motherhood

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In Wellness

Mix a pancake

Stir a pancake, Pop it in a pan. Fry a pancake, toss a pancake, catch it if you can.

When I was little I never understood the ‘Don’t forget the pancake on Jif Lemon Day’ advert. It was extremely clever advertising to establish their product, essentially processed lemon juice, as synonymous with Pancake Day, but I didn’t understand it because we never ever ever had lemon juice (fresh or processed) on our pancakes.

Growing up, pancakes were firmly reserved for Shrove Tuesday (usually after an afternoon spent watching Shrovetide Football in town, but that’s a whole other story). It simply never occurred to me to eat them …

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In Wellness

A life with letters

When was the last time you wrote a letter? Not a thank you or a birthday/christmas card, but a letter just for its own sake, to write to a friend you haven’t seen for a while for instance? Or to a pen pal, if such a thing still exists?

My friends and I used to write letters over the holidays, at the weekend, in-between classes when we hadn’t seen each other for a few minutes. They were full of pictures and cartoons, our secret code words, …

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In Family

I know what I did this summer

The first full summer we had as a young family in the countryside was difficult.  My youngest hadn’t yet started nursery, my eldest had been going three days a week. Our old nursery operated all year round, but this one was attached the primary school he would be starting in September and therefore closed over the summer holidays. And they have long summer holidays. I didn’t know the area well, I didn’t know many people, my husband had a work training course and was away a lot, the house and garden felt overwhelming. I remember feeling so relieved when school and nursery started. I was …

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In Outside

Dog days and birthdays

Seamlessly we sweltered from June into July with a prolonged warm dry spell that children will remember in their adult years and adults will remember in their dotage. The dog days are truly here,  sultry days and still nights of heat, drought, fires, thunderstorms, lethargy, mad dogs and Englishmen out in the sun. Even the birds seem to languish idly in the suspended in the humid air, barely moving their wings for flight, as if it’s too much effort. The buzzard is more present and seems to follow me; flying over the garden, perched atop his telegraph pole on the school run. Hot and hungry …

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In Travel

Exploring Rome

I just wanted to share with you a few snippets from our half term holiday exploring Rome. This was the first ‘proper’ city break with the children and whilst I knew we’d have a good time, their idea of a holiday is somewhere hot preferably with a beach or pool. Well, this was somewhere hot, with lots of walking and pools they weren’t allowed to jump in. We had two full days and Rome didn’t disappoint.

We stayed in a hotel just around the …

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In Wellness

Chocolate cake charm

I love baking. It is relaxing and therapeutic with the weighing and measuring, the stirring and whisking, the magical alchemy of bringing together disparate ingredients into something utterly delicious. It is mindfulness and mindlessness at the same time, with a treat at the end of it all (except the washing up). Out of all the things I like to bake, cake is the number one favourite. Not just any cake, but milk chocolate cake from the superbly retro Be-Ro recipe book.

The Be-Ro recipe book was my baking bible as a child. My mum has two ancient editions, one of which has fallen apart from …

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