Friday, December 12, 2014

Goodbye YLSNED... hello emhawkerblog!

Howdy and hello everyone! Long time no see!

I've been on a blogging break. But it hasn't been all lazing around, massages and cocktails by the pool.

I've been moving. Moving blogs, that is.

You learn something new every day has been good to me. Very good. I've enjoyed posting (originally every day!), learning and sharing. I've enjoyed seeing it grow. And to be honest, I'm a little sad to see it go.

But it's time to move house. And my new address is emhawkerblog. And, while I might be a little sad, I'm far more excited about where emhawkerblog will go. (Well, hopefully it won't go anywhere. After this move, it'll stay put at But, you know, metaphorically it will GO, baby.)

There will still be book reviews. Song rewrites. Tales of my family. Tales from my head.

But there'll be a few new things too. Some more musical interludes. Some more writing. And some more... well, just more of me, basically.

Thank you for following along with the You learn something new every day journey. This blog will be live for another week so that everyone can read this very moving farewell speech post, and then it will be gone - GONE! - and will redirect to emhawkerblog. If you want to keep following along, please update any blog reader or blog roll links to Or keep following me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

And if you're getting this post in your inbox and want to keep hearing from me, you can pop on over to emhawkerblog to resubscribe to email over there. (Mum, I'll show you how to do it when I next visit.)

I hope to see you over at emhawkerblog soon!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Top web reads of November

And so it is the end of November. And I am too tired and overwhelmed and shaken and all sorts of emotions rolled into one to write a lovely preamble to this post.

So here are the top web reads of November.


Family and life

5 digital parenting beliefs you can kiss goodbye

This post from Martine at The Modern Parent is a stark reminder that kids will access the internet and that you won't be there to police them every time they do. Intentions and plans are great, but the reality is that devices and wifi are so prevalent that they will find a way, regardless of any restrictions you have in place.

So it's important to talk, talk, talk about internet use and cyber safety with your child. Educate them. And learn from them, too.

Admitting this will make your relationship better

Despite the clickbaity title, this is a fabulous read from the always fun to read Em Rusciano. I don't want to give too much away (ah, that's why the title doesn't: clickbaityness forgiven!) so will just share one line: 'Sometimes my marriage is a clusterfuck of disappointment, frustration and finger pointing.'


Language and writing

A blog about blogging

To finish October with a bang, author Matt Haig decided (or didn't decide, in fact) to start a twitter storm about book reviews. He pointed out that not all books are good, but that you rarely see a bad book review on blogs, and questioned where all the bad book reviews had gone.

Cue enraged tweets from book reviewers who felt that their integrity had been called into question. This was his very eloquent, well-wordinated and 100% common-sensical response. (Far more eloquent and well-wordinated than this blurb about it.)


Food for thought

But how do you have enough time?

This is a great article from Zoey Martin at The Shake. The answer: you never have enough time. But instead of crushing you, that realisation actually liberates you.

I especially like this line related to blogging: 'No one ever unliked a page or unsubscribed from a website because you didn’t post enough'. It's nice to build, build, build your online community, but it's also nice to enjoy and respect the community you've already built by keeping the quality high.

Stop your whingeing

Earlier this month, Julie Bishop implored women to stop playing the victim. "Stop whingeing, get on with it and prove them all wrong.

This isn't a link to anything she said. This is a link to Tracey Spicer's response at The Hoopla. And it is SOLID. GOLD. If you don't have time to flick over to it, here's the final line: 'This is what Julie Bishop was trying to say: those who have power deserve it; those who don’t have power should shut the fuck up.'



How to Write a Sentence

I was going to include this in the Language and Writing section, but I'm light on for laughs this month, so here it is! And it provides more than enough laughs, all on its own. This little snippet from The New Yorker is hilarious. James Thomas write gooderer English than you.



RIP Phillip Hughes: Cricket's saddest day

I didn't know Phillip Hughes. I don't know his family, nor any of his friends or fellow cricketers. But his death rocked me. It's still rocking me. My condolences, thoughts and well-wishes go out to his family, friends, colleagues, and anyone affected by what's happened. Particularly Sean Abbott.

From this article: 'It is a time for mourning, for crying, for dwelling, for sighing, for holding hands and holding memories and holding up, and taking nothing in sport and in life for granted, not even that there will be a tomorrow, let alone another cricket match.'

#RIPPhilHughes #putoutyourbats #63notout


They're the interweb reads that stood out for me in November. What caught your eye?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Eleventh Hour - Graeme Base (a book review)

Welcome to another children's book review! This week, I'm digging through my old favourites to share a book I received for my eleventh birthday (ten years ago *cough cough*) with you: The Eleventh Hour.


The Eleventh Hour / Graeme Base

(Penguin, 1998)

Image source*

Last year, I shared our family's favourite picture books. The Eleventh Hour* just missed out on inclusion. This had little to do with the book being inferior to those selected, and a lot to do with the ages of my children.

If I were to write that list again now, it would definitely feature.

The Eleventh Hour is my all-time favourite Graeme Base book. And I'm thrilled that my daughter now enjoys it too.

Horace the Elephant is turning Eleven. He plans a Grand Affair (a Fancy Dress one, of course), and cooks a Fantastic Feast for the Guests to enjoy after a morning of Games.

But the Feast disappears. Who is to blame?

Base's artwork is legendary, but his rhymes and rhythm are no less amazing. I like that he doesn't tone down the language and choose the simpler word just because he's writing for children. He assumes - rightfully so - that children will understand from context, and learn new words in the process.

I had the pleasure of meeting Base (briefly) at Melbourne Zoo earlier this year. I took our collection of books to sign for the kids. And he signed most of them for the kids.

But I had him write this one to me. Because, well, you know. I got it for my eleventh birthday once upon a time, and I ain't giving it up!

*affiliate link

Have you or your children read The Eleventh Hour? What did you think?

And do you have any recommendations for future reviews?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kids develop at their own pace

My boy isn't a baby anymore.

And it took me by surprise.

I know that sometimes you blink, and miss those moments. Those moments your children grow up.

I'm so used to helping my little boy climb things at the park. Lifting him over obstacles. Reassuring him that mummy's here. Mummy's here. It's okay, mummy's here, I'll help you.

It took a moment of distraction for him to show me he's more than capable of doing it all by himself.

(And then a moment of rapt attention for me to capture these photos!)

I can climb! By myself!
Seriously, mum, all by myself!
I can even balance... and then climb again!

Often, kids are more capable than we give them credit for. Maybe it's because we try so hard to protect them. Maybe it's because they grow up so fast that we just don't realise how many developmental milestones they click through in such a short time.

Maybe it's because we spend all day, every day with them, and it's easier to think of them as being the same people they were yesterday. And the day before. And the day... you get my drift.

But they do change. Every day. Always growing, always changing. Always developing, always evolving.

Always precious.

Have you ever underestimated your child's capabilities?