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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

Where after a brief lull on the webchat front we're resuming with a timely visit by MEP and Green Party leader Caroline Lucas on 1 June at 12.30pm. Join us to find out what the only UK party leader who's also a mum makes of the current fine mess politics/the planet have got themselves into.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in holiday reviews - short haul, long haul, camping in the UK and overseas, plus spas - they're all up to date, ready for your holiday planning. Can we get your ideas for gifts for dads, ahead of next month's Father's Day? What do you get the man who can't wrestle the Wii console from his DC?

Now for this week's parenting news ...

Huge rise in childhood diabetes: The number of under-fives in Europe with type 1 diabetes will double between 2005 and 2020, predict experts from Ireland and Hungary who looked at 29,311 cases in 20 European countries. Genetics alone cannot account for the rapid rise, says their report in the Lancet. It also warns cases in older children will rise substantially. In the UK, where type 1 diabetes is already more common than elsewhere in Europe, the rise is likely to be even bigger. Children of older mums are at slightly increased risk, as well as children born by caesarean section and children who gain weight rapidly in early life; breastfed children are at slightly lower risk. (BBC Online 23.05.09)

Fertility tourism booming: Thousands of British women are going abroad for fertility treatment to avoid NHS waiting lists and a shortage of donated eggs. Foreign clinics also charge less than UK clinics, and are often willing to treat women deemed too old for motherhood in Britain. No data is kept on the number of women travelling to clinics in Spain, Greece, Russia, the US and India for treatment, but Lorraine Culley, professor of social science and health at De Montfort University who is leading a government-funded study of the subject, said it could be in the thousands. (Guardian 16.05.09)

Other stories in brief

BIKE BELLES Bike Belles is a new website to encourage and inspire more women to get out and about on two wheels. Find out the latest news, upcoming events and a whole host of useful hints and tips from choosing a bike, to what to wear, to cycling with children. Visit www.bikebelles.org.uk.

Hot threads

Competitions

This week's prizes are:

It's easy to enter (and keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name has come out of the hat). 

Quote of the week

BalloonSlayer on her toddler trolley-tethering technique: "When I had DS1 and DD in a double-seated trolley, DS1 went through a phase of hitting DD to pass the time. If I unbuttoned one cuff of his denim jacket and rebuttoned it around the handle I could effectively restrain his hitting arm. Mindful of his human rights and all that, I only did it to one arm. So he managed to hit her with the other one, but it took the force out of his swing a bit."

Looking for somewhere to take the kids this half-term? Mumsnetters suggest:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local

Aitch's TV round-up: My Monkey Baby, Tues 2 June, C4, 10pm
Oh, would that my DVD of this had turned up in time for me to preview this properly. It's a programme about people (of the American persuasion) who treat creepy little monkeys as their own. Although now that I think of it, perhaps I'm wrong in my assumption that we're all on the same page on Mumsnet? Who knows, maybe there are some of you who are not traditional parents of 'children', perhaps some of you are numbered among the 15,000 monkey moms in the US? Please, please, PLEASE make yourself known if so...

Blog of the week: Tea? Coffee? And how would you like your eggs?
Lissie on the topsy-turvy world of trying to conceive: "Tonight I have to partake in a little ladygarden topiary in honour of the zillionth doctor's visit to my substandard nethers. Luckily I painted my toenails last night, so they look good at least. Never thought I'd be paying this much attention to below the waist!"
Bursting to blog? Why not start your own MN blog?

Recipe of the week: Smithy's salmon fillets with roasted vegetables
If you're cooked-out this week and fancy a chuck-it-in-the-oven-and-get-on-with-mumsnetting sort of recipe, this simple but delicious meal is ideal. You can even do the veg the day before if you want to. Throw some feta cheese cubes over five minutes before you serve for any family members who are picky about salmon (but aren't picky about cheese).
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all, we're off to stock up on green tea before Monday...
Love,
Mumsnet Towers

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