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Why Bear Grylls is sensible in giving his small son a penknife

My small son  up a ladder. Risky? Undoubtedly.

My small son up a ladder. Risky? Undoubtedly.

I too once gave my small son a penknife; children should get used to risk. And I’m fully on Bear’s side. No matter that he is an old Etonian. To my mind, he is an inspirational figure. Read More…

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Violin Saga

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Here is Honey practising her violin. She’s got her back turned to me because she is a bit GRUMPY about having to practise every morning. But then that is what comes from saying Oooh I want to take my Grade Five in, er three months. Daily practise. Read More…

Being a Cockroach at the Science Museum

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No, its not going around the Science Museum dressed as a cockroach to find out more about cockroaches. That would be too sensible. And would happen next door at the Natural Hist. Museum. Read More…

Why a Ladder is Better Than a Lounger (IMHO)

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We all want to have a bit of an adventure on a family holiday – don’t we? And October half term is a rather good time… rather brilliant time is the break during the October half term, just when the stretch to Christmas seems so unbearably long. Read More…

At Appledore Book Festival

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What a lovely experience…everyone came and sat down, the place was full, they laughed at my jokes, they listened, they bought my books. Lots of them. Books, I mean. The people. I even signed some with Christmas salutations.   Read More…

At Glastonbury Aged 9

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Alright, maybe I had a sheltered childhood. But it wasn’t until I was about SEVENTEEN that I was allowed to go to an ‘up all night’ party.

‘Staying the night’ was a bit different, and involved teddies, pyjamas and midnight feasts at 8pm. When I was nine. Read More…

Summer hols

So here we all are in Crantock, Cornwall….I have to speak up for the magic of family holidays on Woman’s Hour and I wish you could have these pictures on radio! Of course… you can’t take photos of the times the children start saying “I’m bored”, “when are we there”, etc etc – but they have been quite few and far between… Read More…

Renting our for the Olympics, yes that’s for me

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If anyone asks where we will be during the Olympics, I just smile mysteriously. Because it is a bit of a mystery. We will be either camping in Cornwall, or in Ireland, or at the bottom of my parents’ garden in Wimbledon, for all I know. Maybe all three. One thing I do known  however, is that we will not be in Islington. No, for we have talked the talk and walked the walk and lain down with that nice, sharp man Mr Foxton. Not Biblically speaking, of COURSE. But metaphorically. Read More…

Children should be seen and not heard

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What is the difference between a child and a mobile phone? In a Quiet Carriage on First Great Western, not very much. Picture the scene. There’s me and my two youngest, aged 7 and 9. We are out for the day to experience a Ghost Tour at a  Somerset mansion, (as seen here)   Read More…

Losing my head in Paris

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This is Lucien and me on the Paris Roule, otherwise known as Paris Copying London. I’m not mad on the London Eye, and I’m not mad on this one either. Read More…