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I have pondered how to celebrate and support International Women’s Day.

In the past I have, delivered speeches, run workshops, attended lunches and made banners for a march.

This year I have decided to reflect on the women that inspire me and support me on my journey.

I could have focused on the famous, Oprah (SuperSoul Conversations are brilliant), Brenee Brown (Her Power of Vulnerability speech is inspiring) or  Amy Cuddy (Love her Power Posing)

… but this year I have chosen to look closer to home.
 I simply want to say thank you

Great Aunty Joyce
No longer with us this amazing lady lived through the World Wars. Only after her death did we find a roll of Nottingham lace that was to be made into her wedding dress had her finance come home from the war. Aunty Joyce lived a simple and pure life caring for her brothers and sister and being a mother figure to my Mum.

She really was an angel on earth, a kind generous spirit who trusted everyone. Anyone who encountered Aunty Joyce, the coalman, delivery boy, milkman, would leave with wine gums and Battenberg cake.

She was demon knitter and I have fond memories of knitted gloves with extra-long fingers, cardis with arms too thin and long, and snuggly bed socks. All accompanied by wine gums. Aunty Joyce taught me to believe in human kindness and to look for the good in all situations.

Mum
My Mum is caring, helpful and friendly, she is a key part of her village community and goes out of her way to help anyone who needs it.

She must be strong, she bought up 3 children, ran a house, had a job, look after relatives, and as was common in those days, put herself last.

I remember when in the throes of giving birth to my daughter thinking ‘my Mum must be super human to have had 3 children!’ She does think she is super human!
Mum has been my rock throughout my motherhood and has been much more than a Granny to my daughter. Mum taught me that love is unconditional and self-care is key.

Rach
My little sis, she is the strongest woman I know. She is brave and courageous!

I have always admired her tenacity as she moves around the world living what most of us only dream about.This year as she volunteers in Indonesia she keeps family and friends enthralled with her heart felt poems, pictures and descriptions of life.

Rach may not have lived in the UK for many many years, but we have an incredibly strong bond, which distance simply strengthens. My sis inspires me to be a better person.

Victoria
My daughter is my biggest achievement. I am constantly in awe of her wisdom. I believe she inherited it from her Aunty whom she spent a lot of time with growing up, she has always wanted to be ‘like Aunty Rach’.

I love being around this funny young woman, she has a wicked sense of humour and regularly surprises me with her knowledge about things I know nothing about.
She’s had to be strong to survive some of the challenges on her journey and I don’t know if I could have done it. Victoria is my constant teacher.

Lilly
My amazing Granddaughter. Lilly is a combination of all the women in my family. She is simply a beautiful angel who entered our life’s 6 years ago.

Spend just 5 minutes in her company and you cannot not be affected by her calm and caring energy. My cheeks ache after being with Lilly, from laughing and smiling.
Lilly is our gift.

I am blessed, I am grateful for all the women whom I have met and for all those I have still to meet.

Today is an opportunity to thank you all and send you love and gratitude.

 Thank you XX

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