Using a diary to organise your life

I originally wrote this post as a back to school organising post because it went live in August but actually the tips I shared are useful for any time of the year, and particularly in Janaury. For years I have organised our family’s life with an A4, day to a page diary.  I cannot begin to imagine how many hours of “what;s happening./ what do I need / where is

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Turning off the outside world

I have been increasingly thinking about turning off the outside world because my phone buzzed at 07.18 this morning.  Not for the first time, and as before, not my alarm, I had turned that off at 5am when I had finally given up on sleep because my mind was whirring, but by a text.   A text that had been sent with a query that needed to be dealt with fairly urgently.   

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Still getting notifications?

“What do you mean you don’t have notifications on for emails and only check it a couple of times a day?  I am still getting notifications on my phone as they arrive, so why aren’t you?”   I was incredulous.  The very idea that my husband didn’t get a red dot on his home screen that alerted him to the fact I had sent a message that needed his urgent

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Luke’s memorial cricket match

Every year one of Mr B’s oldest friends, Rupe, (met at uni 30 years ago and part of the crowd in this blog post about memories from Germany “old”) hosts “Luke’s Memorial Cricket Match“ a cricket match in memory of his son Luke, who died suddenly a few years ago aged 12.   Held on Luke’s birthday it’s a “lads vs dads match” and the day also raises money for

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50 things I have learned as I turn 50

Next month I turn 50.  A whole half a century.  In a summer that saw Woodstock and moon landings yours truly arrived into the world in a hospital in Roehampton.   It was the summer that Bryan Adams would go on to sing about and as he was buying his first real six string in a five and dime, playing it til his fingers bled, my parents were working out

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Can we talk about death for a minute?

Sorry, I know that might be a bit of a downer and that nobody ever starts a conversation with “can we talk about death for a minute?” but can we, please?   I am a huge champion of having a will.  Everyone should have a will, even if you think you don’t have a home or assets, you do have “stuff”.    It doesn’t have to be about expensive pieces

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Why nobody should be mean online

I read two things this week about why nobody should be mean online.  One was a pithy statement from Em Clarkson on Instagram who was responding to the “just don’t read the nasty comments” sentiment with “what would be better was if people didn’t leave the f*cking comments in the first place”.  So true. Then this morning I read this great article on Medium entitled “Why being mean online is

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Why selling a house is like Brexit

It has dawned on me over the past few months that selling a house is very much like Brexit.      First of all it takes forever.   Much longer than anybody either estimates or claims at the outset.   Of course nobody tells you it will take that long, that you will wonder if you should book things for weekends in the future.  If you can book a foreign

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What I learned at the FA Cup Final

Last Saturday I made my second visit to Wembley to watch the FA Cup Final.  Both times it was to watch Manchester City play against another team beginning with W in an FA Cup Final.   The first time was against Wigan in 2013 and the less said about that result for my Man City supporting husband, the better.   This time the FA Cup final was against Watford and

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Kids and weddings. A fatal combination?

Let’s be honest, kids + weddings = a screaming toddler in the back of the Church, right as the vicar says, ‘speak now, or forever hold your peace’. Not ideal, really, is it? So are kids and weddings a fatal combination? Whilst it might not be advisable to invite a bunch of screaming toddlers to the ceremony itself (sorry, guys…) there are many ways to keep kids entertained at your

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Happy 8th Birthday MummyBarrow

My blog is 8 today so it is happy 8th birthday Mummy Barrow.   Eight years ago today I took the advice of Sophie at Super Amazing Mum and started telling the stories I’d been sharing on Twitter on my own blog.   As the original tagline said “because 140 characters isn’t enough”.  My first post was called “So this is it” and was cringy when I look back at

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Why Are the Canary Islands Still One of the Top Destinations for Winter Sun? — AD

This is a collaborative feature When it comes to looking for family holidays, the Canary Islands will pop up as an option time and time again.  But just why do 5 million of us Brits choose this destination every year?  From the glorious weather to the diverse activities on offer, here are just some of the reasons why:  You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune  According to WeSwap, travellers in

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