Tuesday 28 January 2014

Q&A Prior to tonights Bolton Game

I was contacted again by the lovely folks at Burnden Aces to complete a Q&A piece they had prepared for me prior to tonights game.

I have predicted a 2-1 win, watch this space, but in the meantime you can catch up with the rest of my ramblings here!

Thanks for looking!
Annie x

Monday 20 January 2014

#TeamHonk is coming to #StAlbans 4th February 2014

Yes, St Albans, you weren't seeing things, on the 4th February, you did witness Mayor Annie, in a onesie, on a scooter, surrounded by Zippy and George (of Rainbow fame for my younger listeners) and Buzz Lightyear, also on a scooter, alongside other bizarrely dressed honkers, racing through town with THE baton!   

I was so proud to be part of this effort, the buzz (pardon the pun Helen) on the day was amazing, and most importantly the 2 schools Mandeville and St Peters, with their human chain and running tracks, had THE most fun ever for a school day!   

As I write this update the baton has reached Birmingham already, on it's way to John O'Groats, and with another month to go, TeamHonk are already at 95% of their £20,000 target!!!!! WOW!!!!! I have no doubt they are going to smash that any day soon!

Anyhoo, go TeamHonk, here's a few pics from our day!   Thanks for reading, and don't forget you can support our local effort here!
In the old Courthouse
One of my faves from the day

Thank you Bakehouse
Talking to Year 5 at St Peters
A fine sending off from St Peters
In the old Cells

The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.
And here's our little bit........................Three lovely friends and fellow bloggers went to Ghana 2 years ago, with Davina McCall and Jonathon Ross et all, as you do.  Tanya Barrow Penny Alexander and Annie Spratt made up TeamHonk They did a fantastic job raising awareness and also raised over £10K to boot.  Pretty impressive stuff.

Well this year TeamHonk HQ came up with the idea of getting a baton from Lands End to John O Groats, purely by blogger power, in aid of Sport Relief......hoping to raise awareness of this fine organisation and ultimately to raise even more money this year!

We are lucky enough to have been invited to be part of the #StAlbans leg of the journey, the whole team is listed here :) Team Honk Jenny Soppet Smith Annie Robb Renata Blower Siobhan Calthrop Steph Curtis Paul Hooker Penny Carr Kirsty Hornblow Clare Goldthorp Rudd Carolynne Ashworth Lisa Pearson Chrissie Michelle Saunders Hannah Brewer

Thanks guys!
Annie x

Friday 10 January 2014

Bribery, Incentive or Threat.........Motivation, Reward..........oh my poor head!

The following are definitions from the good ole Oxford English Dictionary.

"dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favour by a gift of money or other inducement"

"a thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something"

"a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done"

I have heard these three words used regularly, by parents, when trying to motivate(???) their children to do something for them/themselves/society!  It is one of my little bug bears, (of which there are many), but when I hear the words bribe or threaten levied at me, I am always quick to say NO I like to offer an incentive.   Although arguably said incentive can be used in a threatening way.

The whole thing we need to think about though, IMHO, is -  who is going to benefit or gain from the action/achievement?   I believe this is the crux as to the success of said role-play, which let's be honest, is what it comes down to.

As children develop there are very obvious mile-stones........ crawling, standing up, walking, toilet training, dressing themselves etc.   I have video footage of me trying to get Jasper to walk towards me, whilst holding out some chicken. It is cringe-worthy, and to be honest the reason why I have been thinking about this post.  It didn't harm him, he did in fact take the bait (ouch), but my running commentary mentions "donkey" and "carrot", well done mummy
oh dear!

Anyhoo, I digress........The right incentives can be successful with your children, if you know what works for them.  Sticker charts did nothing for Jasper, he didn't get it, but I know they can work very well for some.   I remember going to see a teacher in school and they said I must be very proud of all the gold stars Jasper had for his work?  I knew nothing of it, it didn't occur to him to tell us.  Whilst the teacher saw this as a reward for good work, to Jasper it was just a random sticker.

Fast forward, and all those development mile-stones pretty much achieved, and I have been trying, without success, to motivate/incentivise my children to do other things regularly...... open curtains, make beds, put shoes/clothes away etc.   Don't get me wrong, they are good kids and not complete slobs, but they will not take on board MY requests, and you know what, it's because its MY want and not their gain.  In this case, absolutely nada will help with this matter, and I have to get over it.

I have worked out that I am the only person in this house who cares what it looks like.  I wondered about going on strike, but I know I couldn't cope. Again, who is the only one stressing here, why MOI of course!

So here it is, I'm giving up.   The house will be a lot calmer without me running around demanding such actions in return for something they don't really care for.   I'll no longer have to hear them pleading "but I forgot".   Instead I will concentrate on equipping them with life-skills that will take them forward, as long as I can come up with good reason for them to take them on board.

Have I failed?  No I don't think so.  I believe I have just worked out what will work here, and make us all a lot happier as a family.   I still have my standards, but if I want to maintain them then that's up to me.    

Now, having said all that, "Reward" is another word to throw into the mix, and having worked out what does motivate my children, these will be used as required.

Jasper - money for Mr Simms, use of XBox, Heelies
To be used for:  achievement of Times Tables....to be updated as required.

Scarlett - money...........
To be used for:  tbc, not had to be used as yet as she is very keen at school, but will remember for future.

AND these should NEVER be removed due to another misdemeanour, the reward must stand whatever!

Thanks for reading, would love to hear your opinions?

Annie x

Friday 3 January 2014

QPR v Doncaster Rovers 1.1.14

The boys were at Arsenal so I decided to take my 6yo Scarlett with me to her first game since a baby.

It's not really her thing, she can do the chants with the best of them, but she was very excited to see where mummy goes.

I took her to the Bok pub beforehand, a classy little joint close to the ground *coughs* and we bonded over a lemonade and a Diet Pepsi (am sure I ordered DC but hey)!

The game started brightly, as it always does, and then quickly descended into the disjointed affair we have been subjected to of late.   Charlie was on his own up front, and I don't have to tell you how we just cannot play this way.  I understand we have fitness issues with Andy J and Bobby Z, but I would rather put them on first and go for it, rather than hope we can hang on for 45 and then go for it 2nd half.  But hey, I'm not in charge.

As it was, Doncaster could have gone 3 -0 up in the first half.  Around the 40 minute mark we were talking amongst ourselves about how we always do this, and yes the inevitable did happen, on 43 Minutes Theo Robinson scored to put the away side 1-0 up grrrrrrrrr.  To be honest tho, it wasn't a shock, as I say we could see it coming, unfortunately :(

As an aside, I was getting very frustrated with Benoit Assou-Ekotto, his positioning was all over the place, and obviously I can't pin our poor performance first half down to one player, but hey it's my blog so there......... let's just say it was the same worrying performance we have been subjected to of late.   Roll on the January transfer window when we can hopefully get another striker on board......

The picture to the left is a lesson in social media life.  Yes he was hauled back to Spurs and told to delete the tweet, but that does not mean it will necessarily disappear hmmmmf, moving on....................

Second half, and to quote a cliche, it really became a "game of two halves".  We brought on AJ from the off, and you could see the difference immediately.  Finally, when it came to crossing into the box, we had strikers in there. I'm not blaming Charlie, he is not a goal poacher who hangs around the box, he's a team player who tracks back, and that's why it is difficult with just him up front.

A much better game to watch, we had momentum and the team came together.   On 55 Minutes, MOTM Matty Phillips got our equaliser, and we pushed on from there.   Although we always looked like getting another, I was resigning myself to another draw, when on 92 Minutes our Charlie leapt like a salmon to head in the winning goal.   YESSSSSSSSSSSSS

Relief, hope restored, happy times, all of the above.   Back to 3rd in the table, but more importantly with a performance more fitting to our earlier Championship winning form.

We've the FA Cup game tomorrow away to Everton and I, like a lot of other supporters, just hope that Harry takes the view that our Championship is more important and he rests the main players.   We'll wait and see, but for me, roll on the Championship, and hoping by my birthday (18th January - home to Huddersfield), we will be still pushing onwards and upwards.


Thanks for reading!
Annie x