Coconut Caramel Shortbread with White Chocolate

Coconut Caramel Shortbread with White Chocolate

Today there is another teenager in my house.

A male one this time.

That means funny smells, pimples, posters of scantily clad women on the walls, grunting where words would suffice, trousers half way down the butt and worse of all GIRLFRIENDS!

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Rhubarb Polenta Cake

Rhubarb Polenta Cake

I am going to sound like one of “those” mums. You know who you are. Organised.

Believe me I am not. The best way to sum me up is “the mum who never has the permission slip signed until the morning of the trip.” My kids are always having to drag me in to the school office the morning of, having been threatened the day before with exclusion from the trip. “Where’s your slip? Can’t go without it.”

So you see I am not one of those mums.

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Apple Cake with Maple Icing


My 17 yr old is on the Special K diet. Again. You know the one. Where you eat a bowl of Special K for breakfast, another for lunch and then a “balanced meal” for dinner. Ever ask a 17 yr old what their idea of “balanced” is? It doesn’t belong in a meal I can promise you that.

So we have several boxes of Special K in the cupboard. Plain and fruit. That’s the freeze-dried kind. Mmmm, you are salivating right?

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D’s Perfect Cake (Balls)


Just over a week ago we got that dreaded call, the one where your child’s school phones to say there has been an accident. “Come immediately,” they said, “we think your son has broken his collar-bone.”

A trip to A&E proved them to be right. The x-ray showed a clean break just by his shoulder joint. D would have to spend the next few weeks with his arm in a sling. He arrived home subdued and pale dosed up on pain killers.

It turned out that the breakage was a result of a few of the boys “playing” rough during break time. D called the game “benching” and, although he explained it to me, I still can’t quite get to terms with exactly how it works. All I know is it involves a lot of pushing and shoving  and knocking each other to the ground. From a female perspective, I just don’t get it, but all the men I’ve discussed it with, including my OH, grin in acknowledgement. That’s the way boys play.  

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I’ve got four kids. Can’t quite believe that. Look at them. Aren’t they gorgeous?

These pictures were taken the spring/summer after E was born. I thought “yeah these pics are perfect” as she was my last. It was 2004 and I was still in my thirties. We were in our first year of country living. Slummin’ it with a dusty old Rayburn and a leaky Cotswold stone roof. Two in primary school and two at home.

I was still that young mum who held it all in her hands.

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