#atinylife light

*having a carry on: Scottish for misbehaving, being giddy.


It is an hour and a half since I put the oldest to bed, and here I am climbing the stairs again.

It’s my turn, as Mr HB went up half an hour ago.

‘Why won’t you go to sleep? You are both grumpy all day, and then when we put you to bed, you have a carry on* for hours.’

‘Mummy, it’s too light.’

‘It is not. You’re not even trying to sleep. Go to bed. And no more nonsense!’

I went to bed early, as I usually do, and a grey light came through the curtains, even at half ten when I put my light off.

5am, and I’m up again. The sun is already up, the sky is blue. I realise the kids were right:


it’s too light.

#atinylife Sunny

Oh, I can’t complain.

I mean,

I try not to complain.


When it’s sunny.

And it’s so sunny –

it’s great,

cheered us all right up.



In Scotland, you

get this, some years.

Some years, I don’t need

to wear sandals

at any time.


(Which is OK,

as it means I don’t

have to paint my toenails, either.)


It’s such a cliché

to be one of those serial


that complain

when it’s sunny

and when it’s raining

and when it’s cold

and when it’s windy.



I’m not great in the sunshine.

If I don’t wear a hat

I get a headache.

If it’s super hot

I get panicky

if we run low on ice cubes.


So I live

in the right country,

because as I said,

this is lovely.


But a summer like this is rare.


And that’s OK.

#atinylife140 CoffeeShops

On the radio, the man says

‘You’ve just had a baby,

so you’ll be in loads of coffee shops



‘I’m back at work like you!’ she says.


She’s owning him, on the radio.

He thinks

motherhood is easy,

and coffee shops are full of easy woman and their babies.



the man says

‘You told me

you’d had an NCT coffee



The audience laugh.


You could’ve let her be right.

How hard it is:

having a baby, being freelance.

Women wanting to work,

men ripped from their babies,

two weeks later.

Everyone’s guilt.


None of it is any good.


You know –

it’s no fun in a coffee shop

with a tiny baby.Coffee Shops

Getting half a conversation. At best.

But we’re sitting about,

having lovely coffees all day.


You could’ve left it.

We get enough of all that.



#atinylife clothesshopping

‘How long until we need to pick Dan up?’

‘An hour and…forty minutes. We’ve got time to go and swap those trousers, if you like.’ The ‘skinny’ jeans from Asda hung off my oldest’s thighs.


We arrived and swapped the voluminous trousers for a gift card. Because my oldest is currently identifying as gender non-conforming, we started at what we call the ‘so called’ girls section.Clothes Shopping

Nothing that sparked an interest.

So we checked the so-called boys section.

Nothing. Unless you count the flicker on a tiger T shirt which wasn’t available for anyone over five.

‘I’m sorry. I’m taking so long,’ my child said.

‘It’s not your fault.’

There was nothing there for an individual that wasn’t a girly girl, or a boyish boy.

I just hope that the whole world isn’t going to be like that.