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Greetings from Mumsnet Towers,

Where we've been enjoying reading all your questions (and declarations of love) for today's webchat with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Five Mumsnetters who take part in the chat will get a free copy of Hugh's new book River Cottage Veg Every Day.

Still with food, innocent's nutritionist, Vanessa Hattersley, is taking your questions about nutrition and the food industry, until Mon 19 Sept.  

And two other Q&As have started: Dr Anton Bass will tackle your queries about child and adult orthodontistry, and multi-gold-medal-winner Tanni Grey-Thompson has all the gen on the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Working parents spend their way out of guilt: A report by Unicef UK blames Britain's culture of long working hours and low wages for putting pressure on family time. Parents, it says, are attempting to make up for the time they don't spend at home by "buying their children branded clothes and trainers". The report urges the government to adopt the Living Wage, assess the impact of public spending decisions on children and consider a ban on advertising to under-12s. (Guardian 14.09.11; join the discussion on Talk)

Midwife shortages 'put lives at risk'The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is calling for 4,700 more midwifes to be appointed after revealing that midwife shortfalls in areas of England could risk lives. The East Midlands and east of England need 41% more midwives to keep up with demand and the South East is also more than a third short of staff, says the RCM. The problem is being made more acute by a rise in the number of complex births owing to an increase in obese and older mothers-to-be. "We believe women should have the same choice over giving birth wherever they live," said RCM general secretary Cathy Warwick. "Once you get to really critical shortfalls, maternity services won't be safe." (BBC News, 15.09.11)

IT'S PLAYTIME! Active play encourages good health and heightened concentration. Visit cuticura.co.uk to learn about Cuticura's Positive Play campaign and watch our film with top tips for beating germs. We're also giving away Toys R Us vouchers worth £150, click here to enter.

sovereign

Other stories in brief

 The week on Talk

Quote of the week

motherinferior responds on a thread querying whether other Mumsnetters dress up in the bedroom for their partner: "I wear bedsocks, if that helps."

Pearson

Competitions

Blog of the week

Mum's Not Having Chemo: journalist Laura Bond charts her mother's alternative cancer journey -what's it like to say no to mainstream medicine and yes to hydrogen peroxide and healing frequencies?

Enjoy more juicy blogs on our Bloggers Network.

Check out the great prizes in our September competitions. Here's what you could win:

WIN £100 OF LOVE2SHOP VOUCHERS! Tell Britax about your favourite Buggy Friendly Places and you'll be in with the chance to win £100 of Love2Shop vouchers.

Aitch's TV round-up: Spooks, Sun 18 Sept, BBC One, 9pm

Oh look, I haven't had a clue about Spooks since Tom strode into the sea, so I've missed the blond posh one and the saturnine wrong 'un entirely. However, it would seem from the many, many, many threads on the Talk boards that I am in the MNority. So here Spooks is, back for its last-ever series, with only the Unsinkable Harry Pearce representing the original staff. And wouldn't you know, here comes an old Cold War chum of his, all dead and everything. Action stations, cheps. 
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.

Recipe of the week

BefnalBub's butternut squash with sundried tomatoes and mascarpone: seasonal squash is given a tasty twist in this super-simple recipe.

You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's all - we're off to copy out Hugh's recipe for roast jacket chips with merguez spices and spiced yoghurt. Mmmm.
Love, MNHQ

AMAZING DEALS AND JUICY DISCOUNTS FOR MUMSNETTERS. Take a look at what's on offer on our new Mumsnet Partner Offers page. Find discounts on clothes, homeware, holidays and days out for all the family.

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