Remember November

Thank God for a village hall at the end of the road for the party venue given the abysmal rainy weather. My now three year old went to bed happy in his new George from Peppa Pig PJs, with a belly full of sausage rolls cucumber dips and chocolate cake, a head full of good memories of bouncy castles, new toys, balloons and, best of all his shiny new little tikes pick-up truck – I even have movie footage of him riding along in it with his first ever girlfriend, Sam, sitting in the back.

My father dutifully tolerated the two hours of carnage as children bounced, charged and hollered their way round the hall. The oldies and parents kept their energy reserves up with tea/ coffee/ wine on tap.

My daughter also had a good time despite it not being her birthday. She helped write the list of thank you letters and harboured a secret liking of all his new toy cars – like mother like daughter. I still remember my toy General Lee complete with speed ramp. Must make a mental note to put cars on her Christmas wish list.

For all the planning and effort that goes into children’s parties (as well as the cost), you just cant beat the excuse to share time with friends and family and have a good occasion to act as a backdrop for the pictures that you will hold dear for the rest of your life.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

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Dogs with apps

We have 2 dogs, they are so small they are barely there. However, like most small dogs (and humans), what they lack in size they make up for in personality. The older of the two likes running for balls (any type of ball, from ping-pong size right up to giant gym balls). My husband once had a job at a golf driving range, my dog didnt know which ball to pick up first, i swear i could almost make out steam coming out of her ears at the sight of o many balls. She will also retrieve sticks and will attempt any size, whacking ankles as it swings dangerously up and down either end. When you play tug of war with the stick she will hold on to it with such grit and determination, that you can lift her straight up into the air.

My other dog (the younger daughter), is not remotely interested in balls or sticks, but point out a pheasant or a squirrel and she is there in a shot with turbo-charges up her tail. She even attempts to climb the tree to get o the squirrels. She is not terribly bright. In the summer she will endure heat-stroke sunning herself in a hot spot. In the winter she gets so close o the woodburner that you burn your hand if you touch her coat. She refuses to be picked up by anyone below the age of 18 and her tail has the clever knack of forming a ‘s’ shape when she is having a poo.

Now most children would love to have dogs like these in their house. This pleasure is somewhat lost on my daughter. Since last Christmas she has longingly looked at a robot dog called Teksta in the local toy shop. It does everything my dogs do and things they dont (such as back-flips, wi-fi and the ability to work with apps on a tablet). My daughter also mentioned to me  that it doesnt poo or smell. Maybe that is the future of pet ownership – robot pets.

I did find it funny when my daughter was playing with Teksta and the ball and right next to her was my dog patiently waiting for her ball to be thrown.

This blog is to raise money for Unicef. The charity’s latest campaign is to save and protect children caught up in the conflct in Susan – find out how you can help here.

Thanks for reading.