Dear 2012,
We didn’t start out the best of friends – let’s be honest being bed-ridden with a bad back wasn’t the nicest way to begin the year – however after 12 months together, I am really going to miss you.

I thought I’d write to you, to let you know, that YOU have been the best year of my life to date. Admittedly, 1996 and 2008 were pretty special too, but you’ll be pleased to hear you’ve beaten them by a mile.

Going back to the bad back saga…if you remember it wasn’t such a great time for me.

Not being able to move or walk for about a month left me feeling pretty cheesed off. Luckily January wasn’t all bad though for it gave me the incentive to get creative and begin this blog.

Now you know, that I know, there’s a lot more work to be done on ‘Pouting In Heels’ but, it’s a start. And I’m just grateful I’m still here blogging so thanks for that.

You also welcomed into the world and brought into my life, my incredible daughter Elsie Florence Portman.

Born on Friday 20 July at 05.50am, Elsie is the greatest gift and my mini miracle, as there was a time when I doubted I’d ever become a Mum.

She has transformed my world and because of that, you should know I’ll remember you forever.

Throughout my pregnancy, you taught me how important it is to respect, nurture and look after our bodies and our wellbeing. You showed me that we should never take our health for granted. We all do it, it’s hard not to, but you gave me a powerful reminder.

You helped me to discover hypnobirthing. With the brilliant midwifery team at Barnsley Hospital, I learnt more about the miraculous workings of the female body. And quite frankly, in labour, I would have been screwed without it.

Giving birth was THE best experience. I don’t think you can ever go through a birth and not be changed by it.

Holding Elsie for the first time was heavenly. Euphoric and high on a deep and instinctive maternal love, I will never forget that first precious cuddle. You really made up for the bad back there ;-)

You taught me that motherhood isn’t as easy as people make it look. That it is an honour to be a parent and also a gift. I learnt as a new mum, to trust my instincts and listen to my baby. To do what works for us and to always try to do it with love. I’ve got a long way to go but between you and I, I think i’m doing ok.

As you well know, I struggled, as always, with patience this year. Especially when it came to moving house. But after various challenges we finally moved in to our new home when Elsie was 7 weeks old. And whilst it hasn’t been easy, it all came together in the end. We certainly belong here. It feels right.

So what else? Well, you helped me to discover that sometimes mere acquaintances can be more thoughtful than our closest friends and that when it comes to other people’s behaviour, often it is more to do with them fighting inner demons than it is to do with us.

And finally, you showed me that life is wonder-full. Everywhere, every day, some little miracle is happening. It’s too easy to forget this when we’re bogged down in the reality of life, but yet too important not to.

As I watch Elsie grow and develop – she’s nearly six months old now – her fascination with herself, us and the world around her reminds me of this.

Everything she does, everything she experiences, everything she sees is just incredible to her.

A smile, a new movement, a new shape that catches her eyes. She takes it all in her stride but always shows wonder on her beautiful cherubic face.

So inspired by Elsie, for 2013, I’m going to try and hunt out the ‘wonder’ in my life more. I guess, 2012, this is part of your legacy too.

Thank you for the memories, the laughs and the lessons. And most importantly, thank you for my dear little lady. I’m really going to miss you.

With love and fondness,






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