Teens – My word of the week

A blackbird serenades me each night, recently, as I close up the hen house. A simple pleasure to stop and listen. Last night, I remembered to take my camera with me. I’ve been meaning to do it, as the light is so special.

I’m remembering to take time and be in the moment. Using all my senses. Life with a household of teens can be overwhelming. Plate spinning takes on a whole new level of skill.

To top it all, this week, Hero the hound has not been well and I’m willing food and medicine down him. Pills, he’ll take. The other stuff? I must be kidding.

And breathe again.


As I write this post, I’m munching on homemade, chocolate chip flapjack, with half an ear on the coverage of the local, school climate march in Bristol. It is raining. Again. Greta Thunberg is giving a speech, along with other teens. I salute their cause and admire the drive of a group of teenagers to make it happen. The grass in College Green, where they met (estimate between 15,000 and 30,000 people), will grow back, but, more importantly, attitudes and ideas will have taken root.

Never underestimate teens.

Charity shopping

Last weekend, I took Middle teen out, as a pick me up, before school started. I’d promised her that we’d do the £20 charity shop challenge over the half term. I wanted her to see how easy it was to dress the way she wanted, but still be eco friendly. A protest against fast fashion. She embraced the idea. I’ll post more about it another time, but she put together two outfits for less than £20.

It was good to spend time with her, without any reference to school. Talking about life, instead of boxes that have to be ticked.


I realise that she has a lot of pressure. Like most teens her age. There are extras that she’s opted for too. Trying to lever more into her day, through activities after school. She’s doing her Duke of Edinburgh Silver award, which adds an evening of volunteering each week. Also she’s working towards her next piano grade and ….this one is hard to explain…her additional maths GCSE this summer, before her GCSE maths next year.


“Mad Hatter: Would you like a little more tea?
Alice: Well, I haven’t had any yet, so I can’t very well take more.
March Hare: Ah, you mean you can’t very well take less.
Mad Hatter: Yes. You can always take more than nothing.”

– Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

Yes, usually it’s the other way round, if at all. I’ve not heard of it being done in this order, but strangely, it seems to work. All the little blocks of maths, she’s learnt in the last few years, finally start to come together and make sense. As a maths nerd, I’m loving that we can talk this language together.

Like I said, never underestimate a teen.

(I’ve introduced her to embroidery, as a way to switch off. It seems to work for her.)

I’m impressed. So many teens pushing their limits and dreaming big, that it gives me faith in the future.

This weekend, we’re going to make the most of our extra day in February and make a difference, as a family. Whatever the weather.

Oh man. Please pray for good weather! It’s going to be outside.

Joining in with Anne’s Word of the Week linky. My word is “teens”


Word of the Week linky

14 thoughts on “Teens – My word of the week

  • Saturday 29 February, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Oh dear, I hope you have better weather than us today, it’s tipping it down. I like your charity shop challenge, clothes can be bought so cheaply these days (especially from certain big stores of which we have the largest one in Europe) and it’s really not good to buy cheap clothes that don’t last. I’d much rather pay for second hand, because they have already lasted longer than the cheap ones!
    I’m glad you managed to spend some quality time with your teen. I took mine to the hospital for a check up this week and because it was such an awkward time we had to be dropped off an hour early. this meant two hours in the hospital and in that whole time my mobile came out twice. Once to say we’d arrived, and once to tell her Dad where we were. It was so nice to just be together and talk.

    • Monday 2 March, 2020 at 10:30 am

      It was tipping and it was hailing, so the weather really didn’t help, but we did it anyway. Some clothes are too cheap. I like your take on second hand clothes being better quality and lasting longer than first hand ones. Really good point. It sounds like you had quality time with your team. No matter the location.

  • Saturday 29 February, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Interesting to read about your charity shop challenge. I used to do something similar myself. I would take a set amount of cash, so I would not over spend. This was when I worked in an infant classroom, and the two big advantages for me were that if something got spoiled with paint or felttips it was less upsetting, and also if you make a fashion mistake it also matters a bit less if you have not paid full price. Actually I should have a go at this again.

    • Monday 2 March, 2020 at 10:26 am

      I find it liberating. Also less overwhelming than racks of identical clothing. Something in me that wants to rebel against shops telling me how to wear clothes too. Putting sets of clothes together for me to buy, like it’s a done deal. I’d rather come up with my own ideas. I can quite see how second hand clothes would make sense when working in an infant class.

  • Saturday 29 February, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    After spending half my life teaching teenagers, I am a firm believer that the world will be in good hands once they are in charge. Love the concept of the charity shop challenge. Lots of the teens I taught shopped the thrift stores in town. Your daughter learned a great lesson!

    • Monday 2 March, 2020 at 10:23 am

      I think some teens enjoy the concept of second hand much more than others.

  • Sunday 1 March, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Our teens are a formidable force aren’t they 🙂 love the idea of your charity shop challenge.

    • Monday 2 March, 2020 at 10:22 am

      It was fun to have time with her.

  • Sunday 1 March, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    What a beautiful view on an evening for you. The sky is so pretty.
    Oh no! I hope your dog is feeling better soon.
    Teens are wonderful things and good on those who were at the climate march.
    It sounds like you had a lovely time with your girl shopping. x

    • Monday 2 March, 2020 at 10:22 am

      He’s feeling a lot better and eating with more enthusiasm. Thanks. I hope all the teens can keep their drive for change. Interesting times.

  • Tuesday 3 March, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    I like the sound of the charity shop challenge. I’ve been looking more in charity shops for clothes these days, although to be fair most of my clothes are years old and worn until they are falling apart which makes me feel less guilty on the fast fashion front. I do admire all the teens trying to make a difference to the world. We need more people to be like that. Hope that you managed to get out for Leap Day and that Hero is feeling better now. Love that first photo with the blackbird – so beautiful. I love listening to the blackbirds in my garden too. #WotW

    • Wednesday 4 March, 2020 at 12:07 am

      Yes, to wearing an item of clothing multiple times, until it falls to bits. I do the same. We did get out on Leap Day, despite the weather, and Hero is pretty much back to normal now, thanks.

  • Wednesday 4 March, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Teens are under so much pressure aren’t they? Sometimes I forget that and nag and have to remember not to, I just wish my teens were tidier but I suppose their are worse things to worry about! I need to try the charity shop challenge I love getting bits for food styling old spoons and plates, so should try clothes, I love the blackbird photo its so beautiful that light is amazing x

    • Monday 9 March, 2020 at 6:16 pm

      The charity shop challenge is good fun, as well as helping the environment. Definitely saved us a trip to the other shops full of new clothes.

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