Monday, 15 December 2014

Tyre Pressure

One of the most daunting things about having teenagers is when they and their friends start to drive. At least it is for me.

I'm firmly of the opinion that passing the driving test is just the start of learning to drive. There's so much more to learn than could possibly be absorbed during driving lessons or covered in an hour long theory test and a 40 minute practical. All the real learning about staying safe on the road stuff comes with experience.

Teenagers, by dint of youth, don't have much experience in very many things and not at all in driving by the time they reach the age when they are able to. And then, having passed their driving test, they want to drive. On the roads. In cars. All. The. Time.

And while teenagers may laugh in the face of driving danger with all the joie de vivre of youth, me? Well, I sit at home and worry, like a million mother's before me, about just how safe they are on roads that can be treacherous, particularly in winter.

And recent research from Michelin and Mumsnet hasn't improved matters either.

In October, a 1,000 Mumsnetters completed a survey for Michelin about tyres and tyre safety. Tyres are, as one Mumsnetter said: "The most important part of the car as they're the only thing connecting you to the road."

The survey discovered that safety was a paramount concern in choosing a set of tyres, but 38 per cent of mothers polled didn't know the legal tread depth of their tyres and the same amount only checked the tyre pressure once or twice a year. A disappointingly whopping 73 per cent said they just left their partner to take care of car maintenance.  And only 19 per cent understood the importance of tyre labelling as well, which Michelin says also includes a rating for wet-braking stopping distances. Who knew... not very many people apparently.

"I feel," said one mum, "that some drivers do not appreciate or understand the importance of making sure your tyres are in good working condition."

And I thought if safety conscious mums ferrying their children around don't fully understand tyre safety and tyre maintenance, what hope is there that inexperienced teenage drivers do too?

Not much, I suspect.

As a start at improving tyre safety awareness for mums and teenagers alike, Michelin, whose Total Performance tyres have a mix of grip, longevity and fuel saving designed to meet everyday driving challenges whatever the conditions, have fitted 3,000 cars across Europe with special monitoring equipment to understand how drivers drive everyday so that tyre safety doesn't end up always being left to chance.

And here's a myth buster from Michelin that I hope will make all drivers out there a bit more careful on the roads this winter too...

Meanwhile, I'll be organising my very own Driving Test for anyone who'll be wanting to be driving me and mine around in future. It may involve a tape measure *nods*

This post is written in collaboration with Mumsnet and Michelin to promote tyre safety. That TeenTwin1's boyfriend passed his driving test last week has absolutely no relevance whatsoever *cough*

Monday, 8 December 2014

Quirky and Kooky Christmas Gift Ideas

It's nearly Christmas. Hurrah... or you would if you could just find the perfect present for that difficult to buy for person in your life. But do not despair because we have a few suggestions for the perfect gift for the perfectly quirky and kooky people in your life....

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Secret To Being (Almost) Wrinkle-Free at 50 ... Probably

Friends often ask me how I remain relatively wrinkle free as I embark on my fifth decade.

Oh, alright then. One friend once asked me. And yes, there was subdued lighting and she was quite possibly delusionally drunk, but still, it counts.

As do the many times that other people have said: "Oooh, you don't look it" upon discovering I am virtually a dinosaur. And yes, they might just be saying that because of the murderous look in my eye and the large stick I happen to be casually twirling at the time. But still, It counts.

Obviously I have wisdom to impart which will be a boon to women everywhere. so here are my top tips to maintaining a youthful complexion as you enter your 50s,...

1: Drink. A lot.
    Some so-called health professionals recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day, but I say does it really have to be water? And why stop at just eight glasses? Wine is as wet as water and tastes much, much nicer. As do gin and vodka, both of which can be happily mixed with tonic water thereby doubling the health benefits. Probably. It's called tonic for a reason, right?

2: Eat Healthily.
    And by healthily I mean: what you want, when you want.

3: Learn to Smoke.
    Have you ever seen a wrinkled kipper? No, you haven't. There are benefits to smoking that the health professionals will never tell  you. Stress is a major cause of furrowed brows, but the ability to step outside at times of emotional extremis and take a good, deep lungful of smoke can not only save your sanity but also your skin. And probably the skin of whoever wound you up in the first place too. Which is good.

4: Home Exfoliation.
    Why waste money on expensive beauty treatments when you can get the benefits in your own home? A man's beard stubble can achieve much the same results without the expense and with more thrills (hopefully) than you'd ever get on a beautician's couch.

5: Do Not Give A F ..
    Forget your age. It doesn't matter. Your experience does.  If you've been doing it right, you should have a big smile on your face by now and if you are going to have wrinkles, laughter lines are definitely the best ones to have.

Oh, and most importantly....

6: Use Photoshop.
    Or PicMonkey.. or Instagram... or any photo-editing software that you can find each and every time you post a photo on social media. Because you're 50 right. You're never leaving the house again and all people will ever see of you for evermore will be carefully edited photos on your Facebook feed.


Not that I ever do that. Obviously *cough*

Me. Probably.

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