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The mysterious allure of the office


I often wonder what my kids make of my work. Because I do it mainly at home, it doesn’t have the air of mystery that, say, my partner’s has. Sometimes we go to his office in the holidays to have lunch because his office is right next to a massive Tesco, which is very handy […]

Disappearing school uniform


What is it with school uniform in the summer term? It seems to get swallowed up by schools. Only son has lost another tie. He was wearing his sister’s tie on Friday. I was at a breakfast meeting so I left my partner with instructions to ask what happened to the last one [and the […]

The challenges facing working mums


It was recently reported that a European Council paper stated that Britain has too many stay-at-home mothers. Understandably, this caused much uproar and many of Britain’s MPs jumped immediately to the defence of stay-at-home mums. What they could have done instead was focused more on the state of play in the workplace for women who […]

Superheroes and heroines


Sometimes in life there are small disappointments and sometimes large ones. The other day I found out that the Marvel comic character who only son refers to as Hot Guy is actually called Hawkeye. I have not shared this news with only son yet. He has Hot Guy down as some amazing figure with heat-raising […]

Sleepover invitation


I have been invited to a sleepover. It’s on Saturday with daughter three. It arrived in the form of a card with an attached cut-off invitation. The card was addressed to “the best mum in the universe, world, infinity, space”. Inside were some golden tickets. 1. Massage [looks tempting, but could end up with me […]

Distant family


“Muuuum, I need a doctor NOW!!!!!!!!!” Only son was yelling and sobbing. It was around 3am on Sunday morning. I stumbled towards his bed. “I’ve scratched the top off my injury and I need a doctor,” he gulped. He had fallen over the week before and slightly grazed his knee. He has been most preoccupied […]

Keeping fit


My partner has decided to get fit. For weeks now he has been getting home from work, donning his trainers and a fetching array of sports gear, stretching in true professional athlete style and then heading out for a half hour run. Part of me is a bit suspicious that he is just trying to […]

Off the map


Do other grandparents doing childcare for a working mum or dad, find that some skills they need are sadly wanting? E.g., each year I act as navigator when my daughter drives to the Hay Festival where she does a bit of work. Geography has never been my strong point, but by now she knows the […]

An upgrade downgrade


I’ve got a new phone. An upgrade downgrade. It’s cheaper than the last one I had which was an iphone, much coveted by my children, but I’m not entirely sure how to use it. I bet it does lots of things, but I haven’t actually had time to find out. I only need the basics […]

Work experience


Children, huh? They are the perfect antidote to any attempt to get above your station or even to pat yourself on the back. The other day I went to a meeting and I got a thank-you note, saying how much my contribution was valued. I read it out to daughter one. “It’s just a template, […]

More cuts for tax credits?


The Chancellor is reported by the BBC to be looking at reducing tax credits to 2003-4 levels plus inflation in a bid to “encourage” people to do longer hours, even though not all those on tax credits work part time. But what if people don’t want to be “encouraged” or don’t have the capacity to […]

Inspiring the women of the future


I have covered a few Inspiring Women events in the last year – events designed to encourage girls to consider a multitude of career options. I have always attended as a journalist. Never as anyone inspiring. But I have been promoted this week. Yesterday I attended a speed careers event for sixth formers at a […]

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