Showing posts from September, 2012

The Perfect Games

Today - we are going to talk about computer games. You see, after years of ceasesless searching I've finally found what I have been looking for. Let me try and explain. It was thirty years ago can you believe it that the ZX Spectrum was released. Now I already had its predecessor, the ZX81, but the Spectrum was a huge leap forward at the time - for a start when you hooked it up to the TV, the games were in colour. Armed with a whopping 16k of RAM, or 48k if you could afford the bigger version, these things were about as primitive in comparison to today as The Flintstones is to Futurama. Anyway - what the Spectrum lacked in graphics capability was made up for by gameplay. Literally hundreds of strategy games sprung up - from the sports based management - including the original football manager and Grand Prix Manager's to trading simulations - Dictator, there was even a game based on Minder where you had to buy and sell like Arthur Daley. Anyway, I much preferred these types

Second Half Of A Day In The Life [2/2]

Previously...on A Day In The Life... Jason's gets the kids to school, rushes round the shops, tidies up the house, has a visitor and goes to the Doctors. And now...the conclusion... 12:10pm - Arrive at Courtyard on time! Made it! Collect Jamie and change his shoes. Walk home hand in hand. 12:25pm - Arrive home. Jamie wants lunch, but I didn't have time to prepare it before we left - and there's very little bread anyway. Decide that for once I will be having the bread (fed up with missing out) so give Jamie some chicken and vegetables with noodles. Followed by a yogurt. 12:40pm - Make my lunch - bread and a few other items - some Polish sausage among them. Jamie pestering throughout for things. Very hard to have a peaceful meal when the kids are about! 12:55pm - Clean up the lunch things, change Jamie's nappy, get him another drink. Empty dishwasher. Play with Jamie for a bit. He's tired so put him in playpen in hope he'll have a sleep. 1:10pm - Jam

Half a day in the life - the first 12 hours [1/2]

As you know I am always saying there aren't enough hours in the day, etc etc, playing the stressed out parent card. Well I've certainly been struggling to find time to fit in the blogs this month. Rather than attempt to explain it all - I thought I would just do an on-going bullet point diary of today - live as it happens! Detailing every thing that occurs. Mundane? Possibly. But who knows what the day will bring? I'm going to split this into two parts - am and pm. So the first part of the blog covers the time up to midday today and the second part I will publish at midnight just before I go to bed! So hold on to your hats folks, and join the rollercoaster ride that is my day!!!! 12:00am - A light snack before bed 12:30am - Go to bed 7:20am - Claire bring me cup of tea and leaves for work. Kids are up and dressed - one thing ticked off which is good. 7:30am - Get dressed. 7:35am - Go to toilet. Read Viz. 7:40am - Downstairs. Go to make cereal for kids - all g

Falling foul of Customs and Excise

...yikes, scary title or what, huh? Don't worry, it's not some huge VAT fiddle - I've never earned remotely anywhere near enough to even worry about VAT. No - a bit of a saga involving my imported Blu Ray of The Office - season 8 - bought from in the USA. Better be good after the money  I've paid for it! Why am I buying this from them? Well quite simply, because the release schedule has been held back in the UK for whatever reason - they have been up to 3 years behind. Gradually it's catching up - season 7 has just come out here but it is still a year behind. So what I have been doing is buying the DVD's (and latterly Blu Rays) from the states - up until now - with no problem. As regards customs - well I have never paid import duty on anything in my life. Now being a responsible citizen I've never been one of those people to come back to the UK with suitcases bulging full of thousands of fags to sell down the pub. Though quite honestly

Toddler Tea Time Management

Like the title, huh? Bit of alliteration going on there. Well it pretty much sums up what all this is about. I am sure if you ask anyone with young children what part of rearing the brood causes the most traumas, that mealtimes will feature highly on most lists. Why? Well, for the uninitiated, most pre-schoolers have not yet mastered the arts of dining etiquette that those of us who move in polite society circles have come to expect. In fact I can think of quite a few adults that haven't either, but we won't go there. Class knows no boundaries here - your average 2 year old whether born with a silver spoon, or from the most deprived of backgrounds will try the patience of their parents no matter how good the upbringing. Everything has to be ready NOW!!! It can't be too hot or too cold! And woe betide if it's the wrong shape (bringing memorable Fawlty Towers scene about amphibious landing craft chips to mind). How does one cope - well a bit of forward planning, t

Half term on a budget - In 350 words or less...

This is a very special blog entry today. I was delighted to receive an email from today, regarding my blog. Now I am used to receiving automated messages from companies all the time, but this was different. It seems they have not only been reading my blog, but they have also commented on my last entry. It's so nice to receive some personal feedback from a company. Not only that, but they've also invited me to submit an entry for their blogging competition. In 350 words or less, I am to describe ways to save money with the kids at half term. So here is what I have submitted. A free mini-break in Pembrokeshire awaits the winner! Seems school has hardly started, yet half-term will soon be upon us, and the kids will need entertaining. How does one do this on a budget? Well first – here’s what not to do. I recommend against going away on holiday. As I am sure you know, these weeks are very popular, and consequently very expensive compared to term time weeks – bo

Out with the old...

And in with the new... So - the long wait is over - finally the builders have finished the job and we have 23 sparkly new homes ready for people to move in to here in Chapel Street. Sanctuary Housing have now put some of them up for occupation - I know this, because at least two friends of mine on the waiting list have been given details of some of the flats behind. As for the others - I believe some are up for private rent and others for shared ownership. So if you fancy joining the Chapel Street "Massiv", let me know - as top dog on my "manor", I'm worth getting to know. The Chapel Street Massiv was a shadowy organisation, formed some years ago when I lived at No 40, with my good friends Liz and Russ next door at #38. By day, I was mild mannered probation office worker, dealing with offenders through official channel - by night the caped crusader of Chapel Street, righting wrongs perpetrated by eveil-doers such as litter louts, inconsiderate parkers, and

Back to School

Now that the school holidays are over, I can begin to tackle some of the other jobs around the house that need doing. Some are the sort of horrible jobs that don't get done very often - for example today I cleaned all the horrible gunky stuff out of the bottom of the waste paper bins. During the holidays it was really a case of survival and just keep going. It's necessary to achieve the bare minimum each day i.e. everyone gets fed and has clean clothes to wear and a basic standard of cleaning needs to be maintained.. Running the hoover round? No problem. Pulling out the sofa and investigating what's behind? It can wait until September. I know the summer holidays are meant to be fun times to be spent with the kids in a long and joyous round of fun, but I've struggled, I really have. It doesn't help much that we had our summer holiday in May. I would have loved to have been able to go away for two weeks in August but as we all know, that's beyond the reach of