Saturday, 19 November 2011

Homework… an everso rough guide.

By the time a child is in senior school, they might start needing some help with their homework, particularly as they move up the year groups and the work gets increasingly difficult.  Sometimes you may find that the work they are doing is inexplicably a lot harder than the work YOU remember doing at a similar age.  Sometimes this can be accounted for by changes in the school curriculum over time.  At others it can be due to failing memory…. or the fact that you were reading Jackie magazine under the desk during that lesson.

In any case, with the (unwitting) help of my own children I have put together a useful list of sites they can turn to when parents just don’t have the answers to some of those trickier questions.

Wikipedia – as everyone knows, Wikipedia is the ultimate, all-in-one-place site for absolutely everything in the world.  It is important to remind your child that Wikipedia, a form of ‘communal knowledge building’, cannot guarantee total accuracy and reliability.  Your child is unlikely to care very much if their assignment is due in tomorrow.

Facebook – primarily a social networking site but, as every 15 year old knows, an essential while you’re doing homework so that Becci can tell you what you were supposed to be doing for French and Joe can tell you what Becci was doing in Costa with Mad’s boyfriend yesterday lunchtime.

Google+ - similar to Facebook but not quite the same and Iz only uses Google+ now and she’s the only one who knows when your Shakespeare essay has to be in.

Snog,com – so that you can get a really good idea of how Joe (along with 20,000 random strangers) feels about you while you’re doing your homework.

Twitter – essential so that you can tweet exactly how you feel about your homework while you’re doing it.

Tumblr – similar to Twitter but allows you to create a kind of virtual mood board giving the world a visual representation of how you feel about your homework while you’re doing it.

Flickr – so you can post pictures of your art homework so that Joe can get a really good feel of how he’s supposed to be doing it.

MySpace – duhhh, no-one even uses MySpace anymore and it’s only open because someone left you a message on it.

Bebo – what IS Bebo?

I hope you find this useful and that it goes some way to explaining the array of tabs on the taskbar during a particularly arduous homework session.  It is by no means an exhaustive list and you may feel an overwhelming urge to add to it.  Or not.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Back to the birdies... everso

This week I have mostly been making these:

I'm pretty fond of them already.  They may or may not end up on the Christmas tree.
They're pretty simple to make and I won't insult anyone's intelligence by posting lengthy instructions at this point.
However, if you do need any help, I will happily point you in the right direction.

Prima  ß(the right direction).

So... it's all gone a bit vintage and tinny around here today.
Tins are nice.
You can put stuff in them.

This particular tin is especially nice because it's all VW and Split Screen.  I got it from a nice little shop in town but you can also get it from here.
Almost as good and possibly even better... behind it sits another tin, cunningly disguised as a vintage CK/Roberts style radio.  It actually is very realistic looking but, when you open it up, you'll be amazed and delighted to find that it contains absolutely no technical parts, rubbish music or boring DJs talking endlessly and egocentrically about nothing in particular.  Instead it contains biscuits (cookies, if you are that way inclined) - quite a lot of them - and you will probably find it necessary to eat them all quite quickly so that you can immediately begin to avail yourself of the undeniable benefits of a Good Tin.

You can find that one in Sainsbury's.  Better still, it's currently half price.  What more can I say?

Sunday, 6 November 2011


Ok, so here is a little piece of heaven.  Seriously.

Any of you who wondered what happened to the vintage floral side of Ikea after Rosali may appreciate this one.  And even if you haven't got the faintest idea what I'm banging on about, you're bound to be impressed by the fact that it's at least 150% cotton and has a thread count and everything.  

I hope you enjoyed my extensive and highly technical explanation.

Anyway, it's got little roses all over it and it's quite lovely.  Even boys can like it because the ratio of white:pink is very high indeed.

You can look at a slightly more boring (but arguably more useful) photo and proper information here .
Everso... squawk!

How about this?  It's a bird box, for those of you who haven't quite woken up yet.  I'm a bit of a fan of barking little caravans (and campers) and this appeals to my hidden hippy.  I'm not entirely sure if I can live with the paint job, or if I'll custom paint it, but here is where you can get it from while I'm deciding.

It's incredibly inexpensive and it has a little magnetic door on the front so you can, err, spy on the birdies and stuff (if that's your thing).


No, not an elaborate firework display but a hedge in one of the village gardens.  It went up like a giant box of matches and was visible from quite a distance.  Fortunately the fire-fighters arrived, in all their uniformed glory, and prevented it from causing any further damage.  It was a little bit beautiful though.  Why do I feel so bad for saying that?

Apologies for the quality - it was a photographic emergency and I used my phone.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

everso... sweet!

And while we're on the subject of my daughter, it was her birthday yesterday and somehow it all turned a bit Parisian.  Which is nice.

The Paris wrapping paper was hand-stamped using a wonderful rubber stamp set.  In the background, completely obscured from view, is a vintage Eiffel Tower bottle (trust me) and in the foreground there's a tower-shaped Christmas decoration.  All three of these things, along with half the contents of my house, came from here:  and if you haven't visited, you really should.

This little masterpiece was all my own work.  Yep, it's a cake.  It was actually pretty simple.  I made a large rectangular chocolate sponge, waited for it to cool, carved it into an approximation of the Eiffel Tower and covered it in good quality white chocolate (melted, obviously).  While that was setting, I covered the board in chocolate and hand painted it with diluted food colouring.  The idea was a kind of vintage Paris sunset.   I mixed up some silvery grey butter icing and piped on the details and then finished the tower with edible silver shimmer spray, like this:
et voila!  It's quite bizarre, spray painting a cake, but I could get used to it.  I'll be like.... the Banksy of baking.

everso.....hard to know where to begin.
So let's start with a slightly late Halloween theme.  Actually, it's not late at all, it's just very early for 2012 - how's that for organization?
It's really very easy to make.  All you need is a medium-sized pumpkin, a couple of bluntish kitchen knives, an old, bent spoon... and a very clever daughter.  A Jack Skellington-esque masterpiece!  Yes, yes, I cheated with my very first post; it wasn't me at all!  Nonetheless, a good place to start.