What does Father Christmas eat for breakfast? Weeto-ho-hos. (Sorry.)

Forget personality types - this is all I want to know right now: are you a short-and-sweet Christmas person, or a tree-up-in-November person? Mostly I like to keep my Christmas in December. I think it's more magical when it's extra-concentrated. Like condensed milk straight from the tin (YES). That is, until we got an invitation … Continue reading What does Father Christmas eat for breakfast? Weeto-ho-hos. (Sorry.)

Wild things

Welcome to the danger zone, where your kids are old enough to remember what you're doing. I always feel like we get a bit of a free pass for the first couple of years - it's not actually a free pass, of course, but as you cry through their injections and fail to lovingly home-make … Continue reading Wild things

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

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

Henries were here

Summer! Allow me to let you into a secret: when faced with sunshine, my top half converts it all super-efficiently into freckles and third-degree burns, while my bottom half simultaneously takes on a whiteness so blinding all light rays are reflected back into space. This is my superpower, and when I become a time traveller … Continue reading Henries were here

The bottle-thrower in my head

The other day I was hayfevered up to the max, and found myself in a quandary. Oh gosh, Thursday, I texted Tim in the morning. If we go out the pollen will kill me, and if we stay in the boys will. I mean, what is a girl to do? When I just had Henry, … Continue reading The bottle-thrower in my head

Museums I have known and sprinted in, by H. J.

I am a huge believer in kids and museums. Firstly, because I love museums, and if you can't impose your likes and dislikes on your children while they're too young to roll their eyes, well, when can you, eh? Secondly, because most of them are free, so I can buy us cake on the way … Continue reading Museums I have known and sprinted in, by H. J.

In like a lion, out like a lamb

And March came in with a beam. Of course it did. After the long, brown dreariness of January and February, in comes March with a spring in its step. It's my favourite month, and not just because it crams in our anniversary, my birthday and mother's day with more celebratory breakfasts than you can shake … Continue reading In like a lion, out like a lamb

Embarrassing crushes: city edition

'The thing is', said Paul, over bread and olives at Carluccio's, 'in Manchester, everyone's friendly and happy all the time. People talk to you on public transport. Look, there, see them singing happy birthday to that table? If this were Manchester, the whole restaurant would be singing. It's very off-putting'. He's a barrister in London … Continue reading Embarrassing crushes: city edition

Once, there was a boy

One day I was in the Tate Modern (always a good beginning). I've forgotten why, but there didn't have to be a reason: we were still in that carefree part with no children, but also quite a way into the part where I wanted them. We wandered into the gift shop downstairs, and found racks … Continue reading Once, there was a boy