Category: Review (page 1 of 4)

Top 5 of 2016

I’ve really enjoyed blogging this year – thanks so much to those of you who read it on a regular basis.

As 2016 wraps up, I wanted to showcase my favourite five posts of 2016 and reflect on some of the memories they evoked. Which one will be top?

Thanks again and see you in the New Year!

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The Apprentice Final: The Return of Rebecca Jeffery

Ok, so it’s not the primary tagline the BBC are running with in promoting The Apprentice Final tonight, however for our family, this series has only ever been about the trials and tribulations of our favourite marketing guru, Rebecca Jeffery.

And, after she left in a blaze of dismissive glory in Week 6 and giggled away with Rhod Gilbert, nothing has been seen of her.

Not, I must say, until the teaser for the final was released on Thursday night, as she returns to support the finalists, erstwhile colleagues Alana Spencer and Courtney Wood.

Can’t wait.

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Six weeks in, Rebecca “Jef-t” the Apprentice

It was so lovely last night to watch Becs in her element – chatty, enthusiastic, exuberant. She came across as warm, great fun and bursting with creative energy.

What a shame that was only on The Apprentice: You’re Fired.

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Sophie our Bake Off showstopper

With an army of over 15m devotees, The Great British Bake Off has become a fortress of British entertainment. Wednesday evening 8pm – my wife would set her timer and, like clockwork, settle down to watch the success-hungry contestants bake, whisk and mix their way towards success.

Even Sophie got in on the act, as this post proves.

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Sp-bec-tacular – Rebecca’s 1st four weeks on The Apprentice

Well she’s still there – good on you Becs for making it through the first third of The Apprentice 2016.

Wow it’s been tough viewing though!

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Rebecca Jeffery for The Apprentice 2016

This blog owes a great debt to Apprentice candidate Rebecca Jeffery.

Indeed, if it wasn’t for her foresight two and a half years ago in helping me get going, it may well have not happened at all!

It is with huge anticipation that I look ahead to watching her flash her business skills to a watching world on this series of The Apprentice.

And I hope you all enjoy her performance too.

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DIY House Nightmares part 2

Having survived the electrical work, we turned our attention to the prevailing concern of our house…the roof.

Now, our road is full of 1930s houses. The roofs are all exactly the same and have been for the past 80 years. Pretty darn good workmanship if you ask me (and my wife’s Grandad – an ex-roofer himself –  would agree.)

However, when damp is creeping into your loftspace and there’s some sneaky drips on the wall, it’s certainly advisable to get it sorted out – and sharpish.

So, on the first day of the holidays, we watched as the outside of our house turned into a building site. At least this time the work was all external and you were a bit freer inside but it was still remarkably intrusive.

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My wife and I were up ladders inside  painting so at least we felt part of the DIY action.

20160802_155448Meanwhile thick-booted roofers tramped around the top of our house, clambering over tiles and chucking down the old broken and unusable original roof.

It looked like a great sport – aim for the skip, ten points if you hit the giant tiger which someone dumped in there – but actually it was much to the dismay of our next door neighbour who quite rightly took umbrage at the shards of tile which sprayed over our wall onto his pristine front garden and drive. Oops.

The guys we got in to do the roof were highly efficient. They arrived at ours before nine, taking down one roof and replacing it with another all in the space of six days. Very impressive. Personally, I loved impressing Sophie by climbing up the ladder and shinning up the roof to the ridge tiles at the summit. Never touched the top of a chimney before! (Wouldn’t dare do it now as I’d hate to damage what has been put on!).

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I have learned lots about flashings and clay tiles. I know how valuable lead covering is around chimney breasts in order to keep out the rain. I’ve even tried flogging some old tiles to a local building site but sadly they were having none of it. Eighty years old and nobody wants them. Shame.

I did feel a bit sorry for the guys when the North Western skies opened and the rains began to pour down. Still, I guess that’s very much par for the course when you’re a roofer in this part of the world. A bit like the silly behaviour of children in a classroom after lunchtime I guess!

All done though very quickly and without needing the help of the boss who simply came in at the end to settle up and sweep away all the mess.

Sounds great and for the most part it has been. The roof looks terrific and no doubt they’re hoping the rest of our road will be thinking of tapping up their services. After all, ours can’t have been the only roof on this street having issues with age.

And we thought that it was all sorted, until damp spots started appearing in Sophie’s bedroom again after some particularly heavy showers. A roof over our heads? Yes, but not quite in perfect condition just yet…

DIY House Nightmares

To say it’s been busy at our house since we moved in back in March is a bit of an understatement.

Aware of the looming deadline of baby’s arrival (seven weeks to go!) and the careful advice from our ultra-thorough surveyor Mr Jon B, it has been important for us to get as many jobs done and out of the way as soon as possible.

Easier said than done when things keep going wrong!

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Sophie found Dory… but how did she find the cinema?

This blog loves a good “firsts” story.

So when we braved taking Sophie to the cinema for the very first time to watch Pixar’s Finding Dory, it was always going to end up on these pages.

Before we set off, we were racked with questions like:
“How will it be?”
“Will she cope with the loud noises?”
“How on earth will we keep a hyperactive toddler quiet and still for two hours?”
“Does she even like fish?!”

And here’s how it went…

Dory

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Settling in

Yesterday I had a warm shower…in my own home…for the first time in two weeks.

(Don’t worry – I’d showered elsewhere in the meantime!)

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But it does indicate something of the carnage our house has been in since we started living here six weeks ago.

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