Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Facing The Fear

So this weekend I drove to Northumberland on my own with the small people.

:: I drove. On my own. To Northumberland::

This is mahoosive. This was Girl Power. This was me Facing the Fear.

Anybody who knows me would tell you I am happy to pootle around country lanes, villages & our small town. I can drive on the M1 - 2 junctions, 3 roundabouts to IKEA - 3 junctions & 2 roundabouts to my bestest friends house. Ask me to drive to Sheffield, Derby or any where else & I go into meltdown. Total meltdown, even with the aid of a sat nav, I am a bag of nerves. 

:: The sort of nerves that see me drive down a tramline route. The wrong way. In Sheffield ::

So I must have been overtired, deluded or hormonal when I decided to drive to a family christening 

:: On my own. To Northumberland::


The 11 year old reassures me that he will help me follow the route. Quite how Pokemon Battles helped, other than to keep him quiet I do not know - although there is something utterly heartwarming watching
him hug his beloved Eye-ore all the way there & back. (On reflection, it have been silent, fear induced Eye-ore holding ) He's on the threshold of teenage hormones & angst, but still young in so many ways.

In the back the 8 year old was also suitably entertained.

Just over 3 hours later we arrived. One stop at Wetherby. In one piece. No arguments or shouty mummy moments. One call to G to say I couldn't find the Holiday Inn (someone put trees in front on purpose to make it hard for me)

I then managed to get to my brothers house (4 roundabouts, 2 right, 2 left turns) for a pre-christening bonding session. Before returning to the hotel (actually I went back to his house by accident first, someone moved the roads round when I wasn't looking).

Smalls occupied. Me occupied. All in control.


After an interesting nights sleep (the 8 year old talks in her sleep, & pinches - rather too well as I found out). We awoke & got ready for breakfast. 40 minutes later, one Ribeana spill down the only clean blouse a certain 8 year old had, face soap, trouser press, hairdryer & borrowed iron we finally made it. 

My brother is lucky enough to live a very short drive away from the sea. 10 whole minutes away. You may feel my jealousy as I type this (in a sisterly way). 

Oh I have beach envy. Serious beach envy. The call of the sea is something I cannot resist.Especially when he is already there with his eldest little one.

Now she just rocks - as only a 2 year old can. Utterly beautiful. Enchanting with her chatter. Totally adored by the 11 year old. I even said to my brother that I couldn't believe he could make such a beautiful child (in a sisterly way)

And this hour, with the children, on the beach, in the fresh air, paddling in the water, gathering, digging, playing. 

It made Facing the Fear worthwhile. 

Precious moments, made all the greater, knowing that 

:: I drove. On my own. To Northumberland::

If I did it once, I can do it again. That my little ones may be able to grow up seeing more of their cousins than I thought they would. If I can manage this drive, and two children, an overnight stay on my own, where else could I go? that thought is empowering.

My beautiful girl gathered me jet black pebbles from the beach. They will go in a jar. To remind me

:: I drove. On my own. To Northumberland::

I swear, I'm almost. Fearless. Well a little bit less than I was.... 


(& the Christening was just Perfect)


  1. it is a special magical place Northumberland, with it's beautiful beaches that ease your fears, and soothe your soul. (of course I am a little biased as I too live 10 minutes from the sea! xxx)

  2. well I think you are brillaint. I don't drive and really don't want to. I had lessons, and once drove down the A12 almost to Chelmsford on a lesson & nearly had a break down. I just don't know how people do it, I really don't.

    So I say massive congrats, and seriously well done.It is a brave thing to do, especially when you have two littles in the car too.

    gorgeous photos.

  3. Fantastic! I can see how well worth it that was - in so many ways. Northumberland really is wonderful, isn't it? So isolated, and happy to stay that way. It's a great gift you're giving your children, the chance to see their cousins and the realisation that they can do things like this with mummy (and a great role model for your daughter, too, I should think).

  4. You clever sausage!!
    You'll be coming to Crete soon :)))
    Take care

  5. I am so proud of you!!!! Well done!!!! What about coming over to Wentworth? Its only 2 roundabouts off the M1 xxxxx

  6. You are my hero! I cannot drive on the motorway, the speed and the filtering on. Too scary for words! Well done for doing it and like you say you'll be able to do it again and there will be lots of good times to be had because of it.
    Much love and admiration from the common wench down south.
    Lisa xx
    p.s lovely letter arrived from S, another happy S here!

  7. Well done you! I had a similar fear for years which meant we wouldn't leave the county with me at the wheel; a rather unexpected problem which meant I had to drive home from Gatwick airport with only a 7 year old for company and no map or satnav rather broke the fear!I'm sure you'll be fine from now on.

  8. Take a bow!! Well done you, imagine what you could get up to next ;) A lovely adventure and that cake looks just yummy! You should feel a very proud lady indeedy! xx

  9. Oh blimey - you are far more better then me.

    I couldn't even drive in a straight line up the motorway for half an hour with only one left turn and one right one for my birthday back in April - you did really well *phew* I've come out in a sweat at the very thought of it.

    So glad you did the fear thing and had a lovely time away.

    Nina xxx

  10. Hello, nice to meet you! THanks for stopping by my blog. Lovely post. Know what you mean about long drives alone with kids. I am plucking up the courage to tackle the 5 hours it takes to get to my parents on the south coast alone one day. Not yet though! Gillian x

  11. I admire you for facing your fear! I have serious freeway anxiety and dread driving when I am in the lower 48.

    But the family time sounds lovely and I'm so glad you were able to enjoy it!

  12. well done!! i completely understand your fear. I used to be the same, but am now ok, although i have to remember to lossen my grip on the steering wheel and move my head around otherwise i seize up i'm so tense! ha ha! xxxxx

  13. At least he was willing to outside and enjoy the beach. Most kids these days can't put pokemon games down.

    -Zane of ontario honey