A post that perhaps requires some explanation: in St Andrews, we have this super-old tradition called ‘raisin weekend’, where ‘parents’ of ‘academic families’ plan a fun-filled day of weird drunk activities including a treasure hunt (my kids had an Instagram competition with goggly-eyed fruit) followed by a huge foam fight in the quad (our most famous, prettiest building). For the giant foam fight, the academic mother (that would be me!) devises a costume for the squad which can be absolutely anything, and the academic father (my ‘husband’, Kimon, sitting next to me in the brown coat) makes a ‘receipt’ (some sort of object that’s awkward for them to carry – ours got a rainbow). So of all the costumes in the world that I could possibly have gone for… what did I choose? Of course: beloved Care Bears.


I decided I’d have an academic fam and dress my kids as carebears way back in first year when I was unimpressed with my own costume (‘old ladies’… but without wigs or glasses or anything, so just charity shop clothes, basically… but yk these things are a lot of pressure and let’s not blame the gal for trying). I’m not sure why carebears besides my confidence that it should be easily recognisable, colourful, and cute, but most importantly: not something anyone else had done. Every year, a lot of people are dressed as ghosts or a pack of cards, whilst a few groups really stand out. Not sure if we took the crown (it was strong competition: a group dressed as the toy story characters were particularly good), but my academic kids weren’t disappointed, so I’m p satisfied.

The costumes were p simple: a pack of multicoloured ears/tails from Etsy and some cheap tops and trousers from Ebay (some of which my flatmate had to try on, because we were a bit worried about how revealing the male trousers were…), and then I got to spend some time painting (woo!)! It’s a nice break from all the books to sit down and have a therapeutic sesh of painting simple, cheerful things, like lovehearts, rainbows, and smiley lil suns.

As much fun as the making was, the best bit was actually walking them there and watching them fight in the foam. Although these people are literally 2-3 years younger than me, it’s kinda shocking to realise you’re actually capable of taking responsibility, and I felt super grateful that they chose and trusted me to plan this.

All in all, a success (even incl. the foam I cleaned off of about 10 different pieces of furniture).