#atinylife hoovering²

I always dreaded selling a house for the same reason I imagine everyone does – keeping the damn place clean and tidy.

But it has been a source of gratitude in more ways than one. I like having a house worthy of the phrase ‘spick and span.’ Well, I do now, after the first few days of not being able to find anything because everything had been put away! I like not nagging the kids to clean up their own rooms

hoovering(because I hate the idea of raising lazy kids)

and just doing it myself, with headphones and podcasts on.

Also, I have lived without this level of cleanliness for over ten years, and not died of dysentery. I  have no intention of living in a sterile, empty house once we move to the new place. Sorry Mr HB!

Cheryl Smith #atinylife ageing

I have a birthday soon, one I once imagined I’d never reach. I expected youth to last forever, but at around fifty, it finally became clear that it wouldn’t, it hadn’t, and it would never be mine again. That was a decade ago. Time now for a brief review.

In my fifties, I have, among other things:

  • Deepened into sickness, and got better
  • Made friends
  • Lost friends
  • Changed location, and changed again
  • Explored my depths with shamans and sacred medicines
  • Bidden farewell to all of them
  • Seen my nest empty
  • Become a widow
  • Learned to grieve
  • Questioned the nature and existence of happiness
  • Proved myself wrong
  • Seen my name on a book cover
  • Met myself in other incarnations

At thirty, or forty, or fifty, these things were as unimaginable as being sixty was. Was youthful me so lacking in imagination?

Special Birthday


#atinylife Grateful²

Grateful for another thing that might not be considered classic gratitude material this week.

My notso successful writing career.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s going OK. I have crunched this year’s submission statistics, and not only are they a huge improvement on last year’s, they are above the average (which I believe is 1/7 acceptances: I had 1/4.2 this year!).

But despite this, I’m not working with multiple deadlines or receiving lots of requests for work. So when I wake up, like I did on Sunday, with a wee cold, I can stay in bed, drink Lucozade, and the edits and submissions can wait another day.

wee cold

While I’m (not) on the subject, it’s OK to take sick leave when you are ill. My feelings on how this is perceived in UK workplaces would require more than 140 words for me to rant about!

#atinylife gratitude

Gratitude: easy to remember

in the

first-world, privileged snowflake bubble

I float about in. If I

started counting my blessings

we’d be here all day.


Gratitude: easy to forget

on a day when

my brain fires negativity

at me, I’m tired,

the kids won’t co-operate,

there are no clean school shirts in the house.*


Gratitude: found in the

huge things.

Love and family,

home and identity,

food and fire

space to be, create, live.


Gratitude: found in the tiny of the tinylife.

I changed my screen wash

(blessing no. 458972, I have a car!)

put in less water,

more wash,tinylife Gratitude

this time.

The result? A transformation!

A clean windscreen – not smeary, dusty,

or the dirty of

‘I hadn’t noticed it was always dirty until

it was clean…’

Like when you clean your glasses – and a whole new world appears.



*true story.

#atinylife Grass

As the sun came out more frequently, so did the grass. Soon the garden was its usual (ahem) mess. Swings, slide, broken plastic bubble machine, and tufty, tufty green shoots. Our bit of the back lane sported an exotic mix of dock leaves, dandelions, and grass so long it looked like a crop.image1 (19)

Mr HB was *not* happy.

‘Why don’t you cut the grass then?’ I said, silently adding, ‘while I go and take some video for that project that seemed a good idea four months ago and still isn’t finished.’

So he did. The weeds are still out the back, mind. I can see them from here.

But we’re lucky. If we’re grumping about having to cut the grass, it means we have grass to lie on, play on, make daisy chains from, even cut. Once in a while.

#atinylife Wet Towels

Today I have been thinking about … wet towels.

It’s that time of the year again. Or is it just me? After the heat (ha!) of summer, but before the reactivation of the central heating, when the towels don’t dry through the day. After my shower, I wrap myself in damp fustiness, trying in vain to soak more moisture into the wet cloth.

But, as always, I remind myself that having a wet towel is having a towel at all.

Being wet is being clean.

And I can shower every day. In drinking water – it still amazes me that I shower in drinking water. Why?

There’s more. Clothes that go on afterwards. A warm cup of tea if I’m cold. A pile of dry towels in the cupboard, if I could only bother myself to fetch one.

A tiny, fortunate life.

Wet Towel