Posted in Reading, Writing

Summer Reading Ideas from Today’s Child

A post about my latest book review feature for Today’s Child Magazine

banner advert for Today's Child showing magazine cover For the last few years, I’ve been writing a regular books feature, reviewing and previewing children’s books for the free parenting magazine, Today’s Child. I first wrote for them when I was still working part-time for children’s reading charity Readathon, which provides free books and storytellers for children in hospital, and encourages children in schools to read for pleasure. But as the magazine has grown and I’ve switched roles, writing full-time from home now, we’ve changed to a freelance arrangement, though I still sneak in plenty of Readathon references! Continue reading “Summer Reading Ideas from Today’s Child”

Posted in Personal life, Reading, Travel, Writing

A Holiday from Housework

cat sitting on cushion
“Don’t you dare pack my favourite cushion!”

You can tell a holiday is looming in our household when the place starts to look unusually tidy. As if the effort of planning and packing for a trip away is not enough, I pile on the pressure by insisting that the house is spick and span before we go. It never looks tidier than the day we go away.

“Who are you tidying it for, burglars?” asked a friend, curious as to why I was in such a frenzy one morning.

Actually, it’s for me – so that when I walk back into the house on our return, I think “Ooh, how lovely – I’d forgotten how nice our house is!” rather than “Oh god, what a mess”.

Until now, I’d always assumed that when our cat Dorothy regards us with suspicion as we prepare for our holidays, it is because she equates the act of packing with being abandoned her for a fortnight, and she’s anxious as to whether she’ll get her daily biscuit ration. But as I cleared a longstanding collection of my husband’s shoes from the bottom of the stairs this afternoon, it occurred to me that she’s probably just bewildered by so much sudden change to her territory.

I also hit upon a simple way to keep a tidy house all year round: I just need to go on holiday more often.

(This post was originally written for the August issue of Hawkesbury Parish News.)

Cover of the paperback showing blurb
Need some light reading for your own summer holiday? My collection of very short stories is perfect for whiling away time in airports and on the beach. Available to order from all good bookshops, and from the usual online stores.