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About chickenanne

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    Chatty Chicken
  1. things to do for kids in lithuania

    I used to live in Vilnius! It was about 12 years ago now, and things have changed hugely since - also, was not with kids, so I don't know about child-friendly things to see and do (I was about 22 and not interested in such things at the time!)- however for what it's worth: The old town is lovely, worth wondering about and exploring. There are odds of things to happen across like folk selling wooden toys etc, an lots of it is pretty much traffic-free, which has got to help if you're with a 4-year-old. It never used to be crowded. St Annes chruch is beautiful: it was pretty much derelict when I was there with bits of work being done only, so you could go in and see lots of crumbling cobbwebby atmosphere: apparantly the work has now been finished. The cathedral isn't great, though, and the park above the cathedral (with the three big whiote crosses on the hill) always used to be a very dodgy, unsafe area so jsut be warned is worth checking what it's like. The parlaiment used to still have the barricades outside, or part of them anyway, which if they still do, is well worth a seeing. The TV tower is good for getting out to see "normal" Vilnius (i.e. endless Soviet apartment blocks where the vast maority of the population live: it looks like a really unsafe area but never was (when I was there)) and you get a good view from the top. The Jewish museum is amazing, really affecting, but doubt it's exactly child freindly! There's a nice day trip to Trakai, which is a castle on an island on a lake, which you can get to by train. It's very pretty for a stroll and great for a picnic. You might need to be lucky weather-wise though. There are also some open air museums with folk houses which are great to see; I think there's one which is easy to get to in a day trip from Vilnius, which might be good for the 4 year old though would probably pass the 2 year old by. Kaunas is easy to get to from Vilnius and has various museums and the like, some of which are quite quirky and fun: I'd be really surprised if there wasn't a kid-freindly one (or two!) there. Also recommended, but further away, is Hill fo Crosses at Saulai (spelling?) for it's amazing atmosphere (again, not really kid-freindly). A lot of people really like Nida (on the coast) - big sandy spit etc - I can imagine that being good with (well wrapped up!) kids for a weekend. Vilnius has an INCREDIBLE amount of "green space" and parkland (or did have!) so I would imagine it would be easy to find something near where you stay for messing about outside with kids and (eg) a frisbee. Also, you can get great guide booklets called "Vilnius in Your Pocket"- published quarterly or similar - which will detail all sorts of interesting (and dull!) events. I think there's the same for Kaunas (Kaunus In Your Pocket) too. These are well worth trying to find when you get there - or ask OH to get a work colleague to pick one up for you!
  2. Interview Arggggg

    Everyone else is in the same boat remember, so it isn't jsut a scary presentation for you. You sound very enthusiastic about the job, and confident that it's the right one for you. So if you can get that across at itnerview as well as you ahve done here, then no problem!
  3. Grrr - hopeless optician

    I wear lenses very occasionally. The last time I went for a lens appt, it was AGES since I'd last worn them, so had to do the full consultation thingy (fair enough). They made sure I could put them in and take them out, as according to the optician this was a legal requirement (she might have meant a professional requirement, but all the same). I can understand being able to take them out in the shop, but not being able to do it later on at home.... but your 14 year old son was sent home with lenses and no idea how to remove them???? Not even taken them out himself at the shop??? If that's what happened then I would defintiely go back to the shop manager at the very least. The whole thing seems like appalling service.
  4. Entering shows

    Hurray! It is worth doing. Good luck and let us know how you get on!
  5. Hit by an uninsured driver?

    £3,000??? That's astounding! For once I am glad to be old (ish)!
  6. Facebook rant now

    Feeling like you're being accused of child abuse would make many people go slightly nuts: it's such an indescribably nasty thing that I can see how someone would lose it if they felt - rightly or wrongly - that someone was suspiscious of them. He doesn't know you and has never met you, and jsut as there are terrible stories about kids online, there are equally horrific ones about innocent people being accused of horrendous activities. So personally I wouldn't read so much into the reaction. I think the guy could've phrased the "freind request" better, but that doens't make him an evil predator. On balance, having spoken to your son about internet safety etc., I would be inclined to leave it now.
  7. Hit by an uninsured driver?

    I'm sure I just posted on this thread, but can't see it now! Anyhow, several years ago I went into the back of someone soon after passing test. My car had one of those "free" insurance deals, with a very high excess: the damage came to about £50 more than the excess, so I just paid in cash to help re: no claims. It was about £500, so not a small amount. Do you KNOW he is uninsured? If so I would definitely report it as if an uninsured driver seriously injures or maims someone they will not be able to afford to pay compensation: there's no excuse for driving without insurance IMO. Either way, check your poliocy details and if you need to report it to your insurers then do so straightaway. Otherwise I would give him the chance to do the right thing and pay without claiming on his insurance.
  8. Ooh, I hate heights too, but it goes beyond queasiness and into gibbering terror for me! And I'm funny about escalators, too..... But, Emma - I'm sorry, but I love rollmops. One or the other of us is wierd, but I don't think it's me..
  9. September??? good time to buy?

    I can understand that it seems like a great present, because beekeeping is a fascinating thing! I think you're right in hesitating about buying in September, as really then you're taking the risk of overwintering them - it's a gentler start to let someone else (who will be more experienced and potentially whose business it is) to take this risk. However, more importantly, I also totally agree with the posts above. It is much much better to start out with bees with a good idea of what you're letting yourself in for, with local support, and some knowledge /skills. Otherwise what should be a brillinat experience /part of your life could become a stress-filled nightmare. Can you find a course to book him onto? For preference, a local-association run evening course (which is likely to be in late winter) or failing that - or as well as that - some kind of weekend /one day "taster" thingummy. It mightn't seem as exciting as a birthday present, but if he does start with bees it will be one of the most useful things you could give him! I would even hesitate in booking a nuc or ordering a hive until he's been on the course just in case he decides it's not for him. I'm sure this isn't what you wanted to hear, in that I know when I think of a great present idea for my impossible-to-buy-for OH to be told it's a not a great plan after all is frustrating, but honestly I do think the advice from RAB is spot-on.
  10. Entering shows

    I enter our local village flower show which I only do for fun, not to win. I guess the principles may be similar to the one you're considering? I kind of started doing it because a lot of the time the same few people enter a lot of categories, and if other people don't join in it becomes a local show of 3 or 4 peoples' exhibits and from there it's a very quick step to it fizzling out. I keep doing it because I find it quite fun, I like preparing flowers /veg and seeing what looks it's best on the day. I don't put any effort into timing things to be perfect on show day (some folk take great care over when they "disbud" plants and the like); I have been known to put some flowers in a cold place and some in a warm place the night before, to get them to all be at (roughly!) the same stage on the day, but that's it. I don't really sow things according to what I could enter in the show; I have made lemon curd and the like specifically for show entry, which is a bit sad really, so don't tell anyone! I don't think I would ever bother to make a time-consuming thing (e.g. woollen jumper and the like) specifically for the show, though to be frank I don't particularly enjoy needlework/knitting/etc. The judging of ours is done privately, so you don't get to hear comments from judges, etc, only the occasional overheard one from folk looking round the exhibits: but to be honest, the vast majority of people have learned to be tactful in small villages . I reckon it's worth entering to keep these things going, to meet people, and really for the novelty of it all. I find it astounding that I get nervous/stressed the morning of the show, even though honestly, it really is a little village show that I don't make a proper effort to do well in; bizarely, it is really good fun, though i can't explain why I enjoy it! There's never any ill-feeling suyrrounding ours, or rather, none that I have noticed. And... I won a trophy last year!
  11. I have toes which my OH describes as freaky and can't look at.... it's great, can spend ages torturing him ("go get me a glass of wine or I'll take my socks off..."). I cannot stand white squirmy things like baby mice (before they have proper eyes... urrgcch, makes me want to heave thinking about it). Albino animals generally make me feel slightly queesy, but baby mice/ rodents- UURRGGHH. When they've got their fur I don't mind them at all.
  12. How long before they starve?

    They definately won't starve. However, it might be an idea to mix some dry mash in with the pellets, as they may get the idea of pellets= food earlier that way- assuming you ahve some mash left. It's prob'l'y totally unecessary, but it might make you feel better, you terrible cruel chicken mummy
  13. Gap year questions.....

    I took a couple of years out after uni, teaching English overseas. There's no way I would've been able to do it at 17 (the age I was when I went to uni)- it wasn't one of those organised project thingies, it was arranged direct with school I was working in. I totally agree re: it being brilliantly useful for interview, CV, and skills - I learned stuff in those two years that I jsut wouldn't have been able to do /cope with straight our of uni. I am generally pro-gap year, but think it has to be useful /appropriate. It seems a tragedy at 17 to get stuck in a comfortable (if dull) rut.
  14. Gap year questions.....

    I can second that statistic! I would say all my uni friends have "good jobs" - as in they are in fullfilling jobs, are fairly treated and fairly paid - that they wouldn't have got without a degree. Equally loads of people without a degree who have equally fulfilling careers. I guess it depends enormously on what you want to end up doing: a degree in Media Studies is likely not going to be as useful as 3 years experience working on newspapers or the like, though both are likely to be expensive to persue (I don't think interns are paid generally? Dunno though, am happy to be corrected!).
  15. May have a chance to rent some land - Please help!

    I wonder if anyone in the surrounding houses would be interested in splitting the land (& rent) with you? That way you would have a more manageable sized-plot, and near neighbours who were keen on seeing it used. Could be worth asking around - that way you'd also get a feel for whether the nearby houses would be supportive of the idea or if they'd be trying to make life difficult. What you don't want is to spend a lot of time, effort and money on bringing the land up to scratch to then have the owners' want it back before you see much benefit; so may be worth getting a feel for what they're like etc.