If you are in glass houses, be very careful with stones

Karen Knight and daughter Hannah, 11Karen Knight and daughter Hannah, 11
Karen Knight and daughter Hannah, 11
Did you see the story in The News about the mother in a row with a Fareham school over her daughter using an eyebrow pencil?

Hannah Knight, 11, was ordered to remove the make-up and her mother Karen has since kept her out of school until matters are resolved.

This story came up in my news feed on social media and I was surprised by the comments, which were aghast at the mother’s behaviour.

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It is very easy to sit on the sidelines and make judgment calls about who should be doing what and their motives. But, actually, there is often a lot more going on of which us, the commentators, are unaware.

I worked in a senior school for a few years and have witnessed young ladies wearing far more make-up in a single day than I have cumulatively over my entire life.

But here’s the thing. I’ve never been plagued by acne, or spots. Yes, I’ve had one or two, but haven’t had the debilitating situation where someone is so upset by the way they look, they have to hide away.

I have had it with my hair though. It’s unruly and it takes a brave hairdresser to get involved with the curls, especially when they’re wiry, tight corkscrews at the front and relaxed at the back.

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I’ve had more than one dodgy result in the past and have, I admit, taken time off work to tame my hair’s worst points with scarves and slides.

And while people can tell you that no-one notices, whatever your Achilles heel is, you know how it feels when it’s not at its best.

As adults we invest our time in a certain style of dress, or a certain hairdo, to make ourselves feel better.

So I’m asking that we put the lid back on the judgments and instead think about how it feels to do whatever it is to make yourself feel confident.

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When children are made to wear the same outfit day after day, told to comply, sometimes we all need to take a step back and remember the perils of our own childhood and how we responded to them.

I’m not judging anybody. I’m just saying that people in glass houses should be very careful with stones.


Every now and then I remember how much I love the library and my reading is invigorated.

My secret is focusing on young adult fiction as authors for young adults tackle really interesting subject matter and themes in excellent shorter formats than some adult authors (and also I’m published in that genre).

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If you fancy a few great beach reads, do try the teen-plus range.

It’s not all Dystopian futures based around killing one another. There are plenty that speak to all sorts of issues and stories and characters.

Teen fiction is concise, accessible and digestible.

With summer finally here, it’s worth remembering that your library can take you to places that your finances can’t.


I was yelled at by a cold caller the other day. Can you believe it?

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Apparently it was me who was rude by asking ‘what?’ and ‘why?’

Not him for calling me up in the middle of the day and demanding to speak to my husband.

Not him for insinuating that I was being ruder and ruder.

Yes, I understand that it’s his job to ring people up.

But to then yell at me and tell me off?

I was less than pleased, then I was amused and now I’m simply peeved that my phone number is on some list somewhere and however many times I try to get myself removed, I simply can’t do it.

Perhaps, in the age of the mobile, it’s time to get rid of the landline.

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