Exotic Tipples, subscription, gifts

The contents of the Exotic Tipples subscription box in all its glory.

I think 2015 will surely go down in history as The Year of the Subscription Box. You can get them for everything these days; male grooming, female beauty products, products that will enhance your love life and, er, and stationery.

Not too surprisingly, several more have appeared on the scene on the run up to Christmas. One of the more notable is Exotic Tipples. Continue Reading…


Woolovers, men's style, men's fashion,

Woolovers Cashmere / Merino wool blend polo neck jumper.

As the weather has taken a turn for the worse, you may be thinking about getting some warmer clothes and jumpers. For some reason, I’m not very good at buying jumpers and so I have very few of them.

Even so, there’s one staple I always keep in the wardrobe; a black polo neck. I accept that not everyone is a fan of this look, but I think it is a timeless classic. Continue Reading…

Eye Tests Save Lives

John Adams —  November 26, 2015 — 2 Comments

Some of the worst motoring I witness is, for some reason, in environments where there are large numbers of children. The school run is a typical example. In fact dangerous parking almost seems to be obligatory.

Yesterday I was taking my daughter to her gymnastics class. The inconsiderate motoring I saw was legendary and for all the wrong reasons. Parking up in a way that blocks up four vehicles and playing on your mobile phone is not condoned in the Highway Code. Continue Reading…

The CHildren's Society, Seriously Awkward, #SeriouslyAwkward, charity, campaign

Read more about Jemma’s story below.


Some years ago I attended a job interview. It was for a media officer’s job with The Children’s Society.

I say media officer, this was such a long time ago it was probably what was then referred to as a press officer role. The media has moved on such a lot in the intervening years that the title of press officer is obsolete in this day and age. Please forgive me, I’m going off on a tangent. Continue Reading…

toys, toy aeroplane, toy aircraft. George at Asda

The toy aeroplane I had as a child was remarkably similar to this.

With Christmas a month away, there’s been a lot of discussion in our house about toys. Toys my eldest child has grown out of are now being passed on to her little sister, especially bigger items like bikes and trikes. It makes me a little nostalgic to be honest.

I’ve been looking at various retailers, trying to find suitable Christmas presents for the children. Among the ranges I’ve looked at has been George at Asda’s toy selection. I can see a few items that may get passed on to future generations, especially the wooden toys.   Continue Reading…

Janet STreet Porter, restaurants, child friendly, Daily Mail

A child, eating in a restaurant. Scandalous, I’m sure you’ll agree. Pic credit below.

I was invited onto BBC Radio Tees yesterday. I was asked if I’d care to respond to an article that Janet Street-Porter had written for Daily Mail.

In the article, the former Independent on Sunday editor, suggested that children should be banned from restaurants and cafes. She also put forward the idea that aircraft should have special “baby zones”. Continue Reading…

wood burning stove, heat, central heating, warmth, relfections on family life.

Our glorious wood burning stove. Chopping logs to keep this thing going has made me think about those with much bigger problems.


Immediately after writing this blog post, I will be taking action to ensure my family does not freeze. This will involve going outside and chopping logs for our wood burning stove.

It’s become a part of my early morning routine. Some days I’ve been so desperate to get the fire lit I’ve gone outside while still wearing my night clothes and dressing gown and started splitting logs. That must be quite an amusing sight for the neighbours. Continue Reading…

Introducing YouTube Kids

John Adams —  November 23, 2015 — 15 Comments
YouTube, YouTube Kids, children, Google

YouTube Kids; designed specially for the little ones.

I remember the first time I allowed my children to watch YouTube. It must have been about three years ago. It was one of those occasions when I needed some peace and quiet and yet there was nothing suitable on the television. I did a search for Peppa Pig and sat down with my daughter Helen as she watched a few episodes.

Since then, my family’s use of YouTube has become more sophisticated. I’ve used it to watch French-language videos with the kids and found it especially good for sourcing classic educational songs like Frere Jacques. I’ve used it to watch videos about the solar system or wildlife films, depending on what their interest are at a particular time. Continue Reading…

Playing in the November snow

John Adams —  November 22, 2015 — 23 Comments
snow, toddler, outdoors play, November,

Toddler Adams playing in the November snow

We had some freak snow yesterday morning. It lay on the ground for about an hour and the children made the most of it.

Pictured here is Toddler Adams, just before I helped her put some gloves on, who had great fun with her sister playing while the snow lasted. It wasn’t too much longer after this shot was taken that she came inside complaining of being cold. She warmed up very quickly after having a bath.

The picture was taken on a Nikon Coolpix L820, which is a basic bridge camera. This isn’t a camera I’d normally use, but my trusty Samsung has gone into retirement and I’m waiting for my replacement Canon DSLR to be delivered (sense the excitement in the tail end of that sentence!).

The pic was taken in smart mode in colour but I flipped it to black and white. Focal length was 4mm, ISO 180, exposure time 1/30 of a second and aperture f3. I have linked this image to the #MySundayPhoto linky. Click on the link below to see more images taken by other bloggers. I hope to link up next week with an image taken on my sparkly new Canon!


DIY, Yale, intruder alarm, burglar alarm

The Stand-alone alarm. More info below.

Struggling with what to get your fussy family for Christmas this year? The older brother who insists there is nothing that he wants, or the Uncle you only ever seem to buy socks for? And don’t even start with the in-laws!

Well, the security experts at Yale, have produced a Christmas gift guide so you can be safe in the knowledge that they’ll get presents they love. Continue Reading…