Monday, 4 September 2017

ROXI Electric Jukebox Review **AD**

Hey readers,

I was lucky enough to be asked to review a ROXI Electric Jukebox. If you haven't heard of this product then think of a music streaming entertainment service enhanced with karaoke, a choice of live worldwide radio stations, a game of name that tunes with many genres to choose from and more.


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What's in the box/ how it looks.

The packaging is a smart, well-designed affair with an outer card sleeve protecting 
an inner box that contains the well-protected kit.

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Sliding a new box from a thick outer sleeve always makes me tingle with anticipation as there is normally something of good quality waiting to be revealed and the ROXI Electric Jukebox hub with its accompanying remote/microphone certainly looks the part as you pop the lid of the inner box open.

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The ROXI Electric Jukebox hub and remote/mic are nestled into their own snug compartments in a strong card tray. Under that is another tray that holds three cables:

* Power Adapter - 240v, 3 pin transformer plug to 5v 5.5mm power jack.

* HDMI cable - 1m long, male both ends for video/audio connection to your TV.

* USB cable - short USB cable to charge the remote/microphone.

ROXI Electric Jukebox comes with a full year premium subscription membership to get you started (then £52 a year which I believe is about half the amount that some others charge).

 A nicely laid out paper guide is included to help get you into the fun as quickly and easily as possible.

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The ROXI hub is 27mm high and about 130mm square but rounded more like a lozenge with a matt plastic concave top incorporating a shiny 'eJ' logo and a smart flush-fitted, soft-lit power button. The front face includes 'E L E C T R I C   J U K E B O X' in shiny block letters. 

The base of the Roxi hub is convexed down to a soft silicone ring that means wherever you place it, the ROXI hub shouldn't leave any marks. 

A really neat feature is a 'keyhole' inset into the base to allow you to hang the ROXI hub off a screw on the wall behind your TV. All the sockets are located in the back of the Hub and include:

 Power; HDMI; Ethernet; USB; Audio.
All in all the ROXI hub is very smart and whether you choose Charcoal, Blue or Coral, it will look good anywhere but is well enough designed to hide behind the TV should you wish.

The Remote/Microphone is wireless and created in the same smart style as the ROXI hub with the matt finish and an 'eJ' logo near the base. It is made from a soft feel plastic, is about 175mm long, 30mm square with rounded edges and feels really pleasant to hold and use. 

The top section of the remote/mic is cloth as it is a microphone but is still as smart and good quality as the rest it Down the front of the remote/mic is: 'OK' button, fast forward, pause and 'voice search' button.

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SETTING UP.

Setting up ROXI takes less than two minutes using the supplied power lead to a 240v socket and then the supplied HDMI lead between the jukebox and your tv - easy as pie.

Internet connection is easy enough, you can either:


* Plugin an ethernet cable (not supplied) direct from your router into the jukebox and you have an instant internet connection.

* Switch the jukebox on with just power and TV connected- the jukebox immediately asks for your WIFI password so type it in and off you go.
If like us you use a 'Wireless Station Access List' for extra WIFI security then you will no doubt be looking for the MAC address of the jukebox - I gave up looking and it doesn't show in the list of available addresses on my router. 

 I turned the access list off, connected the jukebox using the WIFI password then refreshed the router page, hey presto, there was the MAC address for me to copy and paste into the Wireless Station Access List; switch the security feature back on the router and then sign the jukebox out and back into the WIFI network again. I can't help but think it would be much easier if the jukebox's MAC address was supplied printed on the machine.

NAVIGATION THROUGH MENUS / REMOTE CONTROL.

The on-screen menus of the ROXI Electric Jukebox are easy to navigate around and the icons used are easy to understand so you don't get confused like I would normally.

 Whenever a text is needed, an onscreen keyboard pops up just like on a smartphone. To move your on-screen cursor all you have to do is point the remote at the screen and wave it about, pressing 'OK' when your cursor is in the right place. 

It feels a bit strange at first but then you realise it is just like moving a computer mouse about but in the air. To make life quicker and much easier you can use the 'mic' button on your remote and voice recognition does the rest for you with no problems recognising different accents.

I can not seem to get voice search to work in the 'Party: Karaoke' mode though which is a big shame - I shall email the ROXI team and update this when I find out more.

FEATURES.

There are tens of millions of tracks at your fingertips for you to listen to and these can be searched individually or you can jump into different genres to inspire your choice.

 There are global radio stations and even a section specifically for children's stories (a perfect way for them to wind down before bed).

A good feature that we like is that once you start a song or playlist, you can still navigate through most of the menus with the music still playing in the background and the information of the current song a the bottom of the screen.

In addition to this, you can select the current song at the bottom of the screen and look at the tracklist or album/single detailed information which then provides a link to find more music from the same artist. As you are doing this there is always the option of a simple click to add a track, album or radio station to your favourite.

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The home screen gives you a small settings 'cog' icon for WIFI connection, Family Protection, Visualiser on/off, auto TV wake when ROXI is switched on, and general product information. The main options on the home screen are:

Party:

* Sing With The Stars - karaoke to millions of songs with an individual song, artist or album search, classic karaoke suggestions, modern, top artists or browse by genre.

* Name That Tune - One of the worlds top music quizzes with a choice of 16 genres to guess as many songs in 30 seconds or less with the ability to record high scores for the family. The really fun game against the timer and a bit of friendly competition for the family and friends.

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* Party Playlists - 10 genres of party mixes to keep you bouncing.

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Discover:

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* My Playlists - make your own.

* Tastemakers - playlists by celebrity curators such as Sheryl Crow, Robbie Williams, Alexander Armstrong (Danger Mouse! my children shout when they hear Alexander's voice on the radio). In total, 6 celebrities with 33 playlists between them.

* Moods - many playlists categorised under 13 genres such as Romance, Workout, Zumba, Road Trippin' - plenty of choice to just press play and let the music work its magic.

* Genres - loads of playlists under classic genres such as Rock, Pop, Electronic.

* Featured - unusual Genres that are great to explore: Children's Stories, The Brits, Jacaranda, etc.

My Music: a place to find all your saved:
*Playlists.
*Albums.
*Songs.
*Radio Stations.

Search: find the individual song title, album or artist:
* Voice Search
* Test Search
* Recent Searches
Extras:
* Radio - find you're stored My Favourite radio station or search through Popular Radio, Radio by Genre or individual station search.

* Sound Machine - Relax, Meditate or Sleep - set the timer for auto-off and chill out to relaxing sounds.

* Photo Frame - turn your tv into a living photo album by linking to your Facebook photo albums.

OVERVIEW / ENJOYMENT.

My kids love the karaoke with ROXI Electric Jukebox and find it ace, my eldest is learning to read so the karaoke helps encourage him to learn new words in a fun way. You do not have to fear about young children hearing foul language as there is a 'Family Protect' feature that you can enable prevent the little ones hearing the things you may not want them to.

I find it easy to use and finding music is quick and fun. We can take it in turns with the microphone or share it.
 Independent research found that 66% of parents wish they could spend more family time together**. 

That is why this device is good as it offers an opportunity to share some time together as a family and create happy memories. 

The amount of ready to run playlists are great as it introduces us to new music. I enjoy beating my hubby's high score in 'Name That Tune'.

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When it comes time to relax for bed the Sound Machine section under Extras is fantastic and also includes White Noise and the sound of Heart Beats which are great for soothing babies and getting them and the parents off to sleep. 

The company's ethos of, "Music at home should be for sharing not headphone-wearing" is true - we love sharing our old tunes, our parent's old tunes and also exploring new tunes with our children.

ROXI is great but I have a few criticisms:
In the karaoke the 'next lines to sing' are very dark and so hard to see, it would be great if they could be a little brighter or use a light blue and yellow mix so we can be better prepared for when the new line comes up. 

What happened to the little bouncing ball that helps us with the timing?

The microphone can be very echoey  but that might be us getting used to how to hold it correctly.

The volume really needs more control, we have to have the TV turned up loud because the music is so quiet and even with the microphone turned to low our voices through the TV are still deafening. 

I think having 3 volume sliders would improve the sound: one for the music in general; one for the mic and one to control the volume of the music while the mic is being sung into.

As the jukebox is only running on 5 volts and draws no more than 2 amps maximum (according to rating on the transformer plug) I don't understand why it doesn't use a USB power socket.

 As most modern tv's come with USB outlets for such things it would keep things tidier and would give us the opportunity to swap the lead to whatever length we need (the supplied power lead is only 1 metre long)

Overall, ROXI Electric Jukebox is a fantastic piece of kit, simple to set up, lots of choices and a slick design making it appealing to the modern person. 

It is a fantastic tool to add to family or group entertainment and will be great for Christmases or birthdays.
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I have also done a video of going through the menus etc so you can get a better idea as exactly how the electric jukebox works
https://youtu.be/odLF6GVQcOw

Cheers for reading X

**Research carried out July 2017 by censuswide for electric jukebox sample 2000 UK families with children under 14 years old. 

I was given an electric jukebox in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed are my own entirely. 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Resting

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

RESTING

because we have been to London the week before for a holiday and I am exhausted. Taking kids there is solid, especially when you the parent has additional needs to add in the mix.

So, because we have been full in the week before I have been rested as I did not sleep very well because of sleeping with kids as you can imagine. there is nothing like getting into your own bed and have a foot or hand shoved in your face,  😂 

 I am physically and mentally exhausted and needed to rest my body. Holidays are really testing but there was a lot of fun as well.
It has been a bit of downtime and giving me the chance to catch up on all the watching and YouTube whilst living in a launderette 😉

Cheers for reading X

 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Keep writing.

Hey readers,

People say, 'just keep writing'  is the mantra to live by. I write my blog on all sorts of things that inspire me, from poetry to the food I love. I am not a niche kind of person, I just go with what inspires me within that moment and share it with the world.

There are days when I completely lost my motivation to continue to write or even log into blogger. As a suffer from anxiety and depression the simplest things can feel like climbing a mountain and sadly one of them is writing. 

Even though from a young age have found writing down the better way for me to communicate my emotions, the struggle is there.
But when I write it makes a huge difference to me. The hardest bit is to actually get started, as soon as I crack that then my thoughts just flow and I have so many thoughts believe me and you!

Sometimes, I think my writing is rubbish, though I believe that should not stop me from writing as it has a purpose.  I do believe it is a good mantra to keep writing, no matter what the length, one sentence or pages of words, it keeps your mind light up and can open up new ideas. 

 Not to mention the benefit of keeping constantly writing every day can build up your confidence and improve in the skill of writing. We can't be all-natural, but we can practice. 

Deep down that is ok because even if no one enjoys my content, I still am getting something out of it, no matter if it is big or small it is helping. 

There are many other worse things to do in life then ramble of some words (my interpretation of my work). Of course, I am my hardest critic. However, I am going to remain optimistic because I enjoy it and it helps deal with the shit in my life.

Cheers for reading X
 

Friday, 18 August 2017

Outdoors


Hey Readers,

my word of the week is:

OUTDOORS



because for most of the time this week the weather has been lovely so it has given us an opportunity to visit places outside, which is fantastic for me as it's much cheaper to go visit the park. Not to mention the fact that visiting the park is it's a free being and it is pleasant being in the open air.

The boys have a lot of energy in the summer holiday so it's been great to be outside to burn off for the energy playing outside. I also get some quiet time to read my book which isn't often at the moment.

Also went to a field to check out to see if our tents are still usable, which we haven't used for 7 years to see if it's still usable. Good news is that the tent is still usable and can fit us all. 

Therefore meaning we can go on holiday soon and use the tent. The boys are super excited as it is the first first time for my boys camping so that should be a fun experience.

Cheers for reading X


Friday, 11 August 2017

Hey readers,

My word of the week:

SCOOTER

This is because about a month ago my son broke his three-wheel scooter and we have been promising to get him a two-wheel scooter because he's a big boy now. 

I was having a gander on Facebook the other night and I came across 2 two-wheeled scooters for a small price so I got them on a spur of the moment type thing.


So,  this week the boys have been enjoying going outside on their scooters. They adjusted really well with their new scooters with the whole balancing thing.

I am impressed with how well my 3-year-old is doing. We thought he would really struggle but he's managed it and absolutely loves it.



Therefore, I have been mainly watching them scooter about around the block and playing chase with one another, simple pleasures.

Cheers for reading X



Friday, 4 August 2017

Homely

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

HOMELY

I always have this problem with feeling guilty attached to staying at home with my boys. There is so much pressure to do something and be on the go that we can almost forget to take things slowly.

It is hard when you really struggle but taking it the slow lane has really helped me to enjoy my time with the boys. Don't get me wrong there are moments when I won't tear my hair out with all the bickering over such insignificant things.

I have enjoyed the most cuddles and just chatting whilst playing hairdressers. The boys have been more relaxed and I think we all have appreciated it.

Of course, we didn't stop everything we fitting in trying out our new dinosaur tray and making some yummy, scrummy getting in my tummy chocolate cake. It was divine.

Cheers for reading X

 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Completion

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

COMPLETION

Because today is the last day of my eldest being in reception, that is it he has now done a year of school and in September he will be year 1, whaaat!

I also got to experience my son's first sports day in the heat, fun but it was good to see him participate and cheer him on.

It has been a  manic week with everything ending all these 'social situations' that I am pooped and likewise with my son. I am so going to have a chill out weekend as it is much needed - I may even finally get round to watching Sing (you know singing pig, which youngest really desperately wants to see)!

Although, it may hit me then we have six weeks to get through and the panic may get to me a tiny bit.

Though have got some things planned and looking forward to taking a more leisurely pace.

Cheers for reading X

Hey readers,
My word of the week is:

HOLIDAY

because it is the start of six weeks off. Not sure if I should celebrate not having to do the school run etc or poop my pants at the bickering. All though technically it is five weeks now as one week has been done and dusted.

Well what had happened in that week, boys get quality time together mixed with the bickering.
The boys gave learnt the art of pillow frightening.

The first trip to the A&E hopefully the last, basically youngest fell off the sofa and caught his head on the TV corner. He has a small gash and he has got special glue but hopefully, it will teach them not to mess on the sofas.

All the routine has gone out of the window.
So as you can see a pretty epic week to kick the summer off.

Hope you're enjoying your first week off.

Cheers for reading X

 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Save some cash this Summer 

Hey Readers,

We are in the midst of sale season so what better time than now to grab a bargain. I have checked some of the hot deals that are currently available online. A brilliant site to check out is Love The Sales is the place to go to find the top bargains online. The site gathers over 600 UK retailers all under one site so it is easy and hassle-free to find a bargain that you want. There are so many items whether it be homeware, accessories or clothes the world is your oyster on this site!
In this post, I have selected five items that tickle my fancy. Check out on these corkers of a bargain down below.


1) How beautiful are these Fred Perry

mint Kingston twill Dusty trainers. They look so comfy and perfect for the autumn school run. I love the colour and something different to add to your wardrobe. Originally the trainers cost £50.00 but now you can grab them for £30.00.


2) The second item is a Vivienne Westwood  hali checked taffeta dress. Was €498.00 now you can get it for €249.00. I love the fit and it looks so floaty as well.

3) Look at this beautiful long, red jumpsuit from Dorothy Perkins.  It is a cracking bargain as you can still wear it during autumn/ winter by layering it up. It costs now £17.99 and the original price was £29.99.

4) Is this classic Fred Perry gingham shirt. I just love gingham and it looks really funky in a shirt. It did cost £59.99,  now cost £41.99.

5) Another top deal from the wonderful Dorothy Perkins is this lovely black cold shoulder top. Great fir casual wear and is very versatile. Was £26.00 now £10.80.


What I love about all these items is they will have plenty of wear and I can wear them throughout the year sbd wear them for a good few years, which makes this frugal person very happy indeed.


There are so many good finds in the sales could not possibly add them all. What kind of things have you found in the sale? Do you love a good sale?


Hope this has inspired you and thank you for reading X

This post was via LoveThe sales.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Planning

Hey readers,

This week my word is:

PLANNING

This is because I am consciously aware of the fact that we are fastly approaching the summer holiday. I am not good at adapting to change due to my autism, so I need to plan a system in place with how I am going to get through it. 

Previous years I tend to get quite obsessed with it but this year I am trying to be general and just have options of things to do when I feel like tearing my hair out.

I have also been to the library and withdrew some books out. I have lost my mojo to read physical books recently so purposely took the time to find some good books to get my teeth stuck into.

My youngest gave me a scare this week, whilst at nursery, he fell on a balancing beam and the beam sprang up into his face. 

So, he has a gorgeous massive brush on his nose, close to his eye socket. Luckily his eyesight is ok and mainly superficial bruising rather than any damage.

Cheers for reading X

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Disorder

Hey readers,

My word of the week is

DISORDER

Because my home is basically pretty much looks like a drugs den and I would not dare decorate when I have a hubby who's experienced in decorating (not to mention a perfectionist). The downside to this is he is lazy so for months we have walls with blobs of paint to see which we want.

Then suddenly, hubby decides to get his shit together and go ape in the space of three days sanding all the walls and buying paint and painting.

Everything is covered in dust and nothing is rightfully in order, OMG  I  hate it with a passion, why has he always got to be an extremist, grrrrr.
I suppose on a brighter note the walls do not look smother, haha.

Also, had both sets of grandparents different times during the week which instantly means the kids go loopy. But it was nice to have a chance for them and they were so excited telling them about every single thing in detail like we don't need to know about how much poo you have done today, lol!

Cheers for reading X

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Mindful

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

MINDFUL

because as a person I am anxious and neurotic at the best times, I am autistic and always self-conscious about how I communicate whether that be verbal or non-verbal. 

I have a lot of self-doubts and I am on edge a lot as a parent. But this week when I have had really high levels of anxiety, I have embraced and gone with it. 

This is something that I am not very good at because it is scary, generally, with my anxiety I get a LOT of intrusive thoughts. 

It has really been really effective, not all the time but a small-time. For me, that is progress because I am a firm believer in baby steps and anxiety is something I have to live with. 

But this week I felt quite proud of my work, it takes a lot of courage to change especially when you are not feeling 100%.

So, I am going to take this opportunity to big myself up because no one else will. You know what I can get stuck perfectionist ways so it is good to see the positive.

Cheers for reading X

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Heatwave

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

HEATWAVE

Blinking Nora it is hot, and the sweating is something else. I don't know how people can enjoy this weather *ahem, my husband* I don't like humid! 

It turns me into a moany cow, thank goodness for Twitter where I can just tweet my hatred for this weather. Don't get me wrong I like the sun but not with the stickiness.

Shall I discuss children? why not the struggle of bedtime, oh my word how hard is it to get children in bed in this heat.

Thank goodness for the sprinkler on my balcony because that is where they have been most of the week, along with tons of showers.

The nights are the worst in the heat, I'm exhausted and hot, such a fun times to get through the days.

Then there is heat stroke, we didn't even stay in the sun for a short while but they caught it and my this takes the grumpiness on to a new level.
Thank goodness that the weather is changing today, I am so very happy right now about this fact.

Cheers for reading X


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Hayfever

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

HAYFEVER

because I am really suffering badly with hayfever. My sinuses keep getting blocked and causing headaches and dizziness. 

I find it really hard to think or make decisions, I don't know it could potentially just being my odd self.

But I am enjoying the breeze this week (when it happens), it is really refreshing. I particularly one of those people who love watching washing dance about on the line, I don't why but I just find it really calming, simple pleasures and all that!

I am glad to be getting this week over with I have had to do a bit of wrapping, which I don't particularly enjoy and may at one point have hurdled the sellotape across the room because it was really annoying me getting caught up and twisted with the tape.

In other news been really glued to the news with regards to the election, I thought 2016 could not top it for an 'interesting' political time, but wooooo, it is getting fierce now.



Cheers for reading X

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Calm

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

CALM

Because the past two weeks have been really challenging mentally for me and it took its a toll on me.

It is a return to school and no anxiety-induced situations for me this week which makes me feel calm because I haven't used up all my emotions. Therefore allowing my home life to be a bit more calmer, which naturally has a direct impact on my son.

My son, however, returning back to school (who is autistic) has been having a fair few meltdowns, luckily we have purchased ear defenders and have found them to be really helpful.

 I think when my son gets home he is exhausted from all the noise and stimuli so to put them on and drown out everything for a while until he is calmer has been helpful.

I now can not wait to get some adult ones for me for similar reasons as they are quite comforting on the ears and for someone who has sensory issues is an added bonus.

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 26 May 2017

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

GRUMPY

because sometimes life sucks, especially during the week before your period, which affects me emotionally the worst. Seriously, the smallest things are triggers and I get SO irritated, breathe and I may snap, lol!

It doesn't help that I have a stinking cold courtesy of my boys, cheers lads I love you too ;) So I have been accumulating piles of snot rags with this constant stream of snot, when will it end, boohoo! It sucks too because as a mum you are expected to just get on with it regardless if you feel like hell. I mean my arm could be dangling off and I would still have to get up and wipe my son's arse! Parenting sometimes lovely other times well quite frankly it is pants!

I will be honest I spend most of my time mopping at home, in the most comfortest clothes as I am so bloated. But I am entitled to that because I am a woman and that my friends are a fact!

Hope you have had lovely week readers,

Cheers for reading X


Friday, 19 May 2017

Organising

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

ORGANISING
because I have bee sorting out and descaling the amount of rubbish in my home. It gets to the point where there is no space so something has to give. I find this type of activity really relaxing, I feel like a weight has been lifted.

I do love a good sort out and donating things to charity shops because then someone else can get something out of it rather than staying with and gathering dust.

Now the next stage is to not go out and buy more books to replace them, haha, the struggle is real!
In other news, we visited the butterfly farm on Saturday and was lovely to see all the different butterflies even though my eldest struggled with the randomness of butterflies fluttering everywhere, that however, is a whole new story in its self.

Hope you have had a good week,

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 5 May 2017

Relax

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

RELAX

I feel really relaxed this week, I think one of the reasons is because I have been embracing laziness, but in a good way ;)

What I am trying to get at is the fact that sometimes it is hard to relax when you feel like you constantly need to be doing something, otherwise, you feel guilty. 

So, this week I have been trying to forget all about them messy thoughts in my head and just relax. Amazing the difference but, it could also be down to the fact it was a bank holiday, therefore less tired form doing the school run.

 I know strangely it is just one day but, one day less than five in my eyes.

I have enjoyed being outside surrounded by nature and snapping away, it is when I am at my happiest and been loving seeing all the different spring flowers blossoming, particularly the tulip.

Cheers for reading X



Friday, 28 April 2017

Engage

Hey readers,

My word of the week is:

ENGAGE

I haven't done a word of the week linky for a while because I just wanted a break from all the linkies. 

But truth be told I miss linking up my blog to linkies because it pushes me to engage socially, which is always a positive for an autistic person like myself.

Also, I have learnt it is my blog and I can choose whether I want to participate or not, I don't always have to do it every week. I have learnt not so strict and irritable.

I am not going lie it helps to link up with my stats and I love numbers so always a bonus for me.
Also, I struggle as I tend to get so overwhelmed with blogs that joining in with linkups helps me learn about new content, good or bad, it is food for thought.

 It can provide inspiration or give different avenues for blog ideas
.
Sometimes, you just got to try and see what works for you, I never stop learning and that is one major thing I love about being a blogger.

Cheers for reading X


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Half term tiredness

Hey readers,

Today I slept for so long, it was what I body so needed, time to rest my brain and body.  I feel like I need to have a break every now again and shut down to help me compensate for all the pain and work that I put it through.

I think during half-term school holiday I am working harder to socialise and be with others for longer periods of time. Don't get me wrong I adore my children but being autistic it is challenging to spend so long with individuals.

I feel us autistic folk need time to hibernate and re-charge our batteries more than neurotypical people. I think one of the reasons is because I am working that harder to apply social skills that may not necessarily come naturally to me.

Then there is the emotional side where I beat myself up over my shortfalls to a ridiculous amount. One of the reasons because you can’t help but compare yourself to other random people, even though you don’t know through social media.

I always view my autism as a battle, something I have to get up and deal with every single day. On top of that, I have to deal with the internal battle of low self-esteem and dealing myself as a parent.

Most of the time I feel like I am blagging this whole parenting thing and I put so much energy into trying to function like everyone else that I burn myself out, hence the breaks and shutdown.


So, that is one of the many struggles I have as an autistic parent, it is never easy but I am thankful for my blog. It is true what they say that writing things down may not cure my situation but it is a place to clear my mind of the many thoughts that are buzzing around in my head.


Cheers for reading X

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

I, Daniel Blake. (review)

Hey readers,

The other day I watched I, Daniel Blake and thought I would give a review of it, as I personally absolutely loved it and probably be the best movie I will see this year.

I, Daniel Blake - Northern Fiction Alliance

First thing is first, make sure you have plenty of tissue as it is very moving.If you want to find out about social issues then this is the film for you. 

OK, it looks at the absurdity around benefit sanctions. If you don't comply to what is asked of you from the benefits office then basically they can reduce your benefit rate. Some of the requirements are ridiculous. 

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) if you are claiming JobSeekers benefit you have to prove that you have actively been looking for work for 35 hours a week. 

Furthermore, you have hard evidence to prove you have done that, in the movie the lady says suggestions such as getting a receipt? Or get a photo of you actually handing in the CV! 

Sometimes ‘the system’ is absurd especially as a high percentage of claimants are poor and needy which makes them vulnerable to being exploited. This is evident when watching this film why I would say this.

If you don't have enough points you don't get qualified for employment support allowance (which is basically the old Income Support) and therefore have to go on Jobseekers Allowance in order to survive. This is exactly what happened to the main character in the film, called Daniel Blake.
He had a heart condition and the doctors explicitly said he cannot work due to his poor health. However, due to the judgements of the so called 'professionals' he did not meet the criteria. It is absurd the treatment met and when Daniel had the strength to fight because you need it to appeal he died without seeing the results.

We can only assume that it was likely down the stress and poor health conditions because he was sanctioned for silly rules. Consequently causing him to sell all his items in his home because he had no other income for heating or food. The stress on top are all definitely had an impact on Daniel’s health.

One good thing about the film is the relationship struck up between Daniel and a women called Katie, they met each other at the jobcentre. She was sanctioned and Daniel was horrified when overhearing the argument between Katie and the employee at the jobcentre.

 The reason Katie got sanctioned was she was late for her sign-on (few minutes) because she came from London a few days and was lost, therefore getting a reduced amount of benefit. This is really hard for Katie as she has two children to feed, get school uniform etc. 

She moved away from London to do better for herself because otherwise, she would still be living in a shelter. The fact of the matter is if you want to live in London you have to have money. Therefore, most poor people will move out for the area simply because they cannot afford such high rates of living.

One issue that comes up in the film is the way that DWP treat people on benefits like animals and are seen as statistics rather than individuals. 

Daniel wrote a piece he wanted to share in the appeal but sadly didn't get the change so Katie read it at his funnel. I feel this pretty much sums up the social injustice around DWP and a brilliant ending to sadly more truthful story over fiction.

 ‘I am not a client, a customer, nor a service user. I am not a shirker, a scrounger, a beggar nor a thief.
I am not a national insurance number, nor a blip on a screen. I paid my dues, never a penny short, and was proud to do so.
I don’t tug the forelock but look my neighbour in the eye. I don’t accept or seek charity.
My name is Daniel Blake, I am a man, not a dog. As such I demand my rights. I demand you treat me with respect.
I, Daniel Blake, am a citizen, nothing more, nothing less. Thank you.’

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 10 February 2017

PTA (Parents to Avoid).

Hey readers,

When my son started school I came across the PTA (a parenting teaching association) not to be confused my parents to avoid the acronym
though very tempting!

Basically, what it means is that willing parents join this group to talk and discuss issues regarding school. They involve teachers and some parents which allows them to have a fairer and less biased view to voice opinions etc.

I have found that there is a lot of favouritism involved with parents of the PTA. The children get more mentions in assembly,  the winners of the raffle tend to be mainly the PTA parents or staff and generally it just feels like a cliché where they have the upper hand.

I kind of get irritated by the fact that they sell ice lollies or biscuits after school. I object to this because I feel that it is forced pressure for the parents to buy things, especially when you can't get out the gate without your child clocking the stand. 

Then you have to deal with the constant pestering from your child to buy something. I also find the message of healthy eating that the school try to promote external services a bit pointless when they sell junk food after school.  

It does seem pointless trying to encourage healthy eating when you can't consist with the stuff you do within school.

I have been so skint before that I just didn't have the cash to spare and the guilt/embarrassment of saying out loud to your child you do not have the money is just wrong.

It makes you feel crap as a parent and causing conflict on the way home when no parent can be arsed to deal with that. 

Nothing is more stressful with dealing with an argumentative child when you have to deal with trying to get them home tired in the first place. It just means that the child is grumpier it is double the stress, which is really not needed.

Pierce The Veil nope pierce the veil dont no no no GIF

I hate social pressure and appears that PTA feeds of this.  All they seem to do is try and make money in raffles or whatnot. 

I just don't like the idea that money seems to be the main concern. I don't like that fact that it represents parents and gives some parents more control and possibly influences teachers.

I just don't see the point in PTAs. The goal is to get the fullest co-operation from home to school. I don't want to know if it means stressing over money and the waste of time of having to do mind-numbing boring stuff when I could be at home sitting on my fat arse drinking a brew.

 I suppose it is ok if it is your thing but I just hate the constant pressure. I certainly wouldn't trust PTA, they appear to have too much time on their hands and tend to make us other parents feel lower than them.  This is my experience anyway, could be totally different somewhere else.

 aint nobody got time for that GIF
Cheers for reading X