3 ways to appreciate your life today

We all have those moments. The kind where everything in our life seems a bit shit and we feel hard-done-by. For some, those thoughts last a few moments, for others it lasts for weeks, or months. It’s not helped by Facebook either, where everyone else’s life seems so much more fun. But what if I …

Made up about skin care

I’m not anti-make up. I don’t have some righteous crusade against it. I don’t have daughters so I’m not one of those conscious-of-the-pressures-we-put-on-girls-to-conform-to-society’s-standards-of-beauty kind of person. I don’t feel superior in any way. No, it’s simply the case that my I-can’t-be-bothered-ness overrules my need to look beautiful. I am a beauty moron. I know nothing …

Newsflush – Why I’m giving up news

My brain is skittish, foggy. I can’t concentrate for very long. I get ratty with books (my patience much reduced), and my attention span is microscopic. I need my next fix and I need it now, before I miss out, before something REALLY important happens. I’ve exhausted the BBC, I try Twitter – I need …

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 …

Don’t give up but know when to quit

My pointy finger hovered above the arrow. Do I send it? This letter of resignation that contained only two sentences but still took me two hours to compose (the wording had to be spot on, obviously). Do I quit? Am I a quitter? Does that make me a loser? Many of us are told, in …

Back in the write place

I’ve been out of writing action for a few months. Seven to be precise. The reason? Because I got a job, which sadly didn’t work out, but happily made me realise that I missed writing and so I’m back on it with renewed vigour.  But can a writer really just take 7 months out of …

Too many passing phases

As babies my two boys were a wonder to me, and a chore. I loved them deeply but resented the all-encompassing attention they needed. In the depths of baby shit, painful and bulging boobs and delirious inadequacy, I looked ahead to the time when they would be able to use the toilet, communicate their needs, and …

5 tips to help you cull wicked wheat

Most of us are aware that the food we eat has implications for our mood. Chocolate gives us a small temporary high, for example. But how many of us know that gluten can cause depression and anxiety? Even Celiacs are unaware of the effects of this stuff on their brain. It is a digestive issue isn’t …

Introvert at the school gates

  “Alone, alone, alone” says the sloth. “That’s a lot of aloneness,” says the woolly mammoth in Ice Age. Between a quarter and half of us are introverts. That’s almost half of everyone we know who are energised by solitary pursuits and who feel drained if exposed for too long to social environments. I am …

Ageing me

I look in the hall mirror. The person staring out at me is not the person I feel inside. Mirror-me is haggard, pallid and my eyes seem to be disappearing into my head. My hair, although not yet showing signs of grey (thank you genes!), is lank and weak. It takes more effort these days …