#atinylife Boogie

I spend some years of my adulthood listening to Radio 4.

This did not last long.

We bounced around for a while, but I’ve settled on Boogie in the Morning, on Forth One. This is why:

  • Arlene is not marketed as a travel news bimbo. She’s givenBoogie an equal amount of airtime,
  • Boogie is polite to her and doesn’t treat her as ‘less than’ because she is a woman,
  • the quiz happens before we have to leave for school,
  • I used to listen in the basement of the City Chambers in Edinburgh. Now I listen in my kitchen in the East Lothian Countryside,
  • they actually go on a booze cruise with their biggest fans every year,
  • there is a cute kid telling a joke every day,
  • the banter is pure quality, and
  • if it’s a snow day, they let us know!



Cheryl Smith: #atinylife Fairies

The fairies have moved in. In fact you could almost say they’ve taken over.

There haven’t been any sightings, as far as I know, but the evidence is clear. If you pay attention at ankle level, you’ll quickly find that they’ve installed doors all over town. Nobody noticed the building work – I suppose that, except for cats, small dogs and very small humans, we were all too focused above the shoulders to notice.

The papers, and even the telly I think, say that one family is responsible, and that they’ve been working in plain sight. But I don’t believe it. Two small children and two busy parents just wouldn’t have the manpower. No, there must be hordes of them, working overnight. Gateposts, tree stumps, postboxes, park benches and walls, all claimed as tiny living quarters.

I wonder why they’ve come?


Fairy Door.png

#atinylife What a Carry On!

My favourite bit of parenting is when the kids are getting along. I am delighted to report that, at the time of writing, and for the last week or so, they have been best pals!

Of course this means no one ever goes to sleep…

‘Carry on time’ is the perfect compromise between ‘your parents need some child-free time in the evenings’ and ‘but we’re not tiiiiiiiired.’ Sometimes it ends in tears (or punches), but it’s only when they’re really quiet I have to go and see what they’re up to.

Carry On Time

It is a pleasure, getting to know these little people, watching them getting to know each other. It is even more pleasurable doing this from the sofa, watching Netflix with the cat. It’s not just the convenience, though, honest! Without my input, their relationship has the chance to grow.

@atinylife second novel

There is no news about my second novel.

Here is the news about my second novel.

I was very fortunate to meet a lovely agent who read the whole thing, and she really liked it. This was beyond exciting! She had loads of great feedback too, including ‘what’ it is (a comedy) and what the main themes are (parenting insecurity, female rivalry, the pressure felt by, and put on, children).second novel

I re-wrote the draft with all her comments and observations. This is draft 15, but it’s very similar to drafts 7 and 8, (except draft 7 was in the present tense, of course).

Then I did that thing I always do when I’m nearing the end of a redraft. I slow right down because I’m afraid to finish. But I did finish. It’s 10k words longer and it’s back on submission. Wish me luck!

#atinylife for Mum

Mum. You are awesome.

I don’t mean in the throwaway ‘awesome’ sense. I mean you fill me with awe.

Mum: you are the braver than anyone else I know. You smashed stained glass ceilings. You taught yourself how to fund-raise, and then raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the deprived community you were called to serve.


Mum: you are strong. You lived and thrived even though your heart had been broken and your existence changed in every conceivable way over two chaotic years.

Mum: you taught me self-confidence, despite having none of your own. The only limits you put on me were  ‘no limits.’  You refused to teach me the skills that girls ‘need.’ I still can’t sew or arrange flowers!

And when I broke, you took me to your new homes until I could fly again.

Thanks, Mum.

#atinylife NoOutsiders

No Outsiders?

Angela Leadsom’s use of the word ‘exposed’ in relation to lessons about LGBT people was not OK.

However, she didn’t say (as has been reported) LGBT students represent a contagion. She was glad her own children had been expected to accept the rainbow families at their primary school.

She still wasn’t right, though. Parents can’t be allowed to withdraw their kids from any of these lessons.

She also missed a golden opportunity to explain what school-based sex ed is actually like. All lessons are age appropriate. They teach children to respect different types of families: they’re not supplying Cosmo-style sex tips.

No Outsiders


Lessons that celebrate diversity? Every child needs those.

For older teenagers though, imagine if there were proper queer sex ed lessons. Or even just ones which taught about female pleasure. Chance would be a fine thing!   


@atinylife temper temper

Our wee one has been getting himself into huge rages over not very much recently, and doesn’t seem to be able to get himself back out of them easily either.

Being a hippy-mental-health-awareness mum, I’ve been trying to get him to talk about his feelings more. I’m sure you can imagine how impressed he was to hear that anger was a secondary emotion…suffice it to say, that approach did not work well.

temper temperC W Wallace wrote ‘to them, everything is the big stuff.’ So we talk about the book he’s reading, or his thoughts on the Lego Movie 2, or how annoying the chapter breaks are in The Magician’s Nephew (for ‘annoying,’ read ‘well-placed’). He’s still easily upset, but I’m hoping that keeping our communication open means he knows I’m there for the little stuff. And the big stuff too.