For the love of a good tan

Office Mum: Coco Chanel

"You've such a great colour!" said my friend. I was ten years old, and made an "ah not really" gesture, shrugging my shoulders, but secretly thrilled with the comment. Or let's call it a compliment - it doesn't really make sense that it's a compliment - I hadn't actually done anything that required talent - but ...

The 80-20 Rule of Holidays

sam in pool

Our holiday was 80% amazing, and 20% hot-sticky-cross-cranky. Or at specific moments, 80% hot-sticky-cross-cranky and 20% I’m a parent, get me out of here. There’s the stuff that can happen on any holiday – even before kids, or when they’re older and a trip away (presumably) becomes a relaxing event. Like when a dying wasp leaves its ...

12 Signs There’s a Thing We’re Calling a Heatwave

Offie Mum - wine - Dun Laoghaire

In most countries, temperatures of 18 degrees don't qualify as a heatwave but in Ireland, we'll take what we can get. It might be still chilly in exposed areas (in either sense) but we know how fleeting this is, and we're making the most of it. Some signs there's a thing we're calling a heatwave in ...

I love povey – interview and review

povey-everyday-compact-bag-berry-beautiful-235x235

A very nice thing about blogging is being offered products to review. The hard part is deciding whether to say yes or not, but when Claire Povey asked if I'd like to try one of her hand-made beach bags, one click through to her website was enough to convince me to send back a resounding "Yes ...

Three campsites in France: comparison and review

Beach in Carnac

Recently, I asked my seven-year-old if she remembered Sequoia Parc, the campsite we stayed in, two years ago in France. "Of course I do - it had a dragon pirate ship thing beside the pool," she said. "No," I said, "That was Clarys Plage, last year." She was sure I was wrong. I was sure I was right. ...

Sun through clouds

Poolbeg chimneys Office Mum post

Driving along the coast road, the September sun is filtering through the white sky. Mixed weather is what the forecasters call it. Silence from the back; a Saturday football roundup on the radio. Tired after running all day, three small faces are watching but not watching. The sea stretches out beside us and the red and ...

Adventures in sun-cream application (product review – La Roche-Posay)

Office Mum: photo of La Roche-Posay suncream

I wonder sometimes if as a nation we all suffer from a little bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder - or at least if there's any science behind the national mood-lift that takes place every time the sun comes out. "Imagine if it was like this all the time," we say, "Sure we'd never leave the country ...