Showing posts from March, 2013


Determined not to allow the on-going arctic conditions to imprison us inside, I have been hastily re-organising our schedule of Easter outings accordingly. So trips to parks are out - play centres are in. Now, despite past disappointments on this score, I approached the challenge with optimism, and hence at 9:30am this morning, with a little assistance from Sat Nav technology, we rolled up at the front door of Zoomania in Aylesbury. So what is Zoomania? Well for those of you that have ever been to the children's play area at Wyevale, it is a bit like that, except miles bigger, miles nicer, and not massively overcrowded. Well not while we were there anyway. That is why we went at 9:30am. Generally I have found Wyevale stressful - too many people crammed into one small area, massive queues to get in, can't get a table, time limits. Well none of that here. Oodles of room. In fact - I can't fault the place. You pay according to the ages of your children on a sliding scale -

Poundland opens in Bicester

Great excitement on our trip to town this morning to discover that the new Poundland is now open. No new store due to open in Bicester has polarized opinions more than this one, before it even appeared. From those eagerly waiting its arrival to those denouncing its appearance as the nail in the coffin for Bicester’s High Street, everyone has had an opinion. Welcome to Bicester! And myself? Well I like to make my own mind up about things without any pre-conceptions drummed into me by other people. I’ve heard it all about Poundland – how it’s going to lower the tone, cheap and nasty, not value at all, will be full of chavs – yes these comments have all reached my ears in recent days. So what do I think? Well – any new store in Bicester I see as a positive – in the last couple of years we’ve acquired Aldi, Lidl and Wilkinsons and they have made a huge positive impact on the town. The range of things we can buy has increased enormously, as has the possibility of gaining v


Now I am not sure how much is nature and how much is nurture, but where Ollie is concerned, it's a pretty safe bet that if I like something he does, and if I don't, neither does he. This is particularly prevalent when it comes to food. His tastes and mine are very similar, and without any prompting from me, I can pretty much predict what he will say about any meal or any new food put before him. Since Pizza is the flavour of the week, we may as well talk about that. You see, I quite like Pizza - but it is in no way one of my favourite foods. It's nowhere near as high in my estimation as a fry up or a roast dinner, but it would come a long way ahead of a lot of other what I call "sloppy foods" that make me feel queasy just thinking about them e.g. lasagne, shepherd's pie - yuck! I can say with 100% confidence that if I were to put something like that in front of Ollie he would not touch it with a bargepole. Still having a son that's got similar tastes

The New Ice Age

So here we are, almost at the end of March and winter continues on with seemingly no end. How do we react to this? Well as a country, with a lot of general mumbling and grumbling, a lot of sensationalist headlines from the usual suspects in the media, lots of ill-informed opinion all round really. Yes, everyone has their own cliched opinions, or things they have overheard others saying that they repeat because they think it sounds clever. It's not just the weather this applies to - just the crap most people spout in general really - a kind of verbal plagiaristic diarrhoea - VPD I shall call it for short. Here's the fairly predictable front page of today's Express. The coldest March weekend for 50 years they will have us believe.  So - amongst all the hyperbole and VPD, what facts can be gleaned from all this? Because that's what I deal in - facts, numbers, statistics. Unlike most people. We all have a Great Aunt Gladys tucked away somewhere who reminisces on

The end is nigh

Here's some doom and gloom - I don't think anything can be done by this chancellor, any chancellor, any party. Fact is, this country has had its day. As usual there has been miles of text written, things said, endless opinions spouted on the subject of the budget. As a blogger attempting to find a fresh angle on things - well it isn't always easy. Listened to the Jeremy Vine show on the radio afterwards and it was "same old, same old". So how as a blogger do I write a completely original piece full of views never expressed by anyone else ever? Well the answer is, I probably can't. Only yesterday I stumbled across a reference on a forum advocating the exact same cunning scheme to extract cash from Tesco I proposed earlier in the week. Also today I read an article advocating drinking ourselves to death early to take the pressure off pensions - another topic I jokingly brought up last year. I suppose in a country of millions of people and a world of billions

Save £££'s at Tesco

Today I have come up with a cunning plan to save lots and lots of money at Tesco that everyone can benefit from! It's completely legal, very simple, and will cost them lots and lots of money too! Now I am not one to bear grudges, but I remain very cross with Tesco over their customer service in my local store and specifically their refusal to honour mistakes that they have made in their shelf labelling. You will recall the Now 83 CD that they mistakenly had labelled at a tenner that they refused to let me have at that price, petulantly removing all the stock from the shelf on the day of release. And the 3 for £5 offer which had finished the day before even though the stickers were still up. And countless others. Sorry Tesco - but you do not mess with Bicester Blogger. So here now, I present to you, dear shoppers, the way to cash in every time you shop. To sweeten us all up in the wake of the horse meat scandal, Tesco have launched their in store price promise. To cut a long s

18 month plan

I often cite through my blog how happy I am with the way I have my life set up and it is indeed true. How I earn my living, where we live, all of it is absolutely perfect for the stage our family is at. However, nothing stays the same, and so here I am at 43, almost exactly half way through my working life, with one career already behind me and the focus currently very heavily on bringing up the boys and being the house husband - with the DJ'ing as a very welcome way of earning money during hours which don't impact too heavily on the parenting. We have a lovely home which we rent from a friend, could not ask for more. Though things are changing, there are a lot of new homes here and people moving in, so it's not quite the little oasis in the centre of town that it always has been but I can live with that for now. But I do need to start thinking ahead about changes in the future. After all I am 25 years away from retirement and really don't see myself lugging speak

One Man on a Mission

And that mission is - to create, or find, the perfect chip! In fact, not so much a mission, more of an obsession. I've had the Tefal Actifry over a month now and have tinkered about trying various methods of cooking chips   in it, some successful, others not so. What makes the perfect chip? Well they have to be tasty, goes without saying. But also natural - I like to know where my ingredients are coming from. For example, I have heard that McDonalds fries, tasty though they are, never go off - you can leave them for months without rotting, due to some sort of preservative on them. Whether or not that is true, (urban myths spring to mind) it kind of puts me off somewhat. I also think they need to be crispy, but not burnt, and definitely not soggy. The quality you get from various establishments in Bicester varies quite considerably. Sometimes I get fries from them that are gorgeous and fresh - other times, well, I could suspect that they may have been left over from the previo

We've made it!!!!

Yes! Congratulations everybody! It's March 1st which means we've made it through the four darkest and most dismal months of the year! Well done everybody! Congratulate yourselves, even those of you who were fortunate enough to have a little booster during those months in, well  to pick a couple of places at random, Australia and the Canary Islands! So it's all exciting, lighter, brighter, warmer times ahead! I'm so excited about the year ahead, can you feel my positivity literally dripping off the page! I hope some of me rubs off on you...perhaps I could have worded that better, I didn't literally mean I want to...ummm, errrr, digging a hole, better move on. Anyway, the changing of the clocks comes up this month, as does St Patrick's Day - big paddy-oke party at the pub on the 17th, and then Easter at the end of the month. But for us racing fans, one event dominates all others and that is the Cheltenham Festival. Now as you people know, I do like the odd b