I heard recently that boys learn boyhood from their fathers once they turn six. Good news for mothers. For the next five-and-a-bit years, he's mine. We stick together these days, Henry Jeffcoat and me. Sometimes I feel like we create our own kingdom, here on the first and second floors, where we understand things perfectly. … Continue reading Cocoon

Reasons to be cheerful: the five films that will make your (rest of) year

I was hanging up some laundry. Henry was 'helping'. When hanging up laundry, it's important that someone in the team takes on the role of chewing washing machine tablets, and Henry is my guy. Oh my good golly, I thought. (I do think like this; blame Enid Blyton.) I have not set foot outside this … Continue reading Reasons to be cheerful: the five films that will make your (rest of) year

Tuesday taught me this

Things I discovered today: Henry can force himself to cough so hard he throws up the lunch he doesn't want to eat. Never say that this boy does not strategize. He can strategize all over my jeans, when he wants to. I had forgotten about bloating. Thanks for reminding me, FEMALE BODY. My mum's loaded … Continue reading Tuesday taught me this

From the vice-president of the Peter Andre club, with love

Hey, you. Want to be friends? This is a silly thing to say. But it is an eternal mystery to me how grown-up women go about making friends. It's not as easy as it was when I was ten. I can't just start a Peter Andre club and ask you to join. I have a … Continue reading From the vice-president of the Peter Andre club, with love

Meals for not much: cajun chicken burritos

People always say that chicken is cheap. Not in my neighbourhood, it isn't. It costs much more than mince and doesn't go half as far. But oh, chickeny chicken, how you tempt me with your roasting smells and your deliciousness. Sometimes, nothing else will do. I owe my mother-in-law for this game-changer: cooked chicken pieces … Continue reading Meals for not much: cajun chicken burritos


You know how, sometimes, baby legs don't thin down from the calves, so they end up with cankles? In this house, we feel like Henry's thighs call the shots. Say hello to this boy's thankles. I wished and wished for a roly-poly baby. He was always such a tiny wisp of a thing. And now … Continue reading Thankles

A call to arms for blog-browsers

I was browsing Instagram the other day (not an unusual occurrence). And there, posted underneath a blogger's photograph of her baby was THE comment. The one that makes me grit my teeth every time I see it. The one that goes 'I think you have a perfect life'. Because this blogger seems to be a … Continue reading A call to arms for blog-browsers

Cakery Bakery: Nigella Lawson’s ice cream cake

If this is short, I apologise. My hearing has been blipping in and out for the past hour, I've got the same WHUM-WHUM-WHUM sound in my head that you hear when you leave a car window open on a motorway, and I'm about two and a half minutes from diving into a cool pillow and … Continue reading Cakery Bakery: Nigella Lawson’s ice cream cake

Daddy cool

Henry was seventeen hours old. Red, downy skin and a tiny scrunched-up face. He looked just like my baby brother, except for the feet. Wedge-shaped with long toes. Daddy's feet. The first time I saw them was the first time I realised we'd actually made him, between us. Our first night had been endless and … Continue reading Daddy cool

Race for life

We raced. It was a sea of pink and fancy dress. More pink than had ever been seen on the Royal Racecourse in Windsor before, I bet, even on Ascot day. As we joined the crowd at the starting line we stood behind a woman with two girls. Her placard said she was racing in … Continue reading Race for life