Life is in Seasons

A few months ago, my older sister and I spent a weekend together and we got talking about how life is in seasons.

We concluded that you can have all the hopes and aspirations you want; you can believe for great things; you can hope for a wonderful life but one thing that is constant to all people is that life will always certainly have highs and low. It’s the basic tenet of existence.

It’s a fallacy to believe that life will be a constant high. And a lot of us struggle with this because whether we say it or not, we have a sense of entitlement to a ‘good life’.

And don’t get me wrong, we do deserve a ‘good life’, whatever that is for you but it’s not an entitlement – it happens by grace.

The older I get, the more I am able to master the changing seasons. When I was younger, I viewed them as a sentence being meted out to me. I would often ask why is this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this? Why does it always happen to me? When is it going to be my turn? Why, why, why, why, why, why,  why? However, after going through a fair number of seasons you learn to ride the waves – maybe even control their impact on you or your reaction to them.

I hope to God I do not become an expert on changing seasons LOL but I have come to understand that if you can be still in the storm, it will pass. If you can stop yourself from making decisions when you are desperate or scared, you’ll make better choices for yourself. If you can look at the season not as something being done to you but a process of refinement, then you might just learn something through the process. If you can try your darnedest not to see the season as a reflection of your esteem but see it for what it is – a bad time. And if you can yes, hold on for that ‘good life’ it will come – even if it does tarry (oh I sound ancient now).

The opening line of one of favourite songs by Maxwell is, “I was reborn when I was broken“. Only seven words, not a very long sentence, but they speak volumes to me. A different perspective perhaps to pain and disappointment. Lots of people talk about how they go through a tough season and come out of the other side a different person. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a home, redundancy, divorce, a betrayal, an unexpected diagnosis; so many different seasons we find ourselves in; often without warning. Can we be reborn as we pass through them? Perhaps the season may take a part of you and enable a different you to surface. I was reborn when I was broken.

Maxwell’s response is to “take it one day at a time”. Those sound like wise words to me. Maybe he’s walked through a few seasons too. The season always has a byline. It has a knack of revealing it usually at the end though. If maybe at the turn of a new season, we could learn to turn the volume down a bit, we may hear the whispers of the byline; the story it seeks to share. Then perhaps we too can we say, “we were reborn when we were broken”.


I am really determined to learn something new in every season. Almost like a do your worst, I’m-going-to-grow-through-this-sort-of-growl. As long as there is life, I can be stronger and say I was reborn when I was broken. I may cry a little but I will be reborn.


Baking Has Taught Me To Never Say Never

The first celebration cake I baked was for my daughter’s fourth birthday. It was a disaster. Bless her heart, she thought it was the best cake ever and still does. I look at that and think what the heck is that????? If I showed you that cake and said I wanted to start a cake business, chances are that you would laugh me out of your presence. Never mind any dreams of having a café, I just didn’t have the talent.

I baked this cake in September 2012


Six months later

A year later


And this one in December 2013

In 15 months of practice (not even regularly) and no formal training, I have begun to turn out better looking cakes. There have been days when I’ve been so down on myself and thought there is no chance on earth or in heaven that I could ever ever do this. Who would want a cake that looked like a mudslide? However, A little over a year, I am really proud of what I’ve done. Not because they are the best but simply because I have improved and some people actually want to pay for my cakes.

So I’ve developed some ‘never rules’ to always remember when I’m embarking on a new journey:

      Never judge a book by it’s cover, including yourself


      Never be afraid to learn something new


      Never stop learning


      Never say you can’t until you’ve tried


      Never give up because something is too hard for you


      Nerve judge your future by a moment of hardship


      Never compare yourself to someone else and decide you’ll never be good enough


      Never let tears (or disappointment) stop you from getting up the next day and trying again


      Never stop trying whilst you still have breath in you


      Never lose patience with yourself


      Never let imperfection stop you from presenting your work


      Never be in a hurry to be a master at what you do


    Never fail to assess where you are and determine a course of action to get you to where you want to be.

All this from baking you ask. What can I say? The kitchen is a jungle. 🙂

Thought of the Day

I came across this quote from Kenzo designer, Humberto Leon and I thought how true.


I’ve found that if you want to succeed at anything in life, you need a good dose of desire and curiosity. Simply because you have to observe, learn and create.

Without the desire to be a success and curiosity, you won’t go on the prequisite learning path which leads to success.

Success can be a very lonely path but with bright eyes, keen to learn, and a questioning mind, you’ll get very far.

Teachers Rock!

I am almost always overwhelmed whenever my kids have a play or presentation at school. 

I admire teachers particularly those who go the extra mile in engaging kids. My son’s class had a presentation on the rainforest today. By the time they were done I wanted to stop using paper, eating red meat and recycling every single recyclable product. I was like sign me up.

It’s one thing to teach but it’s another thing entirely to pass on knowledge that inspires children to speak passionately. 

To every teacher out there working their butt off, thank you!


Stylist Live Review

Yesterday, my sister and I attended the girl-fest that was Stylist live. I can only describe it as a celebration of womanhood in all her diverse forms. Starting on the 15th of October and ending yesterday, it was four days of fashion, learnng, inspirational talks, food, beauty, exhibitors, books …….. amidst a sea of women.


If you live or work in London, Stylist magazine should be familiar to you. If not, where have you been??????  I remember taking detours just to get a copy from the station when I lived in London.  Stylist knows their readership well – women who work but also want to nurture a passion and possibly grow that passion into a business. And I guess this was the motive for launching Stylist Live  – everything you would get in their magazine , but in real life.

So naturally, you know before you get there you are going to get fab products, a foodie area, fashion and how-to sessions. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know the how-to-sessions were my motivation for signing up – aptly called the Learning Labs. And lastly, for a little fee, you could attend a session on the Stylist Inspires Stage, to hear speakers such as Lorraine Pascale, Davina McCall, Caitlin Moran, Nigella Lawson and Katie Piper. And did I mention I won the tickets in a competition? Whoop whoop! 🙂

My first stop was the catwalk. I’d never been to one before so it was great to have front row seats to view the autumn winter tends. I’m a bit sceptical about the return of the 80s trend is but you’ll be glad to hear that there are no shoulder pads, although sequins are going to be very much alive.

The Learning Lab I attended was by The Cambridge Satchel Company founder, Julie Deane OBE on How to Start a Fashion Business. An amazing and quietly inspirational bold woman who started a million pound company from her kitchen table. Her talk was probably the best business seminar I’ve ever attended purely for her refreshingly simple and honest approach. It wasn’t filled with platitudes and business cliches. It was from a view point of how to start small, create a brand and keep it simple. Utterly inspirational.


Sadly, I wasn’t able to get into the Learning Lab on How to Write your First Novel as it was over subscribed. A bit gutting but the plus side is that I got to spend more time with my sister. 


I’m on the left in case you are wondering. 😉

Our final session of the day was at the Stylist Inspires Stage with Katie Piper, who survived rape and a viscous acid attack in 2008. I sort of approached her session from an I-already-know-your-story point of view and was hoping it would be inspiring. However, nothing could have prepared me for the depth of suffering this woman endured, overcame and lived through. She epitomised the strength of the human spirit. Her session was challenging , very challenging just because it confronted you with the insatiable search for the superficial or ephemeral vs what is truly lasting. My take home quote from her session was, 

Humans can survive three weeks without food, three days without water, three minutes without oxygen but we cannot survive without hope.

It’s rare to attend an inspirational talk where people aren’t clamouring over the mic to ask questions. There were only two questions from an audience of over 200 women. I think it was because -perhaps – when you meet a genuine article, words are few. It was simply prudent to listen. 


As an inaugural event, it accomplished it’s goal –  to inspire women. If I’m honest, because I’d seen a few moans on social media I was better prepared for what to expect. There were definitely a few teething problems which I’m sure the organisers will take on board. However, I would go again next year and take my daughter with me.

A huge well done to the team at Stylist magazine and thank you again for the tickets!

As Poor As A Church Mouse

Sometimes, my children give me the impression that they don’t think I was educated.

Simply the way they talk to me about new things they’ve learnt at school. So from time to time I like to show off. Talk about the things they couldn’t possibly know like algebra and BODMAS. Yes I am a big big for nothing agbaya (Yoruba for someone who isn’t acting their age). 🙂

On this day, it was similes they decided to lecture me on.

I remembered a book we used in primary school that listed all the similes that existed called FIrst Aid in English. I reeled off some of the ones I could remember.

As swift as a …………………………………… deer.

As brave as a ……………………………………. lion.

As poor as a ……………………………………. church mouse.

Then they asked what it meant to be as poor as a church mouse. I replied, “well you wouldn’t really find food in a church in earlier days so it would be the worst place for a mouse to live”.

Then my daughter says, “yeah it must be because there is no cheese”. My son promptly adds, “they would have a lot of bread and wine but certainly no cheese”.

Their logic is right and probably a lot more advanced than mine at their age. I couldn’t help laughing. I guess they taught me.

Image from Clipartpanda

Teaching Children About Politics

I have to hand it to the teachers of the Juniors at my children’s school. Ever since they got back from half-term, they have been discussing, teaching and enacting everything to do with politics and the elections. I’ve been amazed at how engaged my eight year old son has been.

He’s been asking non-stop questions about David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage. He was interested in what the differences were in each party? How the country is governed, what the leaflets are promoting, why epople have signs outside their homes,etc. It was avalanche after avalanche of daily questions. It would have been ooooo so easy to tell him the what party he ought to support but that would have been taking advantage of his curiosity wouldn’t it? 🙂

His six year old sister is in Infant school and they have been left out of the school’s agenda which I think is a shame because she has picked up so much from her brother proving that you are never too young to learn. The sooner children learn about civic duty, the better engaged they’ll be. And we won’t have a generation of eighteen year olds who don’t bother voting.

I took them to the polling station and explained the difference between local and parliamentary elections. They watched me make my choice and then I gave them each a ballot sheet to place in the ballot box.

Image result for polling station

Image result for ballot paper uk

So much excitement over an election and feeling like they voted, although they were too young to vote. I hope the memory leaves an indelible mark and they never take the gift of democracy for granted.