Best of a blogging good time: Year end special

28 December 2016

Dear friend,

Welcome to the "best of...#ablogginggoodtime year end special."  I love hosting #ablogginggoodtime. The support that Katie and I receive from all of you brilliant bloggers is totally amazing. We want you to know how much we appreciate you taking your time to join us every week and to give so much thought into your comments too. It is all of you that have made this linky such a success.

We have such an amazing variety of posts linked up and it is always incredibly hard to pick a post of the week... I had the idea to start highlighting these brilliant posts once a month and in June,  "The best of #ablogginggoodtime" was born.

The end of year special is a return to some of the fantastic posts that have been linked up to #ablogginggoodtime. These are some of my favourite posts from the last year and from incredible bloggers too!  I hope you enjoy reading or re-reading these posts and spreading the blog love.

The best of #ablogginggoodtime:

Blogging from my cave – and I like it!

I hope that you fab fellow bloggers,
Will excuse this attempt at a rant,
It’s just that I’m getting frustrated.
As I have the tech skills of a plant.

I started by clicking on WordPress,
And rattled out “Rhyming with Wine”.
Commenced on my blog expedition,
And I’m having a fabulous time!

The people I type to are awesome,
Just so many parents like me!
All sharing our Mum/Dad (mis)adventures,
With virtual cake, wine and tea...

I absolutely loved this post! Dawn amazes me with every poem she writes but this has to be my absolute favourite one yet. I am really getting sick of all this DA, Klout, daily views, links etc business and being bothered by scores or tables. I just want to enjoy writing, interact with lovely people and spread awareness of issues important to me like autism. But sometimes I must admit that I too get carried away in all the blogisms. TY for reminding me why I started blogging!

Please imagine my depression is asthma 

I've had depression since before I knew what depression was. Actually my primary affliction is anxiety and my unwanted thoughts make me feel despondent but the intricacies of other people's melancholy are really boring so all you need to know is, sometimes I feel rubbish. 

I've been to GPs over the years and been offered variations of 'chin up love' but after I had Roscoe, tiredness and hormones made my crazy hit factor batsh*t. My baseline mode of low level anxiety, mixed with parenting anxiety, led to anxiety squared and I became convinced that a series of terrifying but ridiculously unlikely things would occur (think tsunami in Brighton) and I didn't want to tell health professionals about it because I was anxious about their reaction. And so I wrote down what I was feeling (something I recommend if you're feeling anything similar) and took it to see my GP, Dr Punja and he said, 'Mate, you're obviously depressed and I can offer you therapy but to be clear you're 37,567th in the queue, so I'd recommend these drugs.' And it was one of the happiest days of my life. 

Those pills made me feel seen; they made me feel heard; they made me feel validated. Prior to recently I didn't really talk about my depression because I acknowledge I am in a very privileged position within the world of mental illness - I have supportive friends and family and I can function and hold down a job. But also, there's always an also, I didn't really talk about it because depression sometimes seems so basic; like such a soy latte, cracked iphone screen cliché. 

Read more... 

There is still such a taboo around speaking about mental health issues. I know people who have been scared to talk about their problems particularly in the work place due to fear of judgement. It is time people started to accept that depression is an illness. A brilliant post - pop over and check it out!

What’s in a name? Musings on marriage, surnames & feminism

I don’t want to alarm anybody but I am a feminist. I know, I’ve lulled you all into a false sense of security because I hadn’t mentioned bra burning or Germaine Greer in any of my other blog posts, but it’s true. I was actually going to start a feminist blog but then I got pregnant and it got put on the back burner and eventually it made more sense to start a parenting blog! The reason I mention it now is because I have been thinking about surnames again recently and it reminded me of something I wrote a while back on all the arguments I had to come up with for why I kept my own surname when I got married.


The amazing Jade stood in for me whilst I was on holiday and this post was her choice (one I was extremely happy with!!!) Jade said: I love a child related mummy post but I also love one that makes me think and nod. Poignant and very balanced, considered post about a personal choice from the lovely Babies, biscuits and booze. What's in a name? Musings on marriage, surnames and feminism.

I'm autistic which means... 

For the past 14 years I have worked with adults who have severe/profound hearing loss. The vast majority of the people I work with have what is called an acquired loss, which means that they were born with normal levels of hearing but became deaf at some point later in life.

Deafness is a hidden disability. If people become deafened after they have developed normal spoken language skills they don’t sound deaf when they speak. People may notice that they are using hearing aids but assume that this means that their hearing problem has been rectified simply through using them. Not so.

Becoming deaf can be a very isolating and lonely experience. Social interactions involving small talk and chit-chat suddenly require herculean amounts of focus and concentration. A few people cope by dominating conversations so that they do most of the talking and very little listening. Typically most deafened people tend to withdraw socially to varying extents, avoiding situations where they know that communication is going to be difficult. Common to nearly all deafened people is a tendency to pretend to understand what someone is saying rather than to ask for endless repetitions. I know that when I have been abroad on holiday, struggling to understand a waiter whose accent is strong and unfamiliar, I’ve found myself smiling and nodding in the hope that my response is the right one. Imagine if this was how most of your conversations panned out? This pretending to understand, or bluffing, is possibly one of the most confidence crushing habits a deafened person can form. You can see why it can be tempting for deafened people to become hermits, but social isolation is not good for us. Research suggests that social isolation is as bad for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day

I absolutely loved this. As an EXPAT living in Holland I have really struggled to communicate and have in a post likened my communication problems to autism so I am over the moon to see that Lynne made that connection here too. I think her 3 step explanation is genius as knowing someone is autistic and understanding what that means are two different things. I am definitely going to try to use the 3 steps and teach my son this too. Thank you! ❤️ 


The sun is streaming through my lounge window. The lounge is as tidy as it ever gets. The house is not quiet, its peaceful. And I feel reborn.

Its hard to explain how having my four year old start school has made me feel. Yes it’s been sad and yes it’s been heart wrenching but it’s also been somewhat liberating. In a way I wasn’t expecting.

I have yet to clean the house. I will, I promise, but I’m just taking my time. My time. Time for me. Imagine that!

This was a stunning piece of writing. Blogging at it's absolute best. It shows the importance of having time to yourself. It certainly feels to me like the fabulous Lisa is hearing herself! Long may it continue. Just brilliant! 

Why rejection made me dream bigger!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a lot of rejection in my life. Be it from a person, a company, a university, the list of ‘rejectors’ is endless. It hurts doesn’t it, rejection; it cuts deep deep inside where not many other pains can reach. And it leaves a scar, sometimes a big one. My deepest rejections are still seared on my memory, like a cattle brand, there to remind me of that painful day when I was not accepted, not wanted.

But you know what, here I am. Life went on and the older I got the more I realised just how important and significant rejection is. Rejection led to one of by biggest and best life decisions ever.

I was 21 freshly graduated with a good degree, lots of enthusiasm and a shiny new CV. I felt like the world was full of doors, just waiting to invite me in. Unbeknown to me the recession, my lack of work experience and my ridiculous nativity would soon have me falling flat on my face.

Job interview after job interview, rejection, rejection. I didn’t understand why. I worked hard, I prepared, I researched, I worn my little black dress and took my fancy little organiser. Why was I failing?

OMG I loved, loved, loved this. Especially: You search for things and mould yourself to what you think is right, when really you just need to focus more on being YOU! I felt like you were talking about me. The best things that have ever happened to me are when I’ve stepped out of the expected, like moving to Holland.

You Matter to Me

We remember the most random of moments in our lives don’t we? I can remember being in nursery school and playing Mary in the Nativity. I can remember in middle school standing on a stage and forgetting my words in the play and saying someone else’s lines instead. I remember the look in that guys eyes when he first said he loved me. I remember every detail about my first cuddle with my daughter and… I remember the day I virtually met the person this blog post is all about and for. I want her to know, in this time when she is questioning what to do, where to go and if she should carry on, that whatever happens, her and her friendship matter to me…


I could not end this post without a nod to my brilliant co-host who has written some amazing, touching and very personal posts this year that I am sure have had a massive impact on all who have read them. I was brought to tears when she reached out to support me this year. I love you Katie ❤️

A huge thank you to every single blogger who has joined us over the last 7 months! I consider many of you my friends now and I am very proud of our lovely community. 

Happy New Year and we hope to see you all again in 2017.

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