Friday, 27 December 2013

If you liked it then you should have...

I hope you've all had a fantastic Christmas, mine was a quiet affair with a few family members popping by over the season and news that my little brother Daniel (who my son takes his name from) has popped the question to his now fiance and will, after a long engagement, be a married man!  

My brother Daniel, me and the children (last Christmas)
It seems weird to think that he's going to get married, I still see him as my baby brother, sometimes annoying but always the charmer though at the same time I see glimpses of him growing up and being a protector, he was brilliant when I was in labor with little man and any woman would be lucky to have him by her side in any situation.  I'm happy for him & his fiance and look forward to having a reason to wear something other than jeans and a t-shirt. 

I have to admit that life has gotten a little busy recently and thus I have had little time to concentrate on writing, or reading for that matter.  

I'm going back to work part-time in January, back in the classroom.  It's like starting at the beginning again, but this time knowing what I'm letting myself in for.  I've already had my fair share of 'energetic' classes.  My class this time around has a lot of children who have English as an additional language and if I'm honest I'm looking forward to the challenge.  I've also been working hard with my team developing our in school program for WKYW.

I know whatever happens in 2014 I'm going to try to make the best of it.  If I don't write anything before then have a happy and prosperous new year xx

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Goat Chelsea

I was invited to come for Brunch at Goat in Chelsea and thought it was the perfect opportunity to take the mother and kids out for a treat.  I had expected to dump leave the children in the supervised kids club for a while so that the mother and I could enjoy a little quite time.  Unfortunately the children's entertainer was ill and will not be back until the new year.

Goat is a lovely venue that offers 3 contemporary floors, downstairs (dine) and upstairs cocktail bar (drink).  We were of course in the dining area which has a lovely feel and large windows that let lots of light in and look out onto the local street.  Goat serves New York - Italian style dishes including stone baked pizza.  

The brunch menu is not extensive and consists of a small variety of egg based meals, though pancakes or ordering from the main menu offered an alternative. 

Mum and I had baked egg & lobster and the children had stone baked margarita pizza from the kids menu.  The egg was ok, but left us still feeling a little peckish.  Having tasted the children's pizza I would have preferred to have that.

The hospitality at Goat is fabulous and although there were a few problems; they ran out of milk, there was the sound of furniture being dragged upstairs and the children's entertainer was ill,the overall experience was nice and relaxed.  I hope to go back to Goat in the new year so the children can check out the entertainment.

I'd definitely recommend you give it a try. 

Our meal was provided complimentary for the purpose of this review, the thoughts expressed are completely my own.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Jumping hurdles

Today I did one of the things that has had me most nervous since the day I gave birth to little man, I applied to an agency for teaching posts.  I sent my application in the early hours of the morning and by 9.30am I had already received 3 calls from different agencies asking me what my preferences were.

What key stage do you want to work in?
How many days?
What daily rate are you looking for?
Are you willing to relocate?

Some of these things I hadn't even thought about, I just know that I need to get back on the saddle and take my metaphorical horse jumping over the obstacles that have caused me to fear going 'back to school'.  I had a mixture of satisfaction and absolute terror after having been asked if I'd like to go for a trial lesson with the possibility of a January start.  

My last experience in teaching was one that at times drove me into the depths of depression and at other times holds some of my happiest memories.  I never for a second stopped enjoying being in the classroom and around the children. I had fantastic teaching assistants and some great year group colleagues but what I didn't enjoy was the immense  pressure to meet invisible standards.

When I say invisible standards, of course every teacher knows that there are standards you must follow, strategies you must put in place, preparation, planning, marking, assessing, teaching to meet the needs of your whole class.  You must undergo being observed, attend training, be reflective in your teaching.  Nevertheless everyone that walks into your classroom, though they have the teachers standards as a reference, is looking for something different.

There is an invisible line in the minds of your observer that will get you a tick in that good or outstanding box and when you are in a failing school where management can't or won't support you to make sure you and the children are at your best that invisible line is more of a brick wall.

I'm used to challenging children, I've had more than my fair share of objects hurtled at me from across the room, displays ripped from the walls a couple of kicks and some 'decorative' language.  In fact I'm good with challenging children, they come in my classroom one way and by the end of the year, although still somewhat challenging, they have strategies in place to help them cope and learn better.  

When you just come back into work having been signed off the last thing you need is for a 'challenging' child to be transferred into your classroom rather than that of the year leader who although has tons of years more experience is suddenly, "Just not the right person to best meet the child's needs."  

As scary as it is to jump back into the world of teaching, there is nothing I love more than seeing a child develop and learn knowing that I have played a part in that process.

Liebster Award

Back in October the lovely Sara who blogs at mumturnedmom Nominated me for a Liebster award.  For one reason or another I didn't get around to writing my post then, but with the cold weather making me hibernate I have a little more time.

A Liebster award is a nice way for someone to tell you they like your blog and also to find out a little more about you and spread the blog love.  To paraphrase Sara, it's a good way for others to find new blogs and is sort of like a blogging chain letter.

I'm a bit confused about the rules but this is how I understood them

1. Post 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you
3. Choose up to 11 people (with fewer than 200 followers) to give this award to and link them in your post
4. Go to their page and tell them
5. Remember no tag backs

Ok so here goes 11 facts about me:

1. I was born in Barbados but moved to England when I was four.

2. I run a social enterprise called Women Know Your Worth that focuses on building up the self esteem of women in my local area through motivational workshops.  I have run this with my sister and friend for a year now and we received a community grant for it.

3.  I love reading whenever I get a moment and often get lost in true stories or novels with conflict and romance.  I love the classics like 'Jane Eyre' but I also love novels like 'The White Masai' by Corinne Hofmann and 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Arthur Golden

4. I've been celibate for 3 years (since my 4th week of pregnancy) and don't plan on changing that any time soon.

5.  My greatest fear is drowning but I've snorkeled in Egypt and jumped off a boat in the middle of the sea in Barbados.

6. I love fudge and have done since I was younger which is why I got the nickname I use on twitter @fudgyann

7. I'm passionate about learning and everyone having the opportunity to have an education.

8. I'm currently addicted to candy crush and spend far to much time playing it on my phone.

9. I hate stepping on snails and will act like a child if I do happen to step on one.

10. I love to travel and might one day like to relocate so a country rich in culture and tradition.

11. I have a thing about monkey's and other wild animals, show me a photo of a baby monkey and my heart melts.
How can your heart not melt at this?

Now to answer Sara's questions:

1. How did your blog get its name?
My blog got its name because my daughter calls me mumma when she wants something and the first letter of my name is G.

2. What fictional character would you most like to meet?
I would most like to meet Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

3. Where in the world would you most like to live?
I would most like to live somewhere like Brazil or Morocco.

4. What is your dream job?
My dream job would be a criminal law barrister.

5. What is your favourite meal?
My favourite meal is Thai green curry.

6. What motto best describes your approach to life?
Show kindness and amazing things will happen.

7. What is your earliest childhood memory?
My earliest childhood memory is of arguing with my one year old brother about who's dad our dad was.

8. What has been your most important life lesson?
I have learnt to guard my heart, but not so much that I would never let love in.

9. What are you frightened of?
An unfulfilled life and what happens after life.

10. Are you a glass half full/glass half empty person?
Glass half full

11. How would you like to be remembered?
I'd like to be remembered as someone who made a difference and showed love in the process.

Now for my nominations, it's hard sometimes to work out how many followers a blog has so I have done my best to pick 5 blogs with less than 200 followers from my favourites.  Apologies if you have already received a Liebster Award but that just means I'm not the only person who thinks you're fab.  In no particular order here are my 5 choices :)

Trying for Sighs
A Patchwork Life
Living With Mr M & Les enfants
Tiger Tales
Make Me an Earth Mother

Should you want to take part here are my 11 questions for you:

1. What is the one thing you value most in your life?
2. If you could meet one celebrity who would you choose?
3. If money was not an option where would you go to relax?
4. Given the choice do you walk, cycle or drive?
5. If you have any, what is your biggest regret?
6. What is the name of your favourite film and why?
7. What is the best meal you've ever had?
8. How long have you been blogging?
9. What is you favourite quote?
10. If you could be granted one wish what would it be?
11. Which high street shop do you like the most?

Thursday, 5 December 2013

R.I.P Nelson Mandela

No words can truly express how inspirational and courageous Nelson Mandela was.  He lived a beautiful life and liberated millions of South African's from oppression.  He set an example of how peaceful protest and forgiveness can change a nation.  One thing that is sure his memory will live on in the hearts and minds of many.

He leaves behind a legacy to look up to, one that I hope will be reflected throughout the generations.

1918 - 2013

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Morning - The Gallery

Tara has set the theme this week as morning.  Because we have been ill for the last couple of weeks our mornings have looked a little like this...

Head over to The Gallery and check out some more mornings.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Giving Birth Alone

Choosing who will be at the birth is a decision usually made in the early stages of pregnancy between both parents.  Not every mum to be wants her partner watching her lady bits stretch to the point it looks like it's going to tear (sometimes it does).  It is also true that not every father wants abuse hurled at him whilst his hand is squeezed into something resembling a discarded banana skin.  It isn't written anywhere in the rule book that a father must be at the birth...

To read the rest of this article click here and visit Wriggly Rascals alternatively click the badge below and sign up to read parenting tips and more.

I wrote the guest post for wriggly rascals of which I am an affliate, you can visit them by clicking the badge below for tips and advice from real mums.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Forced C-Section

I've been a bit under the weather in recent weeks having caught a cold from little man that has somehow taken over my body so not only am I full of mucus but I have one blocked ear, a sore throat, back ache and a smokers cough, all in the run up to Christmas.  Instead of getting excited by the festive season and shopping for the gifts to make it special for the children my shopping basket is lucky if it sees anything other than cough syrup and soup.  I have however had plenty of time wrapped up on the sofa listening to news. 

I've heard countless news stories that have, in the least, had me shocked disgusted or saddened.  There were the deaths of cyclist Roger William De Klert and motercyclist and father of two Shawn Swaby which happened in my local area.  There were the 3 modern day 'slave' women 'freed' from a home in South London and there was the 11 year old girl who will become Britian's youngest mother.  All of these had an impact on me but the story that had me sick to my stomach from the moment I heard the headline was that of the Italian woman forced to have her baby removed by c-section and taken from her.  I don't usually swear but WHAT THE F*&K!

I thought it was horrible when I had to have an emergency c-section, I cried, I felt afraid but I knew this was what was best for me and little man at the time.  I can't even begin to understand what this woman must have went through when she woke up, likely in pain and unable to move very much with a catheter attached to her and in an unfamiliar environment only to be told her baby had been taken from her without her consent or knowledge.  As reported in The Telegraph, John Hemming MP said, "I think this has a fair chance of being the worse case of human-rights abuse I've ever seen.  She wasn't being treated as a human being."

I am praying there is a hell of a lot more to this story that the public is not yet privy to that can explain why having bipolar and a breakdown is reason enough to cut open a woman's body and 'steal' her child.  What kind of precedent is this setting?  That social services and the family courts can abuse women at will?  That people suffering from mental health issues don't need support but immediate punishment?  That the law is there to govern rather than protect?  

Surely, even if this woman were a danger to herself and her unborn child, there must have been another way.  There are services to help pregnant drug addicts and alcoholics that mean they get the support they need to have their child in as healthy a way as possible, but this woman who has a recognised mental health issue is forced to undergo a c-section.  Something is wrong here.  This story brings me to tears every time I think about it but whatever the outcome, I hope that justice prevails.