What every parent needs to know about school refusal

Did that title get your attention? I hope so*. Because the thing about school refusal is that most people don't see it coming. It's diagnosed in retrospect, after a pattern of not going to school has been established. No-one seems to realise that it's affecting your child until it's become a habit.

A habit that can be very very hard to break.

Journey to the bottom of my garden

My garden is a mysterious place, rarely visited, except to hang out washing and water pots. My habitat these days is the kitchen, where I look out at the bins and ivy covered walks, where nothing else agrees to grow, and that little patch of sky above the next door chimney pots. There's a hundred years of history in the garden, china fragments rise to the surface, plants unplanted appear and flourish. In fact they flourish too well. The bottom of the garden used to look like this, with wild flowers enjoying the dappled sunshine and shade provided by a beautiful yellow-blossomed laburnum tree. But sadly it never recovered from the snows of 2010 and 2011, it just limped on like a raggedy old scarecrow.

I don't have time

I say this so often and I'm sure you do too. But it's true, isn't it?

I don't have time to sleep, but I'm so tired that I have to go to bed early, sometimes before some of my kids.

I don't have time to play with my children all day, but I make time to stop what I'm doing and listen when they talk to me. Almost always.

Our September Must-Sees on Netflix

The love affair with Netflix continues, even with my limited viewing time. So here's our family's round up from September.

Under The Influence

Billed as a documentary about rock 'n' roll legend Keith Richards and the people and sounds that inspired him.

I think you can divide the world up into those who like the Beatles and the rest of us who prefer the Rolling Stones. So I couldn't wait to watch this.

Homes for all is a Global Goal worth blogging for

When is a home not a home?

  • When it's just a house.
  • When it's not even a house.
  • When it's lonely.
  • When it's unsafe.
  • When it's cold.
  • When it's cramped.
  • When it's miserable.
  • When you desperately want to be somewhere else.
  • When you're terrified of going indoors and unworried sleep is a distant dream.
  • When you're afraid to go outside.
  • When there's nothing for miles, just more houses or flats or shacks.
  • When there's a war on.

Many millions of people in the world live like this.

And that needs to change.

Providing Sustainable Cities and Communities for all would be a start, and it's one of 17 Global Goals that will be adopted by 193 world leaders at the United Nations on September 25th 2015.

Reasons to be cheerful 24.9.15

It's been a much better week, but in a normal way, making it perversely difficult to find interesting reasons to be cheerful! But I've done my best...

Concerning Hobbits

I do realise that only about two of you are as interested in Middle-earth as I am, but now and again I need to indulge my obsession, and right now it's Hobbit week - my eldest daughter actually shares her birthday with Frodo and Bilbo, which has to be a sign of something.