Anger · Humour · Kids

The Continued Emasculation of Daddy Pig

The Continued Emasculation of Daddy Pig

Having two kids with a 5 and and half year age gap means that I’m suffering enjoying a lot of the same programmes a second time around, and BB is at that age where EVERYTHING must be Peppa Pig (save for a couple of times a week when she takes a brief foray into Topsy and Tim, her previous programme du jour). This means that, during the week, Peppa is usually on in the backgroud for much of the late morning/early afternoon period while I work and do housework and BB mills around doing what it is that toddlers do (picking her nose and sticking stickers on my furniture, mostly).

Watching the same episodes of Peppa over and over again means that you notice certain things and one of those things is what I like to call “The Emasculation of Daddy Pig”. See, there seems to be a running theme in Peppa; Daddy is a bit useless and is fair game for mockery. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bit of banter (HASHTAG BANTZ), but he seems to really get the rough end of the deal, and it’s got to a point where it’s verging on misandry. Jokes are made about Daddy Pig that no-one would DARE make about Mummy Pig because it would have people getting into an Everyday Sexism frenzy…so, let’s take a look at what those episodes might look like…

Mummy’s Fat Tummy

Everyone decides (after years of mockery) that Mummy Pig needs to get off of her fat arse and lose some weight, so Daddy Pig forces her to do exercise videos and go on bike rides (on a bike which is dangerously small for her). Everyone is waiting at home to take the piss out of how unfit she is.

Mummy Fucks Up The DIY

Daddy Pig has an important meeting to go to, so he asks Mummy Pig to hang a painting. Of course, Mummy is a hapless fuckwit and manages to knock a whole load of plaster off of the wall. She’s terrified that Daddy Pig will have a shit-fit at her when he gets home so she quickly re-renders the wall before he gets there. Once he gets home, he takes over because he’s obviously so much more capable than her and puts the painting up with a single flick of a hammer.

Mummy’s a Greedy Bitch

The whole family visits the supermarket to buy lots of healthy things off of their list. When they get to the checkout, they realise that Mummy Pig has put a chocolate cake on the conveyor belt and although they all agree that Mummy is a greedy, ‘naughty’ bastard, they all let her have it anyway (despite the fact that she’s clearly the main breadwinner and as such can buy whatever the fuck she wants).

Mummy Pig Doesn’t Speak French

Peppa gets a phone call from her French pen-pal and despite claiming she can speak French, Mummy Pig isn’t able to communicate with Delphine and, in fact, doesn’t even recognise that she’s speaking a foreign language in the first place, declaring it all to be “nonsense” and revealing herself to be a braggart who lacks any form of common sense or intelligence.

Now, I’m just going to put this out there; if ANY of these episodes were real and this kind of mockery, fat-shaming and stereotypical sexist bullshit was aimed at Mummy Pig, there would be OUTRAGE. But, because Daddy Pig is only a man, it’s okay to disregard his feelings and bully him on a daily basis, because don’t be silly, men don’t have feelings!

The worst part is, Peppa Pig was created and is written by TWO MEN! That leads me to one of two conclusions – either Mark Baker and Neville Astley are weird, self-hating males who think it’s okay to deride their own gender OR they think that they’re somehow appealing to the common housewife who obviously hates men. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with either conclusion, if I’m honest. I want my girls to grow up knowing A) everyone has different strengths, regardless of their gender and B) bullying people based on archaic, clichéd notions is just wrong.

I’d love to know what you think about this. Am I reading far too much into Peppa bloody Pig and need to seriously get a life? Or is this something which gets on your teats as much as it does mine? Leave me a comment below.

Days Out

Affordable Days Out For You And Your Family

When it comes down to it, I really love the UK. From the deadpan humour to the gorgeous countryside, I’m really quite grateful to live here. If I had to make a complaint though, it’s that it’s far too pricey! Britain is one of the most expensive countries to live in on earth, and this can make getting out a little tough. However, there are still many days out which won’t break the bank. Here are a few of the best.

Image from Flickr

 Harry Potter Studios Tour

If you haven’t heard of this day out, then I can only assume you’ve been living under a rock! Since Warner Bros opened the Harry Potter studios to the public, it’s quickly become one of the most popular attractions in the UK. Here, your kids will go wild when they get to walk past theactual Hogwarts Express, or look around Dumbledore’s actual office. The three-hour tour is sure to fascinate you and your children, and give you a fresh perspective on these timeless films. Buying direct from the studio is a little pricey, but you can get reduced tickets and deals from sites such as Trip Advisor.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

If you’ve never been to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, then I suggest you change this as soon as possible! Full of rides that will suit the whole family, along with some great restaurants and incredible live shows, coming here is a sure-fire start to a fantastic day out. If you or your partner were never that crazy about rollercoasters, just keep looking forward to the homely bars that are scattered along the beach. Of course, if you go to this popular tourist spot for a whole day out, the price can quickly begin to stack up. You can mitigate the cost somewhat by buying your park tickets in advance. If Blackpool’s a bit of a drive, then you can buy a “rainy day” ticket. This gives you free re-entry the next day if it rains for three consecutive hours.

Free London Museums

Image from Wikimedia

If there’s one place which is great for budget days out, then it’s London. The National Gallery, British Museum and British Library are all in the city. Although I find these three fascinating, your kids might find the whole thing a bit dry to put it lightly! To get around this problem, go to the Natural History Museum and Science Museum. Built right next to each other, the curators of these museums have certainly had a good go at making education more interesting. The Natural History Museum is full of life-size dinosaur fossils and models, and displays about our early ancestors which really get you thinking. The Science Museum has all kinds of tech and interactive displays, ensuring your kids don’t go into full-blown screen withdrawals! Entry is completely free, though a small donation is kind of a given.

Another great idea is camping, even if it’s in your back garden! Kids will love the novelty of sleeping in a tent and it’s dirt cheap once you’ve invested in some camping gear.

Any one of these solutions will make a great day out for less. Keeping your days off both fun and affordable may feel tough, but it’s certainly not impossible!

 

Uncategorized

The morning after pill: know the facts

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When it comes to emergency contraception, it pays to be in the know. Although you might think you’re clued up on the morning after pill, it could be that you’re confusing fact and fiction. So that you’re up to speed on this subject, keep reading.

It’s easily accessible

The morning after pill can be easily accessed from a variety of places, including your GP, your local chemist and sexual health clinics, and you can even purchase it from an online pharmacy such as Click Pharmacy. This is especially useful if you’re too embarrassed to approach your doctor or a pharmacist in-person. If you decide to use the morning after pill, you will be asked a few simple health-related questions to ensure it’s suitable for you.

It’s more effective the sooner it’s taken

While it’s name suggests differently, the morning after pill can be effective for a number of days after sex. There are two types of emergency contraception available – Levonelle and ellaOne. Levonelle can work for up to three days after sex, while ellaOne can be effective for up to five days. Despite this, it’s important to remember that the sooner the morning after pill is taken, the more effective it will be at preventing pregnancy.

Using it is not the same as having an abortion

It is a common misconception that using the morning after pill is the same as having an abortion. The truth is, these two things are completely different. While an abortion terminates a pregnancy that has already begun, emergency contraception works to prevent an egg from becoming fertilised or implanted in the first place.

It will not affect your long-term fertility

Although it may have a temporary effect on your ability to fall pregnant, there is no evidence to suggest that using the morning after pill can lead to long-term fertility problems. However, you should note that this type of emergency contraception is not intended for continuous use. It’s also important to recognise that it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for another method of contraception, such as the combined pill.

There are some potential side effects

Like most medicines, the morning after pill can cause some side effects. The most common ones include nausea, abdominal pain, headaches, tender breasts and feeling tired and dizzy. If you are sick after taking it, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist immediately as you may need to take another dose.

Keeping this information in mind should give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing this treatment is available should you need to use it.

Food · Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Sesame Beef and Brocolli

Okay, so you may have noticed that my 7-day slow cooker challenge didn’t exactly go to plan, in that I only managed to last for four days and my last three planned meals never quite made it onto my site. I think this happened for a couple of reasons – slow cooking, for me, is something I do to make my life more convenient, and forcing myself to use my slow cooker to a schedule just didn’t work. Also, one of the meals I planned was lasagne, and I’m not going to lie, I was really apprehensive about it. We LOVE lasagne in this house, but I always bake it the normal way, and attempting to slow cook it seemed a bit like fixing something which isn’t broken.

Anyway, I had a little slow cooker break after failing but I’m back to using it again today and it’s a super simple, super tasty beef and broccoli recipe that I’m making today:slow cooker beef and broccoli

Slow Cooker Sesame Beef and Brocolli

Slow Cooker Sesame Beef and Broccoli
Recipe Type: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Jayne Crammond
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A slow cooked beef recipe with a simple Asian-inspired sauce.
Ingredients
  • 240ml/1 cup beef stock
  • 120ml/ 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup erythritol (substitute with brown sugar if you don’t need a low sugar recipe)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 900g/2lb stewing beef
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 4 Tbsp corn starch
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • Sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Place the stock, soy sauce, erytritol/brown sugar, chopped garlic and sesame oil into the slow cooker pot and mix well
  2. Add the beef into the pot and mix well to coat
  3. Cook on LOW for 4 hours
  4. After 4 hours, mix the corn starch and water together and add to the pot, stirring well to thicken
  5. Add the chopped broccoli and stir
  6. Cook for a further 30 minutes on HIGH, or until broccoli is soft
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with rice or noodles, or a side of your choice.

This was such a simple recipe but has turned out to be a real crowd-pleaser with the family. It’s exactly the kind of ‘chuck it all in’ recipe which makes me love slow cooking, and offered so much flavour for such an easy-to-make dish. The sauce was salty and savoury, and thickened to almost a gravy consistency once the cornstarch was added, and cooking the broccoli in the sauce added an amazing layer of flavour. The best part of this meal is that, when you factor in a portion of rice, it came in at just 453 calories per portion, which is amazingly low!

Beef is probably my favourite meat for slow cooking as you can buy the really cheap cuts but end up with a tender, flavourful dish which is low calorie, high protein and doesn’t cost the earth – basically the Holy Grail of cooking for a family! Let me know if you make this yourself, I’d love to know if you were as pleased with the results as we were.

Parenting

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

I’ve always been a huge fan of kids using technology; I know lots of people think that screen time is negative for kids, and I agree that all things should be in moderation, but I strongly believe that children can learn a lot from various apps and programs and that they should have time on devices without us leaning over their shoulders.

Sausage is at an age now where her interest in the internet has evolved slightly. No longer is she spending ages on the Cbeebies website or using the Mister Maker app to make beautiful, fridge-worthy creations. Now, she’s also asking about websites (like the ones you see advertised on the TV) which allow users to not only play games, but chat with one another too, which really concerns me. I have no objections to her chatting with friends online, but these websites are SO often a completely unknown quantity and can be a portal to online bullying, which is why I was keen to help when a cyber-bullying charity got in touch. Here’s what they had to say:

To mark this year’s Stop Cyberbullying Day on Friday 17 June, anti-bullying charity Bullies Out has partnered with data analytics firm Online Them to raise awareness of the risks of cyberbullying and what parents can do to spot the warning signs in time.

Monitoring software such as Online Them enables parents and teachers to keep an eye on children’s online activities and highlight any causes for concern. Any monitoring of online activity tends to spark handwringing sermons about the right to privacy. But this is not another example of Big Brother clipping the wings of youngsters trying to explore the world and all the opportunities that brings. Nor does it give parents and teachers free reign to spy on children.

Tools using Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing can identify and highlight anything of concern or unusual to an individual child such as social media posts containing adult content, or mentions of crime, as well as flagging any new friends in countries outside the UK and a rank of who a child is interacting with most on social media. This is done on a consent-only basis, meaning a child has to agree to the use of software to monitor their high-level social media use. Consent can be given easily and quickly via an email invitation – all they have to do is click the attached link and authorize access to their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. They can connect all three accounts or just one or two.

Monitoring tools present a great way to hold a child’s hand as they enter the world of social media. Parents and teachers can both use these tools to safeguard children in a low-maintenance and non-intrusive way.

Sausage uses her own iPad and laptop, both of which are internet enabled and I really don’t like to be hanging over her shoulder the whole time, so using an online monitoring software would really give us peace of mind. She’s not allowed anywhere NEAR Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or any of the other places where random people could gain access to her, and Husband and I will be thinking long and hard about whether she’ll ever be allowed accounts on these sites, while she’s under our rules.

If you want some really handy tips on how to keep your kids safe online, take a look at the Bullies Out site, where there is a whole wealth of information, and also links to allow you to donate to this excellent cause. Online Them are also currently offering a free one month trial for parents, allowing you to try the site before you commit to a subscription.

How do you moderate your kids online usage? Have you got any apps installed? Have you ever had to deal with cyber-bullying? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment below.