A Way with Words. And Washlets.


For 25 years, I’ve earned a living as a professional writer. Words are the tools of my trade. And yet – to be honest – I’m terrible with words. Particularly the spoken word. I can write about pretty much anything, but put me face to face with someone and ask me to chat about anything […]

Win a Bread and Jam Dress for Christmas


There’s a famous photo in the Whittle Family Archives. You know how it is at Christmas – it’s the time of year you put your children into their Christmas jumpers, line them up and say, “Cheese!” Back in the late 1970s, though, this was an annual challenge because I – even at two years old […]

Win a Playmobil Advent Calendar

playmobil advent calendar competition

Once again, 2013 has seen us working with the lovely people at Playmobil to review some great toys. This year, Flea’s wish-list for Christmas includes the new e-rangers turbo jet, and perhaps also the spy plane. But one of the things I love most about Playmobil is that while there are constantly new things, they’re […]

Competition for Chocolate Lovers!


To celebrate the launch of the rather yummy new Cadbury’s Pebbles, the nice people at Cadbury’s gave me some chocolate. I’d show it to you, with an attractive photo, but we ate them. Here’s one I managed to snap on my phone, right before my niece snarfed the last few. Sorry about that. So the […]

Things I Have Forgotten


I have a theory about the human brain. I think it basically has a finite capacity, a bit like a laptop hard drive. And when your mental hard drive is full, what’s left either gets punted to an external drive (phone, diary) or is simply discarded. In my case, a lot of stuff gets discarded. […]

Win a Family Ticket to Magic Summer Live

competition win tickets magic summer live festival

So, I have a confession to make. When Flea was younger, I never bought any of those Baby-Einstein-plinky-plonk-make-your-toddler-clever-by-magic CDs. Nor did I buy any sing-along-the-wheels-on-the-bus-until-you-want-to-tear-off-your-own-ears-because-you-can’t-listen-to-it-a-second-longer CDs. When one of my friends asked me why, I said it was because I didn’t want to listen to them. Just like I never wanted to watch kids’ TV. […]

The One Where I Give Away a Pampering Pack (dammit).


How can it be only Tuesday? Already this week I’ve endured the kind of trauma that would reduce most adults to a quivering wreck, cowering in a corner with a towel over their heads. First up, I suffered the world’s most ridiculous cat-related injury. I tried to avoid tripping over a hungry cat at the […]

Win a Playmobil Advent Calendar

playmobil advent calendar competition

  It’s no secret that we’re big Playmobil fans round these parts. I’ve been lucky enough to meet one of the founders of the company on a visit to the Playmobil HQ in Germany, and Flea has been a Playmobil playologist for the last two years, which has involved trying out loads of Playmobil sets. […]

A Competition. And why I’ll never be a beauty blogger.

Eight Hour Cream FF - high res

Last month, a lovely PR person wanted me to try some Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream. Apparently, Elizabeth Arden cream is famous, and a classic because it’s been around since 1939. It moisturizes and protects your skin, and apparently it’s great for chapped lips, rough spots on your knees and elbows, and it softens tough cuticles. […]