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Greetings from Mumsnet Towers,

Where the answers are in to your questions about nutrition, orthodontics and the Paralympics - thanks to Vanessa Hattersley, Anton Bass and Tanni Grey-Thompson, respectively. Our current Q&A is about running and 'growing' your own business - budding entrepreneurs and frustrated CEOs, hie thee hither.

Next Monday (3 Oct) broadcaster and author Misha Glenny is our webchat guest from 1-2pm. His latest book delves into the murky world of cybercrime - so if you want to know how you can protect yourself online, do come and quiz him.

Plenty of advance notice (so you can get reading) that October's book of the month is The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and author Aimee Bender will be with us on 2 Nov, 9-10pm (we're pushing book club back a week to allow for half-term). Oh, and you can now follow our twitterings @Mumsnetbookclub.

And, finally, if you haven't already, please support our campaign to improve miscarriage care by completing this survey. Thank you.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Sharp drop in adoptions: Despite a rise in the number of children being placed into care in England, adoption figures are continuing to fall. There were 5% fewer children adopted in 2010 than in 2009, with just 60 successful baby adoptions - down from 150 in 2007. There are now 65,520 children in care, 3,660 of them under a year old. Barnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie urged everyone involved in the care system to "be braver" and "act fast to place children with a new permanent family when it is clear that, even with support, the child's birth family is not going to change and cannot cope". (Guardian; join the discussion on Talk)

A-level ranking system proposal slammed: Plans by Britain's biggest exam board, Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), to rate A-level students according to the type of school they attend have been met with broad disapproval from Conservative and Labour politicians alike, as well as schools and parents. Under AQA's proposals, pupils with above-average grades from the weakest schools would be awarded bonus points. Schools minister Nick Gibb said the concept "risks confusing employers, teachers and pupils by giving different values to the same A-levels". (Telegraph)

WOULD YOUR CHILD LIKE TO BE A SKYLANDERS Wii TESTER? We're looking for eight MN testers (and their children) to go to an exclusive Skylanders Spyro's Adventure event at Hamleys in London on Sunday 9 Oct, PLUS two more MNers to try the game on their Wii.

Family Football Festival

Other stories in brief

The week on Talk

Quote of the week

kissingfrogs explains the origin of her MN nickname: "Studying PHD in The Transformation of Pondlife to Homosapien Royale By Oral Persuasion." <wipes mouth, reapplies lippy>

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Blog of the week

Working London Mummy is married to a Frenchman and ex-chef, so food is a top priority. They cook. And eat. A lot. Then Working London Mummy spills the beans in this blog. Click for a tasty treat or full-blown food fest.
 
Enjoy more juicy blogs on our Bloggers Network.

Competitions

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

Aitch's TV round-up: Merlin, Sat 1 Oct, BBC1, 7.50pm

BBC Wales refuses to loosen its vice-like grip on the Saturday night schedule, replacing Dr Who with Boy Wizard Merlin, who now faces Evil Emo Morgana assisted only by a man in a bad wig and a CGI dragon. This week, Morgana and her wretched sister Morgause (and there's good news on that front for those who are Not Fans) have only gorn and torn open the veil between the worlds, would you bleedin' believe it?
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.

Recipe of the week

marge2 asked: "What am I supposed to do with a marrow, then?" Answer: AttillaTheHan's marrow and raisin cake. Mumsnetters say it's "really good, quite like carrot cake".

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

That's all. We're off to say it with flowers.
Love, MNHQ

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