Tag Archives: childhood

a new chapter

boys at the lakeside

My three boys in the lake district this summer – already feels like a lifetime ago!

Today was the first day of the new school term – the day my eldest son started middle school, my youngest started school nursery and my middle son went back to cheekily sauntering his way through the education system. It was the day for jumping out of ‘summer mode’ and back into routine. It was always going to be a big day for a nostalgic sap like me and, as expected, I felt all the feels:

Amazed pleasure – when my eldest two boys got up and were halfway through breakfast by the time I staggered downstairs (bleary-eyed after a fitful night dreaming about a daddy-long-legs attack… don’t ask), and then went and got themselves ready for school without any prompting at all. :)

Pride – when my eldest walked off with his best mate towards his new school with nothing more than a grin of excitement, a fond wave and ‘see you later’! in my direction. No nerves whatsoever!

Sudden desire to slap myself in the head – when I realised I’d failed to mention any sort of plan for picking him up. “I realised you didn’t tell me where to meet you after school!” he said later (totally unfazed) “But I saw Alex’s mum and asked her and she said you were coming to meet me at the phone box.” Good old Alex’s mum.

Frustration – at having ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ by ABBA on repeat in my head for most of the day. “Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture… ” Seriously, those lyrics, I know they’re about a daughter rather than a son but apart from that. Ouch.

Excitement – at starting my #WhatImWriting linky up again after a summer break and seeing people’s posts pop into my inbox and feeling that sense of anticipation about writing and blogging and, best of all, having my writing gang back together again!

Jitters – all morning I had this weird nervous energy. Couldn’t settle. Kept making cups of tea and not drinking them, or boiling the kettle and not pouring the water, or pouring the water into the mug without boiling the kettle first. I needed to go back to tea-making 101 clearly.

Nostalgia – at being back in the school nursery for the third (and final) time. It’s been six years since I first walked through those doors with my first son. It feels exactly the same and totally different.

Actually thinking I might cry – in the reception of the first school where I saw my eldest’s smiling photo on a noticeboard for the school council. The noticeboard is out of date of course – he’s left the school but seeing him there wearing his old school uniform… and then realising he wasn’t at the school any more and would never wear that uniform again… *sob*

Happiness – at seeing my fellow-school-parent-friends and then getting messages from other friends asking me how I was feeling and sending me photos of their kids in new uniform and all of us sharing all the, “this is it! A new stage!” excited emotion.

High-as-a-kite thrilledness – when we were all suddenly planning coffees and nights out and catch ups after the summer. I’ve missed everyone and I love, love LOVE knowing people are going to be around more and that we’re actually going to be able to meet during the day sometimes without kids!

Bliss – on a sunny afternoon walk through the forest with my youngest after his nursery session. He’s always been a brilliant little companion. We strolled along slowly examining bark and twigs and sunlight through the trees and when we got back he said “That was a lovely walk together, Mummy” and my heart melted.

Relief – because all the boys had a good first day. We had ice lollies in the garden and they told me all about it. My eldest was so happy and has already made new friends.

Happy excitement with a hint of disbelief – at realising this is the start of a new chapter where I have more time to myself to write and draw (and clean the house which shouldn’t excite me as much as it does) and to catch up with friends and just be myself by myself more than I’ve had a chance to in nearly a decade!

And now with a glass of wine and three boys upstairs asleep and some of my favourite blogs to read, I think I might have hit… contentment.

Writing Bubble

is writing in the genes?

Do you think the urge to write is innate – a quirk of the genes we are born with? Or is it behaviour learned from observing parents, role models or others close to us? Or could it be something else entirely, a random striking of inspiration, a bolt from the blue?

books open

My Dad is a writer and, although it was never his day-job, the image of him sitting in an armchair, pad of paper on his knee, scribbling away with a fountain pen, is one that sums him up for me in many ways. His stories and poems are woven throughout my childhood memories along with all the other books he and my mum read to us. My uncles are writers too, my grandfather is a wonderful storyteller and, in fact, everywhere you look in my family, there seems to be a passion for reading, writing, stories, books and well, just words in general.

So maybe my writing ambitions were inevitable. Certainly, I remember having ‘writer’ on my list of future careers (along with ‘vet’ and ‘air hostess’!) from a very early age. Why it took me ’till a few years ago to actually realise it was a career I wished to pursue, I have no idea.

The lovely thing is, I’m now seeing this passion for books in my sons too: my eldest (8) is a prolific reader and his younger brother (6) isn’t far behind. They both love to write too – I came down to breakfast the other morning to find them both with their heads down over pieces of paper, concentrating hard. “Good morning boys!” I chimed (oh, ok, since it was morning, I probably grunted it) only to be met with “Shhhhh, we’re writing our novels!” Oh, ok then.

Yesterday I found this on the kitchen table, written by my six-year-old:

cow story

I have no idea what a ‘wild life tiger toothed fish ocean’ is but I’m very glad the cows escaped from those nasty humans. Mind you, reading it again… three little cows who had to escape two big humans… that’s not a metaphor for him and his brothers having to escape their Dad and me is it? Hmmm, the less said about that the better!

How about you – does writing run in your family? Are there any passions of yours that you see reflected in your children?

Little Hearts, Big Love
Writing Bubble

legoland limerick

view of mini land from the Sky Rider

View of Miniland from the Sky Rider

Yes, we went to LEGOLAND! This isn’t remotely a sponsored post (ha, I wish!) I just wanted to write about it because we really did have a great time.

We went for two days (over my son’s fifth birthday) and stayed overnight in the Legoland hotel which was amazing. Expensive but worth it. We had a pirate-themed room which was plush enough to keep us parents happy, and fun enough to totally capture the boys’ imagination. There was Lego art on the walls, a pirate bunk bed, a treasure trail across the carpet which led to a safe that the boys had to unlock (to reveal lego gifts inside), and a big box of lego to play with. The kids even had their own section of the room with a TV tuned to the lego channel! Awesome.

The park was great too. We had a Q-Bot which meant we could jump the queues (you still have to wait after you’ve chosen your ride but just not in the queue which makes a massive difference especially when you have an eighteen- month-old in tow!) and we managed to go on twenty-one rides! The boys LOVED it and although the park was crowded and we were knackered with walking and sleep deprivation (thanks to the baby) we kind of fed off their excitement and had a great time too.

My five-year-old said it was ‘the best birthday ever!’ so obviously I had to write a limerick about it:

For our five-year-old’s birthday we planned
A trip to the great Legoland
We all had such fun
(Three kids, Dad and Mum)
That our real, brick-free life seems quite bland!


If you’re visiting via #Prose4T then you might be interested in my new writing linky which starts next Tuesday 9th September. It’s called “What I’m Writing” and it’s for writers, poets, bloggers etc. to share posts about your creative process: aspirations, successes, doubts, rejections (we’ve all had them), trials and triumphs. I’ll be running it with Chrissie from Muddled Manuscript. More info is here. We’d love to see you there!

Prose for Thought


boys at goats

My Brother

We’ve gazed from mountains
side by side,
built towering forts
near rising tides.
We’ve constructed dens,
dammed tumbling streams,
walked up fells
and climbed huge trees.

You’ve made me laugh
and driven me mad,
teased me, tickled me
made me sad,

competed with me,
urged me on
challenged me,
defeated me,
made me strong

held my hand
and walked beside me
hugged me tight
been there to guide me.

My loyal supporter
like no other
A companion for life,
my friend

My brother


This poem was inspired by The Prompt at Mum Turned Mom. This week it was a quote:

“The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh so hard that food came out of his nose.”

Garrison Keillor

This quote instantly made me think of sibling bonds. I have three sons and two brothers and I wrote this poem with all of them in mind. Many of my favourite childhood memories revolve around my brothers and one of my favourite aspects of motherhood is watching the bond between my sons.

Sibling relationships can be complicated: it’s not all ‘sunshine and lollipops’ and I’ve broken up and been part of many a sibling battle in my time! But, no matter what, I know my sons love each other and wouldn’t be without each other which is just how I feel about my brothers. My poem was trying, in some small way, to pay tribute to all my lovely boys, big and small.


the tale of the missing finger

“Did I ever tell you the story of how I lost my finger?”

As a child, these words from my grandfather would always make me prick up my ears. He hadn’t lost a whole finger, just the top section of one of them, but it was enough to add an air of mystery to him, and I – and  his other grandchildren – would listen with rapt attention to the tales he told.

My grandparents walking in the alps.

My grandparents walking in the alps – is some sort of finger-chopping drama about to unfold?

Because there wasn’t just one tale, there were many; each one with its own exciting highs and (finger) crushing lows. There was the one where, walking in the alps, he had saved a cable car of people from plunging to their doom by putting his finger into the mechanism, bringing it to a halt moments before it plunged its terrified occupants off a cliff. Another version involved him stopping a dam from bursting (which would have drowned a village full of children) by putting his finger in it, and having it bitten off by a passing shark. Other stories had him stopping a runaway train, encountering a toothy ghost in a haunted house, and inventing a new flavour of ice cream when his finger got caught in the mechanism of one that only produced vanilla (eurgh!)

Of course, we kids knew that not all of these stories could be true. In fact we guessed – even then – that none of them were and that the perils and heroics were purely for our benefit. But that didn’t matter and took nothing from the thrill of his stories, especially with a real missing bit of finger as a prop!

My grandfather’s tales are one of my favourite childhood memories, so when we visited my grandparents last weekend it was with genuine pleasure that I watched him (aged ninety-one) tell my boys ‘the tale of how I lost my finger’.  The sight of their awed expressions and hearing their excited giggles and gasps took me right back to my own childhood and I felt very lucky to be able to share in this moment between a great-grandfather and his great-grandsons.

I love stories in all their forms but there’s something about this passing of tales face-to-face between generations of family members that feels like storytelling at its purest. I hope that by sharing these stories with my sons we can continue this family tradition down the generations for many, many years to come.

And as for how my grandfather really lost his finger? I honestly have no idea… and that’s exactly how I like it.


Monster cake

It’s the Easter holidays and I’m covered in kids so have no time for creative writing at the moment! But I love linking up with #Prose4T on a Thursday so I thought, rather than posting a new piece, I would share something that I wrote last June (before I started blogging).

It was my oldest son’s sixth birthday and we had a manic weekend where I tried to do everything I thought a good mother should, and only just held on to my sanity in the process. So I allowed – even encouraged (?!) – him to have some friends over for a birthday tea after school on Friday (his actual birthday) even though I’d had practically no sleep (my youngest was four months old), a screaming headache and an ill, tetchy baby permanently glued to my hip. Of course, the five of them were all besides themselves with excitement and spent the whole time wrestling, screaming and throwing chips at each other.

Then I was up till midnight baking my son’s cake and up repeatedly in the night with the baby. I then had to take all three kids to two other birthday parties the next day, inbetween mad dashes to the shops and frenetic bouts of cleaning in preparation for my son’s party the following day. Then I was up till midnight again decorating the cake (and sending hubby on last minute supermarket runs for everything that I’d forgotton earlier) before obviously being up in the night with the baby again. My son’s party was on Sunday and nearly finished me off. That evening when the kids were finally in bed I collapsed on the sofa and posted this status update on Facebook (and the song is just as unseasonal now as it was then!):



For my son’s sixth birthday

the weekend gave to me:

Twelve bags of shopping,

Eleven loads of washing,

Ten bouts of screaming,

Nine rooms for cleaning,

Eight hours of baking,

Seven night-time wakings,

Six sudden panics,


Four headaches,

Three children’s parties,

Two exhausted sons

And a bottle of gin for me!

This year is going to be completely different. No aching, waking, screaming or cleaning. And no wrestling. I will glide seraphically through the experience and end the day with the satisfied glow of a super-mum.

Oh who am I kidding? I’ve already bought the gin in preparation.

Prose for Thought

down at the pool

The Setting:

Friday after school at the local swimming baths. Unisex changing rooms with small cubicles, thronging with tetchy children and exhausted parents. Floor awash with puddles and cluttered with buggies. Damp air infused with the smell of chlorine and toilets. Building reverberates with shrieks of children and muffled expletives of parents.

The Team:

The Mum – harassed mum-of-three. Aims to sail seraphically through the weekly swimming experience. Never does.

Son 1 – at 6 years old, takes his responsibilities as oldest brother very seriously. In fact, is by far the most ‘together’ member of the whole team. Mostly seen sighing with exasperation and telling everyone to ‘hurry up!’

Son 2 – 4 years old. Easily distracted from the task in hand. Whatever the task.  Mostly to be seen leaving his swimming bag on the driveway where he stopped on the way to the car to examine a stone.

The baby – usually laid-back, but this weekly excursion pushes him to the limits of his endurance.

Now over to our commentators Bill and Bob as they talk us through the weekly Swimming Run

Bill: “You join us in the car park outside the pool. It’s 4.28 and the boys’ swimming lessons are due to start any minute. We had expected to have seen our team arrive before now but so far, there’s been no sign. What do you suppose has happened to them Bob?”

Bob: “Well, I’m not entirely sure but, between you and me, the Mum’s time keeping is not exactly great… ”

Bill: “And this week is no exception I see… but wait, here they are now! They’ve finally arrived in the car park, Mum has slammed the car to a halt in the nearest space and has leapt out!”

Bob: “An inauspicious start, Bill – she’s already looking rather frazzled!”

Bill: “Yes, although she’s unloading the buggy out of the car at lightning speed… Oooh, ouch that looks painful! Those buggies can be remarkably heavy when you drop them on your foot, Bob!”swimming things

Bob: “They can indeed, although Mum seems to have barely registered the pain, she’s too busy hauling the baby out of the car and into the buggy while also making sure the other two don’t race across the car park!”

Bill: “They do seem keen, don’t they! I can hear Son 1 shouting ‘Come on, Come on! The lesson’s starting!'”

Bob: “And they’re all off across the car park at a run now!”

Bill: “… and in through the doors of the pool…”

Bob: “… and out again to get Son 2 who stopped to swing round a bollard.”

Bill: “Phew! They’ve made it to the changing rooms. If they get changed quickly, there’s a chance they’ll only miss the first five minutes of the lesson!”

Bob: “Hmm, although it’s hard to see how they’ll achieve that in here Bill, the place is heaving! Are there any spare cubicles?”

Bill: “Mum’s searching frantically around for a free one… ”

Bob: “… a hard task when you’re pushing a buggy with a flat tyre through a crowd of flapping arms and slamming lockers!”

Bill: “She nearly got whacked in the face with a hair dryer there, Bob!”

Bob: “Ah! But she’s seen a cubicle, and is fighting her way towards it!”

Bill: “Oh no! Another mum just beat her to it!”

Bob: “But wait, don’t worry, she’s seen another – it’s right down next to the showers but she’s squeezed them all into it.”

Bill: “Well, apart from the baby… the buggy wont fit so she’s just wedged him in the open door.”

Bob: “He’s a fan of water is he, Bill? Because he seems to be getting quite sprayed there!”

Bill: “I don’t think mum’s even noticed… she’s trying to help Son 2 out of his trousers…”

Bob: “… which appear to have pockets stuffed with pebbles which are now scattering over the floor!”

Bill: “Meanwhile Son 1 is standing on one leg in a puddle behind the door ripping his clothes off frantically.”

Bob: “That’s it! Son 1 is ready! The strap on his goggles has come undone but Mum is too busy trying to get Son 2 out of his tangled t-shirt to help him.”

Bill: “I guess he’ll just have to get water in his eyes today Bob.”

Bob: “He’s looking resigned to that… he’s made it across to the pool to his lesson though… and Son 2 isn’t far behind!”

Bill: “Result! They’re both in pool!”

Bob: “Rather late Bill… ”

Bill: “True, but something in Mum’s expression tells me she considers anything before 4.45 to be a small victory.”


Bob: “Mum’s taking a moment now to sort out the chaos of the cubicle… ”

Bill: “And to wipe the baby down where he’s been sprayed by the shower. And, Oh dear, she’s realised that he’s been chewing Son 2’s goggles this whole time. That’s why he’s been so quiet.”

Bob: “Both boys will have to go goggle-less then; Mum’s shaking her head in exasperation!”goggles

Bill: “But good news! – everything’s away in lockers now so mum can go to the spectator area for a well-earned sit down.”

Bob: “If she can find any free seats… or space for the buggy.”

Bill: “Yes, it’s a bit cramped in there isn’t it? And by the looks of everyone in there, it’s boiling hot too!”

Bob: “But look – Mum has managed force her way into the corner and has even found a tiny bit of windowsill to perch on!”

Bill: “Behind a toddler who appears to be in hysterics over a banana.”

Bob: “Yes, it’s not exactly the best seat in the house from that respect… she’ll need to keep an eye out for chunks of flying fruit.”

Bill: “The baby’s getting restless siting in that cramped spot on her lap too… oh, but it’s ok, Mum’s realised that if she bounces him up and down while waving a toy in front of him, singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and pulling funny faces then he doesn’t cry.”

Bob: “Mum looks like she might though – it’s already five ‘o clock and time to go back to the changing rooms to help get the boys dressed!”


Bill: “Mum’s fighting her way to the showers through hordes of wet swimmers and shampoo-wielding parents… I can see an advantage to having a buggy now Bob, it’s actually quite a useful tool isn’t it? – kind of like a snowplough!”

Bob: “You could say that! She’s made it to her sons and is now squirting shampoo on them… from a distance, mind, as she doesn’t want to get wet herself. Not the easiest task.”

Bill: “No, I can see that – Son 2 has started screaming; he’s got shampoo in his eyes.”

Bob: “And Son 1 has now finished his shower and is shivering violently while Mum tries to pull his towel out of the swimming bag.”

Bill: “While also trying to wipe Son 2’s eyes with… what’s that she’s holding Bob?”

Bob: “I believe it’s a pair or Mr Man pants… it was the first thing that came to hand when she opened her handbag!”

Bill: “Interesting. Well, it’s done the trick anyway and she’s also managed to pull out both the towels and even found a spare cubicle for them!”

Bob: “No space for the baby again though – he’s propping the door open again.”

Bill: “Except now he’s started crying and Mum is taking him out of the buggy… is that wise, would you say?”

Bob: “I wouldn’t say so, no – she’s now trying to help the other two get out of sticky, wet costumes and into clothes with him balanced on her hip.”

Bill: “Still screaming… “20140313_080157-1

Bob: “She doesn’t look best pleased by Son 1’s announcement that he’s lost one of his socks. I think it got kicked under the bottom of the cubicle at some point… oh there it is, he’s found it! It’s wringing wet so it looks like he’ll be going home sock-less.”

Bill: “Looks like we’re reaching the final stages though – both sons are now putting their shoes on!”

Bob: “And now they’re all managing to squeeze out of the tiny cubicle… ”

Bill: “And Mum’s strapping the baby into the buggy.”

Bob: “Still screaming… ”

Bill: “And now I suppose they’ll be heading for the hair dry… oh, no Mum’s just shaken her head.”

Bob: “No time for hair drying, clearly… she seems very keen to make it back to the car!”

Bill: “They’re outside!”

Bob: “And back inside to get Son 2 who stopped to look at a poster of a horse…”

Bill: “.. and back outside again… Son 1 has taken over pushing the buggy and Mum is carrying… well, everything else. Were they planning a three-week holiday with all those bags, Bob?”

Bob: “Not this time Bill, although I strongly suspect Mum is thinking about a holiday right now! They’ve nearly made it back to the car though!”

Bill: “And they have! She’s loading them all in, both the boys and the baby.”

Bob: “Still screaming… ”

Bill: “What’s that she’s muttering to herself?”

Bob: “It sounded like ‘Never again!'”

Bill: “Doesn’t she say that every week?”

Bob: “Oh yes Bill, she certainly does. Every. Single. Week.”


And then the fun began...
Prose for Thought

the morning marathon AKA getting the kids to school

The Runners:

Mum: tired mum-of-three. Does her best to be eternally patient, calm and level-headed but mostly isn’t. At all.

6yo: oldest son. Mostly very sensible and usually is not only head-of-the-pack in the ‘morning marathon’, but also principle motivator of the other runners.

4yo: middle son. Mostly tired in the mornings having just started school a few months ago. Determined and mischievous – both of which can be used for good or ill. And frequently are.

Baby: youngest of the clan. Very laid-back and happy to fit in with the others. Except when it comes to sleeping. Which he doesn’t.

Dad: only a bit player in the ‘morning marathon’ – in the shower in its early stages, reappears to kiss everyone goodbye, then takes a different route.

And now over to Bill and Bob, our commentators for this morning:

At The Starting Blocks

Bill: “… and for those of you just joining us, it looks like it’s going to be a slow start to the race this morning…”

Bob: “Yes, it’s 7am and Baby and Mum are snoozing in bed together… from what I can gather it’s been a long night so we shouldn’t expect things to get going quickly.”seahorse

Bill: “But wait, here’s the 6yo, he’s just come in saying “Wake up everyone!” and appears to be placing some kind of cuddly seahorse next to Mum’s head… and the seahorse has lit up and is belting out… what’s that tune Bob?”

Bob: “I believe it’s Frere Jaques, Bill. She won’t like that; bit strident for this time in the morning, I’d say.”

Bill: “Yes, she’s putting her head under the pillow. The baby seems happy to see his brother though! He’s waving his arms and squealing with glee!”

Bob: “And accidentally punching Mum in the chin as he does so. Oh dear, still, it’s woken her up fully now!”

Bill: “And the commotion has woken the 4yo too. He’s just walked into the bedroom… maybe things will get going properly now?”

Bob: “Or not… since he seems to be climbing into the bed with Mum and Baby and going back to sleep.”

Bill: “But the 6yo is not letting any of them get away with this sort of behaviour. He’s pulling the covers off and telling them they have to get up or they’ll be late for school! Are we sure he’s not Mum in disguise Bob?”

Bob: “You’ve got a point there Bill… he’s quite effective. He’s somehow managing coax them all out of bed.”

Bill: “And downstairs!”

And We’re Off!

Bob: “They’ve all made it down to the kitchen somehow and Mum seems to be trying to make breakfast for them all… it’s taking her a while though.”

Bill: “Yes, she does seem to be a bit sluggish, she’s boiled that kettle three times and still hasn’t made a cup of tea! Still she’s managed to pour cereal for the others, and is feeding the baby.”breakfast table

Bob: “Yes… the baby doesn’t mind having porridge in his ear, I take it?”

Bill: “Oh anything goes with him, he’s a third-born; lucky really, as not much of that food seems to be going in his mouth.”

Bob: “It doesn’t help that his brothers are singing and dancing next to him trying to make him laugh.”

Bill: “Energy levels seem to be up now though don’t they, so maybe this race will start speeding up soon?”

Bob: “Possibly Bill, although I think it would help matters if Mum could actually eat her breakfast rather than having to clear up that bowl of cereal that’s just been tipped all over the floor.”

Bill: “True, although she sees to be managing ok… I didn’t actually know it was possible to eat toast while feeding a baby, wiping the floor, peeling a banana and removing a plastic sword from the clutches of a small boy.”

Bob: “While checking Facebook too… I think it’s a skill that mothers learn somewhere along the way. Thankfully, or I doubt any child would ever make it to school in the morning”

Picking up the Pace

Bill: The 6yos taking charge again now. He’s realised it’s eight ‘o clock and they all need to get dressed.”

Bob: “He’s encouraging them all up the stairs. Mum’s still trying to tidy the breakfast table but he’s having none of it! ‘Come on, Come on!’ he’s shouting”

Bill: “Yes, it looks like the pace is finally picking up!”

Bob: “Yes… except the 4yo is just lying face down on the living room floor. Think he’s trying to go to sleep again. He’s not going anywhere fast!”

Bill: “No, but the rest of them are doing O.K; Mum has got herself and the baby dressed. She avoided getting hit by the stream of urine from him as she changed his nappy this morning, so that’s good.”

Bob: “And the 6yo is dressed too… his hair looks like he’s been dragged through a hedge backwards but ‘shabby chic’ is the look these days isn’t it?”

Bill: “I believe that term is used for furniture Bob… I think the phrase you’re looking for is ‘urchin cool.'”

Bob: “Right, well Mum is dragging a comb through it anyway. While simultaneously brushing her teeth and trying to get the baby’s socks on him.”

Bill: “Yes! And… oh dear! Just when things were going so well! The baby’s nappy has leaked. She’s going to have to change his outfit Bob.”

Bob:” Yes and her top too, by the looks of it. This is turning out to be quite the race this morning!”

Bill: “Does anyone know where the 4yo is? Mum’s just asked the 6yo to see if he’s getting ready.”

Bob: “And is he?”

Bill: “Well, there’s been some progress… he’s changed out of his pyjamas.”batman cape

Bob: “Ah yes, but I can see he’s not exactly dressed for school yet is he? A Batman cape and nothing else is not the required dress code as far as I’m aware?”

Bill: “No, but thankfully the 6yo is saving the day again. He’s got his brother’s uniform and is helping him put it on. He’s even helping him brush his teeth. Not sure he’s remembered to brush his own but Mum will take care of that, eh Bob?”

Bob: “Possibly Bill, possibly.”

Bill: “Oh and now the 6yo is shouting ‘Hurry up!’ over the baby monitor to Mum who’s still in the baby’s room taking care of that earlier ‘nappy incident’.”

Bob: “She’s shouting back telling them to get their shoes and coats on! Looks like she’s finally got herself and the baby ready too!”

The Final Stages

Bill: “I think they’re ready to leave the house! It’s 8.45: They might just make it!”

Bob: “Yes, the house is locked, they’re in the car and Mum’s reversing out of the drive.”

Bill: “No, wait, she’s stopped the car… she’s leaping out looking frantic… heading back to the house.”

Bob: “And she’s picking up the baby! He was just left sitting there in the hall!”

Bill: “That might have held them up a bit. The 6yo is furious! The 4yo thinks it’s hilarious! The baby is laughing as usual.”

Bob: “And Mum’s looking a bit frazzled, but they’ve finally left the drive.”

Bill: “That was quite an ‘interesting’ bit of driving there Bob… I wasn’t sure the car was going to fit through that gap… but looks like they’re going to make it! They’ve pulled up outside the school gates.”

Sprint Finish

Bob: “Mum’s leapt out of the car: where did she get that energy from? Must be the sense of desperation!”

Bill: “Yes, she’s unloaded the 6yo and the 4yo from the car and she’s grabbed the baby… he doesn’t misprint finishnd being held under her arm like a bowling ball I take it? And she’s got the school bags… ”

Bob: “Both of them, that’s good going; two school bags, two school boys; this could be a success story.”

Bill: “And look at them go! They’re racing down the road and through the gates! The school bell is ringing! Will they get there in time?”

Bob: “They’re only meters from the door!”

Bill: “Will the teacher keep it open for them??!”

Bob: “Look at the desperation on Mum’s face! She’s signalling frantically for the teacher to wait!”

Bill: “She will! She’ll have to surely?! She can’t close the door now?!”

Bob and Bill: “YEEEEEEEESSSSS! They made it!”

Bob: “Phew, that was quite a race. I think Mum could do with a sit down now.”

Bill: “And a nice cup of tea.”

Bob: “Or possibly a gin.”

UPDATED 15/04/15 – This weeks Prompt over at Mum Turned Mom is ‘Travel’. Travel isn’t really my thing (I’m a real homebody) but for some reason the prompt made me think of this post – it’s the journey I make every day, after all. 18months on, I have a toddler instead of a baby, the 5yo is less tired and the 7yo is slightly more inclined to draw Harry Potter pictures than encourage us all to school but actually, things haven’t changed that much!

Prose for Thought
Post Comment Love

I Wandered Lonely as a Puff of Smoke (with apologies to William Wordsworth)

When I was I child I always went to my grandparents on Mondays after school. I loved those Monday tea times: my grandparents all to myself (no battling for attention with my brothers!), eating my favourite foods (they spoiled me a bit) and always laughing over something.

One thing my granddad and I used to do on those evenings was write silly poetry. We would throw ideas across the dinner table and come up with something that made us laugh. We usually took a well-known poem and put our own twist on it, then we would regale my grandma with it over the washing up.

The other day one of my favourites came to mind: our take on William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. I thought I would share it here. It follows Wordsworth’s poem quite closely… with none of its beauty and thoughtfulness but all the irreverence that a twelve-year-old and her young-at-heart grandfather could muster!

I wandered lonely as a puff of smoke

I wandered lonely as a puff of smoke

That floats from a chimney and over the hills,

When all at once I saw a bloke,

Carrying a mass of daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Swaying along on rubbery knees.


His face was flushed as red as wine

With drooling mouth and vacant gaze,

He followed an erratic line

Staggering in a drunken daze.

Ten dozen saw I in his arms

Stolen I’m sure from nearby farms.


The waves frothed wildly at his heel

Yet he was far to drunk to see.

A passer-by could not but feel

A portion of anxiety.

I gazed and gazed then watched him take

A tumble deep into the lake.


When later on my couch he lay,

In much apologetic mood

Recalling how I’d had saved the day

He was struck with gratitude.

Yet to this day pure horror fills

Me at the sight of daffodils.


The original is worth reading too!

I’m linking this up with ‘Prose For Thought’ over at Verily Victoria Vocalises. Head over there to read other poetry and prose. Or join in! It’s my first time!

Prose for Thought

childhood memories

birthday party

When I saw that the theme over at The Gallery at Sticky Fingers this week is “A Younger Me” I thought I would join in with this photo. It was taken at my birthday party about thirty years ago. I’m the one on the left with the bang-on-trend Peter Pan collar!

As you might expect, many things have changed since this photo was taken. These days my skin isn’t nearly so perfect, nor my hair so glossy. But what strikes me more, is how many things have stayed the same: I still like eating cheese on cocktail sticks, still have the doll (languishing in a cupboard somewhere) that you can see just behind me in the photo, and my parents still own and use some of those mugs and that set of scales.

Most importantly though, those two little girls sitting to my right are still my best friends to this day. They’ve been my school friends, my bridesmaids and my confidants through many a crisis. Over thirty years of friendship and counting. This photo really makes me smile!

For other photos on this theme, why not take a look at the Sticky Fingers Gallery?