I’ve been reading only books written by women for nearly a year now and I have read incredible works by women such as Maya Angelou, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, Agatha Christie and Meg Cabot. There are so many wonderful books written by women that I’ve had to narrow the focus of my reading and read only those books written by women which feature strong, intelligent female characters. It’s been very hard to decide what to read next as so many friends keep recommending me new authors.
At the large livery yard I used to work at, I rode a range of bigger horses and exercised show jumpers and ex-racehorses for owners who were on holiday. Two in particular will always be in my memory as they were both utterly bonkers.
When we published our article 6 Things Parents Wish Their Kids Would Do … and 6 Things Kids Wish Their Parents Would Do, one of our readers got in touch to say we should do one for the things that kids with special needs wish EVERYONE would do. So we asked our followers, and came up with this list.
It was a bit tricky to put the list together, because there are so many different kinds of “special needs”. For some children, their disability is quite well manageable with medication, or with assistance and therapy, and you’d hardly know they had any additional needs. You may have heard of autism or Asperger’s Syndrome – these are part of the autistic disorder spectrum, a range of conditions that affect how people communicate and relate to people around them. You can’t tell by looking at someone if they have ASD.
Other children have disabilities that are apparent when you meet them, such as those with Down’s Syndrome, which we have covered in more detail here. Or they might use a wheelchair to get around.
What thing do they all have in common? They sometimes get asked really silly questions, and get treated badly by people. Make sure you aren’t one of them, by listening to what the kids (and their parents) had to say!
Do you believe in good luck? Are some people luckier than others? Or is it all in your mind? Carolyn Ward explains how you can make your own good luck, and what the word ‘superstitions’ means.
What is Geocaching? It’s like a real-life treasure hunt and is a great way to make a walk in the woods just a bit more interesting!
Julianne Robertson explains what it is and how to do it.
What is it?
Players use a handheld GPS device or a smartphone to look for a set of co-ordinates near to wherever they are and find the geocache (or treasure!) hidden at that location. These are usually a small container of some kind with a logbook and ‘treasure’ inside – this can be anything, like a little toy, some stickers, a badge, a pretty stone – basically anything small enough to fit inside and be worth finding!
Sounds good! How do I get started?
Go to the website www.geocaching.com and register – it’s free to sign up. Then you put in your postcode and you should see a list of all the geocaches near to where you live. Choose one and you’ll get the co-ordinates you need to put into the GPS, as well as a description of the area and clues about how to find the cache.
Are geocaches always hidden in the woods?
No – there are geocaches all over the world and they are usually put in places which are important to the person hiding them. Some are hidden in forest areas, others are in local parks, or city streets – even underwater! There are also different sizes of geocache and a range of difficulty – you should probably start with one that’s easy, at least to begin with!
What do I do when I find one – can I keep the treasure?!
Yes, but you should replace anything you keep with something of equal or greater value. You should also write about your find in the logbook and when you get home log your experience on the website too, so that others know the cache is still active.
Can I hide my own cache for others to find?
Yes, once you’ve found a few caches you’ll know what makes a good geocache and hiding place, and you might want to create your own! There are lots of guidelines on the website about how to do it.
Now you know about geocaching – go and try it! It’s a great activity to do with your family or a group of friends. Once you’ve found one, you’ll want to find more!
Julianne Robertson is a freelance journalist, based in Dundee. Her background is radio news, and she now writes features and reviews, specialising in parenting, faith and religion, events and lifestyle issues.