And here’s where I reveal the secrets that keep our home ticking over smoothly … that ensure that life in our household makes the Werther’s Original advert look like an episode of Shameless.
Welcome to various items that I think on ever-so fondly as ‘My Precioussssss’. Forget ‘What Not To Buy’ – HERE is where you should be investing your coppers;
The Battery Tester
Nah – not the industrial sized car battery tester; rather, the itsy bitsy ‘check if your Duracell battery truly is as dead as a donut, or if it’s *actually* that your son has – yet again – broken an electronic item.’ I bought this over a decade ago and it’s never failed me yet. It’s easy to use, has a nice old-fashioned little meter on it and – ironically – you don’t even need a battery for it. Go buy!
The Pampered Chef Chopper
A much better parent, cook, partner, friend and all round nicer person than me recommended that I purchase this some 8 years ago. I thought that she was taking the mickey. I mean – twenty quid for something that chops stuff up? Like I even have the *time* to make freshly prepared, healthy and nutritious food? Like I even have the will to stand in the kitchen a-cooking? Like I even have the kind of kids that would eat such stuff? But I stand corrected. It has served me well. It chops like a bugger and has ensured that my kids have eaten every vegetable under the sun (even if one of them still harbours the delusion that she only eats carrots and sweetcorn). Plus it beats the bottle bank every time for when you want to smash and pound and whack something really hard in order to get that pent up aggression out of yourself.
Crawling Insect Trap/ Flypaper/ Spider repellant
Yeah yeah yeah – generally I KNOW that it’s rotten to kill a spider – but you ain’t seen the size of the evil critters that live in 18th Century built homes. So I always *do* try and catch and then liberate them in the kids’ toothbrushing mugs BUT on the occasion where I fail, I like to know that the more sizeable sods will get nabbed by the insect trap. And come the warmer months, I do prefer to use good old fashioned flypaper as opposed to nasty chemical sprays. Plus, if you catch enough flies you can put a few of the strips together and create an interesting looking wallpaper for your 8 year old son’s room.
And most recently after the success with the sonic mouse repellant, I’ve invested in the same kind of gadget for the spiders. Seems kinder than the sticky old trap, somehow.
The Little Book Holder
Another purchase that I felt dubious about – but these days I’m hooked on such implements. I’ve blogged before about the fact that until the day that I die, I’ll never abandon paperbacks in favour of the Kindle. And whether I’m sweating my bits off at the gym, or lazing around on a Caribbean beach (did you hear hollow laughter re. the latter?) – well, this little item is just a weensy piece of plastic marvel. Engineering design and precision at its best.
I’ve been hooked on earplugs ever since University when – girly swot that I am – I couldn’t stand any longer to listen to those hedonistic cretins singing along to D-Ream down the corridor from me at 2am. Don’t tell the Smug-Parenting Lobby, but I’ve used these through nursing two babies (oh, the times that my partner has had to elbow me in the ribs and say; ‘it’s crying! It needs feeding!’) And now sadly, I cannot sleep without them. I even keep a spare pair in the car in case of ever having the opportunity to get an extra couple of minutes kip.
The Tangle Teezer
My mum claims that she can’t even remember buying this for me (‘Oh it was probably something I forgot to put into the shoebox appeal stuff and just gave you instead.’) And again – something I was very dubious about. I’ve got long, stupidly thick hair and it takes quite a bit to get the knots out. But don’t let the appearance of the Tangle Teezer deceive you. It may look like a cheap buy from a pound store, but it’s ruddy, ruddy GOOD. Of a morning in our bathroom, me and the daughter have been known to resort to fisticuffs over it.
I’d be lost without my specs or my contact lenses. Literally. I’m borderline disabled with my myopia and I aim to blog a bit more about this later on. But for now, those spectacles rule! So,
don’t nick ’em, don’t tread on ’em and please don’t call me Speccy Four Eyes or Deirdre Barlow (oh the pain of being a spec-wearer in the 80s…it scarred me for life, I tell you.)
The Aloe Vera
Not so much a gadget, but I wouldn’t live in a home without one. Why? Because they are nature’s little way of helping us with minor burns and scalds. Sure, stick the afflicted area under the cold water tap, but you can always zap it with a bit of broken off aloe vera. Has never failed me yet.
(As for the gnomes. Well. They’re a bit useless aren’t they? But every home should have them too, methinks.)