We all have regrets. Some, like kissing inappropriate people in your twenties, you can live with, but others run deeper and threaten to whisper “what ifs” in your ear for the rest of your life.
I suspect as David Cameron stepped out in front of Number 10 this morning he could feel the regrets rising. Regrets that he played with our EU membership to appease his party rebels. Regrets that he authorised an EU referendum as leverage to negotiate – negotiations that are now worth nothing. Regrets that he didn’t fight hard enough against a campaign that was built around myths, intolerance and hate.
Above all, he’ll regret going down in history as the prime minister responsible for severing our ties with our European neighbours; potentially sparking the break-up of the UK; and possibly undermining years of peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. I doubt that’s how he expected his political career to pan out. Continue reading
I have to admit to a bedtime story hiatus in our household. Reading at bedtime, for a variety of reasons, has fallen out of our routine.
However, prompted by a rather blunt but accurate comment in this year’s report card that my son is not “passionate about books”, I decided to do something about this. My motivation has been helped by the fact that Toby has been laid low with a mild virus and is unusually receptive to most things I suggest, realising in his hour of need that I might actually serve a purpose.
So, after a browse of the bookshelf and a brief revisit to The Witches I downloaded The BFG onto the Kindle, extremely grateful to the e-book format in these desperate circumstances. Continue reading
Taking your kids to the zoo is one of those parenting rites of passages. Have baby. Must go to zoo. Our local zoo is in Edinburgh and I remember hopping on a 26 bus to drag my toddler son to the zoo only to find the hilly walks quite exhausting and the sleeping or hiding animals not that exciting to a two-year-old with a five-second attention span.
Quite simply, it was all a bit over-rated. Plus, I remember the stony silence that greeted me when I cheerfully shared my weekend adventures at the zoo with colleagues. Clearly, attending a zoo was no longer considered an ethical pass-time, and I had committed some sort of social faux-pas.
Up close and personal with an egg-eating snake
I’ll confess something here and now. I’ve never been a huge proponent of animal rights. It goes without saying that I don’t want to see unnecessary cruelty inflicted on any vulnerable creature but as far as causes go, there are others that ignite the fire in my belly more.
Since becoming a parent I’ve started to change, however. I don’t know if that’s because my maternal instincts have been sharpened and extended to cater for all living things or if seeing the world through a child’s eyes has made me more aware that we have to do more to protect it and the creatures that inhabit it.