Children Going Away For the First Time

school trip,

On Wednesday Kieran, newly turned nine went off with the rest of the year four children at his school to a two night, three day residential at Carlton Lodge.

His days will have involved kayaking, raft building and sailing, jumping into a big lake, orienteering, climbing up ridiculously high structures and jumping off (along a zip wire) and more. A fantastic opportunity that I’m so pleased the school have organised.

While I’m sure he’s had an absolutely fabulous time and probably not given us a second thought we’ve missed him terribly! This is the first time Kieran’s been away from us and it’s been pretty rough to be honest, not least for Taylor. He’s been sneaking into Kieran’s room to check whether he’s come back yet (since he left), has complained that “nothing is cool when he isn’t here” and “it’s taking too long for him to come back!”.  I was happy to hear him also grudgingly say out of the blue that he hopes he’s having fun though.

This is us walking Taylor to his childminder before taking Kieran to school to set off for the trip. Taylor didn't want to walk with me, only Kieran and wouldn't let go of him. He's missed him!

This is us walking Taylor to his childminder before taking Kieran to school to set off for the trip. Taylor didn’t want to walk with me, only Kieran and wouldn’t let go of him. He’s missed him!

As a parent you look forward to new experiences and hitting milestones. Kieran going away for the first time is probably the first milestone that I’ve struggled with. I’ve not been concerned for his safety, how he’d cope or whether he’d enjoy himself and I’ve no doubt that it will have been truly epic (as he describes such things). My angst has been totally self-centered. I’ve missed him!

The house has felt weird! More than that though it really has brought to my attention that these little babies aren’t babies anymore. Hardly one to wrap them in cotton wool I’ve been keen to encourage independence. That’s come back to bite me on the backside now!  I’m not complaining really, I was pleased to see him leave so confidently.

I do wish that they’d slow down with the whole growing up thing though!


Making Father’s Day Special

I have two dads to look after again this year, my dad and of course Roy, the long-suffering husband and father two my wonderful sons. Legal & General challenged me (with the prize of some BBQ freebies if I was inventive enough) to describe how I could make a Father’s Day BBQ suitably fabulous. Thankfully I have two suitably fabulous people to cater for!

My Dad


My dad is, as my 8-nearly-9y-old would say “awesome”. He also has a wicked sense of humour, loves music and is Irish. We’d go all out on the leprechaun thing to be honest, with a green gabezo, green table cloths, pictures of four leaf clovers and lucky little people (this is where the kids come in with their crafty skills!).

We’d hang bunting and of course if we couldn’t get Andrea from the Corrs to attend personally (which would be a shame) we’d cetainly have their music playing, alongside some Eagles and various other “groovy tunes”.

Food-wise we’d be looking at good old fashioned BBQ fare, sausages (with fried onions and ketchup of course), burgers, coleslaw, chicken legs and something sweet for afters.

THIS would be a perfect family Father’s Day gathering for my dad, with his 6 kids and their families in attendance.

Daddy (Roy)



Roy’s Father’s Day BBQ would look slightly different. We are you see a family of sci-fi and fantasy geeks. We’d have a gazebo which looked more medieval than B&Q, with suits of armour or similar handing from the sides. Basically think of it as a Game of Thrones gathering without the bloodshed (or naughty going-ons!). We’ve have Dungeons and Dragons thrown into the mix somewhere, perhaps with a themed cake like we had for his birthday a few years ago and a very meaty feast!

Lord of the Rings music would play in the background and I’m sure that by the time we’d finished eating and telling Roy what a fab dad he is that we’d end up playing Risk or something similar together after clearing the food from the garden table.

THIS would be Roy’s perfect Father’s Day BBQ.

What would your “perfect” Father’s Day BBQ look like?

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