The good nanny

My book Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life is the letters I wrote to my sister when I was a live-in nanny to two boys in the 1980s. The book focuses mainly on my relationship with the family I lived with and since publication it has been suggested (by some) that I wasn’t a very good nanny. And although I disagree with them (and would argue that I was perfect) I have to admit the evidence in the book for my not being good is quite compelling.

Going home for Xmas

First published in Psychologies, January 2014

Until I had children of my own I almost always went home for Xmas to my mum and step-dad’s house in Leicestershire and so did my siblings, all 4 of them. So, right into our 20s and 30s there we’d all be.  It should have been awful, sometimes it nearly was. Often I imagined I’d not go, but I almost always did and it always turned out great.

Not in front of the children

An edited version of this article was published in The Guardian, 10 November 2013

‘We’ll have to stop swearing soon’, I said to my friend a few years ago as we watched our small children playing together.

‘I’ve given up,’ said my friend, ‘I stopped last Monday and I haven’t sworn since.’

‘What?’ I said, ‘you stopped, just like that, no clever techniques or gradual weaning-off?’

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