We are a gay, bi-racial, location independent, blended family of six of two mothers, three daughters and one son. From early on in our relationship, we’ve shared the ups and downs of our journey on a blog here at LemonAid – alongside starting a community, offering some paid courses and more. Now, as our professional and creative endeavours move forwards, we’re returning LemonAid to its roots…as a personal space for us to share the ins and outs, twists and turns of creating the LemonAid life we want to lead, together…
Behind The Name
Well, that’s a nod to…
- The use of the word ‘lemons’ to mean lesbians.
- The fact that us being together has been much needed ‘first aid’ for the lives we were living.
- The saying “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” – because we don’t want to wait around for life to give us lemons…we want to go out, pick our own and squeeze the f*ck out of them to make delicious LemonAid!
- The fact that creating our own recipe has essentially been like filling in the missing parts of us being able to be more ‘us’ than we’ve ever thought possible.
- The perfect kind of LemonAid is a balance of sweet and sour – because the sour makes the sweet taste that little bit sweeter, and vice versa!
Who We Are
The Chief Lemon + The Chief Squeezer
I always knew ‘real life’ wasn’t for me!
Born to a half-German, teenage mother and an unemotional adopted father, we travelled a lot until I was 6 when my parents split up the night before we were due to move to Germany. My single mum raised me in a rented farmhouse in the UK, whilst putting herself through university.
As a teenager and young adult, I travelled as much and as cheaply as I could: 18 months working and travelling in Israel, The Red Sea and Sinai. A summer in the Balearics, a month teaching English in Poland. Trips to the Gambia, Germany, Senegal, Paris, Morocco, Ireland, Turkey, a driving tour around the West coast of the USA. As well as working trips to Iceland, Austria and Barcelona as a PA for a disabled activist, disability equality trainer, comedian and star of a high profile BBC drama.
I put myself through university as a mature student, working as a student trainer throughout, teaching a variety of self-help courses to other students, bought my first house and gained a 1st class degree and a scholarship for a Masters (taught by Germaine Greer) but I still had no idea about a career other than my childhood desire to write.
I settled into a more conventional life, buying a house with my then-partner whilst I was still a student. However, I still needed my life to be somewhat alternative…
My partner was a gamer, a biker, an ex-punk and an ex-member of AFA (Anti-Fascist Action). We were hardcore Glastonbury goers (8 years on the trot, many of those in the mud!) and when we decided to commit to a move to the country, I bought our Grade II listed cottage at auction, paying the deposit on a credit card!
We spent several years renovating it, largely ourselves, while I project managed the building work. It was a nice distraction from our total lack of intimacy and the fact I thought I might be gay!
I also started therapy at this time and took various Counselling qualifications, including working towards a Diploma. I volunteered as a counsellor in schools and as a mentor for young people and this led me to work with vulnerable, young, homeless people.
I left this job and my relationship, and became an Anti-Social Behaviour Officer complete with company car. Real life had arrived and I was depressed. At an all-time low, I embarked on another relationship (that I knew, deep down, wasn’t right) and had two children. I was diagnosed with fibromylagia and had to leave my job.
Retraining as a Louise Hay teacher I started running workshops whilst also buying and selling furniture on Ebay. I ploughed most of my limited energy into my children who became my key to some degree of freedom and female friendship with other women in a similar boat.
My life was so far removed from how I wanted to be living but I found it hard to face up to the fact that the relationship was the thing that needed to change and any amount of other tinkering wouldn’t ever change that, especially as I thought I was gay…cue LemonAid!
I’ve always lived a fairly unconventional life…
I was born in HK, adopted from birth, and then brought up by a single mother in the UK after my parents divorced when my Dad left my Mum for her best friend (my brother and I used to fly as UMs – unaccompanied minors – from the ages of 4 and 5 for 20+ hours to visit him once a year in HK).
My career started fairly conventionally – a degree in German & Business studies, followed by a ‘dream’ job as a management consultant for Accenture in London, until I deliberately stepped off the path of conventionality when my Mum died in 2003.
In the midst of planning a (bigger than I’d really wanted) wedding with my Mum, after she died I ended up getting married in Sydney, Australia while we were travelling, to the man I’d been with since the age of 17.
On returning, I left management consulting (I quit on my first day back), retrained as a Personal Trainer & Holistic Health Coach and ran my own wellness business for 2+ years, until I realised I didn’t actually enjoy working with clients!
In 2006 I discovered blogging and a whole world of online opportunities I never knew existed opened up.
Cue…becoming location independent – creating and running an online business from 10+ countries around the world between 2007-2011.
Having inadvertently stumbled upon this lifestyle, I blogged about it, literally wrote the (first) book on it and grew the online location independent community to 20k+ strong members while still travelling full time (you can see my international media mentions here!).
When my daughter unexpectedly arrived in 2009, we spent another year on the road with her until we decided we wanted a sibling for her; we had our son in 2013 and settled down to a fairly conventional life…with a 300-year old cottage in the country, a Volvo in the driveway, and home educating them both whilst I continued to run my business, as a business and online technology coach.
It was around this time – with the time to finally stop, breathe and reflect – that it began to dawn on me that where I was, wasn’t actually the life I’d ever dreamed for myself and WTF was I actually doing?
I knew deep down that I was probably either bi or gay and, wrestling with the regret of never doing what I actually wanted versus blowing up my life, my children’s lives and my then-husband’s life, I knew it was really a question of timing:
When would be the ‘best’ time to do something about it…Now while the children were young or wait till they’re older and put my life on hold until they were?
As you can see, I opted for the former and the story from that point onwards is here on our blog for all to see!