Archive for May, 2014

It’s half term this week, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be looking for free things to do with the small people due to lack of cash.

With this in mind, I thought I’d put together a list of places that’s free to get into. (Love those types of places!) Take some sandwiches and drinks with you and it’s even cheaper as you don’t have to pay expensive cafe prices.




Royal Armouries, Leeds

Home to the UK’s National Museum of Arms and Armour. Go along and see items such as weapons, and suits of armour from different periods in history.


Bradford National Media Museum

Learn all about the history of TV and all media such as the internet. Get behind a television camera and ‘film’ your own scenes.


National Railway Museum, York

Great for any train enthusiasts!


Brimham Rocks, Harrogate

Great if you’ve got climbers! Beautiful setting, with natural rocks jutting out in a picturesque setting.


Thornes Park, Wakefield.

A lovely park, with not only a park, but a great walk through some trees.

As you can see, there’s some brilliant branches for climbing!

up a tree


Cycle the Solar System

If you like cycling (and what better time to do it when Yorkshire’s about to cheer on the Tour De France?!) try this fantastic route. Not just any boring old cycle path, oh no.

Here, you can cycle the solar system and see all the different planets on your way.

The route makes its way between the village of Riccall between Selby and York and ends up in York itself.


Whatever you decide to do this half term, there’s bound to be something that takes your fancy.


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As the media is in a froth over how out of touch Ed Miliband is for spending as little as £70 a week on groceries, I’ve been left wondering in what world is JUST £70 a week not enough to live on for food for an average family of four.

Each family is different, and everyone has their own personal circumstances, so how are we to say what is or isn’t right? For instance, if you had to get nappies and milk or whatever out of that, then it would get bumped up.

£70 a week though for a food shop? That sounds more than enough to me. This article refers to the ‘average family of four”, which we fall into.

Our weekly shopping bill comes to approximately £40 a week.

With this, we manage packed lunches for two children (Aldi. Got to love Aldi!) with fruit, yogurts, ham/cheese/tuna etc sandwiches, oatcakes or crisps etc.

We cook from scratch 99% of the time, so buy big bags of stuff like lentils, rice, pasta, staple tinned goods such as tinned tomatoes and chickpeas, and any meat or fish we get from hitting the reduced late on a night and bunging it straight into the freezer. For example the other night, I got two big salmon fillets for 99p.

Seventy pounds a week is a bloody fortune to spend on food, and can be so easily cut down.

It all depends on what and how you’re buying.

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When I was a teenager, the only thing that would have got me out of bed on a weekend would have been an earthquake physically tipping me out of my slumber and onto the floor.

With no seismic movements though, I’d have quite happily lay there until two o’clock in the afternoon, only moving just in case it was actually possible to meld into the bedcovers and become part of the bed itself.

On a weekday, though? I was perfectly capable of getting out of bed because I had a little something called school to go to. The alarm would go off, or I’d get told to ‘get out of your  pit!” by exasperated parents if I ignored said alarm and bashed it to snooze instead until the last minute. (Hey, I still do that now.)

Which is why I have absolutely no sympathy for the poor little darlings at one school who are allowing children to ‘start their lessons in the afternoon so they all get a lie-in.’

Hampton Court House in Surrey is pushing back school start time until 1.30pm until 7pm as research has apparently found that students learn better if they are allowed to wake up naturally by their own body clocks and not artificially awoken.

Aw diddums, they need their sleep. Where does it end with pushing their days back then? If it was rolled out to other schools and we all took this approach, you’d be bound to get some who take the proverbial as they just can’t be arsed getting up full stop, never mind starting after lunch as it is.

That saying you can’t please all of the people, all of the time would come into force for this situation.

Not to mention they’re going to be in for a hell of a shock when they leave the cosseted walls of the school and enter the so called real world.

I can’t imagine many employers would be as tolerant as their previous teachers and wouldn’t put up with them rolling up for their first job somewhere after noon.

They’d have to get their backsides out of bed around 7am in the morning and they’d presumably still be in their teens when they got a job.

Less pandering. They’ll thank you for it when they enter the world of work and something called real life – as that 7am alarm clock will startle them out of their complacency.

What do you think? Good idea or not?


One school opens later for teenagers


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Sometimes, it’s nice to just take yourself off for an hour or so and enjoy the company of no-one other than yourself.

No-one to sit next to in the cafe as you eat your cooked breakfast of sausages, bacon, mushrooms and beans. That’s OK with me though as I’ve got my daily newspaper to sit and read in peace.

Just because I’m sat by myself, doesn’t mean I’m feeling lonely and want one of these monstrosities sat eyeballing me as I eat.

Yes, it’s a cute cuddly thing. If I wanted cute cuddly things sat opposite me though, I’d have brought the kids along.

Even before children though, I’ve always enjoyed just taking myself off somewhere for a bit of peace and quiet. There’s nothing wrong with your own company. Going to the cinema for example by yourself is great. Not only do you have to argue beforehand what you want to see (action thriller or girlie chick flick?) you get the bucket of popcorn all to YOURSELF.

I couldn’t give a flying what people were thinking if they saw me at the flicks by myself watching a film.

. I’ve even been known in the distant past to go to the pub by myself. Just because I wanted to. Not because I’m lonely. Just because I wanted to.

Surely it’s better to do the things YOU want to do rather than wait around for other people and therefore missing out on things?

I don’t need a stuffed animal to sit with. I’m happy with my own company and a good book/the newspapers.

What about you? Stuffed animals good or bad idea?


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paella 2

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