Saturday, 30 March 2013

89/365 nice here, innit?

We do like to be beside the seaside, even if it is a bit parky.

 

Friday, 29 March 2013

88/365 zagging when everyone's zigging


Easter's a funny old time. Another one of those occasions when some of us decide we can pick and choose bits of a religion that suit us. And scoffing our faces with chocolate seems to suit a great many of us. 

That didn't mean to sound as preachy as it might have come across. I'm just as fond of a choc fest as the next person, but I've long thought it a smidge hypocritical. 

Oh, and  if the idea of a Creme Egg perched on a particularly manky keyboard doesn't fill you with seasonal cheer, then how about a zig-zag of light on the river. 

And speaking of zigs and zags. I came across the work and words of an old chum, Ingrid Abery, being tweeted by Richard Branson. 

That noise is indeed a name being dropped. At one point Ingrid and I moved in similar circles and could very well be found in some tropical dock-side bar. A different person might take this moment to pause and gaze wistfully off to the past as they ponder how come she's still hanging around possibly the ritziest sporting event in the world while I'm making plans to spend a weekend in a caravan in Cumbria.  

So Ingrid is a photographer and she specialises in yachting photos and she'd been in St Bart's sticking her lens into the face of Mr B while he got to mess about on a particularly expensive boat. 

In Branson's blog he reports that she told him: "Sometimes you gotta zig when everyone else is zagging." 

Wise words, and the other thing I remember from my nautical days is that once you've made up your mind on a course you pretty much should stick to it - right up until the point when you really need to change.

While I work out whether I need a zig, a zag or a change of tack, here's one of Ingrid's photos. 



Thursday, 28 March 2013

87/365 On reflection by the Clyde


I've been back at STV for a few days this week and it means I get to walk along the bit of Glasgow's riverside between the Science Centre car park and Pacific Quay. 

I'd say it was one of the most remarkable bits of city anywhere. It's probably a safe bet that there will be more photos from hereabouts over the course of my 365.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

86/365 running into the past


This morning I resumed my morning constitutional with a trot along the Sustrans cycle track. Big soft perfect flakes of snow were filling the air creating an oddly hypnotic sensation as I padded through it. 

I've found that the least painful way of going running is to do it very first thing before I'm even awake, so it's very easy for my mind to believe it's, at the very least, still asleep. After a while this morning's silent whiteness started to look very familiar as the cycle track passed by fields of sheep. My Granny had a painting on her sitting room wall of a flock of frosty sheep and today it was as if those sheep had stepped out of their elaborate gilt frame. 

The other-worldly sensation was increased by the fact that I'd started listening to my new talking book, A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. The first bit is told from the point of view of family solicitor Noel Strachan. The description of the loyal lawyer dealing with the estate of a long-term client from his office with its roaring fire put me fondly in mind of my Dad's office. 

I know there's a lot to be said for being in the moment, but when I'm running around on a chilly morning I find it infinitely preferable to be somewhere else and today it was Granny's sitting room and Dad's office. 



Then on the way back I found this chap flat out with a couple of his equally dead friends. Frosted frog, anyone?

When driving a wedge is really rather a good thing...

You know the expression: "Driving a wedge." Suggesting an activity that separates things in the manner of a metal slug being bashed by a hammer into a big log. 

Time to rebrand


Well I think it's high time we had a re-think. Driving a wedge is, in fact, an extremely smart thing to be doing. 

Not this either, although the Cayman Islands
thing would work for me.
No. A wedge is where you need to be when you want the slimming, flattering wiggling benefits of That Extra Half An Inch (thanks to V Beckham) but you don't want the humiliating and potentially dangerous outcome of falling on one's arse. 

I don't know if it's just me, but heels are an increasingly risky proposition. Maybe I'm just out of practice, given that I work at home much of the time. 

Never fear, there is salvation. This time it's in the form of New Look's range of wedges. A wedge is a wide and stable kind of heel - exactly the shape you get when vanity meets practicality. Oh and as an added bonus, a nice chunky wedge will leave your ankles looking even daintier. (Splutters)

No seriously. Look at  this. 

In the unlikely event that my social life picks up and I have garden parties or smart barbecues to attend, these are what I'll be wearing on the end of my smooth and tanned limbs. You'll notice they are also available in a wide fit so, not only do they lack wobble, but they don't do cheesewire foot. 

Cheesewire foot is something that happens when you push a too large limb into a too small sandal, particularly with elegant narrow straps. The effect is more like those joints of meat tied together with elastic. 

Like cheesewire foot but tastier.

I'm quite keen on these too for all those summer balls where you'll find me waltzing through the balmy evening. 
However, until the invites come thudding in I'm going to have to content myself with dressing for my usual days. Normally because I work at home and there appear to be quite a few small (ish) people in the vicinity, my attire ends up being a cross between zoo keeper and boy scout. As you can imagine this is a striking look and one I'm sure will catch on. 

Year after year, undaunted, I try to sex up this mode of attire. I add coloured scarves, earrings, heck, I've even painted my nails. This year I'm going to look to my feet (again) to gussy the thing up. 

These ones, for example. Wedgy enough so I don't walk like Jimmy Krankie and yet low enough to mean I can survive that exiting merry-go-round of chasing small people, carrying laundry baskets so big I can't see over them and walking a lot. 

Alternatively, these crochet low wedges hide the toes. Not, of course, that there's ever a point in the summer when my pedicure is less than immaculate, but you never know... and it's always nice to have that option. 

This post is brought to you in partnership with New Look. However, it doesn't mean what I've said isn't true (except the immaculate pedicure bit). Oh and if anyone has suggestions for resuscitating my social life, I'd be delighted to hear them. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

85/365 shadows of glory

You know you get some days when nothing you try works out as you want? Yeah those. Well today was slightly on the stinky side. Nothing significantly awful, just a catalogue of delays, grumbles and frustrations. Ho hum, still, it's nearly tomorrow.

 

Monday, 25 March 2013

84/365 A little ray of sunshine


Do you see that? Way off over there, some rays of brightness peeping through a crack in the clouds. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

82/365 Snow joke being stuck at home


We woke to lots of pristine whiteness this morning. Once Boy Two's football match was cancelled we could consider the day properly. 

"It would be quite handy to be snowed in," I thought. And so we were - I didn't let the fact that the roads were fairly clear deter me. 

I made bread, created a Jake Neverland Pirate costume for Boy Three and a gift for the host of the party he was invited to this afternoon. There was even time to spare for a spot of sledging while the bread baked. 

This is Boy Three and I preparing for a descent while Boy Two comes back up the hill. Elsewhere, Boy One was sitting alone in a snowdrift, like a teenager only colder. 

I used my loaf for lunch. 

Really annoying things bloggers do...

I settled down to a bout of contented blog surfing - catching up with old favourites and hopefully finding some fresh new blogs to enjoy. 

Only minutes later I was muttering and, eventually, gave up annoyed. I know I'm particularly crabby today (two hours of eardrum-burstingly loud kids party entertainer will do that to a person), but this one had been a long time coming. 

What's with the right click ban? Really. I get that you don't want anyone to steal your content. No one does. But surely if someone is determined to nick it they will. What the RCB means is that any one whose habit - as mine is - to open a new window for links gets really annoyed and stops bothering with your blog. 

Can the Captcha. Please. I like to comment almost as much as I like to get comments. I also hate spam - lots of it tries to make its way onto my blog and some succeeds. But having Captcha (the really annoying and almost illegible letters you have to copy into a box before you can post a comment) makes it so tedious to comment that I often don't bother. 

Signing of no comments.Same irritation ranking as Captcha. It's when you have to sign up to the blog platform or similar before you can comment. If I get the urge to comment, I just want to do it without faffing about remembering passwords and so on. Please make it easy for me. 

Gain some focus. We aren't professional photographers but there is one quick fix I urge everyone to make - wipe the smears off your camera phone lens. It makes me slightly queasy when I see a photo where you appear to be peering through a fog... unless, of course, it was foggy. 

A plot that's too thick. Anonymity is fine and I understand lots of reasons why people opt for it, but I do like enough of a back story for your posts to make sense. 

Not minding the gap. No paragraph breaks that leaves a long block chunk of text is a real turn off. I'm probably a scatterbrained light-weight, but I can't plough through it. 


81/365 a flaccid exterminator

 

Can't think what else might be causing such an otherworldly mess in my house.

 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

80/365 getting to the bottom of it...


There has been an exhausting kind of mystery to solve here today and this was the look Boy Two gave me in the middle of it. 

It started in the morning with a hullabaloo, door slamming and lots of allegations. Boy One's phone charger had vanished. It was, apparently, impossible that he might have put it somewhere else. Someone must have stolen it. On purpose.

More shouting. 

Boy One's default accusation is that Boy Two has done it/stolen it/broken it/eaten it/sat on it. This is as wearing as it is consistent. If Boy One falls over, he will instantly blame his brother even if he is miles further than tripping distance away. 

Boy Three, who hates to miss out, joined in the yelling. 

Boy Two has a good range of innocent and indignant expressions, some more plausible than others. He was employing them all and even throwing in some lip quiver. 

Crash. Skirmishes broke out over possession of remaining suitable phone chargers. (When I am Empress of the World I will legislate for universal chargers. That way I could have solved this with one of the umpteen million defunked ones that clutter the place up.) 

I declared a ceasefire while breakfast happened, followed by school - door slamming on the way out apparently necessary. 

There was always the possibility that Boy One might be distracted by some six and a bit hours of education, but not in this case. He crashed back home still ranting about the charger and the brother. Sigh. 

Unable to stomach a hunt for the missing item - which is undoubtedly still in the house - with scrapping children trailing round behind me like a belligerent tail, I had to pick my moment. 

When the Boys were distracted I sneaed off on my hunt - three rooms later I found it tucked into the bottom of a wardrobe. "Where was it?" They cried in relief. 

I still have no idea if it was carelessly abandoned or if it was stolen, then if I found it at the scene or if it was placed there. And frankly I don't care. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Oh, no! There's an Aspie in the class.

A different seat of learning
Apparently teachers' hearts sink when they learn there's going to be a child on the spectrum in their class. Or so I'm told. 

I had no idea - having only encountered welcoming, friendly staff throughout Boy One's school career so far. A slightly snippy school receptionist was as bad as it ever got. 

Boy One got his high school report just the other day and I'm very proud of him. Most of it drips with unambiguous praise and notes his application and success. 

I was struck by how many of his teachers wanted to tell me that they like him and to let me know how much they enjoyed having him in their classes. It did seem a bit strange - after all liking him surely is their issue not mine or his if they are professional. And school is about academic success not popularity, is it not?

I didn't really think much more about it until quite recently.

First, I wrote a blog post for Tutorhub about what teachers might really mean in what they put in the little boxes on reports. 

Then, I went on one of the National Autistic Society's excellent seminars to help parents and carers. This one was about the teen years. I find the classes not only directly instructive, but they also focus my attention on Boy One and his particular view of the world. 

You see, Boy One is generally very little trouble. He's passive and unconfrontational - more inclined to slide away from difficulty than shout in its face. Undoubtedly this has made all our lives (except perhaps his) easier over the years, but it does mean he can become somewhat overlooked. 

It was on the course that I chatted to another parent - but one whose day job, by coincidence, takes her into contact with primary schools dealing with children with special educational needs (including autism). 

We were talking about life on the spectrum and how some kids cope better than others.

She said something, almost an aside, about teachers dreading to learn that they've got an AS on their list. She explained that, while the majority of teachers knew lots about how to help children on the spectrum and were well prepared to do so, there were a few for whom "a little knowledge has proved quite dangerous". These minority of teachers knew enough to believe that Aspies are difficult and disrupting, and that their parents are unlikely to be much better. In short, that child would cause them a headache of a year. 

So, reading Boy One's report between the lines this time, some of his teachers are telling me that, although they'd feared the worst, my lad is really no trouble at all. 

79/365 Tree with steps of fungus


Fungus on this tree was arranged up the trunk so that you could have used it as stepping stones if you felt like it.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

78/365 One eye on the main chance


I'm not sure it's his best look, but he's convinced. He also tells me there's a top hat and cane on order.

A monocle arrived in the post today

Today, among the usual stuff, the postie brought a monocle for Boy One. Also winging its way towards us is a cane. The ensemble isn't complete yet as I have been consulted on waistcoats and I know he already owns a pocket watch. 



Boy One has a singular sense of style and it's probably only a matter of time before he decides that spats are necessary for his current, erm, look. 


Although his current go-to footwear are very loud multi-coloured and canvas. I'm not quite sure he's got the big picture on this. 

What I am sure about is that he - and his brothers - are very certain about the things they want to wear and they rarely coincide with the things I want them to wear. Footwear for example...

Boy One covers his rapidly growing feet either with smart school shoes (which he'd wear all the time if he could) or the canvas things. Last year he would only wear Crocs until the point when they started to look like toe covers rather than whole shoes. 

Boy Two equally contrary but differently motivated will do anything to avoid wearing what he's told. Out of school he will also try to wear Crocs (no socks - ever) even when it's snowing or we're going somewhere really posh. 

When rumbled he'll reluctantly change. On a school day, however, he resorts to great elaborate bits of subterfuge to avoid wearing his (not very old) school shoes, preferring trainers, football boots... anything in fact. If he had them I'm certain he would put on ballet shoes or Ugg boots if it meant he was avoiding toeing the line. 

Now Boy Three is getting in on the act. Not withstanding the fact that he has a couple of beautiful, cute and well-fitted leather shoes, he would far rather be cutting about in Lightning McQueen wellies or his version of the ubiquitous Crocs. 

I suppose I should celebrate the fact my sons each have a clear and distinct sense of style. One day it'll help them stand out and look cool. Perhaps creating a new dawn for the British eccentric.

Though I can't help thinking it's as simple as the fact they'd rather wear anything than something I suggested/bought/prefer. Contrary, all three. 

This post has been brought to you by Alex and Alexa.

Monday, 18 March 2013

77/365 Message from a very long way off...


Yesterday was my brother's 42nd birthday.

As the years go by the fact that he's not there to celebrate birthdays and the like really doesn't get any easier. After the first year or so, that old chestnut about time healing is actually a lot of crap. It doesn't, you just learn to live with it. 

Anyhow, this isn't about feeling all sorry and soggy. It's about the sheer strangeness of things.

After Nathan died his best pals installed a bench in his memory. Today, Mum and Step-Mum decided they'd visit to have a word with him - it seems like a right sort of place to do so from time to time. 

When they got to the bench, this is what they found waiting.

A message for them? 

I'm fairly sure it's not from him, he'd have said: "Waaah."

But, still. It managed to give them something to think about other than the gaping lack of him.

Funny how things happen, isn't it?


The facial hair post

We've all been dwelling on facial hair here at the Palace of Bundance. Some of us have been dwelling in it while others would like to. 

We'll start with the oldest. The Panther of News is once again hirsute. It comes and goes with him, on a whim, maybe, or, perhaps, on whether or not he's remembered to buy any razors. 

The thing with my husband's facial hair is that every time he grows it back it makes him look a bit different. And I never know who I'm going to get. 

One it was Matt Cardle-esque.

Matt Cardle
Matt's hairy face and daft hat
And that wasn't too bad at all. Luckily the MCB didn't come with a craving for silly headgear. 

Then there was the McGrath. Or the Rory to its friends. 

Rory McGrath
The PoN reckoned he couldn't see the likeness
Current incarnation has something of the George Galloways about it. "Gorgeous George?" said the Panther when I told him of the similarity. Of course. 


Moving down the ranks, chronologically. Boy One is sporting a proto-tache. He's 13 and really quite pleased with it. I do keep asking if it isn't time for the shaving lesson, but he doesn't seem keen. 

When's the right age to start the "best a man can get" "one blade shaves you close" routine? Do you start when what's there hardly qualifies as bum fluff or do you wait until there's quite a growth? 

And if Boy One's pride in his baby whiskers wasn't enough, Boy Three has decided that he must have a beard too. 

"I want a beard."

"You can have one when you're grown up."

"No, before then."

"I'm sorry. You can't have one until you're much bigger. Bigger than Boy One in high school."

"Waaaaaa."

That was yesterday's unreasonable three-year-old's demand. Today was easier. "I want a tattoo."

Boy Two obliged

Kitchen tattoo parlour


WIN some April Fools Day fun with a Box of Shocks


I suspect the optimum age for relishing April Fools-type fun is about 10¾. While the rest of us can enjoy a little delight at making someone look an idiot, those in their tenth year will be rolling on the floor clutching their bellies and howling with laughter. 

They are also sufficiently motivated by this hilarity to lay traps, set up tricks and generally get in the spirit of the thing. 

It's a stroke of luck then that my 10¾-year-old, was on hand to review Drumond Park's Box of Shocks

It's an excellent kit packed with lots of gruesome things bound to fascinate anyone who actually 10¾ or who was once or is going to be in the future. 



Our favourite is without doubt the green snakey things that jump out of the stacking crisps jar. 

However the pen through hand trick is, actually, very convincing as is the thing that makes it look like some ratbag has written on your best shirt. 

Among the other pranks are a finger-break trick, a fake ketchup bottle, a shock glass, a spider box (you knew there'd be insects), squirt chewing gum, fake egg and the whispering magician. 

Box of Shocks costs around £19.99 from good toy retailers. For stockist information phone 01506 855577 or visit www.drumondpark.com. 

I have a set available to give away. Simply tell me in the comments below what your favourite April Fool prank is or has been. It could be a famous one like the 1957 spaghetti trees or one you carried out yourself. When you've done that just email your contact details to ellenarnison@hotmail.com with April Fool in the subject line. Entries must be in by midnight on Friday, March 22, 2013. 


Drumond Park gave Boy Two a Box of Shocks to review and they are donating one as a prize in this giveaway. 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

76/365 a little horse


The scratchy throat excuse, the don't want to be too tired excuse, and the I don't have the right pants* excuse had all run out. I was off out early for my training run today. 

It was a moody morning, with a scattering of snow. 

I watched for a while, but this chap didn't seem inclined to dance for me. He did give me a chance to get my breath back though. 

Elsewhere, my friend Debbie was doing her first parkrun. I'm very impressed and proud of her - I think 34 minutes is an excellent time (and one that has me a little concerned, especially, as when I join her as planned on a parkrun I won't be able to stop and gaze at irritable looking ponies).

*And yes, pants. Perhaps for a future post that will contain discussion of what happens when you have three children by C-section and then try to go running. It won't be for the fainthearted.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

75/365 Colour me cosy - thermal image pics

The intense white blob on the left is the vent for the central heating not an apparition. 

We had an extension built four years ago. You can clearly see where it starts above the front door, the
 new - better insulated bit is pink and the older walls show blue



On the gable, the warmer bit (blue) is between the floors and where the attic is. As this wall is new I'm going to see
what the architect has to say about it. There's also clear heat loss at the top of the roof.

Yup, you're right. I didn't take these photos. They were snapped by Tom of Thermal Image UK as part of his work for our Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP) organisation. 

LEAP are committed to helping people save money at home. We also had a draft test carried out. 

The top priority things I need to do to cosy up our home are: 

  • Hang a curtain or blind over the front door and window
  • Fix the bath panel properly (huge draft here)
  • Seal behind the downstairs loo (gusty here too)
  • Seal around the sitting room window sill 
There were dozens of other suggestions such as sealing the understair cupboard door and doing something about the draft by the floor in the back room, but they fall below the outcome-effort crossover at the moment.



Friday, 15 March 2013

74/365 Just because I like it



I bought this bottle of olive oil in Booths - probably my favourite supermarket. I like it so much I'm considering a one-woman campaign to get them to open a shop north of the border. One would do so well in, say, Renfrewshire. 

Anyhow, Booths (the one in Penrith, near where mum is) had beautiful bottles filled with olive oil. I don't think it was a particularly special kind of oil - pressed the the feet of tiny goats at the top of a mountain or anything. But in the bottle the oil looks perfect. 

Now, every time it runs out, I wash it and fill it up again with more perfectly ordinary olive oil. I can't explain why I do this entirely unnecessary thing, but I do. 

I had to fill it up again today because I'd made the most delicious goat's cheese (I knew they came in somewhere), prune and pistachio cake. The recipe came from Gingerbread Woman's blog.

Gingerbread Woman is the very lovely Helen with whom I worked at a PR Agency once upon a time. Her new blog is lush and promises great things. 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

73/365 trained to the whistle


This is the most likely view of at least two thirds of the fruit of my loins at any given moment. Goodness knows what they're listening to... or perhaps they have cold ears. 

Anyhow, it's a state of affairs that led me to take drastic action. I became increasingly frustrated by the fact that when I called for them - sweetly, of course - nothing happened. 

My maternal equanimity is pretty flimsy at the best of times, but having cooked a flipping meal to then find flipping children don't appear to flipping eat it, things can get somewhat tense. 

However, I've struck on the solution and I must share it with you. I feel it is the future of motherhood, the new black for parents. 

The Panther of News is, on occasion, also the Panther of the Pitch turning out as coach and ref for Boy Two's football team. This means we have whistles in the house - proper loud ones with peas. Normally they are better guarded than fireworks and poisons because, in the wrong hands, they are far more annoying. But I have put them to use.

The sound of a whistle will penetrate even the loudest mp3 and get under the most extravagantly padded headphones. 

It only took a week and now I just give three short blasts and they all turn up in the kitchen to see what I want them for. I can only urge you to grasp the parenting strategy with both hands. You will not regret it.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

72/365 Sunrise towards Glasgow


If I took this picture on my proper camera rather than my phone you'd be able to see the layers of hazy blue cityscape towards the horizon. However, as I was on my morning trot I didn't have it with me. To be honest, I do well enough to take myself all the way round the route without added Japanese photographic equipment. 

The phone, however, always comes with me because I've discovered that the least painful way of getting through the exercise is by listening to a talking book on the Audible app. I'm currently listening to Barbara Kingsolver reading her own book Flight Behaviour. There seems to be so much more to be heard when the author themselves reads the book.

Kingsolver gives her creations the most wonderful names - Dellarobia Turnbow and Ovid Byron - like poetry. 

Obviously, I had to stop my running (slowly) to dig the phone out, pause Kingsolver and take the snap. I wasn't standing for a rest, I was selflessly doing this for you dear reader. 

Just now I looked on Google Maps to find the spot I took this picture from to makes sure it was Glasgow and I discovered one of the buildings I puff my way past, isn't a farm but a monastery. I've lived here for nearly 11 years and had no idea it was the Jericho Benedictine Society and not just a farm. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

71/365 accents on women in business

I was at a Scottish Women in Business networking lunch today. That's chairman Morag Malloy of Fission Creative introducing the book swap event at Sisters.

The very creative Alison Finlay told me about seminars she was doing with participants from all over the world. We fell to talking about what kind of international accent, phraseology and intonation would develop to allow us all to understand each other. Would Americanisms reign supreme?

 

Introducing Baralech: A mother's tale

Baralech Mulisa at her front door
My name is Barelech Mulisa. I’m 34 years old and I’m married with four children, Tsasaye, 19, Gile, 15, Melkamu, 12 and Wagari, nine.


My daughter Gile is a grade-nine student and my oldest is in his last year of college - he will graduate this year. The other two boys are in school, and we live here together in this small house.

I’m actually extremely happy with my children. They’re always behind me. They do as they’re told. They accept me and respect me. All of my children have a dream that they will help me one day, and they are working hard to do so. That makes me so proud.

I’m working in an energy efficient production project organised by World Vision - I’m one of the women here who coordinates it. World Vision provided the original start up and it’s one of the major sources of income for us all. I also try to sell local drinks in the village for extra money for both myself and my family.

I have a vision for the future that one-day energy efficient production will help us. That it will help Ethiopians in general and in my community with the destruction of the forests. I have a hope that that will change my life.

I actually have no challenge from my children, apart from some of the everyday life challenges – buying clothes, preparing food, other expenses. Even when they are challenging, it’s okay. It means that they’re hopeful.



--ooOoo--

Baralech's story is on my blog because World Vision introduced us and asked if I'd help spread the word about their #foodfrontline campaign.

My blogging friend Jo, AKA Single Slummy Mummy is in Ethiopia at the moment, meeting Baralech and seeing the work done by World Vision. And, more importantly, she's witnessing the work still to be done. 

Most of us of a certain age remember Ethiopia as the place those starving children came from that shocked to the core in 1984 and spawned Live Aid. 

But that was 30 years ago, and things in Ethiopia have changed dramatically. The desolate landscapes where crops struggled to grow have gone, replaced by carefully cultivated harvests and farming plots. Dusty roads have now become paved, with infrastructure alongside. Schools have been built, staffed and filled with impassioned students - such as Baralech's kids. 

While poverty and hunger are still undeniably present, Ethiopia has changed. And at the forefront of this change are women. 

Women - mums, often - play a vital role in helping a nation overcome hunger. With their children at the heart of all they do, they act with sheer determination to see them properly cared for, healthy and thriving. 

It's women who have taken to their gardens in Ethiopia, who have started small businesses. It's women who have banded together to start thriving enterprises. 

World Vision is taking Jo, Helen from Food Stories and Nick from Hunter Gather Cook to Ethiopia's #FoodFrontline to meet these incredible women and hear their stories. 

With Jo, Helen and Nick going as part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign they will discover Ethiopian food lessons and bring these back to the UK - hoping to mend our own broken food system and help kick start the end of global hunger. 

With one in eight people going to bed hungry each night - sadly many of them children - it's time for a worldwide change. From mums to politicians, everyone has a role to play. 

What to do to help:

Follow the trip online using #FoodFrontline and @SingleMum, @FoodStories and @HuntrGatherCook. We’ll have daily blogs and actions straight from Ethiopia.

Use your voice. Blog, tweet and share these stories with your friends, family and followers on social media. Make sure to use the hashtag #FoodFrontline and tweet us at @WorldVisionUK to let us know.

Email your MP (http://www.worldvision.org.uk/get-involved/campaigning/enough-food-for-everyone-if/email-your-mp/) and ask them to act on global hunger today. With the UK government soon to announce this year’s budget, we must urge leaders to prioritise ending the global food crisis.


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