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As a blogger, a prolific Tweeter and avid Facebooker, I’ve been known to blog milestones in the small  people growing up.

Oh, and recently Instagram. With faces obscured, or random body parts such as hands holding objects.

The tooth fairy visiting?

Past April Fool jokes?

All very well and good on the blog, as I never put pictures of faces or actual names on here.

When it comes to Facebook though, as it’s all set to private and I only have people I know on there, I have been guilty of putting ‘proper’ pictures up and silly anecdotes.

The eldest is now nearly 13 (!) so if I take a picture I automatically get a “that’d better not go on Facebook.”

I totally respect that. I don’t think I’ve got a photo of him online actually showing his face anywhere for the past few years.

I see bloggers, with tales of what their kids are getting up to. Accompanied with pictures, and how they are overcoming potty training posts and I’ve even seen potty like pictures.

I’ve never done any post so personal, but when the child gets to nearly age 13, do you stop and think “hang on, do they want to be seeing this as they’re growing up?!”

They’re their own person, after all.

Do they want their entire childhood splashed openly online for anyone to see or search?

Us, as the adults, get the choice. Do they, really, when we’ve been putting it out there since they were born?!

What do you think?

 

 

 

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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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It’s been one of those mornings in this household where you feel the whole house would fall down if you were suddenly taken ill and had to take to your bed.

“Where’s my tie?! I can’t find my tie. You didn’t give me my tie.”

Putting aside the fact they’re perfectly capable of laying their own school clothes out on a night and don’t need me to do it for them, to keep the peace I have a wander upstairs and see the bloody tie about two steps away in the middle of the floor.

As, you know, if it doesn’t jump up and bite you on the nose end then it’s impossible to see.

So, I’m putting myself on hold and setting up some kind of hotline.

Dial 1 for clean socks

 

Dial 2 for lost items that contrary to popular belief I can’t just pull out of my arse

 

Dial 3 for “tell it to the hand as the face ain’t bovvered” whilst putting them on hold to torture music of your choice for several hours.

Some type of so called ‘mum’ music that will be sure to enrage them further, just for the laughs.

In my case, that’d be music from the 80s and therefore deemed ancient.

When you’re all set up, squirrel yourself away in the Call Centre hub, which is a locked room of your choice, chocolate, enough wine to sink a battleship, and dvd boxsets on loop whilst Dad can take on role of personal maid and mug.

If there’s any problems with this, you can find me on 01 don’t give a chuff 2 5.

In the meantime, listen to some nice relaxing music as I stick you all on hold….. bzzzz

 

On Facebook? I can be found here for more fun and games

 

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The Christmas tree has been packed away for another year, and your living room looks a little sad and bare.

christmas tree

Not to mention the fact that you feel like a baby hippo due to the excessive eating of mince pies and tins of Quality Street whilst blobbed in front of the telly.

Yes, it’s January again, and your alarm’s gone off at what feels like stupid o’clock as it’s time to start going back to work or doing the school run.

A bit of January blues chasing is what’s needed.

Here’s a couple of my favourites.

Plan yourself a holiday, or even just a night away. Looking at sunnier climes or even just the thought of a night away somewhere different will lift the spirits.

Even if you’re not planning to go away anywhere, just the thought of beaches and sunshine makes you feel a bit brighter!

saltburn by the sea

 

Dust off your walking boots and hit the fresh air. Even if it’s just a stroll round your neighbourhood, it’ll blow away the cobwebs and shake your brain out if its festive fug.

exploring castle s

What do you do to  make January seem that little bit brighter?

Let me know via the comments box!:-)

 

 

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When I announced that this year  we might do something different for Christmas Eve, by the look on the dropped faces you would have thought I’d have said I was off out puppy kicking instead.

Let me explain. Every year on Christmas Eve, we have a buffet style party tea – I’ll buy a suitably Christmassy tablecloth with jolly Santas or cheery snowmen on, and paper plates and napkins to match.

Tea will comprise of pizza, buns, sandwiches, sausage rolls, etc. You know the kind of thing.

This year, however, we’re thinking of having a change and ordering takeaway instead.

We’re still having the Christmassy table, of course. I’m not changing things THAT much. How would it be a Christmas Eve tea without the festive looking table?!

The only difference this year is that the food on there would be Domino’s pizza or Chinese take-away.

The reasoning behind this change of plan is because we thought it’d be easier to have a take-away and then there’s nothing to clear away afterwards.

So the Dad can get straight on with his own  tradition of making the cranberry and bread sauce for dinner the next day.

Makes sense, right?!

So this year, we’re going to attempt a new idea.

I’m introducing a North Pole breakfast instead. Shamelessly pinched the idea from that freaky looking Elf thing who descends on some poor sods every year and wreaks havoc in the name of supposed cuteness.

Breakfast, without the Elf.

I mean, being a kid and waking up to find that this had ‘come alive’ during the night and made mischief would be enough to scare the crap out of any sane child.

So instead, we’ll have our breakfast. I can’t see them complaining as it will comprise of pancake reindeers (seriously. Look on Pinterest. It has a lot to answer for…😀 ) fruit candy canes, and marshmallow for snowman poo.

Pancakes, sweets and fruit for breakfast. What’s not to like?!

I’m keeping it a surprise though, so no telling them. Shhh.

Do you have any  Christmas Eve traditions, and if so would you ever dream of changing them?!

Let me know in the comments box….

 

 

 

 

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