Whirling Dervish – A first encounter

I read a great post by The Secret Divorcee (has taken me about an hour to figure out how to post a link to look like this. New blogger!) yesterday about when and how to introduce a new boyfriend to children.

I was on the other side of  this and, as a woman, seem to be in a minority as a childfree woman getting involved with a parent. Continue reading


Tragedy – Worry, relief and guilt.

Nothing to do with step-parenting this.

Here in the southwest there has been a terrible tragedy this weekend. Three adult surfers have died, four teenage children were pulled from the sea safely.

Watching the news, waiting for updates, hoping the ‘seven surfers pulled from the sea’ would turn into a scary near-miss story. Continue reading

Alone time

I love my alone time. I love to potter, to read, to endlessly cycle through the absurd amount of social media platforms, to re-watch The West Wing, to watch any of the Lord of the Rings films, to eat fish that isn’t cod…

All the things (oh the sacrifice) that Husband doesn’t particularly like or don’t fit in when Whirling Dervish is with us.

For his part, when I’m out/ away, Husband can watch all the 80s sitcoms he wants, listen to 80s music, repeat the script along to every episode of Blackadder and eat mushrooms (food of the devil). Continue reading

Allergy to the S word

I hate being called a stepmum or stepparent. It freaks me out when people refer to Whirling Dervish as my stepdaughter/ stepchild.

My brother, in his thirty-something years of maturity (!) likes to sing “Stepmum, stepmum, you’re a stepmum” to the tune of Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb (which obvs also applies to me). The last time he did this he got told, in no uncertain terms, to go forth and multiply.

My dig-in-and-kick-back reaction is partly (mostly?) bullheadedness on my part and self-ingrained habit from many MANY years of having to explain that I don’t want children of my own, which has gone from a lengthy speech in my early twenties, to a “because they freak me out/ scare me/ bore me/ I’m the centre of my universe” succinct response as 40 looms.

The whole ‘what business is the activity of my uterus to you?’ discussion is for another time. Continue reading


OK, have been set some blogging homework by a dear friend and wonderful blogger and campaigner… Today’s task is to get on Bloglovin’ (lovin’ correct use of an apostrophe in their title) and apparently I have to paste some spell (code) in a new post, so here goes.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

EDIT: ^^^ Whussis? Should this code be appearing like this here? Off to do some searching for an answer.

EDIT EDIT. ^^^ 10/12/14 Figured it out! Oooh get me!

Over thinking alone time

Whirling Dervish, as on most school nights, was with us for a couple of hours before going home.

Her other home that is. We emphasise and mention (maybe too much?) that even though she only usually stays overnight once a week, ‘ours’ is her home too.

We have made sure the second bedroom is HER room and decorated as such and not a spare room that she happens to stay in. If we have guests we ask her if it’s ok for them to stay in her room. On her last visit, my Mum even gave her a thank you present for the loan of her bed.

So it’s great that she has her own space and feels it is definitely hers… however, and I’m fairly sure this is all my own head… there are evenings like yesterday where she comes in with us, has a bit of a chat and takes herself off to her room, not to be seen until time to go and I worry. Continue reading

Ex-wife Etiquette

My relationship with Whirling Dervish’s (WD) Mum has been a very weird evolution.

When we first ‘met’ I had been seeing New Husband for a few months and was in the car when we dropped Whirling Dervish home.

New Husband didn’t introduce us there and then so we just didn’t acknowledge each other.

We must have spent the best part of two years acting like we were separate planes of existence. It was bizarre; we would talk ‘through’ New Husband or Whirling Dervish, but we might as well have been on different ends of the light spectrum to each other when in person. Continue reading

Books are our friends – Why don’t kids get it?

I don’t understand why any child is not an avid reader. There, I’ve said it. I devoured words as a child… although it is actually unlikely this was from birth and I should not try and force Oliver Twist in front of toddlers!

I love reading.

Whirling Deverish, like most children, loves screens! Tablet, phone, tv…. As do I. However, in my hypocritical not-a-parent-but-I-know-everything-about-parenting head, I am trying to encourage her to read more. Continue reading

Hesitant Start

Written, but not posted, at the start of September:

Whirling Dervish is back after a week away with her Mum and Stepdad, full of adventures and tales from a week in the big smoke. It has been lovely to see her and hear her own particular way of recounting stories.

And so the school holidays are done after Husband having Whirling Dervish pretty much every day so I won’t be coming home from work to dragon castles and time machines, very disappointing.

Trying VERY hard to encourage Whirling Dervish to look forward to school, which she is dreading as she will have homework every night and it has just come out that at home she is told to go off and do it on her own. Grrrrrr. So, without saying (just thinking it VERY loud) that I think that’s ridiculous, I have just mentioned we are happy to help her with it when she comes to us (most early evenings).

And now… Continue reading