“We live in a converted Jacobethan train station, built in 1846. It came complete with a dual-faced platform, waiting room clock and worn steps to the ticket office (now our dining room) from footfall.” Charlotte Noone on family life in Yorkshire…
Charlotte Noone, 36, lives with her husband Paul (they’ve been together since they were 17) and their daughters: Eva, seven, and Orla, five. They live in rural North Yorkshire, in a village. They moved back after living in the South West of England, and the Czech Republic. Charlotte has been a stay-at-home mum for the last seven years and has just started retraining with Digital Mums to become a freelance social media manager.
Our mornings are … formulaic with a sprinkle of chaos. I like to wake and get dressed before the girls so I can have some quiet time but am often joined by one of my little helpers who likes to pass me my makeup. That, and ask a lot of questions. I’ve started to turn my phone off at night and not turn it back on until after the school run to stop distractions. I rely on the radio to wake me and find that classical music is so much more therapeutic to start the day than reading depressing news on the Guardian app in bed. My husband works away in the week so the three of us know our routine but often find ourselves dashing out of the front door when my youngest has decided the toes of her tights just aren’t quite right.
I’d describe our house as … our forever home. It’s a converted Jacobethan train station, built in 1846. It came complete with a dual-faced platform, waiting room clock and worn steps to the ticket office (now our dining room) from footfall. We’ve lived in so many houses over the years and I’ve never felt too attached but I can imagine my two waking down the spiral staircase on their wedding morning. It’s definitely a keeper.
My kids mainly wear … whatever they choose. From a young age they’ve had a strong sense of what they wanted to wear and it’s not worth the arguments trying to change their minds . My eldest used to be an accessory queen, stealing my jewellery and scarves and both have gone through a diehard fancy dress stage. Both prefer skirts and dresses and I’ve only recently convinced them to wear jeans. We used to have to agree with my youngest the night before on what to wear to prevent morning arguments. Apparently my parents used to do the same with me so I can’t complain. Now they’ve both at school with a uniform so life is so much easier.
I cope with clutter by … dealing with it before it gets out of control. It’s a bit of a losing battle with all the girls’ craft creations but I’m quite cut throat. I’ll pick a sample to keep as memories but if they’ve forgotten about them after a few weeks they may hit the recycling bin. What?!
Our favourite family meal is … fresh pasta. We’ve recently bought a pasta maker and it’s become a fave family activity.
I never leave the house without … making my bed. It makes me uncomfortable knowing it’s not just so. If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It’s rubbed off on my daughters. My 5yr old even folds her PJs!
When no one’s looking I … dance. Dance like no one’s watching. I sometimes do it in front of my daughters and they look at me like I’m someone more than their mum.
Having a child has made me … nostalgic. It’s allowed me to revisit my childhood and recreate traditions. It’s the best feeling.
I encourage creativity … wherever possible. When I was growing up I didn’t consider myself to be creative. One of my favourite books is The Element by Ken Robinson which helped me reframe this in my mid 20s. Now as a mum and school governor I’m reading his more recent book about the importance of teaching creativity in schools. This is something that the National Curriculum is sadly massively falling short on. My husband is a fantastic musician and both girls are learning to play the piano. I’ve even been roped in too. For me, I feel truly creative when I let loose in the kitchen.
I’ll never be able to part with … my family. The rest is just possessions and can always be replaced.
Bedtime tends to be … 7.30pm for my daughters. I like to know they’ve had a good night sleep and for me to have some downtime. I’ve never considered myself a night owl but have recently found my second wind late at night and have started a project when I should be going to bed.
When all else fails we … ‘huggle’. You can’t beat a good huggle.
Follow Charlotte on Instagram: @backtothenorth