#atinylife TrafficLights

The village has temporary traffic lights again.

As I wait on red, a tree in the graveyard jiggles. It’s almost a percussive movement – the bird bustles high above the lights.

In terms of travel, I’m neither a cutter or a thruster, so I’m not fussed. I’m happy queuing here, watching the bird traverse between the big house and the graveyard.

tinylife TrafficLights


The whole road was closed, for the gas line. We had to drive round the villages up the back for weeks.


Then there were times that the snow made it difficult to pass through, walking or driving.

Last summer, the road from our village to the next town was shut at the other end.

Remembering a series of traffic curtailments grounds me here. In a good way! Being part of something. Including the mini-annoyances, the wonderful things, even this waiting.

#atinylife Screen

Sometimes taking them off the screen feels almost masochistic.

Watching TV, or playing on a tablet, they are silent, biddable (as long as they don’t argue about turn-taking!). I can read, tidy, cook, without interruption. It is also the only way my two will relax: otherwise they are kind of feral.

Now they’re back at school – away from me sometimes – well, this weekend I was stricter. And you know when your kids do something, and you think ‘HA! Rookie Error. You have just proved me right?’ No? Just me?

I went through to the living room with the hoover, and the oldest

tinylife screen


one was playing. The. Ukulele.

This child has not played a musical instrument without nagging since they started piano lessons.




I can’t say I’m looking forward to the backlash, but I will be removing screen time more often.

#atinylife OpenSky

Scotch Pie in an Open Sky.

Early morning and the sound of birdsong.

Laundry. Laundry. More laundry.

Being ‘cool.’ But only by accident,

and preferring the home knitted jumper

to that designer one.

Enjoying Radio 6 until the kids start whining about it.Open Sky

And no matter which

radio station we listen to – Mum is

not allowed to sing along.

Birds flying past on the school run.

‘You should totally learn this song. It would so suit your voice.’

Leaning on friends, gathering the kids,

spending time together to the exclusion of bedtime.

Getting tagged in the same photo over and over (like, love, haha).

Birds calling through the window as we put the kids to bed.

Falling asleep on the sofa after a long day,

craving the comfort food of childhood – a pie, not a cocktail.

Feet up – I’m peaking now!



#atinylife shoes – a guest post by Joanne Baird, Portobello Book Blog

There’s been a lot of debate about girls’ shoes lately.

The stereotypical names – “Dance Honey”, “Dolly Babe”

Their impractical flimsy nature which doesn’t allow for splashing, running, playing

Unlike the corresponding boys’ styles – “Long Jump”, “Harlem Racer”

Does it get better with ladies’ shoes?

I don’t want fashionable. tinylife-shoes.jpg

I want shoes I can wear for more than one season.

I don’t do heels. Ever. I want practical not painful.

I don’t want to pay £70 or more for something that falls apart after one summer.

I want shoes that don’t look like my granny’s, without costing a fortune.

Too much to ask? It seems so.

Men have it easy. Everything is strong, practical, functional.

There’s too much choice, yet not enough.

I don’t fit the stereotype – and I hate shoe shopping!

While we’re on the subject, I don’t do handbags either…..


#atinylife DollyBabe


It’s not the name I object to.

Well, that’s not true.

I mean, the name is just.


DollyBabe is not what you’d hope for

In a girl’s shoe name.

But the name is only on the box,

Isn’t it?

In Clarks?

Possibly on the underside

of the shoe.

Which, although present, is not as obvious as some

T shirts.

‘I’d rather be shopping’


I saw, the other day.

Age 4-5.

What upsets me


would be

of more distress to Clarks.



clothing outlets.

tinylifee dollybabe



Look at those shoes.


You can’t climb in them

You can’t splash in them

You can’t run fast on slippy grass in them.

They have no grips

They wouldn’t withstand

A light shower, for goodness sake!




Dolly Babe.

Not keen.

But also,

shoes that curtail

what girls

can do?

Not keen either.