New worlds, old stars and red lipstick: some advice on being a woman, for my daughter

Little girl, you sleep. I wanted a girl desperately, and you came like a song in the night. That’s a true thing - but in person you are less melodious. Squawky, hungry, passionately attached to us. You take up all your allotted space and more, and I am quietly proud of you for it. There … Continue reading New worlds, old stars and red lipstick: some advice on being a woman, for my daughter

Why I’ll be sending my kids to camp

I've just got back from girls' camp - well, not just: I've been back long enough to sleep for a couple of hours, to unpack all my moss-covered, grease-covered things, and to realise I'll be doing a full-body cringe for the rest of this week while my fiery sunburn dies down. I've only been involved in … Continue reading Why I’ll be sending my kids to camp

How I learned to stop worrying and love the f-word

Today is voting day for the European elections in the UK. We'll be heading down to the polling station as soon as we find the cards they send through that we always manage to lose two days before the election. Politics is not perfect. It's not even, often, very good. But thanks to the great-grandmothers … Continue reading How I learned to stop worrying and love the f-word

The Penguins Say

that August is a month worth camping in. Yesterday I came back from girls' camp. Forty-eight teenage girls, thirty-ish adults, twenty-seven million clumps of knee-high, prickly grass. It's been a long, hard, exhilarating week we've been planning obsessively all year. I've sat in a smelly marquee eating dinner from a tin plate, sung ridiculous songs … Continue reading The Penguins Say