child dreaming of different jobs they could do while reading a book

Growing up

Growing up and the teachers that inspired

When you were growing up did you know what you wanted to be or did you just go with the flow? Was there a teacher that inspired you or one you hated?

It’s all changed so much these days, our children think we are old and complete dinosaurs when we talk about our school experiences.

We recently watch Sara Cox going Back in Time for School. A great program and one we could all relate to. However, when I told the girls that I didn’t use a computer at school… well, what can I say? They sat there in complete disbelief.
It got me thinking though, we all go on about how much things change but the speed these days is quite alarming. It’s exactly 20 years ago that I got my first computer. I was 21. Dial up was slow and cost a fortune. Now we get shouts of frustration if a page won’t load in a few seconds.

Inspiring times

Teachers aren’t praised nearly enough. We all remember the one we hated but what about the ones that inspired us? Now before you take great pity on me, I was more likely to find my head in a book than play computer games (and still am still the same). I love english and drama growing up. However, these teachers were a mixed bunch. I am very sure it wasn’t always there fault 🤣 but I do remember one that had written me off from the start.

But this is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the next english teacher I got. She found my strengths and taught me how to play to them. My clarinet teacher too was someone I felt treated me like an adult and was always there for me. I had no idea what I wanted to be (still don’t) but their chosen vocation was well suited.

young boy holiday hands with dad as they walk along together

Teachers

I even remember my teacher, Mrs Horner, from when I was about 8. But for the life of me I can’t remember why I liked her so much. I’m sure she was lovely but time plays tricks on the mind! Perhaps it was a just a good period of time in my life? I moved around a lot as my dad was in the army so teachers were just as important as friends to me. I guess I was lucky, although I also think it takes a special person to become a teacher.

A good teacher doesn’t just go into school, go through the lessons and leaves. A good teacher needs to deal with everything that may be going on around those children. The child that hasn’t eaten breakfast. The one that is a pain in the neck to everyone because they feel no one cares about them at home. And then there’s the serious neglect.
Don’t get me wrong I like to think I look out for my team but I don’t worry about whether they are eating enough. I work with adults and these things are up to them. But teachers have a duty of care that’s a real tight rope. Oh and then there’s long hours and poor pay..!

Dreaming of tomorrow

Still in amongst all this they find the time to inspire our children. To find the subjects children excel at and push them further. Their dreams of tomorrow will be completely different to mine. If I’m honest tomorrow seems a long way off to me, let alone them. So I can see that it will be world’s away from my own adult life but I do hope they appreciate the start in life they had.

Don't forget to say "thank you" x

5 Mother’s Day Ideas that won’t cost the earth

Mother’s day in the UK is coming soon (31st March). If you’re at a loss for ideas on how to celebrate, take a look at our 5 quick and easy ways on how to treat your mum without breaking the bank.

Let Mum sleep for an extra few hours

For Mother’s Day (especially if it’s her first one) give her what she craves the most and let mum sleep in for an extra few hours. If you have younger children, make sure you keep them out of earshot for those extra ZZZZs. Allowing time for extra rest will make her whole day more enjoyable.

girl in bed

Bring her breakfast in bed

Well more like brunch in bed! So whilst she’s catching those extra ZZZs make her a special breakfast. It doesn’t haven to be extravagant. Perhaps some freshly brewed coffee or tea with her favourite flapjack or muffin. Lay it out on a tray with her homemade card and wait for the smile on mum’s face when you go in.

Cook a scrumptious lunch

If mum normally cooks the Sunday lunch or dinner,  give her the day off and cook a loving meal. It doesn’t have to be complicated, a roast chicken with a simple salad or veggies will mean the world to her. Round it off with our Blackcurrant Sponge Pudding for a totally satisfying meal

Roast Chicken

Go for a family walk or hike

Work up an appetite or burn off that Sunday lunch with a stroll around the park or country estate. Leave all gadgets at home for some quality family time, because we don’t want family members getting distracted. While a race to the swings is fun for all.

Children playing on a swing

Plan a picnic

Finally, if the weather is kind, take Sunday lunch outside, again it doesn’t have to be complicated. A few of her favourite chosen treats will really make it special, think more macaron than sausage on a stick. Pack a cake of course!

Whatever you end up doing, we hope you have a relaxing and wonderful Mother’s Day. Wishing all mums (including grandmothers, step-mums and particularly cool mother-in-laws) a wonderful day. Why not send her a little “me time” all year round with our Cake Slice Club for an extra special treat.

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Pancake Day Cake

We can’t believe its February already, January has flown by and we are into the second month the year. Traditionally February gets us searching for the squeezy lemon at the back of the pantry ready for pan cake day which this year falls on Tuesday 9th. But if like us over the years you fancy a change to the regular toppings such as caster sugar/lemon and chocolate, how about you make a pancake cake.

Below is a simple recipe that can be tailor made to your families favourites toppings. For the chocolate lovers you can add a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder to the pancake mix for chocolatey pancakes.

Ingredients

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420g self raising flour
675ml of milk
3 large free rage eggs
pinch of sea salt
2 Tsp Cocoa Powder (Optional)
Chocolate Spread (Nutella or similar)
Cream Fresh Fruit

Place the flour, milk, eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk to a smooth batter.

Add the cocoa powder for chocolatey pancakes).

Add a small splash of oil to a small nonstick pan over a medium heat then wipe with kitchen paper.

When the pan’s hot, add a ladleful of batter, tilting the pan to spread, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side, until lightly golden. Set aside.

Repeat until you’ve used all the batter, stacking the pancakes to one side to cool.

Once the pancakes have cooled, whip the cream until thick and holds a peak.

Spread a blob of cream over a serving plate and pop a pancake on top and press down gently.

Spread some chocolate over the pancake and top with another pancake.

Keep doing this, alternating between cream and chocolate, until you’ve used all the pancakes.

You can even place some fruit in-between the layers.

To finish cover the cake with the chocolate spread and decorate with fresh fruit.

TOP TIP – Heating the chocolate spread makes it easier to spread, (10 second bursts in the microwave)
This can be done with any filling you like so why not try mixing it up!