Fruit Picking 

I have never ever been to a pick your own farm. In 33 years. Nope. Never. Until Saturday.

It’s apparently a childhood tradition in the UK to take your kids fruit picking at some point. Be it apples and pears or strawberry and blackberries. 

But I didn’t grow up in the UK and by the time I moved here, I still hadn’t been. 

I’ve always wanted to, just never gotten round to it.

This weekend we had friends come to stay. I suggested visiting a pick your own farm which was excitedly confirmed with our guests. 

So myself, one of my best friends Sian and our daughters went fruit picking. 

We steered clear of the vegetable patches. Ha. Went straight to raspberries which were delicious. Then blackcurrants, which are sour as hell. Ribena they are not! My plan for those is blackcurrant jam. And gin.

Then the best fruits ever. Strawberries and Cherries.

We ate less than we picked. Because we picked LOADS. They were deliciously sweet and sticky. 

Will I go again? Oh hell yes. 

Annoying Children

I know it’s not Friday, which is the day normally reserved by Bloggers for Ranty Friday, but I can’t wait until tomorrow.

It’s not often I pick up a Metro on my way to work at 5am, as often they haven’t been delivered. Today, there they were and I picked one up.

Leafing through it I come to this photo. (Apologies for the size!)

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Are you serious Metro?
Even celebrities have to “contend with annoying children”.

Did you SERIOUSLY just call The Beckhams little girl an “annoying child”?

Newsflash! This is what children DO! I see this photo as a child and a father spending quality time together. Interacting, a daughter who clearly has a loving relationship with her dad.

I am seriously flabbergasted by this caption.
A small toddler, kissing her dad, sharing her snacks, playing with dads baseball cap. This is NOT an annoying child. This is what toddlers do.

Becks, 38, looks weary.
Of course he does, he’s a working dad with 4 kids who all want his attention. He has a wife who probably wants to spend time with him.

Parenting is HARD WORK with one child, much less four! David Beckham is only human.

Clearly the person who wrote this caption either;

A) doesn’t have children
B) hates children
C) doesn’t have a bloody clue

Newsflash Metro, a photo of a child interacting with her “celeb” daddy, is NOT an annoying child.

Shame on you.

It’s Not OK

Today I watched a video. It’s was horrifying and upsetting and it broke my heart.

It was posted by fellow blogger and acquaintance Jane Devlin. Her original post can be found here.

Jane is someone I connected with via Twitter and she is someone that I have a great deal of respect and admiration for.  Her life has had its ups, downs and topsy-turveys.  She has also written a book, which if you follow me on twitter you would have seen a while back that I recommended it. Her book is called Elephant Girl: A Human Story.  It took me 2 days to read and when I was finished I had even more respect and admiration for Jane. Her strength and determination is amazing.  I would highly recommend you read her book.

I watched the video 1 and a half times.  The first time, I got about 45 seconds in and I couldn’t watch anymore.  I re-read Jane’s post and her last sentence really struck a chord with me.

“Do not turn away from this. Thousands of children suffer this kind of abuse and worse every single day. If they can bear the pain and trauma, then you — and here I am speaking to the ones who are so quick to criticize survivors and write them off as perpetual victims, chronic whiners, or people who just need to “get over it” — should at least have the backbone to watch four minutes of what an abused child suffers for years.”

I went back and I watched the whole video, horrified at what I saw.  I know that child abuse happens, every day to thousands of children, and I often wonder what I can do to prevent it.  I’d love to adopt and love and nurture and support every child who is abused.  Unfortunatley I can’t do that, but I CAN raise awareness.  It is NOT OK. it will NEVER BE OK.

I’m posting the video link here and asking you to read Jane’s post.

This video is NOT OK.  The way this child is being treated is NOT OK.  Child abuse is NOT OK.

If you suspect that a child is in danger of abuse or is being abused then speak up. DO NOT stand aside and do nothing. If you do, then you are just as bad as the person doing the abuse.

Childhood Dreams

When I was a child I loved to read. Everything and anything. My mom would drop me off at the town library with money for lunch and I’d spend the whole day reading. Every day in the summers that was where you could find me.

As I grew up it didn’t change. I still love to read, although I’ve moved on from Nancy Drew Mysteries, the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley!

I have a number of childhood favourites. Heidi, Little Women, Little Men and Jo’s Boys.

The last two really struck a chord with me. Ever since I read them I wanted to have a big house with lots of kids to look after.

A childhood dream, which maybe one day may actually become an adult reality (if I ever win the big bucks on the Euromillions or lottery!)

The plan?

To have a huge great big house with lots of land in the country. Stables with horses. A play area for the smaller kids.

A huge great big kitchen to cook meals and to teach kids how to cook.

A huge dining area where we can all eat meals together.

A big living area where we can all watch films together.

A den/library filled with books an comfy chairs so that everyone can curl up with a good book.

Lots of bedrooms and bathrooms so that kids can have a nice safe environment of their own.

A small set of buildings on the property to act as a kind of school, with teachers for each of the core subjects. That way the kids can get a great education and one on one dedicated help should they need it.

An area for sports. An area for music and art.

A home for children who have been hurt, abused, broken. A home where they can be loved and helped to be the best they can be and encouraged to pursue their dreams and goals.

A place where no one is turned away.

A small dedicated team of child therapists and counsellors.

A place where kids can be safe, feel save, be loved and feel loved.

A charity of sorts to ensure the establishment can remain open.

That is my childhood dream.

To be a modern day Jo March.

One day, I hope.

The Genre of Abuse

Ever since Dave Pelzer’s book “A Child Called It” hit the shelves, it seems that hundred of other people have chosen to write about their childhood/teenage experiences of abuse.  I call this the Genre of Abuse.

I enjoy reading, in fact enjoy is a bit of an understatment.  I have hundreds of books, I’d have so much more if I could. I’m the type of girl who checks out 10 books at a time from the library and reads them in a week.  So when Dave Pelzers book came out, I thought, “ooh wonder what this is about”, read the inside cover, decided it wasn’t really my thing, but I’d give it a go anyway.  I got to page 7.  After that I vowed that I’d never read a book about child abuse experiences ever again.

On Wednesday I picked up a book by Toni Maguire called Don’t Tell Mummy
I read it in less than 2 hours.  I was horrified, saddened, shocked, in fact I was a whole lot of things.  How someone can abuse a child is beyond me.  Despite not having children of my own (not yet anyway) I felt my maternal instinct kick in, I felt the need to protect the little girl in the book, I felt compelled to read on, despite how horrified I was.  I decided that afternoon that I would never be able to be a social worker.  I would never be able to work in child protection, I just wouldnt be able to cope.  How people who work in those industries cope, I’ll never understand.

I’ll never understand how someone can turn off the images, the evidence they’ve seen and carry on with normal everyday life.  I’ll never understand how someone could abuse a child and act like it’s the most normal thing in the world.  I’ll never understand it.  I’ll never understand how someone who has been abused can write about their experiences for the whole world to read, and last of all, I’ll never understand why people buy these books to read them.

Part of me feels that I’m being very close minded – however I just cant bring myself to read them, nor can I bring myself to explore the reasons behind why they are written and why other people choose to read them.

These books are wildly distributed, in stores, supermarkets, online, which means anyone can buy them.  The book that I read, I got from my Mother In Law’s book shelf, she had it because it was given to her by a friend.  This friend obtained it because it was given to him by a friend.  She only gave him the book, because someone gave it to her 8 year old daughter as a birthday present.  In this hand me down chain, I’m the first person to have read it, it simply went from hand to hand and then on to a shelf.  However, who gives a child a book about a womans experience of child abuse?  Clearly someone stupid, or just very ignorant.
8 year old girls deserve books about girls their own age, ponies, princesses, harry potter, anything else but that.

I read a lot of different blogs, in fact most of the blogs I read are what are known as “MommyBlogs”.  Despite not having my own children, I enjoy reading what other “moms” deal with, the experiences they face with their own children, their own dilemas, and I know that one day my own blog will be completely restarted and I’ll be a mommy blogger too.  In reading all these different blogs, I’ve yet to come across a blog about child abuse, however I imagine the subject creates such strong emotions, that it’s unlikely that I’ll ever come across a post.  I doubt any mommy bloggers read my blog, but I do want to know their opinions.

I want to know if I’m the only person who feels like this, or if there are people out there who have similar feelings.  If people with kids have the same reaction as people without kids, if people with maternal/paternal instinct have the same feelings as those without any maternal/paternal instinct.

thoughts people, give them to me.

What do you think on the Genre of Abuse?