The women who made me

  If I am a good mother, it's because of my Nanna. It's because I learned from her that little things mean a lot to little people. It's because I know it's possible to bear physical limitations and pain with unbelievable grace. It's because I believe most problems can be solved with a weekly helping … Continue reading The women who made me

Notes from the trenches: 6

Every full-time parent of small children needs a place to vent. Vaguely, you remember a time when you worried about deadlines and MOTs and when to fit in the Tesco shop. You didn't very often worry about faeces. Or facial injuries. Or how to get through the witching hour without throwing your children down a … Continue reading Notes from the trenches: 6


This guy. It's our seventh anniversary today, and he's about to get back from a week away. When he's gone I feel the lack of him everywhere, from our bed to our dinner table to the text messages I keep having to send because he's not there to tell things to. We will pick him … Continue reading Seven

Bear witness

I've left him for less than a minute, but I come in to find Teddy out of his high chair and squatting on the table. His cereal bowl is upside down and the leftover milk is puddling around his bare feet. He's wearing a codpiece nappy, groaning with wee, that has popped the buttons on … Continue reading Bear witness

We’re baaaaack!

Hello lovers! Ooh, someone oil me. I'm rusty. But here we are in the new, improved (hopefully) Make a Long Story Short! The gorgeous header is from my talented bro-in-law, Angus Dick, the fiddling with code comes courtesy of Mr Jeffcoat, and the ums and ahs and helpful suggestions were ALL ME, BABY. There are … Continue reading We’re baaaaack!

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

Hello dear ones. Just popping in to wish you a jolly lovely Christmas, with as much sleep and food and love as you might wish. Our presents are wrapped and our festive lunch ready in the fridge (we were due to have lunch with family, but 2014 has been redubbed The Year of the Unexpected … Continue reading Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

A little au revoir

You know, blogging is a funny old thing. I started in 2009 because I wrote diary entries from India and couldn't stop once I got home. I feel about writing the way Harry Potter (aw!) feels about getting on a broomstick for the first time: a rush of fierce joy. Words are such intricate, beautiful … Continue reading A little au revoir

Curses for your worst enemy

May you be the sort of person who forgets to shop online until your cupboards are bare. May you find yourself here, frequently, despairingly, with sad sense of the justness of fate. May you be forced to wrestle your youngest and sweet-talk your eldest into the trolley every time, and those times many. May they … Continue reading Curses for your worst enemy

Cake for breakfast

And so we discover that time, that fickle mistress, halts for no man, and no matter how sunny your good looks are, EVEN YOU WILL BE TWENTY-NINE IN THE END. Or, in other words, Tim had his birthday this week, which means I'm not the only one in this house officially on the short slide … Continue reading Cake for breakfast

The invisible soldier

I edited a book this summer and loved it. It was about the history of the LDS church in the St Albans area, but really it was about family history. I spent afternoon after afternoon looking at cracked and grainy photos of family groups, fascinated: Victorians in ruffled collars, navy men, women in fur coats … Continue reading The invisible soldier