At midnight I look up at the screen to see Big Ben, haloed in light, wreathed in the smoke of rockets and bangers, keeping stern watch over the city I called home for almost thirty years: so close, yet so far away.
If paying a sum similar to a monthly mortgage payment in childcare costs wasn't enough of a challenge for working parents with young children, finding childcare is itself a major hurdle.
Over recent weeks there has been mounting evidence of the impact that increasingly high childcare costs are having on family budgets and our economy. Yet the government seem to be in total denial.
Parents tend to want the same things for their kids - to grow up healthy and happy. Simple. But what do children want from their parents? For thousands of children in the UK who need to be adopted or fostered every year, all they is want parents who will love and care for them.
In my work with young children I'm often asked what you can do to keep kids interested and make cooking fun for them, the good news is it is possible! Therefore I thought it would only be right to share some tips with parents on how to get your kids into cooking and enjoying good fresh delicious food .
Last month Scotland took a big step towards a shared ambition to make our country among the best in the world to grow up. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill is a landmark piece of legislation to deliver greater support for children and families through a range of measures, including improvements to how we help our most vulnerable young people in care.
I don't tend to get much advice from my grandfather these days. However I did get some from him recently. Which is odd. And not just because he died in 1999. It was odd because the advice was about caring for a baby. This is not a task with which I associate him.
I was upfront with the doctor who confirmed Jonah's pregnancy at around six weeks about my alcohol consumption. He tried to alleviate my fears, telling me his wife didn't realise she was pregnant until she was five months gone. "We just don't know what the effects might be," he said, but you are far from the only one who gets drunk before they realise they are pregnant.
Having received a card from the middle-aged couple a few doors along, next week we're having a little soiree for the neighbours - all except Dead Bob Willis and his invisible wife, obviously. As I drive home from Homebase with a boot full of planks singing along to "Rebel Rebel" it somehow feels Christmassy and normal.
Our boys have grown up secure in the knowledge that whilst there was enough love to go around, the special bond they shared with their birth parent would remain intact. But do we treat them differently, NO!
Don't be downhearted if you are a cat owner and haven't had children yet. I suppose there are some things that cats do that may help prepare you for children. Sometimes they shit on the carpet. Sometimes they piss in the kitchen. And sometimes they stay out all night and come home pregnant...
When you look at the facts, perhaps it's not such an odd concept for women in their 20's to think about freezing their eggs now and having a much better chance of conceiving with these younger fresher eggs in later life. It's something that wasn't available 10 years ago and women who are struggling with infertility now would do anything to turn back the clock to their more fertile years.
Experience shows that frequent change of partners without deeper commitment and a meaningful responsibility towards each other is one of the main reasons for an increasing number of 'problem children' in many developed countries. They cost us educationally, socially and economically. This is a big worry for social scientists, educationalists and many parents.
Sean's spots are healing, Emma making friends; Lynda is working in London today. The house is "coming together" (as in, it's no longer falling apart). The roof of the summerhouse is secured with tarp and screws. There's nothing useful I can do alone. Nothing for it: I must write.
By maintaining that breastfeeding is a right for all children, the clause aims to foster strong mother-child relationships. This idea (and suggested duration) is taken from the Qur'an. But the Qur'an itself doesn't stipulate mandatory breastfeeding.
Why are we, as a culture, creeped out by the idea of a woman wholeheartedly enjoying breastfeeding? We're uncomfortable at the suggestion that a woman might exercise such autonomy over her body that she breastfeeds beyond infancy and might actually LIKE DOING SO.