I guess it's pretty normal that after years of blogging, sometimes, one feels that there's something like a dead end. It's not that I want to stop this blog, but it feels that what I used it for is no longer what I want to use it for. I started out in a previous blog with civil society themes, which are still close to my heart, then became a mum and blogged about the challenges but also the treasured memories. I feel this is harder as the children get older because I have to accept their own wishes and it's clear that Cubling doesn't like being a spotlight. And Snowflake is getting to this age too.
As far as other topics are concerned, I feel that there is a lot of noise out there already, so many voices, what could I possibly add? It's not a bout of lacking confidence, just an honest feeling that there are many people out there who are excellent writers and debaters and do the stuff that I would like to do a lot better than me.
So I'm looking a bit for a new niche, not a brand (I've never been one for a blog brand, it stifles my writing). I'm not sure where this will lead but I'm glad for anyone who's still with me on that journey.
A lot has happened in the time that I've been quiet on this space. I've studied with the Open University for the Certificate in Promoting Public Health. The experience of going back to study was interesting because so much has changed, it's so much easier accessing research these days where everything is digitalised. I enjoyed the course but didn't enjoy having to write quite so many written assignments which meant that the topics I really wanted to study were only side lines to working towards passing the course. If I'm to do any more study, I'd much prefer to study without that pressure, but then again recognised qualifications are what looks good on a c.v.
I also trained to become a breastfeeding peer supporter with NCT. I'd always wanted to do this and the opportunity came about suddenly and I embraced it. It took a while to start volunteering and actually be a peer supporter, but it's now happening, just as I'm no longer a breastfeeding mum. The Open Uni course and the NCT training were extremely complementary and both also had very strong links to my work so that I took a lot from it.
At work, I'm now involved in two programmes working with families who have children at the transition to primary school age range. This is of course very satisfying at a time when my own children are at that age. The new programme is in the development stage which is rather exciting, and different to being trained to deliver a set programme. Which actually isn't all that bad either.
There is also a bit of a shift happening with the children growing and slowly but surely being able to join in with activities that I enjoyed before I had children. Both girls are now cycling and we've started to do short and slow bike rides as a family. This has once again brought up my interest in making cycling safer and more prevalent in a city which is not set up for cyclists. I effectively stopped cycling after a bus hit me while pregnant with Cubling, so it's been a long time with only occasional and short trips on the bike.
We've also done a couple of hill walks, no Munro bagging of course, but that suits me just fine. It's just nice to finally find again some of the loose ends of my life before children.
During our summer holiday trip to Germany, we retraced some of my own childhood memories and also discovered some parts of Germany that were very new to me. I felt a tourist in my own country. I always find that I encounter strong emotions when I'm in Germany, a mix of homecoming and feeling estranged, which is slightly unsettling.
I had taken the whole summer off on unpaid leave to savour the precious last summer before Snowflake started school. And I'll do it again next summer. I'm lucky because my work is linked to school term time so it's actually possible, and the summer went by quickly and without regrets. Well, it may make the transition to a 5 day at school week a bit harder for Snowflake who tells me daily she'd rather go to nursery or spend the day with me.
I'll keep doing a good few reviews, simply because I feel they can be useful for some people even if they may not go well with the flow of this blog. We enjoy trying out new places and products (with a relevance to our lives, I have no energy to do reviews of things that I have no interest in).
Hopefully with a bit of a stock take, I'll be more likely to find things worth talking about, although these days I'm actually more interested than ever in the debate rather than just putting forward my own views. This might be why I've been on facebook more than here, where there's more interaction and debate than on a blog space.
Photos taken on our cycle around Cumbrae Island.