Day 9 of Project Happiness – Improved relations

Status :

  • Meditate for 2 minutes – 
  • Write about something positive for 20 minutes – 
  • 5 random acts of kindness per week – 1/5
  • Take 3 x 30 minute walks per week – 0/3
  • Unnecessary items bought today – 0

It’s a good job that I am doing a happiness project currently, otherwise I might be quite stressed out by all the negatives going on currently!  However,  there are always positives,  and the negatives could be oh so much worse!

I was quite disturbed by a conversation with oldest EN child (17) at dinner where she stated and held firm to the opinion that there was no point worrying about green issues, you might as well just enjoy yourself and have fun.  I’m shocked I guess because I had thought at least some of what I’ve been talking about might have sunk home, and also just because I’d thought the up and coming young generation are more aware than my generation ever were.  Further discussion from a colleague who is much more passionate than I about all things Green revealed that he has been doing some research into this, and has discovered that actually some of the strongest doubters are people with a mind of a more scientific nature, in what has been termed, “the smart idiot effect”.  You can read more about how to convince people about global warming here, although I suspect that it won’t help me with my ‘invincible’ 17 year old daughter.  However, I do recall feeling similarly untouchable and arrogant at that age,  dismissing concerns without so much of a thought, other than to think that whilst we would probably kill of mankind at some point, the planet itself would live on.  Nowadays, having children, more emotional intelligence, and hopefully less arrogance,  I have a rather different view, and am very interested in finding ways for my whole family to become more green.

So positives for today; main positive has been eldest EN daughter.  We have been going through a rough patch in the relationship recently, where she has withdrawn from the family completely, spending the majority of her time in her room.  She doesn’t engage with us very much, but will argue at the drop of a hat, so everyone walks on egg shells around her and avoid as much as possible any interaction in case she takes it the wrong way.  It’s a real shame as she is a wonderful, funny, and caring girl  who can be fantastic company when she wants to be.  I think she has a lot of worries about school work but doesn’t seem to like to share.  Today she put in a real effort.  She came down to the yard with me to do the ponies, and we had some interesting conversation, a few laughs and just generally a nice time.  I suggested to middle EN daughter that she might like to start up a tack cleaning company to earn some extra pennies, but she has decided against it.  However, eldest EN is going to do it instead.  This meant she stayed downstairs tonight practising cleaning a borrowed bridle, and it was really nice just having her around, almost like the old days.  Long may it continue!

Mini EN is feeling a bit better today, and had a good SATs exam which she thinks she did ok in, despite forgetting her lucky mascot!  However, I did spot this article,  which made me a little cross, in particular about the provocative title:

Stop whining about Sats: Mollycoddled children will turn into hyper-sensitive students.

Excuse me?!  I fail to see how being concerned that forcing children to live up to unrealistic targets set by out of touch governments is ‘mollycoddling’ children, or how it’ll turn them into hyper-sensitive students.  Whilst I accept that with this statement Clare Fox is probably referring to the parents who boycotted the SATS (and trying to sell her new book at the same time), it sweepingly covers and thus dismisses, many other justified concerns from parents.  I stand by my original stance that 10 year olds should not be subjected to this level of stress, I don’t remember ever having to do tests like these at school, and I’m sure Ms Fox didn’t either.  To have children in tears and not sleeping does not show that they are hyper-sensitive, it shows that they are 10.

Dozens of teachers reported to the NUT the sheer unhappiness of a testing experience which did not allow pupils to show the best of what they could do, but instead subjected them to baffling, dull and culturally remote material. – See more at:


Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Enough is enough. This is not just about leaked questions or answers. It is about the total chaos and confusion that primary assessment has become. Teachers are in despair about the health and well-being of their children and the damage to education brought about by these flawed tests. – See more at:

Whilst I hope for my daughter’s sake that she does well and gets confirmation of all the hard work she has put in, I also hope that the results show what a farce this whole thing has been, and prompts a serious review.

Speaking of farces, I quite liked this :


Returning to the usuals, I had a good day with regards to food today :

  • Breakfast – Beans on toast (no butter!)
  • Snack – Satsuma and a banana
  • Lunch – Noodles and stir fried veg
  • Snack – crisps
  • Dinner – Spicy rice dish with jalopeno bread 🙂

Night all.



Day 7 of Project Happiness – Broken Discos

New week status :

  • Meditate for 2 minutes – 
  • Write about something positive for 20 minutes – 
  • 5 random acts of kindness per week – 02/5
  • Take 3 x 30 minute walks per week – 0/3
  • Unnecessary items bought today – 0

I think it would be unrealistic to pretend that only positive things happen, so I will say just briefly, my land rover disco has broken down, again.  Last time  we thought it was just the expansion tank was old and had split, but it’s apparent now there is a more deeper seated problem, and I have a horrible  feeling it’s the head gasket.  I’m trying to to even think that it could be a cracked head.  Sadly it meant I wasn’t able to take my mare to the vet for her lameness assessment this afternoon so I am still none the wiser and not able to ride her.

More importantly though, mini EN had her first day of SATs today.  The new ‘improved’   SATs which have been brought in to satisfy government targets, give schools less freedom to decide how to educate children, restrict and frustrate teachers and stress out and worry 6 and 10 year olds to the point that they can’t sleep at night through worry about it.  Mini EN was up past midnight last night worrying.  Conversely, the two elder EN bairns hardly noticed SATs coming and going, did exceedingly well in them, and have gone on to flourish at school.  I do not understand the need for these harder exams,  and even if it’s decided that they NEED to be bought in, it should be done as a stage process, so that the children taking it are all starting from same base.  The children in Year 2 now will have the full preparation leading up to Year 6 to get ready for these exams.  Current Year 6 have had less than 1 years notice.  It’s not acceptable.

I am of the opinion that we need to be looking into systems such that the Finnish use.  Children are only children once.  They need to be taught about the world around them, family values, emotional intelligence, how to keep healthy, and how to have fun.  They do not need to be worrying about meaningless targets at their age, plenty of time for that as an adult.

Finnish Education System

I managed to make a positive out of it though.  I stayed home later than usual this morning in order to help Mini EN get ready.  Bought her favourite breakfast and ate it with her,  did her hair in a pretty new style,  painted her toe nails, made a nice lunch for her, helped her get her good luck charms ready and then walked her to school.  She went in fairly happy feeling special. 🙂

Vegan diet wise, much better today.

  • Breakfast – Crumpets with butter – for mini EN
  • Lunch – Sarnie (home made vegan bread), cashew butter, mashed avocado and salad.  The last small piece of the brownie mini EN made.
  • Dinner – Heck vegan balls on bulgar wheat, quinoa and rainbow veg (sounds impressive, but I bought it in a bag from Waitrose)

Just finished making some fantastic sounding vegan flapjacks for snacks tomorrow.  Found the recipe here.  I swapped out the honey/agave for rice malt syrup, swapped 60g of the oats for rice crispies, and added some linseed and pumpkin seeds.


Turns out I’m no good at food porn pictures,  but they do taste good 🙂

No smoothie today as I’ve been running around trying to get cars fixed.