Tag: children

  • “This is for Granddad!”

    There was much excitement in the house this morning because the ants in Elizabeth’s ant colony took the moth she had given them over a week ago. She put a dead moth by the entrance to their test tube and it had been sitting there for over a week. This morning it disappeared and we […]

  • Eat healthily or fit in?

    Eat healthily or fit in?

    My average blood pressure for the past few days is 115/73. A few weeks ago I thought I’d never see a reading under 120 but then one day I got one and gradually over the next few weeks it happened more and more often to where this is now the norm and I’m disappointed if […]

  • Online schooling

    The kids have been attending a 100% online school now for about 18 months and overall it has been great. They go to My Online Schooling which is based in Edinburgh and teaches the English school curriculum. I feel they’ve had a more consistent education than many other pupils in the UK who’ve had a […]

  • Engine idling and nobody in London needs an SUV

    Engine idling and nobody in London needs an SUV

    As regular readers of my blog will know, one of my pet peeves is when people sit in their cars with the engine running. This happens a lot outside primary school gates where children gather and inhale the fumes. Pollution from motor vehicles is especially harmful to children because they are smaller and absorb more […]

  • What the kids have done in their first week of quarantine

    What the kids have done in their first week of quarantine

    Day 4 of quarantine and Elizabeth said to me today, “Quarantine is going pretty well”. She may feel differently after several months of this. For me, it has been rather nice not having the school drop-offs and pickups along with Highland Dance and everything else. I feel like I’ve adopted a slower pace and am […]

  • We have a teenager in the house

    We have a teenager in the house

    Daniel turned 13 this week. They say it gets hard again when kids become teenagers. We’ve been enjoying the golden years with both kids between the ages of 6 and 13. They’re reasonably independent in this age bracket and all the sleepless nights and nappy changing is behind you. You’re also still a big influence […]

  • The wishes of children

    The wishes of children

    Last week we were invited to Elizabeth’s school to listen to them sing and to explore their classroom to see what they’ve been working on. At the back of the classroom was a wishing tree that the children had added their wishes to. They were all anonymous but we could read them and some were […]

  • Scotland bans smacking

    Scotland bans smacking

    It’s history in the making today with politicians in Holyrood voting to make it a criminal offence for parents to smack their children. We are the 58th country in the world to outlaw smacking and the first country in the UK. Sweden was the first in the world back in 1979. New Zealand did it […]

  • Watership Down

    Watership Down

    I just finished reading Watership Down to the kids. It was wonderful. I’d never read it before and I now find myself talking about elil, frith, and hrududus. The author, Richard Adams, invented a whole language for rabbits called Lapine. Hrududus are motorised vehicles. Ever since Daniel was a tiny baby we have always read […]

  • Budding film stars

    The kids have spent the past couple of days making a movie with some friends. The four of them made a trailer and a movie called Jungle Adventure. It’s brilliant! It’s quite funny although technically speaking it’s supposed to be a fantasy/action flick. They did everything themselves – the script, the camera work, choosing the […]

  • I despair when I see these people cheer

    Last week the West London Borough of Chelsea and Kensington, one of the wealthiest in the country, voted against a Transport for London proposal for segregated cycling infrastructure. Although I don’t live there and it doesn’t affect me directly, I felt despair when I saw the applause after the council announced the decision. Rapturous applause […]

  • Police Scotland say roads unsuitable for slow-moving individuals

    Police Scotland say roads unsuitable for slow-moving individuals

    Tomorrow Aberdeen will be having a mass bike ride in protest of the lack of cycling infrastructure in the city. This is part of a nation-wide group of protests under the umbrella of Pedal on Parliament 2019. Several weeks ago I notified the police of the event, out of courtesy. In the past they’ve usually […]

  • My kids are amazing and I was on TV!

    It was parent-teacher interviews at school last night and I’m so proud of the kids. They’re just amazing in every way. Elizabeth, according to her teacher, finishes her maths work in class then goes around from table to table helping other pupils with theirs. Her writing is also exemplary and she is spelling to the […]

  • My son told me off for being sexist

    My son told me off for being sexist

    My 11-year-old son told me off for being sexist this week. We were watching TV and one of the characters threw something poorly and I said, “That’s a girly throw”. I know, I know, I’m ashamed to admit I said that but at the same time I’m proud to say my son told me off […]

  • Smacking to be banned in Scotland

    It was announced today that Scotland is going to be the first part of the UK to outlaw smacking. This is great news. New Zealand banned smacking in 2009 as has most of the rest of the EU. Australia, as usual, is years behind everyone else; you can still hit children there. I told the […]

  • Arse trolls

    Elizabeth has been reading Sophie’s World which is an introductory philosophy book for children. Recently she started talking about someone called So-crates and someone else called Arse-trolls. It took us a little while to realise she was referring to Socrates and Aristotle 🙂

  • Mr Lemon and Mrs Egg

    I did a terrible thing last night: I sliced Mr Lemon in two. Elizabeth likes to draw faces on lemons and give them names. Last night I needed a lemon for my pasta dish and I saw “Mr Lemon” in the fridge and assured myself that she’d never know. My mistake was to leave his […]

  • A conversation overheard

    Ben overheard this conversation between Daniel and Elizabeth. They were playing some game together on their devices which involved Elizabeth making a BBQ and inviting Daniel’s character. Daniel: What will you cook?  Chicken? Pork? Elizabeth: No. Daniel: Beef: Elizabeth: No. Daniel: Mutton? Elizabeth: No, none of those things. Daniel (in a despairing tone): If it’s […]

  • Making friends at school and cycling in the rain

    Making friends at school and cycling in the rain

    It’s tough when your kids don’t have any friends at school. That has been the case for Daniel until this year. He was put into the wrong year when we first arrived and was the youngest in his class both in age and maturity. The children were all nice to him but they didn’t view him […]

  • Remote work and children

    Working from home means sometimes I’m working when the kids are around. This is the case after school on weekdays, on the weekend, and on school holidays. Mostly it’s not a problem at all. However I frequently have video conference calls and sometimes my kids will interrupt or there’ll be loud kid sounds in the background coming […]