Hello. My name is Louise and I am addicted to Smurf Village. Excuse me whilst I go and harvest some Strawberries and Honeydew Melon.
We don't do gaming in our family, despite initial appearances. Honestly we don't. We don't have a Wii, and the most sophisticated games system that we own is a decade old GameCube that we play the odd game of Animal Crossing on with the kids. Which was all well and good until we discovered the Smurf Village app on our iPhone. It is now also on the family iPad.
The plus points are extensive, which is why it is a game I was relaxed about the children (6 and 4 years old) playing. It is educational, in that in order to progress you have to plant crops, which cost fake money, and then harvest them a certain length of time later depending on the crop. When harvested you gain more coins, and Experience Points (XP) progressing you through the level. If you don't harvest at the right time, the crops wither, so you lose your investment in them. The children have become very interested in learning how to tell the time, and are experts at working out which crops they can plant in order for them to be ready at the right time, i.e. not during school, or the middle of the night.
Sunday, 19 May 2013
Saturday, 11 May 2013
If you were to wake up randomly in a park or playground, having lost your power of hearing, in my opinion you could still pretty quickly work out if you had landed in the UK despite not being able to hear the language being spoken.
How? Just a quick glance at the fashions being sported by the mums.
As with any culture built by humans with an innate need to fit in, we have developed different uniforms for different roles in society. In England the uniform is fairly clear for a trip to the park with the kids. If you are less than a UK size 12 and therefore can get away with skinny skins, or Jeggings, these will be your uniform of choice. Combined with a fairly snug Tee, or a fitted smock top (the sort that look like a mini dress but are worn with leggings.)
However, you might, like me, be unable to find a pair of skinny jeans or Jeggings that actually fit your hips. You may, after all, have hips, and an hourglass figure, that the manufacturers of fashion often forget exist. For you, the trip will, despite your better intentions, probably result in the Sweats uniform. You'll have plenty of pairs of sporty tracksuit bottoms from all the good intentions of joining and subsequently not attending the gym. Add a bland v-necked T-shirt and you can kid yourself that everyone will assume you have come straight from Yoga class to the park.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
I live a 40 minutes drive away from my parents. It isn't too far to visit easily for an afternoon, but it is too far to pop in for a cuppa after school pickup, or pop round on the off chance that they are in, for a chat.
It is far enough to require actually planning, logistics, pre-car toilet trips. You get the idea.
So I can't always pop and see them on special occasions. When I was given the opportunity to try out a new "letterbox cake" from BakerDays.com to send to my dad for his mid-week birthday I jumped at the chance.
It is a real cake. It is delivered by the post man. It is posted THROUGH the letterbox.
This ensures you can surprise your family and friends with a gift delivered by the postman and not worry about someone needing to be in to accept delivery, which is often the case when you send flowers and chocolates.
Monday, 6 May 2013
|Yes, that's me.... playing on the beach|
Mummy; will you come and play?
I really really hope it isn't just me that gets a little tired of the mantra coming from my two girls far too many (in my opinion) times a day: "Mummy; will you come and play?".
I have always been conscious that I am a parent. Even when the girls were really little and I was playing "Incy Wincy Spider" up their arms, I knew that I wasn't there to just be their playmate.
I am very aware of the burden of responsibility I have as a parent to teach them how to grow up to be kind, considerate, polite, intelligent, knowledgeable, courteous, civil members of society. I know that I can't do that AND be their best mate at the same time.
Or; let me elaborate further; I know I can't always be their best friend. A lot of the time I will have to pull rank to be successful as a parent and I know that my words won't hold as much weight if I spend a lot of my time trying to also be their best bud.
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Two years ago I said that I 'absolutely' wasn't going to buy any Apple products.
I loved my Samsung Galaxy Wonder (The Ace's paired down cousin). And, quite frankly, if there's something that absolutely everyone else has or wants, (an iPhone is a case in point) then I am less likely to want to get it. It's an 'individual' reaction. I was taught to go my own way, to not worry what everyone else was wearing, doing or listening to. In short, I was taught to want to be different.
So whenever there is a product that hits the mass market, be it the Ford Focus, One Direction or Corrie, I, by default, will hate it.
So how did Apple products manage to infiltrate this barrier?
My husband got an iPad. He let me have a play on it. He popped a couple of films on it. And then he added a couple of children's apps. He let me surf the web on it. Before I could frenzily shout "get that mass-market crowd-pleasing over-hyped product out of my house" I found myself addicted to iPad online surfing.