Teika is the founder and managing editor of Mother's Milk Books

The progress of a very special book

The lovely Barb Sheppard recently sent me some photos of the various stages involved in the binding of the one-off hardbound copy of Musings on Mothering. This is her ‘prototype’ and I think it looks amazing. I can’t wait to see the ‘real’ book, and remember, it will be auctioned off for LLLGB through eBay. And if you’d like to keep up-to-date with all the latest news from Mother’s Milk Books, please do consider subscribing to this blog; there’s going to be some interesting updates…


On bulbs and potential...

When we went to the LLLGB Conference last October we received a lovely goody bag, and one of the gifts inside was a bulb. When we returned home my daughter and I planted it. The other day (before we got all this snow) we checked on the flowerpot where we had planted it and we could see a small spike of the palest green peeking out of the soil. It had already shooted!

We are now looking forward to watching it grow and bloom, and wondering what colour the flower will be…

Bulbs are pretty amazing since they can survive, grow and flower with very little from the surrounding environment. To begin with, they only really need water, and once they start shooting they will utilize carbon dioxide and sunlight in the process of photosynthesis to produce more food for themselves (glucose) and of course oxygen, without which they (or we) couldn’t live.*

Bulbs have a great energy store within them, and viewed from a poet-philosopher’s eye, great potential… rather like humans. Within each of us we carry the great potential to create; whether it be the creation of a family, an enriching relationship, a piece of art or writing, a felt toy or a tasty home-cooked meal… even a clean bathroom or a tidy shelf! We need very little to create something beautiful: a little time, a few materials (or some basic skills) along with some encouraging words.

When I had the germ of an idea for Mother’s Milk Books way back in spring 2011 I had no idea of how it would develop, and I’ve been so proud to watch it grow in its own unique way — slowly, but with great determination! I have loved seeing its first flower Musings on Mothering blossom, and I’m looking forward to seeing how other possible projects develop…

Although I am brimming over with ideas of what to work on next, I am conscious of the fact that there are constraints to me being able to fulfill these ideas: namely time and money (alas, this is one of the few necessities for book production!). But I am rich in encouraging words.

So I plan to take things slowly… do what I can in the moments between looking after my little ones and spending precious time with family and loved ones.

I will have faith that like the flower bulb my daughter and I planted last year, growth – and the continuance of life and creativity — is inevitable. A flower will blossom: I don’t know when, or what form or colour the flower will be. But it will happen.

Thank you and best wishes to all those who have supported me so far. A very Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

*Apologies to any plant biologists out there in case my explanation of photosynthesis lacks any crucial details. I am after all, a mere chemist… ;-)


A great review from Saffia Farr, editor of JUNO

I received a really lovely Christmas present in the form of a great review of Musings on Mothering from Saffia Farr, editor of JUNO.

Here is what she wrote in the Winter 2012 issue of JUNO (Issue 30).

Musings on Mothering: About Pregnancy, Birth and breastfeeding: An Anthology of Art, Poetry, and Prose

edited by Teika Bellamy, Mother’s Milk Books

“This is an amazing book. It is possible to become entirely lost in it. I have not yet looked at every page because there is so much to muse on. This is the hope of editor Teika Bellamy. Often, as mothers (and fathers), we are so busy caring and meeting everyday needs that we run out of time to muse…

…On first reading I was overwhelmed by the power of what is within. Motherhood is both wonderful and complex and Musings on Mothering captures this perfectly. All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to LLL Great Britain.”

To read the full review, along with plenty of other great articles, you can get a copy of this issue here: Juno Winter 2012


A very special book-to-be.

Barb Sheppard, an LLL supporter and bookbinder, who really knows, and loves books, is going to make a one-off hardbound copy of ‘Musings’ to auction off for LLLGB in the New Year. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished product. Here are her materials… very exciting!


Remember the chocolate with the breastfeeding image?

It’s been a long time since I was given the bar of chocolate with the beautiful painting by Stanislaw Wyspianski on the packet. His painting depicts a mother breastfeeding her child; a completely normal scene. Yet a beautiful scene.

I was very pleased to receive the chocolate – ah the perks of publishing! – but I promised myself I wouldn’t eat it until Musings on Mothering was published. I hesitated for a long while, but finally found a good time to use (and indulge myself – and others – with) this lovely chocolate.

My daughter’s school was fundraising for Children in Need last Friday – and they asked for parents to bake cakes. Aha, I thought! So I decided to turn the chocolate into a creamy ganache and use it atop the fairy cakes I made. Here is the result: and by pure chance I photographed the cake on our cake/biscuit tin, which funnily enough portrays another beautiful image: Summer Evening on the Skagen Southern Beach with Anna Ancher and Marie Kroyer, 1893, by Peder Kroyer.

Oh, and the cakes were tasty!

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