Christmas Impossible

I hate airports. Stuff Hugh Grant with his 'my favourite place in the world is an airport' thing. The Arrivals part is brilliant - marred only slightly if you are the owner of the child dragging his brother along the floor by the foot - but sooner or later you're making that inevitable return visit to … Continue reading Christmas Impossible

What it’s like

Maybe there's something about having a houseful of people in their twenties, long before they start thinking about kids, that makes you concentrate on all the things you can't do now you have children. (Like staying in bed beyond 7am. Like popping out to the cinema spontaneously. Like, I don't know, eating a meal and … Continue reading What it’s like

The Christmas life

Bring in a tree, a young Norwegian spruce, Bring hyacinths that rooted in the cold, Bring winter jasmine as its buds unfold: Bring the Christmas life into this house. Bring red and green and gold, bring things that shine, Bring candlesticks and music, food and wine. Bring in your memories of Christmas past, Bring in … Continue reading The Christmas life

Ten years of Granny

We had a memorial service for Tim's Granny yesterday. Granny Ann. She passed away a couple of weeks ago. I haven't written about it because in a way it feels like borrowed grief. She wasn't my granny - I only knew her for ten years, not a whole lifetime. So it feels sort of presumptuous. … Continue reading Ten years of Granny

Things I wish I could say to my hairdresser

I sound stupid, don't I? I do, I sound stupid. I'm sorry. I'm just tired. Do I sound tired? Have I forgotten how to conduct a human conversation? What's an angled bob, and why are you so keen for me to have one? Or do I have one already? I'm not keeping up. When I … Continue reading Things I wish I could say to my hairdresser

When motherhood means impersonating furniture

Our heating chugs into life at 5.30am. The whole house groans and shifts, boiling water trickling into radiators and pushing out hisses of warm air. Getting ready for us all to wake up with our alarms an hour later, even though in this darkest winter month the sun won't rise until nearly eight o' clock. … Continue reading When motherhood means impersonating furniture

Bacon, waffles, malteasers, birthday

You can't really tell, because he's the eternally youthful type who probably has an ageing portrait of himself in our loft (behind the saggy maternity clothes and 20000 small empty cardboard boxes), but Tim finally turned thirty this month. We were born in the same year, but I was first, so there's a long eight … Continue reading Bacon, waffles, malteasers, birthday

Five messages to give your tiny introvert

When was the last time you read an article extolling the writer's love for fuzzy socks and a good book over a loud party? About two-and-a-half minutes ago, right? They're everywhere. Susan Cain's Quiet seems to have kicked off the season of the introvert. It feels like it's suddenly quite hip to sit for a while … Continue reading Five messages to give your tiny introvert

Leaf-fall, and other things

We are on the last leg of a long walk (for you), and I am carrying the bike you have just started to ride and the hat you refuse to wear. It's just starting to turn cold, just the tiniest of chills in the air. Your hands are always red hot, your feet as well, … Continue reading Leaf-fall, and other things

When peace was declared in the trenches

This year I keep thinking about the Armistice. The war ended. Life resumed. There must have been many, many things that were never the same afterwards. Shattered lives can be pinched back together with effort and time, but some damage runs deep. Most families, after all, had someone who never came home. I don't know … Continue reading When peace was declared in the trenches