You’re not the worst parent in the whole world, even if you’re the only one who won’t let your teenager go to the party.


Michelle Mitchell is a former teacher who has recently published the book “What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell Their Parents”. She was interviewed on Life Matters yesterday.

One of the foundational things that teenage girls stop telling their parents is that they love them. The positive feedback “Mummy I Love You” suddenly disappears – our daughters become masters of criticism.

As often stated, Mitchell says it is not the parents job to be the teenagers best friend. Teenagers are not mini-adults – you still need to practice ‘deliberate parenting’.

Parents no longer know what’s going on – in the past, phone calls came to the house. With mobile phones, teens are directly connected to each other.

Mitchell says it can be harder for parents to stay connected to their teenage daughter’s ‘inside stories’, beneath the cover that is displayed to the world. Be prepared to see past the cover that says “I hate you” to what’s happening inside.

“You’re jobs not to trust them, but protect them”. When Michelle asks teenagers would they trust themselves, they look at her like she is a moron.

Teenagers peer relationships are temptuous. Parents need to be the one place where there is consistent love and consistent rules.

Mitchell says you will not know everything that happens to your daughters – but remember that knowing will not change how you parent. You need to know when to let things go.

As your daughters hit the speed bump of teenage years and fly off on a wild ride, remember that the cure for 13 is 14. And the cure for 14 is 15.

Add a comment

The best book available for Kindle or iBooks is Jerome K Jerome’s ‘Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)‘. 

And it is free!

Project Gutenberg is an open source project that aims to make out-of-copyright texts available freely to all. 33,000 books have been digitised by volunteers. It is a magnificent source of reading- just about every book you have ever heard of published more than 50 years ago is available free of charge for reading via plain text, html, kindle or ePub (iBook) format.

Three Men in A Boat was published in 1889 – but the humour remains entirely fresh. It tells the story of a boating trip on the Thames undertaken by three friends – J, George and Harris, and J’s dog Montmercy.

Here is a snippet from Chapter Three,

So, on the following evening, we again assembled, to discuss and arrange our plans.  Harris said:

“Now, the first thing to settle is what to take with us.  Now, you get a bit of paper and write down, J., and you get the grocery catalogue, George, and somebody give me a bit of pencil, and then I’ll make out a list.”

That’s Harris all over—so ready to take the burden of everything himself, and put it on the backs of other people.

He always reminds me of my poor Uncle Podger.  You never saw such a commotion up and down a house, in all your life, as when my Uncle Podger undertook to do a job.  A picture would have come home from the frame-maker’s, and be standing in the dining-room, waiting to be put up; and Aunt Podger would ask what was to be done with it, and Uncle Podger would say:

“Oh, you leave that to me.  Don’t you, any of you, worry yourselves about that.  I’ll do all that.”

And then he would take off his coat, and begin.  He would send the girl out for sixpen’orth of nails, and then one of the boys after her to tell her what size to get; and, from that, he would gradually work down, and start the whole house.

 “Now you go and get me my hammer, Will,” he would shout; “and you bring me the rule, Tom; and I shall want the step-ladder, and I had better have a kitchen-chair, too; and, Jim! you run round to Mr. Goggles, and tell him, ‘Pa’s kind regards, and hopes his leg’s better; and will he lend him his spirit-level?’  And don’t you go, Maria, because I shall want somebody to hold me the light; and when the girl comes back, she must go out again for a bit of picture-cord; and Tom!—where’s Tom?—Tom, you come here; I shall want you to hand me up the picture.”


And then he would lift up the picture, and drop it, and it would come out of the frame, and he would try to save the glass, and cut himself; and then he would spring round the room, looking for his handkerchief.  He could not find his handkerchief, because it was in the pocket of the coat he had taken off, and he did not know where he had put the coat, and all the house had to leave off looking for his tools, and start looking for his coat; while he would dance round and hinder them.


What I Learnt On 8th March in other years

8th March 2016 A good egg…
Add a comment


How can you get your masterwork published?

Step One  – Write It

When that minor detail has been dealt with……..

Step Two – Publish It with Blurb Books

While you are waiting for the editor of Penguin Books to give you a call, you can arrange to have your book professionally printed. 

The barrier to this used to be the large print run that was required to make it worthwhile. You don’t always want a palette load of books (first up, anyway).

There are a number of services that will publish photo books, including the ‘keepsake’ function built in to iPhoto on the Mac. A quick google search shows a number of options

These cost in the order of $50, which is OK for a one-off special occasion. But what about short stories, plays, novels, letters, memoirs,family history, your political expose or a HSC English major work?

The solution we used was Blurb: Make Your Own Book. Make it Great  (thanks to Cathy M for the tip).

After registering with Blurb, you download the ‘BookSmart’ software (or ‘Bookify’ is you are after a photobook). This application is used to design your book – choose a photo for the cover, import your text from a Word document, choose a template, change your fonts, create a title page, etc. The application is a little clunky, but more than adequate for the task. When you are happy, it is a simple process to upload your creation to the blurb site. So far, all free.

Step Three – Buy It

Once your book is uploaded, you can buy copies. Books are printed on demand – you only need to order one, if that’s all you want.

Alex’s paperback 44 page book was available for $US 3.99 a copy. As a hardcover, $US 18.95. That seems like good value. Naturally, the more pages, the higher the charge.

Caution – as with many things ordered from the US, postage is the killer. It can more than double the price of an order! Ordering a number at a time can make that a bit better.

The quality of the printing in the books we received was excellent

Step Four – Sell It

Blurb also has its own bookstore – which means you can make your book available for other people to buy – just like Amazon. You can set the profit you’d like to receive for each book sold through the Blurb bookstore. They take care of the printing and postage. Your book may become a bestseller. Alex’s book with a preview of selected pages is now viewable in the blurb bookstore.

Watch out JK Rowlings!




What I Learnt On 7th March in other years

View (3 comments) or Add Comment


Seth Godin launched the Domino Project today.

Seth is a prolific author. 

He has written thirteen books, the most recent being today’s ‘Poke the Box‘. His blog is hyperactive, and I enjoy the daily entertaining read.

He is known as an expert on marketing. When driving with his family around France, they were at first entranced by the picture perfect scenery of black and white cows against the green fields. After a few days, the cows blended into the background. In his book ‘The Purple Cow’, Seth makes the point that in today’s sophisticated markets, you need to be a purple cow to stand out.

More recently his books (Tribes, Linchpins) have been about leadership, and overcoming fear.

This theme is continued in ‘Poke the Box‘, which is about ‘ go ‘. Start a project, make a ruckus, take a risk, leap, commit. Make something happen. Ship. Show initiative.

“The challenge, it turns out, isn’t in perfecting your ability to know when to start and when to stand by. The challenge is getting into the habit of starting.”

Seth’s style is not for everyone. To work out whether it is for you, you can subscribe to Seth’s blog. His books feel and read like a series of blog posts.

The Domino Project aims to deliver small books with high quality ideas made to spread. Speed triumphs – speed to market and speed to respond to readers.

My Kindle Ediition of ‘Poke the Box‘ arrived today. (The special pre-order price was $1! It has returned to its usual price of $4.99 today. Guess I should have made this post last week).

Add a comment

The Lost Art of Sleep – by Michael McGirr


Having recently had twins, Michael McGirr has become an expert in sleep – or the lack thereof.

Across the course of one long night, he explores with us a range of sleep-related topics.

Thomas Edison never went to bed, but Florence Nightingale spent most of her life in one.

Why do we dream?

What is sleep apnea?

How do you make a good coffee?

Why do both of his new babies never sleep at the same time?

A personal touch combined with excellent research make this a most charming read.

Kindle Verison

Booko Search

Add a comment