My son has many fantastic qualities.

Qualities which any parent would be proud of. He likes to wear a sharp suit, he has a wide and varied taste in music and film and he loves to cook. He loved dance and drama when he was younger and for quite some time aspired to be an actor. 

Ever since he was little he has been a sensitive sort. Never interested in the rough and tumble of playing with other boys and always more into the arts than sports. We always knew he was a little different. 

He wasn’t particularly clingy by any means but he was always up for a cuddle, never afraid to show his emotions or talk to me about anything really. Or so I thought. 

I have always tried to instill acceptance of others in my children

I have always taught them that people are different but difference among our community is an opportunity for education. The world is rich and varied and it is all there for them to learn about and enrich their lives hopefully as a result. I once thought that I could accept anything my children wanted to be or do. 

All I wanted for them is for them to be happy and to be loved. To be content in the life they choose to lead and know that they are avoiding regrets where possible. Not much to ask? 

Our little talk started innocently enough

I had just come home from the shops and Col was doing some washing up. We chatted about his College interview next week. He wants to see the world so he has applied to study travel & tourism with a view to becoming cabin crew. I am incredibly excited for this path he has chosen and I can’t wait to see how it all pans out. 

Then I asked him something I had been wondering for a while. I asked him had he been old enough, who he would choose to vote for in the General Election next week. 

He looked me in the eye and in 1 sentence he said something I could never have expected. “I wouldn’t vote at all” 

I didn’t take it well

He went on to say that he felt like his vote wouldn’t make a difference so what was the point? I told him that the point was that each vote makes all of the difference – if everyone decided the same then what would happen? 

He said that he thought that governments are corrupt so it doesn’t matter who is in power. He just doesn’t see the point. I tried to reason that if people of his generation didn’t use their vote then there would be no reason for political parties to incentivise them or even consider them when deciding key policies. I pointed out that when we voted for Brexit (which, by the way I did not. Staunch Bremainer here) a high proportion of the youth vote was to remain but over 60% of youths didn’t vote at all. If they had then the result may well have been completely different.

I have always used my vote

Maybe that is why his apathy riled me so much. I have always felt very strongly that the quickest way to lose our democratic right is to not exercise our right to vote. I thought I had always made my feelings on the matter known. But I guess it’s not really my choice. I guess that’s the point.

The funny thing is that I could accept basically any other life choice (aside from maybe declaring himself a nazi but that’s unlikely) but I just don’t see how not voting can be a viable option. These were my reasons for him (when the time comes) to haul his butt into a polling station

People made sacrifices for him to have the right to vote

Suffrage was not just a feminist issue. In fact before the 1870’s the electorate was made up of just 30% of men. Elections were irregular and there was no secret ballot meaning that even if you were eligible by way of property qualification you could still be out of a job or a home if your boss didn’t like how you cast your vote!

Men had to fight and it wasn’t in demonstrations or debating halls. It was the case that during the first world war, men aged 18-41 were subject to conscription to die in their millions for a war that they had absolutely no say in.

There were men who stood against the establishment and through their sacrifices (whether that be their exile or death in squalid prisons) electoral reform was made possible. In 1928 a bill was passed which not only gave the vote to women aged 30 and over but also to all men aged 21 and over whether they owned property or not – this was only lowered to 18 years for all in 1969.

You cannot afford apathy

Did you know that under our current government there is no entry to the “national living wage” until you are 25? It is also the case that only 40% of those aged under 25 come out to vote. Coincidence? I highly doubt it.

If you want issues which directly affect you to be addressed by our government then you cannot afford apathy. Think that not casting your vote is an act of protest? think again. If politicians know that those aged 18-24 will sit out an election they will continue to centre their policies around the people who will vote. Mainly those of retirement age. Sure, we will all get there eventually but why would you want to be largely ignorable until then?

Its not just about policies

The word Democracy is made up of 2 Greek words; Demos meaning people and Kratos meaning power. It literally means power belongs to the people. If people do not participate in democracy then how much democracy will be left to participate in?

I told my son I don’t care how he votes. It is HIS vote to do with what he will; just vote. If you don’t know who to vote for then vote with your heart. Vote for the party you believe will implement a change. Yes of course our various medias have their agenda but if you feel like that then read something other than your facebook feed and make your decision. Don’t leave it up to those who would revel in your losses to line their pockets. Be engaged.

In V for Vendetta, Alan Moore wrote; “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

I believe he was right. The only way to get the government we deserve is to make our voices heard – no matter the age group.

The best we can do as parents is to lead by example. So please, use your vote. Talk with your children about why you are voting. Open a dialogue about what they would vote for, how they would like changes to be made. Perhaps if we engage our children before they are 18 we can change the statistics and push them to the forefront of our governments policies. Worth a try, right?

love 

Mummy & Moose 

x

 

My name is Tasha and I am obsessed with holidays.

I daydream about being in the sun and enjoying family time with the little ones almost daily. It is really not an awful problem to be afflicted with at all and occasionally I get the green light to run wild with my holiday planning obsession leading to some pretty top notch booking decisions – even if I do say so myself!

Venice is not a family sun destination?

Think again! Pra’ Delle Torri in the beautiful seaside town of Caorle which is less than 30 miles from Venice has got it right for families – and it’s not just me who thinks so. Pra’ Delle Torri was awarded Trip Advisor Travellers Choice award for 2017. It’s no great surprise then that it also ranks as the best hotel to stay at in Caorle and receives rave reviews across social media.

I don’t know about your little darlings but my lot absolutely love being able to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. Pra’ Delle Torri is perfect for this as there is a wealth of green spaces so everyone can relax in the Sun.

Accommodation

Within Pra’ Delle Torri you will find a great choice of types of accommodation to suit all kinds of budgets.

campsite

Apartment Bedroom

                                                                  

The Pool

BuzzooleIf you have ever wondered what a 34000 metres area of pool would look like, this is the place to find out. It is massive. There is a lovely pirate themed pool for the little ones too as well as slides and 2 olympic pools for the more serious swimmer.

laguna pool

Just a stones throw from the pool is a long stretch of private golden sandy beach. Perfect for all of the family.

Pra’ Delle Torri has an activity park geared for teens with ramps for skating and BMX, a parkour area, and football field

Moose and Bess would absolutely love Fantasy World fun park which comes complete with inflatable rides, an amusement park with mini-cart track and loads of other attractions

fantasy world

Grown ups can enjoy the 18-hole, par 72 golf course as well as fitness classes, sports and bike hire

There is Free WiFi throughout the resort, onsite medical services, launderettes and convenience shopping so you can pick up the essentials (for us this is usually crisps)

Pra’ Delle Torri boasts 5 restaurants so variety is in abundance here. The animation team keeps guests of all ages entertained throughout the day and into the evening with activities, games and theatre shows as well as the kids club for the smaller guests and the mini disco!

Caorle

Pra’ Delle Torri is located in Caorle which is a colourful coastal town just 27 miles from Venice. Here you can explore the local area and check out the Cathedral of St. Stephen which still houses the skull of St Stephen!

 

Offers:

Every 5 nights, 1 night FREE! For all guests staying in Hotel, Aparthotel, Village and Camping. From 12.04 to 31.05.2017 and from 08.09 to 24.09.2017. All special offers are non-cumulative.

#sponsored #pradelletorri post

Collaborative post with Pra’ Delle Torri Holiday Centre

I went to bed last night and as per usual spent far too long looking through social media on my phone.

Opening Twitter I saw Manchester was trending. I clicked through to see what was happening and there were a few Tweets describing a bang at the Manchester Arena. Many Tweets claimed that what had been heard was nothing more than a couple of balloons and that the response was being widely exaggerated. I hoped that last part was true. 

I awoke after a restless night to the awful news that last night had not been a balloon but a bomb. A suicide bomber had detonated a bomb at the exit of the concert. He had intermingled with his victims and spent time choosing the place at which he could stand and murder the most people possible. 22 people. 22 innocent people who just wanted to spend the evening enjoying music. This murderer also injured many others – 59 at the last count. The reason he did this holds no meaning for me. It is irrelevant. 

The thought of how scared those poor children and teenagers (as well as their parents) must have been has played on my mind all day. 

I have heard several people on the news say that we should carry on regardless. Get back to normality they advised. I can’t. Not today. 

Perhaps once I could have watched the news reports and although I would have felt sorry for the victims and their families I could have gone on with my day as normal. Since becoming a Mother though that has been getting harder and harder to do. I am unsure whether that is because I am a parent or because of the frequency of these attacks. 

I have an 11 year old who adores Ariana. She watches all of the shows she is on, on tv and listens to a lot of her music. She wanted to attend the concert last night. Maybe that is why I feel affected. Any of those children could easily have been my child or your child. 

Don’t let hate win, they say. But what about fear? How can we stop fear winning?

I want my children to be able to experience the joy and beauty of this world. Seeing the news was upsetting for my daughter this evening; we did of course talk about what had happened but nothing really prepares you for seeing it on a screen I guess.

She turned to me and said, “I won’t be allowed to go to a concert like that for a while then. Who knows when it will happen again”. My instinct is to wrap my children up away from the world and keep them safe by my side. But I know that would not be any kind of life for them. 

Instead I forced myself to say “No, concerts are amazing. You will go to plenty I’m sure”. I explained that although there are bad and dark things in the world, they are outnumbered by the good. If she (and my boys) hide indoors away from the dark, then they will miss out on the light too. 

People were hurt. It was awful. Amid the carnage and chaos though were the lights. The taxi drivers who switched off their meters to assist in getting people to safety. A man called Jay whose evening with his daughters ended with him cradling a little girl who was alone and injured in his arms. The homeless man called Steve who upon hearing the blast ran into the arena to help. A woman called Paula who led 50 children to the safety of a hotel room until they could be assisted. 

They are just a few of the many lights last night. Too many to mention. But I will read their names and try to remember as many as possible because they (along with the victims) are the names which matter. The people of Manchester should be proud of themselves.

Our children need to see the lights in all of this darkness in the world. I would love to be able to protect them from all of the pain and the hurt but it would be naive to expect to be able to. Instead we should try to teach them to be strong enough to fight when they need to. Mentally and emotionally as well as physically because that strength will be their shield and their weapon. 

So please. Don’t ask me to act normal.

Don’t ask me to go on with my usual life and draw a line under this. I can’t. But what I intend to do is to keep showing my children those reports of strangers helping strangers in the hope that they can see that on the whole people are good and they are strong and these acts of terror are not and never should be normal.

Love 

Mummy & Moose

 

Gousto is a subscription recipe box service with home delivery

Easy, tasty ingredients to make nutritious meals straight to your door. No brainer. So when they contacted me to ask if I would like to try a recipe box for myself and the family I didn’t need much persuading. 

Gousto offers 6 different subscriptions.

  • 2 recipes for 2 people – £27.49 per week
  • 2 recipes for 4 people – £41.99 per week
  • 3 recipes for 2 people – £34.99 per week
  • 3 recipes for 4 people – £51.99 per week
  • 4 recipes for 2 people – £41.99 per week
  • 4 recipes for 4 people – £59.99 per week

The great thing about the subscription is that although the default is set to a weekly delivery you can cancel, skip or pause deliveries at any time. 

Once you have chosen your delivery schedule you can pick from large number of meals. The menu changes weekly and contains a huge range of meat, fish or vegetarian based meals to suit most palettes. 

gousto box

I love cooking. That’s why I sat this one out

Mr G and I decided that given the option we would rather try 2 meals for 2 people than 1 meal for 4 people. I do all of the cooking in our house and have done for most of the 15 years we have cohabited. 

There was 1 occasion where Mr G removed a frozen chicken pie from its metallic case and attempted to grill it but the less said about that the better. Probably. 

With this in mind we agreed that to really see if Gousto recipes are easy, Mr G should be the one to have a go at cooking them. What was the worst that could happen?

I was impressed with how the Gousto box arrived. The packaging was extraordinary –  the chicken for example was packed with ice and wrapped with plastic covered sheeps wool. 

Gousto Lemon & Pepper Chicken With Rosemary Potatoes 

This was the first meal I chose. I have to be honest and say that my expectations were not high. I had been concerned that the portion sizes might not be very generous but as you can see from the photos I had nothing to worry about! 

chicken dinner

Curried Chicken & Sultana Rice 

This one was something MrG would never have chosen to cook in a million years. Completely out of his comfort zone (lets face it, that zone pretty much resides in the cereal cupboard) but he did seriously well. Once again, the portion sizes were spot on and the meal was absolutely delicious although Mr G did comment that the method could have been made a bit clearer to follow. 

chicken and rice

Would We Choose Gousto Again?

Without a doubt. Ok so perhaps for us it wouldn’t be a viable option for everyday meal planning but as a replacement for a takeaway when we want a special meal I could imagine this being something we would look at. At roughly £7.50 per portion it is something we could have fun cooking together and would be cheaper than eating out. 

Besides, now I know Mr G has these hidden culinary capabilities I would be a fool not to! 

Love 

Mummy & Moose.

 

Disclosure: We were invited to try these meals in return for writing a review. As always, all opinions are our own.

Mummy in a Tutu

girl feeding ducks

Dear Bess

This morning was a normal morning. I had to shout you to get up, persuade you to rise from your warm bed and stumble into the bathroom to brush your teeth and wash your face ignoring your protests that you needed just 5 more minutes snooze. The same routine we have carried out nearly every day for the 4139 days you have been here. I saw you though. A slightly tense expression and the nervous hair twiddling. Today was different for you.

4140 days ago the world was a little less bright and a lot less fun.

You more than anyone else have made me think about how I see life. About more than myself. How women and girls are treated in our society and whether I can adapt my behaviours and my thoughts to try to make life easier for you and girls like you.

To teach you to live freely holds the same importance to me as teaching you to read and write. I hope you can be a little selfish in your choices for your future. I know that you will find it tough to not put others before yourself always because you are just that sort of a person. A good person.

You should know that even at age 11 you are already one of the smartest people I know. I am pretty sure that you have barely been without a book since you were a toddler and your thirst for learning seems to be unquenchable. This, coupled with your kindness is my most favourite trait of yours.

You see, dear daughter, this week you have no need for nerves. I tell you the same thing which my Mum told me and her Father told her;

worry quote

Ok so it’s perhaps not worthy of inclusion in the top quotes of all time but that doesn’t make it any less true. I hope you remember these words.

The fact is that I know you will be amazing this week.

Not because of what you know but because of who you are. You are so strong, so able and so determined to succeed. I have seen how hard you push yourself and you deserve every single accolade. You have earned them.

I asked you this morning how you felt about this week. Your answer was perfect; “Mum, they’re just tests” you said with a shrug. “I’m just happy school are doing free breakfasts”. You went on to admit that though you had woken up a little bit anxious, you felt like you had listened in class so you were confident you would do Ok.

I know that you are in the best possible hands this week. The adults with whom you spend the bulk of your day will be there to remind you to keep smiling and that these tests do not define you. I am so grateful that your teachers and headmistress ensure that they help to empower you and your friends with a strong sense of self worth.  They tell you to:

Mission statement

 We all want you to do the best you can do but remember always that no matter what your scores in their tests are, you are enough. You are loved.

SAT’s cannot see how much you enjoy reading or writing stories.

Tests don’t catch how kind your heart is and you demonstrate that – often.

They don’t hear you question the fairness of the world around you and not just question it but actually talk about what can be done to change things for the better.

An SAT will recognise how well you do in Maths and English but it won’t know your ability to make music or be an amazing friend to those who need you.

You are growing into an able, beautiful young woman and no matter your SAT’s results I know that you make the world better just by continuing to be yourself. I hope you know that too.

Now go and smash it!

Love 

Mummy & Moose

x