Archive for January, 2014

It’s not enough that the kids at primary school now have to sit for SAT’s exams in years two and six (that’s aged 6-7 years and 10 -11).

Not enough that your ten year old brings home 2 lots of homework a week. One literacy assignment, and an amount of maths that would make a grown up weep.

It’s not unusual to come home with 10 sides of A4 filled with maths questions.

Last year, when he was in year 5 (aged 9) and just doing the practice SATS, he came home with a couple of exam papers every week. Staggered over a few weeks to do them, but still totalled at least half a dozen.

He’s now got ‘booster’ classes along with every one else in the year which is supposed to be extra tuition and keeps them in school until 4pm doing extra classes twice a week too.

Then, today, it’s announced in the news that it’s being proposed that schools are looking at extending the working school day until 6pm.

Say what?!

Just when are the poor buggers supposed to have some ‘down’ time if they’re out of the door for 8.30am and not home until 6.30pm?!

It’s all very well saying that it will help with childcare for parents, but there’s a world of difference between an after school club which won’t be work based and more play focused, and an extension to the school’s working hours.

It would be a case of get home not much before 7, have your tea (what are they going to have between lunch at 12pm and the home time of 6pm anyway? Do they get a free dinner? They bloody should do. Or are we expected to cough up for another meal?!)

Their after school clubs would be out of the window too. Between them, they have Beavers, Scouts, swimming lessons and football sessions.

Seeing as they all start at 5.30 and 6pm, are we expected to just get rid of them, too?

For crying out loud, they need some time to relax and wind down. Between the ages of 4 and 10, you’re still tiny and you’d be lumped in with this too.

Let them have some childhood instead of a routine of school, tea, bed. Which is what it would basically be.

It would be good from a working point of view for the parents.

NOT at the expense of the well being of our kids, though!





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Sitting on the beach with a bucket and spade making sandcastles while mum and dad sit in a deckchair looking on is all part of childhood.

Which is why it’s sad to see in today’s newspapers that a new survey says that one in five people under the age of 35 have never set foot on a UK beach and instead jet off to foreign climes with their powdery beaches and palm trees instead.

How is it possible to get to that age without setting foot on the glorious British coastline?!

It’s all well and good going on holiday abroad, but there’s so much on our doorstep too.

We are a little island after all, so not too far away from the sea wherever you happen to be.

Sitting on the sea front with your fish and chips, or burying your brother or sister’s legs in the sand. Making sandcastles and digging a moat round it. then running down to the sea with your bucket to try and fill it up.

There’s some lovely, picturesque views too.


Looking down over Whitby, and with the Abbey in the distance

whitby harbour


Sunning yourself thousands of miles away is fine, but for the rest of the year when you’re not jetting off, remember what’s on our own doorstep and introduce your kids to it…. they’ll love it.

kids don’t visit Britain’s coastline any more article



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There used to be a time when I went shopping, and bought myself all manner of lovely things.

I’d buy new clothes, maybe a new pair of shoes, and generally just treated myself to some loveliness just because I COULD.

Over the years though, I seem to have lost the ability to be able to shop for myself and if it doesn’t involve buying nice things for small people, my brain just doesn’t seem to compute.

Buy things for YOURSELF?! How does that work then?!

My brain short circuits.

It’s used to buying things like school uniforms, plentiful kids clothes items and toys, and Match Attax cards.

When it’s sent into town to buy things for ME, it doesn’t know what to DO.

It sputters about in a panic.

Today, I thought I’d go for a trip to the nearest big city (as you do) and have a leisurely stroll around all the shops while the two small people are at school.

I had a walk round all the old haunts, re-visiting all my favourite old places, and even managed an enjoyable hour wandering through the designer shopping arcade.

You know, as it’s so much easier to go to the nice, pretty places whilst they’re safely ensconced in school.

If they were with me, they’d only be trying to do knee slides along the length of the shops or trying to play hide and seek behind the prettily dressed mannequins.

I’d be like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but a lot more scruffy and unkempt and with two feral children in tow.

“I don’t think there’s anything in here for you. Please LEAVE!”

Yes, it’s easier to do the swanky places when they’re filling their head with education and the like.

I went with the intention of buying myself something NICE, godammit.

Something for me, as I don’t ever do that nowadays.

So, what do I come back with? Some nice designer perfume? A swanky new bag? A jewel encrusted mobile phone case?!

Erm, no.

I’ve wound up with :


– some slippers



and some foreign goodies

foreign goodies


Oh well, I’ve got warm feet and we’re sorted for random chocolatey and sugar highs, at any rates.

Next time I head into town give me a nudge and get me told to buy something more extravagant though! 🙂



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I’m as guilty as they come for updating my social media channels with pointless updates, but one new mum took sharing to a whole new level when she live tweeted her home birth to her ‘followers.’

Ruth Iorio decided to go one better and tell everyone about every push, grunt and even her diarrhoea as well (TMI?!) as well as including pictures of her naked and holding her newborn baby.

“Hello world!” said the baby to his army of followers when he eventually emerged.

You see it every day on Facebook and Twitter too. Baby’s explosive poos is just one example.

You start to wonder if there should be some sort of warning posted before some of the tweets (because let’s face it, who wants to be eating their dinner when reading about how someone is having trouble pooing? Yep, seen that one too.

Do we really need to know EVERY thought and whim that goes through random people’s heads?

I’m not sure I want to know their bowel habits, thank you very much.

It’s all well and good tweeting about things that are relevant to your everyday life. However there should be an invisible line that activates whenever someone tries to post something which is far too much information and starts honking out some kind of alarm system.

THAT might stop them in their tracks. 🙂

What do you think?

Are you guilty of being an oversharer?

Or are you more reserved?


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duck feeding

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