Help! My family’s got Pre-Puppy Tension (PPT)

“I’ve been told to say Thank You. Not sure what it is though….:”

After months, if not years, of waiting for a dog, the atmosphere in our house this week has become, shall we say, a little crazy.  With the puppy’s due date collection date being this Saturday, strange things are going on in our household…..

  • My son has been waking at 6am unable to get back to sleep with excitement (thankfully staying in his bed – he’s considerate like that).  Then on Thursday evening he decided the only way to fill the waiting dog crate was to get in it himself……

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Train of thought

Commuting cartoon“‘Ello?” growled the voice to the left of me. “It’s me. Yeah, alright?,” the bloke continued into his phone.  “They tried to nick me for armed robbery.”

My eyes jerked open.

It was Friday evening.  I’d escaped the kids and all domestic chores and was blissfully heading into north London to see a play with my Irish cousin and partner.  After a rather intense week of my two putting up with only each other for company, I decided to do some mindfulness meditation based on the Headspace approach (more on that another time). Continue reading

How to buy a dog / the one where I tell you we’re getting a puppy

Which one?!

Which one?!

We’re getting a dog.

At last!  (does several jigs whilst holding a glass of prosecco – opps, bad idea….)

After years of talking about it, tossing the idea about like a cat with a ball of easter egg foil, we’ve at last decided now is the right time (sort of).  The kids are old enough to be left behind if the dog needs a piddle and it’s peeing down with rain.  Most importantly, they’re definitely old enough to help with picking up the poo – even if they will moan incessantly about it. Continue reading

The Art of Focus: lessons from Monet and….. Jesus (Royal Academy’s Painting the Modern Garden Exhibition)


Last week I had the privilege of spending a day wandering around the galleries of London’s Royal Academy of Arts.  To celebrate a friend’s birthday, we treated ourselves to visit the current exhibition ‘Painting the Modern Garden’, a specially curated collection of paintings by 20th century artists whose subject was ‘the garden’.  Although there were a whole range of paintings and styles from many familiar and less familiar artists, the main draw was the collection of paintings by the great impressionist, Claude Monet, some of which had never been seen before in Europe. Continue reading

The Girl at the End of the Road – Book Review

Friends writing books is quite the thing at the moment.  Last month I told you about my best friend’s debut book for children when their mum is diagnosed with breast cancer.  This month, an acquaintance I’ve got to know through writing, has launched her first novel which she asked me to review. And what a first novel it is!

Set in contemporary rural Suffolk,’The Girl at the End of the Road’ is a poignant story that grows on you as you read it.   Continue reading