From Two Mums in a Cafe: Thank You Scotland

Thank you ScotlandI met one of my Mummy friends yesterday for our first child-free coffee-in-a-cafe* for 6 years.

We chatted about schools and Scotland and ourselves (imagine that!) and, obviously, the kids.

One of her little boys is going through a tricky phase. He is constantly pushing the boundaries, trying to break away by, literally, running away from the family. Continue reading

Let Them Eat Free School Meals: Why Parents’ Frustrations Are Not All About The Cake

let them eat cake When Marie Antoinette pronounced, “Let them eat cake”, she must have been utterly perplexed at the bad feeling it caused.

People were poor, some were struggling to feed themselves. So she offered to help. She offered them cake for God’s sake – what’s to moan about?

I wonder if Nick Clegg would also feel perplexed, were he to log on to the comments made by Mumsnetters in response to a recent Mumsnet guest post about free school meals. Continue reading

How to Manage Conflict: Tips for Gardeners, Parents and World Leaders Alike

Reluctant gardeners for world peace

Our garden is nestled behind our cottage that sits on an unfashionable suburban road. I bought the house over a decade ago now, when conflicts abroad had come too close to home and weighed heavily on our hearts and minds.

Tube journeys no longer felt exciting, but fraught with danger. The babble of many different languages from lips I could not see was no longer cosmopolitan but unsettling. I hated myself for feeling like that.

To regain my previous more positive outlook on life, I retreated from the capital to somewhere that felt more like home. Somewhere where we could afford to raise a family and to have a garden for them to play in safely. Continue reading

From a long hot summer to very cold feet

Over the long summer break, routine went out of the window to be replaced with camping trips, PJ days and too many ice creams.

Before he broke up from school, the eldest was asked by his teacher to keep a scrap-book. It was presented as a way to create a keep sake of our holidays together. It was a cover to encourage him to continue to write every now and then.

Writing is such a new skill for him. He needs to keep up the practice or, to return to it cold, will be a big shock to his system.

He did it, begrudgingly. He loves scrap books, drawing, and is also enthralled by the glimpse of the new world that reading and writing are opening up for him. However, the scrap-book reminded him of school. He needed some time off. We all did.

In my wisdom, I thought a break from blogging would do me good too. Indeed a break from the mechanics of blogging, and the infinite perusal of the blogs of others, has been welcome.

I did, however, have this nagging awareness that I ought to keep writing here and there. I have made a few half-hearted attempts, but nothing much has been committed to either paper or screen.

My eldest did, under my gentle nudging, keep up the writing habit. I did not.

And here we are, one day left until a new term starts. The eldest seems prepared for his return. I, on the other had, am back to square one.

So here is me, dipping a very cold toe back into blogging waters.


If I get moving, things should warm up again soon. Right?


The Smoke Never Bothered Me Anyway: Why Frozen needs a health warning

Let It Go

I hated Frozen when I first watched it. Now, I secretly hope the “Let it Go” song is in the charts forever, so I can let its wave of intoxication rush over me.

“The kids love it.”, I say in my defence, as my husband rolls his eyes while his ears bleed.

Got me thinking, perhaps I’m addicted. Smokers amongst you, notice any parallels here?

  1. All the cool crowd think it is amazing. You sit on the sidelines hearing them talk about it. Can it really be as great as they say it is?
  2. First time you try it, you feel nauseous. And the second, and the third. What the hell is the fuss about? This is truly awful.
  3. The cool crowd continues to rave on about it. Surely it must be you who is wrong, not them. After all, they are cool. You persevere.
  4. Suddenly, you can’t imagine life without it.
  5. You breathe it in every time you are around it.
  6. You go out of your way to find little opportunities to experience its hypnotic magic.
  7. It’s utterly inappropriate and unsuitable for someone of your age to be sucked in to this nonsense. It makes it all the more appealing.
  8. You go to watch an assembly. They don’t sing a Frozen song. You feel exactly like you did when you were no longer able to smoke in pubs: unsettled, unnerved, outraged.
  9. The cost of it, and its associated paraphernalia, becomes prohibitive. But hand stitched Elsa dresses, like nicotine patches, just can’t satisfy the craving.
  10. The thought of that time when it is no longer part of your life brings a tear to your eye.

Yet of course it must end, this obsession is unhealthy.

Want to quit? I send you good luck – you’re going to need it. In the meantime, here’s your fix.

Another boring post that I would not bother reading

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I have changed my url to I am now changing my Bloglovin profile to reflect this.

For this update (and a few other updates I am making over at Bloglovin’) to work, I need to paste the blurb at the top of this post onto a new post.

See, told you it was a boring post.

For slightly more interesting posts try this one about a chat I once had with Mary Poppins, or this short story on how to silence those nagging voices.

See you soon.

Cog x