Need for Speed/escapism

Dont get me wrong, i like my ‘chick flicks’, but my favourite movie genre is action and, more specifically films with plenty of car chases and explosions…..and a big dose of vengeance….and maybe a political point made too.

I am a big fan of the Bourne films, I also like the Fast and Furious franchise and classics such as Bullitt.

So I was quite excited at the prospect of watching ‘Need for Speed’. It would have been a brilliant film, had they not used a woman with a fake English accent to play the damsel in distress (why do all Americans think we all sound like members of the Royal family) and a man with an uncontrollable eyebrow and a sore throat (deep husky voice) to play the wheelman.

It was a classic example of how poor casting can wreck a film.  

However what they lost in bad acting, they made up for in amaaazing cars.

It was a very welcome distraction from the mundane trials of life (such as the tax man, the f***** tax man, an even worse Government and the fact that despite weeks of good weather, the one weekend we choose to camp at a music festival the mother of all thunderstorms is forecast).

If we pretend we are a family of mud loving hippos, it might  still be an enjoyable experience.

This blog is for Unicef, a charity that exists to protect vulnerable children world-wide, including those in warzones such as Gaza.

Thanks for reading.  

How to bruise a finger

It is actually very difficult to bruise a finger and requires the body to undertake tasks that it is not ordinarily designed for.

When we were evolving, our hands developed to hold basic tools, cook and make things. This did not include the ability to shoe-horn an unwieldy bulky child’s car seat onto two hooks located deep in the car’s upholstery.

In the effort to perform this feat, i swore in front of my children and blamed hubby because he is easy to blame as he wasnt present (plus I like to think there is no such thing as a man’s task, but as soon as a task involving a bit of muscle gets too difficult, I then curse hubby for not having the foresight o have done it himself). I am what you would call a ‘selective feminist’. Not satisfied with blaming my husband, i then started to curse the designers of the car and the car seat (who i assumed were male, because they did not think of a woman in a rush trying to fit a seat in the pouring rain.)

It required me to be a contortionist and I bruised my finger putting sheer force onto the seat, pushing it back in the hope the two little isofix grabbers would locate the docking loops connected to the chassis.

While all this cursing and unadulterated male bashing was going on, my children just looked on as if they were watching a demented woman having a temper tantrum.

The whole experience was further marred by the attempt to do it in a thunderstorm. All parents of children under the age of 11 (so need a car seat of some description) will be familiar with the bum sticking out of the side of the  car pose, as you strap junior in the seat. As a result, my bottom was soaked. At one point, i just stood up and rested my head on the doorframe staring down at a seat that was still miles away from where it should be. I was tempted to start searching for a branch I could thrash it with in the style of Basil Fawlty.

But, like all parents, I persevered and eventually heard the satisfying ‘clunk’ when it finally connected with the chassis.

Needless to say if it ever needs moving again………

This blog is for Unicef.


Beware of cyclists

I have just taken delivery of a mechanism that will hopefully prevent me and baby boy getting squished the next time we are cycling on the road.

I am pinning my hopes on a bit of plastic with a lollipop reflective end in an effort to make motorists go around me when overtaking. Every time I cycle on the road with baby boy sat in the rear seat, at least one motorist drives past us so close that only a hair would separate us.

I have a ‘please pass wide and slow’ vest on the back of my bike but this doesnt make a blind bit of difference (excuse the pun). I have also experienced oncoming cars overtaking into my side of the road because they cant wait another five seconds, forcing me to stop pedalling so they can make it through the gap.

This is just the country roads. Given the general lack of respect that motorists give cyclists on Britain’s roads, I would class all cyclists on main roads as potential organ donors. There is very little room for error between a bike and a car, when a mistake happens it is often fatal – so why do so many motorists show so little care?

Aside from the tragedy for the cyclist’s family, what would life be like if you had killed someone because you couldn’t wait five seconds or you couldnt be bothered to move your steering wheel a fraction more?

If that still doesnt make you think, then how about the paramedic who has to piece together a body that has been annihilated after a bike accident involving a lorry? I witnessed the aftermath of such an accident – the paramedics resuscitating a bloodied torso and a lorry driver throwing up on the side of the street. Several lives changed forever in less than 5 minutes.

I am blogging for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

An unproportionate reaction from Cameron and Obama

I cant think of any other conflict in history where the word ‘proportionate’ is used to justify a massacre.

Palestinian people are being oppressed and they are using terrorism as a final ditch attempt to buy freedom. It tends to happen (South Africa apartheid…..World War 2). Obama and Cameron seem to be chained into this illogical thinking that is at odds with mainstream public opinion. The answer is to free Palestine. Why have the Israelis got Cameron and Obama by the balls? Even the British media seem to work hard to ensure ‘balanced’ reporting, which appears to be more in favour of promoting the Israeli PR machine.

The Israeli bombardment is barbaric and wrong, international support (from people with brains and a conscience) is waning and pretty soon Cameron and Obama will be swimming 7up the river of political suicide floating on palestinian blood.

In contrast to the political lunatics, I was heartened to hear of the protests in London reported on the Huffington Post. Lets hope fighting stops and a peace deal is arranged before more vulnerable and innocent civilians lose their lives.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.



Yes woman

Unlike Jim Carrey’s character in the film ‘yes man’, I have the opposite problem – I find it hard to say no.

I am a change junkie, I love change. If my husband said tomorrow that the whole family were leaving for Australia, within minutes I would be researching flights without a backward glance. I was once told I have a higher than average sense of mortality (which is a bizarre observation when you think about it), I am not one of those people who say ‘it wouldn’t happen to me’, more like ‘what if it happened to me?’ So I believe in living for the here and now (you might have guessed by now that I am not a huge fan of saving, but surprised to hear that I have been paying into a pension since my early twenties……i am also an optimist).

The trouble with being a yes woman is that pretty quickly your life can fill up. Just in responding to adverts publicised in my locality since giving up my job because of childcare costs, I have said yes to: a job working from home for the council, an interview to be a cycling instructor and become a member of a netball team). This is aside from two children, helping my husband with his business and helping look after horses 3 times per week. Oh…..and I did sign up to bootcamp on the village green every Wednesday from September.

Thinking about it, the only time I say ‘no’ is normally in response to my husband asking me if I can do something……because I am too busy doing everything else. I am also (on the whole) successfully saying ‘no’ to sugar (although ate an eton mess for pudding earlier…..whoops).

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading. 


Teenager at eight

Its the start of the summer holidays and the beginnings of many day trips. I take my mum, baby boy and daughter to the zoo and baby boy takes along his toy giraffe and monkey in anticipation of meeting the real thing. He gets to see no less than six giraffe, one tiger, four zebra, two tapir, fifteen flamingo, three meerkats, two camels, lots of birds and endangered species i can’t recall their names, but very cute and rare.

While going round the zoo in the heat of the sun, i did notice one or two people get a little bit tetchy and grumpy, namely my eight going on eighteen year old daughter. She is having sleep problems,so my husband and I have enlisted the help of Bach’s flower remedies in an attempt to help wind her down. Clearly it did not work last night.

I know at times, my mum can be a little irritating, but my daughter just could not tolerate her nuances full-stop. It was exhausting to keep nagging her to be more polite and to stop her bossing us about where next to go and when she would be getting ice-cream. She was also being argumentative with my mother and, as my mum got more annoyed, my daughter removed herself more and more from making eye contact and verbal contact with her granny.   My mum then interrogated me as to what could be done and why she was behaving like this as it was extraordinary. In a hot, bothered and tired moment, I did what a lot of Mums no doubt do and blamed my husband’s gene pool.

 My mum seemed satisfied with this answer saying ‘I wasn’t like that at eight’. But kids are getting older and the goalposts changed – i just dont want her to experience the teenage attitude problems too early…..

Only another six weeks to go…..

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Loving Looming

My daughter, like many children under the age of 17 (or even older), have been sucked into the new craze that is rainbow loom. She had begged me for ages to get one, but I dont believe in buying things for the sake of it, there has to be good reason (e.g. birthday, christmas, reward for something impressive etc). In the end my friend bought her a loom and band set in a very belated birthday present (about 5 months late).

Then I kept losing my tablet as the loom addiction took hold and my daughter sought you tube clip demos of all the different styles. I kept hearing the sound of an American girl’s voice through the house as my daughter followed the instructions, “what you wanna do is take the band, then you wanna get your hook and…”

All sorts of colour creations were spun and baby boy became the in-house model, mainly because she could make bracelets quickly as his wrists are so small.

I left her to enjoy it for herself, never thinking to give it a go….until last night. My daughter showed me how to do a fishtail and now I am hooked.

My mum bought more bands today and I am now browsing you tube to see what can be created. Ankle bracelets, rings,charms, you name it, I want to give it a go.

We are off to Camp Bestival next week so I am keen to produce a load of funky bracelets ready for then.

I think, really, I am still eight years old and what’s great is that my eight year old is not old enough yet to be embarrassed by her Mum joining in. We are now a team of loomers.

This blog is for Unicef.Thanks for reading.

Who gets your vote?

Go on to the Google within the next 8 days and you get the chance to vote for amazing apps that will change lives.

There are 10 to choose from and Google invite you to choose your top 4. The winner will receive financial support from Google to put the technology in production and the runners-up will get support from Google to help convert the dream into reality.

This is what I went for….

1) A technology that will ultimately prevent the spread of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.

2) A technology that helps protect wildlife and communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

3) A technology to enable farmers in poor communities to develop cost-effective fertilisers to protect vital crops

4) A technology to help blind people experience better vision and quality of life through smart glasses

Sounds good? Its a difficult choice, other causes to vote for include: homelessness, rehabilitation, marriage guidance and social care – to cast your vote click here.

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Can you spare 5 minutes for a child?

I felt like a bad Mum today, not a nice feeling.

I was busy making final arrangements for our holiday in a few weeks time while baby boy was concentrating on a number two for the potty. I glanced at the watch and panicked as I realised I needed to be at the school bus stop to pick up my daughter. But baby boy was in mid poo……

I can sympathise with his predicament as I was scarred for life when my mother, impatiently waiting for me to finish my business on the potty, scooped me up, potty and all and planted me on the back seat of the car while she raced to pick my dad up from work (this was before the era of car seats and slap bang in the era of ‘anything goes’). I recall thinking it strange to be watching buildings go by the window while I  was still, to all intents and purposes, still on the loo, albeit a potty. It was the hardest poo of my life.

So, i didnt want to disturb baby boy prematurely. This resulted in me being 5 minutes late. “Not to worry” I thought to myself as I raced down the alleyway, “another parent will no doubt be standing with her to keep her company”. But when I got the other end and raced o the side of the road, I saw her standing on the opposite side alone and looking very worried while the disappearing backs of other mothers and their children made their way home, apparently not the slightest bit aware of my daughter’s predicament.

This made me angry. Of course I was angry at myself for not getting there sooner, but I was also angry at the lack of care from others.

It is at times like these when you realise how easy it is for awful things to happen to children regardless of how many ‘grown ups’ there are in the vicinity. “It’s not my problem” ….. But what if it was your child?

I am blogging every day for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.


Life on the back of a toilet door..

When I was sat in the loo of a restaurant the other day, i read a little saying that had been inscribed in a ‘boho chic’ kind of way on something that resembled driftwood but not actually the real thing. Sayings and quotes about life and family seem to be very much in vogue at the moment, particularly purchased from stores like ‘’ (yes but its every-bloody-where else, including restaurant toilets). This is another fad that I find irritating (along with my earlier post on all things ‘vintage’). Having ‘love this, laugh at that’ and all round smugness dressed up as a quote and emblazoned across your walls, is firmly in the locality of naff street. However I have to amit there are some quotes that are worth broadcasting around the home. For example, I have a sign in the kitchen with a laughing 1950s housewife saying ‘A clean house is a sign of a wasted life’. This is up there in an attempt to excuse untidiness to unexpected guests. On the door to the washing machine etc, reads ‘Mom’s laundry, need help’, which is true, I do need help as I spend a lot of my time in that tiny room. In fact every time I turn the washing machine and moan at the bore of loading and unloading a machine, i think of my granny hand-washing and mangling and then I feel ashamed. My granny ha it harder.

But going back to the sign i saw in the loo, i cant remember the exact words, but it said something like this:

Two things you need in life:

1) Someone to love

2) Something  to look forward to

I think regardless of your situation or where you are in the world (or restroom), these two things make life worth living and make the difference between existing and living.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.