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We’re having a heatwave

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We’re in the midst of a mini heatwave and everyone is slightly wilting. Only son says he feels tired as soon as he leaves the house and asks to be carried everywhere. This means extra heat for the parent involved, which often tends to be me as he appears to be in a bit of […]


The road to Rouen

rsz_mandy_1

The holidays have begun slightly earlier than anticipated because daughters two and three decided to wake up at 3.30am to watch Genie in the House. This is becoming a bit of a holiday ritual. We also wanted to get away early due to the predicted problems at Dover, which failed to surface so we arrived […]


We will rock you

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It has to be said that Westfield Stratford Shopping City would not be my venue of choice for a birthday meal, but this year my 71st coincided with a trip to the UK by my stepson who my daughter and I haven’t seen since his 21st birthday – he’s now nearly 51. It was his […]


16 hours in a car with four kids…

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We’re off on holiday. Sixteen hours in a car with four kids and 16 hours with no wi-fi and no possibility of receiving email. Hooray. It could in fact be longer than 16 hours given the problems in Dover and Calais and news that the French farmers are blockading the borders. It feels more like […]


Raising girls

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When I was a little girl, my imagination would look forward to the future, to being a mum, having a family, everything being perfect. The sun would be shining, my family would be full of smiles and giggles and we would all skip through fields holding hands as if from a scene from Little House […]


From discrimination to a more equal playing field

dad

The last week has seen a mixed bag of news. On the one hand, Laura Kuenssberg became the first female politics editor of BBC News in a field of candidates which, if reports are to be believed, was dominated by women. Rachel Treweek was also consecrated as Bishop of Gloucester, becoming the Church of England’s […]


Living the holiday schedule

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The great switchover has happened. Gone are those term-time days of daytime working. In their place, the holiday schedule, which tends to involve early mornings and late nights. Fortunately, daughter one is old enough to babysit. The only problem is she sleeps until 1pm. Fortunately, my mum is nearby. One way or another things get […]


How to keep the kids entertained over the holidays

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Whilst the summer holidays are undoubtedly the best time of the year for children granted six whole weeks of freedom from homework, teachers and early mornings; for parents they can be the most stressful and busiest time of the year. If you’re a working parent it can be difficult finding adequate and cost-effective childcare and […]


Changes to persistent absence threshold and PREVENT strategy

Education

It’s the last day of term and I have been waking the kids up since Tuesday singing “Hold on for one more day” with full dance routine. Daughter one just turned over. Daughter two was ready to join in. Daughter one has been campaigning hard for not bothering with the last day of term at […]


How to avoid burn out

9781118997420.pdf

This past week I hit a wall. Exhausted from travelling, speaking, and book events, I couldn’t put a pen to paper. The thought of opening my computer and trying to write something that others would find interesting or valuable was beyond my capacity. What happened? My petrol gauge was on the borderline of empty and […]


Getting to the holidays

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We have made it to the last week of term and people are slightly wrung out. Daughter one has become monosyllabic through sheer exhaustion. Since half term she has had two weeks of work experience then one continuous stream of exams and she hasn’t finished yet. She is also very aware that the summer holidays […]


Reunions

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At 11am last Wednesday I was, of course, waiting to see what George Osborne would outline in his Budget, but I was also waiting for something else. My stepbrother who I haven’t seen for 30 years. It was a bit of an emotional reunion, although in typical British fashion, neither of us actually showed any […]


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