Reviews, Social Commentary, the beta mum book

Fashion Week 2017: Anya Hindmarch & Ralph Lauren

Anya HindmarcheventNHYM

All photos courtesy of NHYM 2017. 

This week has been bustling with activity for London’s Fashion Week Fall ’17. Mums have been dropping off their children at school and then rushing off to fashion shows or events, dressed-to-impress. I am someone who appreciates fashion: I enjoy looking it at and wearing it, but you wouldn’t say I am a ‘fashionista’ unlike friends of mine including Smart Fashionista who has 167K followers because of what she wears (hey, we all have our strengths). I am not fashion forward enough, and I like my clothes comfortable (read: leggings and sweaters uniform) for the school run.

But this week, I was busy with my own fashion collaborations with a book signing and talk at Anya Hindmarch on Tuesday for my book The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land. On Thursday, I was invited to an exclusive ‘Cars and Fashion’ Ralph Lauren event.  I love both brands and actually have both brands in my closet so makes for the perfect fashion week invitations. (Let’s face it, there is some fashion that is great to see on a runway but not necessarily to wear).

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My book signing table! Loved it. NHYM 2017. 

On Tuesday, I was invited to do a small private talk, reading, book signing and Q&A session  at Anya Hindmarch in their Sloane Street shop with the Kensington and Chelsea Women’s Club, a group of international women in London. They were a lovely, thoughtful and enthusiastic group.

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It was also a chance to browse Anya Hindmarch’s new Fall ’17 collection, while sipping on wine and discussing the trials and tribulations of writing a book. This fall’s highlight to me was Anya Hindmarch’s ‘Build a Bag’ concept, which is great fun. You take a bag, and add lots of fun accessories. I particularly like the fluffy pompoms to add to any bag (or at least my girls would love them).

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Anya’s fall collection was a perfect collaboration because it is playful, fun and colourful, which is how I think The Beta Mum should be read.

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Next up, I was invited to a cars and fashion Ralph Lauren event at their New Bond Street store last night. The perfect combination, it appealed to men and women: boys and their toys and girls and their dresses. Some things never change whether you are 5 years old or 50 years old.

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The event was hosted by the beautiful Yasmin Le Bon and had lots of Ferraris around.

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This was my absolute favourite room with a red, black and white palette of colours; sleek, sophisticated and luxurious. I love RL for those reasons and hopefully there may be a future collaboration in the making.

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I loved both events, although they were very different. Anya Hindmarch’s collection is channeling colours and fun, while Ralph Lauren is channeling sleek and sophisticated, but I’d like to think that I can work both styles! Another Fashion week comes to an end and the fashion houses can breathe again next week, until the next one.

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Thank you Anya Hindmarch for hosting my book signing and thank you Ralph Lauren for inviting me to this great event!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

 

 

 

 

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Photos, Reviews, Travel

Florence…With Kids!

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Florence view from Villa San Michele. All photos NHYM 2017

As we all know, traveling with kids is just not the same as travelling without kids. I laugh at my friends with young babies who tell me ‘But, holidays are just not holidays with kids!’ And then the children grow up a bit and you can leave them in the Kids’ Club and have a few hours of peace on the beach with a book and cocktail in hand. I am now at the age where my children are – just about – ready for cultural holidays.

VillaSanMicheleNHYM

So this summer, we decided to take the plunge and take a ‘plane-car-boat-train-road-trip’ from Florence to France. Florence, I thought, would be a great place to start exposing them to sight-seeing and cultural holidays. It’s rich in culture, art, architecture and history, while being quite manageable in size. Oh and it has some great hotels and great food.

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The one thing about getting older – and I am – is that it’s the time to fulfil your dreams. As children and as we grow up, we create our dreams in our minds, but as an adult, you get to make those dreams – hopefully – happen (or so I tell myself so I don’t get too depressed about getting older). Villa San Michele is one of those places I had read about twenty years ago and always wanted to go. It is an old monastery with a facade by Michaelangelo, which was converted into a luxury hotel. It is one of these places where you feel like you are absorbing history just by staying there. Some people may find it too old/cold, not-as-great as-it-once-was, but I loved it and was very happily not disappointed. It has the most wonderful views of Florence and is up in the hills where it is cooler than the valley where Florence resides.

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We loved our room, a Garden Suite, which we got as an upgrade and it was huge and perfect for a family of four. Not sure how or why we got such a great upgrade, but it ended up being the most value-for-money hotel we stayed in for the entire trip.

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The trick I realised with cultural holidays, is that you should spend 3 – 4 hours sightseeing with the children, and then make sure there is a pool at the hotel where they can spend the rest of the day. It was the perfect balance for them and for us.

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Top 5 Activities To Do With Kids in Florence: 

  1. Ride a Tuk Tuk or any other kind of fun transportation through Florence to see the main landmark places such as the Piazzale Michaelangelo, the Duomo, and the Ponte Vecchio so you don’t have to hear ‘I don’t want to walk anymore!’ http://www.tuktukflorence.net/tuk-tours
  2. Do a treasure hunt through the museums and palaces like the Palazzo Vecchio with a tour guide looking for flowers, turtles and mystical creatures. (Dr. Alessandra Bernabei is great – although on the expensive side +393398517317)PizzaMakingFlorenceNHYM
  3. Learn how to make your own pizza and gelato. And then eat them for dinner. https://www.florencetown.com/161-pizza-gelato-cooking-class.html
  4. Take a trip to surrounding areas such as Chianti, Forte Dei Marmi or Cinque Terre. http://www.marklimotours.com – Mark speaks perfect English and will take you anywhere you want.
  5. This one’s not really for the kids but has to be done. Leave the kids in front of a DVD and have a romantic dinner at La Loggia restaurant in Villa San Michele. Utterly beautiful views and sunset to try to get a little romance back. SunsetVillaSanMicheleNHYMThe children learned about the history of the Romans, the Medicis, about architecture and religion, about pizza and gelato making and about Michaelangelo and the Renaissance. It was a really culturally enriching trip and fun for the whole family. For anyone thinking about going to Florence, I highly recommend it!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

Recommended hotels:

Villa San Michele

https://www.belmond.com/villa-san-michele-florence/

Four Seasons Florence

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Social Commentary, Travel

Welcome Back! And falling in Love with London again…

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Portovenere, Italy. All Photos Courtesy of NHYM. 2017.

I just wanted to write a quick note to say Hello and Welcome Back! I took the summer off from writing and promoting my book, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land. Frankly, it was quite wonderful forgetting about book sales and anything related – although I did manage a radio interview with Irish Radio RTE sitting by the pool, and did manage to appear in The Sun! No, not as a Page Three girl but still.

This summer, I took the last few weeks of August and travelled around Italy and France with trains/planes/boats/automobiles and even Tuk Tuks, for our first cultural family holiday starting in Florence and ending in France. It was the Dolce Vita with history, art, cooking and geography lessons as well as showing my children how others live in small Italian towns.

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Vernazza, Italy. NHYM 2017.

Coming back to London the Sunday before school started was a big shocker. People ask how my kids are adapting to being back-to-school (they love it), but really they should be asking me how it feels to be back-to-reality. Yes, I know you shouldn’t feel sorry for me, most people have been working all summer, but I am having ‘re-entry-into-London-adjustment-issues.’ Friends of ours have left London to live in Spain/France/the countryside/Switzerland and sometimes when I return to the frantic-ness of school gates/school-uniforms/tutors/tests and stress, I always wonder whether this is what I want.

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Italy. Eco Del Mare. NHYM 2017

But then, I go about trying to fall in love with London, and it isn’t so hard after all. There is something special about London (when it doesn’t rain). We are in a vibrant, cultural, dynamic hub of Europe and as I receive invitations to great events, I am reminded that this is where things happen. The Frieze is coming up so soon, reminding me that London is an art centre of the world, as well as a talk from the CEO of Sotheby’s I am hoping to attend. I am in talks with a charity, which would hopefully involve me in something greater than myself or my ‘bubble.’  Finally, London is where I wrote and published my first book, which has overall been such a great creative experience. I have my own upcoming events, which are quite exciting. Next week, I am having an event with Anya Hindmarch on Tuesday, and in a few weeks time, I have an event with 3HouseClub in St. John’s Wood for NW8mums. Only in London would I get these great collaboration opportunities.

Isabella DavidsonAnyaHindmarch

How great is this e-vite? I absolutely love it so had to share it. (Please contact me on nottinghillyummymummy@hotmail.com if you are interested in coming to any of my events) I also have a potentially exciting project in the pipeline – which may or may not come to fruition, but even just having these discussions is creatively wonderful.

And of course, I am reminded every day how great it is to be in such an international, tolerant, open-minded, educated city when I look around the restaurants, the school gates, and even while walking down the street, and I know this is where I am meant to be right now.

So here’s to being Back-to-School, Back-to-Reality, and Back-to-London. I hope you have had a wonderful start to your – school – year!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummt

 

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Reviews, Social Commentary

Serpentine Summer Party & Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibit

Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibit

RoyalAcademyILoveYouNHYM

Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibit. NHYM 2017

It has been an ‘artful’ week with both a private view of the Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibit and the Serpentine Summer Party 2017. Yes, the summer season has officially started with events such as Queens, Wimbledon and Henley, but I have chosen the art scene to fill my nights. On Tuesday night, I attended a private view of the Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibit.

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The Summer Exhibit was more modern than the last time I attended, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This painting ‘Art Makes Children Powerful’ set against the sculpture of this child was very powerful. Our children are our future and in all this instability, art provides stability and an outlet for expression.

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Not only was the art creative, but these hors d’hoeuvres were absolutely brilliant! They really looked like the real thing.

Serpentine Summer Party

Next, on Wednesday night was the Serpentine Summer Party!

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The Serpentine Summer Pavilion 2017 was designed by Francis Kere, influenced by growing up in Burkina Faso and his schooling in Germany. It is based around the symbol of a tree as a place where people gather together, where everyday activities play out under the shade of its branches. Symbolically, I appreciate its construct, but visually I admit that I preferred last year’s pavilion.

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As a new feature, this year had a pop-up restaurant dedicated to Coco Chanel, therefore called Coco’s. Chanel sponsored the party this year, but sadly Karl was not in attendance. The restaurant offered crudites and a main – stone bass or burrata – that was meant to be eaten in 20 minutes. Mr. X and I loved the concept and were very happy to try it out.

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But of course, the private concert is always one of the highlights of the night. That night, despite the freezing cold weather, Rita Ora played some great music to get the crowd moving. What I like is Rita Ora’s story. She is a proper Notting Hill girl and was involved in the Rugby Portobello Trust, which has proven to be truly inspirational in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy. She truly illustrates the power of dreams and of working hard to fulfil those dreams.

Of course, the people watching was, as always, brilliant. From Damien Lewis to Claudia Schiffer, to Dame Shirley Bassey to Mario Testino and stalwarts like Grayson Perry. The amount of talent, artistry and creativity in one place is incomparable to any other party. And for normal people like me, we hope to absorb some of their creativity.

It was a great night as always!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

 

 

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In the Press, Photos, Press, Spotlight On..., the beta mum book

The Beta Mum Book Launch Party!

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Book Launch Party June 20th 2017. NHYM. Photos copyright NHYM and Walter C. 

If you measure the success of a book launch party by the number of people waiting to get their book signed by the author – my book launch was a huge success. I didn’t even have time to sign all the books that were sold that night!

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Balloon Sculpture hanging from the ceiling at the Notting Hill Bookshop by my incredibly talented friend Vanessa. NHYM 2017. 

The Notting Hill Bookshop, where the party was held, has been so incredibly supportive and it was the perfect place to host my book launch party. It is an iconic bookstore that literally everyone in the world knows and still photographs on a daily basis.

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My day started at the bookshop, where I found a beautiful window display of my books.

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Next came my hair appointment. RUSH Westbourne Grove offered to do my hair – how could I say no? And they did a wonderful job! Thank you RUSH for my hair!

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I was wearing this super cool leather jumpsuit designed by Patricia Gomez Gracia, a super talented designer, who dressed me that night. Here I am with her manager Zara Ward!

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Beautiful mum reading my book. 

The crowd was so supportive and wonderful, from all my beautiful yummy mummy friends to my writing class to Instagram stars, mummy bloggers and magazine founders, and fantastic film makers and writers.

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Wonderful Mummy friends who came out to support me! Thank you!!!

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I spent the night signing books – it was a shame that I didn’t even get a chance to sign everyone’s book.

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It was a wonderfully warm – literally and figuratively – evening, which included my writing class friends who came to support me. Champagne and Chika’s nuts – made famous by Dragon’s Den – were the drinks and nibbles of the night. Thank you Chika!

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Super mums! And super nice ones too… 😉

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Friends from all over the world came to support me – all the way from New York!

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I even got a new, little fan!

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Instagram star, The Smart Fashionistas, and my cousin graced us with their presence.

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Superstar film makers, writers, producers Vanessa and Andrew Porteus, and Melissa and David Koepp.

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Gorgeous Swedish friends/models who also happen to be just the nicest people ever… 🙂

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My very emotional speech!

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Fellow novelist Midge Blake and my editor Donna Hillyer.

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The crowd spilled onto the streets on a beautiful, warm night.

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My super talented friend Vanessa created this amazing balloon/cloud sculpture! Thank you!

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And thanks to Walter C., my amazing photographer, who is seriously brilliant. Amazing job! For all his photos of the night look here: http://www.bywalterc.com/the-beta-mum/

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But the work didn’t stop after the launch party when I had my first live TV interview with London Live News this past weekend…

 

And finally…my photo was also chosen as one of the ‘Pictures of The Week’ in The Bookseller Magazine, which is the biggest publishing magazine in the UK:

http://www.thebookseller.com/insight/pictures-week-573996

(Yes, me and Twiggy)

It has been quite an adventure, with its ups and downs, and I now can’t wait to go on holiday day next week for some well deserved down time!!

Have a great summer everyone! And don’t forget to get your summer read on Amazon!! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beta-Mum-Adventures-Alpha-Land/dp/1781326525

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

Instagram: Notting Hill Yummy Mummy

 

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Family resemblance…

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Social Commentary, the beta mum book

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is Out Now!

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The day has finally come! After two and a half long years, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is finally available to purchase on Amazon, The Notting Hill Bookshop, and Daunt Books. (It may take a few days for Daunt to have the books in-store but you should be able to order from them. The Notting Hill Bookshop has books in-store from today).

Just a reminder, this book is fiction! ALL the characters are fiction so if you see any similarities, I promise it is a coincidence! The only character who was influenced by someone is David, who is loosely based on David, the lawyer in The Good Wife (who is just a great character and I was watching a lot of Good Wife when I was writing it). What I did endeavour to do, is create relatable characters. Many of my reviewers felt that they related to my main character Sophie and my one male reviewer related to Michael. Please remember, it is a fun, light, summer read and should not be taken very seriously! No one should feel offended by it!

The setting may be in glitzy west London for entertainment purposes, but the themes are universal. The book is really about Sophie and the challenges of motherhood: loneliness, feeling like an outsider, trying to find your identity (and sanity) as a stay at home mum, battling mum guilt as a working mum, relationship issues and trying to balance being a mother and an individual. It is also about being kinder to one another and not judging others too quickly. I hope that this is a message to all mums: be nicer to each other. At least, I will try my best.

If you buy the book and enjoy it, please, please, please leave some reviews on Amazon! That’s really important to support me. After three years of writing for the joy of writing, now it is my turn to ask for some support!

Thanks everyone!

‘The Beta Mum is the perfect holiday read!’ Tall Mum in Manchester

I came away from The Beta Mum feeling like I’d been through it all myself and not quite ready for it to end. From the marvellous to the mundane, I wanted to read more.’ Me, Annie Bee

Best summer read? Yes…If you read, follow or write…then you need to get your hands on The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land as soon as it comes out…The reason I enjoyed the book so much was because of the mix of feelings it brought out in me. I felt like a friend to the main character…Conversations and situations are fantastically written…A great read when you have those minutes alone on a warm evening, sipping on something tasty and melting off into a world of uber Yummy Mummies.’ Mama Chic

I really enjoyed this book and read through it in one day…descriptive and well written, I’ll look forward to more from this author.’ Mrs. Blogg’s Books

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

Instagram: Notting Hill Yummy Mummy

**In honour of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, The Notting Hill Bookshop and I will have a fundraising bucket today at the bookshop raising funds.**

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Social Commentary, Spotlight On...

Grenfell Tower Tragedy

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All Photos courtesy of NHYM 2017. 

On Wednesday morning, I woke up to this view from my house. It was an incredibly sad day for west London and North Kensington. I am best known for poking fun at myself and my life around Notting Hill, but on Wednesday, I only felt sadness and despair, alongside all my friends and neighbours in the area. That day, it wasn’t about being Labour or Tory, white or black, Christian or Muslim, Remainers or Brexiteers, rich or poor, that day was about being a human.

The Community 

I have never felt more proud to be a part of this community as I did when I went down to various relief centers to help out, where I saw everyone in the community coming to help, whether to volunteer or to donate clothes, bedding, toys and food. The incredible spirit of human kindness was apparent everywhere you looked, from the grandmother carrying a teddy bear to bring to a lost child, to the mother who piled her pram with nappies to bring to a baby in need, to the people who drove three hours from Kent to offer a helping hand. The response was incredible and overwhelming that no more physical donations are being accepted.  

The Rugby Portobello Trust has been a prominent leader from the start, offering shelter and food and accepting donations for the victims. Schools and neighbourhoods have all come together to donate, volunteer and raise funds. All the parents and teachers and community members have shown incredible and wonderful community spirit. Even though there is no silver lining in this tragedy, the solidarity exhibited by our community has gone over and beyond what one could have expected.

 

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The Heroes. Firefighters returning from Grenfell Tower. NHYM 2017. 

Volunteer Profile 

As I tried to do my small share of helping out, I met a lady from Eritrea, strong and enthusiastic, who had been volunteering all day before starting a shift at a nursing home that afternoon. In that moment, we found a common ground and goal bringing us together. She came to London over 30 years ago, escaping the war in Eritrea, when the UK opened its arms to her and welcomed her. ‘Here’, she said, ‘I have freedoms that I wouldn’t have in many other countries. This country has welcomed me, I love this country. Even though this was a tragedy, the UK had helped all these people in that tower.’ This event has been a constant reminder of what is important, of being grateful, and of being united.

The Aftermath

We will probably never know the identities of many who have lost their lives. What are now missing persons, will become the fatalities of the tragedy when they are not found. The process of recovery and identification in a fire like this will be lengthy, arduous and sometimes impossible. The building is not safe yet and who knows if it will ever be for the full identification and recovery process to happen.

But so far, more than £2M has been raised for the Grenfell Tower Tragedy and the number keeps rising. The tireless volunteers are still there helping out, day and night, and will be needed for days and months to come. And now, more than ever, I am proud to be a Notting Hiller and being a part of this community.

To donate to the Grenfell Tower Tragedy: https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/grenfellhttps://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/grenfell

For donations specifically for babies and children:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/strawberryfields-grenfell?utm_id=100&utm_term=Eqjy48x9x

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHYM

 

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In the Press, Reviews, the beta mum book

Thank you to all my reviewers!

As the last week until my book launch approaches, I wanted to share some of the wonderful reviews that have started coming in from book reviewers, mum bloggers and also Goodreads Advance Copy readers. I am humbled by the words that people have used to describe my book, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land. I couldn’t hope for more wonderful words, and as a writer, this makes the hours of hard work, solitude and perseverance all worth it. So a very BIG thank you to all of you who have taken the time out of your busy days and lives to read my book and write down your thoughts on it. Without readers there would be no writers. xx

‘Intelligent, thought-provoking fiction that you want to keep reading…I completely bought into Sophie. I wanted to give her a hug. It’s a couple of days since I finished the book, but I keep wondering how she’s getting on. She’s not alone though – all the characters come off the page and into your life. It’s a great story too: I read it in a couple of sittings…’ The Book Bag.

‘Beta Mum is a brilliantly written, engaging novel, I literally can’t put it down. I hope it’s adapted into a TV series or film asap.’ Vicki Psarias, Honest Mum. 

‘This is a must-read…It is brilliant, witty, fun, sad and thought provoking. I couldn’t put it down. There were also plenty of things I could relate to and recognise… I wish there were a sequel.’ Karin Thyselius-Schumacher, NW8-Mums.com

‘What can I say? I absolutely LOVED this book!…It made laugh out loud, cringe and hold my breath. It’s so relatable… I think there’s scope for this to become a series and I for one cannot to wait to see if it does!’ Purple Book Stand

‘Keep an eye out for blogger and new author Isabella Davidson. Her debut novel, The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is funny, relevant, entertaining, a bit suspenseful and very reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella and Liane Moriarty’s love child…if they were to ever have one…you know in chick-lit land.’ Jennifer Castro, Goodreads

‘Forget politics…this is a world that’s more dog-eat-dog! The Beta Mum is the hilarious fish-out-of-water tale of Sophie, a Canadian, who ends up pitted against the rich, socialite mums of west London. Isabella Davidson’s debut novel really astutely follows her escapades as she tries to settle in and make friends, while finding her own place in this new, glossy world. Highly recommend!’ Ex – Harlequin Editor

‘What a great book!…A great debut book from Isabella Davidson, and I hope it will be the first of many.’ Heather Lou, Goodreads

‘I loved this fictional story that has a gallery of fascinating super rich mums…Book loving friends, you have to read this book with ‘rich’ characters you will want to read about.’ Suzanne Marsh, IReadNovels

‘I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and observant, and I really empathised with Sophie and her plight…Davidson has some really good insights into marriage after children and the effect that virtual life has on one’s real life. Hopefully this is the first of many books for her.’ Kaci Loves Books

 

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In the Press, Press, the beta mum book

Interview with The Book Bag

Here’s a great interview with the Book Bag:

Sue was grabbed by The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land as soon as she started reading. She decided to tackle author Isabella Davidson about what it means to be an alpha or a beta mummy when she popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Isabella Davidson: I see a normal mum, who has sometimes felt lonely, or felt like an outsider, or who has struggled with the many shapes and forms of motherhood. I wanted her to feel less alone as a mother when she read my book, or at least felt that she wasn’t the only one experiencing those feelings that you can have as a mum. I think motherhood today has many challenges and struggles, whether from loneliness or trying to find the right work-life balance or feeling guilty from not being the perfect mum. I wanted my reader to feel that it’s OK to be just who she is.

  • BB: What inspired you to write The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land?

ID: Well, firstly, I live in a very entertaining part of London. It is quite over the top at times and I just thought there should be a book or film about it. So, I decided to write a book! I get inspiration from everyday moments and from stories I hear from my friends. I will listen to conversations and think ‘Oh, that would be great in a book.’ I also felt that sometimes we aren’t nice enough to each other as mothers and I felt a need to write about that. I think that’s one thing I try to do with my book. I feel like we, as mothers, should just be nicer to each other. I’ve also had moments of frustrations, like something simple like trying to organise a playdate, and wondered why it had to be so hard!

  • BB: My qualifications as a beta mummy are well established. I once went to collect my daughter from a party and the staff had a list of the mummies who were to be asked to stay for a sherry and another list of those who were not to be asked. I was on the second list, the maid explained, without being asked. But which are you? I had a look at your blog: Notting Hill, the Maldives, Antigua… That looks pretty alpha to me!

ID: First of all, I can’t believe someone would do that! That’s just awful. I would rather not throw a party than start excluding people from the party. It’s just how I was brought up and I just don’t understand it. About the Alpha part? Well, yes, I am actually quite Alpha in that I am quite driven and motivated and I make things happen, like this book. But I am not competitive with other people, I just don’t find the need. I try to be supportive and happy for other people’s successes, but not everyone is like that. I try to only be competitive with myself. I also have a softer side to me and am incredibly sensitive and empathetic, which is how I was able to write the book from the point of view of a Beta Mum, which I thought was really important. It was the only way to make it relatable to most people. But even as an Alpha, I have had experiences like Sophie, like the time she is interviewed for a housekeeping interview. That actually happened to me!

  • BB: There’s a wide range of wealthy people in your book, from the well-to-do through to the super-rich. How do you define ‘rich’?

ID: To me, rich, is when you don’t have to worry about your financial situation and have a surplus to do whatever you want whether it is traveling or buying material goods, so it will really depend on the individual and how much they need to live and be happy.

  • BB: I see that you’ve lived in seven countries on four continents. How much of you is there in Sophie? Do you ever have a longing for a settled life?

ID: When I was growing up, I moved so many times, so I know all about moving to new places and being the outsider because as soon as you move to a new school, you are immediately an ‘outsider.’ I had to prove myself time and time again and make friends over and over again, so I know how Sophie was feeling when she was told they were moving to a new country. It’s also why I settled in London 15 years ago and haven’t moved. My husband would love for us to travel the world and move to different countries, but I don’t have that need, because I’ve already done it.

  • BB: What made you start blogging? And how important is it to you?

ID: Blogging really started out as a bit of fun. I thought it would be fun to chronicle some of the funny things I heard or saw in my every day life. I thought it would be entertaining and some people liked it so I continued. I also always dreamed of being a travel writer or restaurant critic, so that was one way to fulfil that dream! But blogging was always going to be a hobby for me, I never intended to become a professional blogger. My real dream was always to write a book so that’s where I put my energy and focus, but the blog has been incredibly useful as a platform to get my book to readers and has helped me get featured in The Saturday Times Magazine!

  • BB: Sophie’s blog gets her into lots of difficulties. Do you think there is less accountability on the internet than in traditional publications? Should writers be held to the same standards?

ID: Yes, I think there is less accountability because it can be anonymous. Trolling can be done anonymously so people say things that they wouldn’t normally say if they were standing in front of that person. Writers and bloggers should be accountable in the same way.

  • BB: How did you learn to write so well? And how long did it take you to write The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land?

ID: Thank you for the compliment! That’s really kind of you, especially since writers are always so self-critical and doubtful of their own work. I always wanted to write a book, ever since I was a child, so I was always working on something during the holidays. So, in a sense, I’ve been writing and practicing forever. It was when I started writing the blog and when I received a lot of compliments that I thought that perhaps I had enough talent to write a book. It’s taken two years to write The Beta Mum. The first year, I had lots of ideas and various drafts, but it was the second year when I was in the Faber Academy Novel writing course that I really wrote my book. It was a great place for support, feedback and motivation, because writing is a solitary craft. There is an application process to get on the course and everyone else on the course is really brilliant and they are all incredibly talented writers.

  • BB: You’ve got one wish. What’s it to be?

ID: Well, if it is related to writing, to have a best-seller! But that’s in my dreams, so my real wish is that people enjoy my book! That would be enough to make me happy.

  • BB: What’s next for Isabella Davidson?

ID: If people enjoy this book and want more, then I will definitely write a sequel!

  • BB: Then we really hope that lots of people enjoy the book, Isabella. Thanks for taking the time to chat to us.
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In the Press, Photos, Press, the beta mum book

A Response To The Saturday Times Magazine Article

SatTimesMagazineCover

If  you were in the UK last weekend, you may have come across my interview with the Saturday Times Magazine. When the Times first emailed me asking if I wanted to do an interview with them, I jumped for joy. Who wouldn’t want that kind of exposure for their debut novel? During the interview, I decided to be so saccharinely sweet with the journalist, thinking that if I was nice to her, she was going to be nice to me, right? Well, when I read the article this past weekend, that’s when I realised that I was a complete novice at this ‘press’ game.

It appears that she was ‘disappointed’ when she met me. Well, I want to clarify my disappointments with the article.

Firstly, I was disappointed that the points I wanted to discuss during our interview were not mentioned at all:

  1. The point that pushy mums need to be careful about pushing their children into anxiety and other mental health issues.
  2. The point that we should all be nicer to each other and that there is no need for female bitchiness. Women and mothers should support each other and stop with the bitching. We are all mostly trying out best. #womensupportingwomen
  3.  The point that women still haven’t figured out the right balance after becoming mothers. The working mums still feel guilty about not being home with their kids and the stay-at-home mums still have to figure out how to keep their identity. And their sanity.
  4. Motherhood is challenging today, whether from isolation, loneliness, feeling lost or from all the competitiveness. We should give each other a break.  #strongwomen

I was also disappointed that they mentioned that I had ‘Asian’ features. I am not sure how it is relevant that I have Asian features or how I look, and I am sure that the gorgeous woman on the cover of the Saturday Times Magazine (above) was not described as having ‘Caucasian’ or ‘very white’ features in her interview. And if we are going to mention racial backgrounds, then perhaps it would have been more appropriate to write about the fact that there are so few minority, female authors, especially in the UK. Or we could have had a comparative discussion on the Syrian Refugee Crisis versus the Vietnamese Refugee Crisis.

Was she disappointed that I wasn’t tall, skinny and blonde? (the journo was skinny and blonde) Because a few lines later, I am described as ‘certainly no Elle McPherson.’ Well, I was disappointed in the article which decided that that this was their ultimate standard of beauty. I am not tall, I have brown hair and brown eyes and everyone knows that I am NOT a supermodel! And well, there is only one Elle McPherson. Elle McPherson. No one is asking Elle McPherson to assist in a liver transplant in a third world country, or to diagnose an 18 year old with a lymphoma or to write a book. And so they shouldn’t.

I was also disappointed by my make-up. They put way too much make up on me! And I didn’t like the stylist’s choices of outfits. But I was such a novice that I let them do my make-up and style me anyway they wanted and I was stupid enough not to put my foot down and speak out. A friend remarked of the second picture of me in black, ‘I know it’s you but it doesn’t look like you,’ because I ended up looking like a scary dominatrix. (Now I get how divas become divas). Again, when the Times says jump, you just jump.

I was disappointed with the fact checking. There was none. I do not have a medical degree from an Ivy League university. I have one degree from an ivy league university AND another medical degree from a UK medical school AND I spent almost 10 years of my life in the NHS, so would like some recognition for my hard work. Let’s not start with house prices and household-name billionaires.

Finally, I was disappointed in myself for being so naïve. I knew there was going to be a high likelihood that the article was going to be controversial. And perhaps I was just given a dose of my own medicine.

But, still, I received so many kind and congratulatory emails, texts and messages, that perhaps it was all worth it in the end. And now, since the interview, I can see on Amazon that ‘Customers who bought this item (on pre-order) also bought Tommee Tippee Sangenic Refills.’ Hilarious.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beta-Mum-Adventures-Alpha-Land/dp/1781326525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496351559&sr=8-1&keywords=the+beta+mum

 

 

 

 

 

 

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