Saturday, May 17, 2014

Nothing like the real thing!

Its such a privilege to witness Katherine's progress as she discovers the joys of being human and explores the world around her. I love her curiosity when she sees something different and her determination to see, touch and taste anything that looks interesting - like all children do!
Toy manufacturers go to great lengths to manufacture real looking replicas of everyday objects - soft animal toys,  tea sets, phones, trucks, steering wheels, car keys and even laptops. When I was young I played with these things and loved my dolls, dolls house, miniature shop with till and also little domestic appliances. I would spend hours entertaining myself indoors - come to think of it I spend hours entertaining myself with the larger versions as an adult!  These days even babies cannot be fooled. they know the real thing when they see it. My grandson loved to sit on Dads knee and 'drive' the car so I bought him a fairly pricey replica that made realistic sounds of an engine when he turned the key, indicators and a horn. He looked at it suspiciously and tired of it in no time. His uncle then gave him the 'real' thing which weighed as much as he did but none the less got dragged just about everywhere with him.  My granddaughter loved her soft toys but nothing beat tucking a cat or a willing puppy into her own pushchair and taking it for a walk with one her Nanny's old handbags slung over her arm!

This morning I enjoyed watching this video of Katherine playing with the cat's bowls that make brilliant cymbals when banged together and seem to taste pretty good too! Last week she was surrounded by some small, very sophisticated replicas of everything that a grown up uses - brightly coloured and mostly made in China - but she chose to play with the Tupperware bowls, a particularly entertaining foot pump that made a very good necklace and the cats scratching post with is wonderful to hang on to and rock.
Which makes you wonder why we go out and buy our kids everything under the sun when they just need a set of cupboard doors, car keys, pan lids and any form of anything with wheels on that can be turned upside down.
Save yourself some money folks and with 90% of toys being made in China - say no to toxic plastic and let your child's imagination develop organically!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mum's the Word!

As I get older I value more and more the things that my mum taught me and as I type this I am smiling to myself. Physically we were not a bit alike. She was short - petite - less than 5 ft tall! She wore size 4 shoes and she was quiet, reserved and quite timid! We do have the same colour eyes but my hair colour is fairer and she used Wood Nymph Blond to restore hers to its former glory. We do however share a light hearted view of life and a sense of humour. She used to say the funniest of things and I can still hear her saying them today.

*  "She/He doesn't come from Givington" : This expression was used when referring to a stingy person and we knew quite a few and felt sorry for them..
*  "They weren't at the back of the queue when they were handing out noses!" A different way of saying someone had a big conk and was adapted to various body parts as and when necessary.
*  "Just be grateful that you have two of everything down the side and one of everything up the middle." This was how she comforted us girls when we got overwrought about not being pretty enough or were having a bad hair day.
* "Never let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." Not sure on this one but it was said with a knowing look and a nodding of the head to indicate that it was wise. I think it was a  complicated way of reminding me not to blab my secrets - and our families - out to the world!
* "Every pan has a lid." Usually served with tea, toast and tissues when there was boy trouble and often followed by "There are plenty more fish in the sea." and the offer of a biscuit!
* "You are a long time looking at the lid." If ever in doubt as to whether to buy something or enjoy yourself in any way - this advice was another way of saying "Go for it!" The lid referred to a coffin lid!
* "Well - I'll go t 'foot of our stairs." An expression of astonishment and usually followed by "Well I never!" and a pause and then "Life is stranger than fiction!"
*  "J ---- C----- Almighty B---- W--- help me with you shower of Sh---.This was like an air raid siren warning and meant that my three brothers had been up to something and stay clear of her and the house if possible for at least 2 hours.
* "If ever a woman suffered!" This was the equivalent of the all clear siren and meant that she was calming down.
* "Susan, remember that you are a lady." this was usually served in public and in her posh voice. It sometimes preceded "You're behaviour is appalling!" and confused us children into believing that our mum had been abducted by aliens and she had been replaced by Margaret Thatcher.

If she were here now she would probably tell me to."wipe that silly grin off my face as its making you look gormless."I cant help but smile when remembering her funny quirky sayings and ways. I am so grateful that I inherited her resourcefulness, her down to earth approach to life and its trials and tribulations, and more than ever I am so glad that I wasn't at the back of the queue when they were handing out a sense of humour!
Thanks Mum!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ladies - no excuses - Vote because you CAN

I hope that you are voting because if you are an SA Citizen you should care what happens. I vote because I care but my main reason for voting is because females were denied this right for hundreds of years and brave women were ridiculed and persecuted by society in Europe for daring to challenge all male governments and give females a say in the running of the world.

Before 1918 no women were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections in the UK. In the early 20th century there were two main groups active in the campaign for women's suffrage, a term used to describe the right to vote.

These two groups were the 'suffragists' who campaigned using peaceful methods such as lobbying, and the 'suffragettes' who were determined to win the right to vote for women by any means. Their militant campaigning sometimes included unlawful and violent acts which attracted much publicity.
They suffered imprisonment, hunger strikes and force feeding and were shunned by the majority of society male and female. Their motto was 'Deeds not Words' - I wish it was the motto of our South African politicians! Standing in a queue for an hour or so is not such a bad price to pay when I compare it to theirs!
So when I stand in line tomorrow it is as much for these brave women that I stand there - otherwise all that they endured was for nothing. I will be voting as a women for a woman as its not just our country that is in a mess and I believe the earth needs a female, intelligent and nurturing mindset to heal the damage done over the centuries that women were excluded from decision making and governance.
See you there - I shan't be wearing a bonnet LOL!