Christmas Impossible

I hate airports. Stuff Hugh Grant with his 'my favourite place in the world is an airport' thing. The Arrivals part is brilliant - marred only slightly if you are the owner of the child dragging his brother along the floor by the foot - but sooner or later you're making that inevitable return visit to … Continue reading Christmas Impossible

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

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

Flying the flag for date night

Real spouse talk: we find date nights hard these days. Didn't everyone say we would, and didn't we think, all naively, that we'd find a way to work around it? I am in awe of couples who manage to get out once a week or even once a month. Whether you pay someone to come … Continue reading Flying the flag for date night

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

What to do in London when you’re two

We do London on our birthdays. On Monday we got to induct Henricus Rex into the tradition. Did I mention the Big Smoke is covered with trains? We didn't start with trains, of course. We started with a vest with a bow tie and braces sewed on to it, like any sensible birthday celebrators. He … Continue reading What to do in London when you’re two

The good, the bad and the bread market

Here is the absolute truth of it. Mothering little people is the most profoundly wearying, profoundly wonderful thing I've ever done. It is feeling like I could burst when my boy yells 'HEY MAMA' from another room, and feeling like I've been vomited on from a large height with the power of scream. Both, always … Continue reading The good, the bad and the bread market

Big city

Mr Jeffcoat works in London a lot these days. He sends me photos as he heads to his office in the morning, looking down the sunny Thames towards St Paul's Cathedral, and I promise I'm only a tiny bit jealous. In my head we have an alternative life in a tiny London flat: I spend … Continue reading Big city

On the First Date of Christmas…

Welcome, friends, to the twelve dates of Christmas. Is this not an exceedingly nifty festive idea? (Thank you to Rockstar Diaries, from whence I thieved it.) And especially needed this year, as well: Henry commandeers so much of our attention - and rightly so, because he is delightful - that I find myself entering December and missing my other … Continue reading On the First Date of Christmas…