Well, this sucks.


It’s a little after 10am, and I’m sitting at my desk, sipping coffee and trying to pry toast crumbs from between the keys on my keyboard.

I am not eating a mince pie, lounging on the sofa watching an 80s movie, or heading out for an adventure.

And I’m not with Flea.

Here’s the thing: I’m not one of those Mums who sighs with relief when the kids are back at school. A quiet house just feels empty, frankly, and Flea is my favourite person in the world to spend time with.

We had a brilliant Christmas break. There was food and family and presents and days out. But what I love most about the holidays is just getting to spend time with Flea. My endlessly enthusiastic, bonkers little friend.

Bolton Abbey

It’s not that I don’t like working with Lindy, but the chances of her stripping naked and running through the house shouting, “Clothes just slow you down!” are (hopefully) very slim.

As are the chances ofย her deciding to name her intimate body parts after her favourite superhero (one assumes).

And I’m almost certain that Lindy doesn’t get dressed over her pyjamas so that she can quickly revert to having a Jammies Day after running errands.

Flea and I had the best fun this Christmas.

We topped it off yesterday with a trip to Bolton Abbey where we walked up hills, and took in the views, and Flea took her shoes and socks off because the words, “It’ll be freezing,” mean nothing to her. Nothing.


After a long walk up the hill and along the river and through the woods, we markedย the end of the holidays with afternoon tea at Betty’s in Ilkley, which, I can report, serves the finest cheese on toast and blackberry crumble EVER. Apparently the chocolate milkshake is pretty good, too.


And then this morning we got up at 8am, got dressed, brushed hair and teeth, and went to school. It was grey and cold and entirely too early in the morning to be upright.

Roll on half-term.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.


  1. Cherished By Me
    6th January 2015 / 1:04 pm

    Awww I still have 3/5 at home but I feel totally the same, most of the time ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love relaxed days and no schedule and just being altogether.

    Gorgeous photos.

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:41 pm

      Yes, relaxed parenting is the best!

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:42 pm

      It’s not the same without Flea. Sniff. I’m trying not to think as far ahead as uni. Who’s going to play stupid games with me, then?

  2. 6th January 2015 / 1:16 pm

    Im the same. The boys make life, well, lively. When they’re back at school things are a bit too grown up and generally very boring in comparison. February is just around the corner and I’m pinteresting my way to a whole week of fun with them x
    Karen Hannah recently posted..TMNT Shaker Maker by RowanMy Profile

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:42 pm

      Yes! Exactly this. Except for Pinterest. Obviously.

  3. 6th January 2015 / 1:27 pm

    I feel exactly the same….I am missing my two! They’re 7 & 12 so it’s not like it’s a new thing them being at school….It’s just too quiet without them…..The novelty of them not being here wore off about midday….lol
    Kim Carberry recently posted..Kids Stuff Crazy Bathtime Products – Review!!My Profile

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:42 pm

      Ha! I had about 10 minutes of thinking, “aah”. Then it passed.

  4. Mrs TeePot
    6th January 2015 / 1:55 pm

    Oh bless you. She does seem like a truly awesome little person! But then you’re pretty awesome yourself!

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:43 pm

      Aw, what a lovely thing to say – thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 6th January 2015 / 2:57 pm

    I completely agree! I’m feeling a bit rotten about the Christmas hols as I’ve been chasing my tail a bit following my father’s sudden and critical illness a few weeks before Christmas – hospital visiting hours no good for kids/school pick-up time/kids bedtimes so feel like they haven’t happened in terms of spending time with Little Chap. As you say – roll on half term!
    Mayfair Mum recently posted..Feeling FestiveMy Profile

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:43 pm

      I’m sorry, that must have made the Christmas hols really tough – here’s hoping for a more relaxing, fun-filled half term.

  6. 6th January 2015 / 3:07 pm

    We have just had the rest of the week cancelled because they are expecting snow tomorrow afternoon. Woohoo! Jerusalem is behaving as if under siege.
    Midlife Singlemum recently posted..Success is 10,000 HoursMy Profile

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:43 pm

      Snow! Crikey, that must be a rarity in your part of the world!

  7. Nicky
    6th January 2015 / 3:34 pm

    Aww – this is lovely. Flea’s a lucky girl. I don’t have a Flea but I do have a husband and we just had the best time over the holidays. We laughed till we cried, ate, drank and we’re very merry. Work sucks. How long until Easter?!

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:56 pm

      Sounds like you made the most of the holidays too!

  8. 6th January 2015 / 3:51 pm

    This is one of the best posts I have read in a while. LP started preschool back in September and the weeks before that were full of social media and blog updates of parents counting down to their kids being back at school and wishing the summer holidays away. I couldn’t understand it and told myself that when LP started school I would be counting down to the holidays and making the most of every single second during them and hoping that they would last just a moment longer.
    Now that LP has been at preschool for a term and had her first set of proper school holidays I can safely say that I had hoped they’d last longer and didn’t want her to go back – school came around way too fast!
    Flea sounds like the ultimate sidekick. I hope half term comes quickly for you x
    Donna recently posted..Point + Shoot – 1/52My Profile

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:56 pm

      Aw, thanks Donna – yes, it’s odd that people wish away the hols, they’re my favourite time.

  9. 6th January 2015 / 5:21 pm

    This is exactly how I am feeling right now. Isabelle’s first day back to school today, and I did not like it at all. Luckily I have still Olivia with me, who keeps me very busy, and frankly this year we had amazing Xmas holidays in Egypt, and I just do not feel like going back to normal life at all. I am really struggling, and have also decided I need to slow down with all my work as a blogger as my family is and should be the first. last year was great for my blogging career, but I was completely burnt out towards the end of the year, and thanks to the Xmas break I had loads of time to completely switch off and rethink and get my priorities right. Sometimes less is more. I hope you feel better soon, as unfortunately our children do need to go to school, and let’s make the most of the time we can spend with them outside school. Thanks for your lovely New year wish too x
    Mirka Moore @Fitness4Mamas recently posted..My Top 10 Running EssentialsMy Profile

    • 6th January 2015 / 7:56 pm

      Your holidays looked beyond amazing, so jealous!

  10. 6th January 2015 / 8:02 pm

    Aww what a lovely post. I too love having my son at home but he thrives more on routine so getting him back to school has done him the world of good. We’ll still enjoy our afternoons together and now I’m on maternity leave I can do the school runs too which is nice ๐Ÿ™‚
    The Breastest News recently posted..Bargains of The Week – w/c 05.01.15My Profile

    • 6th January 2015 / 9:48 pm

      That *is* lovely – I must confess we have zero routine in our house, maybe that’s why we struggle with school mornings!

    • 6th January 2015 / 9:47 pm

      7.30??? Unacceptable.

  11. 6th January 2015 / 9:10 pm

    5.5 weeks and counting. I bloody hate not spending time with The Boy.
    TheBoyandMe recently posted..365 #01My Profile

    • 6th January 2015 / 9:46 pm

      Aw, it must be really hard when he’s so small, too.

  12. 6th January 2015 / 9:53 pm

    I am so with you on this – but something good has come out of Grace going back to school. I am spending more time with her when she comes home. I really wasn’t doing that enough before and I don’t think I realised how much she still needed me until she had a meltdown at the end of school today (something that just isn’t her). Beautiful photos Sally ๐Ÿ™‚
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    • 7th January 2015 / 9:23 am

      Aw, poor Grace. I’m glad she’s enjoying the time you’re spending together tho.

  13. 6th January 2015 / 11:21 pm

    I 150% agree, I hate the routine of school, and love the relaxed routine of late mornings, chocolate for breakfast, and totally putting clothes of PJ’s to go to the shop and not getting dressed all day. I love the holidays, Baba was pleased to go back to see his friends. But I think even he would prefer school started later, he does not do early mornings bless him. xx
    Kerry recently posted..Back To Routine, The Start Of A RoutineMy Profile

    • 7th January 2015 / 9:24 am

      We are SO not a morning household.

  14. 6th January 2015 / 11:35 pm

    Flea really is a gorgeous girl.
    My best friend starts pre school at the end of this month. I really love her company and often dream about travelling the world with her in a cramped camper van just so I could see her 2:4/7 forever!

    Sorry got a bit carried away ….

    Feb half term will be here before you know it!
    Mary louise recently posted..Storage SolutionsMy Profile

    • 7th January 2015 / 9:24 am

      Great minds think alike – we’re planning a RTW trip when Flea’s older ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Mel
    7th January 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Same as you, I am never keen on my children going back to school. The house feels so empty when some of them are away! Flea sounds like a fun one to be around. I love her eccentricity!

    • 9th January 2015 / 11:24 am

      She’s a unique little character, I confess, and it’s one of my favourite things about her ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Carrie
    7th January 2015 / 2:49 pm

    Thank goodness someone else feels this way. My Facebook feed is full of Moms singing gleefully because their kids are back at school. I have four little minions and any school break is barely controlled chaos, but chaos is what I do best. It’s day 3 back to the grind here and we are missing our jammies and late night movies, midday board games, post-sledding hot cocoa and spontaneous Nerf fights. It doesn’t help that the temps are in the singles and teens and mornings are dark and frigid. My youngest asked me who decided that weekends are only 2 days while the workweek is five? Not me, my child, certainly not me.

    • 9th January 2015 / 11:24 am

      I think 4/3 would be a better idea all around, frankly.

  17. 7th January 2015 / 4:31 pm

    We went back on Monday and I loved our time off this year. It was hectic at times celebrating 3 birthday as well as Christmas, etc but it was nice just not to have to get dressed on days we had nothing. Build lego, bake and just not have to go to work or school. Flea is so adorable x
    Susan Mann recently posted..Silent Sunday 2015 – Week 1My Profile

    • 9th January 2015 / 11:23 am

      Blimey, that does sound hectic! Happy belated birthday!

  18. 7th January 2015 / 9:37 pm

    I totally get this Sally and you are right to enjoy every single second because in a blink of an eyelid they grow up and are adults, the fun doesn’t stop but it changes and you have to change with it.

    Wishing you a fabulous 2015
    Mari recently posted..Roasted tomato and red onion soupMy Profile

    • 9th January 2015 / 11:23 am

      Oh, yes, it goes so FAST!

  19. 8th January 2015 / 12:13 pm

    This is just so sweet. Cant wait till my little Coco gets to the talking, energetic, bonkers stage. We’re on a different kind of fun stage just now, blowing raspberries, enjoying tickles and tasting all objects in sight & sometimes peoples fingers too!

    • 9th January 2015 / 11:23 am

      Aw, make the most of it, it’s such a gorgeous stage!

  20. 9th January 2015 / 7:01 am

    Yes! I agree entirely. I have felt lost this week without mine here. I enjoyed the first hour on my own and then got completely fed up. I also think school starts too early. Late morning starts would be so much better.
    Nikki Thomas recently posted..Living Arrows Week OneMy Profile

    • 9th January 2015 / 11:14 am

      Glad it’s not just me!

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