The Evolution of DIY Woman

‘Can I be completely honest with you?’

Conversations that start like this can go one of two ways: they can leave you feeling deflated or they can spur you on to greater things. My friend D doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations. She’s the one who tells it straight when you ask for her opinion. She’s also the one who gives you her undivided attention and support when you need it. And the best home-made scones.

The shadows of two women on timber decking
D and me
Continue reading

Remembrance and reconciliation at Amiens Cathedral

The cathedral at Amiens is a soaring Gothic monument that was once a place of pilgrimage.

In the early 13th century, it was thought to house the skull of St John the Baptist. In 1218, a lightning strike of biblical proportions destroyed both church and contents. The construction of a new church began in 1220. Despite fire, faulty engineering, revolution and two world wars, it has survived intact for the past 800 years.

Amiens, cathedral, France, Somme | See more at www.diywoman.net

Continue reading

On the road to becoming an author: avoid the caravans

The transition from writer to author is strewn with rejection emails.

Being proactive, resilient and willing to learn from your mistakes will serve you well on your path towards publication. A healthy dose of optimism doesn’t hurt either. I have just completed my first career plan at an age when some of my friends are considering retirement. Here I am, sweating on my CV, while they are swanning around in their four-wheel drives with golf sticks in the boot and a caravan attached. How I pity them.

Caravan, car, arid, road, mountain | See more at www.diywoman.net
Photo by Benjamin Zanatta on Unsplash

Continue reading

Humility: recognising your strengths as well as your weaknesses

I’ve never been good at geography.

I only know where a country is if I’m planning to visit it, and I retain the information for about five minutes. My friend Megan got top marks in geography at university. Twice. She can yack on for hours about cloud formations and the movement of sand along a shore. I try not to let my eyes glaze over. I like to gaze skywards as much as the next person – especially if the clouds are pink and fluffy and maybe have cute little sunbeams emanating from them – but I don’t really care if they’re cirrus or cumulonimbus.

sunrise, pink, fluffy, clouds, humility, landscape, city, urban | See more at www.diywoman.net

Continue reading

Crushed raspberry moments: Giving yourself permission to shine

The last time I was house sitting in this rural pocket of Normandy, it was three years ago in the height of summer.

The raspberry canes in the vegetable patch yielded masses of delicious berries from July through to September. I would come up from the garden with my mouth and fingers stained deep crimson – ‘crushed raspberry’ – and my bowl full to overflowing with garden produce.

fresh, vegetables, raspberries, beetroot, garden, produce, France | See more at www.diywoman.net

Continue reading