Archive for the ‘Bits and bobs’ Category

I’ve been sent an offer from a ‘privilege’ club I somehow managed to be part of.  It involves a 2 for 1 offer to Paris, Amsterdam or somewhere similar on Eurostar.  Yes – sufficiently tempting for me to click through.

I wanted to know if it was an offer that could include kids, so I looked at the terms and conditions.  Here they are in their full, unedited glory:

  1. All breaks are subject to limited availability.
  2. Full terms and conditions apply.
  3. AA Getaways is a trading name of Acromas Holiday’s Ltd (ABTA Y1720).
  4. Times+ members must call to pre-register their interest.
  5. Calls cost 5p per minute from a BT landline plus network extras.
  6. All bookings are subject to availability.
  7. Full terms and conditions apply.

Did it tell me what I needed to know?

Of course not.

But that’s OK, as long as I know that full terms and conditions apply.

Thanks, AA Getaways.


I’m stealing this idea from the Laughing Housewife. My version is likely to be less amusing since I get less traffic, and I post less often, but you never know.  If in doubt, go and look at her latest one – it will make you laugh.

OK, so at the top of the list, I have bunk bed.  Is nobody advertising bunk beds for sale on the internet? Are people finding me through lack of anything better to click on? (By the way, the British Heart Foundation will be taking the bunk bed away soon – yippee!)

The next one I quite like: Microwave phobia.  Way back when I thought I was being funnier than I really was, I did a how-to for people scared of using their microwave.  Funny? No. Useful. Well, I hope so.  Generally people came back with other ideas for how to use the microwave rather than telling me how I’d changed their life.

Now I’m confused by the third highest entry – partogram.  I only mentioned it once after a study day I went to back in June. Partograms are amazing , but their light seems to be hidden under some bush or other if people are stooping so low as to click on me.

In equal third place? Reflective journal. Well, that’s wonderful! Seriously. People have wondered about reflective journals and found some of mine. (Hope they weren’t bored to tears, mind you. They are the least humorous of all my posts – more for my benefit than anyone else’s really. You’re all amazing for putting up with them.)

Next  – comes snob.  I’ve only mentioned it twice (here and here)since starting this blog. Surprising that nobody else seems to be talking about snobbery – perhaps they’re too stuck up..?

surely you all come to my blog to see pictures like this?

Now for a list of the truly bizarre:

kids sliding on their knees (why, why would you type this into a search?)

ice cube pouches (???)

child question mark (I didn’t even know they had adult question marks)

large quantity rice in microwave (really? loose grains all over the place and all?)

can i do zumba if i’m nursing (yes, if your bra can stand up to it, but why ask me?)

how to deal with people who are scatterbrain (well, if you can deal with me, you know how)

is it illegal to swear at cold callers (no! but it’s much more fun to subject them to mind-games)

+when were chew pouches put on the market? (I don’t know. What are chew pouches anyway?)

baby commando (I now have visions of a baby in fatigues and camouflage make-up crawling through the undergrowth)

belieeeeve (indeeeeeed. I think I know where that came from.)

laundry sock theaves (is that a thief who lives in the eaves?)

have your cake and eat it too (yes please!)

enfield krispy kreme drive through (???  but now I want a krispy kreme.)

how to relieve impacated intestines (??? even more, but now I’m worried about the krispy kremes), and finally…

, i am going to keep my reflective journal updated.  (Good for you.)

* * *

I admit it.  That was actually quite fun.

Mind you, it’s going to be another year or thereabouts before I have enough new search engine terms to repeat the exercise.  I can hardly wait.

Thanks, Tilly!


Posted on: 26/08/2011

Green, like many colours, can provoke strong reactions.

I walked into a friend’s kitchen for the first time today, and it was very, very green.

Not institutional green, the colour of school corridors, usually associated with a certain smell of disinfectant impossible to buy in the shops.

Not pine green, the colour of classic crew-neck sweaters, usually worn by conservative (small c) men of a certain age but generally tending to suit most people better than the colours they might normally wear.

Nor khaki, seen once in great abundance on a Laurence Llewelyn Bowen designed colonial style bedroom from the unforgettable Changing Rooms series.

No, this room – and I wish now that I’d taken a photo, was grass green.

No kidding.

Vibrant, deep, fresh, strong, and oh so green.

And do you know what?  It really worked.

Here’s a picture of another kitchen it also really worked in.

Utterly, utterly fabulous.

I just wish I’d thought of it before I saw it in my friend’s kitchen so that I could claim it for my own.

(Though I’d never be able to look my mum in the eye again.)

Dan & Dan

Posted on: 25/08/2011

Have you come across Dan & Dan before?

Probably.  I particularly like their Daily Mail song.

Anyhow, they posted a new video on Youtube recently. Enjoy!

I have an old friend (not that she’s old, but we do go back over 10 years) who writes amazing short stories (and novels, etc). This Friday we were treated to a spot of flash fiction I loved so much I felt I had to re-blog so you didn’t miss out.

Here you go: –

Hope you enjoy it. If you like it as much as I did you might want to see what she’s published: –

and follow her blog if you’d like more flash fiction heading your way every Friday!  Thanks, Em ☺

There are things I have learned over the years about being on holiday and making it work.

As a result, I can tell you about the braindribbles holiday rule number one. If you are tired before you go on holiday, don’t overdo it while you’re there.

With this in mind, we had one major plan for our first full day on holiday.

Go to the pub.  Eat delicious roast dinner.  Drink beer if possible. Enjoy.

We did.  It was great.  The White Hart in Spilsby provided.

We liked it so much we went back and had delicious fish and chips after packing up on our last night.

Incidentally, what is it about pubs in Lincolnshire called the White Hart?  We had breakfast two days later at the White Hart in Sibsey (also delicious), and two days after that we ate at the White Hart in Boston. Yep, delicious once more.

OK, so the last one was more a hotel than a pub, but you get the drift.

The mystery has forced me to delve into the Wikipedia files, which tell me that a white hart was on Richard II’s emblem, and that the name ‘the White Hart’ is the fifth most popular pub name  in the country.  When you consider that means it was probably as much a symbol of England as a red lion is these days, I suppose that’s fair enough.  And I can’t imagine how many pubs are called that around the country.

Anyhow, so we went to the pub.

And then, when we had space in our tummies once more, we cooked dinner on our open fire, and finished off the evening toasting marshmallows.  The kids had a go at toasting them, perhaps a little too enthusiastically.

But that’s OK, because I rather like burnt marshmallows.

Here’s a little something that has been bothering me since Sodastream started advertising heavily on the TV… Is it really worth it?

I’ve worked it out, on a cola theory, fiddling with a spreadsheet whilst watching the telly.

Currently regular coke is sold at 20 for £6.50 where I buy it i.e. £0.33 per 330 ml can.

Running costs of a soda stream are twofold: –

  • Syrup, which is £3.29 for 12 litres worth of drink, i.e. 0.28 per litre or  £0.09 per can equivalent, and
  • Gas refills, which are £9.99 for 60 litres worth of drink, i.e. £0.17 per litre or £0.06 per can equivalent.

So, after overheads, running costs amount to £0.15 per can equivalent, saving £0.18 or 55% on the cost of a can of Coca Cola.

However, there are overheads to consider: The cheapest drinks maker, including cylinder and two bottles, is £55.99.

This means that we would need to use it 311 times before we broke even, assuming we didn’t want a fancy silver one and multiple bottles (keep the unused ones filled with water in the fridge by the way, so that you can drink it cold immediately after adding the magic)

We currently get through approximately 10 cans per week. Therefore for us, a sodastream would take 31 weeks, or 7 months, to break even.

Would it be worth it for your family?  And would you buy one anyway, knowing how bad fizzy drinks are for your teeth…?

I’ve thought about all of this and I still want one.  We used to have an original one back in the eighties. The cola flavour was great, surprisingly, and I’m quite picky about this. You could make a drink stupidly fizzy, and watch it fizz all over the poor unsuspecting family member who thought you had kindly made them a drink just because you were being nice.  You get to listen to – and feel – the sound of the carbon dioxide being forced into the glass bottle as you press the button.  So satisfying.  And, if they make them like they used to, they last for decades, bottles and all.

But we don’t have the counter space.


*adds ‘Sodastream’ to wishlist for next house’s kitchen*

I really must get a life…