Saturday 18 August 2012

Inspiration for a generation

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t looking forward to the Olympic Games. Sport isn’t something I’m a huge fan of, and the talk of how over-budget they were going coupled with how much money huge sponsors were making, was making me pretty resentful of the whole affair.

However, all my doubts had melted away by the time I had finished watching the opening ceremony. If only Paul McCartney’s rendition of ‘Hey Jude’ could be wiped from my memory, I would say the night was a perfect representation for Britain. It put paid to the naysayers and was the start of what has been a riveting couple of weeks of FANTASTIC sport!

It’s had plenty of highs, some lows, lots of nail-biting-edge-of-your-seat moments, and, most importantly of all, I think it has achieved the goal it set out to in it’s tag-line- it has ‘inspired a generation.’

I’ve seen kids around my home town taking part in some of the fantastic Council run play schemes over the holidays, enjoying racing, hurdling, throwing bean bags (well, I wouldn’t arm a 6 year old with a javelin- would you?) and generally just enjoying being active. I have heard all sorts of stories from friends whose children have been moving furniture to ‘swim’ across the living room carpet or see how high or how far they can jump. My own children have been watching the games in absolute awe of the athletes taking part. My daughter told me excitedly that one day she wants to win a medal at ‘running and jumping over a stick’, in response to watching Jessica Ennis take part in the Heptathlon High Jump.

A few people I know were lucky enough to see the games in person, and though I’m sure it’s nowhere near as exciting, the TV coverage has been brilliant- my TV has threatened to go into standby on more than one occasion due to the back-to-back Olympic programming.

Awesome athletes like Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Greg Rutherford, Tom Daley, Victoria Pendleton, Chris Hoy, and David Rudisha, to name just a few, have succeeded in raising the profile of their events considerably whilst realising their own personal goals- a fantastic achievement.

The most important message our children can take from these games though, is that winning is great, but even taking part is a massive achievement. All athletes, from Team GB and other nations, have shown amazing sportsmanship sometimes under extreme pressure or after massive disappointment, and always under the glare of the media. One athlete who summed it up perfectly was the swimmer Liam Tancock, who, after missing out on a medal in his event, the 100m backstroke, came out with a massive grin on his face and enthusiastically promoted his sport, saying:

” I love what I do – swimming is a great sport, it gives you so many friends and keeps you fit. [. . .] I was walking through the call room and it said ‘inspire a generation’. I hope that’s what Team GB are doing and I hope we inspire a future generation of swimmers and Olympians.”

Job done, Team GB. Job done.

Thursday 14 June 2012

'Z' is for 'Zzzzzzzzz...'

I'm in the unusual position today of having a few minutes of relative peace. Child one is at school, child two is watching a film in her bedroom and child three is asleep! (see pic). So I thought I'd use this time wisely. Options included cleaning, cooking or updating CV.... booooring. I've decided instead that it's about time I finished my A to Z posts. Ha! Take that, housework!
It's been all change in our household over the last few weeks- I decided to take redundancy from the job I've been in for the last nearly thirteen years and my husband has just started a new job. This has come as a bit of a shock for the girls who've become used to having Daddy at home and have now grumpy Mummy to contend with. 
The change is taking a bit of getting used to. I imagined lazy days of playing with the girls in between doing things like sorting the children's scrapbooks and photo albums, clearing out junk, days out in the sunshine and maybe even a bit of writing.
Sadly the reality is a bit different. For reasons I cannot fathom, I appear to have less time to do these things than I had when I was working. The sunshine has been very good at hiding. And, though I love my children dearly, there is no doubt, they are beasts!
Despite the obstacles, I still intend to do all these things, albeit a little bit slower than intended.

Watch this space. 

But only if you want to.

Really, it's not that interesting.

'Nothing to see here.'

Thursday 10 May 2012

'Y' is for 'Yampy'

I thought it was about time I got around to finishing the A to Z challenge! I know it's a bit late, but better late than never, eh? 

I don't know about anyone else doing the challenge, but I thought 'Y' was particularly difficult to find a word for. 'Yampy' sprang to mind though when my husband and I were taking the girls out on a shopping trip. Have you heard the word before? In our house we use it as a description for being a bit manic. I know what you're thinking- 'her girls couldn't possibly be manic, they're so quiet and reserved'. Ha ha! This is a video taken on the way back from aforementioned shopping trip...

Out of curiosity, I looked up the word 'Yampy' to see where it originated and what the actual definition is for it. Unsurprisingly, it originates from the West Midlands. The main dictionary definition I found was for 'a foolish person' but I was surprised at the definitions listed on the urban dictionary, some of them even more derogatory. Take a look here.

Just one example of the ambiguity of language. 

Sunday 29 April 2012

'X' is for 'Xylophone'

I know, 'Xylophone' isn't the most imaginative word for 'X', but Freya enjoyed it! I downloaded an app onto my phone for her to play us a little tune. It's amazing the things you can find on phones to keep kids amused. Freya has a drawing app, puzzles, a piano and now a xylophone app on my phone and bongo drums on her dads! It's just a shame we have to let her get her grubby mitts on our phones to play them- and it's not even as if they keep her quiet! No doubt I'll hear more of these little 'tunes' over the coming days....

Thursday 26 April 2012

'W' for 'Wee Willy Winkie'

I wanted a nice simple post for 'W' as this was Freya's second video in one night of catching up with the A to Z, and I know how cantankerous she can get if I ask too much of her! She seems to love singing nursery rhymes, so we chose the only one I could think of beginning with 'w' and asked her if she knew it. Here's the result....

'V' for 'Velociraptor'

Ever since out trip to the Natural History Museum in London, Freya has had a little obsession with dinosaurs, helped along by her big brother, who was exactly the same when he was her age. It's actually really sweet watching them playing together with things that interest them both- I'm making the most of it as Jo is soon to start senior school, so I'm under no illusions of it lasting for much longer.
Anyway, Freya made up this little story about a Velociraptor after getting excited looking at dinosaur pictures on the internet. You can tell from her voice how exciting she finds them....

'U' for 'Unicorn'

Gosh, I'm in serious catch-up mode now aren't I? Today's post was recorded on Tuesday evening. After making me search again for the right toys, Freya decided to tell us a little story about unicorns. If you've seen previous posts, you'll know Freya has a tendency to slip her finger up her nose on camera, and this was one of those occasions. She got all embarrassed when I told her off for doing it though, and the story came to an end. She refused to start again, so I've stuck to this version, bogeys and all....