The First Day of Autumn

It has been a big day today. My youngest son turned 3. My oldest son started in Juniors. My eldest Daughter started her final year at primary school and my middle daughter started her first day at primary school.

Also Mrs Berg has started her first year of a 3 year course at university.

Busy Morning.

2015-09-08 14.58.04

I however have a day off. It just happens to be the Tour of Britain and they are cycling through my village and as such all the roads are blocked off including the one my office is on. Lucky me.

The only definite thing I must do today is pick the middle child up from nursery at 12 and deliver her to her first day at her new school.

I am so proud of her as she sports her brand new uniform with grown up bag and hair tied up all smart. I really get emotional as I know it’s the start of them growing up. This child is the confident, outgoing, wild child, so I have no worries about her finding her feet. The sadness I feel is purely selfish and to do with me losing a part of my little girl. But she isn’t in high school yet so I know I can squeeze a few cute years yet.

To get from the nursery to the school though I have to go through my village. The one blocked off with the race.

I’m strategising in my head. Should I go earlier and wait in my car at nursery? Do I go later and hope the race has passed? I just don’t have the time the race is coming through.

I decided to go early, but not too early that I’m waiting for ages in the car (it is the only day off I’m likely to have for a long while, like gold dust they are to be completely alone in the house).

I wind my way round the back country road I’d planned in advance. I was so pleased with my progress.

But then I hit the village. In fairness I did get further in without stopping that I thought. But stop I did because ahead of me was a whole crowd of people. The traffic had stopped police were in the road. And then round the corner spun the bikes, hundreds of them at pace. In a blur of colour the racers coursed, the crowd cheered.

I had timed my school run for the exact time the race had came through. Far from being an inconvenience it had put me closer up to the race than I could have got if I had planned to watch it.

The sun had been glorious, the air crisp and cool, it had been a perfect September day.

I had gotten my housework done, I shared the important milestones my family had and I had an exciting moment in a community event. All in all it was a good start to a new term.

As one season ends, I feel like I’ve started out on the right foot, now to just continue on the positive footing.

Thanks for visiting

Berg

http://www.reflectionsfromme.com

Too much Social life

Where has the time gone. I write this from my work computer, a brief moment of solitude. I am hazy and tired. Not from work as such, or from the kids. No workout has got me sweating like this. No mind mind hurts from a constant stream of social media.

2015-08-28 15.05.22

It starts off so innocently. I have my own Twitter account. Then my own Instagram account. No problem. Add add add, follow, like etc. Then… well social media can be used to promote my business. So a Twitter account and Instagram for Millbrooke Estate Agency is born.

But then I start a blog, and that’s when things start getting a bit crazy. First off blogging is a hobby of mine, at the moment. I would love it to be more but we will see. But when you start something to get immersed into the world. I love blogging. It really has opened up my world to something new, I have met a steady stream of new friends and I love to read other peoples blogs and vlogs as well as writing my own. However in order to promote my blog and stay in contact with these people I have had to open up firstly a Twitter account, then an Instagram account. I heard a Google plus account was essential. Phew.

Then there was a Facebook page, I wasn’t even on Facebook. I had to create my own profile.

So now I have an Instagram, Twitter, Google plus profile, Google Plus page, and Facebook page for both my business and my blog. This is as well as my own accounts.

And that’s not to mention managing each account. Following, liking, commenting.

I read a blog about what it truly means to be a blogger and all of them state it is only 10% writing. The rest is interaction with your followers. Don’t I know it.

So this month before I wrote another post I wanted to make sure that each of these pages was ready to receive my posts. You guys know, you’ve done it yourself.

Needless to say my first month of setting up and controlling all these  social media  accounts at once has left my brain feeling rather wrung out and left on the line. Certainly not very sociable, sat in a hot office hunched over my computer muttering about plus1’s.

I know that it is worth it and a necessity for my business and blog to succeed. Now that I am all set up now I’m excited to be part of all the networks at once and I look forward to seeing my network expand.

And just wait until I get a youtube channel… … …

So follow me tweet me plus me and like me. I look forward to meeting you however you get in touch.

Thanks for visiting my Place

Berg

The Park or the Space?

Where we live is on a street with a park in it. It is full of children playing constantly.

Since we had a previously lived on main roads our kids had never really played out with other kids before so they relished being called for and going out in a gang. It was brilliant.
But then we had a chance, an offer to move house, and I was worried. For a good couple of years they had got used to playing out on the park, I could see them from the window so I could even keep an eye on them and have a brew. Was all that set to change.

Still we needed the bigger house, the baby wouldn’t stay in her Moses basket forever and the other two youngest where catching up the oldest. We needed space.
My other problem was that my son had just been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This was already a big big change. He had one of his school friends across the street, his parents were our friends so we had a good network here. Would the disruption be too much.

In fact we fretted over it so much, that at one point we had decided “No we couldn’t leave. We would sit it out. Buy bunk beds. Squeeze them in”.

Luckily, one of our friends informed us that, “You are mad” Not the first time

“The support network that you have will still be there, it will always be there, you need the room.”
So we had look at the house and the area and we were astonished at how much room there was. We took the plunge.

We needn’t have worried. With Facebook, and Twitter, and the telephone and Whatsapp, your support network is a big or as little as you make it. It can be a once a week chat or a constant feed.

The neighbours here are a lot more involved in the community here so Mrs Berg was able to find several like minded mothers from day one. The extra room was well received and the kids play right outside our window so I can see them while I’m having a brew and watching TV. And speaking of kids…

I have never seen so many.

We have always been the crazy family with too many kids. Not here. In our block of 4 houses the other three houses each have 4 children each. Thats 17 children on our block alone. Also the ratio of girls to boys has severely been altered. Meaning that my son has his own gang of lads they all know about his diabetes and they all accept him for it. He is so happy.His old friends still visit too.

We are just a gorgeous 10 Min walk from one of our favourite hangouts, I have wrote about it before, and as for the park that I missed, well I heard they are building one on our street before the end of the year.

Until next time

Berg

Reflections From Me

Lessons about being a Man

Lessons about being a man…

Ha ha. Not from me. I am merely a student of true manliness.

I refer you to the legendary Brett Mckay. Author of a popular blog called the Art of Manliness.

This post is partly a referral and partly a thank you.

Firstly the referral. If you have never heard of the art of manliness and you are a man go and check it out. www.artofmanliness.com.

Put simply it is a guide to all things traditionally manly. It is a blog dedicated to the pursuit of the exploration of what it means to be a man in this modern age.

Brett Mckay, the blogs author, is king among men who raised the site from scratch. He discusses everything from how to dress for a job interview, to lessons of manhood from Vikings and the virtues of Benjamin Franklin. I read an article on the sleeping patterns of Robert Reagan and then how to get in touch with my inner caveman. There is a mix bag of manhood, a wealth of manly information and ultimately something for everyone.

But really this is thank you, because at a time when I was looking for answers, looking to self improve, I found answers within this blog.

I have improved on my self reliance, on my writing, on my virtues, and on my life goals. I have learned a lot of different extra things just be reading random articles. I have learnt that to become a life learner is essential, and I have done it in the most manly way I could. Only today I have completed a life plan based on McKays methods.

Within my blog I hope to pass on some of the lessons that Brett Mckay and the Art of Manliness have taught me. But for now here are some of my favourite articles to get you started.
http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/03/04/live-life-at-the-limits-how-to-hack-your-flow/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/04/13/stop-hacking-your-life/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/01/01/jumpstart-your-journaling-a-31-day-challenge/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/02/07/the-importance-of-roughhousing-with-your-kids/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/06/17/30-days-to-a-better-man-day-18-find-your-n-u-t-s/

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/03/18/how-and-why-to-become-a-lifelong-learner/

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was thrilled this week to be nominated for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Mackenzie of Reflections From Me. I have linked up with Mackenzie a number of times using her #mummyandus link up. I find her posts inspirational and her photography excellent. She is an established blogger with some excellent posts. Please visit her blog you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you very much Mackenzie for thinking of me and taking me in every Monday with your link up. As a new blogger it was a big surprise and so nice to be thought of in that way.

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award is passed between bloggers as a way of making new friends and to get to know each other, and as such Mackenzie has provided me with 10 Questions to answer.

So, nervously, here are my answers…

  1. Where did your blog name come from?

Well I used to have a man cave with all my stuff in it, but as we acquired more children my man cave got smaller and smaller. Until it was just one side of a couch, (not even a desk). So I was thinking of this when I was thinking about blog names and I thought every man should have his space, which was the tagline. I imagined a sports bar where people came to talk about Ice Hockey and what was going on in their lives, but the country lodge seemed more appropriate as it more family orientated.

  1. What is the most embarrassing thing you have done lately?

It’s difficult, because I do a lot of embarrassing things all the time. Generally it is my kids that get embarrassed as in true Dad fashion I wave or dance to them in front of their friends. My latest was I told a “Dad” Joke to my eldest when she was having a chippy tea at her friend’s house. I told her, my battered cod had bitten me… it was ‘fish’-ious.

  1. Would you travel to the past or future? Why?

I love this question because I’m a real Geek and love Doctor Who, Back to the Future, anything like that. I think that it would be an adventure whichever way you went. I would love to see my kids as adults, but I think it would upset me if there was anything wrong. Plus I love history so I wouldn’t be able to resist  in seeing the past.

  1. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you wish you could change?

I was a night owl that is slowly turning into a morning person. I do stay up late watching Netflix and reading books. But lately I have been getting up at 6am and really relish that time to get my head together in the morning.

  1. Why did you start your blog?

I have always wanted to be a writer, since I was in primary school. But I never finished anything. For years and years I was frustrated about never writing enough. About a year ago I started my positivity journey, correcting all these frustrations in my fitness and work life. My lack of writing was one of them. I found that I wanted to tell the world about how brilliant my kids were, give advice about Ice Hockey, and share my fitness goals and stories. Facebook, I thought, just wasn’t enough for me; I wanted to write something properly. Now I also want to help people get through their worries about fitness, diabetes and coeliac by telling stories about someone who has experienced them. Hopefully in will make people realise they are not alone.

  1. Were you a blog reader before you started one of your own?

I read loads of blogs in my positivity journey. I have so many links in my bookmarks list. And since I started my blog I try to keep up with everyone else’s blogs who I befriend on twitter. I found that there was a lot of help in the blogs I read that really changed my life in a positive way.

  1. Would you rather have smelly feet, smelly armpits or green hair with purple poka dots for a year (and you have to choose one).

I would definitely pick the hair. I would say it was something people would expect me to do. Ha ha. When I smell my feet and armpits I wouldn’t want to wish that upon anyone, so I clean them immediately, with Tea Tree shampoo; because it’s tingly.

  1. Blog post you are most proud of writing in your blogging career? (make sure you provide a link to it).

My rant about Coeliac Disease was probably the one I was most proud of because that was one of the more serious posts, It made me feel grown up and a bit like a Journalist.

  1. Blog Post of yours that you were surprised to see a great response to?

My Harry Potter post has had the most views to day. It seemed that it was a normal thing for me to do as a parent so to get some good comments reflected well on my parenting so that was nice.

  1. What is it about writing that you love?

I love the fact that I can express on “paper” a thought or idea. That my words can inspire someone, make them laugh or cry.  I also love the art of storytelling, of passing on an idea so that others can be part of your journey.

Ok so now I have to nominate 7 other bloggers and provide 10 questions for them to answer.

So guys these are the rules as given to me.

The Rules

Thank the blogger who gave you the award & link back to their blog.

Answer the 10 questions given to you.

Nominate 7 bloggers for the award.

Write 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

Display the award on your blog or post.

My 7 bloggers are (in no particular order):

A Cornish Mum

Inside Martyn’s Thoughts

Gemma the Family Girl

Mama Mummy Mum

Blogger Mumma

The DADventurer

Cardiff Mum Says

Thanks guys you have been nominated so if you chose to accept here are my 10 questions. Have fun.

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

2. What is your favourite thing to write about?

3. If you could change one thing about yourself what would you change and why?

4. If you could have one superhero power, what power would you choose?

5. What advice would you say to your younger self?

6. Where is the best place you have visited?

7. What would your last ever meal be?

8. What is your favourite blog post and why?

9. Do you have a special skill and if so what is it?

10. Name one thing that makes you smile.

I hope you guys have as much fun answering these questions as I did answering Mackenzie’s. Please let me know if you accept so I can read your replies. Thanks.

Thank you again Mackenzie for nominating me. It gave me a boost to know that someone thought enough of me to give me this award.

Picture

Too Tired

Currently Mrs Berg and I are running on empty. It’s a struggle to get up. It’s a struggle to focus. It’s a struggle stay focused.

It’s all due to the time old affliction every parent (except that one friend from the school yard pick up, we all have one) experiences, good old sleep deprivation.

tired

Because it’s summer, the older kids are up later. The baby keeps us up all night and the younger 2 wake us up early.

In my sleep deprived haze I am beginning to believe they have collaborated to ensure one of them is up and keeping us up at all times.

I imagine board meetings where they plan a rota and strategy,

“So you have them 6-9 then I’ll wake up 9-1”

The night time baby shift is the worst, because that is where I get in trouble.It is mostly assumed that I get a good nights sleep between 1 and 5 because 9 times out of 10 I’m not handling the baby.

The baby is still post breastfeeding and enjoys more of the same, can’t help there, or she has a bottle and is really insistent that this is mummy’s job.

It is not me insisting this, she has Mrs Bergs stubbornness and is quite forthright about letting me know that I’m not Mrs Berg.

So I get in trouble.

But really I might not be able to help with the feed sometimes, but because I’m a dutiful father I do get the bottle ready, do the nappy, do my sons night time blood glucose checks and generally stay on alert in case I’m needed.

Neither of us get a full nights sleep.

It is difficult to keep going. Especially when you forget what you were doing midday, or leave a crucial piece of kit at home and have to go back.

So annoying. It seems like the more you forget the more jobs you have to do, going back revisiting the places you’ve just been. Which obviously gets you more tired.

It is a constant, exhausting cycle which can build up stress, resentment, anger and frustration.

One of the most difficult things to do is keep going. The morning child has no concept that the baby kept you awake, he was still sleeping, he just wants to watch Thomas the Tank engine, and if you don’t watch it with him he will find someone who will, like his little sister you spent all night getting to sleep.

My tactic in this situation is usually damage limitation, get the child downstairs quickly and get Thomas on. While he snuggles up to you engrossed in the engines adventure maybe you can get 10 minutes or so in. If your lucky you might get through Mr Men too.

After that its coffee all the way. Caffine is holding me in good stead at the minute. Its keeping me awake while Mrs Berg has her nap. Hopefully I’ll get my sleep shift in soon.

*Baby crys from cot.

Or maybe not.

You Lose, You Learn

I know you’re as disappointed in that tie as we are. – Actually, I’d have preferred a loss. – You’re kidding, right, Coach ? Well, you learn a hell of a lot more from losing than from winning. Coach Orion – Mighty Ducks 3

2015-07-09 12.36.10

Here’s something I noticed that should be a given.

It was Game 2 of the season and we had had a brilliant Game 1 so the same was expected again.

But it wasn’t to be.

We lost by a whopping 16 – 1

During the first period I had made a few mistakes. The puck had been under my feet and I couldn’t get it out, I couldn’t stop the guy in the slot sliding the puck under the goalies pads, and I fell over for no good reason.

My line mate was getting frustrated with his performance, the bench were getting annoyed with the score line.

My head went down, and through the rest of the first period I slumped on and off the ice in a frustrated haze.

Luckily I managed to shake it off for the second period and I played a lot better. The other team still continued to expand their massive lead, but as a whole our teams performance improved greatly.

Still after the match I found myself brooding on my failures in the match. At the time I was watching highlight reels of the Stanley Cup Finals, (well done Blackhawks). As I watched I saw a play in which one of Tampa’s defence-men was in a similar situation I was in in my match.

That was when my funk was over because I realised the obvious truth in that despite our best efforts to improve and become the best we can be, in sport, as in life, mistakes will be made. Not only, in fact, will they be made, but they have to be made in order for either team to progress. Only one man comes out of the one on one with the puck. If this wasn’t the case all sports not just hockey would be draws, the goalie would always save each shot.

Furthermore, the players I was watching was part of the two best teams currently in the NHL, the greatest Ice Hockey League on earth. They are the best and they make mistakes.

I play for a Rec team in Blackburn, not that that’s any less important, but the skill level may be slightly reduced.

Conclusively, we all want to progress in our sport. To be hungry for improvement is vital. But improvement won’t come from being the best and winning each battle. The only way to truly learn is to take the positive from the loss and move on.