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TWO-FOR-ONE TICKETS FOR WALLACE AND GROMIT EXHIBITION! See the Telly-scope, Thinking Cap and more of Wallace's new inventions at Wallace And Gromit Present A World of Cracking Ideas at the Science Museum in London – a fantastic experience for the whole family. Download your two-for-one ticket voucher now!

Hello from MNHQ...

Where we're plotting sneaky ways to win the year's supply of Divine chocolate that's up for grabs on our new monthly (better prizes, more time to enter) competitions page.  

We've re-scheduled our October Book of the Month discussion, so we've all got more time to plot swot: join us for a collective spook out over The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters' supernatural chiller on Tuesday 3 November (8 to 9.30pm). 

In Sept, we asked you for your questions about breast cancer (you had lots). This month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we've got answers from experts at Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Asthma inhaler 'doesn't work': The most commonly prescribed asthma inhaler may not be working for a lot of the children who use it. Researchers at Brighton and Dundee universities say many children don't get the benefit they should from Salbutamol (brand name Ventolin), the 'blue inhaler' most often prescribed by GPs. Of one million children with asthma, around 100,000 may have a gene formation that prevents the inhaler working when it's used on a daily basis, the researchers say. They warn children shouldn't stop using the inhaler, but believe more research needs to be done. (Guardian 06.10.09) 

Big rise in doula use: The use of doulas, or birth companions, has gone up dramatically. In 2007, around 700 mothers hired them for their baby's delivery, but last year the figure was up to 2,500, and membership of Doula UK, which represents doulas, is up from 28 in 2003 to more than 450 currently. The shortage of NHS midwives, and anxieties about the availability of one-to-one care in labour, are thought to be behind the increased uptake of doula services. (Observer 04.10.09)

Other stories in brief

WIN A £250 SHOPPING VOUCHER Uncle Ben's® wants to collect your tips and recipes for using jarred sauces for family cooking and would like to put your questions to their registered dietician. You don't need to be a user of Uncle Ben's sauces, or indeed any sauces, to take part but we do ask that you are a parent of at least one child aged 6 months or older. Everyone who completes this short survey will be entered into a prize draw to win £250 of vouchers for the store of their choice.

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This month'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). 

DO YOU HAVE A DAUGHTER? Take this mini survey before midnight on Thursday 8 October and have a chance to win £150 of vouchers for a store of your choice.

Quote of the week

GetOrfMoiLand has a Good Housekeeping moment as she reminisces about watching Cagney and Lacey: "I was always shocked at the filthy state of the precinct toilets. Oh, how Mumsnet am I?"

Looking for an autumn day out? Mumsnetters suggest:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local - and once you get home, please add a review in our Days out/Attractions section.

Aitch's TV round-up: Life, Mon 12 Oct, BBC1, 9pm
Sir David Attenborough isn't bothered by little kiddies seeing ostriches being ripped apart by leopards. And, given that this amazing nature doc brought my own kiddies to an awestruck standstill in the middle of destroying my front room, nor am I. "Children are much less sensitive than you think," says every thinking person's octogenarian crush. "You ask them if they have a question, and they say, 'Yeah, if it was a lion fighting a tiger, which would win?'" I'm set to record all of this for my nippers. Sometimes it's nice for them to know their place in the food chain.

Blog of the week: The ugly bug ball
serenedays focuses (dimly) on the upsides of being an older parent: "We can see Bugger All. It's blissful. We can't read ingredients on packets, so we fret not over sugar or salt. We can't read safety warnings on toy instructions, so we never worry. We can't see marks on whites, pencil on walls or insects on the lino. And head lice on blonde children? Forgeddit..."
Bursting to blog? Why not start your own?

Recipe of the week: hel123's butternut squash, parma ham and rocket salad
A cheeky little throw-it-together salad with tongue-tingly peppery rocket and spicy, roasted chunks of seasonal squash. Too gourd to be missed...
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all, we're off to change our nicknames and construct multiple entries for that Divine Choc comp... 
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