How we talk about children's cancer matters. It’s easy to worry about saying the right thing, the wrong thing, and often people end up saying nothing at all, which is the worst of all. The language used usually involves wars, battles, fighting, bravery. In many ways it’s odd. We never say a child lost their battle against an articulated lorry, but cancer it seems is up for the fight.
There are many kinds of mother you can be. Tiger mother, Alpha, Helicopter. I’ve never really seen myself as any of them, and certainly tried to avoid a few. If I had to classify my parenting style, I’d say that I carried stuff. To give it a festive flavour, if this were a nativity, I’d be the donkey.
A month ago today, I was sitting in Regent’s Park, reading a book, drinking coffee. I had an evening at the theatre planned. For the first time in years I felt that everything was under control. I'd spent the previous evening watching Barbra Streisand. I would never to make it to the theatre. 6 hours … Continue reading Get down from there – life with childhood leukaemia
George Michael was mine and all of these other people are merely charlatans hired in as professional mourners. They had no business intruding on my grief.
Dear Nicky I sent my children to school today, as did most parents. Some did not. Over 45,000 parents signed the petition supporting the Let Our Kids Be Kids strike and boycotting of this year's SATs, parents who feel so strongly that the new curriculum is damaging their children that they felt they needed to make … Continue reading Dear Nicky Morgan, about those listening ears …
Lately I have been reliving my teenage years, in a way that only a woman turning 40 can. I’ve started drinking cider again for a start. I feel the need to mention that I also went to see Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet. Not only was this a welcome return to my life before children, it … Continue reading Do You Love Me? The 9 year old’s guide to teenage angst.
Hurray! It’s September and it’s new pencil cases for everyone. I would love to say that I’ve spent the summer having epic adventures of enlightenment and discovery but in reality, I’ve sat in a variety of adventure playgrounds with a rum & raisin cornet. A few castles, the odd zoo, but mainly picnic blanket. The … Continue reading What I learnt at school.
Nigella and I go back a long way. By way of explanation, my Dad bore a striking resemblance to Nigel Lawson and my Mum decided that Nigella, back when she wasn’t that famous, was a good role model for me. She used to ring me at University to tell me when she was doing the … Continue reading We Need To Talk About Nigella
Must try harder. It’s no secret that there aren’t enough women in the boardroom, or politics, or on TV. The reason is, we just not putting the effort in. We lack drive, confidence and ambition. What would Margaret Thatcher say? The Government are planning to send information packs to parents of teenage girls to set … Continue reading Girls, you only have yourselves to blame. For everything.
It is not an exaggeration to say that I am a car widow. My husband loves cars, all of them. On our first date he let slip that he could tell the model of a car by the sound of its engine (arguably I should have run then). The current, and most longstanding, love of … Continue reading The Couple That Breaks Down Together