Kids' book of the month A tale of lost memories, lost times and lost lives, Back to Blackbrick is a stunning debut novel for older children. Author Sarah Moore Fitzgerald draws on her own experience of loss and the process of coming to terms with the effects of Alzheimer’s on her family. We've got 50 copies to give away.
Picture book of the month And being in generous mood, we have something for the littler ones too (a very funny something as it happens.) Go To Sleep or I Let Loose the Leopard is the hilarious tale of the New Babysitter and her attempts to get two small children to go to bed. We may well be trying out some of her tips. In the meantime - 50 copies up for grabs.
Book club The Mouseproof Kitchen is a novel about France, family and raising a severely disabled child. Oh and rodents. Lots of rodents. Author (the celebrated documentary maker) Saira Shah will be doing a Q&A...leave your questions (and thoughts about the book) on the thread.
Jill Murphy Q&A To celebrate World Book Day, Jill Murphy, author and illustrator of The Worst Witch (which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year) will be joining us for a Q&A. Post your questions for her by 12pm on 17 February.
Safer Internet Day Q&A Ever wonder what your grandchildren are up to on the net? Ever worried about what they'll stumble across, who they're contacting or, more to the point, who's contacting them? 11 February 2014 is the eleventh annual Safer Internet Day. This year's theme is "Let's create a better internet together", and Childnet's Education Manager, Caroline, will be joining us on Monday (10 Feb) from 10-11am to answer your questions on keeping grandchildren safe on the web.
Getting the younger generation to vote According to Bite the Ballot, in 2010 only 44% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted, compared to 76% of those aged 65+. Does this surprise you? When did you first vote? Do you/would you encourage your grandchildren to register to vote? And, most crucially, how do you get them to take more of an interest? Join the discussion.
We want your tips (...of the household variety - though any dead certs in the 3.30 at Uttoxeter wouldn't go amiss either). We've teamed up with Age UK's radio station, The Wireless, to share gransnetters' pearls of wisdom so whether yours is de-ponging a whiffy washer or pouring coke down the loo to bring up the shine do let us know.
Travelling on your own Q&A Thinking of packing your bags and heading off somewhere exotic but apprehensive about travelling solo? Need recommendations on where to go, what you need to be aware of and how to avoid single supplements? Travel expert Debbie Marshall from Silver Travel Advisor has answered gransnetters' most pressing questions, so all you need to think about is packing the sunblock.
Saturday is National Libraries Day - and bestselling author Lesley Pearse has been appointed its very first Ambassador. In her exclusive guest blog post she tells us how libraries provided her from an escape from a "dragon step-mother" to "a wonderful safe land of fantasy" and shaped both her life and her career.
We've rounded up the good, the bad and the beautiful when it comes to local libraries, from examples of stunning architecture, to community initiatives set up to fight library closures. What does your local library mean to you? Will you be visiting it on National Libraries Day? Let us know on the thread.
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From the forums...
"I've just had my eyebrows threaded in Superdrug" confessed Lona. "Such a sweet girl doing it, and she did a good job. Then she said "Would you like your top lip threading?"...meaning "it needs doing." So I said "bugger off that will really hurt!" "ok then."
We've all been there. The answer is cake.
Charleygirlhas had other problems this week. "My number is close to the local pizza shop's number so I get a few calls a week wanting to order. It depends on their attitude as to how I reply. What gets rid of them with an apology is when I say "this is the police station, how may I help you?" One of these times I will be caught out and it will be the police ordering pizzas."
We want to know when that happens (please).
Meanwhile, we've been particularly impressed with a selection of household tips from janerowena. These include "Do not allow any members of your family to buy you knick-knacks that need dusting." (Wise.) "Hide any of your OH's shirts unless they are non-iron (I really do) and only put the others in his wardrobe once a year until you can safely phase them out." (Very wise.) And the highly useful "Grow a large variety of herbs. Buy large variety of ready meals. Sprinkle copiously with fresh herbs and claim them as your own."