NO Video Games Challenge

For the past 3 weeks my eldest son has not played video games. Why? Did I ban them due to bad behaviour? Nope, he chose to do this. He was inspired by his parents going dry in January and his grandmother giving up chocolate for one month. He decided to give some up.

He has given up playing video games for a month to raise money for Children In Need.

We are so very proud of him and he has kept it up. He is on the final stretch, his last week and I want to reach out to anyone who can show him support and help him to reach his target of £250. He already has £165, so he’s not far now. He is 8 years old and has not touched his Xbox or any console. He’s used a laptop to upload videos onto his YouTube channel, to show what he’s been doing instead of playing video games.

His YouTube channel Skeels Gaming



Spinning. aka Simon’s Bike

 I tried a Spinning class yesterday. Why do they call it Spinning? Nothing is spinning. No wheels, not me, except for maybe my head at the end of the class. Why not just call it Pedalling in Hell? 
I found that you actually need to be quite tech savvy to Spin. Once I had finished fiddling with all of the levers to adjust the height and angle of the seat and then the handle bars, there was a devise with a screen and a light. This electronic devise asks all sorts of personal questions and demands data before I can begin pedalling. 

This is not a bike, it is a pedal powered instrument of torture equipped with lights that change colour according to speed, effort or just for fun, I don’t know.

The idea is to keep the light a certain colour and the rpm on the screen at a certain level. I’ve no idea what the other three sets of numbers mean. There is another little dial that I have to turn to adjust the tension of the pedals. All of this while frantically pedalling, trying to find a comfortable way to sit on the rock hard pencil thin seat and somehow have fun.

The next thing I know, they’ve turned out the lights, disco lights are twirling and loud up-beat dance music is pumping through the room. I’m on an exercise bike in a nightclub!  It’s just too surreal.

The instructor at the front, wears a microphone into which she shouts commands, mostly colours and numbers.

Coloured lights are flashing, disco lights are dancing, numbers are doing random things on the screen, I’m sweating, feeling sick and the seat is just too hard for me sit. The manic instructor tells me to stand in the pedals, adjust the tension but “KEEP PEDALLING! GREEN LIGHT, 90 RPM, 3 mins!” 

Dance music pumps.


Yellow? Oh my god, my light has gone red, what does that mean?.. Is anyone else red? Oh, now it’s blue, what the hell?!


How do I make it yellow?


Pedal faster, twiddle the knob. Blue light, green light, yellow.


“5,4,3,2,1. RED LIGHT 100 RPM”

What, your kidding right? I only just found yellow. And my crotch really hurts.

This is like the crazy bicycle version of Simon Says, deluxe edition. It must have been devised by a bike fanatic who loved both the kids party game and the electronic game so decided to combine all of his passions into one demented torturous creation. 

Again, why call it Spinning? My son thinks it should be called Simon’s Bike. I agree.

 Next week I shall I try another Simon’s Bike class and this time I’ll take a cushion for my crotch. 

Uber Mum to Goober Mum.

Upon receiving the Autumn Term newsletter from school, I dutifully read it. I felt very happy and content doing this little task. Last year, I was not receiving these emails and as a result missed a lot and played catch up all term. So to be reading this and feeling on top of the whole good parent in sync with the school was great!

At the end of this newsletter was a list of recommended reading for the Year 3s. I instantly felt like a literary inept mother for not having a single book from the list in our extensive library. So I popped onto our classes Facebook page to ask the kind mums if anyone had any of the books listed on the email and could they lend some to us.

Moments later there were a couple of replies asking “What email?”

Was it true? Was I the only mum to have read the email? Am I Uber Mum today? Do I get some kind of medal?

As the morning wore on my post filled up with parents commenting on how they had not received this email. I appear to be the only or one of the very few to have received it.

So I am not an Uber Mum after all. Back to being Goober mum as, A) I don’t already have the books on the list. And B) For drawing attention to myself and creating a drama as I sent all the other “almost uber mums into a panic”.

As one mum icely pointed out to me You don’t have to read from the list either, it’s only a guide, they can read anything they like within reason of course.” She of course had received the email.

Green Smoothies

I am trying and failing to love my NutriBullet. I love the idea of these super healthy, nutrient full smoothies. I have all the ingredients for different concoctions which all sound delicious. But lets not fools ourselves here. They are not delicious by any stretch of the imagination. the first mouthful is acceptable, even palatable, the second and third, slip down without much trouble. About halfway through the beverage I’m starting to pull faces, wrinkling my nose, pursing my lips, still pretending that I am enjoying this torture. By now I am almost gagging, I just cannot take anymore pureed vegetable and fruit. Maybe I put too much celery in? Not enough pineapple? If i put more water in its just going to prolong the agony, so I force the thick gloop down telling myself how its doing my body wonders and if i keep it up I will thin and lovely again.

Once the glass is empty and rinced out, I tell myself how wonderfully full and engergised I feel. And I should go for a swim.

My tummy wants to know where the biscuits are.

The gift of a child’s love

More precious than diamonds my children are.
More beautiful than sunsets and roses and rainbows over mountains.

As unique as the finger prints that smear every surface they touch, thus blessing it.

The sound of their laughter rivals symphonies.
The sound of their gentle breath in peaceful sleep, is more reassuring than the locked doors.

The drama of their lives unfolding is more fascinating than any blockbuster or news headline.

And they love me. Even when I’ve told them off, confiscated every toy in sight, banned tv and raged at them. They still crawl into bed next to me, and wrap little arms around my neck, and kiss me with those overly wet lips.

They love me and trust me and that’s the gift.

Oh For The Love Of Blog!

Help! I haven’t blogged in over a year. Why? My life really hasn’t been that interesting. I haven’t been depressed, (much). I haven’t had any near miss adventures. I live in a calm part of the world now, where people are nice and quite sane. So I guess what I’m saying is, I have nothing to complain about. Except now I have nothing to write about either.

What shall I write about? What do you want to hear about? My kids? What’s it like in Brasted today? The latest school run gossip? The plights of being a dog owner? Dog snobs in the park?

No? Me neither. And frankly I don’t want to write about it either. Actually, Dog Snobs might be a fun one…..

I want to write, I love writing. But now I’ve lost my direction.

What did I write about before?

I was depressed and living in Hong Kong. I was raising awareness about depression, Post Natal depression in particular. I was also giving an insight to expat life in a part of the world that I found superficial, backward and cold hearted. Somehow, I made light of these failings and turned my lemons into lemonade.

Today, I am home in my lovely house, in a lovely Kent village. Its spring, everyone is happy, no one is sick.

What I’d really like, is for someone to say “Christine, please write me x words, on x subject by next Friday.”   I need my english teacher from school to set me homework.

So if you have any ideas, quests, assignments for me, please please please, post a comment here and I’ll get to work.

Cheers folks!

Long Time No Blog

Hello Blog world, excuse my laziness. its been a while since I sat down to blog about anything. to be honest its been a while since I sat down to do something cathartic, creative or otherwise for me. So here I am and what have to say today? hmm?

I am home, and its a joy to be home. Hong Hong is behind me now and I breath deeply of the clean fresh air, I move forward each day with the tasks I set, I am the queen of my home and I feel content.

The weather is petty crap though!   It has rained so much I am wondering if I should be building an Arc. The only reason I have time to blog today is because I cut the dog walking short. Even Poppy was sick of the mud.

Sloppy, sludgy, deep and sticky. Mud as far as the eye can see and the welly can cope with. I am normally a great lover of mud, but you can have too much of a good thing and I would like to wear something other than jeans and wellies for a change.

As I type I see our postman has arrived. This man has obviously not noticed the rain and the mud, he is wearing shorts! We live an area where there has been considerable flooding. Shorts ok, if you like the chill on your legs, but wellies man!  Most the houses around here require waders to approach at the very least.

I am going to leave it there for now to tend to my duties. Muddy walk = muddy dog = muddy paw prints.Image