Blogging Without a Niche – Magical Mystical MiMi Saves The Day

Blogging without a niche is also called blogging for fun. For fun ? What’s that? It’s what Magical Mystical MiMi does and it’s made me think I should be less MeMe and more MiMi!

If you don’t know who MiMi is, click here to go to her blog which will explain itself better than I can.

This is SO exciting! A new Facebook page for bloggers who blog about random stuff.

This is SO exciting! A new Facebook page for bloggers who blog about random stuff. Click To Tweet

And there was me starving my own blog of content because it is nicheless (I just made that word up).

Blogging without a niche, in a world where blogging gurus will tell you that niche matters, has been lonely.

Blogging without a niche, in a world where blogging gurus will tell you that niche matters, has been lonely. Click To Tweet

At times, I’ve sat watching the tumbleweed blow through my blog, feeling as if I’d let it down for not being more specific.

But the big mistake I made was listening to other people who set themselves up as experts on blogging.

Back in the olden days (2014) I allowed myself to be lead down a path that took me away from the fun of simply writing as  I was pointed towards the chore of getting followers, comments and likes.

It was, it seemed, all about your stats.

Back in the olden days (2014) I allowed myself to be lead down a path that took me away from the fun of simply writing as I was pointed towards the chore of getting followers, comments and likes.It was, it seemed, all about your… Click To Tweet

Well in the words of Pink Floyd’s Not Now John

– f*%k all that!

blogging without a niche

Well yes maybe she did👀 – you can blame MiMi – she gave me the courage to be MeMe!

Do I cuss (or swear if you are British) in real life? Yes I do – like a soldier – which is fine because MiMi says she cusses like a sailor

So why not on here? Who knows (shrugs shoulders).

And I’ve always loved MiMi’s posts because she uses cuss words so eloquently as she tells it like it is.

There is even a message on her blog that warns people it contains opinions that may offend – but I have never been offended by anything I’ve read – just amused to the point of hysterics at times.

She clearly never was seduced by the notion of keeping readers happy to get followers.

Unlike MiMi, my best blogs have never been written because I didn’t want to offend anyone – I played it pretty safe and kept the real me in check.

And gradually, I wandered away from my nicheless blog to create

and my YouTube channel Rainbow Lane both firmly in the craft niche.

And so my days of blogging without a niche were over.

I came back here occasionally, like visiting an old friend that I liked but who I neglected.

My last post was connected to my other blog in an effort to stop this one feeling left out (yes really 🙄)

And then came the invitation to The Old School Bloggers – The Originals and I saw the light!

I should never in a million years been swayed by the niche promoters.

Looking back, it was ironic,  that many of the blogging gurus had niches that were in…blogging.

So lots of what they were saying was probably completely true…if you were blogging about blogging – you could get thousands of followers quite easily by having that as your niche.

Us newbie bloggers would lap up anything written by ‘experts’ because we had no idea, really, what we were doing.

blogging without a niche

So someone who was a few months ahead of you in their blogging journey seemed like an expert.

And they probably were, in blogging about blogging.

So naturally, they would say you needed a niche because they had become successful having a niche.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my craft website and YouTube channel.

They are my real work and connected to all the ways I make my living now. It’s been much easier to get followers on my YouTube channel than any other platform and it’s been easier to make money on there too.

So today when I heard from MiMi about the new Old School blogging group – it hit me like a ton of bricks – this can be where I write exactly what I want – cussin’ ‘n all if I feel like it!

It always was just that. It was the place where I learned how to create a blog and everything that went with it so I could go on to create a niche blog elsewhere.

This blog is my old friend – the place where I can unwind, be real and say what I like.

Thank you so much MiMi for reminding me where we all started out.

I love you!

Blogging without a niche is OK – and I'm not the only one who thinks so – see me back here next time for a more irreverent look at my world. Click To Tweet

Blogging without a niche is OK – and I’m not the only one who thinks so – check out this blog and see me back here next time for a more irreverent look at my world.


Free craft printables are available to download over on my other website which is dedicated to crafts and creativity. 

Are you a crafter? If you are then you may want to pop over the my other website

craft printable

If you are following me here on anythingexcepthousework and you happen to be into crafting, I’d love you to hop on over to my YouTube channel and follow me there too.

As a thank you to my 8.6k YouTube viewers for following my tutorials over the last couple of years, I have just started giving away the designs I use in some of my craft tutorials.

So far there are two 6×4 digital downloads available for you to print and use in your crafts and these are available as a thank you to new subscribers too.


Free craft printables for making tiny earrings and small pendants or, card toppers and dangles etc.
Free craft printables for making 1 inch bottle cap necklaces, card toppers, dangles and scrapbook embellishments.

And there will be many more free craft printables coming up.

I am currently designing some colorful decorative alphabet letters that I will be giving away as free craft downloads this summer.

So if you want to keep up with the designs I give away over the next few months, all you need to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel to see the tutorials I post and also, subscribe to my craft blog.

And you are very welcome to subscribe to this blog too as I will be keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the Fun Crafts studio on here too.

Although my fun crafts blog is dedicated to crafts – this one is where I write random posts about anything (except housework!) 😃

So if you do subscribe here too, be aware that you will see other posts – not just craft based posts.


If you aren’t sure how you use craft printables, you can get some ideas to start you off, in my tutorials on YouTube.

craft printables

With the first design I gave away, I made a cute little set of earrings with matching pendant  (see above).

This set is very inexpensive to make as I show you how to utilise scrap cereal box card to use as a very durable base material.

craft printables

With the second free printables design, I made some bigger pendants (see left).

I also made earrings which you can see further down the page.

But you could use these 1inch circular designs in many other crafts such as making dangles for your journals or incorporating them into scrapbook layouts.

You can use these glass domes over the designs to turn them into something special.

craft printables

The ones you see in my hand above are the teeny little 1.7mm glass domes I use over the designs on my earrings.

But I also use 1″ glass domes on my pendant designs because they really enhance the images with a beautiful domed shine.

The domes also add weight to the pendant and protection for the printed design.

If you want to use the I” designs to make earrings and you want the domed shine without the weight of glass domes, you can do as I do and use I” clear resin stickers.

craft printables
craft printables
craft printables
1″ Clear Resin stickers to add shine and protection to craft designs.
The earrings I made using the 1″clear resin stickers over the design.
One of my pendant designs with a 1″ glass dome attached to add weight and shine.

Seasoned crafters usually know exactly where to get their resources.

How many of us pop into Hobbycraft or Hobby Lobby, just for some glue and come out $50 poorer with a ton of ‘stuff’ we forgot we ‘needed’

However, depending on where you live, it can be hard to find craft supplies that go slightly beyond what is sold in mainstream craft stores.

So for the people who can’t get out or don’t have a craft store near them, I opened two Amazon stores selling craft supplies.

And here they are:

Below, you can see the kind of items you may have trouble finding where you live.

craft printables
craft printables

Right – Glass Domes
Above – 1″ Circle punch.

craft printables

Above – clear resin stickers to use when domes are too heavy.

Buying online is fine BUT if you have a local independent craft shop, I would urge you to support the owner by using it for as many of your craft needs as you can.

Although I do make commission on anything I sell from my Amazon shops (see my Amazon statement here), it is only a very tiny amount, certainly not enough for it to be anything more than a resource I have developed to help people find what they need if they can’t get it locally. Therefore I urge you all to try and get your stuff from actual high street shops while you can.

That’s it for today – any questions?

Drop me a comment below, pop over to my YouTube channel and introduce yourself in the comments and make sure you subscribe to it (and my other blog if you want to know when more freebies are added!)

Don’t forget to grab your free craft printables and let me know what you make with them – see you next time. 😘

how to have fun decluttering your house

How To Have Fun Decluttering your house 

When I'm not busy singing with Pop Chorus or making films for my YouTube channel - I spend my days racing against time to get my house decluttered ready to have it altered so my mum can come and live comfortably with us.

I'm really not good at decluttering though! I'm terrible because I get so sidetracked by every tiny thing and so stuff goes backwards and forwards between the keep or get rid of boxes about a million times!

So I wrote this after my first real day of decluttering when I spent so long messing around with stuff I was finding, I really didn't get very far. I wonder how many people can relate!

I'd love you to tell me but no matter what I do, I can't get my comment section to work since I disabled it when I didn't have time to deal with comments.

I'll try again - but if it doesn't work, you can always contact me via the contact form and I'll try to find a way to publish your comments. Yay - it works!

I hadn't checked the discussion box at the top of the page!

Shout out to Melinda of Purple Slob In Recovery who is the Queen of Clean and Jen at The Hidden Hoarder who also knows the decluttering struggle really well!

Fun Tip No 1

  • Even though you are on a mission to get rid of junk - make sure you find small insignificant things, such as those miniature screw drivers you bought in a charity shop 15 years ago (because they would 'come in handy'), but never used and spend an hour obsessing over whether you should keep them for another 15 years...or not. Make a game of it! Keep moving them from the 'Keep' box to the 'Charity' box while singing the chorus of the Hokey Cokey - not forgetting to 'shake it all about' at the appropriate moment.

    How to have fun decluttering your house. Click To Tweet

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Poems about the moon have been written in vast quantities for centuries.

If you Google 'poems about the moon' there about 235,000,000 results - so I am under no illusions that in writing my short poems about the moon, I am blazing any kind of a trail!

My teeny little poems about the moon are purely a way of expressing my thoughts about it.

I have always loved the moon and see it as a link to every single person who has come before me.

When it is full, I often stand under it, gazing up and feeling content knowing that all those people I have loved and lost have stood under the same moon.

The sky, with all its wonders, has covered us all since the dawn of time - and I love the fact that whatever changes around us, all we have to do to see something all our ancestors saw is simply look up.

I have written before on how much I love solitude and when the moon is full, I feel that solitude when looking up at it, even in a crowded place.

Poems about the moon


I wrote these two poems about the moon in December 2018 and January 2019.

The second moon picture was taken early in the morning of Jan 22nd, just over 24 hours after the eclipse (which I missed!).



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Elvish Adventures Haute Couture

Elvish couture has never featured in my life - much like high fashion in general really, as anyone who has seen my wardrobe will tell you.

Elvish couture has never featured in my life - much like high fashion in general really, as anyone who has seen my wardrobe will tell you. Click To Tweet

At best, my fashion style can be described as Mish Mash Abstract (yes, I made that up, so don’t even bother, ok?)

So it may come as a shock to my friends when they see the designer handbag I just bought.

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Pop Chorus directed by Yula Andrews Performing at the Martlesham 100 Event in the summer.

Pop Chorus is truly a phenomenon that is hard to explain.

But, I am going to try.

Back in April of this year, I wrote a post about singing. In that post, I spoke about joining a choir but I had only been in it for three months at that point.

But I already knew I was involved in something unique - I just didn't know how unique Pop Chorus was at that time. The choir's musical director was Yula Andrews and she had decided to expand the choir by forming another group, which was the group I joined in January 2017.

We are one big choir but we rehearse in five different groups, coming together for shows and big rehearsals.

Three months after I wrote the post about Pop Chorus, we performed a sell-out show - Lose Yourself In the Music - at a 700 seat venue in Ipswich and I was starting to see what an unstoppable force Yula Andrews is when it comes to Pop Chorus.

pop chorus

Pop Chorus - Lose Yourself In The Music - the sell-out show - Ipswich Corn Exchange July 15th 2017

Pop Chorus played their biggest venue to date with a choir made up of people who 'can't sing'.

And it was a sell-out. People were queuing to get in and there was not a single seat left.

Can Pop Chorus members sing? Oh yes.

Individually, many of us, myself included, would not consider ourselves to be singers. If I had not been coerced by an old friend, I would never ever have thought about singing in front of anyone, never mind on stage in a large theatre!

But Pop Chorus does not tolerate people saying 'I can't sing'. Yula believes in everyone. The only difference between Yula and Gareth Malone is that he has a TV show and she doesn't - YET.

The result is a group of people who, together, make the most amazing sounds singing pop songs in four and sometimes five part harmony.

Big as the sell-out concert was, Pop Chorus, I was sure, still had something even bigger to come.

Those of us who took part in that performance will never forget it. The relentless rehearsals, the learning of song after song, memorising lyrics, practicing parts at home day after day, the build up to the show, the jostling for space in dressing rooms, the camaraderie on and off-stage and then finally, the intense pride and joy we all felt as we took several bows after the most incredible night of our lives.

The whole experience was multi-layered, rich in the warmth of being with people who share a love of music and who trust each other enough to bare their voices week after week.

And all driven forward by one person - Yula, although it must be said that Yula does have two 'wing men' - voice singing coaches Jen Leyton and Becky Alexander who lead two of the groups.

But big as this sell-out concert was, it didn't drive me back to the keyboard to write part two of my thoughts on the choir.

I even interviewed Yula and much as I loved what she told me about what drives her, I still wasn't ready to write part two.

Something bigger was coming - of that I felt sure, but I had no idea what it was.

Straight after the concert, I, like many other people fell into a strange malaise. Pop Chorus was over for the summer and many of us felt lost.

A few people got a group together to continue meeting up throughout the summer while Pop Chorus was on a break but I retreated back into the world I had been in before joining Pop Chorus.

I was, I told myself, relieved it was over. I'd done it, I'd had the experience, I'd met some wonderful people but it was over and now it was time to get back to work and stop all this frivolity.

But then came the first whispering of the 'big thing' I was waiting for without knowing what it was.

Yula wanted us to make a CD to raise money for our community partner, St. Elizabeth's Hospice.

And so, the 'Always' project was born and a new chapter in the life of Yula's Pop Chorus began.

It was an ambitious project but by September, everything was in place for it to go ahead - Yula had secured the services of renowned music producer Ian Curnow, who was from the Stock Aitken and Waterman stable, producing hit after hit for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Talk Talk and the Pet Shop Boys.

An original song had been written using lyrics generated by  St. Elizabeth Hospice patients and it was about to form the centre point of the most ambitious project Pop Chorus had ever undertaken.

Pop Chorus members were stunned - we were going to record a CD - a proper CD with a proper producer!

Us people who 'could not sing' had sold out a concert and now we were going to make a CD.

As soon as summer was over, we were rushed back into rehearsals a week earlier than choir should have resumed and the hard work began.

Five leads were auditioned, and they went into the studio of Ian Curnow to record the lead part of Always.

But what about the rest of us?

How to you record a whole choir professionally?

So the Diss Corn Hall was hired and a professional studio was set up in there.

We spent a day recording our original song, 'Always' and three of our most popular covers:

I just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - Dusty Springfield
The Power of Love - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Chandelier - Sia.

And our CD was born!

pop chorus
pop chorus

This is what makes Pop Chorus a phenomenon.

It's the tireless work of director Yula Andrews and her team. The dedication of the choir members and the support we have all had from family, friends and the people who come to our shows.

In the 10 months I have been involved with Pop Chorus, I have come to understand the bonds that are forged when a huge group of people has a common interest and purpose.

I have never been part of a group that is so warm and supportive.

The single is doing incredibly well on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play - we have been going up and down the charts on all three since the CD release on November 17th.

We have held our own against some really big names and are hoping against all hope we make it into the Top 40 by midnight on Thursday Nov23rd.

Number 1 would be an absolute dream for St. Elizabeth's Hospice and their patients.

Please help Pop Chorus help terminally ill people - visit and follow one of the links to download our single or our EP. The single is only 99p and the EP is less than £4.

Pop Chorus is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Women and war - two words that I never really think about.

But yesterday, when I visited the war graves in my nearby town, women and war suddenly became related in my mind for the first time in all the years I have been going to my uncle's grave.

Whenever I visit the cemetery, I always think in terms of all the men who died in the World Wars, which of course was incredibly naive of me and made me think about how I have always perceived male and female roles in wartime.

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Ageism takes many forms - are you allowing yourself to be defined by the age pigeonhole that society has stuffed you in?

There are many age-related pigeonholes into which we all get stuffed from the moment we are born. It can help with things like clothing sizes and other stuff as in 'newborn' nappies or 'toddler' groups.

However, it never occurred to me, as I worked my way gradually through all the pigeonholes of life, that when I reached the final one, I would still be quite young but would be constantly beaten back into my age pigeonhole by younger people wielding the intimidating 'over 60s' stick.

This is not the first time I have been driven to write about ageism. I was moved to gross sarcasm about it back in the summer of 2015 when attending a business conference in London .

This is not the first time I have been driven to write about ageism. Oh my goodness, no! Click To Tweet

One of the speakers I had gone to see kept referring to the 'grey pound'  - ageism at it's worst in my opinion.

When I realised he was talking about me (despite no grey hair!) I was really impressed with myself wondering how such an old duffer as me managed to catch a train to London, all alone, and take the underground to the conference centre without wetting myself or dribbling on anyone.

When I returned, I wrote a post on ageism which you can find here.


Ageism - if anyone says you are over the hill, may I suggest you chase the little buggers up it!

Lately, as a mature woman who feels no different to the 'me' I was at any other time of my life, I have become increasingly concerned at the number of under 60s who are poised to hit you with the over 60s stick, should you have the cheek to peep out of the pigeonhole to see what's going on in the world.

I am so sick of the ageism that is rampant, especially in the Millennial generation who have been spoilt rotten.

Don't believe me? Watch this!

My choice is to be a 'something' again, not an 'over'. It's like this...

…once we were teens, a label probably none of us really minded. Our teens gave way to three decades of being a "something" as in 20 something, 30 something and 40 something, during which we may have subconsciously written off anyone over 50 or 60 as not worth bothering about. Where did we get that idea?

Ageism - if anyone says you are over the hill, may I suggest you chase the little buggers up it! Click To Tweet


We were utterly blind to the fact that we were eventually going to be those older people who were too offensive to us to contemplate.

Too offensive on the eye to be anywhere near us beautiful young things who owned the world - or so we thought. Turns out we were just borrowing it before the next lot of arrogant youngsters turned up and glared at us for daring to leave the house after reaching age 60.

Did we ever consider, for one moment, as we smirked at the sight of a 60-year-old doing anything we considered to be 'too young' for them, that we were nothing more than 'over 60s' waiting to happen? Did we ever look through the window of the unstoppable bus of time and notice life just whizzing past in a blur?

Was I guilty of ageism when I was younger? Yes, I probably was.

When I was still in one of the recognized 'something' decades, I was as guilty as anyone for writing off the 'over 60s' as being 'past it'. Past what? And where does that idea come from? The irony is, that when I actually became one of them, I felt no different inside to when I was 49 or 29 or 19. I suddenly realized the injustice of pigeonholing a whole chunk of society and subconsciously writing people off once they reach 60.

I finally understood the folly of ageism.

If you need any proof that we are shoved unkindly into a final and inferior age pigeonhole once past our 59th year, think about this, past 60, we are no longer worthy of our own decade as in being referred to as a '60 something'. We become 'overs', lumped in with everyone from 60 to 110.

Considering our wonderful leaders are gradually pulling the cosy retirement rug from under our feet by upping the age at which we can expect to get our state pension, I think society needs to stop all this 'over 60' nonsense and define us all as 'something's according to our decade, particularly those still expected to work and continue paying tax. I mean, who wants to be called an 'over'?

Society needs to stop all this 'over 60' nonsense - most of us are still working! Click To Tweet

Ageism persists even though no one gets a state pension at 60 any more.

If the government thinks we are fit to carry on working until we are 66 years and 4 months (as in my case), then I think it is time we were recognised as the worthy citizens we are rather than some kind of collective joke, either shoved in a social pigeonhole to rot, or, encouraged to stay away from the under 60s  by social segregation.

Think about it - look at all the classes and groups there are which are pre-fixed by the words 'over 60s'.

 As we are now expected to work well into our 60s serving a society made up of all ages, why then should we allow ourselves to be lumped together into an older, collective age group to socialise? It implies anyone from 60 upwards is too 'past it' to mix with those under 60.

If that is the case, why are we 'past it', 'old people' expected to carry on working?  

The relentless 'over 60s', 'Grey' stereotyping propaganda needs to stop and then perhaps those not long out of nappies, who think they own the world, will stop patronising us with names like 'dear' and 'grandma'.

The business world needs to stop targeting the 'over 60s' with such a depressing range of products, the premature nature of which some of us may find offensive.

They are everywhere - special insurance plans, will-making, stair-lifts, incontinence pads, denture fixatives, indigestion remedies, things to kneel on in the garden, corn pads and many other 'over the hill' products marketed to those between 60 and 110.

At 61, I have no interest in any of them and before anyone screams at me about how important making a will is, it's been done, shoved in a file and forgotten because, I am busy living.

And if in the course of living I decide I want to go to an art/yoga/keep-fit class, I would rather there was a broad age range of people attending, from teens to 90+. Why would I want to be limited to mixing with my age upwards? There is much to learn from younger people and we have much we can share with them… like a poke in the eye every time one of them patronises us with terms like 'dear', 'grandma' or 'silver surfer'.

In the most recent series of The Apprentice (UK verison), a snotty nosed little Millenial (excuse my ageism but they deserve it) suggested that the over 60s need a robot device to tell them when to take their pills and to show them how to excercise.

I can highly recommend that episode just to see Lord Sugar's reaction in the boardroom. You can see it here.

if I decide I want to go to an art/yoga/keep-fit class, why does it have to be 'over 60s'? Click To Tweet

Wouldn't you rather be defined by society as a 60, 70, 80 or 90 'something' instead of an 'over 60'?

Or are you happy to be forced into the 'over 60s' pigeonhole with everyone from 60 to 110 and socially abandoned by the younger age groups to read little catalogues full of cheap bingo dabbers, plastic knickers and Zimmer frames?

Do excuse me while I change the Led Zeppelin CD for some musical wallpaper more suited to my advanced age and while I'm at it, I will swap my jeans for a nice flowery skirt.Not!

Seriously, I do think it is high time we stopped all this ageism nonsense towards people who are on the far side of 60 and realise that we are all members of the same society no matter what age we are.

What do you think? Have you been a victim of ageism?

Why are supporters of natural childbirth still being shamed ?

On August 12th this year, the day after my fourth grandchild was born, The Times ran a story on their front page with the headline 'Midwives back down on natural childbirth'.

The sub heading was, 'current policy makes women feel like failures.'

I'm sorry but I'm not buying that. The only person who can make you feel like a failure is you. We feel however we feel based on our own thoughts.

Let's say I had a baby by natural childbirth and you had a forceps delivery, is it rational that you should blame me for your feelings of failure?

No, any feelings of failure you may have are nothing to do with me, they are stories you tell yourself in your own head.

Let's spin it around, would it be rational of me to feel guilty that I had a natural birth and you had forceps?

Would it be rational of me to feel guilty that I had a natural birth and you had forceps? #NaturalChildbirth Click To Tweet

And in any case, how can anyone, including the writer of the Times sub heading, make  a statement as sweeping as:

'Current policy makes women feel like failures'?

What policy? What women? Is that all women? Where is your evidence? Does anyone have solid statistics based evidence to back up that claim or is it based on anecdotal evidence which, in other fields is usually discounted as being unscientific.

natural childbirth

So how has it happened that an organisation supporting natural childbirth is being blamed for 'making women feel like failures'?

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) had been campaigning since 2005 to see a rise in the number of women giving birth 'normally'. That is, without Caesarean, induction, instruments or epidural.

(When I refer to a 'normal' birth from here on, I mean, a birth without any of the above interventions.)

The RCM's original campaign was called the "Normal Birth Campaign" but three years ago, that campaign was changed to the "Better Births Initiative".

Reading the Times article, you could be forgiven for thinking the Better Births Initiative had only just happened when in fact, this 'news' is actually three years old.

Reading the Times article you could think that the Better Births Initiative was new when in fact it is 3 years old. #royalcollegeofmidwives Click To Tweet

It goes without saying, medical intervention in childbirth is, for some women, an absolute necessity for the safety of themselves and their babies.

That is not up for dispute here - I am not against medical intervention in childbirth when it is genuinely needed.

What I do question is this - women who use induction and Caesarean by choice for convenience when there is no compelling medical reason to prevent them from experiencing natural childbirth. And more to the point, to stop the baby from experiencing natural childbirth.

Have we become so narcissistic now that we don't care to consider the impact of our decisions on others involved?

And if you aren't considering your baby's right to natural childbirth and his needs as he enters this world, how are you going to cope with his intense needs once he is here?

According to the Times article, only four in ten women give birth normally now as opposed to six in ten 30 years ago.

Natural childbirth versus a birth with some kind of intervention is an extremely emotive subject. Click To Tweet

Natural childbirth versus a birth with some kind of intervention is an extremely emotive subject and it seems that their campaign for 'normal' births (which ended three years ago) has upset some people to the point where the RCM now 'backing down'.

Er - they 'backed down' three years ago. Why is this on the front page of the Times now and written as if it only just happened?

On page two of the Times, the article carries an analysis section in which the writer admits that 'The RCM may be right that no careful reading of its stance could justify pursuit of normal birth at any cost.'..

This is an important point and I wonder how many people who are now criticizing the RCM and playing the blame game have actually read its stance on the subject.

But an even more important point in the analysis is where it continues, '...yet it is hardly surprising that those who did not pay such close attention could conclude that the goal was to increase the number of normal births.'

There is a huge difference in what is contained in a policy and how much close attention the readers of that policy are paying to it.

There is a huge difference in what is contained in a policy and how closely readers pay attention to the detail. Click To Tweet

Who is responsible if I don't read the Highway Code properly and I don't pay close attention to what road signs mean? If I kill someone because I didn't read a stop sign properly, who will end up in prison? It won't be the policy makers or the writers of the Highway Code.

If I fail my driving theory test, can I blame the writer of the manual for my lack of close enough attention to get it right?

The shaming of natural childbirth advocates has to stop - it has gone on for too long.

When I had my first baby 37 years ago in Canada, all this shaming and blaming nonsense was going on then. The natural childbirth movement was being painted as extreme and a bit 'dippy hippy'. I had to fight to get a natural birth and was very aware that I was seen by my doctor as a rebel against the system.

When I say I had to fight to get a natural birth, I mean I had to deflect a whole list of standard procedures that I did not want applied to me or my baby. It was a case of, if you don't tell us beforehand that you don't want these things, they are just going to be done as routine.

The shaming of natural childbirth advocates has gone on too long - it has to stop. #naturalchildbirth #naturalbirth #NaturalBirth Click To Tweet

So maybe that is why women like me started to shun hospital births completely in order to avoid the fight not to be shaved, not to be given enemas, not to be offered drugs while extremely vulnerable, not to have have bright lights and noise, not to have fetal monitors attached intra-vaginally, not to be kept on our backs, not have interventions too soon, not to have the cord cut the until it stopped pulsating, not to have the baby washed, not to wrap baby up so he couldn't feel skin to skin contact, not to whisk him away to be weighed and measured before he'd been put to the breast and cuddled quietly under dimmed lights.

This is how it was in 1980 - we had to fight for those things and it was tiresome being looked at like some kind of weird alternative hippy type just for wanting a non-violent birth for your child.

It was tiresome being looked at as some hippy type because you wanted a non-violent birth for your baby in the 80s. #RoyalCollegeofMidwives Click To Tweet

Surely it would have been more sensible and safe for the medical establishment to listen to what the advocates of natural childbirth were saying and willingly co-operate so we had the best of both worlds.

We could have felt confident going into hospital knowing we would be left to labour and give birth however we wanted while being close to all the right equipment should things go wrong.

But no, hospitals, at the time, were places where those of us wanting to give natural childbirth a really good go had to be on our guard against unnecessary intervention at a time when we were at our most vulnerable.

During childbirth, we had to be on our guard against medical intervention when we were at our most vulnerable in the 80s #NaturalChildbirth Click To Tweet

I know of many women back then who were driven away from hospitals by the arrogant attitudes rife in the male dominated field of obstetrics at the time and who chose to have their second babies at home.

For every story of a death or injury caused by failure to use medical intervention during a birth there are stories of babies who have died or been severely injured during hospital births where instruments or scalpels have been used.

So why focus on the horrors of natural childbirth when it goes wrong? Both natural childbirth and medically assisted births have their horror stories. And both have success stories.

Why focus on the horrors of natural child birth when it goes wrong? Medicine has its fair share of horror stories too. #naturalchildbirth Click To Tweet

Should we have been blaming hospital policies in the 80s for driving pro-natural childbirth women away because we didn't feel safe around people wielding forceps?

Because make no mistake - forceps can and do injure babies. Women do die from complications during and after Caesareans. Babies are traumatised by bright lights and noise.

So the RCM, I believe, is quite right in campaigning for better births. What is so wrong with midwives trying to raise awareness regarding the benefits of natural childbirth and the dangers of medical intervention during childbirth when they are used unnecessarily?

Don't you, as a mother-to-be, want all the facts? Don't you want what is best for your baby's physical and emotional health? Because if you don't, you shouldn't be having a baby.

Don't you want whatever is best for your baby's physical and emotional health during birth?#NaturalBirth Click To Tweet

I still can't figure out why the Times printed this out of date 'story' three years after the RCM changed their campaign. Deeper inside the paper on page 27, there was more on this story under the title 'Born Free'.

The writer acknowledges that 'since the 60s, advocates of 'natural' childbirth have been pitted against defenders of medical intervention.'

Quite why they have placed the word natural in quote marks I do not know. Why not plain and simple, natural childbirth? If I were to write The Times is a national 'news' paper in the UK, what would I be inferring?

It is these kinds of thinly veiled prickles that have made the fight against the routine medicalisation of childbirth so long and tiring.

We shouldn't have had to fight this fight and it shouldn't still be going on.

Yes there are some compelling reasons around the risk of death or injury why some women can't give birth without intervention.

Yes there are some compelling reasons around the risk of death or injury why some women can't give birth without intervention. Click To Tweet

However, there are equally compelling reasons why healthy women, with straightforward pregnancies should try to avoid intervention and I sincerely hope the RCM will never be bullied into staying quiet about those reasons.

If you want the facts behind this 'story', you will find them on the Royal College of Midwives website.

I have nothing to do with the RCM - I have written this because I feel passionate about the subject and always have done. And it appeared in the paper the day after my fourth grandson was born, by emergency Caesarean that saved his life and possibly that of my daughter-in-law.

Some things cannot be planned for, such as baby deciding to try and leapt out feet first without anyone realising until the crucial moment.

Hospitals definitely have their place but so does natural childbirth and it is time we stopped shaming women who want to try and have one.

And it is time we stopped blaming pro-natural childbirth people for making women who don't manage to achieve natural childbirth 'feel like failures' - our thoughts are our own choice.

What has your experience with natural childbirth or medically assisted birth been? Please leave a comment at the very end of this post to let me know what your thoughts on natural childbirth, or otherwise, are.