Andrea Mara

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Andrea Mara

Snapshot of a House Counting Down

“We’ll fit loads in over the next few weeks,” I’d said to the kids two weekends ago, not wanting to say what I really meant, which was, “There are only twelve more days left of summer holidays, let’s make the most of it.” Because I didn’t want them on the

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Andrea Mara

London Calling

London. I mean it’s London. It’s hard to capture it in a sentence or a blog post or a photo or even a weekend. And when we were planning our recent trip, that was my only stipulation – let’s not try to capture everything. Small legs can’t handle hours and

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Breathing In All The Spaces

I promised myself (not just an in-the-air promise – an actual written down promise) that the next time I had a lull, I’d take a morning for myself. And here I am – almost all current deadlines met, book edits on the way but not here yet – doing just

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Breathing Space

It’s 11.25pm on Thursday night and I’ve just spent five minutes scrolling through Facebook. Now I’m anxious because that’s five minutes that I didn’t spend doing something I should be doing, like editing the article that’s due tomorrow or editing the book that’s due next week. One part of me

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Diary of an Out-of-Office Mum

Day 1 not in the office – Tuesday May 5th  The kids were off school today, and it was a very normal day. I’ve had dozens of days like this, when I’ve taken annual leave during school holidays, and this didn’t feel too different. No big “shock” moment. That’s good. We

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Test Run

Not on purpose, one day two weeks ago, I had a test run of what’s ahead as a work-at-home freelancer self-employed type person. And it left me pretty worried. By 10.30am, I was phoning my husband to tell him it wasn’t going to work, and that I needed to start talking to

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That Boy in the Playground

I saw a little boy in a restaurant today. He was in his mother’s arms as she tried to order bagels at the till. He wanted cake, and tried squirming out of her arms to get it. When she said no, he shrieked and howled. She was embarrassed, but ploughed firmly

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Toddler-proof baking & a Flora baking set giveaway

We’ve waited for today for weeks now. A whole day off. I’m not at work, and they’re not at school. It was going to be the best one-day mid-term EVER. We made no plans – we were going to take it easy – see where the day might take us.

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Andrea Mara

Three campsites in France: comparison and review

Recently, I asked my seven-year-old if she remembered Sequoia Parc, the campsite we stayed in, two years ago in France. “Of course I do – it had a dragon pirate ship thing beside the pool,” she said. “No,” I said, “That was Clarys Plage, last year.” She was sure I was wrong.

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A mellow year over

Our year of Friday mornings is over, and I’m trying to be a grown-up about it, but you’re holding up better than I am. You love our routine almost as much as I do; we drop your big sister to school, then we wander slowly back, you holding onto the

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What makes a great day?

Some days are just grand, and some days are great. Not for lotto-winning type reasons – just easy days, when things fall into place. We had one of those today. It started wonderfully – nobody cried during breakfast, and I didn’t shout. Winning by 8am. On the way to school,

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Honestly

“How was your day?” What do you reply? I guess it depends who asks. If it’s Facebook, your day might look great. If it’s your other-half, you might be very tired. If it’s a friend, it might depend on the context. If she had a bad day, you might commiserate

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What the childminder said

“And it’s just that I don’t want her to feel self-conscious about how she looks with or without her glasses, and I know that this isn’t creche and that as a school teacher you have a whole class to look after and you can’t see everything and it’s not your

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