Jurrassic World Racism Controversy: A Few Facts

There seems to be a big issue with the new Jurassic World movie, as many people seem to think it’s being racist by referring to pachycephalosaurus as ‘pachy’. For those who aren’t aware, this sounds the same as a derogatory term for people from Pakistan (not a term I would ever use or defend the use of, I’d like to make very clear). While I haven’t seen the film (although I really, really want to!) I’d like to point out a few things:

1. The dinosaur in question is NOT pakisaurus. A pakisaurus is a completely different dinosaur, specifically a sauropod, so named because it was discovered in Pakistan.

2. Pachycephalosaurus is regularly shortened to ‘pachy’, due it being a very long and somewhat tricky to pronounce name. Including in Jurassic Park 2: Lost World as shown in this clip. Did anyone cry out for that film to be banned? Nope.

3. This film was made in America, where the derogatory term ‘Paki’ is not used or known. The people who made this film would not have made that connection, never mind put it in the film as some kind of subtle message that Pakistani people should be treated as dangerous animals, as seems to be the main point of the argument.

I really hope people pay attention to these facts, calm down and enjoy the movie – it sounds awesome and I can’t wait to watch it!

Days out in Cardiff: Roath Park

During May half term, myself and Pip took a trip to one of Cardiff’s largest parks, Roath Park. I’ve been wanting to go for a while, given that we’ve visited most of the other major parks in the area and we do love exploring new places.

On arrival, we first took a walk around the lake, spotting the different kinds of ducks and geese there.

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While it would have been really lovely to have a boat ride on the lake, it was a very windy and surprisingly chilly day, especially by the water, and I thought it best to stay on dry land!

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I let Pip have some time in the playground next. It’s a well-equipped play area with equipment for younger and older children. Always one for making new friends, Pip was soon running around with a group of other children. I can never quite get over how confident she is – you’d never have seen me approaching children I didn’t know to play with at that age!

Next we had a walk through the gardens, which really beautifully kept. Our walk took us to Roath Park Conservatory. There’s a small charge (£1 each, if I remember correctly) for admission but I think it was well worthwhile. Inside are a huge range of exotic plants plus a large pond filled with koi carp of varying sizes – some really huge! – and a few terrapins. Pip loved watching them paddle through the water so we stayed here for quite a while.

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Here’s a video of our day in Roath Park:

Desk Tour

We’ve been doing lots of reorganisation in our home recently. This has included myself and Husband getting a new desk each. I haven’t had my own desk in a few years so this is pretty exciting to me. We purchased the desks from IKEA. We’ve got them arranged together to almost form one desk. It means we can easily chat to each other but still have separate spaces to ourselves.

We’ve added a shelving unit, again from IKEA, for our HP Envy printer and shared stationary stuff. We’ve bought some lovely decorative and organisational bits and pieces for our desks. Now that I’ve got my own desk to put it on, I’ve made a board on Pinterest of accessories for it. Check it out here!

Having a study space will be very useful for my final uni course. It’s always been a bit of a struggle finding quiet places in the apartment to study so this will solve that problem nicely. If you want to see a whole tour of our new desk setup, I’ve made a video of it as part of my introductory vlog video – take a look!

Thanks for reading. If you have any inspiring desk setup ideas, I’d love to hear them!

A Brief Explanation of my Blogging Break

Hello all.

I have not posted on here in about a month now. I have not abandoned this blog or anything. I am simply very busy with work, revising for an important university exam and lots of other bits and pieces that are taking up pretty much all of my time at the moment.

My exam is at the beginning of June and after that, I am committed to posting much more regularly. I’m also going to start vlogging too, which is pretty exciting. In between revision and building new furniture (more on that another time) and family stuff etc, I have made a very long list of things I’m going to blog about once I have time to do so.

I promise there’ll be more posts coming soon!

Gardening, without the Garden

I have always liked the idea of growing my own food. It appeals to me on many levels: it involves being outdoors, it’s a nice, productive and not very expensive hobby and, now from the perspective of being a parent, it’s great for educating my daughter about where her food comes from and how plants grow.

The problem is our lack of garden. We live in a very nice apartment and I know that I’m actually very lucky that my home’s only drawback is that I don’t have a garden but still, it is a bit limiting, especially when the weather is nice.

It seems that the people who own our apartment building had the same thinking. So last year they gated off an area of the car park, put some benches in and some containers of flowers, creating a pleasant place for residents to sit outside. On seeing this, I had the idea that the section of the gated off area under Pip’s bedroom window, which wasn’t being used for anything, would be perfect for us to grow some plants. I very politely asked the owner, who said it would fine, they had hoped people would want to use the area. That was last year though, and too late to start planting anything. So instead I bought a mini greenhouse when one was on offer at our local garden centre and it sat in it’s box in a corner of my bedroom all winter.

Now that spring has arrived, we’ve started our little growing project. It’s amazing how many vegetables you can grow in containers! They will need more water and more feeding than plants grown in the ground – it’s important to remember that if you’re thinking about having a go at this yourself. We’ve been sewing seeds in little peat pots and keeping them on the kitchen window sill where it’s nice and sunny.

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Last weekend, our tomato and Brussel sprout plants had grown big enough to be moved outdoors so I finally constructed our mini greenhouse and Pip and I spent Sunday afternoon repotting all of our little seedlings into big pots. She was thrilled to have an excuse to get a bit mucky and so excited at the idea that these tiny plants would someday give us food to eat.

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We’re also growing chard, courgettes and carrots, although I’ll need to get some deep containers for those since they need plenty of space to grow under the soil.

I’m going to keep one pot of tomatoes on the kitchen windowsill to see if it’s possible to grow them entirely indoors. I’m not sure how well this will work but we’ll just have to wait and see!

I hope this has shown that you don’t need a garden to grow your own veggies! I’ll be posting regular updates on how our growing project is going.

Thanks for reading.

Easter Holiday Plans

I have been a little absent from blogging lately. This is mostly due to being employed now! Yes, after a long 7 month search, I finally found some part time work and, even if it is just at the local supermarket, it’s having a really positive impact for me. Plus, I managed to get hours that mean I can still take Pip to and from school. I miss a few hours of family time at the weekend but Pip and Husband seem to be really enjoying having some time on their own – something they’ve never regularly had. On top of work, there’s been studying and housework and childcare to fit in so while I’ve been getting used to this new routine, writing has taken a back seat. However, I am determined to start making time for it again. My general aim is to post once a week but sometimes it might be more or less, especially as I have a uni exam coming up in June.

Given that I now have even less time with Pip, it feels more important than ever to make the most of school holidays. I have 6 full days just me and her over the next two weeks and I have lots of plans for us! We’re going to be planting some seeds, doing some Easter and Spring themed crafts and, of course, playing lots of games.

I’m not a religious person so for me this time of year is all about Spring time, new life, growing plants and, lets be honest, the chocolate eggs and other Easter treats. We’ll be making some yummy stuff later this week, which I will be blogging about of course! It’s important for Pip to learn about other cultures and religions so we will also be looking at various Easter traditions from around the world.

Last week was Pip’s school parents’ evening. Her teacher gave a great report and I’m really pleased and proud of how well she’s doing at school. Of course, we’re very aware of how her learning is going anyway but having her progress confirmed by the teacher is still nice and it’s good to keep communication open so that we know what’s going on at school and vice versa. She gave me a few pointers on things we could do at home to help her learning. To that end, we’ll be doing some storytelling activities over the holidays as well, partly as a way to practice writing in full sentences independently and partly to help her focus her amazing imagination into an actual narrative. Pip comes up with some brilliant ideas and it would be great for her to start recording them on her own.

What are your plans for the Easter Holidays?

Welcome to the Little Gamers Guild!

I am thrilled to present my new blog linky for sharing experiences of playing tabletop games with our children, called the Little Gamers Guild. I have long thought, and said, that tabletop games are brilliant way to have fun as a family (even on the rainiest of days!) and are a fantastic educational tool. Please share your tabletop game related posts at the bottom of this page. To kick things off, I’ve created a list of our top ten favourite tabletop games to play with younger children. The linky will run on a monthly basis so look out for next month’s too! I’ll be creating a monthly round up of the best posts.

Little Gamers Guild Badge

With Pip quickly moving on to tabletop games intended for 6 years old and beyond, I thought now would be a good time to look back at all of the games for younger children that she’s enjoyed for the last few years, before they’re forgotten forever! I hope this list inspires you to try out some tabletop games with your little people.

(The list isn’t in any particular order, mostly because neither myself nor my daughter are any good at picking favourites!)

1. Skunk Bingo – For ages 3 and up, this game is great for developing social and memory skills. I particularly like the cute artwork and using the log as a mechanic.

2. Feed the Woozle – For ages 3-6 with 3 different levels of difficulty, this game is great for parties or just for a more active play. We always end up in fits of giggles over this one.

3. Create Your Own Fairytale Spinner Game – For ages 5 and up, this game is all about creativity and imagination. As a family who love telling stories and playing games, for us this is just a brilliant mixture of the two.

4. Snug as a Bug in a Rug – Like Feed the Woozle, this game is for 3-6 years and has 3 difficulty levels. I really like the original concept of this game and it’s great for learning to recognise shapes and colours and for counting, as well as some basic logical thinking.

5. Hoot Owl Hoot! – For ages 4 and up, this game is incredibly cute and we found it’s a really nice one to play when little friends are visiting. Be warned, there can be a bit of upset if the game is lost but luckily it’s quite short so you’ll probably have time for another go.

6. Elephant’s Trunk – For ages 4 and up, this is a really fun game to play as a family and it’s easy to transport as everything fits into the four tins, or ‘suitcases’, making this a good game to take on holiday. I really like the concept and design of this one.

7. My First Carcassonne – For ages 4 and up, this is a good choice for those parents who already love tabletop games and want to introduce their children to the medium. Our daughter saw us playing the grown up version of Carcassonne and wanted to join in but it was just a bit too complicated so this was a great solution for us. It’s a fun one even for the grown ups to play and we often get this out when family are visiting.

8. Race to the Treasure – For ages 5 and up, this game has a good original concept and introduces the idea of map coordinates to children. Being a cooperative game, it’s a great one to play as a family, working together to defeat the ogre (who we named Bogden, incidentally!).

9. Build a Robot – For ages 5 and up, this game did need a tiny bit of tweaking in it’s mechanic (see my review for more details) but it’s a great game, especially for little people that love robots. Like most eBoo products, the artwork is really nice.

10. Tell Me a Story – For ages 3 and up, this set of story cards is really multi-use so while it can be used as a tabletop game, it can also be used simply as a resource for learning about narrative and storytelling. We have two sets and we’ve been using them for years now.

Here’s the Little Gamers Guild Badge to pop on your blog:

Little Gamers Guild
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