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THE DAVID BECKHAM ACADEMY is running football courses for 8 to 15 year olds, designed to keep children fit and healthy whatever their abilities. The courses, which start at £80 for one day, cover everything from learning new football skills to the importance of good nutrition. For details, please visit

Hello from Mumsnet HQ...

Wife in the North

Thanks to all those who filled out our mini poll on work-life balance - seems that around half of us are happy enough, but that still leaves quite a few folks who would like to see some changes. So it's fortuitous that next Monday (July 14th) we're launching Home Front - a national online debate supported by dad's site Dad Info and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in conjunction with its Working Better campaign. If you'd like to pop along to the launch we've some spare seats and no doubt some spare cake too.

While you're in a sharing mood, please do fill in our survey for about what you really need for those first few weeks at home with a newborn - there's £250 of Ocado vouchers up for grabs for one lucky respondent.

It's been a busy week on the talk boards with two live events: finance guru Alvin Hall joined us to talk all things fiscal and the very well-travelled William Gray offered holiday advice and found a rather splendid deal for Custardo. That's what we call personal service.

Finally it's competition time, and this week you can throw your hat in the ring for a theatrical family day out to London's West End, including a £50 Hamleys voucher, a luxury baby bag to make you the yummiest mummy in Boots' baby change room, and, our new discount partner, Ladybird Prints, is offering ten Mumsnetters £50 to spend on Ladybird pictures.

And now for this week's parenting news ...

Serious flaws in maternity care: The NHS has no excuses for the deaths of women giving birth, the chair of the Healthcare Commission said this week as he published a report identifying a disturbing pattern of shortcomings in maternity care across England. Sir Ian Kennedy said "tribal allegiances" that set obstetrician against midwife had to end, and criticised the absence of data on maternity services in nearly one-fifth of trusts. Worryingly, he found that faults identified in three trusts where women died giving birth ran through the entire maternity service. Among his biggest concerns is the lack of midwives, women failing to get continuity of care with midwives they know, and guidelines on risky pregnancies not being followed. (Guardian 10.07.08)

IVF twins 'not risky': Infertile couples who want more than one child should be encouraged to try for IVF twins despite the medical consensus that multiple pregnancies should be avoided, a senior American doctor told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Barcelona. Norbert Gleicher of the Centre for Human Reproduction in New York said the health risks of conceiving twins by IVF had been exaggerated. A British initiative to cut the number of such pregnancies was "categorically wrong", he said. (Times 08.07.08)

Other stories in brief

Obese men have poorer quality sperm, perhaps because too much fat around their testicles causes them to heat up, scientists have warned (BBC Online 09.07.08); all children should be assessed for speech and language problems, according to a government report (BBC Online 09.07.08); more than a million 11 and 14 year olds in England will get their SATS results late this year because of administrative problems (BBC Online 07.07.08); women with older partners may be at higher risk of suffering miscarriages irrespective of their own age, a new study suggests (Independent 07.07.08); and Thomas Beatie of Oregon, who switched gender ten years ago, has given birth normally to a baby girl (Guardian 05.07.08)

After great feedback about Ladybird Prints on the Mumsnet talk boards, we have invited them to become a Mumsnet partner. is a new website that brings to life the pictures from the Ladybird Books. They are offering all members a 10% discount on their fabulous prints and canvases.

Hot threads

Quote of the week

SheherazadetheGoat on the prospective penalties of supplying Boco with chocolate, "Don't give Boco a Mars bar; she will become obese and David Cameron will lock her up."

Looking for somewhere to take the kids? Mumsnetters recommend:

Aitch's TV round-up: True Stories: Stanley Kubrick's Boxes, More4, 10pm, July 15th

Me and Jon Ronson have history. Oh yes we do. In fact, based on nothing more than his so-called pal telling him that I had posted (rather vigorously) on MN that I wasn't a fan of his Guardian column, he went so far as to track me down and email me and deliver a little lecture about how hurtful he had found it. Not what I'd written, of course, because he acknowledged that he hadn't seen it, but what his pal had told him.

Had he read what I'd actually written, he'd have seen me saying that I found his features and films more tolerable, hence the reason I mention this documentary, which sees him rooting around the archive boxes at the late Stanley Kubrick's house. He'll just need to live with the fact that some of us (a marmitey snack, as I recall) will be sniggering at his voice. Koobwick, well, it's a hostage to fortune. Read more here.

Carmenere's Recipe Of The Week: Wheelybug's classic tuna Nicoise

This week we're ignoring the weather and celebrating a classic tuna Nicoise recipe in honour of Bastille Day. Submitted by Wheelybug, this recipe is très facile et très délicieux. Bon appetit mes amis!

Right, that's your lot for this week. We're off to look longingly at our summer wardrobe (before we do the school run in our Uggs).

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