Monthly Archives: March 2015

Friday Fiction (Parenting)

Disclaimer: I wrote this a while back so my suggestions may be out of date 🙂


Penelope Friday offers parents five easy ways to help the environment without losing their minds!

1. Change Your Ideas On Nappies.

Okay, in a perfect world we’d all be putting our babes in reusable nappies (and doing even more loads of washing than we already are), but realistically for most of us, that’s just not going to happen. Instead of thinking, “I can’t do that, so I can’t do anything,” think again. It’s worth checking for local reusable nappy laundering services: if you’re worried about the cost, rest assured that compared to the cost of buying disposables week after week after emergency-trip-out-at-midnight-because-the-baby’s-just-pooed-in-his-last-nappy… well, put it this way, the price begins to look quite reasonable. AND the companies come to you – think ‘Tesco Direct’, the nappy version.

Unfortunately, it’s also true that not every area has a local nappy laundering company. After days of scouring the internet for any information on it, I discovered that my fine plans for reusable nappies were in tatters. No one (and frankly, I can’t entirely blame them) was willing to take away smelly nappies and replace them with beautiful, freshly laundered ones. Failing this, there’s still another option that is at least green around the edges – biodegradable disposable nappies. Not, I grant you, as great for the environment as reusable, but a darn sight more practical. ‘Nature’ nappies are not only mostly biodegradable, but also (and this is important) widely available in shops like Boots and Mothercare – places you’ll be visiting anyway. What’s more, they are not (as you are no doubt suspecting) extortionately expensive. They’re a similar price to name brand nappies, and work just as well.

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Wednesday Word of the Week

moist –  1. slightly wet; 2. marked by a fluid discharge.
Well, my lovely friend Alan asked for the word ‘moist’ as one of his least favourite words. So here you are. Moist. What is moist? Cakes are moist. Soil is moist. Early sexual secretions are moist. It’s really not a nice word. ‘Moisture’, strangely, is a bit better; and ‘moisturise’ I have little problem with.
Ooh, I’ll tell you what else is moist. The handshake of someone who turns out either to be a villain or to be a pathetic and/or wimpish character in books. Which is a bit unfair on people with ‘moist’ handshakes: you might have damp hands for any number of reasons and there shouldn’t be a moral element, yet somehow there is.
But I guess it’s all about the way you say it.
“Her body was slicked with sweat” somehow sounds much better than “She was moist all over” which just sounds quite icky. If you like a character, fellow writers, don’t describe them, or any part of their anatomy, as moist.