Let’s End Going Home Alone


Do you know what I find the saddest thing of all about Christmas?

It’s the fact that charitable giving and goodwill go up a notch at this time – showing that we generally don’t think of others for the remaining 11 months of the year.

And for those who are suffering, the festive season only seems to heighten their isolation, their poverty, their hopelessness.

So when the Royal Voluntary Service got in touch to tell me about their campaign to help the elderly who may be facing coming home from hospital all alone, I was happy to tell you lot all about it.

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Share the Magic with Disney

Woolly and Tig actor Colin McCredie with daughters Maisie, 11, and Betsy, 6.

Woolly and Tig actor Colin McCredie with daughters Maisie, 11, and Betsy, 6

We were invited along to the Glasgow Disney Store last week for a very special launch.

I’m only sorry we couldn’t make it, because I know the boys would have had a great time.

But I wanted to share with you a little of what the Disney Store gets up to at this time of year. We’ll certainly be paying our local outlet a visit very soon to get involved.

This year, The Disney Store is supporting In Kind Direct, for its annual Share the Magic charity campaign, which launched with Scottish celebrities and their families attending Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre Disney Store.

The Share the Magic initiative invites families to post their own Letter to Santa at Disney Stores across the country and online at disneystore.co.uk. For every letter posted a soft toy is donated to a child through Disney Store’s chosen national charities, up to a total of 25,000 across the UK and rest of Europe.

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Ten Years On



My darling angels,

It’s been 10 years this month. Ten years since the hope was first taken from me. The hope of you.

A decade since my body let me down. Since I let you down. And you were taken from me.

Getting that little blue line which told me I was pregnant, and carrying that special feeling for more than a month, gave me emotions I’d never experienced before.

We were looking forward to telling our family about you. To preparing for your arrival. To becoming a family with you.

But all too soon, at the nine-week stage, I experienced bleeding and waves of stomach cramps.

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Let’s all Be Safe Be Seen

roads at night

Is it just me or did someone in the sky turn out the lights?

Seriously. After many months of long Summer nights, desperately putting up the blackout blinds so my boys would go to bed before 10pm, all of a sudden the sun has disappeared.

By the time school’s out, the light is rapidly fading.

And I’m driving home from work in the pitch black, feeling a serious case of Seasonal Affective Disorder coming on.

Which is why the Be Safe Be Seen campaign is so important.

Road safety is something I’m trying to drum into my six-year-old – who runs everywhere at a million miles an hour.

At this time of year, it’s even more important that Blake knows to be careful when crossing the roads, when it’s likely motorists will struggle to see him.

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Energy Saving Tips You Might Not Have Thought Of


We all pride ourselves on doing our bit to save energy – not just for the environment, but to cut down on our household bills.

When it comes to saving energy, I assumed that it was all a matter of common sense.

Recycle, turn the heating down when you can, switch off appliances when not in use… that sort of thing.

But once I’d done the Happier Homes energy quiz, I was surprised to score just 3-4 points on a scale which went up to 10. And I’m no dunce (honest!)

I bet there’s a few things on there you’d never thought of.

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Preparing Your Teen For The Road


The many stages of childhood are just many stages of worry for parents, as far as I’m concerned.

At first, you worry about whether they’ll sleep through the night. When they do, you go through the milestones of walking, talking, eating solids, potty training (urrrrghhh!) – all the time worrying whether they’ll do it in good time and without any mishaps.

Then it’s school. Will they struggle to read and write? Will they make enough friends? Find confidence? Avoid bullies?

We’re at the schooldays stage now, having survived those early worries, and so far my boys seem to be coping well.

The next stage I’m dreading is when they’re learning to drive.

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Competition: Win a festive kids costume



Dressing up is one of my boys’ favourite pastimes – although I’ll admit the last time Brodie donned a Christmas costume he looked like this…

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A Christmas Message, From John



It’s been trending on social media today.

And when I really think about it, it’s become a bit of a Christmas tradition for us over the last few years. Perhaps it’s the same in your household too.

The John Lewis Christmas advert marks the start of the festive season for me and the kids.

I always want to see how they can possibly top the previous year. Sometimes they do. And sometimes, in my humble opinion, they don’t.

But it doesn’t matter to the boys. In the same way I remember the cheesy adverts of the 1980s from my childhood, I know their nostalgia when they grow up will include the festive commercials from their youth, and in particular the ones from this store which always seem to capture their imagination.

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When Did The World Become Infant-Intolerant?

anti children


We took a family holiday over the October half-term.

Staying in a beautiful hotel on the sunshine island of Lanzarote, our all-inclusive package included a visit to the on-site Italian restaurant. The rest of the time, we ate in the chaotic canteen-style family restaurant with a variety of hot food stations, constant chatter, and queues of people.

It was just after being seated in the plush waiter-service Italian eaterie, which was quieter and more sedate, that we watched two women in their 50s arrive and ask if they could have a table.

Staff explained the restaurant was fully-booked and hotel guests needed to reserve a table a few days in advance. It wasn’t possible to fit them in. That’s when one of the women made a desperate plea:

“But we’ve been travelling since 3am to get here, we’re exhausted, and we don’t want to have to put up with children everywhere.”

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The great Halloween surprise


So we arrived back from our hols in Lanzarote the night before Halloween and Mr G ran down to the supermarket to pick up the traditional pumpkins…

…just in time to see the last one being sold.

Well, it had been a great holiday, but it looked like our little monsters were about to pay for it by missing out on one of their favourite parts of this spooky night. Everyone in our street displays a pumpkin to show who’s happy to receive Trick or Treaters at their door.

So I was wracking my brain to think of what I could carve as a replacement. It wasn’t looking good.

Then a courier service knocked at our door.

The lovely folk at The Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow had sent us a Halloween surprise of a fabulous pumpkin with my boys’ names carved on it.

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