Hosting an au pair

My family has had an au pair since last February. The first one was from New Zealand and the second, who has been with us for a month, is German. The parents are enjoying the flexibility of the childcare and the ability to go out on date nights more than twice a year. The children […]

Sorry, not sorry

This week, I have been reducing my use of the word sorry. I apologise a lot, for things that I ought to be sorry for and for things that are none of my doing. I routinely say sorry when someone stands on my foot, shuts a door that I’m trying to walk through, hits me […]

Family Fun Night

We have recently introduced family fun night. Up till a few weeks ago, we were bath-every-night slaves to the bedtime routine set down when the children were very little. Recently, because of holidays and whatnot, things have been getting a little more lax, with no demonstrable negative effect on bedtime. We are pretty lucky. Our […]

Wedding Anniversary Tartiflette

Recently, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. In London, it’s unusual to have your anniversary in January, but not in New Zealand, where we married. It is strange to remember in London, on a chilly winter’s day, the glorious sunshiny day we had, warm enough to have canapés on the terrace and to […]

A day for soda bread

Good soda bread is one of the great things to eat, especially warm with butter. It’s hard to find good soda bread in London. I have tried the occasional bakery example which has been OK but not great, and the commercial ones, while serviceable, are nothing like a home-made one. However, soda bread is phenomenally […]

Resolving not to resolve

I have been making New Year’s resolutions since I was a little girl. I have been failing to keep them for just as long. Many diaries were started and neglected. Many attempts were made to keep bedrooms tidy and be nicer to my siblings. Last year, I managed to keep one for months, replying to […]

An introduction

I am an Irish woman married to a New Zealander, living in London for the last decade and a half. I never intended to stay. Nor did my husband. However, we are still here, still threatening to leave and still going nowhere. London is a wonderful city. I have studied here, worked here and had […]