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Archive for February, 2011

Back to life

We had a lovely break. Went on a boat and saw a whale and her baby. Stroked an Eagle Owl and and a Golden Eagle, really soft and downy. Swam, a teeny, tiny bit; got my sun-rash (bother, I usually only get it in the UK); got very tipsy one evening and tried to persuade Hubby that we should try out the mobility scooters which were re-charging in our apartment block, he pointed out the error of my ways; read 3 books, absolutely glorious, almost hedonistic! It then went downhill. Our flight was delayed and then, on the 4 hour flight home, I got my restless legs and thought that I might just go completely mad. Got to bed at 3am and at 10am daughter, she with Amy and twins, arrived having been evacuated from their house due to high levels of carbon monoxide, obviously they took up residence with us. The next day son arrived, very poorly with problems with his ileostomy, and got into the only spare bed, Hubby and I laughed, hysterically.

Daughters back boiler is now fixed, I commend EDF for providing them with a free heater to ensure they wouldn’t freeze and also the boiler man who sorted everything out for a very sensible and realistic price. Son’s blockage is now resolved and he has been returned to his wife and family.

Having cleared the house of off-spring I returned to work, 10 days away and everything has hit the fan. So many rumours flying around that I have decided to put ear-plugs in and stick my head in the sand, bad news for the women and even worse news for the midwives. When I decide to listen to things I really don’t want to hear I shall blog, possibly at length!

It is half-term this week so I have had 3 grandchildren staying, luckily I was able to put a star on Izzy’s reward chart to say she had slept through the night!

I got on my Wii with trepidation this evening. Over the last 6 months I have lost a stone and a half, at Christmas I put on 6lbs and it took me until the week before our holiday to lose it again, I was certain that a week of good eating (and drinking) would see me back at my Yuletide weight….wrong!! Hurrah, I’m 1 pound less than the day before we went, it’s amazing what a busy 5 days are capable of.

A serious point, Silverpoint. Now the holiday we had was a promotional deal with a company called Great Resorts, only it turned out that they had gone and a company called Silverpoint had taken their place. Part of our deal was that we had to attend a presentation, a morning or afternoon was to be dedicated for this, fair enough. In fact the ‘presentation’ took 5  hours, we thought we were hard done by but another couple we chatted to were talked at for 6 hours, and that’s what happened, not a presentation which implies the attendees all sitting together and being presented with facts, but a one-to-one with a well-trained, verbose salesman. He showed us his personal photos, told us his life history, drew flow charts and told us that for in the region of  £8,000 we could enjoy amazing holidays or ever. He then told us that his manager needed to speak to us to ‘make sure that he had given us all the facts’. After an interminable wait his manager appeared, amazing news, we could access the world of luxury holidays for nothing, well sort of, yes it would cost us money in the end but for the first year it would be free. I have a very laid back Hubby, in 36 years I have known him lose his temper about 10 times, it is now 11 as the only way to get the message through that we were not interested was to shout at this nasty, deceitful, apology for a  human being. Over the next 3 days we talked to several other couples, they had all been offered different deals, we talked to a couple who had handed over £100,000 chasing the dream of a lifetime of luxury holidays only to be disappointed, and then for Silverpoint to suggest that they hand over a further £3,000. They didn’t, thank heavens but if anyone should ever doubt how dangerous and distressing this type of selling can be then I wish that they could talk to this couple. Oh, I forgot to mention, part of the ‘presentation’ involved using Google maps to look at the couple’s home and comment on it’s condition and value, really spooky stuff. If you are offered a presentation week then I can really recommend it, you will get fantastic accommodation, you will have to put up with a few hours of slick sales patter but if you can resist a massive temptation then it will be worth your while as you will have had yourself a cheap break!

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Break

I’m leaving on a jet plane, do know when I’ll be back again!

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Touring the cybersphere I visited The Sceptical OB, oh yes Dr Amy Tuteur ex-The Homebirth Debate blogger, is writing away and as usual is thought provoking. Her latest offering is a scathing scribe about The Feminist Breeder who is going to be live blogging her homebirth, Dr Amy is not impressed by this concept, in fact she calls it ‘pathetic narcissism’. Is she right? Oh, I don’t know. TFB says that one of the reasons that she is doing it is to educate women on natural birth, presumably that is why she also posted a photo to Facebook of her positive pregnancy test even before she left the toilet. I just wonder though, are those women who agree to have their births aired on ‘One born every minute’ narcissistic? I have to admit that I haven’t even considered that before, I’ve just thought that they were brave and uninhibited. I suppose that all bloggers could all be accused, to a greater or lesser extent, of being self-involved and having a need for admiration but does that make us narcissistic? For me the similarity between TFB and me is that to we both hope to educate on a subject close to us via our blogging, but there the resemblance ends, I write and expect no remuneration. I have many companies asking me to promote their wares, to place links etc in my sidebar, but I always decline, in fact I generally just ignore them. If I ever mention a product it is because I have independently used it and feel that it is either worth mentioning, as it is good or should be exposed as it failed to impress, it isn’t because I have received either monies or gifts. TFB, now a quick perusal of her sidebars shows 12+ advertising widgets, how independent are her opinions, how unbiased is her information giving? She is honest though, she does disclose that her live birth blog is being sponsored by Brio Birth, a company specialising in childbirth education classes. Here I am the sceptic, what better way to increase traffic to a blog than to live blog and video stream a birth? What does TFB have to say about the financial aspect of her blog?  Running this ship comes with both tangible costs and opportunity costs. It takes real money to pay for the server space and domain registration that keeps this blog online. It also takes time and a great deal of effort for me to research, write, and moderate a blog with this much traffic and This is why I accept advertising sponsorships – but, and this is really important – I don’t just accept any sponsorships, and that’s what makes the ones appearing on this page so important.  You see, I am extremely picky about who I will let advertise here. Great, so she’s ‘picky’, really, but you then goes on to say But, trust me when I say that most businesses with an advertising budget are not pounding down the doors to advertise on a blog like mine. Hmm, inconsistencies here, there’s even a Feminist Shopper page which is all reviews and advertising, no wonder she spends so much time researching and writing her blog.  Oh, I don’t know, I’m just a grumpy old woman who is alarmed to find herself agreeing with Dr Tuteur.

So will I be logging on to The Feminist Breeder in April when baby is due? If I remember then I will, but I’m not setting up an alert.

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