Collecting wood, bark, branches, dead leaves, brick and moss from Moseley Bog
A short 3-4 day doink over to Alrewas.
We’re all going on a Doinky Doink Doink…
Ah Ah Ah Ah Saimalai, Saimalai Ah Ah Ah Ah Saimalaiiiiiiiiiiii! ( the Beegees were playing)
It a Doinky doink holiday James:)
Mines bigger than yours
The Last Naked Feast
I Love bed…bed loves me, me and bed mmmmm zzzzzzz
First one up, Best one dressed mmmmmmwhhaaaaaaa
You know that I know that you know that I know …….summat
He knows that I know that he knows that I definitely know summat
The truth is RaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
Caffeine, camera, morning – ALL bad!
AND Then we’re ALL ghosts
Barton Marina – Raspberry!
Big massive Banana Split – we’re having one of those!
Yep – James had one of those!
…and Arlo had a KninkerBonker Gory
…and Niah had a chocolate minty summat…
Lollipops and Rosie and Jim on the old Ragdoll, does life get any better than this?
…not much, nope…
…what do you mean ‘small bites’ you ‘aving a giraffe mom?
“ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow” ?
By the Power of Sugar-free candy!!!!
4 and a half ginderbread persons later…
Clockwise from top left:
Arlo – likes yellow
Niah – likes purple
James – had a robot arm
Elli – bit the head off, greedy pig, iced boodoes
Aimee – boodoe eyes and other genetic modifications
Conkers – chasing butterfies
Big slide, many children, only one who won’t obey the no doinking around rule – that’s him right there!
There’s a good reason its called the barefoot walk … on the other hand we were actually trying to find the train track…so ending up following a circular route covered in small children trapsing mud through the woods, with absolutely no option other than to walk stright through it … wasn’t exactly part of the plan. Gonna do it again though – barefoot!
…a bit like a sheep dip don’t you think?
Is it over yet?
…always stay on the other side of the camera.
The Olympic Games are coming to town sang pseudo-happily to the tune of Santa Claus is coming to town.
“You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
The Olympic Games are coming to town
They’re building a stadium
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
The Olympic Games are coming to town
There’s missiles on your rooftops
They say they’ll share the wealth
They know when you’ve been shopping…
…in the pound shops so ‘good health!’
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why
The Olympic Games are coming to town
The Olympic Games are coming to town”
The following is taken from www.parliament.uk
- The London Olympic Games will take place from 27 July to 12 August 2012, with the Paralympics following between 29 August and 9 September.
- The Government Olympic Executive – part of Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – is the lead government department for the London Olympic Games.
- The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has been established to ensure delivery of the physical infrastructure for the Games.
- The ODA has an overall budget of £8.1bn, but currently anticipates the final cost of its Olympic preparation to be under budget at £7.3bn.
- Including the non-ODA elements of the Olympic preparation, for example security, gives a total budget of £9.3bn. (So the security costs more than the Olympic preparation.)
- The budget is to be financed by the National Lottery (£2.2bn), GLA Olympic council tax precept (£0.6bn), other London (£0.3bn) and Central Government (£6.2bn). This adds up to 9.3 bn? (Ok security taken care off, where’s the rest coming from?)
- It was announced in May 2009 that the Olympic village was to be publicly financed and owned and sold off after the Games. (The Olympic Village has been sold to a Qatari-backed consortium for £557m, in a deal that sets out the long-term development of one of the key assets of the Olympic Park in east London. Delancey, the investment group, and Qatari Diar, the property branch of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, purchased 1,439 of the 2,800 homes i n the village, six plots of land that offer the potential to construct 2,000 more homes and 10 hectares of parkland. They will work alongside Triathlon Homes, which in 2009 separately paid £268m for 1,379 units which will become affordable housing after the Olympics.) www.ft.com
- At December 2009 the gross allocation of contingency was £702m, the majority of which is to be invested in the construction of the Olympic Village. (Ok so the Olympic village is actually costing 700m more than they said.)
- The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is staging the 2012 Games and will concentrate on the actual delivery of the event.
- The LOCOG budget, estimated to be £2bn in 2012 prices, covers the operating costs of running the Games. By June 2010 LOCOG had secured nearly three-quarters of the income required for its budget. (From where?)
So, not bothering to go in to the above, which is a bit of a no-brainer of financial confusion, here’s why I think the approach taken by the UK of how to hold the Olympic games is utter bullshit… sorry mom for the bad language, but it really pisses me off:
Preface: I love the Olympic games in principle as a sport and have watched them avidly on many occasions – the first time being when they were held in Seoul, in 1988, in the first weeks of my time at Uni, antisocial hours, we used to pile into random people’s dorm rooms to watch them in the late evening/early morning because not many people had TVs in their dorm rooms at Uni. In the past decade due to a demanding job and later – demanding twins I haven’t had much time for them but did take a special interest in 2004 when they were held in Greece, for historical reasons and because I love Greece with such a passion.
Back to the points:
1. We live, apparently, in a double-dip recession, which is why we all have to ‘pull our belts in’, in other words – accept lower pensions, later retirement ages, higher taxes, whatever it means. We can’t afford frivolity.
2. An Olympic Village is an accommodation centre built for the Olympic Games. It doesn’t need to be custom built and is only for accommodation. Could we not have hired a hotel or… OH My God imagine it! Local Church halls, community centres, Mosques – hired them out and jazzed them up, paid for that leaky roof, faulty heating system, tatty old carpet to be fixed – totally jazzed up many community buildings and used them, and left the legacy to the community? I found out today that the Jamaican team are really slumming it actually, in Birmingham, in the Hyatt, poor sods.
3. The pre-olympic training camps are situated across the UK and are places ‘deemed’ as suitable “In the weeks and months leading up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, athletes from around the world will be acclimatising and preparing for the competition, helped by a grant from LOCOG of up to £25,000 for each Olympic and Paralympic Committee to help with their training camp costs.” Source Back to the Jamaican Olympic Team… oh and they are using some crappy local facilities to train in, facilities that need financial input – like a hole in the head – at Birmingham University “Our top ranked School of Sport and Exercise Sciences offers outstanding programmes in Sport and Exercise Sciences and Sports and Materials Science…one of the top two universities for sport in the U.K.” Birmingham University Alumni Site. Particulary sad because Usain Bolt was educated and trained in Smethwick, a rather poor area of the West Midlands which could really do with a new stadium, or just a lick of paint to be honest
Local community sports centres and schools my not have superb facilities but £25000 might almost certainly help them to get there, and would most definitely give a whole lot of hope and respect into the local community.
4. The UK is quite small. We could afford to ‘spread it around’ a bit better. (aka – Why the hell was it ever held in London anyway?)
Index of Venues outside London:
Lee Valley White Water Centre – Canoe Slalom (pretty close to London)
Eton Dorney – Rowing, Canoe Sprint, Rowing (pretty close to London)
Hampden Park – Football
Millennium Stadium – Football
Hadleigh Farm – Cycling (Mountain Bike) (pretty close to London)
Old Traûord – Football
St James’ Park – Football
Weymouth and Portland – Sailing, Sailing
City of Coventry Stadium – Football
Venues/events within London:
Olympic Park Aquatics (Diving, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo)
Modern Pentathlon (Swimming, Fencing)
North Greenwich Arena
The Royal Artillery Barracks
Gymnastics – Rhythmic
Lord’s Cricket Ground
Lord’s Cricket Ground
Horse Guards Parade
Aquatics (Open Water Swimming)
Horse Guards Parade
… so some events are unconnected, meaning the athletes are participating in that event only. So why could some of these events not have been held solely in other cities, in other words why could not this have been the UK Olympic Games? Why could we not have delivered these games appropriately to the current economic climate, the culture of ‘make do and mend’ the pride of a rich and diverse community in a DOUBLE-DIP RECESSION?
Here are the populations of some of the communities engaged in the OG:
UK – population 62000000
Seoul – population 10000000
Greece – 11000000
And some final quotes”
Pampeloponnisiako Stadium is 200km from Athens, for one example. (Greece)
“During construction there was controversy over environmental destruction as wetlands were remodelled for its construction.” (Greece)
“Olympic Village Housing 2,292 apartments were sold to low-income individuals and today the village is home to over 8,000 residents” …hope that happens here (not holding breath – I repeat ‘The Olympic Village has been sold to a Qatari-backed consortium for £557m, in a deal that sets out the long-term development of one of the key assets of the Olympic Park in east London. Delancey, the investment group, and Qatari Diar, the property branch of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, purchased 1,439 of the 2,800 homes i n the village, six plots of land that offer the potential to construct 2,000 more homes and 10 hectares of parkland. They will work alongside Triathlon Homes, which in 2009 separately paid £268m for 1,379 units which will become affordable housing after the Olympics.’)
I wasn’t looking for dramatic quotes, just honest ones.
So I haven’t written anything in my blog for AGES! I have no proper excuse other than CyberMummy really put me off, that’s when I realised that so many of my fellow mummy bloggers were total sellouts who generally blog about x, y, z mundane products in order to gain financial recompense and sponsorship. I mean if someone will so blatantly endorse a product they may or may not have made a few quid for then how can I read anything they say with an open mind. They have a very specific audience in mind. It’s not me. They all swap spit anyway. I’d love to be paid for writing, but creating a blog full of reviews … is it a blog anymore?
I wanted to write something tonight because I have been thinking about something and if I don’t write it down I talk about it over and over and tire everyone around me with my inane drivel.
About 20 years ago I watched something called ‘Space Traders’, part of a Cosmic Slop series which was trying to bring a racial viewpoint to Sci Fi, or that’s my simple way of seeing it. I love Sci Fi with a passion and am really big on the issues of Racism, prejudice, equality etc.. It’s one of those little bits of TV that has stuck in my head, bothered me, I kept wanting to see it again but couldn’t remember what it was called or anything about it. Last night I sat down to a serious Internet search to find it and I did, sadly on Breitbart.com, a seriously right-wing web site. Firstly I just wanted to watch it, I watched a bit, asked Robin if he would like to watch it too, he’s never heard of it (he was only 17 and out getting high of whatever back then – who knows?) he said yes, so rather than watch it all I decided to read the comments on the site about it while waiting for him.
To cut a long ramble short I was utterly amazed, saddened and a wee bit annoyed that the comments were almost all stating the following kind of attitudes:
- the film is spectaculary racism against whites (and Jews)
- the film is really dumb and stupid and embarrassing and could be written by a small child (my small children do not have views that would led them to write anything even vaguely similar BTW)
- the comments were all about 3 months old
The film is about this:
- Some aliens turn up in America in big ships and offer an end to American financial problems, an endless supply of clean energy etc… in a swap for everyone of black skin (or above the brown paper bag threshold test)
- The Americans overwhelmingly agree
- The black people are all whizzed up to the ships and shot if they try to escape
- Several European countries ask if they can in on the deal
- the following image is not actually a video – don’t click play
Well via some more searching – and oh my am I good at searching, if I can’t find it it probably isn’t there – I discovered this:
- Most people had never heard of the film until 3 months ago
- the recent interest was because Derrick Bell (who wrote the story) hugged Barrack Obama (or may have even spoken to him, irrelevant)
- the web site Breitbart.com is very right-wing (as I said before) and does not reflect the general view, only seemingly that of some very ignorant racists
- Breitbart.com brought this film to the public attention in another attempt, in a long line of failed ones, to dirty Barrack’s name
So is this racist? ‘I would like to think humanity would not agree to this’ (Robin Winter, my husband, in a discussion earlier tonight) but a hundred and fifty years ago America for sure would have. One hundred and fifty years ago when America was in the throes of slavery there is no doubt. Back then black people were not seen as fully human. They were kept as breeders in cages, fattened up, sold on merit of their strength and demeanour – exactly as livestock.
If aliens asked us to exchange all livestock for unnending wealth and health and power ‘we’ would say yes. I wouldn’t – I’m a vegetarian, but I increasingly understand what a minority I am, that the standard view is that animals are for the eating and they are not equal, despite the fact I thought that would have changed by now.
I went to a MacDonalds in Redditch on Sunday – I don’t much care for MacDonalds or Redditch, but shit happens… and the only vegetarian options at 10am (no fries until 11am – healthly eating initiative!) were an egg and cheese MacMuffin and a vegiwrap, no vegan options, and both are rubbish. The boys ate pancakes.
Point being – I have no doubt we would exchange livestock for the aliens’ proposed benefits, and therefore it follows that one hundred and fifty years ago we would have exchanged black people. What about one hundred year ago? fifty? forty? thirty? twenty? twenty and one day? When did our collective conscience change… and has it?
This film was an observation of past fact – slavery and selling of the human soul, and the consideration of whether, and if so, how much we have changed, and it’s twenty years old written my a Harvard professor who was born in 1930 and spent his younger life fighting to desegregate swimming pools and schools. He saw a dark side of America. He posed a question. There is nothing racist about it. And the anti-semitic thing – well it went something alone the lines of a black person saying if were going we should just tuck one of you under each arm (in other words if they sell us, you’ll be next)
What happened to the the black people after the aliens took then? No one knows, because it’s a STORY, but my hypethothesis is that like ‘the Monkey’s Claw’ a link elluded to on one of the comments, something else I saw long ago, it was probably intended as a test to see if the Americans (human race) would sell out their own kind… and all the worse for them if they did, no riches. They failed.
It was just a story, and interesting one combining racial awareness with scifi – awesome. The right-wingers on Breitbart.com really showed themselves for what they truly are. Read the comments.
Links (if you read this and for for some Godforsaken reason want more):
Stand legs apart, arms at your backs
If you dare speak stand and be shamed
Dragged out of the line hanging by an arm
Stood in the corner, outside
Writing lines, copying copying copying
Explain to everyone else
Shamed ashamed a shame
Somebody’s baby, somebody’s child
“Your Score: 41 – According to your score you are rated as SEVERELY DEPRESSED. You should consult a mental heathcare professional for possible treatment. If you are having suicidal ideations please seek treatment immediately.”
…well ok but tomorrow what will my score be? huh?
Depression is not being able to see the wood for the trees. Depression is a storm in a teacup. Something feeling much worse than it is, not being able to fix what’s wrong or even see what’s wrong because it all looks wrong. In the words of twin number 2 “Don’t want it!” “What don’t you want?” You can’t answer because you just don’t want it.
When you are depressed you can enjoy feeling hungry and also justify binging. You suddenly have no direction to choose something worthwhile to do and yet there seems to be an overwhelming amount to be done.
Life seems so long and empty and yet so wasted…and you seem powerless to do anything other than worry about all this and wait for the feeling to pass…if you are lucky and you know it will pass.
What I wonder is… and my doctor couldn’t answer this… ‘if I am depressed and that is me, but I can’t function very well as me when I am depressed… and if I take pills and so I’m not depressed any more and then I can function as me – am I more me or less me than when I’m depressed?’ Bless him he didn’t laugh at me he actually thought about it.
I have been tooing (how do you spell that?) and froing about writing this post but inevitably I will do what is true to my heart. I started it yesterday but only found the strength to complete it today. I booked CyberMummy before the new year, I didn’t even think about getting a sponsor, I just wanted to attend and get some direction with my blogging, find out what works and doesn’t and what direction I want to take it in. I blog for myself, my family and friends, and of course I love it when others read it and comment upon it either on the blog or more often on Facebook or via email. I’m not one of the mommy blogger ‘in crowd’ and neither do I want to be. I’ve been involved in many online communities and virtual worlds for years and this is just one area of interest, one that, since having my twins 2 years ago has become more and more important to me. I knew there was some cliquing going on but I never realised how much until CyberMummy. While I enjoyed the conference, and all but one of the workshops, one at the end of the day which left me speechless, and I jokingly tweeted endlessly about being a billy-no-mates (which led me to meet some more awesome billy-no-mates) it wasn’t what I expected and possibly not what I wanted.
Sponsorship is a great idea, as is reviewing and branding oneself, I am branded too, way beyond the realms of mommy blogging, but it seemed to me that there was little at Cybermummy for anyone who wasn’t that way inclined. Between workshops the Cybermummy Central room was all about branding and sponsors, it was too much. I loved all the freebies, I struggled home with them, my prizes for my children, but I didn’t expect them or need them, I won’t be writing any reviews about anything in those bags in the near future ( I have written reviews, unpaid ones for products I have used and commented upon, featured not on my blog but on their own web sites). There seemed to be more sponsored than non-sponsored bloggers about on Saturday.
The Sophie King thing…
I was at the workshop. I loved it and it inspired me. Others have the right to feel otherwise from their perspective but I was horrified at the attitude of some people in that workshop. Some people who I had never heard of before the event but now most certainly have, seemed quite affronted that Ms King had not heard of them. They seemed to expect her to know who they were and pay due respect. They didn’t want her advice or suggestions, they seemed to have it all ‘sorted’ – why, I wonder, were they there? They tweeted unkind and unprofessional comments while she was speaking. Some walked out although not as many as has been written. How can someone not have the courtesy to sit through a one hour seminar? I have sat through much longer, much more useless, and more offensive than that ever could have been as an educator of 19 years. The posts and comments, the tweeting and retweeting and retweeting and …. blah blah blah endlessly, not only got on my tits but left a thoroughly bad taste in my mouth. It brought to the front of my mind other negative aspects that I had perhaps been willing to overlook. Sophie King made some very valid points, I know my blogging is too diverse, and I know I cannot leave out certain aspects, so dividing my blog up is a super idea, one which I have already done to some extent – I have a foodie blog and a baby-led weaning blog, as well as a business blog. I also hadn’t thought as deeply about the naming of my blog as I should of. Some people there seemed to think she was ‘knocking’ their branding, well to be honest I think some of the branding mentioned was pretty shite, I can understand it has taken them time and they have built up quite a mommy blogger following, but if they want to break out beyond this small elitist world maybe they should think about it too.
I contacted Sophie King as soon as I returned and saw the horrendous hourly tweets of malicious blog posts that had been written – yes I (my God did I admit to that?), I told her what was going on because she needed to be able to defend herself, people were riding on her back, rising up the Google searches by slating her, sometimes personally, laughing at their growing ‘fame’.
Cliques and more…
‘Mommy blogging rockstars, ‘mommy blogging elite’ I’ve heard it all said and more in the last 3 days. It was a major networking and ladder-climbing event for some. These people are somewhat big fish in a very very small pond. My poor little friendless tweets were picked up by a few in equally good humour but largely ignored. Seriously I could have easily have spoken to no one from the moment I entered. There was a definite hierarchy, one I am not a part of because I don’t recognise its validity. There was one long standing twitter ‘friend’ that was there who I decided not to talk to because I saw the way that others were flitting around this person, like bees to a honeypot. It was tragic.
I met some awesome people throughout the day, not many because I kept myself to myself, but those I did meet were superb people – you know who you are.
Well I wondered, do I separate myself from this weird Fetid Inner Core? Do I focus on those who actually matter to me? Do I throw Cybermummy to the wind and those cliques and elitists? Well I’m undecided…if I don’t and I attend next year I will possibly be shunned (well that will make a difference – not!) … or do I have faith that there are others that feel the same and think… the mommy blogging experience is a force to be reckoned with and rightly so, but it’s one that belongs to us all. I must shut up or put up. I guess time will tell, in the mean time I’ll be checking out potential sponsors.
The photography workshop was great, I enjoyed the crowd-sourced keynote. I came home buzzing with it all, but it died away all due to the negative posts and tweets flying around, even if most were not so. I wish I didn’t feel this way.
I was about to complete this post today when I found someone else had beat me to it so feel it only right to mention it here as I read it before I finished. You go girl.
… that’s what I felt like today. I had to get a Taxi from Kings Cross to Victoria because I couldn’t actually carry the spoils of yesterday, then a taxi from the coach station home, and when I saw my two little onions I didn’t have the heart to hold back those treasures, especially as little orange head had called me on the phone (with daddee’s help) earlier in the day to tell me I was supposed to come home now, especially as same 2 year old had spent the previous night sleeping on the sofa with daddee because he missed mommy ‘too much’, especially as same little boy had held onto my jeans on Friday afternoon and said ‘you’re not allowed’ as he saw me packing to leave, and had blocked my exit with an empty laundry basket; especially as his twin brother little onion head had run to me and lay on my tummy clinging on like a limpet on my return today.
My husband opened the door and said ‘my God why did you buy all this stuff?’ Then on hearing it was all ‘free’ he had asked if I had spent the entire day sneakily yoinking everything I could get my hands on – little did he know – I had 3 dettol bags forced on me! …and as I went to leave after the party exclaimed “oh shit” as the pink cybermummy bag was thrust upon me. Little did he know how I had heaved and sweated my spoils back to the hostel (oh there’s a story to be told – watch this space), past some dodgy looking youths and actually slowed down and considered offering to pay them to carry my stash. Little does he know now (while he snoozes on the sofa after telling me – seriously telling me – that its very tiring looking after 2 year old twins) that my shoulders are still in pain from carrying my precious load – most of which I didn’t even bother exploring after the second or third bag of goodies I acquired. I started off asking for two of everything for the twins and I ended up running away from anyone with a collection of forever bags, or weakly giving in as they pushed them into my overcrowded hands.
So what did I get that was so precious – awesome I tell ya!
- HP hippo *2
- Disney pooh bear
- Portland lunch box *2
- Portland water bottle *2
- Dodo wall pad
- kidsonestopshop red frisbee *2
- leap frog magnetic farm thingy
- E45 junior bath milk *3 (gave one to mom)
- baby wipes * 3
- dettol wipes *3
- baby wash
- baby shampoo
- herbal essences shampoo
- Hyundai wrist snapper *2
- Butlins beach ball
- Toy Story pop up frisbee – I think!
- Nurofen medicine bags *3 (gave one to mom)
- Nurofen medicine syringes *3 (gave one to the cats)
- Touch of Silver something or other with added violet stuff (gave to my dad)
- packet of Garofalo spaghetti
- small packet of Garofalo pasta for children (?)
- stretch mark cream
- dodo blank book (very well used)
- 7 forever bags (gave 3 to mom)
- Tangled stickers
- crocs keyring
- ebuzzing mug (very useful I broke a mug within a hour of getting home)
- picture box notebook
- an array of colouring in and activity sheets and books
- things to blog about notebook
- various awesome discount vouchers
- disney ice cube tray
- mam baby bottle (have a friend giving birth soon – handy!)
- mini lego drawing set *2
- funky baggage labels *2 (exactly what I need for the newly acquired fire engine trunkies – to tell them apart, the boys argue over whose is whose because they don’t know. no idea.)
- picturebox mints in a tin (gotta love anything in a tin)
- kidsonestopshop pen
- picturebox pen
- penny scallan hairbands
- bag of stickers
- kidsonestopshop badge
- disney form – not handed in
- passport with two signatures
- High School musical CD
- Disney book and audio book
- many many other leaflets and brochures which I haven’t quite disected yet
- The most brilliant crowdsourced keynote book – my husband (the toilet photo man) was laughing his ass of about the vibrator story – mainly cause I have a funny one to tell myself – maybe another day
- a coaster (gave that to my dad)
I probably missed something. The boys liked the syringes best and injected everyone promptly.
Thanks to Cybermummy and all the sponsors my home that didn’t look like the expected Beirut after a weekend of daddee and two year old twins, but very clean and tidy thank you very much, was an utter pigsty within 30 seconds of my arriving and those same two year olds emptying the whole lot onto the rug.
The twins have gone off to nana and grandpa’s for the next 2 days and the room is still a disaster and im sitting in the middle of it on the floor surrounded by the addition of dirty laundry and electronic detritus, trying to find various charging cables and camera cables.
I’ve lost a shoe and my hair straighteners are forever entwined with my laptop cable – which is fine cause I usually use both at the same time.
See y’all next year – I’ll be the one with the empty suitcase in tow.