Not being one for labels, the question What do you do? frequently leaves me like a startled rabbit, caught in the headlights.
I have to work on my strap-line. Obviously.
However, thought-leaders, marketing departments, story-tellers, most religions and a fair number of organised criminals favour trios. So three seems a good place to start.
From time-to-time, the order may vary. But these three words/occupations/vocations just about sum up where I am. For now.
Having qualified with a magic-circle City firm, I worked in their commercial property department for a while before returning to my rural roots. After a spell in leafy Suffolk acting mainly for residential developers, housing associations, and on commercial leases, I worked in-house for a large insurance company and a niche practice in Henley-on-Thames.
Just before the Millennium, I changed track again. Working at HM Land Registry in their Head Office, then in Lincolns Inn Fields. It was, in many ways, my dream job. A real cross-section of people. Lots of gritty policy issues, thorny legal problems and drafting. And a five minute stroll from Covent Garden.
Then motherhood intervened (see below). In between watching CBeebies and school-runs, I fitted in a LLM in Advanced Commercial Property Law with Northumbria University, gaining a distinction.
My current main interests are; the future of residential conveyancing, how lawyers use social media, affordable housing (whatever that means) and the private rented sector.
I am one of the contributing co-editors of Ruoff & Roper, Registered Conveyancing. I also write for law firms, marketing agencies, and local newspapers and websites.
I also used to blog (see crewcutandnewt). However, for the time being, I am concentrating on my legal work and starting my long overdue NCJT diploma. The personal lifestyle parenting blog has been subsumed by my local site, www.theLydiards.co.uk, although, at times, that too can, at times, take a more personal turn.
Creative writing was, in many ways, my first love. And it is one to which I keep periodically returning. It ebbs, and flows. There are periods of drought, and seasons of gentle rain. Sometimes, there is even an occasional flash flood, when writing takes over. Mealtimes, and relationships suffer, and the necessary tasks of daily life back up.
Following the advice of Stephen King and other big authors, I know I should be more disciplined. If I were a real writer, I’d shut myself away, and average 1,000 words a day. There is an unfinished novel, languishing at the bottom of my sewing basket, and my life is littered with ideas, jotted in sketch pads and on post-its, words impaled on the fridge door with magnetic clips. I know none of them will morph into anything substantial, or meaningful, on their own. Like the garden, the unironed laundry and all those KS2 child/parent work sheets, they need something more than the passing wind of good intent.
For now though, it’s very much work in progress. And you can find some of my skits and sketches here,
I am mother to a rapidly growing, no-longer-very-little, boy.
I used to describe him as “having cystic fibrosis and a mop of unruly red hair.” However, it can be a thin line between description and labels. And, he is so much more. Reluctant rugby player, music lover, chocolate connoisseur, Minecraft Addict. And, increasingly, my in-house IT help-desk.
Cystic fibrosis does not define us, but it is always with us. And, from time-to-time, it has a habit of taking over.
I used to write about my son, and family life. But that’s no longer cool. (Most probably, it never was, but now Junior has developed a sense of his own autonomy. Free-floating anxiety has given way to a near-pathological fear of having embarrassing parents). More importantly, Junior has strong views over what he wants to share, and with whom.
So I am no longer a mummy-blogger, except in the loosest sense. A mother who blogs. Sometimes.