General Ramblings

General posts about life

This weekend I realised that more channels have been added to TalkTalk’s Entertainment Channel. This means that I can now watch more shows on demand whenever I want. I can now access channels like Sky 1, Sky Living, Sky Arts1, Sky Arts2, Sky Living, Sky Livingit and Sky Sports News.

New TalkTalk Channels

I now have lots more shows to watch, I have been able to catch up with Revolution, The Smoke and Greys Anatomy among other shows and am looking forward to the new series of 24 and Hannibal starting in May. My husband has been happy watching Sky Sports News which has been keeping him up to date with what is happening in the world of sports.

Currently you can get TalkTalk Plus TV which includes the normal TV channels, the seven sky channels, unlimited broadband and phone calls on a limited offer £13 a month for first 6 months, £18.50 thereafter. This also includes your YouView box which allows you to pause and rewind live TV. You are also able to view programmes you may have missed seven days after they have been on, just by scrolling back on the TV guide. You also get all the Catch Up Channels. If you want more television you can also add Sky Movies and Sky Sports boosts month by month by paying a little extra.

Disclosure: I am a TalkTalk family blogger and get provided with the TalkTalk services in order to tell you all about them.

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This weekend the clocks go forward by an hour. At 1.00am on Sunday it will suddenly become 2am and when we wake up time will be an hour ahead. It is easy to forget to change the clocks. I remember when I was small my mum got us up to go to Church and when we arrived no one was there. She had totally forgotten that the clocks had changed and we were an hour early. Luckily we did not live far so we just went home and came back at the right time. My mum was a bit embarrassed though.

These days it is a bit easier to remember Daylight Savings Time. Most clocks change automatically, my phone and computer all adjust themselves. A lot of clocks these days pick up a radio signal from Greenwich and change when they get this. I still have to go around and adjust some clocks manually but at least I am reminded to do so because the rest have changed.

One advantage of Daylight Savings Time is that the evenings are longer. There is nothing nicer that sitting on a warm night on the patio, having a leisurely drink with friends. Sometimes we have a barbecue which is always fun. In the winter the clocks go back an hour again when the nights are longer. It is easy to forget which way round it works, I use the saying “Spring forward, Fall back” to remind me. In England we use the word Autumn rather than Fall so it does not quite work as well.

Have you ever wondered where the concept of Daylight Savings Time came from? I always took it for granted and never really thought about how it started. I was then sent this fascinating infographic which explains all about the origins of Daylight Savings Time and thought I would share it with you. One thing I hadn’t realised was that the clocks change on different days in different countries. America is already on Daylight Savings Time which makes a difference in the times we can contact them.

 Tempur - Shedding light on Daylight Savings Time

Source: Tempur

Disclosure: I will receive some pillows for sharing this infographic, which should help me sleep during those longer nights. I thought the infographic was interesting as well.

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Every morning, early, I take my dog for a walk. There is something magical about walking first thing in the morning. The roads are quiet and you get the see the sun waking up, touching the sky with gold or red and pink. Every morning is different, some are grey and cold, others hold the promise of sunshine to come. The morning is filled with noise, the birds singing in the trees, glad to be awake.

I am lucky enough to live near a country park and take the opportunity to let my dog, Eddie, off the lead. He loves to have a run about and often chases after birds and rabbits, but never catches them. He has not figured out yet that birds just fly away. The rabbits disappear into their burrows leaving him stranding there looking bewildered. Eddie is a typical Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is a happy little dog, eager to please and always wagging his tail. He has no sense though and I would never let him off the lead near traffic.

King Charles Spaniel He has a distinctive character all his own and if he has any faults it is that he is really friendly and curious. Over the short time we have had him he has become a well loved member of the family.

This morning I took him on this normal walk, we go along the length of the road, turn in beside the field and enter the park. I let him run around for a while in the park and when we get to the far end of the path I put him back on his lead. Normally this works fine but today he ran ahead of me on the path. I shouted for him but he ran round a bend. When I caught up a minute later he had completely vanished from sight.

There are a number of ways he could have gone, two tracks which would have taken him deeper into the country park. He could have also gone down the quiet road towards the houses or back towards our house which would take him onto the busy main road. At first I didn’t think he could have gone far, I had only been a minute behind him. I walked down each of the tracks a little way shouting his name but there was no sign of him. Meeting a couple of dog owners coming up the other way I asked if they had seen him, but they hadn’t. After about ten minutes I was starting to panic. I had visions of him lying dead on the main road, the dread was building in my mind. I phoned my husband who sent my son out to help me look. The other dog owners were helping me look for him by this time.  It is a horrible feeling not knowing what direction to look in.

Suddenly one of the other owners shouted, there he was. A lady was carrying him down the hill in her arms whilst her dogs followed her on a lead. I was so relieved he was fine. He had followed her dogs up the hill and had been having fun running around with them at the top of the hill. He was obviously having so much fun he couldn’t be bothered coming when I called him. I quickly clipped him to his lead and thanked the lady profusely. At that moment I realised how much he meant to me and the family and how upset we would be if we lost him. On the way back we met my son who was on the way to join the search. Needless to say he was really happy to see Eddie as well.

It put me in mind of a moving poem I had seen on the television at the weekend. It was written by James Stewart to remember his dog Beau when he died. It is a great tribute to how much a dog can mean.


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Do you often find yourself flicking though the television channels trying desperately to find something to watch? I find myself doing this quite often. We have a lot of our favourite shows recorded for those moments when nothing is on, but sometimes I just fancy a film.

Up till the 2nd April existing TalkTalk TV customers can access PictureBox films for free. If you currently have no other TV boosts you can add PictureBox for a month and not be charged. This gives you access to a library of 60 on demand films that you can watch when you feel like it. Every week seven new titles are added (and seven taken away) so you have a constant influx of new films.

PictureboxPictureBox normally costs £5 per month but all existing customers can access it for no charge for one month. You will find a great range of films which are suitable for the whole family. There are action films, thrillers, kids films, chick flicks and horror, all genres are there.  From Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason, to Sean of the Dead and Beethoven’s Big Break, you are sure to find something you want to watch. The beauty of on demand films is that you can watch part of the film, stop it when you want and go back to it at a later stage continuing from where you left off. If you find you don’t like the film you can easily change to another one at the press of a button. You can also have a break to make snacks and miss none of the action.

If you are a film fan why not give Picturebox a go? I am sure you will be glad you did.

Disclosure: I am a TalkTalk family blogger, I get access to the TalkTalk TV, broadband and phone package in order to provide an honest review of the service.

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The other day my son was having a look in the wardrobe for something when he unearthed a portable tape player from the eighties. Many of you will remember the joy of cassette tapes, listening to the top forty on the radio and waiting for the song you wanted to come on so you could record it. I spent many hours transferring my record collection to tape and putting together compilation albums. With the advent of the Sony Walkman portable players became popular and it meant you could listen to the radio and tapes whilst on the go. Admittedly you needed large headphones and the device had a carrying strap as it was too large for the pocket. It was cool and kids everywhere walked about listening to their music with these over their shoulders. My son however was mystified and wanted to know what it was.
WalkmanIt hit me that he had never seen a cassette tape. He is very used to CD’s and music in digital form, but an actual cassette tape was alien to him. I still have a big store of tapes, which admittedly I don’t listen to much. I unearthed them, blowing the dust of ages off the box and showed him how the player worked. First we had problems putting the tape into the player, the play button was down. When you press the play button the internal parts of the player move over the tape to read the magnetic strip as the wheels turn pulling the tape though. With this part of the player in position the tape can’t be inserted. We did get it to work and listened to some music.

My son just did not get the fact that the tape was two sided. When you reach the end of the tape you turn it over and listen to the other side. He forward wound the tape, thinking he had rewound it. He was then highly frustrated because it wouldn’t play. Thinking about CD’s they only have one side so this confusion is understandable. As for choosing a track, forget that. You have to rewind and hope that you stop in the right place. It adds an element of surprise to your listening.

When the tape heads get dirty there is also the risk of the tape being pulled out of the cassette. As a youngster I remember this happening on more than one occasion and having to free the tape carefully from the player. Lots of brown magnetic tape then hung free. With the careful use of a pencil pushed into the cassette and a lot of careful winding the tape could often be saved. Looking at media players now it seems hard to believe that this was once the cutting edge of technology. I don’t think my son believed me when I told him that these were once really cool.

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