The island of Kastellorizo of Mais in Greece

One day last summer we took a boat from Kaş on the Turkish coast out to the Greek island of Kastellorizo (or Meis, its Turkish name), a few kilometres away. My father and son and I whiled away a few hours by the picturesque harbour, eating and drinking, and observing the quiet comings and goings […]

Emotion faces

It was nine months into the placement and the cracks were beginning to show. J had started his new school and was half way through Year 2. That was the year his teacher said he was ‘fizzing with anxiety’ and I was so immersed in it, I’m not sure I entirely understood what she meant. […]

Dinah Child and Isobel Child

I am my parents’ first child. I have been a mother for one sixth of my life. I have had 16 homes. I have worked in four countries and had 11 employers. I shared my birthday with my great Oncle Jacques. I think of my mother every day. My son is 15 and my father […]

J outside foster carers' home, July 2005

It was nine years ago today, on 6th July 2005, that I met my son for the first time. Confidential. Introductions. The new family will first meet the child/ren on 6th July 2005. The programme of introductions is laid out below. Planned date of placement: 23rd July 2005. Date and time: 6.7.05 1 pm Location: […]

Rocking chairs in Dallas

I flew from London to San Diego in California recently, and stopped off in Dallas airport en route. It came as quite a surprise to me as a Londoner to find rocking chairs in the departure lounge. The contrast between this very traditional form of seating, which in the UK we associate with old people […]

South Downs Way

Prompted by The Boy’s Behaviour‘s touching post on the same subject, I asked my son J what the word Forever meant to him. “I don’t know what you mean Mum. I’m tired for God’s sake”. I should have stopped there, but I was tired too, and prepared to take a risk for a shortcut to […]

Potato

Between a Potato and a Walrus

Post adoption support

Contact with the birth family…. Not an easy subject, but not exactly controversial in the UK at least, and Local Authorities routinely employ people specifically to handle arrangements for such contact. So how long should we reasonably expect to have to wait for the Local Authority to respond to a request to make contact with […]

St Cuthbert's Way

From upstairs, I can hear my neighbour’s 12 year old son swearing: F__k you! What the f__k! Bitch! It is 11 on a warm Saturday morning, and the windows are open. Fifteen year old J is here near me in the flat, on his computer, playing Realm of the Mad God, and killing unicorns in […]

Riding camels, Essaouira, Morocco

There’s no such thing as sunbathing for Essaouira’s locals. Rather, families and friends gather at the weekend in their dozens to talk and make music beside the sea, fully clothed, and with not a glimpse of a fair breast or thigh to be seen. Boys play an immense sprawling game of football along the shore. […]

Kas, Turkey: hotel pool

Just been doing a bit of tidying up on my Where we Stay and Where we Eat tabs. Hopefully a bit easier on the eye now..  

Woodcraft Folk toilet tent

The toilet tent is one of our more important pieces of kit. It is only ever put up for our longer Woodcraft Folk camps – so those which last a week or more. One of the adult campers has responsibility for emptying the chemical toilet, keeping it clean, stocking up the supplies of toilet paper, […]

J and Dougal

Dougal is a soft white washable dog with big brown come hither eyes, and he was my first gift to J. I’d had him lounging on J’s new bed, the absolute star of the first picture J saw of his new bedroom, or so I thought. It turned out in fact that J was initially […]

Fish auction in Calpe, Spain

Calpe’s fish auction takes place daily from Monday to Friday and is managed by The town’s Cofradia de Pescadores (Fishermen’s Co-operative). J and I stayed in Calpe, Spain in 2013 and spent an evening at the auction, alongside local fishermen and restaurateurs. It was fascinating. I have written more about our stay in Calpe here […]

Vixen and her cub

We were spending a sunny weekend away when I received a surprise text from my neighbour, Sam: ‘There’s a dead fox poking out of your shed. Did you know?’. Just two days before, I had watched a vixen feeding her cub in broad daylight in our small garden. The next morning, she woke me at […]

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