Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Gallery : Trains, Planes & Automobiles

I've just spotted this week's theme in The Gallery and I couldn't really not post could I? If you follow me you may already be aware of my dedicated London Underground Lover blog, if you haven't stopped by please do.

Kings Cross St Pancras, Picadilly Line. My entrance point to London town.

Kings Cross St Pancras

For The Gallery.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Need a phone? Visit Dial A Phone

Despite being a family of gadget lovers, I've resisted letting my children have mobile phones of their own. They have iPads and the ability to message and email through various apps on them and as they don't go anywhere on their own they really haven't needed phones of their own. But with Sonny getting ready for high school I've relented!

Sony Ericsson Experia Ray
Sony Ericsson Experia Ray
For the last few weeks we've been trying out the Sony Ericsson Experia Ray. This super cute smartphone stands out from the crowd with its candy bar design that reminds me of the old Sony Ericsson W800 Walkman phone that I so loved back in 2005.

Sony Ericsson W800
Old School Sony Ericsson W800
It uses the Android Gingerbread operating system which in all honesty is a bit of a mystery to me (being the Mac girl that I am) but the kids took over and were downloading apps and linking Twitter and Facebook accounts in no time.

The screen feels small to me but the speed that it switches between apps, the awesome battery life and the 8.1 megapixel are all pretty impressive. 
I can't get to grips with the ancient feeling Half QWERTY keypad, it feels so slow and clunky when you are used to racing around an iPhone or Blackberry but I am just being picky - the kids love it.
Its also surprisingly sturdy and doesn't seem to mind being dropped at all (which is pretty important as its been dropped too many times for my liking).

The good bits : Small, light, amazing battery life, crisp beautiful screen, camera

The bad bits : Fiddly keyboard, not great for large hands

Do your children have mobile phones? How old were they when you bought them and do you have any make / model suggestions? 

Thank you to Dial A Phone for sending this sim free Sony Ericsson Experia Ray that I've simply added to my own business contract with O2. The Dial A Phone ordering service was simple and delivery was swift. They work with all the major phone networks offering contract and Pay As You Go options across a wide range of mobile phone manufacturers, making it the perfect one stop mobile phone shop. 

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My First Wagon Wheel!

Earlier today I started one of those jobs that you end up wishing you hadn't even thought of.... sorting out my nearly bursting external hard drive. I've been at it for hours and I've just emptied 45,321 items out of my trash. It's a testing time. I will clearly have deleted something that I shouldn't have - but that's just the way I roll...

There is a positive side to the last three hours spent staring at my mac and that is this beautiful, cute video that I discovered...

Clearly the baby in the video isn't a baby anymore and I asked his permission before posting this. Even he had to agree that its pretty darned cute!

Finding this in the depths of my computer made me so pleased that I'd filmed my babies so much when they were small. Life has a habit of making you forget the total and utter cuteness and funny things that they did and said. Things that you should never have let slip from your mind.
So next time your little one is saying 'No Photo', don't listen because you might just regret it if you do.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Panda Awareness Week hits London

Betty LOVES pandas, she has around 100 soft and cuddly ones in her personal collection so when the invitation to the launch of international Panda Awareness Week (PAW) landed in my inbox, I couldn't really turn it down.

PAW highlights the work of the Chengdu Panda Base in China, a not-for-profit organisation that plays a leading role in fostering continued growth of the giant panda population, as well as rescuing and rehabilitating pandas so they can return to the wild.

Chengdu, in southwest China is the hometown of the giant panda - pandas have lived there for more than 8 million years and the Chengdu Panda Base has become a world-renowned breeding and research centre, dedicated to panda conservation.

Opened in 1987, with just six giant pandas that had been rescued from the wild, Chengdu now has the largest controlled breeding panda population in the world with 108 pandas living across more than 100 hectares of natural habitat.

But this weeks it's all about the awareness in London and what better way to get people talking than watching 108 giant pandas indulging in a spot of Tai Chi in Covent Garden Market?

Panda Awareness Week London

Tai Chi Pandas

The pandas were pretty awesome but Betty also got to meet fellow panda fan and PAW ambassador, Nigel Marvin!

Nigel Marvin and Betty

She got right into the spirit of the occasion and hugged as many pandas as she could.

But then its not everyday that you get invited to something quite so awesome.

The pandas will be hitting the London streets for the rest of this week. You can follow them @ChengduPAW on Twitter and by the #Hugapanda hashtag.

Short of a slice of cute? The Chengdu YouTube channel will fill the gap.

Why the conservation of the giant panda is an urgent priority

  • The giant panda is an endangered species and without help from conservation projects like the Chengdu Panda Base its future is uncertain.
  • The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals. 
  • Panda survival is threatened by loss of habitat and poaching.
  • There are less than 1,600 pandas left in the wild.
If you are interested in panda conservation, take a look at the Chengdu Panda Base site for more information.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

One parent rocks the school - Update

My post earlier this week has continued to gain momentum and thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read through and add their opinions in the comments. Whilst out playing taxi driver to my daughters this weekend I've been approached by so many people commending me for speaking out about this situation, that I feel duty bound to bring you all up to date with with what has happened.

Two days after the original letter home, that sparked this whole debate I received a second letter from the school.

I was handed the letter by my eleven year old son (one of the Star Pupil children who should have been on the trip). His response.... 
"Well a blue badge makes it all OK???? NOT."

I have to agree with him.

It has been interesting watching this pan out over the last week. I know that many parents from the school have visited my blog for the first time and left their views and in the school playground it is still the main topic of conversation BUT the dynamic has shifted.

Now everyone wants to know why the school has handled this situation so badly. Letters have been sent to the HT and the governors but as far as I know, they are still waiting for a response.

So in conclusion of the last week...
Year 6 children are bitter at the way they have been treated and younger year 3 children are confused about why their promised reward trip has been cancelled.
Parents are losing faith in the school management and the school management have totally let down no only the parents but the children too.

My view?
A blue badge sucks.


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