End of term assessment: 12 things I learned during my daughter’s first year at school

School’s out for the summer! Reports have been read, sports day is over and one final rummage around the lost property box has been done. B has made it through Reception and, by default, so have I. I hadn’t expected her starting school to be such an education for both of us but, hey, there’s lots to get to grips with being the parent of a primary starter. Here are 12 things I’ve been enlightened to over the last 12 months… Continue reading End of term assessment: 12 things I learned during my daughter’s first year at school

“I wanted to create something positive out of the darkness”

img_1659 Case File No.1: Syreeta Challinger 

File under #resilience #graft #compassion #startup #luxurygoods

In 2014, Syreeta Challinger, then 32, had a demanding fashion industry job in Hong Kong, an equally ambitious boyfriend and a vibrant social life. But when partner Rob suffered a life-threatening brain haemorrhage and stroke while they were on holiday in Sydney, her world fell off its axis. Putting her career on hold, Syreeta moved back to England with him to become his full time carer. They now live with Rob’s parents in Lincolnshire. According to Becky Gilmour, a close friend who has known Syreeta since university, she has been the driving force behind Rob’s ongoing recovery. “She’s such a beautiful, strong woman,” says Becky, who nominated her for this page. “Even saying that gives me goosebumps. Not only does she exemplify the most extraordinary human compassion, she’s incredibly driven. On top of her daily duties, she’s developed an aspirational lifestyle brand making luxury accessories. Although she manages it, they both contribute creatively and already have a range of scented candles in shops. What she’s achieved is amazing; she absolutely can and she does! But she’s too modest to sing and dance about it.” Continue reading “I wanted to create something positive out of the darkness”

How to slice, dice and chop like a pro.

How naive was I to think I could learn one new skill a week? Having spectacularly underestimated how long it would take to master the art of chopping, I’m starting to realise I might have been over ambitious in my quest, but I won’t be discouraged because my newly acquired blade skills give me everything to play for. It might take more than a few casseroles to get knife-perfect, and future skills might come more naturally, but daily practice has seen me achieve new levels of efficiency and the trusty old cheese grater is getting way less action – I kid you not.  Continue reading How to slice, dice and chop like a pro.

How to make the perfect soft-boiled egg

How do you like your eggs in the morning? I like mine with, not so much a big sloppy kiss, but a really gooey centre. Boiled, poached, fried: who cares? If you serve me one with a core of liquid sunshine, you’ll be getting more than a peck in return – I’m that over easy…

Continue reading How to make the perfect soft-boiled egg