by Kim Kelly

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REFLECTIONS OF YOU
JENNY

Well, hello there and happy Sunday. As promised, here is our very first guest, our first intrepid Reflector, for my Reflections of You series of interviews, putting the spotlight on the loveliness of our everyday, and uncovering the many colours of who we are.

I’m chuffed to introduce you to Jenny Lawday here, someone I met about five years ago, at a market day in the Blue Mountains. Jenny was there with her shop, Poppy & Belle, where she makes exquisitely quirky jewellery, handbags, purses and all manner of beautiful accessories. It was a grey and drizzly mountain day that day and I was feeling a bit glum when I came across the bright splashes of joy that are her creations. She probably doesn’t remember, but my husband Dean chose one of her bracelets for me to cheer me up. It did! And I cherish it still.

And here’s Jenny now answering the same Big Seven questions that all Reflectors on these pages will.

Who are you and where were you born?

My name is Jenny Lawday, I was born in Ryde, New South Wales, Australia, and now live in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains with six of my seven children and my husband.

What’s your most treasured childhood memory?

My most treasured childhood memory is trout fishing trips with my parents at Lake Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains. My father taught me to gut and fillet the fish we caught, which we would cook fresh that night for dinner. We would also go on long walks in the bush and have campfires to boil the billy over for tea. An appreciation of the Australian landscape and the love of outdoor adventures has stayed with me into adulthood. My favourite place today is walking through one of the many beautiful bushwalks in the Blue Mountains…  

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What does home mean for you?

Home for me means family, love and security. It means somewhere where people know and love you for who you are.

What makes you smile?

Seeing my children laughing together makes me smile.

What was the hardest lesson you ever had to learn?

The hardest lesson I ever had to learn was that I was not invincible. Ten years ago after a period of illness I was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety. This period in my life was a steep learning curve in letting go of the reins and accepting help, accepting that I could not do it all, and learning that I could take time to look after my own wellbeing as well as my family. During recovery I learnt a lot about myself and the way the mind map works.  

Who or what is the love of your life?

The love of my life is my husband. He is my soul mate and my best friend.  

What does your past, your history and family heritage mean to you?

My parents emigrated from England to Australia with my three older siblings before I was born. I didn’t grow up with my grandparents around me, but heard stories about them from my parents and elder brothers and sister who were close to them.  Knowing where my parents grew up, about their childhood experiences and family relationships gives me a sense of who I am and why I have the values that I do. To be able to pass on knowledge of our family’s history, the place in the world where they were born and brought up, to our children gives them the opportunity to hopefully want to learn more about their family heritage, to pass onto their children, too.  

Thank you so much for sharing that blast of sunshine with us, Jenny, and cheers to the sound of children laughing. Is there a better sound?

You can check out Jenny’s gorgeous shop Poppy & Belle here.

Oh, and here’s that sweet bracelet Dean bought for me – I think I’ll wear it this afternoon…

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