Cool tips for summer pets

Apply sun block to pets with short white fur, particularly on ears and the tops of noses as they are the most prone to sunburn. Use a product suitable for babies.

Ensure your pets – cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs – have access to plenty of fresh water. Change the water frequently – no one links to drink hot, stale water. Pop a small ice cube into the bowl.

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The Future of Easton Garford School

As you will know, the future of our village Primary School is in doubt. For information, here is the letter sent to all parents and carers recently from the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust.

There is a Facebook Group available with more information, discussion, and a link to a petition: Continue reading

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Exhibition at the Priests’ House, Easton on the Hill, this summer

This summer the Priest’s House contains an exhibition: “Our local nature reserves – a Wildlife Trusts exhibition”.

Three Wildlife Trusts have joined together to showcase their work and describe nature reserves local to Collyweston. These include Collyweston Quarries (aka ‘The Deeps’) which has a wealth of limestone-loving flora and fauna. And also Rutland Water, with information about the Osprey Project, and several other reserves nearby. Visitors may pick up leaflets useful for planning days out exploring local nature.

  • Where? 38 West Street, Easton on the Hill PE9 3LS
  • When? Sundays in August, 2.00-4.30pm
    Outside these times you can request the key from one of the keyholders listed on a sign at the Priest’s House, between 10am-5.00pm.
  • How much? Free admission, although a £1 donation per person is appreciated
  • Access? The top floor is via narrow circular stone staircase
  • Contact? 01832 205158 * *

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Come in for a coffee

160905 teapotEvery Friday from 10.00am to 12.00pm the village hall is throwing open its doors and inviting you in to the Friday Café for coffee, tea and cake.

Drop in for a few minutes and find out what’s happening. We can’t wait to meet you.

The Tots’ Group is carrying on at the same time, also in the village hall, but just on the first Friday of the month. The toys will be available on the other Friday mornings though – you just need to ask!

April 2017

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“We use the ‘X-plan’ in our family. The lifeline that our kids are free to use at any time.”


It’s so simple. Image supplied.

Sometimes young people find themselves is a situation they don’t know how to get out of. So, we now have something called the “X-plan” in our family. This simple, but powerful tool is a lifeline that our kids are free to use at any time. Here’s how it works:

Let’s say that my youngest, Danny, gets dropped off at a party. If anything about the situation makes him uncomfortable, all he has to do is text the letter “X” to any of us (his mother, me, his older brother or sister). The one who receives the text has a very basic script to follow. Within a few minutes, they call Danny’s phone. When he answers, the conversation goes like this:


“Danny, something’s come up and I have to come get you right now.”

“What happened?”

“I’ll tell you when I get there. Be ready to leave in five minutes. I’m on my way.”

At that point, Danny tells his friends that something’s happened at home, someone is coming to get him, and he has to leave.

In short, Danny knows he has a way out; at the same time, there’s no pressure on him to open himself to any social ridicule. He has the freedom to protect himself while continuing to grow and learn to navigate his world.

This is one of the most loving things we’ve ever given him, and it offers him a sense of security and confidence in a world that tends to beat our young people into submission.

“It’s completely up to him.” Image supplied.

However, there’s one critical component to the X-plan: Once he’s been extracted from the trenches, Danny knows that he can tell us as much or as little as he wants … but it’s completely up to him. The X-plan comes with the agreement that we will pass no judgments and ask no questions (even if he is 10 miles away from where he’s supposed to be). This can be a hard thing for some parents (admit it, some of us are complete control-freaks); but I promise it might not only save them, but it will go a long way in building trust between you and your kid.

(One caveat here is that Danny knows if someone is in danger, he has a moral obligation to speak up for their protection, no matter what it may cost him personally. That’s part of the lesson we try to teach our kids—we are our brother’s keeper, and sometimes we have to stand for those too weak to stand for themselves. Beyond that, he doesn’t have to say a word to us. Ever.)

For many of us parents, we lament the intrusion of technology into our relationships. I hate seeing people sit down to dinner together and then proceed to stare into their phones. It drives me nuts when my kids text me from another room in our house. However, cell phones aren’t going away, so we need to find ways to use this technology to help our kids in any way we can.

I urge you to use some form of our X-plan in your home. If you honour it, your kids will thank you for it. You never know when something so simple could be the difference between your kid laughing with you at the dinner table or spending six months in a recovery center … or (God forbid) something far worse.

Prayers for strength and compassion to the parents out there as we all try to figure this whole parenting gig out—it never gets easy.

I beg you to share this piece. If this somehow gives just one kid a way out of a bad situation, we can all feel privileged to have been a part of that.

Bert Fulks is a former educator (World History and Psychology) with stints in property investment, management, and marketing, Bert now splits time as a writer, speaker, and musician, while also managing his wife’s veterinary practice.   He is founder and co-director of Empty Stone Ministry, a non-profit that specialises in camps, retreats, and small group events.  Bert and his family live in West Virginia where they share their passion for travel, the arts, sports, the outdoors, good books, and new adventures.

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Pregnant or got a little one (up to walking)?

Pregnant or got a little one (up to walking)? Find groups too busy with a baby?

Come and join us for Bumps!

Great place to meet other mums and safe space for babies.



Visiting professionals too… doulas, sling specialists etc.

Great place for info. Runs every Wednesday at Underground. Open during the summer holidays. All welcome.

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21 things air crew wish passengers didn’t do

We all have annoying habits, and travel tends to bring out the worst in people.

If you have any sympathy for your flight attendants, who, day in and day out, are privy to some of the most extreme human behaviour, you’d make an effort to avoid them.

The first step is knowing just what you’re doing wrong. Luckily for you, we asked flight attendants everywhere to share the annoying things they wish passengers would stop doing, and more than 60 were happy to chime in.

Here are 21 things you may not have even known you were doing wrong:

Hogging the overhead bins

“Put the suitcases in the overhead and put your small bags underneath the seat in front so we don’t have to run out of space and have to check bags.”

Not saying hello

“I wish passengers would acknowledge the crew when they board.”

Poor timing

“Stop trying to hand us trash on the beverage cart or asking us to take your trash while we’re handing out food.”

Putting feet on walls or other passengers’ seats

“I don’t come into your office and put my feet on your walls or your desk!”

Asking ‘What do you have?’

“There is literally an announcement telling you where to find the menu.We have 100 drinks if you count alcohol, and you want me to list it? While 200 other people wait for their drinks?”

Not listening to the safety presentation

“Be a little more respectful of crew while we are just trying to do our job.”

Not specifying how you take your coffee

“When you order coffee tell me whether you want cream and or sugar so I don’t have to ask for the millionth time.”

Not taking responsibility for your belongings

“Don’t bring your heavy carry-on on board the aircraft and then ask me to put it in the overhead bin for you because it is too heavy for your to do it.”

Occupying the toilets once you see that the aircraft is descending

“This leads to flight delays.”

Keeping your headphones on

“Please take the headphones off when we come by and ask you what you would like to drink.”

Ringing the call button unless it’s truly necessary

“Don’t ring call bells when we’ve already announced that flight attendants have to be seated, right after takeoff, or for silly reasons.”

Touching flight attendants to get their attention

“I have been poked, prodded, and tugged on too many times to remember.”

Getting up to use the lavatory when the seat belt sign is on

“When you remind them that the sign is on, they usually respond with some version of saying, ‘But I have to go.’ Well, unless you are 2 years old, do you wait until the absolute last minute to use the toilet?”

Thinking the world is coming to an end because you didn’t get your first meal choice

“It’s a plane ride, not a five-star hotel or restaurant. Stop getting bent out of shape over receiving your second meal choice.”

Acting entitled

“Stop trying to sneak into an upgrade seat.”

Going barefoot

“Please, please, please — stop walking into the restroom barefoot, or even with socks on. Would you ever walk into a public restroom barefoot? No. Thank you, sir, for mopping up the pee on the floor with your socks.”

Asking for a pen

“Don’t ask me for my pen. Bring your own. It’s hard to believe someone travels around the world with no pen.

Snapping your fingers

“’Excuse me, miss!’ works every time.”

Galley yoga

“Getting up and wanting to stretch in our galleys like its a yoga studio or wanting to stand in our galleys is annoying. The galley is our only work area, and we have nowhere else to go because our seats are in the galley by the doors.”

Getting upset with flight attendants for things that clearly aren’t their fault

“I agree it sucks that the flight got cancelled and you’ll miss something important. I was supposed to go home and see a concert. Now I’m stuck in this small metal tube with you yelling at me.”

Expecting flight attendants to have all the information from the captain

“We know maybe 5% of what they do. We don’t know how bad the weather is, why we are taking a new route, or why we can’t land early. But believe it’s for your safety!”

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