Mary and Martin Davies wedding

Most parents don’t choose their children. Because I adopted, I had that privilege. I chose a child who: was of school age (I wrote about why here) was likely to be tall was likely to be the same colour as me, and was a boy If you read my blog already, you’ll know how lucky […]

Decorating J's room

Crash, bang, wallop. J is showing signs of distress. “I don’t like this, mum”. In the middle of the room we are creating a precarious pile of his worldly possessions. J is moving rapidly, wrenching posters down, yanking drawers from under his bed. He is grim. Dust swirls around us. I turn my back and […]

Great skies at night,  Hampstead Heath

I grew up only 50 miles from London, in a village which was connected to the rest of the world by a bus, and not very much else. Living far from school meant that we quickly developed a degree of independence which I think is probably unusual in children today. Every day, from the age […]

Chrsitmas tree snowman

Today, at midday, J and I will attend the christening of a little girl whose adoptive mum I was first in touch with when J was only eight. We were brought together – and strangely I don’t remember who introduced us or exactly when – because she was a prospective single adopter and someone, somewhere, […]

Ham House gardens, London

The diamond-pattern box parterre at Ham House in London is filled with Dutch Lavender. This forms part of extensive and beautiful seventeenth century gardens just a short walk from the River Thames, and barely changed in 300 years. It’s a lovely place to picnic. I am linking this post up to WordPress’s photo challenge on […]

J aged about 9

I’ve been waiting for the last two weeks for my personal letter of thanks from Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson. I first heard about his thank you letter on Facebook and Twitter during National Adoption Week. There’d been a big announcement: “Adoptive parents across the country have received a personal letter of thanks from […]

Karen Vega Hobbs, Severance exhibition, 2014

** Silent Sunday

Barcelona, Gaudi house

“If you were a man, Mum, I’d be exactly the same. I’d still expect you to do everything for me”. I’d thrown out a casual accusation of sexism, something about not helping with the washing up, and always expecting me to make the tea. This had provoked an angry and vehement denial. For a moment […]

Pompeii floor

This monochrome floor, complete with swastikas, is in Pompeii, one of many hidden by volcanic ash for more than 1,500 years following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Almost all the city’s inhabitants died that day but their everyday objects remained: tables, beds, and chairs, these mosaic floors and some intricately decorated walls. The […]

image

My son J was nearly seven when I met him, and the last thing on my mind that first blissful summer was flying off into the sun. Just the opposite in fact. He’d had a very difficult start to life and had spent four years in foster care. So we stayed put so that J […]

Rugby legs

** Silent Sunday

J with his cousins, c 2006

Before my social worker would put me forward for approval as a single adopter, she wanted me to ask my sister and brother-in-law whether they would commit to bringing up my future child if anything ever happened to me. That wasn’t an easy conversation for me to initiate. Camilla and Lloyd had both worked for […]

Barcelona map

I wrote my first post for Travels with my Son exactly a year ago. I meant my blog to be a place to record my memories of J’s early days with me, and of our travels together. Of course I meant ‘travels’ in the sense of both our journeys to places with suitcases, and our […]

May Day, London 2014

I popped out of my office last May Day morning to withdraw some money from the bank, and found the streets full of good humoured protesters. The London May Day brings together trade unionists, workers from the many international communities in London, pensioners, anti-globalisation organisations, students, political bodies and many others in a show of […]

I have to be a bit careful what I say here as my father may be reading. I wouldn’t want to embarrass him now, although he had no such scruples when my sister and I were teenagers. Our parents were naturists, and if you have never watched your parents cavort naked on a French beach […]

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