About this Dear Diary situation…and San Francisco

I don't often use this blog as a diary anymore. I had a big no-one-is-interested-except-you-and-your-mum kind of crisis about it a while ago, and since then I've tried to be as inclusive as possible. Sometimes, holiday photo posts on other blogs, especially when they're impossibly curated and lovely and I'm looking at them sat in … Continue reading About this Dear Diary situation…and San Francisco

Living Arrows in January: how we get lost

(Living Arrows is a portrait project run by Hayley at the Shutterflies blog, capturing the little moments of childhood. The title comes from a Kahlil Gibran poem called 'Children', which I've reproduced at the end of this post. It's supposed to be one a week, which I definitely don't have the staying power for, alas; … Continue reading Living Arrows in January: how we get lost

Writing about your children: how much is too much on the internet?

I've been thinking so hard about something lately - and gone round in so many circles - that it's squashed my head into a new shape. But I finally made my mind up this weekend, and would welcome your thoughtful discussion. So here goes. For about six months I've been seriously analysing the internet footprint … Continue reading Writing about your children: how much is too much on the internet?

Cotton wool: on letting climbing kids climb and falling kids fall

  So much about my mothering life is different than I imagined. I thought today that I am both stricter and more easy-going than I thought I would be, as I put away the boys' clothes at lightning speed. Lightning because Teddy was upstairs, by himself, and his crawling is now turbo-charged. Lightning because we no longer have stair-gates anywhere. … Continue reading Cotton wool: on letting climbing kids climb and falling kids fall

The genie in the sandpit: why I want my kids to read

‘What a gift to give, this chance to discover that you can love a book and the characters in it, you can become their friend and share their adventures in your own imagination. That open democratic space full of thrills, full of excitement and fear, full of astonishment, where your own emotions and ideas are … Continue reading The genie in the sandpit: why I want my kids to read

My children are more than a high school movie

I thought the other day that Henry and Teds had the potential to be superstars in the high school movie genre. If there's a higher pinnacle of ambition for your children, I'd like to hear about it. And why? They'd be dead easy to cast. Henry, loveable nerd. Long, stringy frame in a button-down shirt … Continue reading My children are more than a high school movie

My body is amazing

That's what I've been making Henry repeat over and over around the house lately. You can do that with two-year-olds. Mostly I do it for my own amusement, but this time I mean it. 'Your body is...?' I prompt, helpfully. 'Amaaaaazing!' he chips in. With jazz hands. He runs, he jumps, he stands on one … Continue reading My body is amazing

Boys in boxes

Before I had a baby I thought I was a girl's girl. Here are some things I do not like: climbing trees, wearing trainers, kicking balls, throwing or catching balls, having to hit balls with a bat and missing, pretty much anything to do with balls, let's leave it at that. And so when I … Continue reading Boys in boxes

In praise of the paper-and-ink

There's a place you can go where everything smells of unicorns and chocolate sprinkles. Stuff Disneyland. Just take me to Waterstone's. (I am putting the apostrophe back in, because COME ON, WATERSTONE'S.) The Waterstone's at home was a house of wonders. The books sat in the old Wool Exchange building in Bradford, and I breathed … Continue reading In praise of the paper-and-ink

Praiseworthy

I had a teacher when I was nine years old, and I don't remember her name. I do remember, with the unembarrassed cruelty of a nine-year-old, that she had long, stringy dark hair and a moustache on her top lip. She was new to the school, young-ish and timid. We weren't an easy class. I … Continue reading Praiseworthy