Notes from a half-empty nest

A flurry of exam results, celebrations, book-buying, bag-packing, car-loading, kisses and hugs, and our daughter, Kitty, is now settled into her university accommodation.  Overnight, the average age of our household has gone up.  The numbers of showers being taken and apples being eaten have gone down.  There is less fruit tea being drunk and less pasta being cooked on  the hoof.  There are fewer questions … Continue reading Notes from a half-empty nest

Greetings from the middle of exam season

It’s full on, double whammy, GCSE and A Level year in our house. For visitors who don’t know, GCSEs (General Certificates of Secondary Education) are the first public exams most young people sit after five years of secondary schooling in England and Wales (I think Scottish students sit exams called Standards). ‘A’ Levels (Advanced Levels) are the exams some students sit after a further two years … Continue reading Greetings from the middle of exam season

On continuing to read with your kids

Like many parents, my husband and I have always read with our children.  When they were babies, we read fairy stories and nursery rhymes to them and gave them board books to chew and dribble over.  Touch-and-feel books were popular, as were lift-the-flap books (usually reinforced with triple layer sellotape to cater for even the most boisterous of readers), scratch-and-sniff books, and musical books (batteries often mysteriously stopped … Continue reading On continuing to read with your kids

The Day before GCSE Results Day

Twenty-four hours before my oldest child receives her GCSE results, it’s hard not to relive the day the game was up for me.   One thing I’ve learned about being a parent is that  it’s impossible not to revisit my own past as my children grow older. Until my ‘O’ Level (as these exams were called in my day) results arrived, to the outside world, I was … Continue reading The Day before GCSE Results Day