The Changing Face Of The Rovers Return

After becoming all "Outraged of Blackburn" at something earlier, my motivational email of the day from 'a friend' suggested that there are bigger things to pissed off about.  Well, I had a look around t'internet and I think... THINK... I have found my Outrage Button.

The set of Coronation Street is being rebuilt at Salford Quays to the tune of £10million.  But that's not what I'm outraged about...
They have built the road behind Coronation Street (Maudsley Road) and included Victoria Court Flats.  But that's not what I'm outraged about...
The set looks too 'new' so the builders are painting special dyes onto the brickwork and smashing chunks out of the brickwork to give it an aged look.  But that's not what I'm outraged about...

What I *am* outraged about is the fact that the Rovers Return seems to have had a second window installed during the rebuild.  See...

Rovers Return, Coronation Street
Top: new set.  Bottom: old set.

Whilst I'm on the subject, I thought I might as well mention that the Rovers Return appears to have had magical TARDIS-like qualities for many years.  A fellow forum member pointed these out to me many moons ago but I wonder if you've noticed them too?

  • If you enter the Rovers Return through the main door, walk straight ahead and turn right into the toilets, where do you think you would end up?  Yes, that's right,  Ken & Deirdre Barlow's living room.
  • Sit in one of the alcoves in front of the bar then consider where the Snug and the Select sections would have originally been back in the days of Ena Sharples and crew.  Is there enough room?
  • Walk behind the bar, through the hallway and into the living area.  Where on earth could the kitchen be where so many of Betty's hotpots were made?  In reality it would jut out into Rosamund Street, wouldn't it?

Now I've calmed down, "OUTRAGE" might be a slight exaggeration.  Interesting observations though, aren't they?


Totaljobs Fantasy Interview WINNER ANNOUNCED

Recently, I hosted a writing competition in conjunction with Totaljobs #JobsAcademy.  I asked two very talented writer friends, Vix Ward and Rachel McGladdery, to judge the entries.  The standard of writing was extremely high and the ideas pool very deep.  However, they reached a speedy, unanimous decision.


And The Winner Is...


Velcro Dog.  Jessica opens her interview by saying, "If it's a dream then anything can happen right?  So if I could interview anyone in the whole world it would be my dog, Lupo."  She then continues to interview her dog for the important position of family pet.

The judges mentioned that the interview was cute, simple, funny and sincere and that it was amusing without being overly clever.

Congratulations to Jessica (and Lupo).  They win £150 in High Street Vouchers from Totaljobs.

Highly Commended


The judges would also like me to give a special mention to the following entries:

Mother Distracted for the depth of investment and the way she thought outside of the box.  The judges thought that the concept of the missing career opportunity was very clever and maybe she should be considered for a job in the PR department of Totaljobs?

London Tourist for interviewing Lily Savage and making one of the judges laugh like Muttley.

Merlinda Little for interviewing her future self at the age of 50.  The judges said that there is a brutal honesty in her words that made them stop and think and they hope she manages to overcome her fears and be awesome.

You can view all the entries and original terms and conditions here.  Thank you to everyone who took part in this competition and to Totaljobs for supplying the prize.  

Soundtrack To My LIfe - Kirsty

Soundtrack To My LIfe
This Soundtrack To My Life comes from Kirsty. I feel privileged to have Kirsty in my online social circle. I love the way in which both her and her wife, Clara, break the taboos about same-sex marriage. They are very open about the way in which their relationship works, how it affects others and how parenting in a same-sex relationship isn't such a Big Thing as is often portrayed. All links are at the end of the post, but for now, it's over to Kirsty...



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T-Rex - Cosmic Dancer 

This song reminds me of being a child. My dad was a big fan and I would find his Cassettes and play this in my walkman as it felt so familiar. When Billy Elliot came out it encouraged me to get the soundtrack on CD so that I could feel that my childhood again. I love putting this on on days where I want to remember where it all began.


Bell X1 – Eve, The Apple of my Eye 

I was going through a really rough time in my life, when I discovered this song. I would play it on loop and it would lift me, even if it is somewhat dark. Even now when I am feeling low I will pop this song on and feel surrounded.


Fyfe Dangefield - She's Always A Woman 

My wife and I spent quite a while planning our wedding music. We wanted our first dance to be incredibly special. So when we played this song, we felt it summed us up quite well. Dancing our first dance was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.


Fun - It Gets Better 

At the end of my wife's pregnancy, she started to have complications. We got a phone call one night to go into hospital so that she can be induced. So we popped on our favourite tunes and drove the 35 minutes to hospital. As we pulled into the hospital car park, this song was on. We looked at each other, bracing ourselves for the crazy night we were about to have, when the line of the song "this is really happening" played. It made us smile as our lives were about to change and it was indeed really happening.


Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - Same Love 

This is quite a new song in my life. My wife heard this first and made me google it. I sat and listened and felt tears prick my eyes. It was a mainstream song, playing across mainstream radio stations and the message was a strong one. I hope more people increase the visibilty of LGBT issues through mediums which target a broad age range. We need these changes in our world.



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Soundtrack To My LIfe
You can read all about Kirsty (and Clara and their son) on her blog, My Two Mums. Kirsty and Clara share a Twitter account which, as you may have guessed, is @mytwomums and you can also keep in touch via their Facebook page. I'd really recommend their YouTube Channel though - their Q&A sessions are FAB! 

If you want to join in with Soundtrack To My Life you can complete this form and I'll be in touch when your feature is due to go live.  Click on the mix-tape to the right to read all the "Soundtrack To My Life" entries.

Anguilla - the best beaches in the world

Part of travelling is discovering hidden gems, secluded coves and places you can call your own. I have many memories of different countries where the lasting memory wasn't a building, a city center or even a tourist attraction but a place I wasn't even looking for. These places, which I usually only stumbled across; were clearings in rainforests, isolated beaches and rocky outcrops that gave me such a feeling of awe that thinking of them will always make me smile.

Anguilla, CaribbearnThe Caribbean is somewhere that I would love to visit and travel around the different islands and discovering as much about these paradise isles as possible. When it comes to beaches the Caribbean cannot be equaled, and for the best in the Caribbean, I've heard that it's Anguilla.

This small-secluded hideaway Caribbean island has over 30 stunning beaches around the island, which cater for any weary traveller. Many of these unique beaches have a personality all their own, making them worth exploring.

The most popular is Shoal Bay although you wouldn't know it as most of it is clear of any people. Its popularity is with good reason; the beach is lined with gently swaying palm trees, a handful of Anguilla properties, as is connected to the Fountain Cavern National Park which has a stunning reef which is alive with coral and small fish. The perfect place to relax, swim and dive.

Anguilla, CaribbearnIf you are more a thrill seeker then the best beaches for surfing and boogie boarding have to be Savannah Bay or Captains Bay as they both have heavy surf. Savannah Bay is a small-protected beach whereas Captains Bay is on the Atlantic side of the island and enjoys amazing sunsets.

Little Bay may live up to its namesake but if you have a boat, this secluded cove, which is only accessible by sea has steep cliffs and deep waters which are fantastic to leap from and the deep turquoise waters are an excellent place to snorkel.

The most secluded beach will be Limestone Bay and is the best place to see the nesting sea turtles.  This stunning beach is quiet, private and one of the most relaxing places on the planet. Its only downside being that swimming is not recommended due to strong currents.

If all this peace and quiet gets to be too much then travel down the coastline to Sandy Ground. This cliff-lined beach is home to the village of Sandy Ground that is famed for its nightlife, street parties, bars and restaurants such as the Pump House.


Anguilla, CaribbearnIt’s no surprise that the Discovery Channel has named the beaches of Anguilla as some of the best in the world and I would have to agree. So whether you are travelling the globe, on your honeymoon, or just in need of a life changing vacation be sure to check out Anguilla in the Caribbean. It is my top choice for beaches in the Caribbean.



This is a sponsored post.  
Please see my disclosure policy for more details

Labelling Heaven


Sharing a quick pic of my new labeller on Facebook recently proved that I'm not the only one with a bit of a geek streak...

London Themed Name Stickers
I'm a bit of a sticker freak, using them all the time in my diary, to jazz up files and on items that might get stolen "mislaid" at work.  I even have some London-themed stickers with my name on.

I think I'm getting a bit obsessed with this labeller though; it brings out the organiser in me. I thought I was being a bit nerdy with the labeller love, going round the house tagging all the wires behind the television and in my study (aka the spare room which has a desk in it) so I thought I'd take it one step further and make a list of ten things I labelled this week...

TEN WAYS I USE MY LABELLER


Brother P-touch H75 Labeller
  1. Printed return address labels for the outside of eBay packages.  I type mine out like this:  [SURNAME] [door number] [POSTCODE] to save printing a full address out.  
  2. Labelled my camera in the same way inside the battery pouch.
  3. Tagged my lunch so that it didn't go walkabout in the work fridge.
  4. Labelled food in the freezer because all the plastic tubs look the same from the outside.  I also printed some "use by" dates.
  5. Replaced worn out keys on my laptop keyboard.
  6. Taped together pairs of knitting needles with the size on the label
  7. Tidied out the larder cupboard and put labels on the edge of the shelves to organise everything
  8. Put stickers on some of the grandchildren's toys so they learn while they play.
  9. Named all the plugs in the "shack" (my husband's indoor Man Shed for electronic gadgets).
  10. Entered the realms of washi tape with labels over the top and now may end up actually migrating back to my Filofax in the new year now that I have found a way to pretty it up and rename the tabs on the dividers.  I'm even happier now I've found the symbols and images on this labeller.


Or you could just copy other geeks and use your labeller to brighten someone's day.


And maybe I should have called this post "I Am Typeset" (suggestion courtesy of Becky)


Review Information

I was sent the Brother P-touch H75 Labeller to review.  In a nutshell, it's one of the smartest labellers I've used with very easy to follow instructions and plenty of designs and useful functions.

The Machine

The dimensions are 107 mm wide, 202 mm long and 56 mm high.  It has an LCD display and a ABCD keyboard (which can feel a little strange to use because it's not a QWERTY layout).  A mains adapter is available but isn't supplied.  Included in the pack are 6 x AAA batteries and a 4 meter cassette tape with black ink and clear tape.  The machine is quite weighty but is comfortable to hold in one hand.

Features

The labeller prints in normal, bold and outlined print.  It also can be programmed to run horizontally or vertically (handy for files) and mirrored text.  Frames are also a design feature with "candy", "banner" and "wood" being my favourites.  Additional symbols and 'pictures' are also available on the menu.  Margins can be altered and text size can be reduced to print two lines of text.  A small negative however is that features are not displayed on the LCD screen.  A memory function is available for up to nine labels.  The cutter is embedded into the labeller and cuts easily with just a light touch.

Price

Available on the Brother website for under £15 at the time of writing - what a snip (see what I did there...)!


Merlin: The Complete Collection Box Set

In a land of myth and a time of magic the destiny of a great kingdom 
rests on the shoulders of a young man.
His name is Merlin.    

Merlin is one of the most popular British TV dramas in recent years.  Since its launch in September 2008 the BBC drama has grown to become one of the most loved and watched programmes on television.  

The Merlin: The Complete Collection (series 1-5) box-set is being released on 
28th October 2013!


Merlin, The Complete Collection Box Set

This complete collection brings together all five series on DVD as we follow Merlin attempting to fulfil his destiny at the side of the once and future king.  Merlin features an all-star cast including Anthony Head, Richard Wilson and the voice of John Hurt (as the Dragon).  This 27-disc box set tells the epic story of the golden age of Camelot and features amazing action sequences and stunning CGI.  It contains every episode and bonus features and includes the "Making Of..." documentaries, out-takes, cast and crew commentaries and deleted scenes.  Merlin: The Complete Collection box set will retail at £59.49 when released.

Official Website : http://www.theadventuresofmerlin.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MerlinOfficial
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MerlinOfficial
Fan Site : http://www.merlintvshow.com/

Soundtrack To My Life - Suzanne

soundtrack to my life
Suzanne is a writer and it's taken her fourteen years to admit that! She has relocated from London to Scotland with her family and has a really bizarre tale about the reason her blog is named so (check it out on the link below!).  However, for now, it's over to Suzanne for her Soundtrack To My Life choices...



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Del Amitri - Driving With The Brakes On 

This was my coming of age track. The song I broke my heart to and wondered if I'd stay single forever. I used to lie on my bed, in the dark and play it as loud as I dared without my flatmates staging an intervention. I was also head over heels in love with Justin Curry, the singer/songwriter from Del Amitri. At the same time, I was reading The Crow Road by Ian Banks, so the whole Glasgow scene seemed achingly romantic to me. I wanted to live a life somewhere between this song and The Crow Road - dark, brooding, exciting, men desperately in love with me, squabbling over my affections while I pursued my true love in vain. Eventually of course, my true love would notice me and know, just know, that I was the only woman for him. I was a hopeless romantic, even then. Rather odd, that I ended up moving to Croydon of all places!



Mark Knopfler - Romeo and Juliet 

This is really my husband's track. He introduced me, against my will, to the likes of BB King, Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. He would drag me along to these concerts in the Albert Hall or the Royal Festival Hall and I'd be so bored. His music, just wasn't my music. But then he played me this track...and the world stopped. Finally, I was in the novel I'd dreamed about while listening to Del Amitri in the dark. I'd found my knight in shining armour/hero/soulmate. He was right under my nose all along, but I was too busy with my romantic notions to notice.

We married in 2004 in a rain storm*, in an abandoned church** in Scotland. I wore fairy wings (yes really).

*in the drizzle
**the church was converted into a B&B




Deacon Blue - Fergus Sings the Blues 

This track reminds me of one of the first concerts I ever went to. Unfortunately, I was such a square as a teenager that I went with my mum and dad and their friends. That alone should have told me that there were maybe 'cooler' bands I should be listening to. But to be honest, even now, I love this track. It reminds me of carefree days, the promise of university just round the corner and a summer of freedom stretching on forever.

This is also the track that I insisted on playing as we crossed the border into Scotland, after 14 years living in Croydon. We played Deacon Blue all the way up the A9 and it really did feel like we were coming home at long last.




ABBA - Dancing Queen 

Every summer when I was a student, I went back home and worked sometimes 2 or 3 jobs to make money to survive on for the rest of the year. Saturday night was Going Out Night. I'd go round to my friends house and we'd drink vodka & orange while getting ready. Then, before hitting the pubs, we'd stick some ABBA on the stereo and dance about like fools with her sister and all her mates. Our skirts were so short that on cooler nights when we wore jackets (we were sensible like that), you couldn't even tell we had skirts on. Scandalous.



Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way 

This track featured in the film Matilda (when she's discovering her talent) and has been our 'happy song' ever since. If I'm being grumpy, or the boys are bickering, we play this song full volume and pretend that we're Matilda, moving things and making them fly across the room. It never fails to have falling on the floor giggling, all previous grumbles forgotten.



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soundtrack to my lifeYou can find Suzanne practicing all her writing stuff and talking about her family life in Scotland on her blog and you can follow her on Twitter.

If you want to join in with Soundtrack To My Life you can complete this form and I'll be in touch when your feature is due to go live.  Click on the mix-tape to the right to read all the "Soundtrack To My Life" entries.

Over At The High Tea Cast... Possessions

high tea cast logo
I had a month off at The High Tea Cast last month but I'm back with a vengeance and talking about possessions.  It's all based around a blog post I read ages ago about defining the "stuff" we have in our life and whether we actually need them all.  It would be great to hear what you think.

Who would you most like to interview?

Interview in Progress sign
I listened to Tim Minchin interview Caitlin Moran once and almost died of happiness.  In a perfect world, if i could have chosen to be a fly on the wall, this is one conversation I would have picked.  I wish it was still available to listen to (or that I'd downloaded it) because it doesn't seem to be online anywhere.

At work, part of the course I deliver is based around making yourself employable and we cover interview skills.  Being interviewed is one of the most nervewracking experiences and whilst you should be researching and rehearsing, you're always waiting for that 'on the spot' moment, aren't you?

#JobAcademy at Totaljobs asked me who I'd like to interview.  There is so much choice that I would probably say one person, imagine their answers and then immediately think of someone else.  I did interview my child once and his answers were not what I expected at all!

So keeping that in mind, I think I'd like to open the floor to our monarch, HRH Queen Elizabeth II as she is on my list of inspirational women.  Here are the questions I would like to ask her just to ensure her mind is in tip-top condition to remain our ever-loyal ruler.  

Interview questions

  • Have you ever won a trophy?
  • If you won a large sum of money on the National Lottery this weekend, how long would you wait until you told people?
  • Where would you like to retire to?
  • What or who inspires you?
  • Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
  • What do you think about when you're alone? 
  • Did you know there's never a comfortable place in your mouth to hold your tongue?

I daren't even second-guess the answers.  I suspect there's a spike in the Tower of London with my name on it already...

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Join In To Win!

You can win £150 in high street vouchers by joining me and writing about your fantasy interview. 
You need to publish your interview on your own blog and include the following:
  • You will need to tell me who you chosen and why.
  • What job would you be interviewing them for?  Or would they be interviewing you?
  • What questions would you/they ask?
  • Would they/you get the job?

The prize is supplied by Totaljobs.  All entries must:
  • be in the form of a blog post (any length but I suggest about 200 words), be published on your own blog and the content must follow the guidelines above
  • include this link to the #JobAcademy portal - http://www.totaljobs.com/insidejob/jobacademy/ (and one to this blog post if you like)
  • be submitted via the linky below

All entries will be checked and verified.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  You may leave a comment or send me an email to typecastblog@gmail.com.







Terms and Conditions 

(also available to view on the Totaljobs website)


1.  This competition is open to all, except any employees (and their families) of Totaljobs, and anyone else who may be professionally involved with the Promotion (VCCP, I Am Typecast).
2.  The Promotion will begin on Friday 11th of October and finishes on Friday 25th of October at 12pm (noon) GMT.
3.  The Promotion will be hosted on the website http://www.iamtypecast.com
4.  To enter the competition, entrants are required to create one blog post explaining who they would most like to interview/be interviewed by and why. The blog post must include at least one link to Totaljobs -http://www.totaljobs.com/insidejob/jobacademy
5.  Entrants must then visit http://www.iamtypecast.com/2013/10/interview-competition.html and complete the entry form, submitting a link to their blog post
6.  Entrants must be over 18 and resident in the UK or Ireland
7.  All valid entries will be judged by an independent panel chosen by http://www.iamtypecast.com and the winner will be selected based on the creativity and quality of their blog post (and that blog post having adhered to the entry requirements)
8.  Winners will be notified by Monday 28th of October by email. If we are unable to contact the winner 7 days after the first notification, we reserve the right to select an alternative winner
9.  The winner must provide their full name and address details in order to receive the prize.
10.  There is one prize, consisting of £150 of high street vouchers from Love2Shop
11.  Prizes are non-transferable and there is no cash alternative
12.  The promoter reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal of greater value at any time
13.  The promoter cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the competition or as a result of accepting any prize.
14.  Any personal data collected from a participant (name, address) will be deleted from our records within 4 weeks of the prizes being received by the chosen winners. We will not store this data for any longer than necessary, and we will not pass on to any third parties besides those involved in the promotion (VCCP).
15.  We reserve the right to suspend, change or cancel the Promotion at any time, should it be necessary.
16.  Participation in this promotion will be deemed to constitute acceptance of these terms and conditions

NB: Terms updated on 22.10.13 to correct a typo.

Additional Information:

Totaljobs is the largest jobs site in the UK. It also hosts regular recruitment news and features, promoted via an email database of over 1 million  jobseekers and recruiters. The #JobAcademy is Totaljobs' new reality show, hosted on YouTube in partnership with O2 Think Big and a network of student groups throughout the UK. During the seven weekly episodes Job Academy takes five young people who are struggling to find work and transforms them into lean mean job seeking machines. A host of career experts show the candidates how to dress for interviews, build the confidence to network, write flawless CV's and focus on bagging a dream job.  Watch the first episode below (or here if you can't see the video).



For more details about competitions hosted on this blog please view my disclosure policy

Is Home Insurance Important?

Once upon a time I used to work at an insurance brokers.  It was my first full time job and it was the basis for my career path.  I also enjoyed a generous discount for all types of insurance and, boy, I wish I still had that discount now.  Shopping around for our insurance is the usual way to find the best deal but the AA Home Insurance always comes recommended.  I always like a good bargain.

Car insurance is a legal requirement to be able to drive on the roads but did you know that home insurance should (or at least buildings insurance) is compulsory for any home with a mortgage?  It can feel pointless paying out money month after month into a bottomless pot to secure a ‘just in case’ moment, especially in frugal times, but home insurance is just as important as it has always been. 

It’s always good practice to review your level of insurance too, especially if you are building your home and adding to your possessions.  Imagine having to replace everything you own... scary thought, huh?

Home insurance is something that we have always had because with children and pets you never know what is going happen.  Luckily, we have never had any major claims (apart from the time that all the bicycles got stolen from outside the back of the house when we lived in a fairly rural area) but I know I wouldn’t have the money available to replace all our family treasures if anything ever happened to them.  We always choose contents insurance with an accidental damage clause and our buildings cover is slightly more expensive now that we have an old house and we are exposed as an end terrace but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Is home insurance something that you treat as priority or is it the first outlay to be cancelled when you’re a bit strapped for cash?  Let me know in the comments.

This is a sponsored post. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.


The Big Cheese, Episode 6

If you have never listened to an episode of The Big Cheese on Preston FM before or you're never likely to listen to one again, then this is the one you need to experience.  Even if it's just for the crap rap that I made up for the show credits. 

Don't forget, you can keep up with the show on Facebook or follow the live Tweets on Twitter by searching for #BigCheeseQuiz.



Ten Activities To Prepare For Christmas

December, Christmas,
Even though I profess not to be, I think we are traditionalists when it comes to the Christmas build up.  Our family custom is to put the decorations up on the 1st of the month (it's a bit early for me but it's all for the kids, isn't it?) and we have the usual battle about where best to store the presents so that they aren't discovered.  From the moment that famous Christmas truck hits our television screens I am already planning the the big build-up so here are my top ten things to do during the December holidays and on the run up to Christmas.  

  1. Knit a nativity scene.  I have never ever accomplished this but it will stay on my "to do" list until I do! It is something that should prefereably be done before Christmas.  Maybe I should start in June?
  2. Try and find the best Secret Santa present for the gift exchange at work. I'm thinking of a maneki-neko or a space hopper for this year's lucky recipient.
  3. Use everything up in the freezer and then we have space for the big Christmas shop
  4. Have a clear out of the food cupboard and anything that has not been used or is spare, donate to the local foodbank
  5. Set aside 'gift wrapping time' and use the ironing board as my gift wrapping station so I don't hurt my back
  6. Practice making mince pies because the first and second batch have to be taste tested to ensure perfection
  7. Make a gingerbread house but only because I've seen it on Great British Bake Off and I fancy giving it a go.
  8. Watch Christmas movies to get in the mood.  My husband is a Scrooge fan and I love National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  9. Go ice skating.  We are lucky to live almost next door to a huge ice rink but there are loads of temporary ice rinks in town centres though.  Give it a try! 
  10. Book a Christmas break and leave the mess behind... 

What do you do in December to add to the atmosphere and make it all the more special?


Soundtrack To My Life - Jenni

soundtrack to my life
Jenni describes herself as a "20-something Mama, chief WAG and all round charity shop obsessive which is most definitely the perfect description!  She also mentioned when submitting her choices that there were so many other songs she could have included and that she's going to kick herself for not including some of them but we all know that's the beauty of Soundtrack To My Life, don't we?  Let's have a listen to the five that Jenni did choose...


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Meatloaf - Paradise by the Dashboard Light 

I grew up listening to Meatloaf, and it was the fist real tape I ever had of my own (my auntie bought me a copy) but this song has particular memories for me. When I was 18 me and my best friend worked in a pub together, at the end of our shift she would drive to the next village to pick up my boyfriend for me (she drove I didn't) and we would have this blaring out of her (very old) Citroen with all the windows down. Even now, whenever we go out we always sing and dance to it no matter what - she always does the boy parts and I do the female parts!



Ronan Keating - Life is a Rollercoaster

This reminds me of the summer I turned 16 and I believed I was invincible! I went to stay with my Aunt near London for the whole summer, acting as her neighbours au pair. My Aunt had a small sailing yacht in Poole and I spent my weekends lounging in the sun listening to the local radio and this was played on it -a lot! I'm not really sure why as I think it was out the year before, but it always brings back happy sunny youthful memories when life was just that little bit simpler and carefree!



Lemar - 50/50 

Not exactly the coolest song in my life but it brings back memories of uni. My friend and I would go out most nights as students do, get decidedly drunk, dance, have a kebab and go home. Once we had picked over our glorious kebabs (and tossed them to the ground only to spot on our hungover walk to uni the next day, I know shameful!) we would walk home singing this song. I'm never sure why and we barely knew the words aside from "50/50" which would we sing rather loud. It still makes me giggle now and I have a little sing to myself occasionally when under the influence!




Stereophonics - Traffic 

It wouldn't be a soundtrack to my life without a stereophonics song included. I've been a huge fan ever since an old boyfriend introduced me to then, and I went to my first gig at 18. This is a really old song that, during gigs, the audience sings along too. It makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck just thinking about it, and the atmosphere when this song is played is just electric. The lyrics are also thought provoking, and whenever I'm stuck in traffic it always comes to mind.




Blink 182 - I Miss You 

This is from a couple of years ago at Leeds festival, surrounded by good friends after a long sunny day filled with festival-type antics, it's fair to say we all got rather emotional at this point. Considering I never ought I would ever get to see this band (I've now seen them twice!) it was a really special moment. My friend and I always text each other various lines from the song so it doubly reminds me of her!




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soundtrack to my lifeGet yourself over to Jen's blog - Bows, Bangles and Bake, follow her on Twitter as @bowbanglebake or keep up to date with her blog posts via her Facebook page.

If you want to join in with Soundtrack To My Life you can complete this form and I'll be in touch when your feature is due to go live.  Click on the mix-tape to the right to read all the "Soundtrack To My Life" entries.

Would You Take £1 From A Stranger?

Pound Coins
When I think of projects like this, it is then that I bemoan the loss of the one pound note. Anyway...

I saw this article on Huffington Post Parents this week.  Basically a lovely retired couple occasionally take to the streets and offer random acts of kindness. This time they are offering one dollar to drivers at a crossroads in their home town (and check out the video further down that article - it makes me want to head to a roller disco right now). 

So the question is, if someone offered you a pound, would you take it?

What if it was offered by a known and respected member of the community?
What if it was offered by a teenager wearing low-slung jeans, trainers and a hoodie?
What if it was offered by me?

Are we automatically suspicious and want to know what the catch is?  Do you get 'something for nothing' in this day and age?  Because you don't need that pound, does it make it immoral to accept it?

If you accepted the pound, what would you do with it?

Six Simple Steps To Window Blind Safety

Not so long ago I took part in a survey which centered around child safety and window blinds with emphasis on the strangulation risks from the cords.  I offered my thoughts and then put it to the back of my mind because we have frosted windows and net curtains here (it's a Northern thing...).  And then I saw this article about the death of a 17-month old child who was hanged by a window blind cord.

I remembered about some safety information supplied by the people who ran the survey - Apollo Blinds - and think that it's appropriate to raise awareness here (especially with more and more parents fitting blackout blinds in children's bedrooms).

Six Simple Steps To Safety

    Cord cleat for blinds, safety awarenessP-clip for blinds, safety awareness
  1. Do a quick check in your home.  Are any looped window blind cords dangling untethered?  Even if they are high up they need to be tied back.  Children can and will climb up!
  2. Select the best type of safety device for your blinds.  Cord cleats can be used for roman and venetian cords whilst P-clips are great for vertical chains.
  3. If you are unsure, ask!  Maybe go back to the company that fitted the blinds or ask at your local DIY store.
  4. Fit the cleat or clip in the best place to secure the cord.  
  5. Wrap the excess cord around the cleat hook or secure the chain/cord into the clip.
  6. Make sure everyone who uses the blinds secures the cord.

The two clips featured are the cheapest way to make blinds safe but there are other products available, including operating wands and cordless blinds.  There are also some that are operated with a remote control and don't need cords at all!

If you have window blinds, make sure they are safe as well as pretty and practical



This is not a commercial post. I have shared the information because I think it's important and relevant.

The Big Cheese, Episode 5

Episode five of The Big Cheese was broadcast on Preston FM last night with two new panel members.  See if you can spot who is missing! This also means we are past the halfway point of the series. That in itself is a milestone!  Episode six is 'in the can' but requires editing so that's this week's job earmarked!

We have two more episodes to record in this series.  I may venture into inviting an audience to watch the recording, just to see how it changes the dynamics of the show and how much audience participation we can allow.

Have you ever been to a radio show recording?  Let me know in the comments.



Don't forget, you can keep up with the show on Facebook or follow the live tweets on Twitter by searching for #BigCheeseQuiz.