|Recovering the lost art of entertaining the kids!|
Wednesday, 3 August 2016
"Come on Mummy, you can do it!" Could I though? Could I really? It turned out I could. Hop, skip and a jump along the towpath, ignoring the stares of the more sedate grown-ups out for a walk. That's all there was to it. Yes, I know, we are not talking about rowing across the Atlantic here, but for some reason I seem to have lost the ability to play with my children. Now the summer holidays are upon us, I am struggling to re-discover my inner child.
A whole year of working freelance, finishing off my novel and squeezing out the odd blog post has left me devoid of play skills (and I mean the physical, get-down-on-the-floor, act-like-an-idiot mode of play). When my kids were little, I wasn't too bad at it. Apart from that first culture-shifting moment at a Monkey Music class in Earlsfield, where I realised that parenthood now required me to sing ridiculous songs and swing my arm like an elephant's trunk, I generally managed to get down to my kids' level in those early years.
Thursday, 26 March 2015
My daughter found something out about herself this week. After taking a narrator role in her school play, she discovered she rather enjoyed being in the limelight. Quite a departure for my shy girl who generally feels more comfortable observing life from the sidelines. Standing on the spotlit stage, she delivered her lines with aplomb and basked in the audience's attention like it was warm sunshine. For a few hours, she was free from the self-conscious strictures of pre-teenhood.
The transformation came about because she was able to borrow the persona of another character and suppress her usual inhibitions. Wearing another personality for a few hours also meant she no longer had to worry about how other people might judge her. Like any spell in the sunshine, the after-effects have lingered, giving her a rosy glow of confidence.
|Lost in a good book|
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Tuesday night found me discussing my novel, A Sister for Margot, with a book club from Nettlebed. The prospect of talking about my work with a group of strangers is always daunting, but the group's relaxed vibe made for an enjoyable evening. There's something about a book club that oils communication (or was that the wine?) and leads you down conversational alleys you may not have visited before. In two hours, we covered blighted potential, use of the present tense in A Sister for Margot, ebooks, the war dead and the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.
I know from my own book club that discussion of a story or plotline is often a jumping-off point for more personal revelations. It is a cliche to say that women love to chat, but book clubs provide a few extra ingredients: literary analysis, escapism, a window on another world and the chance to exchange ideas. Girls consistently outperform boys at school and the popularity of book clubs amongst women perhaps harks back to a fondness for structured study and analysis.
|Books could keep you out of prison|