A Mouse’s Tale Giveaway

A Mouse's TaleThe Easter holidays are only just behind us, but before we know it, half term will be creeping up on us.  If memory serves, last year’s Whitsun half term was not the greatest on the weather front, so you might want to have something up your sleeve for a rainy day. Watching a film together is a favourite in this house on a rainy day and at the weekend, we tried out A Mouse’s Tale.

A Mouse’s Tale is a story of good versus evil.In order to save their kingdom from evil rodents, Samantha and Sebastian are given a mission by the King of Rodencia and the wise Wizard Dalliwog.  Their task is to find a legendary magic crystal, which has the power to defeat the evil rodents.  With the help of two trustworthy knights, they travel far into the forest and even enter a forbidden world of giants to accomplish their mission.

If you’d like to join in with a little family movie fun, you can preorder A Mouse’s Tale now.  I also have a copy to give away to readers of Nine to Three Thirty.

Competition Terms and Conditions
1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 18 May 2015.
A Mouse's Tale

 

Week 16 of 2015

sun and vapour trailsThis week is completely different to last week.  Last week was all about getting out and about places with H and most of my pictures are of him having fun.  This week it’s much more about what I’m seeing during my day at home.  Luckily this time of year lends itself to nice photographs with all the spring flowers.

Last weekend was fairly quiet and we didn’t do a great deal apart from gardening.  We have been focusing on our vegetable garden the last few weeks and it’s starting to take shape.  In previous years we have always felt a bit behind, but this year we are actually on top of things.  We have potatoes and garlic planted; 2 fruit beds with permanent planting in; plus other seeds planted outside and in the greenhouse.  There’s more to do, but we have never been this organised before.

watching for birds in conservatoryThe cats have been enjoying the warmer weather in the conservatory.  They love being able to see out into the garden and keep an eye on their territory.  The conservatory is only used for storage in the winter because it is so cold, but we can really enjoy it this time of year.

On Friday we had our boiler replaced.  When we moved in 3 and a half years ago, we were delighted that the boiler was only a few years old.  Our previous one had been old when we moved in and just about last the 10 years we lived there.  We thought we wouldn’t have to replace our boiler for years.  It seems our Ideal Isar boiler was put in as part of the Warm Front scheme, which was for households in fuel poverty .  A quick google suggests that there have been some problems with these boilers.  Ours has already had a major repair, under our boiler cover, but this time it was beyond economical repair.  Our repair man got it going again twice, but they were only temporary fixes, so we had to get a new one.  Obviously, that doesn’t come cheap and I’m really glad I had that cash win earlier in the year because I’m not sure where the money would have come from otherwise.

It was a fairly stress free day as the work was done between the day’s school runs and it was a warmish day.  The cats enjoyed investigating what was going on and appreciated the fact that the workmen seemed to be cat fans.

magnolia flowersAside from that I’ve been getting ready for our local NCT sale that I help organise.  My bit is mostly done in the run up to the sale, so it has been hectic juggling work; the sale organisation,; preparing my stuff that I wanted to sell in the sale; and everyday life. Hoping next week will be a little quieter.

Letts 11+ Success Range

verbal reasoning test paperNow H is in juniors, secondary school doesn’t seem quite the distant concept it once did.  We are very lucky that his school is a feeder school for a very good school and there is a bus that would take him there from very near our house (it’s a bit of a drive away out of the city and into the country). Our local area has better schools for girls than boys generally and lots of parents locally opt to put their children through the 11+ exam in the hope of getting them a place in grammar school. Birmingham is a bit odd in that there are a number of grammar schools remaining, although most have transformed into comprehensive.  Hence, only a small proportion of bright children make it to grammar school and competition is tough.

Lots of parents go down the tuition route and send children to tutoring from year 4 or even earlier. Others take a more relaxed approach and let them sit the exam if they want to and don’t do too much in the way of preparation.  Letts have a number of  workbooks designed to help prepare children for the 11+ exams and they can be done at home, if you prefer to just familiarise your child with the exam and the style of questioning.  I think it’s only fair to do this amount of prep work, so your child has an idea of what to expect.

11+ answersWe had a look at the Letts 11+ Verbal Reasoning Practice Test Papers book.  The way this book works is that it contains 4 complete multiple choice test papers.  The first picture is of the question paper itself.  The picture below is of the special answer sheet designed to have the same layout as test papers.  There is also an answer and explanation section, so you can mark your child’s work and go through and explain any ones they got wrong, so they can learn for next time.  A lot of school don’t cover verbal reasoning, so it can be something that your child will never have encountered before. Some child naturally seem to get it and others will have to work harder at it.

verbal reasoning answer sheet  Letts 11+

Nine to Three Thirty can offer 5 sets of 4 books from Letts 11+ Success Range, either GL or CEM (the two main types of 11+ exams).   To enter, answer the following question of the gleam widget below

The new range of Letts 11+ books includes four subjects. They are Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and …. Which one is missing? A)           Non-verbal Reasoning                   B) Science           c) Geometry

Competition Terms and Conditions
1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 1 May 2015.
Letts 11+

My Travel Bucket List Destinations

Living here in Britain, an island nation, I’m always tempted at the idea of going to the islands around our coasts.  Some are easy to visit and others require a bit more effort. I’ve been to a few over the years: the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man, but I’d like to visit some of the more outlying islands.

Rushen Castle, Isle of Mann
Exploring on the Isle of Man

My first destination would be St.Kilda.  Getting there is quite an exercise.  There are boat trips; they take all day; only go in good weather; and you need to get to Skye or Harris first to get on them.    St.Kilda is the remotest part of the British Isles (it’s 41 miles from the nearest British island) and was occupied up until 1930.  You can go to see the houses where people used to live and you can see the sea birds who now have the island pretty much to themselves. I imagine that life here must have been hard and I expect the deserted houses are very evocative of that lost era.

When we were planning our trip that took us to the Isle of Man, we very nearly went to the Channel Islands instead.  I’d love to visit all of them, but I’m picking out Jersey as my second destination because it’s the most southerly point.  Exploring somewhere that is British and yet a little French has an appeal, as does finding about the history of the island including the German occupation in World War Two.  I think H would like to learn more about that too.

Ryde beach playground isle of wight
Trying out the Beach at Ryde, Isle of Wight

For my third travel bucket list destination I am heading as far north as you can go in the British Isles to Unst in the Shetland Islands.  The Shetlands generally are known for their prehistoric sites, some of which are quite spectacular,  but there are some modern-day ones too like Bobby’s Bus Shelter on Unst.  Living on a remote Scottish island like this must be so different to my city lifestyle in Brum, I think it would be a real breath of fresh air.

This is my entry into the Transun Northern Lights blogger competition. #TransunLights

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