Christmas greetings to an Alzheimer’s sufferer

How do you write a Christmas Card to someone who is consumed by Alzheimer’s?

My husband’s Auntie was diagnosed with the condition 2 years ago. In that time she has gone from a busy, intelligent, chatty retired secondary school maths teacher to a bed-ridden spirit of her former self, with zero recognition of her husband or children. 

How do you write to someone who has resigned themselves to their fate through refusing to eat – Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!

I write in the hope that as her husband reads it out to her she will enjoy looking at the picture on the front. 

I am also going to send her the biggest brightest bouquet of flowers I can find for her room. 

Alzheimer’s is cruel in every way to the sufferer, their friends and family.

I hope one day they find a cure.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

The right time to give

The fire is roaring, I have a belly full of food and children happy and sleeping upstairs.

But Oxfam have reminded me that there are families who have fled the conflict in Syria, who are in desperate need as winter sets in. They are going without basics like food and clean water. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring. 

I would like to think if I was in need and my children in danger, that other people in the world would help in whatever way they could.

So I am going to donate, as much as I can considering the cost of Christmas. My husband and I don’t bother with gifts so the money we would normally spend can go towards help.

Which is why throughout the year I also blog to fundraiser for UNICEF because charity is not just for Christmas.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Power in words

To what extent does persuasive language alter behaviour?

How much power do words hold?

Can subtle changes to a few words alter the entire effect of a sentence on the reader?

Recent results with NHS campaigns prove the power of words – good news for aLove of us who enjoy writing and blogging!

Read how the NHS changed minds here.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Living on water

More problems with the house, buyer leaves it til 11 weeks into the process to re-negotiate the price after a survey. Looking like we are going to have to put it back on the market in the New Year at this rate. 

In the meantime have just secured new job which is going to take ages to commute to from our existing home.

At least we gave a home though, unlike these Kids who literally live on the water -watch this excellent film on Vimeo –

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Asking the right questions

I am soon to meet the young person I will be going out on day trips with as part of the independent visitor scheme, which gives children respite from the care system.

As part of the intro process, they suggest a few of these ice-breaker questions. 

It’s quite a fun exercise to do yourself – gives a real insight as to who you are as a person without going into things that may be emotionally charged. They prompt responses that abandon judgement on background, family life and other discriminatory factors. 

What would you do if you won a million pounds?

Is there a country you would like to visit and why?

Name one achievement in your life that you are really proud of?

If you could make yourself invisible what would you do?

Is there one thing you have never wanted to do, why?

If you had a magic carpet that could take you anywhere, where would you go and why?

Of all the animals in the world, which is your favourite and why?

Name something that bores you rigid and why?

If you could invent or discover anything what would it be and why? 

I will let you know my answers tomorrow.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Housing poundland

We are trying to move house at the moment, so these headlines make interesting reading….

New research from Savills has suggested that an extra 350,000 English households will be unable to access subsidised or market-rate housing in the next five years. The research comes as a separate study from researchers at Cambridge University claimed that the Government’s new right-to-buy scheme could lead to a £31m increase in the housing benefit bill. Additionally, data from the National House Building Council has found that the UK’s largest housebuilders are slowing the construction of homes, with the number of new homes registered in the three months to the end of September falling by 2% compared to a year ago.  Financial Times, Page: 2 Daily Mail, Page: 18 Financial Times, Page: 4

 Housing Bill questioned

In a letter to the Guardian signatories including, the Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, Defend Council Housing’s Eileen Short, and Unison’s Dave Prentis, warn that the housing and planning bill currently before parliament will make the housing crisis worse. They argue that the bill intends to reduce the number of genuinely affordable homes and encourages further property speculation. The Guardian, Page: 38


£1 a home scheme sees couple lose out

The Daily Mail examines the case of Linda and George Hunter, Liverpool residents who paid off their mortgage but have found the value of their home fall drastically after Liverpool City Council offered the rest of the street’s properties for sale at £1 each. Daily Mail, Page: 29

Wow…..I’m moving to Liverpool!!!

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Chosen lives with no choice

I have a picture of an Edwardian lady and her daughter walking along a pavement while men are busy working on the road. One road worker is stood upright as if pausing from his toil and watches the mother and daughter as they walk past. I can guess what he is thinking, that the daily life of the mother and daughter is perhaps more enjoyable than his. At least that is my perception.

I sometimes feel like that man when I see mothers out with their young children during the day. Working five days a week with my head down seeing my children for an hour either end of the day is tolerable while you are locked in routine.

But take time out, as I did today for my sons birthday, and you realise what you are missing. You also know time is brief and young years cannot be re-lived.

So it is with a heavy heart I return to work tomorrow. 

Here’s to all the working Mums who do it to bring home the bacon but certainly don’t choose this life while the children are young.

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Birthday blog

Our whole family now have post party brain. It’s the need to just sit down in a quiet and dimly lit room to reflect on a mad morning.

My son, who isn’t phased by much asked me who had attended his 4th birthday party this morning as it had all disappeared in a flurry of bouncy castles, party food, games, cakes and music. 

I didn’t get a chance to actually savour and enjoy apart from the moment I brought his cake out, before that I was just the event caterer. But a party wouldn’t be a party without a mad flurry of activity and though exhausted it is a chance for everyone to get together and share a good moment and another milestone. 

I’m just sad he’s another year older and another year closer to growing up.

This blog is dedicated to all children turning 4 tomorrow – Happy Birthday! 

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Small Talk

I am getting closer to being matched with a young person as part of the independent visitor scheme (a scheme where volunteers take a child from care out on day trips to give them some respite from the care system). 

There are many reasons why children go into care, some voluntarily choose to go into care because of problems at home. One of the problems can be related to domestic abuse.

This is why charities like the NSPCC are so vital to help children and families who feel they haven’t any option. They also campaign to protect future generations from harm through a lobbying campaign to make the system work better for children in need.

Read his the NSPCC support children and families who have suffered domestic abuse here

Thus blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 


Another interview yesterday and a late night so no blog post = £1 in pot to UNICEF…

Now, education issues today, I agree with the first story and very concerned with the second……

Governors should be paid, says Ofsted chief

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, believes all governors and trustees should be given mandatory training, with chairs and vice-chairs paid in an effort to attract the highest possible level of candidate. He suggested the overhaul after Ofsted inspectors ordered urgent external reviews of governing boards at almost 500 schools in the past year. The Guardian, Page: 16 Independent I, Page: 26  


Primary school website hacked by ISIS

St Luke’s CE Primary School’s website has been hacked by a group claiming to be linked to terror group ISIS. Education officers at Rochdale Council insisted no data had been compromised: “We are looking into the circumstances. It is important to emphasise that it is only the public facing pages that have been compromised,” a spokesman said. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that 28 pupils didn’t return to classes in Rochdale schools in September and the whereabouts of many are unknown. Aneeta Prem, from forced marriage charity Freedom, said the summer holidays are a key period when children are removed from school to undergo the practice. Manchester Evening News

And finally, thank you WWF and thank you Will Young – the story of our declining planet needs to be be told.
This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.