Monday, 18 May 2015

Hey Little Magpie

I've been putting the Minc gold foiling machine through its paces over on the Hey Little Magpie blog . If you're tempted  go take a peek.

In anticipation of all my wonderful students passing their exams, I'll be making a few more of these cards. The gold foiling looks beautiful on the bottom line although it never photographs well. I must rig up some proper lighting next time.



Thursday, 14 May 2015

Figuratively speaking

If I never see another Eng Lit GCSE text again, it will be too soon. That's a shame because the chosen texts have a lot to offer until , that is, you've had to pick them apart with a fine tooth comb for the purposes of passing a GCSE exam.

I've just read and re-read ( and read aloud ) youngest son's texts - his English Literature  exams are next week. The poetry anthology has been given the same treatment. It's been unpicked to within an inch of its literary life and every linguistic device has been identified in microscopic detail as if under investigation by a Scene of the Crime Officer . It truly takes the joy out of every word, sentence and paragraph ( list of threes) like a dementor sucking the joy out of a scene in a Harry Potter film (simile) . We've been fumbling around the footnotes ( alliteration )  of every poem for clues as if our lives depended on the evidence ( hyperbole) ..... I could go on .

I'm wondering if there's a better way to teach English. I know we have to encourage tomorrow's writer's to know their onions ( idiom ... no this is getting silly now ) and that the best way to appreciate the writer's art is to study the mechanics of writing but do we have to strip it down like a greasy engine ( ooh exciting - an extended metaphor ) or could we not just read books and talk about the power of words ( a touch of personification ? ) and their influence on us ? Just imagine a class full of year 11s coming in to school , talking about what they felt, imagined and experienced from what they'd just read . Books can truly mesmerise us ( metaphor - no STOP this now ) , change our lives, enrich and empower us but not if it puts young readers off for life.

I'm off to pour a large glass of wine having spent the afternoon dissecting the works of the ever cheerful ( irony ) Thomas Hardy . Enough faffing around trying to finesse the finer points of figurative language ( a spot of alliteration )  -  a nice robust red Rioja awaits ( yes ... you know what that is  ) .
  

Sunday, 10 May 2015

There are Thank You presents .....

... and then there are THANK YOU PRESENTS  and this falls into the latter category !



One of my most delightful pupils has just presented me with this chocolatey extravaganza which she made with her Mum. I am speechless with gratitude and looking for a hiding place from the boys who would devour this in one sitting. This amazing Mum has a company called Chocadoodle and she actually gets to do this for a living  as well as being a lovely Mum and having a full time job in education - I don't know how she does it .

For all those pupils sitting SATS exams next week - GOOD LUCK and just think of how wonderful next Friday will feel !






Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Good Luck

.. to all those embarking on their first GCSE exam in one hours time - English Language.

Don't worry if you've got butterflies - that's a good thing . It comes from our hairy ancestors - the flight or fight adrenaline thing . It gears you up to do your best.

Visualise success - picture that results sheet with your name on it and that grade you've worked so hard to get.

I've been on an exam marking course for one of the major boards - believe me , the examiner is your friend - they're looking to give you marks - they want you to do well too.

Surround yourself with positive cheerful friends whilst waiting outside the exam from - don't listen to  the prophets of doom. "Be yourself , " as Oscar Wilde once said, "Everyone else is taken . "You CAN do this.

Think about when all of this is over - you're going to have one hell of a Summer ! Bring it on

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Every now and then ...

... your children do something that astonishes you - usually the naughty astonishment variety - I'm thinking of the day eldest brought a bottle of green food colouring into school . You would have thought it was St Patrick's day judging by the colour of his classmates' shirts as they emerged at the end of the day. Then there was the unfathomable reason as to why youngest might have thrown his school shoes onto the roof or the day eldest broke the pane of glass in the front door because he'd
 " forgotten his keys ".

But then there's the good astonishment variety , all too rare but all the more wonderful for it. Last night was one of those. I went to see youngest in his GCSE Drama performance at school in front of the examination officer and filmed - no pressure then. He hadn't let me practise his lines with him , had barred me from going anywhere near his group's rehearsals this weekend in our kitchen, forbidden me from looking at the script he wrote unaided.

I wasn't sure what to expect . You could have knocked me down with a feather when he chose to study Drama for GCSE. He'd always thought of acting as 'showing off '  - I knew what he meant. I'm one of those squirming in my seat when I have to watch over exaggerated shouty dramatic performances. So fast forward to 7.30 pm Thursday 29th April - a moment now indelibly etched on my conscious mind and one I will never forget .

Out he walks onto the stage, confident and self assured and delivers what I can only describe as a mind-blowingly powerful performance that left me stunned and sobbing in my seat. He played the part of a man suffering from mental illness on the brink of suicide. So compellingly believable was his performance that I had to stop myself from leaping onto the stage and wrestling the sleeping pills from his clenched fist. So caught up in the moment , a single tear slid down his cheek as he delivered his final line. I could barely breathe.

Watching his classmates hug and congratulate him as he walked off stage reduced me to a blubbering wreck. On the way home he told me how proud he was that he had done something well , adding the saddest footnote ... " I'm not very good at anything but it felt good to do well tonight ".

Oh my wonderful, beautiful boy. You will never realise how talented you are.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The best thing ....

... about finishing an hour long punishing Pilates class is the certain knowledge that you won't have to do it again for another 6 days and 23 hours. Am I supposed to be enjoying it or is it really supposed to be almost impossible?  Two wonky knees and a displaced shoulder doesn't help but I had hoped I might have crawled out with a certain glow of smug satisfaction at the very least .

Well at least my boys have found a practical use for the giant inflatable Pilates ball I bought - extreme volleyball in the garden.

Monday, 27 April 2015

How to help your dyslexic child through exams - Part 1

One of these days I'll write a book about this but in the meantime, here's what I've been doing for mine. This is second time around for me although my eldest was at a Special School at the time of his GCSEs and they were fully on board so my role was merely supportive. This time though , youngest is in mainstream school so there's more to do .


This is neither a prescriptive nor exhaustive list - just my suggestions which are working for us. I realise that for some, these may not be practical. I'm in the lucky position of working freelance so , although financially punitive, I am able to stand down work over the exam period. Do what you can and as much as you're able but don't beat yourself up . Just being around, feeding and re-assuring will go a long way to helping them through this tricky time.


  • Youngest son doesn't understand fully the passage of time - dyslexic children vary in their ability to appreciate how long things take , especially , if like mine , they're also dyspraxic. So I've downloaded a freebie calendar page for May and June ( the exam period for us ) which is available here . I've then cut it into strips and re-assembled it so that it looks like a horizontal timeline. This enables him to read from left to right and actually see each day pass rather than as a rectangular grid which can be confusing. Choose their favourite colour ( orange  = happy ! ) and mark up their actual exams . Not too much information and BOLD CAPITALS . The clearer the better . Only display one month at a time - 2 months can appear daunting.  Keep it Simple. Put it above their desk. Here's mine.






  • Clear your diary of unnecessary things but keep a sensible balance. Not always achievable especially if you work and have other children to take care of , just do what you can sensibly manage. Now's not the time to be away from home - you can live it up for the rest of the summer ! I went away in the middle of May for a weekend and I came home to find my son feeling dis-heartened and dis-oriented having wasted his time trying to revise but not really having stayed on task . Nor is it the time to be doing the whole world favours - so if someone asks you to invest your time or organise something that isn't vital just decline politely with " I'm sorry , I can't help you with that at the moment. "
  • Never under-estimate the power of re-assurance but don't just offer blanket platitudes like " You're doing fine". They know whether they are or not. Make it specific , more like " Well done, now you've got the first 10 chapters read we can tackle the second half "

  • Read to them or download texts from Audible if the titles are available. That's how we've tackled his English Literature text - The Siege by Helen Dunmore - a wonderful book but a bit of a Mount Everest for a dyslexic child.

  • Buy this ! I can't recommend it highly enough . If nothing else it made me feel better just helping him fill it in. We'd already drawn up revision timetables but they were slightly woolly . This very sensibly gets you to do a time budget and also encourages you to compile a rewards list - nothing helps motivation more than the promise of a Domino's Pizza at the end of the week. It also makes you get down to the nitty gritty of prioritising revision. Available from Amazon here and if you're  a Prime member it will arrive tomorrow. I've tried many with my students over the years and this one beats them all.







  •  Build in exercise breaks - a bike ride or a walk . Oxygen in the lungs gets the brain going and so does a glass of water - but if they're dyspraxic make sure it's nowhere near their open books - I speak from experience !
  • Stock up with healthy snacks . We subscribe to Graze boxes - worth their weight in gold at only £3.99 a pop ( the price of one posh coffee ) and they can be delivered weekly or however often you need them. 
  • Don't make them do revision cards unless you really think they're going to work . For a start my son can barely read his own hand-writing and it takes all his effort just to get the mechanics of writing going let alone learn from them. I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom but sometimes you have to do what work for you , not the other 90% of the population. I have bought these for maths and they're working well. 
  • Cook their favourite dinners . They don't need to be Masterchef quality - sometimes beans on toast is just what's needed and change the subject whilst they're eating . It's not the time to girl them on Shakespeare quotes !

I hope the above helps - I'm a Specialist Teacher for children with Special Educational Needs and I'm not sponsored to endorse any of the products I've mentioned above - they just work for us. That's all for now - part 2 to follow.  



Sunday, 26 April 2015

To breakfast ...

... or not to breakfast: that was the question:
Whether 'tis sensible to go for the 1pm performance at the Globe on an empty stomach and suffer
The tummy rumbling slings and arrows of outrageous hunger
Or to grab a bacon butty before the play began.


We opted for brekkie at a brand new hotel in town called the Mondrain . I had an ulterior motive - it was where I once worked for LWT in the entertainment department . We called it the Pink Palace and I loved every minute . Otherwise known as Sea Containers House , it's now been completely remodelled into a beautiful hotel. Well worth a peek , especially as they have a Curzon Cinema in house where you can bring in your Bloody Mary from the outrageously trendy bar to sip whilst you view the latest Art House movie. Beats a luminous blue slushy any day.

Breakfast, or rather Brunch as it was billed, was a fabulous affair - everything you could possibly imagine in a lavish buffet spread, best view in town of St Paul's and a ringside seat for the London Marathon whose runners were sweating their way along the embankment on the other side of the river whilst we scoffed our way through the French pastries.














Off then to the Globe for The Merchant of Venice . This was my idea of indelibly implanting the plot, characters and key quotes on youngest son's brain in time for his Eng Lit exam in a fortnight . Hope it works, although I fear he'll remember more about the pidgeon that pooped within a codpiece's width of us . If I were a pidgeon I think I'd opt for the Globe as my residence too . Richer pickings than the pavement-trodden MacDonalds fries elsewhere in the capital.







Last highlight of the day was renting a Boris bike for the ride back to Waterloo Station. Parting was such sweet sorrow but I feel we may be back before long if only for another shot at brunch.





Thursday, 23 April 2015

Pentatonix

Quite by chance I spotted that Pentatonix are singing at the Hammersmith Apollo . Very excited to have got tickets - standing only sadly but I think I'll manage it - there aren't many groups I'd stand for over an hour for so I hope they're flattered .



In case you haven't heard them before , here's s snapshot on You Tube - called The Evolution of Music - a very clever montage through the ages.

Enjoy !


Friday, 17 April 2015

The Hard Problem

Went to theatre last night , well not strictly the theatre itself but our local cinema, where they were screening a live broadcast from the National Theatre of Tom Stoppard's play The Hard Problem. Hadn't read the reviews in advance as I didn't want to spoil it but was keen to see what he'd written after an absence of 9 years .

 I have a bit of a hard problem myself with theatre . I never understand why actors always say they prefer the intimacy of the stage compared to films. That's obviously from their perspective but for the audience I always feel as if I'm listening to a shouting match whenever I go to the theatre.

Always a worry when the opening scene is marginally less attractive than the popcorn you've just bought . Youngest son was happy enough with the bucket sized portion and the bladder-busting sized coke to accompany it . In fact I was surprised he was prepared to come with me but pleased , especially as my ulterior motive was to motivate him in time for his drama performance next week for his GCSE . I could never understand why he chose drama as a subject, always having thought in the past that acting was just showing off.

So , there we are , munching our way through fistfuls of sweet and salty ( why is it that I trough at popcorn like a pig at the cinema ? Think it may be because I think no-one can see me ) trying to de-cipher what the hell is going on as we'd stupidly arrived a few minutes late . It was when we got to the exchange that went something like  .... " why can a chair not believe it's a chair ? Because it doesn't know how to think " ... that I realised I wasn't going to engage with this play. It's the kind of conversation you have when drunk and so I must have a lot of those sorts of conversation. It didn't help that it was delivered in a phoney American accent that seemed to lapse into pseudo Irish every now and then.

That brings me to my next problem with theatre . I applaud the fact that they cast the actors based on suitability for the role but why do they then make them speak in phoney accents ? I think they all need to pass a GCSE in how to speak American ... for the entire duration of the play. It always ruins it for me . Not wanting to speak entirely gloomily about the play I did like the brain-like lighting sculpture that hung eerily above the stage, flickering every now and then, presumably to resemble the firing of synapses.

So, by about the half way mark , when the popcorn had dwindled to the impossibly hard kernels at the bottom of the box and the question of " Do I pee now or wait until the end " had crossed my mind at least twice , I realised that it was all dragging on again . A few more implausibilities reared their ugly heads , don't want to spoil it for you in case you go see it , which made the whole plot silly . And that's my next problem with theatre , you have to condense the whole shebang into a one hit wonder that lasts long enough to warrant the price of a ticket , divides neatly into two halves but doesn't induce bum-numbing anticipation of a G&T at half time. I'm such a philistine but I can't help it .

There was a lot of shouting again at the end and then the denouement where everyone sort of did or didn't live slightly happily ever after and everyone realised that the chair couldn't be a chair because it was a toothbrush and maybe it did have a brain after all.

As we tipped onto the pavement afterwards , I realised I didn't have that lovely life-changing feeling that you get from a good film, even it it does only last for the journey home. At least they don't have to shout all the time in films to be heard and providing it isn't a sequel or a prequel or whatever they call them these days , involves no CGI and isn't made in Hollywood , then give me a well scripted film , (preferably without box office banking celebrities ) any day. There we go - my Philistine qualities rising to the surface again.

On the bonus side at least there was no singing . Don't start me on musicals . If I were ever captured by the enemy, roped to a seat in front of a musical , I would confess everything and shop my own granny if I had one. And did youngest son enjoy it ? Well, I had to explain the philosophy versus psychology debate to him but bless him , he loved the popcorn.


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Paris

My Mac has gone into meltdown and I'm lost without it . This post is going to take forever as I'm typing on a mini keyboard from my iPad . The screen keeps disappearing and hideous ads keep popping up which I can't trace or delete or even find the virus to uninstall. Mac's are supposed to be virus free ( the computers that is ... not the burgers ) but this apparently is a myth . Now they tell me.

Anyway a quickie post to report back from Version Scrap - Oh my - what a delight - would recommend anyone to go . Just returned from a weekend trip there with my scrapping buddies. Everything is so refreshingly different to the tat that sometimes goes under the banner of so-called scrapbooking shows here in the UK . Not a peel-off in sight thankfully . Beautiful design , ingenious products , every stall a delight - beautifully presented with real pride and free little gifts , loads of make and takes ... and then there's the red wine and steak frites in the evening . I'll stop there and just show the pics.

So how much stash did I bring home ? Well just this little bag .... honest.




... and here's what it had inside...




love love love the teensy dies






Wooden stamps from a French company called Craft Origine - oh so beautiful and on sale too .




You can never have enough washi tape - check out the cool cats on top



Amazing stand selling such original buttons or rather badges



Couldn't resist these stamps and met the designer of the Art Stamp sets - Zorotte - may just have to check out her retreat.



Loved these people - Simply Graphic . Fr





And my lovely scrap buddies ... and a few new friends. Remember girls ... what happened in Paris stays in Paris !




Monday, 23 March 2015

Is it just me ....

... or does 99% of M&S womenswear look like a jumbled mess of cast-offs and polyester nightmares ?

I've just trawled through the entire tops and T shirts section and can't find a single item that would persuade me to even try it on let alone buy it.  My granny ( if I had one ) wouldn't be seen dead in most of it . There's a slug green shapeless top that looks like it's got a couple of bin bags glued on as pockets . Then there's the promisingly titled bird T shirt that looks like a couple of vultures are about to peck each-other's eyes out ... something called a tonal bubble hem something - goodness only knows what that's supposed to mean let alone look like.

If you click on the item it will show you a model wearing said item. I thought that might make them look a tad more appealing but judging by the bored look on their gormless faces , well their expressions speak volumes.

Can't find one single thing worth a second glance What are M&S playing at ?

Saturday, 14 March 2015

I've Been Framed

Head on over to the Hey Little Magpie blog where you can find my latest projects ....

A little teaser of a taster .....














... and if you feel so inclined , please leave a comment on the Hey Little Magpie blog - always appreciated !

Saturday, 14 February 2015

A Stitch in Time ...

... over on the Hey Little Magpie blog .

Please take a look at my February layouts for Hey Little Magpie using Amy Tan's Stitched collection.

Sneak peeks :








Thanks for looking !

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Curiouser and Curiouser

During an idle moment I decided to check out vacancies at the BBC for no particular reason other than sheer curiosity . Having worked in TV for a couple of decades a while back, I wondered if it might tickle my fancy to go back to TV production. Regular income, like-minded colleagues, regular hours (ish) , creative ... what's not to like ?

A quick scroll through the Sits Vac informed me that I could apply to become a Data Migration Manager ( counting swallows ? ) , a Supplier Relationship Manager ( sounds saucy ) , a Talent Pool Sales Executive ( swimming's not my strong point ) , an Extendee ( no idea ) , a Cynorthwy -ydd y Cyfryngau  ( apparently ) ... ah here's one I understand .... a Principal Viola ( player I assume not the actual instrument ) .

No actual jobs making TV programmes interestingly.




Monday, 26 January 2015

Whiplash

Sounds kinky I know . Second thought that comes to mind are those ghastly adds for personal injury claims. Well I'm not into kinky and I don't hold with this country's obsession with the blame culture BUT ... I now know whiplash is very real and very painful . Haven't been able to hold my head up all week without wincing . I was rear-ended by a speeding driver ... in my own road last Tuesday and I've been paying the price ever since. I didn't think the accident was to blame as I'd woken up with a headache anyway . However according to the doctor and the chiropractor ( both of whom are my new best friends ) a pre-existing headache just makes the symptoms of whiplash more severe . They are both utterly convinced that is what I have .

Can't begin to describe the gnawing pain . It's there , all day every day like a bad toothache times ten. Can't sleep , can't sit down , can't stand up , can't lie down without this awful pain. Everything seems to make it worse. Anyway , counting the hours ( 25.45 to be precise) until my next appointment with Mr Chiropractor and praying that treatment will provide some respite from this misery.

For all of you fellow whiplash sufferers out there - you have my sympathy.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Love is all we need ....

....  over on the Hey Little Magpie blog tomorrow , my layouts for February . Guess what - they feature a lot of hearts and a lot of pink paper ... apart from the last one which is an antidote to the pinkness oF Valentines Day.












Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Sales

I listened entranced to Woman's Hour yesterday. It was a suitably New Yearish topic - de-cluttering. All you had to do was stop shopping and you'd be cured. I managed to do this for 22 hours , possibly a record for me. I generally hate Sales - they're usually bogus and lure you into buying something silly that you didn't want and don't need. However I only bought three little things and none of them were impulse purchases. Each of them I believe to beautiful and know to be useful , so William Morris would be proud of me.

First up , something that satisfies not only my love of geometry but also earns its keep on my desk by holding my pencils. That's what I went into town to buy and that's what I came home with - and a snip at £2.40 from John Lewis. It's smoked glass and I just love it.







Then there was this ....









My husband bought me a beautiful copper dish designed and made in Scotland by  The Just Slate Company for Christmas  This little boxed beauty from the same company complements the dish and was reduced in the sale because the cheese knife was missing as you can see from what it says on the label. The lovely lady at the till said " Oh would you like the cheese knife to go with that ? They're out the back " I think the reason they were reduced was because of the missing knife, but bless her, she went and got one for me and popped it in the box at no extra charge !
















   




And finally this . I'd coveted it before Christmas but not at full price. It was a snip at half price and I plan  to fill it with guest toiletries and place it in the guest bedroom which has similar curtains and cushions as the design on the case. Love it when a scheme comes together .








So that's it for sale shopping . Don't think I'll be venturing near the shops again for a while .... famous last words of course.



Saturday, 20 December 2014

Thank heavens ...

...  for girlfriends. Having spent the last 20 years stuffing stockings full of whoopee cushions, fake dog poo and mini plastic toilets full of glow-in-dark-slime ( not that all of these aren't hilarious ) , I finally get to buy gifts for my sons' girlfriends . Oh the joy of buying nail varnish sets, pretty purses to stuff with chocolate coins and sweet tubs of lip gloss ! Ahhh ... just packing up one for eldest son's girlfriend and youngest son is downstairs handing over his gifts to his new girlfriend , although he won't allow me to call her that !

So , this Christmas will be a little pink and frilly . Of course , my boys will still be getting the farting key rings and the rubber band guns - why change the habits of a lifetime ?

I also found these delightful books for my pupils - Penguin classics - a beautiful gift for anyone , beautifully produced and a delight in any stocking.



I also just have to show you a few photos I took at possibly the loveliest shops in the UK - Foxtail Lilly. Last weekend they held a Christmas Brocante Fair - which sadly I missed but I was able to take a few snaps just as the light was fading and the sun was setting over the Northamptonshire hills. The shop is filled with heavenly selections of flowers, all beautifully packaged and delightful vintage items, cards and gifts. You really could do all your Christmas shopping there . Go take a peek if you have a minute ... in fact make a minute !











































Friday, 19 December 2014

Some things will never change ...



... leaving my Christmas cards ( those that I still send - dwindling in number ) until the last possible posting date

.... never buying enough wrapping paper but not discovering this until Christmas Eve

... and being wooed  by the ridiculous array of silly 'party food' from the supermarkets such as mini hot dogs ... what's the matter with a proper hot dog for goodness sake ?

There's something about the allure of the ad campaign that I fall victim to in a moment of weakness,  the media hype about having the 'perfect Christmas and the seige mentality that must come from some neanderthal past gene of thinking that the shops will never be open again and what if we all starve ?

Sadly, there's something else that will never change and that is the tragic loss of life that arises from a senseless act of terrorism in the days leading up to Christmas that rocks us to our core and leaves us speechless with horror and disgust that any human could inflict such violence on another.

To see those children, who survived, pack their schoolbags on the following day, as an act of defiance against the evil perpetrators, is nothing short of heroic.

It puts the choosing of chipolatas into stark perspective and makes me feel idiotically stupid to even consider that Christmas is a chore when mothers across the other side of the world are burying their children.

So, this Christmas, I will be praying for an end to terrorism and counting my blessings that I have my children safe in my arms. That is really all that matters.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

We're having a LAN party apparently

No , I'd never heard of it either but then that's because I'm an old fogey. There are 6 teenage boys downstairs wired up to about 4 computers/ game console thingys ( just proving my old fogey status there ) and assorted screens , headphones and I don't know what . It looks like NASA space control and they appear to be having fun , all the more surprising because they've hardly had an hours sleep . There are 3 ( empty ) KFC buckets in the bin and I've been supplying a seemingly endless conveyor belt of carbs since yesterday afternoon. The bacon buttes went down a storm this morning as did the mile high pile of triple chocolate chip cookies that just came out of the overn . I think there may be move to order in a pizza . Needles to say the fruit bowl has remained untouched.

Yes , it's end of term and I'm never happier than when youngest sons invites his mates round on the last day of school . It's good to know where they are and that they're in good company . Lomg may it continue .

Oh ... and LAN stands for Local Area Network apparently - something else to do with video games I guess. Still, it beats the sort of party that goes viral on Facebook and ends up with a wrecked house, a garden full of vomit and various attempts to smuggle in vodka in hip flasks. Thankfully youngest doesn't seem interested in those ..... yet.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Get Happy ...

... with Gossamer Blue's Christmas Collection. Loving the vibrant colours ... take a peek at the Hey Little Magpie blog to see my post for December . If you've no time to spare  ( and let's face it - who does at this time ) then you'll like these speedy projects .











Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday

What the blazes is all this about ?

Thought I'd sit down and do a bit of quiet online shopping with a cup of coffee this morning , the first I've had off in I don't know how long and all hell's broken loose in cyberspace.

Yet another import from across the pond . Not enough that we now have to celebrate World Potato Day or buy Happy Second Cousin Twice Removed birthday cards or personalised M&Ms , now we're supposed to beat each other over the head for an outsized telly the size of a small horse ?

Don't we all have enough stuff to last a few lifetimes and beyond ? If I was a savvy retailer I'd skip the encouraging of histrionics and the mad mentality of queueing overnight for a steam mop or having to pre-warn the police that they may have a riot on their hands at dawn and just offer all shoppers who'd placed an order in the last week a 10% off discount any order placed online and be done with it.

And there are some retailers who've completely shot themselves in the foot . Apple for example are only offering deals to US shoppers. Nothing like feeling like you've been left out to encourage brand loyalty eh ?

So, despite the fact that we'd probably all secretly desire a wopchop telly that empties the  dishwasher and puts the bins out to boot , let's try and boycott the nonsense and save ourselves a trip to A & E as a consequence of having a microwave fall on our heads from a great height at the feeding frenzy that was Asda this morning. Are you listening retail giants ?