It would be a spectacular disappointment if I’d allowed myself expectations. I’ve lived through enough UK summers, though, to have formulated none at all. And because I’ve still only been back a year, I haven’t really minded the more or less total failure of summer to appear. Continue reading “Neighbourhood watching”
We need an after-school kid looker-afterer! Our boys say they don’t need nannying, they don’t want to be babysat, and they don’t much like the sound of being minded. But they do need someone there when they get home from school, to ask about their day, stop them bingeing on biscuits and fighting, kick a ball around sometimes and gently bully them into their homework and chores. You’ll need plenty of patience and the ability to be firm when they push it… Continue reading “Nanny status”
Always a boy who needs to feel part of the tribe, Number Two Son tends his accent with the same care he gives his footballer’s quiff in the morning mirror. He works to eliminate his Kiwi short ‘e’, that giveaway vowel, as mockable as the Australian short ‘i’.
‘Axcellint,’ he says to himself. ‘Avrything. Agg.’ Continue reading “Lippy kids”
“It’s too early to be getting up,” say my sons, dragging themselves out of bed in the 7am dark: these boys who till recently rarely slept past six.
The first week of January comes as a minor shock to us all. Surely we can’t be expected to go back to work and school so soon after Christmas? Continue reading “A new groove”
It’s not Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho, not Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow. It’s a soft, shrill, wheezy cough, like a kitten hacking up a furball. Continue reading “I know what the fox says”
This is where the emigrating shit gets real: when you pack your kids off to a strange school in a strange country, where along with the unfamiliar faces so much else is foreign too: the accents, the vocabulary, the routines, the things that everyone else seems to know by osmosis but no one quite explains. Continue reading “The rubber hits the road”
The beginning of the holidays, instead of smoking the kids out of the neighbouring houses, seems to make them vanish altogether. Where have they all gone, we wonder – off to the seaside, perhaps, or Spain, or to visit their grandparents in Lincolnshire, or to school holiday programmes or whatever working Londoners do with their kids over the summer. Continue reading “Funny bone”