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Clare Potter, Crystal Jeans, honno, Kate North, motherhood, parenthood, Rebecca Parfitt, Rhian Elizabeth, The Ghastling, Wales Book of the Year -

My daughter, Scout, is 13 years old on Sunday. And no one is more amazed than me that I managed to get her to this age physically, if not mentally, unscathed.

It’s not the thing to say, I know, but I'm going to say it anyway – I don’t always enjoy being a mother.

I didn't see the fun in changing nappies. Those first 3 years of not sleeping weren't the best years of my life, to be honest. And her tantrums around supermarkets made me want to put her in someone else’s trolley and hope they’d scan her with the rest of their shopping and take her home.

I hated making small talk in the playground with other mothers. I resented having to cut packed lunch sandwiches in a certain, special way or face World War 3.

I don't enjoy helping out with homework, attempting to solve maths equations that I had no chance of solving when I, myself, was in school, equations that I’ve got even less of a chance of solving now.

I dread parents’ evening, having to brush my hair and put on the only smart jacket I have and act all sensible. I don’t enjoy the constant drama, stress and worry that comes with a teenage girl.

But apart from all of that, being a mother is alright.

I’d like to think that, despite the list of things she could write that she has had to put up with because of me for the past 13 years, Scout thinks I’m alright, too.

I asked my favourite MILFS their opinions on being mothers.

Over and out. X

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Bad Ideas, Bad Ideas\Chemicals, Cardiff, Carnival Bookshop, crystal jeans, honno, Light Switches are my Kryptonite, Lloyd Markham, News, pop-up shop, writing -

Cardiff-based authors Lloyd Markham and Crystal Jeans have opened a bookshop in Duke Street Arcade, Cardiff to sell their new novels with their Festival of Bad Ideas this week. The Carnival bookshop popped up on Sat 1 July stocking copies of Bad Ideas\Chemicals, the dark, weird debut novel by Lloyd Markham published by Parthian that has already garnered a cult buzz amongst other top writers:

‘A dark and witty take on small town life.’
– David Towsey

‘bleak, weird, grim, cool... it will probably become a cult classic.’ – Rhian Elizabeth

'Some writers try to do weird. Some writers do weird. Lloyd Markham is weird.'
– Christopher Meredith

The shop also stocks Crystal Jeans' second novel Light Switches are my Kryptonite by Honno:

'In Sylvester, Crystal Jeans has created a character as evocative and alluring as her own name. Her book is an amazing piece of literary ventriloquism; convincing, moving, funny, flawlessly sustained, and utterly compelling.' – Niall Griffiths

as well as her first novel, The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise (Honno) recently longlisted for the Polari First Book:

'Think Caitlin Moran in Gabalfa, Cardiff - dysfunctionality made humorous and page-turningly entertaining and moving.' – Tony Curtis

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