kids so I began to fight. I went to the shops and bought two outfits one pink and one blue. I TOLD endometriosis that my firstborn child would wear one of those outfits …. and they did!!! 💖

Life will say no to you a lot. You don’t have to accept it.

As always V… thinking out loud! 😘

Happiness is…

Happiness is…

Sitting on the sofa, remote in hand, with a beverage of choice and soft blanket thrown over your legs.

Happiness is getting the children to bed before 8pm and spending quality time with your spouse.

Happiness is sending your child to school anxious about something and picking them up face beaming, skipping without a care in the world.

Happiness is getting the ‘all clear’

Happiness is knowing God is rooting for you.

Happiness is knowing you alone are

whole and everything else is a bonus.

Happiness is knowing that a full heart is better than a full wallet.

Happiness is freedom to be you.

Happiness is bringing home a brand new baby.

Happiness is accepting that God made no mistakes with you.

Happiness is a dogs wagging tail.

Happiness is getting a parking space on the school run.

Happiness is children’s laughter.

Happiness cannot be bought.

Happiness is your passport to long life. Never let it expire.

As always V 😘

The Tribe’s Cyprus review.

So that’s it for our summer hols. 8 days of super sized summer days. 6 members of one family enjoying sea views, glorious sunsets and memories that will last a lifetime.

Having had 4 children in quick succession, holidays in recent years have seen us navigating the English coast and country side. The hubby travels with the business but as for me it seemed as if I was either pregnant, just given birth, breastfeeding on demand or ‘holiday money’ had been ploughed elsewhere – more kids have meant bigger and more of every thing else so financially we had to be wise too. We are also not a credit family either so each year Staycations just worked for us and are always extremely enjoyed if I’m honest, there was never any pressure on us or rush to jump on a plane. Just been living by our mantra of ‘everything in it’s time’ and It’s been a great place to exist!

Having family abroad in west Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Australia we knew the tribe would have to take to the skies eventually …. the question was never if more of when!

Well August 2017 it was decided that we’d take to the skies and choose a destination that was close enough to home for such a young family but also far enough that we’d really ‘feel’ that we were ABROAD! Cyprus.. Limassol to be exact was chosen as our first trip abroad as a tribe of 6!

So how did it all work out!?!

Well….

As is expected the first thing that caused me sleepless nights was the packing, the thought of it AND the fear of it. What if I forgot something really important. What if I under packed and spent the holiday hand washing in the hotel bath room sink! Aghhhh hell no! Kids and husbands spill things, therefore I intended to be one step ahead and pack for ALL eventualities, spillages, explosive nappies, hands being wiped on clothes when I’m not looking ( my son) and with my girls and their make up experimentation sometimes their clothes are wearing more lipgloss and sparkly nail polish than their hands and faces!!! So did of I over packed? HELL YES!! Racking up a total luggage count of 3 large suitcases, 3 small suitcases 4 back packs and a pushchair! To say I had everything but the kitchen sink was an understatement but I had us COVERED!

Hello Cyprus, Cypriots, Greeks and Russians and C A T S!!!

Now we live in Isleworth, so we are used to being the minority… and when I say minority I mean as in black and ethnic…you know sometimes the only blacks at an event or at kids parties etc but nothing quite prepared us for this! The hotel staff made up mainly of Cypriots were warm, happy to help in every way and didn’t do a double take when they saw us. Possibly due to the nature of their jobs in tourism and being used to the influx of ‘foreigners’ of all types. However the locals at the mall 20 mins away actually nudged each other as we passed by them. Some smiled and commented at the ‘cute kids’ whom with their dark skin, colourful beaded hair and matching bows were somewhat of a rare sight I still found the experience uncomfortable and longed for my usual stroll around Westfield with my tribe blending into the beautiful, diverse myriad of creeds, colours and cultures.

You really don’t know what you’ve got till its gone! Even if only for 8 days.

I ❤️ London.

I cannot make a blanket statement to describe the stance towards black people for all Russians but I can say with those that stayed at the beautiful GrandResort (making up the majority of non local guests) they matched their homeland with their coldness and happiness just to spectate at our blackness as if it offended them in someway. No smiles, no warmth. Just rude, suggestive stares.

I was in vacay mode and once again although it vexed me I willed the sun to darken me further for their visual benefit as I strutted proudly and determined to not let my kids pick up on it.

Now it’s time to talk about the cats. In three words. I HATE CATS. It’s a mixture of distrust towards their sneaky eyes, irrational fear of their ability to move and meander around you un noticed and their joy at bringing ‘kills’ into homes! Like you have to be kidding me. Make some noise will you and stop being so damn crafty. I was raised alongside 5 siblings and 2 dogs so I’m a dog lover all the way. I think you know where you stand with dogs. (Disclaimer – my love for dogs excludes Staffordshire bull terriers, pit bulls, Dobermans and Rottweilers- basically any dog that can eat me!)

Limassol was heaving with cats also known locally as vermin due to the sheer uncontrolled numbers. They are wild, free, young, old, huge, little and HUNGRY! Having 3 cats approach our table one evening was tantamount to a quick trip to hell for me. I made sounds as if the first contractions of labour had started and threatened them in the same way I did my

husband during the really intense ones!

If truth be known I’d have probably steered clear of sunny Cyprus also known as ‘The Land of Cats’ had I have known about the cats, the amount of cats and the boldness of aforementioned cats. Had I however done that based on this irrational fear I have I would have missed out on a wonderful experience. So let’s say ignorance is bliss until it’s beside your legs purring!

So what did I learn travelling with 4 children.

1) Start packing early, like up to a week before. You’ll then have time to reevaluate if you’re over packing and take things out before you finally leave. Less rush and panic.

2) I made sure I travelled with snacks. I purposely filled a small case with only foodstuffs and drink cartons. My husband thought I was over doing it but oh how it saved us money and provided an empty suitcase for the return which was perfect for souvenirs and dirty laundry over spill.

3) Buy baby food stuffs after you’ve checked in and before you board! There’s always a Boots! The security (especially UK) to check through bottles and puréed pouches is a lengthy procedure. Save yourself the hassle!

4) Bring activities like colouring books and pencils. Their favourite book will also work a treat. For my 3 year old I also brought him stickers. This entertained the kids on the plane and in the wind down hour before bed. You need variety outside of their tablets. Right?

So would we return? … yes! Did we enjoy it?…yes! Was it an experience worth waiting for?… yes indeed!

Cyprus thank you for meeting us on the other side of the sky.

Thank you for your warm rays that kissed the concrete jungle goodbye.

Cyprus within all your sunsets I began to sing.

Thank you for the memories new, fresh experiences. Thank you for everything.

As always… V 😘

#filtered

How stupid I was to envy you, when I had no clue what you were going through.

Shame on me for wanting your life when it was only those squares 'suggesting' you survive.

How could I only see your new bag glitter as you shone less. Glow gone heart bitter.

Ladies, S T O P I T. Love Y O U R life. Every last drop. Your worst is her wish and your wish is her worst. Snap out of the illusion. The grass ain't greener…She's just using a better filter!✨✨

Happy Saturday my loves..as always … V 😘

Sisterhood

As Nina put it 22 years of making too much noise in public places! ❤️

What I love so much about friendships is that it is a choice. Unlike family where you just arrive into a unit and are now subject to culture, religion, cooking style, passed down opinions and thinking. Friendships are the connecting of souls on a multitude of levels, relying not on the DNA coursing through your veins but on the simple measure of likability and uniting on levels that there are just not enough words to describe. Friends that bring out the best in you, can connect with you as you stumble awkwardly through puberty, likewise be there as you navigate motherhood for the first time, likewise be there and still liking, loving and connecting with you as you battle through every storm causing you to harden and change. Those people who rock and roll with you through all that and more are a G I F T. I repeat a G I F T. ✨


I look at this photo and see mothers, wives, business women, housewives, a teacher, a manager, divorcees, one of us with no kids, one with 1 kid, one with 2, one with 3 and 1 with 4! You see big boobs, no boobs, big hair, no hair, you see west Indian, west African and English heritage. You see those who've cried over miscarriages, those who never thought they'd become mothers, those who left abusive relationships. You see feet that have travelled the four corners of the earth you see mouths that have shared secrets, cried for help and laughed till bellies ached. You see survivors. You see warriors. You see banter. You see love. You see life lines. You see SISTERS.

I have 4 biological sisters and feel so blessed by the many friends that can also wear that title. A friend isn't just someone who you speak with everyday. I particularly love the ones where 1 year passes and you begin the phone conversation with a squeal and a comfy spot on the sofa… what's time and distance for true friendships.

Celebrate your squad today. ❤️

As always… V 😘