Talk Talk TV Tribes: My Viewing Pleasure

You know I’m a researcher so I’m gonna start with a stat! The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) estimates 26.8 million private domestic households (approximately 97% of households) in the UK own televisions. Clearly it’s a big part of all our lives. In the years that British homes have been watching TV, our viewing habits and the programmes we love have changed dramatically, my own experience reflects this. TalkTalk surveyed the nation to discover how we’re watching TV today, find out where you fit in the TV Tribes test here

My tribe is:

T h e S o c i a l N e t w o r k e r

“I watch quite a bit of television, of all kinds, but always with one eye on my computer screen or smartphone. I like to watch television as it is being broadcast whenever possible, and I take part in live debate on Twitter or Facebook, and go online to see what other people are saying about a programme. I also use the internet to look up information. I like to share my opinion and comment on the opinion of others”

6% of people belong to this TV Tribe – as a researcher this is bang on for me, especially using the net whilst I watch!

I’m going back to the eighties to share my viewing memories, when I looked like this:


We had a big old TV, one of those wooden veneer ones, classic eighties style, I’ll see if I can find a pic, OK found one, it was exactly like this:


My earliest ever memory is of that TV, you’ll have spotted Bert and Ernie in my photo, I LOVED Sesame Street and even then would have half an eye on my toys and half an eye on the TV, so I guess I was a Social Networker even then. Sadly that blooming old TV used to cut off at key times and I’d miss bits of the show. My parents realised that if you tapped the side of the TV to get a connection back doing what it should’ve been the TV would come to life again and that awful grey screen buzzing would stop and up would pop Big Bird and the Cookie Monster! So yes, my earliest memory is of whacking the side of the TV really hard to bring back my favourite show!

Sesame Street Big Bird

Thirty years on not much has changed, I have my own TV whacking tot, our flatscreen works just fine thank you very much, and Big Bird has been replaced by In The Night Garden and Big Barn Farm but the proximity and chance to get up close and personal with the characters hasn’t changed and she has to be reminded to look but not touch just as I did!


Look at those sticky finger marks! (She looks like we dressed her like John Mclaine from Die Hard here too!)


I like documentaries best but often feel that there’s not enough available on our current package, I thought C4s Fabulous Fashionistas, about ageing and fashion was amazing and the Twitter chats around it were so engaging but its not often I see something so thought provoking!

What tribe do you belong to?

This is my entry into the Tots100 Talk Talk TV Tribes competition!

Fancy a new hobby? How to get started with crafting

My craft space is coming along nicely and I was telling a friend about it this week, she said she’s always wanted to do something crafty but doesn’t know where to get started. I thought I’d blog about how I fit crafty activities into my daily life, something I managed to do with a newborn, whilst studying and now whilst working and parenting, as it’s important to me to do something that I find relaxing, productive, fun and that brings some colour into my life!

1) Start with a small project

You can dip into a small project over short periods of time, nap times are great for small projects as you are also closer to a sense of satisfaction at having finished something! This felt baby mobile was the first thing I made after I had Joss, it gave me a small sense of purpose during nap times when I didn’t want to sleep and occupied my mind which I sometimes needed when I was feeling anxious as a new mother


2) Wrap it up

Package up your project in a zip lock bag so you can quickly pop back to it, I sometimes have a couple of bags on the go and take one to work to spend time on over my lunch breaks


3) Re-use and save

Try to use what you have at your disposal, you don’t need to spend as lot to find a cathartic hobby! Take these greetings cards I blogged about last week, made from recycled wrapping paper I didn’t need a lot to make something special


4) Take to a book

Look at craft literature, magazines are great, they often come with a project inside, like this month’s Homemaker. I made this cushion using materials that came with the magazine, Joss loves it, I got loads of inspiration from the book and learned a new skill, soft toy making! Better still, visit your local library, many have a craft section and with a photocopier on site to copy and enlarge any patterns you may find a gem!

Photo_F30B6DD0-873E-1271-4C63-AF31E72D1170 Photo_D24C170F-F7C3-87AA-8898-921B89F8E59F

5) Try to make a little time every day

You’d be surprised how a small project works up pretty quickly with even just ten to fifteen minutes a day, and by how relaxing picking up a project can be! This is a longer term work in progress of mine, the crochet blanket in the background, so far I’ve put about three hours in over many days, it’s so colourful it’s a joy to return to after a busy afternoon with Joss!


What craft would you like to try and why? Or if you’re yet to dip your toe in the water what’s stopping you?

Magic, storytelling and play at The Hancock’s Magic Worlds exhibition

The Great North (or Hancock) Museum is hands down Joss’ favourite day out. In Newcastle’s city centre its a haven from the shops, “goin a see a dinosaurs” is a frequently used phrase in this house and we’re there most weeks, sometimes multiple times a week!

When I heard about the Magic Worlds exhibition we had to go on the first day!

It didn’t disappoint, a V&A Museum of Childhood visiting exhibition with the Hancock until the summer there is bags to see and do, today we focused on fairy tales and must go back to see more of the magic and play!

As a lover of fairy tales I’m keen to share this interest with Joss, I found the displays really sparked my crafty imagination and the Alice in Wonderland play area is amazing and we couldn’t drag her away from the Mad Hatters Tea Party!

The staging is amazing, woodland, elven, witch, fairytale and magic with a sweet little reading area, some great examples of patchwork cushioning and intricate wood cut trees, dark spaces and magic mirrors and loads of puppets, including Sooty himself and a scary Hansel and Gretel witch!

I can’t wait to go back and explore some more with Joss, an awe inspiring day out!


The Out-takes

I laughed out loud when I heard about Mama Geek’s new outtakes linky for poor photography, if there was a MADS 2014 category for Worst Photography I’d be up for nomination, hands down, cropping, filtering and scrapping and starting again are my best foto friends!

This week we’ve had a blast of wind and rain on our Team Honk walk…


A great shot with metal railings from the coast…


…and a murky snap of an axolotl (that’s a walking fish)


But they still all made the cut because they’re true to life, in the words of Joss, and her favourite song of late “I don’t care…I luff it!”

A look back on a relay great week!

Real Life

This week saw the advent of Joss and I taking part in the Team Honk Relay it was brilliant to be part of this Sport Relief adventure, our journey started with Three Boys and a Cat at the Angel of the North and ended with Mumsdays at Baltic Square – I am very proud of Team Durham and have met two lovely ladies as well as raising money for a great cause!

Bi8aXEEIQAAT9kC.jpg medium


This week at work I’ve been musing about work blogs, the budget and new projects I want to get involved in, it’s also been a brilliant week for sleep, which is a brilliant week full stop in my book with Joss sleeping 10 hours straight for two weeks now, wowsers, all this fresh air is so good for her!

Blog Life

Popular on the blog this week have been two thrifty tutorials of sorts, one on recycling wrapping paper and the other on creating a container garden, which has been my baby for the last two blogging springs and the source of much inspiration!



This week I was inspired to do some baking for Joss by Charlotte’s Kitchen didn’t manage to snap the blueberry muffins we baked as they got snapped up quickly but I did get a shot of the chocolate ones I made for work

On the crafty front I really want to try turning some tulle I bought ages ago into a tutu like this for Joss

And I discovered a new read, Dadbloguk through this post – we have talked about the way we both work and how we might accommodate at the very least a Daddy day, so DBUKs post was food for thought this week

And finally…

My favourite photos from this week, after our big Team Honk walk, a spot of hide and seek, now where’s Joss?…


There she is!

– See more at:

International Day of Happiness Inspiration

Today is International Day of Happiness. I shared some resources from the brilliant Action for Happiness recently here and received positive feedback so I thought I’d share some things that I find help keep me on track, you may just find them all very obvious, but I like a little inspiration from time to time and its easy to get caught up in thoughts, worries and habits.

The first photo is one I took on my way home from work, the others are pins from my happiness board:











Hurrah! Hurrah! We hit our Sport Relief Team Honk Target while I was at work today!

We’re over the £500 mark and the overall figure just hit over £24,500! I forgot to share this, don’t tell anyone on the Team Honk crew but the banner made an excellent medium for being pulled around the floor on! I’m sharing this as my Small Steps Amazing Achievements as it was lovely to share my TeamHonk experience with Joss!

To celebrate I made cupcakes to take to work today, and was cheered when I came home by a game of hide and seek and seeing the cherry blossom out in full bloom, now where is Joss? I can’t see her anywhere?!

A Relay Great Day for A Team Honk Toddle

Many thanks for your support everyone, we completed the walk in record time today, Joss walked the last half mile in the wind and rain, what a trooper!





The baton is now on its way North with Hannah on route to John O Groats, we’ve collectively raised over £23,000 and counting and had a brilliant time along the way, your support and sponsorship is very much appreciated, thanks also to those who texted support messages along the route, came out to wave and cheered us on, we needed it!


Much love,

Angela and Joss x

Thrifty Home: Create a Yarden Retreat (Back Yard Container Gardening)

Who says you can’t have an enjoyable outdoor space without a garden?

This is our outdoor spot, a lovely place to sit out with a cuppa on a nice day and it’s shaping up to be a sweet little spot for Joss to potter too!

Start planning and planting now and you can have a lovely patch too!


Here’s my rundown of five top tips for container yardening:

1) Reflect the light with white painted walls!


2) Pots in different colours add interest

Save some cash here, you only need the odd flash of colour amongst the green to add an eclectic feel, shop around in charity shops or supermarkets for great deals



3) Build a small planter from wood or brick

We built this small brick area with our neighbour one nice summer, 100 bricks, mortar a DIY book and three cheap trellis transformed this space into a planter for climbers, none of us had built a wall prior to this!


4) Use all of the space

Look up, use wall space to add baskets and climbers on trellis to add height, mix up your pots so you get good height difference in your floor coverage


5) Plant what you love

Lily of the valley for me, starting off some herbs and salad for Joss to grow


Prose for Thought