A good friend is this season’s must have,
Like a new pair of red footless tights.
You need a good mixture of textures,
Include pastels and some neon brights.

Great mates are a key wardrobe basic,
Friends are this winter’s new black.
Do read the care labels well though,
No receipts so you can’t take them back.

This is the product of my evening at The Steady Table writing group, where I am under pressure to write creatively, and not just reply to emails…

“I really hope we make pancakes at school today,” said Belle as we walked to school this morning.

“We did already make pancakes though,” I pointed out, “I was up early making the batter remember?”*

“Yes, but I didn’t do any of the making. You did the batter, and you cooked them, and you even put the fillings in.”

“You did the chewing though,” I said, “and that’s one of the most crucial bits.”

“It’s not really making though is it?” argued Belle. “If anything I unmade them.”

Fair point. We walked along for a bit in chummy silence. View Post

February.

Eurgh.

Not a very inspiring month is it? It’s cold, the evenings are still dark, and you know that at some point you’re going to be forced to make pancakes that no one really wants to eat. Hardly surprising that my mind has been wandering forward to summer, imagining being able to sit outside with my lunch, feeling the warmth of the sun on my shoulders.

I’m having a bit of dilemma though when it comes to planning holidays. For a start, you know when you’re taking children with you that it’s never really a ‘break’, so you’re reluctant to spend too much money or travel too far for what will essentially be like being at home but without your own bed and favourite tea bags for comfort.

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So, this week is half term, joy oh joy. Seriously, what is it with all the school holidays?? Just when you’ve settled back into work – BAM! – there’s another one.

Anyway, this week, to make up for the fact that I’m spending most of my time working, (by which I mean hiding), in my attic office, on Tuesday I took Belle and a friend from school to London. We began our day with a tour of the CBBC studios, where they got to do all kinds of exciting things like pretend to be Newsround presenters, and sit in chairs that Take That had once sat in.

Although Belle spent the whole tour with an autograph book clutched in her sweaty paw, we didn’t see anyone famous. No Chuckle Brother photo opportunities for us. Outside the studios though, while we were deciding which tube to take, we had better luck.

“Look!” Belle’s friend whispered excitedly, nudging me and jiggling about on the spot as a vaguely familiar looking man strode purposefully past us, “it’s HIM!”

“Who, who!!” Belle joined in frantically.

“Well don’t just stand there then,” I instructed, always one to play it cool, “run after him!” View Post

Who doesn’t like champagne and smoked salmon for breakfast? A fool, that’s who, a fact that Lego appreciated as they plied me with booze and snacks this morning, whilst I played with the new Lego Friends range and got disproportionately excited about the teeny-weeny coffee machine and ketchup dispenser.

(Gosh, that was a long sentence wasn’t it? I really must be excited).

If you haven’t come across it already, Lego Friends is the new range of Lego designed particularly for girls. It’s the same Lego building experience, but is based on years of research and development that has shown that girls prefer more ‘real life’ play, featuring scenarios they encounter in their own lives. As a mother of two girls, I can vouch for this. Most little girls I know aren’t interested in aliens and robots and rockets, they want realism and detail. Hence the tiny ketchup dispensers. View Post