IMG_4091My name is Julie. I’m probably not normal. But I do smile a lot.

I’m 35 years old. A mother to a clever and complicated 4 year old girl and a crazy two year old boy who thinks he’s invincible. I’m a wife to a sports-addict PE teacher. Friend to some of the most awesome people in the world [they’re not famous or anything. They just get extra credit for putting up with me voluntarily].

In 2015, I quit my life. I left my very well paid communications job after 15 years of selling my soul in London. We sold our house in Essex and moved to Devon. Mainly because I went on holiday there when I was 7. Possibly not the best foundation for a major life change.

A new life in the country
My husband and I wanted a different life. A safe place to bring up our children and a chance to be a big part of their formative years. This was never going to happen while I was a slave to the flashing red light of the BlackBerry.

We needed to change our mindset. We had to stop coveting ‘stuff’ (I’m still working on this!), accept that we would be living on a very low income for a while and save hard.

Don’t get me wrong. We live in a lovely house. And have plenty of ‘stuff’ that we bought when our earnings were good. But we’ve had to make some major trade-offs to enjoy what we call our ‘mid-life retirement’. I don’t know why we call it that. We’re both still working. But not 9-5 (or 7am–midnight).

Anyway, more about all of this on the blog…

What else?
I’ll finish this with some quirky facts about me. I’m remarkably well versed in these. Almost every corporate event I’ve ever been to over the past 15 years has asked for some as ‘ice breakers’. I’d often come across the same people and everyone would use the same facts over and over again. I really wanted someone to make up something totally outlandish.

“I’m a former holder of the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Title.”

“I once went water-skiing with the Dalai Lama.”

You get the idea…

Here’s my three:

  • In 2012 I lost 3 stone in 3 months when I started juicing fruits and vegetables. Now I eat weird food like chickpea burgers and drink broccoli and pineapple juice. My friends who knew me when I only ate fried beige food think this is hilarious.
  • I met my husband when we were both holiday park entertainers. Just like on Hi-De-Hi.
  • I have a phobia of all birds. I’ve tried hard to hide it from my children but my son got himself bitten by a chicken and has now seen them for the evil, mini-dinosaur wannabes that they are.