TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

Friday, 26 April 2013

Yoda is 1 today!

Happy birthday to my gorgeous bundle of fur. I love him to bits. This is a little time line of his 1st year.

His whole litter

9 weeks and already cheeky

Beginning of April, 5th in Best Condition.

Early Morning Birthday Picture.


Birthday cake from Mummy Nat

Aunty Claire sent cards.

One of the toys from Nanny Mo.

I have dozens and dozens of pictures that i could include in his time line, but i wanted to keep it fairly short and put in some of the nicest. My darling still has one droopy ear, but he has lost all of his puppy teeth now, and as of sunday will be enter the show ring in older classes. No more puppy classes for us sadly, but he's to bigger and better things to come for him.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Parents Evening- I dread it

Parents evening is one of those nights i dread. I know what the teachers are going to say even before i get there so i wonder why i put myself through it. An hour minimum of sitting with lots of other parents hot and crowded with time running over and trying to catch up.

This time wasn't so bad, the teachers still said what i thought they would, but they were also very complimentary of son. Apparently he is a joy to teach according to his English teacher. He couldn't praise him enough. Vivid imagination for stories, contributes well in class, happy outgoing boy. Only downside is his handwriting.

I didn't see all the teachers as there were only a few subjects i was really bothered about. I was requested to see R.E, and dreaded that the most, as son is anti religion in any form, and doesn't bother with this subject. I needn't have worried, she was lovely, even made a point of telling me to remind son he doesn't have to believe. And to look at the subject as a study. Remove himself and take an outsiders point of view- why do so many people feel the need to believe in something. Homework is an issue as that lets him down, but again he contributes well in class and is polite.

The other subjects pretty much said the same. Good, polite boy, contributes well in class, has his own opinion and will share it. Has a tendency to talk lots and has to be stopped, but what he talk about is relevant.

The worst and regular comment was Homework! Something every child tends to dread. And son is no better than the rest. Comments varied from not handing in, to needing more content.

I have spoken to him on all of the points raised and despite some of them not being so positive i am very proud of him. He's had a tough year so far and he's doing well.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Perverse by Larry Rodness


19 year old Emylene Stipe, a 2nd generation Goth, is shaken to the core when her make-believe world turns out to be real.

My thoughts

Interesting, inspired, twists and turns but with a sadly normal ending. The author kept me guessing and i was surprised with a few twists that didn't turn out how i thought it would. I enjoyed the writing style and found that it flowed well. Has been left open for another should he choose to.
My rating is 4/5, i would like to have had a better ending, i feel this one was too 'normal' considering the rest of the book.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Daughters' 2nd Gymnastics Competition

Warning!!!! This will be a rant. But i am also doing the proud mum bit.

Another long sunday! This time we were heading off to Gillingham Gymnastic club. Despite it being called Gillingham Gym its actually based on the outskirts of Chatham. And what a strange place it was. To get there we had to go through a housing estate to a small industrial estate. There it was in a small compound without parking. We had to park at the bottom of the other end of the industrial road and risk a ticket as there was no parking within sight. I couldn't have gone and parked by the houses as i couldn't have walked that far.
Once outside the gym all you could see was a mass of people standing there. Off to one side working from an open hatch was a man doing burgers -they smelt nice, and there were lots of appreciative comments. but in front of his hot plate they had placed a pallet to keep customers from getting too close. My concern was that the pallet had a rough edge on the top. Not just from it being a wooden pallet, but where part of it had broken off! Good health and safety there!!!

Next came the signing in. We were early but we thought we'd get daughter registered and then we could find seats. Nope, we had to wait an hour, and then her club rep had to do it, so we had to find her. Not difficult as we'd seen her. So one part sorted. The changing area was so full of childrens clothes that there was no floor and you had to step on clothes for daughter to get to toilet. I made the descision along with many other parents to keep hold of all clothes just in case.

Next we had the joy of queueing up to get in and watch. Again that was in the outside part of the compound. Lucky this was the 1st really sunny day we've had. We were standing around outside for 2 hours. The amount people waiting was huge. Not surprising as parents and grandparents as well as brothers and sisters want to come. while we were waiting the queue started moving and the round 2 parents started to go in. Then came a problem. There were too many people to fit in the small, and i mean small spectating area. They were standing almost out the door. One of the doors couldn't even be opened another Health and safety point- What if there had been a fire! Those people wouldn't have been able to get out as the door was blocked with parents. Outside there were even parents who had paid but couldn't get in and see their children perform. There were complaints building.

In the end we were lucky, we were at the front of the queue for round 3, which was daughters round. just as it started raining they decided we could pay and wait in the foyer, at last chance to sit and rest my back and legs, which by this point were in agony.

Once inside we rushed for a good seat- there were very few of them. We went upstairs and i looked at the size of the floor space and vault run. Not enough space is an understatement, and the vault iteslf- i don't know the proper name but it looked like a pommel horse without the handles. Not what our children had been training on. It was obvious once the events started that some had as they were doing straddle leaps over it, they were placing their hand on the markers exactly. Whereas our squad had more of a struggle, some of them not even managing to make it. It was slippery and one girl fell and was crying. Don;t get me wrong our squad weren't the only ones who stumbled, there were many others. My main gripe with this is that there were one or two gyms who had clearly practised on one of these so called vaults and they had an advantage. I feel very strongly that if this type of appratus was to be used all gyms should be aware so they can train all their gymnasts on it. Or since they had the correct type of vault in the gym, that should have been used.

The floor space i can't complain too much about, it wasn't long enough or wide enough as when i came to daughters turn they had split it in two so they could speed up the event. So two gymnasts competing next to each other. I understand they have to get used to different size floors, but when 10 minutes previously the 1st group were competing on the same floor on their own i feel that they were again given an advantage. They didn't have to shorten their moves, or turn round a lot more to get all of their moves in. So why make another group have to do so.

Gymnastics is about having fun 1st and foremost, but they all work so hard to get somewhere and they all want to get the best score they can. I feel that they should all be given equal chance. That means they all train and can use the apparatus they are used to. and they are all given the same space to move about in on the day. Not have the shambles that we had yesterday.

At the end of the day, daughter improved on her overall score from her last competition. She increased an entire mark on her vault, despite the difference in vault. Although she has had 2 private lessons to concentrate on it. Her floor was lower, but she did stumble on a couple of her moves. But i have to wonder that if she had been given the space as the 1st group had would she have stumbled or not. This is something we will never know.

One thing i do know, is that i'm not the only parent who was unhappy with everything and who will be saying something to our gym manager. I know the answer will be a non commital- i can't do anything about it. Fair enough he can't. But for the future i think they should consider whether they go there again. I will update, no doubt with another rant once i have spoken on the gym.

There we go. Proud parent but with a rant.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Blog frustration

I decided it was about time to update the look of my blog last night...... i wish i hadn't started. for some unknown reason i cannot get it to look the way i want. Other people have done it so i know its possible, but despite going into every possible section of the template and settings and so forth i still can't do it.
Three hours later at 1am i called it a night and having spent lots of those hours talking to myself and muttering words of frustration i left it at what i had done. It doesn't really look any different and i'm not happy.

Today i had an e-mail from TOTS100 asking me to update my details and my button. They have done something to their ranking system so off i went trying to remember how i got it on my page in the first place. Another hour and a bit later and i finally managed to do it. but i couldn't get it where i wanted to. I tried all sorts, moving the <div> code thingy around the HTML programming page and it wouldn't do it.

I know i'm not great with these things, but i didn't think i was that stupid. Now i really feel i am.

All i wanted was to put a photo at the top of my blog to personalise it a bit more. Looks like i won't be unless someone can come and do it for me!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Book Review:- Arabelle's Shadows by Fleur Gaskin.

Arabelle's ShadowsEverything in Arabelle's life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she's even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears. Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her. Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.

My Review:

Written in a diary form the book needs concentration. There were times where i forgot where in the time line the writer was as she jumped between present past and dream states. Modelling and the fashion industry isn't really of any interest to me, but i found the Shadows part of Arabelle's life very gripping. I can totally relate to the way she was totally controlled by them and caught up in what they were telling her. Since the book is based on a true story i can only make the assumption that the author has first hand experience of depression in its many forms and guises. The different cultures was also of interest to me and the way that they helped or didn't some case.
The author has a good grasp of language and manages to draw the reader into feeling for some character while turning them away from others. This is always a good point for me, as not all writers can do this for me. I like to be able to feel part of the story, and for the most part i did in this. I wanted to go travelling with the main character. And i wanted so much to be there to help her with her Shadows.
I rate this book as 3 stars. Had it not been about Fashion and modelling then it would have rated more highly for me.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Whatever next?....

This question could mean so many things when you read it and start thinking, nut in this case its very simple.

Daughter went to the fair with her dad today. We went over the Easter weekend, but she's a real daredevil and loves all the rides. The faster the better as far as she's concerned.
She came bursting into the house all red cheeked and grasping a another addition to the family. "Sam" the goldfish. Thus called because it can be a girls name or boys. She put lots of thought into it.

We now have 3 mice, 2 dogs and the goldfish. In addition to this daughter is going to be getting a puppy from our close friend when she has another litter from one of her dogs. She wants to have a show dog of her own to train and use for Young Handler competitions. At least she takes her responsibilities of looking after animals very seriously.

Therefor the reason for my question Whatever next?
 I almost forgot to add the fox and wild birds who visit us every day. We will have a virtual zoo soon

C x