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One to one time


The hardest thing about having four children is not the practical stuff, although this can send your mind into contorsions. The day to day can be complex, but the real difficulty comes in trying to give everyone an equal amount of attention. Daughter three is a big fan of one-to-one time. She is also highly […]

Struggles with the school uniform

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It’s that bit of the summer holidays where children are vaguely aware that it is all going to come to an end some time soon, but refuse point blank to get back to any sort of normal routine. It’s also the time when you suddenly remember the fact that all their school shirts are stained […]

The full set


‘Gran, gran, we’re going south,’ said grandson as we were driving along. He’d got a huge new plastic compass strapped to his wrist, (‘free’ on the front of a Disney magazine, he said). ‘And it’s got an E for Epping,’ he added. Well, great, I was thinking, we were heading for Epping Tesco’s and it’s […]

Inside out


Going to the cinema sounds like a relaxing plan for a rainy Monday late afternoon when you are trying to balance work and having fun with the kids and turning your schedule inside out. That means lunch breaks can come at any time between, say, three and six in the afternoon and the working day […]

Three minutes late [or more]…


“What time do we have to be at your dad’s house?” asked my partner on Saturday, who, in an ideal world, would like to be ultra-punctual. Unfortunately, we have four children and are constantly running three minutes [or slightly more] late for family events. It is now well known in my family that a text […]

Healthy eating


We’re in the middle section of the holidays and things are dissolving into total chaos. No-one wants to go to bed ever. People are reorganising the house. There are art works going up everywhere. People are painting stuff all over the place. Only son has cut his sister’s One Direction pyjama t-shirt to his size […]

The great return to work


“I feel depressed,” said my partner on Saturday and Sunday and Monday morning. It was time to go back to work and the adults in the family were still mentally somewhere on the road from Le Mans to Rouen. Everyone else, of course, is in full holiday mode, which means staying up very late and […]

The journey back part II


We’re back, although when I close my eyes I still feel as if I am on the road somewhere between Toulouse and Bordeaux. Day two of the journey home was slightly less intense than day one, aided by the fact that we had to start very early so half the team were asleep for the […]

The journey home part 1


We’re on the long journey home. It began around 11am yesterday in the sweltering heat of Barcelona, a heat so humid that even in the air conditioning of the local bakery you felt like you were melting. Long journeys with children can be broken down into phases. Phase one is the interested, alert, chatty phase. […]

Pets R Us


Friend cat is in the house – he’s not a permanent pet, but just visiting while his owners, my daughter and family, are away on holiday. Ah me, the dog days of summer – through the long, cold winter and cool, rainy spring you long for them. Well, as they say, be careful what you […]

A night out

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I’ve been asking everyone what they think the highlight of the holidays has been. Daughter two says “the journey home” [we haven’t left yet]. Daughter three liked the beach. Daughter one said “sleeping” and only son said “internet tv”. Daughter two is a bit of a homebody and only likes holidays that last a maximum […]

Cupcake tutorials


We are staying in a relative’s house and, besides the fact that they have two teeny tiny turtles that we are so far keeping alive, they also have something called internet tv. That means, oh joy, that you can get Youtube on the telly. So in between going out and meeting friends and relatives, going […]

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