Category Archives: Ava Whinge


What a refreshing change to hear something worth celebrating on the news today. Those who regularly read my Whinges will know that I despise those companies who exploit people in dire need. I also feel that the Church of England has lost its way in these modern times. So how brilliant was it to hear the thoughts of Justin Welby this morning? His idea is to aim to put Wonga out of business through competition. So, the Church of England would use the power of credit unions to help those in financial difficulty so they don’t have to turn to companies that charge exorbitant interest rates. Well, that gets my vote!

The Church of England holds massive quantities of estate. Huge tracts of land in this country are owned by the Church, as well as some pretty stunning buildings. Financially, it must be pretty sound. If some of that money could be used to help those in need via financial help, personal advice and support and maybe even food banks, what an amazing thing that would be.  I’m pretty sure that the Church would soon find itself becoming more popular rather than being viewed as some out-of-date fuddy-duddy organisation.

I don’t agree with everything Justin Welby says but I think he is very much in touch with the world today and seems a lovely man. We need more people like him in the world.

Meantime, in my lovely little ideal world, I wonder what the knock-on effect of such ideas might be? Could we be seeing football shirt sponsorship like this in the future? Now how good would that be?



Unbelievable Stupidity

Today I popped out to Argos to pick up a new steam cleaner. On the way back, approaching some traffic lights, a new little scooter was ambling in front of me so I slowed down rather than overtake it in case the lights changed. The first thing that struck me was that this ‘more mature’ gentleman was not wearing a crash helmet. The lights had changed and this left me right behind him waiting for a green light. I spotted a face in his wing mirrors and could scarcely believe my eyes. Not only was he on a motor scooter with no protective gear on at all, but he had a tiny little girl sitting in front of him on the seat. He was out on a busy main road with no helmet, no arm or leg protection and a small child up front!

I wish now I had taken his number and reported him for endangering such a little life, but I was so shocked that I didn’t have time to do so.

Even at my mature stage of life, there are still things that shock me right on my own doorstep.


Not just any cars. Those cars that really ought to be owned by farmers or construction teams but are owned by posh people to show how important they are. The ones with 4 wheel drive that simply do the school run, cluttering up the parking spaces in nearby streets. The ones that go as far as the shopping centre and come back full of carrier bags from ‘Debenhams’ or ‘Jimmy Choo’. The ones that are designed for off-road or extreme conditions but sit on the smart drive next to the immaculately manicured garden for most of the day. The ones that have ridiculously low fuel economy but it really doesn’t matter because when you drive a £30 000+ car you can afford to put fuel in it.

The ones that pull out in front of you, whether they have the right of way or not, because the owners are clearly much more important than you.


This morning we wake up to the news that the Royal Baby is on the way. I have nothing against the Royal Family and the arrival of any new baby is an exciting event. My whinge is that of the media coverage of such an event and I know from my twitter feed this morning that I am not on my own.

I have been watching BBC Breakfast but I am sure that whatever your chosen morning news coverage medium is, you will have had the same sort of sycophantic rubbish bombarding your ears. There will be no further announcements until the baby is born and the Queen has been informed. So why are we having to endure the updates every few minutes from the front door of the Lindo Wing? There’s even a livestream of the front door if you look for it online. What sort of idiot is going to sit there for 10, 18, 24, 36 hours, watching for someone to appear holding an envelope and then driving off in a car?

It gets worse. Let’s now talk to an obstetrician about what will be happening to a new mother as she books in to the birthing unit. Noooooo! Most of us know first hand what happens. Actually, for those of us who aren’t royal, we’d be sent home with Paracetamol and told to come back when the contractions were two minutes apart or something.

Today might be a day to avoid all forms of media and go and do something else. Not out of any disrespect to the Royal couple and their impending birth, but to avoid the boredom and inanity of the news that there is no news.

Washing lines

I recently bought a retractable washing line. It is a useful thing to have I suppose as there are times when you want to dry or air items outside in the fresh air. I have used it a couple of times but have to confess I am a bit disappointed with the experience.

I know I shouldn’t constantly use the tumble drier as I should be caring for the environment more and being more frugal with my energy use. But it is so easy and the clothes come out smelling divine and feeling soft and fluffy.

I put a load of washing out last week. It was a hot day with a light breeze – perfect drying conditions, I thought. They swayed around for most of the day, making the garden look very untidy. I took them in late afternoon (unlike some of my neighbours who seem to leave them out for days) and stuck my nose in the washing basket, expecting to smell fresh air and sunshine. They actually didn’t smell very pleasant at all. Moreover, they still felt a touch damp. How could that be?

I duly ironed them and left them to air but have to confess I felt a bit let down by the whole experience. By choice, I would use the tumble drier every time.

I’m sure my grandchildren would enjoy a blanket thrown over the washing line as a play tent though.


I hate it when things get spoilt. We moved into our new house last year and it was perfect. All the walls were perfect. All the floors were perfect. The driveway was perfect. I loved it, living in my perfect house.

Visitors came. That was lovely too.

But did they have to park on and leave patches of oil on my perfect drive??

Anyone know a good way to get oil drips off a previously perfect drive?


We all have them. We may not even realise we have one but it could well be that yours annoys someone near and dear but they just wont tell you. In my time, I’ve met a few. You may well be able to add to the list!

The throat clearer

The hair flicker

The leg wobbler

The nose picker

The nail biter

The one who keeps saying ‘Erm…’

The one who uses your name in every sentence

The one who finishes your sentence for you

Habits are so hard to shake off. Especially if you don’t know what yours are!

I have a brain

Is it just me or are we constantly being told things that we have the intelligence to know for ourselves? I’ve talked about the nanny state mentality before but this current spell of glorious weather has presented us with even more opportunities for being told the obvious. Yes, I do know that if I’m on a journey I need a bottle of water, I mustn’t leave my dog in the car, I should take care of my elderly neighbours (actually, in my street, we ARE the elderly neighbours!) and I should put a sun hat and sun cream on my grandchildren if they are playing in the garden.

I really don’t need to be told by TV, radio and twitter what to do and find it most patronising. Stop it at once.


Weigh that pig!

Today’s news makes me foam with anger. My grandson is five. He is a clever boy with a thirst for knowledge and we often have quite meaningful conversations. But the thought that he could be given tests to rank him in his school makes me so angry. He is a child. Not much more than a baby really.

I’ve already blogged about the importance of play for young children so won’t repeat myself. The two quotes about not making the pig fat by weighing it and the fish climbing the tree come to mind. Anyone know who wrote the ‘pig’ one? I can’t seem to find out.

I can only see this move – one of the latest in a stream of ill-informed government decisions for education – alienating little ones and giving them a hatred of school and education. It might be great for Johnny and Johnny’s mum and dad to find out he is ‘top of the class’ but what about those at the bottom of the pile? Add to that the fact that a test is only a snapshot of one moment in time and only measures set objectives and it looks like a recipe for disaster. Children are individuals. They each have strengths and weaknesses. Every child is good at something. An early years or key stage 1 teacher is the expert at observing and noting constantly how every child is doing.

It is time we trusted our teachers to bring out the best in our children, allowing them to grow through play, forming relationships, communication and using imagination. And you can’t measure that!


I’ve got a thing about eyes. The thought of having anything done to my eyes fills me with shudders. My husband told me he had surgery once which involved taking his eyeball out and laying it on his cheek. Can this really be true or is he just winding me up?

I once told children at school that I hated the phrase ‘keep your eyes peeled’. Big mistake. For at least a month, they tried to introduce the phrase into every lesson.

I might just have made the same mistake again.