Quick answers from the Portland Hospital

Post written in partnership with the Portland Hospital. Is there anything more frightening than your child falling suddenly, and dramatically ill? When all the relaxed parenting attitude you’ve carefully cultivated over the years evaporates and you’re reduced to pacing and biting your nails as you try to figure out what’s wrong with your baby. This happened to us a few weeks ago, as GG went to bed with a couple of raised, itchy bumps on her tummy, and woke 3 hours later almost completely covered in allergic hives. Piriton barely touched it, and I spent the next two nights sponging …

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Chilling out on Fistral Beach

Surfing on Fistral Beach

I love this photo. I know so many things about it that quite simply aren’t visible to everyone else. That my daughter, who loved pink, and once selected outfits on the basis of how twirly they were, now prefers blue. That blue, especially this periwinkle shade, is so totally her  colour. It’s the colour of her eyes when she was a newborn – indigo eyes, black hair, hard to believe now. You can’t see it in this picture, but this colour brings back the flecks of that baby in her eyes and I remember… Or that this messy hair isn’t …

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I’m sorry… #BritMumsLive

I have wanted to write this post for a long time. I have tumbled thoughts around in my head for months, not sure how to articulate them without risking a nasty backlash. I have privately raged about the ‘voices’ that other writers have appropriated on the subject, but not had the confidence to add my own. It’s only now that I know the right words. Feminism. God what a frightening word that is. On Friday I had the pleasure of speaking on the opening panel of BritMumsLive. Alongside journalism icons Eleanor Mills and Bryony Gordon, as well as Stella Creasy, …

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Expressions #12: Let it go for #BritMumsLive

"Britmums brilliance in blogging awards"

My mother has done it again. Embarrassed me. I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s an almost daily occurrence, with her gaffs, and her love of oversharing. I have perfected my warning glare for use on the playground when faced with an imminent faux pas in front of my friends, and actually, much of the time it works. But she has out done herself today. Unbeknownst to me, she and Annie have been putting together a short video detailing their nerves over the forthcoming Brilliance in Blogging awards. Now I love Annie, but she has led my mother too far over the cliff …

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Everything is awesome (in our new electric car)

We’d been waiting to climb inside for days. It had been sitting on our driveway, declared awesome from the moment we saw its shiny – almost golden – silver bodywork. Sooo awesome when we discovered the really nifty door handles that open like no other car we’ve seen. These things matter to children. We ought to have explained them to Daddy, who, after years of having a two-door car, couldn’t work out how to pull the seats forward in order to fit our carseats in the back… Today we took our first ride in our new Renault Zoe. It was …

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Expressions #11: Too much too young?

Happy My children are lucky. Whilst we’re not well-off, we are able to afford occasional extravagances. My children are also blessed with an over-excited Dad, who spent one morning back in October refreshing his screen, determined to secure tickets for One Direction at Wembley stadium. The date rolled around last Sunday, and together with 79,996 girls and their Mums we made our way to Wembley stadium. I was never allowed to go to gigs and concerts when I was young. The Manchester Apollo was a hive of criminal activity and any young girl going within a 5 mile radius was …

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Badly behaved…

Rudeness and bad behaviour just isn't necessary

Recently we visited a restaurant on our holidays. It was about 7pm, and after a long drive, we were looking for some great pub food, as recommended by our hotel. As we walked through the bar area en route to the restaurant, we got a glare from the barman. Odd, but not unusual – sometimes pubs don’t allow children in the bar, and that’s fine. But what happened next left us speechless. “Oh, we can’t have children in the restaurant. Or the bar. We do have this table in the lobby, but unfortunately it’s taken at the moment.” The Rising …

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7 Father’s Day gift ideas to suit all budgets

This year we’re trying to be creative with Father’s Day. Gone are the days when I could get away with a home-made card, and eating his picnmix. So we’ve been on the lookout for something a bit more innovative, that he hasn’t already got. Here we’ve given you some of our favourites, in a range of pocket-money budgets 🙂 7 Father’s Day gift ideas Blow the budget – £1800 My Dad drinks a LOT of coffee. He necks the instant all day at work, but at weekends, when he has the time, he likes a good cup of coffee. He …

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Expressions #10: Lemme take a selfie

Every year since my second child was born, I’ve spent a day with my daughter, just us girls, in London. We do as much as a family as we can, and we love our time together. Beneath the general bickering that goes on between siblings, it’s plain to see how much my son and daughter love each other, but the chores and mini-hurdles of everyday life see me spending much of my time in arbitration, not truly focusing on either one of my children. When the Bug was a newborn, I went to lunch with my girl, more to reassure …

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Great British Holidays: 5 reasons to visit Lynton and Lynmouth

Lynton and Lynmouth is an ideal base for exploring Exmoor

The rumble of the cattle grid beneath the wheels announced our arrival on Exmoor, and immediately the landscape changed. Trees gave way to vast green plains, peppered with gorse and sprays of heather. Here and there a paint splash of pink as rhododendrons grow wild, making an easy home, tipping the hat of irony at my futile attempts to cultivate them in my own garden. A smile rushed onto my face and took up permanent residence for the next two days. 5 Reasons to visit Lynton and Lynmouth Wildlife Immediately there were sheep, suicidal as they wandered the roads, peering …

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Wot so Funee? Bogies and contact lenses

Wot So Funee

Welcome back to another Wot so Funee? We’ve loved reading the antics at Nikki, Emma, and Donna‘s blogs, but now it’s time for us to entertain you. And boy, have we clocked up some gaffs – all at the expense of the Bug. I’m sure he’ll get me back for this, but for now, he has the floor. Mums and Dads bicker. I know you know how it goes. Dads make a mess, Mums sigh a lot and do tidying, until they get tired, and then they start to grumble. I’m rather good at heading all that off and telling …

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