A blog about trying a new thing every day in 2013

Category Archives: General Stuff

Today I discovered a great website……….have you ever wondered how people get to be in the audience of TV shows?

Wonder no more – because this site www.applausestore.com lists loads of TV shows that need an audience. You simply register your details and the shows you are interested in and when they are ready to film they send you an application form. Its then a bit of pot luck as to whether you get tickets or not – but hey they are free!

I’ve registered an interested in Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Britains Got Talent 2013! – I’ll let you know If I’m successful!

Total Cost of New thing Tried TodayZilch

Today I spotted a post on my facebook page about – of all things WD – 40! I was intrigued – after all what can you possibly say about the stuff – its for stopping squeaks isn’t it and you sometimes squirt it on your car engine when it wont start? (though I’ve never known why!)

oh how wrong am I? It turns out WD -40 can be used for a myriad of things!  From the bizarre to the damn well useful and wish I had known years ago!! – Are you ready??? (takes a deep breath) – – here goes…..

1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floor that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps the flies off of Cows, Horses, and other Farm Critters, as well. (Ya gotta love this one!!!)
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks. – WELL CERTAINLY MADE MY BATHROOM FITTINGS GLEAM
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill. –
12. Keeps ceramic / terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots. – YEP CAN VOUCH FOR THIS ONE
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on both home and vehicles doors.- KNEW THAT
18. It removes that nasty tar and scuff marks from the kitchen flooring.
It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.
Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Remove those nasty Bug guts that will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!
20. Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gearshift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers…
22. Rids kids rocking chair and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes grease splatters from stove-tops. NEED TO TRY THIS ONE
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs. ????? – OF COURSE WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida’s favorite use is: ‘cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.’
38. The favorite use in the state of New York, it protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose.
Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. It is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray it on the marks and wipe with a clean rag. WISH I’D KNOWN THAT YEARS AGO!
42. Also, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you spray it inside a wet distributor cap, it will displace the moisture, allowing the engine to start. AH _ THAT’S WHY YOU SPRAY IT ON THE ENGINE!

Now I tried it on the shower door – and yes it does exactly what it says – more impressive though is the way it makes all the stainless steel fittings gleam!

Have always been intrigued by the name though – but a bit of research tells me WD40 is a water displacing spray (whatever that is ) – so guessing that’s the WD bit – maybe the 40 was the original number of uses they came up for it!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
Zilch as had some in cupboard for car emergencies!

Useful all around the house!

Useful all around the house!

Today I went with the family (minus one son who was at cub camp) to Cornbury Festival.
Squiggle ‘n’ Jiggle had been booked for the weekend to run some art workshops. I’ve been to a couple of festivals in my time – Wychwood (4 times), WOMAD, (3 times) The Big Chill (once) but never to Cornbury.

Whenever I’ve mentioned going to Cornbury everyone has always said – “Oooh the posh one!”

Well – they were certainly right – it was very expensive!! The programme cost £10 (fiver at most festivals!)  and drink and food was a couple of quid more than previous festivals.

It was bigger than I expected – four outdoor stages, set in the lovely Great Tew Park in Oxfordshire, and lots of food and gift stalls.

Some great acts – James Arthur, Echo and The Bunny Men, Squeeze, Keane, Beverley Knight are just a few I can remember!

I just didn’t like the fact that there was a fairground too – its a festival – not a fair  – and frankly I could do without my son pestering me to go on rides that were a fiver a go!

Hopefully Squiggle will get booked again next year – in the meantime I’m going to plan ingenious ways of smuggling in alcohol!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
Technically Zilch as get free family tickets on top of our payment…however the payment doesn’t cover cost of materials and food and drink for the weekend!




Now I had something fairly energetic planned for today’s new thing….but frankly…after a very hectic weekend – energy was the last thing I had today!

So I thought I would try an energy drink. Now years ago there was only Red Bull and Lucozade!!. Today however I was staggered by the huge selection available,  I spent about 15 minutes trying to work out which one to buy.

In the end I plumped for the one that seemed to have least ingredients, and no caffeine or Taurine  (I don’t even know what Taurine is – but it doesn’t sound good!) and the one that stated 100% fruit goodness – I’m a sucker for these kind of claims!

With a flavour of Mixed Berry it was very tasty and refreshing…….did it work??? Erm – can’t say I noticed a massive difference – still want to be in bed by nine! Perhaps I should have had one with caffeine in! Or maybe it will kick in later and I wont be able to sleep!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today


Two new things today – but kind of related! Tonight there is a surprise party being held in the village hall for a dear friend of mine and her husband who will be leaving our village shortly. I’ve only known Zoe a few years – but hell I am going to miss her! – She’s the one that keeps me in check! I can rely on Zoe knowing every school /cub/cleeve colts arrangement there is. Living just down the road she’s the one I call when I need to get one of my kids to or from school. Who is there when I need a pint of milk late at night….who organises all the mum’s birthdays and party do’s. What am I going to do without her!!

She’s not going for 20 days……but tonight a group of friends have organised a leaving party in the village hall with food and a band……I’m really hoping she hasn’t guessed though I’m sure she thought it a little odd today when she saw so many of us in Tescos…with large trolleys!

Anyway – I am digressing – my two new things today involved the party. First we were all asked to take a plate of something to eat.
So I made this delicious Nutella Cheesecake dip. Simply whip up 250ml of double  cream, then in a separate bowl beat together 1 tub of cream cheese and 3tbs of icing sugar, then whip in half a jar of Nutella. Once this is all mixed then fold in the double cream and there you have it – serve with anything you like to dip in – strawberries would be good though I happen to know that its rare for a piece of fruit to pass Zoe’s lips – so I supplied ice cream wafers!

The second new thing was to make what I’m calling a Thoughts & Wishes jar – basically I just decorated a Kilner Jar and asked everybody at the party to write a thought or best wishes for both Zoe and Tim  on a piece of paper and pop it in the jar – that way they have something to keep from us all – if I don’t make it a useful thing (eg a jar) Zoe will just chuck it! I already have a November  date in my diary to visit – so I’ll be checking where this jar is!!

Total Cost of New Things Tried Today
Can’t say cos I know she reads this blog!

Nutella cheesecake dip

Nutella cheesecake dip


Thoughts and Wishes Jar

Thoughts and Wishes Jar

Today Squiggle ‘n’ Jiggle appeared at a school summer fair…..we’ve done festivals but never a school fair before. Our plan was to use the event to promote ourselves to the local community, offer a fun activity for kids and maybe make a bit of money on the side.

So we showed kids how to make juggling balls – given that I made about 300 of these with kids at Wychwood Festival – I feel I am an expert!

So, once we had set up our pitch and I had wheeled my business partner Mandy into position – she very inconveniently broke her foot and leg 7 weeks ago…..we were ready…..and waiting…and waiting….

However once we got our first punter …..about twenty minutes into the event …we started generating interest and had a steady flow of kids making juggling balls with balloons and rice. All was going fine until….the heavens opened – did I mention it was an outside event?? – lets just say soggy rice doesn’t make for very good balls!

So 40 minutes early we packed up and I wheeled Mandy back to the car – (I felt a little like that couple in Little Britain!!)….we made a useful contact (employee of a children’s centre who is interested in the workshops we do), made a few children smile, and made a few quid……(and I do mean a few!!)- so a productive way to spend a Friday evening!

 Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
Zilch  in fact we made a whole £8 profit after our expenses!


Today I went to the Forest of Dean – not a new thing for me…and I got lost…again not a new thing for me – I always always get lost in the Forest of Dean – and I’m talking about in a car!! I swear they change the signposts around just to confuse “foreigners’!

Now the forest is a beautiful part of the country just 20 miles from where I live…and today I had been told about a framing store that had a great selection of frames with really reasonable prices. Given that I am searching for some frames for my animal pics it seemed a perfect excuse to get out into the country for the morning….and it was a beautiful morning.

Well – lets just say that yes the frame range was extensive but the prices were far from reasonable!! However as I meandered our way home (not deliberately!) I came across Harts Barn Craft Centre. Of course I had to pop in!

What a lovely tranquil place (am not sure the store holders would want it to be so tranquil – I was one of only three people browsing through the entire centre!), some lovely craft shops, and a fantastic little cafe. I only hope it’s busy at weekends otherwise I can’t see how a venture like this survives.

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
I reckon the petrol was about a tenner!


The sign that caught my eye!

The sign that caught my eye!

Part of the lovely courtyard and shop buildings

Part of the lovely courtyard and shop buildings


I don’t know about you but deep down I’ve always wanted to be a paramedic!! Ridiculous idea really because I think I would faint at the sight of broken bones – blood I am ok with but funny shaped bones makes me feel all week at the knees – not that I’ve ever broken a bone…but whenever people talk in great length about their broken bone experience I feel physically sick!

Anyway I digress – I am a little too old in the too tooth to retrain as a paramedic ….and  I’ve never even been on a First Aid course…until today!

Yes thanks to the generosity of the PTA , of which I am treasurer  I got to attend an excellent first aid course led by The Red Cross, teaching us the basics of what to do if someone is unconscious, not breathing, fitting, choking or bleeding profusely. Basically what ever medical condition/situation is happening it seems to fall into one of these categories.

I have to admit to thinking this would be a really heavy boring two hours of being talked at – but not at all – it was entertaining , fun and memorable and actually dealt with the fears people may have of administering first aid – which is basically – not wanting to make things worse by doing something wrong As Dave pointed out – not doing anything would be doing something wrong! He also pointed out that initial panic would be what we felt and that once we had recognised to control the panic we would then remember the theory.

Apparently the Red Cross site has some excellent videos for everyday emergency first aid  and I may well indulge my paramedic urges and watch them all soon!

Here’s hoping I never have to put this into practice but at least I feel much more confident about dealing with a health emergency.

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today

Me and Anne!

Me and Anne!

For nine months I’ve had paint and wallpaper to decorate our bedroom  – the only room in the house untouched since we moved in five years ago….

Finally at the weekend I got round to painting the walls and glossing the woodwork and then today – I wallpapered! Now I attempted to wallpaper the downstairs bathroom last year – I gave up after one piece of paper and handed it over to Elliott. Today I was determined to do it all – its only one wall – how hard can that be?

Actually the pasting of the paper wasn’t hard at all – it was stripey so easy to match up and I managed to prevent any air bubbles appearing. The tricky bit was cutting the edges. Despite me leaving to dry for two hours and using a really sharp scalpel I still managed to scag the paper in a couple of places – fortunately it was at the bottom and the bed will hide that! Note to self next time leave 5 hours before attempting to cut the paper!

Visitors to my house won’t be surprised that the wallpaper was stripey!! Its a recurrent theme with the living room and downstairs bathroom both sporting stripes……now where else can I have stripes?????…I have my eye on the top of the hallway!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
I think the paper was about £12…but frankly can no longer remember!






Today I should have been running in Race for Life……however due to

1. Only being able to get three “runs” in as practice – thanks to

a) splitting the skin between my toes and sole making it painful to walk let alone run

b) my netball trainers not really being up to the job and causing me massive pain in the front of my legs after each practice run – and me being too tight to buy special running shoes when know deep down I aint going to be taking up running full time!

2) Failing to get any sponsors – because not badgered anybody at all to sponsor me – I want to do a sponsored walk later in the year and don’t want to keep hassling people for money all the time!

So……yes I feel bad, yes I feel like I’ve let myself down, my family down, my non existent sponsors down and Cancer Research down!…..well actually I just feel I’ve let Cancer Research down so…to make up for it I signed up today to their monthly donation scheme on their site here….

Now I don’t feel so bad!

Total Cost of New Thing Tried Today
£5 a month!

Picture 3