October, you beauty

Hello. Here I am, which is unusual enough, because whenever I have a spare hour and have to decide between Lying Still or Anything Else, the Lying Still tends to win. It's frustrating having to slow down, especially now the sickness has gone (whee!). I like to get on. I keep having to remember not … Continue reading October, you beauty

Ooh, October, you’re looking well

I have given myself a towering challenge this evening. Well, two. One is to get rid of today's lone nappies lurking in our house without gagging. I will track each powerful stench to its source like a veritable crap-hound, and throw them into the bin where they belong. The other is to write a blog … Continue reading Ooh, October, you’re looking well

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

Autumn love #6: this is my fireworks dance

I love Bonfire Night. One of my favourite British traditions. The smell of woodsmoke on the air, the hot soup and hotdogs, the frenzied flapping when a spark from a garden firework falls into your jumper, the quaint silliness of everyone gathering to celebrate something not being blown up by...blowing a lot of things up: … Continue reading Autumn love #6: this is my fireworks dance

Autumn love #3: the pie’s the thing

One of the advantages of not frequenting Pinterest - apart from having no burning desire whatever to upcycle my plumbing - is that we're almost done with October and I'm still hugely excited about pumpkin recipes. I scoped out Waitrose a couple of weeks ago for canned pumpkin (there were five tins and I only … Continue reading Autumn love #3: the pie’s the thing

Autumn love #2: it must be leaf

When I was eighteen I used to run a Saturday morning activity once a month, for eight- to eleven-year-olds. What a dream assignment that was: all poster paint and pipe cleaners, and peeling PVA glue off the back of your hand and pretending it's skin. One October I waltzed home from a lecture, stuffing flame-coloured … Continue reading Autumn love #2: it must be leaf

Autumn love: a project for the crunchy-leaf enthusiast

I want to do better with autumn this year. Last year was a catastrophe: pregnancy sickness, rain, dark, and a footloose one-year-old with walls to climb. Do you ever have days where you're absolutely ready to not be yourself? I was ready for three months, last winter. I was sick of the sight of me. … Continue reading Autumn love: a project for the crunchy-leaf enthusiast


The sky this week has been like a damp, grey, fuzzy blanket. The itchy kind my nanna used to keep on her sofa. You'd accidentally exfoliate your legs as you leapt on it to escape from crocodiles. You know the ones? Of course. Everyone's nanna had those blankets. I think of crocodiles when I think … Continue reading Crocodiles

Reasons to be cheerful: the Sunday night breath

I think the whole world sits down on Sunday evening to take a deep breath. Tomorrow is Monday and everything starts again. We've had a low-key weekend after five days of sick bugs, busy evenings and interrupted nights. On Saturday afternoon we walked to the park and let Henry run off his lethargy, while we … Continue reading Reasons to be cheerful: the Sunday night breath

A love letter to my favourite Saturday

I think I am in love with Saturday. Saturday is just the luckiest of all days. And Saturday-me is so much more congenial than Monday-me. Monday-me cleans the house from top to bottom, dodges flying balls of tomato soup - BIFF! WHAM! - cleans up again and eats far too many chocolate biscuits, for which … Continue reading A love letter to my favourite Saturday