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#3000chairs Stand Up for the child refugees of Syria

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Blogizing attempt of an 'empty chair'

Jackie Morris, an artist and writer has started a campaign on twitter #3000chairs based upon this story of a Syrian child refugee: one day a child refugee visited a local school to join in a lesson, the teacher told the child he could not stay as there was no chair for them to sit. The next day the child returned with a broken chair and asked “can I stay now”.

These children have been torn away from their families, whilst having to leave their own country due to war. I feel ashamed that our government voted against taking these child refugees. If they have no parents then who will care for them? It does not matter where these children are from….they are our children. We have one world…and we are all the same. Human beings! STAND UP and join in this awareness raising campaign #3000chairs. Draw or paint your own, or share the story or write a letter to your MP…whatever you choose let’s make a difference to our children’s future.

#3000chairs
The day the war came

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Say no to online dating…

I have tried online dating on and off for two years.  Not because I had trouble meeting anyone, but because the people I were meeting were not necessarily what I was looking for.  At first I was full of excitement….receiving messages left, right and centre…it gave me something to concentrate on after my separation and I liked the attention, if I am honest with myself.  I even met a couple of the guys I had been chatting with online.  Well….I met three actually.  

One was a lovely guy and we met a couple of times, despite messaging for a while before meeting up, it was still a nerve wrecking experience! But we got on fine, though the distance between us made things difficult.  We still send the odd message now and again but there was not a strong enough connection to make either of us feel strongly enough about making a concerted effort to keep things moving in the dating direction.  So I guess this one could be classed as a partial success. 

The other two dates turned out to be strange….and that is putting it lightly.  To be honest….I wish I had never gone.  These were the type of people that had put pictures on the site which must have been photoshopped in some way or another….or taking in a light which was more favourable to their feature 😉 They both we much shorter than they had stated in their stats, and me being 5 ft 10 myself, find nothing less attractive than a man being shorter than me.  I want a man to protect me and look after me, not the other way around!  One suffered from a nervous twitch and despite me giving off signals I was not interested still tried to go in for a kiss which I have to say was quite possibly one of the most embarrassing situations I have been in….having to pull a scarf over my face whilst trying to duck out of the way!!!  The other just kept talking about getting pissed and how he is usually at home by 10pm.  WOW! I thought….I am a night owl.  When I go out with friends….I am lucky to be in by 3am 😉 He had a nervous stutter which made it difficult to understand what he was saying most of the time and I did not find him stimulating in any ways shape or form…so much so I made my excuses and left after half an hour later! 

The problem I have found with online dating is this…..in order to fancy someone you need the whole package.  When you first see someone…you decide within seconds whether or not you are attracted to them.  Its just nature, that is just the way it is.  You dont just look at their face, you take in the whole of them….their height, their body frame, their face and other features, and more importantly their stance…the way they show how confident they are…or not! If you manage to muster up enough confidence to approach them and speak to them, then you listen to their voice.  This is important, you need to find their voice attractive, light it flows through your body as they speak.   You can feel the persons energy (some may call it an aura).  There is no way you can do this through a computer/laptop/tablet/phone.  It is like when on occasion you meet someone and you either really like them or do not for whatever reason, you just cant put your finger on it. 

It does not matter how many photographs they put on the site, they are not a true representation in most cases.  They are always the best of the best and they are not 3d, you cannot get a true representation from a flat photograph!

Maybe it is just the case that I am too much of a ‘feeler’ I am an ENFP (Myers Briggs Test) but I think intuition is a great thing to go by.  If your body is telling you something listen to it, because it is usually right…in my experience anyway. 

My advice would be to get out there, look at people, feel their energy, watch their gestures and movements.  This tells you a lot about a person, more so than what they are selectively telling you at the other end of the internet.  

I’m sure there are successful relationships which have arisen from online dating but on the whole, it is not for most people. They are probably the lucky small percentage who just fell lucky.  I on the whole found internet dating rather soul destroying on one level…thinking christ is this what I am attracting.  Another point about internet dating sites is…it is a complete minefield.  It really is a place for lots of strange folk to hang out…..

My final point is this….the time I saved checking my account and speaking to people that it was never going to go anywhere with….because suddenly they dropped off the face of the Earth or told me they used to be a woman or are looking for someone to become an escort…(yes this happened)…I used the time to focus on things I actually wanted to do.  Like going out with friends and having a good time…walking my lovely dog and doing other things I really enjoy…like writing this blog 😉 

Good luck with your dating, there will be someone for you just around the corner.  I waited two years to find what I was looking for, but I am so glad I waited….so glad I did nt compromise what I was looking for as now I am the happiest I have ever been. 

 

Chimp Management

We have been recommended a book to read….it’s called The Chimp Paradox by Dr. Steve Peters.

Here is what Amazon says about it:

“Do you sabotage your own happiness and success? Are you struggling to make sense of yourself? Do your emotions sometimes dictate your life?

The Chimp Paradox is an incredibly powerful mind management model that can help you become a happy, confident, healthier and more successful person. Prof Steve Peters explains the struggle that takes place within your mind and then shows how to apply this understanding to every area of your life so you can:

– Recognise how your mind is working

– Understand and manage your emotions and thoughts

– Manage yourself and become the person you would like to be

The Chimp Mind Management Model is based on scientific facts and principles, which have been simplified into a workable model for easy use. It will help you to develop yourself and give you the skills, for example, to remove anxiety, have confidence and choose your emotions. The book will do this by giving you an understanding of the way in which your mind works and how you can manage it. It will also help you to identify what is holding you back or preventing you from having a happier and more successful life.

Each chapter explains different aspects of how you function and highlights key facts for you to understand. There are also exercises for you to work with. By undertaking these exercises you will see immediate improvements in your daily living and, over time, you will develop emotional skills and practical habits that will help you to become the person that you want to be, and live the life that you want to live.”

We have decided to give it a go….as you get older you definately think about things more than what you did when you were younger.  You think about what has happened in your past, how these things have shaped or affected you and sometimes everything can feel like it is crashing down all around it.  It can become difficult to manage and you begin to suffer from things like anxiety for example.  This is what happened to us after lots of major life changes happening in such a short space of time.  If you can understand why you are feeling such a way it can help you deal with it, therefore we will give this book a good read and hope for the best.  Blogizing will provide you with a full review once we have digested and practiced what is in the book.

Here are some reviews from people who have already read the book, and it all seems very positive.  So fingers crossed eh! 🙂

Have you already read this book?  Did it make a difference to your life? If so, in what way?  We would love to hear from you…..feel free to leave your comments below!

Review: Boomerang Scam? Festival Goers Feeling Ripped Off

Being offered the opportunity to review a Family Festival in Leeds I jumped at the chance.  I set off in the morning of Bank Holiday Monday, 26th May 2014 with my three children in tow….Typical Teenager (It’s not fair) Boy aged 15 1/2 years, Total Tom Boy, Girl aged 7 3/4 years and Princess, Girl 6 1/4 years.  You can call me The Reviewer (or mother or mum, if you must), aged 33 years young. The festival: Boomerang Jam, claimed to have something for all the family, so we were all looking forward to a lovely, fun-packed day out.  Even the weather appeared to be on our side.

Child Friendly Leeds?

Child Friendly Leeds?

The journey there took us just under one hour, it was relatively easy to locate and it was well sign posted once you were in the right part of the city.  I was under the impression that parking would be free, as when I had asked I was told there was ample parking at the location.  Imagine my disappointment when it was going to cost me £6 for the day.  With a family ticket for 2 adults, 2 children costing £40, the total tally for a family day out would already be racking up. I returned back to my car to display the car park ticket and a passer by was complaining about what a ‘rip off’ the festival was.  I listened, but at the same time decided I would make my own mind up, afterall….some people do just like to complain! And, I am not one to follow the crowd so to speak.  I approached the ticket office and collected my family ticket left for me.  The staff did not seem jolly in the slightest, I thought I would give them the benefit of the doubt as the weather was pretty grim.  I proceeded through the gate with my three children in tow…’The Typical Teenager’, 15; ‘The Tom-Boy’, 7; and ‘I’m a Little Princess’, 6.  The steward on the gate was the happiest member of staff I saw throughout the whole of our stay.  She guided us towards the entrance where you were met by a row of portaloos to the left, large metal fencing and the Mini Farm to the right.  “Don’t forget to the see the animals” She said, “There is a donkey and some rabbits and things.” All the time still smiling.  That woman deserves a medal.  She knew the feedback of the Festival was negative, it was written all over her face, but she still remained friendly and professional throughout. We went to the Mini Farm, very aptly named as it consisted of two donkeys, two alpacas, two sheep, two goats, one large lazy pig, one calf who needed its bum washing, two goats, three guinea pigs, four rabbits and one humongous sized rabbit.  Oh and four chickens and a couple of pigeons! Within five minutes maximum ‘I’m a Little Princess’ declares “I’m bored!”, ‘Typical Teenager is still displaying the look of ‘Where the hell are we mother’ whilst ‘Tom-Boy’ is still in hysterics at how huge the rabbit was.  Saying that, we certainly did not have to prise her away from the area.

Boomerang Jam Festival 2014 Mini Farm

Boomerang Jam Festival 2014 Mini Farm

We returned to the entrance of the festival.  As I looked around the area, I actually felt a little shocked that this event had been allowed to take place.  It was set up in an unfinished car park.  A fence in front of me cordoned off some large concrete blocks and very little had been done to cover up what they were.

View of Festival from Entrance

View of Festival from Entrance

Fenced off Concrete Blocks...building site!

Fenced off Concrete Blocks…building site!

There were a few food vans dotted about, a display from the Army, a couple of small marquees/tents and some fairground rides and games. We walked over to the small cup and saucers.  I admit I expected the rides to be free, unfortunately this was the not the case.  Of the small selection of fair rides and activities available there were a handful of things free, namely a climbing wall for older children, a large inflatable bouncy castle slide, cupcake decorating, hook a duck and face painting.  Pretty much everything else carried a price tag.  Unfortunately, many of the things advertised we not there.

marquee activities overwrite

What’s in here? Not much!

Advertised on the website before the event was:

Half Pipe and Pro Performers  Main Stage  Arena  Dance Tent Food Demonstrations  Mini Farm  Rock  Climbing Inflatables  Fair Ground  Graffiti Artists  Arts and Crafts Stalls ● Competitions ● Breakdancing ● Beat Boxing performances  and much much more.

Unfortunately, there was not much, much more, nor were all of the advertised acts and activities present.  I am not sure as to what the arena was supposed to be, unless they were referring to the poorly kept car park/building site, there was no dance tent, no food demonstrations, there were no arts and crafts, no competitions, no beat box performances…. The entertainment on the main stage consisted of a loop of Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Bob The Builder, and local dance troups.  We stayed for a maximum of one hour and a half and I do believe we pretty much saw the whole of the entertainment.

One of the four acts...

One of the four acts…

Not only was the event poorly organised but unfortunately many of the workers, who appeared to be there independently (so I am unsure as to where the entrance fee money was going) were very unprofessional and simply did not seem to care about the very families who had paid to attend the event.

Quite possibly the best free activity

Quite possibly the best free activity

‘Tom Boy’ and ‘I’m a Little Princess’ wanted to go on the trampolines.  As the large inflatable bouncy castle had been free, I assumed that the trampolines would be too….. How incorrect could I have been!  The damage…£4 each for 5 minutes.  The 5 minutes included the time it took the children to take off and put back on their shoes, so around £1 a minute for jumping on a trampoline.  In fact the worker started attaching another child into the harness whilst Tom Boy was trying to put her shoes back on.  There was no area for them to take their shoes off or put them on so the only place was to sit on the side of the trampoline to do it.  More alarmingly, whilst I was there, an organiser came over and asked one of the workers if he has been smoking whilst putting a child on the trampoline as they had just received a complaint. Within the small marquee, there were a couple of free things for the children to do.  There was free face painting, you could have a model balloon made or you do do some cupcake decorating.  Oh…and not forgetting you could milk a large plastic cow, supplied by Arla Foods, which in actual fact ‘I’m a Little Princess’ actually enjoyed for a shortwhile.

cow

Cow milking supplied by Arla Foods

stir krazy

Stir Krazy Kids Activity

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Cupcake Decorating with Stir Krazy

As a parent, the most highlighting part of the event for me was speaking with one of the owners of Stir Krazy, a children’s cookery club.  It was lovely to see the passion she had for her business and hear about the reasons she decided to set up the club.  Cathie went on to tell me about the holiday clubs and children’s parties they run in Leeds and surrounding areas and how they are a new business.  I wish Cathie and her partner Sarah all the best, as their concept is a lovely idea for children and a great alternative to conventional childcare.

The misery of the majority of the rest of the staff and stall holders could not be contained, and was perhaps most apparent on the face of the balloon modeler who, not only looked uninterested….but also appeared to do a runner half way through the day.  One little girl asked the man if he would make her a flower, he obviously was not listening or could not be bothered as he handed her an orange looking dog.  A man asked for a giraffe and the balloon man told him he did not have time to make a giraffe.  I could not believe my ears.  There was no interaction with the children at all.  When it came to ‘I’m a Little Princess’ wanting her balloon, ‘Typical Teenager’ had also heard everything going on, and so for his entertained told her to ask for a zebra.  At the same time I made a comment that all the balloons looked the same and he looked like he needed to be elsewhere.  He must have heard me, as amazingly ‘Princess’ ended up with something resembling a zebra.

balloon man

Not interested?

zebra balloon

zebra

Oops where has he gone?

Oops where has he gone?

The ‘Festival’ claimed it was part of the Food and Drink Festival, however there was nothing at this festival to suggest such a thing.  The only food available were in the form of the usual burger vans, there was one creperie van.  No evidence of any cooking demonstrations and there was one small beer tent, which was hardly used, probably because most parents did not appear to want to stay that long. All in all, it was a disappointment.  I am not sure what went wrong, whether there were lots of booked acts that did not turn up or whether it was just very poorly organised.

Unorganised....

Disappointing….

I have waited a couple of days to write this review, in the hope the organisers may have issued some sort of explanation but to date nothing has been released.  Quite honestly, if I was the owner of the venue (http://thetetley.org/) I would not have allowed the event to go ahead. It is such a shame, the organisers had a good concept here, but there simply was not enough organisation, enough things to keep people entertained, and the ticket pricing was just all wrong.  There was nothing to keep a 15 year old entertained, which I know is difficult at the best of times, but I had hoped that the dance tent would do that.  My two daughters aged 7 and 6 were bored within an hour and a half. After searching the internet I have found many other complaints from families simply feeling that the festival was a scam and a rip off.  We can only hope that the organisers are able to compensate the families in some way by providing such a sub standard event, at an extortionate price and wasting valuable family time. You can read other reviews here and here

ben ten  peppa pig meet n greet

SUMMARY Event: Boomerang Jam Family Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Date Attended: 26th May 2014 Value for Money?: No Toilet Facilities: Plenty of portaloos, the ones I visited had plenty of toilet roll and hand sanitiser.  Baby facilities were located within the Tetley Building, meaning parents having to leave the festival area. Recommend to Other Families?: No Would you attend again: Yes.  I would love to see the event organisers put on the event that they advertised and this time do it justice, and get the pricing right!  I would like to come back next time and be able to give a postive review. Overall Rating: 1/10 Reason for Rating:  My children did enjoy the large inflatable bouncy castle slide and meeting Peppa Pig and Ben 10.  The event was over priced, unorganised.  Not enough activities to keep families entertained.

WHAT MY CHILDREN HAD TO SAY:

Children's Reviews...

Children’s Reviews…

If you need to contact Boomerang Jam here, you can do this here: http://boomerangjam.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/boomerangjam?fref=ts Related Articles: Booming Bank Holiday Entertainment for all the Family (Blogizing.wordpress.com) Reviews of Boomerang Jam (Mumsnet.com) Boomerang Jam on Facebook If you attended the event and left feeling disappointed with your experience please feel free to leave a review in our comments, or a link if you have posted a review elsewhere. Acknowledgements: Blogizing would like to thank the organisers of Boomerang Jam Festival for providing a Family Ticket to allow us to come and review the event for you.  Although we were disappointed this time around, we hope you can learn and grow 🙂 B signoff