What does it mean to be “like a girl”?

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A week or so back, Flea and I were returning from a bike ride, when suddenly, the gears on Flea’s bike started slipping. She’d managed to turn the gears while her bike wasn’t moving, and they were protesting. I probably rolled my eyes, but it was no big deal, or so I thought. But Flea’s reaction […]

Five Questions to ask when Choosing a Primary School

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So it occurred to me this morning that after this one, Flea only has one more year of primary school left. Before I start the panicked visits to secondary schools, I thought it might be a good moment to look back on Flea’s primary years. I agonised over which school Flea should attend. I went […]

20 Movies from the 80s Your Kids will Love

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You have a few important jobs as a parent. There’s feeding, clothing and protecting your child from physical harm, of course. And (very) close behind these things is ensuring you don’t allow your children to think that Beverly Hills Chihuahua represents what good cinema is all about. Over the past couple of months, Flea and […]

Counting the Cost of Christmas

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Social media is always entertaining at this time of year. It’s wall to wall elaborate bakes and crafts and spooky-faced elves and “toddler style” – all set against a perfectly-lit, stylishly decorated home. Of course. Because everyone knows Christmas can’t be magical unless your presents are purchased from boutiques, wrapped in artisan, hand-printed paper and […]

Why not shop local for Cyber Monday?

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So apparently today is Cyber Monday – the day when we’re all going to be very enthusiastically shopping online. According to the BBC website, we’ll be spending cash at a rate of £450,000 a minute today – 26% more than last year. For me, though, I’ll be taking a slightly different tack to my shopping this […]

It’s so funny how we don’t talk any more…

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Monday to Friday, my day follows a familiar routine. The alarm goes off optimistically at 7.45am. I hit snooze repeatedly until it’s 8.20am, at which point I call to Flea and tell her she has to get up. At 8.40am, I roll out of bed, pull on some clothes, and take Flea to school. On […]

What’s your Beauty Legacy?

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When Flea was four, she told me that, yes, of course she was gorgeous. And I worried, like a million Mums before me, how long that would last. When would the doubts, the nagging inner critical voice, creep in? Because at the age of 40, I’ve yet to meet a single woman who considers themselves to […]

And this is why I won’t be eating at your restaurant…

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A couple of weeks ago, I found myself at a motorway service station near Oxford. Culinary options were limited, so I found myself waiting in line at Subway, behind a group of teenagers – seemingly nice kids of about 15 or 16. Because I’m chronically nosy, I was ear-wigging their conversation “I wonder if it’s halal?”  […]

Dear Sky, it’s not me, it’s you.

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Dear Sky, We’ve been in a relationship now for 10 years. I give you money, you give me TV. But lately, I’ve just not felt as satisfied as I once did. Maybe we got too comfortable with one another? I used to feel like we spent such a lot of time together. But now there are […]

The Changing Room Conundrum

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Flea loves to swim. Loves it. So every week, she has swimming lessons at our local YMCA pool, and has done for quite some years. It’s fun, but chaotic. The YMCA in our town is one of the best places to get lessons – so it’s always busy. There are two teachers, each teaching half a […]