Bought in Kiev, 2003. Photo from my kitchen, March 2022, How on earth do you hold world-shaking events in your mind, as you continue daily life and deal with tiny domestic preoccupations? Do we shut out the world and focus on the immediate? Rendered powerless by the sheer scale of the crisis, do we seek … Continue reading A Crisis of Insight
I have spent so much time in the past year in the same four walls; working, eating, family life, any precious few minutes for leisure. Its plenty of time to notice all the parts that need work, the niggles I can't seem to get fixed. Plenty of time to take comfort in all the material … Continue reading Living within these four walls…..
"They can't just eat sawdust!" wailed one family member. "But it's Christmas, - they like getting lots of presents!" protested another when I baulked at the volume under the tree. It's one thing to change your own consumption habits. I can now look at reduced packets of the specialist cakes and biscuits I am restricted … Continue reading Does living simply mean simply being mean?
There is a saying that Christmas comes but once a year. But it doesn't. On the 21st October I walked past a busker playing Christmas carols, and saw shelves starting to fill with yuletide fare. If we all lived by that reckoning, Christmas and its associated paraphernalia would occupy one sixth of the whole year. … Continue reading The richness in the rhythm of the year…
We are moving back to the UK in the Summer. It is a bizarre process in some ways, particularly with small children, because your head is full of big life questions but their daily needs are still so dominant. I was told once that people either experience life as 'in timers' where they are distracted … Continue reading One place at a time..
My 7 year old is passionate about a particular make of toy animal families. She adores everything that goes with them and can spend hours absorbed in play. Last year she joined their Fan Club; a decision I was happy to support. However, six months in, I wrote this letter to the company expressing disappointment … Continue reading Why I am not a fan of your Fan Club
I watched Incredibles 2 over the holidays. What a great film! And how amazing that they could so perfectly capture my toddler's tantrums without ever having met her! My children might not have super powers but they certainly have different identities. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground, or average day. They are either … Continue reading The Battle for the Brownie
Christmas letters can be like facebook: You see the photos; read the update and feel different reactions. For some, you enjoy the connection with someone you haven't seen for a while and its good to know what they are doing. With others you wonder what lies behind the idyllic family pictures. And with a few … Continue reading A Christmas letter….of sorts
Recently, I have felt like a beanbag for my children. The shape I am in doesn't matter; what matters is that I can make them comfortable and provide support, regardless of how angular their elbows or how heavily they are feeling the weight of the world. You don't think about beanbags. You just need them … Continue reading Beanbag Parenting
The scale of our unintentional consumption is terrifying. I realised this recently when the school requested odd bits of plastic and recycling for an art project. I haven't dared to ask what will happen to them, but took the chance to amass some bulging bags of bits that I won't throw away and can't recycle, … Continue reading The unintended consequences of ‘free’ gifts