The mashed potato cure

Today the exhaustion came. Like a physical wave. Like a giant finger, poking me in the face. A massive, watery finger that wanted my face to suffer. That’s right. It was raining hard, too, and Henry was on usual hyperkinetic form, so I shuffled around in the morning strewing his path with toys and trying … Continue reading The mashed potato cure


Henry has learned how to dance. No, he has embraced it. There's a quick stamping move, a head sway, a double arm-flail and a twirl-on-the-spot-with-wild-rebel-yell. He starts up whenever he hears music, and mixes up the choreography when it feels right. The worst part is that we do it too, to set him off. Our … Continue reading Puddledance

In praise of the paper-and-ink

There's a place you can go where everything smells of unicorns and chocolate sprinkles. Stuff Disneyland. Just take me to Waterstone's. (I am putting the apostrophe back in, because COME ON, WATERSTONE'S.) The Waterstone's at home was a house of wonders. The books sat in the old Wool Exchange building in Bradford, and I breathed … Continue reading In praise of the paper-and-ink

Enter pirate king Jeffcoat, stage left

You guys, I have a little something to tell you about. It’s been an odd week. Of course, I’ll actually be telling you this in January, when a little something will be a bigger something with a spinal column and phalanges, so for now it’s between me and this Word document. I AM HARBOURING A … Continue reading Enter pirate king Jeffcoat, stage left

Cakery Bakery: the celebratory Swedish tea-ring

Hey, you: want to make a giant cinnamon pastry? It doesn't have to be your birthday. Actually, the Swedish tea-ring isn't exactly a pastry - it's too bready for that. Otherwise, though, it really is an oversized circular cinnamon roll that will bring you joy, especially when you bury your face in it (recommended). Shall … Continue reading Cakery Bakery: the celebratory Swedish tea-ring

And then there was cake

Someone else in our house finally turned twenty-seven yesterday. He's a good one. I truly, truly love other people's birthdays. I'm not much of a party planner - introduce other people into the mix and suddenly things become very stressful, says the introvert (oh do come into my cave, how lovely to see you) . … Continue reading And then there was cake


Today is Remembrance Sunday. I am moved by it, always. I make a point of sitting down and reading war poetry, and trying not to cry too much. I keep coming back to that passage in Cymbeline - a middling and muddled late Shakespeare play which I love primarily for inventing the name Imogen, and … Continue reading Remembrance

The reset button

'There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle'. Albert Einstein There are thoughts that I hope all parents have, and don't admit to. The ones you swallow immediately and never, never let out of your mouth. I am all … Continue reading The reset button

Knight in noodly armour

There was an evening last week in which I really, really needed a Pot Noodle. I was on my third day without sleep, so congested my head felt like a balloon full of angry chalk, and unable to eat without feeling like I was suffocating. So I wasn't eating. And then BAM - at 9.30pm, … Continue reading Knight in noodly armour

Reasons to be cheerful: loaded baked potato soup

My friends, I have needed some soul succour this week. What a cold. What a cold. It kept whipping out new and horrific symptoms like angry rabbits out of hats, just as the old ones died down. And all the rabbits wanted to claw at my face. I've had two days of normalcy - which means I … Continue reading Reasons to be cheerful: loaded baked potato soup