Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, September 25, 2017

Now you are 14



Looby at 14, my bright beautiful unicorn of a girl, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Today is the day, I officially feel older than my years, today the realisation hits that my last child, my youngest baby is 14 years old, she's still so young and precious though, she still has a childlike wonder which no one has managed to steal or dull, I think everyone should view the world like Looby does, for Looby sees the good in everything, she genuinely wants to make the world better, I remember not long after he dad and I split up, it was nearing the season of shopping for Christmas presents and she asked if I was going to buy something for her dad, I asked, what did she think was appropriate?  "Oh, a mug, mammy" she said "You could just write "I'm sorry I messed up on it". She really did believe that would work, if only the world could be the way that Looby sees it.

Looby is my only child I was well enough to hold straight after birth, and the one I stayed in hospital longest with whilst my moods were studied and writing pads were scribbled on deciding what they should do to me, I'll always be grateful for that month though, because I really did bond with Looby, not even once did I feel postnatally depressed as I had with Iain or Abigail.

I've been thinking about Looby's childhood a lot recently, maybe because I have time now, because we have this precious time that mums and daughters don't usually get to experience, I'm incredibly privileged to be able to have a career which suits home educating, something else to be grateful for, I also know that whatever happens in this year, Looby will remember it for the rest of her life, it's both a blessing and a pressure point, I worry that I'll fail her and won't be able to make each moment count, make every second magical but then I realise that what I'm essentially doing is giving her time and space to become the person she really wants to be, time to discover herself, time to form an identity in a way that traditional schooling won't allow.

We have no uniforms other than occasional desires to wear unicorn wings whilst galloping around Sainsbury's, that's me, not her...

Looby is special and caring, she's hilariously funny, her concept and understanding of most things in life is somewhere between the surreal and the ridiculous but that is why we love her because there's no one else quite like her, she knows about Nihilism and Hygge and it may even be after our "Plan your own holiday" task that she's grasped that it's not a great idea to want to book accommodation which is 21.5 miles away from the nearest swimming baths if you really want to go swimming and mum doesn't drive.

In the last few weeks she's cooked and baked up a storm, she can follow recipes and she does try to adapt and add to recipes with, well I'd say with mixed results but she knows that even if it goes slightly (or disastrously) wrong, it's fine because she'l have learned something from the experience.  I love the way she's learning things now, I don't think she's ever likely to crave to be a quantum physicist but to be honest, it's a little overrated and there's no right answers, only theories and rarely absolutes with everything only proven until it can be disproven at a later date.

Looby has always wanted to be a farmer from the very first day she could tell us and she still wants to work in agriculture or with animals and she has a huge passion for horses and riding, I'm not entirely sure where this came from as I've never ridden a horse and I'm not sure her dad has either, he is the sporty one but I'm pleased that she has more ideas about what she wants to do with her life now than many of us have 20 years after being 14!

Biscuiteers 10th birthday, fashionista collection, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger


She is my bright, beautiful, unicorn and I hope she never changes.  Today we're celebrating with a picnic (probably indoor because of the rain we've awoken to) and some fabulous iced biscuits, it's the Biscuiteers 10th birthday, a special one indeed for them and so they're celebrating with Biscuiteers 10 iconic tins, when they offered to send a tin, it was Looby who chose the fashion tin and a great choice it was, who wouldn't love edible shoes or an outfit you can shove in your mouth after you've laid it out on the table planning which top should go with which bottom! 
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