Monday, 22 November 2010

We hate the clocks changing twice a year

Mum says:

"Another Monday morning, which is the day of the week that's always a particular struggle to get the kids up and dressed and out of the door in time to school. But it doesn't help with the kids still reeling from their natural body clock rhythms being put out of sorts by the clock change a few weeks ago.

Several weeks on from the clock going back one hour, and we're still not all fully adjusted in our household.

As for me, by far the worst adjuster in our family, it seems my body rhythms only just get properly used to the hour change when it's time for them to get them all messed up again when the clocks change in six months time.

Natural body rhythms are given for a purpose, and in my view, it's foolish to mess with them, whatever the excuse given or the history behind it.

I detest the clocks being changed with a passion. And I'm not even counting in the darker evenings, another hateful by-product of this unnecessary 'evil', which makes the winter draw in even more quickly and feel even more dismal for us all.

The hour change is horrible. And it's so unneeded in this day and age. The sooner the government move to abolish the clock change, the better. I reckon it would be one of the most popular things the government has done for a very long time."

Saturday, 20 November 2010

We Love The Garfield Show (and Italian food)

Mum says:

"Shaun came back from school the other day, full of a song he's been learning there. Me and his Dad had to laugh though when we heard Shaun's classic rendition of "Sing Hosanna", the lyrics of which Shaun had ever so slightly misheard:

 "... Sing lasagne, sing lasagne, sing lasagne to the King of Kings!"  

Oh dear!

Shaun really loves watching The Garfield Show on Boomerang - perhaps this demonstrates he may watch the show just a little bit too much!"

Shaun (age 7) says:

"I love Garfield because he likes the same food as I do: pizza and pasta and ribs and things."

Joe (age 5) says:

"I like Garfield because he's a talking cat, that's really cool, and I like it when he goes up and meets the aliens."

Dad says:

"Shaun loves Garfield so much, we even bought him a special cake mould shaped like Garfield. Together, me and the boys then used it to make a huge chocolate cake that looked just like this cool cat with attitude. The cake went down extremely well, but unfortunately the mould was so flimsy you could only really use it one time only, which made it very expensive for what it actually was."

Thursday, 18 November 2010

We love competitions, free prize draws and giveaways!

Mum says:

"We love competitions. And because of that we have some lovely prizes lined up to giveaway on here once we get this newly formed blog of ours more established. So if you love prizes too (who doesn't?) and want to speed up the process of us opening the competitions, help spread the word about us. Join us through Google Connect, Networked Blogs, Twitter or all 3 and the more the merrier! More prizes that is! Yippee!!!!!!!"

Dad says:

"The only time time I'm a winner is when I'm on ebay."

Mum groans:

"Anyone else married to an ebay addict?!"

Shaun and Joe shout together in unison:

"Get off ebay, Dad!"

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

We love sugar and Sugarland

Mum says:

"My youngest, Joe, has a particular affection for sweet things, and his passion inspired him to write a song all about his next most favourite thing in the world to hugs, sugar.

Joe had already waxed lyrical about his own special imaginary place, Sugarland, before, so it seemed a natural progression for him to want to turn his vision into a proper song. He only had a little bit of guidance from me in creating this.

His Dad and I have since told Joe that there's a real life place called Sugarland in Texas, and of course now Joe wants to go there, even though we've warned him it's not at all like his song ... (or is it? I'd better check out Google Street-view! Sugarland residents you're very welcome to tell us all about your neighbourhood if you have a moment!)"

Joe (age 5) says:

"This is my song by me, and it's all about sugar!"
The Sugar Song by Joe (age 5)

I wish the world was made of sugar,
Then I'd bring you chocolate flowers,
And yummy things would come down,
In the loveliest of rain showers.
Rainbow coloured sweets would pour down from above,
Jelly babies and winegums, all things that I love!
My garden would be called "Sugarland",
The birdsong there would sound sweet,
A river of custard flowing through the middle of it,
Which I'd splash thru' with chocolate wellies on my feet!
A pathway of snap crapply pops would lead right up to my liquorice front door,
And yellow and pink lollipop trees would be there for me to climb and explore.
My house walls would be made from spongecake and traffic light ice-cream,
Meaning living in Sugarland would be just like a dream.


Sugarland, Sugarland
Come and see
Sugarland, Sugarland
Come to Sugarland with me!
Copyright Joe, WeAreLovingIt blog, 2010.

Monday, 15 November 2010

We're not loving the X Factor or Katie Waissel (but we do love Freddie Mercury)

Mum says:

"My boys both love music, so in addition to letting them plug away on their various instruments: a keyboard, a xylophone, guitars (both real and air), and a couple of harmonicas - I let them watch the X Factor from time to time. (Some people may say that's a bit of a contradiction in terms, i.e. music loving and the X Factor bearing in mind certain contestants this year! But anyway...)

By way of a little bit of background before I continue, Shaun, our eldest boy aged 7, loves Freddie Mercury. In Shaun's mind, Freddie Mercury is up there with Batman in terms of possessing Super Hero status.

Shaun's been hooked on Freddie Mercury ever since he was around 4 years' old. Just one hearing of "We Will Rock You" on the radio and Shaun was a fan. Since that time, Shaun has learned to recognise and sing along with other Queen songs, and utterly entranced, he's watched footage of the flamboyant Freddie Mercury performing and playing piano in only his way, such as with his bottom on the keys (and of course Shaun wants to imitate his idol's performance on our antique walnut piano! (You've got no chance, son!)). And by way of tribute to Freddie, Shaun and his younger brother, Joe, in the lovely innocent way that kids do, have created a number of their own sincere heartfelt songs mourning their hero's untimely death along the lines of "I'm so sad that Freddie Mercury died ..."

So this year, when Katie Waissel first appeared on the X Factor at the auditions stage, looking like a rock chick and claiming to idolise Freddie Mercury too, she instantly gained a warm place in my son's big little heart. Shaun's hopes and support were soon dashed though after Katie's first live performance of the classic Queen song,"We Are The Champions" - which even a child recognised was not a great or even a good performance from a supposed Queen fan, or even from a rock fan.

I'll let Shaun explain."

Shaun (age 7) says:

"If Katie likes Freddie Mercury so much, why didn't she do a better job singing his song? I think it's all very strange. I don't think she loves Freddie Mercury in real life, she can't to have done a bad job like that. She's rubbish! Oh, and she forgot Freddie Mercury's words at her audition thingy, how could she forget the words if she likes him and his music so much? I'm only a little kid and I know his words!"

Joe (age 5) says:

"I'm so sad Freddie Mercury died. I'm going to invent and make a 'live potion' to make him come back alive again."

Dad (his age censored!) says:

"I don't watch the X Factor, I think it's a load of rubbish."

Mum says:

"It didn't take long for a child to decide something was amiss with Katie Waissel's projected image. In Katie's favour though, Shaun was rather taken by the weird space age outfit she was wearing the night she sang the Queen song.

I'm not personally interested in all the various tabloid media stuff about Katie Waissel having previous record deals under a host of working names and aliases, Lola and God knows what in America - (didn't, indeed, Leona Lewis have a previous record released before she came to the show?) And I have no problems with a persistent trier, God knows it you need to be determined to make it in the music industry. Either that or "know" someone rather well! And I'm not particularly interested in all the hullabaloo about Gamu either. I dislike Katie Waissel intensely on a personal basis, but as a musician myself, that has nothing to do with it: I judge Katie on one thing only: her musical ability. Simply stated, she's not very good!

Last Saturday night, Katie Waissel was so bad singing Sir Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright, (it wasn't alright, love!) that it seemed the producers chose to frequently deliberately drown her out with the backing singers. I have my suspicions as to why it may be, but I can't understand why Simon Cowell is defending Katie so much this year and favouring her over much better singers. Last week in particular when TreyC went home it seemed more and more like a farce.

I used to respect Simon Cowell's opinion: he was almost always right on, being honest while the other judge's pandered and waffled - but now, well, my respect for him is all but gone. Perhaps he's getting old, tired and cynical and just doesn't care any more: reflected also in his blatant disregard for the weekly themes (referring back to last week's theme, for example, of American Anthems, and his choice of Kim Wilde!). But whatever the reasons, though it may be gaining the show more publicity and possibly viewing figures in the short term, the money-spinning X Factor has hit rock bottom in public opinion which can't be good for the show's long term future. Which is a shame for Matt Cardle and Rebecca who are actually rather good.

The fact Wagner is still in the show is yet another joke. But it is pantomime season, isn't it? If Wagner were a little more personally likeable, and didn't come across as such a letchy Lothario, I think I'd back him all the way just to see Simon Cowell's face on having to award him a record deal.

I think watching Take That perform last night was my only pleasure from the whole show, and I'm tempted to switch over next week and find something else to watch instead."

Sunday, 14 November 2010

We're NOT loving the British weather

Mum says:

"It was supposed to be our community's fireworks night last night, but for the second year in a row it had to be cancelled because of the really wet weather here (not just tonight but for the whole week - actually make that this month, no, this whole YEAR, or so it seems to us).

We live in a very rural area, so there's very little selection of other bonfires to go to around here on any other days, so naturally the boys (and I) were (and are) still really disappointed not to be able to go to this 'special' bonfire we've had pencilled in on our calendar for months. But there's not a lot you can do, is there, when the clouds come to call in typical British fashion? (It was the same story this summer with the few fetes we had planned to go to - all cancelled because of the really wet weather.)

The sad thing is that our eldest, Shaun, has never been to a community fireworks before.

Two years ago, Shaun was really naughty and so as punishment we didn't let him go to the boys' first ever bonfire we had planned. I just took his younger brother Joe along there instead. (Please don't call me harsh, I gave Shaun enough chances and warnings beforehand (all week long) and I think and I and his Dad suffered more from the punishment than he did. One feels like an ogre, but you have to be strict at times.)

Anyway, Shaun was very upset to miss out on that bonfire two years ago, but he learned a very important lesson from the whole episode and has been determined never to miss out again because of his bad behaviour. (For the record, he's actually normally a really good kid and both I and his Dad are immensely proud of him.) So in the weeks and days leading up to last Bonfire night, Shaun was determined to be especially good so as not to risk missing out on that. So what a wind-up it was for fireworks night to be cancelled FOR EVERYBODY because the weather was a total washout. And ditto again with this year. That means my poor kid will have to wait three whole years to go to his first ever bonfire, as long as the weather holds up for next year, that is!"

Thursday, 11 November 2010

We love The Adventures of Penny the Postie!

Shaun (age 7) and Joe (age 5) say:

"Mum got us a copy of 'The Adventures of Penny the Postie: Penny and the Pirates' and read it to us for our bedtime story last night. We loved it: the pictures are all really cool, and we liked the characters in it very much. We thought that the special souvenir stamps that came with the book are too nice to use, so we're going to take very good care of them."

Mum says:

"At £4.95 this book is very good value, especially considering there's £2.95 face value of postage stamps inside the back of the book as well (which may well be worth more in the future as collector's items as they feature Penny.) The boys loved this story, and I can see myself reading it to them many more times. Joe, especially, is always going on about treasure maps so it's the perfect story for him."

Dad says:

"Because of the title, I imagined this might be a girl's story or a bit feminist/PC. Not at all, it was a great story appealing to my boys, and I thought the stamps in it were a great bonus that may get the boys interested in stamps one day."

(Our family have not been paid to review this story by either the publisher or author.)