Pocket Money Predicaments

What do you do about pocket money for your kids?

Way back, before my first-born knew or cared about such mundane principles as money, we had a plastic pot and a goodly supply of black and white glass pebbles.

Good behaviour was rewarded with a white pebble and bad behaviour…you get the idea. Every now and then a tally would be made and (wait for it…) REWARD STICKERS were given to an ecstatic little girl.

In due course, our wide-eyed cherub got wise and stickers were rejected in favour of sweets and other such incentivising goodies as she was able to screw out of us. Read the rest of this entry


My Week In Tweets – Sad, Bad and Downright Disgusting

My Kettle

My kettle – it’s seen better days…

My personal highlight of the week was descaling the kettle. “Highlight” in this particular instance meaning the single event that took up most time with the least satisfying results and the maximum curse-inducing consequences. Read the rest of this entry

My Love-Hate Relationship with Facebook

Angry Birds

Angry Birds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love Facebook. Guess I’m just nosy. I dip into it at least a dozen times a day to keep up with what’s going on. And I’m as guilty as the next person of occassionally posting random comments that must be boring to anyone but the most devoted fan of useless minutiae (did you really want to know that I’m ironing in my kitchen? Didn’t think so).

And as a substitute for making those excruciating duty phone calls to tenuous friends and less tenuous but far-flung relatives, you just can’t beat it. Upload a few family snaps twice a year, a few updates on your lives for all to see, and everyone’s happy.

But… Read the rest of this entry

Eat a Carrot – Save the World?

Vegetarianism is Good for the Planet

Here’s a conundrum for anyone who cares to give this some thought. Maybe I’m being sublimely obtuse, but the opening paragraph of a recipe feature in May’s edition of Ideal Home Magazine has got me totally stumped. Read the rest of this entry

Be Careful What You Wish For…

P&O ferry at Eastern Dock, Dover P&O ferry 'Pr...

For what seems an eternity now my 10-year-old daughter, Georgie, has been counting down the days to her four-day school trip to France.  She’s had a couple of happy weekends away in the last year or so (fun residential courses at Kilve Court near Bridgwater), but this was always going to be “THE BIG ONE”. Read the rest of this entry

My Pride and Prejudice Week in Tweets

"To assure you in the most animated langu...

"To assure you in the most animated language" - Mr. Collins proposing to Elizabeth. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. London: George Allen, 1894. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, if only I was Elizabeth Bennet – gay, witty, clever, always quick with a pithy retort or an astute observation. I fell in love with Lizzy when I was about 14  and have remained so ever since – in fact my daughter’s middle name is Elizabeth. I must have been going through a bit of a Regency phase at the time because her first name is Georgina – rather grand, eh?

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read Pride and Prejudice. I particularly enjoy the anticipation of reaching a favourite chapter, at which point I get all squirmy and force myself not to skip read in order to reach an instance of Mr Bennet’s famous dry humour or a moment of high drama in Lizzy’s love life. And Mr Collins’ absurdities  are always worth savouring.

That Single Slummy Mummy is Tweeting as girl detective Nancy Drew this week (go take a look), so along a similar theme, I’ve decided to Tweet a week with some memorable lines from Pride and Prejudice. Read the rest of this entry

How Sexism Saved Me

Detail of a C. E. Brock illustration for the 1...

Detail of a C. E. Brock illustration for the 1895 edition of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice (Chapter 3) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sexism is a Very Bad Thing. I say that now before I go on to defend the title of this post. I’ve no wish to be hauled away by the Women’s Lib movement and sentenced to three years locked in a power-suit with electrified shoulder pads. Read the rest of this entry

If I Were My Car – Another Week in Tweets

Nissan Micra

My sexy Micra, aka “Black Betty”

That very funny lady at Single Slummy Mummy is Tweeting this week in the guise of her daughter. Never one to overlook an opportunity to make a tit of myself, I’ve decided to assume an alter ego too. Read the rest of this entry

Christmas Does NOT Start in November!

Christmas postcard, 1911

Image via Wikipedia

It’s an accepted fact of life: gastro pubs will start touting for Christmas party bookings while your summer holiday snaps are still wet from the printer; tins of Christmas chocolates will appear on supermarket shelves the moment pumpkins have been removed; shop windows the length and breadth of the High Street will be festive and twinkly long before you start Christmas shopping.

Businesses start touting early to get their slice of the pie. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.  And it’s really not that difficult to ignore it all until I’m good and ready.

Shops and pubs and supermarkets have this theory that if they start telling us it’s Christmas earlier and earlier each year we’ll believe it and start shopping like the frenzied zombies we do actually become when we eventually decide it’s time to take Christmas seriously. Until recently, I’ve genuinely felt that, for all the commercial hype, most people are sensible enough to ignore the pressure and begin the festive countdown at a sensible date. Or after 1st December at any rate.

Is it really too much to ask that Christmas at least happens in December? Read the rest of this entry


Brad Pitt at the Burn After Reading premiere

Image via Wikipedia

There I am, at the reception desk of a perfectly nice hotel, with my best pal Brad Pitt (it might be Nicolas Cage or even Viggo Mortensen actually – the face is a bit blurry).  I’ve no idea of the purpose for our stay, but what’s that got to do with anything? This is fantasy, right?

And whaddya know? Our booking for two single rooms has got mixed up. The hotel is fully booked except for one last double. Every other hotel in the area is stacked to the rafters, it’s a wild and stormy night and the only other option is to sleep in the car.

What’s a girl to do? Read the rest of this entry