My 2018 Goal... I've done it!!

So I write today with a sense of real achievement for I have reached a goal that I'd given myself, for once!

Yes I stuck to something and I bloody well achieved it. Better still, it was something that I'd been wanting to do for the last 15 years and never bothered with. Whether it was for financial reasons or nerves, I never got further than applying for my provisional license. 

I passed my driving test!

I started lessons on 21st March 2018 and had a 2 month break between the middle May and middle of July. That makes the total learning time just under 4 months. I did it!!

I'm not going to lie, being a learner driver royally sucks. At 33, I'm talking huge sweat patches under the arms and boobs and on my back; my left foot would bounce on the clutch as my leg couldn't control the shakes. Just as those nerves would settle down, a normal driver would f*ck things up again by doing something insanely stupid. I mean seriously, the road is full of absolutely numpties.

One lesson was very satisfying in that the impatient cow behind me (getting annoyed I was doing 40 in a 40 ha!) roared past me as soon as it was clear, only for the police to walk out in the road and wave her down. They did her for speeding. Muah hahahaha!!

Anyway, I bloomin' well did it. So I wanted to give learner drivers some tips that I picked up along the way and I really hope it helps.

Eat bananas before your lessons. This really does work. Don't ask me how but several friends suggested it and I could really tell the difference when I hadn't had them.

Chew gum. Saves any dry-mouth situation which really does happen when you're stressed!

Do not wear a lot! You will sweat. Your body is tense for over an hour, this burns serious calories. I have friends who never sweat, even in 30c UK weather, who have admitted that they were dripping at the end of each lesson! No jeans and no thick tops or jumpers!

Ignore people behind you (or to the left or right of you!). I'm not saying to pay no attention or not to bother with your mirrors, but some drivers seems to forget they were learners too once. They're not worth being affected by. Fingers, shouts, flashes, horns... it will happen because frankly, people are dicks. Sorry about that! If you let them pressure you, you will stall or roll backwards, or potentially speed if they're right up your bum. It's just not worth it.

Well I hope this helps someone. If anyone has any questions, fire them at me and I'll answer for sure!

I'm going to set myself  goals more often. I  am loving the feeling of achievement right now!

Great things to do with your kids this autumn

With the summer sun almost out the door and the autumn winds starting to blow in off the horizon, you may be forgiven for thinking the holiday season is all but over. But don’t despair! The blustery period between the end of summer and the festivities of Christmas (yes, the “C word”) doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom and there are plenty of opportunities to have some fun in the fall this year. Consider these opportunities as a great excuse to get out and about, even when the weather leaves you longing for the sunny months of summer. 

Leaf chasing, leaf kicking... same thing!

Leaf Chasing

This is a whole song and dance in America where city-folk from densely populated, not-very-green cities travel out to the country to take in the beautiful colours of autumn foliage. We are lucky in the UK in that we pride ourselves on greenery, even in our busy cities like London and Birmingham, the roads are usually tree lined and there’s always a park around the corner. Of course, it’s not difficult to see the appeal, once the trees start taking on their autumn colours, it’s almost like the world is coming into a whole other life and is a great exercise to name some colours with small children. Don’t forget to collect different types of fallen leaves to keep in a scrapbook, it’s good for identifying different types of trees and leaf shapes. 

You could even turn your leaf chasing excursion into a small break away, while it might be a bit chilly to camp out, most modern-day UK caravans for hire have quality central heating for those cold evenings and there are plenty of sites located in woodlands and wooded areas. Surround yourself with spectacular and colourful autumn nature!

Make an Autumn Collage

Collages are great, not only do they provide lots of interesting materials to use and look at, but they offer plenty of enrichment for children between the different shapes, textures and colours. Get them out in the garden or down to the local park and collect some bits that can be used to make an autumn day collage. Fun, easy to come by materials include dry grass, tree bark, sticks, pine cones, end of season flowers, leaves and even dirt! 

Get a big piece of card or corkboard, use PVA glue to attach your autumn scene parts and tah-dah! A piece of artwork to be proud of. If your kids are a bit older and responsible, help them fix push pins to their larger materials, so they can move their scene around as the season progresses. 

Build a Winter Animal Home

Over the winter, there’s lots of local wildlife that will bed down and hibernate, sometimes around your own garden. Building a winter home for your wild neighbours can be an enjoyable activity for both and your children. Gather lots of sticks, leaves and other natural foliage you can find on the ground to build a shelter amongst trees or under a hedge, anywhere private and out of the wind. You could build a few different types of houses to suit different animals, in the UK we have three different mammals that hibernate; hedgehogs, dormice and bats.

You can use the opportunity to find out more about each animal species together, like the fact that hedgehogs are keen on interior decorating! They won’t enter a nesting box that has already been lined with leaves so leave hedgehog homes bare. 

If you pre-plan and place animal homes somewhere you can get back to with disturbing the animals hibernating, you can always return before the deep winter to find out if the home has become occupied! 

Autumn is a favoured month by many for its pretty colours, fresh winds and the tasty fall vegetables like pumpkin, squash and sprouts. Before the winter chill blows through and the festive decorations start to go up, how will you spend your autumn this year?, pub-8301510335931825, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0