Some tests are more important than others.


My grandson just surprised us all by getting top marks in his SATs (an 11 year old UK placement test). He has a good mind but has trouble retaining concentration. None of us were expecting he’d do more than scrape by. But it is not of this I wish to speak.
He unexpectedly scored high in another kind of test yesterday. I asked if after school he’d help me get to my allotment and haul the water for me (it’s quite wild and hard to negotiate wearing a surgical boot). We are in the middle of a heat wave and though my allotment friends would water my plot in the circumstances I was not sure how many knew of my accident.
I didn’t know how he’d react. My daughter has a “high flying” job with apple money but little time so tends to pay her kids to do everything. I decided to put him to the test and offer nothing. To my surprise reimbursement was never mentioned, instead he acted the perfect gentlemen lending his arm for the dodgy bits and using his new forming muscle to haul the two big watering cans six times down to the river and back (a 50 yards of windy paths). This whole was exacted without a complaint (that water’s heavy) and total concern encouraging me to rest on the chair during his trips back and forth. Both sweating as we headed for ice-creams (it was over 30 deg. remember) I told him I hadn’t been sure he’d decide to help me. He looked shyly over and said, “of course I’d help you – you’re hurt. You won’t take advantage of that will you?” I assured him I wouldn’t think of it, but I was very happy he’d helped and now the plants wouldn’t die.
He’d passed another kind of test, to my mind an even more important one. I could see, not only was he able to apply his mind when needed, but more importantly he was growing into a caring and compassionate man.
Sometimes in this modern world we can put so much emphasis on IQ and natural abilities, but this kind of test any child can pass and it is, I think, even more important for our planet than SAT scores.

So you thought that was healthy.


(teaspoons of sugar per serving)

Rockstar punched energy and guava, 500ml.jpg

Rockstar punched energy and guava, 500ml.jpg

Some of these we all know are super bad. (I must admit to reacting to a can of coke in the same way many would react to being offered weed killer lol) But some are surprising (especially for those that don’t check labels). How many kids I see with ribena or capri-sun in their otherwise healthy lunch boxes. It also explains a lot about obesity.

They don’t mention though about the toxic chemical cocktails in the “sugar free” varieties. The only “safe ” path is to make your drinks at home – juices, smoothies, and even plain old water with a hint of lemon juice are delicious!

The problem is sugar is as addictive as cocaine and hits exactly the same pleasure centers in the brain.(hence why manufacturers put it in everything – they want your money!)  The good news is it only takes total abstention from sugar for a week to break the physical addiction – then you only need to break the mental one which is much harder – maybe total abstention from advertising lol! What did it for me was the knowledge that these big corporations were lining their pockets at the expense of ours and even more so our children’s heath. That made me angry enough to totally kick the habit. OK rant over! LOL!

Learning to fly.


Flash fiction from July 2014

Song Bird Songs


Looking down from dizzy heights he trembled feeling his inadequacy, unable to launch off. Home had become uncomfortable, no longer the cosy nest of childhood. He felt prodded, wounded even, father reluctant to feed him, insisting he was old enough to forage for himself. His siblings had already gone soaring to dizzy heights, looking down on him he feared.
A sudden upsurge of inspiration seized upon him. He opened his wings feeling its soothing caress. Then suddenly he was airborne, the wind lifting him in its arms like a lover.
First there was a slight panic as he lost altitude. Then, as by instinct he tilted his wings catching the updraft, joy coursed through his being. He was at one with the elements, finding total freedom soaring on the wings of the wind. He knew then in his heart, he was born to be an eagle!

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