Happy Tracks in the Snow

sustainable parenting working from home children books yoga storytelling Woodcraft environment

Recipe: Credit Crunch July 23, 2008

Filed under: utterly random posts — paulabrown @ 9:19 pm
technically this should be called Chocolate Credit Crunch but it doesn’t have the same ring to it…

Serves: Makes 12-15

Prep: 15 min, plus setting
Cook: 5 min


50g Butter
100g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
5 tbsp golden syrup
80g cornflakes


Kung Fu July 21, 2008

Filed under: utterly random posts — paulabrown @ 7:54 pm

So we went to see Kung Fu Panda last week which was great, the boys all came out kicking and throwing themselves around and seemed to get some of the basic elements of chinese martial arts when we bored them to death with it. Nige and I both dabbled in the ancient art, him more recently and me in my I-love-everything-chinese phase (born in Hong Kong, studied mandarin at university as a night class, martial arts, nearly did a Masters in Beijing but met Nige instead, aah).

I definitely want to train again (classes will be packed with parents wanting to impress their offspring…?) and Nige and I have been doing some Tai Chi Push Hands (martial side of Tai Chi) in our front room! The thing I loved about these types of martial arts is that they use a soft energy rather than physical strength: Wing Chun Kung Fu was developed by shaolin nuns travelling across China and they needed a defense system to protect them from attack that didn’t rely on brute force. Using the opponents strength and your own softness and go-with-the-flow-ness, you can absorb their attack and thrust it back on them (Po the Panda uses his enormous belly to help him absorb the force and wobble it back out).

My week has been a bit crazy to say the least, finalising my ad for Tatty Bumpkin in the Yellow Pages, getting ready to take Tatty to Trowbridge Pump Festival (great folk festival), last week of school with teacher presents etc, playgroups and the like having parties and inviting Tatty to entertain them etc. I have a tendency to hit these things head-on rather than with a softness any self-respecting martial arts master would be proud of. Po the Panda (and indeed the Tao of Pooh / Te of Piglet if you ever get a chance to read them) could teach me a thing or two…


Great song

Filed under: utterly random posts — paulabrown @ 7:37 pm

White Lies… July 13, 2008

Filed under: utterly random posts — paulabrown @ 8:42 pm

Lies I’ve told my 3 year old recently by Raul Gutierrez – random blogger guy

Trees talk to each other at night.

All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.

Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.

Tiny bears live in drain pipes.

If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.

The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.

Everyone knows at least one secret language.

When nobody is looking, I can fly.

We are all held together by invisible threads.

Books get lonely too.

Sadness can be eaten.

I will always be there.


Flexibility May 9, 2008

Filed under: Tatty Bumpkin,utterly random posts — paulabrown @ 8:40 am

Ooh the things you can do if you’re flexible…


April Fools… March 31, 2008

Filed under: utterly random posts — paulabrown @ 8:43 pm
Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity

In 1976 the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.

The Case of the Interfering Brassieres In 1982 the Daily Mail reported that a local manufacturer had sold 10,000 “rogue bras” that were causing a unique and unprecedented problem, not to the wearers but to the public at large. Apparently the support wire in these bras had been made out of a kind of copper originally designed for use in fire alarms. When this copper came into contact with nylon and body heat, it produced static electricity which, in turn, was interfering with local television and radio broadcasts. The chief engineer of British Telecom, upon reading the article, immediately ordered that all his female laboratory employees disclose what type of bra they were wearing.

Man Flies By Own Lung Power In 1934 many American newspapers, including The New York Times, printed a photograph of a man flying through the air by means of a device powered only by the breath from his lungs. Accompanying articles excitedly described this miraculous new invention. The man, identified as German pilot Erich Kocher, blew into a box on his chest. This activated rotors that created a powerful suction effect, lifting him aloft. Skis on his feet served as landing gear, and a tail fin allowed him to steer. What the American papers didn’t realize was that the “lung-power motor” was a joke. The photo had first appeared in the April Fool’s Day edition of the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung. It made its way to America thanks to Hearst’s International News Photo agency which not only fell for the hoax but also distributed it to all its U.S. subscribers. In the original Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung article, the pilot’s name was spelled “Erich Koycher,” which was a pun on the German word “keuchen,” meaning to puff or wheeze.

Other Fools Gags:

  • Put green food colouring in the milk at breakfast (in opaque container)
  • paint your families toenails in the night and watch their surprise in the morning!
  • carry your children out of bed and put them in their siblings beds, again much surprise in the morning!
  • Hide in the cupboard and grab someone’s leg when they open it
  • Put a gummy worm in your kid’s apple if they have packed lunches!
  • Go around the office and tell random people that a particular person (e.g. your friend) wanted them to drop over at 11am – they will be surprised when 50 people drop around to their cubicle at once.
  • Get a universal remote control and turn the volume up on all the TVs in your local TV shop, while standing nearby. Try be covert so you can keep doing it.
  • For a fruity April Fool’s practical joke, get a few gummy worms and carefully poke them into fresh fruit, particularly apples. Give mom or dad a wormy apple for lunch and leave a few apples on the table for friends and family members to snack on.Go with a couple of friends, stand near some busy street corner – stare and point up at the sky. Watch the reactions of people around you!
  • write: “Help, I’m lost in a toilet paper factory,” in toilet paper and whoever goes to the bathroom next will get a joke out of that one!
  • Open a bedroom door or any door that you know a lot of people will walk through and put a pillow at the top of it so when the person opens the door the pillow will hit them on the head.
  • Find all the balls in your house, even small plastic ones like ping pong balls, and place them in the kitchen cupboards. Whoever goes to open the cupboards will get a shower of balls

Stop your life for 5 minutes…

Filed under: utterly random posts — paulabrown @ 11:25 am