Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Goodbye, Mrs Chips

Sorry 'bout that, but I just couldn't resist. You must have seen this furore in the press about two mothers picking their way through dense shrubbery to pass orders for junk food through a chainlink fence (presumeably chip by chip) so their poor deprived children can keep up their saturated fat levels during the school day. WTF?

Well, they've just agreed to suspend deliveries, pending discussions with the head teacher, who has had the temerity to introduce healthier options into the school meal menus. You can read about it (and weep) here.

I just couldn't believe this when I first heard it - it totally sounds like a plotline from a Viz cartoon. No prizes for guessing which one ...

Actually, maybe I'll just pop down to Daylesford and pick up some fresh organic walnut bread and tapenade and push it through the fence at my kids' school. It would be as much of a cliche. You know, it would almost be worth it, just to embarrass them!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

142 million pages - and counting

I just Googled the term 'parenting' and there were 142,000,000 pages available. offers 43,112 books on the subject. There are magazines, television programmes, courses, support groups, DVDs and more. In theory, we're the best informed parents in history.

But at the same time, we're probably the most inexperienced - and the most insecure. Often, the first baby we ever hold is our own and with ever increasing geographical mobility, we're not near enough to our families to turn to them for help.

Of course, there's no shortage of people telling us we're doing it all wrong - from the tutting pensioner in the supermarket queue to the headline in the newspaper. We're sitting ducks for whoever shouts their advice the loudest.

Don't you ever feel as if you just want to go and live on a desert island somewhere - with NO internet access, NO television and NO bookshops?

Friday, September 08, 2006

I blame Gwyneth

The more sensitive among you may want to skip this one.

Now, thank goodness, I did my birthgiving before all-off waxing had become the dinner-party conversation topic that it is today, so I didn't think any further north than my legs. But it's a hot topic these days.

There's the funniest thread going on over at Mumsnet (a site I love with a fiery passion) on the subject of 'lady garden etiquette' and whether childbirth necessitates initimate topiary. You've just got to read it: go to mumsnet

What IS going on? As if there wasn't enough to think about in the delivery room, why are we now too embarrassed to let it all hang out?

But then I got to thinking that this could be a great sideline for the NHS. Once the epidural is set up, or while you're chugging on Entonox, someone could do your waxing there and then. It's got to be better than a quick go over with a Bic disposable, and that awful 'hedgehog in the pants' sensation that I endured for weeks afterwards.

So where did this new mad obsession come from? I reckon we have to lay the blame squarely at the - er - feet of Gwyneth Paltrow and her 'life changing' Brazilian. And yet - maybe there's something to it. Before she had it all off, she couldn't aspire any higher than Ben Affleck or Brad Pitt. Afterwards ....

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The animals went in 2x2 - so why do schoolkids go in 4x4s?

Of course, a 4x4 is essential for taking the kids to school - if the school is on top of a mountain!

How deliciously ironic to see a sodding great, brand-spanking new, more-brass-than-class 4x4, with bull-bars on the front, containing the grand total of one yummy-mummy and one small child - with 'Child on board' sticker AND a sticker supporting The Woodland Trust! How many acres of forest do you reckon it would take to carbon neutralise that hunk of metal?

Of course, it would have been much more amusing if the YM in question hadn't parked at a jaunty angle on the double yellows, then performed a speedy 11-point turn, scattering buggies, toddlers and their grown-ups as she went.

And did I say anything? Did I call her on it? Nah - course not. Just went on my way, silently gnashing my teeth.

Envious? Moi?