TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

Sunday, 30 September 2012

ESAS Trip to Greenwich Observatory

Yesterday we went on a wonderful day trip to London with our local Astronomy group.   I had been really worried about the weather as during the week it had be horrid, but i needn't have worried. The day turned out to be beautiful.
We left home around 8 and by 11 we were in London and taking pictures from the Greenwich Observatory.


View of the remains of Olympics stands

Original Observatory building
Sun Dial using Dolphins to register the time
Greenwich Mean time line
Tired no 2

The Observatory itself holds a great deal of history, and some fascinating technology showing how our exploration of the night skies have helped us find our place on the map and how to divide up our days. Some of the objects held in this great place are the earliest telescopes, the earliest watches and one of the most sophisticated time pieces in the world. If you ever get a chance dear reader to visit the Observetory it is very worth the time you will spend there.
As can be seen from the pictures a lot of fun was had. We returned home around 8pm worn out, but having had a great day.

We visited another few places during the day but they are being saved for another post, and because there are far too many pictures to show in one go, and would cover many topics at the same time.

In the meantime, i hope you have enjoyed my brief snapshot of our day, and will join me for some more another day.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Applying for schools

Its that time again for me. It feels as if i did this only 5 minutes ago, not almost 2 years.

My youngest is now in year 6 and the applications for secondary schools are now being started. Although i haven't visited any local to me so far i have just sent my application in. I will however take her to visit the two we have selected. One of them and the preference she has already been round with my eldest, so she has some idea, but this time the spotlight will be on her. The other we didn't visit last time because my son knew where he wanted to go. So it will be an interesting visit.

I am still keeping my fingers crossed that she gets to go to the same school as her brother. I still have to fill in the written application to the school itself. I will be calling them tomorrow for the pack, then all i have to do is wait until the 19th of April for the result.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Catching up

I spent a lovely day today with an old friend of mine.

We have been friends since i moved to the UK when i was 12, and despite our arguements and changes in our lives we still get on really well.

What with busy lives and illness and work and children we haven't actually seen each other in over a year. Terrible to know that it had got so long. But despite this we had a great time catching up, and laughing at Yoda. She was made up with him and he charmed another person into changing their mind about his breed. Before meeting him she admitted that she had thought of them as ankle biters! Yet she said he is the most adorable and calm puppy ever, she now wants one of her own. WEll done Yoda i say.

The sad thing about not seeing each other for so long is the changes we have missed. She has been suffering stress with various things and the same with me, we've always understood each other and been there for each other. I was there when she had her 1st baby, she when i went through both of my divorces, she's helped in so many ways in my life and vice versa.

We made a sort of pact today that we will make more of an effort to get together more often, we won't leave it so long. After all she only lives down the road and with the children getting older its easier to get together.

I am really looking forward to our next visit and the laughs we will be having.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Online dog competitions

I have entered my gorgeous puppy into an on line dog competition. The following photo's were my final choice for his categories.

The picture to the left i chose for the Most appealing eyes class.

Below is entered in the Best comedian class

This picture to the right in his best pose i have entered into 3 classes, Best Pedigree, Best puppy and Most Handsome Dog.
I am now keeping my fingers crossed for the 9th of October when the results come out. So far he hasn't won a rosette, but we keep training and trying.
This Sunday we are going to a charity dog show for Progeria, the young lady whose family are running it live in our town and Hayley (a progeria sufferer) is a fabulous young girl. I am really looking forward to going. That will be another show i will be keeping my fingers crossed for. Yoda will be bathed on Saturday evening and i will be taking his grooming kit with me to ensure he looks his best. I am just hoping that this time it doesn't rain. At the last outdoor show we attended it started raining just after we arrived and by the time we had the class for the waggiest tail he didn't want to go and play. This is normally not a problem for him, he wags his tail so hard his whole bottom wiggles. so much that my Nana has nicknamed him wiggly bum.
so everyone please keep us in your thoughts on Sunday, i will endeavour to take pictures and let you know of the outcome as soon as i can get the pictures on my laptop.
Take care for now xx

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Book Review: Nolichuck! TJ's Wild Frontier Adventure by Jackson Keene

Synopsis:  TJ’s just an ordinary fourteen year old kid with extraordinary problems at home and school: A broken up family from his parents’ bitter divorce, evil bullies almost every afternoon, failing grades, boring classes, snobby girls, mean teachers, cut from basketball tryouts, few friends.
Life is rough for TJ Cockrell.
And then that mysterious little green book had to go and throw him into the past. And not just any past, but into the untamed forbidding forests of 1802 eastern Tennessee along with the savage Indians, wild beasts, bloodthirsty robbers, backwoods ruffians, and log cabin living! Yup, it’s definitely not 2011 Knoxville anymore.
And he thought his present life was bad news! But TJ’s adventures are only beginning. Along the way, he fights off killer beasts and bandits and braves, meets the young Davy Crockett, gains a world of confidence in himself, finds his first real love, and is befriended by a fantastic frontier family who really has it together.
When he returns to the present, he’s a brand new person––but there's killers loose in his house, bullies waiting to beat him up at school, a pretty new girl at Highland High he's hasn't even seen yet. And the aftermath of the little green book to deal with!
My Thoughts: Following the guest post i held for the author i have read the book (admittedly with a delay due to moving and then having no Internet to post my thoughts) and i have asked what my son thought of it. My son is almost 13 and has some dealing of bullies in the past so i thought it would be interesting to see what he thought. Unfortunately he read the overview of the book and decided it was not his thing, i couldn't persuade him to try it even throwing in the idea of the history- of which he has a great interest. This is therefore based on an adult viewpoint and not as i had hoped a teenage one for which the book was written.
I like the concept of the story, the modern and going back in time, i felt it had some gaps. There was no real explanation of the dads disappearance and how he was suddenly so clever- some background may have slotted things together better. I'm not sure that a boy of 14 would really accept as easily that he had gone back in time and just "get on with it" as it were. I felt that the travel was made too easy, and the reader was expected to just assume the boy had understood how to keep quiet and make up a story about his life. Would people in the wild west have been as accepting as they are in the story?
In general if you don't think too much about the history then the story works and as a light hearted book with a deeper message to convey it is a good book.
My rating 3/5

Monday, 17 September 2012


You may probably gather from this post i am back on line! I can say i have missed this and reading my friends blogs i follow.
I report a fault on my phone line last week and have now had it fixed. I have to admit as much as i don't like BT for things they have done in the past they were great today.

My time slot was 8am-1pm. The man arrived at 9.15 and was very nice, he checked everything out and said there was a problem with my line outside. I expected him to say he'd have to come back but to my surprise he said he was off to fix it! An hour later and voila- he was done. I now have a new line from the pole to my house and have my phone and internet working. I'm a happy bunny, i have missed sharing my thoughts- i know they may be boring to most, but i find it cathartic.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


My Little Yoda has discovered he can escape from the garden through a few holes in the "fence".

I say that in the loosest terms because its a mixture of "fence" in the form of chicken wire, and a form of hedge. I think in fact it was originally a fence of chicken wire type material and the then the hedge was grown on my side of it. But over the years more trees and bushes have been planted and the fence has been damaged.
Until now it hasn't mattered- now however with a small escape artist around it does matter.
today he escaped twice, luckily he is fairly well behaved and came back within a few mins with lots of coaxing and trying to get his attention with treats.
Now the holes have scaffold boards in from of them in the hopes that it will put him off. Immediately after putting them there he did try to escape and looked all confused when faced with a board.
His little face was saying- "that wasn't there before"

We'll see how long it lasts and in the meantime i have to look for an affordable solution. I certainly can't afford 160ft of proper fencing. This would also mean hacking back lots of bushes and hedging, or losing 3ft in some places in width of the garden- something i think the landlord will not like.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Small picture of Yoda as he has grown so far

I have stolen a few photo's of Yoda from his breeder (i know she won't mind) to show how much he has changed since his birth 18 weeks ago tomorrow.

5 days old!

2 weeks old


4 weeks old


9 weeks old

17 1/2 weeks old

As you can see he started off as a really dark little thing and now he is very light tan, when you look up close at him it is possible that he may end up with his mothers colouring once fully grown. He has some very light areas coming through under him. I hope however he doesn't lose his black stripe down his tail- its very cute.

More of his escapades to follow in the future.

Monday, 3 September 2012

The latest addition to our family

I thought it was about time i got round to introducing the latest addition to our family.
His name is Yoda, he is a long coat Chihuahua and will be 18 weeks old in 2 days. This photo was taken by a gentleman called Mike Jackson!/MikeJacksonPhotography
at the Naturally Pets Fun Dog show. It was Yoda's 2nd show and he was brilliantly behaved.
Lets hope as he gets older he will win lots of rosettes and continue to improve as quickly as he is now.


The picture below is of Yoda's mum Maisie. She is also a long coat Chi and has won over 100 Rosettes and awards. She is a wonderful specimen of the breed and is so good natured and has been such a brilliant mum. My daughter used her on Sunday for the Child handling class and won 2nd place. This was only her 2nd show so she's doing really well. Lets hope Yoda turns out to be as wonderful as his mum.
All i can say is that with his mum and the breeder he has had a wonderful start to life. e continues to see his breeder regularly and she assures me he is doing really well.


Either way, whatever happens in the future, we have a loving and gentle pet who so far is providing us with hours of fun and plenty of distractions. I will keep everyone updated on Yoda's progress in the show ring and how high he reaches.