God only knows.

Although they have made some of the right noises – signing up for Gingerbread’s ‘Let’s Lose the Labels’ campaign for instance – I’m not convinced. The married couples’ tax allowance for example – I know, I know, it’s about ‘the message not the money’, but seriously, that’s WORSE. What kind of message are they trying to give exactly? Basically ‘we like married people more, so there.’

As the votes roll in I can’t help but feel a growing sense of dread. I have spent pretty much all of my adult life under a Labour government and quite frankly I’m scared. I’m all for ‘change’ – only last week I rearranged all the furniture in my kitchen – I’m just not mad keen on the kind of change that disempowers women and discriminates against the already marginalised sections of society. Call me old-fashioned, but there you go.

View Post

Yesterday was my nephew’s first birthday.

I only have one nephew – my sister’s son – and no nieces. I never expected I would be an auntie by now, and I often wonder whether I am doing it right.

I imagined that when the time came I would somehow be further on with my life. I pictured myself much as I remember my Auntie Jill, my Dad’s sister, when I was young – a fleeting, exotic figure, always seeming to be doing something terribly exciting like riding a motorbike around Brighton or playing the tambourine in a Cajun band.

Either that or I would be a traveller, stopping in once or twice a year on my way to or from an airport, a string of rhino teeth round my neck, pulling bizarre and unique baby gifts from around the world out of a large patchwork bag.

View Post

Thank you very much to everyone who replied to my post yesterday about talking to children about death.

I’m sure you all hardly slept last night, anxious to know whether someone would have moved the bunny, or whether we would be forced to confront the realities of death on our way to school. Really? You slept fine you say? Oh.

Anyway…

This morning we set of to school, late as usual, as Belle had been watching a recording of the election debate while she ate her rice crispies. At her request may I add. She is, she tells me, ‘really very interested Mummy’. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how much of it she was going to be able to understand, but she seemed to get to grips with it very well and appeared genuinely interested.

“Mummy,” she asked as they discussed inheritance tax, “David Cameron’s got it wrong. He wants to give the rich people even more money…”

View Post

Our walk to school every morning takes us alongside a small cricket pitch. Yesterday morning there was a rabbit stretched out on the grass, clearly dead, but nevertheless looking decidedly relaxed.

Belle, who at seven years old is highly sensitive and often slightly melodramatic, spotted the bunny straightaway. “What’s that rabbit doing there Mummy?” she asked, looking concerned.

I then had exactly two seconds to make a decision. Do I tell her it is dead, which will result inevitably in her crying and clinging to me at the school gates telling me she never wants me to die ever ever, or do I lie?

View Post

Continuing in a positive spirit, today I have been thinking about the simple things in life that give me pleasure.

If you don’t take time out to focus on what makes you happy, it is all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tedium of parenting alone. Washing, cleaning, cooking – admittedly I don’t do a huge amount of any of those things, but the responsibility is still mine, should I choose to accept it.

Sometimes I worry that the things I enjoy are rather dull. I don’t do any kind of extreme sports, or have a secret part-time job as a lion tamer. I don’t drive fast cars or jet off every weekend on exotic city mini-breaks – my life is much more acoustic folk than rock and roll. I did once jump out of a plane, but to be honest I found the whole free-falling thing quite boring – you just hang there after all, and not much else happens.

View Post

Firstly, please let me apologise for my last post.  I had had a couple of rather emotionally exhausting days, and clearly wasn’t feeling myself. I am now back though, and to lighten the mood I am going to write about parties. I don’t want everyone to think I am some kind of isolated single parent who spends all  their time at home alone, pacing about, writing occasional bursts of gibberish.

I love parties. I get to dress up, drink cocktails and talk to men. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, I don’t often get invited to parties (sob). I don’t know if it’s just that no one I know has them much, or that I am particularly disliked, but I never have to push my way through piles of invitations to get to the front door. It’s the same with weddings  – everyone else I know seems to be complaining constantly about having the spend every weekend over the summer at a wedding, but I’ve only been to about five in my whole life.

So, to solve the problem, I basically have to throw my own parties. Being the host has its benefits of course – you get to set the date, choose the fancy dress theme, and not have to worry about staggering home without your shoes on and dropping your chips. It does mean you have to spend the next week cleaning red wine off things, but it’s a small price to pay.

View Post