2017 Challenge One: Eat Down the Freezer and Halt Delivery Passes

How many weeks can we survive on what we have in our freezer & pantry?

That’s the first challenges we’re undertaking in 2017

We will still be buying:
– Bread & Milk (from our Milkman)
– Jam & Peanut Butter (from Amazon Pantry)
– Soft Drinks & Cigarettes (from the store)

However, each week we manage to survive, we save £100.

We are starting this challenge on 24th January which is when our Sainsbury’s Delivery Pass finishes. We’ll also cancel our Ocado delivery pass in February & just see how far we get with this! I’ll update weekly on how we’re getting on here.

Uppr: the app that makes Flickr useful again

Since Flickr stopped supporting its upload tool for non-paying members, I moved away from the website.  It was a handy tool that backed up all my photos “to the cloud” in a way I could use and view them when necessary, but it wasn’t worth the subscription fee when there were so many alternatives on hand.  Still, it meant I ended up with a bunch of photos on Flickr, and a bunch elsewhere.

Then I discovered Uppr on the Mac Store. It’s a ‘paid-for’ app (at £2.29) but it does everything the Flickr Uploader used to do – namely, it monitors folders for new photos to be added, then uploads them to Flickr. Saving me £30 a year for a subscription I don’t want or need, it’s a glorious little app for anyone who wants to continue to use Flickr for image storage without upgrading to Pro.

UK Download:


USA Download:

Using it in combination with a deduplicator tool such as the free one found at http://ng-flickrdupfinder.lefant.net/ means I have an online library of all my images from the last 12 years right at my fingertips. Flickr is, once again, useful.

The irony of the celebrity super injunction – a personal reflection on PJS and YMA

The Supreme Court heard the case of PJS vs News Group Papers Ltd on Thursday. The video is available on demand on their website: https://www.supremecourt.uk/watch/uksc-2016-0080/210416-am.html – it’s dry viewing for a layperson, but it’s making good background noise.

I’m listening to Mr Desmond Browne QC (at least I think that’s his name?) saying how the press created a frenzy that caused people to want to find out who PJS and YMA are.

Nah mate. That’s not how it happened. Not for me anyway.

A friend of mine, who’s a bit of a law buff, posted on Facebook around the end of March about how there was an injunction preventing people from discussing something in England and Wales that could freely be discussed anywhere else in the world.

I took objection to that, and read up on it (edited to note: I maintain there was enough information online by March 30th 2016 for any reasonable person with interest to discover the identity of PJS). Trust me, at no point did the press ‘stir me up’ to do it – it was the injustice I felt at being restricted in what I could and couldn’t say because of my geographic location at the time that stirred me up to do it. Being born and raised in England, I was under the impression that I had freedom of expression, and I was somewhat outraged to learn otherwise. Forgive me.

And oddly, PJS & representatives, I’d have been on your side if this were a damages claim and not an injunction. It’s fair to say that, unless your aim was to get as much publicity as possible, I believe this injunction has caused you a lot more harm than it has good.

Without the injunction, I would not have looked the couple up on Google. I would not have read about their previous antics, nor had any reason to get angry. Aside from being yet another stain on The Sun’s reputation, it would have been a non-story to me. That would have been the end of it.

The biggest irony of all, though, is that the injunction tarnished the reputation of YMA & PJS more than any news article ever could because the details leaked in a Chinese Whispers fashion across England, and caused confusion.

A number of people got PJS mixed up with YMA. A large majority seemed to believe both PJS and YMA participated. All of which could have been avoided if the people of England hadn’t been kept in the dark and had the facts. Every time someone named YMA as PJS I wanted to correct them, but guess what – I couldn’t. Well, I suppose I could have, being out of the country, but how deep did I want to get into the whole thing, and how much time did I want to spend on it all?

I’m still beyond incensed that someone in Scotland or Ireland could tweet or write about this case, whereas someone in England or Wales could get into trouble for it. It all seems rather 1984. If I were younger, I’d totally go and stand on the border and make a cool viral video on how a few footsteps can make all the difference. Indeed, if I had the cash to spare, I’d look at my own options for taking it court – but I’m the sole carer for my elderly mother, and my money is better spent elsewhere.

Caring for your mother should always comes first, ya know. It’s a point of principle.

YMA & PJS – why I outed the celebrity threesome super injunction couple on Twitter

It started when the Guardian changed the wording of their article. They’d said that YMA was the ‘wife’ of PJS, but then YMA had become the ‘partner’. Suddenly, everything about the injunction pointed towards a gay couple – and furthermore, a married gay couple. The judge had overruled the original decision to allow publication of a story regarding PJS’s sex life because this married gay couple had children.

Name one married gay couple, in the entertainment business, with strong British links, who have children. Now take those names, plug them into Google, and see if there are any reports of the marriage being in difficulty.

That’s literally all I did. And a week before the US got their hands on the story, I tweeted it, because it was all so bloody obvious.

I’ve always despised celebrity culture. I couldn’t recognise a Kardashian on the street. I’m the last person you want on your quiz team for a movie round, because I have no idea or any interest in who the actors are. Turns out, I’d heard of YMA and actually knew quite a few things about him, even respected him: but I’d never heard of PJS before. Other than being aware that YMA had gotten married, I couldn’t have named PJS or picked him out of a line-up – he was effectively as much as a nobody to me as I was to him.

I couldn’t have cared less about the olive oil, or the threesome, or the paddling pool. But when I read that YMA hadn’t spoken to his 90 year old mother for a number of years, because she didn’t approve of his relationship with PJS, it made me angry. My mother is approaching that age, and I can’t even imagine the hurt it would cause her if I were to disappear from her life at such a vulnerable time. And, let’s face it, his mother had every right to disapprove of a pairing where the partner needed to seek his sexual gratification elsewhere. It may be pretty acceptable by today’s standards, but it’s not the old-fashioned way.

The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. How dare this PJS have any control over me, an equal human being, in a country that’s not even his own? I wanted to scream his name from the top of every building! However, I waited until I was out of England before I named him outright . Not as if it was that much of a secret by then, but I tweeted his name loud and proud the very second my plane touched down.

Of course, a few Google searches later that night revealed that YMA had started to talk to his mother again, just a few months ago. Oops. It didn’t change how I felt though. I’d felt enormously liberated outside of England to be able to say what had been on my mind outright, instead of having to hide it with sly jokes and coded tweets.

My view is this. The premise of the judge who threw the case out to protect the children was fundamentally flawed. Are this celebrity couple going to restrict their children’s movements to England and Wales, or would the children be spending time in countries where the story was allowed to circulate? Would they rather their children found out about it on the playground, through the gossip of others, or directly from themselves? How much would they understand anyway? And how hard could it be?

“Daddy and Daddy love each other very much: and we love you too. But sometimes Daddy wants to play with other men. It’s like you and your best friend, sometimes you want to play with other kids. We’re not breaking up, no matter what you hear from other people & we love you.” – put your own words in as necessary, but kids are surprisingly resilient and accepting, and they tend to love their parents no matter what.

I have fought tooth and nail against the publications who’ve been gagged from reporting the names of the celebrity injunction when they’ve published mistruths. I vehemently despise The Sun. In my ideal world, if a newspaper prints a fabricated story without thoroughly checking their sources, in a non-satirical way, they shouldn’t just be fined, they should be shut the heck down.

However, I will also fight tooth and nail for these publications to have the right to publish a factually accurate story, regardless of how damaging that story may be to those named within it. It’s not up to some judge to decide if something is in the public’s interest or not – if it happened, we should have the right to talk about it, and we can decide if it’s in our interests. If it isn’t in our interests, we won’t buy the newspaper – it’s that simple.

That’s not to undermine the right to privacy, but everyone has a right to privacy, not just the super-rich. I guess the rule of thumb is, if you want something kept private, then make sure everyone involved understands you want it to be kept private. Stories should be sourced ethically (hacking to get information is a strict no-no, for example), victims should never be named unless they have specifically given their consent, but if someone wants to talk about something that happened to them, they should have every right to do so, even if it makes the other people involved uncomfortable. If you don’t want your kids to find out about your threesomes, either don’t have kids, or don’t have threesomes. (I chose the former)

I hope this injunction will see the UK throw out the draconian and farcical laws that restrict people from talking about whatever it is they want to talk about. Censorship is the first act of a totalitarian state, and this last couple of weeks, I’ve felt restricted in what I could and couldn’t say just because I lived in England. I don’t believe my grandfathers fought in two World Wars so I could tweet from Germany what I wasn’t allowed tweet from England – and the sooner the high court deliver their judgement on the injunction appeal, the better.

My Relaxation Mantra

“Problems are just pathways to a wider road”

Whenever I want to stop stressing about an issue that’s bothering me, I repeat this relaxation mantra to myself.

Instead of viewing a problem as a niggling thing to worry about, I remember that every time I’ve overcome a problem in the past, it’s led me forward in my life, and opened up new opportunities and a bigger picture that I may not have seen before.

What’s your personal relaxaton mantra? Check out the competition at Spa Seekers, and share it, and you could win a relaxing spa break for two people.

Festival Stylings by Superdry

The festival season brings a style of its own. You want an outfit that looks cute and cool, but also something you can layer against the elements, and combat the messiest mudpits!

The Style Rawr are currently running a competition with Superdry to create a Festival look using a Superdry t-shirt and other Superdry products from their online store. I call this the ‘Meadow Girl Look’… complete with shades in case the sun shines, and a back-pack for carrying around your festival essentials.

Follow Sarah Eaglesfield’s board Festival stylings by Superdry on Pinterest.

All products available at the online Superdry store.

School Days – A Uniform Revisited

I expected a monosyllabic answer when I asked hatchling what she thought of my old school uniform.

1) Didn’t believe it was me.
2) Didn’t believe I ever went to school.
3) Didn’t like the hair.
4) Didn’t like the “poopy” colour.


She had a point. The girls at our school were known as the “Brown Cows” around town, purely on the basis of the uniform. Our blouses couldn’t just be ‘blue’ – they had to be ‘Trutex Blue’.  I think I could read every blog, every fashion article and every ladies’ quarterly since the 15th century and not find one that declared: “brown & blue is the hottest trend of the season”. It was truly horrendous. Oh, and our shoes had to be brown as well.

Debenhams are currently running a competition to reimagine your old school photo using their current schoolwear range.  Thankfully, as Debenhams have taste, I wasn’t able find anything quite as “poopy” as my old uniform – so let’s imagine that all the teachers went slightly colour-blind one day (hey, Hermione Granger, can you lend me a hand here?), and we were allowed to wear blacks instead of browns!

Follow Sarah Eaglesfield’s board Back to School on Pinterest.


Outerwear is always the most important choice. Unless England lucks out on the sunshine, it’s the item you’ll wear during your long journeys to and from school, during break time, during lunchtime, and on the way home.  With that in mind, as well as being practical, the girl’s black textured faux fur hooded parka coat by Ted Baker is absolutely gorgeous.

For the uniform itself, the girl’s blue generous fit long sleeved school shirts are almost Trutex Blue enough to pass the Great School Uniform Inspection of ’88. The girl’s black slim fit school trousers are stylish and smart, whilst the black v-neck cardigan makes a fashionable substitute for the brown v-neck pullover.

I love the style of the Clarks Griffin Monty shoes, there’s enough of a heel on it to give me that extra height I so desperately need. Finally, the Tan ‘Beachy’ Leopard Print Backpack adds that slight bit of rebellion and non-conformity – breaking school rules a little never got anyone thrown into jail (although it did get me thrown into detention a couple of times… and it was totally worth it).

My old school did change the uniform in the mid-90s.  The girls now wear navy and cream colours, and the shoe choice has been expanded to allow both navy and black.  Indeed, there are many items in the Debenhams schoolwear range that would meet the new requirements. That doesn’t save me from the 4 years of brownness I had to endure in my formative years though. Consider me fashion-scarred for life!

NB: Looking at the photos, even now, I feel bad for Kirsty, who most likely got into trouble for wearing a beige blouse that day…

A Call for Votes! – The Great Cuban Cocktail Competition

I’ve been making cocktails every week for the Be At One Bar – Win A Trip to Cuba cocktail competition. I was lucky enough to come 3rd in their Rum Week with my Chai Latino, which means I’ll be in the prize draw for a trip to Cuba!

Judging from the photographs of other winners, a large percentage of them were chosen from Be At One customers who took cocktail classes there (you can identify those cocktails by the ‘Be At One’ menu behind the cocktail), so I was very lucky to even get this far: and we really enjoyed using our voucher. Now it’s almost time for me to call on you, my adoring public (cough), to spare me a vote.

As encouragement, I’m sharing a few of the entries I made into the competition over the last 8 weeks… hopefully it will get you tipsy enough to hit the vote button!

My ‘Award Winning’ Chai Latino:

Chai Cocktail On OwnChai Latino

Ingredients: 50ml Havana Club Especial

25ml Amaretto
50ml Pomegranate Juice
50ml Guava Juice
Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice and shake thoroughly for 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass

Garnish with a Physalis



Vegas Baby, Gin Swindler and Mighty Wurltizer.


SamsTown ginswindler wurl



The Trophy Maker


2 parts Chivas Regal scotch, 1 part cointreau, 1 part pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, ice.

Put a scoop of pomegranate seeds at the bottom of the cocktail glass.

Shake all other ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and strain into glass.




room7609cocktail Room 7609


2 parts Chivas Regal scotch, 1 part orange brandy, 2 parts cranberry juice, 1/2 lemon (juiced), 1 tsp strawberry jam. Strawberry & lemon for decoration.

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice, and then strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon and strawberry.







Ingredients: 2 parts tequila, 1 part gin, 1 part hierbas – lime to decorate.

Pour tequila & gin into a tall glass filled with ice and top up with hierbas. Garnish with a slice of lemon.






mexicanmonkeyMexican Monkey

Ingredients: 2 parts tequila, 1 part butterscotch schnapps, 1 part cocunut run, 1 part coconut water – lime to decorate.

Shake ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Decorate with lime.







honeybegoodHoney Be Good

2 parts Jack Daniels
1 part Grand Marnier
1 part Honey Syrup (make honey syrup by mixing equal amount of honey with boiling water & leaving to cool)
1 part lemonade
juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add ingredients and shake well. Strain into glass & garnish with a lemon.





Tangled Jack

2 parts Jack Daniels
1 part Strawberry Liqueur
2 parts club soda
2 large strawberries, stems removed and cut in quarters
6 mint leaves

Add all ingredients into a glass and stir well.






borgataThe Borgata (my favourite cocktail!)

1 part Almond Liqueur (Amaretto)
1 part Caramel Liqueur (Level Caramel)
1 part Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
1 part Fresh Cream

Fill cocktail shaker 3/4 full with ice. Shake & strain into chilled cocktail glass.



Win tickets to Festival No.6 in Portmeirion with Thou Shalt Not Covet

Festival No.6

Fancy winning tickets to Festival No.6 in Portmeirion? Then get your entries in for the Rafflecopter competition on Thou Shalt Not Covet.

There are 2 Adult Weekend camping tickets up for grabs, worth £195 each, and a pre pitched tent worth £130. With Grace Jones and Belle & Sebastian as headliners, it’s shaping up to be one of the greatest festivals of 2015 – try your luck and you could be there!

Meet Radiodeactive: my Retweet to Win Twitter bot

It’s no secret that @radiodeactive is my ‘Retweet to Win’ Twitter bot.  She’s programmed to search Twitter, find ‘retweet to win’ competitions in the UK for me, and retweet them. Then I choose whether to follow the company who are doing the giveaway or not, and whether to ‘unretweet the tweet’ or leave it in place.  Radiodeactive is a fine tuned winning machine, who I’m very proud of.

It was all going kinda well, until a guy called Hunter Scott decided to fess up to his own ‘Retweet to Win’ bot, and how he’d won 1,000 prizes. Within a matter of days, there were a host  of unsophisticated bots trawling Twitter retweeting the most random tweets that looked like they may be competitions.  They were parsing competition entries incorrectly, and generally being an embarrassment to well-behaved bots everywhere.

Ironically, I only found out about Hunter Scott because Radiodeactive started retweeting the tweets relating to his story.

Eager to see how many other bots were roaming the Twittersphere, I decided to throw a tweet out there:

Initially there was only one RT from someone who wasn’t a friend: that was the retweet bot known as @MannysAlterEgo. Not particularly fine tuned, MannysAlterEgo seems to be retweeting an awful lot of ‘teen prizes’ – such as retweeting to win a solo DM with a boyband member, or voting in MTV’s Hottest.  It has no deduplication in place, so it’s retweeting the same tweets from different users for the same competitions multiple times, and will probably end up in Twitter Jail before too long.

Other bots soon got in on the action though. There was @themostunlucky who was a lot better designed than most, but retweeting a bunch of international comps. When asked, they claimed they were passing prizes on to pals in the USA: sounds good in theory, not so likely in practise, given the tax returns needed.

Very basic bots like KalGuntuku, John Buch and NiallFlorence used a ‘manual text RT’ to retweet other compers competition entries. They stripped out hashtags, and generally looked really suspect.

@jennym1979 seems like the best of the bunch so far, however, all the retweets are being posted as embedded tweets instead of actual retweets.

Do I believe a RT to Win bot is cheating? Not at all- I spent as many hours building and fine-tuning @radiodeactive as I would have finding and retweeting competitions (probably more). It was just a more enjoyable project for me than spending hours on Twitter.  Also, Radiodeactive does still have a lot of human intervention: I still enter twenty or more competitions a day manually. From me untweeting the competitions I’m not interested in, to adding more human communication with brands that are running a great competition, it’s not just pure automation.

To all newcomers in the word of RT to win bots, I wish you well – just please, stop retweeting Radiodeactive!