In an age where the average Joe Public spends a lot of time online, it seems pertinent that we also have an unlimited access to reality TV shows where ordinary people want to be on television, or just to be famous.

At what price though? Celebrities have media training. Your average person doesn’t and has to learn to ignore negative reactions all by themselves.

In the middle of Mental Health Week, the news is reporting that a contestant on the Jeremy Kyle show has taken their own life after appearing on the show which has now been cancelled as a result.

It’s playing with people’s emotions for the sake of a few cheap laughs at their expense.

Winding them up and watching them go.

It’s not just the Jeremy Kyle show though. These so called reality shows are everywhere.

Take the X Factor, for example.

Openly laughing and mocking people who “can’t sing”, making out it’s a talent contest but just seems to be more about rivalry between the judges than the actual acts.

Big Brother (which thankfully has gone now) started out actually interesting and like a genuine social experiment but as the years went by got more and more outrageous and people desperate to shock for their five minutes of fame.

Separating housemates into different parts and pitting them against each other, which will have taken a toll on their mental wellbeing.

There’s much more awareness of mental health now, and more talking about it.

Let’s hope this is just the start of a new era in TV, and treating people like crap for the sake of ratings and entertainment won’t be tolerated or seen as the norm anymore.





For the uninitiated, you could be forgiven for thinking that Fortnite was just another game that kids like to play.

I mean, we played “video games when we were children in the 80s and 90s.

Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario, anyone?!

We seem to have a super breed now though where it’s all interactive and live where you can play online with your mates.

Which seems harmless enough, but the thing that winds me up about Fortnite is that you can’t just leave or save a game like the other ones because if you do, you “die.”

Have you tried telling a child it’s time for dinner when they’re in the middle of that bloody thing?!

By the time they come off, dinner is starting to get cold or they have a tantrum as they don’t want to finish.

It honestly does completely change behaviour and personality whilst they’re on it.

Answering back, bad attitude, swearing…..

In the case of the eldest, he’s not too bad and seems to be able to play in moderation and switch off.

The youngest though at age 11 is completely different.

Yes,  you’re technically supposed to be 12 to play it, but as there’s no gore and the player just “disappears” from the game when they’ve been shot, I thought it would be OK.

Little did I think to bank on the addictive side of the game and now have to put up with glassy stares, manic shakes of the joystick as he furiously tries to kill his opponents, and  rage when it’s time to finish.

So after putting up with one too many Fortnite induced tantrums, it’s been banned.

Apparently this makes me the “tightest parent ever” and that even his friends thought so when he told them he wasn’t playing it.

Do you know what? I don’t care.

He’s been banned a couple of weeks now from this game and you can tell a better sense of calm already.

It’s either being a tight parent who moderates screen time or one like in the news lately who let their children  play up to 10 hours a day and find them sat on a pee soaked cushion as the child in question couldn’t tear themselves away from the game in order to go to the toilet.

(I only wish I was joking. )

As it stands, life’s a lot calmer without Fortnite in it so that’s the way it’s staying.

If you have any thoughts about Fortnite or kids gaming in general, let me know in the comments below!









This weekend has brought a new era of parenting and one which feels a little alien.

As the eldest is now nearly 15 (!) and the youngest is at his grandparent’s for the weekend, me and the Dad are facing a new dilemma.

14 year old is out playing football with his mates for the day, and this leaves us with a child free house.

Whooohoo! (Love ’em really.)

We can go out for the afternoon!

The Dad,being all sensible and not an over-thinking mess like I am, is fine with this and points out he’s not going to be back before us anyway.

The 14 year old having his own key and everything.

Me, I’m thinking:

“What if he loses his key by leaving his bag at the side of the goalpost?” (If you knew him, you’d know this was definitely likely.)

“What if he then wants to come back and can’t get in ‘cos we’ve gone for a walk into town?”

“What if he takes his coat off, someone (or a stray dog) runs off with it and he’s then cold and he can’t get back in to get another coat as we’re still out in town….”


I managed to cop onto myself and get a grip and have just been out for the past hour.

On returning, there’s no sign of him and Rational Me knows there won’t be until much later anyway as he’s too busy out having fun.

Anyone else do the over-thinking thing? Just me? Hope not.

As for leaving them home alone – when do you or did you first start?

Any comments if you got this far most welcome…..


If you’ve got small kids, then you’ve more than likely heard of a children’s TV channel called Cbeebies.

You know, the one where they have Bedtime Hour. Boy, I used to love Bedtime Hour.

You used to know where you were with it, and so did the kids. (Unfortunately they’ve grown up a bit now and have outgrown it. If I tried putting them to bed when the goodnight message comes up at 7pm now they’d laugh loudly in my face.)

Bit of In The Night Garden which is then followed by the Bedtime Story, narrated by a different famous face every night.

Which brings me onto the latest social media conflict at the minute.

Cbeebies has some (lovely, lovely) person in charge at the minute who has tapped into a great marketing ploy – give the harassed mums at home who get tortured daily with sodding Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka, and all the rest of them a treat and make them sit up and have something to look at.

Yes. Tom Hardy. Now I can’t say I’m massively fussed about Tom Hardy, but you’d have to be a little crazy to not see that he is quite easy on the eye.

Cue social media going into meltdown with two points of view – those commenting stuff like “phwoarrgh, oh yeah, he’s mighty fine” or “cor blimey, I wouldn’t half want to get him reading me a bedtime story,  know what I mean Tom? Come tuck me in before you do, fnarr fnarr.”

Then the other half outraged that it’s just so sexist and that men would never be allowed to say stuff like that about female presenters.

Says who? Men have been doing it for years. Time for the ladies to have a turn.

So, in the interest of fairness, maybe Cbeebies should put some female eye candy on for Father’s Day.

Then they could knock themselves out (no rudeness intended) ogling them, and leaving us ladies to enjoy our own Mother’s Day treat.

Then everybody’s happy. Although no doubt there’d still be moaning….

What do  you think? What side are you on?


<P.S Cbeebies if you’re reading this, can you please try and persuade Sean Bean to do the next bedtime story. Ta muchly. I’ll be forever your friend if you do. > 🙂



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It’s that time of year again when schools up and down the land in their infinite wisdom think it’d be great fun for everyone to dress up as a character from their favourite book.

We’ve always got off lightly at our school, and just been subjected to an (overpriced) book stall in the school hall.

Now this I can get onboard with. Zero creativity needed, and you can never have too many books.

The past couple of years, though? Nope. Not only is it the Book Fair but now the kids have  to dress up as well.


Cue me muttering under my breath, and the small one dismissing every idea and not deciding what he wants to go as until the very last minute.

World Book Day parents fall into three camps.

Those who handcraft their own costume and get all competitive with each other over who has made the best costume. (Chill your tits, it’s only one day. Don’t even get me STARTED on the annual Easter bonnet parade.)

Those who take the term World Book Day theme and run with it loosely to fit whatever fancy dress costume they have in.

“Elsa from Frozen? Yeah, go as her.”

(What, she hasn’t been in a Shakespeare play or starred in a Roald Dahl book?! Oh well, she must have appeared in a comic strip somewhere. You’ll do.)

Those who decide what they’re wearing the night or so before then madly dash about trying to find something in the house they can make a last minute costume with. (That’d be us, then.)

I’ve tried to get him to entertain the idea of the Boy In The Dress by David Walliams. Now that’d be easy, and great for comedic value.

That idea went down like a lead balloon though.

Oh well, back to the drawing board…..


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There’s nothing I like better than a trip to the cinema, and with a new film out this week  called Bad Moms, you’d think I’d want to be out there watching it, wouldn’t you?

I mean, it celebrates mums “playing up” and rebelling against the conformities of parenthood and “acting badly.”

Whoo, go mummies! It’s now socially acceptable to drink wine and hate PTA meetings if you want to!

(Why, thank you. That’s very kind of you. Erm…)

Why does it have to be seen as a ‘bad’ thing in the first place? Surely it’s just mums being mums and an actual person with separate preferences.

They still are one, after all. You don’t check yourself in at the door of parenthood and throw your old self away forever. You still need to be you, too.

Do Dads get all this crap? Do they heck. They just go about their business being totally unjudged if they would rather poke at their eyes than go to a bake sale or drink a pint in the pub.

It seems mums can’t win whatever they do, anyway.

Just today some absolute charmer Daily Mail columnist had her opinion and a bitch at the “twee mummy bloggers” who blog about crafts and their family lives, describing them as saccharine.

Shona Sibary wrote:

“For years, nauseatingly smug yummy mummies have created carefully curated blogs and Instagram accounts, ramming pictures of their colour co-ordinated children, expensive kitchens and perfectly honed bodies down our throats – and often making thousands of pounds in the process from sponsored comments.

“One of these blogs, which lays claim to the dubious accolade of being the UK’s number one mummy blog,  includes tips on how to make autumn suncatchers (no, I don’t know what they are either) and helpful instructions on how to make your own bookmarks.

Do these women have nothing better to do?”

The sheer hypocrisy of this article is just breathtaking as this is a columnist who regularly pimps her family life out in the media, and presumably for money too.

Nope, we can’t win. “Bad” if having fun and sometimes not conforming to the stereotypical mommy role, or being slagged off for being twee and saccharine if conforming to crafts and baking types.

How about accepting we’re all individuals and like different stuff instead of knocking each other down or pigeonholing us all?


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I know I say it every year, but Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier.

On venturing into town today, my point was made quite spectacularly by seeing all the festive stock out on the shelves already.

I kid you not.

We’re only five days into September (FIVE!) and we’re seeing the likes of this….


They’ve actually been out on the shelves since the middle of August.

Summer has barely even had a chance to start (I don’t think it actually HAS got started this year.)

The sun has sputtered and fizzed a little bit trying to break through, but for the most part has failed dismally at giving us a nice hot summer.

So, I’d like to think we’d be allowed some semblance of summer before we’re expected to get our festive heads on and start thinking about Santa and mince pies.

The tins of chocolates are out already too. You know, the huge tins of Quality Street that are compulsory at Christmas time.

Stuffing your face with chocolates after the big turkey dinner in front of the telly, even though you can barely lift a finger to put the next toffee finger or purple triangle in your mouth.


What would be the point of buying them this early, anyway? Are we supposed to buy them and save them up for Christmas or something?!

I can really see that happening in this house. The idea would be to buy early to save money, but the reality would be they’d all get scoffed by mid October and by the time ACTUAL Christmas rolled around, we’d be sick to death of the sight of the bloody things, never mind want to eat them.

My bets are all on when the first Christmas song is played in the shops, and the strains of Noddy Holder shouting “IT’S CHRISTMASSSSS!” hits the shopping arcade airwaves.

I reckon October. I’m sure it was last year.

I bloody love Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year, but give up with the months long build up already.

We want to celebrate in actual December, not start seeing Easter eggs in the aisles in Christmas week instead (yup, it happened.)

What do you think? Do you think some of the magic is lost when the build up starts in August, or are you happy to celebrate all year round?


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It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago since I was thirteen, with Jason Donovan posters on the wall and Stock, Aitken and Waterman were at number 1 every week in the UK Top 40 countdown.

Somehow, when I must have been looking the other way though, time galloped on and I suddenly landed a thirteen year old child myself.

How did THAT happen?!

So, now he’s thirteen, he thought he’d join Facebook to “see what all the fuss is about.”

Well, I figured he’s old enough, and most of his school year have been on it for ages anyway. (Naughty.)

Not to mention being a social media addict myself has its advantages as I can answer any questions, and show how to set it up properly and safely.

Can you imagine it being around when we were at school?! Argh. As if you didn’t have enough to think about entering your teen years without having to worry whether your pictures were getting enough “likes”.

Seriously, some just do.

Have you got the duck pout just right?! Tagged all your friends in your latest selfie with “mainz babes” (whatever the hell that means, I’m obvs not down wiv the kidz.)

Then sit back and wait for the “gawjus” “aww hun” comments to come flooding in.

Seriously, I couldn’t be bothered. It gives you a nosey insight into the world of the “populars” and you thank your lucky stars you were never a part of all that appearances and desperate for everyone’s approval crap.

Luckily for me, the 13 year old laughs in the face of all that nonsense too.

It makes you think though, it’s all out there for you to cringe over a few years down the line if you make a habit of posting often.

Teenage angst outpourings used to be confined to a hastily scribbled diary with pen and notebook. For our eyes only.

Now though, it’s gone public. I’m sure my 18 year old self would have cringed at the ramblings and any duck pout pictures of my 13 year old self.

What would teenage you have posted on Facebook?! Mine would have probably told everyone I was listening to Jason, watching Heathers with Christian Slater, or going for bike rides around the countryside.


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Summer doesn’t seem to have got started properly here this year as the weather has been so rubbish, but it’s already drawing  to a close.

The evenings are getting darker, and the air a little cooler.

After saying that though, it’s definitely one of my favourite times of year.

Christmas is  just around the corner (even though I do think that mince pies and the Christmas tins of chocolate shouldn’t be in the shops this early. Co-op, I’m looking at you.)

One of my all time favourite things to do at this time of year though is blackberry picking.


It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s something that everyone loves to do.

Even the newly turned teenager in the family who finds most days out “boring” nowadays.


So today we armed ourselves with a couple of plastic boxes and set off to see what we could find.

We found some lovely blackberries, which I was going to make a crumble or something with, but instead we’ve all just been eating them as they are instead.


Very yummy they were too.

Next time I may get to actually make something with them. 🙂

Do you go blackberry picking?

It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that us grown ups were in fact the children, but in the grand scheme of parenting it might as well have been a hundred years ago as it’s changed that much.

Who remembers these?

Going to the pub

Pre Wetherspoons days, where the pubs are family friendly places that stay open all day, that is.

Back when the pubs used to just open on a lunchtime for a couple of hours, and when they did, children weren’t allowed in the actual bar so had to sit outside with their Mum and Dad as well with the can of cola and bag of crisps.


No car seats

Car seats and booster seats for kids? Unheard of. Just strap yourself in the back, and away you go. As long as you had a seatbelt, that was all that was needed!

Brightly coloured food

The more gaudy, the better. E numbers? What are they?! It’s not a real party if the jelly’s not bright red, and the sweets don’t turn your tongue blue.


Clouds of smoke wafting over your food as you eat lunch whilst out? Parents or relatives smoking in the car whilst you silently gag in the back due to all the fumes?!

Yuck. Hard to imagine life pre smoking bans now, isn’t it?

Luckily for kids in these times, the dangers of such things are more widely known, and inventions such as car seats, additive free food and smoking alternatives are now widely available.

Vapelux disposable e cigarettes are one such invention, and provide a way to give up smoking.

They come in a variety of different fruity smells, which smell infinitely nicer than clouds of smoke!


What things did you do as a child that aren’t the norm?

I’d love to know via the comments box below!


This post is in collaboration with Vapelux.



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