Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Oh the dust and the dirt!
The builders are in.
The noise and the fuss,
My head's in a spin!

Can we please have some tea?
First some work I must see!
Then maybe a biscuit,
For you and for me!

The men they are everywhere,
In the lounge and the hall.
Drilling and banging,
On ceilings and wall.

The damp is all going,
The house will be dry.
But, oh it's so stressful,
I just want to cry!

But the house will be finished,
Before very long,
Then my heart will be light,
I might break into song!

And when it's all done,
And every thing's clean,
I can relax and feel calm,
And see everything gleam.

Monday, 26 May 2014


Oh, where did it come from,
How did it grow?
I shake my head,
I just do not know!

The tapes and the books,
Ooo, that's worth a look!
I remember that one
To school it I took!

There's toys and there's games,
Hotwheels and clay
I remember the day,
We all sat to play!

When I look at the junk,
I think and I ponder............
That naughty book!
Why is that over yonder?

The room is so clean,
Surfaces gleam!
Now we just need a skip,
Or a trip to the tip!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Spring cleaning

Spring cleaning is here,
The house needs a spritz,
The dust is so thick,
It's makes me feel sick!

Tidying and cleaning!
There's work to be done.
We'll dust and we'll hoover,
Till the battle is won.

Dust bunnies are evil!
They run and they hide,
But nowhere is safe,
Now the bag they're inside!

We'll clean and we'll toil,
Til the end is in sight,
Even if it takes,
Till almost the night.

The end it is near,
So never you fear,
It's all clean and tidy,
Until the next year!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Thermae Bath Spa Review

Thermae Bath spa is a day spa, combining the charm of old historical buildings with modern design. It opened to the public in it's present form in August 2006.

Here, you can enjoy the benefits of the only natural thermal water spa in Britain. Many treatments are available, which need to be booked in advance.

Yesterday, as it was a lovely sunny day, my daughter and I decided to spend a day at the spa.

We travelled to Bath by train, so before we left, we checked First Great Western's web site to see if they had any special offers for the spa. Indeed they did – four hours in the spa for the price of two! So we printed off the voucher, grabbed our swimming costumes and hopped on the train.

We arrived at the spa, handed over the voucher, showed our train tickets and were given our extra time. We paid £27 each for two hours (Well, four in our case) and an extra £9 each for hire of robe, towel and slippers. You can take your own things, but we decided to treat ourselves, and it also meant that we had less to carry when we did a spot of after Spa shopping.

We were given a smart band, which is used to lock/unlock your locker, keep track of how long you have been in the spa and also to keep track of your spending in the restaurant.

We started our visit in the roof pool. Where you can relax on air seats and enjoy bubble jets. There is also a massage jet, which is great for easing stiff shoulders. The water is the temperature of a warm bath, so there is no worry about getting cold. We spent around an hour just lazing around here before heading down to the steam rooms.

There are four circular steam rooms, which each have a different aromatherapy steam. My favourite was Mint & Eucalyptus, as it helped clear my nose. The others had choices of Lotus flower, Sandalwood and Lemongrass & ginger. We stayed a while in each one, visiting the outdoor terrace between to cool down. We finished our session with an invigorating tropical shower, which is situated in the centre of the circle of steam rooms. It varies between a light mist to a heavy downpour and is a lovely way to cool off a little.

If all of this hard work makes you hungry and thirsty, you can partake of either a meal, snack or a drink in the Springs Cafe & Restaurant. On leaving, you are asked to touch your smartband to the reader, which both keeps a record of what you have spent and gives you extra time on the clock, so that your eating doesn't also eat into your spa time.

We then made our way down to the Minerva bath on the ground floor. This indoor pool has a whirlpool bath and a massage jet. The whirlpool is situated within the pool and the narrow part of the pool around it turns into a lazy river because of the currents from the jets in the wall of the pool, which is quite fun. Although, for some reason, I kept bumping into one of the four columns in the pool, which my daughter thought was rather amusing.

We left the pools, showered and got changed. There are plenty of hair dryers and mirrors in the changing rooms, as well as a spinner to take the worst of the water out of your costume and plastic bags to put them in.

We deposited our used robes, towels and slippers in the waiting hampers and made our way to the exit. Here, you touch your smart band against the reader for the last time. If you have nothing to pay, a green tick lights up, a draw opens, into which you drop your band and you are off. If you have stayed over your time, or ate in the restaurant, then a red cross will light up, and you then go to the till to pay the outstanding amount.

After leaving the spa, we partook of some retail therapy – well it has to be done. Including spending far too much money in the Fudge Factory shop................yum.

So will we go back to Bath Thermae Spa? You bet we will. This wasn't our first visit and it certainly won't be our last.

Until next time – farewell Bath Thermae Spa.

To read more about the spa, click here: Thermae Bath Spa

Sunday, 18 May 2014

The beach

The sand shifts beneath my feet. It's golden grains running through my toes as I walk.

The sun is already high in the sky and I turn my face upwards, embracing it's enticing warmth.

I spread my towel on the sand and sit, taking in the sights and sounds around me.

Children run, screaming and laughing as the icy cold fingers of the sea lap around their bare toes. In and out of the wavelets they run, joyous at the simple pleasure that it brings.

Their parents watch, smiling as their darlings have fun, remembering the days when they where young, and enjoyed the sea too. They talk, hold hands, enjoying and sharing their memories.

The surfers arrive, running eagerly towards the sea, splashing as they paddle out into the deeper water, waiting for the waves like stranded, rubber clad seals.

They hurtle towards land once more, whooping with joy, returning again and again, on an adrenaline fuelled mission to find the biggest, fastest wave.

The savoury smell of pasties wafts across to me. It must be lunch time. Children eat, re-fuelling their bodies, ready for more fun.

I lay, and I drift into a doze. The sounds become muffled, weave their way into my lazy mind. I feel so relaxed, so happy. I wish that I could stay here for ever.

I open my eyes, looking into the deep azure of the sky. Clouds scud across it, taunting the sun, but they are too small to win the fight. They bubble and burn, dissolving into the ether.

I gather my thoughts. It's time to go. Time to go back to reality, to my life and family.

I shake off my towel, and walk towards home, leaving the sea to whisper it's secrets to the sand.

Goodbye beach, I will be back another day.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

The garden

The sun is shining,
At least for today.
I think I'll go out,
In the garden to play!

The grass is so green,
It might need a cut.
I should do it now,
But my mind says,
Oh but!!

The sun is so warm,
So let's just take five,
Chill out, relax,
Watch the bees feed and thrive.

I'll get a cool drink,
Sit on the chair.
At the flowers so pretty,
I'll look,
Then I stare!!

A great big spider,
Over there I do spy!!
Into the house my feet,
They do fly,

I love the garden,
To sit and to stay.
But I hate creepy crawlies.
Oh do go away!!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Clixsense Review

Clixsense is a site where you can earn money for taking part in many different activities.

These include:

Viewing advertisements

Completing offers

Taking part in CrowdFlower micro tasks

Playing ClixGrid, which gives a chance of winning up to $10 daily

Filling In surveys

Once your account reaches $8 or more, you can cash out via Paypal or PayToo. You can also be paid by cheque, although this does require a transaction fee of $1 and minimum payment levels depend on where in the world you are based.

There is a daily check list, from which you can earn a bonus if you complete all of the requirements.

The new Chrome browser add on gives you a little pop up in the corner of your browser, informing you of new surveys, tasks and advertisements, as well as telling you what your balance to date is. It's an easy and quick way to see if there is anything new to do.

For $17 a year, you can upgrade to a premium membership, which gives more chances a day to play on ClixGrid, increases your daily check list bonus and increases any referral or sign up bonuses.

The forum area is a good way to learn more about how Clixsense works and has many hints and tips on how to maximise your earnings.

Overall, I like this site. The cash balance builds quite quickly and there are a variety of things to do.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Mornflake Superfast Fruit & Nut Muesli Pot Review

This muesli is a mix of fruit and nuts. The oats and cereals are blended with Chilean flame raisins, apple, chopped dates and apricots, roasted nuts and toasted coconut.

The handy pot can be eaten on the go, you just need to add water and stir to reconstitute the milk powder in the mixture.

Each 80grm pot contains around 306 calories, is suitable for vegetarians and costs around £1.

So, on to the taste taste. The lid of the pot has a nifty push out spoon, which clips together. The idea of the pot is that you can eat it on the go, but you still need the water to reconstitute the milk powder. So, either you have to buy a bottle of water, or have access to drinking water.

On opening, I was surprised at just how little cereal there is. It fills less than a quarter of the tub. I know that you need the space to stir the product, but this stills seem rather excessive.

Taste wise, well, it tastes like muesli, as expected. There's a good mix of fruit, nuts and cereals. When water is added, it dissolves the milk powder well, but it needs a very good stir, otherwise the powder gets trapped at the bottom of the pot.

Would I buy it? The answer is, personally, no, as I see no need for it. But I can see that if you are out and about, it would be a quick and easy breakfast, providing that you have access to water. It is also expensive considering the amount of muesli in the pot. 

But if you want a tasty, healthy breakfast on the go, then it would be just the thing.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Prior Park Review

As Yesterday was a Bank Holiday Monday, and the weather was nice, we decided to make the most of our National Trust membership and find somewhere to go for a walk and a picnic.

We chose to visit Prior Park near Bath in Somerset.

Prior Park is set in a beautiful valley. At this time of year, the wild garlic is in full flower, and the smell of garlic is everywhere, which is lovely.

The park contains a wonderful Palladian bridge, of which there are only four of this design in the world. It is fascinating to read the graffiti on the bridge, which dates back to the 18th century, when is was created by Ralph Allen. Although there are some very naughty people who have added to this in recent years, which is very sad to see, despite a sign asking visitors not to!

There are wonderful walks through the valley. They can be steep in places, with steps, which could be difficult for disabled visitors or people with young children and pushchairs. But the views are well worth the effort.

A short walk from the reception brings you to a point where the centre of Bath is laid out before you, beyond the park. It is a stunning sight.

Down by the lakes and bridge, there is a tea room, where you can sit and relax and take in the views. On the day that we visited, the swans took to the water with their gorgeous seven puffball cygnets. It was quite amusing watching them make the leap of faith of six inches into the lake. Plop, flap, plop.

Overall, we had a lovely day at Prior Park. The one slight downside is that there is only a small car park, which is for disabled customers only. We parked in a side street and walked down the hill. Or you could park in the centre of Bath or take the train and walk up, which is about a mile, or take a bus. This is a lovely hidden gem of a garden, and if you are in the area, is most worthy of a visit.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks' Chocolate Review

We love baking here at Serendipity Towers, so when I saw this Dr. Oetker's fine cooks' chocolate, I thought I'd try it out.

The chocolate costs around £1.60 from most supermarkets for a 150grm bar.

Whenever I have tried cooking chocolate before, I have always found that it to tastes quite bland. But on tasting, this was quite good. A nice chocolatey taste, which I could quite happily have eaten as it was.

The youngest Miss Serendipity decided to try to make some cup cakes with the chocolate. She broke the chocolate into a bowl, which she put above a pan of hot water to melt. The chocolate melted very easily and was very smooth and glossy.

She then folded the molten chocolate into her cupcake mixture. After cooking, the cakes where lovely and moist, with the chocolate marbled through them.

I would quite happily buy this chocolate again. There are many lovely recipes on Dr Oetker's website for the chocolate and for many more of their other home baking products.

Baking and Cooking with Dr Oetker

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Cawston Press Sparkling Apple and Rhubarb Review

Cawston Press Sparkling Apple and Rhubarb is sparkling soft drink, available in 330ml bottles and cans, retailing at around £1.

Each 100ml contains 32kcal and contains Sparkling Water, Pressed Apple Juice, Pressed Rhubarb Juice, Sugar, Malic Acid, Vitamin C, Fruit & Vegetable Extracts.

It contains no artificial sweeteners, colourings or preservatives.

The fruit juices are blended together to make a delightfully refreshing drink, which makes a lovely change from other fizzy soft drinks.

So, on to the taste taste. When I poured the drink into a glass, I was quite surprised by the lack of colour - somehow I was expecting it to be red. But thinking about it, there's no artificial colour, so it shouldn't be.

I love rhubarb and it's tart taste, so this drink tasted very pleasing indeed to me. But I can see that if you aren't a fan of rhubarb, then you could find it a bit too sharp. To me, this just adds to it's charm.

The drink is lightly sparkling, rather than the super duper fizziness of many other drinks, which again, I like.

I hate the bloated feeling that comes from the more mainstream drinks, so I tend to avoid them.

But this isn't a problem with this one. The bubbles are subtle, so there's none of that horrible 'mouth full of foam' situation.

Overall, I like this drink and I would certainly buy it again. There are many other interesting flavours in the range that I would like to try too, including Brilliant Beetroot, Apple and Ginger and Apple and Elderflower.

So, if you see Cawston press drinks in the shops, then I recommend that you give them a try for a more grown up and sophisticated taste than the usual brands.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Rustlers Quarter pounder review

Rustlers Quarter pounder is a pre-cooked burger in a bun, with a separate slice of processed cheese and a sachet of Rustlers sauce. They are available in most supermarkets and retail for around £2 each.

I have seen these in supermarkets often, but have never thought to try them, as microwaving a burger seems a strange idea somehow. But when I received a voucher to try a free one, I thought I might as well give it a go.

Times of cooking depend on the strength of your microwave. I followed the instructions to heat the burger in the bun, which stated 80 seconds. After cooking, I used a food probe to check the temperature of the burger, which was still a little cool, so I put it in for a further 30 seconds, which did the job.

After cooking, add the slice of processed cheese and sauce to taste. I feel that the photograph on the pack is a little misleading, as it shows lettuce in the burger, but there is none.

So, onto the taste taste. Well, it tastes like any other burger to be honest. But as you can see from the photo, the bun doesn't take to being heated too well. It becomes denser and more tough. On the pack, it does say that you can toast the bun separately from the burger, which would solve the problem, but then the idea of a fast snack is lost. The sauce is nice. Somehow it tastes like the sort of vegetables that normally come with a shop bought burger. Personally, I would prefer real adding vegetables, but that's personal choice.

If you are looking for a convenient, fast snack, then these will do the trick. I enjoyed my burger, but I don't think that it is something that I would buy regularly. But if you are a fan of 'ding' meals, then I'm sure that you will like them.