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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.

Sigh.

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 comes a time in life when if you’ve been told about Santa/Father Christmas, you’re expected to ditch everything you ever knew and to just accept the fact that he’s not real and get on with life as normal.

Whilst that’s easy for the boring grown ups to say, who’s to say that the magic of Christmas has to die too just because you’re suddenly faced with reality and the fact that getting about the world within one night becomes infeasible?

Think about it. Bend the laws of physics just a little (he is magic, after all) and with a little tweak he may be able to go faster than the speed of light.

Making it entirely possible to deliver all manner of presents in one night.

Santa isn’t about knowing what he can and can’t do physically.

It’s about the magic being created behind Christmas.

I still tear up when Santa’s sleigh rises up on account of all the Christmas cheer and loud singing at the end of the movie Elf.

It’s not what you know, it’s what you believe. I believe that the Christmas magic is available to whoever wants it, and is able to accept it.

It can always be magical whatever your age.

<jingles bells>

 

 

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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….

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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.

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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.

Sigh.

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.

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Very yummy they were too.

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

Do you go blackberry picking?

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