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Present dads

Mandy Garner

I’ve been thinking a lot about shared parental leave recently and how you might encourage people to take it. I’ve also been interviewing a few dads recently and wondering why I find the interviews with them often more moving than the ones with mums. I think it comes from not really having my dad around […]

Breakfast meeting


I had to go to a breakfast meeting this week, in London. Normally, this would be fairly straightforward. My mum said she would take the younger two to school and my partner would take the older two as usual. I could then be free to leave at whatever time. Unfortunately, my partner also had a […]

The Hot Wheels MEGA Metropolis

Granny on the frontline

Sorry, people, but Thomas must be the most yawn-inducing tank engine in the world, universe, space and this in spite of a string of celebs acting as narrator, including ex-Beatle rock ‘n roller Ringo Starr. If I have to hear ‘We’re busy busy busy, our wheels don’t touch the ground’ one more time, I’ll explode […]

Glass half empty

Wikimedia pic

I have always been drawn to a slightly doom-laden approach to life. Don’t get me wrong. I can be optimistic, but with an underlying sense of pessimism pervading. I would call this realism in the face of current global events, but I’m wondering if an optimistic approach may make life easier. Plus I fear this […]

Out of steam

Asking for Help

Sometimes you just run out of steam. I made it to Friday, but when I looked at the calendar there was no white space. I had several interviews in the morning, plus a sick teenager, another child heading off on sleepover and in need of cash and a round of interviews in Cambridge all afternoon. […]

The lurgy works its way through the family

Sick Children

The lurgy has proceeded to work its way through the family. Fortunately, my partner and I have had it on different days, allowing some sense of parental control to prevail. Daughter one has had both the norovirus and the cold bug and has been complaining bitterly that she should have at least a week off, […]

Why do socks feature so prominently in my life?


I’m in the worst bit of illness. The bit where the parent is sick, but almost everyone else, particularly the youngest, bounciest member of the team, is not and you still have to get up and do the school run, etc. The combo of the cough from hell and the norovirus has reduced my energy […]

The cavalry retreats as the norovirus rears its head

tired mum in bed

Last week I said I was crawling towards Friday due to an overload of work and life issues. I spoke about the cavalry having arrived because Friday had turned up. How wrong I was… Firstly, I was feeling slightly the worse for wear after several days of a bad cold and the disappearance of my […]

Work life overload

Mandy Garner

It’s been quite a week for work and life and, naturally, I’ve come down with a terrible cold and am now squeaking instead of speaking. It seems that every year at this time, circa two weeks into autumn term, I get a terrible cold and feel like death warmed up right at the busiest time. […]

Leaving school

Granny on the frontline

There’s been a lot of reports about the pressure on young people going through our current education system. But what about when they leave school. Has all the pressure at school been worth it? Grandaughter 1 will be 16 in December and doing her GCSEs next June and she’s hoping to stay on at school. […]

Countering an all-hours work culture

Work Life balance, Signpost, Family

I recently took part in an event on work life balance or whatever is the current term for not working all the time and managing to squeeze in some time for your kids. It was a little bit depressing. Woman after woman recounted doing extremely long hours. One lawyer with two young children was doing […]

Cashless in Lakeside

GBP, Money, Cash, Wages

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. On Saturday I decided a trip to Lakeside might be a good idea. Daughter three is on a school trip this week and is in need of a cagoule-type item. So we piled in the car with only son asking five miles or so from our house if a […]

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