Viruses – the facts and how to stay healthy

 

‘Viruses – the facts and how to stay healthy’ was a post I wrote back in November 2016. In the present circumstances I thought it might be helpful to share it again. God bless us all.

Viruses are all around us.

Here is a picture of the ‘Rhinovirus‘ also known as the ’cold virus’.

Rhinovirus

The rhinovirus – Wellcome Trust

  1. The rhinovirus (unlike its name) is very small. It is 1000 times smaller than a human cell.
  2. 1350 billion rhinoviruses can sit on a 1 pound or 1 euro coin.
  3. A cold virus is not alive. It comes to life by occupying another host.
  4. A cold virus survives best in cold, dry weather.
  5. You can’t catch a cold virus by kissing but you can by shaking hands!
  6. Viruses love eyes and noses.The yellow mucus sometimes produced from your nose during a cold is actually white blood cells.
  7. Cold viruses don’t make us feel ill. Our immune system response makes us feel unwell.
  8. The velocity of a sneeze is the same as a professional baseball pitcher, 150 km per hour. That’s fast!
  9. More children than adults catch colds ( not surprising when you see what children do when they sneeze!)
  10. Your race, gender, education and shape of your body does not make a difference whether you are more likely to catch a cold or not.

Continue reading Viruses – the facts and how to stay healthy

Story read out loud- Peace at last by Jill Murphy

Front cover of book
Peace at Last picture book.

This is a story read out loud ‘Peace at Last’ by Jill Murphy with activities included for young children to try.  It is an enjoyable gentle story aimed at 3 – 7 year olds but again most children enjoy it. It contains repetitive phrases and colourful illustrations.

This is the story of Father Bear who cannot get to sleep because of all the noises he hears in his house and garden. Eventually he gets to sleep only to be woken up by Mother Bear’s alarm clock.

Following this reading out loud of the story are a few suggested activities that the children could do. These include finding all the noises made on the different pages, finding the repetitive words and drawing a picture or a plan of the house and garden. Again these are said out loud so the children do not need to read anything and do not need parent supervision in order to try them.

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Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman & Ben Cort

This is a reading of the picture book Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. It is a funny story aimed at 4 – 8 year olds but again most children enjoy it. It contains rhymed verses and wonderful colourful illustrations.

This is the story of some very strange aliens. The thing they love most in the whole world is underpants and they come down to Earth to steal them.

Following this reading out loud of the story are a few suggested activities that the children could do. These include counting all the underpants on the different pages, finding the words that rhyme and thinking of some new words to rhyme. Again these are said out loud so the children do not need to read anything and do not need parent supervision in order to try them.

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Please help the children to upload anything they have drawn or written or to ask me any questions about the story. I’d love to hear from them.

Baby Brains by Simon James – a story read out loud by Amanda Miles

Baby Brains picture book

This is a reading of the picture book Baby Brains by Simon James. It is a funny story aimed at 4 – 7 year olds but most children enjoy it.

It tells the story of Baby Brains; the smartest baby in the whole world. He’s so clever that he leaves his family to go into the big world. But Baby Brains realises that sometimes you just want to be at home.

Following this reading out loud of the story are a few suggested activities that the children could do. These include drawing their favourite part of the story, writing out the story but their own version or story boarding; drawing a selection of small pictures and writing some words to tell the story. Again these are said out loud so the children do not need to read anything and do not need parent supervision in order to try them.

Of course there are many other activities that could be done following a reading of the story and over the course of the next few weeks I will endeavor to suggest different activities. I would love to see what the children have drawn or written and if they have any questions I’m happy to answer them. I used to be a Primary school teacher and because of the very difficult situation we are all facing I thought this might help parents out, at least for a short while.

Baby Brains

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A new hope from the Pope.

The first ever Star wars film was later retitled Episode IV – A new hope. With the Christmas release of the latest Star Wars film, I’ve been thinking about that title.

Star Wars book

It’s been too long since my last post. I could blame it on the new puppy, the children, my husband’s working hours, the job. Eventually I will have to admit that it’s my own fault. I always hope I will have more time. I would put off writing until I had finished the emails, ironing, housework, phone calls, ordering on the internet, training of dog, tidying up after kids or insert your own excuse here —. I’ve decided I need a new hope.

woman pulling hair out

I alway hope next year will be different but nothing really changes. I looked back at my old posts and found the christmas post where I was again pulling my hair and running around like a mad woman. I was really hoping to get one last post done before the new year, when my New year’s resolution will obviously be ‘WRITE MORE’ but I’m running out of time. So I have one sweet, short message and in good old christmas spirit I’ve left it up to Pope Francis to remind us about what’s important at this time of the year.

Why the Pope?

Pope Francis

Well, he does do a better job at delivering inspiring messages than myself and it’s actually his birthday today. He delivered this message back in August but it helped me to again focus on what not only Christmas but the rest of our lives should be about.

What does Pope Francis hope we will learn?

“This life will go by fast.

Don’t fight with people, don’t criticize your body so much, don’t complain so much. 

Don’t lose sleep over your bills. Look for the person that makes you happy. If you make a mistake, let it go and keep seeking your happiness.

Never stop being a good parent. Don’t worry so much about buying luxuries and comforts for your home, and don’t kill yourself trying to leave an inheritance for your family. Those benefits should be earned by each person, so don’t dedicate yourself to accumulating money.

Enjoy, travel, enjoy your journeys, see new places, give yourself the pleasures you deserve. Allow dogs to get closer. Don’t put away the fine glassware. Utilize the new dinnerware; don’t save your favorite perfume, use it to go out with yourself; wear out your favorite sport shoes; repeat your favorite clothes.

So what? That’s not bad. Why not now? Why not pray now instead of waiting until before you sleep? Why not call now? Why not forgive now? We wait so long for Christmas; for Friday; for Reunions; for another year; for when I have money; for love to come; when everything is perfect…look…

Everything perfect doesn’t exist. Human beings can’t accomplish this because it simply was not intended to be completed here. Here is an opportunity to learn.

So take this challenge that is life and do it now…love more, forgive more, embrace more, love more intensely and leave the rest in God’s hands. Amen.”

This message means so much more than Happy Christmas. So instead of saying that, share this with everyone and let’s hope we all learn. This new hope from the Pope is now my new hope and I hope you get something out of it too. x

 

 

What does your new puppy need?

Coco the Doberman
Meet the new addition

In my last post (which was an eternity ago) I raised the question of what a puppy actually needs when they arrive in your home. In a world where we are bombarded with marketing experts who show us what we must have, it’s hard to know what is essential.

Having now shared my home with our new puppy for two months, I can now answer that question. You may have already guessed, as it’s taken me so long to write another post, but the answer is time!

hourglass full of red sand

In an ideal world you really need to not have a job, social life or indeed any other commitments which will take your focus off your puppy for more than 10 seconds.

So what else do you need for a new puppy?

Back in June I wrote that you need ‘care and attention’. I should have said you need ‘eyes in the back of your head’. Four pairs of eyes would be useful, along with quick reaction times, a good standard of fitness and a life devoid of anything else except watching and training your puppy!

4 pairs of eyes

‘Eyes in the back of your head’ are good for the times when you believe your puppy is at one end of the room as you try to sort out the laundry only to find your puppy has managed to get to the washing basket undetected and is now eating a pair of socks.

‘Four pairs of eyes’ are good for when you believe your puppy is still sleeping peacefully on the lawn outside when in actual fact they are finding escape routes out of the garden, pulling washing off the line, digging holes and eating fox poo all in a matter of seconds.

Coco chewing slipper

‘Quick reaction times’ are necessary when your puppy decides to squat right in front of you to do a wee or poo and you have to scoop them up to get them outside. This skill is also essential when they are running off with your latest bank statement or other paper document, flip-flop or slipper or seem to be chewing on something when breakfast was finished two hours ago.

Man doing press ups

‘A good standard of fitness’ is required to keep up with the ninja style moves of your puppy, as they run one way and then another, as you chase them for the above items.

Okay, maybe I am exaggerating slightly here but you get the idea. Yes, they still need feeding, love and exercise but from the moment you get your puppy, you will be active until they sleep.

Understand how a puppy ages

If every human year equates to seven dog years then at the age of 8 weeks, when you bring your puppy home, they are like a baby of one year and four months. They are walking (just) but sleep a lot and everything is new to them. They are more cautious and afraid of new noises and experiences and will want to stay by your side. Everything they do is cute and funny. We reward them for biting our noses and digging little holes in the garden.

At the age of 12 weeks, your puppy is similar to a two year old ( 1 year and 9 months old). A moving, inquisitive creature who gets under your feet and into trouble. We call the baby years, ‘the terrible twos’ and the same applies to puppies!

dog looking sheepish

They will love to dig holes in your manicured lawn and enjoy watching you fill it in so they can dig it up again the next day. When they ask to go outside and then two seconds later come back inside again, you will find a wee or poo by the back door but in the house. They will not want the chew toys you bought and prefer your expensive trainers, kindly left by the back door for them. Your hand, jumper and ankles are also very good chew toys that your puppy will enjoy. Puppies will sleep a lot but normally when you need them to go for a walk before going to work. And they will continue to become more inquisitive, bolder and stronger. And as they get older, their cute little ways are now not so funny.

Puppy as entertainment

Those of you old enough will remember the slogan ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ when the country had a growing problem with people buying a puppy as christmas present and then getting bored  and unable to cope with a growing dog into January. Now, sadly it seems we have to say the same for the summer holidays. A report in the Times on Sunday this week stated that there had been a large number of calls to rescue centres around the country about giving up the family dogs who were only wanted to entertain the children for the summer holidays. Dogs Trust had an increase of 50% in calls about rehoming unwanted dogs last Monday and Tuesday when the children went back to school.

Child jumping in air with dog next to him

This phenomena coined “Mary Puppins” is not new. Lots of people buy a puppy for the summer holidays so the children can play with it and be entertained. The problem is when people realise that they don’t have the time to dedicate to it, especially with everyone returning to school and work after the holidays. Battersea Dogs home reported that they had an increase in calls in July and August about rehoming pets because the owners wanted to go on holiday!

Do you have the time?

This morning I was walking with a fellow dog owner who complained that his dog never returned to him when called. When I asked him if he had tried dog training classes he answered that he didn’t have the time. He also never had the time to take this dog to puppy classes and only got the dog for the children when they passed their piano and violin grades!

So this is a plea for anyone thinking about getting a puppy. Just do me one favour and ask yourself, “Do I have the time?” because this really is the most important thing a puppy needs.

Mum hugging puppy