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Family activities

10 Oct 13

Fancy dress: who is it really for?

Eldest child hates fancy dress. It makes him self-conscious. He prefers looking like a regular five-year-old boy. His mother loves it. Loves it with a serious and abiding passion. And I’m not fussy – from supermarket ready-made costumes to intricate hand-crafted ensembles –  if it’s fancy, it’s in. We are like chalk and cheese on this issue. But I am the adult. And I am the one who knows the good parking spot near the fancy dress shop. Occasionally I exert my frivolous will on my poor, defenceless child. His school’s recent Dahlicious Dress Up Day was a perfect opportunity. The children could dress as a character from their favourite Roald Dahl book. We’ve only read two: Fantastic Mr Fox and The BFG. ‘Do you want to be a fox?’ I asked tentatively, smiling over-enthusiastically. Smelling my fear he answered with a defiant ‘No’. ‘Ok, the BFG it is then. He […]

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24 Sep 13

Postcards from the edge

Holidays with children. Are they worth the hassle? I slave over travel websites, pest call reservations desks with increasingly bonkers enquiries (are there coco pops on the breakfast buffet? Does the villa kitchen have a blender?) and spend bucketfuls of cash in the quest to bask in joyful family time somewhere that isn’t our house, and therefore doesn’t have all the stuff that makes life easier.   And I hate packing. I really hate it. I hate it even more if I’m packing for five people on a three-person baggage allowance (thank you, budget airlines, for thinking under-twos travel light).   I’ve got three children – a five-year-old, a toddler and a baby. Plus a husband with a gout-inflamed toe. Just getting to the airport can be a struggle. But I’m determined We Will Have A Good Time, whether they like it or not. So I’m always on the hunt […]

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