Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Important Advice from the Red Cross

I'm more than aware that some of my readers aren't as young as they used to be, (or say they are) for myself, the twinges of middle age are not completely unfamiliar. 

So I thought the following advice from the red cross was excellent, and very demographic appropriate. I know we all like to help, and many of us are motorised these days, so why not duo these into a give give give option.


Out and about in the cold

The Red Cross advises that you stop and offer roadside assistance if you see someone's car has broken down during severe weather. This is a very small act of volunteering which could save someone's life. But in areas where heavy snow is likely to fall, be prepared.

Always carry in your car:

a blanket
a torch
a mobile phone
a brightly-coloured headscarf
some chocolate bars
a flask of hot soup
a sign that says HELP in big bright letters.

If you break down or get stuck in snow, don’t leave your car – it will get noticed before you will. Put the HELP sign in your window, tie the headscarf to your car's aerial, turn off the engine and curl up in the blanket. Don’t run your car's engine for more than a few minutes at a time and make sure its exhaust isn’t blocked with snow.

Remember that the bad weather catches many people unaware every year in the UK, so always be prepared to keep safe and to help others.

If you are interested in doing more go to the Red Cross website http://www.redcross.org.uk where advice can be found on what to do in cases of hypothermia, frostbite and falls and tumbles.


So there you go, don't say I'm not always bringing you up to the moment guidance and lifestyle option suggestions.

However some essential points aren't clear. The key issue for me is does the scarf need to be a Hermès? That can be the problem with some advice, full of good intention but low on detail and when you're worried about being a good Samaritan the last thing you want is a series of unanswered questions with the potential for making a fashion faux pas.

So I think to be on the safe side yes it should be a Hermès

Btw - don't forget when you are out and about rummaging through the thrift and goodwill stores, always check the hem of every scarf in the 50p box. A Hermès will have a rolled hem which will have been hand stitched. The volunteers will be too busy smelling of moth balls to always notice these gems. 

Just a little tip my mother taught me, and it costs nothing to share.

Keep warm, and get those headscarves ready!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

As we enter Advent

Now, as you all know there are several important things that must be prepared for well in advance of the big day itself. In fact this one should be prepared as a matter of urgency, as it is, you'll agree, the keystone to happy and successful yuletide festivities.

That's right, you've got it in one, today we are going to make the Blue Peter Advent Crown.

Now, we are going to be making the original one not the PC police gone made version. The only draw back with this version, is that buildings and personal liability insurance should be trickier to obtain unless you go sub prime and you know how tricky that is these days. You see, today's youth, apart from wearing hoodies, doing that funny limping walk, playing music on their mobile phones on the bus and smoking crack cocaine, are subject to a health and safety conscious advent crown, where baubles are added to welcome in each new week of advent rather than the celestial light of burning wax. I think you can take this nanny state thing too far and anyway ours has candles AND baubles.

Do remember to ask an adult for help if necessary. You will need 4 wire coat hangers, ask mummy or your housekeeper to get these for you from the dry cleaners, plenty of tinsel (re insurance reference above maybe make sure it is fire proof), 4 jar lids, now these don't necessarily have to come from an organic preserve, but it is preferable especially if the neighbours have a tendency to pop round for sherry unannounced. Now do you have 5 glass baubles handy? no? well pop along to your local DIY shop, Fortnums, Peter Jones or Harrods should be near enough. To further adorn you'll require holly, now don't just snip away at the first bush you come across, topiary doesn't grow on trees you know. Finally you'll need 4 candles, and don't make the same mistake I did and come back from the iron mongers with fork handles!

How we laughed. Anyway.

1. First cut the hook off two of the wire hangers just above the twist then using thin wire join one hanger with a hook to one without at right angles - make two pairs.

2. Turn one pair upside down and wire them all together into a large 3 dimensional diamond, fasten the jar lids at the four corners.

3. Place the candles in the jar lids, decorate the hangers with tinsel and greenery, and hang baubles from underneath the jar lids and in the centre at the bottom. But remember kids never leave lit candles unattended, even for a moment.

So there you have it, 4 weeks in advent and you light one candle per week. What joy!

Have a look at the one I prepared earlier (below) for some more clues, or ring up Biddy Baxter if you need the fact sheet - she won’t mind.