May 6 • 5M

Rocks, tides and time.

Beachcombing for memories, Mother's Day and other thoughts from the week.

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An audio newsletter about the stories that connect us, and the one that holds us together. With Jenni Baden Howard, UK lifestyle journalist and writer.
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This week, I’m summarising a few posts I wrote on Instagram. While life has been busy over here (almost certainly with you, too?), I’ve been writing in the gaps there.

I’ve recorded them, too, to make this an audio newsletter/pod. Many friends, I know, like to have this option (so do I, and I wish more of my favourite newsletter writers would do it because I’d LOVE to hear them read them!). Also, I’m having a BIG audiobook thing right now—I especially love listening to memoir on Audible. More about that soon.

The photo above was taken a few years ago on holiday in France, when Will humoured me by setting out to find the same stretch of beach in Brittany which I visited as a child.

Please marvel at the plastic beach Pétanque set—those pastels!

I remember that waffle fabric swimsuit feeling heavy when it got wet with seawater, and how the scooped back sometimes left my shoulders sore after an afternoon spent rock-pooling with my brother—despite the suncream dispensed by my mother from a sandy-nozzled tube of Ambre Solaire (I can still smell it).

Decades later, clambering over the mossy rocks with my own children, I found myself yelling out “Watch your step!' and 'Not so fast! Slow down!", as I'm sure my mother did.

Do you remember returning to a magical spot, maybe decades later, in the hopes that, in making a new memory, you might relive the old one again, just a little?

To somehow find the past in the present, and wonder at it all?

Rocks, tides and time.

Carrying each other

This month I will … continue to wonder at all the ways we that we get to carry each other, and how we take it in turns to do so.

Never more so than during those times which are hard in a way Will describes as “shifting our tectonic plates” a little, on a deep, deep level. The ones that leave us feeling aftershocks for a while.

In recent months-maybe you, too?-I’ve been so grateful for the way others have carried us (including this gorgeous, now grown-up girl in the pink mac).

Also? I’m rubbish at giving piggybacks, so never ask me. I’ll drop you in approximately 3.5 seconds and you’ll need a soft landing.

And finally, for Mother’s Day in the US this weekend.

My beautiful mothers.

Both have loved me bravely and fiercely, through the hardest of circumstances: the first, heartbreak and loss, the second through longing and waiting and loving me just as if I’d been born of her body.

Now, as her memory fragments, she forgets that I wasn’t. All she knows is that I am her daughter, and she is my mother.

It has come to that, and that is everything.

And I’ve never loved them both more, with the deepest, fiercest daughter love.

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Much love for your weekend,


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