Choosing your path

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Ever have that feeling of being too thinly stretched in life and wanting to push forward but not being sure of the direction you want to go?

Well I get this all the time.

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I have always been slightly envious of those people who have seemingly got it all together, who know what they want out of life and just go for it. People that have a clear passion for something or a true calling if you will and they just work hard in that area to become the best they can be at it. How do they do that?

No matter how much I would like to I simply cannot sit still with one area of life for long so instead I find my interests flitting from one thing to another and then back again as whim demands. In fact I think my longest standing relationship with an interest must actually be with World of Warcraft and even now I am finding less time to enjoy this and more time wanting to focus on more productive outlets.

It’s not that I am actually as flippant as it appears, I do love and have a passion for all the things I do (well except the obligatory things) but I cannot just keep to one particular thing, I feel my crafting highlights this best of all. Yet I am starting to wish that I could at least settle in one area for a while and explore how far one can go or at least get organised enough that I do something instead of waste time wondering what I actually want to do.

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Bzz Agent review:Seriously Strong Cheese

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I thought I would never actually get to try out these lovely cheese squares, it didn’t seem to be my fate. First off I lost the coupon to claim the taster pack and then I tried to just buy them and Tesco had none left, then Morrisons had none left and even Asda was all sold out!

So then I thought to myself, well these must be delicious if everywhere has sold out so I made it my mission to track down a packet and eventually after many stake outs Tesco came up with the good hoorah.
So were they worth it?

Yes..yes I think my smile says they were ūüôā

First off I have to commend the packaging because usually if I want a spread I will buy a tub because the foil packets are always a fiddly pain. Not only do I get in a mess with these I also get annoyed about the waste when it gets stuck in the corners of triangles or left in a tube. But with these little squares the tab pulls a full top clean off so no waste or getting fingertips messy.

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Now when I say little squares, in reality they are not actually that little in fact they cover between 2-6 crackers depending on the size and your generosity – I used 2 crisp breads with a generous spread and then tucked right in.

The flavour of the spread is nice, there is a good sharpness that you would expect from strong mature yet it still gave a really creamy taste. My parents also enjoyed this spread which is high commendation since they usually only stick to their usual brand, and even asked if there were any leftover. The pack itself contained 8 squares so it works out to an economical purchase if you are single or part of a couple: this also means that you don’t have to worry about a whole tub going mouldy if opened. Also being individually packaged makes this spread perfect for pack lunches or picnics or if you are a bit odd like me then just eating them straight from the fridge for a creamy cheese fix.

Overall a great snack to keep in the fridge and I would buy (and already have bought) them again

*I received free coupons to try out Seriously Strong Spreadable Squares via Bzz agent & Tesco

3am and still awake

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I don’t know what it is about 3am but I always feel more alert, more alive somehow. Even though most of the day has been spent walking around feeling like a zombie with my brain only working on autopilot: there is something about this time of night (or morning) that kicks it into gear.

It might be the fact that my body finally feels balanced with all its levels or perhaps the caffeine taken earlier to prop me up for the day finally comes into to its own. It could be the fact that 3am allows me to actually just enjoy silence and finally I feel relaxed enough to enjoy it. I’m not sure what it is about 3am – I only know that it works for me.

Ideas race around my brain and I begin to think about all the possibilities (and sometimes the impossibilities) that life could hold and feel more inclined to want to reach out and grab them. Maybe it’s just my brain working overtime but in the dead of night is when things actually feel possible.

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I start to plot together ridiculous ideas of future plans and how I can leave the rat race and focus on something more fun, something I can throw some passion into – This is about the time I start to believe that sitting in a box, staring at a screen whilst making money for somebody else is a terrible idea and maybe I could just use some creativity and keep myself afloat without the daily grind, or at least make the daily grind something I can feel happier doing.

Then I get to thinking about all the things that I want to do and all the things I should do, then all the things I need to do…and alas I’m back at square one knowing that I have to at least try and sleep so that tomorrow isn’t even more terrible.

I guess tomorrow I can at least say I updated a neglected blog (even if it is only inane wittering) so that’s one thing more than I did yesterday…slow progress is still progress I guess ūüėČ

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July CampNanoWrimo

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Yes it’s here once again, that lovely boost from a writing camp: yes CampNaNoWriMo really does help to add some focus to the everyday writing aim.

This time around though I am not rolling up prepared and pitching up an idea to write about. Nope, instead I’m having a good old clear out , a spring cleaning of thoughts and ideas if you will. This time around I am just typing, any little thing that pops into my head because let’s be honest my brain is filled with so many weird and wonderful (or just plain bizarre) thing that sometimes it gets a bit hard to focus on one solid project. so instead I feel like I need to get a lot of things off my chest, sketch out a few ideas for stories to get back to at a later date. Trawl through anything left unsaid that I just want to vent about but not necessarily out loud, and perhaps flesh out a character or three so I can use them in future.

My main aim this time is just to type and get back into the habit of it, with the idea to actually make it to the end of a NanoWriMo this time. This year I want to be more focused and actually complete the Novel draft. I would like to go in with some kind of vague plan and direction. OK, I know this will most likely change as the days near yet still if I’m prepared maybe I might just get there this time.

So here’s to July may it be a good testing ground for me and a great experience and productive for those of you who entered camp *raises hot chocolate*

 

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Amazon reviews: How much do we trust them?

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How much faith do we put into reviews when buying products? Are you one of those people that ignores reviews and shops on instinct, or are you like me and often base your purchases on other people’s reviews?

If you buy from Amazon and do make purchases on the trust of reviews , you may want to rethink after reading this: or at least read the reviews with a keener eye.

Personally I am a big fan of Amazon: I’m a prime customer and regularly buy from Amazon as my first port of call. It’s easy, the choice is wide and I trust it on the basis that other people like me are adding honest voices to the reviews, however my recent review was rejected which makes me wonder how many bad reviews are kept away. Not only that but the discovery that there might be a loophole for suppliers to link good reviews from different products is worrying and means I will definitely be keeping a closer eye out in future.

My honest if somewhat aggrieved review (which was rejected) for

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01930RLEU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

When deciding upon a laundry basket I had hoped that this one would reflect the reviews given however I am currently learning my lesson about reading them more closely!

The product I received was alike to the image above with four canvas bags that sit on a frame but the product received showed the poor design where aesthetics have been valued over practicality. I do admit that I was swayed by all the good reviews that I skimmed over and the star ratings, yet PLEASE DON’T BE FOOLED – ACTUALLY READ THEM!

Now that I am attempting to return this product and wondering why there were so many good reviews I notice that somehow most of these reviews are about a different product!!!

If you actually read the good reviews, many mention the ‘natural’ effect rather than metal or plastic and some say ‘sea grass’ in the review so I can only assume that these were given about a different product: perhaps a woven laundry basket or even a waste paper bin: either way most of these reviews were not written about this product! – HOPEFULLY AMAZON WILL CHECK THESE LINKS FOR INTEGRITY!

The product itself seemed to be good at first, the frame went together well and in good time: it seemed sturdy enough for the price. The problem began when we added the hooks which hold the laundry bags. Due to the sloping nature of this design the hooks were not able to sit well between the poles: they have not been made with differing ends so they would only ever be able to sit right on a level frame.

After reporting this to the supplier, I was informed that I could bend the hooks to help them sit on the poles. So taking a pair of pliers I set about trying to bend a hook so it would stay on the pole which caused the end safety caps to pop straight off. I wasn’t really happy having to force the design however it seemed easier than having to return and find another basket. After forcing a hook to stay on the poles however it was realised that the bags would also not stay on this slanted hook, obviously they slide down the hooks too and gather up (this was without even adding any laundry).

When reporting this to Tinkertonk customer support, I was offered a ¬£4 refund and the offer to keep the basket, however I really don’t want to have to bend bars and sew bags just to get something functional, and I also don’t want to be left with extra rubbish that will have to be taken to the tip.

I had thought that a courier would just pick up the return however I didn’t realise it wasn’t prime¬† ( the postage was free) which meant I would have to post it at the post office. I would have asked someone with a car to do this for me however after speaking to Tinkertonk, I was also informed that they would not refund the postage anyway: leaving me very much out of pocket due to poor design!

So now I am left with a box sitting in my hallway and a loss of £21.19 from my bank so I am not a very happy customer: especially after realising that the main reason for my purchase (the good reviews) were not even connected to this product!

Hopefully this review might stop anyone else falling foul to this hoax!

Ok so perhaps on reflection this was a bit of a shouty post with far too many exclamations however I don’t appreciate being out of pocket for something that just isn’t fit for purpose. If I had ordered something and just not liked it or changed my mind then I wouldn’t expect a refund, and yes I am still annoyed, maybe because I am annoyed with myself for not actually reading the reviews properly and leaving myself open to blind faith in Amazon reviews.

The annoying thing is perhaps that if I had bought this via credit card or Paypal then they would have honoured this refund however Amazon leaves this disagreement between seller and customer. Overall though I really hope that Amazon might look into their reviews and supply better quality checks: who knows how many other products are being marketed in this way.

Failing that I hope this post might at least encourage one more person not to be deceived by a shiny star review

 

 

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Seeing Green

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Today’s #coloryourworld¬†is the lovely sea green

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Which is perhaps not so lovely, if you happen to be a duck

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I cannot remember exactly where this was

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But I do remember going there to visit a waterfall

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It soon became clear that the brochure photographer had used a more ‘artistic’ license

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CampNaNoWriMo- Day 1

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Ok ok so I was a little late to the party today but thanks to Tim’s Nano prompts

 

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and some encouragement from¬†CampNaNoWriMo¬†cabin mates, I managed to get off to a flying start ringing in at 860 words. A lot of which were used to explore a character so I’m happy with this. I need to keep most of it under wraps however I can share the warm up waning moon sprint.

The moon wanes to a fingernail as the hollow shriek of the foxes call out in the darkness. I hear them play at night, their soft paws padding on the lawn, noses snuffling into trash cans and paper bags left folded under the guise of recycling. Nobody ever washes out the jars though, nor the plastic packets curled around meat haunches which the fox kits love to lick and suck . They come from far and wide to this hot spot, the only place in the neighbourhood where people are too lazy to rinse.

Hope everyone else enjoyed a good first day, and remember there is plenty of time to catch up !

Scream if you wanna go Greener

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For the #coloryourworld today it was screaming green which started with inspiration nearby..

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Then a hunt for a little green guy I had been given

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and then my thoughts kind of spiralled into a rhyming rant.

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The Green War!

It makes me mad
it makes me scream
This war we wage
On Nature’s dream
Instead of loving our friend Earth
We plough and pillage, drain her worth
They seem to think she’ll live forever
Suited liars that think they’re clever
And with each new corrupt endeavour
Line their pockets, kill whatever
Gets in their way on land, or sea
Especially if it starts with B
We need to make our voices heard
Oppose the greedy and absurd
Or else sit back, let fat cats win
Watch Earth die – our hopes within

 

Source: Friends of the Earth

CampNaNoWriMo- April 2016

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I wasn’t sure if I would be taking up the CampNaNoWriMo¬†challenge this time around as I already have some commitments, however I figured that I could combine the two. So I have signed myself up for April in the hope that it might encourage me to write the back story for a some characters that I need to develop. We were giving our mystery cabin assignments today so I popped in earlier to see if anyone was about early, but it was quiet so I left a hello post-it note on the fridge.

Now I’m just sitting here awaiting the inspiration or inclination to start writing, but you know when you have to get something done that it always seems harder to do.

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