Sunday, July 20, 2008

UK breastfeeding law demonstration on YouTube

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who attended the breastfeeding demonstration on July 18th. Thank you, too, to Will Bix for filming and to Alison Blenkinsop for her song, Protect me.

~ Veronika ~

Saturday, July 19, 2008


SHAME on the BBC six o’clock news journalist who said the BBC couldn’t show breastfeeding on the six o’clock news… when one of our protestors at yesterday’s rally was sitting down peacefully breastfeeding her baby.

Why couldn’t he show it? Because it is more offensive/violent/indecent than, say, a soldier returning from war with his legs blown off, a plane crash, a baby’s face bitten off by a dog? Because it is less suitable for the cultural mindset than say, seeing Myleene Klass in a skimpy bikini? Because it might permanently scar a five year old who was watching the news? Or was this his personal prejudice surfacing? I’ll bet if it was Myleene sitting there breastfeeding he wouldn’t have had a problem!!!!

Shame on the BBC for not educating its journalists that such attitudes are discriminatory, and only serve to perpetuate the cultural ignorance. That’s the second discriminatory and ignorant comment from a BBC journalist this week in regard to breastfeeding! Is it the Boycotting Breastfeeding Company????

One thing IS certain ~ if educated people are so darn ignorant about the necessity and beauty of breastfeeding, then what hope to do we have to get through to a culture which thinks breastfeeding is Unnatural? AKA, people like Katie Price/Jordan?

Gorgeous families travelled from far and wide to attend yesterday's breastfeeding rally in parliament square ~ amplifying the saying Actions speak louder than words. I was moved to see how many people turned up and were prepared to endure the ‘hell’ that is London.

The official line was that I could not use amplification to talk out as ‘parliament was sitting, and it would disturb them’. What? Above all that bloody traffic? What cobblers! And of course, they don’t WANT to hear what we’ve got to say, do they?

I was touched by the two kindly police officers on duty. We only had permission to gather on the concrete pavement, but they ‘allowed’ us to sit and picnic on the grass ~ clearly we weren’t a violent bunch. It’s a shame some MPs didn’t bother to come out and see that for themselves, or to even learn something from breastfeeding families. And they even allowed us to put up our placards (which you can’t do!!) There are all sorts of rules about what you can and can’t do near parliament…it’s ridiculous, to say the least.

One lady coming for the event was breastfeeding on a train that morning, only to have a woman say ‘aggh, breastfeeding. On a train.’ This is exactly the sort of attitude the government should be working to change. If they want women to feel confident breastfeeding in public, as they claim, then they need to get the messages out to everyone ~ have it right up there with “Coke, the real thing”, or Macdonalds or Weight Watchers adverts. There have to be breastfeeding billboards throughout the country. We need images everywhere so it seeps into the cultural mindset that feeding our babies, at the breast, is natural and normal. We need “Breastfeeding Welcome” signs everywhere we go in public. We need, in short, to start respecting our children’s needs.

Perhaps if the government was transparent about the short and longterm health costs (that is, in MONEY terms) of not breastfeeding, people might start to take notice. Perhaps if people had to cover their own health costs when choosing not to breastfeed, then we might see a seachange. Perhaps, if parents were adequately educated as to the RISKS of not breastfeeding (risks which might take years to surface or be considered noticeable enough to warrant attention), they might make better informed choices or seek out better support than is currently offered in many maternity centres.

I met another woman yesterday who said she was the only woman out of her 19 friends who breastfed. Indeed, when she gave birth all the staff in the maternity ward said ‘we don’t encourage breastfeeding any more’ WHAT? How can this be when a government spokesperson tells me that they’re doing everything they can to support breastfeeding?

If our government really wants to put OUR money to good use, then they should stop faffing with silly little laws which only serve to confuse the masses. Let’s face it, if most breastfeeding woman aren’t aware of their legal rights, then the average Joe Blow on the streets certainly won’t be. What came out of yesterday’s rally most strongly, for me, was the need to educate the MASSES. The government must create wall to wall advertising for television which gets through to even the lowest common denominator mind ~ information which tells every person in this country that breastfeeding is the only milk suitable for optimal infant nutrition, and that woman are free to breastfeed their child, of whatever age, anytime, anywhere.

How ironic to sit in the tube and on the 4.5 hour train ride home late last night (early this morning!) to see people totally absorbed in their newspapers dealing, once again, with knife crime. Why don’t we have articles in newspapers on full-term breastfeeding as a crime preventative? Oh, that’s right, we couldn’t promote breastfeeding positively or we wouldn’t get big bucks in from the fake milk companies.

This government, if it really does believe breast is best, should WALK THE TALK and ban all advertising of fake milk for infants and make it only available by prescription…and not one given by a standard doctor, because, let’s face it, how many of them even know the first thing about breastfeeding? They’re amongst the most likely of health care professionals to advise a woman onto the bottle.

Yesterday our families sang a breastfeeding song which will be available on YouTube shortly (written by Alison Blenkinsop), with a short commentary from me at the beginning. I’ll put a link on my blog as soon as Will, our cameraman, edits a piece down for us.

We presented the petition to Downing Street as well as the open letter to Harriet Harman. But let’s not stop there. Write to her, write to the Health Minister, write to your local MP (that’s what he/she is there for), write to the PM ~ make them earn the money you pay on taxes. Many of us limp from week to week juggling our bills and feeding our kids ~ these people live in very comfortable circumstances because of YOU. Your family contributes to their cushy lifestyle. They work in these jobs to work for YOU.

Ask them to explain the ‘sense’ of the breastfeeding aspect of the Equality Bill?

Ask them, why, if we’re already protected under the Sexual Discrimination Act 1975, they would
bring in something else which will confuse people? Ask them questions unique to your situation so they don’t send off some standard reply.

Ask them why, if maternity is nine months, they are using 6 months as their maternity cut off point in the Equality Bill.

Ask them why they don’t actively put money into advertising to the whole country about the necessity of breast milk and breastfeeding?

Ask them if they’re aware that fully breastfed children don’t grow up resorting to knife crime or depression? Ask them if they can find you a single criminal or someone suffering with major mental health diseases who had the benefit of full term breastfeeding.

Ask them why they say ‘breast is best for babies’ but refuse to come out and say ‘breast is best for children’? Why do they continue with the six month line?

Ask them who their lactation experts are in government? Who do they rely on for information?

Ask them why they didn’t speak up immediately a couple of months back when the papers ran articles about women being charged with indecency if they breastfed in public after the child was 6 months old? Ask them why not one single person from government bothered to stand up and publicly declare that this would NEVER happen?

Ask them why a bunch of cross party MPs would bother tabling an Early Day Motion against this 6 month mark in the Equality Bill, if it wasn't something to be concerned about?

And, finally, be sure to ask them why it should fall upon a woman to have to take legal action against someone for discriminating against her breastfeeding in public? As we all know, the law is a very messy arena with holes left, right and centre. The best answer we could get out of the government’s legal team regarding a woman’s protection under the Sexual Discrimination Act 1975 (which apparently provides FULL protection), is that, in such a case the judge *should* rule in her favour. Should? SHOULD????? Seems like building a house on sand, to my mind. Would you go to court on a 'should'?

You families have been incredibly proactive these past few weeks. Let’s not stop raising awareness now ~ keep talking, write letters to newspapers, to MPs, to friends. Don’t let our minority status (that is, being less than 1 in 5 who breastfeed after 6 months) get us pushed under the sand; hidden away in the government’s ‘pain in the arse’ basket. Get yourself, and all breastfed children, put into the ‘URGENT basket’.

The bottom line is, regardless of the lack of support from government, your baby has essential and fundamental human rights which NO ONE can deny. Our government might not deal in absolutes, but the European Court of Human Rights WOULD rule in the favour of a breastfeeding mother and child.

On a very positive note, I was thrilled to meet so many new faces yesterday, and to finally put faces to names. And again, I’m honoured, especially in these uncertain economic times, that so many of you bought expensive train tickets to come to the meeting. Some of you travelled a very long way.

It was lovely to sit and chat with lovely, like-minded families, and how ironic, I felt, that afterwards when some of us gathered by the River Thames, it was in a little park by the government's defence dept. At least they didn't rush out and get all defensive about our singing breastfeeding songs! The way some people have responded to us, you'd think we were a threat to the country. Hmmm, maybe we are? We're a threat to the status quo which thinks it's fine to raise babies on counterfeit milk.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Confusion over Harman's Equality Bill leads to demonstrations outside Parliament

A report from Veronika Robinson, Editor of The Mother magazine:

Families throughout the UK will demonstrate in Parliament Square on Friday (July 18th) against the discrimination inherent in Harriet Harman’s Equality Bill, which will only provide public breastfeeding protection for babies aged under six months.

Concern has been raised over the lack of clarity in law and how this will affect those families who choose to follow the World Health Organisation’s guidelines of a minimum of six months exclusive breastfeeding.

Editor of The Mother magazine, Veronika Robinson, says “It was this six month cut off point that started panic amongst breastfeeding mothers who, in accord with WHO and Government Health guidelines, seek to breastfeed well beyond this six month limit. They were concerned that they could now be discriminated against, for feeding a child older than six months when in public.

In a predominantly bottle-feeding culture, like Britain, it is even more important that our government delivers strong, uncompromising and ongoing support for breastfed children of all ages, no matter where they happen to need breastfeeding. It’s vital that the government’s breastfeeding guidelines stand shoulder to shoulder with those of the World Health Organisation and UNICEF.

Women who breastfeed for more than six months feel they will be discriminated against because they’re in a minority. Indeed, more than 4 out of 5 British-born babies don’t even receive the minimum of breastfeeding as set out by the World Health Organisation.”

Mothers are already protected by the Sexual Discrimination Act 1975; this was amended in 2008 and includes a reference to six months. The protection under the SDA75 is on the grounds of gender. This law is little understood.

In response to The Mother magazine, Barbara Follett, deputy minister for Women and Equality, agrees, “The law is not as clear as it should be. People are unaware of their rights and their responsibilities in this area.”

Mrs Robinson says, “The Equality Bill will make people even more confused, and it risks becoming the point of reference in law. Although the government insists the Equality Bill is relating to maternity, it has failed to answer why, if the SDA of 1975 does indeed provide full protection for all breastfeeding children, wherever and whenever they are in public, then why introduce a Bill which will only serve to confuse the general public?"

The petition, launched by The Mother magazine, was signed by 6000 people in just a matter of a couple of weeks. It will be presented to 10 Downing Street on Friday, along with an open letter to Harriet Harman, endorsed by more than 30 signatories, including Dr Michel Odent, Jean Liedloff and James Prescott.

OPEN LETTER to Harriet Harman on the Equality Bill (breastfeeding)

Dear Ms Harman

Please make Breastfeeding in Public EQUAL for all breastfed children

The Equality bill to encourage women’s confidence in breastfeeding, by giving them legal protection to nurse in public up until the child is six months of age, while well-intentioned, is short-sighted, and discriminates against breastfed babies and children over the age of six months.

This law will only serve to marginalise women, as well as to perpetuate a common breastfeeding myth: breastfeeding is not important or necessary after the first six months.

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for a minimum of six months, not a maximum. Both WHO and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding for a minimum of two years. Studies by James Prescott, PhD, show us that cultures which breastfeed for a minimum of two and a half years, as opposed to just two years, ‘are more peaceful, loving and have egalitarian behaviours’. These people have drastically reduced levels of violence, suicide and depression. In a time when we have such grave concerns over the increasing levels of teenage violence, surely the government should be encouraging a ‘preventative’ rather than a ‘band-aid’ approach. We simply can not hope to create a breastfeeding culture if it’s only legally permissible to breastfeed our children some of the time, or in certain places. Breast milk is a living food, not a waste product, and should be given the recognition, respect and status it deserves.

Science and psychology show us that the major neurons in the brain only get one chance in life to be ‘fired up’. Affectionate mother bonding through breastfeeding is nature’s way of ensuring this happens easily and successfully.

The nutrients present in breast milk become more concentrated as a child gets older. This means they don’t need to feed as often as, say a newborn, but get everything they need in smaller amounts. Despite the common belief that babies need to wean at six months because iron in breast milk is inadequate (a myth perpetuated in part by artificial milk companies), science reveals that, in actual fact, exclusive breastfeeding for a minimum of seven months gives a baby iron stores for life.

Not actively supporting breastfeeding babies over six months, serves only one purpose: to pander to people who are completely ignorant of the necessity of breast milk and physical nurturing by the mother. That a culture which portrays the sexuality of breasts on the front of its newspapers and on television, will penalise older babies who rely on breastfeeding for food and emotional nurturing, is completely unacceptable.

Breastfeeding isn’t just about the ingredients and immunities in a mother’s milk. The affectionate, loving bonding which happens in the breastfeeding relationship is unique to this way of feeding, and can not be replicated with a bottle in any way, shape or form. Breastfeeding is a fundamental human right: millions of years of evolution have encoded every baby to expect breastfeeding and unfettered access to his or her mother’s breasts.

Creating a culture of closet breastfeeders, or women who will feel pressured to use artificial milk at six months so they don’t feel stuck at home, will not educate anyone, and most importantly of all, mothers and children will suffer. Why is the British government effectively encouraging the idea that breastfeeding after six months is a cultural embarrassment?

If women believe they can only breastfeed in public up until six months of age, they may choose not to even start breastfeeding. Studies show the direct link between Type 1 diabetes and cow’s milk in infancy. Many other diseases are linked to not being breastfed early in life. Four thousands babies die around the world every day because they aren’t breastfed. We may have the NHS to help the UK’s bottlefed babies when they become ill, but it is still a social and ethical obligation to ensure every mother knows the risks to her children if she chooses not to breastfeed, or if she cuts the relationship short before the child is ready.

On behalf of the more than 6000 signatures on our e-petition to Downing street, and the professionals listed below, I urge you to make breastfeeding in public ~ anytime and anywhere ~ safe, secure and sound for all our children, for however long they need to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding isn’t a lifestyle choice for time-rich mothers, but absolutely essential if humanity is to be emotionally, physically and intellectually functional. Ms Harman, please promise us that all breastfed children will be accorded legal protection in all public spaces.

Veronika Robinson
Author, The Drinks Are On Me
Lactation consultant
Editor, The Mother magazine
Mother of two daughters, breastfed full-term.

James W. Prescott, Ph.D., developmental neuropsychologist and cross-cultural psychologist

Jean Liedloff, Author, The Continuum Concept.

Dr Michel Odent, Author of Birth and Breastfeeding, Primal Health, etc.

Binnie A Dansby, Psychotherapist, Birth consultant

Kitty Hagenbach - Parent/Child Psychotherapist

Patrick M. Houser, Author, Fathers-To-Be Handbook & Co-Founder, Fathers-To-Be

Peter Hall, Practice manager GP surgery

Robert Verkerk BSc MSc DIC PhD, Executive Director of the Alliance for Natural Health & Scientific Advisor to the National Health Federation team on Codex Alimentarius

Dr Sarah J Buckley, GP/ family physician, Author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: The wisdom and science of gentle choices in pregnancy, birth and parenting

Adam Maclean, Director of The Good Birth Company Ltd, Father of 4

Robert Holden Ph.D. - Founder of The Happiness Project

Sylvie H├ętu, International Trainer, International Association of Infant Massage

Dr Richard House, Roehampton University

Melissa Corkhill, Editor, The Green Parent

Claire Scott, Director, Close Parent Ltd

B.J Sheppard, retired La Leche League leader

Alison Blenkinsop, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and midwife

Beverly Ashwell, Birth & Postnatal Doula (member of Doula UK and Nurturing Birth)

Emma Lewis, Doula & Lactation Counsellor

Belinda Beetham, Midwife

Tracy Botica, Midwife

Kim Atkinson, Health Visitor

Sue Cardus - La Leche League Leader for 25 years.

Liz Sheppard-Jones, Health Coach UK Ltd

Holly Paige, Researcher/writer on nutrition and human needs

Sarah Boyd, NCT antenatal teacher and birth doula

Paul Robinson, Assistant Editor, The Mother magazine

Gemma Guthrie-James, mother of three breastfed babies!

Dina Almuli Marketing & Events Officer, Real Nappies for LondonWomen's Environmental Network

Sharon Holdstock, Managing Director and full term breastfeeder!

Sandi Sharkey, teacher and mother of three breastfed children

Jenny Moore, Agent Administrator for Taylor and Francis.

Sharon Forbes. Technical operator and transmission controller for various broadcasting houses including QVC

Abigail Myles, Manager

Richard Malter Health Care Practitioner

The breastfeeding petition has now reached more than 6,000 signatures in just a few short weeks, making it one of the 20 most supported petitions (out of nearly 6,000!!) on the Downing St website.

It also the 4th most supported (out of 800) in the health section.
If you've not already signed it, please consider doing so. Although it is open till December, we're presenting the signatures to number 10 Downing Street tomorrow after lunch. Let your voice be heard.

And have a look at this lovely idea for getting the message across that the Equality Bill needs the 'age factor' scrapped!

Well done to TM subscriber, Denise, for this. She (with friends) will be holding a breastfeeding rally in Lincoln tomorrow. Congrats too to Nicola in Newcastle for braving the local (ignorant) BBC there ~ the radio host suggested that breastfeeding an older child would lead to pyschological damage. Hmmm, that's NOT what the studies show us. Indeed, if you want to see where the divorce rates are coming from, you don't need to look much further than the people who were bottle-fed or weaned off the breast WAY TOO EARLY.

Hi HO, hi ho, it's off to dowing street we go, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho!!!!

Really looking forward to catching up with friends, old and new.

Monday, July 14, 2008

TWELVE babies die in Glaxo Vaccine Trials....

At Least 12 Babies Die in Glaxo Vaccine Trials in Argentina

Trading Markets provides news of interest to investors: On July 10, it reported that at least 12 babies, who were test subjects in a clinical trial testing GlaxSmithKline's pneumonia vaccine, in Argentina died. (see below)

According to the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, the pharmaceutical giant uses children from poor families, who are"pressured and forced into signing consent forms. This occurs without anytype of state control" and "does not comply with minimum ethicalrequirements."

Pediatrician Ana Maria Marchese, who works at the children's hospital in the provincial capital where the studies are being conducted, was highly critical: "because they can't experiment in Europe or the UnitedStates, they come to do it in third-world countries."

Indeed, "Colombia and Panama were also chosen by GSK as staging grounds for trials of the vaccine against the pneumococcal bacteria." But one of the lead Glaxo-paid investigators, pediatrician Enrique Smith, is quoted stating: "Only 12 have died throughout the country, which is a very low figure if we compare it with the deaths produced by respiratory illnesses caused by the pneumococcal bacteria."

Since 2007, 15,000 babies have been subjects of the trial, so the death rate in the trial is 1 in 1,250. Question is, would they have died had they received antibiotics and not been in the trial? Fesprosa complained that the parents are pressured, and trial "occurs without any type of control..."If "the trials were authorized when Enrique's brother, Juan Carlos Smith, was provincial health minister" the legitimacy of the trial isquestionable, at best.

The world is bearing witness to the moral dissolution of corporate influenced medicine--a pediatrician is sanguine about the death of 12 babies in a clinical trial, claiming it is "a very low figure..."

This profit-driven culture has derailed medicine from its traditional ethical principles, rapidly converting into a ruthless commercialenterprise.

This medical tragedy is widely disseminated on internet blogs but ignored by the press--Why ????????????????????? Contact: Vera Hassner Sharavveracare@ahrp.org212-595-8974

Supporting lone parents who choose home education

Hi veronika, please would you include this link in your blog. There is only a short time left for people to sign it. It's to help lone parents on income support who home educate continue to do so. Once a child is 7 a parent is no longer entitled to income support and is moved onto jobseekers. This means many people won't have the option of home ed anymore.

Dawn x

Friday, July 11, 2008

Activist mothers unite

A picture paints a thousand words

Introducing (big drum roll....) Hathor the Cow Goddess

Natural delivery of the placenta ~ a response to channel Five's OUTLAW BIRTHS

One of my main concerns when watching Outlaw Births the other night, was the portrayal of how high the risks are for a placenta not coming out/or haemorrhage.

I felt so frustrated that something like that could be aired without any ‘traditional’ knowledge being mentioned. Clearly, it’s another example of tv production companies simply not doing their research/wanting to sensationalise the drama! A slow delivery of a placenta does NOT have to be dramatic or life threatening...

Our ancestress didn’t have to whiz off to hospital and be ‘shamed’ by a medical profession as the young American woman in the documentary was. In fact, our tribal sisters rarely had any such complications, primarily because their lifestyles were so very different from ours:

[] they didn’t sit around on their bums all day, they exercised every muscle in their day to day work, including in pregnancy and right up to the very end.

[] their diet was a simple vegetarian one, devoid of fats, meats and dairy

[] they trusted their body to give birth

[] most tribes didn’t socialize birth, that is, they birthed unobserved or were held by a birthing partner from behind ~ by being alone they were able to birth from their mammalian brain rather than trying to do it from their neocortex (the part designed for intellect, not instinct or birthing)

[] by catching the baby themselves, and bringing him/her up over the pubic bone and to the breast, the birthing mother's labia and perineum remained intact.

[] all tribes routinely used ‘heat’ after birth ~ that is, a birth fire, heated sand pit, hot ash in a cloth ~ all sorts of things to bring warmth to the abdomen

[] massage of the abdomen was also routine ~ this always helped with post partum healing

[] *if*, despite all this, a placenta was slow to come down, they tried one of three things:

~ sneezing (black pepper, dust, etc)
~ blowing (as in, blowing into an emptied egg shell
~ gagging (the mum would have an awful concoction of something or other)

These actions get the muscles going and send the placenta on its way…
HOWEVER the most obvious way (and Nature’s way) to get the placenta out is to
put baby straight to the breast because nipple stimulation contracts the uterus.

Despite my apprehension watching the documentary, and wanting to throw things at the tv screen, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my friend Laura Shanley and admired the three women who put themselves ‘out there’ for public consumption ~ no easy thing to do!

Clio’s birth reminded me of Bethany’s. It’s the way birth was designed to be…

Our medical profession has a long way to go…to understanding our mammalian birthing needs. And birthing women, I pray, will wake up from the cultural mass hypnosis that birth is dangerous, deadly and meant to be painful.

VACCINE PETITION ~ Big Brother all the way!

And another petition...this time against the plan to make vax compulsory in the form of, "if you don't vaccinate your child, we won't let him/her in school or give you child health benefits!"

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Outlaw Births

The British unassisted childbirth documentary “Outlaw Births” will air in the UK tonight (July 9th) on Channel 5 at 9pm.

There is also this beautiful UC which was posted with an article that appeared in yesterday’s Independent newspaper.

The term “outlaw” refers to the fact that women who choose this route often feel ostracised by friends, family and society. UC isn’t illegal in the UK.

The synchronicity of this article and documentary coming out this week, has left me smiling. Just yesterday I met with my artist who's doing the illustrations for my new book ~ The Birthkeepers: reclaiming an ancient tradition. It's all about how nature designed women to catch their own babies (there aren't tears if you reach down and bring baby up to your chest ~ assuming no one has had their hands near you or babe)...and about how much we can learn from our ancestress. In fact, anthropology shows us through cross-cultural studies that in ancient times women didn't have all the conditions, ailments and problems of pregnancy, labour, birth and breastfeeding that our so common in our 'civilised' culture.

The dominant birth culture has us believing that birth is dangerous, deadly and painful. Yes, it IS if you go along with their model which is akin to birth rape. Women who choose to birth autonomously have a completely different experience. One thing's for sure, women have been well and truly duped by modern medicine to believe birth is dangerous.

My fingers are crossed that this is a sensitive and educative documentary and not another 'sensationalist' one....

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Parliament Square breastfeeding demonstration & presentation of petition/open letter

If you're planning to come to our family-friendly Breastfeeding Rally in London on Friday, July 18th, please note we are now meeting directly in Parliament Square (NOT Hyde Park) [spread the message to your friends!!!!]...and after presenting the petition, we can gather informally at Victoria Tower Gardens behind parliament to continue eating, drinking and, of course, chatting!

Meeting at parliament squ. will make it accessible for people with the 'littlest' walkers among them. Don't forget to bring food, drinks, hats/shading and whatever else you and your family need to be comfortable while there.

I'd love to hear of the placards you and your family are making, and what messages you're putting on them. My girls (now aged 12 and 10.5) are busy coming up with all sorts of things!
(I might need to do a bit of censoring LOL)

The nearest tubes are Westminster and St James's Park. If you and your family are coming along, please drop me a note in the comments section or by email ~ so I can get a 'rough' idea of numbers in order to co-ordinate my stewards.

Have a fabulous week, Veronika