Author Archives: Mandy Cochrane
What do you do about pocket money for your kids?
Way back, before my first-born knew or cared about such mundane principles as money, we had a plastic pot and a goodly supply of black and white glass pebbles.
Good behaviour was rewarded with a white pebble and bad behaviour…you get the idea. Every now and then a tally would be made and (wait for it…) REWARD STICKERS were given to an ecstatic little girl.
In due course, our wide-eyed cherub got wise and stickers were rejected in favour of sweets and other such incentivising goodies as she was able to screw out of us. Read the rest of this entry
My personal highlight of the week was descaling the kettle. “Highlight” in this particular instance meaning the single event that took up most time with the least satisfying results and the maximum curse-inducing consequences. Read the rest of this entry
For what seems an eternity now my 10-year-old daughter, Georgie, has been counting down the days to her four-day school trip to France. She’s had a couple of happy weekends away in the last year or so (fun residential courses at Kilve Court near Bridgwater), but this was always going to be “THE BIG ONE”. Read the rest of this entry
Oh, if only I was Elizabeth Bennet – gay, witty, clever, always quick with a pithy retort or an astute observation. I fell in love with Lizzy when I was about 14 and have remained so ever since – in fact my daughter’s middle name is Elizabeth. I must have been going through a bit of a Regency phase at the time because her first name is Georgina – rather grand, eh?
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read Pride and Prejudice. I particularly enjoy the anticipation of reaching a favourite chapter, at which point I get all squirmy and force myself not to skip read in order to reach an instance of Mr Bennet’s famous dry humour or a moment of high drama in Lizzy’s love life. And Mr Collins’ absurdities are always worth savouring.
That Single Slummy Mummy is Tweeting as girl detective Nancy Drew this week (go take a look), so along a similar theme, I’ve decided to Tweet a week with some memorable lines from Pride and Prejudice. Read the rest of this entry
Sexism is a Very Bad Thing. I say that now before I go on to defend the title of this post. I’ve no wish to be hauled away by the Women’s Lib movement and sentenced to three years locked in a power-suit with electrified shoulder pads. Read the rest of this entry
It’s an accepted fact of life: gastro pubs will start touting for Christmas party bookings while your summer holiday snaps are still wet from the printer; tins of Christmas chocolates will appear on supermarket shelves the moment pumpkins have been removed; shop windows the length and breadth of the High Street will be festive and twinkly long before you start Christmas shopping.
Businesses start touting early to get their slice of the pie. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. And it’s really not that difficult to ignore it all until I’m good and ready.
Shops and pubs and supermarkets have this theory that if they start telling us it’s Christmas earlier and earlier each year we’ll believe it and start shopping like the frenzied zombies we do actually become when we eventually decide it’s time to take Christmas seriously. Until recently, I’ve genuinely felt that, for all the commercial hype, most people are sensible enough to ignore the pressure and begin the festive countdown at a sensible date. Or after 1st December at any rate.
Is it really too much to ask that Christmas at least happens in December? Read the rest of this entry
There I am, at the reception desk of a perfectly nice hotel, with my best pal Brad Pitt (it might be Nicolas Cage or even Viggo Mortensen actually – the face is a bit blurry). I’ve no idea of the purpose for our stay, but what’s that got to do with anything? This is fantasy, right?
And whaddya know? Our booking for two single rooms has got mixed up. The hotel is fully booked except for one last double. Every other hotel in the area is stacked to the rafters, it’s a wild and stormy night and the only other option is to sleep in the car.
What’s a girl to do? Read the rest of this entry