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What the Autumn Statement means for small businesses


Following the Chancellor’s announcement of the Autumn Statement, Emily Coltman FCA, Chief Accountant to FreeAgent looks at the potential impact on small businesses. The good The Annual Investment Allowance is due to fall from £500,000 to £200,000 on 1st January 2016. Today’s announcement confirmed that after this date it will remain at £200,000 until the […]

Mum on the run goes on the run

385px-Running_girl (1)

‘Only a couple more weeks till the mocks,’ I said in passing to daughter one on her inset day. ‘Thanks, mum. I was enjoying a whole half hour of not thinking about GCSEs and you’ve just put it right to the front of my mind again.’ GCSEs may seem a small thing in the face […]

Make-up clinic


It’s been a party weekend. Daughter three spent much of Friday afternoon turning herself into Beyonce. This involved an intensive session in daughter two’s make-up clinic. Daughter two has managed to snaffle everyone else’s make-up and is now running a make-up emporium from her five star art workshop bedroom. On the floor was a half […]

The best songs ever


“If you like taking secret midnight rendezvoussss,” trills only son from the back of the car. He has gone One Direction crazy. I blame daughter one who, although she is now into much cooler things, retains a certain nostalgic interest in 1D, though not, sadly, Liam. Apologies to Liam. Only son is a bit of […]

Generation gap

Granny on the frontline

‘Pensioners prosper, the young suffer’ shouted a headline in the paper recently. In the article the writer said that pensioners ‘are in a state of denial about what is happening across the generations’. What planet are they on? Us pensioners don’t exist in a parallel world separated from everyone else. We have younger friends and […]

Attendance issues


Secondary school, huh? Gotta love them. Although the government goes on about granting academy status and giving schools more independence, it seems to maintain a tight control over things like attendance rates. Daughter one suffers from migraines. Really bad ones. It started in primary school where she complained of stomach pains almost every day. She […]

A common goal

Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli (land surface, shallow water, clouds). Enhancements by Robert Simmon (ocean color, compositing, 3D globes, animation). Data and technical support: MODIS Land Group; MODIS Science Data Support Team; MODIS Atmosphere Group; MODIS Ocean Group Additional data: USGS EROS Data Center (topography); USGS Terrestrial Remote Sensing Flagstaff Field Center (Antarctica); Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (city lights).This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. This record includes preview images and links to full resolution versions up to 21,600 pixels across.Much of the information contained in this image came from a single remote-sensing device-NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS. Flying over 700 km above the Earth onboard the Terra satellite, MODIS provides an integrated tool for observing a variety of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric features of the Earth. The land and coastal ocean portions of these images are based on surface observations collected from June through September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the sensor’s view of the surface on any single day. Two different types of ocean data were used in these images: shallow water true color data, and global ocean color (or chlorophyll) data. Topographic shading is based on the GTOPO 30 elevation dataset compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey’s EROS Data Center. MODIS observations of polar sea ice were combined with observations of Antarctica made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s AVHRR sensor—the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. The cloud image is a composite of two days of imagery collected in visible light wavelengths and a third day of thermal infra-red imagery over the poles. Global city lights, derived from 9 months of observations from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, are superimposed on a darkened land surface map.

We were watching Children in Need on Friday, which is not exactly happy viewing. A girl was talking about losing her father and finding out her mother was terminally ill. Daughter three was cuddling up a bit closer to me. “I’m thinking about when I am older and I might lose you,” she said. My […]

On the slippery slope

I slipped on Wednesday. I’d been doing well up till then, but I was forced to take someone to the pub, as you are, and I had a Diet Coke. It had been a long day and a long week and it was only Wednesday. One of those weeks where you are doing stuff back […]

Sharing work patterns and childcare

Man doing housework

I was really interested to read the results of the Pew Research Center report the other day which suggested that in families where there are two parents present and both work full time housework and caring responsibilities are shared more equally. Of course, it’s not the full-time working bit that’s the key thing, but the […]

Goodbye, Diet Coke


So bonfire night has scarcely passed and we’re onto the Christmas build-up, much to daughter one’s disgust. The tv is full of Christmas adverts and in the spirit of Yuletide I have decided to go cold turkey. I have given up Diet Coke. OK, it’s only been a day, but I’m doing well so far. […]

Time for bed struggles


Why is it that every night people try to convince me that bedtime is too early? “ALL my friends go to bed at 10 or 10.30,” says daughter two. “I Googled it and you don’t need more than nine hours sleep. It actually damages you to have more more, mum.” This is despite the fact […]

Off the road

Granny on the frontline

Disaster! The garage said my car was ‘un-roadworthy’ and the insurance company said it was my fault. Well, last Thursday, it took three heavies to separate it from the tailgate of a white van parked over a double yellow line. Yes, m’lud, I saw the van and drove past with due care and attention, but […]

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