Weekly Boffin no. 26

There is a light glistening in the distance. It is almost close enough to touch and it shows the way to sanity and salvation. That light is the one in the school office and it tells us that the summer holidays are nearly over. Obviously this only applies to some people but the end of any school holiday is a time of parental relief. We love our kids dearly but too much time in anyone's company can drive a person to distraction. With the new school year hovering into sight the Weekly Boffin is here to give you a few tips to make this term and beyond a little bit easier. Exercise Wear. Struggling to fit in at the school gate? You need Lycra and lots of it. The stretchy material is hard currency when dealing with other parents. It says that you mean business, that you're dropping the kids off and then you're away to kick down life's front door and assault it all the way to success! What it really means is that you hope people think you're doing something sporty and not watching Jeremy Kyle in the company of a family pack of custard creams. A Diary. This is the year that you will be organised. No more phone calls from the school because a distraught Timmy is standing at the gates wondering where he'll live now. Turns out it wasn't Lego baking club today after all and you're 60 miles away in Ikea deciding where you'll put another 2000 tea lights. Emergency School Fund. Much like the snow leopard or Ed Sheeran's hair, school funding is getting rarer by the minute. Contributions to craft supplies and home economic (is that even a thing now) ingredients is on the rise. Not to mention the surprise school trip to the lever arch file factory. Try and keep a slush fund on hand to grease the educational wheels and avoid selling that "spare" kidney. Organic Snack Supply. We all try and do our nutritional best where the kids are concerned but we're not shy of doling out a packet of Quavers and a Penguin at times too. However, all kids have the one friend who is being hand reared on Holland and Barrett's back catalogue. Don't make your child a social leper, keep something flavourless and natural on hand for when even the hint of sugar will cause a local scandal. In the same vein may we suggest crafting an informative and uplifting TV Planner. When your child has friends over it always looks far better to have a bunch of unpronounceable documentaries from Sky Arts and BBC Four. If you keep the 34 episodes of Geordie Shore and wall-to-wall Mama June: From Not to Hot five pages back no one will ever know. Name Tags. A reminder that scrawling your child's name in Sharpie on everything they own is fine. Only serial killers insist on sewing or ironing in proper name tags. Champagne. This might be the most important of all. Congratulations, you've made it thorough another six weeks of family time and you're out the other side. Nobody murdered each other, the house is still standing and you're not in prison. You deserve a drink, and a real holiday

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On This Day

On this day in 2006 Edvard Munch's painting The Scream was recovered by Norwegian police. The work of art had been stolen nine days previously and the police said it had been found in a "better than expected condition".

What's On

Make the most of the last weekend of the summer school holidays with a fun family day out at Hampton Court Palace. Let the adventure begin at the Magic Garden: look for mythical creatures, besiege the tower and discover a secret grotto as you learn about the myths and legends behind the palace. Read more here.

Fact Of The Week

Handshakes were originally meant to make sure that the person you were meeting wasn’t carrying a concealed weapon. The hand clasp proved that your hand was empty and shaking was meant to dislodge any weapons hiding up the sleeve.