dear my big bro

hey you,

it’s weird writing this letter because i know for a fact you’ll never see it.
today would have been your 35th birthday.
every year it hits me differently.
some years i’ve been ok, other days there have been moments of sadness. this year though, i’ve been thinking of this day for the last month and now as it is here i just feel an overwhelming sadness that you aren’t here. 
you know i’m not one that gets particularly angry at things, annoyed sure, but not angry. 
the older i get though, the more i feel it and the angrier i get. 
WHY. WHAT WAS THE REASON. i know we have a medical reason for you not being here but i still can’t help but think those things to myself. it just seems unnecessarily unfair and cruel. 
how different would life have been? i’d have so loved to have an older brother here. i often wonder how the dynamic would have differed. Especially as Mel wouldn’t be the oldest (coughbossiestcough). i know Dad would have loved another bloke… forever outnumbered with 4 women around him. 
would you have been more like Mum and Mel?  a bit loud, not really scared to say whatever you’re thinking. quieter like Dad and Melissa? the two homebodies of the bunch. 
or more free spirited like me? just kind of stumbling through life, hoping to laugh and love a bit on the way through. 
i know we’ll never know the answers. for the most part i know i’ve made my peace with that but on days like today it just is harder.
i just hope that when i get to those big pearly gates, you’re one of the first to greet me. with the kind of hug that only a big brother can give.
oh and if you haven’t already, go find nick and have a beer together. he can prepare you for annoying little sisters. and if you’re not taking care of teddy when i see you i’ll kick you. 
love u! 

dear me

hello me,

we’ve been writing letters to everyone else, i think it’s time we write one to ourselves.
there is so much to say and yet there is so much that can’t be put into words.
what a life.
life is wonderful, but it’s also not fair. you’ll learn that in some of the worst ways. your heart will be broken. you will feel like you won’t survive; you will because you have no choice. 
you grew up singing and believing in fairytales. life is not a fairytale. you always lost yourself in your imagination and in music because it was safe there. it is, but don’t believe the daydreams you create. that’s not the real world. 
you will change so much over the years; you’ll become someone that you actually quite like. you’ll realise that you have a good heart which is both your greatest strength and biggest weakness. people will take advantage of it. it will hurt. a lot. you’ll put time and effort into people who deserve neither. you’ll do it anyway because you choose to see the good in people. you’ll then forgive these people for hurting you and taking advantage. yes, you’ll feel like a mug but don’t regret being kind. just be sure to walk away, soon if possible, save yourself some pain.
you will travel so much… your passport will lead you to so many adventures. you’ll always be searching for somewhere to settle. nowhere, no one has felt like home yet. maybe you’ll never know quite where you’re meant to be.
you will see so much in the journey to find home… you’ll do so many things – please take more pictures!! 
you’ll be faced with your share of demons. each time you think and feel that they’ve won you’ll find something inside you that tells you to keep fighting. hope is out there, you just have to choose to see it. there will be days when you hurt so much, you’ll cry yourself to sleep. on these days especially try to remember, hope is a choice everyday. like love. hope is a choice. 
you will find your tribe. it will take a minute but the universe will bring them to you. they’ll understand you better than you do some days. you have always naturally shut people out for fear that they’ll use your emotions and weaknesses against you; the right people won’t do that. trust them. there will be people who do but that says more about them than you. 
you will see your tribe have babies and get married and find the life and love that you dream about. make peace with the fact you may never find it. it will be hard – your biggest fear is that you’ll get to the end and have it confirmed what you’ve thought all along; that you are not worthy of being loved. of that kind of love. like i said earlier, fairytales are not real. 
you feel too much. you think too much. when you think too much, you get unhappy.
the loneliness can be crippling. on the days it is, it’s ok to cry. it’s ok to just lie in bed. just try to remember what J (your therapist, he’ll be great for you) tells you – be kind to yourself. on the days you feel lost (they’ll be lots), be kind to yourself. on the days you hate yourself – be kind to yourself.
you might never know what the ‘point’ of all this is. you might never know why you’re here. you’ll have to try to make peace with that. 
just try to laugh at least once a day and spread a bit of kindness. that way when you do go, you’ll go with a clear conscience. 

xoxo M

Oscar and Arlo

Oscar and Arlo, 
Light of my lives… 
I hope you know how much I love you. You’re not mine, but I love you like you are. You’re not my niece or nephew by blood, but you are by choice…and that pretty much means you’re stuck with me forever (suckers!). You are my chosen sister’s babies and that means you have me forever.
I think you are the greatest people to ever have walked the earth. I am watching you grow – it’s the best show I’ve ever seen. I have loved every minute of watching the person you’re becoming and I cannot WAIT to see what and who you become in the future. You are a credit to your mum… you have all the best bits of her in you. You are so much her and you are so much YOU at the same time. 
Oscar… from the first time I held you, you gripped my finger made that little ‘o’ face at me and I knew then you had a peice of my heart and I’d never get it back (I’m totally ok with that though). There is so much about you that I love that I couldn’t list it all… however your laugh makes my heart smile. I know you hate me tickling you but it’s just such a quick win to hear it!! I love how much you love to learn and ask questions, I love that you not only love Harry Potter like me but that you’re also a Ravenclaw (we are the best ones) You are going to change the world and I will be cheering you on each step of the way. 
Someone once said that aunts are like ‘bonus mums’. If I ever have children of my own they will have your mum, and you have me. Always and forever, Amen. I will trust her to love my kids like her own, and she trusts me to do the same. I really hope that I get to give you a bonus cousin some day.
Arlo… the entertainer of the family, the clown. The one that does things to get the laugh… you actually crack me up. Just looking at your face I remember the goodness in the world. Another piece of my heart is forever yours. I love that you’re now saying my name (or a version of it 😂) I can’t wait to see how your personality develops but I’d put money on the fact that you’re gonna have me laughing until my stomach hurts for the rest of my life.
When life gets hard or complicated, I’m always a text or call away. For both of you. If you’re ever butting heads with your mum, I don’t want to call myself an expert…but I am an expert, and she’s an expert on me. Full disclaimer though: your mum is probably right. I’m just saying.
I will be watching your back when you get to those tricky teenage years. Need a place to get away to? You can have the key to my home. You need to vent because life is completely unfair and complicated? I’ll put the kettle on. You need to raid my fridge? My fridge is your fridge, my chocolate is your chocolate (and I don’t share that stuff with anyone!) I will always have your back. I mean it.
You better believe I’m going to cry my eyes out when you leave school and university (if you decide to go). I’ll be the one next to your mum dancing and cheering in the aisles. You will be so embarrassed and it will be so GREAT. Don’t even get me started on the day you get married or when you hold your own baby in your arms.
I’m so proud of you. No matter what you do or how old you grow I’ll always remember the day your mum told me she was pregnant with both of you. I still have the scan photos. I still have the first pictures of both of you that I was sent. They are two of my most treasured possessions. I remember the way your mum looked at you when she held you in her arms. The love that radiates from her to you. I’ve changed your nappies, I’ve held you when you cried, I’ve given you the food off my plate (your stomach being full is more important than mine being full) and I promise I will share your embarrassing stories with your future partners… I’m not even sorry. Bonus mum privileges 😘 I am invested.  I was invested then, I’m invested now, and I’m here for the long haul.
Your mum is stuck with me, and so are you.
Oscar, one more thing. I know you hate cuddles now but please just entertain me every once in a while. It’ll make Auntie Michaela’s heart lighter 💓 
I love you. 

Denise aka Dennis the Menace

Hi Dennis,

As I sit down to write this I realised I don’t think I’ve ever written anything for you before… I find that odd.

Anyway, unimportant because tomorrow is your birthday!!!!!


I thought I’d write you your letter for your birthday and then by the time I see you to celebrate on Wednesday evening we’ll both have forgotten about me being nice because we’re not really ever nice to each other like this, are we? It’s important to me that you do get a letter though and your birthday seemed a nice reason to write it.

Mate, I don’t even know where to start… perhaps at the beginning – I know you love ‘The Sound of Music’ as much as me and Maria said it’s a very good place to start sooo….

Sunday, September 3rd 2006 that was the day we met. Well, actually Tuesday, August 30th was the day we met because that was the day of my interview at MC and you were there but the Sunday was the first day we spoke (yes, I know I’m weird for remembering the day). I thought you were much older than me because of how you carried yourself and I remember everyone on that Sunday team telling me you were scary and I was like… what? Are you mad? She’s not scary!

And it’s true you’re not.

What you are though is a fantastic friend. Like, truly. I’ve spoken about it before with Diane – you are one of the best. Solid. You’re just great.

You are unwavering in your loyalty, you’re not hard work at all – you understand that people are weird and life is weird and don’t take offence if we don’t speak for a few weeks because I’ve spiralled into a hole of work and anxiety. You’re just there after to listen (with a cup of tea and biscuits, obvs) and give us a kick back in the right direction.

There was a couple of years ago when I was ill that you literally got me through the worst week. Calling me to make sure I was on my way to work, calling me to make sure I got to work, calling me after to make me come to your house so you could feed me and not letting me leave the table until I’d eaten half of what was on my plate after I’d confessed I’d gone about 3 days with no real food. You can’t buy friendship like that. I don’t know if I ever said thank you for it either, so thanks.

I also really respect that you don’t try to pretend to empathise with what I go through when I get ill but that you just try to understand and ask questions; anyone that has anxiety and depression will tell you it’s so hard to find people like that.

I love that you trust me to be in Charlie’s life. The older I get the more I understand how protective people need to be with who they let be around their children and you’ve let me be constantly in Bean’s. Which I’m glad for because I love that little bean. He’s a credit to you and Chris.

I love that you moved to the ghetto from the other ghetto (TH is BF, just be honest) to ten minutes away from me 😂 we’re not that bad here. Don’t go to the other side of the local shops though, that’s proper ghetto!

You’re the right balance of supportive and cautious. I have a lot of ideas that are great in theory but actually completely ridiculous in reality and you’re not scared to tell me that 👏🏼

You are that friend that says ‘we’ll just have one drink’ and then I leave your house at 4am, pissed with no door key and have to wake the house up to get in 🤷🏼‍♀️ oops. Or I end up throwing up everywhere (it was one time and I’m still embarrassed about it) … literally the worst drunk ever when I’m with you. I have my worst hangovers when I’ve been drinking with you 😂 Bad influence. Maybe this birthday I’ll get drunk and rap Eminem for you again.

You’re the best gym buddy because you know when we really need to work out and when to suggest we just sack it off and go for egg on toast at the local greasy spoon too. Balance is good for you. Obvs.

What is possibly my favourite thing about our friendship though is how much we laugh. At other people, each other, the world. I have never known anyone (and I mean ANYONE) to understand the quotes that I randomly slip into conversation… I miss working with you everyday purely for that 😂

Basically, I just wish everyone could have a friend like Dennis. They can’t actually have you though because you’re my friend.

So, Happy Birthday again. You’re great. Can’t wait for Cabaret on Wednesday. I’ll try not to sing too loudly in your ear.

See ya, pal! (please get that quote)


friday night ramblings


i’m not really sure what this post is going to be about if i’m honest but i was talking to one of my friends this morning who said i should start blogging again because she missed it.

i said i didn’t feel like i had anything to say

she told me to shut up (how rude) and start doing it again.

i used to write a lot because i had a lot of thoughts that i wanted to share with the world, because it calmed my mind and because i genuinely enjoyed it. some of you seemed to too. fair enough, 90% of the time yous were probably all thinking ‘oh fuck off” but you were all kind enough to never tell me – i guess you could tell i had a fragile ego through my words – so thank you.

why i haven’t written a lot for the last year or so? I just know i haven’t felt like writing. like i said, i just haven’t felt i’ve got much to share.

i think, in all honesty, at my core, i’ve been pretty unhappy these last 8 months or so, i couldn’t tell you why. i’ve just felt very detached from my life, almost left out of it (is that even possible? does anyone else ever feel like that or have i totally lost it). people i never imagined life without seem to be drifting away and i’m not quite sure how to reverse that.

i know i work too much – lots of people have told me that – but it’s just who i am. people tell me if i didn’t work so much then i’d not feel so distant. maybe they’re correct but i love being busy at work and feeling useful.

i’m sure people will read this and say they had no idea i’d felt like that… well that’s the beauty of social media. it’s made us a society of show offs – naturally we only post the great stuff, or the bad stuff that’s not really that bad but more funny. i’m so guilty of this. i bet you are too. no one wants a picture of me having a breakdown, questioning all my life decisions and wondering if i’ll be alone forever and if this is everything i have to look forward to… they want a picture of something fun and happy #blessed

anyway, look, i’m rambling.

i guess maybe this post is just me having a bit of a vent and testing the waters again. to see if i can still string a coherent sentence together and maybe the odd paragraph. how am i doing?

xoxo M

• Dorentina •

Day 11.


Dorentina, Queen Dora … it’s your turn for a letter.

I mean, I said a lot of nice things about you in your card but I also figured that if I didn’t write you a letter then you’d probably cut me so here it is (I’m joking… kind of)

I have worked with many people over the years and I can truly say, you’re one of a kind.

Take that as you wish 😉

Can you believe it’s been 4 weeks since I saw your face? FOUR WEEKS. Honestly… time is flying.

The thing I miss about our old work is the people… I laughed at someone / something every day. Every single day when I worked with you. I miss that. I also miss the M&S apple crumble and custard dates we used to have. I haven’t had one since I left because I feel like if I do, I’m cheating on you 😂

Anyway, to keep it short and sweet. I think you’re bloody fantastic. And pretty, let’s not forget pretty. Considering you thought I was rude when you first met me, I don’t think this turned out too badly, do you?

Thanks for being my wing woman when we worked together, and gracing me with that Big Dick energy. Knowing I had someone that had my back in that place was so reassuring. I hope you know I always had yours too.

I hope if you learnt one thing from working with me it was to trust yourself more, you’re a good manager – dedicated, loyal, you get the job done and encourage others to come along with you (unless it was Ben, he didn’t have a choice, he had to come whether he wanted to or not 😂) Always happy to let the team have their fun so long as the job got done – I know I don’t have to tell you how important that is.

You special – and I mean that in a nice way, not a sarcastic way (for once)

Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you because I know it will be exciting and a great story to listen to. Let’s hang out soon.

Missing you and your big dick energy, errrryday.

Xoxo Mik

• Mummy Cheese •

Mummy Cheese.

You’re my day 10.

1. I miss you

2. I love you

3. I miss you

Please come back to me.

One of the BEST things to come out of my time at Mothercare. Swear down. I miss calling you after conference calls on a Tuesday to have a chat and occasionally advise you on what to do when a pigeon gets stuck in the shop (RIP Clive).

I got the good vibes from you the first time I met you. Region 9 (I think) meeting in Maidstone. You were the new kid and you walked in with your backpack and I was like “she’s my people, she likes backpacks!!” (honestly, I know, I’m weird)

Since then you’ve just gone up even further in my estimations.

You’re such a support to me, you help me cut through all the noise and remind me to pick the weeds from my garden (so to speak). You say the things I need to hear, even when I’m not really ready to hear or accept them. You just keep saying it until it sinks in and I go ‘you were right’ and you smile and say ‘I know’.

I know that you always have my back. Please know I always have yours.

We have the same (excellent) taste in music and I always looked forward to the conferences/ xmas parties / leaving do’s because I knew we would be on the same team asking the DJ for a bit of Dizzee or old garage chooons.

You love of a good pun is the cherry on top of the cake.

You are beautiful, inside and out, and can rock that Pixie cut in a way that no one else can. You have no idea how jealous that makes me.

I love how much you love your new job.

I love that they are recognising your greatness. You deserve it. I feel like you’ve found your place there and it’s so amazing to hear about and see.

My only issue is that it means we aren’t working together. Please can we work together again?! Some day in the future? Purleeeeaseeee.

Love you, Rachel.

Thanks for being my pal.

xoxo M

• J- Ro •

Day 9 (I think)


If anyone ever needs proof that opposites attract then they need look no further than us.


Even your Ma has commented on how different we are.

Our friendship just works though, and I’m so glad it does. I think we balance each other out.

You’re one of my most low maintenance friendships. We go months and months without any contact and then when we do chat, it’s like old times. Nothing’s changed.

I know that I can be hard work, and I know that I’m not always the easiest person for you to be friends with – sometimes our differences are glaringly obvious and that can cause some friction. I know, without you saying anything, that there have been times when you don’t know if you’re coming or going with me and for that I apologise. I want you to know that I’m glad you have stuck around though.

My first and original travel buddy – we’ve had some adventures! I love how keen you are to see the world and how educated on EVERYTHING you are. You are, without a doubt, my smartest friend.

Our adventures have taken us all over Europe and the US. The most glamorous moment of my life is still brushing my teeth in Walmart when we were RVing!! I’m so glad I got to do that with you by my side.

You have the kindest heart of anyone I know – you are my moral compass at times. Not a bad word to say about anyone (except maybe Trump), you lead with love and compassion.

Like me, you just want world peace.

I’m so glad I met you. I’m so glad I get to call you my friend.

I can’t wait to see you in May, give you a big ‘ole hug and make some more memories.

All the love, JRo. All the love

xoxo M

• Steph •

Stephanie Hall.

You Goddess.

When I try and describe my friends it’s always a hard thing to do because there are always so deliciously complex that to only use one word / one phrase would do them an injustice.

You are no different.

The best way I can describe you is this though – you’re the inner voice everyone should have.

You know how fuck boys always have a habit of coming back just as you’ve moved on? Well you always seem to have a habit of checking in just when I am about done with life and all it’s shit. How do you knoooow??? LITERALLY.

I still remember the first time I met you, just a couple of small town girls, living in a small town world (Big up Guildford). You and Gemma both got the job at Mothercare and told Diane that you didn’t know each other… then spent your first shift walking around the floor together. I remember saying to Huma “they’re obviously mates”. Didn’t hide it well, hun 😂

Then there was the jumper out the back (that was pretty traumatic) but you were just as nosy and me about it and I knew then you were just like me.

You were always down for a laugh and weren’t scared of making a fool of yourself for it and I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU. This probably sounds rude but I’m gonna say it anyway – you wouldn’t expect someone so hot to be so funny. You’re bloody hilarious.

We’ve come along way from cleaning porches on a Sunday and being sung to by the homeless folk of Guildford (he was right, you are beautiful) and I’m so glad I’ve got to stand by the sidelines and watch you blossom into a kind hearted, successful, beautiful woman.

Instagram has such a filter on it and I know behind the happy grins and ‘carefree’ life on those squares there is a lot of hard work and effort that allows you to enjoy the best of what life has to offer. You deserve all of it and so much more.

You are such a force and I’m so glad I get to feel that in my world (sounded less dodgy in my head lol)

Keep on being you, because you are just wonderful.

I love you.

M xoxo

• Byng •

Day 7.

My Byngalyng.

I adore you.

That’s all.

No, I’m just messing with you, but I do. I really do.

You are, most probably, the funniest person I know and you have definitely taught me how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself and how much more fun life is when you laugh your way through it. Any afternoon spent with you is an ab workout. Everyone needs a friend like Byng!! (They can’t actually have you though because you’re mine and I don’t like to share too much)

One of the most genuine, kind hearted people I know. I’m so glad you’re my friend. So supportive and so easy to get along with. I do not know anyone that has a bad word to say about you. We all know I’m a bit like marmite – people either love me or hate me, but you, you’re like chocolate. EVERYONE LOVES YOU.

Always up for an adventure, be it to Norfolk or LA. Some of my favourite memories over the last decade are with you and because of you.

Shout out to that time walking down Venice Beach –

“You in the black! The sun is not your friend”

What a dick.

Thanks for sticking around.

I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years look like.

Love you, peanut cup

M xoxo