So my blog has been so empty since I went to Manchester for a blogging conference ten days ago. Normally I have content ready to go, but this time i guess I just let it slip. The conference in Manchester was Blog On, a conference put on by a couple of lovely ladies who put so much work and effort into bringing brands and blogs together as well as put on blog school with sessions for everyone to attend. The conference is fantastic for new bloggers like Kim at memylifeandthetardis.co.uk to learn loads and also for older established bloggers like me to still pick up tips. We took Tilly up with us and she stayed with a friend for a couple of days.
My friend has a daughter who is 10, so it did Tilly the world of good to stay with a friend a little bit older than her and they hit it off. I want to publicly thank my friend for stepping in and helping at last minute. I am hoping we can go back up in the summer and spend some time with them. Kim and I spent a night in an Easy hotel, the walls were pretty thin and the hotel was basic but it was a room for the night and it did the job.
On the Sunday night we stayed in a Travelodge, close to Victoria station in Manchester and it was lovely. We had heaps of space and it meant Tilly had space to play. On the Monday we spent the day in and around the local area and we paid a visit to The Museum Of Science And Industry. The museum was fantastic, it was full of exciting things for her to do. There was a science and exploration area where Tilly could explore and play with interactive games. There was a plane area, where there were planes from all eras and Tilly was able to get up close and personal with them. There was an old train station where we looked in the waiting room and saw pictures of old trains and saw some history of the railway. It really was a learning experience for Tilly. Sadly the day came to an end and I had to bid goodbye to Kim and Tilly as I was staying up there for a work conference.
I waved them off on the 5.37pm train and little did I know, Manchester was about to come under attack from ISIS. For this night I was staying in the principle hotel, It was next to Oxford Road station and it was the most beautiful hotel. I had my dinner and then around 10.30 I went to bed. I was laying there, using my phone to access Facebook and all of a sudden I heard Sirens, I thought to myself that even at the weekend I hadn't heard a siren or even seen a police officer. But the sirens just kept going. It reminded me of when we were in Hamburg and we heard sirens all night. There was a helicopter, but I thought nothing of it because I am used to helicopters flying over my house. A friend messaged to ask if I was okay and I didn't even know what was happening. We switched the TV on and watched the horrifying story unfold. All I could think about was that I was so glad I had put Kim and Tilly on a train home.
My room mate and I barely slept all night, the roads were empty and I was used to hearing traffic all night long. The following morning there was a feeling of emptiness, a feeling of sadness at my conference and a feeling of panic. As for me, I just wanted to go home and cuddle my little girl. I felt tearful and anxious as I travelled home, although it was only 4 hours, It felt like 4 days. As soon as I got home I climbed in bed with Tilly and just cried.
The next few days were busy and I had to really think hard about whether or not I should take Tilly to Geronimo Festival. I know I shouldn't let her worry about having to stay safe from terrorists but sadly it is part of our life these days and She has to know about what is happening in the world. I made the decision to go to the festival and I am so pleased we did, We have written about it here.
It was nice to see her run about as a free range child, without a worry in the world. She was just a free spirited little girl.
It think both weekend have showed me that Tilly is growing up and I need to give her more freedom. This past two weekends I have been shown that Tilly is growing into a free spirited young lady and I need to embrace that. I need to learn to let go of the apron strings and put what happened to Beth behind us and know that Tilly isn't going to fall victim like she was. I need to remember that she isn't Beth and I can let her spread her wings a bit. She isn't a baby and she isn't going to come to any harm if I take my eyes off her for 5 minutes, I can trust other people to look after her to the best of their ability. I think I have needed the past two weekends to be shown that Tilly needs to grow and become a young lady herself. Sometimes we just need other mums to show us where we are going wrong.
I thank three special mums who helped me over the past few weekends to let go a bit and give beautiful Tilly more space and confidence to do what she wants to do.
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