Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.


Daily Prompt: Burning down the house

OK – A quickie. I just couldn’t resists today’s Daily Prompt.

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?


Seriously? My home on is fire! The kids, the cat, dog, hubby (in no particular order of priority) are safe. (I am assuming no one is bothered about the fish. Their tank is to heavy to lift and they have the greatest chance of survival, being surrounded by water and all that.)

What did I grab?

1. Pants.

I mean, the place will shortly be rubble and there could be a lot of people turning up to gawk – hopefully with water as well. I need to be wearing some clothes!

2. iPhone.

Well, if I want those people to turn up and bring their water, I need a phone to call them. Right?


I am not sure there is anything else I particularly need enough to stay in the flames rummaging about, but presuming of course I have the time…


3. My portable hard drive. 

It has my work, photos, personal docs and life on it. Computers can be replaced but the information on them can’t.

4. The car keys

So I can move the Mini out of the way of careless fire engines and falling masonry. I love my car.

5. Bear and George

Yes, I know that is technically two things. But the kids need their teddies. Some things are just irreplaceable. 




Project Optimism – A Glimmer of Hope

For Project Optimism this lovely Monday morning, I thought I would touch briefly on how there is invariably a glimmer of hope to be found in every situation, whether it be big or small.

I have mentioned before that I do like Mondays but I have to admit I was not looking forward to today. My weekend had had a number of components to it that had just zapped my expectations of a happy day, starting with the normal Saturday morning screeching and wailing that is my 6 year old being told that she has to tidy her room.

‘But WHY?’ she wails.

‘I don’t mind the mess.’ she cries.

He did it!’ she accuses her 3 year old brother (there may be some truth in that, but it’s not the entire story at all).

‘Why won’t anyone help me.’ she demands.

‘It’s not fair.’

Yes – at 6 we have reached that well known childhood phrase. It’s not fair. Teenagerdoom lurks ahead. (no, that is not a spelling mistake!)

We have tried reasoning, arguing, impassioned sobbing (both her and me). I have attached star charts to fridges, offered pocket money as an incentive, threatened to bin everything on the floor.

On Sunday I ‘helped’ tidy her room and in doing so made a pile of yet more broken toys.

‘Why don’t you look after your things?’ I demand.

She shrugs.

And yes, once again I feel like a total failure as a parent because I have tried bribery and everything else known to parents all over and still my child refuses to clean her room and shows no appreciation for the many things she has.

(I don’t think my child is any more spoilt than the average kid in the UK, but perhaps all of our children these days just have too much!)

She doesn’t understand the time it takes to earn the money to buy the frippery in her room that she so casually stands on, snaps, kicks under the bed or uses as a doorstop.

Is 6 too young to learn this?

I don’t think so. I just am not sure how to go about instilling it.

So – I banned use of my iPad, my phone, daddy’s PS, the TV. All screens were off in this house.

Sunday was a day of play. With actual physical toys. (NO, this does not count as child abuse.)

I issued a new decree in the land of Mummy Rules! And it was thus –

You shall earn your gaming time by doing something good every day that shows you value and care for your things. There shall be no screen until your bedroom is tidy every day.

Yep – I didn’t really expect her to listen either. Or Mr G, or myself for that matter. Because let’s face it – throwing them at a screen is an easy babysitter for us too.

On top of this I have been having some down time about family/friends. I mentioned it briefly here. So I went to bed last night feeling quite tired of it all. Flat.

Which is not like me.

This morning I woke up ready to attack the day, starting with the morning screech and shout to get the kids moving, dressed, fed and ready for school. (Good god, I sound like an awful mother. Perhaps I should give up now.)

I went into my daughter’s room to wake her up.

But she was not in bed.

No – she was tidying her room.


Then, whilst I was in the shower, she dressed herself, brushed her teeth and attempted to brush her hair.

Whilst I was dressing Mini Monster 2, she went and voluntarily  washed her face. Voluntarily!

We ate breakfast, early.

And then Mini Monster 1 turned to me and said ‘Did I do something good now mummy?’

“Yes darling, very good this morning.” I smiled.

“And did you notice I tidied up Mini Monster 2’s toy box too.” she questioned.

“Yes honey,” I lied. Mental note, must go check the box.

“And have I earned some time on the iPad now mummy?”

Yes – it is bribery. Yes – it is materialistic. Yes – it is a computer game.

But I have found a carrot and stick that works and I’m keeping it.

So – the point to this is that just when you think it is time to give up, to stop trying, a glimmer of hope will appear! Just a calm start to the day can make all the difference.

Now – you might think that that is all there is to say.

But no – I have yet to tell you where the optimism comes in.

And this is it – despite all evidence to the contrary, despite knowing that my child has the attention span of a gnat . . .

I am optimistic that this particular carrot will last for at least two whole days before that room is a tip again.

This is all about optimism as part of Project Optimism. Find out more here.


My name is Piper George and I am an Apple addict.

I was perusing a blog post on the wonderful brand of Apple – iPads, new iPads and Minis – Oh My! to which I added a comment, which got to be so long I felt I should really cheat a little and make it into a post on my own blog.

I have to stand up and admit that I am an Apple addict.

I had to be convinced to swop from Windows. After all I used it at work, I used it at home. I understood how it worked. I knew what to do when I got the ‘blue screen of death’ (kick it, turn it off and start again is I believe the accepted method). I could find my way round the documents and while I never really understood the details of why I had to accept all the updates the computer would regularly tell me it required, I just agreed to everything it demanded.

My brother nagged me for years to try a Mac. When I met Mr G, my brother started to nag him too. They could get quite heated in their defense of their preferred system – which looking back is quite amusing. Why do we get so protective over a computer we did not even make?

Still,  I refused to spend so much money on something I didn’t want or need. How expensive was a basic Macbook compared to a Windows PC – I believe it was approximately £500 more at that time.

But when my daughter was born my brother ‘lent’ us his spare apple mac so he could facetime his niece (as all babies are great on the computer) and I started to appreciate how easy it was to use for photos and videos of my baby girl. When I plugged the video camera in to my old Windows laptop it needed ‘drivers’ and other software to make it work. When I connected to the Mac, it found whatever it needed and up popped my film, with easy to use editing and movie making options. How marvellous!

So, off I went to get my very own Macbook. I have had the basic white Macbook now for 6 years. It’s a little battered and I have had to replace the power cable. But it is otherwise as fast, capable and useful as it was at the beginning. When the plastic chipped along the front ‘palm rest’ area, I took it to the Apple store and they replaced it. For free. While I waited. You can’t imagine Curry’s doing that!

Fast forward 6 years and I have an iPhone (my 3rd) and an iPad too. (And a Kindle. Shhh)

OK, I have not upgraded to the new iPhone 5 – partly because I am a bit miffed about the change of power cable, but also because I don’t ‘need’ to and may yet wait for the iPhone 6 which is sure to follow.

I use my Macbook during the day for writing, browsing, photos and video organisation. But my iPad goes to bed with me so I can carry on playing, writing and browsing. It enables me to lie in and write at weekends (I recommend the bluetooth keyboard) without having to go downstairs for the Macbook and power cable. It goes on holiday with us, loaded with films and games for the kids to keep them occupied on planes. It goes on overnight stays with me. It’s my portable friend.

My iphone is always with me. I need it to be available at all times. I start to shake when I am without communication.

But, and I hate to admit this, when it comes to simply reading, the Kindle is by far the better (although I have issues with some of the controls). The Kindle is lightweight. The iPad is just that little bit too big and heavy. It makes your hand shake and go numb after a while. Plus the e-ink of the Kindle is vital to reading outside. I do have the Kindle app on my iPad, but that doesn’t help when the glare of the sun makes it unreadable.

So, what do I think of the new iPad mini? What about the Kindle Fire, for that matter? To be honest, I have not looked at either in detail. I just don’t see the point. If I want to play, I have the iPad, which is better as the larger screen make browsing websites less frustrating. If I want to read the Kindle, as already stated, is more practical.   The iPad mini seems to be halfway between the iPhone and the iPad. I don’t need a middle size screen. I am sure if I had one, I could find a use for it. But I don’t need one.

Yes, I am an Apple addict. I like my gadgets. But until they make their prices slightly more realistic, I can control my addiction.


I have a Mini Countryman. I did the research. I peered at other cars. I searched for something that was practical for a cost effective family of four but still looked and felt fun and wasn’t the size of a tank. Then in one weekend I saw my first Mini Countryman, felt a click in my head and went all out to get one.

She’s mine. I am happy with her. I call her Muffin because, yes, she is an oversized Mini with a muffin top. I see her as a progression of Mini from the old fashioned to the modern.

So, actually, I don’t need you miserable old men to come peering at her and looking in my windows in the car park. You can keep your comments to yourself, thank you. ‘It’s not a proper Mini, though, is it?’

Yes actually – she is. Look there, built by Mini! Even has a Mini badge.

After all, I don’t go round poking at the iphone saying ‘It’s not a proper phone though is it!’

old fashioned mobile phone