This week's blog spot interview features Anya Harris from one of my all-time favourite blogs, Older Single Mum. I've been following Anya's blog since day one of my own blogging journey and love her refreshingly honest take on life as a single parent to her gorgeous sons.
In real life, Anya has a background working in the City and is also interested in Alternative Medicine. On her blog you'll find posts about parenting, hosting Foreign Language students and raising awareness about the reality of life as a single mum.
Here, Anya shares her thoughts on why she started blogging, her pet hates and latest celebrity crush...
What's the inspiration behind your blog?
I felt I wanted to be a voice for who single parents really are. All the ones I knew were in their thirties or forties and not the stereotypical scroungers that we were all portrayed to be at that time. It seems I was right, because later when I became involved with the single parents charity, Gingerbread - they champion the fact only 2% of single parents are teenagers. The average age is actually 38. People have told me I have completely changed their perception and last year I was asked to be a keynote speaker at the annual NCT conference to advise them how to help single parents better. I felt like my job was done.
What are your pet loves and hates?
I love a glass of wine in the evening before dinner. It takes the edge off the chaos at teatime with the kids and the Foreign Language students I have to cook for. I don't drink with my meal or after it, just before. It's probably a legacy from living in the Channel Islands where influence from the French is still strong today. Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. And I never go to bed without my electric blanket on, no matter what time of year it is. Plus, I love humour. It can diffuse almost any situation and is very healing.
I am horribly impatient and hate being kept waiting - whether it's for the kids to actually do what I've asked them to do, or queuing for something. I hate wasted time and I hate being woken up, so there's not much hope for me. Also, I hate any form of deceit.
How do you unwind at the end of a crazy day?
I don't think you can beat a hot bath with essential oils (but not wine at the same time - yuck - how do people do that?!). A good night's sleep always follows.
*Note to self to do it more often as most days life is crazy*
Wine - red, white or rosé?
Red darling, always red. Although an occasional rosé in the summer will suffice - especially if we're in France (we only live a few hours away) because I was once advised they keep the best ones over there.
What gets easier as you get older?
Saying, 'No.' But I'm still crap at it.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can read tea leaves, cards and jewellery to give clairvoyant readings.
What is your best character trait?
It's my best and also my worst - I say what I think!
Who is your latest celebrity crush?
Stephen Mangan. I haven't seen anything he acts in, but fell a little bit in love with him on Have I Got News For You. Twice.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
I read it in one of Terry Wogan's books: 'The people who tell you the things you want to hear aren't necessarily your friends and people who tell you things you don't want to hear aren't necessarily your enemies.'
In my next life I'm coming back as a...
Fish. I'd love the freedom. Or perhaps a dolphin - which isn't a fish, but you know what I mean. Or maybe a mermaid.
What were the last 3 things you bought?
I bought a Diet Coke and a brownie in a beach café this afternoon. I'd just handed the kids over to their dad and wanted to nurse my soul. Before I picked the boys back up, I bought 2 beautiful purple daisy-like plants called Senettis. They're for outside my front door as a huge, cheery welcome (mainly for me).
The world would be a much better place if...
We were all taught how to meditate and about natural health at school. There would be less fear, people would take more responsibility for themselves and there would be more honesty. I told you it was my weakness!
Thanks to Anya for her honest and inspired answers. I may have to 'borrow' the tip about having a glass of wine before dinner as it's sheer genius. I can't fathom out why I haven't thought of this before.
Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
Image: Christopher Pledger for The Telegraph
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