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Archive for February, 2016

As the evenings are getting lighter and the promise of spring and warmer weather is just around the corner, my thoughts are starting to turn towards carefree holidays, laughing children and relaxing parents.

Then my brain comes to a screeching halt and reality kicks in when I suddenly remember with a lurch the hell that comes with a family hotel room.

It’s all fine before you go. You’re anticipating a lovely night or two away, and are looking forward to days strolling along the beach, maybe a spot of swimming, and general fun and games.

Then, after a day of fun and laughter, the kids will be tired from all the activities and sleep like a log.

It’s great to maybe open a bottle of wine and have a drink after the small people have gone to bed and have a bit of a conversation.

Oh, come on, get real.

You know what actually happens is that instead of relaxing, as soon as bedtime hits all the stresses of the day that magically disappeared when you were all beach strolling and sandcastle building is going to come racing back.

This being because the little darlings flat out refuse to go to sleep, and take great pleasure in winding each other up instead.

Plus, how are they ever going to get to sleep when you and the other half are in the same room – this, to their mind, just means more opportunity for fun and games.

There’s no escape in one room, either.

Your options are turn the lights off and pretend to go to sleep yourself (whilst secretly hiding under the cover with your phone sending out SOS messages on Facebook and screaming to your online pals to help keep you sane.)

Or hiding in the bathroom whilst sitting on the toilet lid and reading a book as it’s the only way you’ll get some peace.

No thank you. I’d rather poke at my eyes with a rusty spoon than endure the hell that is a family hotel room.

Arrrgh. All the people who do this on a regular basis – you’ve either got angel kids, or a serious desire to inflict pain and suffering upon yourself.

Nope, it’s a three bedroom apartment here situation or nothing.

I suppose I’d better get saving up…..

 

 

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As Britain gets ready to decide whether or not to stay in Europe, actress Emma Thompson has waded into the debate by declaring the UK “a tiny little cloud bolted, rainy corner of sort of Europe – a cake filled, misery laden grey old island.”

Putting aside the fact she’s inexplicably lumped lovely cake into a rant about how crap Britain is, the fact of the matter is she certainly doesn’t speak for me when she says she feels European.

To say you feel proud to be British seems like a taboo subject sometimes, and being patriotic frowned upon.

So, as a British person, not European, here’s 10 things that make Britain, Great..

 

1).Our ability to make cups of tea. Only we know it’s the answer to all life’s ills. Get the kettle on. It makes everything better. (Other countries can’t even begin to compare. Glass cups and hot water? What’s THAT all about? Bring on the mugs.

 

2) Queuing. A great British pastime. Whether it be for the bus, or waiting to pay  at the till. We all know to wait patiently in line.

 

3)Apologising for everything. Somebody stood on your toe? Or barged into you by accident?! Doesn’t matter, we’ll still apologise for it even if it was the other daft sod’s fault in the first place.

“Sorry! Sorry about that.”

 

4) Regional dialect. An abundance of fantastic accents abound from Yorkshire to Cockney, and all with their own unique ‘language.’

By ‘eck, it’s reet grand.

 

5) The beautiful coastline and gorgeous beaches. Little coastal towns with their own special charm. Being an island, wherever you live, you’re never too far away from a beach.

 

6) The food. Depending on what corner of the UK you live in, you’re sure to have your own local delicacy.

Be it Yorkshire puddings, Lancashire hotpot or jellied eels, you’re bound to have a traditional dish of your own.

7)  The history. From Viking invasions to the Romans, the history of our green and pleasant land is a fascinating one and is celebrated in many different ways.

York celebrating their annual Viking Festival this week being just one of them.

 

8) The lush countryside. There’s a great mix of city and country life, and when you get out of town and into the country, the fields and wildlife are something to behold.

 

9) The mad but endearing traditions, from cheese rolling to welly boot flinging competitions. Delightfully charming but bonkers as well.

 

10) Freedom of speech. Something we totally take for granted and forget that other countries aren’t as fortunate as ourselves.

Want to say that you hate your Prime Minister and fling insults? You only need to take a look at Twitter to see that people frequently do.

Try doing that in certain other countries and see how far you get.

 

So there you go, Emma. Being British isn’t a bad thing at all really. Identify as a European all you like, but don’t write off an entire island as a cake filled misery laden one.

As the one you’re looking at looks a lot different to the one I see.

 

 

 

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Up until now, it’s always been easy to know where your child is at any given time and have him close by to you.

Take them to school, and pick them up again to bring them back into the family home again.

What happens when they have started high school though and make their own way to and from school in a morning?

They walk themselves there, and walk themselves back and you just have to trust that they will come straight back home and not dawdle along the way with their mates.

Then when they do come home, they want to be straight out again.

When they’re 8 years old, like the youngest, it’s a lot easier as you know where they are.

With you.

Even when they’re playing, you’re in charge of where they are.

When they’re nearly 13 though? You have to learn to let go a little bit.

Laying some ground rules of course.

A set time to come back, that they’re to stick to of course if they’re wanting to be allowed out next time. 🙂

Of course, today’s world makes it easier with the invention of mobile phones which certainly weren’t around when I was 13.

It makes it a little bit easier, at least.

That’s OK, you go off out and I’ll just pace up and down until it’s time for you to come home.

Only then can I relax.

I think it must be a parent thing.

At what age do yours go off with friends, or into town?

Let us know via the comments box!

 

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