The End of the School Dinner

It’s been a pretty stress free year here since the government brought in school dinners for all Reception to Year 2 children in primary schools in the UK.

We had nothing to lose to sign Pickle up at her new school (who were providing school dinners for the first time because of the new rules, having them brought in by a catering company).  We thought that if it didn’t work out, we’d just switch back after term 1.  However, although we had a few meals that were in hit and miss, on the whole she loved it.

We loved it.

No more rushing to put together a packed lunch in the morning.

Unfortunately she has now decided school dinners aren’t for her.  She says she’s always hungry because there are parts of the dinner she just doesn’t like.  She also rarely eats the pudding.

So, sadly, come September, we will be back putting the sandwich fillings on a rota, creating little containers of cut veggies and fruit and bunging in a frozen block to keep it all fresh.

We are going to attempt to get TM on the school dinners though (he starts in reception) but as he is the pickiest child known to man, I’m not holding my breath and will include a packed lunch on most days just in case anyway.

Whilst lamenting the loss of those extra 10 minutes in the morning I did have the foresight to calculate how much we would be saving (excluding the cost of the packed lunch – I haven’t figured it out yet).

£45 a month.

I guess every silver lining….


How to Turn Me On


Take the bins out

Fix the dripping tap

Fix the blown light bulb

Put petrol in my car

Buy me a non twist hose in the garden

Put the kick board in the kitchen back

Put the washing away

Clean the bathroom

Buy a replacement photo frame for the one you broke

Wash the sheets and change the bed



The Good Old Days

There is nothing more infuriating to me than hearing about the good old days.  I thought it was the bastion of old men, usually grandads, telling us how rubbish the world is now and how great it was when they didn’t have telly and all worked down the mines.

Well, folks, you’re all there.  You’ve all started doing it and I couldn’t be more frustrated about it.

If I get one more Facebook meme pop up telling me that life was perfect when we all stayed outside until the street lights came on and how we all did more of this and less of this .

Have you bloody heard yourselves.  For goodness sake.

You must remember what it was like when you were a child and your parents banged on about how great the 50’s were.  Well, now YOU’RE doing it.  The 70’s were not that great, you just think they were because you’re now a grown up.mud legs

It was great playing outside, but back then parents weren’t judgemental.  They didn’t blame parents because a bad person took advantage of a child enjoying their childhood.  They were unlucky.  Nowadays, I guarantee that a good chunk of parents would love to have their kids out playing, but are afraid of being judged for it.  Can you imagine seeing your neighbours 4-year-old playing around the road?  Tell me you wouldn’t call someone after you’ve seen it happen for days on end?

We are the product of our own social norms and we’ve got no-one else to blame but ourselves.

As for the phone issue.  If someone had given me a phone at 12 years old that did what phones do now I would have been over the moon.  Much like children do now, I’d have spent lots of time on it, but I’d spend time at school, time in the garden, time playing sport, some more time on my phone.  My parents didn’t let me watch television 24 hours a day, I wasn’t allowed to read at the dinner table.  We’re all perfectly capable of managing this amazing technology and embrace it for what it is………….bloody amazing.

Feel free to look back on your childhood with nostalgia but please stop comparing it to our children’s childhood……….because whatever you’re moaning about now, will be their “Good old days”.  Imagine that!


Half Hour Ballet Class

Half hour ballet class – by The40yearold


She wanted to pirouette

She wanted to prance

She had dreams of the stage

She was desperate to dance


So at the age of just three

I signed her up right away

To a reputable dance school

On a free Saturday.


So she pranced and she danced

And she learnt all the moves

She declared that she loved it

We had nothing to lose


“We suggest she tries tap”

The instructor advised

She’ll love it, it’s great fun

It’s a challenge, she’ll rise!


So I hand my cash over

Bought all the gear

Now the class lasted longer

It was all very clear


“She will be in our show

She’ll need extra classes”

So I hand over more cash

And time quickly passes


Now she does modern

And drama and song

Our Saturdays sink and

And never last long


There are concerts and shows

And exams and the like

I’m sewing and fixing

All jobs I dislike


It’s engulfed our whole life

Our weekends are lost

And that’s completely ignoring

The buregouning cost


It’s out of control

And it happened so fast

Just four years on from

That Half hour class

Ballet girls

Life Lessons for my Children

I have been tagged by Abstract Lucas in this meme to list 5 lessons (#big5meme) to pass on to my children.  So after a large amount of thought I have come up with the following:

Don’t put your willy in your breakfast cereal

Fairly self-explanatory, this one.  As with all the lessons I teach you, it is usually after the event.

Don’t lock your brother in the chicken coop

oh how we laughed – after freeing him, sobbing, from the dark confines of a coop that he technically shouldn’t have been able to fit in.

Please wipe your bottom

I love that we have got to a stage where you use the toilet all by yourself, but at aged 4, now is not the time to decide which bits you do and which bits you can ignore.  That goes for washing your hands too.

You only ever write on paper

Not the walls, not your face, not your sister.

You are not Still Hungry

You’re bored.  You’ve eaten half the house….you are NOT hungry.

Only kidding………clearly these aren’t life lessons.  They are, none the less, lessons I’ve had to teach.

Here are my REAL 5 Life Lessons.

Look for a job you love

Ask people about who you are. Spend time thinking about what kind of person you are and then work out what you love doing, what you are good at and what you think you will enjoy doing 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 12 months of the year.  Feel free to change your mind too.  You only get one life and most of it is spent working so make sure you love doing it.

Be Kind

You lose nothing from being kind.  You can still be wary. You don’t have to dive in and save people left right and centre, but you can always be kind.  You don’t know other people’s journeys, their home life, their situation.  Your default should always be kind until more information is available.

Love is Love

Be open-minded and don’t be afraid to say so to those that aren’t.  Love comes in many forms and doesn’t involve just a man and a woman.  Other people’s choices have no impact on you.  Being in love is a wonderful thing.

Persevere for a limited time

Don’t give up too easily, but recognise when you have given something your all and it’s time to walk away.  Trying is half the battle, but sometimes we just aren’t designed to be experts at everything.  Remind yourself of what you ARE good at.

Be Thankful

If you have a home over your head, food and friends you have everything you need.  Stop comparing yourself to other people and ask yourself if you are happy.  There is always someone worse off than you.  If you want to change things, only you have the power to do so, but recognise what you have first.

I’m not tagging anyone, but anyone reading this……please take up the mantle.