Monday, 25 July 2016

Big Friendly Read

Kids come to different things in their own time, in their own way. It's called development, and we all experience it, at varying paces. Reading and a love of books is not something everyone gravitates to instinctively. But most of us love stories, and all of us have imagination. Sometimes we just need a door to be unlocked.

I'm a huge fan of initiatives like this year's Summer Reading Challenge. Follow the link for more information on The Big Friendly Read.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Got any grapes?

Kids do the marvellous things. They bring sunshine into our lives. They melt our hearts. They dismantle our arguments with crystal clear logic. And they are responsible for landing us with EARWORMS!

The theme tunes to children's programmes are just something we take on the chin. Even the songs from Frozen can be excused through gritted teeth with, "Actually, it's a really great tune."

But around the age of six or seven, kids are well on the way to excellence in the art of annoyance. I should know. I went through a lengthy stage of only answering my mum with "Arp." I've know idea where it came from, but the more she protested, the more I kept saying it.

A while back, our granddaughters were constantly filling every gap in conversations with, "What does the fox say?" followed with, well, if you bother to watch the video, you can read the lyrics for yourself.

But yesterday, SW landed us with the Duck Song. Truly an earworm to beat all earworms. I dare you to listen all the way through.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Moon Cheese

The girl's been at it again. Maybe one or two vaguely recognisable influences in the story but, even though I say it myself, the artwork is 'knock-out'! So proud of her.

© 2016
© 2016

Monday, 18 July 2016

Tickling the ivories

Ladies and gentlemen, for your delectation, SW will play a short piece entitled "On the River". I thank you!


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Whatnot at 7 Day Wonders

By way of an experiment, I've started a new blog. I'm not sure where it's going, or even if it's going anywhere, but I've kicked it off with a post about me and some of the things I've discovered about myself, having indulged in a little 'thinking time'. Check it out at 7 Day Wonders. I've neglected this blog for so long, I feel it will serve as a poor signpost. It now reminds me of a board my gran used to display outside her gate during tomato season. She lived down a lane that carried hardly any traffic - much like Square Sunshine - but despite the odds, she eventually enjoyed a steady flow of customers. I can but hope. 

Thursday, 30 June 2016


Something sweet, simple and innocent. These things help to restore our spirits in such trying times.

Water, fire, air, and earth. With harmonious nature added for good measure.
Courtesy of SW.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

In, Out, or Stitch-Up?

The twins were deep into BBC’s ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ when I asked if they’d mind pausing the programme for a moment as I had a serious question for them. There followed quizzical stares and semi-impatient fiddling with the remote. After all, what could be more serious than the trials of a man whose task it was to create a bra from scratch?

I hoped I wasn’t patronising them when I posed the choice of being in the EU or out of the EU. In spite of having worked with a European Documentation Centre in an academic setting, and having a strong enough grasp of European Humanities to earn me a 2.2 Hons, breaking the referendum down into understandable form, was not easy. In fact, I had rather been hoping someone would do the same for me, but that’s another story.

So I basically went with the, “going it alone” v “being a part of a bigger family” line. Imogen immediately opted for being independent from other rule-makers and having complete control. Iris thought about it a little longer, before offering this: “Well, I think we should join up with other countries. We should join Australia. Then we wouldn’t need to use a plane, or a train in a tunnel under the sea. We could just drive there.” And suddenly, it was all pins, tucks, and fragile fabric again.

As I posted earlier, on Facebook, I've decided how I'll vote in the referendum. After all that's been said and done, I've reached my own conclusions. It's hard to see beyond the negativity, the scaremongering, the self interests, and the pernicious points of persuasion that dance around the headlines of hate. But see beyond it we must. The only clear fact, either way, is that no one actually knows anything. Politicians have been spinning for so long now, they've lost sight of their principles. Like most people, they've got their fingers crossed. So it's down to us. Take your hopes and wishes to the polling booths on the 23rd, shape them into a X, and imagine you're sealing your dreams of a better future, with a kiss.