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How Many Toys Do Your Children Need?

How Many Toys Do Your Children Need?

According to all almost everyone I interviewed for this BBC feature – children don’t need many toys at all. OK, this message won’t make me popular with children, grandparents or Toys R Us at Christmas… just call me Scrooge.


If you’ve got any good photos of your kids ‘colonizing’ your stuff into inventive toys, then do post them on Twitter to #whatmychildmade and the BBC might publish them. Continue reading


  • 26 Jun: Why does the boy child think that singing 'twinkle, twinkle' in the style of Johnny Rotten is going to help him get to sleep?
  • 8 Jun: I'm thrilled to make my debut over at Mums On the Blog today with my post about being 'hangry'. Check out their other lovely contributors too: http://www.mumsontheblog.co.uk/.
  • 29 May: In response to my Reasons to be Cheerful blog from yesterday, Lycra Mum quite rightly commented that raising children offers ‘perks’ that make amends for not being paid to do the job. I wholeheartedly agree - I don’t want to be ‘compensated’ for bringing up my kids. But then, but then... there’s something about not being paid that rankles. A job without a salary isn’t a job, is it? It’s a hobby. Today I read this on Woogs World, where guest blogger Annabel Candy inadvertently summed it up perfectly: 'even though we do the most important and hardest job in the world we're not paid for it, so some people tend to think of mothers as women who aren't making a useful or valuable contribution to society.' Yeah, what she said! I'm not advocating for Mothers to be paid, but it would be nice to be valued.
  • 26 Apr: iGameMom visited little ol' me recently, which is how I discovered her brill blog: she reviews and recommends kids' games and apps and the like. I just downloaded a free a Curious George app, which is well worth a click. Enjoy.
  • Apr 2: You know your kids are terribly middle-class when they put all their farm animals into the tractor and then make up a song entitled "we're all going to a restaurant".
  • Feb 27 - It is so nice when you get a surprise birthday present and so un-nice when you lose it five minutes later. Someone in Volketswil Kindercity found and enjoyed some very special Vollenweider choccies this morning. I only hope they pass on their good fortune - as opposed to, you know, handing in their good fortune at reception so that the real owner of the good fortune could claim it, take it home and stuff it into her greedy little face while congratulating herself on what thoughtful friends she has and, simultaneously, feeling consoled for the fact that her husband is away for the entire week (again) which means she can’t watch the next installment of House MD or get any help around this place and with these pesky kids. That is all.
  • Feb 21 - It's some kind of bad timing when you've just slathered on a bright green face mask and then your two-year-old promptly wakes, screaming, from a bad dream. Five quid's worth of Dead Sea scraped off onto a tea towel and I rush in to comfort him: apparently, it was a walrus. Terrifying things, walruses. Probably something to do with all those wrinkles.
  • Jan 31 - So I must have worn the right boots after all, back in November when I went to visit the Monocle media office in London (see aside Nov 17). The magazine has spun off a new Internet radio service, Monocle 24. I've dusted off the old microphone and, in the company of half the people I used to work with, I'm now busy Monocling. If you like old-school radio, the way it should be, have a listen.
  • Dec 12: Very flattered that m'lovely colleagues over at Newly Swissed are taking some guest posts from my good self. Here's the latest - Boring Becomes Beautiful, a peek at the Becher exhibition at the Fotomuseum in Winti.
  • Nov 29: Went along to the launch of The Powerhouse Collective at the buttock-clenchingly hip Viadukt in Zurich. Great event, great group of people. Powerhouse is "an internationally-focused network for professional women – whether currently in the work force or not". Worth joining if you're a woman looking for work / contacts / a social life or all three.
  • Nov 17: I should be packing for a weekend in London, but I've got the suitcase equivalent of writer's block. I know what to wear for a play date, or a mountain hike, or even date night. But in That London I've got a kind-of job interview with excruciatingly-cool urban media people who may notice that my favourite boots are not just last season, not even last decade, but last century. Plus, lots of meals with friends who don't want to stare across the table and see congealed Smiley Faces hanging off my collar. The trouble with fashion is that you don't just choose some clothes, you choose a whole persona - I don't know who I am any more! And don't get me started on scarves..!
  • Nov 16: So I took a break from constantly re-arranging my house and decided to fiddle with my blog instead. Normal service will resume - once I've rehung all the pictures and found a place for the typewriter, as it were.

Singapore Slung…

... in which I plan to visit every stop on the Singapore MRT system for one reason or another. Or for no reason at all.

I'm an English expat, living in the Air-Conditioned Republic of Singapore, where I spend my days urging my children to try the food... and my nights - trying the food.

I'm also the blogger formally known as Glückspilz (which is German for 'lucky mushroom' dontcha know) and once resided in Switzerland, where the aforementioned Kinder were geborn.

I've previously lived in Cameroon and several unfashionable English towns, but didn't blog as it hadn't been invented yet. I'm that old.

The 'sun-drenched elsewhere': aka the MRT map

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Gluckspilz by Joanne Furniss is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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