Thursday, 17 March 2016


As my daughter heads into her final months at secondary school, the panic of GCSE revision has an up side which should be viewed as an exciting evening for them all to share - Prom night. How lovely. Hang on, when did proms even make it to the UK???

Don't get me wrong she is very excited and I am drawn into this new world where the etiquette is not known and parents follow the childrens lead (dangerous). I am lucky that she has her head screwed on a little and laughed when friends announced costs of dresses ranging from £150 upwards. I never remember having a prom at school - Ball's at university (good times) but never at school! This custom seems to have crept into our lives over the past 8 years or so with more and more schools taking up this option as a way of allowing the children to say 'good bye' to friends.

The idea is a nice one but it is the cost attached that is the worry. Tickets alone to hers cost £40 before transport, clothes and hair (apparently doing it yourself is not allowed!?!) and my fear is many will be excluded from the night due to cost. What is the answer? Schools should organise and keep it in-house to reduce costs but still giving all the children that final night together. Not sure how this would go down with teachers and students probably do enjoy the excitement of going somewhere but when doing research, try and keep all the children in mind not just the ones with money.

After all the years they have had together and being highly emotional teenagers, letting off steam at an event is a great idea. I just hope that no child is excluded just due to cost.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Cooking shows

I started watching quite a few cooking programmes lately. Not for any other reason besides I want to learn. What astounded me is all the differences between their kitchens and mine!  Now, I am not talking about the overall size or anything like that but its the smaller things.  Plus there are quite a few differences between the English and American programmes.

First of all, the main differences:
The cleanliness of their kitchens.  I know they are probably steamed cleaned to within an inch of their lives before filming starts but at the same time, the odd bit of 'normality' would be nice.  What family with young children has gloss cupboards?  We all know that one touch, and they need a clean!  They do not stay clean and tidy for long. 
Before they start, everything is laid out, all ready weighed/chopped etc.  Maybe it is just me but I don't have this done before I start.
Their clothes are spotless from start to finish.  I don't know about you, but I at least look a little dishevelled like I have been cooking whether it be a little flushed or covered in a light coating of flour, whatever it is, I know I have been cooking!

I have seen some differences between American and British cooking programmes.  The Brits have a lovely full fridge more often than not.  Whereas, our American counterparts seem to only have what they need for that recipe.  When I am watching a programme, even though I know they do not live on set, it would be nice to build an illusion that they live there. Or does that mean there is less money in the UK and they do actually use their own homes?!
Talking of fridges, they are always clean; sparkling clean!  I do like a clean fridge so I don't mind this one too much, it just reminds me to go clean mine.

The American programmes top my favourites to watch as there are so many formats while the English chef's all have similar formats which can get tedious. Plus the Americans love a bit of sweet naughtiness in the creations!