the weekend that was

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an early start to the weekend with a day off on friday to hang out with my lovely friend Angie + she took me to visit jane austen’s house museum (not pictured) + then to love on some horses + a fabulous lunch at the pub with no name + then a wander through some lavender fields chasing bees trying to get a polaroid (they really don’t make easy subjects for polaroids when time is short!) + friday night in watching a movie, eating popcorn + a saturday morning bike ride to the library for more books + making sourdough ciabatta + clearing out, packing up, making lists + sitting outside in the afternoon reading a book underneath the gazebo as the rain poured down + finishing one book and starting another + sunday lunch with Sas & Ash in hurley, just 45 mins from london + a walk along the river + a swim in the thames + the crazy-coolest ice-cream vendor i’ve ever seen + cream teas at the church before driving back to london, because as Sas so beautifully put it “we couldn’t not stop because it was like God saying ‘I’ve just put the kettle on’ ” + more reading + fish burgers for supper made from the ciabatta rolls i baked yesterday + scanning my polaroids from friday’s excursions

[weekending with amanda] – how was yours?

iphone photo essay











i have my fair share of “how on earth did i end up in this mess?” kind of days, however yesterday was not one of them.

feeling so very happy about the london sunshine, and having a day off work, i took the underground up to manor house, then wandered through finsbury park to meet up with xanthe (who took me for a lovely lunch at the haberdashery, then a swim in the ladies pond at hampstead heath, and for a lazy afternoon in the hammocks).

the most delicious day rounded off with dinner with xanthe, susannah & sas.

all photos iPhone 4s, processed with a vsco film preset

[for photo friday]

show your hair

please wait here until you are useful, thank you

My grandmother told me,
“Never hide your green hair –
They can see it anyway.”
Angeles Arrien

There are stories I have told myself for years: That I am not good enough – That I am not worth listening to – That I don’t get it (and everyone else does) – That I am a fraud – I am weird looking – My ankles are too fat and my legs are unshapely – I am not at all glamorous and I hate wearing heels, so I must be a freak – My hair is too fine and not curly enough – I am fat – I am ashamed of my body – of my actions – of my failure to save another because I wasn’t brave enough to speak.

And, for [too] many years the question I most often asked myself was “What is wrong with me?”.
And, for [too] many years I answered it with many things; none of them an answer filled with love, only with more pain.

You are not alone,
wondering who will be convicted of the crime
of insisting you keep loading your grief
into the chamber of your shame.
You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy.
I have never met a heavy heart
that wasn’t a phone booth with a red cape inside.
Some people will never understand
the kind of superpower it takes
for some people to just walk outside.
Andrea Gibson, (from The Nutritionist)

There were days when the stories I told myself were so damaging that the thought of getting out of bed was too much, let alone getting dressed or taking a walk outside.

Somewhere between my wild, untamed girlhood and now, I lost a very important conversation with myself:

One in which I understood that it’s not the things that happen to me that matter, it’s all the stories I have told myself afterwards – I have punished myself through various means for failing to live up to some perfection that I can’t name or understand.

I’m certain that some of you will agree with me when I say…
… it’s easy to write about how the stories we tell ourselves are important, so to be careful what they are,
… and it’s easy to speak the words,
… but to truly believe them on a cellular level… that is where the magic happens.

I have been too close to the stories to see that they are ONLY stories.

Deepak Chopra, in one of his books, says when we look at our bodies now, they are a physical manifestation of the things we have told ourselves in the past. And, if we want to know what our bodies will look like in the future, we need to examine the stories we tell ourselves now.

I realise, as I read through what I have written above, that trying to hide from the world by over-eating and drinking and ending up in an overweight body was a hilarious plan. How on earth getting bigger equates to hiding is something I now find funny. At the time I made that decision it must have been the best plan I could come up with.

In this realisation, and writing these words, I burst into laughter, then the tears start; I am glad I find my realisation so funny now, and I’m sad to have wasted so much time trying to hide that way.

And I can feel a deep wound begin to heal.


The words of Byron Katie present themselves in my mind frequently. She gently asks

Who would you be without your story?

Who would I be without the story that I’m not good enough,
that I don’t belong here,
that I’m not worth listening to so I might as well keep quiet?

Who would I be if I emerged, every day, from my phone booth wearing my red cape and showing my green hair?

It seems that, despite all of the various punishments and shame, some part of me has the wisdom to look underneath all the bullshit stories I tell myself – the ones made from the pain of past experiences. Somehow some part of me knows that I am not broken…

There is nothing to ‘fix’, nothing to do.
I just have to BE.
That my BEing is enough
and it is beautiful.

Who would you be without your story?


the body stories badgeAs part of her amazing new site & business launch, my friend Sas is sharing an ebook called the body stories.

I was deeply honoured to be invited to share some of my body story, along with many, many others.

Maybe a story contained within it will speak deeply to you, where you are in your body story.

This ebook is her gift to you and you can download it from here