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all the bags and shoes ready for back to school

School’s Out 2021

Wow, that’s it. The last day of school for the 2020-2021 school year. And what a year it’s been! From the countdown last September, through an almost-immediate COVID scare, Christmas and another round of home learning, more school holidays in lockdown over February half term, and then back to in-school learning (thank goodness). The boys … Continue reading School’s Out 2021

Imperfect lupin with raindrops

Different is Beautiful

Some time ago I wrote a post about beautiful imperfections. Recently, my thoughts are travelling along a similar path. There are some fairly well-defined traditional ideas about what is beautiful: blondeness, being thin with big boobs, sunny days, lush green grass, orange sunsets, spotless cars, rhyming words, clear skin, a straight nose, big blossoming flowers, … Continue reading Different is Beautiful

Silverstone campsite at sunset

Turning Away

Some time ago I was feeling upset about the idea of being judged by other mums – you know the way we do sometimes. I told my lovely friend S (I’ve mentioned her before) and she said something that’s always stuck with me: “If they don’t like what they see, they should turn away.” Her … Continue reading Turning Away

Kindle and mug of tea sitting in the sun

June 2021 Reading

I’ve decided to do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only! Large boy His reviews are getting briefer and briefer. Sorry about that. Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape by Dermot … Continue reading June 2021 Reading

Elephants are for the wild and conservation projects, not for birthdays

Somehow 6

It’s time to look back again and wonder, baffled, how small boy has arrived at another birthday. It was the same last year. The time seems to just fly past so quickly. What’s more, he’s grown and grown up so much in the last year. He’s very nearly 120cm tall, sprouting about 7cm in the … Continue reading Somehow 6

Achievement Unlocked

This is (yet another) post about running. This time though, running is just the example that applies to me and my life at the moment. A goal So here we go….. people often have bucket lists before big birthdays, or they set personal goals that they want to achieve, sometimes with a deadline and sometimes … Continue reading Achievement Unlocked

beautiful sunlit trees at Delamere Forest

Not a birthday

Well, I faced it again. 17th June wasn’t baby boy3’s birthday and I made it through. No toddler joyfully screaming, running amok, smearing cake everywhere, overtired and spoiled by their family and friends. No midnight wake ups or relief at sleeping through. No teething drool, no funny ways of saying new words. No adjustments to … Continue reading Not a birthday

Sunset over the sea

A week in Whitby

In the world before 2020, who would ever have thought that we could be so excited about a week in a small, quiet seaside town? Well, in the event we’ve been counting the weeks and days ever since we booked it. A little cottage, plans for eating fish and chips, hunting fossils and generally mooching … Continue reading A week in Whitby

Smelly Socks & Garden Peas in the sand

A Little Break

We’re off to Whitby today for the second week of half term. As in, actually going on a holiday! Away! So, to make sure we all really enjoy this first opportunity for adventures and fun in almost 2 years, I’m going to just put the blog down for a week. I’ll be back next weekend … Continue reading A Little Break

Kindle and mug of tea sitting in the sun

May 2021 Reading

I’ve decided to do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only! Large boy His reviews are getting briefer and briefer. Sorry about that. House of Hades and Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan Yeah, … Continue reading May 2021 Reading

Trailing cucumber on my office windowsill

Veggies 2021: Reset

I love growing veggies. In previous years, I’ve tortured himself, colleagues and neighbours with a surfeit of courgettes, almost ruined the foundations of an oil tank with rhubarb and produced cucumbers into October. In recent years, since we moved up North to a house with a North-facing garden, I’ve had less luck. I’ve tried growing … Continue reading Veggies 2021: Reset

The dazzling blogger award

Dazzling Blogger Award

Helen at Crispy Confessions very generously nominated me in the first ever Dazzling Blogger Award. I love her blog, she’s honest, open, funny and varied – my favourite combination! The Official Rules Thank the person who nominated you for The Dazzling Blogger Award. Link back to the original blog post. Answer the seven questions that they … Continue reading Dazzling Blogger Award

Scouts camp at home badge

Back to Scouting

I was lucky enough to be involved with guiding from when I was 7 until I was 17. I joined Brownies and them moved onto Guides and eventually Young Leaders. I didn’t keep going when I went off to university, but all the non-school related experiences and friends I got to have through guiding have … Continue reading Back to Scouting

Kindle and mug of tea sitting in the sun

April 2021 Reading

I’ve decided to do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only! Large boy Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian, The Lost Hero, Son of Neptune, and The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan Yes, he’s … Continue reading April 2021 Reading

Saying goodbye

Yesterday was my gran’s funeral. I don’t want to say anything particular about losing her, but I wanted to share the reading I did during the service. God’s Garden (by Katie Evans) God looked around his garden, and he found an empty place. He then looked down upon this earth, and saw your tired face. … Continue reading Saying goodbye

running shoes

My running playlist

While out running at the end of February, having a totally awesome run, just feeling fantastic and enjoying every step in the early spring sunshine, I reflected that the music I was listening to (and singing along to the choruses) had a huge effect on my enjoyment of the run. Music while running So, first … Continue reading My running playlist

home working set up, two monitors, laptop, printer, lots of mess, water bottle and jumper

Exciting and scary

I haven’t written a work post for a very long time. I’ve just been bumbling along for quite a while with no major events beyond the usual daily or weekly frustrations of my team. Anyway, a thing happened today. First, let’s back up for some history. I happened to edit a particular “career path” form … Continue reading Exciting and scary

Six feet

A Little Joy

It’s the Easter holidays. On Good Friday we asked the boys what they wanted to do. As well as various requests for Scalextric tracks and Monopoly, large boy said he wanted to see his grandparents. Trying to meet up with himself’s parents for the day is kind of hard as we live 8 hours apart. … Continue reading A Little Joy


Himself at 40

The last couple of birthdays for the boys I’ve written a post about who they are and how they’ve grown and changed. Himself has just faced a big birthday, so I figured I’d give him a similar treatment. He probably won’t like that because I’m likely to get soppy and write nice things about him. … Continue reading Himself at 40

Our Easter Treats

Our Easter Treats

I’ve got to admit that we’re all about the modern day festival of chocolate and treats at Easter. We aren’t religious, occasionally forget pancake day (don’t even call it shrove Tuesday) and we don’t give things up for lent. That said, we also try not to focus too much on the edible treats. Easter in … Continue reading Our Easter Treats

Kindle and mug of tea sitting in the sun

March 2021 Reading

I’ve decided to do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only! Large boy The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer I was very impressed with how large boy coped with this. Its a 7.5 level … Continue reading March 2021 Reading

My Instagram Favourites

My Instagram Favourites

Instagram was something I knew nothing about when I started blogging. I’d been deliberately steering clear of it – all the chat about “insta perfect” lives really put me off. I thought I would end up looking at other people’s pictures and feel like I didn’t live up to some imagined standard. Facebook competitive parenting … Continue reading My Instagram Favourites

People wearing masks, being sensible and staying safe

Keep Adapting

I started writing this post in response to a comment on my post about throwing a lockdown birthday party. I wrote a couple of paragraphs and then decided that it was a bit overkill for reply to a simple “the kids have missed out on so much” sympathetic comment. Here’s the thing, COVID is shit. … Continue reading Keep Adapting

A to Z of me

A to Z of Me

I’m kind of jumping on the bandwagon here. I’ve seen some cool posts from Tom, Michelle and Em lately, giving a lowdown about them using a nifty alphabetic categorization. You can see their posts here: The Doubting Thomas Boomer Eco Crusader Echoes of Em So, I thought that I’d give it a go, not least … Continue reading A to Z of Me

Caption "Lessons in Loss" above clouds low in the sky at sunset

Lessons in Loss 8: Grief is Just Love with No Place to Go

Today’s post comes from wonderful Rachel from Jasperden Health. Do take some time to visit her blog, its a wealth of information on healthy foods and their benefits, personal experiences, and lovely recipes. Grief is Just Love with No Place to Go Thank you, Smell for inviting me to write a post about loss. I … Continue reading Lessons in Loss 8: Grief is Just Love with No Place to Go

Will it be you?

Thirty thousand is the price to pay Lives worth less than money Less than “freedom” Less than convenience But who will they be? Will it be me Will it be you Will it be someone we love Will it be someone unknown whose loss precludes a life bringing change and wonder Are our lives less … Continue reading Will it be you?

RED January Review

I already shared some pictures of my RED January efforts. Its the first time that I’ve participated in an effort like that, I did some last year but not officially and didn’t run every day. I quite wanted to look back and reflect on how I coped, what I learned and plan what I’m going … Continue reading RED January Review

Blue Scooby

Scooby Memories

We recently said goodbye to our second Subaru Impreza. Himself has had a long history of affection for scoobies, so he’s going to help write this post. He’s a self-confessed petrolhead, long since a member of various web forums, lover of Top Gear and The Grand Tour, huge consumer of motor racing autobiographies, and if … Continue reading Scooby Memories

Sunlight piercing through green trees

Small Joys Tag

Even with all the challenges of 2020, Christmas is a time to be joyful. A big thank you to Michelle from Boomer Eco Crusader for tagging me in the Small Joys Tag. This is a fun tag where I get to share 15 things, and 5 bloggers, that make me happy and bring joy to my … Continue reading Small Joys Tag

Silverstone campsite at sunset

Silver Linings

Tens of millions infected. More than a million dead. Businesses crippled. Nearly everyone’s lives upended in ways great and small. All because of COVID-19, which made 2020 a terrible year even for those of us lucky enough to have not been personally touched by the virus. But as we enter 2021 — with all the … Continue reading Silver Linings

Silverstone campsite at sunset

Here comes 2021

A year ago I wrote my first looking forward post to 2020. After the awful, disastrous year we had in 2019 I didn’t ask for much. I’m not making resolutions – I just want 2020 to be less painful than 2019 please. Please. And, well, 2020 was certainly a rollercoaster but it wasn’t as painful … Continue reading Here comes 2021

Vibrant but imperfect sunflower

Finding Weakness

Or “I’m not as strong as you think I am” We all see post and self-help articles, memes and books, every day that tell us we are strong, that we are stronger than we believe, that we can find our inner strength in adversity. Well, here I’m talking about the opposite. Sometimes we do find … Continue reading Finding Weakness

Silverstone campsite at sunset

An ode to my pyjamas

In the days before, when things weren’t strange Pyjamas were bedtime attire, Useful and needed for warmth in the dark Keeping us cosy in the cold of the night. . But hiding indoors away from all people In isolation, quiet and calmness or chaos Grasping for connection and missing old faces, We’ll take any comfort. … Continue reading An ode to my pyjamas

Christmas Tag

Some Christmas Tags

The Christmas Tag The wonderful Undaunted Adventure has created a lovely new Christmas Tag to share some love between us bloggers. I’m totally thrilled to be nominated in the kick off post. Then a little while later the fabulous Chehak at ChehakChirps and the lovely Gemma at This Brit’s Life tagged me too. The Christmas … Continue reading Some Christmas Tags

Happy Thanksgiving feast

Thanksgiving 2020

We live in the UK, so for us Thanksgiving is usually some far off celebration that doesn’t mean very much to us, not unlike Bastille Day or Indian Independence Day. For me, it means a lovely quiet week at work as my company has a large presence in California and the North East of the … Continue reading Thanksgiving 2020

Scotland football team celebrating a win on penalties

Emotional Football

Or “why watching football with your dad is important for boys”. (Where “dad” means father figure, male respected adult, whatever, just someone not in the “soft and fuzzy” stereotype.) Now, I’m sure that anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that I’m fiercely anti-stereotypes and pro-equality and fairness in the face of … Continue reading Emotional Football

misty poppy fields


11 November 2020 They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.At the going down of the sun and in the morningWe will remember them. Today I’m remembering the fallen, the sacrifices, the efforts of those involved in and affected by war. I’m remembering … Continue reading Remembering

Lake, shoreline, rocks, boys, sunshine reflection

Keep Up!

How to go for an autumnal walk with the kids in, well, a whole bunch of easy catch phrases. Right, wellies on! Do your coats up, don’t want to freeze. Don’t run across the car park. How can you need a wee? You went before we left. Keep up with Dad please. Watch where you’re … Continue reading Keep Up!

Caption "Lessons in Loss" above clouds low in the sky at sunset

Lessons in Loss

I think about loss from time to time, as you probably know if you’re a regular reader over here. I’ve discussed recovery from loss of a baby and other people’s reactions. But, we don’t only struggle or grieve over the loss of a person – whether they were fully-formed or not. Sometimes loss is part … Continue reading Lessons in Loss

Kindle and mug of tea sitting in the sun

October 2020 Reading

I’ve decided to do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only! Large boy Artemis Fowl Artemis is this rich kid who captures and studies fairies and robs banks. He gets attacked by the fairy … Continue reading October 2020 Reading

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award 2

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award? The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer-recognition award given by bloggers to other super creative, talented, and entertaining bloggers. It is an excellent way of opening yourself to the community and your readers and brings overall positivity to the blogging community. It’s a great feeling to know that other … Continue reading Sunshine Blogger Award 2

Hallowtober tag

Hallotober Tag

Exciting Halloween fun for all Bloggers Who doesn’t love a bloggers tag. This Hallotober tag is spooky Halloween fun for bloggers to join in with. It is perfect for those who love this time of year or if you’re joining in with Blogtober this year. The Rules Thank the person who tagged you and link … Continue reading Hallotober Tag

Blackboard with a poster saying "the homework dilemma"

The homework dilemma

I know homework for primary school children can be a contentious topic. In 2017 an OFSTED report stated that more than 30% of parents don’t think its helpful. Indeed, its recently caused lots of chat in large boy’s class parent’s Facebook group. I certainly found in year 1 that there was a lot to deal … Continue reading The homework dilemma

Caption "Modern day corsets" with the backdrop of a pink pinched in corset

Modern day corsets

Warning: I’m feeling a bit ranty. If you disagree with this post, please don’t take it as a judgement or personal attack. I use my blog as an outlet for random thoughts and this is one of those posts. I’ve been seeing these adverts all over on Instagram lately. Adverts for body shaping solutions, basically … Continue reading Modern day corsets


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