Writing matters! I am a writer and when you think about it, most of us are. Consider all the writing you did at school or work. Think about all the notes you have sent to your child’s school. If you juggle many tasks, perhaps you rely on the power of the to do list.

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This year’s National Stationery Week aims to keep Britain writing. Here’s an A-Z of why writing really matters:

A is for: Archives. Handwritten documents and notes have been passed down through centuries to permanently record some of history’s most important events – not just consigned to a virtual trash bin.

B is for: Beauty. A hastily-drawn up email will never capture the sheer beauty of a handwritten letter

C is for: Caring. Handwritten notes, letter and cards are the most personal form of communication. Think love letters and cards that are treasured for decades. A handwritten letter shows courtesy and etiquette. Emails declaring ‘I love you’ just don’t cut it in the same way

D is for: Diaries. Imagine pouring out your innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions and keeping it stored in a computer file to treasure for all time. Doesn’t have the same ring does it?

E is for: Education. The dawn of the computer era is upon us but when schools, colleges and universities set a project they’ll still expect it to be completed in legible handwriting. It’s up there with reading and ‘rithmetic.

F is for: Failsafe. There’s no need to rely on computer batteries or storage space. Handwriting can be enjoyed anywhere, at any time, without the need to rely on technology.

G is for: Generations. If something ain’t broke then don’t fix it! Generations upon generations have used handwriting to get their message across. It’s just as important now as it ever has been in the past.

H is for: History. We know so much about the rich past of the world we live in purely down to handwritten documents passed down over time. There were no emails when the Magna Carta was drawn up…

I is for: Imagination. Crafting a handwritten letter stimulates the brain and imagination, and is proven to heighten the feel-good factor

J is for: Jargon. Can you remember the most important documents of all time being littered with LOLs, ROFLs or L8Rs? No, neither can we! Handwriting encourages the correct use of language

K is for: Knowledge. They say that knowledge is power. And it is proven that the brain takes in far more information when it is being written down

L is for: Learning. Evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep. Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information.

M is for: Memory. Handwriting enhances brain activity and memory, helping to keep the mind sharp

N is for: Nostalgia. Ever dug out old school notebooks, diaries and cards from years gone by to relive happy memories from the past? Threads of text messages and emails just don’t provide the same sense of nostalgia

O is for: Opulent. It’s not just artists that get to go wild with creativity. Beautiful handwriting can bring a page to life

P is for: Pen and pencil – the instruments that bring our thoughts and emotions to life on the page. You know how the famous saying goes – the pen is mightier than the sword!

Q is for: Quill. Let’s take a moment to step back in time! The quill was used to write with ink before the invention of the dip pen. Shakespeare’s world-famous plays would have been written down using a quill – and the literary masterpieces have certainly stood the test of time

R is for: Romance. Great love stories tend not to be rooted in the foundation of a text message or email! Think instead of soldiers in battle taking hope from letters sent from their loved ones back home or cards filled with soppy scribblings and cherished for years

S is for: Signature. Even if you’re never intending to become a scribe, everyone should practice their signature. Some of the most memorable moments in history have come from people signing on the dotted line…Think treaties, marriages, births, autographs – or even football contracts

T is for: Text Messages. Let’s face it, texts are a handy way of quick communication. But they’ll never beat a carefully-crafted handwritten message

U is for: Unique. Nobody wants to follow the crowd so handwriting is a perfect tool to express personality and individuality. Every person’s handwriting is unique

V is for: Vision. Our vision is for writing by hand to co-exist in perfect harmony with technology in this digital age

W is for: Writing. Because writing by hand really does matter!

X is for: X Factor. Handwritten notes just have that extra little something that makes them super special!

Y is for: You. Just like fashion sense and choice of hairstyles, handwriting says a lot about who you are

Z is for: Zeal. With handwriting proven to stimulate the mind and imagination, sitting down to write a letter will produce a feel-good factor. It’s a fact!

The importance of handwriting is being highlighted as part of National Stationery Week – as we launch a campaign to ensure Britain keeps writing!

A number of states in the US have removed cursive handwriting from the curriculum and then reintroduced it and Finland is also removing it in favour of teaching typing skills. MPs, celebrities, teachers, youngsters and parents alike are now joining forces to make sure the UK continues to prioritise handwriting as an important skill.

Handwriting is part of our daily lives and while modern technology has transformed the way we communicate, the skill of handwriting remains important in education, employment and everyday life.

What are your 10 top tips for Spring cleaning?

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I think Winter seemed to last far too long so I am loving opening up the windows and paying some attention to those areas of the home that are the hardest hit during winter – namely your carpets. Yes, it’s time for the annual Spring Clean.

But, if you are thinking vacuuming is enough, think again. According to the homecare experts at BISSELL, even the best vacuums simply can’t reach the deeply imbedded dirt within your carpet’s fibres. The process of carpet cleaning – engineered to reach the dirt and allergens left behind by vacuuming – is just as easy and can be done in a similar amount of time, with much more impressive results. Sometimes it is so difficult to clean edges and stairs (especially carpeted ones). That’s why you can use different vacuums for stairs;
check out this article: https://vacmux.com/best-vacuum-stairs/ for more information about such vacuum cleaners.

To help you make the most of your Spring Clean, here are ten top tips to get your house sparkling from top to bottom. So get out the serious cleaning supplies, stretch your scrubbing muscles and tackle those hard-to-reach places.

1. Shape up and ship out the clutter. Doing one big sweep of toys, magazines and everyday bits and pieces to clear your carpets and surfaces will be a lot easier than trying to clean around the daily detritus of the family. This is a big one for me as I naturally acquire clutter but I am learning that it only adds to the housework burden. Let Freegle and charity shops benefit from things you no longer need.

2. Vacuum, pre-treat badly stained areas and then deep clean your carpets and rugs.
A carpet washing machine injects a mixture of cleaning solution and warm water deep into carpet fibres. The brushes agitate, scrub and loosen the dirt or stain and then the powerful vacuum suction lifts it all away, leaving your home feeling and smelling fresh.

3. It’s the job we all dread… cleaning the oven. So get cracking with that while you’re feeling motivated and get it out of the way. I find playing rock music helps.

4. You’ve done the washing, but have you washed the washing machine? They can tend to build mould over time, so to make sure yours is spotless run an empty load, one cycle filled with 4 cups of bleach, the other with 4 cups of distilled white vinegar. How I love white vinegar – so affordable and so effective.

5. Strip covers off cushions and sofas where possible, then load them into the washing machine, checking care labels to ensure you use the right settings.
Of course, if you have a carpet cleaner which works on upholstery, such as a BISSELL CleanView® Proheat®, you can save yourself some time by using it to clean sofa upholstery, curtains and the mattress too. Your living room will have a new lease of life!

10 Top Tips For Spring Cleaning

6. Don’t forget the bed sheets: you’ll probably be washing these already, but use it as an opportunity to vacuum your mattress too. It’s a haven for dust mites which can wreak havoc for people who suffer from allergies.

7. Let in more light: cleaning blinds can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Mix equal parts of warm water and distilled white vinegar in a bowl. Slip a sock on your hand and dip the sock into the water and vinegar mixture before wiping each slat individually. I love light and where I can get away without blinds and curtains at all I do.

8. Bust the dust mites by giving the house a thorough dusting from high to low. Start with the ceilings, corners of walls and light fixtures. Use a lint roller to easily clean dust off lampshades and other soft furnishings.

9. Your Spring Clean is the perfect time to to check batteries in smoke and fire alarms around the house. To be super safe you could even inspect light fixtures for damaged wires and faulty connections. Safety first!

10. Impression marks left on carpets by furniture can be easily remedied. Simply rub an ice cube over the affected area and your carpet will be back to normal in no time. Genius tip!

For more information about BISSELL visit www.bisselldirect.co.uk or join us on Facebook and Twitter

What are your tips for the Spring clean?

Cuddle Fairy
My Random Musings

Do you love the sales?

It won’t surprise my regular readers that I enjoy getting a bargain. That is why you will often find me in charity shops and occasionally on Ebay.

So I was delighted to know there is a website where you can find out all about the sales in different shops covering a range of items from fashion, electronics, home, garden, sports, gifts or anything else that takes your fancy.

It’s a busy time for us as a family so here are things I am considering from Love the Sales. I would love you to tell me which items you like best and what you enjoy about sales.

I do love a man in a waistcoat. My husband wore one at our wedding. I think 3 piece suits look smart. He has an interview coming up soon and I think he would look great in this suit from Hugo Boss.

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He can also wear it to our wedding anniversary dinner and I would love a dress like this one. Vibrant colours suit me and I think this dress would be very forgiving of the mummy tummy.

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My daughter’s birthday is coming up and her wardrobe needs updating and these items would suit her well now that she is turning 12 and growing up fast. I highly recommend you checking out some great fashion items for all the family including from Tommy Hilfiger and Boden.

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Finally we are doing up our patio area to make it a pretty place to spend our Summer days and evenings. I absolutely love this stylish barbecue from Laura Ashley.

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Do you like my wishlist and what do you most love about the sales?

Hospital blunders are irritating at the very least and sometimes downright dangerous.

I had no real experience of hospitals until I gave birth to my first child. At one of my first appointments, my records were muddled up with someone of the same name. Understandable perhaps as quite a coincidence that someone with the same name as me should be pregnant at exactly the same time as me in such a small country town.

With my third child, I was told by a midwife that after spotting late in pregnancy, his view was that I should never have left hospital until I gave birth. All was well in the end and I delivered a bouncing 11 and a half pounder!

My husband has really suffered due to hospital blunders. He has 3 forms of psoriasis which is unsightly and leaves him embarrassed and often in extreme pain. After decades of various treatments he was given injections which made the condition really manageable and reduced the scaling to almost nothing. When we moved between hospital areas, the injections stopped and he is now as bad as he ever was although fortunately has lobbied and is now back on the injections. My husband wrote to anyone who would listen which helped but not every person feels capable of doing that.

With both my late parents, I felt mistakes were made both clerical ones leading to lack of check-ups after major illness and my poor Dad falling due to lack of staffing during the night. I don’t think it is right that other elderly patients had to pick him up and get him back to bed.

If things are to improve, there needs to be a culture of openess that investigates concerns and learns from mistakes made.

Have you experienced hospital blunders? Was medical negligence at play or was it just a case of extremely stretched resources? Perhaps those two are linked.

Infographic: Hospital Blunders

An IPhone 6 is a great thing to own but are you protecting yours?

Would you like to win a IPhone 6 cover and screen protector?

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I have a fun giveaway for you where you can win a IPhone 6 cover of your choice from Tech 21.

https://www.tech21.com/en_gb/smartphones/apple-mobile-cases-and-covers/iphone-6-cases
This competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over only.

The winner will be sent a voucher code that covers the cost of one phone case and one screen protector only. The code works by shopping on the website as normal, then entering the code as you go to pay.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Delighted to add this giveaway to UK Prizefinder