Mid Winter

Hobart winter weather

We’ve just had two weeks of school holidays here. I had thought – given that it’s the middle of winter – it might be one of those breaks where time would drag and boredom would kick in after a day or two, but if anything the opposite was true. The fortnight flew past and when DorkySon went back to school on Monday it seemed far too soon.

He is a boy after my own heart. On the last day of term I asked what he wanted to do for a celebratory treat. He replied that he’d like a visit to the bookshop, then fish and chips and ice cream. So that’s what we did, followed by a beautiful early evening walk along the Hobart waterfront. DorkySon rarely comes out with us in the evenings – he still likes to snuggle into bed before 7 – so it is rare for him to be out in the dark. He loved the lights, and the live music that was being performed in Brooke Street Pier. Continue reading

5 conversations which prove I am winning at parenting


We are in the car. Why do these conversations always start in the car?

DorkySon: I don’t think I want to eat blueberries anymore.

Me: Why not? I thought you liked them.

DorkySon: I do, but they always roll off the plate.

Me: They don’t if the plate is sitting on the table like it should be.

DorkySon: Also, I didn’t really want to tell you this, but do you know what I do with them when they roll off the plate?

Me: … No. What do you do?

DorkySon: I hide them behind the shelves in the den.

Me: Lots of them?

DorkySon: Mmmm. Quite a few.

Me: That’s not a very good idea. We might get ants or mice in the house trying to eat them.

DorkySon: Perhaps when we get home I should show you…

Me: Perhaps you should. Continue reading

Back Online

Hobart Tasmania



I’m just back from a month offline. Some part of me must have realised that June was going to be hectic, because it passed in an absolute blur of busy-ness and I honestly didn’t have time to miss social media. I didn’t have time to do much of the reading or walking I was planning on either, although DorkySon and I did walk to school on a couple of cold, crisp mornings that were just beautiful. Continue reading

Keep It In The Ground

Guardian campaign logo Keep It In the Ground

I’ve been saying to myself for a while that I need to get back into some kind of campaigning again, but it has been hard to know what. As a non-voter in Australia I feel a bit odd about getting involved with a political party across here, and obviously I can grumble about UK politics as much as I like but I’m not really in a position to do much about it. There doesn’t seem to be as much of a lively NGO sector here as there was in Scotland, and family life means that I feel less inclined to spend my weekends waving placards and shimmying up lampposts. Although somewhat ironically having a family means that I’m now keener than ever to see a world which is safe and happy for DorkySon to grow up in. Continue reading

A Quick Update

Marc and Philip

Last week was one of those that I would quite like to forget about, to be honest. I got my speeding penalty letter on Tuesday. It turns out that even when you get a nice policeman and it’s just a caution you still get a $110 fine. On Wednesday I dropped my phone and smashed the screen. “Great,” I said to DorkyDad, “That’s two things… I wonder what the third will be?” I didn’t have to wait long to find out. On Thursday when I was in the shop getting a new phone sorted out it took so long that I came back to the car and found a parking ticket.

Then on Friday came the news that put all of my little grumbles into perspective. Two friends – two of the people I went to Greenland with, nine years ago exactly – had gone missing in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the rescue mission soon turned into a recovery mission. As I write this they have still not been found – I hope for their families’ sake that they are soon. I have had a very sad few days thinking about them, but I’ve also been smiling as I remember some of the incredible experiences we had together. It was a privilege to write a piece about Marc and Philip for the Guardian Environment blog, which you can read here.

The one piece of good news last week was that I have been shortlisted for Best Writer in the BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards. I’m not really doing much to deserve that at the moment, but thank you so much – I very much appreciate the support of all my readers. If you’d like to cast your vote to see me in the finals – or any of your other favourite bloggers who are shortlisted – it’ll take you two minutes to do here.

Normal blogging service will hopefully be resumed soon.