Archive for June, 2010

Curse You Peter FitzSimons

June 27, 2010

There I was, happily enjoying the chaos of a wonderful family holiday in Italy. All 20 and a half (my sister has one on the way) of my extended family eating, drinking and arguing like idiots together with a gorgeous Umbrian backdrop – see below for the view from my window.
And then Peter Fitz goes and totally spoils it by sending me an extract from his latest book, A Simpler Time. As always with Fitz it’s funny, human, and blisteringly well written. The annoying part is that this piece is incredibly poignant and personal. It’s about his own family, in particular about his Dad.
I was looking forward to the second week of banter, and now it all has this much deeper meaning and significance. Now I just know I’m going to have one too many reds tonight and tell all my family I love them.
Curse you, thank you Peter FitzSimons.

Click the link below to have a read, and enjoy

A Simpler Time Extract


What I Wish I Knew about Work/Work/Life Balance

June 17, 2010

How out of whack is my life? I’m about to head off with my extended family to Italy, twenty-one of us in a Villa in Umbria, and this morning the whole thing seemed like a right pain in the arse.

Even more delicious irony when my last blog was all about the benefits of heading off with my wonderful wife for a weekend away to the Hunter Valley. And now I realise I haven’t done a blog/newsletter or anything for 6 weeks while I’ve finished off my next book, What I Wish I Knew about Motherhood. I can’t even achieve work/work balance.

To get the new book sorted, I’ve done 91 interviews in 41 days. I’ve met some incredible mums, and a few of equally inspiring stay-at-home dads. But that’s all I’ve done with my time on this earth for 6 weeks. Again I left it late, had to work 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, and the book was still 4 weeks past deadline to my patient publishers.

So to compensate, and to follow my usual pattern of lurching from one extreme to the other, tomorrow I head off on a 5 week trip to Italy and the UK. (Of course, I had planned to take my laptop just in case.)

As I packed this morning, got the travel insurance, international license, blah de blah de blah, all the travel arrangements felt like just another to do list. Then into my inbox comes a recent TEDx speech by Nigel Marsh, author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” and “Overworked and Underlaid” (Cracking reads. Profound, thought provoking and very, very funny. As Molly would say, “Do yourself a favour.”)

Nigel’s talk – it’s only 10 minutes, I don’t care how busy you are, even you can spare that long – is all about work/life balance. It was just what I needed. I’m now looking forward to my trip, I’ve vowed to ignore the laptop beast for the two weeks in Italy, and I can’t wait to spend some time with the other 3 people I share an address with. You know, my family.

Have a look, I’m sure you’ll get a laugh and a new perspective too.

All the plenty very bestest