Life in Bitesize

I read in the news today about a spate of burglaries in the Brighton and Hove area, where robbers are choosing not to steal highly desirable items like flat screen TVs and DVD players, but copper pipes and boilers! Yes, no longer do we need to hide our jewellery in a fake baked bean tin, it’s our boilers they’re after now…that’s a pretty big baked bean tin we’re gonna have to get?!

The reason is because the price of scrap metal has soared in recent months, and copper is at a premium right now. I should know, my boyfriend’s a lift engineer and every so often they cash in on some scrap metal from jobs and I get a shiny new present! 🙂

So, people in the Brighton area beware! Lock up your boilers! Looks like there’ll be a high demand for new boilers in Brighton soon!

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I’m currently looking for my own flat so that I can finally move out of my parents’ home. Although it’s great to think about the newfound independence and freedom that I’ll achieve, it also brings with it a whole new world of responsibility. All the things that I currently take for granted will become my whole world (Well, I hope not actually my whole world). Like, at the moment, my dinner is waiting for me when I get home from work, my washing, ironing – all done for me, and I don’t actually contribute to the household bills whatsoever (my bad – but they never ask!!).

All that will soon change – not only will I have to make my own dinner (shock, horror :P), but I’ll have to BUY all the ingredients too! I’m sure my evenings from now on will involve some sort of housework, joy. And when it comes to bills, I guess I can say goodbye to most of my monthly salary from now on! Plus I’ll need to be sensible and make sure I save some money for emergencies, after all who knows when I’ll need to spend out for boiler repairs in Kent,. Hang on, I think I should stop now, I’m starting to talk myself out of this! Hmm… I wonder what mum’s doing for dinner tonight? 🙂

We finally managed to do it…. we WON a game. Go us! Ok it was only 1-0 and some say we still played pretty appallingly. But whatever – we’re through to the next round to meet (one of…) our mortal enemies: Germany. (Cue scary tension music)

So did you manage to get out of work to watch the game? I imagine the number of sick days taken yesterday (and today, with all those bad heads…) was much higher than usual. Me and my colleagues were extremely lucky – our lovely bosses hired a venue for us to watch the game. We all got to finish at 2.30 and change into our own clothes. Plus, there was a free bar and food laid on! Now that’s pretty cool. I have no idea how much it cost them to do all that, but the boost to everyone’s morale and motivation is definitely worth however much it cost. The team building effects from an event like that are unquestionable. Everyone had a great time, plus we won and the sun was shining – what more could you want? Companies that do team building in Hertfordshire, Surrey and throughout the UK must be loving the extra business from the World Cup.

Here’s hoping we cruise through the next round and on to the quarter finals!

So it’s Father’s Day this weekend. And if your dad is anything like mine, it’s absolutely impossible to buy him the right gift. These are the extent of my dad’s interests: watching football, Chelsea, playing football and oh, did I mention football?

Every year, on the weekend of Father’s Day, my dad organises a junior 5-a-side tournament (football tournament, in case you hadn’t already guessed), for all the local teams in our area. Part of my ‘gift’ to him each year is working in the kitchen servicing teas, coffees, (and now also hot chocolate due to public demand) to the tired mums and dads, and occasionally aunts, uncles, grandparents & older siblings. I don’t receive any payment for my weekend that I give up every single year. Just a few hot dogs or burgers from the barbeque whenever I want. So there goes the usual annual summer bikini diet. Cheers dad.

I think this is enough to give my dad for Father’s Day, but apparently society doesn’t see it that way. You have to buy a card and a physical present. So usually, last thing on the saturday I’ll run down to our local shops and buy him a slightly offensive Father’s Day card and a giant bar of chocolate (oh yeah, that’s my dad one other interest – I figure he has enough football  with the 5 a side).

But if you have a ‘normal family’ and you want to actually buy a present for your dad, here are some interesting gift ideas:

Is your dad a bit of a petrolhead? How about buying him a driving day in one of his favourite supercars, like a Lamborghini or Aston Martin? There are race tracks all over the UK so there is abound to be one near you.

If your dad is stuck in the 20th Century, you could buy him a cassette tape converter, which will convert all of his old tapes into MP3 format. Although, you might have to buy him an iPod if he doesn’t have one!

If your dad is a nature lover, you could Adopt an Animal on his behalf. Most animal charities have some sort of scheme set up, and UK based wildlife parks Howletts & Port Lympne in Kent will even give you free entry so your dad can visit his new ‘adopted offspring’.

To all the dads out there – Happy Father’s Day!

So you would think being a gorilla is pretty straightforward right? Eat a few bananas, swing from some trees and maybe check your mates for ticks?

For gorillas in captivity these are pretty much all the stresses they have to deal with. But not so for gorillas being released back into the wild. No, they have to attend Gorilla School to learn the ways of the wild. Like a sort of gorilla finishing school, they learn how to survive and fend for themselves. It kinda reminds of the film Madagascar, when the pampered NYC zoo animals used to a life of luxury end up in the wild and have absolutely no idea how to act.

A new 12-part series starts tonight on Animal Planet, and follows 3 orphaned gorillas, Oudiki, Kouki and Tiya, as they travel from Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent to the Aspinall Foundation’s Gabon reserve. It also features Howletts owner Damian Aspinall being reunited with a gorilla he used to play with five years ago. The gorilla is now fully integrated into the wild, and has been known to attack other humans so it’s very moving to watch how they treat each other.

So watch tonight – 8pm on Animal Planet 🙂

This coming weekend brings the first of the two May bank holidays (woohoo!), and providing the weather stays as it is, I’m planning to get outdoors and make the most of the fresh air and sunshine. I live in Kent, so I’ve got a host of tourist attractions right on my doorstep, plus I’m only 45 minutes from London, which is always handy.

I’ve been looking for somewhere I can go with my 2 year old niece, as I’m looking after her on Bank Holiday Monday, and I need something to entertain her!

So I did a search for things to do in Kent, and found that good old Port Lympne Wild Animal Park has recently been voted England’s best tourism experience – well done them! And depsite living only an hour away, I’ve never actually visited the park. And I think it’s about time that I did.

So that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend – looking at Lions & Tigers & Bears (oh my!) *Ok I’ve just looked  on their site and they don’t actually have bears there, but they’ve got some bad-ass gorillas hehe.

And if the weather doesn’t stay nice? Bluewater it is, along with every other soul in South East England 🙂

Ok, so it’s not quite here (let’s, um, ignore that snow forecast for later this week..), but the clocks have gone forward so its officially British Summer Time and that’s good enough for me. The nights are longer and lighter, and it’s certainly looking a bit friendlier outside. So it’s the perfect time to get some of your work colleagues together and organise some outside events.

At my office, we organise an annual rounders match every summer at a local park with our PR agency – us against them! It’s a great occasion to have some drinks and some nibbles, get out of the office and let your hair down. And it’s amazing the energising effect a simple team building activity like a  game of rounders can have on everyone in the company. There’s always going to be people you work with that you might not necessarily get along with, but getting together out of the workplace could help bridge the gaps in your relationship.

So what are you waiting for? Get some peeps together and enjoy the sunshine!