Did you know that lack of tyre safety contributes to more than 1200 road accidents?

Driving with defective tyres can result in heft penalties such as £2500 along with three points on the licence!

Tyres matter and I asked my husband’s view as he is the driver in our family.

“I have always loved driving and recently bought a second-hand Jaguar car.

I use my car for the daily commute to work and for days out with my family.

My tyres are important. They are my only contact between my car and the road. They provide grip for steering and braking. Tread patterns help to disperse surface water from the road which could cause aquaplaning.

My usual daily journey involve urban roads and motorways so I need to make sure that the important parts of my tyres are kept within the limits the manufacturer of both my car and the tyres specify. Whilst the law states minimum tread depth of 1.6mm I never allow mine to fall below 2mm. Regular inspection of the tread and sidewalls is essential.

As the tyres approach the end of their useful life I prefer to plan the changes and to look around for the best prices. Point S tyre-dealers have sites around the country and it is easy to search for my tyre size and see respective prices from premium to economy brands. Once my search is complete I can find a site conveniently located and book an appointment. No turning up on spec to find my favourite is out of stock or waiting in long queues at busy times.”

Yesterday was a challenging home education day which we all learned from.

I had slept very badly the night before. My two home-educated children had a row about a game. This was a very silly time for me to try and encourage my 11 year old daughter to tackle some numeracy work. She downed tools, curled up in a ball and refused point blank to get involved saying “I like art not maths!”

Ever since starting the home education path, I have worried that I will damage my children in some way and leave them unable to deal with life. I brood on this and it haunts me as I want to do the best for them.

So with fatigue playing its part I am ashamed to say I got cross and may have shouted too. This was, of course, counter-productive. My husband suggested I leave things for a while with me accusing him of always being able to go off to work whilst I have to deal with home education as well as everything else. Tension mounted.

It was not long before I sought advice from the Home Education UK Facebook group. I was reminded that I am human and will not always get things right. I was told that school teachers have bad days too. I was urged not to beat myself up emotionally. I was given practical tips including the new concept to me that maths can be taught through art and music.

Then I made my daughter a snack and we had a hug but only after she told me it was going to cost me. She is her mother’s daughter!

She picked up a fashion design book and cd-rom and played with that for over a hour. She was then in a good mood and happy to do some maths questions that I had set for her on a wide range of topics. She answered the question “Why do we need to learn maths?” with “Because schools want us to eat numbers”. I am sure there is deep meaning in that somewhere.

Later as we watched Lewis and a bomb blew up lots of maths books but left an artwork undamaged, I pointed out that this summed up our day in some ways.

My daughter replied, “Art will always prevail!”

We went to bed at peace and ready to learn another day.

If anyone has good tips on teaching maths to someone with a passion for art, please do share them.

If anyone has the secret to not stressing as a home educating mum, do let me know!

Today it is my son’s 10th birthday.

He is having a happy day and is very excited at entering double figures.


I have pinned a smile on my face, bought him the presents he wanted and a big surprise too. I have made a cake to his specifications. His brother and sister gave him treats too and he had money from my brother which he says he will save.

I feel strangely sad, a little bereft as my youngest child becomes that much older and more independent.

So I am going to cheer myself up by giving you 10 awesome facts about my boy.

1. He weighed in at a mighty 11 pounds and 8 ounces at birth. We have learned over the years that this bothers him so we don’t talk about it but what a bouncing baby!

2. Always adventurous, he climbed before he walked. No household mountain was too high and I think he will conquer many peak as he lives his life.

3. I have never met anyone who did not like my son. He is socially confident (unlike the rest of us) which makes him very easy to be around. I nicknamed him Charimsa ages ago and it suits him.

4. At the age of 3, he tried to make my terminally ill Mum better with a mini egg. Poignant moment and a sign of the sweet soul that exists beneath his full-on personality.

5. He had the best relationship with my late Dad. He is all boy and my Dad enjoyed that very much. “Stick them up!” my Dad would say and they would have a mock boxing match. Dad was also the one Ramsey liked to read to most.

6. My husband has 7 children in total. I think that Ramsey is the one who loves him most. He won’t have a wrong word said against his Dad and since my Dad died, Him Indoors has become his best male adult friend.


7. Ramsey has a scar which has ended up being an attractive part of him although he could so easily have lost his eye when he had a fall whilst I was juggling two under two and turned my back when I should not have done so. It is a reminder of challenging days and post-natal depression.

8. Ramsey appeared in advertisments for Tesco and NatWest and saw absolutely no reason to be nervous. He has the most amazing self-confidence.

9. When my son hugs me, it is like the sweetest medicine. I think he has healing powers.


10. Ramsey is gifted, has a kind heart and excels at everything he attempts. What is lovely about this is that he has not a hint of arrogance.

Did I mention that I loved him very much?

Happy Birthday Ramsey!

Pink Pear Bear

What am I cheerful about this week?


1. Mr Cameron having denied me my Child Benefit for weeks has paid up.

2. I am loving walking both in town and amongst Autumn leaves.

3. I had a great quality time one on one with my soon to be 10 year old boy in town yesterday. Simple and wonderful pleasures.

4. It is Half-Term which means less stress as only one person needs to leave the house at daft o’clock.

5. I survived my darling daughter ripping the beautiful stickers off her bedroom walls after I put them up for her as a suprise. I rescued them and put them above my headboard in my bedroon. I am not too old for purple sparkles even if she is.

6. I am loving the support people are giving each other over on my blogging group on Facebook. Blog Builders rock!

7. I have started shopping with a local butcher and am enjoying the experience of cooking for my husband again and of getting some great deals on decent meat.

8. I took a photo of myself straight out of bed in my new pink pyjamas and actually thought I looked quite beautiful in my own individual way.

9. My son has just told me “I love you but then again, how couldn’t I?”

There are other reasons but that will do nicely for a little round-up.

Let’s focus on some lovely positives and Autumn reasons for cheer.


1. My teenage son was recognised in a creative writing competition. He struggles to get things down on paper in time so this is quite an achievement for him.

2. My daughter continues to amaze me with her creativity and story-telling skills. I see a future for her in blogging or whatever comes next.

3. I had some fantastic quality time with my tween son watching all 3 Back to the Future films. It was interesting to revisit and to wonder where we might all be in 30 years’ time.

4. My husband has amused me with a brilliant response to an email from school.

5. We have had some lovely walks celebrating Autumn in all its colourful glory.

6. The sofa has cushions, blankets and a duvet so lots of snuggling is going on.

7. I love my home and I adore my new area.

8. I find I have a more balanced life these days by being proactive and by mixing things up a bit.

9. I am loving the support bloggers are showing to each other on my new Facebook group Blog Builders.

10. It’s Friday and I am ready for the weekend!

Now go forth and check out some incredibly cheerful bloggers.

Reasons to be Cheerful