An Open Letter to SpotOn (Transdev Lancashire)

Dear Transdev Lancashire,

When my son decided to catch a bus into town on Saturday 28th May 2011 he thought it would possibly cost him no more than £1.  It was considered a safe (and dry) option to travel from a friend's house plus an opportunity to use what it generally considered a great public service.

Because he was not a holder of a Young Person's Saver Card (and he is no longer at primary school) he was charged the full adult fare.  A cost of £3.80 for a return ticket for a journey that is less than 2 miles.

Social Media - What Do You Know?

AKA "Twinjunction"?

I was reading a Digital Spy article yesterday which talked about the 22% upsurge in traffic on Twitter in the UK on Saturday as people gossiped about tried to work out numerous super-injunction identities.

Which leads me to ponder:
Is Twitter more popular because of the Giggs/Thomas affair super-injunction debacle?
Is the Giggs/Thomas affair super-injunction debacle more popular because of Twitter?


#passiton No Child Born To Die

We never realise what a fortunate position we are in here until someone takes that one extra step to make us sit up in our chair and have a good hard look at ourselves, our families and our lives.  We have a National Health Service that provides care and medication.  We have the opportunity to decide whether our children have the free vaccinations to help them towards a healthy childhood.  Our children can be protected against diseases such as pneumonia, measles and polio.  

Listography: Albums by a Band

It's another music-themed Listography from Kate Takes 5 so here I go again.  Last time I joined in Kate had us recalling our "First Five Albums" which resulted in me reliving a Danny Kaye album and, subsequently, ordering it from (click the link for the follow-up story).  This time, Kate wants us to list our "Top Five Albums by a Band".  I've taken it upon myself to define "band" as "more than one person" rather than "everyone playing their own instruments".

100 Words - The Guest Post

The chance of a guest post; the opportunity to write what you like.  But your mind goes blank.  All those fantastic ideas have disappeared.  The page is clean – but daunting at the same time.  The readers have no idea who you are, what your “style” is or even if you are engaging… but still, you want to impress.  One wrong word and they have gone… poof, never to be seen again.  But, on the other hand, you may have them in the palm of your hand, begging for more.  Getting those words in the right order is the hardest part.

The 100 word posts are part of an occasional (supposed to be weekly) series inspired by Mr London Street.

Blognonymous : How being a Mom helped me to heal

This post was submitted to me within the ethos of Blognonymous.  This contributor has requested the Blognonymous platform because she she always imagined that she would want to publish it on her own blog but still doesn't feel ready.  

If you would like to offer any kind of support in the comments but prefer to remain anonymous yourself then there is a "guest comment" facility - sign out of Disqus (if you have used it before) and you will see "guest" appear as an option.

If you would like to contact the Blognonymous team please click on the image to the right for more details.

The MAD Blog Awards 2011 - Finalist!

mad blog awards logo
Well, how about that?  I've only gone and made it into the finals round of nominations of the MAD Blog Awards 2011! The "MADs" celebrate the UK's best Mum & Dad blogs are are sponsored by ParentDish.

The Typecast blog (ergo, ME) has been place in the category for "Most Innovative MAD Blog" (I can spell it but I can't pronounce it) and, in all honesty, I am so proud to have been nominated for this category as that definition describes Typecast down to a tee:

What is the point of foursquare?

Is foursquare the most pointless social networking application to date?

I love... LURVE... social media.  I have at least five methods of logging on to Twitter at any given time (and let's not mention my six, soon to be seven, accounts), I have successfully managed to split my Facebook in two by having an account for special people family and real life friends and another for my writing/blogging life.  Sometimes the two cross over.  I also have my blog and all things connected to that - StumbleUpon, Digg,, YouTube... everyone within my online social network knows what I like and my viewpoint attached to it.  Probably moreso than my real life friends.

Bags of Love Personalised Gifts - Review

I love it when someone goes that extra mile to find a gift for me that is a little bit different so the "personalised gift" websites are a fantastic idea for exactly that purpose. When Bags of Love offered to send me a personalised journal my "stationery gene" kicked in and I jumped at the chance.

I have a favourite picture stored on my computer.  It was taken at Blackpool Zoo a number of years ago with our very first point-and-shoot digital camera.  I have always wanted it on a canvas but the quality isn't quite good enough.  It was, however, perfect for the cover of the journal.  It is a close-up of a peacock's tail and the colours on the picture are just amazing.

When the journal arrived I was more impressed than I thought I would be.  You all know I'm a Filofax girl at heart but this size of notebook is going to be ideal for note-taking at the up-coming Blog Camp and Cybermummy conferences next month.  The cover of the journal is hard-backed and slightly textured which, in this case, adds to the overall effect of the picture I chose to use.  The metal-tipped corners (front and back) are a brilliant idea as this will stop any damage to the journal when in every day use.  The inside of the cover is well finished too.

The journal is A5 size (145mm x 210mm) and is about 1 cm thick, so perfect for day-to-day use.  The 80 pages are a cream/ivory colour and they are 120gsm (for the paper geeks).  See below for the all important pen test.

pencil, biro, gel pen and ink
with the reverse of the page shown too
As you can see there is a slight show-though but I'm quite heavy handed with my writing and this could be part of the problem.  I don't think it is intrusive enough not to be able to use the next page.  All in all, I love the product.  It gets a massive thumbs-up from me.

My get-rich-quick scheme

Not too long ago I won a prize in a competition over at In The Powder Room.  I can't remember what the top prize was - probably beauty products of some description - but I was one of the 10 runners-up.  I won a new product - Nip + Fab Frown Fix.  It duly arrived, it got put on the shelf next to my make-up and I forgot all about it really.  That is, until a saw a story in a UK newspaper proclaiming that the Nip + Fab Frown Fix was *the* beauty product of the moment, sold out everywhere and almost 8000 people had registered on a waiting list to buy some when back in stock.

The brain cogs slowly started turning.

I had some Nip + Fab Frown Fix.  I wondered if I could use this to my advantage.  Could I turn my abandoned prize into a get-rich-quick scheme using the media hype?  I thought I'd give it a go.

I took a quick photo of the tube of Frown Fix and wrote a rather splendid description on eBay, then set the auction clock for three days.  There's no point in waiting a full week when the action was going to happen in the last 30 seconds.

I tweeted out a link to my eBay auction page and shared the information on Facebook.  Slowly and surely the page views climbed higher and higher and the questions started rolling in - mainly from people who already know me which goes to prove that I associate myself with a bunch of nutters.  You can read the full description here:

Frown Fix Ebay Listing

I clapped my hands with glee.  The price was rising slowly but surely.  If you could have seen my eyes, they were spinning £ signs like in the cartoons.  I was sure to make a few bob here, after all, there were only eight tubes of the Nip + Fab Frown Fix listed when I created my eBay auction.  I had also used a real photograph rather than a stock image.  This proved that I had the product here and I wasn't riding on the coat-tails of a delivery when back in stock.  There were 23 watchers on the item and I'd had just over 800 page views

Then the bubble popped.  Two days into the 3-day listing there were 51 tubes of the bloody stuff listed on eBay and reports coming in from all corners that the Frown Fix wasn't actually sold out but available online and at certain stores around the country.  There wasn't the flurry of last minute bidders that I'd hoped for and the bidding froze (ha, ironic!) at £15.00.  Not enough to retire on but enough for three bottles of wine, I suppose.  Maybe *I* was a victim of believing the hype?

It was a bit of fun, though even if I am now banned from entering all competitions on In The Powder Room and I am now going to write all my eBay descriptions like that in the future.

Blognonymous : A New Life For Me

This post was submitted to me within the ethos of Blognonymous.  It was in sent to me on the same day that my own father emailed me to tell me of his own shock redundancy notice.  This author wants to remain anonymous because of her professional position and her desire to remain dignified  She is asking for some advice and feedback from people who have been in a similar situation.  

If you would like to offer any kind of support in the comments but prefer to remain anonymous yourself then there is a "guest comment" facility - sign out of Disqus (if you have used it before) and you will see "guest" appear as an option.

If you would like to contact the Blognonymous team please click on the image to the right for more details.


The Bloggers Paunch

Counting the ripples on your Bloggers Paunch is like counting the rings on the inside of a tree.  One ripple for each year of blogging.

Ebuzzing Rankings Explained

Editors Note:  I have updated the title of this post to account for the fact that eBuzzing have bought Wikio.

Last Monday I posted a sneak preview of the Wikio Parent Blog Rankings for May.  Not everyone is interested in where they are placed on a list and, for many, these rankings are a source of much amusement and discussion.  I opened up the floor for comments which generated some questions about the validity of the Wikio rankings.  I took these questions back to Wikio Top Blogs and Neila Metz kindly offered some feedback.

My Kitchen - A Weekend Vlog

A bit of fun on a Saturday.

Pippa challenged me to "vlog" my kitchen.  I believe she possibly thought it was going to be as bad as my fridge but I'm afraid that my husband is quite kitchen proud and gets a bit OCD where the kitchen is concerned.  Apologies for the crappy quality but the video has been taken on my phone.  I REALLY want a Flip Camera but I will have to wish hard for that.  Anyway, for your delectation... my kitchen

Cybermummy 2011 - the 50 day countdown

Cybermummy '11 - the UK's premier blogging conference devoted to parent bloggers - is within touching distance.  Just 50 days to go!  The main event is on 25th June 2011.

My Birthday... social media and tears!

As I venture into my 40th year on this planet, I think about lots of things but mainly how the hell I made such fabulous friends... people I've never actually met.  Yes, all those weirdos on the internet!  Those ones you are warned not to talk to.  And after reading this, you might like to heed those warnings after all but I think they're all just smashing!

Wikio Parent Blog Rankings - May Preview

A sneak preview of the Wikio rankings for May (if you like that type of thing).  The full list will be published by Wikio on 5th May 2011.

Blognonymous : Family Woes

This post was submitted to me within the ethos of Blognonymous.  This author suspects that you might guess who she is but asks for discretion.   She has chosen to request the use of the anonymity of Blognonymous because her husband reads her own blog.  

If you would like to offer any kind of support in the comments but prefer to remain anonymous yourself then there is a "guest comment" facility - sign out of Disqus (if you have used it before) and you will see "guest" appear as an option.
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