Be yourself to find your tribe

I often notice people, especially at the school gates, who try desperately to fit in, to be part of the clique because they want to feel as though they belong somewhere. I know a little of how they feel. I’ve always felt a little on the side-lines, a bit of an outsider, a loner, when …

What Can You Do About Anger?

Irritation swarmed through me as I listened to her, shouting at me down the phone. “Get your bloody head out of the sand and realise that your son is a bully” she shouted, almost perforating my eardrum, I moved the handset away from my head. I could feel the venom in her voice. She got …

Don’t dwell on what doesn’t matter

Something on your mind? Have you done or said something that you are highly embarrassed about, but you just cannot forget? Perhaps something has happened that you can’t stop thinking about. There are many occasions when I’ve done or said something foolish (particularly after a few glasses of wine) that I deeply regretted and worried …

Sing to your own tune

The film was utter rubbish but my friends all loved it. I couldn’t understand why. But the most concerning thing was that, as they tried to convince me just how good it was, I started to believe them. Maybe I’d missed some vital element in the film. Maybe I’m just not as smart as I …

Is your power tank running on empty?

The playground can be a frightening and inhospitable place. But it can also be warm, friendly and welcoming. It all depends on how powerful I feel on any given day. There are times when everybody wants to talk to me; I’m the centre of attention and people laugh at my jokes. But other times I …

Another failed NY resolution?

We’ve all had that conversation, “Oh I’d love to write a book, but I just don’t have the time”. Perhaps you’re one of those people who spout these same words every year. I know I am. Not having time, I’m told, is also the reason why people don’t see their best friend from school, start …

How to make friends in the school playground (a guide for parents)

As you mop up your tears of pride at seeing your little darlings toddle off to big school in their oversized uniform and enormous shoes, just remember you’re going to be in this playground, at the crack, every morning for the next six years so you’d better make some playground buds pretty sharpish, before you …

Revive your inner child

The enchantment of childhood may be long gone for most of us but that doesn’t mean we can’t share in some of the magic. My boys sit on the carpet playing with small colourful figures. They are deeply immersed in their inner worlds where pirates, monsters and magical lands rule. How wonderful it would be …

Writer or imposter?

Imposter

I walk into a writer’s social networking meeting. Immediately I feel as though I don’t belong here – these are real writers, they all have valid reasons for being here. I, on the other hand, am an imposter.

Unresolved

Roughly 11 and a half months ago I resolved that this year I would: Get my book finished (am currently 41,000 words in); write a brilliant and illuminating blog post every week for this and my husbands website; lose 3 stone in weight; be infinitely more productive, and; be infinitely more organised. Turns out that …