I was born in England, where I grew up near the sea, which is my favourite place in the world and my go-to place when I want to tank up on energy and connect with myself.
I was born in 1976 in the East of England in the middle of a heat wave and drought during the driest summer in England since 1772. Water was rationed and an emergency bill was announced. My mum remembers fetching water from communal taps set up in the street or going without tap water during the day.
I came to Germany as a young graduate and have now lived in Germany for 23 years.
I have a passion for languages, different countries and cultures that goes back to my school days, when I learned and then studied languages. Now I get to live my linguist-self’s dream, see my kids grow up bilingually and be a part of the adventure that is family life across two languages, countries and cultures.
I’m a mum and twin mum 3 adolescent children, a son and twin daughters born less than two years apart.
I love doing jigsaw puzzles. First the edge pieces, then fill in from there. That’s why I love my work. Looking at what’s happening on the outside (typically a particular behaviour or habit), then starting to piece together what’s on the inside (beliefs, feelings and emotional needs). The edges provide a framework for understanding what’s on the inside and how it all fits together. It’s so satisfying to see the full picture take shape.
As a child, I didn’t like vegetables. Especially not greens. Today I love broccoli and Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and olives.
I’ve been vegetarian for 30 years and 95% vegan for 5 years (the 5% is chocolate because I haven’t found a vegan chocolate I like yet). 20 years ago it wasn’t so easy to get a vegetarian meal in a restaurant. Today I enjoy the choice and variety all the more.
As a student, I had a string of different jobs to finance my studies. Most inspiring was working with children at a holiday sports camp. This work not only saw me through my next term at college but it was so rewarding to see how the young people who arrived sullen and often aggressive in the mornings would blossom throughout the day when they experienced that someone was interested in them, accepted them for who they were, spent time with them and valued them as part of the team.
I’m a Harry Potter fan and lucky enough that my kids and husband are too. We once spent the whole day from first admission to gates closing at Universal Harry Potter World casting spells and drinking butter beer in Diagon Alley.
As a toddler, I was afraid of cows. I’m no longer afraid of them today and recently heard about a Dutch family advocating the benefits of cow hugging for mental health. The other day I was writing about the benefits of hugging. I hadn’t thought about cows!
I love my birthday on the 16th June because 16 is my favourite number and I love that it falls right in the middle of the year.
I was born at 11:11 pm and I think that sounds magical.
English is my native language. The first foreign language I learned was French and German my second. In school, languages were my favourite subjects. I also learned Italian and Spanish and though I can still read and understand some, I can’t speak them.
A Find your perfect job quiz at school concluded I should be a librarian. Considering my love of reading and looking at my bookshelves today, this may not have been so far off. I have a unique collection of Jane Austen, 18th century French philosophers, 20th century modernists, dictionaries, travel guides, Harry Potter, self development, neuroscience, and parenting books, as well as everything Brené Brown writes.
Sports of any kind were my passion as a teenager, especially athletics and hockey. I used to throw the javelin and I was the goalie in hockey. As a student, I was president of our university athletics club and once gave a speech to 400 people at our annual varsity match dinner at the London Guildhall. As a student, I also discovered rowing. Today, I like to swim, but only outdoors, and I run.
My first LP was Madonna – Get into the Groove. Five Star and then Wet, Wet, Wet were my favourite bands. Today I listen to a lot of podcasts and listen to music mostly with my daughters.
My favourite ice cream flavour is mint choc chip.
I moved house 11 times between 1994 and 2010.
I regret that I can’t play a musical instrument. We now have a piano at home that I play on from time to time.
I love new technologies. I can spend hours on WordPress updating my website, discovering new plugins, tools and apps, and setting them up myself. I get a kick out of everything working the way I want it to.
I went to school at an all girls’ grammar school, which I attended from year 7 through to A-levels. In the sixth form, the school started admitting boys and we had two boys in our class.
I’ve been a full-time working professional in a global corporation, a part-time working mum and a stay-at-home mum. Today I’m a business owner and work-from-home mum. We don’t have grandparents or extended family living near us and I know the reality of work-family-life balance, being a parent and family without a big family network close by.
I had my first cell phone in 1999 – a Motorola with an antenna :-D
My favourite summer temperature is 25 C. I don’t function at temperatures above 30 C and am only productive in the early mornings and evenings.
I’m a Gemini and now a mother of twins. The last time twins were born in my family was in 1775.
My favourite colour is sea blue.
I started school a few months before my 5th birthday. In England, it’s typical for children to start school early. At the time I went to school, primary school wasn’t so much about curricula and SATs, and everything about play.
I’m passionate about learning, self-directed education and changing the paradigm in adult-child relationships in educational settings. As a family, we’re active in the community of the self-directed school our kids attend and through my work, I’m proud to support the Alliance for Self-Directed Education.
When I was five, I painted a picture of Charles and Diana for their wedding day and sent it to Buckingham Palace. I was so excited when I received a thank you letter back from the Palace.
When I was 23, I got my driver’s license and bought my first car: a very old Fiat Panda for 750 DM.
My Myers-Briggs personality type, is INFP – the caring idealist. People with this personality type “seek to live in accordance with their inner core of values, and have insight into what is really important to others.” About 6% have this personality type, including J.K. Rowling.
I first started blogging 5 years ago. My first blog was about self-directed learning and schools. Today I write about choosing connection in relationships with kids, more confidence, ease, calm and joy in parenting.
My favourite animals are penguins and once encountered wild yellow-eyed penguins whilst travelling in New Zealand. I’m also a cat mum to two cats.
In my final year at university, I took a ballroom dance class and learned Latin.
I love Christmas and children’s birthday parties. I also organised parties for my husband for his 30th and 40th birthdays. Soon I’ll have to start thinking about his 50th birthday :-O
I love to travel. I’ve been lucky enough to see some beautiful places in our world. I love being in nature and in big cities. London will always feel like home and travelling with my kids is one of my greatest joys. I have a long list of places I still want to see in my lifetime.
I started my own business as a parent and family coach and have been working with parents all over the world since 2017.
In my former professional career as an employee, I worked as an intern at corporate law firms, then as a translator, information developer, trainer, consultant and project manager in knowledge management, learning and communication in large global software company.
I’m a lifelong learner. There isn’t a year that I don’t do training or continuing education, and I love taking online courses.
I’ve always made my own money: delivering newspapers when I was 13, then later babysitting, working at the checkouts in a supermarket, the perfume and CD counters at the pharmacy, as a postwoman, summer camp leader, in telemarketing, and managing the student bar at my college. I always have new business ideas that I would like to try.
My favourite food is curry, preferably Indian or Thai. I’ve also recently discovered zoodles – spaghetti made from zucchini – preferably with garlic and pesto.
I’m not afraid of flying and have flown in a very small plane over the beach in Australia. I also enjoy the view from up high in skyscrapers, but I can’t climb higher than 3 metres on the high ropes course.
I love being on or in the water and would love to do more water sports as well as learn to sail.
I grew up as part of the Friends generation. The Friends years 1994-2004 were my own college and single years, and the series largely reflects my own experiences during that time. When Friends the Reunion aired at the end of May 2021, I re-watched some of the old episodes. Such a different experience as a woman in my 40s in 2021 watching through the lens of the #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, and LGBTQIA+ movements, compared to the 20 year old I was when I first saw it as a young, single, female student in the 90s. We’ve come a long way since then and yet we’ve still so much further to go for social justice and until we’re truly honouring human diversity.
My favourite series is This is Us. The fifth season ended at the end of May 2021. The sixth season will be the very last in 2022.
I play Minecraft, Star Stable and Roblox with my kids. It’s often way too fast for me and my fingers and I’m seriously impressed with how easy it is for my kids, how confident they are, their spatial awareness and skills they have on the keyboard and with the mouse.
I love my work! I love connecting with people, sharing stories and experiences, and I love the science and research that is so important when it comes to understanding our kids and ourselves, how our brains work, what emotional well-being means for our health – and the health of society. I love seeing the difference it can make to people’s lives – parents, families, their kids and ultimately humankind – when we change the way we parent and enable each and every one of us to lead peaceful, intentional, fulfilling and joyful lives.
Do we have something in common? Let me know down in the comments!