Out of Bloffice

Just to let you know... I'm on youth camp this week, getting sunburned, holding my breath in the portaloos, shepherding teenage girls around and wearing the heck out of some stripy wellingtons. Normal service resumed later in the week. Have a good one!

Olympic fever

The Olympics haven't won me over so far: like the rest of us, I've harumphed and done some disapproving eyebrow work at the expense and the ham-fisted corporate sponsorship, which is as close to proper British crossness as you'll get, most days (see this article for a hilarious assessment of Britain's gold medal in Olympic whinging). … Continue reading Olympic fever

The Penguins Say

that sleeping with the window open is a revelation. Had you noticed? It's hot. Big changes have had to happen chez Jeffcoat. I have divested a full 70% of my pajama wardrobe, for one thing. And the great big skylight in our bedroom has been swung wide open for days. Sunlight pours in, and everything … Continue reading The Penguins Say


The sun came. Oh, it is marvellous. On Sunday, we had some friends over for dinner and then went up to The Holies in Streatley for a walk. It's a National Trust-owned slice of woodland with gorgeous views over the Thames Valley. And it's best in sunshine, so there we were. On the way, we … Continue reading Sky-chasers


Mid-length hair is a pain. I've had a shoulder-length bob for years, and no one with these hamster cheeks should consider going shorter still. So I'm growing it, v e e e e r y slowly, and it's in that middle phase where I can't do much with it except cultivate an uncanny resemblance to … Continue reading Head-banging

‘He played second codpiece. Macbeth wore him in the fight scenes.’

I gloried in many things as a student. Some of them have not stood the test of time. Mouldy jumpers. My super-padded bicycle seat. Putting wet curly hair straight back into a ponytail. That sort of thing. Some university passions, however, are hanging on, though we're closing in on almost a decade - ouch - … Continue reading ‘He played second codpiece. Macbeth wore him in the fight scenes.’

Wall art

Remember the vintage map wrapping paper I found in Waterstones a few months ago? We finally got those suckers framed and hung on the wall. We went with the old London Underground map in the main living room, in the end. And while we didn't set out to get dark wood-coloured frames - far too … Continue reading Wall art

Me, my cold and I

Today is a sick day. And I remembered, at three in the morning when I lay croaking pathetically and choking down a Lemsip - dudes, when I am ill, I mean it - that sick days don't exist with a baby. Writing down this hoary old parenthood cliche almost made my fingers seize up, but … Continue reading Me, my cold and I


Dear British Summer, I think we can agree that this is not your year. We've all accepted it. You can drizzle on our barbecues and drench our walks. You can piddle on our park outings and urinate on our youth camps. We have been soaked and muddied and frizzed to your heart's content, if not … Continue reading OH HECK NO