I won't be making any New Year Resolutions this year

31 December 2016

Dear friend,

Happy New year to you. I really hope it's a great one filled with fun, love and good health. It is natural of course at this time of year to reminisce over the past year and to look to the next.

Hubby surprised me with a meal out last night and we sat with the boys discussing our favourite parts of last year. Little man enjoyed going to the zoo, big lad Christmas, hubby the holiday and me what would be my moment of choice? I didn't actually go for a moment even though they have been many moments of magic this year (our year in photos) I went for a word that encompasses it all, family... then little man said, love...




You see this year has been amazing and filled with special times with family and good friends but there has also been a spectre hanging over me. I faced major surgery in January and came through thankful and happy that it was over but unfortunately it wasn't and problems have persisted. I found this really difficult to shake away at times...

After demanding more help I was given an MRI scan and just before Christmas, the word cancer was introduced into the equation. The panic threatened to pull me under. I was petrified that this disease that has already invaded our family, was going to ruin everything I have and it shook me to the core. But I read one quote that stuck with me throughout:



We waited 6 days for an outcome. This quote became my mantra during those six days.

Life went on, I held it together but every time I looked at my kids I panicked, every time I folded the wash I wondered how would hubby cope alone, I felt guilty, how would we explain my illness to the boys, should we tell them at all?

Over those 6 days I found no peace...

Thank goodness, for me, the news was positive. I am one of the lucky ones!

I have spent a wonderful Christmas with my family and friends, I have relaxed for the first time in ages, switched off from everything (this blog included) but I needed to write this before the year is out, to draw a line under it all...




This year,  I will not be making any resolutions. I will not wait for the end of a year to improve my life or reach for a goal. Life is far too short to wait for things to happen. Make your life exactly what you want it to be.

I am determined that I will not forget how I felt when faced with the possibility of losing it all. I will never take for granted what I have and I will always be grateful because:

When you love what you have, you have everything you need!

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2017.



You can make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support here.


Point Shoot: Our year in photos

30 December 2016

Dear friend,

Welcome to my Photo series Point Shoot. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.

This week's Point Shoot is a look back at our year in photos.

Now I'll let my photos do the talking...

A Glimpse into our Autism: Jokes

19 December 2016

Dear friend,

Yesterday he told a joke then he explained it to us in pain staking detail...

We were sitting at the dinner table and he said mum I've got something to tell you. He proceeded to tell us a joke and we all laughed. It was very funny until...

he explained the joke in perfect, pain staking detail.

Do you get it, mum?

It was then I twigged. He had been learning about jokes at school. He had memorised this joke like the simple knock knock jokes he loved when he was younger.




Humour and jokes are so important to children. They help them interact with others and make friends. He has always tried to use humour. He has always wanted to be the funny one. That is fine as long as your friends are laughing with and not at you. Sometimes that line is hard to find...

What if Jokes and idioms are part of a foreign language to you? The abstract language too difficult to decipher. I'll never forget the day I was cross with him and told him to give himself a shake and he did, he shook his body all over.

There are so many unwritten social rules and niceties that we just take for granted but that he must learn.

We must teach him how to tell and understand jokes to help him improve his social skills. We must also remember to tell him that he doesn't need to explain the joke to others because they get it.

Yesterday he told a joke then he explained it to us in pain staking detail...


Spare a thought for autistic families when you are pulling those Christmas crackers...

A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore how autism effects us on a day to day basis. Disclaimer:  this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.

More autism awareness posts...

Point Shoot: 1-1 time in Panbos

16 December 2016

Dear friend,

Welcome to my new Photo series Point Shoot. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.

This week's Point Shoot is 1-1 time in Panbos (also known as De Pan van Persijn.) Panbos is a forest with play areas and walking routes for old and young. Little man was in need of a bit of one on one time and what better way to spend it than exploring the forest together on an absolutely beautiful Wintery morning.

Now I'll let my photos do the talking...



Parenting from a special perspective: Someone's Mum

12 December 2016

Ever wondered what it is really like to parent from a special perspective? Parent to a Special Needs Child? Where do you turn for help? What challenges do you face? What has surprised you? What have you learned? Every month I will be featuring one of my brilliant fellow SEND bloggers and sharing their reflections on raising a child with special needs.


Welcome Danielle to Diary of an Imperfect Mum. 

I am Danielle and I am an ex-English teacher living on the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border. I have two children, a boy, aged very nearly four, who is on the autistic spectrum, and a daughter, who is nineteen months.





1. When did you first realise your child has autism?
Summer 2015. Nursery called us in to discuss what they called ‘some concerns’. E was just two years and nine months at the time. It came as quite a shock, even though in hindsight the signs were there.


2. How did you feel when you found out that your son has autism?
My world ended, for a little while. I didn’t take it very well at all. I am not sure why – maybe because it was so unexpected. I have come a long way since then.

Point Shoot: Pakjes Avond

9 December 2016

Dear friend,

Welcome to my Photo series Point Shoot. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.

This week's Point Shoot is: Pakjes Avond. On 5th December we celebrated the birthday of Sinterklaas with Pakjes Avond (present evening). The boys were super excited and waited impatiently for a knock on the door to say Sinterklaas had delivered their presents. Luckily we must have all been good as there were 2 big sacks full.

Now I'll let my photos do the talking...



A glimpse into our autism: Memory

7 December 2016

Dear friend,

Yesterday he asked me what do I do with my underpants? I would have laughed, if the look on his face hadn't been so serious or I hadn't been so tired...

Every day at 7.30 we go upstairs, he gets undressed and has a shower and we get ready for bed. Every day he asks; What do I do with my underpants...

Every day we follow the same routine, the same pattern...

We keep it that way to help him feel safe, in control.




But he doesn't just ask as part of the routine. He doesn't remember. Like he doesn't remember to flush the toilet, bring his homework book back, drink enough or shut the cupboard door...

Yet, we get in the car and I throw on some tunes and he immediately asks for track number 7 because that's his favourite (we haven't listened to this for months) he remembers the place we visited 5 years ago last summer, what we ate on his birthday 3 years ago, the name of every Track in the Slam top 40 and the statistics of each Pokemon in his Pokedex...


It's like his Brain computes the information and filters out the mundane. Yet the mundane tasks are the exact things we need to remember to help us function, to keep us safe and healthy, to let us live an independent life...

Yesterday he asked me what do I do with my underpants? I would have laughed, if the look on his face hadn't been so serious or I hadn't been so tired...


A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore how autism effects us on a day to day basis. Disclaimer:  this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.


More autism awareness posts...


Transforming a dull wall...

6 December 2016

Dear friend,

Our boys are really lucky to have a games room! We sacrificed our small back bedroom for their games room last year. A quick lick of paint, a sofa bed and a television and they were happy! We also used picture shelves for storing their huge collection of computer game figures. We were all happy with the result and it was super for the boys to have somewhere to take their friends when they came to play.

Hubby's lovely colleague gave the boys his old widescreen Television which meant a quick room change as I didn't want them sitting too close to the screen and we were left with ugly holes in the wall. For a while I hung a big picture over it but then one of the boys friends knocked two of the shelves off the wall, leaving more holes. Hubby tried to fix them (but DIY isn't his strong point, sorry hubby) and we were left with a very ugly, messy old wall.



My first idea was to wallpaper but with what? Then I came across a brilliant solution on-line. I discovered a fabulous Mario brothers wall mural.  I wasn't sure if the company would deliver to Holland or what size we would need but I contacted 'Ink your wall' and the owner Darren replied really quickly and was very helpful in answering my many questions.

There were several brilliant designs to chose from on the easy to navigate site ranging from Super Heros to Lego and Minecraft but the boys love Super Mario Bros. They chose a really cool design from their favourite game Mario Kart with an upside down Mario. We were happy to go for this one so placed our order and the boys couldn't wait for it to arrive.

Ink your wall provides instructions with your paper and there are some instructions on-line for preparation and installation. Make sure you measure your wall accurately, I would recommend giving yourself extra room as the pieces need to be overlapped a couple of centimetres each time. We paid a professional wall paperer to place the Mural for us.  The quality of the paper is very good and can cover small cracks in walls. It certainly did the trick on our ugly wall!

The boys have been proudly bringing their friends home to play and no wonder... How cool is this???






Do you have a dull wall that needs transforming? 

I received a discount for the purposes of this review but all thoughts and feelings are my own.

Point Shoot: Leiden

2 December 2016

Dear friend,

Welcome to my Photo series, Point Shoot. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.

This week's Point Shoot is...

A sunny Saturday morning in Leiden. We love Leiden, it is such a beautiful city and we are super lucky to live next door to here. The market winds its way around the canal in the city centre. What a stunning place to do your shopping! This was a fact finding trip, to the toy stores, to see what Santa might bring but we couldn't resist visiting the delicious Mamie Gourmande Boulagerie 

Now I'll let my photos do the talking...


Gizmo saves Christmas

1 December 2016



Dear friend,

If there is one thing that makes it feel like Christmas then it has to be the good old Christmas advert.   Christmas certainly brings out the creative brilliance in our advertisers. I have really fond memories of sitting on the sofa in my Christmas PJs watching TV with my family and waiting for the adverts to come on. Rather than disappearing off, to make that cuppa, we all waited to see what would come on and we all had our favourites.

Last week my colleagues and I sat on our phones at lunch time watching the adverts that had just been released. There were lots of Ahhhhs and Oooorrrrs and then we had a good old discussion about our favourite Christmas adverts. There is something about these clever adverts that captures the spirit of the festive season. Hearing that Coca Cola music and seeing the big red lorry, makes me feel like Christmas has really arrived and the John Lewis adverts certainly take some beating but when I saw the 2016 Vision Direct advert starring Gizmo the Pug, I feel in love!


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