I started blogging when I was made redundant in December 2010, after five years working in child protection. These were five intensive years, in which I learned so much as a professional but much more as a person. Five years doing something that I believed in, but in a system that I didn’t trust. Five years during which I met the most incredible people with unbelievable stories, stories of courage and despair, stories of hope and injustice, stories about love, about hate, about people fighting to stay alive and to make sense in the chaos of their lives.
Five years that gave me friends for life, friends that make my life special everyday.

The last of these five years was the most stressful year of my life, with constant office moves, crappy work conditions, in a team on the edge of breaking down, with the daily anxiety about what was going to happen.

On my birthday in 2010 I found out that I was going to be made redundant and on that moment I started to plan in my head. It was very clear to me at that point that life was giving me the opportunity to make a turn. I didn’t know where I was going but I was on my way.

The end of the year came and on the 31th December I cleared my desk, closed my office door for the last time, leaving behind all the cases, all the stories, all the children, all the parents, all the reports, all the decisions, all the meetings. I closed the door and suddenly I felt so light, I felt so good, so relived that I started to laugh out loud by myself.

Then, just after new year eve, I bought a DLSR camera and a book about photography and started my first blog: Lollypoppe.

This was a blog about my things, my photos, things I had seen, heard, tasted and felt. I posted for a year and then at the end of the 2011 I moved to London with my family. This was the big turn that life had reserved for me.

Once in London I decided to keep on blogging and created another blog: Lollypoppe in London. As I needed to practice my English I decided that I was going to write in English. I found blogging a good way to share with all my family and friends my/our new life in London. I was never a productive or even a regular blogger. Sometimes I could post three or four times a week, sometimes go five or six months without a single line. I did try to get a little more traffic but never put too much effort on it. There are times that I feel that I should be doing all those things about SEO, about increasing your traffic, about using twitter, instagram, facebook, etc to boost your stats. It’s been 4 years and I still write when I have something to say or when I have something to share.

When I post I’m always writing to someone in my head, it’s like each post is a conversation with friends. It feels like I’m writing letters, a kind of special letters with images and videos enclosed.

But in every post, sometimes more conscious and other times less so, I’m writing to my family, to my kids. Yes, in every post I am writing to them, sharing with them the things I love, my beliefs, my thoughts, my stories, our stories, our family story.

I’m also writing to my future self as so often I like to read my old posts. This is my public diary.

Why do I have a blog? I have this blog for me but for also for you A and for you K and C and for all of you, my family and friends. I love you.

And here I am today reminding myself that I’m 40 years old and that I feel blessed for having such a big beautiful family and the best friends I could possible have.

To you, my future self: happiness is as simple as this. Happy Birthday.