Sunday, 23 October 2016

#Spooktacular Warwick Castle is The Haunted Castle!


We were lucky enough to get the chance to visit Warwick Castle this weekend.  I've always been interested in the site; anyone interested in the Kingmaker and the War of the Roses will visit just for the history.  But this Halloween Warwick Castle becomes The Haunted Castle with new attractions designed to scare and thrill right up until 9pm.  So we were interested to see if there's something for everyone this half-term.  There was!  It's a great day out anyway, but this half term in particular there are some new attractions and Halloween themed thrills!

We arrived at 10am opening time, as we like to maximise our day trips.  Our girls are now 8 and 10 years old.  Their favourite parts of the day were, and I quote; "The Flight of the Eagles show because the birds were HUGE", "The Horrible Histories Maze because you win a prize" and our 10 year old really liked starting the day with the Grand Tour, because "although you didn't go inside the castle, it was good to learn about the history of the castle itself and how and why certain bits were built".

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Amazing! The new magazine for 7+ readers that teaches the curriculum in a Horrible Histories style! Plus Give-away!


 Kids love disgusting! 

"Uuuurrrrrrggghhhhh!!! That's DISGUSTING!" were the first words from Princess Peppa, my 9 year old. (I may need to rethink her blog pseudonym now she's waaay past loving Peppa Pig). "That's COOL!" was the response from Little Miss George, the 7 year old. 
They couldn't be more different, but they both laughed, giggled, and uurrrggghhhed their way through our sample copies of Amazing! Magazine. From how to make your own edible bogie's; Yes; Really. To a guide to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; (it's not limiting itself this one); the magazine takes a fresh look at information we want our children to learn and presents it in a fun, clever, humorous and yes, quite frankly often disgusting, way. 
It's designed to link to the primary curriculum. Want to know if you'd survive as a Roman gladiator? Find out in the Ancient Romans edition. Want to learn where and when the first false teeth are made? Check out the Human Body edition.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Is spelling a lost art?

Autocorrect visual
Is spelling a lost art?

Why can't she spell?

Have you ever been shocked by a friend or colleague that you discovered couldn't spell basic English words?  I've been completely shocked by friends and colleagues who can't spell. They are intelligent, capable adults, but when they need to write things down on paper it becomes clear they can't spell words that my 9 year old has already learnt in Year 5.

The words I've seen adults ask for help with include; 'communicate', 'relationship', and 'development'.

I must admit to being shocked. I have always assumed, possibly naively, that everyone that's gone through the school system and is working in a pretty good job can read and write, and when I say write, I also mean spell.

Remember in school when there was a weekly spelling test alongside the weekly times-table test? My daughters now come home with pretty much the same homework as I did 35 years ago... Spellings and Tables.

The theory is presumably that if you know your tables off by heart, other mental arithmetic is invariably easier and you'll find passing tests, counting change (when using cash on those rare occasions these days) and working out how much you'll pay back in interest if you borrow money for a car, an awful lot more manageable. And let's be honest; when someone calculates something in their heads quickly we are all impressed.

They are that little bit sexier as a result. Or is that just me?

Sunday, 21 February 2016

The Marriage Proposal Formula

The marriage proposal formula
Francesca Beauman
I was leafing through a book called "The Woman's Book: everything but the kitchen sink" by Francesca Beauman. It's been in my library for ages, and I occasionally flick through it.

It's one of these books that is, essentially, filled with completely random facts.
The random fact I came across was "The Marriage Formula".

Apparently, and I quote; "a simple mathematical formula exists to help one ascertain whether or not to accept a proposal of marriage."

Friday, 19 February 2016

Time flies and the children grow so!


How did they grow up so fast?!

Are you feeling like this at the moment?  Like it's only a few precious moments ago that you had all these plans and ideas about how their childhood would be, and suddenly they are asking for their own phone and applying to secondary school and couldn't give a toss about the cookie baking idea you had.

What happened?

Yesterday my daughter was listening to my iPod on random shuffle and came across a song she called "Sister Add It".  It turns out it was Five Star's classic "System Addict".  When I mentioned it to my husband and had the nerve to say I'm showing her some great retro tunes he replied, "Five Star isn't retro; it's ancient!"

Oh good grief!

It's less that the children have grown up.  It's more that I seem to have missed the passing of the years and am suddenly a decade older.

I turned 41 this year.  I feel 21 still.  I'm definitely aiming to increase my flexibility this year in dance class and get down into those 'splits'.  So I'll be lying to my body from now on.  I'll be insisting that it responds exactly as it did at 21, whether it likes it or not.

I'm sure my knees will be delighted with the news!

What lies do you tell yourself in an effort to feel younger?

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