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STRUGGLING TO ENTERTAIN THE TROOPS OVER HALF-TERM? Help is at hand as Flawless, stars of Britain's Got Talent, are using their passion and skill for dance to create a series of tutorials for parents and children for the Haliborange Shiny School.
Hello from MNHQ...
Where we're swabbing all hard surfaces in readiness for Friday's webchat with swine flu expert Dr David Salisbury, the Department of Health's director of immunisation. Join us at 1pm if you can. And, if you're pregnant, we'd love to know if you're planning on having the swine flu vaccine when it's offered to you.
And we're scarily impressed by your entries into our Hallowe'en nickname-change competition. We've drawn up a shortlist, so you can vote for your favourite: the winning name-changer will win a stack of Elemis goodies (well, even ghouls have to look good).
Now for this week's parenting news...
No choice for most mums: Nine in ten women do not get a proper choice about where they give birth, despite a government pledge that all pregnant women would have that right by the end of 2009, the National Childbirth Trust said this week. In April 2007, ministers guaranteed that women in England would be able to choose whether to have their baby in hospital, at a birth centre or at home, but an NCT report reveals that only 4.7 per cent are currently getting that choice. NCT chief executive Belinda Phipps said: "We are shocked by how far behind the government is in fulfilling its promise. It is extremely disappointing." (Guardian 26.10.09)
Sharp rise in Down's conceptions: The number of Down's syndrome pregnancies has risen by more than 70 per cent in the past 20 years, according to research from London University. The rise reflects the growing number of older women who are getting pregnant - women aged 30 have one in 940 risk of conceiving a baby with Down's, but by the age of 40, it is one in 85. Fewer babies with Down's are actually being born, because improved antenatal screening means more Down's pregnancies are spotted, and most women who find out they are carrying a baby with Down's choose a termination. (BBC Online 27.10.09)
Other stories in brief
CAREERS ADVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. Ed Balls and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson have just launched the Information Advice and Guidance Guarantee for Young People (aged 14 to 19), and the Department for Children, School and Families would like your comments on the information and advice parents feel they need to support children in big decisions about employment, training and education.
This month's prizes are:
WHAT DOES THE TERM 'OFSTED-REGISTERED NANNY' MEAN TO YOU? Please take our super-quick one-question poll for REC Childcare, the voice of the childcare recruitment market in the UK.
Quote of the week
DottyDotsOfBloodOnTheFloor is miffed by BigTech's unintentional site 'improvements': "It's like playing the tablecloth game where you have to spot what's been taken away."
Looking for an autumn day out? Mumsnetters suggest:
Aitch's TV round-up: Garrow's Law, Sun 1 Nov, BBC1, 9pm
This new drama might just work, you know, given the British audience's great love of the legal and the historical (although it does seem a little up its own britches on the basis of the first episode). It's based on the papers of the Georgian lawyer William Garrow, the chap who gave us the phrase 'innocent until proven guilty'. He's a pompous prig with a big fat chip on his shoulder cos he's from the lower orders, but he's played by Andrew Buchan, the chap from Party Animals, who I seem to recall caused a few heaving bosoms on MN. (Personally, I think he has a fat tongue, like Jamie Oliver, so I Am Put Off)...
Blog of the week: Sticks I have peed on
princessfeatures on the damper side of trying to conceive: "I have a new hobby. It's expensive. It's addictive. It always leaves me wanting more. Peeing on sticks is a pastime which provokes a lot of thoughts – some of them funny, quite a lot of them sad, a few of them so hilarious, you could wet your knickers when there's not even a stick down there..."
Bursting to blog? Why not start your own?
Recipe of the week: Astrophe's spicy pumpkin soup
The perfect throw-in-the-saucepan-and-leave-to-simmer solution for all those Hallowe'en lantern scoopings. Just the job for post trick-or-treat slurping, too.
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?
That's all, we're off drool over enjoy the Will Young pix on our Facebook page.
BODEN OFFER! Get yourself some haunt-couture this Halloween with a frightfully good offer from Boden. Buy any three items from their colourful range for all the family, and you can buy a fourth for just £1. Offer ends Sunday.
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