Archive for August 2012

At last Judy gets her revenge!!!

Couldn’t resist mentioning this article about a man hit by his partner with a rolling pin.

This morning we were pulled out of our peaceful dreams with a bright happy rendition of the theme song from, ‘Something Special’, which was repeated louder and louder each time.  Alistair obviously woke up full of beans at four o’clock in the morning and could not contain his joy.  Part of me was overjoyed and part of me was less enthusiastic.

If only we could all remember what it was like to fly out of bed and embrace the day and everything in the past happened yesterday and everything in the future will happen tomorrow and hopefully it may be your birthday every week.  It becomes so much more difficult to get full of beans as we get older because we tend to overlook the simple pleasures and seek more complicated happiness.  I am going to wake up singing, ‘Always look on the bright side of life’, tomorrow morning.



We went to Bowness on Windermere today and I decided to pass on the secret knowledge about fairies living behind the gate to the Belsfield Hotel opposite the lake.  My Gran told me this secret thirty odd years ago and I have kept it all of my life.  Anyway today I told Alistair, he was delighted and wanted to go and look for them straight away.  We went to buy an ice cream and looked around the shops for fairies and found a tiny little fairy in the British Heart Foundation Shop and then walked back to the gate and tip toed in.  We looked all around for the fairies but they were sleeping in a locked building in the grounds, Alistair had left his magic keys at home so we tried knocking but nothing happened.

Eventually we decided to sit on the grass and wait, I told Alistair to lie down with his eyes closed and wait for the fairies to tickle him – which they did and he giggled delightfully.  Then it was my turn to be tickled by the fairies.  After taking it in turns to be tickled we suddenly could fly and flew around the grounds, Alistair even managed to get tangled in some cobwebs as well.  We used ‘Big World Magic’ to make a tree disappear and reappear and turn into a hat.

After nearly two hours of being fairies we felt hungry and thirsty so we went to buy some food and sat watching the boats and the ducks.  There were hundreds of magic feathers to collect for more magic later.

We are loving watching Tree Fu Tom at the moment.  My son has embraced the magic actions performed by Tree Fu Tom, a boy who magically becomes animated and has fun in a magic place call Tree Topolis.  He has a little Scottish sounding acorn type friend played by David Tennant, a Daisy Duke butterfly character, an inventing frog, two naughty mushrooms and a wise lady who wears bright clothes.

Every episode Tom has to use ‘Big World Magic’ to solve various problems, the spell is cast by doing a form of exercise that is reminiscent of ‘Brain Gym’.  Apparently the moves have been developed to help children with dyspraxia improve their coordination skills as they are based on the body being the central point and the arms and legs synchronised.  Obviously all children benefit from the actions and not only do they help with coordination but also with imagination because spells can be cast anywhere, a full post office, busy shop, quiet library, in fact anywhere you can cause maximum disruption.

It is a joy watching Alistair perform the spells and work with Tom to solve all of the problems in Tree Topolis.  Every episode teaches a lesson about how to either make people feel better, not to cheat and many more life skills.  It is a cute programme that makes you smile.

After hearing the news about tragic Tia I got the same stomach wrenching feeling I get every summer holidays when there is news of children being murdered or abducted.

I am not sure if things like this happen every year but it seems like it. My earliest memories are of such awful incidents is of the news relating to Susan Maxwell and Caroline Hogg. Since then I have been very much aware of how dangerous the holidays seem to be for children when they are subjected to freedom and new routines.

I am devastated by the loss of another young soul extinguished before she even had a chance to explore the world. It is so sad to think that this child has never been safe in her whole life because the people who should be protective and caring betrayed her in such an unforgivable way.

It is awful to think that not too far from where she died there were huge celebrations and competitions going on and she was all alone.

Rest in peace sweet butterfly xxx


I felt so proud to be part of this little country last night while watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics last night.  It just highlighted a sense of humour we have that seems to have been lost a little in present times. The people who put the whole show together captured iconic aspects of life during the past fifty years – I am not talking about deep and meaningful icons that stuffy historians would consider to be icons but people who are icons to my generation.

The acts that were chosen reminded me of my early to mid twenties when London was my playground and I enjoyed the decadence of the era, it was like a walk down memory lane.  It felt like a big family gathering with Uncle Eric doing his party piece, cousins Take That and The Spice Girls doing their stuff and remembering relatives that were no longer with us such as Freddie Mercury (great to see Brian May take centre stage, as he has deserved to do for decades) and John Lennon.

The atmosphere must have been amazing with the jubilant competitors and the excited audience.  I really wished that I had been there because it really was something special.

I have to say that I have really enjoyed watching some of the events during the Olympic’s fortnight.  Initially I was a bit ‘bah humbug’  about the whole event in the light of the economic crisis and wondered if the cost to the country was worth it.

My attitude changed when I watched the dedicated sports people cycling, running, rowing, throwing and jumping for all they were worth.  Every single competitor entered every race with the intention of winning and did their best, this resulted in winners who made the race look effortless and people who may have come last but were certainly not losers.  I was most touched by the female competitors from Middle Eastern countries, who were covered in head to toe in garments,  running with the biggest beaming smiles on their faces because their victory was in being able to participate in a world event and not necessarily winning medals.

I was proud of everyone and interested to see that sports people, who are big competitors, can teach us all a lesson in being good losers.  Schools should be allowed to enable competitiveness as it drives people to succeed, they should also enable children to learn that you cannot always win everything and that if you tried your best then you can be proud too.

The Para – Olympics start on the 29th of August and I am already in awe of the competitors because these are people who have scoffed in the face of adversity and sent self doubt and giving up scuttling away into the abyss. I think that we have an awful lot to learn from the positive attitude of athletes and the hours of training they do to reach their high standards.

All competitors talk about how pleased they are to win and how all of the sacrifices and work was worth it, just going to show that we can all achieve our best if we are willing to work hard and show dedication to our dreams.

I have no idea what the financial cost of the games will be and wonder when the smile will be wiped off our faces by a negative GDP report; but at this moment I feel elated and proud of Team GB and all of the other countries who took part in the games.

Three Cheers for the Olympics!!!!

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Dear readers,

There is a beautiful book I would like to tell you about.  A while back Ty Hulse an artist and author emailed me asking if I would like to review her new book because she had read my post about reading fairy tales to children.  She sent me a link to a PDF version of the book and immediately I wanted to review her book, I contacted her and gave her my details and thought nothing more of it.  However this afternoon a parcel arrived by courier and when I opened it I squealed with delight because the front cover of the book was a beautiful painting of four fairies and an elf sitting on some moss seen through the hole in an old tree.

The title of the book is ‘Tales of Fairies’. and it contains water-colour paintings of fairies to illustrate a variety of poems written by various poets and the rewriting of traditional Welsh, Celtic and German fairy tales.  I will discuss the book in two parts because the paintings deserve to be mentioned as strongly as the content of the stories.

I can only describe her art work as breathtaking and so alive, Ty Hulse manages to give the impression of movement due to flowing style of her drawing and painting.  The colours are vivid and magical and even the printed version does not do them justice.  All of the fairies have a particular face shape; oval with a pointed chin, pointed ears and wide very open eyes.  The bodies are wispy and give the impression of constant movement, as you would expect from fairies.  It looks as if the media used is pencil and water-colour paint.

Ty Hulse describes herself as a Folklorist, which I presume is someone studies tales from around the world relating to fairy folk rather than someone who writes stories based on the traditional fairytale such as, ‘Red Riding Hood’.

The poems and stories included work from Shakespeare, Thomas Moore, William Allingham and a variety of folk tales from around Europe and the United Kingdom.  I got the impression that the audience the book was written for was mainly for adult folklorists and fairy lovers rather than for young children due to the complexity of the language used in the stories.

I am under the impression that I am reading a draft of the story due to a number of grammatical and structural errors such as there not being any paragraphs in some of the stories, which make it more difficult to read.  The descriptions are rich and lots of very good adjectives.  I am not sure if the stories have been rewritten completely or have just had elements added to already existing versions of the story.   I have looked up the titles of some of the stories on the internet and see  some similarities to the versions in the book, to some extent I think that the stories should have been rewritten in Ty’s own words so that there could be a definite connection between the illustrations and the stories themselves.

This truly is a beautiful book and if you are someone who believes in fairies or like me had a grandmother who convinced me that there were fairies everywhere (my grandmother was Welsh so the stories reached my heart and warmed it straight away) you will love this beautiful book.  The illustrations alone are worth buying the book for.  I have included a link to the PDF version of the book for you to look at.

  1. You think that even Damien from the Omen is more angelic than your volatile three year old.
  2. You can only do work sporadically and with continuous interruptions.
  3. No means no – only it is your three year old who means it and manages to implement it.
  4. Your cute little angel fakes crying and has a voice like a fog horn in a busy street, shop, supermarket, anywhere there is no where to hide.
  5. You can’t remember your shopping list unless you write it down because of the whining, nagging and foot stamping.
  6. You look at the baby pictures and long to be able to chill out in your pyjamas during the day and the thought of waking up three times during the night sounds like heaven.
  7. Your child cackles like a witch and thinks it is really funny but it freaks you out.
  8. You get called a naughty girl and get told off by your own child.
  9. Stone throwing becomes an everyday occurrence.
  10. You hear silence from the bedroom after bed time and you are relieved because life has suddenly become much easier.
  11. You wonder how well you will get to know his teacher because she will say, ‘Hello Mrs Hunter, can I have a word please?’.
  12. You have to dye your hair every month rather than every six weeks.
  13. Suddenly every body is busy when you need a baby sitter.

Either the ‘Troublesome Threes’ is unpublicised or I should have read those blasted parenting books.

Alistair in the dog cat house

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August 2012

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