DISCUSSIONS

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There are always news items and discussions about children and alcohol, so thought I would touch upon it….gently!

Should children drink?  I was always allowed a little bit of wine with lots of lemonade in a small sherry glass on special occasions that increased to a very weak snowball as that was what Nan liked and we had a cherry on it also not forgetting the wonderful Babycham, I felt like a star holding the Babycham glass.    I have nothing against children having a small glass at Christmas or very special occasions but in today’s world many do not sit at the table for meals with family members so I guess there is no reason for them to drink.  I do not agree with children drinking at parties with their friends as that can lead to spiked drinks also not forgetting the peer pressure to have a drink.  I must admit I was going in pubs from about 15 and even worked behind the bar when I was just 17, I am not proud of that but no one ever told me not to.  What are your views?

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Children on the internet.

Going to Alfie’s assembly the other day triggered this as no photos were allowed until the very end and none were to be put on social media.  I realise this is a very touchy subject with many in the yes or no camp.  I can understand schools going with the NO social media rule as then that covers them.

I do not think there is any harm in it and my two daughters have no objections with me including their off spring in my blog posts with both of them also posting pictures from time to time.  One daughter even saves all the blog post’s, I was very touched by that.  Instagram is getting popular now as you just have your family or close friends on it and many post there instead of Facebook.  I think if you are posting nice pictures it is like a photo album collected over the years on-line.  My granddaughter Kara has many different folders on Facebook of all her friends and family and I think for that generation it is all very natural and that’s what you do.

Some mothers go with the argument that until the child is of an age that they can choose whether they want their picture all over the internet they are keeping it off.  You also have the fear that the photos may be used for less savoury things but then you keep ALL your settings to private and make sure your friends are friends know not to share your posts.

What are your views?  Very interesting subject, I think.

 

CHRISTMAS FOR ONE BY AMANDA PROWSE-BOOK REVIEW

My first Christmas book read and enjoyed, actually I do not think it is possible to not enjoy any stories written by the lovely Amanda Prowse.

As usual this touches the heart-strings with a lot happening in the course of one woman’s journey through life.  From single pregnant to finding out your boy friend is getting married to someone else is not what you want to find out on the night he dies.  Many up’s and down’s in her life as she struggles to find a one true love but as we all know love does not run smooth but will she get her happy ever after?  You will have to read the book to find out!  A wonderful story for christmas.

 

DID IT WORK?

I have been using this eye serum for a year and I think it has reduced some of the lines so I would recommend this to everyone.  It goes a long way as you only need a very small amount and soaks in well to your skin and works its magic while you are asleep.  It is expensive but when you work it out over the year then it is very good value for money, so get it on your Christmas list and this time next year you will be looking even better.

 

1st DECEMBER 2016

IT’S CHRISTMAS

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The tree is up and the first window is open on the advent calender, also I hear that some naughty elves have been visiting some houses and causing mayhem!

I went to my grandsons assembly this morning, what a super performance featuring all they have learnt about The Rain Forest, including poems and paintings that were fantastic.

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I am loving all my houses, getting a good assortment now.  I really need to start wrapping, if I do a bit each day then maybe they will get ribbons and bows on them! or maybe not…..such a bad wrapper.

AS NOVEMBER ENDS

Tomorrow is December, the first day of winter; what a chilly start as temperatures have plummeted here in the UK.  Some are dreaming of a white Christmas, I must admit the sound of it is like a fairy tale, I can remember one white Christmas day I was about 5  I think and I could not wait to get out in it.  I do always think of the people who have to work and try to drive in it now as I would not wish that on anyone, I detest driving in snow as it is so unpredictable with no control over the car once it slides.

We also have the first day of advent with all the children waiting patiently to open number one on their calender.  What a massive choice there is with calenders starting at a pound in Poundland and going up to a ridiculous forty pound plus which has make-up behind each window.  Then you also have the animals calenders so your dog or cat gets a treat each day just like you.  Personally I love the idea of a book for each day, wouldn’t it be great to have a good stack for the winter evenings?

Many families have got their tree up already or it is going up this weekend, it feels much earlier this year but it gives you longer to admire the many great decorations you can now buy.  One shop that always has different decorations for the tree is the Wyevale garden centre’s, I like just wandering about in there.  I love to see lights on the houses as you drive up, I think minimal is the way to go though as too many and it just looks very tacky sometimes.  The ones that do it to raise money for charity are normally very well displayed, often being on TV to raise awareness of them.

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Present buying has started with some even finished and wrapped, very organised!  I have done a lot, most on-line as it is so simple and quick now.  The food shop on-line is wonderful, no walking round crowded supermarkets looking for the best turkey and nice looking ham.  I find it saves money as you only buy what you need, I do miss throwing a book in the trolley though; do you do that?

One thing I do miss are the carol singers, I would love to hear all the old ones that we used to sing at the school carol service.  What is your favourite carol?  I think mine is Hark the herald angels sing.  Schools don’t seem to have these or nativities very much now as they all struggle to reach targets and complete end of year paperwork.  I wonder how many people still go to midnight mass on Christmas eve?  I have not been since I was a child living with Nan and Grandad, the church always looked so serene but we had to wrap up warm as it was so old and cold.

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I used to make the cake every year as a teenager for Nan and Grandad and the decorations never got replaced either, some of the things I put on the top were older than I was.

I have a Pinterest board about things from my childhood which I love looking at and remembering, one of them is the old decorations that we used to keep for ever; I cannot remember them ever throwing anything out as it was just stuck back together.

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MEMOIRS AT FOLKESTONE BOOK FESTIVAL

JULIE WASSMER

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Yesterday was the end of our book festival here in Folkestone and it definitely finished on a high for me.  I attended the talk given by two very different people about memoir writing.  Roy Moed is the founder of LIFEBOOK that helps non-writers get their stories and many memories down in book form.  They send their researchers out to talk and listen to the person over a period of weeks or months to suit them, it is then written up, researched, edited then finally made into a book just for the person and their family as a much treasured family heirloom.  What a fantastic idea for the non-writers to achieve.

Lennox Morrison chaired the discussion, doing a great job as usual; with many interesting questions posed to our two guests.  Julie Wassmer, a local author from Whitstable who used to write the scripts for Eastenders has also written her memoir called MORE THAN JUST COINCIDENCE.  A very moving story about family and finding each other, I don’t want to say too much and spoil it for you but I bought it immediately as it sounds so very good; I will be reviewing it very soon so look out for that post.

I had a brief chat with Julie afterwards and immediately thought what a lovely person and was very pleased when she said that we should keep in touch.  This lady radiates warmth and friendliness which I can imagine comes through in her writing, I feel honoured to have met her.

Julie also writes murder mysteries which are all set in Whitstable where she lives and Canterbury, there are four books; I bought THE WHITSTABLE PEARL MYSTERY which I am really looking forward to reading.  I am sure I will be getting the other’s straight afterwards.

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The end of a brilliant festival as always, with superb guests; I am looking forward to next year already.

 

TRAVEL WRITING WORKSHOP

JOHN GIMLETTE

Another brilliant event held at the Quarterhouse for The Folkestone Book Festival 2016, there have been some super workshops with many talented people this year.  I have always wanted to write some travel articles but the few I have written were rejected so I realised I must be doing something very wrong.  Let’s hope John has taught me well and the next one gets through!  I will definitely be letting him know.  One of the things he said was to keep it tight so maybe that is my problem as I do tend to want to include so much, I am looking forward to trying all the tips out he gave us.

John delivered a brilliant workshop with handouts that prove useful to look back on, not many do that at these events I have noticed.  From a teaching point of view John ticked the most boxes out of the workshops I have been to the last couple of years.  The two hours went far too quickly as usual but at the end John gave us a copy of his latest book which I thought was a very generous gift.