Archive for January, 2015

As mum to a now 7 and an 11 year old, I have spent quite a lot of time over recent years organising children’s parties.

Parties used to be held at home with a handful of your best friends. Pass the parcel, musical statues, sandwiches and jelly and ice cream. Minimal fuss, minimal expenditure.

Whilst these types of parties still exist, there’s a whole new breed of parties that have sprung up that just weren’t really the norm when we were all small.

Nowadays, soft play centres can be hired for a few hours, at considerable cost per child. Mine used to love soft play parties, and got to play in the ball pools for an hour with all their friends and have a party tea too laid on by the staff afterwards.

On average anything up to £10 per child, it added up when you used to invite most of the class.

All well and good, but when the venue asks for definite numbers a few days before the party, you start to steam between the ears at the sheer damn RUDENESS of some of the parents who, for some reason, either can’t be arsed to reply, or are incapable of reading the invitation properly to see when a response is needed by.

So you’d inevitably end up chasing up parents in the school playground, asking if they were coming, and then dutifully reporting back to the soft play centre with numbers.

If you think that’s stressful enough, it got even worse when, after saying that they’d come, you’d always get at least one or two that just didn’t bother to turn up after you’d paid for them. Therefore a party bag and meal going to waste.

As the eldest’s birthday is at the end of the summer holidays, there’s no school to remind people. So you’d be wondering if everyone would bother turning up.

Nearly everyone did, but there’d always be one or two entitled people who’d say they were coming and then not bother.

One party, three people decided to do just this, which left me paying approximately £30 in total for three no shows. Grrrr.

So, if I was a bit more ballsy, I’d have done exactly what Julie Lawrence did when one dad decided that actually, he had something better to do that day and bogged off to the grandparents for the day instead.

Instead of telling her, or you know, just honouring the first thing that you said you’d do instead of ditching in favour of something else that comes your way.

Imagine if everyone did that? There’d be nobody at the poor child’s birthday.

Manners, people. If you can’t be bothered to go, SAY so before wimping out on the day and landing the host with a bill they didn’t need to pay.

Good on you Julie, even if you were a bit heavy handed and OTT. I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from! 🙂

What does everyone else think?

Boy gets sent invoice for missing birthday party

So you’

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A school teacher has accused the popular children’s book series, Horrible Histories, of dumbing down history and making it a laughing stock.

Mr Peal, a history teacher, claims that the books are encouraging children “not to think about the past but to laugh at it”.

horrible histories

For the uninitiated, Horrible Histories is a series of books that takes a light hearted approach to events of the past, and each book concentrates on certain eras.

For example, just a few of the titles are in the picture above: the Angry Aztecs, and the Blitzed Brits being a couple of them.

Why did the Spanish want to steal the Aztecs’ treasure? Why did Aztecs eat scum? Why did Aztecs drink live toads in wine?

Being just a few of the types of questions asked.

History, with all the gory bits left in and written to keep the children’s interest.

I’m sorry, Mr Peal, but how is that a bad thing?!

As a kid, I found history deathly boring and stuffy. Now I’m all grown up, I tend to find history pretty fascinating really.

When you’re small though, it can be dull as ditchwater and you feel like falling asleep at your desk as the teacher drones on and ON about things that happened to people you have never met, around what might as well have been 95 million years before you were born.

If someone out there has made a way to make history appeal to children, that’s fine by me.

It’s introducing an important subject to people who might not have had any interest in the subject before.

Kids love a bit of blood, guts, and gruesome details and if that’s what keeps them interested I’d rather a book written in their ‘language’ got them learning than some stuffy text book full of snore fest adults waffling on.

Anything that gets them learning and keeping them interested can only be a good thing, surely?!

What do you think? Should we stick to the cold, hard facts and only have sensible books out there, or have gory, or downright silly, history books as well written specifically for children?

Horrible Histories blamed for dumbed down textbooks

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It’s that time of year again where thousands of us promise to be better people, lose weight, and all the rest of it.

Me being no exception.

I’m going to be making the same resolution I did last year which is the usual lose weight one, and this time I’m going to make sure I do.

I always lack the essential willpower during the rest of the year, but there’s something about January 1st that gives me a bit of a kick and keeps me focused – it’s a new start and all that.

So, here’s my New Years Resolutions for 2015:

1) Lose 2 stone (yes, really)

2) Visit more places I’ve never been to before. Just jump on a train and go for a day out.

3) After New Year’s Eve, I’ve also sworn off the drink. Although I won’t set this resolution in stone. Just in case. (It’s easy to swear yourself off the alcohol when the memories of the hangover as still agonisingly fresh in your mind!)

Do you make resolutions? If not, why not? Or if you’ve made some, feel free to share in the comments box!

Happy New Year and here’s to a great 2015 to each and every one of you!

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