Friday, 31 December 2010

The Sales scrum!

I foolishly thought I would venture into the Town centre yesterday, only to be greeted by a frenzy of activity.  What is wrong with everyone behaving appalingly to get a bargain.  It was like being in the middle of a rugby scrum.  There was a distinct lack of manners, with people elbowing each other and about to pounce on garments that were put down.  Even on the way down there was people road raging each other as everyone seems to be out on the roads, who knows where they are all going.  The season of goodwill is evidently over, did n't last long! 

I love a bargain, and there is nothing quite like relishing over the fact you have got what you wanted for half price.  As I am getting older I can not be bothered with the mayhem of it all.  I could feel the heightened stress sweeping the high street as I walked down it.  People getting impatient and angry in long queues for the tills.  I think everyone should take a chill pill and calm down for the sake of a few quid off a top.

Why anyone would camp outside Next for the night to get a bargain and endure the tribe like mentality of fighting their way through the crowd I have no idea.  I went once, not at 5 am I might add and walked straight out.  There were people pushing and shoving people out the way, and Women buying entire racks of clothes.  Their behaviour was unbelievable.  I would rather go without or pop down the local outlet centre where there are bargains all year around.  Maybe it is the looming 20% VAT increase that is on everyone's minds, sucked in by the shops advertising there is no VAT increase yet, enforcing the must by lots now.  For anyone who has not ventured down to the retail hell, be warned and prepared.   

This is fairly basic but one thing I do not understand is why January sales are not in January?  Can we all not stand the shops being shut for a few days to enjoy a few days with our familys.  I personally think shops should be shut on a Sunday, not for religous reasons, just to stop and make us do other things.  As the Queen said in her speech possibly get out and do some sport!

Anyway enough of my retail woes, Happy New Year everyone, I wish you all a fabulous 2011!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Vive La France - Haitian orphans!

I have just watched a heart warming piece of news and it is the best I have seen this year.  France have gone and chartered an areoplane to collect some of the Haitian orphans.  Everyone looks delighted and one man said, "It is the best Christmas present ever,".  I love the French for their plucky characteristics, instead of being hesitant and going through lots of red tape they just do it.  We should take a leaf out of their book.

What they have done makes perfect sense.  The poor orphans need a home and they have citizens willing to adopt them and bring them up as their own.  If I could live anywhere in the world I would pick France.  I lived there for a year whilst doing my degree.  I totally understand why they are patriotic.  The Country is beautiful with mountains to the East for ski-ing and beaches in the South for Summer holidays, why would you want to leave.  Not to mention their delicious food.  A French Woman can make the most simpliest dish of carrots taste superbe.

They take pride in their heritage and are not afriad to say no if something threatens that.  The architecture of their Cities and Towns has been fiercely guarded and it shows.  Where as in the UK we have let our Councils get away with murder.  If I look at my home Town we have got beautiful old buildings next to ugly seventies monstrosities and we appear to need a lot of flats, as on any given green belt we are building more!  Good for France.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Terrific snow!

I am sure no doubt most of you have noticed that the snow is back again.  I had the most wonderful day to day.  I woke up to see the beautiful scene outside my bedroom window of snow everywhere.  I truly believe snow makes for beautiful vistas. 

My Children squeeled with delight when the saw the new sledges we got them.  We then all went to a nearby hilly green area and went sledging.  It was fantastic and lots of fun.  Most of the School was down there doing the same thing, having fun.  The weather was perfect as it was not too cold or damp.  The kids were in their element tearing along the hills.  I took loads of photgraphs as I have a compulsion for snowy pictures. 

We all went for a hot coffee in a nearby bar, again saw a few familiar faces and then walked back home.  In the afternoon I watched some festive films with the Children and felt nice and cosy in my own home.  It is great to have a sense of not going out in the car and keeping it local.  I have taken the advice of not going out on any unnecessary journeys and embraced the calmness of being in my own home.  I think we all need to relax and enjoy it as most likely it will all be gone soon.

Monday, 13 December 2010

I am feeling the pinch!

Supermarkets are good at Marketing when I go in to buy some milk, I come out with two large bags of shopping and I have spent £50, and I am not sure what I have bought!  I get sucked in with all of their buy two and get a discount offer.  I then find I am throwing items away at the end of the week as I have not used them, what a waste.  My new protocol is to focus on what I have gone in for and only buy one rather than two!  You may think this is easy, but they are clever and know how to appeal to your retail spending habits.  I find it irritating that they put half price on items that were never that price in the first place, the full price of the item is three times the price, who do they think they are kidding. 

I am definitely feeling the credit crunch pinch.  I really live quite frugally, I do n't have a mobile phone contract and I own my car.  I have noticed that recently my money that I earn is not going as far.  For the first time in my life I can see it is easy to go under financially, keep over spending by a few hundred pounds every month and you are there.  I work part-time and I now can not afford to buy anything other in a month than essentials, I am treading water.  Food and petrol has gone up but lets face it no-one's salaries are going up with it.  I have worked at the same firm for nearly ten years and during that time have only ever got 2 or 3% pay rises every year that do not cover inflation (apart from the last two years).  I know I can not leave to get a better paid job as I would not be able to get the hours I am currently on to fit in with my Children. 

With supermarkets I have decided to paint the picture in my head that they are enemy and I am on a 007 Bond mission to not spend as much money.  Since, I have been practicising my new found technique, my food bill has halved.  Mission accomplished, maybe I should drop wearing the balaclava and moustache for the local shop, as the security guards keep following me around!

Friday, 10 December 2010

The students revolt

I am flabbergasted at the behaviour of those students ambushing Prince Charles and Camilla.  I totally agree with freedom of speech, protest and frankly believe that this country could do more with peaceful protests, but not attacking two pensioners.  Regardless of who they are in essence a group of students were attacking two old pensioners, that is wrong and Charles and Camilla must have been shaken by the whole experience.

I have always admired the French for patriotism and striking to hear their protest.  These students who are supposedly meant to be more intelligent than the average person are making themselves look like yobs. 

I can understand that there will always be the people in the middle that are worst off with these decisions.  Rich kids will still go to University and there will be assistance for students from poorer backgrounds, that means the ones in the middle will most likely miss out.

I went to University and had a fabulous time, however, I can not say that my French degree has really benefited me in my working career.  When I went I got a grant and did not have to pay any tuition fees.  If back then I had to pay I would not have gone, but I would probably be in the same job today as a Human Resources Manager as I would have worked my way up and studied my CIPD part time.

I do not think that Students should be Students for the sake of it, but evidently there are professional degrees out there for Doctors etc that will always been filled.  Maybe, this will get rid of a few unnecessary degrees that are useless in the world of work.  My degree did not lend itself to any vocational training other than being a French teacher, which is not something I wanted to do.  I went to University because it was the done thing and all my friends went.  However, I do feel sorry for the youth of today, teenagers are the ones being hit by the lack of jobs out there, and then the majority have no chance of affording to buy or rent a property, and have to stay at home with Mum and Dad.  Good for the Students for exercising freedom of speech but do it peacefully.  The general public's support will now falter due to the attack on the Royals, it has gone too far.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Never judge a book by it's cover!

I was really pleased that Stacey Solomon won I am a celebrity get me out of here.  It gave me a personal reminder to never judge a book by it's cover.  When Stacey appeared on the X Factor because of her intination and strong Essex accent we would all be forgiven in thinking she does not come across as a smart and intelligent lady.  I do n't think they teach geography in Essex as I have heard a few celebrities from Essex claiming they do not know where anything is in the world (not Stacey though)!  What she proved on the show that she is exactly that, a smart intelligent, genuinely postive natured person. 

Whilst all the other celebrities were whining and compalining she quite simply got on with it and stood her ground in arguments she even out smarted the  X public school boy Dom Jolly in a heated debate about why people read Hello magazine.  When she pointed out to him whatever you read whether it be a book or a magazine it is about escapism, he was dumb founded when she made her point and could not answer her.  She was even the only person out of the entire group to question Gillian McKeith about her motives for being there if she was that unhappy.  She came across as sincere and most of all likeable.

The great British Public love an under dog, particularly when they shine.  Look at Susan Boyle, everyone laughed at her until we heard her amazing singing voice and now look at her she is one of the few British singers to crack America.

I promise not to talk about TV in my next blog, well it is Winter and there is not much else to do!

Friday, 3 December 2010

This week Australia seems quite appealing!

This week has been very strange.  I was supposed to be going on a business trip to Geneva.  I got up at an ungodly hour to go and consequently got a text from BA saying the flight was cancelled.  Aparently Geneva airport was closed due to that four letter word (dare I mention it snow).  I have since tried to rebook my flights for next week but alas to no avail.  I have been trying to get hold of them for two days.  I tried to rebook via the website and it keeps telling me there is an error, probably because the world and his wife is doing the same. 

I finally got put on hold (this was a result as if you do n't go on hold you get cut off, nice) to speak to someone other than an automated system.  I was then onhold for approximately an hour, it was near to lunchtime and I was starving so gave up.  I will try again over the weekend.

I picked up Mariah Carey from School on Wednesday and not my 6 year old Daughter.  She decided to have lots of diva tantrums, which was delightful.  Both of my Children's rooms were like a bomb site.  My Son to my surprise tidied up his room (okay so I did bribe him with a sweet), and my Daughter instead of doing it incessantly complained about having to do it (my usual tactic of bribary was not working).  I decided to be a firm parent and pushed on through and eventually after much debate, and crying she did it, hoorah!  I was pleased I did as I do not want to do it forever, they have to learn.  I know the easy option is to do it for them, but in the long run they will expect someone else to do it.

I bought a draft excluder today for my front door as until we get our extension we have lots of little drafts in the house.  I hate it when you touch plates and they are freezing cold.  Therefore, due to the cold weather, Australia seems appealing.  I have never considered living there before, and I am not sure if the culture would suit me, but the sunshine would.  I promise I would not complain it was too hot!

It has even been too cold for my newly acquired tweed shorts! 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It is snow joke!

It makes me laugh this country's attitude to snow.  The first reaction appears to be panic!  I am really not quite sure why it is so news worthy and that they make these sweeping statements like it is going to go on for weeks.  The last forecast I saw it said it would be getting milder on Saturday? 

The media tends to scaremonger and base most of it's headlines on what is going on in Scotland.  Why is all this snow lark shocking, last time I looked it is called Winter, it happens periodically generally around this time of year. 

I have been told in places like Germany they just get on with it, they have special winter tyres for their cars and are well prepared, in Germany it snows for months, we tend to get it for a week and chaos ensues.

Any way last week I bought two more pairs of shorts, very sensible for this time of year.......Actually, they were Winter ones and can be worn with woolly tights (can't keep a good Woman down!)  I am bored with wearing grey and black jumpers.....bring on the Summer!