Mr Harvey the orthodontist has finally said daughter's braces can come off.

The great day is the middle of next month and she's really excited. I must admit it will be strange to see her without a mouth full of metal.

It feels as if she has worn braces for ever and it will be nice to see her cheekbones again. She has been exceptionally good about the whole thing, never moaning at all, even when they hurt after being tightened.

In anticipation of the "new her" she has decided to make some other changes to her life as well. One of these is repainting her bedroom. She has decided to do this by herself, with the help of a few friends and only minimal intervention from us.

The design appears to involve lots of swirly patterns and stencils in various shades of blues, greens and purples. Apparently a plain yellow room is just "not cool" any more.

Sam the dog returned from her room with a greeny-blue head and tail and the same colour tongue. It confirmed my opinion that dogs are are not generally very good at decorating.

My role appears to consist of cleaning the brushes and generally cleaning up any mess - of which I am anticipating there will be lots. Oh, and I am also chief paint remover from dogs.

We had to leave the dog in on his own the other night, much to his disgust, so we could go to daughter's school play.

It was about a group of teenagers in post-war Britain. The singing was quite good and daughter delivered her lines with aplomb.

Daughter met us afterwards, flushed with success, mostly because she had made it through the whole thing without giggling hysterically even once, unlike some of her friends. We decided to celebrate by going to McDonald's on the way home.

A sleepy daughter finally got to bed in her multi-hued and still unfinished room at 11 o'clock.

She breaks up from school this week so we have started the annual game of "However are we going to cope over the holidays".

She is, of course, too old for playschemes and we can't afford to take the holidays off. Her grandparents have stepped in, as usual, for which we are very grateful, particularly as they are taking her away for a week, leaving us with the house to ourselves.

I've got two other separate weeks off work and we shall manage to muddle through the rest, just like everybody else.