do pilots wear dresses?

‘Mummy,’ my daughter asks. ‘When will I have an office?’ She mimes hitting the keys of a computer for a moment, before picking up her fork and digging it into the bowl in front of her. Her father and I look at her and both reach for our wine glass at the same time. Has it really come to this? Is working in an office the pinnacle of our daughter’s aspirations? Does she really think that that is all there is? Time was she wanted to work in a jungle or be a fairy. Read More...
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don't walk, dance!

Last week I had the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I sat on the floor in the local gymnasium, often with one hand clamped over my mouth, and giggled as quietly as I could. In front of me, four little girls stomped around the room, arms outstretched, legs flailing, their eyes torn between watching the teacher gliding gracefully around the room and watching themselves in the floor to ceiling mirrors. Too often the mirrors won out and near collisions seamlessly became part of their routines. Read More...
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learning: one twirl at a time

My daughter loves to twirl and jump in her best approximation of how she thinks a ballet dancer moves. Her audience is always appreciative, or at least gives indications of this being the case, and she now regularly refers to her future career as a ballet dancer. Yet when I ask her if she would like to learn how to ‘ballet’ as she calls it, the word dance not encapsulating, in her view, the full spectrum of what a ballet dancer might actually do, she looks at me affronted. ‘Mummy,’ she says, her voice tinged with disapproval, ‘I already know how to ballet. I don’t need lessons.’ And it’s hard to disagree with such certainty, although I worry. Should I tell her that sometimes her moves remind me of the death throes of a wounded animal?
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zig-zags: finding your own path

We’re sitting down at the little orange table in the middle of one of our marathon painting sessions. “Mummy, zig-zags are pretty, aren’t they,” my daughter says, as she swipes her brush up and down over the paper. What results is a zig-zag of truly magnificent proportions, but one that also veers wildly off one edge of the paper on to the table. Read More...
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not always right

Apparently it doesn’t matter these days if you miss out a full stop or place the apostrophe in the wrong place. We’re all online so much of the time with so much to say and only a real wowser would point out your mistakes these days. Right?
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a user's guide

You're standing in front of the careers section in your local bookshop. There are a few rows of books in front of you and you're perusing the titles, desperate to find something to help you nail that next career move. Read More...
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purple chips

I could almost hear my brain fizzing as I simultaneously rolled purple playdough and tried to plan a six-hour lecture for my next day's work. Read More...
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psycho boss

You know how it goes. Everyone seemed so nice at the interview. And it looked as if there were chocolate biscuits in the little staff kitchen. Read More...
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camouflage

I went to university with a girl who wore so much makeup that the first time she came into class without any everyone thought she was deathly ill. Read More...
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