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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...
Where, now that Paul McKenna's made us all thin, we're salivating slenderly in anticpation of next week's slowcooking webchat with celeb chef Antony Worrall Thompson (Tuesday 18 Jan, 1-2pm).
Then it's on to a literary feast: our Book Club webchat with award-winning author Rose Tremain (Thursday 20 Jan, 8-9.30pm). If you haven't got your copy of Trespass yet, do grab one quick: it's a cracking read.
And lunch on Friday (21 Jan, 1-2pm) is earmarked for grilling our third webchat guest of the week, EastEnders executive producer Bryan Kirkwood (thread opening soon).
Now for this week's parenting news...
Most schools miss new 'English Bac' target: Just one in six GCSE pupils in England has achieved the government's new quality target, school league tables show. To achieve the so-called English Baccalaureate, you need 'good' grades (A* to C) in English, maths, a language, geography or history and two sciences. Headteachers say they only found out a few weeks ago that the English Bac was to feature in the performance tables. (BBC News 02.01.11; join the discussion on Talk)
Winner and losers in welfare switch: While 1.5 million families will lose money as a result of the government's reforms to the welfare system, 2.5 million families will be helped by the new 'universal credit', a leading thinktank has said. Among those losing out, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, will be lone parents and families with savings of more than £16,000, while couples with children will, on the whole, gain more than couples without. (BBC News 12.01.11; join the discussion on Talk)
Other stories in brief
Quote of the week: AlistairSim feels strangely vindicated by the news of super-fanged fish in the floodwaters of Brisbane: "I knew I was right to have a shark plan <smug>."
Try your luck in 2011 with our January competitions. Here's what you could win:
Don't forget to keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name comes out of the hat...
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Aitch's TV round-up: Hattie, Wednesday 19 January, BBC4, 9pm
Love stories don't come much more peculiar than this dramatisation of the (real) marriage of Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier, which, by all accounts, bumbled along just fine until she met a handsome 'entrepreneur' John Schofield and began a corset-busting affair. I won't go into much more detail, tbh, because I suspect this will be more enjoyable without knowing the ins and outs – and ins and outs, oo er, missus <channels Sid James>. A sometimes clunky, sometimes poignant and altogether unusual marital-sexual carve-up, it's performed with great fondness (and occasional accent-wandering) by Ruth Jones, Robert Bathurst and Aidan 'Being Human' Turner.
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.
Recipe of the week: Anon's satsuma cake
A icing-filled take on Nigella's famous clementine special. Simple, seasonal and (gorgeously) gluten-free.
You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?
That's all, we're off to get more biscuits <been thin, done that>...
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