Monday, 30 April 2012

Shwopping

You might have seen on TV, Marks and Spencer have launched its latest initiative - Shwopping. 

If you are not familiar with it - briefly, you buy clothes from Marks and give them something of your old clothes in  return.  Marks and Spencer then give it to Oxfam to recycle.  It seems like a good idea, but I am not sure they have thought it through properly.

It means you will have to take a bag of old clothes with you on a shopping trip, who is going to do that?  And worse, where are the stores going to put all the old clothes handed in?

Charities are always trying to raise the standard of clothes donated as more often or not, what is given is just a load of tat.  I can imagine piles of old clothes turning your Marks and Spencer store into something that looks like an outreach post for War on Want.

And if they think I am going to let they chuck my 'no longer needed Italian knit sweater' onto of a pile of old ladies bloomers, they can think again!

Twitter

Well your blogger has decided to join that Tweet machine thing, if anyone knows how to work it, please let me know. I hope it is better than the Google+ thing - I have no idea what that is all about!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Dear David - Friends

Dear David

I have been getting lots of grief about how much time I spend with my friend Rupert, I am fed up. What can I do?

David Responds

Well I’m sorry you have brought this on yourself, did no one ever tell you to only make friends with nice people?

Tell Rupert you aren’t allowed to play out anymore, join a library and make some better friends. Oh and while you are at it tell your friend next door to stop wearing that short jacket - it makes her hips look massive.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Lindsay has funny lips;
  • Harry gave out prizes at the London Marathon;
  • Harry wore that blue suit to give out prizes at the London Marathon;
  • I’m sick of the sight of that blue suit, he must have another one!;
  • Tulisa wore a yellow dress;
  • Victoria wore a red dress;
  • I think we are wearing colours this season;
  • Darcy is going to do Strictly;
  • William and Kate have been married a year - already!;
  • the queen went to Wales - it was raining;
  • the blond one off of One Direction wanted to dye his hair but Simon wouldn’t let him;
  • Jeremy has had better weeks; and
  • so has Rupert.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Dear David - Label

Dear David

I like to wear the label hanging out of the back of my cardigan as it is fashionable. But a friend told me it wasn't. Am I right?

David Responds

Don't be ridiculous, tuck it in!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dear David - Sports Drinks

Dear David

I often have protein sports drinks after working out at the gym. Are they doing me any good?

David Responds

When you work out you damage the muscles in your body. Tissues are repaired and built by protein in the recovery period after exercise. So consuming protein after your work out is the way to do it. A proper his protein meal is a great way to do it but not always practical, which is why people use protein drinks.

If you take the drinks and are only a recreational gym attendee you could be adding to your calorie store (fat) by using these sports drinks - so if you use them, work hard.

Research shows milk is as good as specialist protein drinks as building muscle after exercise and also very effective at re-hydration. Aim to drink up to a pint after exercise.

Milk is a lot cheaper than these specialist drinks, so with the money you save you can buy a flake and a ruffle bar!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Dear David - Aloof

Dear David

I am a senior politician and one of my colleagues said recently I was aloof and out of touch with the riff raff in the country. Do you think this is true?

David Responds

I think the answer to this is in the question.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Dear David - St George's Day

Dear David

I want to do something for St Georges Day. Do you have any suggestions?

David Responds

Oh dear this is a difficult one as I don’t think we actually do anything for St George’s Day.

The only thing I can suggest is perhaps you could wear a red cardigan and listen to radio Four.

 

Dark Matter

Some new research about the universe has indicated that dark matter might not exist. This is a bit of a blow to astronomers as they thought up to 80% of the universe was made up of dark matter.

This is rather a lot to go missing - I wonder where it is?

Friday, 20 April 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:

  • Brad and Angelina got engaged - I thought they were already engaged;
  • Madonna needs her feet doing;
  • Kelly wore some hot pants - black ones;
  • Andy got a hair cut - at last;
  • Helen (Gail) got engaged;
  • Jessie J has spent so much time spinning round in a chair she doesn’t know if she is coming or going - apparently;
  • the queen got a new boat;
  • Pamela wore some leggings;
  • Jedward have an older brother Kevin - who knew?;
  • Max and Jay got new tattoos;
  • Simon went out with Danni;
  • Danni says he didn't;
  • Lorraine is back on the telly after a horse fell on her;
  • Coleen wore a pink dress; while
  • Katie spent a lot to look cheap;
  •  Dappy got arrested - and apparently it wasn't for having a stupid name; and
  • Anne can't sell her yacht - which is funny cause the queen has just been given a boat.

Dear David - Three Months

Dear David

I am planning an event in three months time. Can you give me some advice on how to do it?

Theresa

David Responds

Get a calendar and add a day!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dear David - Crumble

Dear David

Whenever I make a crumble it is a disaster. Please can you tell me the measurements and ingredients to make a perfect crumble topping?

David Responds

Oh lovey you are doing it all wrong. Pop into Tesco and get a ready mix packet. Cut open with scissors and pour over fruit!

Dear David - Rabbit

Dear David

Our family rabbit died recently and my children were upset. I don’t know whether to get a new one straight away or leave it for a while. What do you think?

David Responds

Ah yes a rabbit (buggus bunnyus rabbitus. Latin.) is a great addition to the family. Although I don’t like rabbits, they give me the creeps with their twitchy noses and floppy ears, but children seem to like them.

There is no simple answer to this one, some situations it will be right to replace your pet straight away, in other cases it might be best to wait awhile.

Be guided by your instincts and I am sure you will make the right decision.

David Guetta

My search for new music continues, although I am not having much luck.

I did spot a tune by that David Guetta, you will remember he is the one that has a man's name but when he sings he sounds like a lady.

Well this one I found, (apparently it's been around a while, I think I heard it in a lift), there is a catchy line in it 'Who's that chick? (repeated several times as a chorus)

There was a time when you weren't allowed to say 'chick' when referring to ladies. I think it was banned from general usage at the same time as the word 'bird'. Not sure why, I think the RSPB had something to do with it.

My question is - are we allowed to say 'chick' again?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

King Juan Carlos

Bit of a rumpus in the European press about King Juan Carlos going elephant hunting while his country is in the depths of an economic disaster.  The row is about how the safari cost thousands of euros while most Spaniards are going through financial hard times.

I think we seem to have missed the main point - he was going round Africa shooting elephants!

Fracking

You might have seen fracking making the news again. I don't know all the technical things about it but you might have seen that it was stopped a while ago as it caused a couple of earthquakes.

As mentioned I don't understand how it works in detail, but I think they, (oil companies) drill into rock and set off explosions, then fill the gaps with water and sand. This causes the rock to expand and shatter to release the oil. Sorry if this isn't exactly how it works, but if I wasn’t bothered about my finger nails I would have gotten a job in an oil company and I would have a better understanding.

Anyway it all sounds a bit dangerous to me and I'm not surprised they stopped it after it caused a couple of earthquakes the last time they did it.

If you are a bit worried about it, it is ok, the oil companies say there is nothing to worry about and they have promised to check every now and then to make sure no more earthquakes happen!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Dear David - Baby Clothes

Dear David

I have a lot of baby clothes my baby has now grown out of and I want to give them to a friend for her new baby. I am worried the clothes might be out of fashion, is it a good idea to pass them on?

J

David Responds

This is a great idea and I am sure your friend will appreciate your thoughtfulness. It is nice to think some much loved clothing items will get more use by friends and family in this way.

Baby fashion moves quite slowly so I think it should be quite safe to continue wearing the clothes for the rest of the year.

If your friend is a little concerned the other babies might snicker and point fingers, why not suggest she customises the clothes? Maybe turning up a cuff for an edgy street look or stitch on a bunny motif (I don’t approve of rabbits, but babies seem to like them) to give an outfit a new individual look.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Panics ...

You might have seen earlier post about recent panics and how I noticed they all begin with the letter 'P'.

Pasties, petrol and most recently postage.

There is rumour of a new shortage of eggs.  I knew it - Poultry!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Sainsbury’s

Popped into Sainsbury’s this morning and they run this Price Watch scheme where if you could have bought your things cheaper in Asda they give you a coupon for the money difference.

I always get one that says I have saved money at Sainsbury’s, but today I got one for 50p off my next shop!

It’s only 50p, but I’m having it! After all it is very nearly the price of a stamp!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Dear David - Visiting London

Dear David

I am the leader of a pro-democracy party in a far eastern country and I have just been invited on holiday to London in June. Should I go?

David Responds

Oh I wouldn’t pet, what with the jubilee and the Olympics in the summer it will be dead busy. See if you can change it to September.

Panics ...

We have had a few panic buys recently, it’s like the sugar shortage and bread strike in the 70s, but I notice with these ones, Petrol, Pasties and now Postage, they all begin with the letter ‘P’.

Now if only I could work out what the next one will be, I could be all prepared …

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Ray got married in Barbados;
  • Katie got a garter tattoo;
  • Katie is still going for the ‘tramp meets Barbie doll’ look she has had for years;
  • Lily is recording some new tunes after she promised she had given up music for good;
  • Natalie is going to do Loose Women - no trombone though!;
  • Russell turned left on his bicycle when he should have turned right, (it's all happening this week);
  • Lana Del Rey and Axel Rose are not an item;
  • Cher can’t wait to get married - not the proper Cher, the scrawny one off of the X Factor;
  • Coleen put a fiver on a horse;
  • Rihanna wore a coat;
  • Peter wore a beret;
  • Sam and Victoria wore the same dress- well not the same dres, just the same dress;
  • Harry might be seeing someone; and
  • Peter's cafĂ© isn't very good.

Stamps

After some panic buying in recent weeks (petrol and pasties) there is renewed panic on the streets.

Stamps!

Apparently the Post Office is deliberately holding up deliveries ahead of the price rise at the end of the month so stamps are in short supply.

I think I might ride this panic out, I still haven’t used the 100,000 stamps I bought when they put the price up to 8p!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Hole

Chatting about work ( I do that occasionally) someone said he had discovered a hole.

This got me thinking, I'm not sure you can discover a hole, by its nature a hole does not exist.  The area around a hole may exist, but the hole itself does not.  I suggested that what he should have said was that he had identified some elements of matter at the edge of which there appeared to be non existent material where normally they would have expected there to be matter.  This would have made much more sense.

We got into a bit of an argument as he said he was referring to a vacant position in a crystal left by the absence of an electron, especially a position in a semiconductor that acts as a carrier of positive electric charge.

Yes well, if he had said that in the first place …

Nemesis ... again

You might have noticed I have mentioned my arch nemesis in passing on a couple of occasions in the past.  It's funny how whenever I do, I get asked 'is that me you were talking about?'

How many arch nemeses do people think I have!

Nemesis

I thought I spotted my arch nemesis at a roadside when I was driving into work this morning.  Turned out it was a mop, an old carpet and a pile of leaves.  Must be bin collection day in South Gosforth!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Dear David - Crossing the Street

Dear David

I sometimes have difficulty crossing roads, can you give me some advice to help tackle this at times difficult manoeuvre.

Miss B

David Responds

Yes it can be difficult for a lady to maintain her elegance when crossing a busy street, but there is a simple technique to help in this difficult situation.
A lady crossing the street should raise her dress a bit above the ankle while holding the folds of her gown together in her right hand and drawing them toward the right.

It is rather vulgar (and might suggest ‘fishwife’ to the casual observer) to raise the dress with both hands as this will show too much ankle.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Dear David - Caravan


Dear David

I am spending a few days in North Yorkshire in a caravan with my children. Do you have any ideas on how to keep them occupied while we are away?

David Responds

A caravan ... in North Yorkshire ... in April ... with children?

I shall assume you haven't gone absolutely mad and this is a genuine letter.

Your adviser has only ever been in a caravan once, it was 30 years ago, but we still don't talk about it.

Leaving that to one side I shall try and leave my lack of experience in this field to one side and provide help.

As I am sure you know, much is decided by the weather - nice sunny weather presents so many opportunities for activities outside the caravan that I don't think it worthwhile my giving advice for that scenario - I am sure you have plenty of ideas for fun on sunny days.

I suspect your concerns are what to do on cold rainy days. This can be quite a challenge, but follow my top tips for a happy caravaning experience:

  • Colouring books and crayons are a great favourite with children of all ages - add an educational twist by introducing brass rubbings. Give your children large sheets of paper (take an old roll of wallpaper with you for this purpose) and a piece of coal. Leave them in a country church and tell them to get going. This will give you a day to yourself and some excited, but worn out children ready for bed at the end of the day!
  • If your children are a little older, set them off on a treasure hunt. Give them a list of items to find in the countryside. This is a great opportunity for you to be creative. If you don't want them back until the end of the day, tell them to bring back conkers and blackberries (difficult to find in April). Setting things like paving slabs or fallen trees will slow them down and give you some quality free time.
  • Fishing is a great way to spend a day. Give your children ...not sure what they are called ..., a bit of nylon net on a bamboo stick and a jam jar. But cut a small hole in the net first. This will make sure all the 'captured' fish escape and keep your children fishing until it gets dark, determined to get at least one fish!

Petrol

I think I need some petrol, but I can't remember if I am supposed to fill up my tank when it is half full, two thirds full or three quarters full. Can anyone remember?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Easter

So that was Easter. I have had two halves of an Easter egg over two days, four hot cross buns, (two were stale by the time I had them) and no simnel cake. Back on the diet tomorrow!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Titanic

I had decided I wasn't going to comment on the Titanic commemorations - it was a disaster after all, but I couldn't help notice an item on the news.

Apparently 100s of people (the same number as on the Titanic) from over 20 countries in full period dress are re-creating the journey, on MS Balmoral.

I am not superstitious, but I'm not sure it is such a good idea!

If you want to know more, check out The Huffington Post

Home Office

Saw an item on the news about some anonymous group that are supposed to have hacked into the Home Office website.

Bit of an over statement on the IT capabilities of the group claiming responsibiity, as it turns out all they actually did was click the left mouse button a lot of times!

Friday, 6 April 2012

Celebrity Week

A look at this week’s celebrities:
  • Rihanna had a cup of tea in a hotel in Tokyo;
  • Turns out David didn’t have a pasty last week it was a Greggs sausage roll;
  • Gavin threw a couple of ice cubes on a Flybe flight;
  • Sue is joining Coronation Street to be Leanne’s nan;
  • Boris and Ken had a bit of an argument on the radio;
  • Boris has started learning a foreign language - apparently it is Anglo Saxon;
  • the Spice Girls are still arguing - over the musical this time;
  • TPT has been on holiday in Klosters with her nose;
  • Holly didn’t wear a very nice outfit;
  • Holly is starting to look like Charlotte;
  • Billie bore baby boy;
  • couple of the presenters of Loose women felt sick - makes a change from the audience;
  • Nicloe is going to be Grace;
  • One Direction got new hair-dos;
  • Strictly on ice finally finished - or was that last week? and
  • Peaches wore a dress covered in strawberries - I quite like peaches and strawberries.

Hot Cross Buns

Bit of a set back on the hot cross bun front.

I was in Fenwick's and thought I could get some of theirs, which meant I could have them on Good Friday instead of Saturday.

But they wanted £3 for four.

I'm not paying fifteen shillings for a hot cross bun!

George Clarke

It being it Easter, it is a great time to do some home improvements.  And right on cue, we have George Clarke on Lorraine.

If you don't know George Clarke he does house makeovers on Channel 4.  His general approach is to pull down all your internal walls and pait what's left white.

I like George Clarke.

He had some great advice on Lorraine this morning for a caller with a small bedroom and little storage space.

"You need to put some storage space in your bedroom" was the advice.

Thanks for that George!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Dear David - Easter Traditions 2

Dear David
David, thank you for this guidance for Easter is much appreciated, I have a couple of questions (just to clarify things), I hope you can help. I hope not to cross any religious barriers, firstly; are Cadbury's Flake eggs available in 'Cadbury’s creme eggs' size and also Hot Cross Buns, I've been using them almost daily recently (I had no idea about the limits of use), will I burn in hell?

Mr K
David Responds

I am so pleased you found advice on new Easter traditions useful, and hope you consider taking some of them up.

But to answer your questions, no I am sorry Flake eggs do not come in 'creme egg' size, flakes are small enough to begin with, they don’t need to be made any smaller.

Your hot cross bun question is a little trickier. In the olden days bakers only made hot cross buns at Easter time, and in particular around holy week. This made them a treat and something to look forward to with great anticipation. The buns made a great centre piece for afternoon tea on Good Friday.

Unfortunately, like so many other things in this modern world a special moment has been devalued by over use and easy availability. I remember the great shock and dismay I felt many years ago when I first discovered hot cross buns on sale in August.

I don’t think you will burn in hell for eating hot cross buns all year round, but why not ration yourself to making them an Easter treat and you will enjoy them all the more!

 

Easter Traditions

Here we are at the start of the Easter weekend. I have been trying to find out what people do during the Easter weekend that is special to Easter.  Not had much luck - apart from doing the usual 'bank holiday' type things, I can't find any examples of Easter things to do. 

So I have decided to invent\start things to mark this festival and make 'traditions' for future years:  (I am not going to get into the religious side of it, far too tricky in a blog).this yearnd tt years in the blogger household there will be:
  • Lighting of candles (white) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening (not old red ones left over from Christmas);
  • Lighting of candles (gold) on Sunday evening;
  • Purchase of a simnel cake from Sainsbury's;
  • Hot cross buns on Saturday (should have them on Friday, but I don't go weekend shopping until Saturday so that will have to do);
  • Her next door round for coffee on Saturday afternoon to mark Holy Saturday - she isn't getting any gypsy creams as it wouldn't be right;
  • Eating of a flake Easter egg on Sunday (it is still not too late for someone to buy me one);
  • No Radio Times - there will be no special programmes on so no point in sitting down with the magazine and a marker pen;
  • Possibility of oatcakes with chocolate Philadelphia for tea on Sunday - but that might be a bit too far!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Dear David - Simnel Cake

Dear David

I want to serve a special cake on Easter Sunday, but I don’t have much money. Do you have any ideas?

David Responds

This isn’t SuperScrimpers, but since you ask …

… why not turn an ordinary Victoria sponge into something special with a bag of Cadbury’s mini eggs.

Take 12 mini eggs and arrange in a circle on the top of the cake, sprinkle with extra icing sugar and you can present your re-vamped sponge as a simnel cake. Present with a flourish and watch your friends gasp in amazement.

It isn’t a true simnel cake as there should be marzipan in there somewhere, but your friends won’t know the difference!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Speed of Light

I see the scientist that said he had measured particles travelling faster than the speed of light (and thereby casting doubt on Einstein’s special theory of relativity) has resigned.

Funnily enough he resigned faster than the speed of light!

Wearing Shorts

Urgent update for Dan ...

No Dan I don’t want to change my advice about what to wear with shorts in view of the sudden cold and snowy weather.

And your nan might have been a Scottish crofter for over 90 years and seen many a cold spring, but I don’t care what she says; wearing Wellingtons with shorts is not a good look!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Dear David - Oatcakes

Dear David

I have heard that if Scotland becomes independent Alex Salmond is going to make eating Scottish oatcakes in England illegal. Is this true!

Lorraine

David Responds

As far as I have been able to make out, this is untrue.

Dear David - Dinner Party

Dear David

I recently had a few friends around for dinner and asked them to leave a ‘small gratuity’ to help cover the cost of the meal (well I say small it was about a quarter of a million pounds). Now I am getting grief over it, should I not have done it?

David Responds

Oh dear you have made a bit of a mess over this haven’t you.

It is not unusual for guests to bring a small gift to a dinner party, box of chocolates, flowers, small pot plant etc, but it is best to leave it at that.

In your case I think your guests might have ’over done’ the small gift. But it is not too late to try and even it up a bit.

Have a look in the back of the fridge and see if you have any of the pudding left, box it up into individual portions and courier it round to your friends.

This will be a welcome and unexpected surprise and a little treat to have with a mid week dinner!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Dear David - Duckling

Dear David

Ever since I was a child I have puzzled and worried over the story about the Ugly Ducking. As they are different species, how can a duck change into a swan?

Ethel

David Responds

I am not sure they are different species, but they are certainly in different groups of wildfowl. But there is a simpler explanation, in the story a swan egg rolls into a duck nest which explains how a ‘duck’ grows into a swan.

The story is also symbolic in that there was a view that Hans Christian Andersen (the author)
was the illegitimate son of prince Christian Frederik of Denmark.

But really Ethel love you have to let it go - it’s just a story.