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Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

Where we hope you enjoyed our cracking Book Club chat with Emma Donoghue, author of Room. Next up is Christos Tsiolkas, who wrote controversial bestseller The Slap. Get your free copy (we've 100 to give away) and clear your diary for the live chat (Wednesday 23 March, from 8pm).

Next Thursday lunchtime (24 Feb), we've a live webchat with Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP): thread for your advance questions opening soon.

And, for arrgh-it's-half-term-now-what inspiration, do peruse our Mumsnet Best Days Out, and browse Mumsnet Local and other Days Out Reviews for great, child-friendly places to visit near you.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Cameron condemns sex-offender register ruling: Prime Minister David Cameron says he will do the "minimum necessary" to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that people on the sex-offenders register in England and Wales should have the right to apply to have their names removed from the list. (Guardian 16.02.11; join the discussion on Talk)

Jamie calls British kids 'wet': Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver says British teens are unwilling to work hard. "I've never experienced such a wet generation," he told a reporter in an interview about his new series Dream School. "I'm embarrassed to look at British kids... Graft and grunt is something this generation is struggling with." Dream School features Oliver enlisting a group of celebrity 'teachers' to help run a 'second-chance' school for 20 teenagers with no educational qualifications. (Telegraph 13.02.11; join the discussion on Talk)

DESPICABLE ME. Get lost in mischievous-minion-madness for February half-term as Despicable Me, the must-see family animation, is released on high-definition Blu-ray, DVD and Blu-ray 3D on 21 February 2011. Order your copy now!

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

Quote of the week: LeQueen's mother-in-law is aghast at the T-Rex bloodbath in Walking With Dinosaurs: "Well, fancy the BBC letting them kill each other after they've gone to all that trouble to find dinosaur DNA and breed them and everything."

Competitions
Try your luck in 2011 with our February 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...

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR BABY TO SLEEP? Conventional or unusual? Does it do the trick? Share your tips and you could be part of an exciting new video project for Avent. Successful applicants will be paid. Please call the team on 0207 613 7300 or email ec2researcher@gmail.com

Aitch's TV round-up: Silk, Tuesday 22 February, BBC1, 9pm
I'm so looking forward to this one, partly because I will watch anything with Miss Maxine 'The Magnificent' Peake in it, and partly because it's written by Bafta-winner Peter Moffat, an ex-barrister who also created North Square and Criminal Justice. Maxine is Martha Costello (now that is a cool TV name, folks), a more-than-capable barrister who is thrown into two last-minute cases. We spend a lot of time rushing after her, trying desperately to catch up, learning about her cases as she does, rather thrillingly. (And rather terrifyingly, if it is a true depiction of life as a legal eagle.) Oh, and <coughs> Spooks fans might like to know that Rupert Penry-Jones is in it <covers ears to muffle screams>...
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.

Recipe of the week: ibelieveindreaming's Teriyaki burgers
A super-tasty, super-child-friendly variation on the common-or-garden burger. "Yumarama!" as one MNer reviewer put it...
You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's all from us. We're off for half-term hell high jinks...
Love, MNHQ

TELL US ABOUT FAMILY-FRIENDLY (OR NOT) PLACES YOU KNOW! We still want to hear your views on the family friendliness (or not) of your workplace and other places in the UK. Everyone who takes part will be in with a chance of winning £200 vouchers for The Sanctuary Spa.

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