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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

Where we're tickled pink to be unveiling our sparkly new - and super-tip-top prize-tastic - Competitions "hub". There's hols and highchairs and hampers (and a helluva lot more) to be won: do have a good look and get your name in all the virtual hats sharpish.

We've also got the As to the Qs you posted for Duncan Clark from the climate-change campaign 10:10 - fittingly, just in time for 10:10's Global Day of Doing on (obv) 10.10.10.

And <cue efficiently premature sleigh bells> we've launched this year's MN Christmas Appeal. Do have a peek at the thread and put your hand up if you'd like to be involved.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Cameron 'says sorry' for not warning about child-benefits cuts: Prime Minister David Cameron has apologised for failing to include cuts to child benefit in the Conservative election manifesto. But, in his speech to the Tory conference, he refused to backtrack on his Government's plans to withdraw child benefit from those earning more than £43,875. People on higher incomes must "shoulder more of the burden", he said. (Mail 06.10.10; join the discussion on Talk)

Light drinking in pregnancy 'doesn't harm baby': Drinking one or two units of alcohol a week while you are pregnant does not increase the risk of your baby being born with developmental problems, according to research led by scientists at University College London. But a spokesperson for the the Department of Health said there were no plans to change official advice that women abstain from alcohol completely during pregnancy. (BBC News 06.10.10; join the discussion on Talk)

NEW LEGO GAMES. Have fun with LEGO's new buildable games. They come in a range of prices on all sorts of different themes with lots of great details – and make fantastic presents your kids will love.

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

Quote of the week: flamesparrow takes the carpe diem approach to choosing partners for, erm, bedroom manoeuvres: "I'm at the stage that, if they are in position and there, breathing is optional..."

Competitions
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).

MAKE A WILL WITH GLOSSLEGAL AND GET A SPECIAL 10% MUMSNET DISCOUNT! A will is crucial when you have children to ensure they, and your partner, are left financially secure. (If you die without a will, your assets could go to an ex, or the taxman.) GlossLegal is a new Mumsnet discount partner and all wills are checked by a qualified solicitor. To claim your discount, use the code MUMS11.

Aitch's TV round-up: Single Father, Sunday 10 October, BBC1, 9pm
David Tennant is back on television. What? You want more? OK, greedyguts, I'll give it to you. Single Father is a soppy four-parter about a lovely man who loses his lovely wife and then struggles on for a while with his lovely kids, while being comforted, hem-hem, by his dead wife's lovely friend. The wife is played by Laura Fraser, who does her usual pouty squeaky thing (and who's also in Lip Service, the upcoming lesbian drama on BBC3, which quite the worst programme I've ever endured – honestly, you will die laughing). The friend, well, she's Suranne Jones. And we'd all jump into bed with her a little too quickly, let's be honest...
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.

Recipe of the week: mckenzie's butternut squash and red onion soup
Sweet-but-not-at-all cloying soup made with suitably Octoberish veg. Easy to whoosh up and tastes "lush", according to one MNer reviewer.
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all. We're off to chain ourselves to the railings outside Gamu's house...
Love, MNHQ 

LAST CHANCE TO GET PICKED TO TEST-DRIVE A FORD AT DONINGTON! Ford are looking for Mumsnetters to attend a thrilling test-drive day at Donington on 15 October. Click here to find out more - but hurry: places must be confirmed by Monday 11 October at the latest.

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