I’m a girl’s girl, always have been, always will be.
Apart from my best friend Will and a scattering of male mates, my life is mostly filled with girlfriends.
In fact I seem to collect friends by the day.
Sounds nuts but my network expands constantly through my work and it’s just so flipping awesome to meet new like-minded women all the time.
Collaborators, friends, laugh-makers and more.
Let me start by saying too: I love women.
Writing that statement felt a bit weird.
Mostly because it’s rare to type it out, read it or even hear other women stating they LOVE other women.
Baffling isn’t it?
Female-love and support needs to become naturalised in my opinion, a given so here I am contributing in my small way on my part of the internet writing and sharing my love of my ever growing girl squad fittingly on International Women’s Day #iwd2016.
Frustratingly, the media has played a huge part in creating/amplifying women-on-women bashing, yet I look around those I know and it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes I have witnessed and been at the receiving end of b!******** but that’s definitely not the norm in my life, which is thankfully bursting with women who LOVE and RESPECT one another deeply.
Women who can’t live without one another.
Women who lean on and support one another.
Women who holds their hands up when they f*** up, say sorry, make amends and get through s**** together.
Like most of my ‘sisters’, my closest, most treasured relationships are with other women (along with my husband natch, but you know, he’s most definitely not a woman)- and I desperately NEED women in my life.
Here with great friend Casting Director Nicci Topping at the Cannes Film Festival.
I’m lucky to have more real mates than fingers (remember that ‘count your real mates on her hands’ saying well balls to that) because I’ve lost count of how many bad-ass, creative and kind gal pals fill up my phone book, timelines and day to day meet-ups.
These women, many of them are mamas, speak their mind, break glass ceilings, push barriers, create change and most importantly hold one another up to feel bigger, better, stronger and HAPPIER together.
My heart breaks for those who don’t participate or have a network of women to lean on.
An article in this month’s Elle wittily titled, ‘True Womance’ was the initial inspiration behind this post with the piece concluding we women value our fellow girlfriends from the way we dress for one another to tellingly, confidence and contentment.
I know my friends contribute HUGELY in how I see and respect myself- and when friendship meets business as with my work with Jessica Huie MBE, the result, the energy, the force and FUN together is DYNAMITE!
Last year, Jessica and I created the workshop, ‘Turning Passion into Pounds’ launching our first one with Stylist Magazine.
Our next offering, this time to an audience of 2500 (!) is in collaboration with the British Library on April 8th 2016 before a UK and even possibly a world tour!
Together we’re sharing our expertise and experience of working as Creatives encouraging others to take ownership and control over their businesses on and offline.
A huge part of what we advocate is collaboration, we lead by example but also FOCUS on how women can help one in business and in life.
You can book tickets for our next workshop in collaboration with the British Library on 8th April 2016 6.30-8.30 HERE.
I have so much respect and love for this girl.
We’re so in sync we didn’t even communicate we’d both be in blue on our launch day and look at us both!
Two bad asses are better than one right?!
And you know what else, when I look at the women I know: my closest mates, my great blogging pals, clever colleagues and loving family members too, all I see is a gigantic wave of togetherness, an empowering mountain of big hearted, brilliant women.
I miss them madly if we don’t speak regularly
And that’s the thing about female friendships, they are a little bit romantic. We regularly utter ‘I love you’ on the phone and in person to each other, we lean on one another as you would a partner, we hug, laugh, out the world to rights and truly DO love one another.
Take my best friend Carlie. We met at school, lived on parallel roads growing up and spent most of our teens stunting our growth smoking Marlborough Lights behind our local newsagents. Then, on the weekends we’d throw parties in the farmer’s fields behind our houses, without his permission (soz). Those. Were. The. Days.
I speak to Carlie on the phone every week without fail.
We have history and a present, we know each other inside out.
Here we are a few months ago-snow queens!
We might live in different cities but always feel close.
We’ve had 5 kids between us, hang out whenever we can, never forget birthdays and when we see each other, it’s feels like it was only yesterday we were getting up to things we hope our kids never will when they’re our age!
I’d be less of a woman without my oldest mates in my life. They taught me true friendship from the start.
…It’s the same with my blogging babes-we firstly met online through our blogs and twitter then IRL and have created a non-exclusive sisterhood together that’s open to all. A sisterhood that welcomes brothers too (Hi Daddy bloggers)!
I connect to these girls online often many times a day.
And because we blog, we often write about one another.
This touching tribute my blogging mate Helen wrote on our friendship HERE, made me blub.
Together we have held and continue to hold each other’s hands through tough times and equally enjoy the most hilarious of girlie meet-ups ALWAYS involving food and wine.
We regularly chat on the phone and even dedicated Valentine’s to our very own Galentine’s where we scoffed pizzas the size of our heads and gulped prosecco like we hadn’t been out since 1999 (I don’t think I HAVE actually have been out since 1999 by the way).
Our lightweight heads were whirling by the end of our ‘date’ and it was all kinds of awesome.
My other blogger buddies are of course my long time homegirls: Uju, Mirka Nomita, Zaz and Michelle-women I love with all my heart, bloggers who totally understand this crazy world we live and work in and collectively are the ones I’ve known the longest.
I just wish I had photos with everyone!
Mirka and I at BritMums Live 2014.
Mirka and Uju
Nomita and her daughter.
Zaz and I at a Christmas meet-up at Aubaine.
Life online simply wouldn’t be the same without this lot…
Big up too, to my beautiful Amancay, a feature filmmaker and great friend whom I went to uni with, a key player in my life, she is the reason I started this blog, here.
If Amancay hadn’t pestered me for weeks to set up a blog while I was on maternity leave, honest mum would not be here.
And here we are with another great uni mate, Sharmin who now lives in Amsterdam. Together, we try and meet up once a year for the Berlin or Cannes Film Festivals or in my hometown of Leeds to relive our wilder days. It does take me a week rather than a day to recover from our nights out these days though!
Fearless, focused, unapologetically ambitious as they should be, they make me proud to stand by their side.
When it comes to family, my first-loves, top of the tree is my beloved Mama.
Mum is my anchor, we are unconditionally bound and posses an unbreakable bond. She is the blueprint for all my female friendships. A feminist, over-achiever, a former university lecturer and the most selfless mother I’ve ever met, if I’m half the mum she is, I’m happy.
The same applies with my loving grandmothers before her, my darling Annetta and namesake Vikentia. The roots that cement me.
I can’t forget my Aunts and wider Big Fat Greek Family too.
Here I am with my ‘Big Sister’ Maria who I love like family-Maria is wisdom personified and means the world to me.
Of course my best friend, the romantic love of my life, my husband Peter is my EVERYTHING. The one who makes me see life in a different light, takes away the small problems that often feel so HUGE- he calms me down while I fire him up.
I’m lucky, these people define me.
They make me who I am.
They help me to feel confident when I doubt myself, and give me strength to keep on pushing on. They make me feel lovable. They see the best in me, and I them.
I love the saying, ‘show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are’ because you’ll know me by my company.
Thank you guys, to those mentioned here and everyone else who touches my life.
This post is for you all today on International Women’s Day and every day.