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They stand lined in precise rows on your windowsill, a riot of colour and patterned paper: cranes and standing fans, boats and masu boxes. Your fingers work deftly as you fold the origami squares, your brow furrowing in concentration in the same way as when you were a toddler, trying to decide what to eat from your plate next.

I stand back and watch as you inch your way out of childhood, your long limbs both graceful and awkward as though you don’t quite know how to map this new territory of your growing beauty. With your newly acquired thirteen years, you straddle a threshold between two worlds, giggling as you volley emoji’s back and forth with your friends, the gaggle of girls who await you at the school gates. It’s all about sleepovers now, that togetherness of shared spaces, mattresses crammed tightly together and the shrieks of laughter at your first attempts at applying mascara and blush.

‘Makeup?’ I ask blankly, trying to cast my mind back. ‘You’re trying on makeup?’

You look at me then, a hint of humour glinting in your eyes. ‘Mama,’ you sigh. ‘You really don’t have a clue, do you?’ And you’re right, I don’t have a clue. It’s not just the makeup; I confess I’m unsure how to navigate this new world of the young teenager and the places it takes you. 

Headphones strapped around your ears, you stalk around the house in pyjamas, your strawberry-blond curls bouncing, sometimes breaking into a child-like little jig, sometimes reaching for your phone to connect with your friends. But then you lie, sprawled on your belly in your bedroom and take out your origami and you are lost, the clamour of friends and sleepovers pausing as you surrender to the beautiful symmetry of paper.

Bridging the Summer Literacy Gap

Click here to read an article I have written about fun ways to keep literacy alive for your children over the long summer break.

Story reading to Stroke Patients

A Thousand Word Photos is an organisation that matches photographers and writers, asking the writer to create a short story of 1000 words from the image. The stories are then read out loud by actors through the charity Interact to patients…

Free Writing Friday - A Creative Classroom Revolution

Click here to read an article I have written about Free Writing Friday. This is a fantastic initiative spearheaded by children's author Cressida Cowell (of How to train your Dragon fame & The Wizards of Once) to give back creative freedom…

Short Fiction - Mangrove

A short piece of my writing, inspired by the mangroves I used to see in Kenya (which are nothing short of miracles), has appeared on an online site named Platform for Prose. Read it here!

Using poetry to engage & motivate children

Please click here to read an article I wrote for Simply Learning Tuition (a London-based tutor company) on how poetry can be a powerful tool to inspire, engage & motivate children.

How to take a family gap year

I won runner up prize for The Green Parent writing competition 2018, talking about how we can travel responsibly with our families. Please find the article in full here.