It's quiet this morning. None of the usual arguing over shoes and hair bands. No asking for pancakes. No un-flushed toilets. Just silence, sweetened occasionally by late spring chirps. A clock ticking, car whirring, tummy rumbling.
The Modern Family was kindly invited to check out the West Bay Club luxury self catering accommodation on the Isle of Wight. Not having been to the IOW in a few years, we were curious what kind of memories an active family with a 8, 9 and 11-year-old could create!
Tesco's Fresh & Easy has been in the news lately, having failed to capture the US market. Some say the Tesco formula just didn't translate. I found myself there recently, in search of mint sauce.
After passing through the produce section, and stocking up on Peeps from the Easter display, I finally found the British food aisle. Taking up a mere 6' by 5' section of shelving, it contained an all star list of British packaged foods. I immediately started checking out what they had, mentally comparing prices. Marmite was $5.49 (a bit much), Colmans mustard was $2.99 (not bad), Heinz Beans were $1.49 (an absolute bargain).
Each time we visit my parents in California we make a point to go into nearby San Francisco, and this year I wanted to make sure we saw the new Bay Lights Sculpture.
Designed by New York artist Leo Villareal, the Bay Lights Sculpture is a public art display of 25,000 LED lights on the western span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.
The show commences at dusk and the lights dance, pulse and glitter till 2 am. The computer-generated display shows non-repeating patterns of fish, clouds, fog, waves, cars and trucks, and it's spectacular!
The California Academy of Sciences is a must see if you are visiting San Francisco. It combines a natural history museum, planetarium, aquarium, research and education programmes all under one (living) roof. The purpose is to engage all ages and backgrounds on two of the most important topics of our time: life and its sustainability.
The exhibit changes frequently, and each time we visit we see something new. We were invited to visit as guests of the CAS on this trip and the girls came back revved up about science. They also have become Earthquake experts!
The Modern Family snuck in some California Spring skiing this Easter break at Dodge Ridge, a cosy family resort tucked in the Sierra's between Tahoe and Yosemite.
Dodge Ridge is where I learned to ski in the 70s. It's the closest snow to where I grew up in the Bay Area, and if a recent storm had dumped snow at the resort (it's the lowest elevation of the Sierra resorts, opening later in the season and closing first) my father would take us skiing! He'd bundle us all into our mustard yellow station wagon at 6 in the morning and drive three hours to get there in time for the 9 am opening. We'd ski all day, and then head home when the resort closed in the afternoon, stopping at McDonalds for dinner and falling asleep in rush hour traffic.
The last few months have been a bit, erm, stressful. We launched a new BritMums site (why do projects you think are easy peasy get bigger and bigger?), one of my friends said I was BOSSY (??) and my pelvic floor keeps giving out on me (don't laugh).
But all changed when I opened my email and Nick offered me a complimentary PAMPER DAY from Experience Days. I nearly lost my pelvic floor. How did you know, Nick?
Ever had a dream where everything is a bit surreal and out of context? Missing a train to a city you've never been to? Giving a speech naked to 500 pharmacists? Having tea in your home with a random celebrity?
The premise is that while introverts make up 1/3 to 1/2 of the population, society is biased towards extroversion. Introversion is not just about being shy (shyness is fear of social judgement). Extroverts crave lots of stimulation, while Introverts do better in quieter environments. This of course is not an absolute, but a truth in general.
The snag is of course is that our most important institutions - schools and workplaces - are designed for extroverts.
My name is Susanna and I'm addicted to the Internet.
Well, not really, at least that it what I would like to believe. How do I know? I took the Net Addiction Center's Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and it turns out that I'm an average online user. *Wipes brow* Though I may "surf the web a bit too long at times", I am "able to control my usage".
I've been researching Internet Addiction since last summer when my husband handed me this Sunday Times feature: The Digital Obsession that is Driving us iCrazy. He thought it would be a good topic to cover at the big blogger/social media conference we put on each year at BritMums (where I'm a co-founder). I tried not to take it too personally.