One Moment in time with Laura Beresford

30 August 2017

Welcome to one moment in time, a guest posts series, where bloggers share the stories behind special or significant photographs. Today I am handing over to the lovely Loopy Laura, Laura Beresford from Musings of a tired mum. 

I simply love this photo.

It was taken at a photo shoot just before we moved in together. It was the first time that we had ever done anything like that and Chris was referred to as Dad throughout the whole shoot: it felt normal and right. I was also pregnant with Zach when this was taken but none of us knew that at the time. We are planning to go back at some time to get more done that include Zach too (if we can get him to stop doing his cheesy grin!)

It has pride of place in our new house that we moved into just a couple of weeks after this was taken. The way the eyes follow you around the room is great and makes me stare at it every day, grateful for meeting such a wonderful man who has completed our family. The kids are so lucky that he loves being their dad and is a constant source of support and fun!

Chris and I met on a dating website after Matthew told me not to give up on love because I always tell him never to stop trying. Wise words. This photo represents a journey that I went on with Matthew and Anya and had a happy destination.

My family is the most important thing in the world to me and I am amazed at how well we have bonded together. I was worried that Matthew and Anya would feel a bit weird about our new baby but he is their brother and they adore him, there are no half- or step- mentioned anywhere.

Anya's face in the photo is a perfect example of her cheekiness mixed with a bit of cute to stop her driving me completely doolally! Matthew also looks comfortable and happy which is great because he found the adjustment to our new family the hardest.

I also love this photo because it is a nice one of me!

No F-word please I'm English

23 August 2017

Dear friend,

One of the things that really shocked me when I moved to Holland was the lack of censorship. On one of my first visits here I remember listening to the radio in the car and trying to decipher what was being said only to be confronted  with the F-bomb more than once! Songs are not censored and neither are the presenters and although there isn't gratuitous swearing it does happen.

When I grew up the only swear word we were allowed to use at home was crap. Don't get me wrong I did go through a phase in my teens when I had a serious case of potty mouth but I would never have dared continue that at home and face the wrath of my dad. God forbid the F-bomb should pop out or we would be in serious trouble. There was definitely a time and place for swearing and it wasn't at home!

The UK censorship laws also prohibit the use of public obscenity. No swearing allowed before 9 on mainstream TV and radio. It used to be punishable to swear in public too, however, in 2011 a High Court judge ruled that people should not be punished for hurling obscenities in public because such words are now so common they no longer cause distress.

Has swearing lost the power to shock us?

I think living in a land without censorship did mean that I became desensitised to swearing, the shock factor had gone but that was until my children came along...

I felt that swearing around my kids was just wrong! People regularly tell us that kids are like sponges, soaking up their environment and copying the behaviour that they see. I didn't want my cute little darlings uttering obscenities and I knew it would give my mother a heart attack so we listened to children's CDs and nursery rhymes and avoided the radio.

But then my kids got older. The eldest got into music in a big way, he started DJ lessons and began following the SLAM top 40.  As certain songs appeared on the radio or TV I would flip the channel over or mutter about the inappropriateness of this language. Hubby however took a different stance. This is Holland, we don't censor. I don't understand the problem. This lead to many heated discussions at the dinner table.

For some time my little DJ would sit in the passenger seat of the car and when a 'bad' song came on would dim the volume at the key moment and smile at me. Job done - mummy was happy, papa would laugh! But then I started to think about my behaviour. Why was I so worried? Did I think that by exposing my kids to profanity they would start to use it? Did I think it was damaging them in some way? Or was my negative reaction actually causing my kids stress?

There is no research to say that swearing is damaging to children. Directing abusive language at children is of course damaging but hearing swearing? Lets face it who is going to allow their kids to sit and listen to swearing for research purposes so there probably isn't any research available?!

I started to look at my behaviour and communicate more with my kids instead of just shutting down or getting cross. We discussed the difference between growing up in Holland and England and we discussed how mummy felt uncomfortable with bad language because she never heard it growing up. We talked about the watershed in the UK. We discussed why people swear (when they are angry, to express something strongly, or to abuse others.) We were clear that using profanity as abuse is wrong.

I am confident that my kids know there is a time and a place for certain types of language. 

A few days later we had a party with friends and someone swore. My eldest explained that in our house we don't swear until after 9 because mum is English. It made us all laugh and the joke is now set - whenever anyone swears we say;  After 9! 

I don't think I will ever be totally comfortable around people who swear gratuitously but maybe I am becoming more Dutch as I find the censorship peep used in UK TV very annoying and I feel really patronised when UK presenters give the; We apologise for any offence caused... speech when someone drops the F-bomb on their programs.

Maybe the judge was right and because Holland does not have censorship, swearing has become more common to me so no longer causes me distress.

What do you think? Should we still be shocked by swearing?

Blogger Recognition Award

18 August 2017

Dear friend,

I am a massive fan of Blogger Tags and Awards and was really honoured to receive this from one of my newer blogging buddies the brilliant Mom of two girls. I have loved getting to know her and I am pleased to see she embraces her imperfections as do I.

I am not a perfect wife or mother but I will never stop trying to be better for them.

Her blog contains a little bit of everything parent and family related, including healthy eating, baking with kids, DIY around the home, and lots of fun family ‘Days Out’ experiences and travel. I love her family motto: “Never backwards … Always Forwards” How inspiring.

Mom of two girls is based in South Africa. One of the things I love about blogging is how it can cross continents and connect us with friends all around the world!

How Diary of an Imperfect Mum started

Diary of an Imperfect Mum was born in a waiting room. I was spending a large amount of my time each week waiting for my son, sitting on those horrid plastic chairs that make your bum itch and smiling through gritted teeth at other equally stressed parents. I was struggling to come to terms with my sons autism diagnosis and felt incredibly lonely,  as an EXPAT in a new country.

I started writing things down in the notes on my phone when my son was in therapy. They were brief thoughts or ideas only. But I shared them with a friend and he told me that I should start a blog. Then I wrote an article for In Culture Parent magazine and it ignited the spark. On here I could say whatever I thought and not feel judged. I could get everything out in the open and not worry about hurting people's feelings. I could be imperfect!

I did not tell anyone about my blogging for quite a while but now everyone knows. Diary of an imperfect mum is my small way of campaigning for acceptance so that my son can grow up in a more understanding world.

Two pieces of advice for new bloggers

The secret to being a brilliant blogger is simple. Write the blog that you want to write and be the blogger that you want to be! 

Find your voice: I am unapologetically me! I write with passion and honesty. Keep that. It is easy to get caught up in the blogging mechanics...the schedules, the tips and tricks to increase followers, the Klout scores, the back follows, the blogging charts etc But remember why you started and be you!

Engage Your Audience/Find your tribe: I always put effort into my linky comments and into the replies to comments left on It is also important to engage on social media and not just auto-tweet. You will find that some of your blogging buddies become your good friends!

I Would Like to Dedicate this Award to:

Feel free to join in or not but I want you all to know you are doing a brilliant job!

Now for The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. 
  • Write a post to show your award. 
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.  
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. 
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to. 
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.


One Moment in Time with Catherine Stribling

16 August 2017

Welcome to one moment in time, a guest posts series, where bloggers share the stories behind special or significant photographs. This week's featured blogger is the lovely Catherine Stribling..

This is my mum and her three granddaughters. This was taken last summer on the weekend of her 60th birthday. We had arranged a surprise weekend away at a house in Ramsgate with the bigger surprise being my brother and his wife hiding upstairs in the bathroom! They had flown over from America especially for mums birthday and the big surprise.

This photo sums up the happiness of that weekend. All if the family together having fun and making memories.

Planning her birthday was so exciting and she had no idea what was going on until she arrived. My dad was responsible for getting her there and he wasn't allowed to say anything about the destination. We were all there when they arrived. So excited for what else we had planned. We had hidden my brother and his wife in the bathroom and gave mum the 'tour' of the house all the way up to the bathroom where they were hiding. I have never seen somebody so surprised when she opened the bathroom door to see them sat in the bath! We even managed to catch it all on camera!

Photo of a grandma with 2 happy children

We all managed to keep it a secret for about six months which wasn't always easy but well worth it.

I loved that we were planning something for her that was so special and meant that she could spend the whole weekend with the people she loved.

She does so much for all of us and the girls are constantly being spoilt by her and my Dad. It was great to do something for her and we all had a brilliant weekend celebrating.

This summer we are heading off to a house in France as a family and I can't wait to create more memories all together.

Photography @My_Dutch_Angle

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