still from short comedy film

Yes I have! I wrote a short film, and have since been donning my finest eye patch, and dancing around my living room, channelling my finest inner Gabrielle circa 1993, singing ‘Dreams Can Come True.’ Yes. I’m proud…!

I was contacted by the producers of Masked Pony Productions about a year ago, to see if I’d write this for them, as part of their ‘Mum’ based comedy series. It has now been filmed, edited, given sound (and all the technical terms I don’t really understand!) and is here! It’s based on my blog posts (so actually all terrible things that have happened to me since I became a parent…!) and Katy Poulter, who plays ‘me’ has it right down…!

Have a gander, it contains all the things you’d probably expect from me-extreme calpol inhalation, incontinence, and postnatal belly references!

You can follow Masked Pony Productions on Twitter and Facebook and Youtube!

 

 

red wine bottles

Buying wine online – the consumers’ choice awards!
Following on from my opinions a couple of weeks ago, about not being a wine o’ clock cliché, I have been pondering how much wine purchasing actually goes on online now, especially compared to BC (before children…!) BC, dropping into a supermarket or wine shop on the way home from work, in the middle of the day on a lazy weekend, actually, pretty much any time you fancied-was easy breezy. Now, not so much…! To keep stocked up to your needs, and for price comparison purposes, it’s a fairly safe bet that more of us take advantage of online competition to buy at least some of our wines via the internet.

Where do you purchase your wines and what prompts your decision to buy from a particular online retailer? Customer service, range, value for money? Which retailer scores best on average in all categories? If wine is important to your lifestyle, then you are probably likely to go all Compare The Meerkat over getting the right stuff, for the best price!

Some people, somewhere, set out to answer what prompts us to click ‘buy!!!!,’ when choosing the glorious grape nectar, with some interesting results… *stay tuned.*

True reflection

The results of the first ever Winesdirect.com awards are in – and the one thing that can be said is that it’s an eclectic choice! Views are coming straight from online purchasers themselves- so it’s a true reflection of the quality and service they’ve found outstanding in 2017.

Of the 1200 purchasers responding to the winesdirect.com survey, unsurprisingly a large number had shopped online from the big retailers Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Majestic Wine and M&S Wine. Almost a third of respondents had shopped online for wine from Tesco in the last year, for instance.

Waitrose Cellar, Laithwaite’s and Morrisons attracted a smaller percentage of online purchases than the leading five, whilst between just 6 to 10 per cent of respondents had shopped online with the social media savvy, customer-sponsored Naked Wines, online supermarket Ocado, Aldi or Virgin Wines.

Value for money

However, number of purchases per company certainly did not reflect overall value for money when it came to the awards, with Aldi securely taking the gold medal in that category and Asda awarded silver. Laithwaite’s and M&S Wine maintained their long-established reputation for quality in customer service, taking gold and silver awards respectively in that category.

For wine range, the clear choice was Waitrose Cellar in first place and Laithwaite’s picking up a silver to add to their gold.

grapes

Taking cue from Naked Wine “angels”

Naked Wine keeps its finger on the pulse of consumer tastes through its unique approach to customer engagement. There’s currently a waiting list to be a Naked Wine Angel (someone who invests a certain amount of money into the Naked Wine company per month, to go towards independent wine makers, in return for vouchers and discounts.) It appears that the company’s speedy and reliable delivery is a major part of being a satisfied customer, since Naked Wine took gold in the delivery category, with Ocado running up for silver.

Overall, though, wine purchasers overwhelmingly chose the well-established Majestic Wine as their online retailer of 2017. After forty years in business, it’s clear that the company has developed the skills required to meet the needs of the consumer and stay ahead in the very demanding and competitive marketplace of 2017.

The picture that emerges is one of preference for specialist wine sellers in terms of range, customer service and delivery, whilst major online retailers take the lead in value for money.

Choice changes?

Do the awards accurately reflect your experience of the online retailers when buying the post bedtime treats? For bulk buying, I have always used Majestic, and if I ever brave my local Waitrose, with all of it’s elders ready to huff and puff over my pushchair and feral children, I agree that they have a brilliant range. Going out to peruse wines, is definitely a treat. But in todays digital, time constricted age, buying online is easier, and knowing what others have found to be the best options, makes the decision a lot easier. I wonder how the online wine buying market will look in 2018!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

starting school

It’s that time. We are coming up to the time of year where everyone of a certain age will have their every social media platform flooded with pictures of children in brand new shiny, soon-to-be-ruined uniforms, shiny, soon-to-be scuffed/lost shoes, being forced to smile for a first day of school picture.

Last year I had a chuckle at the two people on my feed who chose to break the mould-my 23 year old cousin, who posted a picture of Sloth from the Goonies, with the caption ‘this is what I see when you all post pictures of your so called cute kids on their first day of school. Stop already,’ and my friend, who posted a picture of herself jumping up and down and high fiving the air, while her child cried in the background. Both were a humorous break!

I won’t be posting one, not because I feel strongly about them one way or the other, but because I don’t actually use my own social media very often-I’m mainly a bloody antisocial misery! I also seem to be the only person who is glad that their child is going to school. And it might not be for the reasons you think.

Firstly, he has made it very easy for me to look forward to him going. He has been excited about it for months, and lately has been asking to go to nursery more than his regular two days. He is so bored and over being at home with me and the assassin child. Admittedly, if he was terrified and anxious about going, this post would probably have a totally different tone, with me scouring the world for all cotton wool supplies to wrap him up with for ever, and looking to totally re-evaluate my future so I could homeschool him.

I can’t wait for the better balance I am 98% certain will make our fraught house a slightly more harmonious place to be, when I get to spend more time with both children on their own. Tensions between the two children and constant conflict over satisfying everyone’s needs (including the ‘third child’ husband,) has left me feeling kind of destroyed recently. Every day has felt like a battle, and one I haven’t had a chance of winning, or even neutralising.

Since the smallest was born, when the eldest was 14 months old, I’ve never managed to find anywhere near a balance of spending time with both of them individually-something I often ruminate may have inadvertently damaged my relationship with both of them. Last week, I had my first day on my own with the eldest, that I’ve had since his brother was born. That’s 3 and a half years ago. It was an AMAZING day. One of the best parenting days I’ve had in  such a long time.

When he is at school, I’ll have time with the smallest on his own, and during school holidays, when the smallest is at nursery, I’ll have the eldest on his own. They are both looking forward to this time like you wouldn’t believe-and so am I. I feel like I can finally get to know them properly, and enjoy each day, instead of dragging myself through it, dodging my ever boiling temper, and constant fights for assassin supremacy.

During a park meetup last week, with some of the parent/children who will be in the eldest’s new class, all of the parents were throwing out the classic phrases like ‘hasn’t the time gone quick?’ ‘I can’t believe we are at this stage already!’ Half of me wondered whether these are just small talk phrases, that nobody actually believes, and the other half of me wondered if I actually just feel time differently to everybody else-because I’ve felt every second of the last 4 and a half years. Then I settled on the fact that people only feel like it’s gone quickly because they can’t remember every second of it- your brain can’t possibly do that, so you just remember the abridged version, which makes it feel like there’s been much less time than there has been. I have been parenting (mainly solo, apart from occasional full weekends,) for about 1632 days. And as much as I’ve marvelled over the milestones, and enjoyed some of it, it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s flown by. At all.

I’m also feeling quite selfish at the moment. Maybe it didn’t help that until 2 weeks before I became a mum, I had spent 10 years in a job where I selflessly put other people’s needs before mine, mostly working more hours than I ever got paid for, to the detriment of my social life and anything I wanted to do for myself. I went straight from that, into a job with a very similar job description, which was 10 times harder, and completely unpaid (although largely more rewarding and love filled.) I just want to enjoy more time to myself now, and do something for me. I can’t wait for this, actually.

So yes, he’s my oldest baby, and I’ll miss his careful, considered, deep thinking (if somewhat a little moany) presence in my life. But, there are a lot of feelings that come along with having both children at home, that I’d rather not be feeling, given the choice, and that is why I’m looking forward to the new balance that his going to school will bring. I’ll more than likely send him off with a lump in my throat, and totally forget to take a picture of him, because I’m just a bit shit like that…!