Thursday 31 August 2017

Awesome Duck Tour In London

At the start of the holiday when the husband and I were  footloose and fancy free without the monetary obligation of the teen going to University. We were very lucky to be invited along to take a Duck tour around London and on the River Thames itself.

We are always in and out of London and have always been intrigued by the Duck tour boats and with the invitation to go on the Duck tour we were very excited. With a Duck tour you get a very entertaining tour both on the road and the river it's a unique viewing perspective on both parts of the tour.The duck bus is an amphibious vehicle that can drive on land and on water. 

The staff were really professional and they organised everything flawlessly, we arrived early and we were asked if we wanted to go in the tour earlier. We instead opted to go on the tour at our allotted time and I'm glad we did as our tour guide was hilarious.

The tour that we took was the Classic Sightseeing Tour, which started from the London Duck Tours bus stop near The London Eye. Off we went past the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Pall Mall, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Buckingham Palace (did you know that buses are allowed to drive in front of the palace, I so would have liked the Queen to have waved at us !), Westminster Abbey and along by the MI6 building.

When you get to the river which is ultimately the highlight of the tour the drivers swap. You are give a quick but comprehensive safety demo from the tour guide. Being on the river is such a buzz as you know there's nothing better than messing about on boats.

You felt like James Bond as the river part of the tour starts beside the M16 building , no one got wet as we splashed into the river.we made our way up the Thames towards Parliament, did a u-turn and headed back towards the MI6 building where we came out of the water, swapped drivers again and headed back to the start of the tour.

The tour last 75 with 45 of that being on land, I think the tour length is just right with out children getting bored. Our funny tour guide even got heckled by a 9 year old which was hilarious. The tour guide I think his name was Matthew was very much like Alexander Armstrong delivering the tour with deadpan style "Green park is so called because it is green ..." obviously he filled us on the true facts of why it is called Green park. There was comedy infill on the tour which is the sign of a good tour guide and I can imagine the tour guide treading the boards some where in a Shakespeare play. And I think if a tour guide can hold your attention with silly jokes and the like then it makes it a memorable fun day. before we entered the water. 

Everyone is put at ease on the tour as the tour guide goes round asking where people are from and fires nuggets of information at us to do with where people are form.

DO check in about 20 minutes early as you are bored by who arrive first.

NO hot food or drink on the tour but they are ok with you having a little nibble on something or a cold drink.

NO toilets on board but there are nice clean toilets in Festival Hall.

Some facts you know are rather vanilla especially about Big Ben being the bell and not the actual tower but you know what with the tour guide twanging the Bond theme over the mic we dip into the water by the side of the MI6 building you just soak up all the facts !.

    The prices as of April 2017 are as follows:
    Adults – £27
    Children (1+) – £19
    Under 1’s – Free

    I was given 2 tickets for this tour all thought and words opinion are my own.

    The tour is ending on the 18th September but they hope to be up and running again in January.

    Monday 28 August 2017

    The Bedlam Of Owning Cats

    The bedlam of owning  cats is never an easy task I mean that I why think  they're a bedlam , Jack is bedlam and unique he's adapted very well to being without Rollie.

    What ever you have is the cats it's never yours for the cat rules and you merely honestly in all honesty stole it from the cat from cake to fruit it belongs to the cat.

    You can't eat a think without being watched , I wouldn't mind so much it was when I was eating chocolate or cake , I could market this as a new diet.

    I rest my case !!

    Monday 21 August 2017

    Capuchin Crypt Rome Is a Must See In Rome

    Having just come back from Rome I can safefully say that travel really does broaden the mind and heighten the senses , and I'm thirsty for more travel. I think next I would really like to go to California I've always loved the USA and have been 6 times , 4 times to Florida and once to Washington D.C. We've also visited Berlin and Amsterdam but Rome has always been in our hearts.

    We visited many many places in Rome and we were there a week and I can honestly say there is still loads to see.

    We tried last minute to see one of the many Catacombs of Rome, but we were to late in booking anything a good compromise was the Capuchin Crypt. The crypt of bones is composed of six rooms beneath a chapel. There are about 4,00 Capuchin monk's bones decorating the rooms in all manner of intricate patterns covering the walls and ceilings of the crypt. There are even bone chandeliers hanging above you as you walk through.All manner of bones are nailed to the walls , many are stacked and some of the skeletons are in the robes of their order .Bones were nailed to the walls, some stacked, and some friars’ skeletons were in one piece under their robes. 

    Some of the other rooms also had burial sites with monks laid to rest in peace beneath the Earth’s soil. The six rooms are Crypt of the Resurrection, The Mass Chapel, Crypt of the Skulls, Crypt of the Pelvis, Crypt of the Leg Bones and Thigh Bones, and Crypt of the Three Skeletons. Each is the rooms are imactely organised if you can say that about a room of bones . The rooms are very neatly organised and well maintained, it really is most impressive.Some of the skeletons are standing or lying down it was astonishing to look at them because you knew that once they were a living soul. Some of the skeletons are wearing their friar robes, their skeletal bodies don't look gloomy at all . You must have your shoulders covered and you must  respectful as this is a holy place.

    The Capuchin Crypt is not macabre far from it it us a reminder life is fleeting and you're reminded of your own mortality. As a family we were not creeped out at all find it creepy we all understood the message that the crypt was conveying. Yes there is a souvenir shop with everything from mugs to postcards.

    Cambridge Food Tour Review

    I was lucky enough way back before Christmas to win a Cambridge food tour for 2 but it was only now I've been able to redeem it. We just had to pay for the teen which was roughly £50 and that was it so really £50 for the three of us. Parking with Cambridge itself is notoriously expensive so instead we opted for the park and ride £1 to park and £8.50 (on bus price ) for the three of us though it is £9 if you pay at the machine.

    We met by an exclusive little bakery / tea shop / I just want to live in there sort of place . It was just us  3 on the food tour plus the guide so 4 people in total.The tour starts off at Fitzbillies, and works its way around Cambridge visiting places like The Eagle pub and its history, Aromi, the food market, Fudge Kitchen, Cambridge Cheese Company and the Free Press Pub. You'll sample food at each of the places as you go round which gives you an insight into what is available around Cambridge. 

    Having done this tour we now know where I would go out to eat when in Cambridge and where to go and buy those special food items. It also get a good basic tour of the sights of Cambridge as well. The tour guides know their stuff so feel free to ask questions and they are very friendly.

    Friday 18 August 2017

    One Way To Make Money At University

    So you've got your results , you've got your place at University and your parents have stumped up the £300 deposit for yourUniversity accommodation , your mother is breathing into a paper bags at all the additional costs that go with it. Your mother spends £170 on various bedding items then your Father breathes into a paper bag let's face it University isn't cheap and you're young to have to face facts you're going to need a job and other avenues of income at University.

    Making Money From Your University Room

    Obviously you're not going to sub let your University room as that is strictly against the rules and you'll get kicked out of your accommodation and university ! But you can make money from your university room by ticking a box when you're making your accommodation choices You'll have to be available for certain open day events , wearva T-shirt and talk about your room experiences of University life. I'm unsure yet of how much you get but I saw one University where you get £75 off your accommodation costs , every little helps as they say.

    Sometimes there are even opportunities to take part in promotional pictures for example of students actually cleaning their room.

    Wednesday 16 August 2017

    I'm The Parent Who

    It's result day tomorrow and this blog post may go by without a glance or a foreword thought but A level results is a big thing. Everything rests on a few exams that my son has worked do hard for. Yes at times I feel like my sons social secretary but what it is to be young.

    I can not be nor ever will be a conventional parent because that's not me, I'm the parent that causes my son at times to hide behind his fingers. I'm a legend in the world of parent evenings especially when I told my sons year 10 English teacher he didn't really like her... much back peddling later he had learnt a new skill.

    I'm the parent who can't really do a serious family protrait ...

    What To Take To University

    What to take to university

    You'll be amazed that people have actually taken washing machines to university! I know that the washing at university is a bit of a rip off but still ! We have been teaching the teenager life lessons this summer ready though he did question as to why we made him mow the lawn !

    University room- You are give a desk chair and a mattress

    1. Duvet, duvet cover, sheets, mattress protector (take a few of each)
    2. Pillows, pillow case
    2. A  rug to spruce up your room a bit
    3. Cushions
    4. Decorations to make you feel more at home within reason .
    5. Photos and blu-tac
    6. Scissors and Sellotape (Something that was always in the teens bedroom )
    7. Laptop, phone, chargers, camera
    8. Door-stops (good for being sociable!)( but makes sure valuables are locked out of the way !)
    9. Books, films, speakers
    10. Wallet,purse, cards, ID, important documents etc
    11. Messenger Bags (essential c for nights out!)
    12. Posters to brighten up your bedroom ( Imagine Dragons poster I think will make it to University)
    13. Clothes (and coat hangers)- suitable for winter and summer! 
    14. Sunglasses (an essential to cover up those massive Freshers eye-bags)
    15. A TV make sure either or your parents pay for the TV licence ! 
    16. Clothes horse (or another variation of the word depending on where you are from!)
    17. Stationery and books
    18. Clothes basket
    19. Ear plugs. Prepare for a few sleepless nights
    20. Medicine (paracetamol is a Fresher's must)

    What else you you need will really depend on your course my son for instance will be doing an archaeology course , I was wondering what he needed so I went and asked the archaeology department on twitter ( #trendyparent = teen cringe ! ) 

    As an archaeology student the teen is going to need (according to the very nice archaeology student department ) a good pair of work boots/sturdy walking boots and good outdoor clothing , he needn't worry about anything else as it is provided by the archaeology department. Outdoor clothing just doesn't just mean a nice water proof coat, it means a good pair of work jeans or shorts as the teen will be on a dig quite possibly come next summer. And Engelbert Strauss does a great and affordable range of work wear which will be suitable for this purpose and will be long lasting especially when every penny counts for a student as you have to be frugal.

    Last summer we went round countless universities investigating the archaeology departments at one university we even went to a lecture on the history of Chickens. I am not bothered about the teen going to University as he will hopefully be going to York where there is the worlds most famous tea rooms in my opinion Bettys.

    So this summer we will be doing loads of shopping for going to University ! 

    Tuesday 15 August 2017

    Rome Travel Made Easy

    I've gone from this Morning of staring at St Peters Basilica to the services at a Newport Pagnall to vacuuming the house and all that entails from being on holiday but I've relaxed on holiday and despite me posting honestly I've been less active on social media. You see life isn't about the likes on social media it's the here and now and appreciating what you've got.

    The end of holidays are always a shock you hold on to every scrap of memories from your holiday.

    You battle through with a delinquent tea that quite frankly tastes of sorrow but people watching is a free alternative to the airport lounge. Normally you'd find me ( us the family in the airport lounge ) but we didn't do this on the flight out not coming back as Heathrow Terminal 5 is actually ok ( I always love going from Heathrow) And Fiumenco airport is pretty cool to as airport s go !

    Did you know that this holiday I've walked the equivalent of two whole marathons in 37 c heat with added humidity on top ! One day it was even 42 c ( the day I got a bit of heatstroke) 

    I've never walked so far in my life sightseeing and soaking up the culture! so when you are walking around Rome do make sure you have comfortable airy shoes  I did wear my walking shoes one day with comfortable insoles but then just wore my Fit flops after that.

    They say Rome wasn't built in a day but it has certainly given me a kickstart in the fitness steaks.  . (Oooooh steak )

    Of course when in Rome you eat as the Italians do 

    When coming to Rome do pack an empty water bottle as there as so many water fountains around Rome where you can fill your water bottle up for free don't buy from people flagging water in the street for one Euro, buy water from supermarkets when you need to.

    Public transport is easy and cheap in Rome you can either take the Metro or bus we used the public where I have to say you can't be shy about your personal space !

    Personally I don't think you really need to take a bus tour in Rome but you could do if you're short of time.Once you've taken the bus or Metro it is really easy to walk to your chosen destination such as the Trevi fountain, Vatican City and so forth.

    Review Of The Joseph Joseph Titan Trash Compactor

    It's judgement day in the T household ..

    I walked in the kitchen and the cat was straight out other family members had been in and out the kitchen and the cat had not shifted out its cat bunk basket ( he has a choice of top or bottom basket) I'm beginning to think that this is personal as the cat keeps doing this to me and only me was it because I left Classic FM on one day when Aled Jones was on ~ who knows but certainly it's a Scooby Doo style mystery.

    I judged my old bin unworthy and sent it to the wall of shame outside ready for scrapping , and wham bam thank you Joseph Joseph a shiny Titan  Compactor in its place a beautiful rectangular bin that has a special stainless steel coating that won't show up finger prints or paw prints. The new Titan Compactor bin is no wider that the circular bin that I was previously using. And being rectangular it will fit up nicely up against a wall or my case the cats bunk bed basket and luckily for cat that there is a replaceable carbon odour filter integrated into the underside of the lid to help reduce any unpleasant smells.Fot best performance it is recommended that you replace the carbon odour filter every 3 months. This is going to save a fortune in air freshener s ~ no more cat food packaging smells.

    The bin liners that come with the Titan Compactor are custom designed especially to fit the Titans 30 litre capacity. The Titan is a bit like Doctor Who's Tardis because it's actually bigger in the inside that the outside ~ intrigued well because the bin has a Compactor the capacity is increased from 30 litres to 90 litres. Yes the bin liners are more expensive than the cheap black plastic liners you get but due to the compacting nature of the bin I'll actually be changing the liner less, the bin liners never rip or slip down so are worth it in my opinion.The compaction system guides the liner, meaning they won't tear. Air channels also enable, easy, tear-free liner removal.There is nothing worse than rubbish spilling everywhere so I'm happy to buy the special bags. The price of the liners is £8 for 20 which you can buy through Joseph Joseph or Amazon , Lakeland etc.

    I absolutely and totally love the extra large foot pedal feature of the bin which is bigger than you would get on a circular bin.

    Hygienic and Mess Free

    Titan's compaction plates ensure only the inside of the bin liner touches the waste whilst compacting - leaving you with clean hands and a clean bin.The lid has a stay  put feature which assists you in the changing of the bin liner.

    When is a bin not just a bin why when it's not a Joseph Joseph bin of course.For extra peace of mind your Joseph Joseph Titan Trash Compactor comes with a 10 year guarantee against manufacturering defects.The price of the bin is £199 but you have the knowledge of a great innovative name ,and a high quality lasting product that will give you many years of faithful service.

    Welcome Pack

    Your bin will come with a welcome pack includes instructions for usage, 3 x IW4 30L Custom-fit Compaction Liners and 1 x odour filter.

    Disclosure I was sent the bin by Joseph Joseph all thoughts words and opinions are my own. I love Joseph Joseph products with a passion! The cat is my own and  is called Jack he is happy to review the bin as much as I am !