“When I asked my family their favourite meal, I tried to frame it in a way that would elicit the response “your delicious and nutritious vegan stews mum” but they all said pizza. Keda Price-Cousins on family life and renovating the house herself…
Keda Price-Cousins, 41, lives in Tottenham, north London, with her husband Jay, and their children: Oscar, ten and Matilda, five. She left her job at the BBC in December and is currently taking a year out to renovate her house.
Our mornings are … structured. It’s strange when you no longer rely on a tiny hand prising your eyes open in the morning and need to use an alarm clock again. We have to be out of the house to get to school in plenty of time, so kicking myself out of bed and downstairs to the kettle before everyone else is up is key. Often breakfast is the only meal we all eat together so we make a point of all sitting at the table. We’ve started walking or getting the bus to school and I actually love that part of the day. Even if there’s been some hustling to get everyone out of the door, the journey spent bumbling along chatting is pretty special.
I’d describe our house as … a work in progress. It’s currently part 80s house of horror, part brainchild of a Pinterest obsessed DIY amateur. We moved in just over a year ago and I’m attempting to renovate it myself. I’m slowly peeling away the layers of purple gloss and anaglypta. Sometimes I look at the newly sanded floorboards and feel like progress is being made, other times I stare dolefully at the pile of rubble and mud that is our garden and wish that I hadn’t thought pulling up the patio would be a quick and easy task. Jay regards the whole process with the ambivalence of a man who could have lived with the emerald green carpet, because removing it meant six trips to the dump and he’d rather spend his Saturday watching Adventure Time and pumping up his bike tyres.
My kids mainly wear … Oscar is currently going through a Goth-Victoriana stage and will only wear black, often offset with a natty top hat, smart jacket and a cane. Matilda favours a charity shop bridesmaid dress or a onesie.
I cope with clutter by … going to the charity shop a lot or shoving it in the cupboard under the stairs. One day I’m going to fall in there diazepam where to buy with it and no one will be able to find me because I’ll be trapped under 30 coats, six pairs of roller-skates, an unspecified number of cycle helmets and a broken tent.
Our favourite family meal is … when I asked my family this I tried to frame it in a way that would elicit the response “your delicious and nutritious vegan stews mum” but they all said pizza.
I never leave the house without … my keys. Actually that’s a lie, I left without them the other day and had to climb over the neighbour’s fence to get to the back door, which I had helpfully and responsibly left open.
When no one’s looking I … I dance badly to 90s drum & bass. To be honest I’m happy to do this when people are watching, but my family has made it clear that they would rather I didn’t.
Having a child has made me … appreciate my own parents more. My parents are amazing. Until you have kids yourself you don’t realise the infinite, all consuming love, guilt and worry that comes with parenting. If I had a time machine I’d pop back to visit teenage me, and whisper in my ear “Give them a break. And if you’re going to vomit red wine in your lunch break, don’t get it on your school uniform.”
I encourage creativity … by valuing my children’s efforts. Kids are inherently creative. Their brains don’t have the restriction of the conventions we adopt as we get older. The other day Matilda created a 6ft long picture of space. It involved a lot of colour and “squished up faces”. No hallucinogens required, just reams of paper and some highlighter pens. It’s brilliant.
I’ll never be able to part with … our house. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t feel grateful for the roof over our heads. I’m never leaving. When I die I want to be buried under the pile of rubble where the patio was.
Bedtime tends to be … later than it used to be now the children are a bit older. Although Oscar is a prolific reader we still read at length to both the kids before they go to sleep.
When all else fails we … bake banana bread. No one can be grumpy when presented with a wedge of warm banana bread.
Follow Keda on Instagram: @kedapricecousins