Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Back to reality (again)

Something has always got in the way of blogging recently, with the result that now I sit down and try and catch up my head is a mess of disparate thoughts, and no hint of a theme to string them all together around.  Holidays are always a bit like this, pushing the door shut against the throbbing to-do list.  Pretending to be totally relaxed about this kind of stuff.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Failing at Easter

Today being Easter, the social media backdrop has ramped up a gear, reminding me how ‘other people’ do this kind of stuff.  Providing a handy rulebook to substitute for the one I lack for all manner of social situations.  

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Blogging for One

I just noticed that I’ve missed my blog’s birthday.  Sorry about that, blog.  Having said that I’m not exactly up on the etiquette of a blog’s birthday, pretty much as I wasn’t up on the occasion that a baby’s first birthday calls for.  I think there is probably a life manual that I missed somewhere along the line.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Postcard from Tanzania on International Women's Day #lastingchange

Today is International Women’s Day, and for the past month or so parent bloggers have been taking part in TeamHonk, a massive relay across Britain to raise money and awareness for Comic Relief.  It has currently raised over £22,000 and is now around the Manchester area on its way up to John O’Groats. 

This week, without fanfare and with their typical good humour, the architects of Team Honk – Annie, Penny and Tayna – set off to Tanzania to see how the money raised by Team Honk last year hasbeen invested by The Gatsby Trust to support female entrepreneurs in order to make a #lastingchange to theirs and their families’ lives.  Lack of education, hostile labour markets and gendered violence have seen women suffer disproportionately high levels of poverty, something with Comic Relief and the Gatsby Trust are fighting to readdress by working to create sustainable improvements in community life.

Team Honk have been sending back digital postcards of the inspiring women they’ve met, and I’m privileged to have Forestiana on my blog today, a wine processor, who sounds like a woman after my own heart. 

Team Honk have been stoically sampling her hibiscus wine, which people are literally knocking on Forestiana’s door to buy!  You can read more about her on Mammasarus’s (Annie’s) blog.  If you get a chance,please do have a look at some more of the inspirational women that Team Honk have been meeting, and you will get a glimpse of the ways that women have been investing their enthusiasm and grit into gradually making the world a better place.  Seriously, I struggle to think of things I would miss more than clothes, soap and wine, just some of the wonderful products that the women featured today have been making for their communities to give their families a better future.

If you would like to get involved further in Team Honk’s fundraising, you can donate here and help support these life-changing projects.

You can also retweet these digital postcards, and wherever you see the hashtag #lastingchange.

Thanks for reading and, whatever you do, have a wonderful International Women’s Day.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

How to be ill - by my children

You might think that being ill is just one of those things that happens. Yeah, right.  Life ‘just happens’ to losers, and being ill is a groove that you can work to startling effect with a bit of creative energy.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The day I met Barbara Castle: Inspiring Women for International Women's Day

Barbara Castle would always have been one of my inspirational figures.  I grew up in a household where being awkward and passionate were valued qualities, if not the source of numerous arguments.  A trailblazing firebrand, what exactly isn’t to like?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Half way changes

I am over February big time.   A catalogue of uncontrollable events have made life too serious and grown up for my liking.  And to make matters worse I am have less than two weeks’ left on my contract, and not a hopeful job application in sight.  I am more than ready for Cas’s All The Small Things linky this week, giving me permission to ignore it all.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Changing my mind about teaching

The autumn term was a desert for me blogging-wise.  Ditto social life, reading novels, and keeping on top of basic cleaning (which might explain how goddamn ill everyone seemed to get!).  This was because I was teaching, something I hadn’t done for over a decade, and with a vision of undergraduates turning up keyed up on their reading lists plus an impressive range of online sources, I panicked and did the only thing I could.  I over-prepared.  

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pricing up Space Hardware

As I was brushing my teeth this morning, Harry came bouncing into the bathroom.  

“Did you know the Apollo mission cost £x million?” (It could have been billion.  It was early and the question involved the use of very specific figures).

Harry’s class are doing space as their topic this term, so we have a lot of facts of this ilk.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Puddles, rockets and bubbles in the New Forest

On Sunday there was a rare break in the rain, so we legged it outside amid the usual complaints of, “A walk?  But why? What are we doing to do??”  I blame the National Trust.  If it wasn’t for their efforts to make nature interesting with trails and so forth, maybe walking for walking’s sake wouldn’t seem such a bizarre prospect to my children.  So we compromised and packed few props.