We build a brand. The minutiae of personality that has our friends say ‘Oh, typical Fred!’ and ‘Classic Sally!’ My brand was built on the story I’d been telling myself since I was a child, based loosely on a story my parents told me, with the necessary exaggerations and fabrications to create the unique human being I liked to think I was. Continue reading
Driving to the gym after a hard day at the office, Radio 4’s evening news bulletin drifted out of the stereo. I usually half-listen to the news and half-listen to the thoughts in my head while I half-concentrate on driving. But then I heard a familiar word and my ears pricked. ‘Microcephaly.’ A word my family know so well, but not a word I’d expect to hear on prime time news.
‘Oh hello microcephaly,’ I thought, turning up the volume. ‘What are you doing on the radio?’
It was the first of many times I’d hear about microcephaly in the coming weeks. Until then, it wasn’t a word known to many, but it is now. Continue reading
In recent years my mum and I have created what can now confidently be described as a family tradition. Annually, we pick a one day course in something crafty, cookery or clever in nature in order to improve ourselves in one way or another.
We have tried book binding, Thai cooking, silver jewellery making, knife skills, fish gutting, carpentry and how to have better conversations (yes, an actual course in talking, which I blogged about here) Continue reading
This week I appear in Grazia Magazine, discussing my feelings about parenthood. Sadly they couldn’t give me six pages to really go to town on the matter, so here is the unabridged, uncut version of what you’ll see if you so kindly bump up Grazia’s sales this week and buy a copy.
And so I begin:
Laying out a world map on the kitchen table, my husband and I plotted our sabbatical. We’ve been together six years now, which seems as good an excuse as any to take a few months off work this year and roam around the Far East. Most of our friends are either pregnant or have babies and while they adjust to the unprecedented changes to their lifestyles, we’re off on an adventure. Continue reading
So it turns out that not being an obstinate little madam on Mother’s Day is way more fun than being one. Damn you, consumerism, you win this one! I don’t want to dance to your tunes, but by gawd, Mum appreciates a bunch of flowers once in a while doesn’t she?
As you may have read my recent rants about Valentine’s Day (Nutshell: leave me alone, conformity!) and television (Nutshell: leave me alone, advertising!) you can surmise that I despise the commercialisation of Mother’s Day too. Weeks of shops dressing their windows in pastel colours and putting up big posters that say ‘we love our mums’ but mean ‘BUY STUFF FROM US’. Continue reading
Happy New Year one and all. Did you have a good Christmas? Do you hate the first few days back at work in January because you have to say ‘hope you had a good Christmas’ to everyone you email / call / see, when really it was ages ago and you just want to get on with it? Me too. Continue reading