Homebuilding and Renovation show 2020

The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show announces event postponement due to concerns about Coronavirus

The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show is postponing the event due to take place from 26-29 March at the NEC Birmingham until July 2020 due to concerns about Coronavirus. The decision has been based on several factors, aligned with the Government’s advice, to safeguard the welfare of exhibitors and staff as well as ensuring the comfort and safety of visitors.


Nick Noble, commercial & events director at Future plc, says, “We have been monitoring the situation very closely and listening to the feedback of everyone concerned, and took the decision to provide total clarity to the marketplace. Naturally, we regret that we are having to postpone the event, however, the safety and welfare of our staff, exhibitors and visitors is paramount. We have been following the advice and guidance issued by the Government and believe that it is the right decision at this time. However, we plan to hold the event in four months’ time when we believe the situation in the UK will be much clearer and we can continue to maximise the opportunities and investment made by all our exhibitors.”


He adds, “At this stage we have no plans to postpone any of the other shows during the year, however, we are continuing to monitor the events and will work closely with the exhibitors to evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis. We would like to thank everyone for their support at this time and will continue to update the market over the next few weeks.

Its Snowing

As we approach the end of February and what has been one of the wettest, stormiest months I can remember we are going out with a flurry. Yes the white stuff has arrived this morning in the North East.


Before heading out in the car do a few checks and stay safe


Take 10 minutes to clear all the snow from your car windows, lights, bonnet and roof.

And to take this with you:
Warm clothes
Food and drink
A torch
A tow rope
A high visibility vest
A first aid kit
Old towel or bit of carpet

Drive Safely its not a race


Gordons Gin Pink Spritz & Valentines Day

Now this is my idea of a match made in heaven. Gordons Pink Gin Spritz and Valentines Day. Whether cuddling up with a loved one or having friends round why not enjoy this delicious tipple from biggest gin maker in the world Gordons .

Alexander Gordon started creating gin over 250 years ago from a distillery in London. With is distinctive juniper flavour Gordon has become the gin of choice for many a classic G & T.

So for Valentines Day why not add some sparkle and romance with Gordons Pink Gin and create your very own spritz. Gordons have created this fab easy to follow recipe card.


Gordons Pink Gin is available from Morrisons and Asda currently £13 per bottle but you can buy it from any good supermarket.

What are you waiting for go on have a treat you know you want to.

Couples We Miss

Do you have any celebrity couples who you would like to see get back together? maybe Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears?  Onbuy.com have surveyed over 3000 people to find out the publics consensus who they would like to see get back together for one last date.

there are no big surprises with the majority wanting a new Brangelina get together, or Brad and Jennifer Anniston, what id like to know is who would you like to see get together for one final fling? or who you would pair up for a one off date. Leave me a comment and one person will win a little surprise valentines gift from moi.



Couples who missed out on the top ten-

The following couples were selected by respondents as couples they would love to see together again but did not receive enough votes to make the top 10!

Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling Heidi Klum and Seal
Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber
Kate Moss and Johnny Depp
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck

Valentines Day

Im sure everyone is aware Friday the 14th of February is St Valentines Day. I will be celebrating the day with my lovely wife of 3 years and partner of almost 16. (wow where did the time go). I will be sharing last minute gift ideas and treats during this week in the build up to the big day. I would also love to hear what you have planned for that someone special whether its a proposal, a meal, or a night away in a luxury hotel. one can only dream.

Happy Valentines Day

Flowers, Valentines days starts and ends with flowers especially roses they add a touch of classic romance and luxury to any occasion, but as always prices always seem to sky rocket around Valentines day.MorrisonsValentines Day have a great range of flowers and ive just happened upon these roses at £6 ideal for anyone on a tight budget but look much more expensive. They come boxed  to add to the luxury, and if you’re worried about a vase Morrisons have that covered too, they sell clear glass vases for just £5. No need to stop off at the local petrol station at these prices. Be quick these won’t hang around for long.


Durham and Weardale AONB

Yesterday after a night of storms they sun came out and we went for a road trip to the countryside we are lucky to live just over an hours drive from and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and dark skies. so firstly we headed to bowlees an area we love its not level but the walks are pretty easy to navigate with the majority being paths, a little downhill walk from Bowlees Visitors Centre to Low Force is grassy and if very wet can be slippy but once into the woodland there are paths, although caution and good boots or shoes recommended. Low Force is and 18foot high set of falls on the River Tees, fed from further upstream by High Force Waterfall both in the North Penines.


Before heading off we stopped for a snack at the Bowlees Visitors Centre where there is something for every taste.

Then a quick trip further up the road to High Force Waterfall. Parking is payable but surrounded by lovely walks and picnic spot or there is the High Force Hotel, there is also a little shop on sight where you pay to visit the falls. £1.50 and well worth it to see this stunning fall in all its glory accessed by crossing the road and following the footpath slightly downhill but and easy walk along a well maintained footpath, which takes about 10-15 minutes at a steady pace. The waterfall itself is from from rocks over 300 million years old and 21 metres high, it falls into the rock pools below. There are steps leading down to the rock pools but obviously care must be taken  especially with children and dogs., but its an ideal viewpoint to see the wonderful sight.


Thirdly on the way home I decided to visit Balderhead Reservoir, not your usual beauty spot but a place ive only ever been at night as we use it regularly during the winter months for Astrophotography. With it being a Dark Sky area its ideal for star spotting and the Milky Way.  Still a beautiful sight and with countryside walks I would err on the side of caution as we drove along the road to the entrance I managed to go past it and drove along the road that runs along the top of the reservoir, nothing much here except sheep and a couple of farmhouses, but we came across a wall that had been hit by the previous weeks storms and the road was considerably damaged. As its a very rural location with no phone signal I don’t advise going alone. But that lone tree looks amazing by day or night.


Pedigree Dog Food Trial


I am currently taking part in a 6 week food trial with Pedigree dog foods and as part of this i was invited to the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in a lovely part of the country in Leicester.


The day started out with a meet and greet with some lovely hospitality. Next we had a tour of the facilities including the lab area which is as up to date as anyone would expect in nasa this is where most of the nutritional and other  testing happens. Next onto the animals, met some lovely happy well trained dogs currently Waltham is home to Labradors, Beagles PBGV, and Yorkshire Terriers. I admit like most i was concerned about dogs being kept at facilities, being owned by 3 myself but all my fears were foundless all the dogs are extremely well socialised and trained by experts. They are kept in the most amazing kennels where any private boarding facility would be proud to have with plenty of greenery to run around on and the kennel block rather than being a long corridor type building is hexagon shaped with a central entry point so the dogs can see who is coming and going.

Next onto the cattery again the cats are well cared and catered for and very friendly and some even trained to give saliva samples in return for treat. yes even the cats are trained!

All the way around the tour we stopped at different points where there was information regarding Mars, Nutrition, Dental Health and other interesting facts that were explained to us by one of the resident vets Jo  Gale. After the tour we went back to the meeting room where Jo gave a talk on Nutrition and Dental Health. We learnt lots of interesting facts some including dogs have a 3rd less enamel on their teeth than humans, which was a shock to me after owning dogs most of my life.

After Lunch we had a talk about the ingredients used in Pedigree pet foods, which again full of interesting facts 1. All the products used in their pet food is food from the human food chain meaning its all fit for human consumptions just its parts we dont eat.Then we had a slides and a talk from a member of the Product pane team re manufacturing all food is tested routinely every 2 hours for colour, smell, and quality i personally dont know of any human manufacturers who test like this.

To finish off the day we had a talk and slide about Human and animal interaction and the new feeding brighter futures which is the new pedigree initiative.

The one thing that shone through on the day is the passion from all involved with Pedigree from the factory to the animal care to the vets they are all passionate about the animals which makes the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition a place to believe in.

I for one will now think of Pedigree in a more positive light.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher in return for writing this post






Tech Wish List,Panasonic

As my regular readers will know im off to University in Sept to study Media, and im in need of upgrading all of my techy gadgets including a new camera or 2. So i thought id share with you my wish list which the more i read the more i need.

Firstly im in need of a new camera, my previous dslr although was great at the time is now a little dated and im also looking for a point and shoot camera that i can take everywhere and just keep in my bag so its at hand.The first camera ive looked at in the point and shoot range is the Lumix DMC-TZ100EB.


This camera is by Panosonic classed as the ultimate travel companion, and i can see why nice handy size that will fit into any bag or pocket wieghing just 310gm, but this in no way makes this camera feel to delicate. The camera packs a whopping 20.1 megapixel punch, and with a type 1 high sensitivity mos  sensor  and 10x optical zoom, ensures high quality pictures whatever the weather. The lens is a  LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT, to me Leica have always set the standard for quality lens and its a name i always look for in a camera.

With a range of features including

optical image stabiliser

Digital Zoom

AF assist lamp,AF Metering including face detection Various recording modes all at the touch of a button there is a creative control mode with 22 different features

continuous shooting mode so you dont miss a beat

motion picture recording and a continuous recordable time for those on the go moments giving a whopping 55 minutes record ideal for any would be journalist like me.

these are just a few of the many features this camera boasts. and i think ive already convinced myself this is a must have camera to carry with me.

If you would like to read more about this fab camera check it out here wehre you can also see the full range of Panasonic cameras



Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMC-TZ80-Camera-18-1MP-30xZoom/dp/B01AAU7RWI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459236775&sr=8-1&keywords=panasonic+dmc-tz100eb where you will also find the best prices.

You can also read about my back to school adventures here https://dailybrewreviews.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/back-to-school/


Back to School

Well after a lot of humming and arghinnnnng and persuasion from my other half and daughter i have taken the plunge and signed up to go to university in Sept 2016. I said for a long time if they done media when i left school i would of jumped at the chance, so now im between jobs and at a loose end ive enrolled on the Extended Media course at Sunderland Uni and i cant wait to start, ive already begun the task of applying for student loans for which you need a degree to follow without uni.

What do I hope to gain from the course well its a bit of a personal mission as at 54 i dont think its going to be a career move but as i enjoy writing id love to be able to add a more proffessional angle to my writing any work that comes from the course will be a bonus.

Next Wednesday 9th march is the open day to see where i will be studying and meet lecturers etc so looking forward to it with trepidation in case im the oldest one there.

so watch this space to see how my journey progresses and if you have any stories or been there done that please let me know how you overcame any obstacles. Your’e never too old to learn said I.


Update, Wed 9th march i  went along to the experience day as Sunderland University, where i met lecturers and fellow prospective tutors  and despite an anxiety attack about going along on my own i was made to feel welcome and not like a fish out of water at all, Ive now done the online student loan application and have forms to send and im very much looking forward to September when i begin the Extended Media course.

Have been accecpted onto my chosen course, ive sent off my student finance application and bought my student nus discount card, is it September yet?  will need to buy stationery etc ready for my big day which brings me neatly to National Stationery week coming soon in April if any companies are looking to work with bloggers id love to collaborate just get in touch thanks.