Top of the pops (almost)

Top of the pops (almost)

Most parent bloggers – including myself – would say they don’t do it for money or fame. But there’s something lovely about being recognised as not completely awful. There may be no red carpet, no gold statuette, no tearful acceptance speech, but it’s nice to know someone out there enjoys reading my random and frequently … Continue reading

Better blogging: 5 tips for getting started

Better blogging: 5 tips for getting started

I’ve been blogging now for seven years, during which time I’ve managed to get as many things wrong as I have right. But I’m still here. I now run three blogs and write ten posts a month for a national newspaper website, which helps to subsidise my penchant for pricey coffee, Hula Hoops and paracetamol. … Continue reading

Every day is Father’s Day

Every day is Father’s Day

It was lovely to celebrate Father’s Day yesterday. Waking up to breakfast in bed. Being presented with various cards and presents lovingly hand-crafted by the kids. Being taken out for lunch, paid for by the family. (Although it was charged to a credit card that I pay for. So technically I took myself out to … Continue reading

The brother who never was

The brother who never was

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll have probably heard me talk about my younger brother Peter, who to my children is just ‘cool’ Uncle Pete. Technically, though, I’m not one of two brothers: I’m one of three. We never talk about Michael. The brother who never was Michael was my other … Continue reading

Persistence of memory

Persistence of memory

Our kids have just as many bad moments as anyone else’s. They’ve been told off or punished or been shouted at by stressed-out parents more times than I would care to admit. On balance, though, I hope their abiding memories of childhood will be positive ones – moments of fun and laughter with parents who … Continue reading

The good bits

The good bits

Parenting is never a perfect process. So, naturally, we’re biased in terms of what we choose to remember. Who wouldn’t be? The good memories take prominence over the bad ones. And rightly so. Hopefully I have enough self-awareness to learn from my mistakes – there are enough of them! – but that doesn’t mean I … Continue reading

We’ve come a long, long way together

We’ve come a long, long way together

We returned to my old Oxford college yesterday for what was described as a ‘family fun day’. I’m still not entirely sure exactly what the event was for, but it was an opportunity to arrange to meet up with old friends and that was good enough for us. Things have changed a lot in the 20-odd … Continue reading

Enjoying the dull days

Enjoying the dull days

Having been gutted at missing Isaac’s investiture into Beavers last week, Bank Holiday Monday was a timely reminder that the joy of parenting is as much about enjoying the small days as it is the big ones. After busy weeks at school and pre-school, followed by an exciting couple of days with energetic activities and … Continue reading

The best laid plans

The best laid plans

Some days go exactly the way they’re supposed to. And others, particularly when you have kids, don’t. Today was one of those days. The plan Today’s plan was as follows. Go to work. Clear large pile of data-crunching with the aid of my two-screen set-up and a stack of printouts. Just the one meeting. Leave … Continue reading

No more the nomad

No more the nomad

We’ve just had a new family bathroom put in. It’s only taken us seven years of mild irritation with our old one to get round to replacing it, but now that we have finally taken the plunge (a) we love it and (b) there’s a degree of symbolism about it, at least for me. A … Continue reading

Mightier than the sword

Mightier than the sword

Like his parents, ‘bookish’ is a good one-word summary of six-year-old Isaac. He loves both reading and writing. Bedtime – and bedtime stories – has long been a favourite part of the day for both him and us. And he can often be found sitting quietly at the dining table practising his spelling or writing … Continue reading

Birthday girl

Birthday girl

It was Kara’s second birthday yesterday. Although we didn’t roll out the bunting, marching band and a cast of thousands, I think she enjoyed it. I always think that first birthdays are more about family and friends than the child themselves, as they don’t fully understand what’s going on other than the fact it involves … Continue reading