Andrea Mara

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Saved by Cake and Kindness

A zit, a coldsore and a bout of hayfever walk into a bar… And that’s the end of the joke, because let’s face it, a zit, a coldsore and a bout of hayfever in the same place at the same time really isn’t funny. Which is exactly how I felt when

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8 Photos of Happiness

Summing up your life in eight photos of happiness – it’s kind of irresistible. I’m an obsessive photo-taker and have been since I got my first camera from Santa about thirty years ago, so when Lady Nicci gave me the opportunity to try this post, I was immediately in. Well, immediately plus

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A Shout-Out for the 50:50 Men

Last night, I picked up the iron from the counter to put it away, but then realised that I don’t know where we keep it. My husband does all the ironing, and always has done. The last time I ironed anything was 2001, when I burned the dress I was

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The Goodbye

We stand, then look back and see the others sitting. We exchange glances, we’ve been caught getting it wrong. Best we stick to the plan now – we stay on our feet. The front row do too, but maybe that’s how it works. My eye is drawn yet again to

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On Top of The World

We go off-road before we even start. Clara rushes across the grass, shrieking at the others to follow. They’re going to climb a tree they say. We follow, a little behind. Watching three small figures running down the hill – I hear the opening bars of Little House on the Prairie

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Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes?

The house went dark. It was like that scene in a scary movie when the baddie cuts all the wires. I look out into the hall – no baddie. Well as far as I could see in the pitch blackness. The kids were all screaming, pretending to be petrified but

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Tayto Park and how it’s linked to Frozen (no really)

My six-year-old has been talking for months now about an idea she has – she’s planning to open a theme park when she grows up. It’ll be covered snow, there will be sledding, ice-covered slides, and reindeer carousels. You can stay overnight there – like glamping she says, only in

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Rowing-boat tales

A wedding, three years ago. A lovely friend and his lovely new wife. A room full of rowers. He had met her in his rowing club. A rowing club! We were indeed surprised when we first heard. But he had joined the club and met his wife, and there we all

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At the dinner table

This is how it goes in my house: “Kids, dinner’s ready, come to the table.” Then with a little less patience “Kids! Please come to the table!” Multiply this by pointlessly high number. Give up calling, start threatening and/ or physically lifting them into their seats. Cue dinner responses: Eldest:

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Kitchenless

So, how is it going having no kitchen you ask? Well, you didn’t really ask, but I need to let it out somewhere. In a few short hours on Tuesday, our kitchen went from this:   to this: To be frank, not having a kitchen isn’t quite as much fun

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the pink champagne gathering

It’s 9pm on a beautiful June evening and I’m typing this post sitting in my garden, drinking a cold beer (this doesn’t have a huge amount to do with the post but I am unlikely to experience this again, so I’m noting it for the record). Last weekend we had Father’s Day, and this

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