The School Disco

I’m not sure who was more excited about Piglet’s school disco, him or me. In fact, it might be time to accept that Piglet, aged four, now has a better social life than me; one including friends, getting sugar-high on Parma Violets and dancing to Baby Shark. In other words, the kind of social life…

Watch Out Roads of Britain, I Have A Car

Finally, just fourteen years after my first attempt at driving a car, I am being let loose on the roads of Britain. Yes, I have passed my driving test, and I can only hope that a) driving is not as difficult as it first appears, b) other people are patient and c) I have a…

What to do when your mother rules your life

My mother is on the phone. Actually calling, not texting this time, or asking me for the nightly update on Piglet’s sleeping habits. Has someone died, I wonder, as I nervously answer. It must be something serious to merit an actual real-life phone call. Fortunately not. It’s just Mother, Mother has been on the Internet…

When Parenting Drives You To Distraction

The other day, a woman on the bus stop complained about my child. She said he was too loud, too boisterous, why didn’t I “control” him? She then flounced off in a huff, saying she could take no more of my son and his appalling behaviour. Another parent at the bus stop turned to me,…

Doing My (Very Small) Bit for the Insects

I never thought I would find myself making major lifestyle changes on behalf of the insect population of the world. In days gone by, I was guilty of seeing insects as the enemy; moths flitting in through the kitchen window, cockroaches scuttling across my path in the toilets of a Tokyo bar in summertime, That…

The Stick Collection

I am outside, trying to separate a 25 metre set of Christmas lights (“warm white,” I’ll have you know. I’m keeping it classy) from the house. It all starts simply enough. I know how they’re attached. All seems straightforward. I was there when they were assembled, after all, one torrid night in early December in…

Diary of a Snow Day

Writing this, I feel almost giddy with the realisation that we have had not one, but three snow days in the past two winters. Back in my London days, working in a city that enjoyed a snow day roughly once a decade, and at a school that would stay doggedly open if the four horsemen…

My Morning Routine

I’m sorry, this is not the kind of post you think it’s going to be. I am not going to appear on your computer screen like a paragon of virtue shining radiantly from YouTube, mixing kale and chia seed smoothies in my Nutribullet whilst simultaneously performing a sun salutation (multi-tasking!) alongside my identically attired and…

How I Am Now Really Into Old People Hobbies, Like Gardening

I have killed a plant. A dracaena marginata, no less. They are impossible to kill, I am told, by the Received Wisdom. You can’t go wrong with one of those palmy things with the spindly leaves. They love ill-treatment and general neglect. There is one in the school reception, and someone actually hung baubles off…

My New Year’s Resolution to be a Better Parent And Teach My Child To Read

The school have sent a strongly worded email. Not just to me, I hasten to add. Clearly I’m not the only one whose waning enthusiasm for Biff, Chip and Kipper books is beginning to show. Four times a week, children must read, it says. Four times a week they must have something written in their…