A Funny Story

Jeremy came home early from work on Thursday to be there to collect Nectar from school. He thought it could be some kind of bonding exercise or such like.

He gets there early to nab a parking space nearest the school and does his emails whilst he waits. As soon as he sees Nectar, he dashes out of the car and waves like a maniac, shrieking and hollering.

Nectar comes out of the school gate arm in arm with Juni -whom she’s been nurturing a friendship since finding out she’s got a summer house in Puerto Banos- and sees her father waving wildly and feels a desperate humiliation so walks past pretending not to see him! Jeremy said she literally walking past like he wasn’t there! Isn’t that a scream! He said he didn’t realised until he was driving off but Nectar has actually dropped her art folder by the back wheel and J had to do a U turn to pick it up. He was extremely upset when he got home which just made the whole thing funnier!

Me on the school run

Book Progress

You lovely lot! I’m so delighted how many of you have preordered my novel Parenting: Learning on the Journey!

I have been busy tip-tapping away in the summer house but the thing that really takes the time is research.

For my chapter If I Were You I have gone undercover at a local primary in Chipping Chowden to see what real poverty is like (it’s rated ‘good’ by Ofsted 🤦🏼‍♀️). I also interviewed our most recent au pair to get her perspective but reading back through my notes she was actually pretty evasive so that was rather a waste of time. I also tried to interview Jeremy for a dad’s perspective but he said he wasn’t qualified to comment.

I am absolutely loving using my brain again- just yesterday I spent over an hour coming up with a metaphor for childbirth and couldn’t have enjoyed myself more!

The ‘fruits of my labours’ !

FAQs: from me to you

As I writer, I like to take risks. That’s why I’ve turned the typical FAQ post on it’s head. As a parent, I don’t like to take risks because it’s not my life I’m gambling with (it’s my children’s).

So here are a few questions I’ve got for you- just thoughts and qs I’ve had on my mind recently.

1) Birthday Parties

Ambrose says birthday parties should be budgeted at 25% of monthly income. He says it’s basically school policy and people will laugh at him if it’s not adhered to. Have others heard this? Or is it another example of his enterprising spirit?

2) Teacher Presents

Parents are collecting a fund for a gift for Nectar’s house mistress. My question is, the money’s being collected by a woman with god awful taste- can I step in? I don’t want my name on any old gift. This woman drives a battered old Volvo for pete’s sake!

All input appreciated! Thanks as always!

Three Reasons Why I Love Summer

At first glance, summer can seem like a nice idea but a tricky reality- ageing UVA, au pairs returning home, school holidays- but I just embrace it and here’s how.

Book a Holiday

We always return to the same resort. The food is exquisite and the kids just adore the onsite summer camp. Julio the resident masseur is basically godparent to our children and has hands to die for. And he once told me I have the buttocks of an Olympic shotputter so of course I think he’s divine!

Organise Play Dates

Because our home is grade three listed, we couldn’t install an outdoor pool – a source of tension between me and Jeremy the ThinkofTheOriginalFeatures- as you can imagine. Anyway, we are so lucky because plenty of our children’s friends have got fabulous facilities. When all the darlings come racing home from boarding, we only see them for a few short days before they’re rushing off to Sebastian’s or Fiona’s or Charlie’s or whoever has the leisure facilities suited to the weather!

This reminds me, I must chase up the planning permission to convert the wine cellar to a cinema…

Me Time

I talk more about this in the book but, as a feminist and a woman, I know I must tenderly nurture my soul. Put on your own life mask first, sister! I like to keep my term-time routines the same over the holidays to ensure I can continue to be the cog that keeps this family turning.

Update: exciting news!

Hi guys! Sorry I’ve been so quiet on here. Thanks for all your lovely messages.

Exciting news- I’ve been working on my book! It’s a parenting manifesto. It’s called Parenting: Learning on the Journey. I include recipes for my fertility-boosting chai seed porridge, reviews of the best pregnancy spa treatments and tips on how to have difficult conversations with your cleaner. It’s a manual for motherhood as well as being my vision for raising the next generation. Will link below for pre-orders.

It all came from a really exciting place of change in our little family. We were completing our annual review and writing our family vision statement (see chapter eight for deets) when Jeremy said he’d noticed I seemed to harbour some resentment towards him and his career. And although I am more qualified than him (#doublefirst!🙋🏼‍♀️) I wouldn’t have said ‘resent’ was the word. I do, admittedly, feel a little under-utilised – especially now Ambrose is back in mainstream education/private school.

So- my Mission Statement for myself was to write a book to impart the wisdom I’ve gleaned from experience and instinct.

Super excited to be sharing this with you guys. And thanks again for all your DMs. You guys rock.

Tough Week: surviving the hard times 

Had a real howler of a week. The kids have been on school holidays since mid-June and our au pair is going back to Sweden soon. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage things without her. She’s leaving to look after a poorly relative: I did the right thing and invited her to rent a house nearby for the relative and then she can keep her job with us and look after the woman the rest of the time. She refused. Disappointing. 

Ugh. And on top of that I missed my Amazon prime order and now we are completely out of Nespresso capsules. I’ve only the pale ones left and there’s no point me drinking anything lower than an 8 and there really aren’t enough Starbucks in the Cotswolds. 

Plus Jeremy has been working away masses recently and keeps Facetiming me when I’m trying to do Insta stories. He doesn’t understand that I work evenings.  

And I have a moral dilemma: the handbag J bought me for our anniversary is on sale at Net-a-Porter. How do I buy it in navy without hurting his feelings? Ideas on a postcard! 

On top of all this going around in my mind, I’m also finding it really tricky to transition my wardrobe. What is going on with this weather! It’s been Hunters under DVF at this week’s garden parties and even I struggled to pull that one off! 

Holiday: do it the right way

Packing

Me- I always get my clothes dry cleaned and packed for me. For the kids- I buy pages 78-92 of the Boden catalogue three weeks before leaving and then pack them straight in to the children’s matching suitcases. Jeremy- two pairs of linen shorts, a pair of pink chinos, and two polo Ralph Lauren polo necks- it’s the same every year and has been since we met. 

Nectar and her suitcase

Flights

Duty-free for make-up. A strong gin in the bar. Eye mask and a snooze on the flight. The children know not to wake me. In fact, I often book myself in to first class so Jeremy and the kids can have some time just the three of them. 

Hotel 

Anywhere with turquoise water, a crèche and a good wall to pose against. 

I had to float my phone on a lilo to get this shot

Memories

If a blogger has a good time on holiday but there’s no pics of it on social media, is it really a good time? No. It’s not really a memory at all. A memory, for me, is a flattering photo of family printed on a canvas and displayed in the hallway. It took three attempts and €5 to a local beachcomber but this is my favourite memory from our last holiday. 


Social Media

Obviously I ban the children from having tablets at the taverna tables, but I need to have mine to record our meals and memories. My Insta followers love seeing my outfits and Twitter goes in to turmoil if I don’t update my followers about how happy I am.