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So July was crazy and has created something of a blogging backlog. I still haven’t blogged about Gabriel’s Space Birthday Party, Reiki, my Cornwall holiday or The Big Move. But we are in the new house, and we love, love, … Continue reading

Change is in the air…

… Lots & lots of change!

Maybe the most change that’s happened in one condensed period of time in my life. Life changes appearing like long awaited buses, three, five, six at a time. It’s quite, quite unsettling but also exciting, if I can keep my head!


A couple of months ago, when I was feeling very emotional about something, I forget what now (and anyway, I’m always emotional so it’s hardly news) Remus said to me that he felt we were coming to the end of a long cycle in our lives but the new one hadn’t started yet so we were in this transition phase, a state of limbo which was making me feel unsettled as if some metaphysical rug had been pulled out from under my feet. (One of the many reasons I adore my husband so much: He totally “gets” me and my unseen emotional phases, like the moon! He’s awesome.) I don’t know where he got that from but little did we know at the time how right he was.

Now, in July the previously unseen is starting to appear in the form of many, many changes all coming at once. Some of them planned and others more surprising. The first week of July was a busy and emotional one, starting with my 33rd Birthday on 1st, which was also my last acting class at GFCA before the summer, where I had to perform part of the seduction scene from ‘The Graduate’ (playing Mrs Robinson felt appropriate somehow as I turned another year older *sigh*). Then the 4th was Gabriel’s 4th birthday and his very first visit into Holy Trinity Primary School to meet his reception class, followed by his last ever day at nursery. He has been at Active Learning West Hampstead on Tuesdays and Fridays for the last three years, he absolutely loved it, was so happy there making good friends who have stayed with him through the years and I kept having flashbacks all day to his first days there when he was just one year old, all the times of picking him up and dropping him off and the ten minute walk along the road having our little chats. It really felt like the end of an era and his teacher and I both cried!! At least little brother Lucian is still there so he can come with me to drop him off and visit.


A teary Sabina with Gabs!

The next day, Saturday 6th July was Gabs’ 4th Birthday Space Party!! The theme was the solar system so I was up hugely late hanging planets from the ceiling and blowing up balloons. He had a wonderful time but somehow despite having the wonderful Natalie Hope from West End Bubbles doing ALL the entertaining for me I still wound up completely exhausted! It was probably the heat and the prosecco… I’ll blog about the party properly later.

I have completely failed to mention that while all this was going on we were waiting for news that we have to leave our home, the flat we have lived in for the last six years, pre-marriage and babies until now. Due to ongoing damp problems in the building combined with damage caused by a serious leak in one of the other flats, we discovered a huge amount of water inside the walls and under the floors and toxic chemicals building up meaning we have to leave imminently. While not exactly a shock, it had been weeks of surveyors and insurance companies visiting and mixed messages – you can stay, you have to leave, you can stay, etc. etc. – so we didn’t really believe it would happen, until last week we were told the flat is unsafe, needs gutting and we have to be out by September. Well, Remus is on tour in September and Gabs starts school. We have to be settled in a new place before then, so it dawned on us, just a few days before our summer holiday in Cornwall was due to start that we have to get out, like, NOW!

Would you believe it, two days later on Gabi’s birthday, we found a house?! Not too far from where we are now, and a HOUSE! With a garden and everything. It’s been a hell of a stress getting the paperwork sorted so we can legally leave and get into the new place but we have somewhere and Remus has already boxed up most of our life and we are definitely going. So goodbye to Broadhurst Gdns and the place we moved into newly engaged, the place I got dressed for my wedding in, suffered morning sickness and heaved my enormous pregnant belly around in, brought my babies home to and watched them grow, where one big brother met his new little brother for the very first time. It’s all happened so fast and I can hardly believe it but somehow I also feel so ready and convinced we’ll be happy in our new place. The boys will have a play room!! It has a separate kitchen! No more shouting at the boys to shut-up because Daddy’s teaching and putting them to bed late because their room’s next to the teaching room and keeping them cooped-up indoors! This can only be good for us! But it’s the end of an era…

So, the house found we decided we could afford to pack up and come down to Cornwall to my parents’ place as planned and sort the move out when we got back. The plan was that Remus would come for the first week then return to work and pack for the move, without the boys under his feet, and I would stay down here (I’m at my Mum and Dad’s now) for another couple of weeks. But sadly, the next morning we we woke up to the news that my wee Grannie B, my Dad’s mum and last remaining grandparent, had passed away (she’d been really poorly for a while). So we gave the boys a full day on the beach, planned what is a really tricky journey with two small kids, logistically, and set off to N. Ireland. It meant a lot to me that we all go, as none of my family over there had met Remus and the boys yet and I know it was really important for my Dad that we were all there. In fact, we made it like a holiday adventure for the boys and they loved it, but it was two days travelling each way and a hell of a lot of driving for us and time in the car for them and poor Remus’ only week’s holiday all summer was gone. No beach, no resting and no anniversary dinner/drinks by the sea for us! Poor man. He works far too hard and I wish so much he had his holiday, but I’m so glad we were all there to pay our last to my amazing wee Grannie, who had 11 children, 16 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren and without whom I wouldn’t be here! But yes, another change and another thing to get used to.

But for now, I’m having a lovely holiday in the Cornish sun with my boys while Remus packs our entire life up ready for the removals lorry. There are more changes afoot in my career/what I do with my days now Gabs will be at school and Luci is bigger but right now, I have to go to sleep, as tomorrow another landmark event: I get attuned to Reiki Level I, something I have wanted for years and I am so excited about. It’s a big deal so I need a good night’s sleep. Good night all.

Coco xx


Plans, plans, exciting plans…

I have so many creative things going round and round in my brain at the moment, I thought I’d write them all down, lest I forget to do one of them and in case it helps with planning…

First up, a Classical Babies ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Quartet Picnic!

I had such a good time planning Lucian’s 2nd Birthday Pooh-themed party and have so many props and things left over, it occurred to me on the day that I should transfer it all over to a Classical Babies concert! I want to have all the songs from the Winnie-the-Pooh DVD arranged for string quartet (I know someone who could do this amazingly, but it will be expensive so I may try to do some of them myself) and book my usual musician friends to play in the quartet with me. Then everyone can bring picnic blankets and I have some honey pots filled with treats and a picnic basket with bees buzzing out of it! I just can’t decide when to do it. Maybe the last concert of the Summer Season, in July. My themed special party concerts always have a great turn out but we’re a bit short on festivals, birthdays and special occasions this term so I need an excuse to roll out the prosecco again…


Next up, some more fundraising for The Lullaby Trust in memory of little Matilda Mae. Someone is running the Brighton marathon in her memory for her lovely mum Jennie (she of the Edspire blog) and Jennie asked if anyone would like to run too? I thought,

“Errrrm, noooooo!! I would not!”

But it got me thinking about a different kind of marathon that I could do, since my fingers are a darn sight fitter than my legs:

A Violin Marathon for Matilda Mae

Basically, I would get people to sponsor me to see how long I can play/practise the violin for continuously! I think, feasibly something like eight or nine hours might be the max without damaging my neck or wrist or muscles in my arms but I really I’m aiming for more than that if I can find a way to protect myself by having massage breaks, my physio mum on hand to deal with any aches and pains and regular loo breaks of five or ten minutes built into the rules! If, in my wildest dreams I managed to keep going for twelve hours or more I’m wondering what to do about noise through the night, whether it would be allowed to stop to sleep, or if I should lose a night and keep on going! But physically I’m not likely to last that long. Violin-playing pretty much does to your arms what running does to your legs and so you can imagine the effects after several hours. I’m also not working as much as a freelance violinist as I was pre-kids so I’m not in the same kind of shape as before where I could play six hours a day no problem. I will have to practise myself-in for a couple of weeks before, an hour, two hours adding more time every day – but this is great! It’s about time I got myself back into proper shape as a violinist and maybe did some auditions for other London orchestras (I work regularly with BBC Concert Orchestra – with whom I used to have a full time job – and the City of London Sinfonia who offered me my first regular paid work out of college several years ago, but never approached the others and I really should!) So, as well as raising money for a great cause I stand to gain from this too… It’s a win, win idea!!

The other question is, where should I do it? I need someone to look after my boys for the day or more it will take, so ideally my parents’ place in Cornwall where I will be this summer, since I need my mum on hand for physio anyway. But you need a LOT of sheet music to fill several hours and the big, full music cupboard I need access to is in our flat in London, which my husband also needs for his teaching, so I can’t even transport the lot of it down with me. I could play through the night in Cornwall without upsetting people, but in London possibly not, unless I persuade the neighbours and then I would keep the boys up… Though I could play with a practise mute to dampen the sound.

Then the question of who will verify that I keep playing… Will it be done on trust? Should I operate an open house system where people can come and listen whenever they like to see how I’m doing and grab a glass of wine and watch for a while, or maybe live-stream it on the internet (I have no idea how to do that by the way, but maybe someone can help me?) so people can log on to see if I’m still playing and time my breaks and anyone who’s curious as to what I’m playing for all those hours can have a listen! Questions, questions…. I’m really excited by the idea anyway, and any offers of help with setting up a sponsorship page, or a live-stream would be much appreciated!

Practising in front of the tennis at Wimbledon-time last year!

Practising in front of the tennis at Wimbledon-time last year!


I’m also planning Gabriel’s fourth birthday on the 4th July and a Planets Party for my astronomy-obsessed boy! I won’t waffle on about it here, but let my pinterest board do the talking. We promised to get him his first real bicycle with stabilisers, but now I’m wondering how smart that was as we just got Lucian a micro scooter so he can scoot with his brother and there’s really nowhere much he can safely ride around here. However, a promise is a promise, I just hope the scooter doesn’t get forgotten about. Too many vehicles in this house!

Then there’s my Reiki-attunement plans in the Summer, down in Cornwall and my plan to do a Classical Babies concert there in Gorran Haven, and new venues to find in Harpenden and elsewhere and my acting class I haven’t told you all about yet (I’m working on a Blanche Dubois monologue from A Streetcar Named Desire at the moment and have to do it in costume at Monday night’s class… I’ll keep you all posted another time!) So many plans and ideas in my brain and I didn’t tell you the half of them, but how useful this blog suddenly seems, to pin them all down and firm up my ideas. Feedback on all is welcome! Thank you… Coco xx

Off to Paris…

Remus and I are off to Paris on Monday, for a 3 day romantic-jaunt with no kids! I should feel excited, and I do… I am really looking forward to a rest and some time to wander the streets and drink coffees and most importantly talk to each other about what we want to talk about, not what necessity dictates we have to blurt out before the boys hurt themselves or we’re late for work. We’ll drink champagne, sleep-in, watch tv, have nice meals and be, well, really, really grown-up 😉 No lego, no Iggle-piggle and Tombliboos grating on our nerves, no food on the floor. It will be amazing, it will and we so need and deserve this! But I’m really not sure about leaving my boys for two nights, three days, in particular Lucian. We’re so bonded, we co-sleep, he still breastfeeds. He’s 21 months, I should so be able to do this! But I think I will cry and he will cry. I hope it’s worth it.

That’s not at all what I meant to write about. I mean to write: I’ve only just started my blog and I’m disappearing already. I won’t be posting for a while. (It’s bad form to take your laptop on a romantic mini-break, right?!)

Just so I don’t forget, here’s a few things I want to write about when I get back:

Reiki (I want to learn)

Jennie & Matilda Mae

Classical Babies

Gabs & Luci

My 2013 wish-list

See you all soon… xx