Monthly Archives

June 2011

Pond Advice

Posted on 11th June 2011 in frog/ pond/ pond care

Any pond experts out there?

I have a bucket which I euphemistically refer to as a pond. It has 1 very large frog, 2 newts, 4 snails and a zillion tadpoles:

I love the tadders, the ones who have grown legs are really cocky – they are the ones who are sitting on the bit of wood. They sit there as they can breath which the other tadders cannot and it is as though they are lording it over the undeveloped ones!

Recently the pond has started to smell and the water looks thicker if that makes any sense? I pulled some weed out of it the other day as it looked a bit congested, and the smell was indescribably awful.

Is there anything I can/should do to improve it? I’m worried that the water may be bad for the tadpoles etc?

The Great School Trip Debate – Who Pays?

Posted on 8th June 2011 in school trips

As I searched for £17 this morning to cover the cost of a school trip, a memory popped into my head of a conversation I’d had with another parent about paying for school trips.

Essentially, this person, who was the secretary of the PTA, said that they NEVER paid for school trips and that payment was actually voluntary… According to them all school trips go ahead irrespective of payments received from parents.

A brief chat with @ChrisandHarvey this morning revealed that they’d been told the same thing.

As I sit here looking at the cost of trips this term for one of my children:


That’s £272 worth of trips for one of my children for June, July & November – there will of course be other trips and I have 2 children.

I am also a single mum. Not that that is the issue here – although as an aside I do find it odd that some people on benefits qualify for free school meals, music lessons etc but there isn’t a similar dispensation for school trips.

My question is – do you pay for school trips? Do you know someone who doesn’t – and if so do your/their children still get to go?

Slack Space calls for artists

Posted on 6th June 2011 in artist/ exhibit/ firstsite/ slack space
Slack Space call for artists
Open 3 Exhibtion

Slack Space in Colchester will be hosting their third Open Exhibition on 11 – 23 July and they’re calling for artists’ submissions now! Open 3 promotes a wide selection of local artists’ work and attracted over 1,400 visitors last year.

To be eligible to apply you must be based in Colchester or the surrounding area and must not have exhibited your work at Slack Space in the past.

To apply, email Slack Space with digital images of your work

Deadline for submissions is Friday 10 June.


I’m A Secret Lemonade Drinker

Posted on 6th June 2011 in tea/ units of alcohol/ wine

I’m a tryin’ a give it up but it’s one of those nights…

Ok, so maybe I’m not actually talking about lemonade.

There is a running joke between most of my friends and colleagues about wine consumption. I’m guessing from what I see on twitter that we aren’t alone in this. Most nights someone will tweet the imortal words – Wine or Tea? Knowing that they’ll be buried in a sea of tweets crying WINE!

A lot of my friends say that they drink every night. Some claim 1 glass, some claim 1 bottle.

So how much is too much? And how often is too often?

Calorie wise, a bottle of wine is said to contain between 800-1000 calories. That’s a whole day’s worth of calories for some.

Unit wise a bottle contains between 9-12 units of alcohol. Current guidelines state:

  • Men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week (and no more than 4 units in any one day).
  • Women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week (and no more than 3 units in any one day).

Do you drink more than that?

All I know is that sometimes the best sound in the world is the sound of perfectly chillled dry white wine being poured 😉


Mum, can we go to the f****** park?

Posted on 4th June 2011 in bad parent/ park/ swearing

We are very lucky to have recently had 2 new parks built in our town. They are wonderfully well equipped, easy to access and, of course, free.

Sounds good huh. Well in general it is, the kids love the exciting new bits of kit: sunken trampoline, zip wire, climbing wall, assault course etc. I love seeing them running around and getting some much needed exercise while they play.

The other evening we went to one of the parks, I was packed with a flask of freshly made coffee and some indulgent biscuits and the boys were stuffed with pent up energy. I found a bench and they found a set of swingy things that all swing towards each other in the middle and yet somehow don’t hit, it was all good.

So, I poured some coffee and commenced biscuit munching when I heard a small child say:

“Mummy can you push me?” I looked up to see a 3/4 year old boy on one of the swings, he was wearing a grubby spiderman suit and I exchanged a glance with my OH and remembered fondly the days when one of my boys refused to wear anything other than his spidey suit.


And then the boys mum, who was swinging really, really high at the time said:

“No I f****** can’t you’ll ruin your f****** trainers you little s***.”

Honest to god. Word for word.

Worst thing was the little boy didn’t flinch, didn’t seem in the least bit phased. My two boys literally stopped swinging in mid air and their faces registered shock as they both turned to look at me in disbelief.

The little boy then got off the swing as he clearly hadn’t ever been taught to swing and she certainly wasn’t going to push him. This put him right in the path of the other swings and I felt myself tense as I prepared to run and grab him, but it was ok, she had it covered. “No, f****** stay there you stupid f****** s***!” she screamed as she carried on swinging.

My boys came over to me “Did you hear what that mummy said?” they asked in hushed voices.

We moved further down the park and the little boy played near us for 30-40 minutes while she bounced on the trampoline, pausing only to bellow “of course I can do a f****** back flip you c***” at her boyfriend.

Fortunately, it started raining which gave us an excuse to take the boys home. As we walked back to the car one of them said to me “I’m glad you don’t swear at us.”

As much as I did momentarily think to myself that actually I’m not that bad a parent, the over riding thought I had was that the little boy didn’t really stand a chance in life.

KidAround Summer 11 OUT NOW!

Posted on 3rd June 2011 in Uncategorized

Finally, all my coffee drinking has come to fruition….

The Summer 11 editions of KidAround are OUT NOW!

To read the North Essex edition click here.

To read the South Essex edition click here.

The magazine includes diary dates, great days out, schools out, childcare providers, parties, wellbeing, birth & beyond, tutors, book reviews, competitions, local news, theatre listings, baby clinics and much more!

I hope you enjoy it x

The HF400 #paperplanes #thegallery #passiton

Posted on 2nd June 2011 in #passiton/ #thegallery/ paper plane

This is a Guest Post from my son aged 11.

He likes making things. All sorts of things. He has been on my blog before with his Harpoon Pokemon. Today he is here with his paper airplane! (Airplane, aeroplane?)

He calls it the HF400 – seems as good a name for a plane as any if you ask me. Although there is a rumour that all the best planes are named after weather….. Typhoon, Tornado etc, so maybe it should be called the LightDrizzle?

Step 1

Step 2 – repeat on opposite corner

Step 3 – do a weird pinchy thing

Step 4 – flatten top section, retaining triangular shape

Step 5 – fold the top triangles into the mid-line

Step 6 – fold the bottom of this new section up

Step 7 – and then under

Step 8 – fold in the outside edges creating a sleeker shape

Step 9 –  fold in half

Step 10 – fold down each side from about 1cm up from mid-line to create the wings

Step 11 –  then fold again to make sleeker

Step 12 – repeat on both sides

Step 13 – make slits into the back of the plane with scissors and push the flaps up

Step 14 – ta da! You should now have made a HF400!

Step 15 – now all you need to do is comment below and tell my boy that he is a genius and that it’s the best darn paper plane you’ve ever flown :)

This is also my blog post for #passiton

It dawned on me while doing this with him how lucky we are to be carefree enough to be able to spend some free time making paper planes. We can do this because we have home, food, shelter and love. We aren’t worried about illness, our next meal or whether our water is safe to drink.

We are lucky and for that I am grateful.


In January Save the Children launched its most ambitious campaign to date, No Child Born to Die. Every year 8 million children under five die from illnesses we know how to treat or prevent, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.

The Campaign:

Save The Children is focusing on the provision of vaccinations and healthcare workers. In June there is a meeting in London hosted by David Cameron and attended by other world leaders. Save The Children aims to make as much noise as possible to ensure the funding shortfall for vaccinations (4.7 billion) is met by all the donor countries.

If this funding gap is met the vaccines that could then be provided would save the lives of millions of children.

This week 3 bloggers/ vloggers are going to Mozambique to follow the journey of a vaccine from the coldstore in the city right down to a rural community. They will write, make films and tweet about their experiences, the children and families they meet and the challenges of “cold” vaccinations in hot countries.

The bloggers going are diverse, Lindsay Atkin (@Liliesarelike) is a hugely popular YouTuber, Chris Mosler (@christinemosler) is an influential parenting blogger and Tracey Cheetham (@tchee) is a popular political blogger and recently elected councilor.

What YOU can do:

  • If you have a blog, pass it on. I was tagged for this by the lovely @Metajugglamum I’m actually not tagging anyone in particular to do this – I want it to be open to anyone to take up the mantle.
  • You could get your child to draw a self portrait of themselves now or in the future, write a post about this or another associated thought or experience, then pass this on by tagging other bloggers. The main aim is to stress the point again … and again … that every child has the right to the same priveleges as our own; no mother deserves to lose a child unnecessarily and no child is born to die if there is a means to prevent it. Help spread the word. Thank you.
  • Sign the petition
  • Love your children, appreciate what you’ve got.
Back to top