Friday, 5 September 2014

Electronic Holiday.

Every summer we try to get away to sunnier climes for a couple of weeks. This year we went to Malta. Since having the kids we have done "all inclusive" holidays. They make sense. Unlimited drink, more food than you can shake a stick at and the most important part, kids club.

It's a sad sign of the times that we also brought with us plenty of "eletricals".  Tablet computer, two portable dvd players, two Nintendo DS's, our android phones, iPods.  It might seem a lot but when you are back in your hotel room and need some down time it's great to be able to plug in and relax. Shamefully it keeps the kids quiet too.

This year we made a rule that no electricals (barring my kindle) came downstairs in the daytime. The day was for playing.  The four year old was fine, she was happy to play in the kids pool, go the beach and do some paintings with the kids club. The nine year old spent a lot of time moaning he was bored when his holiday friends weren't around. 

Amazingly we managed two weeks with minimum use although the nine year old was the happiest boy to get on his Xbox and chat to his friends when we got home. 

There us a happy medium with letting the kids have screen time and getting them moving. Its just finding it.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Why I Wont Be Doing The Ice Bucket Challenge

Social networking has been fabulous for many things, advertising lost beloved pets, missing people, and raising awareness for many charities.  

I'm sure none of you have failed to notice you can't scroll through your news feed on Facebook without seeing someone doing the "ice bucket challenge".   There have been in excess of 2.4million ice-bucket videos posted on Facebook and another 3.7million on Instagram.   But how many people get what it's about and actually donate to a charity?  ALS -  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, the American originator of the idea and  its British equivalent, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, has also benefited. From 29 July to 28 August this year ALS received $98.2m - compared with $2.7m donated during the same period last year.  Pre-ice bucket, the MND Association would receive on average £200,000 a week in donations. From 22 to 29 August, it received £2.7m.  Other charities have also benefited including McMillan Cancer Support and Water Aid by people who are against the wastage of water.

My nine year old asked if he could do it.  I said no. He said his friend had done it three times. When I asked him what charity his friend gave money to he didn't know.  Once I explained the concept he'd thought twice about it. Also because I wasn't going to Tesco to buy a bag of ice.  I wonder how much money the supermarkets have made from this?

I don't feel the need to throw a bucket of cold water over my head to donate to charity. I already have a monthly direct debit set up to support a charity. I spend a good part of my lunch hour criss-crossing the road so often to avoid the chuggers (Charity Muggers who want to sign you up to another direct debit). I often put change into donation boxes as I pass by, I  buy raffle tickets, I round up my spend in Pets At Home (yes; if you ask a lot of shops can do this). I donate old toys & clothes to charity shops and I often buy things in charity shops.  

I do my bit without getting cold and wet. So thanks for the nomination, but no thanks.