Saturday, 13 June 2020

Father's Day 2020

We're in a limbo state at the moment where we might be slowly coming out of lockdown and some shops are starting to open, most of us are still keeping distance and some are even still shielding so what exactly does that mean for Fathers Day?

This year more than ever we are going to be relying on ordering gifts online or thinking outside the box for ways to make the day special.

Father's Day gift guide for 2020.

Neve's Bees Hand Salve with a masculine Cedarwood and Vetiver scent, this is a hard working natural hand balm (to combat all the extra hand washing!) Neve's Bees are including wild flower seeds with purchases over £10 and can include a handwritten note on their Happy Vibes postcard on request. A lovely small business with a great ethos. 

Neves Bees Hand Salve - Fathers Day 2020 gift guide



















Small Beer Gift Set  A collection of 4 beers to create the ultimate Small Beer journey through the malt spectrum. Deserving of its award winning status and another wonderfully run small company.

Box Wild Dad's Bird Feeder Hamper
Whilst our Dad's are all enjoying the garden during lockdown, this special Dad's blend bird feeder hamper is the perfect gift. You can see the care that has been put into each gift from Box Wild - a small company who's goal is to give our wildlife a boost. 



Star Wars Droids Egg Cup Set - about as much fun as you can have with a boiled dippy egg.
Star Wars Droid Egg Cup - BB8 Egg Cup R2D2 Egg Cup - Fathers Day 2020
Flash Gordon Illustrated Guide Full of facts and photos, this guide reflects on the original Flash Gordon (Pre 1980's movie)


Flash Gordon Illustrated Guide - Fathers Day 2020

Tiger Gin with earthy notes, the perfect way to unwind on Father's Day. 




Back to the Future Delorean Art Set A nod to the classic Back to the Future movies, this set of 3 prints showcases the Delorean in each era. 




London Lego Architect Set Looking for a challenge 



Create an online Video VidHug montage 
Get all your siblings, grandkids and next door's dog to contribute a video to your video montage on vidhug - a great surprise to create. 

Emma in Bromley 









Please note, this article contains some affiliate links, however all items in this gift guide have been carefully curated.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

My blog turned 11 years!

I can't believe it, today my blog turns 11 years old!

Blake Clement 10th Birthday Legoland birthday board


For something I started to keep myself amused whilst I took a maternity break from my marketing roll, I can't quite get my head round that 11 years later I'm still doing this and loving it!

It all started with a post about maternity clothes in my local area.

It certainly feels like an achievement worthy of a celebration but I have to confess, my thoughts of celebrations are else where!

Over the next 6 weeks I have to navigate covid19 lockdown celebrations for uk Father's Day, Two childrens birthdays (Blake turns 11 and Maegan turns 9) and my husband's 40th birthday! under normal circumstances we would celebrate with a special family day out such as last years' trip to Legoland but this year it looks like we won't even be able to have any friends or family round. 

Where on earth do you start with lockdown celebrations? This might be one for a blog post or two!

Emma xx

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Did we have COVID19 ?

The start of this story is Friday the 13th March - now I am not superstitious about Friday 13th so I wasn't expecting any unfortunate events to happen.

Maegan (age 8) seemed a little unwell, just a cold - typical runny nose and a little bit of a cough.
We had heard her with a croupy sounding cough once or twice in the night, it's a pattern we have noticed with Meg since she was a toddler, a croupy cough before an illness.
She wasn't particularly unwell, the sort of snuffle that under normal circumstances wasn't enough to not go into school but we kept her at home for the day as a precaution.

Meg said she was coughing up "spicy stuff" which we assumed meant a "wet" mucus cough.
At this time, the advice from school was to carry on as normal unless she had a temperature or a continuous dry cough - at the moment she didn't have either of these so her big brother Blake went into school.
My husband's office advised for him (and all staff with a family member with any illness at all)  to stay at home for the next 7 days.

I popped to the shops to try and get some basics for the week, it was easier said than done - the shops were already crazy and out of stock for lots of things and I didn't even get half a normal weekly shop. I didn't panic as I thought I'd get an online order... little did I know that this was going to be virtually impossible!

On Monday afternoon I had a few tickly coughs but nothing else - not what you would describe as continuous and it was very sporadic, I didn't feel unwell at all - although I did have a bad headache - nothing unusual as the last few weeks of stress have given me quite a few headaches!

By Tuesday, Meg was pretty much over her cold, her runny nose had calmed and her cough was just lingering a bit.  In the afternoon my cough seemed to become more consistent and definitely a dry one - it didn't hurt and it wasn't particularly annoying - more like clearing your throat, in all honesty it sounded a bit like a pathetic put on cough.

Blake came home from school and had a bit of an asthma cough, not uncommon for this time of the year, he said there was a lot off from his class today.

The advice started to change to self isolating for 2 weeks and although at this time I just felt that Meg was getting over a regular cold and I might be starting with a cold - I didn't really feel that it was, or even could be COVID 19.

From Tuesday 17th March evening we took the decision to self isolate as a family just as a precaution.

Wednesday morning I woke up at about 3am and felt really ill, I woke up feeling like someone was sat on my chest, my ears hurt and my throat was on fire - comparable to tonsillitis pain. I drifted and snoozed until 11am which isn't like me at all. I'm sticking to our bedroom as much as I can and trying to avoid the children and Rich - its hard because you don't want to panic the children!

I still had a dry cough but it was usually a single pathetic one with a really bad burst of dry coughing every few hours - the bad bursts were enough to hurt a lot and leave me feeling a bit dizzy for a few moments. I was also quite sneezy.

My eyeballs ached, I tried to chill out and watch a bit of TV or read but my eyes hurt too much. I've lost my sense of smell and taste and off food. 

I spent most of the day nodding off and I had 3 doses of paracetamol in 24 hours - I don't like taking pain relief and this is more than I'd usually take in 6months!

I kept having moments where I felt normal and I'd go to get out of bed to move about but I'd feel dizzy and short of breath really quickly.

I don't have a fever at all and the symptoms don't seem to fall into any category - all over the press are charts showing you symptoms and the difference between a cold, a flu and covid19 - the problem is I have some symptoms from all of them and symptoms that are not mentioned at all and my symptoms don't seem to fall into other similar illnesses either such as chest infection or pneumonia.

Both my GP website and 111 don't seem to offer much advice and both say to self isolate at home unless I develop a fever, there seems to be absolutely no way of getting a test or finding out what it is I've got. 

In our household we have 2 Asthmatics, 1 suspected Asthmatic and then there's me with only 1 kidney (I had childhood kidney disease) so I'm a bit worried about either having covid19 or if being poorly has weekend my immune defences. I'm drinking lots of cranberry juice to help support my one kidney.

I felt mostly alright but had random brutal moments where I felt like I couldn't breath easily, if it wasn't for my husband looking out for me, I would have skipped a lot of meals, I just didn't feel hungry ... until I started eating and then I was a piggy! 

I tried to do my best to support my immune system with Matcha Lattes, multi vits and anti-inflammatory goodness such as ginger. I also drank pineapple juice because there's an enzyme in it which really helps to calm coughs and cranberry juice to help my kidney as I experienced a few kidney aches and pains. 

The next 3 weeks were a blur of sleeping, some days I'd sleep for over 12 hours, wake for a bit and then drift off for a nap. The dry cough started to hurt a lot, my rib cage felt bruised and sometimes the  coughing was so bad I felt like I couldn't breath and went into a panic - If it wasn't for my 10 year old son realising I couldn't breath and running to get my husband who then used asthma attack techniques to get my breathing to return - well, I'm sure I at the very least narrowly avoided a hospital trip if not something much worse. There were at least two occasions where I thought I might die. 

I'd find myself getting confused sometimes, I'd go to get something from the cupboard and forget what I was doing, or I'd lose track of the day or even what part of the day it was. I struggled to focus, It's not like I could sit and watch the TV or read a book because either my eyes hurt too much or I just couldn't concentrate. 

It took about 5 weeks for me to start to feel more normal again and I can't recall much from when I was poorly at all - its like there's a big blank.

Once I was better, I had these really sporadic stabbing pains in my left lung - They would be a burst of 3 or 4 stabs every couple of days and that was it but then about 2 months after I started with covid19 symptoms, I started getting a pain in my left lung every single time I took a deep breath, or if I sneezed, it was very worrying and I also had a mild achy in my heart area but both calmed after about a week - It might just be my imagination but it felt like a final bit of a fight between my body and covid19. 

Just to put things into prospective of just how brutal things got and how long it took me to recover from what might or might not have been covid19 ... I'm not good at being poorly, I don't like to sit still and I can't just rest or nap in the daytime. When I had my kidney removed, I was out of hospital within 5 days and started a Saturday job still with stitches. I've recovered from abdominal surgery following childbirth complications quicker than whatever it was that I had and even with full blown flu I've never slept as much as this. 

I know that I just have to accept that I might never know if I had "it" but its very frustrating as I feel that if it wasn't, then I'm terrified that we might get something even worse than I experienced especially with the thought that I might have to send my 10 year old (year 6) back to school on the 1st June. 


Emma xx




Thursday, 5 March 2020

Preparing for COVID-19, Isolation and School Closures

I'm in the UK and we currently have less than 500 cases so I don't think we are at the stage of needing to be ready for isolation but I do think it wouldn't harm to start preparing "just in case" and to have a plan. 

At the moment I don't think we really need to go further than picking up an extra pack of toilet rolls or a few tins of fruit with our regular weekly shop, from now, each week just grab two or three additional items that have really long dates on them and stick them in a box at the back of your cupboard -  put a reminder in your calendar for the item with the shortest date so you can use (or freeze) that item without creating any waste. 

Emma in Bromley - Isolation, School Closures and COVID-19


If you are not already doing so, take a multi-vit and consider a probiotic too. Have a look at your general health and see if there's anything you can do to try and optimise it.

Air your house every day - even if it's just to have the bedroom windows open for 5 mins. 

Have a couple of house plants dotted about - its surprising how much they can clean the air and brighten your mood!

Obviously continue practicing good hygiene, hand washing, sanitiser etc but also consider wearing washable gloves (like the magic stretch ones) and being more aware of what you touch out in public - do you really need to hold onto the handrail on the escalator? etc. 

The best way to prepare is a slow and steady approach - If you go all out and panic buy enough  provisions for your whole family to last for a few weeks in home isolation then 
1. its going to cost a small fortune, 
2. You might find yourself with a lot of unused waste, things being forgotten about and going off, too full a freezer or just too many tins of baked beens which in a life or death situation would be fine but for normal every day life - beans are the last thing you fancy. 
3. It's too early to tell if you are going to find yourself in a home isolation situation and as things stand right now, its actually highly unlikely - but as parents, we can't help be be prepared -its also a real possibility that schools could close as a measure to delay the spread. 

Can you work from home?
If you work for a company that can potentially allow you to work from home if we do find ourselves in a pandemic situation - now is a good time to check systems are in place - if you can remotely log on to your work system from home - check you can do it now, take ten mins to have a physical dry run -  it will give you enough time to have the IT department correct any remote access issues. You don't want to find yourself in an emergency situation, working from home in isolation and you can't even log on to the server. 

Build a stock pile
Start to slowly stock your freezer and cupboards - you only need to be buying 2 or 3 "emergency rations" a week at this time. Its about a careful balance so you are not unnecessarily spending too much money on things you might not even need but at the same time, you don't want to find yourself in a situation where the poop hits the fan and your standing in the middle of an empty supermarket wrestling for the last tin of soup (Or worse, Fish Paste)  risking exposing yourself to infection. 

Supplies to start growing

Food Cupboard:
Tinned Fruit.
Tinned vegetables.
Tinned Tomatoes.
Tinned beans and lentils.
Long Life Fruit Juice
Long Life Oat Milk
Olive Oil
Crackers
Breakfast Cereal
Pasta
Rice
Noodles
Sauces, Nandos, Yo Sushi, Thai Taste, Passata, enchilada kits, pasta sauce etc  - Look for long expiry dates.
Tofu - Silken tofu is often found on supermarket shelves with a long life 
Biscuits
Crisps
Chocolate (you will need treats)
Part Baked Bread rolls 
Squash

Japanese Matcha Tea - naturally helps your body fight infections. 

Water - I know we have good mains drinking water in the UK but I'd have a few bottles just incase there is an unlikely disruption to supply. 

Freezer:
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables - There are so many available, choose ones your family will eat and that can make simple foods such as casseroles, soup, fruit crumbles, smoothies etc. If you can, get some frozen pineapple - it's great for helping to fight coughs and sore throats. 
Chips - I mean, you can't ever have enough!
Bakery Items - Crumpets, Bagels, Part Baked Bread Rolls, Pitta and wraps all freeze well. 
Treats - If you are in isolation, especially with small children - Ice creams and Ice Lollies will be your life line. 
Herbs, Spices and Sliced Lemons - things like garlic, ginger, Thai spices etc freeze well and can make dull store cupboard food super tasty - not to mention things like garlic and ginger and lemons are great for fighting infections. 
Favourite meals - put some of your family's favourites in there such as a couple of pizzas or things for a roast dinner so that if you find yourself indoors for a long time you have a special treat to cheer everyone up / celebrate an untimely birthday etc. 
If you have meat eaters in your home, things like Prawns, sausages and chicken fillets freeze well and are easy to use with you store cupboard items. You can also freeze cows milk - go for a filtered kind such as cravendale - it still retains its freshness once thawed. 
Alternative proteins such as soy mince, chicken style pieces and veggie sausages

Household:
Paracetamol
Calpol
Toilet Rolls
Toothpaste
Handwash
Batteries
Check your first aid kit and general medicine cupboard.
Keep an eye on your prescription medicines and contact lenses etc. As things are now, its unnecessary to have lots of extras in your cupboard but if things with this virus start to escalate you don't want to be caught short. 
Laundry products. 
Household cleaning products - I'd go for an anti bac surface spray and washable cleaning cloths. 
Rubber Gloves
Bin liners.

Grow Your Own 
Have a few edible plants around the house, herbs such as basil and rosemary are easy to care for and great to add to meals where you can't always use fresh ingredients. 
Try growing a small strawberry plant in a jam jar or some living lettuce / rocket leaves - at the very least, children enjoy growing something they can eat - at the most - you'll have some fresh produce to nibble on if we all end up house bound.

Something Special:
Have a few new small things tucked away to tackle boredom such as a board game, movie, craft kit, new colouring pens or a lego set. If we don't find ourselves in isolation, then at least you have already prepared your Christmas Eve box!

Home School:
We've already seen a few school closures happening to help delay the spread of COVID-19 so it only makes sense to make sure you have a few educational resources at hand - ask your teachers which topics are coming up and grab a few non-fiction books and worksheets. You might find yourself teaching fractions in a cabin fever situation!

It's really hard to prepare when we don't really know what we are preparing for!

Look for the clues
Are there a few cases close to you?
What events are being postponed?
Any lockdowns happening?
Any schools nearby or in the neighbouring county closing?
Are any GP surgery's near you closing?
Has a decision been made to close your nearest tourist attraction?
Is your local hospital rescheduling procedures. 
Whats happening in Ireland, France and other countries close to us. 


If these start to happen close to you, it might be time to increase the amount you are stockpiling so that you have enough for a 3 week home isolation or reduce the need to go out in public places as often as usual... or at the very least you will be ready for the easter holidays! 

If I was to guess, at this point, I'd say its likely that the 2 week easter school break might be extended to 3 weeks and we might stay in more to avoid busy places. 

Lockdown
Italy now has areas in Lockdown ... its easy for our imaginations to picture this as a situation where you are imprisoned in your own homes and fighting for food but the reality is actually far from that ... you are contained to your lockdown area, meaning you are still free to leave your home and go about daily life, walk the dog, and supermarkets are still getting deliveries, there are no true shortages - just delays to deliveries and shelf stacking because panic and bulk buying creates the illusion of a shortage - imagine each customer who usually buys one packet of toilet rolls is now buying 6 packets on each visit.


Emma x

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

The History and Evolution of Blogging

Forgive me, I know its been a while!

My blogging adventure started 20 years ago when I was at university studying a BA in Marketing and Advertising - for one of our assignments we created blog posts but it wasn't until I held a marketing role within the fashion industry that my love for blogging really grew, at the time I was a marketing co-ordinator for Arcadia back when all their online content fell under a shared service we called Zoom. The online content for all the Arcadia brands Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridges and Burton was all done by our small team and one of the parts of my job I enjoyed was creating blog features that used products from all the brands such as a guide to the best skirts of the season etc. My team's work on Topman won an award at an event presented by Lauren Laverne and Preston from the Ordinary Boys.


I continued blogging professionally when I later worked for an architect firm and again in the fashion industry for a maternity brand, I enjoyed setting up blogger events and working on collaborations. In the mid naughties there were only a few bloggers and influencers and it was certainly seen more as a hobby and its true value to brands wasn't yet to be revealed. It was hard enough to get a budget sign off to provide breakfast and a goody bag for the bloggers we invited in to preview the new collection and the director of the company felt like it was a waste of time, I had to really fight the case for working with bloggers - it was still very much unheard of.

In 2008 when I was pregnant with my first baby, I launched this blog, it was really just to keep me involved with online marketing whilst I wasn't working but it was driven by the fact that I missed blogging! It was my first adventure into blogging for myself and the first time I hadn't been on the corporate side! It was strange being on the other side of the table but I loved it. The community of British parent bloggers was relatively small and we all seemed to know each other. You would bump into the same faces at events and it was lovely, we genuinely cared about each other and twitter was still a place to hold conversations rather than an addition to customer services as it is now. I'm still friends with people I met through blogging a decade ago - some were fellow bloggers, some still blog and some were the marketing people for brands at the time.

Brands started to see the value in bloggers, they understood that we were a useful marketing tool and recognised that a good blog post would take about 3 hours and that many of us used DSLR cameras and provided high quality imagery (this is before current smart phone offerings) within marketing and PR departments there was a dedicated person working with bloggers, we would get to know each other and build a professional friendship to the point where our brand contacts would send out Easter eggs and Christmas cards to their group of bloggers, it wasn't unheard of to receive a bouquet of flowers when a campaign went particularly well. The work bloggers did was recognised and valued by brands who would pay bloggers for their contributions. Many of the bloggers, like me, came from marketing backgrounds themselves and understood how to use key words, SEO and things such as alt text for images, we knew which fonts google could read, we know the best times to share across our social media networks and how best to drive traffic to brands. Readers valued our opinions and our brand contacts would ask our advice on upcoming campaigns or for our recommendations when looking for other bloggers to use.

As things grew, I moved to the middle of the table - I ran a few campaigns for brands I had developed good relationships with. One included a book publisher I still love. I would manage a group of about 10 bloggers on a campaign to support a book release. At first the publishers had wanted to thank the bloggers with generous book bundles - these would include the book they are promoting before publication but also the bundle would include other books and toys as well usually to a retail value of about £80 but I proved how valuable the bloggers were and negotiated a generous fee for the bloggers too. It was hard work making sure the brand and the bloggers were happy and that everyone had everything they needed and that things went smoothly - with the publishing of a book - timing is crucial. For one campaign I chose a blogger who at that time was local to me, we'd met up a few times for coffee and whilst we hadn't worked together before, She had mentioned being in a position where she needed to earn some money and when a campaign came up where I felt she would be a good fit I put her forward. Unfortunately a complication came up and she didn't tell me there was a problem, she just didn't publish her blog post when she was supposed to .... didn't reply to my emails and phone calls and just seem to not take part, the brand were not happy and blacklisted her for future campaigns as it left a gap in the online campaign (the bloggers were all linking to each other) and I was upset as I had personally selected her. Several weeks after the deadline, and after the campaign had been closed, she published a blog post that didn't even fulfil the brief and then sent me a demand for payment. It took a lot of negotiating but the brand paid her half the original fee. As a way of thanks the blogger sent me an email which which included insults and comments which were enough to put me off continuing what I was doing - I don't give up easily so I hope you can imaging that this particular blogger caused a lot of personal devastation.

Just as I was feeling low enough ... then the saturation came ... there was no longer just a small community of marketing trained professional bloggers.. now anyone and everyone was blogging, now there were lots and lots of new parenting bloggers popping up overnight, some played dirty by buying large followers to make it look like they had more influence than they really did, some copied existing bloggers work and some were just out to troll. Some were great and became solid parts of the blogging community but whichever way you looked - parent blogging and the world of influencers exploded and it was no longer following the same professional trajectory.

Brand attitudes and teams changed, it became rare that you will have the one same contact long enough to build up a professional relationship, it's been a few years since I received a Christmas card from a brand contact or a call just to see how I'm doing or what I'm working on. A lot of blogger and influencer work is given to interns and there seems to be a growing expectation that bloggers will do 3 hours of work - writing, editing, photographing, publishing, marketing - their blog post to benefit a brand with no payment at all, but maybe in return for keeping an item they're asked to blog about such as a £6 book.  It seems we've seen a switch from qualitative blogger influence to quantitive.

Towards the end of 2019 I saw a few glimmers of the value of blogging returning. I have hope that 2020 will see brands forming dedicated teams to build relationships with bloggers and influencers again. I've noticed, like me, some of the bloggers who were influencers a decade ago are returning to the community. I hope that the work a blogger puts in will be recognised once again as just that  - work.

... or maybe I'm just daydreaming of a time long gone?

I almost walked away from blogging, I certainly took a long break but I'm not quite ready to hang up my keyboard keys, not yet! I'm also evolving and trying something new ... 2020 is going to be quite the year!

Emma xx

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Valentine's Day 2019 Round Up

Can you believe it's already February,  January seemed to last for about a year and now suddenly we've all realised we need to order our Valentine's goodies pronto!

To make things a little easier, I've created a little round up of my personal favourite finds for this year:

Personalised Wrapping Paper from Abigail Warner in Luxury Gold heart print.

Personalised Wrapping Paper - Abigail Warner - Emma in Bromley Valentines Day 2019 - #EmmaInBromley

Blue Lady Tiki Mug - I just love the unusual style to this cocktail mug which was influenced by 1952 painting, ‘Chinese Girl’, by Vladimir Tretchikoff and can be found on Cheeky Tiki  - I'm totally crushing on at least half of their stock right now for my new (YouTube) Kitchen! 
Emma in Bromley Valentines Day 2019 - #EmmaInBromley - Blue Lady Tiki Mug


Best Vegan Chocolate - well maybe that should just say best chocolate ever! This handmade chocolate is absolutely delicious and growing in cult status - Kellie at The Happea Herbivore can personalise your Valentine's Day order to make it that bit more special.

Emma in Bromley Valentines Day 2019 - #EmmaInBromley - Vegan Chocolate - Happea Herbivore


Etched Ink Bottle - All The Words I Wish I Could Say To You. An etched glass ink bottle with such a romantic message - comes filled. 

Emma in Bromley Valentines Day 2019 - #EmmaInBromley - Etched Ink Bottle

Adam And Eve LampsPerfectly designed for bedside lighting, these simple yet extraordinary Adam And Eve lights make a delightful feature in any bedroom. Available in different sizes and finishes. 

Emma in Bromley Valentines Day 2019 - #EmmaInBromley - Adam And Eve Lamp

Spitfire Cufflinks Solid sterling silver cufflinks in the shape of a spitfire plane. These cufflinks have a chain fitting and are attached to a solid silver oval face, which can be personalised. The coloured detail on the wings has been hand painted onto enamel.

Emma in Bromley Valentines Day 2019 - #EmmaInBromley - Spitfire Cufflink

Silk PillowcasePerfect for beauty sleep with style. 100% Oyster silk for natural hydration to your hair and skin, 
Emma in Bromley Valentines Day 2019 - #EmmaInBromley - Silk Pillowcase

Hope I've managed to offer a little inspiration! 

Happy Valentine's Day everyone

Emma xx

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Are Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens?

So many children's food menus at the moment seem to scream the word "Healthy" but when you actually look at the menu, they seem anything but healthy and it got me thinking ... who says these menus are healthy and how is that decision made? How is it alright to include known Carcinogens and also state they are healthy?


The World Health Organisation categorised processed foods and meat as either a class 1 or 2 carcinogen (Cancer Causer) Foods such as Bacon, Ham and Sausage are right up there in Class 1 right alongside Asbestos and Cigarettes.

This isn’t even new, this happened years ago but we just pretend that it’ll be ok because we've always eaten these foods and its the norm to consume them. 


Are School Dinners Healthy? Cancer causing foods - Little House Lovely


We're currently encouraged to opt for more plant based meals and our fruit and veg portion advice sprang from 5 a day to 10 a day so why are children's "healthy" menus loaded with processed foods such as cheese, burgers and hot dogs, meat heavy and lacking in plant based options - even the vegetarian options are packed with cheese, quorn and veggie sausages (processed foods)



Leaves me puzzled - why is it ok to claim these are healthy? 

I wouldn't have thought menus where the majority of meals having either a class 1 carcinogen or a class 2 carcinogen would be allowed to claim they are healthy - especially if they are aimed at children and I think its devastating to see barely any plant based meals (is a jacket potato and beans really the best you can offer?) on these typical menus - I would expect, at the very least, vegetarian options to include vegan meals given the growing needs for vegans/ whole food plant based diets/ dairy free/  flexitarains / the eco conscious and those just looking to improve their health- and also future proof their chances of avoiding known Dietary diseases such as Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimers and Cancers.

The Cancer Research UK has a whole section on its website about how eating processed and red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer - scientifically proven - so why are we feeding children red meat and processed meat for their school dinners if even Cancer Research UK is telling you they know it causes cancer?


eating processed and red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer


this is also backed up by the World Cancer Research Fund too - urging you to eat little IF ANY processed meat - so why are our primary schools encouraging our children to eat it 5 days a week?


Eat little IF ANY processed meat - school dinners cause cancer


I feel like I strongly disagree with the majority of children's school dinner meals being described as healthy - especially when you take into consideration the information and science we have at hand in 2018/2019.

I'm not comfortable with the concept of trusting the schools catering service because they've used the word healthy when in reality they are feeding children carcinogens on a daily basis. 

Could you imagine how these menus would be received if we swapped the words over for other items from the exact same World Health Organisation Carinogen category - Cigarette and Mash Monday or Asbestos Sandwich Thursday anyone?

Imagine the uproar if the school dinner lady handed your 6 year old a cigarette instead of a ham sandwich - the sad reality is that we know that ham is a known carcinogen, the gamble is the same regardless of how in denial we are. 

Does anyone have a school offering meals free from (world Health Organisation) categorised carcinogens and leaning more towards organic (lets drop the pesticides) plant based meals to support our future generations? 

Adding the word healthy to these menus is inaccurate but companies get away with it because there’s no clear definition and is a buzz word open to subjective interpretation. 
I'm not ok with that - are you?

Here are some examples of current typical school dinner menus in the UK:


Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens


Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens


Whilst I have focused here on information from The World Health Organisation, Cancer Research UK and World Cancer Research Fund, you might also be interested in learning more from either of these two informative, science evidence based documentaries "What The Health" and "Forks Over Knives" - both currently on UK Netflix.

Emma in Bromley


http://www.emmainbromley.com

Monday, 1 May 2017

The First Hippo on the Moon comes to Bromley

 
  1. David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley


    The First Hippo on the Moon is heading to the Churchill Theatre in Bromley this week 2nd-6th May as part of a tour of over 40 UK venues in 2017. The First Hippo on the Moon is based on David Walliams’ picture book and has been brought to the stage by innovative children’s theatre company Les Petits Theatre Company.
    David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley

    The First Hippo on the Moon has been adapted for the stage by Les Enfants Terribles and Les Petits’ Artistic Director Oliver Lansley whose other adaptations of children’s literature have included the immersive dining experience Dinner at the Twits and Alice’s Adventure’s Underground. The puppets for The First Hippo on the Moon have been created by Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell who have previously collaborated on War Horse and The Lorax. The cast for The First Hippo on the Moon includes Dominic Allen, Alice Bounce, Caroline Bowman, Owen Jenkins and Rosie Nicholls.
    David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley

           
  2. Based on David Walliams’ original children’s book with illustrations by Tony Ross, The First Hippo on the Moon is an explosively funny space adventure which sees the enormously rich Hercules Waldorf-Franklin III and ingenious Shelia compete to be the first hippo to make it to the moon.
    David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley

    David Walliams has taken the literary world by storm and his brilliantly funny stories are adored by children the world over. He has achieved unprecedented critical acclaim and
    quickly developed a reputation as a natural successor to Roald Dahl. His books have been translated into over 45 languages and sold over 9.5 million copies in the UK alone.
David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley
 
The First Hippo on the Moon has been adapted for the stage by acclaimed theatre company Les Petits following their hugely successful production of Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs. The creative team at Les Petits have also worked on Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax at The Old Vic and the National Theatre’s productions of Elephantom, War Horse and Raymond Briggs’ The Bear. Les Petits was set up as the sister company to Les Enfants Terribles whose work includes Dinner at the Twits, The Game’s Afoot, The Trench, The Vaudevillains and Olivier nominated Alice’s Adventures Underground. 

I can't wait to visit the Churchill this week to see The First Hippo on the Moon with Blake (age 7) and Maegan (Age 5) and I'm impressed with the selection of performances including ones after school and relaxed day time ones too. Look out for an update to this article later this week!

Update: Wednesday 3rd May

Blake and Maegan had an absolute blast at The First Hippo on the Moon there was a lot of giggling!
David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley - Judith, Blake and Maegan Clement

As a parent, there was way too much poo and bum talk in the show (look out for the song about poo and the audience poo contributions!)  but that is what makes children laugh the most and entertaining them is why we went.
David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley -  Blake and Maegan Clement

The puppets are great and the actors seamlessly morph between puppeteers and characters.
David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley

We loved a 5pm show on a weekday and would like to see this happen more often.

Overall verdict? Both children would love to see the show again and we would recommend to a friend ... infact we already have - we have some friends (and readers) watching on Saturday!
David Walliams - The First Hippo on the Moon - Stage Tour 2017 - Churchill Bromley - Emma in Bromley


Emma in Bromley xx