Showing posts from July, 2013

School Holiday Controversy

We are now into the school summer holidays, which has led to some heated debates recently. When I say school holiday controversy, it is more like controversies, as there are several different issues floating about at the moment. School's out for summer On facebook there is a page I am a member of called "Bicester Have A Rant Page". Now a very close friend of mine who have the utmost respect for posted up a week a two back that one of the things that really gets her goat is people moaning about the school holidays. I can certainly see her point of view. I have seen quite a few people put up comments during the holidays on facebook about how stressed they are, "bloody kids fighting all the time", that sort of thing. Parents celebrate during the school holidays in The Simpsons, as the bus departs for Kamp Krusty. My friend loves the extra time she gets with her kids during the school holidays, as do I, and feels very strongly on the issue. So when so

Quest for success

This is quite a difficult subject to write about, and part of me wonders whether it is even something I should write. I've always felt that the quest for fame selflessly pursued by the type of people on reality shows is rather vulgar is some ways, much preferring the quiet life out of the limelight. However things have changed somewhat for me lately. I realise that most of those people are just looking for their fifteen minutes of fame. In some cases e.g. Big Brother it is not even about talent. The fact is though, whatever the merits of any of these people, we all deep down would like to be famous or at least recognised and respected in our field, whatever that may be. In most walks of life this simply isn't possible. You don't become famous for being an amazing estate agent (if such a thing is possible). A few select experts in their fields e.g. gardening can become household names on TV but generally the main route to fame is through either the sporting or entertainm

The Trophy Cabinet

We're living through an unprecedented golden era for British sport. A Wimbledon winner, the Tour De France, Cricket, Rugby, it seems we are sweeping all before us. What can be behind this amazing success? I would like to pretend that I have made some sort of contribution to this, but sadly I haven't really had much of an impact. Unless sitting on the sofa with a large bag of Doritos yelling "Come on Andy" at the telly counts. It seems that sport and I have fallen out of love over the years. In fact even in my prime we were not exactly comfortable bedfellows. However, I did used to play a lot of sports, with a level of ability ranging from mediocre to pitiful. But it is the taking part that counts, so they say. The main reason I don't really do anything now, or rather the main excuse I use to get out of it, is that I am too busy with the kids. There is an element of truth in this - after all I can't just nip off for a ride on my bike as and when I feel li

BREAKING NEWS: First Review of the New Sainsbury as it opens its doors on an historic day for Bicester.

So - the long years of waiting are finally over. Wednesday 10th July shall go down in history as the first day of the rest of Bicester's life. And as your resident town blogger, I am delighted to be one of the first, if not the first to bring you the low-down on the new store, hot from the presses, barely an hour after it opened! Jamie Ayres, aged 2, of Bicester, welcomes  you to your new Sainsbury store   The glittering new flagship store of the great British Sainsbury flung opens its doors to a hungry and grateful populace at 9am this morning. In fact it was slightly before 9am, as I got there at 8:50am and it was already open. I had a quick chat with a guy from Radio Oxford who wanted to interview me and then I was through the doors, an awesome moment. Because of the store opening ahead of schedule I was sadly unable to fulfil my ambition of being the first person in the shop to buy something. My initial plan was to have grabbed a paper or something and headed straight

The Consumer Crusader

I think I might be losing it a bit (note - that is spelt "losing", not "loosing" by the way) because I seem to be making some rather strange mistakes that I would not normally make. For example when I put the shopping away today I put the baby wipes in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard. Hopefully I am not losing the plot, this time I shall put it down to being rushed, hot, bothered and the fact that I still had my sunglasses on which made navigating the kitchen slightly more challenging than usual. There are a zillion and one things to do around here. The washing has reached a new peak since the warm weather came - the children have developed many new and interesting ways to get mucky in the garden. I seem to be constantly running out of clothes. How is it that I do a wash load every day yet a boy owning 7 pairs of shorts can still run out? There's a load just finished sitting in the machine now waiting to be hung out, but it shall have to wait half an

Revamped Tesco Metro opens in Bicester Town Centre

So, after a week long refurbishment, Tesco in the centre of Bicester has re-opened its doors, just ahead of the grand opening of Sainsbury on Wednesday. Welcome to Tesco Metro! So what is the new Tesco like? How has it changed? What's new? Bicester Blogger investigates. Now as you know if you are a regular reader, I have had my problems with this store in the past, however, I have decided to approach this review from a completely fresh perspective. So as far as I am concerned, they are starting with a clean slate. So what is noticeably different about the new store? Well - my first thoughts were that it has not changed as much as I thought it would have done. I was expecting a much changed offering, with far less groceries and much more fresh food. But I would say the basic offering of the store is still the same - you can still go there and buy your basic groceries as you could before. Here are the major changes I noticed whilst reviewing the store today. The over

Pool Ponderings

Well, here it is at last! After nearly six long years of waiting, the heatwave has finally arrived! Allow me to elaborate. Back in the day (1990 to be precise) I started work at Nielsen, a great big office block with glass windows and no air-conditioning in Oxford. It's the big building on the left just after the park and ride if you are driving into Oxford from the M40. Add to this greenhouse of a building a dress code which basically dictated "you wear a suit and tie at all times", and you have the perfect picture of complete misery during the summer heatwaves. There I sat in a pool of sweat throughout that first summer looking out of the window and dreaming of being free. This went on for 15 long summers when the heatwaves rolled around with monotonous regularity. It didn't get any better when I went to work for the probation service. In the long hot July of 2006 I had to go home for a cold shower every lunchtime just to be able to get through the afternoon.

A new era dawns for Bicester

It's nearly here! Well it has taken a lot of time, a lot of planning, a lot of wondering whether it would ever even happen, but finally the new town centre and Sainsbury is on the verge of opening. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say this is the biggest thing to ever happen in this town. Well at least the biggest thing to happen in the 22 years I have lived here. Over that 22 years there have been changes. But it is also fair to say a lot of things should have, and could have changed sooner. But no matter about that now - it is finally here. How ludicrous is it that in a town this size there has been no cinema? In fact there did used to be one, down London Road but you would have to be pretty long in the tooth to remember it - it closed down decades ago. But it matters not that we have had to wait so long for one to come - the point is that it is now finally here. " you think they'll be showing Silence Of The Lambs?" When I came