Posts Tagged ‘MADs’

It’s MAD, second time around

Thursday, April 21st, 2011


Hard to believe that a year ago, angels & urchins blog was a finalist (we blush, but it’s true) in the newly hatched The MADs blog awards. Created to celebrate the work of parent bloggers, the MADs is now in its second year. Word has got out about this platform for aspiring writers, product reviewers and givers of insights into family life, and the awards have grown. There are now 15 categories, each of them focusing on a specific topic, such as Family Fun, Inspirational Writing, or Humour.

And we’re nominated again! Which is very exciting, and think you to everyone who has clicked through for us. If you’d like to give us a nod in any of the 15 categories, click here for The Mads’ nomination page.

Need convincing? OK, here’s a few reasons why.

angels & urchins magazine is 10 years old this year. We don’t look it? Why thank you. The much more youthful blog is feeling like a younger sibling by comparison, so please help quash left-out-last-child-syndrome by helping us with a vote.

Last year angels & urchins blog attempted to woo voters by offering Gu Chocolate Tiffins as bait. Horrendous bribery, but needs must. These little morsels (far too small to contain calories, surely…) are still the snack of choice, and 1 vote = 1 Gu. Once you’ve voted, simply leave a comment saying ‘Go Gu’ and we’ll send you your Tiffin(s).

If we get through as a finalist (and now we’re being serious. Seriously) then we’re going to start a very exciting new venture on the blog. It’s a bit hush hush at this stage, but involves the words ‘free’ and ‘books’. Oh, and Gu. Ignore that last sentence. Nothing about this new venture involves free chocolate. Which now I’m seeing it in black and white seems a huge oversight. So I’ll see what I can do.

So, er, VOTE. Thanks.

We love the parent blogging world. Where else can you read about the parallels between toddlers and hip-hop artists (thank you Mrshev), eye-wateringly rude GPs (Eh, Mummy, you had me in stitches), and missives about maternal life all around the world? I’ve long followed The Iota Quota about a thoughtful and funny mum in America’s Midwest, and am pretty jealous about Nappy Valley Girl‘s life on Long Island, also in the US. I don’t know Nappy Valley Girl, but before her US sojourn she lived in the same part of London as me, so I often find myself pondering how I’d react to a similar stint abroad.

And before you vote, Happy Easter!

Blog Crayon

Football summer from UK’s funniest blog?

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

World Cup Logo

It’s all about to kick off. Hopefully not too literally, in the case of England footie hooligans, but FIFA World Cup 2010 is nigh. I’m not much of a fan, still unable to forgive two male housemates waking me at 5am on the first day of Euro 1996 by singing Football’s Coming Home. And yesterday I discovered that heading a football hurts. Especially when you’re reading a book and drinking a cup of tea. Thanks, son #2. Anyway, to help me through the jargon, I’ve enlisted MADs‘ finalist MrShev (between you, me, the Englishman and the Sowetan, he’s up for Funniest Blog) to help me understand why people get so fired up about football. He claims not to be that into football, but as he knows who Messi and Kaka are, up to now names I’d considered synonymous with nappies, I think he’s a safer pair of hands than I am. Or any England goalie during a penalty shootout, come to that.

So, here it is – MrShev‘s footie  focus post:

In an ironic twist of fate crueler than a kids’ party in a plastic ice-lolly factory, I now play more football than I ever have before. Not in a football strip, with goalposts, the offside rule, quarters of orange, fights outside nightclubs or adhering to any of the myriad of rules that govern today’s game – no; I kick a football gently towards my children, I make exaggeratedly bad saves and I use two balls so that UEFA doesn’t turn into WWE.

I am not saying that I miss Sunday League football with the lads, because I don’t…mainly because I never played Sunday League football with the lads…mainly because of one of my biggest disappointments and regrets: I can’t play football for toffee. Even in goal.

I have all the qualities needed to be a good player. I am tall, I can run quite fast and I am ambidextrous – I could practically make the England Squad with these qualities alone. But my greatest handicap is my brain: it’s just too clever. I just don’t have the slack-jawed, vacant stupidity required that enables one to pursue footballing as a professional career. Interviews with the average footballer render the expression the lights are one but no one’s home into a sparkling tableau of metaphors. But I think it’s more The lights are on but no one’s home…in fact, they’ve moved out and taken the furniture. So when I was a kid I was always the last to be chosen, and would spend the entire game kicking mud around in defence. Which – to be honest –  I was good at.

Two very rich men, who are probably extremely famous, demonstrate the offside rule

Two very rich men, who are probably extremely famous, demonstrate the offside rule

So not having the ability to play football at even an average level is harsh but what I wasn’t expecting was that I would be watching less football. I love football, my surrogate parents were Des Lynam and Alan Hanson. I knew just about every player, in every position of most Premier League clubs, some Championship clubs and a great deal of European sides. I could, with a degree of integrity, mutter the phrase: ”e’s a decent player, great first touch and ‘e knows where the goal is…’ Now I haven’t got a clue who anyone is – apart from the big names – and I don’t have the time to watch Match of the Day (Grazia for football fans, ladies…). It’s like I stopped watching Eastenders when the Mitchell brothers were running the Queen Vic and now it’s full of old cast offs from The Bill and Hollyoaks. I can’t kill sabretooth tigers anymore, I need football and cars to express my manhood – dammit!

Oh…but it’s the World Cup and my kids are now old enough that I can watch an evening game without disturbance. For two weeks I am going to gorge myself on football, I am going to fill in wall charts and I might even buy myself a Panini Sticker Album and do swappsies with the local swizzer kids. Beer, sunshine and footie = bliss.

BUT – and this is a big, Nike sponsered, hairy BUT - I am changing the future. My son is learning how to play football – at the tender age of 3 ½  - and his footballing prowess will be the stuff of legend. He’ll be like a cross between Messi and Kaka but with the ability to tie his own shoelaces, use cutlery and read. The only fly in the ointment is that he is learning in Switzerland – a football Death Valley – but I have determined that if the bar is set low enough he can only over-achieve. He’ll be better than me at any rate.

Wordless Wednesday – chocs away

Thursday, May 20th, 2010


May 2010 028

It’s only a day late, but I was too shamefaced to post yesterday. My parcel from the Secret Post Club arrived last week, sent by fellow MADs finalist Cosmic Girlie. She writes Mocha Beanie Mummy, a fantastic blog. You should head on over, she’s an extremely talented photographer with a lot to say; some of it funny, much of it poignant, all of it worth hearing. Her inspired present was a pot of Hotel Chocolat’s Smudge Classic. This is basically (mentioning no brand names) posh chocolate spread, and the pot suggested all kinds of ways to use it: ‘Spread on toast, bread, crisp biscuits, warm pancakes and any cake or patisserie’. Nowhere did it hint that eating it at your desk straight from the pot with a teaspoon was the form.

But when I opened the parcel I decided to hide the pot behind the computer. In my mind I was saying, ‘I’ll keep it safe and out of the way until I’m ready to create some incredible recipes’. But my heart was thumping in a very grabby way and yelling, ‘It’s mine, all mine, and I’m not sharing.’

By the time I got back to pot, after various nursery pick-ups and shopping runs, the Smudge had turned into hot chocolate, melted by the heat of my computer. What could I do but hoover some of it up just to see if it tasted as good as it looked?

I had dreams. I had aspirations. I had a post paved with good intentions and recipe ideas. But the evidence cannot be ignored. The Classic Smudge (a dreamy, not-too-sweet blend of chocolate and hazlenut paste) was just too mellow and delicious to make it from my desk to the kitchen. Half of it went in one go during the initial melting stage. Once it had firmed up a bit, the Smudge disappeared a couple of teaspoons at a time, until there was so little left I was almost sticking my nose in the  pot.

Thank you, Cosmic Girlie. I’m ashamed to be so greedy, but the pot made my working week absolutely delicious.

Manifesto for the MADs – vote for a&u!

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

The Mads Vote

Voting day is finally here. The candidates have been hustling the pavements for weeks, posting their innermost thoughts, and kissing babies. The finalists in the Best New Blog category in The MADs parent blog awards have been announced and, angels & urchins blog is humbled to report, we€™re in the running. We€™d love a vote, but know the competition is incredibly fierce because the other blogs in the category are annoyingly incredibly fab. So here€™s our manifesto to help you decide. You need to get to the polling station by June 6 €“ vote by clicking here.


  • Stick with the big issues. We will continue to write about what really matters. Designer clothes sales. How many children school run mum Lady Gaga packs into her car. What holidaying with the French en masse can do to your psyche. All accessorised with hand-embroidered election linen napkins
  • Enrol the other half so that he can pull his weight as a vital part of the mix. I will force him set up a Twitter account, out him on a penchant for M&S polka dot outfits, and ask for his favourite cookie recipes. Other spousal humiliations duties, naturally, will follow as I think of them. Ideas welcome
  • Sort out the expenses scandal. In the last week, it was Cafe Nero espressos by the dozen as midnight oil was burnt while waiting for the results of the nominations. Overwhelmed on hearing the news that the blog had become a finalist, two tubs of Gu chocolate tiffins were consumed (have you tried those gooey, caramel-y, biscuity, heaven-in-a-tub-sadly-only-containing-eight, little guys?) But I promise none of these costs will be passed on to the voter. Well, Gu chocolate tiffins might be handed over for free, but very quietly, shhhhh. Email me, under cover of darkness, at and I€™ll see what I can do.
  • Post something worth reading. I make it my solemn promise to get more frequent guest posters on board.
  • To offer more chocolate. Lots more. Green & Black’s, we know where you are, and are more than aware that you have parcels of chocolate at your disposal. Mum, we haven€™t yet published your failsafe recipe for chocolate caramel squares and cup-cup-oil chocolate cake. Mums who Bake  and Utterly Scrumptious Food for Families €“ can we count you in on a cookie think tank? Notes from Lapland, would you consider making an element of each Secret Post Club parcel a compulsory piece of chocolate?
  • And (and this is what we’re very excited about) we€™ll soon be announcing an exciting partnership that€™s all to do with books and time off. Watch this space because it€™s going to be fun, involve reading hot-off-the-press novels, and letting the world know your thoughts.

So thank you for your nominations, it really is a thrill to be here. And a vote would be, well,  pretty thrilling too. THANK YOU.