Park Wars #LostChildhood

I didn’t grow up in this area, but I grew up in an era when we ran out of our houses as soon as we were allowed, played until we were hungry, and came back home.

Our parents didn’t have to fret about what we were doing. They knew we were in the park, or riding bikes with our friends.

When we started secondary school, there was no fear about us walking to school alone, or with our mates.

Fast forward thirty years and it is a different ball game everywhere we look.

As a parent to a near teenager and a child who will start secondary within the next couple of years, I have an honest fear of what could happen.

My child walks to school, and back, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. He wants to pop into the park for a kick about with his mates, as kids that age naturally want to do. It took us a while to gain the courage to actually let him do that.

The thing is, though I trust my child, and have every faith in him, that he wouldn’t do anything wrong, it’s the rest of the world that I can’t be sure of.

The recent incidents in the local park have caused a great deal of unrest amongst many parents. Articles and posts have been circulating around Facebook, and other Social Media networks, getting everyone rather worried.

I want him to grow up independent, and able to make decisions for himself, but equally, I don’t want to be sending him out like a lamb to slaughter.

( You want to know what happened? A couple of weeks ago a gang of teens beat an innocent lad with a baton, and there have been allegations of organised bare knuckle fights happening there. These are just some recent incidents, but they are becoming more regular, and in turn, are scaring families away from a beautiful park and play area.)

I dropped him off there, to that very park (it’s our local park), last Saturday, tentatively, to meet some friends. I was reassured to see some Community Police Officers circulating at least twice whilst we were parked up waiting for the others. This week though, with all the press and publicity the incidents have received, it was decided that the boys wouldn’t meet. They were sensible about it, reasoning that it was too unsafe to go.

Yes the police can be around, but if someone was to flash a knife and the officers were at the other side of the park, if there at all, they wouldn’t be able to stop something happening. The boy’s words. They also want to know there will be CCTV cameras installed for safety.

Maybe social media has a lot to answer for.

Is it scaremongering of sorts? Who can we blame?

One thing’s for sure though. Our kids are losing out on a lot of chances to learn independence skills because we have this fear of letting them out into that dangerous environment.

I feel saddened that our children don’t feel the freedom of childhood that we did. Instead they end up kept at home, where they are glued to screens. Then we worry about childhood obesity.

Or we run them, and ourselves, ragged, sending them to extra-curricular activities, to get them out of the house, leaving us a pretty penny poorer too. At least meeting at, or riding their bikes to the park is free.

What do the kids want? The chance to meet up with their friends, with no worry about who could turn up, cause trouble or steal bikes.

How can that happen? Park wardens, like the good old days, and proper CCTV cameras installed as a deterrent, and evidence if needed.

Maybe the council could see to use some of that exorbitant council tax we pay to do this, so the youngsters of this region can actually be kids for longer, instead of wannabe gangstas in training…

5 Annoying Songs My Kids Keep Playing! #Parenting #FirstWorldProblems

Yes, I know.

A a youngster, there must have been plenty of tunes that my parents were driven crazy by as we repeatedly played them, but I swear to goodness, the ones the kids play now, are  pure rubbish, noise, not music or melody, and even shouting on occasion!

I am going to list five that they have played recently, ones that really get my goat, and I end up wanting to bury my head in the ground.

1 – The first is the latest one that Lil Princess has discovered. It is entitled Yodelling Kid and started out as a random video of a child yodelling in Walmart of all places. Since becoming infamous there have been countless remixes, and I am now faced with a yodelling kid of my own! Seriously annoying!

2 – The Yah Yah Yah Song… Listen to the lyrics… I’m sure you’ll get why it kills me…

3 – Dobre Brothers – You Know You Lit – I can’t explain how I want to shake the first singer, no expression… but it’s strangely addictive too… STOP LISTENING RITU! COME BACK TO US! It’s one of those so bad it’s good songs…

4 – KSI – Lamborghini – is this called Grime? One of Lil Man’s songs…
I just don’t get it….

and last but not least…

5 – Taco Song – The TEN HOUR version!  Yes seriously, my son, Lil Man thinks this is a great song to game to! TEN HOURS!

Apologies if you end up with some really BAD ear-worms because of me… but I have to suffer this daily. And they say Sharing is Caring, and you all know how caring I am!

Have you got any songs that really cause you to want to throw the music player out of the window?

Support Matters #BloggersBash

It’s not easy being the partner/spouse/family member of a blogger and writer.

I can only imagine what Hubby Dearest and my kids think I am doing, as I sit, reading posts, and laughing to myself, thinking, before feverishly writing comments…

The constant checking my notifications to reply to my Blog Peeps must be so annoying…

Me needing quiet as I write…

Wondering when I am going to bed, as I toy with words on a screen for what seems like forever…

Worrying if I may turn their latest silly comment into a blog post…

Hoping that I might stop soon, to feed them…

But knowing they got my back… Priceless.

The kids have been wonderful, you know, the last couple of weeks, as I finished my WIP. They even listened to snippets, giving me support and encouragement along the way.

Hubby Dearest is a quieter supporter; he lets me get on with things, and is pleased for me when things go well, but doesn’t always really know what I am doing!

But this year he is giving me some extra special support, by accompanying me to the Annual Bloggers Bash! I wanted him to come last year too, so he could meet some of the folks I try to talk about, but it didn’t happen.

This year, he decided that he would do it. Be there for me as I debut as a speaker (more on that below), and cheer me along at the awards too… (again, see below 😉 )

It’s quite a big thing, you know. I’ve been to several events with him over the last 20 years, as his plus one, for company parties. But this is the first time he’s going to be my plus one! (So to speak!)

We’ll try and book somewhere nice for the night, so I don’t have to rush off like a budget Cinderella at 6pm , to catch my train! and share more drinks and chats with my Blogily!

More on the post title about support

Just in case you didn’t know, I’ve been nominated for the Best Overall Blogger 2018 award at the Annual Bloggers bash. I haven’t gone on about it TOO much (yet) because my WIP drained my attention and energy, but I am back!

Best-Overall-Badge 2018

I shall, shamelessly, ask for your support, to think about voting for me… but there are some other AWESOME blogs I am up against…

Nominees: 
Retirement Reflections,
Daddy And Dad,
Jenny in Neverland,
Life, Books, and More…,
I’m A Writer, Yes, I Am!,
Me and My Books,
Gin & Lemonade,
Linda’s Book Bag,
A Brummie Home and Abroad,
But I Smile Anyway…,
Smorgasbord-Variety is the Spice of Life,
Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo,
 I’m Sick and So Are You

Please check them out, then click here to be directed to the voting post (to vote for me, obviously!)

There are eight other awards that are open for votes too, and believe me, some very deserving blogs on those lists too! Do vote in each category, it is so easy, simply select and click vote! Done!

But you can ONLY VOTE ONCE, so think carefully before voting!

The votes close at the end of April, so make sure you don’t forget!

VOTE HERE!

And, if you hadn’t heard, I am even giving a talk (eek!) sharing

…my top tips from a working mother on how to keep your blog running smoothly and giving it plenty of attention without abandoning your family and real life too!

Your support in not throwing eggs or rotten fruit if you are there would be much appreciated… and hopefully I don’t put you to sleep! (I’ve worked really hard on the handout too!)

Click here for more information about the Guest Speakers for the day!

There will even be a panel discussion too, which is always so informative.

And there just might be some cake involved too…..

Those were my creations last year!

Are you coming to the Bash? Let me know in the comments, I’m excited to know which new blog pals I will get to meet this year, and catch up with my old Blog Buddies too!

If not, why not? Click here to get your tickets! 

Best-Overall-e1519401734212

Flash Fiction Must Run In The Family… #YoungWriters

I’ve mentioned the Lil Princess a few times with regards to creativity, be it singing, drawing or writing.

This time I have to report that Lil Man is now nearly up there with the published authors of our time!

His school sent some entries to a company here, who encourages and promotes young writers, and Lil Man’s flash fiction piece was one that was chosen! The compilation is called Stranger Sagas…

Here is his piece!

The Magic Pen
It started at my birthday and Grandpa came. I like Grandpa
coming on my birthday, he gives me presents which were his
when he was a boy. This year, Grandpa gave me a pen.
Grandpa handed me the pen.
He said, “Click this pen when you are in great trouble.”
By the way, my name is Billy. I’m twelve years old. Later, I
went to school. I had the pen that Grandpa gave me, just in
case I needed it. I clicked it. Click! Time froze. What do I do?

The Young Writers Association is a company which targets schools and encourages entries into various competitions for children of all ages.

They select ‘winners’ to go into books, and yes, it is a ploy to get proud parent’s to buy the books, but if it gets kids writing, I am all for it!

(Yes I have already ordered one copy – not going mad and ordering one for every member of the family!!!)

What did you think of his flash?

 

Twelve days of holiday! #Christmas

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My take on a classic!

On the first day of holidays
My children gave to me
A bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the second day of holidays
My children gave to me
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the third day of holidays
My children gave to me
Three temper tantrums,
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the fourth day of holidays
My children gave to me
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the fifth day of holidays
My children have to me
Five super smiles!
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the sixth day of holidays
My children gave to me
Six loads of washing
Five super smiles!
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the seventh day of holidays
My children gave to me
Seven snow requests
Six loads of washing
Five super smiles!
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the eighth day of holidays
My children gave to me
Eight arguments
Seven snow requests
Six loads of washing
Five super smiles!
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the nineth day of holidays
My children gave to me
Nine broken presents
Eight arguments
Seven snow requests
Six loads of washing
Five super smiles!
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the tenth day of holidays
My children gave to me
Ten tummy aches
Nine broken presents
Eight arguments
Seven snow requests
Six loads of washing
Five super smiles!
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the eleventh day of holidays
My children gave to me
Eleven headaches hammering
Ten tummy aches
Nine broken presents
Eight arguments
Seven snow requests
Six loads of washing
Five super smiles!
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
On the twelfth day of holidays
My children gave to me
Twelve great big hugs
Eleven headaches hammering
Ten tummy aches
Nine broken presents
Eight arguments
Seven snow requests
Six loads of washing
Five super smiles!
Four lame excuses
Three temper tantrums
Two nights of coughing
And a bucket load of sick, yippee!
Merry Christmas!!!

A Poem from my book, Poetic Rituals, available on Amazon here – myBook.to/PoeticRITUals

Author Zone, Ritu Bhathal, Poetic Rituals, Writer

Merry Christmas!

 

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