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Family holidays have changed so much since we made our first trek over to Cornwall when Talitha was three months old. For one thing, we somehow manage to take less stuff as a family of four than we did back then as a family of three. But when we got ready for our most recent trip, Talitha’s desire and ability to be involved is what really stood out for me. Aged almost four, we really want to foster her independence and give her opportunities to develop responsibility. Planning for a

I’ve mentioned before that Talitha can be rather, um, selective in her eating. I’m not sure that really conveys the level of frustration I feel about a lot of our meals but I’ve had to let it go. Bit by bit, she is branching out on her own. She recently decided to add sausages and, off and on, beans to the list of things she will eat so I’ve been keen to try recipes that incorporate these. Thinking about it, I hadn’t made Mexican sausage and bean chilli in yonks

“Oh, I love Mammoth. I killed one just earlier today,” said my sister-in-law to the Neanderthal pair. “This one – she will make a good wife for you,” said the female Neanderthal to the male. I sat on the floor with them, without a witty prehistoric comment to make. Full of cold, admittedly low on facts and theories and a bit heady from the glass of wine I’d just had, I was more than a little taken off guard by my SIL’s enthusiasm for this game. We were “Speed Dating

Up until now, I haven’t been able to think that much about travel around Europe. Needing to apply for a visa to go anywhere has been rather effective at keeping my wanderlust at bay. But now that I’m applying for UK citizenship, well, it feels like the world has opened right up. We’re starting to daydream together about where we might go and what we might do. I think Spain would be such a great place to visit as a family, especially Sevilla. I keep hearing how child-inclusive everything is

A couple of weekends ago, we were invited to review a Park Resorts holiday site. We chose Carmarthen Bay in Wales because it’s only a two-hour drive from where we live in Bristol. We drove there on the Friday night with a quick stop at the big Morrisons in Llanelli because, despite Park Resorts reminding us a million times that we needed to bring towels, we still somehow forgot. When we got there, we were truly impressed with the caravan. It was massive; certainly big enough for six people as

A few weeks ago, Laurence’s parents treated the family to lunch at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, in Bruton, to celebrate a birthday. It’s a modern art gallery and restaurant with a truly exciting garden. I’d love to visit again for the garden alone. I don’t feel like I fully took it in and so much thought has gone into what to plant where. Laurence and his brothers went to school in Bruton and it amuses the family no end that what they’ve known as a somewhat sleepy little Somerset town

With Halloween, Bonfire Night and (dare I mention it?) Christmas on their way, this is the time of year to get our DSLR cameras off their automatic settings and work on our night photography. So, the invitation to attend a photography workshop put on by Transun, a tour operator that takes groups up to see the Northern Lights and organises family trips to Lapland, was well-timed. Here’s the quick and dirty for taking better photos at night: 1. Use a tripod You absolutely want to keep your camera still. Even

OK, so it’s not quite the depths of Autumn yet but we are a week in. The weather is taking a distinct turn and we thought we better sneak a family camping trip in before it gets really cold. We’d chatted with a friend about our families camping together in the summer but the holidays being what they are (too busy, as usual), it didn’t happen. I’m so glad we decided to go this past weekend instead of ditching the plan altogether. Laurence found this sweet camping spot, the organic

I love having a nose around hotels. I suppose there’s a sort of escapism in that, maybe a little daydreaming too. I’m actually not very well traveled so haven’t stayed in that many (though maybe more than some). We had a great time staying at Sanctuary Villas Resort in Tobago recently, though, so in case you’re a bit like me, I thought I’d show you around. The resort is a short distance from Mount Irvine beach, great for surfing, which is all Tobago means to Laurence. We stayed in the

OK, so not really farming, but Talitha and I had great fun a few weeks ago going along to an early years cookery class at The Community Farm in the Chew Valley between Bristol and Bath. The fact that we’d chosen possibly the wettest day of the year to go didn’t wreck our time at all. Rather, it reminded me of how important it is that we continue to get outdoors in all sorts of weather. We went along with Jess and Cherry from Along Came Cherry – a treat

I don’t know what to say we’re doing when we book a trip to Trinidad and Tobago. I was born and raised there, so for most of the nine years I’ve been living in England, I’ve called it “home”. We’ve just got back from two weeks there and it felt strange to tell friends beforehand that we were “going home”. My children hardly know the place and I’ve no idea whether they’ll ever live there. Laurence is from the West Country. T&T is certainly not his home. I moved here

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