Columnists / Rachel Hawkins

‘Today we are celebrating all things women’

By rachel hawkins, Friday Mar 8, 2019

With the extreme amount of time I spend on Twitter, if there’s one thing I’ve noticed, there is always a ‘National Day of’ trending.  It could be National Chocolate Day (I like this one) or National Biscuit Day (another one I’m more than happy to celebrate) and then we have National Pie Day (not arsed) and National Bagel Day (really?). Personally, I’m waiting for ‘National Skive Off Work Day’ – can’t see that happening anytime soon, but we can dream.

If there is a  ‘National Day of’ I am on board with, then that’s today. Today we are celebrating all things women; it’s International Women’s Day.  Don’t worry guys, you get one too. In fact, I wrote a post about it if you’d care to read, where I wrote about the man who inspired me.

Recently, it was my nan’s 89th birthday – she’s incredible for her age, really glamorous with an exceptional wit and determination.  She taught me the word ‘minge’ too. So, I owe her a lot. She’s someone I’d celebrate.

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Back in 2008, my world caved in when my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It was an awful time for my family, exacerbated by my dad’s cancer diagnosis six months later.  But if there’s one thing I’ll take from that experience of watching someone I love go through something so dreadful, it’s that my Mum is one of the strongest people I know.  Her strength never faltered. If she was scared, you would never have known. She does so much for me and my family that I could celebrate her every day for the rest of my life and it would never be enough.

Then there’s my best friend.  We’ve been in each other’s lives for 17 years and barely had a cross word. She knows me inside out and back again.  We’ve shared so many incredible memories and I really would be lost without her. She makes me laugh until I can feel abs emerging, so she’s good for my health if nothing else, and that should definitely be celebrated – with wine this weekend. Lots of wine.

I like to be really interactive on Twitter, as well as a massive gobshite, so posed a question to my followers this week: Tell me about a woman in your life who is really important to you. Why is she so important/special to you?

The answers, oh they didn’t disappoint:

‘My girlfriend. I’ve never really found love. I’ve known of it but never had it, but now I know I have it… friends for 27 years and she came and dragged me out of my dark times… I’m actually going to propose to her this year and I couldn’t be happier. She’s the one.’  OH MY GOD MY HEART.

‘My Nan, my mum, my auntie. Every day of their working lives with the NHS, helping others and all strong beautiful women. My Nan gave me my eyes to. Genetically I mean, I haven’t got them in a jar on the mantelpiece.’ Glad he clarified that last bit.

‘My mum in law! When my mum died she took on the role of my mum and she’s absolutely amazing at it!’ This made my heart swell.

‘Gotta be my beloved wife who, after 30 years of us together, lost her fight against breast cancer at the age of 46 – she was amazing, my soulmate and the love of my life. Always has been, always will be.’  I didn’t expect to be shedding tears at 8am but shed tears I did.  Life can be so damn cruel.

If you use Twitter, I implore you to look at that thread.  It’s heart-warming, it’s heart-breaking and so incredibly affirming.  It’s life, love and relationships in all its glory.

Patsy Cline may have famously sung ‘sometimes it’s hard to be a woman’, but I’m pretty glad I’m one myself and know some of the amazing women I do.

Rachel Hawkins celebrates women in her life and her followers’ lives

Rachel Hawkins blogs at

Main image courtesy of Mermaid in England, you can read about the Bristol-based company at ‘A little mermaid with big ideas’

Read more: Where to celebrate International Women’s Day in Bristol

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