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Photoshop in schools?

Seen in the New York Times:

The practice of altering photos, long a standard in the world of glossy magazines and fashion shoots, has trickled down to the wholesome domain of the school portrait. Parents who once had only to choose how many wallet-size and 5-by-7 copies they wanted are now being offered options like erasing scars, moles, acne and braces, whitening teeth or turning a bad hair day into a good one.

Say what?

But parents who choose to edit also run the risk of “potentially validating the concerns that it is not O.K. to be that way,” Dr. Peterson said.

No kidding!

Read the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/20/nyregion/20retouch.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1290265347-jnDk4/ZNl4PbcfIrU9sCxQ

In response to one of the comment on Mummy Bloggers discussion:

Wouldn’t children who have their photos retouched be more prone to teasing? Everybody in their class would know that’s not how they look like, I think it would give more power to potential bullies. As teenagers, let them make that decision, but photoshopping is not going to change the way they look in real life.

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Homeschool fun

My daughter completed a project on otters and gave us a presentation today. She enlightened us with various facts at the end.

Baby otters do not like water. Mums have to push them in the water.

LOL Her little brother thought it hilarious.

On another note, she has just completed another short story which has been entered in a competition. Fingers crossed!

She certainly has caught the bug and is forever looking at my wordcount. Yes, Mummy is writing her new book and is not tweeting much, apologies to fellow birds. I shall be back!


Regrets ?

Regrets ? me? not really!

After all, what’s in the past should stay firmly in the past! You should live in the present.

Learn from your past, whether good or bad and then move on!

Keep for best

My mother was very much of the “keep for best” generation.When she died, there were cupboards filled to the brim with delicate china, used once or twice, clothes she wore on very rare occasions…you get my drift.

She died when I was still a teenager.She was an “older” mum, quite unusual at the time.

It made me realise you should appreciate your life for what it is now and enjoy what you have.

What is the point of having nice things if you do not use them or even see them ?!

Nothing is really sacred in our house, sure accidents do happen although oddly enough all the treasures accumulated by my mother and my own souvenirs have escaped quite unharmed.

I have kept some of the china my mother never dared to use, only one piece got damaged and that occurred on moving houses!

So when a treasured toy or other gets damaged, broken or redundant, I tell my children to remember how they enjoyed that particular item and many more toys, cuddlies…are yet to be cherished.

Possessions are just that, they don’t always last but your memories live on inside of you.

My mother

My mother had a habit of squirrelling money away, not that she really needed to, it was her safety net.When she died,it caused my father a huge headache, trying to trace all her different accounts, some active, others not.

She wasn’t materialistic and never spent much on herself, when she did, she’d hide the fact or felt obliged to justify herself.In some ways, I am a little bit like that too but I think it’s all too common for mums in general.

She did once tell me the story of how when her grandmother was dying, she told my mum where she  had hidden her little nest egg and she wanted her to have it.My mother, being a dutiful daughter told her mother who promptly took it all away.

My mother was at the time married to a violent man.He beat her up whilst pregnant with her son.In those days, divorce was much frowned upon.Eventually, despite her hopes of  ever happy family, she came to the conclusion that she would have to leave.

She was a formidable woman, not the kind you can push around easily, she was also very strong-willed and stubborn, it runs in the family, on the women side anyway.

It goes to show abuse knows no boundaries or classes.

My mother came from a very well to do family, her divorce was seen a complete disgrace.She struggled to raise her son without any help, her own wealthy parents never lifting a finger.

By the time she met my father, she’d done well for herself and had some security.She never fully trusted my father, even though they had a child together, yes, me.

I always remember her telling me that when I married, I was to hide all assets and not share everything I owned.

Sadly, she never did get to enjoy the benefits of her hard work and savings, she became very ill and died when I was a teenager.I watched her becoming very weak, a shadow of herself, yet, she could still terrify everybody, myself included.

I’m not materialistic at all and dislike talking or even thinking about money.I’m not a great spender either but do enjoy splashing out on my children.

When it comes to trust, I could not live with someone I didn’t trust wholly and completely.I’m not just talking about money but much more than that, this deep knowledge that you are loved and respected.

Friends who know my background have often wondered how I could talk about my mother in a positive way after the childhood I had.Well, first of all, she was my mother and I loved her, growing up, I didn’t know any different.

Piecing it altogether, I can reflect on the fact she also had an unhappy childhood and she endured many struggles.Her illness and subsequent death were an almighty shock.

The more I grew in myself, the more I understood her and how difficult life had been for her at times.

Even after all these years, I still think of her and understand a little more all the time.There are many things I wish I could tell her as an adult and no longer the frightened little girl I was.

When I became a mum myself, I watched friends with their mums feeling a little pang, we wouldn’t have had that sort of relationship, I know but…

I strive to do the best I can for my children, hopefully being a fraction of the mum I want to be.Nothing else matters more to me than being a loving mum with happy and well-balanced children.No achievement of any kind could prevail over this.

I’m the lucky one, I broke the vicious circle in my family, friends will know what I’m talking about.No matter what happens in your past, you can change and prevent history from being repeated.

P.S. I cannot re-read myself at this point,too raw.

This post was a long-time coming, I just had to find it in me to write it down.

It has also been inspired by my wonderful friend Ana and her post: http://www.womenontheverge.net/blogs/entry/Is-Money-a-Dirty-Word-

She is also the founder of a wonderful community, go check it out : http://www.womenontheverge

It’s your life, what are you going to make of it ?!

Leaving your past where it belongs

Don’t hang on to your past.It may have hurt but it will never hurt you again in the same way.
Talking about it helps but ultimately you need to leave the past where it belongs and start living your life.Clinging to a painful childhood or unhappy experiences will only make you miserable and better, and what’s the point of that.
Some people justify their actions because of the way they were brought up or the way they are treated, others are told that history repeats itself.It doesn’t have to be that way.You are in control of your life, life is what you make it, you just need to remember that and realise it is never too late to change.

You can’t change your past but you can choose  to take control and to decide how you want to live the rest your life.

Here’s my story :
https://elleamberley.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/living-in-fear/