This month, Words With… talks to mum, landlady and writer, Sandy Bennett-Haber, who is one of the judges in our Happy Ever After? short story competition. We catch up with her at home in Edinburgh…
Whatâ€™s your connection to the Lothians?
I am an Australian. I came to Edinburgh with a backpack in 2011 with no particular intention of doing more than seeing the sights. Then I met my husband and now we live near Haymarket with our two young sons.
Have you a favourite place to visit locally?
The whole family loves a trip to North Berwick. No matter what the weather, it is always good to have a ramble on the beach, sometimes a swim, and always fish and chips.Â Whenever we have visitors we always take them there. Closer to home I always enjoy walking along the Union Canal.
What is the best thing about living in the Lothians?
One of the things I love about living in Edinburgh is the size of the city. I can walk everywhere (or take a quick bus ride) and there are stunning views wherever I go. These days I am usually pushing a pram or coaxing along a four year old
Are you a â€˜gloomy-fog-over-the-castleâ€™Â or a â€˜summer-on-Princes Street-gardensâ€™ type?
I’m Australian so it has to be the summer-on-Princes Street-gardens.
How would you introduce us to your career/life/passion?
I studied Creative Writing at University and I am passionate about the power of storytelling.
Is there a typical day in your life?Â What does it involve?
I am a stay at home mum with two children under five, and an Airbnb host, and a writer. Plus, my husband’s work sometimes takes him out of town for a week at a time. Which is a long way of saying I don’t have a typical day.
Okay, tell us what the stay-at-home-mum Sandy does!
Most mornings start super early with the kids climbing all over me and asking is it ‘Big Morning’ yet. Little morning means it is still dark and we try to kid ourselves we can sleep more. Big morning means it is time for dad to cook breakfast. Some days the boys go about their business quietly. Some days they have a huge fight outside our guest bedroom where we host the Airbnb guests â€“ and I run about pointlessly ‘shhhing’. Sometimes breakfast is just the little family unit and sometimes we chat to guests about their life/ travels etc.
With Airbnb and two small children I do a lot of laundry â€“ the summer months see me hanging laundry outside at all hours. We have a communal garden but I tend to dominate the drying lines. I do love living on the ground floor because I can open the door and send the children outside.
If Iâ€™m on parent duty I might take the boys swimming, to Gorgie Farm, Harrison Park or to the gym crÃ¨che so I can get a workout (or eat lunch in peace!)Â If not, I head to our local coffee shop with my computer. I am 100% guilty of spending too much time on social media throughout the day â€“ twitter, Facebook, my website. Airbnb keeps me glued to my phone as well, being timely responding to booking enquiries â€“ my two year old is known to say ‘put your phone downâ€™.
Once dinner-bath-bed is done I tend to sit down to watch something on Netflix and sort all that laundry, do some sewing, or just play about on my phone again!
Whatâ€™s your greatest achievement so far â€“ personally or professionally?
Probably editing and publishing a book called You Won’t Remember This â€“ travel with babies. The book has stories by twenty writers from around the world, and it pushed me to learn so many new skills: editing, publishing, PR, web design, SEO… I still have a lot to learn, but the book is a fabulous journey in itself.
You can make contact with Sandy at:
Twitter @sbennetthaber & Facebook www.facebook.com/sandybennetthaber/
You Wonâ€™t Remember This â€“ Travels With Babies is availableÂ here