Sunday 10th March 2019 is a significant milestone.

And it feels like the end of a lot of procrastination on my part. I have been talking about doing this website for years. And now it is finally here.

Local media has changed beyond all recognition in the last decade. Local newspapers used to report on local “goings on”, events and features. Right now, we only really have access to the News Shopper and some very localised magazines and websites. For my part, there is something missing. A local website focused on family for the wider South East London area – where to go, what to do and what’s going on locally.

So why now?

Two years ago I had perhaps my worst year ever. On Mother’s Day in 2017, I received the most devastating phone call. A good friend called to say that our mutual friend and NCT pal had collapsed and died almost instantly.  It rocked all our worlds and for the first time in my life, I really realised my own mortality. I think about my dear friend every day, she touched all of our lives and was simply an incredibly individual. Whilst she is gone, I hear her voice in my head often. I suddenly realised that I had just eighteen summers (maybe a bit less!!) with my children and I had to make the most of it now, as the cliché is true – you never know what might happen tomorrow.

Later that year, we also lost my incredible Father-In-Law, Ted (affectionately known as Super Ted) who died just a short nine weeks after a diagnosis of cancer. Our little family miss him so much and how my wonderful two boys won’t have that special relationship which we all cherished so much.

And what has this got to do with a little community website?

It made me realise more than ever that life is for living and making the most of it now. As a family, we squeeze everything we can out of our evenings, weekends and holidays. I am never happier than when I am in planning mode. Where shall we go this weekend, what shall we go and see – what precious memories can we create with our two amazing boys, families and friends? I am the friend always organising the next holiday with friends, the weekend away with the girls or going spreadsheet crazy. I take a huge amount of joy from it and I realised that there could be more to this especially when you combine it with my professional experience working in marketing, events and fundraising.

And so finally, it is here – In Our Backyard.

If you are wondering why the header picture for this article is Flaming June by Frederick Leighton – It was part of the last day trip I organised with my dear friend Karen. It was part of a once in a lifetime exhibition at Leighton House.  It was the last time I saw her alive before she died a few weeks later. I cannot look at this picture now without seeing her. I have also realised that the last date I saw her was Saturday 11th March 2017. Weird that I am now launching this website the eve of that very date. So this website is dedicated to Karen – the most amazing woman, mother and friend.

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