Wobbling the right muscles and jangling outdated British culture

I have been walking like a cross between John Thaw and John Wayne today after having strained muscles right the way down my right hand-side trying to get my new bike on its centre-stand. I struggled to even pass various bits and pieces from the front car seat to baby boy sat behind me because of all the twinges (the usual back seat demands…..Mummy I’m thirsty, Mummy I’m hungry….I can’t find my toy car aaahhh!). Of all muscles, my right hand side is not the place that needs ‘work’. What will it take to pull muscles in my thighs and buttocks? That’s the bit that really needs some tightening, as emphasised when I ran to the bank (to pay in a cheque) while my husband sat on double yellows …. Running is a great way of focusing attention on the wobbly bits because they can’t help but wobble. I am not a runner, so wonder if I started, would my wobbly bits eventually Wobble off? It’s worth a try…

Daughter is at a sleepover today at a friend’s gorgeous house…..however they are camping in the garden. Her Husband makes his money selling billion dollar floating gin palaces, so they have lots of nice stuff. They are Canadian, so they are friendly and talk to us and are happy for our daughter to socialise with theirs. (apologies to any wealthy British families I am about to offend by this statement, but…..) I have yet to meet a wealthy British family who are happy to socialise with a family whose joint income is less than a child’s private school bill. But Canadians (and many other nationalities for that matter) are completely unaware of our ridiculous class system and, as a result, do not uphold the unofficial screening process before commencing friendship (house, car, schooling, accent). 

Us Brits could learn a lot from other countries, Nigel Farage take note.

This blog is for UNICEF.

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Contracts and playgrounds

Yep so I have skipped two nights of blogging – £2 in the pot to UNICEF. Last night I was giggling like a schoolgirl with my friends at our local community viewing of Fifty Shades of Grey. I was like a menopausal woman, getting suddenly hot and needing a fan like a character in a Jane Austen novel. The old chap that sells the sweets in the intervals had to sit through the film and I was disturbed to see a guy on his own sat in the middle of an empty aisle…

There were women of all ages in the audience, including some Mums from our village. In the interval one if them remarked that little boobs are back in (I had benn quietly pleased to see this too). But as my friend put it, ‘If Christian Grey was on benefits he would be locked up’. We all were unanimous that we would sign the contract though….

The night before I was putting together the document summarising local Mums views on the new playground equipment for the village – an absolute must to help steer a parish council working party who have not heard of the concept ‘consulting with the public’. It’s at this level when politics seems to be more influential and where you can have the most input. Unlike central government which is a popularity contest for who can eat a bacon sandwich tastefully and keep big business happy – what a load of twaddle.

This blog is for UNICEF.

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It all began in a Pub…..well in Britain anyway

Feeling all charged up and empowered tonight after a good meeting with the village Mums in the pub to talk about the playground facilities and what we would like to see in the village. 

This is in response to the work of a rather lacklustre working group of committee members who are making plans to simply replace like for like on the playground – and us Mums want more! Have they consulted with us? NO. Will they need us to help raise funds for the new equipment? YES!

So we hopefully have the power to influence these less than qualified decision makers (one of the working group is in her 80s…it’s been a while since she sat on a swing).

Our local pub was the venue for the discussion and it got me thinking how many important meetings take place in a pub? In fact, how many important decisions have been made in pubs over the centuries? 

I would say more than the Houses of Parliament.

I say make the HOP a super club, the party capital of Europe and devolve power to publicans…..maybe then we would have, as Carlsberg would put it….’probably the best political system in the world…’

This blog is for UNICEF.

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Passionate about Health & Education (and feidup with the deficit)

Missed a blog post last night because I was trying to finish off my part-time work before I embark on a new full-time job, so another £1 in the Unicef pot.

I just spent an hour or so of my life watching Paxman’s interview with both Miliband and Cameron. I will be voting Labour in the elections so I found myself rooting for Ed and hoping Cameron’s rhetoric would be dismissed. While I believe Paxman gave Ed a far tougher ride than David, I believe Ed came across as genuinely passionate about making lives better in Britain, whereas David was tired, staid and maybe a bit too relaxed considering all his promises made at the last election were not met, in fact with some of them he did the complete opposite.

But aside from the EU, immigration and the bloomin deficit (I’m sure it’s always been there but it’s the new buzzword in the press and a good way for Tories to sugar up the bitter medicine of public sector cuts) I think that Labour’s pledge to protect spending in health and education is absolutely right. The Tories offer no such protection and that is not good enough.

This blog is for UNICEF.

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The power of 1

My hubby and I (every time I begin a blog post in this way I feel like the Queen) were invited to our neighbour’s for a meal. This is a rare occurrence for us as we don’t consider ourselves to be the ‘dinner party type’ and tend to give off that vibe. It turned out to be really good, despite the age gap of the other neighbour’s who joined us. We got back late so hence the lack of blog post (£1 in the pot to UNICEF).

However, the conversation did stray onto politics and the older couple proudly announced they would be voting UKIP. I had my concerns when a few headlines from The Daily Mail were mentioned.

I have seen UKIP double decker buses twice in this area but nothing from The other parties. We live in a ‘blue’ area and the power of our vote is virtually useless. It is worrying that I feel like the minority wanting to shake my fist at the UKIP bus.

I said to my husband, ‘If UKIP get in we are getting out’. He asks, ‘But where would we go? I didn’t have a clue because at our age it is so difficult to move to another country. So after a while I opted for the Outer Hebrides, because at least up there Government would be diluted.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that……

This blog is for UNICEF.
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Too much blue for one country

My Dad is off to Australia this weekend for a month and my mother is shortly to return from a six week stint in southern Spain soaking up the rays in retirement. Meanwhile my family are layering up with jumpers and coats and loading up pockets with tissues at the onset of yet another cold. In that respect I am looking forward to retirement. I am also annoyed with my parents that they did not emigrate to sunnier climes so that I could have enjoyed a warmer life in adulthood, in the style of the cast of Home and Away, finishing school and then heading down to the beach for surf and sand, rather than a school bus trip home through traffic and rain on a grey gloomy day. No doubt my children will also say the same about us. Given the choice I think my daughter would live in America. This preference is based on our trip to Florida early last year when it was all sun, theme park rides, fast food and massive Chevrolets. My son is obsessed with Despicable Me and while we were in Florida enjoyed our trip to Universal, which featured a Minions parade, so I think he would be quite happy too.

Would I miss England? Certainly not in the winter – I fail to see anything positive about life in this country from post Guy Fawkes to Spring. As much as I love early Spring, crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils do not make-up for feeling ill and cold – but they give a glimmer of hope that the end of winter is nigh.

I the meantime I sit as close to the woodburner as possible and exercise as much as I can to keep the blood pumping around.

If there was an opportunity to live in a warmer country I would jump at the chance. But if UKIP or the Conservatives, for that matter, get in again, I may well try to squeeze into someone’s hand luggage. Another few years of British austerity is as inviting as another helping of ‘gruel’.

This blog is for Unicef.

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Love and the eonomy

My apologies for the missing posts over the past two eves. I was enjoying an M&S ‘dine out for two’ early valentines meal on Friday and felt I needed to enjoy time talking to my husband as we had to make up for some lost time (plus my daughter was back late from youth club because I got the pick-up time wrong and my hubby, who was picking her up, didnt leave on time).

Then it was my fantastic father’s wedding on valentine’s day. It was a very emotional day and it has been rare in my life that I felt my Dad needed a cuddle, but, as he contemplated walking up the aisle while I was fiddling with my button-hole, his questions about whether I was alright were my cue to give my Dad a big hug and tell him how happy I was for him. I shed a tear or two at their vows and it was lovely to watch them do the first dance. My Dad is getting soppy in his old age and it is wonderful to see. I also got some fantastic film of my baby boy and daughter dancing together to 50s, 60s and 70s hits with as much gusto as they would dance to current chart hits.

It doesnt matter how old you are, love is still brand new when you find it.

Dad toasted to everyone’s future in his speech and my hubby talked about my Dad and Stepmum as ‘lifelong companions’. I really hope that remains for as long as possible. They will now embark on a month long cruise of Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand – a trip of a lifetime that they deserve.

To finish this blog, with a nod to the future, I would encourage anyone concerned about the future of the UK economy to read this relatively straightforward essay by an Oxford Economics Professor on what should be done going forward forthe health of the economy – a must read regardless of your politics – particularly if you, like me, have relied on media reports as the main information source on the economy read – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n04/simon-wren-lewis/the-austerity-con

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.