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If you’re of a certain age, you’ll feel a rush of nostalgia when you hear that David Walliams is apparently bringing back the “Charlie Says” information cartoon for kids.

If you’re a child of the 90′s reading this (you should still be in nappies never mind reading this as I refuse to believe I’m that old) then you won’t have a clue what or who the heck Charlie is.

Charlie, the big ginger cat and the little boy owner educated the kids of the 70′s and 80′s with a cartoon information film informing of the dangers of everyday life.

So basically a few vids to scare the crap out of kids so they’d never scale an electric fence or play on railway lines again.

They were great.

Well, it must have worked.

How else would we all still remember classic lines such as this:

little boy – “Charlie says, always tell your mummy if you go off somewhere!”

Charlie – “EEOWOWOWOW!”

Exactly Charlie. Well said.

 

 

 

 

The sun’s been shining this week, and so we headed off to Bolton Abbey for a run about in the sun.

bolton abbey river

 

There were plenty of hills to roll down to keep them amused and active,and this pretty lake.

We could also admire the beauty of some of the main buildings as well.

bolton abbey

Here’s to many more sunny days out.

Have you been anywhere nice now the sun’s made a comeback?

After a soggy and miserable winter, it’s been lovely to see the return of that big, burning ball of fire in the sky this week.

You know, that orange thing that emits heat.

The sun, that’s it. It’s been so long since it’s made an appearance that I forgot its name.

So here’s 5 ways to tell that the summer days are tantalisingly close:

 

1)       Pretty yellow daffodils raise their heads and dance in the breeze.

spring daffodils

 

2) We can go for walks along the seafront wearing just a t-shirt and still be warm. If we’d have tried this a couple of weeks ago we’d have slowly turned purple and keeled over from hypothermia.

waters edge filey

 

3) The sun streams through the window when you open the curtains in the morning, and brightens everything up with its warm beam.

Until you notice that the sun shining on the glass is showing up every little fingerprint on there and some little blighters who will remain nameless have written the word “POO” on the window pane.

“It wasn’t me mummy!”

Hmm. Okkkay then. :-)

4) You feel the urge to kick off your winter boots that your feet have been hiding festering in all winter and put some pretty flip flops or sandals on. Until you put your feet into them and shriek at the Hobbit look they’ve acquired during the Boot Months and quickly shove them away again.

5) At the temperature creeping above the freezing mark you wonder if you can feasibly get away with having a barbecue yet.

Until you remember that the British weather is likely to lull you into a false sense of security by pretending to be warm to start off with and then starting monsoon season five minutes later and dumping heavy rain over your coals then laughing at you.

 

Bring on the warm days….

 

 

 

 

 

 

filey brigg

If you wanted to find me as a child, all you had to do was look in the nearest corner and I’d be more than likely sat in it with my nose buried in a book.

I had loads of favourites, from Enid to Blyton, to Roald Dahl, to Judy Blume.

Which is why, when on having kids of my own, I suddenly had an excuse to re-buy all my favourites from my childhood. Not for me, you understand.

For the KIDS.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar were added to the already bulging bookcase, among others.

It’s easy to introduce the classics when the children are small, and to incorporate them into the bedtime routine so that they become firm favourites of theirs as well.

What about when they become older though, and decide to choose their own books? It’s not so easy then.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve tried to encourage a bit of Enid Blyton adventure to my boys.

OK, they’ll probably deem Malory Towers too ‘girly’, that’s fair enough. I know they won’t harbour secret dreams of sitting round the swimming pool at midnight with a load of mouldy old girls eating sardines out of the tin and swigging ginger beer.

You’d think they’d be receptive to a bit of the Famous Five though. Kids going off camping and having adventures by themselves for the entire week?

Gunmen following them, ruffians chasing them etc.

It’s exciting, isn’t it?!

Nope. They didn’t get further than the first page because they read the words “Dick” and Fanny” for names and started rolling around the floor in hysterics.

Give. Me. STRENGTH.

With the eldest though, he’s started reading David Walliam’s books and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

He absolutely loves them and asks for more.

So, do you know what I have realised? It doesn’t matter what they’re into bookwise, as long as they’re actually READING.

I’d rather he was reading his own books and building his own memories than not reading at all.

Bring on the books.

 

It’s getting nearer to Easter, so today we decided to make some Easter themed cupcakes with Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck.

Yes, I know it’s not Easter for more than a month yet as it’s in late April this year, but as it’s the first of March today a certain ‘spring has sprung’ vibe descended.

Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit and her other creation, Jemima Puddleduck brings a certain countryside, nature feel to the start of spring and make pretty cupcakes. :-)

So today, we’ve been baking.

We got the cupcake cases all ready:

peter rabbit cases

 

and weighed out our ingredients.

4oz self raising flour

4oz caster sugar

4oz margarine

2 eggs

which we then whizzed up in a bowl until light and fluffy and all ingredients were combined.

Then we placed them in the oven, gas mark 4, or 180 celcius if using an electric oven, and waited approx 20 – 25 minutes.

When they came out, we iced them and stuck our little toppers on…..

peter rabbit toppers

 

so this is what the end result looked like!

peter rabbit buns

 

Wonder how long they’ll last….

How to use Twitter

As a complete Twitter addict, I’m forever being asked what it is that I actually see in it.

It’s boring!

It’s just random strangers telling you what they had for breakfast!

You can’t do anything on there apart from follow news items and stalk celebrities. If you want to find out what Philip Schofield had for breakfast, then yay. Twitter’s good then. If for anything else, not so much.

Er, wrong actually. You can do so much more than that.

If you want to get the most out of Twitter, then you need to follow people with the same type of interests as yourself.

You’re into knitting woolly hats? Great. Get following like minded peeps and INTER-ACT with them.

If they tweet something that resonates with you, reply to them.

If you see something you like on there, be it a knitting pattern or whatever, then retweet it. (Retweeting it simply means that instead of their tweet being confined to only their followers seeing it, it will suddenly be opened up to all YOUR followers being able to see the most awesome knitting pattern too. Therefore gaining their appreciation as you’ve single handedly doubled their audience.)

If you’re a writer/journalist and you’re not on there, then you’re a fool.

Not only can you keep up with the news literally as soon as it breaks (before any mainstream media at all has even had chance to get down to the scene as people on street level and as eye witnesses are tweeting as it happens) but you can follow all the latest media jobs. Not to mention that you can speak to people in senior national editorial positions that you wouldn’t usually be chatting away with.

It’s all about contacts, and Twitter is full of them.

Some things about Twitter:

What is a hashtag, and what does it do?

If you put a hashtag before a word, it acts as a kind of bookmark. A bookmark that allows anyone searching for that term to come across your tweet as well as others.

Hashtags are great for Twitter conversations as they keep all relevant tweets in one place, and allows you to chat to other people on the same topic at the same time.

Great for if you want to hold a Twitter party to promote your business and get everyone talking about you.

Content. Post content!

Don’t just post links to stuff. Seriously. If you’ve got a blog post for example that you’d love everyone else to see, then make sure you’re not just posting links on Twitter and nothing else. People will automatically assume you’re a spammer. ENGAGE with people. Inter-act with them, and they know you’re not some weird spam robot.

Which brings me onto my next point.

Post a profile picture of yourself

It makes you seem more human. If your picture is of the generic Twitter egg, people are going to be thinking they’re followed by a spam bot and will be less inclined to follow you back.

Above all, be yourself on there. People will automatically want to follow then. :-)

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