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Q & A

blogging, working at home

I am the midst of multiple birthday preparations. Daughter three is 11 soon and only son is six two weeks later. In the summer my partner hits 50. Daughter three wants a Bake-Off sleepover, but her preferred date coincides with a mud race daughter two has volunteered her for. Daughter two loves things like mud […]

Exam season

tired all the time

We’re fast entering exam season. Unfortunately, it clashes with birthday season so I am trying to plan various birthday events which do not impinge too much on GCSE revision. I asked daughter one for her timetable. Even looking at it makes her stressed so I just had a brief glimpse. Daughter three is 11 the […]

‘Girl power’ with the Little Mixers


For the last few weeks we have been undergoing intensive training for a Little Mix concert for daughter three’s birthday. That means we have been interspersing the usual One Direction selection in the car with Little Mix on our school pick-up run. “Electriciteeeee”, sings only son from the back of the car as we make […]

SATs and shifting goalposts

School and education

“Will you not love me if I fail my SATs?” asked daughter three the other night. Daughter three is struggling with maths. She has been doing SATs tests for weeks and is feeling a bit down about the whole thing. Apparently the government has moved the goalposts and you now have to get something like […]

Mermaids and other aquatic creatures

Granny on the frontline

What’s with it with mermaids these days? They seem to have gone viral – that’s global in old money. I was with my son’s family in Bariloche, Argentina, when I got an email from granddaughter 3 in Essex, aged almost eleven: ‘Dear gran, … when you come home it will be near my birthday and […]

The return of the tooth fairy

Tooth Fairy

“It’s Monday tomorrow,” said my partner as soon as he woke up on Sunday. The problem with the weekend is that it’s over almost as soon as it’s begun because by Saturday night you are already anticipating Monday morning and most of the time I’ve been checking email on Saturday mornings so the respite between […]

Pet colleagues

Cat, pets

My main colleague – the cat – has not been well. He’s got an abscess on his leg and various other injuries. He’s been to the vet’s and is on medication which, naturally, he hates. He has been banned from going out until he has a check-up. It would be fair to say that the […]

Parents evening etiquette


“You’re not going to mention the Argos catalogue, are you?” inquired daughter two during a brief conversation about parents evening etiquette. Last time I spoke to her English teacher I did let slip that her main reading matter was indeed the Argos catalogue. There then followed a list of things I am apparently not allowed […]

Teen timekeeping


We are on a tight schedule this week. I am not sure teenagers appreciate these words, however. My partner has recently switched job location, which means the teenagers have to be ready to roll quarter of an hour earlier than usual in the morning. “Why not just speed up?” I suggested to daughter one, who […]

Disco fever


Just Dance 2014 has arrived. Every day I come downstairs to a veritable disco – arms flying, hair bouncing and general excitement, sometimes from all four children, but mainly from one in particular. Only son screamed with joy when the postman delivered the disc. “This is literally the BEST day ever,” he shouted. He has […]

When is a child old enough to see a 12A film?


“Can we go to the cinema to see the Huntsman’?” inquired daughter three, who is a bit of an ardent fan of Chris Hemsworth. Her older sister is very keen on Chris Evans and her brother loves Iron Man which makes The Avengers Assemble almost the ideal film in our family. “Can I come too?” […]

Blackberrying in April

Granny on the frontline

‘Your granddaughter and grandson will love to make a mosaic with you on a wall in our new house,’ said my Argentinian daughter-in law via Skype, ‘so bring some broken pieces of china with you ‘ The thing is, my son and his wife in Argentina are building a mud house and no, they’re not […]

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