Have you got any tips? Or do you just want to add an EWWWWWW in sympathy?
Monday, 29 December 2014
Have you got any tips? Or do you just want to add an EWWWWWW in sympathy?
Friday, 19 December 2014
Winter is a pretty terrible time to be a fingernail, I reckon. There's all that cold, icy windscreens and the like. Then there's central heating, and a tendency to spend too long with hands under the hot air dryers in the ladies. Gloves, while cosy, aren't best friends with a pretty manicure, and unless you're very fussy, can catch on any tiny rough edge and ooops, there goes another nail. And the all-important office Christmas party. Ours was last week, and my nails are still nubbins by my standards. I was this close to a trip to the local nail bar for a full set of acrylics, until I remembered that there's a good reason why I haven't done that in 5 years, and my nails only look like nubbins to me, to anyone else they're actually OK. But half the office gave in to the temptation of extensions, gel manicures, and the sort of treatments that look great at the time, but take a whole lot of effort to get back to normal.
There are a few ways to help a poorly looking set of claws through the freezing season. A little bit of love goes a long way, so when Julep, one of my favourite brands (honestly), got in touch, I just had to share some of their advice in the form of an infographic.
I've got to say, cuticle treatments are my number 1 tip. While I wouldn't have bothered until a few years ago, the difference a really good treatment makes is amazing, in terms of look, feel, and the life of your mani. And aside from all that, they tend to smell incredible. Think almonds, think peppermint, think things that almost make you want to start biting your nails again (or is that just me?) Don't do it though, nibbled nails are so not a good look.
I'm trying to avoid the typical Christmas nails of metallic red, green and gold this year. Everyone and their dog has found a nail bar who will give them the kind of sparkly mani that was strictly the reserve of the enthusiast a couple of years back, so it's onwards and upwards to new things, Contrasts and nail art are good. Textures are good (if only because the gel manis haven't got there yet!). Multi-dimensional and duochrome effects are a real soft spot of mine, and I do love a twist on a granny colour. You know the sort of dusky pink you'd normally associate with crinoline toilet roll covers and winceyette nighties? Well, I've got to be honest, it looks STUNNING on a good set of nails. Trust me. Something like Shari or Malala (which I adore as a colour, before I even learned about its inspiration & charitable donation). Maybe even with a glitter topcoat for the party season. Bling comes in all shapes and sizes these days.
Check out the mani I did a few weeks back (but please don't look at the awful state of my cuticles, or the horrible work car park background. I used a deep burgundy base, topped with a mylar flakie topcoat. These are a complete pain to apply, I have to admit, because the mylar flakes don't lie flat and make the polish gloopy, but they are so pretty to look at. I think it reminds me of ice particles forming on my nails - Elsa style maybe. In fact, maybe I should try it on a blue. Mylar shows up best on strong bold colours, so an icy blue or silver base probably wouldn't work, but maybe something like Amy would, then I could do my real Ice Queen look.
What's your favourite winter mani? And how do you balance stunning nails with the need to keep your hands warm? Have I missed a trick?
Disclosure: I have not received payment for this post. I chose to share the infographic because I found it interesting and thought readers may do too.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
There's a wealth (see what I did there?) of people queueing up to lend you money to help stretch to meet the unexpected, especially if you believe the all-singing, all-dancing, brightly coloured friendly adverts on the telly. But the telly doesn't tell the whole story. Loans come in all shapes and sizes, and it's important to find the one that fits you, so you have to look at the small print.
The APR is the easy bit, though it doesn't tell the whole story – if you only want to borrow for a relatively short time it's not all that relevant, though it does give you a rough idea of how expensive or cheap a loan may be. You also need to look at any arrangement fees, transfer fees, early repayment fees, and the PPI that's still in the news. All of these can add to the cost of a loan, and aren't always so easy to spot upfront, so it's a good move to check them out before you commit.
Obviously, when we take out a loan, we expect to be able to pay it back. It's kind of the deal. But life can get complicated sometimes, and if circumstances change it can be a whole lot harder than planned, so it's a good idea to look at what might happen if you can't pay the loan back. Some lenders add penalty fees, others sell the debt on to a collector who adds their own fees. Some take you to court and try to get a County Court Judgement (CCJ) to force the payments, or if your loan is secured on your property, a lender could repossess or force a sale on your home.
Securing a better deal
Offering security can be a good way to get a cheaper rate loan – as I said a loan secured on your home is an option, but only if you own your home in the first place. Pawn shops are making a reappearance on our high street, with a new shiny exterior. Or there's the option of a log book loan, where the loan is secured on your car.
With a logbook loan, you keep the car and drive around as normal, and as long as you make the payments, nothing changes. Aside from a more accessible lending rate, they can be arranged and the money lent within hours of application if you need funds urgently. Also, you know from the start what the risks are: as with any secured loan, your car could be repossessed if you don't keep up the payments.
A responsible lender won't lend you more than you can afford, and will make sure everything is clear to you before entering into an agreement. If you're not sure what the terms mean – ask!
Late or missed repayments of a loan can cause you serious money problems. For help & advice, visit Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice Bureau.
This post has been sponsored by Auto Advance, one of the UK’s longest established logbook loans companies. Auto Advance is a member of the Consumer Credit Trade Association (CCTA) and adheres to its code of practice.
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Despite being something of a klutz, I've always managed to look after my phones pretty well. I've never left one on the roof of my car, never dropped it in a pint, and always have a case to protect it as best I can. Aside from one incident when a very young Squeaky decided to flush my phone down a hotel toilet, the only problems I've ever had with phones have been because the phones themselves have been rubbish (Orange SPV, I still haven't forgiven you). So I've become quite complacent, and as a result I've not bothered to insure my phone. I look after it, see.
Or so I thought. My phone fits fairly well into the pocket of most of my jeans, but there's one pair that you really can't persuade anything bigger than a 2p piece to fit into. I forgot that, and put my phone there, sort of. And then there was a split-second where my phone decided to test the forces of gravity in my work's car park. I know. Oh dear would be the polite way of saying it. My beloved phone, home to all my photo editing apps, every phone number I've ever had, zillions of photos of my lunch, and most importantly, Frozen Freefall now had a whole lot of crushed glass in the top corner, some lovely great cracks across the screen, and was kind of misbehaving when I tried to do anything.
Obviously, this is the kind of catastrophe that demands I turn around and leave the office for the relative safety of the local phone shop. And whimper pathetically at the very understanding staff member, while she tried not to laugh at my total lack of priorities (I was on level 172!). No insurance, and not close enough to an upgrade means I've got to pay for the phone to be fixed. Sent away, snatched from my trembling fingers, and sent to someone who knows about these things. ARGH!!!! And they won't give it me back until I give them crazy sums of money. (I am crying here)
Then came the moment where I had to admit to Daddy that I shouldn't be trusted with expensive electronic gadgetry, and had in fact mangled my phone. His reply? Have you phoned the insurance? Errrr, I don't have phone insurance. No, the household insurance.
I checked the policy, and discovered that yes, my phone is actually covered on my household insurance. Less an excess, of course, but covered all the same. Apparently I can take things out of the house, break them, and still have them covered. Which is not encouragement for me to do so, but a rather pleasant surprise and a bit of a relief. I wonder how many people are already covered for things like their mobile phones breaking & don't realise it? Check your policy, it might be a pleasant surprise.
(And if anyone wants to give me a new phone, I'd really appreciate it!)
Monday, 8 December 2014
|Do not be fooled. Meltdown in 20 seconds|
|Not enough reward for Daddy|
Thursday, 4 December 2014
When Squeaky was but a little Squeak, and I first thought about going back to work, I didn't really know much. I had seen a couple of day nurseries close by our house, and someone told me that the Family Information Service might be able to give me more info. Sadly most of what they gave me was hopelessly out of date, so I got in touch with the two nearby nurseries and arranged a look around. One didn't impress me, being all concrete yard adjoining a coach depot, but the other struck me as a pretty positive place, and we signed an enormous amount of paperwork, and Squeaky headed there quite happily for 18 months or so. They did wonders for her, socially and educationally, and the staff are still friends now.
But. I really didn't consider childminders. I actually thought it would be the more expensive option, you know, that kind of close attention, a personal setting, it just struck me as being cheaper than a nanny or au pair (really never going to be an option), but out of my price range. And the FIS only gave me contact numbers for 3, none of which were particularly convenient for either home or work. Effectively the decision was made for me.
When Squeaky started at the part time nursery class in school, her teacher told me she could tell the children that had attended a nursery, rather than a childminder, or stayed at home, by the way they were more confident entering into the school environment, being surrounded by a group of other children their own age, and having that sort of structure to their day. That was fine with me, the social aspect was something that was important to me, as we don't have any family locally, and so otherwise Squeaky would only have limited contact with other children, so it meant she got a chance she wouldn't have had at home. The downside being my hours didn't fit too well with school hours, and the nursery that we had used weren't able to offer wrap-around childcare.
My salvation came in the form of a charity-based pre-school provision, linked to my employer. I wouldn't have known about them if it weren't for working where I do, but their hours fitted in with my work, and their prices were considerably cheaper than the nursery's had been. They didn't work in the school holidays though, so we kept in contact with the old nursery for a bit of help if push came to shove. We also looked around at the education department's out-of-school provision, and while Squeaky's school didn't offer anything, another nearby did. This didn't really work out, as they cancelled days where they didn't have enough bookings, which meant we were stuck at short notice, but they did get us out of a sticky spot.
My hours have gone down again at work (occupational hazard of working for a charity), so the summer holidays were reasonably manageable, and fast forward to now, where Squeaky is in reception class all day. As I'm working less hours than she's in school, and breakfast club means I can be in the office well before 9, most of the time things are good. Daddy works shifts, so I try to fit long days around when he's available for the afternoon pick up. Usually this works out great. But last week, I was booked on a full day's training course in Swansea, and Daddy was on a late shift. Slight technical hitch. I sat in the office and worried, especially as I had asked to attend this course. I continued to worry all the way to school, and stood at the gates still worrying. Then I looked around. Yes, there are a few mums I know well enough that I could probably ask a favour of, but I'd feel bad about that. And then it dawned on me. Standing next to me was a mum to one of Squeaky's classmates, ChilledGirl. Who just happens to be a childminder, one who comes with recommendations from 2 completely unconnected people I know. So rather than panicking, I asked her rates and what I would have to do for a one-off session.
I was shocked. Honestly, breath taken away shocked to find she charged HALF what the nursery charged. As she was picking up her own daughter at the same time, the pick up didn't cost anything either, and Squeaky's routine was as normal as could be. We popped up a few days before to fill in the paperwork (there is always paperwork, it's a PITA but it's for everyone's sake), and Squeaky settled in seconds. We spoke about it in the days leading up, that she was going to play at ChilledGirl's house, and ChilledGirl's mummy would pick her up from school.
She had an absolute ball. The personal attention meant she had a tea that suited her, she was able to play in a home and family environment, and experience what it's like to be part of a bigger family (ChilledGirl has an older and a younger brother), and have your own chores and responsibilities - which in turn made me realise we can ask more of Squeaky than we currently do. She didn't even realise that she was in childcare, which makes my guilt that little bit less. Talking to other mums, the homely environment (as well as the surprising price) were a major motivator, the fact that their child didn't feel they were being placed in childcare settings was a big seller in some cases.
For me now? Well, I have to be honest. I'd be happier for her to spend her days in a smaller setting now that she has the socialisation at school. I don't have that same motivation to send her to a group setting when she doesn't need it so much. Fortunately with lower and flexible hours I'm able to cover most holidays one way or another, but having looked at things from both viable alternatives, I think I'd rather place her with a childminder for those times when I really need childcare. And as registered childminders can accept childcare voucher payments, I'm better off again, because we are still able to make the most of the tax benefits of the vouchers. Obviously, if I had the option, I'd take all the school holidays off, and stay at home myself having adventures, but life doesn't always work that way. I've looked at childcare from both sides, now.
I should also now apologise for having developed a bit of a photo editing app addiction. But, nah.
Monday, 10 November 2014
Fortunately, Squeaky isn't at all interested in watching Turtles, according to her they are "boring and for boys" - which I can't really argue with, and I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to see it either. However, at least 2 of her boyfriends are Turtles fans, and have been pressing their families to take them to see the film over the half term break.
|Small children out of shot, demanding ice cream|
"[The] BBFC considers the content of 12A rated films to be suitable for children aged 12 and over, and we would not recommend taking very young children to see them. Works classified at these categories may upset children under 12 or contain material which many parents will find unsuitable for them."
I sort of question what's going on? A film which clearly targets a young audience, but has content that is unsuitable for them. Why does it need to? The television series isn't restricted to after the 9.00 watershed, so why make a film too violent or scary for the characters' fans? I think I'd rather see a firm minimum age rating - be that 5, 9, whatever, than this wishy-washy 12A nonsense. If it's suitable, it's suitable, if it's not, it's not. Simple as that.
What's your opinion? How old, or young, a child would you take to a 12A film? And what regard do you have for film ratings at home?
(Photo thanks to Michelle Storey, used with permission. Other cinema brands are available.)
Friday, 7 November 2014
The literacy programme the school use; Read, Write, Inc, is taught across the school at the same time, and children are grouped by their ability, meaning children are working with different people to those they would normally sit by, and this has meant Squeaky has had to learn to get on with and communicate with older children, something that's out of her comfort zone. But she's getting on with it, bringing home new reading books every week, in addition to her homework (which she LOVES to do, long may it last!) She's actually reading the books as well, not just reciting from memory, as I've been challenging her with the words out of order, as they suggest in the back section of the book. I love to read, so I'm very happy that she's going the same way.
I promise I won't turn into the kind of parent that pushes their child to sit their GCSEs at age 6, but I just want to make the most of her desire to learn, and encourage her to learn how to learn, not just sit back and coast because things are easy (I may have been guilty of that myself)
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
Meet Mr Pump. Mr Pump stands sentry at the entrance to Princess Batarella's magical home, ensuring that only those lucky few invited guests are permitted entry. Woe betide anyone who tried to make their way past Mr Pump without permission. Their fate is one that few would wish to behold.
Once past the gates, we meet the Princess herself. Princess Batarella loves to groom her pony. This magnificent steed is Princess Batarella's loyal companion, and accompanies her on regular tours of her woodland home, helping to negotiate the rough terrain and carrying all the essentials a Princess may need.
Princess Batarella shares her dwelling with a host of fairy folk. Whilst shy, some of them will show themselves, given encouragement from the Princess. The fairies put a lot of work into maintaining their domain, and each has cultivated her own garden to provide all the things a fairy community may need.
And after all that work touring her domain, there is nothing a Princess likes more than to tuck into a freshly toasted marshmallow. Grown by the fairies, and toasted over a magical flame, of course.
OK, just kidding. Our pumpkin at home, an excursion to Mountain View Ranch to join in their half term bushcraft festivities (in Hallowe'en costume, naturally), and a sneaky roadsign from Neath. Just because.
Princess Batarella's tour is linking up with Coombe Mills' Country Kids linky. Are you?
Sunday, 26 October 2014
The delivery itself really impressed me. While all deliveries separate cupboard items from chilled and frozen (different areas of the van, see), they were in identified bags, so even if I got sidetracked, I'd be able to tell straight away - and a very useful concept for my next "in person" shopping trip. The receipt print out also showed everything by date order, so I could see at a glance which items needed to be used up quickest. I thought that was a great asset, it's happened before that I've ordered things with a plan for a few days hence, and found that the ingredients all needed to be used straight away. By listing the use-by dates, it meant I knew that the best dated products had been chosen, and that I'd be able to use them while they're at their best.
Yogurts, fruit yoyos, wholewheat cookies, veg crisps and dairy free choco mylk (yes, that's how they spell it) for Squeaky. Peppers, avocados, samphire, girolle mushrooms, berries and rainbow chard for the grow-ups. Chard? Wait a minute, I thought Chard was a place in Somerset! I grew up watching adverts for the now defunct wildlife park "Cricket St Thomas, near Chard", and now you want to tell me it's a vegetable? You'll be telling me Cheddar is a type of cheese next!
Squeaky has already tucked in to a couple of the snacks with enthusiasm, and can't wait to go back to school to show off a whole new set of choices (which make me very happy due to their fruit content, low sugar levels, and all round Good Mummy lunchbox friendly status) We don't mention the healthy aspect, due to her general mistrust of anything natural, green, or that has ever been introduced to a vegetable, but we're slowly winning the battle.
|I made this!|
Saturday, 25 October 2014
There. Now I've got all of that out of my system, it's time for the actual blogging. I'm sure this is a post that's been said many times, many ways, but much like Nat King Cole, I'm giving you my version.
I've never been one for anatomical terms for body parts. I've broken my tibia and fibula, but if you ask me, I broke my ankle. Twice. And so it begins. I rarely talk about my breasts or mammaries, but if my underwire is escaping, I'll tell you I'm being stabbed in the boob. And as I'm quite generously endowed in the nork department, it's a very real possibility.
So, when Squeaky arrived into the world in all her girly glory, I started to wonder. Obviously with boys there are many words to describe their genitalia, but the vast majority are understood, whoever you mention them to. Whether it's willy, knob or dick, we all know what you mean. Willy being the generally accepted term for small boys, just, well, because. (As a side note, I once worked with a John Thomas. I still wonder what his parents were thinking) But for girls? Which word do you use?
As I said, I've never been one for anatomically correct terminology. If you are, that's great, but it's just not me. So, what are our choices? The word most commonly used in the valleys seems to be "Foof", but, errr, no. I'd never heard the word til I moved here, and now it's everywhere. But it sounds too much like fluff, which was a euphemism for fart when I was a child, and fanny farts have their own special word (queef, if you were wondering), Fanny, as just mentioned in the previous sentence is an obvious suggestion, but as the world is getting ever smaller, and I have many friends on the other side of the Atlantic, I want to avoid the confusion between our (front) fannies and their (back) fannies. Y'know.
Vulva, foof and fanny are all out then, so what's left? I couldn't face being all twee and silly with twinkle, flower or something along those lines. I'd be quite tempted by the Fivepenny Piece's inspiration and Ha'penny (though I really remember it from the Wurzels, but I couldn't find that on youtube), but I'd be the only person to get the joke, and that's probably not good. And I can't remember what I called it myself as a child. I do remember learning the correct words in school when I was about 9 or 10 and finding them all hilarious, but being very confused about who had which. Penis is just a nicer word.
Thankfully, Squeaky being Squeaky, she addressed all my concerns before I had chance to make a decision. She refers to her "little bottom", and I can kind of see the logic. From her angle it does sort of look like a bottom, and it's certainly littler than her actual "big" bottom. Problem solved. While the "it's not a bottom" brigade will probably be every bit as upset with that as they are with "front bottom", that's their problem, not mine, My daughter's body, my daughter's choice of name. It's one that will not cause confusion, should she have to talk about it, but equally won't raise eyebrows in the playground.
Knickers are the description of choice for undies, thankfully. Even Daddy wears them according to Squeaky. We all wear knickers, though some are nicer than others. Again, I was quite conscious of the international world she'll grow up in, and pants are almost as confusing as fannies. Our pants are somewhat less acceptable to be on show than those in the US.
As for the rest, her bottom is her bottom or bum. And sometimes arse, but that's more to describe Daddy's stinky one. Boobies is her description of choice for breasts, both mine and her own (lack of). We do windies, though she knows that fart is another name that we choose not to use. And the longer she goes without learning about boys genitals, the better.
What about your house? How do you feel about accurate terminology? When did you introduce the right words?
Friday, 24 October 2014
|What a welcome|
That sadly wasn't possible, for the best reason, of course. Dinner. Our dinner reservation in the Verve restaurant had me slightly confused because there seems to be some rebranding between Verve and Vinny and Vito's, and I can't quite tell which way it's going. Anyway, Verve is what our reservation said, so Verve it is. The menu was kept simple, but with loads of intense and varied flavours. With at least 4 vegetarian starters and main courses, there was a good choice, and I couldn't wait to get stuck in. I opted for the caramelised onion & feta tartlet to start with, and couldn't have picked better if I'd been in the kitchen. (At this point I have to apologise because I really couldn't take photos of Daddy's dinner across the table before he tucked in.)
|Caramelised onion and feta tartlet|
|Salmon fillet with mango, coriander and chilli salsa|
Disclosure: I was invited to be a guest at the hotel free of charge, and provided with a spa treatment and meal in the restaurant for the purposes of this review. I was not told what to write and all opinions are my own. Links are provided for convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme and will not receive reward for their use.
Saturday, 18 October 2014
|Veruca Salt, with her Golden Ticket|
Thursday, 16 October 2014
At the moment, she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. I'm glad her teacher is a good role model, and one I'm happy for her to choose to emulate, though secretly I'm hoping her dreams don't stop at teaching, right now she could go far further. That said, her previous ambitions have been to be a princess and a mummy. Both noble, I'm sure you'll agree, but really quite gender specific. Why not an astronaut, an explorer, a vet, a bus driver? PirateGirl wants to be a doctor, inspired in part at least by Doc McStuffins. A career to be proud of, no matter what's inside your pants. Doc McStuffins being a show I particularly like for it's challenging of traditional gender roles, without making a big "thing" of it. People just do what they do.
Much as I'm tempted, I'm not going to break Squeaky's pink phase, or at least not until she's ready to move on to other things. But can I at least limit its impact? Do girls have to have special pink versions of everyday items, just because they're girls? Really?
I want my daughter to celebrate being female, to be proud of it, not to feel that concessions have to be made to compensate for her lack of testicles. After all, as Beyonce asks, "Who runs the world? Girls"
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
I hope right now you're reaching for your credit card, scratching your head and wondering to yourself, "What should I buy for my favourite blogger for Christmas?" Well, look no further, because I've put together a mini wishlist, and I'll be happy to accept these tokens of your appreciation for my time, effort and assaults on the English language.
First up, this gorgeous channel set ring. My engagement ring is a trilogy ring, and I love the sentiment that the three stones represent the past, the present & the future. This ring is kind of a triple trilogy with three sets of three stones, which would symbolise me, Daddy and Squeaky, and our past, present & future together. Sentimental old fool I am some days, I know, but that's just me. The simplicity of this ring means that I could wear it every day without worrying about catching the stones on something, but it's an unusual style, which would stand out amongst the solitaire crowd at the school gates. And with purple hair, I'm never going to blend in with them, am I? £43.70 to make sure I don't fade into a background of peroxide and designer labels (and that's just the kids)
curved sterling silver pendant. To me, it's a chilli pepper. It is, isn't it? Now, don't panic, I'm not going to get all oversharey about the state of my relationship, but I do love a bit of spicy food every now & then, who doesn't? And one of my friends goes by the nickname Chilli, so it would remind me of her every time I wore it, which would fix a smile on my face as I thought of all sorts of bad behaviour and good times! No, I'm not telling you what, statute of limitations and all that, I can't be held responsible any more, or at least not without a certain, shiny gift. £33.50 is a bargain price for an insight into my psyche and misspent youth.
OK. So now you know what to buy me, I want you to think very hard about how you're going to wrap these lovely shinies. I'd suggest a red gift bag, with the boxes inside, slipped under the Christmas tree around about midnight. I'll leave a glass of sherry out for Santa, and a carrot for Rudolph, you do your bit and I'll do mine. Bonus points for humming "Have yourself a merry little Christmas", or leaving me a bacon sarnie & glass of bucks fizz, because no-one else will remember.
For my part, I will make sure my eyes light up like the Blackpool illuminations, and do my best surprised look when you've given me exactly what I asked for! You love me, don't you?
|My eyes. From the top deck of a number 1 bus.|
Disclosure: This post is my entry to a competition hosted by Diary of a Jewellery Lover, where I have the chance of winning vouchers to spend on items from The Real Effect. I have not been paid for my post, and there is no guarantee I will receive a prize. Links are provided for convenience, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme and will not receive reward for their use. My competition entry is not judged on the number of clicks to the above links.
Monday, 13 October 2014
It did get me to thinking though. Do politically motivated curriculums (ok, curricula if you want to be correct about it) do children any favours at all, or are they merely pandering to the preferences of adults? While I didn't go to school in Wales, I did go to a church school, and as a result, I was forced to study RE throughout school. At GCSE level we had the choice of the GCSE class, or a non-GCSE class, no option for "actually I'm not that interested". This meant that out of the 9 subjects we could take, we had one less option, one less chance to study something that interested us, or that would prove useful in employment and later life. I can tell you plenty about the Synoptic Gospels, but do you want to know it? I didn't, and I'm still not sure I want to now. Schools in Wales are much the same, by making Welsh compulsory, they are taking away the chance for children to study the things they are good at, and are interested in. If that's Welsh, great, if not, give them a choice.
I remember watching with envy my friends in other schools, who had the opportunity to choose to study psychology, sociology, media studies, things that interested me and would have proved far more helpful in my university days and later in my career. Instead I took RE and History which bored me senseless (I still managed to pass, despite my best attempts otherwise). No teen really knows what they're going to do with the rest of their lives at the age of 13 or 14 choosing their options, but I knew for certain I wasn't going to be a religious historian.
What do you think? Did your school, or your children's school have compulsory subjects outside of the English, Maths & Science that we all expect? How did you approach it?
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Hello, you crazy spammers with your very loose grip on the English language. Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere. I'm glad you're so interested in what I have to say, especially those hundreds of you that have taken the time to comment today.
Seriously though. Enough is enough. You aren't even trying to be relevant, and I'm fed up of my email beeping every 30 seconds to tell me you've commented again. You're not going yo get published you know.
So please, listen to Robbie and Bobbie, Squeaky's bee friends, and buzz off. (This is a family blog, I was thinking something much less polite.)
Sunday, 5 October 2014
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Right. Now that's out of they way, let me introduce you to my newest lovely friends, Cake Angels. They are responsible for a percentage of my ever-increasing waistline, as well as some gorgeous treats, which I'd love to share with you in person - except for the fact that we ate them - so pictures will have to do instead! Many pictures. You know me.
As you can see, this was a major hit - small girls, cake and sprinkles. All we needed was a unicorn or a special guest appearance from Sophia The First, and they would have actually exploded. There were marshmallows, many many chocolate sprinkles, a load of royal icing designs, all piled on top of the most delicious vanilla frosting I've ever eaten straight from the tub. Ooops. It was leftovers, that doesn't count.
I'm not sure I'd've paid for one of their cupcakes, but they were pretty pleased with themselves. (please ignore the look on my face, I am not the most photogenic of cooks)
Then came summer. And I still hadn't written this post, when through my door came some more goodies, including the most inspired Ice Cream Cone cupcakes I've ever seen. I used to work for a bakery, a long long time ago, and they sold ice cream cone cakes, but they were nowhere near as impressive as these.
|I am a real blogger, see!|
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
HEN, PEN, MEN
HIP, LIP, SHIP, CHIP
BIN, TIN, GIN?
|Mummy's special pop|
Monday, 29 September 2014
Well, National Trust it is then. Off in the car 20 minutes down the road to Aberdulais Falls. And perfectly for me, a great mix of nature and heritage, and not a stately home in site. Aberdulais Falls is, as the name suggests, home to a waterfall. A waterfall in a narrow gorge, that through the generations has provided the power to a tin works, as well as other industries lost to time.
Now, at this point I could bore you with a history lesson, but that's not why you come here. Instead, I shall bore you with photos, and tell you about what we did.
We stared at the waterfall and marvelled at how loud it was, while I tried (and failed) to take artsy photos.
We (OK, I) giggled at the name of a piece of equipment used in the tin works. Wobbler is funny, right?
So, we did something cultured and educational with our weekend, as well as being in the beautiful, healthy outdoors. What about you?
We're linking our trip up with Coombe Mill's Country Kids linky. Why not pop along and get inspired?