Archive for September, 2011

Blinging up the school run…

According to a recent survey by Sainsburys, the average school run mum spends approximately £60 on shoes and new clothes to impress at the school gates when the children go back to school, and get a haircut especially. Then spend up to 25 minutes perfecting their make up.

Who ARE these people they have surveyed?! It certainly wasn’t me. An average school run in this household goes something like this:

-Up and out of bed at 7.15am, along with 4 year old who generally gets up around this time too.

- go downstairs and fall over 8 year old who’s already up and sprawled over the floor in living room writing little notes/drawing in his book. (Anyone would think we didn’t have a perfectly good table.)

- Have first cup of tea of morning, just to banish grumpy half asleep woman into oblivion and make my eyelids open properly as opposed to two little slits.

- Ask the two little ‘uns what they want for breakfast. “Toast please!” Put toast on plates. “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want it anymore!” Tough, it’s been made you’re having it now. :-) (Ditto for when it’s cereal or whatever.)

-Uniforms put on , or in the case of the 8 year old threaten to take him to school in his pyjamas if he doesn’t stop messing around and JUST. GET. DRESSED.

Then have a mad half hour trying to find bookbags  that were all laid out the night before and now mysteriously moved.

Shoes supposed to be put by the door so we know where they are, have blatantly not been and can usually be found somewhere random like underneath the kitchen table, or down the side of the sofa.

-Head off out the door 8.25am to go to school.

8.27am heading back inside because even though the bookbag was planted INTO  the 8 year old’s hand, he’s STILL managed to leave it behind.

So where are all these yummy mummies with all this spare time in a morning?! Show of hands please…….. :-)

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Silent Sunday….





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On the (getting rare now!) occasions that I have a child free night, there’s nothing better than heading off down to the pub for a few drinks, so this week’s Listography over at   http://katetakes5.blogspot.com was right up my street!

First up on my list is Charlotte Church. If the papers are anything to be believed, the lass likes a good night out and can drink. And then some.

So I reckon she’d have a great time on one of our girls nights out, and be well up for necking shots and cocktails. :-)

Next would be Alan Rickman. Although it wouldn’t do for him to drink too many beers mind you, as he needs to be able to just sit there and talk all night. Best.voice.EVER.

I’d have to have Sean Bean sat round the beer table next. Northern bloke, great accent, oh and just BECAUSE. <3

So we’ve got the eye candy, someone to have shot drinking competitions with, so next on the list would be someone who would make me laugh. A lot.

Grab your drink, Peter Kay.

Oh, and bring your mate Paddy as well, double laughs :-)

That’s my top night out sorted! :-)

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The news that an 8 and 9 year old boy have been cage fighting for the entertainment of adults has sickened me.
As a mum to an 8 year old, I find it hard to understand how any so called parent could stand back and let them fight in a cage in the name of so called ‘entertainment.’
What kind of parent stands back and watches them get thrown around a cage, with people egging them on?
As a parent, it goes against all your natural instincts to just watch them fight and get hurt.

I don’t buy into the whole ‘how is it any different to judo or karate lessons for children?’ argument either. They’re just looking for ways to justify their actions.
Judo and karate is a form of self defence, and serves a purpose. It doesn’t just serve as a form of entertainment for a load of jeering adults.
Adults paying to see children fight all in the name of entertainment isn’t even comparable.
What kind of message is it sending out to children that it’s okay to beat seven bells of pap out of other kids when it’s in a cage? We should be teaching our children not to beat up others in the form of entertainment, not actively encourage it.
It should be banned.

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The blogging prompt over at Britmums this week asks us to share what we could not live without.
In my case it would be reading!

I’ll read anything. If it stands still long enough, I read it. Whether it’s the cereal packet at breakfast, or the morning newspapers, I cannot get through the day without spending a big part of it with my head buried in text.
I must spend a fortune on reading. I buy a newspaper (sometimes more than one) every morning; countless magazines from the real life type ones to the celeb gossip ones.
Chick lit books, sci fi books, adventure books.
Yup, life would be pretty boring with no reading – you can lose yourself in sunny climes/adventures/other worlds when you have your head in a book, or you can keep up with current affairs by following the news.
What would we know without the written word? Not a lot, that’s what.

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When the weather outside is wet and miserable, and we don’t feel like going anywhere, it’s reassuring to know that we have our own little ‘shop’ set up in our house should we need anything.

Yes, today the 8 year old has been playing ‘shopkeepers.’ I’ve been given a wallet full of ‘money’ for his shop that he has made himself, so I can come in and spend. He’s spent ages cutting up little pieces of paper into bank notes, £10 and £5 notes with ‘Bank of me’ written on them.

So I’ve been playing the role of customer and visiting his shop:

Need to know all about the history of York? Want to watch Tom Hanks turn into a grown up overnight due to a magic video game? Or relive the magic of Wacaday with Pinky Punky and Mallet’s Mallet?! Then we’re your shop.

Then make your way over to the till area:

Who’d have thought the ironing board would so cleverly masquerade as a counter to put the ’till’ on? For the till he’s used a calculator.

So his maths skills have been put to the test today as well by giving out ‘change’ to me when I’ve bought things.

Looking forward to seeing what appears in the shop tomorrow. :-)

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One of the world’s most popular children’s authors, Roald Dahl would have been celebrating his birthday today, and in recognition of this fact today is classed as Roald Dahl Day.

Born on 13th September 1916, he has created many different characters still enjoyed worldwide to this day.

Adults who have grown up with his stories now in turn read the books to their children and get a whole new generation of people enjoying his fantasy worlds.

He created some of the worlds best known characters from his ‘writing shed’ in his garden, of which I am fully jealous of (so wish I had a writing shed I could escape to!)

So in honour of the great man’s birthday, I’m listing my favourite stories.

The Magic Finger

A little girl lives next to a family who shoots ducks, and although she is friends with them, she becomes cross when they shoot ducks for fun. Unbeknown to them, the little girl has a magic finger which she has no control over and in her rage, she points her finger at them…..

Things take on a strange twist when the family wake up the next morning!


It’s night time, and Sophie can’t get to sleep.Padding over to the window to peer out, she notices a dark, giant figure looking into the windows of the houses nearby. He turns, sees Sophie, and terrified, she dives back into bed.

The next minute, a great big hand comes from through the window and plucks her out of bed, running off with her.  Just what was those things he was blowing through the windows of the houses opposite, and what is he going to do to her now?………….

The Witches

Witches are everywhere. It could be the lady in the corner shop, or maybe your teacher. Perfectly ordinary women. Except with one noticeable difference. They HATE children and want them all wiped out. How can you tell if they are a witch? Simple answer – you can’t unless you know what signs to look out for.

When a young boy goes on holiday with his elderly Grandma, he is terrified to find himself locked into a room full of witches all posing as a children’s charity conference. What is he going to do now? And can he stop their plot to get rid of all the children in England?!

So what’s your favourite Roald Dahl story? There’s so many to choose from. This year also see the 50th anniversary of one of his other well known creations, James and the Giant Peach.

Roald Dahl died in 1990, but he’ll be alive in the hearts of grown ups and adults for many years to come.

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This week’s Listography has had me reminiscing my school days and the games we used to play in the school playground.

When I finally cast my mind that far back and dusted off the mental cobwebs up there, I was reminded of all kinds of games I had long forgotten about.

The first game on the list was the classic game of ‘Tig’, where basically you used to chase your classmates round the playground and if you caught someone, then they were ‘It’ and had to be the one to do the ‘tigging.’

According to my 8 year old, infants at our school now are not allowed to play tig anymore. They can in juniors, just not in infants. Apparently. If true, well in my opinion that’s another case of health and safety craziness! They’d have loved us lot back in the 80’s, nobody even thought of such things!

- Cats cradle. Namely a piece of elastic that you used to tie round your fingers  and make funny shapes out of.  Like this:

Cue forgetting what goes where and getting your fingers tied up in a muddle. (Or that might have just been me.)


Skipping was a very popular playground pastime at primary, and we used to have all sorts of inventive rhymes that we used to sing as we jumped into the rope.

You used to wait on the sides while the two people turning the rope started to sing:

“Not last night but the night before, 25 (?) robbers came a’knocking at the door. As they went out, I came IN (cue to jump into the spinning rope without stopping it) and this is what I began to sing………….”

Now I’ve forgotten the rest of the words, so if anyone can fill in the blanks I’d be grateful! :-) Well, it was over 20 years ago. Yikes.

- Doctor Who must have been popular round about primary school, as I also remember a game where we used to glide around the playground shouting “Exterminate!’ Exterminate!” with our arms outstretched with a glassy stare. As you do. Well, it was great fun to us all at the time. :-)

- There was also a ball game which I can vaguely remember called “Queenio” as well, does anyone remember that? Feel free to fill in any blanks because as before, it’s a long time ago and my poor memory is tired from all this brain wracking and memory dredging.

You all line up along a wall, while one faces the opposite wall so can’t see what you’re all doing. Someone hides the ball behind their back. You all sing a song

“Queenio, Queenio, who’s got the ball?

I haven’t got it, it isn’t in my pocket -

so Queenio Queenio, who’s got the ball?

The person facing the wall has to turn round and guess who has the ball. If they guess right, they have to…. and this is where my mind can’t quite remember! I think it was chase everyone like a game of Tig.

Then the last game I can remember was the greatest one of all – but it had to be snowing and very icy first. Wait until the playground is all icy and run up and down creating a big ice slide, making it nice and shiny and slippy. Then take the biggest run up EVER from the other side of the playground and slide down your huge ice slide, trying to stay upright – or on your knees.

As I said, health and safety would have LOVED us lot. Ahem. :-)

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There are literally millions of blogs out there. With Twitter awash with people who all have their own blogs,  sites dedicated to bloggers and now forums becoming part of the trend and setting up their own bloggers networks, it makes our blogs just little fish swimming along in a huge sea.

I love blogs. Not only do I write my own, as an avid reader, I love nothing better than visiting others and having a good old read.

So how do you make people want to visit your blog?

-First off, make your blog title or lead in interesting so you get people wanting to know more about what you’re on about.

For example, when I did a post called ‘What goes up must come down’, I got literally hundreds of page views and visitors overnight. It was a post on explaining gravity to a 7 year old, so if the title had been something like ‘talking about gravity’ it would have generated a lot less interest as some people would have just skimmed over it and not wanted to read on to see what it was about.

So how do you keep the readers once you’ve got them?

-Write for YOU. Don’t write what you think others want to hear, be yourself and the words flow much easier. When you start to worry about what you SHOULD be writing about rather than what you WANT to write about, it becomes a lot harder to write. So much easier to write fluently when it’s coming from the heart or you’re fired up about something. I personally find I write a lot better when it’s something I believe in or if I’m having a good old rant!

- Proofread your posts. As I said, I love reading blogs, and read loads and the one thing that will get me clicking straight off again and shutting down the window is if a blog is littered with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors. or text type speak. I’m no expert, far from it, but as an avid blog reader I have seen some terrible ones out there – you’d be surprised how many are literally peppered with mistakes.

Even if you have loads of fascinating snippets of information or the best story in the world, if it looks like you can’t write properly people are going to yawn and wander off.

-The best blogs in my opinion are the ones that are written from the person’s heart, with a little bit of passion and oomph chucked in there.

Now I’m off to proofread my own post before submitting as you’re probably all dying to pull me up on my mistakes now! :-)

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When you’re growing up and making your way through school, you encounter all types of different people.
When you’re young and impressionable it always seems that the gang of popular girls that everyone wants to be a part of is the group to be with.
Those dressed differently and stood over in the corner by themselves or with a select few mates? Nope.
Or how about those ‘geeks’ that always get their head down and get on with their work and ace all their tests? Nope not them either.
The girls with all their cronies, a nice line in bitchiness and the attention of everyone is the group that everyone wants to secretly be.
It’s only when you leave school that you leave all this shallow behaviour behind.
Or so I thought until recently. At the grand old age of (cough 30 something) I thought I had left this behaviour behind years ago, but it has recently started to crop up again in real life, as well as certain forums displaying members (grown adults) bullying, falling out and intimidating each other.
Everyone still, or so it seems, aspires to be one of the ‘popular’ ones. One who is a part of the ‘in’ group and blindly follows what everyone else is doing.
Who wants to be a sheep? Not me. Not being a sheep stands you in great stead for life.
The nicest people in life and the ones worth knowing are the ones who DON’T blindly follow others, and the ones who follow their own initiative.
Those who dress differently/think differently/go against the grain with opinions? THEY’RE the ones worth getting to know. They’re the ones the world needs, someone to not be afraid to think for themselves, know their own mind and what THEY like, and stuff what everyone else thinks.
Where would we be without the differences in opinions? The differences in dress sense, taste in music, who we like?
Queen Bee Little Bo Peep can keep her sheep.
I’m too busy being ME. :-)


(This post has been resurrected by being transferred over from my old blog to here, my lovely shiny one. So if you think you’ve read it before you most probably have. :-) )

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