Conversations with my girl – Father’s Day

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“Mummy, why it’s Father’s Day?”
“Well, do you remember that day when we went to the restaurant for lunch, then went to feed the ducks and you gave me a special card and yummy breakfast in bed?”
“Yes.”
“Well, that was Mother’s Day, or Mummy’s special day and now it’s Daddy’s turn.”
“Mummy?”
“Yes, Darling.”
She smiles and grabs my arm to bring me closer.
“You’re the best mummy the whole entire word and I love you such a lot!”
Oh! My heart is melting! :’)

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Why I WILL be voting… and it has nothing to to with allegiance to a political party.

“VOTE MUPPET” the sign reads in my neighbour’s front garden with a cheery picture of Kermit the Frog, “You’re going to get one anyway.” Personally I think the comment is an insult to all muppets everywhere, but that’s not the point I’m wanting to make today.

On Thursday 7th May I will be heading to my local polling station to vote for my choice of political party, however, there are a group of people I have to thank for this privilege.

In the nineteenth century only a small privileged minority of the popuIation were given the right to vote: property owning men, over the age of 21. At this time there was a huge amount of inequality felt by many, not least by well-educated property owning women. They paid their taxes, observed the laws of the land and yet were not allowed to have a say in how the country was run. Many of these women had men that worked for them that were allowed to vote and yet they were not. By the late nineteenth century many women were beginning to feel the unfairness of the lack of political equality they had with men. The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies was formed in 1897 and was lead by Millicent Garret Fawcett. Fawcett and the NUWSS adopted a peaceful and non-confrontational approach to reaching their goal of women receiving the same political rights as men. They believed they could succeed through argument and education. They tried to raise their profile peacefully with posters, leaflets, calendars and public meetings.

Yet, the progress of the NUWSS was slow and many women felt angry by this. In 1903 the Women’s Social and Political Union was formed by Emmeline Pankhurst. These women were prepared to take a more forceful approach to achieving their goal. They heckled politicians, held marches, members chained themselves to railings, attacked policemen, broke windows, slashed paintings, set fire to buildings, threw bombs and went on hunger strike when they were sent to prison. One very famous suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison threw herself in front of the king’s horse during the Derby, which was believed at the time to be an action of martyrdom to the cause. Whilst the NUWSS was against the violent approach of the WSPU it was certainly proving to be a more effective way in getting their voice heard and some would say they were even driven to it.

In 1918 The Representation of People Act was passed which allowed all property owning women over the age of thirty the right to vote. This was a huge accomplishment. The government said it was a way of rewarding the women for all they achieved in supporting the war effort during WW1, however, this reward is unlikely to have happened without all the protest by the suffragettes prior to the war. Full equality regarding suffrage was given ten years later in 1928 with the Equal Franchise Act.

It doesn’t feel right to say that I’m proud of what these women did to achieve votes for women. I’m not proud of violence, attacks and vandalism; but, I wonder how long it would have taken to get the change they did if they had continued acting peacefully in their protest. I believe they wouldn’t have done what they did unless they felt it was the only way of getting their voice heard.

So, on Thursday May 7th I will be voting. It doesn’t actually matter WHO I’m voting for. What matters is that I vote: for Millicent Garret Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst, Emily Wilding Davison and all the many, many other women who campaigned, protested, were imprisoned, went on hunger strikes and were beaten just so that I could exercise my right to vote and have a say in how our country is run. To them, thank you.

What WAS I thinking?!?

1430507872716.14I love the idea of going on holiday…

I get excited when booking the holiday….

In the months and weeks leading up to our holiday I day dream about how relaxing, fun and special our holiday will be…

Then the day arrives when I have to PACK for the whole family….

That’s when I think to myself, what WAS I thinking?!? :/

Christmas Dinner Preparations: Stage 1

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Get ahead gravy!

I can remember, once upon a time, when Christmas didn’t really begin until December. Now, as soon as Halloween is out of the way, the shops are full of tinsel, wrapping paper, stocking fillers and mince pies! I’m not going to complain, though, because if I leave all the Christmas preparation to the last minute it will just become stressful rather than enjoyable. This is why I’m starting Christmas Dinner now.

I was watching Jamie Oliver one year and he was making this ‘Get Ahead Gravy’. I thought it was a fantastic idea because it meant you could make it in advance and just defrost and warm up on Christmas Day. Not only that, it makes loads more gravy than if you were just using the juices of your turkey and it tastes AMAZING!! (You do add the juices of your turkey at the end so they don’t go to waste. 🙂 )

The gravy is quite involved and takes a while to make which is why I would only do it for a special occasion like Christmas.

You can find the recipe here.

Look out for my Christmas Dinner Preparations: Stage 2 next week!

Wray Scarecrow Festival

I am just loving the warmer weather as Spring has finally Sprung! And it’s a great chance to get out and about as a family at the weekend.

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Last Sunday we visited the tiny quaint village of Wray for their annual Scarecrow Festival. It lasts for a full week ending on May Day for Wray Fair. It’s amazing how busy and popular such a tiny village can get so we decided to check it out at the beginning of the festival week when it was a little quieter.

The quaint little village of Wray.

The quaint little village of Wray.

The festival started in 1993 as a way of gathering more interest in the Wray Fair. The village committee couldn’t have anticipated how much interest the festival would have gathered. On the day of the fair the village was absolutely packed with no room for all the cars and running out of cups of tea!

Since then the village have now added a theme to the Scarecrow festival and have a better idea of the number of visitors to expect by adding an overflow car park and signs pointing visitors around the village.

This year’s theme was ‘Heroes and Villains’.

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Our daughter was a bit ‘shy’ of the scarecrows or as she liked to call them ‘statues’. Buzz Lightyear is one of her favourite characters so we got  a photo with him. Although she now likes to call him ‘Lightning McBuzz’. I think she’s been watching a bit too much of ‘Cars’!

Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory

Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory

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Sweeny Todd

The villagers were determined to put on a proper ‘show’ for visitors with some very creative displays, although I’m not entirely sure if ‘Sweeny Todd’ is a story our three year old needs to know about any time soon!!

She was very excited to see some pirates.

She was very excited to see some pirates.

Her new favourite film 'The Spitting One' aka 'Despicable Me'

Her new favourite film ‘The Spitting One’ aka ‘Despicable Me’

Of course the day wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to the play park. Thank you Village of Wray for a lovely Sunday afternoon!

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Wibbly Wobbly!

Wibbly Wobbly!

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For more information about the festival: http://www.vrwray.com/

 

Easter Fun 2014!

It's been a smashing Easter!

It’s been a smashing Easter!

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! I do realise there is a lot more to Easter than that, but we’ve certainly had enough chocolate today to last us the rest of the year!

It’s the first year that our daughter has had an idea of what to expect from Easter. She’s not quite of an age to understand the death and resurrection of Jesus but she was very excited about all her chocolate Easter eggs, making Easter Cake, going on an Easter Egg hunt and rolling some eggs she’d decorated last week!

Ready for rolling

Ready for rolling

We started the day by going to church. We had a churches together open air service in town this morning. Mairi called it ‘Party Church’ because it was where we went yesterday for the ‘Easter Party’, but the party did continue in her mind because she got another balloon and got to dance to more music! She was also excited to see a couple of her friends who she’d made some Easter Cakes for earlier this week.

mairi and cakes

Easter cakes ready to give to friends

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Egg rolling in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we got home it was time for some egg rolling. It took a few goes to get the eggs cracked, but once they were she was very excited to have them for her lunch.

Whilst the lamb was roasting in the oven, we had an Easter Egg hunt in the living room (it was beginning to get a bit cold outside!)

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Adding the finishing touches to the Easter Cake

Our yummy Easter Cake

Our yummy Easter Cake

We finished off the day with a surprise visit from Aunty Bethany, Uncle Andy and Jacob  and sharing our Easter Cake with them.