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We’re going to Trinidad this year. It’s a nine-hour flight. I always resent people responding with “Only nine hours?” when I say that, as if nine hours stuck on a plane is a breeze for any small child and their grown up. Anyway, I’ve survived it twice on my own and this time Laurence is coming too. We’ll also have Ophelia but it still feels less daunting with another reasonably rational person along with us. You choose which of them I mean. I jest. Maybe. I’m really looking forward to

Talitha has a fixation on London, at the minute. She’ll often pack her Peppa Pig bag and tell us that she’s going to London – to visit the Queen, obviously. London is exciting. You take a big train to get there and her cousins live there. I don’t think she remembers any of our visits other than a quick dash through for a christening, though, and I’m looking forward to introducing her to the city I grew up dreaming about. As a child, I experienced London through novels and poems.

A few weeks ago the four of us went camping in Penzance for a weekend. Ophelia had just turned four-months-old and I’d wondered for weeks what camping with a baby might be like. As it turned out, the camping was a breeze, the four-hour drive to Penzance with a baby who hates the car on the other hand… While chatting with a friend who recently took a similarly-aged baby camping, her first child, I mused that I never could have done it with Talitha. That’s partly because she was a

Ho, ho! We actually went to the circus. It’s not just a play on a confusing blog name. Last Friday, Laurence took the day off work and decided to whisk us away to see Billy Smart’s Circus on the Downs in Bristol. A day home with me usually entails doing puzzles and watering the plants. I think he’s trying to show me up. Truth be told, I probably got more out of it than two-year-old Talitha did. I always love the circus anyway but I’ve also reached the stage in

A couple of weekends ago, Laurence, Talitha and I spent a weekend in a caravan at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks*. It only struck us once we’d arrived that it was our second time away as a family, just the three of us. As soon as I mentioned it, I realised, it’s probably our last too. I’m not sure if bittersweet is quite the way to describe how I feel about that. Unquestionably, our feelings about welcoming a new baby into the family are not mixed. This is a longed-for child.

After a day of grizzling, punctuated by all-out tantrums (see last post for breaking news that Talitha is now a toddler) I dreaded heading to Bristol Old Vic theatre. Was this going to be some awful disaster? The house was a mess and I’d run out of clean nappies. The latter nearly never happens to me, so frazzled was I. My unhappy toddler had spent a day red-cheeked and telling me that she felt wrong. I didn’t even bother to apologise about the domestic state when my mother-in-law came to

It’s been pretty quiet around here. We’ve just got back from a month away in Trinidad and Tobago. So much has happened in that time I can scarcely believe it’s only been four weeks. It was just enough time to make me feel disoriented and a bit sad upon returning to Bristol. The distance from my parents hurts more now that we have Talitha to share. I always leave wondering whether I’ll ever live there again. Not knowing the answer puts a lump in my throat. Our arrival has been

So we’re finally back from our month-long holiday in Trinidad and Tobago. As evidenced by how quiet it’s been on Circus Queen, I got a little distracted. Talitha is now an airplane flying badass. We flew from Gatwick to Tobago, Tobago to Trinidad, Trinidad to Tobago, Tobago to Trinidad again, Trinidad to Tobago again, then Tobago back to Gatwick. Phew! We actually survived all that. As everyone assured me we would. To those who made it sound like the flight out there wouldn’t be so difficult, I’m glad I didn’t

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