Showing posts from January, 2015

School-gate Fashionista

Nearly three years have passed since, inspired by a new generation of mummy bloggers, I shared my tips on how to conquer the school-gate catwalk . Things change in three years. Fashion moves on, circumstances alter and body parts start slipping. High time, therefore, that I show you how my style has evolved to meet the demands of 2015 and how you too can get the look that turns heads on the school run - or, in our case, hike. Logistically, this sharing has proved a challenge. My usual photographer has started secondary school and is unavailable and the Vicar eats muesli at 8.30am and can't be disturbed. Moreover, the 10-year-old has refused to capture some of my more, er, retro ensembles. Here, however, is a photo log of my sartorial week so you can see how a woman's wardrobe moves with the times. Monday 2012                                        2015 Some of the striking fashion differences in this picture can be explained by the fact that the first was taken at

Not for Publication

The 10-year-old is sagging over his homework book. He has, he explains, to write about Something Funny that has happened in the family. An unwanted thought comes to mind: 'You know that story I was telling yesterday about Great Grandma's lavatory light switch and the chipolata?' I say. 'Oh yes!' he exclaims, brightening. 'Just make sure you don't use that one.' There's a crestfallen pause. Then he perks up. 'What about the thing you and Auntie did at Christmas with the Brussels sprout?' 'That,' I say firmly, 'is not for publication.' Further silence. A procession of memories discomforts me. I censor each one of them and cast urgently about for an example of wholesome hilarity which will show the vicarage in decorous light in the school staff room. 'I suppose you could use the humping game,' I suggest doubtfully. The humping game is a high-suspense competition involving ant hills and always takes place in publ

A Day Off

9.15am Return from the muddy two-mile hike to and from school drop-off. 9.40am Arrive in church No I to set out forty chairs and six tables for the community singing group. Commence nine commutes down the aisle with the water jug to fill up the tea urn. 11.00am  Serve tea to 107 singers. 11.20am  Wash up 107 tea cups in the last three inches of hot water dispensed by the tea urn. Noon Clear away forty chairs and six tables. 1.30pm Chaperone the Vicar's cassock on an emergency dash to the dry cleaner. 2.40pm Repeat the muddy mile to church No II by the school to fill the tea urn. 3.15pm Serve tea and squash to 13 parents and children. 4.15pm Clear away 13 tea and squash cups and mop juvenile footprints off the new laminate in the church hall. 5.00pm Start writing a press release on the Heritage Lottery grant towards the church organ appeal . 5.30pm Return to church No I to make up 12 mattresses for the winter night shelter. Set out three tables and 14 c

Sunday School

It's 8.53am. In seven minutes my Sunday school is due to start a mile up the road, unless, by divine providence, the Vicar has forgotten his sermon notes again and has to dash back home to retrieve them. I am supposed to be in the church hall laying out pots of craft glue and orange plastic chairs for my handful of young charges. Instead I am on my knees in the vicarage guest room, rummaging through the wardrobe for a ball of brown wool. It's impossible, I've realised, to explain the baptism of Jesus without brown wool. All I can find is a skein of glittery red tapestry thread. Jesus and John the Baptist will have to be scarlet-headed punk rockers rearing out of a tissue-paper River Jordan. It's now 8.57am. Only the 10-year-old is coated and shod, ready for the high-octane speed trip in the Skoda. The 12-year-old is lying across her bed wearing one leg of a pair of track suit bottoms and diamante headphones. The amorous agonies of Jesse J have deafened her to my bel