Saturday, 19 December 2015

It's Oh So Quiet

When your child starts secondary school. You can practically see the tumbleweed whistling past you on a daily basis, much like that person (you all know someone like this) who says something in a group setting which provokes only one reaction. An eerie tumbleweed silence. Ofsted don't mention this now do they.

You see at primary school you have day to day contact whether you like it or not. You have texts, newsletters, noticeboards, mornings in the school, assemblies, workshops and face to face contact with your child's teacher, head teacher, PE teacher and anyone else with a school pass dangling from their neck.  Everyone knows everyone whether you like it or not.

So when your first born child goes off into the abyss that is secondary school its all a bit strange - all a bit weird. Now don't get me wrong there is some communication. You can contact the form tutor via email and get a reply - sometimes at 9.30 pm at night. I've had two newsletters, facebook/twitter feeds, a print out of my son's attitude to learning/merit points but I've never met any of his teachers. I don't get to wander into the school and ask a quick question. I have never met any of his form's parents - asides from the ones I know from his primary.  His parent's evening is in January - in primary its normally September for most schools. I'm looking forward to putting some faces to the names although his fantastic science teacher has now left. By all accounts this is quite common - teaching is in crisis nationwide. At primary - whilst teachers do come and go - I suspect it won't be at the frequency of secondary schools. One mum told me her son, at another school, has had 8 different English teachers. If that happened in primary they'd be a parental riot!

In any event, my son is fairly happy with the overall package with his secondary school. It is still early days. He was put in the wrong set for maths - he should be in the top set so that has been a bit frustrating but it has been rectified for next term. Hopefully, he'll get a different teacher as the one he has sounds bizarre and not that great. He loves all his other subjects especially French and science.

He had his first 'academy day' to HMS Belfast - again the whole set up is so different to primary. We received a list of fabulous days out to chose from - some free and some not. My son wanted to go to the science museum although now we know that you don't get to pick the free trips, hence his second visit to HMS Belfast in a year. It suddenly occurred to me a day or so prior to his trip, that these secondary teachers might not be so vigilant as primary school teachers. I'm pretty sure I'm old enough to be these teacher's parent.

Given that lots of pupils travel to secondary school the teachers could reasonably expect them to keep up and not get lost. I had to order an oyster card for my son - which he never uses as we can walk everywhere.

At primary, the teaching staff are generally parents themselves, have multiply risk assessments when taking the children anywhere i.e high vis jackets, wrist bands with the school number, medication etc etc so the likelihood of a child getting lost is nominal.  With that in mind, I told my son to stay alert and not be a tit in a trance like he normally is. Pay attention. I also told him how to get back from London Bridge should the need arise to which he replied "yeah I haven't really understood any of that".  Thankfully, my less than street wise son did come back in one piece and managed to text (yes text) me on the way back saying he'd had a great time.  See what I mean. Its the abyss I tell you.

Oh and another thing - I now get the whole "why don't they wear their coats" secondary thing. I'll tell you why because its a bloody pain irrespective of whether its freezing or not.  Although my son only has a 4 minute walk to his school - on cold days I'd much prefer him to wear it. He, having been an avid coat wearer, would rather not. Its not because he has no blood - its because he doesn't want to cart his heavy parka around to each lesson. Its because I won't be best pleased if it gets lost. That's another abyss - lost property - if they don't come home with it you ain't never seeing it again. But probably the main contender of  #coatgate is that he needs to put it in his form room locker. This room is then locked so to retrieve said coat he needs to get a member of staff. So there you have it - our children do have blood and they also have the good sense to think this is a lot of faffing that I can do without.

In other news, I have completed 3 weeks of my PIYO dvd and I love it! This means that in 21 days I have worked out for 18 days! Wow. I seriously recommend it and will write more about it after Xmas. I've already seen in difference in my stomach, my metabolism and I lost 2lb last week. Although that now means all my gains around my birthday have been lost but if it continues beyond next week I will properly be in a deficit.

Until next time...

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Say Hello To PiYo

We're heading into the Christmas run in - so what better time to start an exercise programme right? I thought so. No, I'm not mad, bad or crazy - maybe a little crazy - I just thought what's the point of waiting till January to get into the swing of things again? I mentioned in my last post that I was only managing a couple of work outs a week and I didn't think this was going to improve during December.

I had been looking at purchasing this DVD set for a while. It is a bit pricey (£60) but I purchased it with my birthday money. Its a combination of Pilates and Yoga. There are no weights or high impact although there are lunges and squats. What I like most about it is that you do it in your bare feet. You do sweat and the moves are challenging but you'll be amazed at the positions you can get into.  The DVD pack comes with a chart. Basically there is a work out everyday except on Friday's that's your rest day for 60 days. I've managed my 6 workouts this week and the beauty of it is they're not that long - 20/25 minutes. I absolutely love the American lady (Chalene Johnson) she is so enthusiastic but not in a grating way. There are tons of before and after success pictures on the internet. Obviously you still have to count calories so don't expect a miracle cure by buying the DVD but starting the programme is half the battle.

I will let you know how I get on and I hope to put my before and after pictures up after the 60 days. Wouldn't that be great?!  I really love it and don't see myself being demotivated to fit in my bit of exercise daily. I would say that as the programmes aren't very long any other exercise would be an added bonus.

In other news, I'm more or less set for Xmas - all presents have been purchased via the internet of course! Although I did buy a couple the old fashioned way whilst meeting my friend for lunch.  I've become very popular all of a sudden - I always am this time of year as its around my birthday and Xmas.  In fact, next week is the only week I haven't got a lunch date planned.

I cannot wait for the kids to break up from school - only 2 weeks to go! Tomorrow my son has another cycling race so I have 3 hours of standing in the cold to look forward to!

Until next time...

Monday, 23 November 2015

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yarp its my birthday and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to. Although, I'm not as I've had a bloody awesome birthday! I say birth day but its been a cracking few days.  Firstly though we must get down to business. Last week I lost 1lb - yes ONE whole pound!! This week I put that WHOLE pound back on again. But rest easy folks I am allowed I think.  I weighed in this morning, however, yesterday I was out and about in London with the hubster. We went to Claridges no less. Get me. Now, I'm not really into poncey stuff so we didn't do 'afternoon tea' which if truth be told is just us plebs getting dressed up (or not the amount of people in jeans!) to experience a bit of poshness. Do the posh really have afternoon tea? I'm not so sure.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Are We There Yet?!

This was me last Sunday. I am Donkey in the back. Are we there yet?!  Yarp, much as I love to cycle I wasn't really in the mood for it on Sunday.  I had arranged, with my sister, for myself and my eldest to go for a cycling ramble of some 11 miles along country lanes. Sounds lovely don't it?

My sister, and I quote, said "there's only about 4 hills and lots of downhills" sounds even lovelier right? WRONG! That muder f*&%er.  Lied. She lied good dam it!  More like 4 hills in between all the other hills along the way. At one point, I did contemplate chucking my bike in the bushes like some surly teenager whilst giving her a right hook at the same time. But like an adult, I refrained from moaning continually and peddled on until the end. I am out of shape. I haven't done much exercise since before the summer holidays and my panting up the hills was quite something. I'm sure she thought I was going to have a cardiac arrest of something. I always gasp/pant. I'm not very good at controlling my breathing I'm afraid.

It was actually quite nice but had I known the route prior to getting on my rather heavy halfords bike, I most definitely would have sat in her house, drunk her tea and raided her kitchen cupboards. My husband took the other two for a walk - the longer straw out of the two I'd say.

Even at the end, she proclaims "we're here now" much like those Xmas Dancing Bears who think its Christmas "soon" - her "here now" and my "here now" are two very different things.  My sister's "here now" is about 1.5 miles from her house. My "here now" is when you can see the front door.

In any event, it was great exercise and got my heart rate pumping and my arse back in the saddle. My son had to wait for me along with my mum (who at 66 did a sterling job) and my brother-in-law. My son said he could have gone much faster so I'll let them go off on their own next time!

We finished off by having a rather lovely pub lunch and the kids were very well behaved.  They don't eat out often as waiting for foods with young ones isn't that much fun but they did me proud. In fact, they all rather like the dining out experience.

I also weighed in on Monday and lost 5lbs. Which is great but I did put on during the half term break so next week will be more of a result. I managed a hill walk on Wednesday and will aim for a bike ride tomorrow.

See you soon.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Walking Is Soooo Last Season

But should it be?  It suddenly occurred to me the other night that I walk far less than I have ever done since having my first child some nearly 12 years ago.  When he was born, I made a point of walking when he was due to have a nap, so that I could lose weight. I would walk for at least 4 miles everyday without fail. I'd walk to the supermarket, shops or sometimes just walk to the furthest point and then walk back. I was like Forrest Gump "I think I'll go home now ". Walking was my thang.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

It Will Make You Big And Strong!

Is what I'm always saying to my kids about drinking milk and who is stronger than a 5 year old purporting to be The Hulk? No one I'd wager.  What's more it takes some dexterity to drink a glass of milk with abnormally large hands clenched in a fist like manner!

We're entering (I say 'we' as I'm sure my kids will help me spend the prize money in the form of shopping vouchers aka more toys) a competition. So this post is an entry for Britmums #MilkDrinkersMilk Linky Challenge, sponsored by Cravendale

I have to say I never really liked milk as a child in the 70s/80s - but having been nagged by my husband some 15 years ago, I now drink it regularly and actually enjoy it. It's great for us ladies and, in particular, our bones. I'm very conscious of my knees - what with my recent running exploits and all. I have been making up for lost time during my childhood. The warm milk sat festering in the school classroom has a lot to answer for! Although I always loved the thick cream at the top. That was the best thing about getting the milk off the doorstop in the morning - the cream to put on your cereal.

Children receiving their free milk in the 60s/70s
So, with that in mind and given that I'm Chief of the Sugar police in this ere house, I've always been insistent that the kids drink milk.  

No problems with my daughter - she prefers it to anything else, No problems for my youngest Buddy aka Hulk who is also happy to drink milk.  My eldest, has finally turned a corner with all things food and drink related. He realises the importance for the good of his health, in particular his ambitions to be a professional cyclist. Even better he loves the stuff!

With so much publicity about the sugar content in many drinks our children are consuming - I was more than happy to accept free vouchers for the purpose of this blog post. Milk is healthy and should be an essential part of our children's diet not to mention the huge benefits to their teeth.  None of my children aged 5, 9 and 11 have filings and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible!

So much easier without the fists! Drinking from my classic Cravendale glass
Every Saturday we have a movie night and that means popcorn. A treat. Any sugary treats are always accompanied with milk to counter balance the sugar element. The kids all agreed the taste was 'creamy' and 'fresh'.

The bottle makes a brilliant ghost for Halloween as its not transparent!

Did you know that Cravendale filter their milk which makes it stay fresher for longer? No. Neither did I! I also like the fact that Cravendale is farmer owned so by purchasing their milk you are supporting our farmers. Even better you can visit one of these farms with the kids. To find one near you check out the Arla Foods website. 

Making popcorn the 1970s way! 

A sprinkle of sugar, milk and a movie = perfect Saturday night
So my 1970s dieters, that is how we enjoy our milk. In its purest form accompanying something that might not be so pure. Shhhh don't tell the Chief of Sugar police! 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Save October!!!

Is an event I created on facebook recently. I naturally came on the computer to do something a tad more productive than this but there you are. Instead I faffed around creating an event that has no real purpose other than to satisfy my longing for some normality in the month of October.

To be transported back to an age where grown women acted as such and Xmas wasn't even up for discussion. Asides from my natural repulsion of the Xmas countdowns, which start in August, (of which regular readers of my blog will have heard my ranting on this one every year) I came across a banner which made me groan out loud.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

When A Man is Tired of London He is Tired of Life

Man, Woman, Child or beast I would say. Wouldn't you? Never a truer word has been spoken by so many. Penned by the writer Dr Samuel Johnson in 1777. Incredible. I have often said this and its now 2015 - nearly 240 years later and it still reigns true.  Here is his wonderful quote in all its glory.

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

My youngest received this gorgeous wooden red bus on the day he was born. Little did he know it was really for me. He received the matching taxi by the time he was 2 - again for me! Sadly, I had to let him play with it and not treat it as an ornament. They now have signs of good use - chunks and chips off the wood and paint work!

Why am I going on about London pray tell? Well, I'm entering into a fabulous competition with Tots100. Its to WIN a 2 night break in a 5 STAR Hotel and not any old 5 Star hotel The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. Location is everything and this is just perfect for any family stay. Not all hotels are family friendly believe me but this one certainly is. It is also located on the edge of Kensington Gardens - idea for families.  What's more its a great local to visit the Natural History Museum more of which later. I don't have much luck with competitions but you have to be in it to win so says Dale Winton.

I am a London Gal even though I was born and bred in Crawley - not so glamorous granted. However, I got out of that town when I was young pup at aged 18 and have been lucky enough to live South of the river since then. Which means it takes us about an hour to get into central London. We have been a few times with the children and seen the poppies at the Tower, taken a boat trip up to Greenwich, sampled the sights and sounds of Covent Garden (an absolute must at Christmas time), Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square. I want my children to get the same rush of excitement and world of possibility when I step off the train at London Bridge or Victoria. We've also visited the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Imperial War Museum and so much more.

However, we've never trotted over to West London to see all the delights that are on offer there. Which is why I thought this competition was perfect. A chance to roam free in Hyde Park and see the many wonderful statues.

Our youngest is a HUGE Marvel Super Hero fan - how could he not be impressed with old Achilles here? A fine figure of a man!

And my daughter would love this statue of Peter Pan also in Hyde Park.

Of course, visiting the Natural History Museum has been on my must see lists for quite some time as we have NEVER been.  We must go before they move the huge dinosaur in the main hall in favour of a whale I do believe. Whenever I think of this museum (and those of you who were born in the 70s will surely be nodding their heads - If you aren't we can't be friends. Sorry.) I think of that classic Disney film - One Of Our Dinosaurs is Missing. In fact I may have to take the DVD for the evening to enjoy in the 5 STAR HOTEL. Oh did I mention that?

I just happened to take a glance in my living room and came across my most treasured coffee table book above. I often stroke it whilst flicking the pages.

And then there's some subtle and not so subtle Iconic British images that have crept in without my husband noticing. I do love a cushion it has to be said.

How did that get there? Oh yes, I bought it! As I bought these other little items...

So competition pickers. Pick us! We Love London and we'd love to stay in Kensington and tick off our most visit on our London bucket list.

I have entered a competition with Tots 100 so please pray for me as I never win any competitions as I don't normally enter them (does help). But I really would LOVE to win this one!

Until next time...

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sugar Sugar....

...oh honey honey as the song goes.  I've been thinking about this recently. Well the last two days gearing myself to just go cold turkey with it.  There's been a lot in the press over the last year or so on sugar making us all fat.  Even Coco Cola have buried a report that says its drinks cause obesity and its not just the full sugar versions - the diet stuff is just as bad for you.  Fizzy drinks are just a no go area for anyone wanting to lose weight or wondering why they're fat when they're eating less but knocking this stuff back. In fact, its probably the worse drink in modern history is it not?

Now, I stopped drinking diet lemonade many moons ago. In fact here's an old post I wrote an age ago all about the fizzy stuff. My dentist put paid to that even though my teeth are still paying the price - literally.

By a strange coincidence one of my friends put a link up on John Goodman - you know the huge American actor who cut out sugar from his diet and is now not so huge.  But how far do you go with this? I mean sugar is in everything well more or less.  Do I say no to wine? No to cordial?  So I googled a bit and the NHS website does have sensible suggestions. Check it out here. They reckon a quarter of our daily sugar intake is coming from drinks i.e sugar in tea (not guilty), pure fruit juices (not guilty), fizzy drinks (not guilty), cordial (GUILTY) and wine (GUILTY).

Also, cereals are a real bastard when it comes to sugar intake. You think you're being all healthy with that granola and all well think again - its packed full of the stuff. I have a small amount of bran flakes but I'm even beginning to think that's not a great start to the day. I think I'll go back to having a natural yoghurt.

Naturally (or unnaturally should I say) cakes, chocolate and biscuits are a no no. I appear to be more attracted to these the older I get. Maybe its because everyone is just surrounded by cake these days - talking about it, watching it, photographing it and making it.  Cake is cool. It has become very fashionable. All these vintage cake shops popping up where you can sit in a chintzy 'vintage' ambience eating 21st century cakes aka huge weight gainers. Cake isn't a treat these days its a daily

Even in Paris you can find a version of our vintage tea room. This is Sugar Plum Cake shop in Paris. Who wouldn't be tempted in?
I started this post 2 days ago so I've gone more or less cold turkey during this time. I have to say I've felt a tad faint and dizzy!! Oh lordy, although I'm told this should pass by day 3. I made my signature blueberry muffins yesterday and a batch of flapjacks and haven't touched a crumb of them. And lunch today with my friend Emma, again, no sweets there. She's normally awash with yummy home made cakes - nope I walked out of there without a slither of sugar induced cake.

I really believe its the key to losing that stubborn belly fat.  Obviously exercise helps and I went for a little jog on Monday and am out on the bike tomorrow but I am concerned about the health implications of visceral fat. This is the fat that surrounds your internal organs and can lead to type 2 diabetes and no one wants that bad boy. Then you have subcutaneous fat - this is the fat that is lying directly under your skin this is the type that they suck away with liposuction. But the easiest way to lose it is by exercise.  For more information on this type of fat I came across wisegeek on the subject.

In other news, my son is embracing secondary with every ounce of his being. He's this little independent soul that is living life to the full. He loves the cycling club he attends every week for 2 hours, plays indoor football for an hour every week, has made the school rugby team, got up on stage for the new parents evening and has just auditioned for a part in Oliver Twist. I'm exhausted just watching him but enjoying it all the same. Oh to have the exuberance of youth with endless possibilities ahead of you.  Not only that but he came first in his time trail and cyclocross mass start race at the weekend. Sometimes, the most unlikely people inspire you. He certainly inspires me to get out on my bike and fit in some exercise.

My other two are keeping me just as busy with their various interests brownies, netball and football! I am very much looking forward to no clubs and what not during half term. We've planned a bake off - a technical and a signature bake for one day.

Finally I'll leave you with an incredible accurate picture of me when I'm ranting or having a row on the internet.

Until next time....

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Catch Up!

Its been ages since my last blog post. Sorry Pam! It has taken me an absolute age to get back into the swing of things.  I have hardly exercised because I have slight pain in my left knee but appreciate that if I shifted a few stone then that would help it. I'm just don't want to damage it running so with an attempt to re-focus my mind I had a swedish massage, indian head massage and foot massage last Friday. It was bliss.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Top Ten Tips For High School

Have you recently up graded from primary school mum to high (urgh hate that American word) secondary school mum? Well, if you have or even if you haven't here's my Top 10 Tips on what to expect for all you novices out there. The list below is not comprehensive but they certainly don't tell you this in the "striving for excellence" talks and welcome pack etc. By the way, I have yet to visit a secondary school who's Head Teacher does not say they "strive for excellence". If you find one that doesn't say this 1) congratulations 2) put it at the top of the list.

1. Book Covering

Never did I think in 2015 I'd have to cover books like I did back in the 80s. It was a pain in the arse then and its a pain in the arse now. I think for a fund raiser any PTA of a high school should have a 'teacher cover as many books in 10 mins" challenge. Have some of that suckers - got a GCSE in covering books have you? No, I thought not so why do you think I've got a frigging one.

So, yes be prepared to have brown wrapping paper, the sticky clear stuff and prit stick at the ready. Not only that, you'll need to stock up on printer ink for the pictures that may need to be added. For example, not only did my son have to decorate his history book with printed pictures he I had to cover it with the clear stuff.  Okay I've looked it up - the technical name for it is "clear self adhesive/cover film". Take your time as this stuff is a bastard. If I can manage it you can. If in doubt, go on to Youtube and you'll find some hard core mom showing you how its done. It won't look like that but least you've tried to be professional. Another funky way you can cover a book is with an old book or map pages. I think my son's English book looks pretty funky with his Russian map courtesy of my husband. What say you?

2. Padlock

One of the combination ones for their locker. They don't tell you that - and let's be honest would you really think of it when you've just spent a small fortune on all their uniform, bag, shoes, PE kit etc? The answer is only no.

3.  Pencil Case

Now this may sound elementary dear Watson but it so isn't!!  You see in primary they supply everything - a pencil case is a novelty item. Yes you'll need a pencil case, ruler, sharper, rubber, 2 pens and 2 pencils. Bastards.

4.  Bland Raincoat/Coat

I got this from Next - I liked the Parkaness to it and the red lining oh and the fur
This may not be for every secondary but at my son's his dark green winter coat - whilst still fitting - is not allowed. So I had to buy another one when I wasn't ready to spend £35 on a navy number. That went for his fluorescent rain coat (bought so that he could be seen easily on school trips!) - yup another bland (black) raincoat from BHS £16.

5. Medication

Again, primaries had it covered. They had your little ones inhaler in a little box or whatever type of permitted medication they own. Now they are responsible for it. So don't forget to pop their inhaler in their bag or you'll be making a trip to A&E in his/her first week.

Mourn the death of the bookbag - enter the satchel - pic ebay. This is what my son chose and he's not been beaten up yet

6. Front Door Keys

If your newly kitted out Year 7 child is going to be taking 2 buses or walking then its time to entrust a set of keys. Whether you are a working mum who won't be home in time or even a SAHM what with your daily massages, coffee dates and enter any other stereotypical assumption that WE DO FUCK ALL! You might not be home before they are.  I wasn't keen on leaving a set hidden and no doubt he'll lose them at some stage (as said the key cutter woman and I quote "see you in a week for another set") but it is time.

7.  Freedom

Once they start (most will absolutely love the freedom of it) there's no stopping them. My son is now walking down to the shops and feels he can roam the streets anywhere. Next week, he'll probably be asking me if he can go on a European mini-break. He can't - not before I go first - but he certainly is 75% on the way to being able to go off and meet people, travel on buses etc. Be prepared for this. Take therapy do what ever you need to cut the apron strings.

8.  Start Saving Now!

See above but uniform is expensive at the best of times. Starting secondary is double that and then add some. If you have a child in Year 6 why don't you put £20 a month away now and that way you won't feel totally bankrupt by the time they start in September.

9.  The Bible

The contact book is everything. It has their timetable, homework and anything else they've been told to write down in lessons. Ours has to be signed every week or your child will get dention. I was tempted to sign every page for the year as I'm likely to forget but "you're not allowed to do that!"  I would also invest in a wallet folder for all those pieces of homework that aren't meant to be glued in their book. Also in primary they tend to have to read every night - that has finished so hopefully you still have a reader that will want to continue this at bedtime.

10.  Distance - Don't Be A Sheep

Now, everyone will be talking about grammar school, best schools, ofsted's etc etc but the main thing you should consider is distance. Seriously, the amount of homework (8 pieces in the first week ranging from practical to written) is a lot! If your child has a life outside of school or likes to play computer games (glad I banned them as seriously don't know how he'd fit it in) then the travelling to and from school should be a major factor in your decision. My son loves the fact he's home either at 2.45 or 3.35 and can complete his homework. Not only that he is able to meet up with his local friends.

Factor in a 45/50 minute bus journey in the winter, snow and summer heat and you will have a cranky pre-teen on your hands. Really consider whether that journey is worth it. Will they really get a far superior level of education at the school that everyone wants because everyone wants it (rather than facts and figures)? Don't be a sheep and follow all the other mum's.  It is not you who has to travel there. Actually, it is not YOU full stop. Let your child chose you're not going there. They are. Would you like to get up at 6.30 am in the morning to travel to school. Did you do that? I suspect not - we all went to our local high school.  It is madness and it has to stop!

So there you go my Top Ten Tips on what to expect on that first week of secondary. I hope it helps and feel free to add some more!

Ta Ta for now

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The French Have Gotten Fat!!

Not that I'm skinny mind but I noticed a massive difference to the old Frenchies whilst we were on holiday in August. Yes, you probably guessed my little break from blogging incorporated a holiday. And what a holiday it was. We had a fab-u-lous time. Now, I know most people say that when they get back but it really was a cracking one this year.

We travelled on my preferred mode of transport to get to France - by Eurotunnel or Le Shuttle as they like to call themselves. By the way, France is the most visited country in the world - 85 million visitors last year. They are aiming for 100 million next year so we were told by the numerous French news stations on our accommodation telly.  So all you royalists out there that think the monarchy are good for business have a little ponder on that one. The French got rid of their monarchy and I don't think they've suffered too badly from it. Just sayin and all that.

Monday, 10 August 2015


#irritated best describes my summer holidays thus far.  Sorry its been a good 2 weeks since my last confession blog post but schools out for summer.  And this one has got to be the most challenging one to date. With the risk of sounding like another 'parenting is blah blah blah blog'  I have always loved the school holidays (not just restricted to the summer variety) but times are a changing. I am so tempted to be that mum. The one that bungs in every holiday camp/club going. I'm beginning to see her logic. The beauty in her thinking. I might even start saving now.

Monday, 27 July 2015

I've Succumbed!

Yarp. Thought I might hold out until my eldest was 13 but didn't quite make it that far. He now has a mobile phone. Nothing fancy a pay as you go Samsung phone. He is now at an age where he will need to go out and about on his own and it does make me feel better that he can text to say "I've arrived".

Having said this, we all managed to get to school without running into a pay phone and telephoning our parents to say we've arrived back in the 80s. Lets be frank though - back in the 80s parents didn't give a shit if you got there or not. You didn't get taken to after school clubs, swimming lessons, various activities, days out and were grateful if you got taken on holiday. I started holidaying on my own from age 16 imagine that now.  By 18 you were kicked out of home and told not to come back. Parenting is now serious business and whilst I do so enjoy it - I reckon back in the 80s no effort was required. Did that make us more resourceful? Only time will tell. It certainly made us more active. But doesn't every generation think the one after them are doomed to fail?

Now, my son's phone beeps at an alarming rate as he's now able to message his friends on a regular basis. It is surgically attached to his hand. Mmmm pot and kettle as my son pointed out so is mine. He was quickly taken down - I switch mine off after bedtimes and I am the keeper of the home and all play dates. Without my phone sunshine you'd have no friends come over, activities and anything else for that matter.

However, last week, the whole phone thing failed dramatically.  The 'safety net' of the phone has been proven, in spectacular fashion, that it does not actually give you any reassurance nor does it prevent anything bad happening to your child. My theory was, in the event (unlikely I know) of my child being abducted on his 3 minute walk to his local secondary school, I would be alerted to this fact by the absence of a text. Time is of the essence don't they say when it comes to disappearances. So with that logic in mind I would be able to alert the authorities quickly and know within a very short period of time that my son hadn't reached school.

But add this to the mix. My son is a tit in a trance at times. He is very bright but is also extremely impractical and forgetful. He had attended a holiday (bus man's) camp for his new school. The deal was he would text me when he arrived.  I took my other two to an intensive swim course and realised at 9.20 am I hadn't received a text. Did I alert the authorities? No. Did I ring the school? No.  I assumed that he had forgotten and I also didn't want to embarrass him (and myself)  by ringing the school to see if he had arrived.  I couldn't get a signal at the pool in any event. So there you have it the whole safety net blown out of the water. The thing is, had my son been abducted, he would have naturally thought "my mum will be phoning the police and I'll be rescued".  No, mum wouldn't have done that son. See above.

Turns out he didn't forget I just didn't receive the text! What are the odds on that? So the phone is here to stay and the confusion and worry no doubt.

In other pressing matters on the diet front - I have been pretty much armchair bound watching The Tour De France - another fantastic tour this year. Frommey was awesome as were the rest of the team, in particular, Geraint Thomas.  Shame about the spectators behaviour but thankfully that's just a small minority.  Anyhow, my knee is much better I would have rested it for 2 weeks Wednesday.

I have lost -1lb over nearly two weeks is it? I feel a bit out of shape though I really miss the running. I'm sorry I haven't blogged much. It can get a tad busy with the kids off but I will be back this week.

See you soon.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Wednesday Weigh In

Urgh - still the same. I haven't exercised for one whole week. It was exactly a week ago that my knee went whilst running. So, I have decided to rest it. I did, however, do a small bike ride with the kids on Sunday so not exactly no exercise.  Speaking of which the Tour De France is back on!! I tell anyone who will listen to watch it. Even my parcel guy he joked today that I'd be on his case if I don't watch it. Its such a fabulous sporting event. Another item to be added to my bucket list is to follow the tour from start to finish.  My husband says he'll be dead by the time that will happen i.e when the kids are old enough to be left/take with us without disrupting their schooling.

In fact, he made a valid point in that "why is it you can only do the things you want to do when you're dying?!" True though isn't it. If you were given X amount of days left to live you'd dig out and dust down that bucket list and start ticking.  Having said this, there's not much more on my bucket list - my greatest pleasures are the small moments - the hazy days lounging around in the garden mucking around playing table tennis and the like.  Not to mention the sense of self satisfaction I get from printing off my family photos and finally getting around to put them in their allocated albums. Told you its the simple things in life for me!

Anyhow, back to my 'injury' - having met up with my friend Tash who I only get to see once a year what with her living in Hong Kong and all - she insisted I get a foam roller. She said its worked wonders for her back and by all accounts its great for stretching out your calf muscles and the notorious IT band. I'll give it a whirl this evening. In addition I bought a little strap that by all accounts, with the reviews on Amazon, does wonders for 'runners knee'.  Expect a miraculous recovery tomorrow. I'm going to try a little run after drop off.  In addition, my son is back into his cycling and wants to practise on the nearby park so I will go out with him as he keeps pestering me that he needs to practise for a competition next week.

As ever, the summer holidays - all 7 weeks of them - are a danger zone when it comes to weight loss. I can't wait for the kids to break up on Friday at 2pm. Its a bit bitter sweet as it'll be my eldest last day at primary. I think I may need some tissues during his final assembly. I am so proud of him. He adapted really well when I moved him to a different school and he passed his SATS with all 5's and a 6 in Maths. My daughter is also thriving and moves into Year 5 and little Buddy will be in Year 1.

I'm quite excited by the whole Secondary stage - its totally new to me and a different chapter in our family unit.

There's still lots going on at school - class parties, pool party, leavers disco, teachers card/presents, assembly, met the new teachers etc etc.

I am sitting here just enjoying the last few hours of semi silence apart from the tapping of my keyboard and ITV4's commentary of the Tour De France.

Right, off to log my fitness pal and plan my exercise for next week. I need to lose another stone preferably before September. I have a choice of two lovely dresses for my 6 year anniversary next week.

Ta Ta for now

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Pop Goes My Knee!

My latest edition to my sandal family. Couldn't resist!

Well not quite a pop but a sharp pain which was enough to stop me in my tracks - a bit like when a footballer pulls up immediately when they've torn a hamstring. Yes that kind of pain! I knew it! I knew that running would be no good for all my joints but I bowed down to pressure and went for it anyhow.  Now, its not everyone else's fault as clearly no one forced me to take up the C25K challenge and I did feel I have eased into it rather than getting injuries etc.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

When Parenting Goes Bad!

How's about this then. This did horrify some of my fellow facebook friends when I posted it as my status. However, it did genuinely make me laugh out loud - literally for once - not an internal chuckle that people mistake lol for together with "oh that's nice" when I saw it for the first time.  As you can see, this lovely family photograph has something missing, my head! My daughter's handy work. This is the result of my telling her off for treading blue plasticine into my rug. Fair comment I'd say and my daughter thought his was a fair response.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Quick One!

Sorry folks its been HOT!! School is manic these last few weeks. Anyhow, am 2lbs down! Yay so lost that pesky pound that sneaked on when I was sick and another gone. Feeling good! I tried to run on Monday but barely could make 2 laps around the park. My legs felt great but my breathing was dire what with the heat and all. So on Wednesday I had another go and did 3 laps = 2.4 miles without stopping and felt good. Don't know how fast it was as my phone stopped but was pleased with myself. Its another hot one today so no run but will try and sneak one in before the weekend's out.

I shall be back for some weekend chat, in particular, when parenting goes bad!

See you shortly

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Ebay Buyer Rant and Weigh In!

A double bill today for you all folks. Urgh 1lb on!! I haven't ran for two weeks following on from the sickness bug in our house. I feel much better and hope to get back on the running train for Friday. I'm sorting out a new playlist and everything. Proper hardcore! As you can see from my beautiful scrawl above - I have logged all my food etc religiously since I stepped up my attitude and mojo. The week I was ill  I didn't log my food. See below

Monday, 22 June 2015

Dying to Run?

Come on I know you want to give it a try!  If I can run anyone can.  Well, if you want to try a run with a difference then might I suggest a Run or Dye event.  A run with a difference - no mud and various obstacles - just lots of colour!

As you may remember, Kat wrote an excellent guest post on her experience of a Run or Dye event last year. You can read all out her experience here.

This event is 5km so 3.1 miles in old money.  Whilst running, jogging or walking you are showered with eco friendly colourful dye at every kilometer!  Kat suggests wearing a white t-shirt to really show off your running rainbow.

And if all that wasn't an incentive enough - here's £3 off for all my readers - just enter this code KISDISCOUNT when you book on line to claim your discount. I see that my all time favourite place to visit with the kids, Hever Castle, is hosting an event in October. What a fabulous location - let's hope Anne Boylen doesn't come chasing after you all!

I have been provided a discount code by Run or Dye to share with my readers.  I have also been given a free entry ticket to participate in one of their races. All opinions and views are entirely honest as you would come to expect from The 1970s Diet.  

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Saturday Chit Chat

I'm nearly back! Oh my goodness, what a week! Its been another sick week in The 1970s Diet household. I cannot quite believe the amount my little Buddy has been sick since he joined Reception.  Last Wednesday he threw up so I kept him off school on the Thursday - he went back on the Friday. On Saturday we went to Hever Castle for their 1940s weekend event which was very good, however, Buddy threw up about 4 times during the day which cut our day out a little short.  He was still a bit weak by Sunday but right as rain on Monday.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

I Can Talk About It

This clip pretty much sums up my reaction to the General Election.

Was pretty much the month of May. I can honestly say it took me about two weeks to lift my spirits after the General Election.  I can happily report to you dear readers that I can now talk about it. My fellow blogger Sonya over at writes a political round up for Britmums every month but I just couldn't even write about the election. It was that bad. I can normally churn out a political rant faster than any other post - being able to type 120 wpm helps - but my political mojo had just died in the month of May. I couldn't even write for her round up for the month of June so maybe this might make July's edition.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Wicked Games

Remember that tune? How old am I saying tune. You know that wonderful song with Chris Isaak and the accompanying stunning video with Helena Christensen chewing her fingernails whilst straddling The Isaak. That track has been pimped up on my new 'running songs for 2015' album.  I've invested in some new material on my ipod, as last Saturday The Stone Roses weren't exactly conducive to a quick run - in fact, I ran my slowest although I did climb my highest. That's the thing with running it takes from one hand and gives with another. You can run your fastest but slowest distance, run your slowest but run your furthest distance and so on.