How To Be A Parent: 20 sure fire ways to guarantee happy, well adjusted children

Abby BoidHere is what you should do in order to provide the best for your children, to ensure that they are healthy and happy, and that they grow up to be good and successful adults.

What follows is the information I have gathered from my 38 years experience of being alive and my 13 cumulative years of parenting, presented to you in a concise, easy to follow list. I’ve read books, watched documentaries, listened to Woman’s Hour. I have done my research, so you don’t have to. Continue reading

The Godless Godmother

The GodmotherThe first time it became apparent to me that even ‘nothing’ is ‘something’ was when I saw my first dead body.

My Nana lay there, looking like a Madame Tussaud’s version of herself. What struck me was not her absence, but the very tangible presence of her death: I could feel it.

The weight of her loss was so enormous, it felt like it had its own gravitational pull. Perhaps it didn’t. Perhaps it was the psychological loss I felt. But it seemed more than that.

Today, while attending a christening. I couldn’t help think of Nana’s funeral. The same hymn was sung at both. Each time, I sang with all my heart.

For both occasions, funeral and christening, I had the best seat in the house. As her only Granddaughter, I sat right at the front of the service when saying farewell to Nana. And today, as a Godmother, I took a similar vantage point. Continue reading

Something Changed: 20 years since Brit Pop

It’s about 20 years since the emergence of Brit Pop. For those of you too old, to young or too disinterested to care, Brit Pop was a time somewhere between Grunge and hair straighteners.  It was quirky, upbeat, loud mouthed, yet a lot more polite than Punk. It  somehow encapsulated the tidal wave of feeling that, now a long Tory reign was due to collapse, things in the UK could only get better.  Pulp, Blur, Oasis, Lush, Shed 7, Elastica, even (to my shame) Menswear. I turned it up loud. Continue reading

More sex please, we’re skittish

I’ve gone back to listening to BBC Radio 1. For those of you not from the UK, Radio 1 is a station aimed at people far younger than I. I decided I needed to tweak the family’s music-listening habits after a conversation with our eldest. He came home from school last week and asked, “Mummy, what is One Direction?” One Direction – perhaps a little fake, but so shiny, so exciting, and now, because he perceives them as this big off-limits ‘thing’ my son wants to know more. To satisfy his demands we listen to Radio 1 now and again.

Today, through listening to Radio 1, I discovered that here in the UK it is Safer Internet Day (SIDS).  To bring attention to this, they were discussing how available  porn is in this internet enabled world. Continue reading

Walking: Changing the World One Step at a Time

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When my eldest started school, I couldn’t stop thinking about this quote:

“To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive” Robert Lewis Stevenson

I swiftly came to the conclusion than Mr Stevenson had never had to drag three small boys from bed, to porridge, to washed and dressed by 0820 am every school day, hoping to get them to class on time.

A few  years on, my feelings on the school run could not be more different. Continue reading

How to raise naughty children (and why all good parents should consider doing so).

I believe I have a duty to teach my kids how to be naughty. Not rude, or mean, or nasty. Just a little bit, well,  challenging now and again. The phrase Rod for My Own Back springs to mind. Do I really want to raise  children who challenge my authority all the time? Certainly  not. But do I want them to be equipped to know when to ruffle a few feathers here and there? Why yes I do, that sounds rather marvellous. Continue reading