Showing posts from August, 2012

Online or not online - that is the question?

This is sort of a part two of the shopping blog I posted yesterday. I had intended to follow up in the same day as my blogging average has dropped during the school holidays, but I've not really been up to it unfortunately. One of the things about being a parent is that being ill isn't really allowed. Back in the day I could phone Nielsen, put on a pathetic voice and then go back to bed. When you've got kids you don't have that luxury - they still have to be fed, dressed and taken to school. Fortunately not this week, and also fortunate that Claire was also off sick for two days so between us we've soldiered on but to say it's been a tough few days would be an understatement. I'm not well enough to leave the house at the moment which means any socialising is out of the question for a few days, which is a pity as one friend has his 40th birthday tonight and then there's a karaoke night I had planned to go to on Friday, but can't be helped. Health.

Shop around, save a fortune.

I've done shopping related blogs before but haven't given away all my trade secrets - still here's a few more. Seriously - if you can be bothered, you could save thousands a year just by following my simple advice. It all sounds totally obvious "No shit, sherlock" type stuff, but how many people actually do get the best deal week in week out? Just as a disclaimer before we start - if you are the sort of person who has a well paid job and plenty of money - you probably don't have the time/ inclination to scrabble around saving a few quid here and there - life's too short! This blog is more for people like me who don't work full time, looking after kids etc yet manage to maintain a pretty decent lifestyle on a limited budget. In the past I've done blogs about rip off special offers, multisaves etc so I won't go over that old ground again - you can find them in the blog archive. In this blog I am going to cover shopping around - and in the n

Comedy Calamities

Right, I think it's time we exposed a few bits of common knowledge for the crap that they are. Slightly aggressive opening, I know, but I've got the bit between my teeth. In a conversation on facebook tonight, it was mentioned by someone that they had seen a couple of clips from The Office on one of those "Top 100 comedy moments shows" and it got me thinking. It got me thinking how bloody annoying and predictable and sheep like those programmes are and indeed any programme that ever pays homage to any classic show. My point it this. There have been many many great sitcoms over the years with many classic moments. Sadly, when it comes to featuring clips from these shows, the producers always go with the same tried and trusted clips which it has become ingrained into the national consciousness must be the best moments from these shows, because they themselves have previously seen them in similar shows. So it is taken as gospel that if you are going to show a cli

Practical Parenting

One of the upsides of having two children close in age - and the same gender means they naturally play well together - and it helps with learning concepts such as sharing and working together. Of course, that's not all sweetness and light and for every happy moment running around together there's one of fighting, snatching, crying - it's all part of the growing up process. Now I can't pretend the school summer holidays have been easy all day every day. I would love to be able to tell you happy tales of us heading off every day to theme parks and animal sanctuaries and all the rest of it, but the house and the business still need to run - and there are simple practicalities such as feeding and washing and cleaning that can't be ignored. OK - some people do to more extent than others, but I've settled on a bit of a compromise situation here. We'll have a couple of days out a week - on the others I'll work like a blue arsed fly to get everything done he

Massaging me bits

"I'm a prostitute robot from the future!" The immortal words of Bill Bailey in "Black Books" when trying to work out what a home neck massager was and holding it up to his chest. Well I haven't got one of those yet, but if Homedics foot massager is anything to go by I soon will. Now I have always suffered from both sore feet and a sore neck. Most of my other bits seem to be OK most of the time. Now some years ago I did have a brief dalliance during a single period with a young lady whose speciality was foot rubs. It does seem however that this is not a common hobby of most women - I can think of another activity unsuitable for a family audience that you've got more chance of getting than a foot rub. Thankfully, kindly wifey has indulged me for some years, but what with her recent RSI on the wrist, I've had to reluctantly give her some leave. However, this can now be permanent as she has very kindly purchased me a Homedics foot massager - and he

Childish Pursuits

I am finding it very hard to blog or do anything at the moment - this one's been a couple of days in the drafting. The children are quite literally taking up every waking moment of my time and there are so many other things to do around here I am really finding it hard work. And as a parent who takes my responsibilities very seriously I have to fulfill my daily commitments AND find time to spend with them that's not just cooking and washing but talking, teaching, learning. Other than at work on Saturday and Sunday nights I think everyone else will see very little of me until term starts. Before then it's Ollie's birthday. Trying to get the birthday presents right is always tricky, especially at his age. When I originally asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said "nothing". Sounds like a bargain - I thought kids are all money-orientated these days. Maybe that comes later. Anyway, I tried various suggestions including some new games for his Leappad (la

Bake your own yummy bread for 30p a loaf

I can't understand why more people don't make their own bread - and yes that includes using a breadmaker for all those clever dicks who say that you aren't making real bread if you are using one. This sparked off a sarcastic debate on Facebook the other day, which ended with me comparing the comments to other things e.g. " I didn't really have milk in my tea this morning because it didn't come straight from a cow's tit.  And it wasn't real tea either as I didn't sail to India to pick the leaves before breakfast, it was a PG Tips teabag". Point made I think. There seems to be this opinion that using a breadmaker is somehow cheating, but if it produces perfect bread every time then why is it cheating? I don't hear this about any other modern labour saving devices so why is the breadmaker singled out for derision. The Panasonic SD253 - still going strong after 7 years. Anyway, 30p a loaf, that's how much I've got my costs