Saturday, 30 March 2019

THE BEST MUMS EVER!

We asked you to tell us why your mum is awesome... and readers of all ages told us! Happy Mother's Day!

Hollie says:
My mum is wonderful. We’ve been through hard times but never once has she given up on me, even when I’ve given up on myself! I know that no matter what she will always be by my side and wanting the best for me, always acting in my best interests. She is the rainbow in my rainy days, and when she gets upset I know it’s for me not with me. She will never know how special she is, and she will never understand how much sunshine she brings into everyone’s lives!

Sara says:
My mum is cool because she is calm, wise, clever, witty, gentle, caring, charming, an excellent thoughtful hostess, occasionally caustic, very beautiful, a firebreather, a great cook, a creative maker, resilient, independent, and taught me all I need to know about just bloody getting on with life regardless what is thrown at you. She is our queen! Noble, proud and strong!

Lucy says:
This is for my Gran... she always shouted the loudest at Sports Day!

Brunehilde says:
Because she is always here for me!

Luna says:
I love my mum because she is always there for me. I can talk to her about anything. She is very silly and makes me laugh, and she also gives the best cuddles and she makes really weird cakes! I'd be lost without her.

Rachel says:
She whispered bedtime story words to me of her own childhood - when giant folk and dragons circling misty mountain tops were real for her. She filled my head with magic, she ignited my imagination, and, which I think I was unbelievably lucky to know, she let me adventure untethered by adult interruption in the most glorious of Huckleberry Finn 1970's ways. My mum, the original Princess Bride.

Helen says:
My mam taught me to bake from the age of three and I still love it... that's what I always think of when I'm at her house!

Trish says:
My Mum was my rock, my best friend and cheerleader. She made the best cup of tea and gave the best hugs!

Katie says:
My mum is awesome because she is helping me get through university! Every day I send her a good morning message, a goodnight message, a pic of my outfit and about fifty billion other messages. I’m probably breaking Messenger records. Mum is helping me not only become independent, but feel independent too. She is the best present giver, and the best at everything really. I’ve come to appreciate her wisdom and her presence in my life more since moving away from home. I wouldn’t be where I am without her. And Mum is also awesome because I know she’ll pick up SASHA'S SECRET for me when she’s in the UK!

Cathy says:
Aww... lots of love to all the momma's out there! You're amazing - it's official! Have YOU celebrated Mother's Day today? What did you do? COMMENT BELOW to tell us!

Sunday, 24 March 2019

NELL: MARCHING FOR THE FUTURE

On Saturday 23rd March 2019, an estimated one million people marched through London to demand a second vote on Brexit - reader Nell was there and tells us why it mattered so much to her!
Nell says:
Yesterday, I made history. I was one of the million or so people who attended the ‘Put it to the People’ demonstration in London on the 23rd March 2019.
I decided to go on this march because, even though I am only thirteen, my voice needs to be heard: it will be mine and other young people’s future and we deserve a say in it! Just because I cannot yet vote, it doesn’t mean my opinion is invalid or pointless. Young people can still make an impact on modern politics.
The demonstration seemed quite daunting at first, as there was a lot of people, a lot of noise and everything was very busy. I felt nervous because I knew it would be crowded, but at the same time I was excited and that excitement grew due to the already friendly atmosphere on the journey to the start of the march. While we were still on the tube train there was a woman with blue and yellow jewels (blue and yellow are the colours of the European Union flag) on her forehead and glitter on her face. The woman said hello to me and had a chat with me and my mum. Behind her was a man looking at the glitter and jewels and he asked if she had any leftover? She then proceeded to put glitter on him and, and as we all left the train, she was still adding the finishing touches on the train platform!
We met up with a lot of my mum’s friends and then joined the march at Park Lane, in London. Even at midday it was already busy and I could see thousands of people both behind and in front of us. After a few hours we finally got moving (we later found out that the delay was due to the sheer number of people turning up). We marched for a couple more hours and had great fun chatting to those around us and singing and chanting. For me, the best part of the day was definitely all the placards and signs: they made us laugh and kept us going.  
By the time we reached the end of the march, we were absolutely exhausted, but bumped into a carnival drumming band and they lifted everyone’s spirits and gave us the energy to get to the finish line!
At 5pm we finally reached Trafalgar Square and headed for home. At the end of the day, how did I feel? Well, firstly I felt proud of myself for standing up for what I believe in, as I think that is very important. I also liked the sense of unity and community between everyone marching.
So, all in all, I was very pleased that I went and would recommend that anyone who believes in something strongly, whether it be remaining in Europe or climate change or equal rights, stands up and makes their voice heard.
That way you can become one in a million too….
Cathy says:
Wow! I love that young people like Nell are making their voices heard - both on the issue of Europe and on other important issues too! Would YOU march for something you believe in? And do you have strong views on Brexit? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Saturday, 23 March 2019

GYMNASTICS: TOUGH BUT WORTH IT!

Reader Holly Mai shares her love for gymnastics and how sometimes it can be a struggle but you should never give up!


HOLLY MAI SAYS:
I first became interested in gymnastics because of a scooter (which had the Olympic rings on) in my garage! It’s not every day you find an inspirational item in your garage…. Anyway soon enough I was on the waiting list for gymnastic lessons and I don’t think it was that long until I was offered a place. My Tuesday’s were made!

When I first started, I could not do much more than a bunny hop. I’m pretty sure my only dream was to be able to do a cartwheel and a handstand. My main struggle back then was to actually start doing this move called a ‘bridge’ as I kept getting it wrong and doing it on my head. Eventually I learnt to do it properly and I was very pleased - this was one of the main challenges, as you need this move in order to do walkovers. When my first competition came it was quite cringeworthy - I forgot to 'present' and when I did I just put my arms to the side and ran off, which is not what you're supposed to do at all!

I started to watch the older girls in squads do gymnastics and I decided this what I would like to do. I decided to ask my mum and dad whether I could do two hours a week… and eventually they agreed! So I started to train with the squad he hardest challenges was probably the beam as it was haunted by a horrid memory. When I tried to do a cartwheel on the beam for the very first time, I fell and twisted my ankle. The bars were my favourite apparatus as I could twist and turn well. Another challenge was to ‘circle up’ because you have to be able to do that to do any other tricks on the bar. Eventually I learnt to do circle ups and entered my first disability competition with my friend Sophie. It was quite good as I did earn four gold medals so I was very happy at that point. It’s been a bit of a struggle, one week I'd go home crying and then the next week I would have learnt the move and feel really proud of myself.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                 
I got moved up into different groups over the years and my most recent group is the disability development squad (I have hyper-mobility, but have never let this stand in my way). You get a choice of what to wear in any group, it’s either a crop top and shorts or a leotard. I just wear a leotard and shorts,  in winter though you should wear leggings and come into the gym. If you are wearing earrings you take them out or tape them up, if you hang long hair you just have it up in a ponytail or a plait. If you are starting to do more hours you could get a gym bag to put things you will need in. For example, a bag containing hand guards and some chalk if you need some, all though it should be provided in the gym. You might possibly need some tape if in case you have damaged something or you have disinformative knees like me and you have  hurt them and they feel funny and hurt a bit when you walk,  you would use the tape when that happens to stabilise them.

It was quite a struggle getting to where I am now nothing has changed but the groups and my worst apparatus is still the beam (because of my hyper-mobility). Luckily I have got some tips if you want to start gymnastics!

1. Don’t start at a young age - well you can, but don’t do lots of hours because if you do that you get burnt out and you don’t find it fun and you may start to get bored.
2. If you want fun, go to recreational gymnastics and if you do like it, the max is probably two hours a week if you're still quite young.
3. If you’re a bit older and getting serious about it you can add more hours.
4. Ask around to find the best gymnastic classes and clubs in your area!

CATHY SAYS:
Amazing - it sounds like hard work, but Holly Mai must feel so proud at her achievements!! Have YOU had experience as a gymnast? COMMENT BELOW with any tips or cool stories!

Sunday, 10 March 2019

STARS FOR MARCH!

Skye Tanberry looks to the mystical stars above and reads your fortune for March!! 


PISCES: Feb 19 - Mar 20
Relationships, romantic or platonic, are being tested this month. You can sometimes have a short temper, especially with those you love. Try to be mindful of other people’s feelings. Having pride doesn’t have to mean hurting others.

ARIES: Mar 21 - Apr 20
Remember that things rarely turn out the way you planned, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t on the right path. Letting go of illusions will open up new opportunities for you to become the best version of yourself.

TAURUS: Apr 21 - May 20
Your patience may be tested this month, as an important trip or project may have to be postponed. You have put a lot of work into this and you can’t wait to show others, but sometimes waiting is ultimately for the best.

GEMINI: May 21 - Jun 20
Your dreams have become quite vivid lately, both good and bad. If you can remember them, jot them down in a journal. This month, creativity is fizzing to the surface, and you're also more in touch with your subconscious mind than usual. Pay attention to those dreams, they might be trying to tell you something!

CANCER: Jun 21 - Jul 21
Feeling extra adventurous this month? Thought so. Why don’t you get outside your comfort zone by taking up a new hobby or getting out into the wilds of nature? Grab a friend, go in a group or be a brave lone explorer, but go! This could be the start of something magical!

LEO: Jul 22 - Aug 21
Now is not the time to be alone. You may often think you know best when it comes to matters of importance but working as a team can bring about a strength you just can’t experience on your own. You're independent, smart and strong, but even so, it's OK to ask for help sometimes!

VIRGO: Aug 22 - Sept 21
Kickstart the month by focussing on your mind and bodily health! Meditation covers all bases and not only reduces mental stress but can physically improve your blood flow and respiratory system. Go forth and conquer the world, albeit upbeat and energised!!!

LIBRA: Sept 22 - Oct 22
Now is the time to focus on new horizons. If there is a project you’ve been putting off for ages, now is the time to do it. Have fun and play around but stay focussed on your end goal and don’t be afraid to accept help from those around you.

SCORPIO: Oct 23 - Nov 21
You might be feeling a bit stagnant after a long, hard winter but with Spring just around the corner, it may be time for an age-old makeover/clear out. Giving your room a spruce, changing up the layout and decorating it will bring a breath of fresh air to your life and improve your mental wellbeing.

SAGITTARIUS: Nov 22 - Dec 21
You little socialite! Usually quite shy, the stars align to bring you out of your shell a bit this month. Friends are your focus!! Though you are not the life and soul of the party, you are the backbone of your friend group. Organise a get together with your besties, show them how to have fun!!

CAPRICORN: Dec 22 - Jan 19
You are feeling quite nostalgic for the past. Emotions and memories could enter your subconscious  without asking. Try not to be taken aback but rather welcome them as parts of yourself gone by. They are your strengths, not your weaknesses.

AQUARIUS: Jan 20 - Feb 18
New opportunities arise this month. You are learning things about yourself you never thought possible. There is a chance to redefine yourself through the help of others. Learning to trust others plays a big part in this.

CATHY SAYS:
Do Skye's predictions ring true for YOU this month? COMMENT BELOW to let us know!

Saturday, 9 March 2019

GOLDEN BOOKS GIRL REVIEWS SAMI'S SILVER LINING!

Blogger Amy, alias @GoldenBooksGirl, reviews SAMI'S SILVER LINING... read on to see her verdict!

I have loved Cathy Cassidy's books for a long time, and SAMI'S SILVER LINING was no exception. Much like her Chocolate Box Girls series, each book of the Lost & Found series focuses on a different member of the titular band, and this one is Sami's story. Sami is a refugee, who has only newly arrived in England, and his book sees a new relationship and his involvement in the band beginning to bring down the walls that he has built up around himself to protect him from the incredibly harrowing experiences he has had since war broke out in Syria.

In addition to this, the other main part of the plot is a truly terrible keyboard player replacing the one who was forced to leave, with some pretty hilarious results. The members of the band are all so much fun, and I just adore all of them - my particular favourite is Marley, but I wanted things to go well for all of them. Seriously, there isn't a single one of the core group that I don't love.

Seeing things from Sami's perspective was so interesting, as well as utterly heart-breaking in places, and the progress he makes in coming to terms with his past and trying to build his future is so heart-warming and emotional. As is a certain unexpected event/ twist that I don't want to spoil! I can't wait to read Sasha's story in the third book, especially given the hints as to what issues she is facing given in this book, and frankly I'd love it if I got a book for every single member, even though this band is considerably larger than the average group!

Any readers who use Twitter may like to follow @GoldenBooksGirl there for the latest cool book reviews!

Cathy says:
Thank you Amy (and Amy's gorgeous dog!) for the lovely review! It totally made my day! Have YOU read SAMI'S SILVER LINING yet? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

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