The Clowance Estate, Cornwall – a review

This is just going to be a quick post – but after struggling to find much information about The Clowance Estate before our holiday there last week, it struck me that a review might be of use to other holidaymakers. (Just to be clear, we paid in full for our holiday and I have received…

Exercise classes – what a newbie needs to know.

I really must stress, like so much of what I write on this blog, all advice offered in this post is entirely unsolicited. Nobody has ever approached me in the street, asking for tips on how to create this type of physique, and I rather think that if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s not going…

Keeping the masses happy – best buys for holiday harmony.

Mid-Summer holidays, I have compiled a list of books and other activities that I have bought over the last year or two which may be of use in keeping your troops entertained and out of mischief during idle moments or rainy days.
All have been rigorously tested and approved by my little badgers.

Easy peasy birthday cake.

I am writing this from our holiday. I meant to write it before we set off, but birthday demands, end of term shenanigans and holiday packing left spare time in short supply. Apols, therefore for formatting of a poorer standard than usual – there are a number of things I am struggling to work out…

The perils of cat ownership.

The house is alarmingly quiet this morning with the little badgers being ‘on holiday’ at Nanny and Papa’s for a full weekend; in part to accommodate our party-going tonight and in part because it’s so much more fun being spoiled rotten there, than being harried by a tiresome mother at home. It has been rather…

French escapades: 5 brilliant things to do in Picardy.

After a lovely week in France, I have been boring anyone who will listen with a litany of Picardy’s virtues. For anyone else thinking of visiting (and it’s lovely, you really should) I’ve compiled a list of brilliant things to do with kids.

Camping for the clueless: my 5 top tips for beginners.

My husband has been promising our firstborn a camping trip for several years. Last summer, in a bid to lend credibility to his promises we bought a tent, but busy lives, disappointing weather – and perhaps a faint undercurrent of reluctance – meant it has lain dormant. Until this last gloriously sunny Bank holiday weekend……

Podcast obsession

I am mad on podcasts. My coolest friend introduced me to them a couple of years ago and I am totally obsessed with them. She is obvs much cooler than me now as a journalist living in Dublin; she goes to gigs on school nights and jets round the world at weekends, whilst I’m in…

Brilliant beauty buys.

The response I got from my post about beauty in the Aldi aisles confirmed that I am not alone in my love of a cosmetic bargain. I must reiterate here, that I am no glamorous minx, and on the surface, nobody you’d look to for advice in this field, but I DO love a good…

11 steps to a brilliant night’s sleep.

I seem to have been somewhere on the continuum between moderately fatigued and totally exhausted since my firstborn came onto the scene in early 2009. Of course, nobody with a small baby can realistically expect to have a decent amount of sleep, but somehow, even though my children reliably make it through the night without…

Beauty in the Aldi aisles.

I really hate food shopping. The crush in the aisles. The stress of the checkout. The godawful unpacking once home. It truly is one of my least favourite things to do. I do much of my shopping in Aldi these days, and I don’t think this helps any of the problems aforementioned. Our town offers…

Staying sane in the hols.

School here has just broken up for Easter. I think parental emotions were mixed. Some seemed merely relieved to be avoiding the tyranny of 8:55 registration and appropriate packed lunches for two weeks, others focused on the 24/7 x 2 nature of the upcoming interaction with their progeny. Holidays without plans can  be hard-going. I…

Swimming hell. Spa heaven. And smoothies.

Swimming this morning was pretty much the least enjoyable way imaginable to spend a portion of the weekend. On any day, it is abysmal, with the cramped changing rooms, cold, trickling showers and the inevitability of a key item of clothing ending up in a puddle, but the perishing conditions outside meant that even the swimming…

Faffathons and fish cakes.

The relentless culinary demands of feeding two tiny tyrants often leaves me wretched – here I’d like to share some shortcuts to snapping approved by some harsh critics.