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Time, where does it go?

When you are working it’s easy to assume that time is something that the working world consumes, only releasing it’s grasp on those long awaited weekends or authorised holidays away from work. With the age of retirement slowly creeping up as humans stick around for longer on this earth work can start to feel like an endless cycle. You get up, go to work, come home from work where you then spend the evening catching up on all the things you need to do before you finally retire to bed; all this for the cycle to continue again the next day.

Somewhere mixed into life there is time, I’m not talking about all twenty four hours of the day time but instead your own personal free time. From listening to others it seems that we in general blame work for the lack of free time in our lives, but I’d argue that whatever amount of free time we happen to have we would fill it with things we have to do.

Once you fill your time with things you have to do like work, chores, child care then it suddenly loses that label free time. Those who are retired will tell you they have less free time now than when they were working, how can that be?

I think this happens because when you work you are given a routine, let’s say for example you work Monday – Friday with the weekend and evenings as “free time”. Your week is very defined, you might choose to take some of your free time and make it into things you need to do. For example lots of people have a cleaning day, or they have to look after their children during certain times. But once this is done you have the rest of your time defined as free.

This routine I think allows you to relax, you’ve worked really hard the rest of the day so you feel no guilt in spending your free time watching TV or reading a book it’s deserved. Those who do not have such a structured routine, they don’t have specific times to move into the relaxation phase and switch off.

Take for example a house wife, if you are cleaning, cooking, looking after children when do you actually get that break off point? You work every day of the week including evenings and you don’t have that same guilt free “that’s it my hours are up time to clock off” moment. Of course throughout the day you do have down time but it’s usually very disjointed and fits in between other tasks.

There is always a silver lining though, if you don’t work and you still keep structure in your life then I think you can have the best of both worlds. I’m slowly moving into this, I now only clean on certain days and make sure I have plenty of time each day just to myself – bliss!

Hats off to mothers with young babies that work, I imagine that would be the most demanding routine! Of course none of this applies if you enjoy your job so much that it’s your hobby, although I haven’t met anyone who wouldn’t prefer to be on a beach sipping a cocktail rather than at work just yet.

Lifestyle Pre Baby Uncategorised

Coffee Shops the new meeting rooms

The coffee shops where I live are an extension of the board room, this makes them very busy most of the day and I wouldn’t want to attempt a lunch time trip again. It’s rare to see the usual coffee crowd, you know the guy sat reading a book alone, the students or the two mothers having a catch up while their children mush food around their faces.

Pretty much everyone here wears a suit and when they are sat around a coffee table they are usually talking business. The only other exception is when professional couples take a moment to remove themselves from their busy lives and they meet for a coffee. But even then they are still in suits and usually business talk isn’t far from their minds.

I am the exception, I do occasionally see a casually dressed soul or two but there is certainly a different vibe here. I have to admit it is strange, I suppose because even outside of the coffee shops the majority are wearing workwear.

Usually you can hear what the nearest tables (while drinking your coffee of choice) are talking about. Right now two professional dressed people are talking about a wedding, what suits to order and the bridesmaid dress style. I can’t quite work out if I’m listening to the soon to be bride and groom or just a interested work colleagues sharing updates about their personal lives.

Either way it’s fair to say if you sit in this coffee shop long enough I’m sure you could work out what major project every company in the financial sector is working on. Having now exchanged the professional world for a slower paced life as a house wife, I have to admit listening to professional talk the talk sounds almost comical and staged to me. When I say that, it’s not to dismiss the important of talking professionally in the working world.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved meeting and enjoyed bouncing around the technical lingo. But when you are removed from that and become an onlooker listening, the huge constrast to the way you might speak at work and the way you speak in more casual settings is very different. So when listening to professional meetings you can hear the this new project is so important that if it’s not done and X, Y, Z dependancies aren’t done exactly on time then it’s the end of the world.

Which it’s far off the truth for most, if you want to stand out in this busy world of work you need to make sure you are meeting your deadlines. Often heard at this time of year are people talking about their internal professional development reviews and what grade they are currently on. Just now I heard one guy saying he was hoping for a raise because he had met his requirements for his this year.

Wouldn’t it be odd if we all spoke as we do at home at work? If a professional attitude never existed, it never occurred to me how staged it sounds when you are no longer being professional five days out of seven in a week.

Lifestyle Pre Baby Uncategorised

Why is waiting for something to be released so difficult?

When it comes to waiting I’m not the most patient person out there, whether that be waiting for a tube or waiting for a game to be released I find the whole process challenging. I’m currently waiting for the latest model of Roomba robot vacuum cleaner to be released in Europe, which is proving difficult as there is no definate date as of yet.

The endless cat hair’s that require my attention every day, multiple times a day in fact are beginning to drive me nuts. If it isn’t cat hair then one of the little darlings have decided to push their litter around the room. Once we moved from carpet to hardwood floors I knew it would mean much more maintenance for me.

To tackle this issue I have been working on persuading my husband, he’s now onboard (yippee) and agrees we need a Roomba in the house. I don’t know if you’ve seen much about them but they really have come leaps and bounds over the last few years and I’ve always been interested in them. Roomba make a variety of cleaning robots from vacuuming to dusting/mopping or even scrubbing the floors. The one I’m interested in is the vacuuming robot, as I think it will help keep that light level of dust down.

The latest robot vacuum cleaners even go back to their charging base now and they seem to do a pretty good job at keeping things tidy. We don’t tend to keep much on the floor so hopefully it shouldn’t get stuck too often, they also come with light houses so you can corner off areas where you don’t want it to clean. I think this will be useful as the cats might be quite upset if the vacuum were to steal their food.

The very latest model is the Roomba 880 which it seems only sensible to wait for it to be released seeing as it’s already out in the US now. So I emailed Roomba to ask when they intended to release the 880 for the Europe market, they said the 880 release date would be sometime in March/April/May so I guess that means spring. They couldn’t give me an exact date which is a shame but promised to put me on a list of contacts when they do have more information.

Should it get released any time soon then I’ll be sure to do a review of it and how it can help your housewife needs.

Check out this video for more information Roomba 880: A clean sweep

Roomba 880: The best cleaning robot is back with a new design

Lifestyle Pre Baby Uncategorised

IKEA – Please hold while we steal your soul away…

I have always liked IKEA, as long as you accept what it is then I think it fills a great hole in the current market. Usually I like it for the neat storage ideas and for inexpensive items which you don’t mind getting lots of wear and tear. Since moving to London my experience of IKEA has really changed, back in the south west I was close enough to visit their store.

I actually used to enjoy the walk around IKEA even though they pretty much force you to look at their stuff, rather than the conventional stores where you have a choice. Even with that, I saw the whole thing as an event in itself; something to enjoy and hey? why don’t you stop off at their cafe while you are at it, really make a day of it.

It’s not quite as easy to visit their store when you live in London, sure if you live right next to one then great. But the nearest to me is around a fifty minute drive away and thats assuming there isn’t traffic. You know that traffic you experience that google doesn’t warn you about when you find yourself  driving through CENTRAL LONDON. Or even just driving anywhere inside the M25 circle seems to be quite congested, specifically the north side anyway.

The last few times I’ve ordered online, you usually have to add quite a few items before they will deliver it which is fair enough really. It’s quite annoying then that IKEA take an age to actually ship your goods, it’s the longest time ever. The last order they had missed one single trouser hanger, no biggie it’s literally worth nothing much but you would think they would still correct it right?

Well no, you spend about thirty minutes on the phone (which by the way is not a free number) waiting for someone to pickup. I eventually gave up and tried submitting my problem online. Ha! That’s a mistake because they quote at least six days to get back to you. In what world does a company take six days at least to get back to a customer service query? I don’t think I know of any company that has openly quoted that long. At least they are honest I suppose!

So to the bring the story along to more recent ventures, they called me back and told me they will send the items out immediately. Did it ever arrive? No. Could I be bothered chasing it up again? No.

Then onto my second experience of ordering online with IKEA and perhaps my last! I thought that maybe the last phone call I made had long waiting times on the customer service line due to the time of year (christmas). Anyway the order arrived today and I immediately can tell it’s not going to be all roses. One of the boxes made a noise when I took it out of their poorly packaged larger box. I ordered some ceramic plates, I spent quite a while trying to decide whether to order cheap or go for hand made but we’ve had dinnerware from IKEA before and it’s always lasted ok.

So I ordered a complete set including pasta dishes, start to unbox and see that three pasta dishes are in pieces. The next box I opened had two little side plates in the same state.


Immediately I call the IKEA customer service number, I’m warned that I’ll need to wait at least twenty minutes. It’s like 1-2pm, not exactly peak time so I wait and it hits about thirty – forty minutes some guy picks up.

The poor guy has a terrible cold so they must be understaffed if he’s still working being that sick, I explain the situation and he tells me that it would be too expensive for them to ship the items again. Wait? We paid you for delivery in the first place, the items you sent are broken, give me my items. Blah, Blah, “courier known for throwing items around a lot” Why use them then?

Anyway the guy goes to speak to his manager  and is pretty set that we have three options.

1. We go to the nearest store with the broken items and a case number, they throw in a gift card and some free food vouchers so we can “make a day of it”.

2. They refund the plates (this sucks because I want a set of six for a reason).

3. They send the items from their distribution centre but it’s going to take two weeks and they can’t guarantee that the items won’t be damaged again. They way they said this made it sound like they expected it to get damaged?!

So I went with option 1 but I honestly don’t know if it’s even worth bothering with, once you factor in the cost of the plates against the cost of petrol. But mostly I’m more annoyed that I had to listen to their terrible music for forty minutes of my life.

Lifestyle Uncategorised

A view from the Shard and beyond

What a view, myself and my husband were lucky enough to get two tickets for “The View from The Shard” for Christmas. We decided to redeem them yesterday so that we could watch the sunset from up high. It was quite hard to decided at what time we wanted to go up, you have to pick in advance and have about thirty minutes to arrive but you can stay as long as you like.

We decided to go for sunset, so we got the best of both worlds we wanted to see London while daylight was still around but also at night. We are already lucky enough to live somewhere quite high up, so we get to see lots of London from our home but this was something else.

The 360 view across London is just gorgeous, but then it is 310m high and to date the tallest building in Western Europe. Floors 68, 69 and 72 are open to the public for viewing, If you are brave enough to go all the way up to the 72nd floor it is more open to the elements and you get a nice feeling of being outside.

The Shard

Personally I’m not that great with heights, I don’t mind them but I find my legs feel a little wobbly if I know how high I am. I didn’t have too much of a problem with this trip however, the edges of the platforms are covered in thick glass and there are handrails to hold on to. Although I think some people will be disappointed that there is no glass floor to stand on and look down, I was quite glad that this was not an option!

If you happen to be in London I would highly recommend you take a trip up the shard, it gives you a better understanding of the landscape of London. Besides it really is quite amazing to see how things have been built on slowly over time, the old mixed with the new.

If you are terrified of heights, go on do it you might just surprise yourself.

You are not afraid of heights, you are afraid of falling.