What’s the blog about?
This blog is about bog standard family life. Every family is different, right? Our different just takes the form of a calendar filled with medical appointments rather than playdates and we have to consider whether or not we can fit Dominic’s wheelchair into a venue before deciding if we want to go there or not.
I mainly write about my three children, Elliot, Lilia and Dominic. I still just write for myself. I believe that being honest is the very best thing I can do for other people that come across Just Bring the Chocolate when searching for answers. I generally find life quite amusing, but recognise the value in acknowledging just how tough it can be too. Honesty is sadly not always welcomed and I tread a fine line between trying to help bring a transparency to the closed worlds of the health, social care and educational settings, and risking finding myself silenced. But I am glad that professionals read my posts, and grateful for the conversations that stem from them.
This isn’t like other blogs. I write when I can, and I want to be proud of everything that I write, which is why there is no set schedule for posts and you won’t see me writing reviews or commercial posts. It’s probably worth subscribing if you want to know when the next post goes up.
Why did you start the blog?
Just Bring the Chocolate started life over on a website called Caringbridge as a way of keeping family and friends informed about what was going on with my youngest son Dominic when he was an in-patient in Great Ormond Street hospital for 8 months. It seemed like an easier option than text messages or Facebook. I moved to the blog’s current home when, to my surprise, far more people than just my friends and family started reading what I was writing, and the blog took on a life of its own.
Why don’t you post very often?
It is the success of Just Bring the Chocolate that has led me to have less time to sit and write. Telling our story has been the conversation starter that has allowed me to follow a path towards actually making a real difference for children with undiagnosed genetic conditions, rare disease, disabilities and special educational needs.
Who designed the site?
Me. I knew nothing about web design when I started building this site, and I’ve made many mistakes and sworn quite a lot along the way. There is nothing I like more than a good bit of procrastination, and so I have fiddled and changed and designed and redesigned the blog when I’m meant to be tackling my enormous paperwork pile. All the drawings and paintings you see around the site are my own. I created a child theme from the wonderful Cakifo theme.
So why the strange name?
When I was first designing the website I was stuck in a tiny room in hospital with Dominic and had been for many months. I was all but rocking in a corner. Whenever people came to visit they always asked if they should bring anything, because my friends are polite like that. At first I sent comprehensive lists of everything I needed, adding chocolate on almost as an afterthought. Over the course of our incarceration, as my hopes of getting us discharged started waning, I no longer even let myself think about coming home, and my lists reduced to one sentence… just bring the chocolate.
Because even when life is really, truly crappy, you always need to find something to smile about.