Fairytale Princess

My daughter loves princesses. Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Jasmine; she knows them all. We’ve read their stories over and over again, cried when Cinderella is made to clean the kitchen yet again (what a fate!), and sighed with pleasure when Belle’s Beast reveals that he really is as beautiful on the outside as he turns out to be on the inside....more


My daughter wants to know if people will eventually evolve to the stage where no one ever dies. Will we die or will we change, is how she phrases her question, and, just for a moment, I have a vision of people shedding their skins and emerging butterfly like into the next stage of their lives, or slowly, over the course of a few years, growing an extra limb or the ability to see through walls.  ...more

Lipgloss and Trampolines



  We’re late. I clutch my daughter’s hand tightly as we hurry up the stairs to the railway platform, partly because that’s the way she likes it (‘tighter, Mummy, don’t let go!’) but mostly because I know that if I do let go she will probably start zigzagging up the stairs or hopping or…something, something that will, invariably, make us even more likely to miss our train.  ...more

Don't walk, dance!

Last week I had the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I sat on the floor in the local gymnasium, often with one hand clamped over my mouth, and giggled as quietly as I could. In front of me, four little girls stomped around the room, arms outstretched, legs flailing, their eyes torn between watching the teacher gliding gracefully around the room and watching themselves in the floor to ceiling mirrors. Too often the mirrors won out and near collisions seamlessly became part of their routines....more

do pilots wear dresses?

‘Mummy,’ my daughter asks. ‘When will I have an office?’ She mimes hitting the keys of a computer for a moment, before picking up her fork and digging it into the bowl in front of her.  ...more

zigzags: following your own path

We’re in the middle of one of our marathon painting sessions. “Mummy, zigzags are pretty, aren’t they,” my young daughter says, as she swipes her brush up and down over the paper. What results is a zigzag of truly magnificent proportions, but one that also veers wildly off one edge of the paper and on to the table. She grins up at me and I sigh. Mess and creativity seem to always go hand in hand.  ...more

Learning: one twirl at a time

My daughter loves to twirl and jump in her best approximation of how she thinks a ballet dancer moves. Her audience is always appreciative, or at least gives indications of this being the case, and she now regularly refers to her future career as a ballet dancer.  ...more