Toddlers, tents and big open skies

I write this while the boys are in the bath. A bath! No one is overbalancing into a puddle of muddy water, or shrieking about having their nappy removed in a strange cold cubicle, or opening the door to a crowd of curious onlookers while you struggle blindly into your underwear. WOT LARKS. We are … Continue reading Toddlers, tents and big open skies

Sea air

Hello, Friday! Another rainy - torrential - August day, and I am meeting it in shambolic fashion. We've had a wonderful two days away with Tim's mum this week, and we're feeling the holiday come-down pretty hard. I'm sat on our saggy sofa, with rained-on fluffy hair the size of a hefty badger, wearing a pair … Continue reading Sea air

The strawberry fields are a-calling

We're ten days off the beginning of the summer holidays, and I dunno how H feels, but I am raring to go. I get to be in charge of summer these days, and I'm all gleeful about it. I feel like revelling in every day this summer especially, since it's the final hurrah before H … Continue reading The strawberry fields are a-calling

How a bear does birthdays

Ok, ok, just one more about T's birthday, and then we're done. PHOTO AVALANCHE AHOY, CAP'N. So help me, I cannot narrow them down more than this. (There's something about having a birthday midweek and then a birthday tea at the weekend that seems to make it last f o r e v e r. … Continue reading How a bear does birthdays

The manor house that sanity forgot

I think we are probably the National Trust's biggest fans. I have never in my life turned down the chance to ooh and ahh at some fancy tapestries. It doesn't matter who lived there; I get a little vicarious thrill when I climb their staircases and imagine their footfalls on the carpet, however long ago. … Continue reading The manor house that sanity forgot

Not by the hair on my piggy pig pig

Do you remember an Enid Blyton book about a farm family? A set of happy, hardy children had their spoiled rich cousins come and live with them after something unspeakably awkward, like a divorce. One of the coiffed kids was called Melisande, and she had manicured fingernails and perfect hair and whined like a baby … Continue reading Not by the hair on my piggy pig pig

Boyhood, free-range

Happy almost-Easter! We'll be decamping to parents later on today for Easter weekend. Right now, some family time: we keep forgetting to schedule Tim's work holidays with H's school holidays (because, apparently, with a school-age kid you have to do this?) so this long weekend is the only time we'll have with him. Tim and … Continue reading Boyhood, free-range

Jewels, grasses, chestnut shells

I am commemorating Autumn this year in the best way: by teaching the boys that ridiculous primary school song that pretends to be about autumn but is actually about jet planes and gratitude. You're singing it already, aren't you? Autumn days when the grass is jewelled  And the silk inside a chestnut shell Jet planes … Continue reading Jewels, grasses, chestnut shells

A baa-somely good day out

I am sometimes guilty of trying to hurry my children into things they're not ready for. (I don't wish to point any fingers but, Roald Dahl Complete Works, I might just be looking at you.) We've visited so many farms and petting zoos since Henry was born, and all with the same result: animal terror, or … Continue reading A baa-somely good day out

A science-y kind of birthday

Just a quick one about Henry's birthday, before August is properly over and all my posts turn into meditations on apple crumble. I didn't organise a party this year, because we thought we'd be moving house in the middle of it. Then we weren't moving this month after all (and do not even talk to … Continue reading A science-y kind of birthday